Good afternoon, Coug fans!
Lately, my entire social media feed has been centered around Taylor Swift- you might have heard of her. I’ve been a casual fan for a while, but lately she has dominated my Spotify and my “for you” page. And if you can’t beat her, join her- right?
So, this is my interpretation of the Pac 12 schools as Taylor Swift eras. Read entirely at your own risk.
Taylor Swift (Debut) - Oregon State
Oregon State gets Taylor’s first album for a few reasons. They’re a little country, first of all, they’ve got some really epic hits but also some forgettable ones (sorry), and they’re just kinda... there. I do not immediately jump to Debut when I go to give Miss Swift a listen, but I’m never mad when it comes on- very Oregon State.
Fearless - University of Oregon
This is a hot take. It also kills me a little bit to give this honor to UO- but it’s true. Fearless is flashy, sparkly, out there, it’s got a lot of hit, and it’s very well known. However, because it’s so popular, it’s often a little... played out. I know. I’m sorry. I love Fearless (Taylor’s Version, obviously) but I don’t need to hear You Belong With Me every single day- just like I get tired of the Ducks and their flashy uniforms.
Speak Now - Washington State
Am I giving WSU the absolute honor of Speak Now because it is my favorite TS album? Maybe a bit. But I am also giving WSU the Speak Now era because it’s independent, it’s a little savage (re: Mean, Better than Revenge, Dear John) and it will push through anything thrown its way. Speak Now is an underdog waiting for the time to shine. And it WILL shine- shine like fireworks over your sad, empty town. Also, please ignore the fact that it’s purple, in the Deluxe Edition she’s wearing a lovely crimson dress on the cover, so let’s all focus on that until we get her version in July (I apologize in advance for the person I will become).
Red - The Arizona schools
I am having University of Arizona and Arizona State share this era, mainly because they’re both so Red. They have caused me deep pain (All Too Well) but also great joy (upsetting Arizona at Arizona in basketball this past season, and Red TV has some happy bops as well). Plus, both Arizona schools have had their moments in the limelight, but can also be quickly cast aside when more relevant eras emerge. I stand by this.
1989 - University of Washington
This kills me, truly it does. But UW is very 1989. It’s trying to be a city girl, it’s flexing a little, but it has some elements to it that are widely regarded as classics. Plus, I can’t give UW Reputation because that objectively goes to the traitors leaving the conference (more on that in a second). I think, for the purpose of this incredibly important journalism, UW and UO are a bit interchangeable in their T-Swift eras, as I could also see University of Oregon being a 1989 girl. Let’s discuss this further.
Reputation - USC and UCLA
This was the album Taylor released in response to heavy media backlash. It’s widely known as her most “savage” era (whether or not this is true is not what we’re here to debate), and USC / UCLA decided to embark on their Rep era when they dipped out of the Pac 12 - very similar to the lyric “nobody’s heard from me for months, I’m doing better than I ever was” (Call It What You Want). Do I want them to be doing ‘better than’ they ever were? No, I want them to suffer, so I guess I’m Kim Kardashian in this scenario. I have some reflection to do.
Lover - Utah
I think Utah is Lover, mainly because it has some hits, but it also was largely mishandled during its initial release. Miss Swift put probably one of her most annoying (my opinion) songs on there (the song ME!) which is so Utah. But there’s some good things going on Lover too, and Utah is generally a school I forget to hate. I like Lover a lot, I like Utah for the most part.
folklore - Colorado
Colorado gets folklore because it’s a woodsy album and it truly came out of nowhere. folklore is one of my favorite albums of hers, and I feel like Colorado just doesn’t impact a whole lot of things. It’s very nature oriented, and from my perception, most people are (at the worst) apathetic towards it. Same goes for folklore.
evermore - Stanford
What stands out to me most about Stanford being in its evermore era is being a champagne problem. Stanford is tricky, they don't cause much of a fuss and then out of nowhere, they break your heart. That is evermore. I listened to that album not expecting to be absolutely chopped in half, and I was! I have gone into Stanford games entirely underestimating the amount of pain they will cause me, and then I’m on the floor. That same thing happened with that album.
Midnights - Cal
It’s them, hi, they’re the problem, it’s Cal. Midnights is a breakup album, an album about fear, an album that haunts you. It has lyrics that make no sense (sexy baby???) and songs that absolutely gut you- just like Cal. I fear Cal. I do not understand Cal. Cal Bullshit haunts me and my loved ones.
This was insane and I had so much fun doing it. If you agree or disagree, please let me know!