Oregon State Faces An Uncertain Future As More Pac-12 Schools Reported For Expansion Elsewhere


The winds of change are blowing as mightily as ever in the world of college conference realignment.

Oregon and Washington are reportedly being eyed by the Big Ten Conference once again, possibly Cal and Stanford, too.

Utah, Arizona and Arizona State, meanwhile, are rumored to be seriously considering a move to the Big 12. The Arizona Regents have scheduled a meeting for Thursday evening to discuss the matter.

“Pac-12 is holding on with two hands, trying to get some footing,” John Canzano said on 750 The Game.

“George Kliavkoff is busy trying to get a Grant of Rights signed, figure out who is in his conference. Arizona, depending on who you believe, what you believe — but I got to be honest with you, I hardly trust anybody right now — Arizona is exploring Big 12 membership, but would it go alone? Would it really abandon Arizona State? And will Arizona State, with hard-liner Michael Crow as its president, will it abandon the Pac-12 Conference he loves so much? What happens to Utah?”

Canzano says that most Ducks fans just want their program to matter nationally, regardless of conference.

“I think there’s a faction of Oregon fans that probably, if they’re being honest with themselves, they really just want to be included with major college football, they do not want to be left behind. They feel like they belong in major college football.”

But what happens to Oregon State and Washington State in the worst-case scenario of the Pac-12 losing the majority of its programs?

“Oregon State and Washington State, how should they feel today?,” Canzano queried. “Especially Oregon State. Stadium improvements. Paying their coaches. Ten win season. Pouring resources into the program. Have been a good soldier in the conference. Finally in a position to potentially compete at the top of the conference.

“And now the Big Ten is saying we don’t necessarily need you, because you don’t have the brand of Oregon and you don’t have the media market of the Bay Area or Seattle.”

Beavers fans must wonder what kind of future is best for their program that is finally on the rise.

“Would they be better off in a Pac-12 Conference that was salvaged? Making a little money, Oregon, Washington, Utah, stick behind. Or are they better off if it turns into a glorified Mountain West conference, and Oregon State is left behind, and has to compete against San Diego State, San Jose State, Boise State, Fresno State, for an automatic berth (in the College Football Playoff) in the Group of Five?”

Canzano says that ultimately, the cut-throat approach from television networks and power conferences are threating to leave the sport in a worse place than it was before.

“I think this game they’re playing is going to alienate a lot of fans, and it’s going to make it less fun,” Canzano said. “And I think you’re going to see some programs — who were marquee programs — left out. And I think everybody’s scared and everybody’s operating out of fear, which shouldn’t be the case.”

Listen to Canzano’s full comments in the 48:00 mark of the show podcast below.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.