Boomer Jobs and Realignment
I had a bit of an epiphany last night as we were discussing the daily state of realignment on our Discord (join us to see the VIP channels - that's where 95% of the conversation lives!)
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The problem with the current apparent state of the PAC-12 is that the league is run by a bunch of boomers. Just like your old man was a company man who stayed at the same job for 25+ years, that's how a lot of conference administrators think. But now isn't the time for that. It's a new era.
Yeah, the PAC has over a century (sort of...if you include the initial PCC/AAWU league that dissolved because of a scandal) of history. But as the adage on financial advice goes: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Times are different. The money involved in college sports is different. For the majority of the leagues history there were not millionaire coaches (Steve Spurrier was the first at Florida in 1996) and there weren't even TV deals - in fact, the first ever live national broadcast of a college football game was 1/3 of the way into the PAC's history.
The PAC used to mean something. Or rather, USC and to a much, much lesser extent UCLA, used to mean something. The Trojans have won more than double the conference championships than UCLA has and have won 35 of their 56 bowl games, while UCLA has only played in 37 bowls total in case you were curious. Between USC's 39 and UCLA's 17 conference championships, more than half of the league champions are leaving for the Big Ten next year. It's a new reality and I tweeted last night:
So this new era - how do jobs work today?
You don't care about your company. They are a means to an end. They pay the bills and you dutifully put in your time until somebody shows you more love or allows you to provide a better situation for your family. The norm now is probably 3-5 years (and for early stage start ups less, as you traded salary for equity, you jump more often to diversfy your portfolio in hopes of a big payday...or start to see the cracks and find a landing spot). Conference realignment used to be a huge deal. The same core of teams (sorry Montana and Idaho) evolved from the PCC to AAWU to PAC.
The Border Conference died out and joined with a core group of schools from the Skyline Conference to form the WAC (Oregon and Oregon State were almost included in that!) and that held steady for almost 40 years until the MW formed. But times were changing and the 8 presidents that met in the Denver airport knew the super WAC was a mistake and blew it up. Then BYU knew that Comcast buying into the MTN and the handshake deal not being honored was a mistake and planned for Independence. Conference realignment today is not the "forever" marraige it used to be. The core of the SEC has been together since their SoCon days (same with the ACC - have you ever looked at the 1932 SoCon standings?). The Big Ten is known for stability. And the MAC is chugging along as old faithful of the no name schools.
But for the rest of us, that don't have that core group blessed by geography and bound by history, it's a free for all. You have to do what you can to make sure your school lands in the best place possible. Going Independent for BYU was not the ideal. Nobody really WANTED to do it - but the alternative was staying in a depleted Moutain West and dying. Independence was never a lifelong dream, nor was it an eternal destiny. It was the means to the end until we finally found a home. And now we have one and we are safe. I hope it's forever, just like I hope my current job lasts forever because I love what I do, who I work with and the benefits that we have, but if the world changes, then I have to change with it.
So if you're a PAC-12 AD and you haven't been burning hte midnight oil trying everything you can to find a landing spot the way WVU did to get into the Big-12, then you've messed up big time. Now isn't the time to hold to old history, it's a new age and time to write new history.