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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Conference call: Tour de Pac-12

    I want to promote awareness for a serious health issue: March Madness is only a few weeks away. To prepare everyone for the crazed arguments about which conferences deserve to send the most teams to the NCAA tournament, I just want to remind you all that the Pac-12 Conference is the best major conference in America.

    Other than the UA’s performance, the Pac-12 may not be the best basketball conference this year in terms of rankings and statistics and other such nonsense. And it’s probably true that the Southeastern Conference technically has the more talented football players.

    But you have to think big-picture and include all the college sports in your evaluation of the conferences, including obscure ones like luging, water curling, ice rowing, air hockey and water wrestling.

    OK, maybe not all of those are real. But it’s true that the Pac-12 has won more athletic championships than any other conference in NCAA history.

    Our superiority is based on more than sports. The SEC can’t compete with the Pac-12 in terms of quality universities, great cities and scenic locations. I’m sure that there are good things about Fayetteville, Ark., and Starkville, Miss., (although I’m not sure what they are), but I’d rather spend a day in Palo Alto, Calif., or Boulder, Colo.

    The Pac-12 also actually has a conference name that makes sense. We have 12 teams mostly located near the Pacific coast. Compare that with the generically-named Big Ten and its name-stealing copycat the Big 12. Believe it or not, the Big Ten now has 12 teams and the Big 12 has 10 teams … because college sports realignment has gone insane.

    To prove my point about the greatness of the Pac-12, I will now take you on a whirlwind tour, starting with the North Division.

    University of Washington Huskies — This cosmopolitan university has a lot of rowdy football fans. The Huskies’ newly-renovated stadium fills up with energetic students hooked up to Starbucks IVs. When the game gets slow, I’m pretty sure they throw fish at each other. It’s a major local custom.

    Washington State University Cougars — It’s weird and sort of inappropriate that the school named its mascot after older women who date younger men. I don’t know who makes these decisions. Anyway, WSU is a blue-collar, backwoods counterpart to U-Dub. It usually has an exciting but mediocre football team, because someone has tricked its coaches into thinking that running plays have been banned from football.

    University of Oregon Ducks — UO has a devoted fan base and a dominant football team (although not quite good enough to beat UA this past season). Oregon’s uniforms aren’t always pretty, but they’re flashy enough to be seen from 50 miles away. Eugene, Ore., is a fun place to visit, as long as you bring an umbrella and make sure you don’t say anything disrespectful about Nike Inc.

    Oregon State University Beavers — An OSU graduate told me that locals view U of Oregon as more of a “hippie college,” while Oregon State is seen as more of a “cow college.” I guess it’s OK to educate hippies, but teaching pre-calculus to cattle seems like a waste of taxpayer dollars. Yet maybe I should be more open-minded about bovines with BA degrees; the Northwest is very advanced on animal rights issues. Its sports teams, however, have proven to be all too human (although that’s probably good, because cows are notoriously bad volleyball players).

    Stanford University Cardinals — If you exclude the Ivy League, which I am happy to do, then Stanford is the best academic institution in America. These overachievers insist on being the best at everything, so over the past decade they’ve put together one of the smartest and toughest football teams in the nation. But their mascot’s tree costume is still stupid.

    University of California at Berkeley Bears — The revenge the UA will take on that basketball team tonight will be epic, but most Cal students probably won’t be paying attention; in a home football game last season, the visiting Ohio State fans outnumbered Cal fans. But who has time for athletics in Berkeley, when there is so much exciting studying and protesting to do?

    I’m sure by now that you’re terribly worn-out by all the traveling, but no worries. This tour is too awesome to be contained in one column, and next week it’s on to the Pac-12 South.

    Logan Rogers is a second year law student. Follow him @AproOfNo.

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