The conference’s top adversary on the recruiting trails — on the West Coast recruiting trails — will no longer be wreaking havoc on the Pac-12 talent pipeline.

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The most significant offseason development in Pac-12 football, one could argue, does not actually involve a Pac-12 player, coach or team.

It’s not Justin Herbert returning to Oregon or Mel Tucker taking over in Boulder. It’s not the players leaving early for the draft or the recruits arriving early for spring practice.

Nope, the development that could have the greatest long-haul impact unfolded earlier this week, 2,500 miles away: Tosh Lupoi is leaving the Alabama coaching staff and heading to the NFL.

The conference’s top adversary on the recruiting trails — on the West Coast recruiting trails — will no longer be wreaking havoc on the Pac-12 talent pipeline.

Lupoi, a former assistant at Cal and Washington, has been convincing top prospects to leave the West Coast and move to Tuscaloosa for several years, thereby reducing the quantity of elite talent in the conference.

Consider his handiwork:

Signed players

Class of 2016
Jonah Williams: 5-star OT from Folsom

Class of 2017
Najee Harris: 5-star RB from Antioch
Tua Tagovailoa: 5-star QB from Honolulu

Class of 2018
Cameron Lua: 4-star DE from Salt Lake City
Tommy Brown: 4-star OT from Santa Ana
Ale Kaho: 4-star ILB from Reno

Current recruits

Class of 2019
Henry To’oto’o: 4-star OLB from Concord

Class of 2020
Sav’ell Smalls: 5-star OLB from Seattle
Kendall Milton: 5-star TB from Clovis

Class of 2021
J.T. Tuimoloau: 5-star DT from Sammamish

According to 247sports, Lupoi was the No. 1 ranked recruiter in the country for the 2019 signing cycle, and he served as the Crimson Tide’s lead man on eight of the nine players listed above (the exception: Jonah Williams, with whom Lupoi played a secondary role to Mario Cristobal)

Lupoi wasn’t exactly free of controversy during his employment in the Pac-12, but the end result is indisputable: He has been one of the most successful recruiters in the sport this decade.

Make no mistake: Alabama will continue to recruit the West Coast and should be respected, if not feared from Seattle to Honolulu to Phoenix and all points in between. (The Tide, as the Hotline explained recently, smells Pac-12 blood.)

But Lupoi was a recruiting dynamo with deep west coast ties who was employed by a dynasty outside the footprint. The Pac-12 football product, in dire need of good news — and desperate to keep its top talents at home — got a load of it with Lupoi’s departure.