Oregon, Washington Leaving Pac-12 For Big Ten As Conference Realignment Roller Coaster Rides Along – Arizona, Arizona St., Utah Next

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The Pacific-12 Conference is dangling over the Pacific Ocean coast, clinging to life on the San Andreas Fault, as we speak.

Oregon and Washington are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

This just in – and this time the story will stick. Oregon and Washington just left the Pac-12 Friday afternoon for the Big Ten, according to college football writer Brett McMurphy, leaving the sinking league with seven members. And that could be just four very soon.

A Big Ten contact later confirmed to OutKick that the conference will officially accept Oregon and Washington as new members later Friday, beginning in the 2024 season. Oregon and Washington will come in at half price – receiving just $30 million of the annual conference payout to start whereas the other 16 at the moment will get the full $60 million.

And Arizona, Arizona State and Utah will be right behind them, exiting the Pac-12 for the Big 12.

Washington and Oregon are the second and third to abandon the Pac-12 in a matter of weeks. Colorado announced in late July that it would be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12, also effective in the 2024 season.

That followed USC and UCLA starting the avalanche in June of 2022 with their announcements that they would be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, also for the 2024 season. USC and UCLA will get the full $60 million share from their new league, by the way. Each school had hoped there would be no other Pac-12 teams joining them. Oh, well.

So, then there was four – Stanford, California, Washington State and Oregon State. They are the last remnants of the Pac-12, ending a week of tremendous lava fluidity.

As of late Thursday night, it appeared Arizona was close to leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN. And it appeared that the Pac-12 would also lose Oregon and Washington to the Big Ten then as well.

But on Friday morning, that last part apparently changed.

But there was no “lost momentum” in truth. And later Friday, the momentum of a Pac-12 fall to the sea was back on as the league was unable to get its Grant of Rights signed to keep the league together.

Apparently no one knew for sure what was happening.

And then the earth moved from under the Pac-12’s feet.

But it is one thing for many media members not to realize what was happening until the end. When a conference commissioner apparently has even less of a clue, it is embarrassing.

Asked about likely Pac-12 departures at the Pac-12 Media Days last July 21 in light of USC and UCLA already bolting, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said this:

“I sit in the board meetings, and I see the commitment that all our schools have to each other. So I discount that, because I know the truth.”

And less than a week later, Colorado was gone. Truthfully.

And more of the truth came out Friday, and Kliavkoff didn’t see it coming.

Or going, that is.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at www.acadianhouse.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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