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LA Schools Threatened to Leave the Conference Once Before

Realignment really is not all that new for the Pac-12 and its iterations.
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USC and UCLA said they were done.

Forty-four years ago, the Los Angeles schools threatened to walk when the then-Pac-8 Conference prepared to expand its ranks with Arizona and Arizona State, which they considered second-class citizens, before everyone embraced the inevitable.

Eleven years ago, the now Pac-10 made a serious play to become the Pac-16 by extending invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado from the Big 12, which morphed out of the Big 8 and the long-disbanded Southwest Conference.

Back then, Colorado was the only school willing to make the move and it came on board with Utah from the Mountain West, giving us the Pac-12 Conference

Over the past week, USC and UCLA finally made good on that long-ago promise to flee the league, choosing to leave the comfort of primarily West Coast competition and century-old traditions for a more worldly or wieldy existence in the Big Ten — without question, it's a far more lucrative situation.

For going on five decades now, the University of Washington has had to deal with different scenarios of college realignment cropping up in its time zone and conference set-up. That's not new. The difference this time is the very real prospect of the Pac-12 disappearing. It's on the table.

You can blame the Trojans, the Bruins or the Big Ten, or all of the above, for the possibility of this happening, but it's all money motivated. It's why the PGA Tour is under siege these days.

ESPN and FOX are calling all the shots now, ringing the cash registers while eyeballing TV contracts coming up for renewal, and college football is merely responding. It's what these fine universities teach you nowadays: always lead with your checkbook.

While it's uncomfortable, it's a lot like the stock market. The UW, and college football in general, likely will bounce back once everything resets, just as it has before. Change is always hard. Change will make people mad. But the impact will be felt and go away.

What makes this particular expansion-provoking moment so mind-boggling and hard to assess is the vast amount of misinformation being passed around by so-called, self-created authorities. 

Or have you not seen the gray-haired guy on Twitter with a profile photo of himself with a phone pressed to his ear and no name to go with it? He tweets every few minutes as if he's presiding somewhere over back-room dealings.

Word of advice: any and all reports about coming realignment moves should be taken with an Ulumoo Ale-sized amount of skepticism.

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The meetings here. Liaisons there. Dollars amounts everywhere.

The Huskies still are part of what is known as the Pac-12, with commissioner George Kliavkoff and the remaining 10 schools announcing they will press forward with immediate TV negotiations, which are said to require a 30-day window. That could be painstaking. That could be fruitless.

Multiple outlets, each coming with a very regional perspective about things, have reported the Pac-12 has been in contact with the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC about different realignment scenarios.

In accordance, many of these people intimate the Huskies and Oregon have no chance of joining the Big Ten; have a reasonable chance of merging with the Big 12, could form a loose give-and-take with the ACC involving a Las Vegas championship game or could invite a few West Coast schools to replace the departed.

While a lot of mud-slinging is commonplace on Twitter, one of the most vociferous reactions to expansion chatter came when Joel Klatt, FOX college football analyst, tried to be a voice of reason, suggesting that everything will work out in the end for the sake of the game and for unhappy fans.

With his place of employment called into play, Klatt was vehemently mocked by college football fans, students and angers-on everywhere. AStanford whimsically referred to him as "Klatt Daddy."

From a purely regional stance we think the UW remains a valuable college football asset to a bunch of people and could wind up just about anywhere except in the SEC, with old or new friends.

While USC and UCLA made the big move, it was not done without months of round-table discussion, intense negotiating and requisite hair-pulling. Nothing is going to happen in a hurry here.

Hey, it took the Trojans and the Bruins 44 years.

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