Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Suffering from a World Cup hangover this morning?  Eat something.

  • The Pac-12 distributed only 68 percent of its revenue to members in fiscal 2013.  Man, those television networks are expensive.
  • Would paying college players slow down early exits for the pros?  Maybe.
  • Gentry Estes looks at where Brice Ramsey’s at right now.
  • Kentucky beat writer asks the musical question “Does Georgia have anyone left to play defense?”  More than Kentucky does, I’m willing to bet.
  • Hawaii athletic department fails to pay players summer scholarship money due to clerical snafu, resulting in seven kids sleeping in the locker room until paperwork went through.  AD’s analysis of the situation “When it comes right down to it, we need to plan better.”  No shit, Sherlock.
  • In fiscal year 2012-3, Georgia generated more revenue from football and men’s basketball than your average NHL team.
  • To some extent, Chris Low’s rankings of SEC defensive lines looks like it was determined by throwing random darts.  Which probably means nobody really has a good handle on what the conference has this year.
  • Kevin Scarbinsky wonders if the SEC needs a rule prohibiting dismissed players from returning to the league, and concludes it won’t happen.  “Richt deserves credit for sticking to his principles in letting players go knowing they can and have come back to beat him. Hard to imagine the rest of the schools in the league would line up to save him from his own idealistic self.”
  • Here’s a list of ten toughest non-conferences schedules.  Only one SEC team makes the list – guess who.
  • And here’s Phil Steele’s combined experience chart for 2014.  Georgia is middle of the pack in that department.
  • John Infante points out that if Joker Phillips’ recruiting transgression is deemed serious enough, Boom could face the possibility of a suspension under the head coach responsibility bylaw.
  • Auburn is all about giving players second chances…”  Gah.
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13 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, The NCAA

The Pac-12 enhances the fan experience.

Unfortunately for the locals, it’s the East Coast folks the conference is going after with this:

The conference also announced that it has created an 11 a.m. Pacific Time television window on the Pac-12 Networks for the upcoming football season. The league said the move was made in an effort to reduce the number of night games across the league.

At that time slot, isn’t this newly targeted audience going to be watching ACC, Big Ten and SEC games anyway?

I guess Larry Scott figures there aren’t enough insomniacs on our side of the country to make it worth his while to accommodate the Left Coasters who, you know, might actually like to attend a game live at a sane hour.  It reminds me of the baseball player in Ball Four who, upon being told he had to report to the ballpark early for a Game of the Week, replied, “Eleven O’Clock?!  I’m not even done throwing up by then.”

It’s TV’s world.  The rest of us are just trying to find a place in it.

4 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

This financial aggression will not stand, man.

Move over Big Ten and SEC.  There’s a new revenue dog taking over.

The college athletics conference financial pecking order has received a jolt – the Pacific-12 Conference new federal tax return shows it had more revenue during the 2012-13 fiscal year than either the Big Ten or Southeastern Conference.

The Pac-12 reported $334 million in total revenue for a fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the first that reflects the conference’s 12-year, $3 billion TV rights deals with ESPN and Fox; the debut of the wholly conference-owned Pac-12 Networks; and operations of the conference’s nascent marketing and media arm, Pac-12 Enterprises.

That total represents a $158.1 million increase in revenue over what the conference reported for the 2011-12 fiscal year and a more than tripling of the $111.8 million that the Pac-12 reported for 2010-11.

The Big Ten recently reported $318.4 million in total revenue for a fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. The SEC reported $314.5 million reported for a fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2013.

I imagine the Big Ten and SEC poobahs will give Delany and Slive a chance to match that.  But if two or three years go by and that hasn’t happened, look for some more fan friendly moves to be made.

9 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are full, so knock yourselves out.

26 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Political Wankery, Strategery And Mechanics

“We like our path to the national championship playoff.”

The Big 12 thinks the Pac-12’s whining about the SEC’s eight-game regular season conference schedule is just crazy talk.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the SEC struck a compromise by staying at eight and requiring a nonconference game against a power-five conference starting in 2016.

“It isn’t the number of games, it’s who you’re playing,” Bowlsby said. “The committee will be more than sophisticated enough to make those distinctions, just like my experience with the basketball committee. They could very easily tell the difference between a 9-9 record when everybody plays each other twice and a 9-9 when there’s been some no-plays and one-plays.”

Then again, wandering soul and current Arizona State head coach Todd Graham doubles down by jumping on Bowlsby’s conference for not playing a nine-game schedule and a championship game. Never mind that the Big 12 is a ten-team conference playing a round robin schedule that makes a conference championship game as useless as tits on a boar hog.  Todd thinks that everyone should model themselves on what the Pac-12 wants:

“If we’re playing Stanford and if we didn’t play that extra (Pac-12) game, we’d be playing a [FCS] team,” Graham said. “What if we go undefeated and lose to Oregon in the championship game and the team in the Big 12 doesn’t have to play a championship game?”

