The tectonic plates of the Pac-12 Conference’s North division have been shifting for several seasons, but mostly under the surface.
As Stanford and Oregon dominated the division and the rest of the conference — winning every Pac-12 football championship from 2009 until last season — Washington and Washington State were gaining force.
At Washington State, Coach Mike Leach did what Mike Leach does: He built an offensive juggernaut. At Washington, Chris Petersen slowly grew a program, acquiring an elite quarterback, a powerful running back and a tough defensive identity, while the school poured $280 million into renovating its iconic lakeside stadium.
Last season saw the...