Canzano: Mailbag deals with Pac-4's next step, Ducks and Huskies to Big Ten, rivalries and more
Your questions, my answers.
I can still smell the eucalyptus grove outside Stanford Stadium. As a kid growing up in the Bay Area I visited there a couple of times to watch football games.
I got a jacket as a gift one Christmas, too. It was dark blue with gold block letters — “CALIFORNIA” — stretched across the chest. I wasn’t a die-hard Cal fan, necessarily. But I loved that jacket and wore the thing all the time during my freshman year of high school.
I grew up on the Pac-10.
Maybe you did, too.
Cal broadcaster Joe Starkey was on the call. Coaches such as Don James (Washington) and Terry Donahue (UCLA) were on the sidelines. Players such as John Elway at Stanford and Charles White at USC were on a poster on my bedroom wall.
I’ve worked at six different newspapers and covered all sorts of things in my career. My assignment was the Big Ten in 1998. I was on the Purdue beat. Drew Brees was a freshman. The Big Ten had fun football and a festive tailgate. The Pac-10 or Pac-12 or whatever we called it felt so far away from the midwest.
Oregon left on Friday for the Big Ten. So did Washington. The Ducks and Huskies didn’t destroy the Pac-12. They didn’t blow up 108 years of history with one move. Get that out of your head today. Those things were the result of a decade-long failure of leadership within the conference. Oregon and Washington had a fiduciary duty to act in their best long-term interest.
So, the Pac-4 it is today.
What happens next? What went wrong? Is college athletics drunk? What the hell?!? I’m glad you asked. I cover it all — and more — in this edition of the weekly mailbag. I’m also looking forward to what should be the most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending, exciting season in the history of college football.