I love the smell of flop sweat in the morning.

The funniest quote from yesterday, by far, was this:

“George [Kliavkoff] is bold,” a source said. “I’m curious what he’s working on right now.”

If there’s a fine line between genius and panic, I’m pretty sure I know which side of the line Kliavkoff finds himself right now.

On the one side, he sees the Big 12 trying to poach several members of his conference.

The Big 12 is involved in deep discussions to add multiple Pac-12 programs as a way to shore up its membership in the wake of the USC and UCLA defection to the Big Ten, sources tell CBS Sports. At least four teams are being considered with the potential for the Big 12 to add more as realignment continues to shake out.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah were mentioned specifically as the teams being targeted by the Big 12, sources tell CBS Sports. There is also consideration of adding Oregon and Washington to make the Big 12 an 18-team league, the largest in the FBS.

A merger of the Big 12 and Pac-12, in some form, is also a possibility.

“Everything is on the table,” said one Big 12 source.

Ya’ think?

So, what’s Bold George got to offer in response?  Media negotiations.  Accelerated media negotiations.

The Pac-12 is pushing up negotiations for its next media rights agreements in the wake of the decision by UCLA and USC to leave for the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 announced that its board of directors authorized negotiations after a meeting Tuesday morning.

The conference’s current media rights deal expires in 2024, but the Pac-12 accelerated the timeline for negotiations for the next one with two of its marquee programs headed out the door.

It’s very thoughtful to allow the four schools weighing their options the opportunity to evaluate a real dollar value on their choices, but, considering that the conference is bound to negotiate only with Fox and ESPN, it’s hard to see that as a way to staunch the bleeding.

It turns out that’s not Bold George’s real ace in the hole, though.  Unbelievably, this is.

The ACC and Pac-12 have discussed what has been termed a “loose partnership” that could end the season with the conferences playing a “championship game” in Las Vegas, sources confirm to CBS Sports.

The concept, believed to have been proposed by the ACC, is seen as a way for the conferences’ common rightsholder, ESPN, to increase the value of their current media rights contracts.

It’s not likely this proposal would have much impact considering ESPN has cost certainty with the ACC in a contract that lasts through 2036. The Pac-12 is trying to survive after the loss of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2024. Rights for Pac-12 teams without the California powers are now worth about $30 million annually, down from approximately $42 million per program with the Trojans and Bruins in the fold.

John Canzano first reported the proposed the Pac-12 discussing a “loose partnership” with another conference Tuesday afternoon, noting some regular-season crossover games could be played in addition to the “championship game.”

Sources indicate the proposal is viewed as a “strength in numbers” move. While the 24 combined ACC and Pac-12 teams wouldn’t have nearly the clout of the 32 programs combined in the SEC and Big Ten, it would be something to combat the growing financial gap between those burgeoning superconferences and everyone else.

What a cool idea!  Maybe they could come up with a catchy name for it, something like, you know… The Alliance.  That Kliavkoff is supposedly willing to enter into another loose partnership, or whatever you want to call it, after just seeing the last version explode into flames is mind boggling.  But such is the intellectual level of the people running college football, I guess.

Anyway, a couple of final thoughts on all this maneuvering:

  • First of all, geniuses don’t put all this stuff out there for public consumption.  Just ask the Big Ten and the SEC how that should work.  Kliavkoff is desperate to avoid the collapse of the Pac-12.  All he’s got is this open flailing to show he’s trying.  It’s not a good look.
  • As far as the “loose partnership” goes, it may be an attempt by the Pac-12 to grab a lifeline, but what it really looks like is an effort by the ACC to force ESPN to renegotiate its rights deal with the conference.  Hard to see how it would move the needle, though.  And does anyone besides me think that if this were to become a reality somehow, the ACC/Pac-12 “championship game” would be a full-fledged invitation for the Big Ten and SEC to go down that same road, with far more impactful results?  Mickey isn’t your friend, George.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

21 responses to “I love the smell of flop sweat in the morning.

  1. Running a casino where the odds of making money are in your favor is a hell of lot easier than leading a college conference. Way to go, Pac 12. For claiming to be so smart, you have proven yourself to be dumb with your past 2 commissioners.

    If the Big 12 weren’t in so much flux right now in its leadership, they could (and probably) should offer every remaining Pac 12 school a home.


    • Harold Miller

      I get where you are coming from, but how dumb is Larry Scott? He made himself a ton of money and closed the front door just as the house collapsed.


      • I agree … that’s why I wrote the last 2 commissioners.

