Huard breaks down what he was told was ‘worst day’ in Pac-12 history
Jul 1, 2022, 1:57 PM | Updated: Jul 18, 2022, 3:47 pm
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The college sports world got quite the shakeup on Thursday with the news that USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 in 2024 to join the Big Ten conference.
The news caught many off guard, including former NFL and University of Washington quarterback Brock Huard, who is also a college football analyst for FOX Sports.
During his daily chat with The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, Huard shared his thoughts on the news as well as what he’s hearing from those in the Pac-12.
Huard admitted that Thursday’s bombshell news was quite the shock.
“I wasn’t sad for myself, my time has come and gone. I had some incredible years there (at UW). My nephew, obviously, is still at the University of Washington,” Huard said. “But I thought about all of my Coug buddies yesterday, I thought of my Oregon State buddies yesterday. Those are the markets that that were shook.”
Huard said he reached out to a few people in the conference who made it clear how badly they felt after USC and UCLA’s move came out.
“There was pretty much consensus other than with the folks at USC and UCLA that this was the worst day in the history of the conference,” Huard said. “That was an exact quote from somebody in authority in this conference, and that’s what it felt like yesterday.”
The big question now is what’s next for the Pac-12 and all the different universities? Do some jump ship to the Big Ten? Do they stand pat? Huard said it’s unclear what’s next, especially for some of the bigger universities.
“What does Oregon do? What does Stanford do? What does Washington do? Those would become the three markets that the Big 10, if they’re interested in getting to 20, (may be interested in),” he said.
Huard called the Big Ten a “reactionary” conference in recent years, and that the conference adding teams from the Pac-12 is because of Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.
“Now does the SEC say … ‘let’s go grab Clemson and Florida State and Duke or North Carolina for basketball, and we’ll get to 20? Let’s get to 20 in our super conference now,'” Huard said. “And then does the Big Ten say, ‘Great, we’ll grab Stanford and Washington and Oregon and Utah … and we’ll get to 20 and whatever you can do, we can do and in our minds can do just as well or better, and we’ll get to the same kind of numbers and split the pie similarly.'”
Like former WSU receiver Michael Bumpus, Huard is worried about the future of the smaller schools in the Pac-12.
“For Oregon State and for Washington State and just the size and the demographics and the revenue and the population and everything else, it may be better to compete in the Mountain West Conference with Utah State and Colorado State,” Huard said. “(Maybe they) say, ‘Yeah, we could win that conference, we could win the Mountain West maybe a little bit more regularly, and we’ll come into it with an advantage because of the facility improvements that we have had over the last 10 years because of the revenue (we made).'”
Huard compared the feeling of learning about the Pac-12’s shakeup to when he experienced his first earthquake.
“Yesterday, fairly close to that when that news hit and it became official like wow, this is an earthquake to Bill Walton’s ‘Conference of Champions,’ to the conference that I knew, that I loved,” Huard said. “The traditions, the histories, the rivalries, the ability to drive to games, the vitriol, the sports hate that you have for many of these teams. To watch it just all of a sudden (end) like that (was shocking).”
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.