Ski Utah intern, Caleb Krausmann, a senior at the University of Utah weighs in on his school joining the Pac-12.
The University of Utah just finished its first football season in the Pac-12 athletic conference. It even squeaked in a bowl game...and won! Not bad for a team that started off the season 0-4 in it’s conference, and lost their starting quarterback only a few games in. But after all the confetti has fallen and the uniforms have been put away for the season, what does it all mean?
The U.‘s in the Pac-12. This conference, before the name change, has been one of the premier collegiate conferences both on and off the field. In the past 50 years, this elite group of universities has obtained unheralded success, and even lead the nation with 44 NCAA Championships in that time period. This is important to note as many people today associate universities, not by its academic prowess, but rather its relationship to athletics (think Ivy League). An acceptance into this conference marks a huge success in the school’s history. This means more money, more coverage, more reasons to give Utah a second look. However, the benefits of the Pac-12 don’t stop with the athletic programs either. It gives the U. recognition in the classroom.
The Pac-12 gives the U. accreditation as a top school in the West, as well as a top American institute. The U. now joins some of the most highly ranked research universities in the West such as Stanford, UCLA, Washington, etc. The acceptance represents a definitive action by other revered educational institutions that the U. has achieved notable success. These achievements will help bring the best and brightest from across the globe, it will force decision makers to raise the university to a new level, and it will help grow the campus community.
I’ll admit, I definitely did not choose the U. as my university for its academic or athletic successes. I love the outdoors, and Utah has plenty of it. Snow, rock, picturesque landscapes...making the conscious decision to never be more than a few miles from some of the best climbing and skiing in the world was not a difficult decision to make. But now that we’re in the Pac-12, we’ve got something to prove, and it’s not going to be in inches.
What does the Pac-12 mean for you?