Oct 21, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; A view of the PAC-12 field logo before the game between the Oregon Ducks and the Washington State Cougars at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix — two Heisman Trophy candidates — leading Washington and Oregon — two national championship contenders — Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship Game was always destined to be memorable.

The game lived up to the billing. Penix and the Huskies kept their undefeated season going, posting a 34-31 victory over the Ducks. With the win, Washington also locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff. Oregon’s loss effectively eliminates the Ducks from CFP contention and will also make life more difficult for the one-loss teams trying to get in. But aside from those teams and their fans, it’s hard to imagine and college football lovers not enjoying what happened on Friday night. Except for one element.

Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship game was, for all intents and purposes, the final football game in the history of the conference. Come 2024, Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA will be in the Big 10, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah will be in the Big 12 while Stanford and Cal will be in the ACC. That leaves Washington State and Oregon State as the Pac 2 while they figure out their own options.

So, while Friday night’s game was exciting, it also left college football fans with a bittersweet feeling, knowing that one of the sport’s all-time great conferences is effectively no more.

If nothing else, the conference is leaving on a high note.

About Michael Dixon

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