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Here's Why Exiting the Pac-12 Would Be a  Good Thing for UW

The Huskies need to ask themselves if they're serious about college football or not?
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The University of Washington entered Thursday feeling pretty good about the direction of all things football, with Kalen DeBoer's new Husky coaching staff wowing everyone with a series of recruiting successes over the past week and a half.

Then USC and UCLA effectively blew up the Pac-12 Conference.

The Los Angeles schools indicated their intention to join the Big Ten Conference and by the end of the day their membership applications were accepted.

Thus a new round of scrambling college realignment — and maybe the most radicalized yet — was ignited, leaving the Huskies, Oregon and the rest of the conference precious little time to determine their sporting futures, especially in terms of football. 

Once the shock wears off, if anyone can wait that long, the UW must decide 1) whether to follow the others to the Big Ten if an offer is extended; 2) find yet another conference to join; or 3) try to rebuild the smoldering ruin previously known as the PCC, AAUW, Pac-8 and Pac-10, to name a few iterations.

The school on Friday released the above statement that says nothing more than hold onto your seats. Figuratively. 

Giving this situation considerable thought, all of this maddening reshuffle of the FBS deck might actually be a good thing for the Huskies.

Multiple reports indicate FOX, which competes with ESPN for college football TV contracts, was the driving force behind the L.A. schools ending their near century-long alliance out West and joining up with the Michigans and Ohio States of the world.

The suggestion was strongly inferred that these won't be the only schools encouraged to make a move to the Big Ten, with the storied Midwest conference looking to expand and unwilling to roll over and let the SEC have it all.

Face it, college football has been moving toward a super conference or conferences and that day has arrived.

A new conference and a richer TV deal would give the Huskies a better chance to hang with the big dogs. An old league and a watered-down media agreement without the Los Angeles market does not.

Husky Stadium is too nice a place to play to small crowds for lack of interest. That will happen if the UW stays in some sort of makeshift Pac-12. Similar to Oregon and the L.A. schools, it's time for the Huskies to become more of a national brand in football.

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With a Big Ten schedule, the UW might find itself regularly playing afternoon games on Saturday, too, which is how college football was meant to be played, not with extra-chilly 6 and 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Face it, the non-conference schedule this fall is largely uninspiring. Except for a third-week visit by Michigan State, a Big Ten team, of course, UW fans will be asked to pay expensive ticket prices to watch Kent State and Portland State come in and get manhandled.

Trust us, only Jimmy Lake loses to Montana. Those games usually are never close, never competitive, over by the third quarter.

With a new league, games with FCS or mid-major opponents quickly become a thing of the past. Why not play a non-conference game against Washington State and preserve the Apple Cup and some of the connections to other Pac-12 teams that get left behind? Or FOX contracts might require the Huskies to be involved in intersectional match-ups made for TV.

Traditionally, many of the biggest Husky Stadium games hosted by the UW over the past century have been against current or eventual Big Ten teams. Michigan. Ohio State. Michigan State. Iowa. Minnesota. Purdue. Nebraska.

Put the Huskies in a more accredited football alignment and the bowl games will be better, too. More of a selection. More meaningful than some of the Pac-12 postseason agreements now in place.

Recruiting nationally for the first time this spring since DeBoer took over, the Huskies almost absentmindedly set themselves up for Big Ten inclusion. They're pursuing players in and around all of those states.

For example, their latest quarterback commitment, Lincoln Kienholz from South Dakota, was probably headed to Wisconsin and the Big Ten if he didn't pledge himself to DeBoer's crew.

The Huskies need to get on board or become insignificant. After all, a bunch of these newly committed and highly recruited prospects might choose to go elsewhere if the UW decides to stand pat and hang with a jilted conference.

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