The response to that is so obvious that I’m not going to insult your intelligence by typing it here.  But even Jim Delany recognizes the obvious overarching issue.

Graham’s and David Shaw’s delicate fee-fees and Chris Fowler’s aesthetic sensibilities aside here, with regard to the selection committee’s analysis, the issue isn’t the number of high-profile conference games played.  It’s how many cupcake games a team in consideration for a playoff spot schedules, assuming that more than lip service is going to be paid to strength of schedule.  If there’s one area that needs to be painfully transparent when the committee rules from on high, that’s it.  If strength of schedule is given due deference, the big schools will find themselves lining up in accordance, one way or another.

2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Pac-12 Football

But they said Larry Scott is a genius.

The Pac-12 discovers that broadcast partnership thingy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  What a surprise.

1 Comment

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football

Talk is cheap, chapter two

Larry Scott wants you to know he’s not a bad fellow.  Or at least he doesn’t think he’s a bad fellow.

… And let me be clear — I am not defending the status quo. The Pac-12 Conference, of which I have been commissioner since 2009, along with other conferences around the country, have been pressing for NCAA reform that would reflect the evolving needs of student-athletes, allowing for increased academic support, improved student-athlete health care, and enhanced athletic scholarships up to the full cost of attendance. I am confident reform is coming within the NCAA in the next few months, and soon universities will be allowed to provide this additional support for student-athletes.

Keep pressing, Larry.  Soon will come any day now.  Patience, student-athletes.  These things take time.  After all, who could have seen the evolving need for improved student-athlete health care coming?  Well, other than Walter Byers and every other suit who’s followed his example since… which, now that I think about it, would include you, Larry.

You really want to do something about that union threat?  John Infante suggests it wouldn’t be that hard.

The response to the NLRB decision from Scott and other leaders in college athletics has been that reform is necessary, inevitable, and on the horizon, but unions are the wrong way to go about it. All student-athletes have to do is wait, just a few of months according to Scott.

One problem: the leaders of collegiate athletics are running out of time. The NCAA and college athletics will not and maybe cannot fix themselves overnight or all at once. It will be a process of first not getting any worse, then getting better over time. But to have the time to do that, the NCAA and its members need to earn back a sliver of trust that they will follow through.

To do that, they should not wait months or weeks. Larry Scott could get the athletic directors and presidents of the Pac–12 on the phone tomorrow and have them vote to guarantee everything the union is asking for that is allowed under NCAA rules. The conference could make it a requirement that institutions provide these benefits and assurances. They could even agree to provide cost-of-attendance scholarships and outside income opportunities as soon as the NCAA allows them.

The most effective argument against unions is to demonstrate they are unnecessary by providing the protections and improvements a union would fight for without the fight. At the moment, institutions and conferences acting on their own can one-up the union by extending these guarantees to all athletes, including walk-ons and sports other than football.

You’re supposed to be a cutting edge guy, Larry.  Maybe it’s time to prove that in some other way than building a television network.

9 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football

You can’t put a price tag on being prepared for life.

Evidently the Pac-12 runs its sports network on a similar business model to the way its athletic programs operate.

Hey, if it ain’t broke…

3 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football

We welcome our “network partners” overlords.

Remember when everyone and his brother were hailing Pac-12 Commish Larry Scott for his genius in negotiating his conference’s new broadcast deals?  All that money, served up on a platter.

Yeah, well, the bill’s come due.

The Pac-12 is in discussions with its network partners to change programming practices and avoid another season with an overwhelming number of night games, according to sources inside and outside the conference.

I wouldn’t necessarily characterize the back-and-forth as negotiations, because the league has a contract with ESPN and Fox that isn’t going away for a decade.

But Pac-12 officials were not happy with the ’13 broadcast schedule and are working with their partners to find an acceptable resolution for all parties involved. One source called the league’s approach “fair but firm.”

The conference spent three months listening to complaints from fans and school officials. Commissioner Larry Scott and his lieutenant are keenly aware of the frustration.

Whether they can do anything about it remains to be seen.

A $3 billion dollar deal and the networks want say so over broadcast times.  Some kinda nerve there.

But here’s what they can do: They can reduce or eliminate the exclusive window for the over-the-air broadcasts on ABC and Big FOX.

Maybe they eliminate it altogether.

Maybe they scrap it for half of the 10 broadcasts.

Either way, it would create more flexibility for the Pac12Nets.

I don’t know the specifics of the options being discussed.

But I know this: If nothing changes, the uproar from fans and campuses will be significant.

Maybe Larry can hit ‘em into silence with the conference’s bank account.  After all, we know who’s gonna win here.

4 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football

The scariest thing I saw yesterday.

From yesterday’s Pac-12 championship game, this is the most astonishing example of a defensive player timing the snap count I think I’ve ever seen. It happened on a third-and-goal from the one-yard line, to boot.

I swear, that’s like watching a jungle cat pounce on a hapless target. Incredible.

26 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football