Would the Pac-12 swap UCLA for UC Davis? In normal times, no. But these are not normal times. Substituting one UC for another sounds like an even deal to me, especially since there’s no other UC campus that even sponsors football, other than Cal.
Other geographically logical candidates include San Diego State, Fresno State and Boise State, all of which could compete immediately with Pac-12 schools. But no one can bring that UC prestige and credibility to the table but UC Davis.
Starting close to home, the University of Washington — specifically, athletic director Jen Cohen and university President Ana Mari Cauce — is now facing a stark decision, one being mirrored in Eugene, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Tempe, Boulder and perhaps Palo Alto and Berkeley. Namely, do the Huskies do everything in their power to maneuver their way into joining the Trojans and Bruins in the exodus to the Big Ten? Or do they stay with what essentially now becomes a mid-major Pac-12 conference?
It seems virtually certain that Oregon, which has the loftiest of aspirations for its football program, will not be satisfied with a Pac-12 that doesn’t contain USC and UCLA and will now see its already plummeting reputation tarnished even more. They almost have to leave now, right? And there were already reports Thursday that the Big Ten could target Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State to form a super conference.
It’s a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest environment that has left schools scrambling to maintain their relevance in a collegiate world already uprooted by the Name, Image and Likeness revolution and transfer portal upheaval. As one Twitter wag noted on Thursday, this is a case of entire programs entering the transfer portal — and not for the first time in this new Wild, Wild West era of collegiate sports.
Is expansion necessary or could the Pac-12 remain at 10 for a while? If expansion is a must, the conference could look to programs like Boise State, BYU, Houston, Oklahoma State, or Kansas to bolster the membership.
Oregon Ducks softball ace pitcher Brooke Yanez announced via Twitter that she will miss the entire 2022 season due to injury.
It’s a big blow for the Ducks. Yanez was one of the best pitchers in the country last season. The first-team all-conference hurler was 22-6 and posted a 2.11 earned run average a year ago.
The transfer from UC-Davis was going to be a fifth-year senior this season, but it’s assumed she will receive a medical redshirt and Yanez says she will be ready to go for the 2023 season.