If there’s one thing you can count on from college head coaches, it’s that they’ll never run out of nonsensical justifications for taking a stance out of naked self-interest.
Take Cal’s Sonny Dykes, for instance. The Pac-12 is that rare bird: a two-division conference that plays a nine-game conference schedule. That’s allowed Cal to keep its longstanding rivalries with two powerhouses in UCLA and USC. Evidently, that’s not something he relishes. But he can’t come out and just say that. Instead, he’s got to look around for… something… aha!
Dykes said he’s willing to sacrifice the tradition of playing long-time, in-state rivals USC and UCLA every year if that’s necessary to reduce the Pac-12 schedule to eight games in order to achieve consistency with other power conferences.
“I don’t think it would be my first choice. I don’t think it would be our fans’ first choice,” he said. “But something’s got to give. We just need to have some (nationwide) consistency.”
The Pac-12 and Big 12 play nine conference games, while the SEC, ACC and Big Ten play just eight, allowing them to schedule one more nonconference game of their choosing. The uneven playing field creates potential disparities when teams are selected for the College Football Playoff, which has huge financial implications.
By playing nine games, the Pac-12 has allowed schools to play each of the other five teams in their division, plus three from the other division on a rotating basis. But the annual games between Cal and Stanford and their southern California rivals have been preserved so far.
Screw what the fans want, or what Sonny wants. If we don’t get national consistency on this, the next thing you know we’ll have dogs and cats living together, or something. This isn’t about Dykes, people. He’s just offering a sacrifice to save college football from a looming crisis.
Or he could just be full of crap.