        The casino boss was stupid to enter the “alliance,” which was nothing but Kevin Warren’s temper tantrum about Texas and Oklahoma and the SEC’s decision to play in 2020 that led to Greg Sankey’s leadership of the sport.


  2. munsoning

    Went to see the captain
    Strangest I could find
    Laid my proposition down
    Laid it on the line
    I won’t slave for beggar’s pay
    Likewise gold and jewels
    But I would slave to learn the way
    To sink your ship of fools

    Ship of fools
    On a cruel sea
    Ship of fools
    Sail away from me

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I’m beginning to think that Georgia Kliavkoff had his name legally changed from…. Costanza

    Liked by 2 people

  4. theotherdoug

    If the Pac and ACC play a championship game that would have to come after both conferences play their own conference championship game, right? There is no way ESPN gives up the ACC Championship game and pays the ACC the same money, and there is no way the Pac/ACC game brings in more than the two conference games combined.

    So the top teams in the Pac and ACC will have to play an extra game, and how does that work with an expanding playoff?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t confuse the casino boss and Kevin Warren’s lackey with facts?


    • You could assume they would use the Las Vegas bowl, but that would make sense. They’ll just add a game for Clemson vs. Oregon on the Tuesday before Christmas and get their “national” audience. This also assumes the CFP is dead, otherwise you are correct in asking how they get an extra game in for those teams.

      Honestly, college football has become “Dilbert” in real life.


  5. godawgs1701

    Jesus Christ, these people are stupid. College football is my favorite thing outside of my family and loved ones and it’s being run by the stupidest people imaginable.

    Liked by 4 people

    • godawgs1701

      Also, what possible reason would a network have for entering into contract negotiations when you know that the conference is destabilized and has lost its most valuable property and you also know that others are considering bolting as well? I understand why the Pac 12 would want to hurry up and get a big contract they could use to keep the members in line, but what possible reason would the networks have for giving away money to a sinking ship? The TV guys aren’t as dumb as the conference guys.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    The Pac might be better off poaching a couple Big 12 teams. If I’m one of the remaining teams in the Pac, maybe the worst move I could make would be to downgrade by joining a conference that includes Houston, Cinci, etc.

    If those are the prospects, you may as well forego the Big 12. Hold your nose and pick from candidates like San Diego State, Boise, Nevada, Hawaii, etc.


    • godawgs1701

      Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF each have better football prospects in the near term than SDSU, Boise, Nevada, or Hawaii. If you’re a power 5 program then I certainly can see why you’d look down your nose at any of the 7, but if you’re going to have to be in a club with one group or the other, give me the G5 teams headed towards the Big 12.


  7. otto1980

    The ACC seems to be moving in the direction of an idea I had floating in my head with the Big10 expansion. The Big10 has been linked to rumors of being in discussion with Stanford, Oregon, Washington and one other.

    If you are moving to 16, 18, or 20 and blocking playoff expansion, the Conference Commissioner maybe thinking just combine enough blue bloods and power programs that you hold your own 4 team playoff to feed the existing 4 team playoff. If you have the playoff inside the conference then you control the TV negotiations and revenue distribution.

    The ACC has run out of schools in their region which are of their academic prestige to invite, the alternative is for an alliance with another conference to corner the missed revenue.

    The strategies may force the SEC into further expansion but the SEC is running out of options as well without taking an ACC program which has a good lock on their buyouts..


  8. Ozam

    The sad part is there is nothing inherently wrong with the PAC ? or ACC. This is all a function of the nationalization of college football.


    Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      These TV executives who worship the NFL and want to turn CFB into NFL, Jr. so they can make money the way the NFL does are going to be shocked when inferior players don’t get the same audiences as the NFL does.

      We’re a regional sport.


  9. unionjackgin

    “Loose partnership?” “I think that is what my 2nd wife called my open marriage!”

    Good night everybody! I am here all week at the Chucklebucket – be sure to tip your servers and bartenders!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kingcmo2000

    If the pac 10 media rights are only worth 30M a school, I don’t think Oregon and Washington are going to the big 10. They clearly aren’t worth enough.


    • miltondawg

      One of the things that I either read or heard on the radio in the last several days is that the B1G’s media rights package has to clear a $71MM or so per school annual payout. Apparently, adding USC and UCLA would give the B1G more than the additional $142MM needed in their media deal so that each of the B1G schools would stay in that $71MM range annually with USC and UCLA getting their cut as well. Adding Oregon and Washington wouldn’t have added yet another $142MM or so to the B1G media rights deal so the B1G could have either said “not right now” (which they did) or take Oregon and Washington and tell them for a period of time they would get less of an annual payout than USC, UCLA, and the remaining B1G schools.