The recent changes in California law moving SBNation to hire full-time writers and editors for California sites, including Pacific Takes, feels like the perfect time for a transition for the most-prolific, but not most-read Pac-12 writer. As of the end of this post, I will no longer be posting stories on PacificTakes.com.
I will transition most of my lists, rankings, and thoughts over to our Twitter handle as long as that’s allowed @PacificTakes and my personal profile @JackFollman (please, please follow me and get me to 1,400 followers).
Before I go, I just want to reflect a little bit on the past seven years of endlessly blogging about Pac-12 football, almost never basketball, and occasionally podcasting.
2013 was a different time. The conference was SCARED of Chip Kelly as opposed to laughing at him. People were still arguing against me that Stanford would regress over time under David Shaw and no one knew Washington was about to trade a liquored-up Steve Sarkisian for Chris Petersen.
Pac-12 football was strong. Six teams finished ranked, Oregon and Stanford were slightly down, but both would have been serious CFP contenders most of the season if the CFP was a thing and both looked like strong candidates to be in 2014 (Oregon eventually did).
Now it’s 2020 and I can’t help but feel like it’s the perfect time to stop blogging about Pac-12 football because it has become a national, and even somewhat regional, afterthought.
Worse yet, the weakening of the conference has also opened the door for the program that simply wants it the most, Oregon, to possibly have the best chance for success, in the two power sports, and while that’s kind of how life, and the world, works, it’s kind of never really been how the Pac-12 has worked, at least not in my lifetime.
I will note that Oregon has won the conference in football one time in the past five years and their recruiting has mostly been at least matched by Washington and USC outside of this year, there is the potential for major momentum building in Eugene if the Ducks fulfill their preseason potential in 2020.
I commend Oregon for their effort and hope it forces the conference’s other programs who have the capability to compete nationally in football on a regular basis (USC, Washington, UCLA, Arizona State, and maybe Utah, in that order) to step up and raise the bar. One of the reasons the SEC has taken over college football is it’s top programs (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Auburn) have held a high bar for coaches and administrations for success and the Pac-12’s powers need to follow that the way Oregon is.
I could write an entire article about the gradual bar lowering of standards and ethics has taken a toll on college football, and how a lot of it has been pioneered by our friends in Eugene and Beaverton, but that’s for another day and time that will likely never come. It’s on the Pac-12 to step up and compete as long as this crazy thing called college football is going to stick around.
So thanks to those who read and commented over the years. Hopefully someday they’ll be more serious options for writers who don’t have the time to edit their articles but want to post five days a week about Pac-12 football. Until then, let’s just argue on Twitter.