Tribune file photo by Joe Johnston
Yeah, all the attention is on football. Rich getting richer. Manifest destiny. Cannibalism. Whatever your buzz phrase of choice, the Pac-10 appears to be gobbling up teams like Pac-Man.
If the boldest plot succeeds — a scenario that would see half of the Big 12 joining the Pac-10 — the impact on college football would be drastic. Looks like it’s happening. Colorado was the big dot. Now, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have turned blue so the Pac-10 can chomp them.
All the shifting could somehow lead to Cal Poly moving into the Football Bowl Subdivision and joining the WAC. Or it could lead the Mustangs to stay in the Football Championship Subdivision and possibly get an invite to the Big Sky.
But I’m here today to tell you about an unintended perk, and, if the photo above didn’t clue you in, it’s about wrestling.
Pac-10 wrestling membership looked to be losing two members just a couple months ago. UC Davis announced it was dropping the sport on the heels of a similar announcement by Cal State Bakersfield. Bakersfield recently announced that it’s keeping wrestling around for at least one more year.
If Cal Poly goes anywhere, its wrestling program is likely to remain in the Pac-10 along with full-fledged members Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona State and associate members Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Bakersfield.
And if the Pac-10/Big 12 thing happens, you can also throw in Oklahoma State and Oklahoma wrestling. That would more than make up for the loss of UC Davis and immediately make the conference a lot more interesting.
Oklahoma State is one of the premier wrestling schools in the country, boasting 34 national team titles, including four straight from 2003 to 2006. Oklahoma’s last team title came in 1974, but the Sooners are perennially ranked, competitive and add to the credibility of the conference.
It would be tougher for Cal Poly to be successful, but it would give the Mustangs the opportunity to compete with some of the best.
The only thing more exciting to me right this moment would be if Boyardee brought back Pac-Man pasta.