"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Pac-12 reduction: the end of an era for NCAA Division I Football

Caption%3A+Starting+in+2024%2C+10+teams+from+the+PAC-12+will+be+leaving.+This+leaves+behind+just+two+teams+from+the+PAC-12%2C+Washington+State+and+Oregon+State%0A
Lucas
Caption: Starting in 2024, 10 teams from the PAC-12 will be leaving. This leaves behind just two teams from the PAC-12, Washington State and Oregon State

Does the reduction of the Pac-12 mean college football is no longer about holding traditions? The majority of this conference has left in an attempt to seek commercialization.

The Power Five Conference known as the PAC-12 is comprised of 12 Division One football teams along the Pacific Coast. The bulk of their teams are joining the Big 10 conference leaving behind just Oregon State and Washington State. This move was sparked after the PAC-12 conference could not come to terms on an agreement for a TV rights deal with ESPN and Fox. 

As a college football program, it is already almost impossible to make the college football playoff without being a Power Five school. In the last 10 years, the only team to make the playoff selection outside of the Power Five has been the University of Cincinnati. The solution to this low competitive rate for Group of Five schools has been to expand to a 12-team playoff format. This will give the top six ranked conference champions a guaranteed spot in the playoff as well as the other top six ranked schools a spot. Before the Pac-12 dissolved, this theoretically gave way for the top group of five schools to have a shot at the national title. However, now that the Power Five has only four conferences, the top two Group of Five teams will have two spots in the playoff when in the last 10 years, most of the time only one or two Group of Five teams end up ranked. This will force the 12-team format to change and possibly reduce to just eight teams with the concern that there will not be two Group of Five schools who can seriously compete against the Power Five conference champions.

So, while the expansion of college football playoffs gives smaller schools a window of opportunity to enter the national championship, the PAC-12’s dismemberment affects this greatly. Teams like Oregon State and Washington State who used to be in the Power Five may join a Group of Five conference leaving them with almost no serious chance at success in the college football playoff. These teams will now be playing their season in hopes of just making a bowl game in December and January.

The PAC-12’s desire for commercial gain has put many teams in a bad spot moving forward. Big 10 teams will have a very unlikely chance of making the playoffs at the end of the season due to the size and competitiveness of their conference. This leaves a tradition of competitiveness and spirit from the college football scene behind for conferences to satisfy their monetary desires.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Hiatt
Lucas Hiatt, Sports Editor
Lucas Hiatt is a junior and Sports Editor for the Statesman. He is involved in LHS Golf and Student Council. He is also fluent in Spanish and is enrolled in LHS’s Spanish Immersion Program. When he is not hauling around furniture across Sioux Falls for his family business, he can be found at the golf course or the pickleball courts with fellow staff members, JD Yunag, Addy Albrecht and Clara Binstock.
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