Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

Wednesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are full, so knock yourselves out.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football