A Southern California native and veteran of a number of Huge Ten winters, Myles Johnson is aware of the primary phrases probably uttered by former Pac-12 athletes as soon as their new convention smacks them like a midwinter Lake Michigan breeze.
Johnson, the onetime Rutgers heart who spent his closing school basketball season at UCLA as a graduate switch, just lately retweeted a meme exhibiting a person in a burly winter coat standing in a subway door pleading for assist.
The caption: “UCLA gamers once they get off the airplane in Minnesota in December.”
Sure, it’s going to be brutally chilly. It’s additionally going to be jarring in one other approach.
Bruins guard Jaylen Clark retweeted a meme of a frightened boy being roused from mattress, alongside a caption that learn, “USC and UCLA gamers waking up for his or her 9 a.m. Huge Ten video games.”
Past the givens of brutal climate and earlier begin instances that await UCLA and USC upon their 2024 defection to the Huge Ten, scores of questions stay. Listed here are some solutions greater than two years earlier than the transfer:
Will Chip Kelly lead the Bruins onto the sector for his or her first Huge Ten sport?
This most likely hinges extra on how UCLA fares in 2023 than in 2022.
The Bruins’ 2022 schedule virtually items them eight wins. A nonconference slate of Bowling Inexperienced, Alabama State and South Alabama offers the best dwelling schedule since a favourite film adopted by chocolate milk and a bedtime story.
UCLA goes to win sufficient video games this season to maintain Kelly employed. The query turns into if the Bruins can maintain their success in 2023, when they’ll break in a brand new quarterback.
Additionally needless to say Kelly’s buyout underneath his new four-year contract is exceedingly pleasant to UCLA, so it will value the college nothing to jettison him as quickly as Dec. 16, 2023.
The hope for long-suffering Bruins followers is that it doesn’t come to that. UCLA final appeared in a Rose Bowl sport as a member of the Pac-10, on Jan. 1, 1999, and craves a return earlier than transferring to the Huge Ten. Kelly’s 18-25 begin on the faculty will likely be forgiven if he can take the Bruins again to their dwelling stadium on New 12 months’s Day.
Which soccer divisions will UCLA and USC slip into?
Geographically talking, it will make sense to fit the Huge Ten’s latest members into the West Division and bump Northwestern and Purdue into the East.
That transfer would have the additional benefit of strengthening the weaker West reverse an East that features conventional powers Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
An alternative choice could be to desert the divisions altogether in favor of a rotating schedule with protected rivalries corresponding to Michigan and Ohio State. USC will presumably wish to preserve Notre Dame on its schedule and UCLA might attempt to protect its rivalry with California.
No matter occurs, one factor is definite: The Bruins and Trojans will nonetheless face one another each season.
What new soccer rivalries would be the most enjoyable?
USC versus any of the standard Huge Ten powers will likely be an instantaneous hoot in addition to a scores bonanza.
UCLA-Michigan needs to be full of intrigue the subsequent time they play given the Wolverines just lately backed out of a home-and-home sequence between the groups scheduled for 2022 and 2023.
There’s additionally loads of room for creativity given the bicoastal nature of the 16-team convention. Possibly UCLA-Rutgers will turn into the Battle of the Coasts, with a bronzed tidal wave going to the winner.
Is the Huge Ten actually a greater basketball convention than the Pac-12?
Sure, however like most issues, it’s difficult.
A Pac-12 group hasn’t received a nationwide championship since Arizona in 1997. The Huge Ten has received only one nationwide title since then, Michigan State slicing down the nets in 2000. Maryland additionally received a nationwide championship in 2002, albeit as a member of the Atlantic Coast Convention.
The extra essential metric to think about is NCAA match bids. The Pac-12 usually lags behind its major-conference counterparts on this division. Bear in mind the embarrassment of 2012, when Washington received the Pac-12’s regular-season title however wound up within the Nationwide Invitation Event?
Final season, the Pac-12 obtained simply three NCAA match bids to the Huge Ten’s 9. Extra bids means extra leeway for slipups and fewer strain to complete close to the highest of the convention. It additionally ought to improve the seeding of the convention champion.
Is there any method to keep away from all of the frequent-flier miles related to a bicoastal convention?
In all probability not for soccer and males’s basketball.
These video games are going to be performed in dwelling stadiums for the sake of followers, custom and — let’s face it — tv.
Some inventive options might be in retailer for the Olympic sports activities. As an example, UCLA’s softball group may fly to Chicago to play back-to-back sequence towards Penn State and Rutgers, assuaging the necessity for thus many cross-country journeys.
“Meet me midway” may tackle a literal that means.
What in regards to the cold-weather conundrum?
One choice could be for UCLA and USC to play as many Huge Ten street soccer video games as doable earlier than late October, offering advantages throughout the board.
The Bruins and Trojans would keep away from enjoying on snow-covered fields whereas permitting followers from frostbitten Midwestern outposts to get pleasure from Southern California in November. Journeys to the Rose Bowl and Coliseum might be billed as journey packages that fill seats, to not point out the athletic division coffers of the visiting faculties.
What kind of reception ought to the Bruins and Trojans count on on the street of their closing Pac-12 seasons?
Nasty, nasty, nasty.
Followers inside Arizona’s McKale Middle didn’t want additional incentive to bathe rival UCLA with hatred. Now, to borrow a phrase from “Spinal Faucet,” the vitriol will presumably go to 11 for the Bruins’ closing journeys to the desert.
Arizona State college students would possibly pull again the Curtain of Distraction inside Desert Monetary Area to disclose a Penn State Nittany Lion mauling a Trojan, or a Bruin frozen in perpetuity.
Essentially the most biting retort will come from UCLA and USC after their closing Pac-12 video games are performed.
Goodbye, and good riddance.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.