Oregon and the Pac-12 in a Six-Year Trial?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Oregon fans will know soon what the new Pac-12 media deal is, over the anticipated five or six year period. So much has happened in the last nine months, and I am sure that you have been whipped around in your emotions as I have. Have you softened your position about moving to the Big-10? (B1G) I was having fun learning about the odds in the upcoming NFL draft, and looking at the NFL draft news, when it hit me how my own views about moving to the B1G have changed.

Oh, I want Oregon to remain in the Pac-12 from a purely emotional standpoint, but I also accept the reality of how a 30 million a year difference in revenue between the Pac-12 and the SEC/B1G can bury you over the long run. A series of bad decisions by the university presidents and the former Pac-12 commissioner placed us in this position, thus our options are limited. Yet the potential of making the new 12-team CFB Playoff–with the subsequent additional revenue to the AD coffers makes you wonder if Oregon can make this work in the Pac-12 over the long term?

Or is new contract simply a “trial” period for Oregon?  The Ducks could see the actual revenue imbalance relative to the two biggie conferences actually occurs over this trial period, which could help determine the path of Our Beloved Ducks over the next 50 years. The B1G could also determine that the Oregon brand is too enticing to ignore and improves an offer after this six-year trial to the Ducks?

While the fate of the conference hangs in the balance?

I hate the thought of that. Unlike USC fans who think they are better than their conference brothers, I believe we belong in this league that began in a Portland Hotel, and spanned over so many west coast states for so many years. I would feel very bad about a decision to leave the conference and join the money-grubbing Midwesterners. Doesn’t this feel like accepting a much higher-paying job that you know in advance is going to suck…and you know you will regret many parts of this decision before too long? (But it pays really well)

Part of our Northwest DNA is playing a tough game against the Cougars…that we would miss.

Yes, I did not mention other Pac-12 schools that could be invited to the B1G, (Because I always have to turn and spit when I write or vocalize the “H” word) because in the end–this is an Oregon decision. As much as I do not want the travel for Olympic sports, as much as do not want us to freeze at Penn State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, (Geez, there are so many undesirable locations in that conference) I have to look out for what is best for Oregon.

Some would wonder out loud why I would assume the B1G will want us in five years, and I admit to a belief that Dan Lanning is going to build us into a Pacific Powerhouse, who will be a perennial top-10 team through each season. Our brand will grow over the next five years, and we will be coveted much more than the present because I believe the new streaming element will tap into millions around the world who are, and will become Oregon fans.

It is quite possible that streaming will double our viewership over the next five years when combined with the current static TV model, and considering the size of the Oregon fan base. We will also be astonished as to how much a performance penalty the conference suffered under the leadership of the prior university presidents, and a former Pac-12 Commissioner.

I’ve modified my view over the months; I want to stay in the Pac-12, but if it is best after our six year trial, then I will go along with the move (holding my nose) and will continue to be the intense Duck fan. How about you? Let me know in the forum-with-decorum because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Screenshot from Pac-12 Video

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