The Washington-St.-Oregon St. game begins the Pac-12’s bizarre end

The statement “We’ve never seen anything like this” is often overused in sports.

Shohei Ohtani’s skills on the mound and batter’s box? Fine. Top high school prospects? No.

But when Washington State and Oregon State face each other in both teams’ opening games in the Pac-12 Conference, it will be the beginning of the end. The two league teams, which have no other league affiliations after this season, continue to carry the Pac-12 crown without knowing where their home will be next season. This is crazy when you take a breath and look at it from a distance. The conference that both the Cougars and Beavers participate in will either not be happening this time next year or will look very different, with many chapters Realignment of the conference this decade still needs to be written.

Now, that is something we really don’t see every day.

Arguably the least marketable Pac-12 franchises nationally do not join the Big Ten (Oregon, Washington, USC and UCLA), the Big 12 (Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado) or the ACC (Cal, Stanford). . next summer, starting now, with Washington State President Kirk Schulz Confirmation on Tuesday that the Cougars still don’t have a home next year. The Runaways have gone a step further than being let down, beyond just looking like the kid picked last at dodgeball at recess. The state of Oregon and the state of Washington have taken legal action against the 10 people who left, with a judge in Washington initially expelling one of them Board meeting between conference commissioner George Kliavkoff and representatives of all schools leaving the league will not take place. The schools also submitted an application Complaint about violation of the statutes against the conference and Kliavkoff on Friday.

Their gridiron meet in Pullman on Saturday night is the only conference match both schools will play after December. And it’s a meeting between the No. 14 and No. 21 teams in the country in an early-season game that will see the winner move rapidly closer to a conference championship and the loser’s chances diminish. The Pac-12 has eight of its members ranked in the latest AP poll, and the looming infighting could ruin the conference as we know it’s last chance to advance to the final four of the College Football Playoff. That’s not the case in the Pac-12 made a CFP since 2016 and the conference’s only win in the competition came in the first playoff in 2014, when Marcus Mariota led Oregon over Florida State.

This feels like a century ago.

Both Washington State and Oregon State are no slackers who should be eaten alive by their soon-to-be ex-colleagues. Oregon State is the higher ranked team and probably has the less impressive record so far. The Beavers defeated two Mountain West opponents by a total of six touchdowns and throttled FCS-level UC Davis by 48. Washington State entered the AP Top 25 last week after defeating then-ranked Wisconsin. The Cougars beat Colorado State 26 in Week 1: Same Rams team Colorado needed double overtime to beat last Saturday. And to round out Wazzu’s schedule, Northern Colorado was demolished.

It will be interesting to see if the conference Washington State and Oregon State participate in next year is called the Pac-12 maintains that Power Five designation. Adding to the Mountain West, joining the Americans, or picking the best available Group of Five teams from around the country to no longer be a Pacific-border league would reduce the competition, and it won’t even come close be big. Boise State and Fresno State cannot be compared to Oregon and Arizona. Still, both the Beavers and Cougars need to build their Pac-12 legacies, at least for a few more weeks. The Washington-St.-Oregon St. game begins the Pac-12’s bizarre end

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