USC and UCLA? They went Piscataway — er, thataway, off for greener pa$ture$ in the Big Ten.

And that’s just a year after Texas and Oklahoma gutted the Big 12 with plans for a similar jump to the SEC.

“It’s depressing, but that’s the reality with college athletics right now,” wrote Dan Wetzel of “If you aren’t getting stronger, you are getting weaker. You either act or react.”

As for what’s left of the Pac-12, they just learned a whole new definition of “leveling the playing field.”


• At “Kevin Durant the player not happy with the team Kevin Durant the GM has created, demands to be traded to any team which was in the Finals in the last 3 years.”

• At “Nation unable to enjoy baseball without dozens of pitchers hitting .124.”


To the penalty box

Iowa State has suspended its men’s hockey club the next academic year after an investigation found the club engaged in alcohol abuse and personal humiliation of rookie members.

In other words, 525,600 minutes for hazing.

Prepare for takeoff

Don’t know about football or basketball titles, but the Trojans and Bruins just clinched the perpetual Big Ten air-miles championship.

That is, until Hawaii joins the league.

He blocks everything

In recruiting news, massive 6-foot-9, 260-pound lineman Soane Faasolo has committed to Washington.

If he’s looking for a nickname, “Eclipse” sounds fitting.

USC-UCLA (cont’d)

“If you’re wondering how we got here,” tweeted freelance sports writer Dan Greenspan, “Big Ten Network is running live coverage of this news while Pac-12 Networks shows volleyball replays.”

• Unnamed official at a Pac-12 school, to ESPN: “We just got Soonered and Horned.”

• Comedy writer Paul Lander, via Twitter: “USC and UCLA’s moving to the Big Ten, or, as it’s also known, The ATM.”


Veteran player

The Phillies’ Mark Appel made his MLB debut nine years after he was drafted No. 1, but he’s got nothing on the Buffalo Bisons’ Roy Kinyon.

The 100-year-old Kinyon finally made it to the Bisons on the Fourth of July — signing a one-day contract 80 years after the shortstop was invited to try out but chose the Navy and served in World War II instead.

Squeeze play

Biologists wrestled and captured an 18-foot, 215-pound Burmese python in the Everglades.

“We’ve seen bigger snakes,” muttered a Pac-12 fan.

USC-UCLA leftovers

“I like Cal’s chances of winning the remnants of the Pac-12,” tweeted Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto. “Gonna kick the crap out of UC Riverside and Chico State!”

• Barrett Sallee of “Oregon has left the Pac-12 for the LIV Tour.”

• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “What’s next, Rutgers to the Pac-12?”


• Stanford Tree, via Twitter: “Screw it — Stanford to the Ivy League.”

Time to celebrate

The Orioles posted a winning record in June, their first plus-.500 month in five years.

They didn’t pop any Champagne corks, but they did go to Dairy Queen.

Talking the talk

• DG, commenting to, on robot umps: “Ladies and gentlemen, today’s umpires will be R2D2 at first, C-3P0 at second, Optimus Prime at third and the Terminator behind the plate. The replay official will be Amazon Echo.”

• Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, after a fan was robbed — twice — while leaving Yankee Stadium: “You mean he had money left?”

• TNT’s Charles Barkley, after Phil Mickelson got $200 million and Dustin Johnson $150 million from the LIV Tour: “Hey, for $150 million I’d kill a relative, even one I liked.”


Ancient history

Jim Pappin, who scored Toronto’s last Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 1967, has died at age 82.

Maple Leafs fans were shocked — to learn they’d actually won a Cup.

Quote marks

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, on the LIV kerfuffle: “Why do we expect American golfers to have more ethics and morals than American corporations, American sports leagues and the American government — all of which do business with nefarious nations?”

• David Whitley of the Gainesville (Florida) Sun, on Ric Flair’s upcoming rasslin’ finale: “But they’ve yet to find an opponent for the 73-year-old Nature Boy. They’ve reportedly narrowed it down to Dick Van Dyke, Granny Clampett or Tom Brady.”

• Jack Finarelli of, on reports the Raiders are facing a series of lawsuits alleging front-office harassment and retaliation: “After being grilled by a Congressional committee for more than two hours on the Washington situation, Roger Goodell needs this news like the Donner Party needed a master chef.”

• Comedy writer Marc Ragovin, Peacock televising the Royals-Tigers game July 3 without announcers: “Now if they would only stream it without the players.”

• Free-agent sportwriter Shane Lantz, via Twitter, on USC and UCLA’s pending departures: “I started my life as a Pac-10 fan. Looks like I might be one again soon.”