How’s that whole Pac-12 Network thing working out for you guys?
Category Archives: Pac-12 Football
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.
Definite Georgia flavor to the buffet today…
- Richt talks to PAWWWLLL about his quarterback situation. Not much light is shed.
- Good news: Keith Marshall showed up at practice yesterday.
- Bad news: Wide receiver depth hasn’t shown up.
- It sounds like Lane Kiffin is trying to go where Mike Bobo boldly went before. Yet it’s Junior who is perceived as the brilliant offensive mind these days.
- Larry Scott ain’t happy with the NCAA’s handling of the McNair investigation. I’m sure that will make a huge difference.
- Jacob Eason visited Athens yesterday. He’s already acquiring a taste for grits and Chik-fil-A waffle fries.
- And judging from this photo, he’s every bit the 6′ 5″ advertised.
- He also drew a lot of talent to Athens on his visit.
- This isn’t a college problem, but it’s a good example of how we love sports way too much.
- Georgia’s defense has been sack-happy in the first two scrimmages.
- Carvell asks a bunch of coaches if Roquan Smith’s non-NLI signing could be a trendsetter.
A little of this, a little of that…
- This is awkward.
- A.J. Turman’s good spring is getting him some attention.
- Florida is now down to six healthy scholarship linemen for the final three spring practices, including the spring game Saturday. Maybe Boom can make another crack about McElwain’s dog.
- You don’t like how Georgia’s spring scrimmages have gone? Check out Missouri’s.
- Speaking of scrimmages, it sounds like Auburn’s got a ways to go to meet it eight bombs a game goal.
- The Pac-12 ponders furthering its academic mission by going into competition with the likes of IMG.
- Seth Emerson looks down the stretch of Georgia’s spring practice.
You know, it seems like the bloom started coming off the Pac-12 Network’s rose almost before the media could get the phrase “Larry Scott is a genius!” out of its mouth. The SEC rejected Scott’s ownership model when it came time to create its own network and found a much friendlier market, much to Scott’s displeasure.
And now comes the rest of the story.
So if you’re scoring at home, we have these projections for TV-related revenue for 2017-18, on a per-school basis:
SEC: $35.6 million
Big Ten: $33 million
Pac-12: $22.95 million
That’s a monumental gap, folks.
It’s reminiscent of the difference in revenue that existed under the Pac-12′s old Tier 1 deal.
It could impact the competitive balance, the ability to hire top-notch coaches and manage the looming increase in expenses due to legislative changes and the O’Bannon lawsuit.
To be fair, Scott has always faced an uphill battle. It’s not as if he’s done poorly. It’s just, you know, demographics.
To some extent, there is nothing the Pac-12 can do:
The SEC and Big Ten are always going to command more Tier 1 money than the Pac-12. A quick check of the ESPN metered markets is proof:
Of the top-25 markets in 2014, only three were in the Pac-12 footprint and none were in the top 10:
No. 13 Salt Lake City
No. 17: Portland
No. 25 Phoenix
Meanwhile, eight of the top 10 were in the SEC, including perennial No. 1 Birmingham.
If you’re wondering why the conference chased Texas so hard a few years ago, there you go. And it’s hard to see how it gets out of the revenue box it’s in without that kind of expansion in the future.
The looming TV revenue gap between the Pac-12 and its peers isn’t a Tier 1 issue. Scott got the best deal he could get.
The problem, as we’ll examine, is the Pac-12 Networks.
There just aren’t enough eyeballs to go around. And it doesn’t take a genius to see that.
Jump right in, folks.
- South Carolina is now seventh in the country in staff compensation.
- Meet Mark Hocke.
- Wes Rucker says he trusts the hire of Mike DeBord, who hasn’t coached football in three seasons, as UT’s new offensive coordinator, because John Jancek proves Butch Jones knows what he’s doing with his hires. Really.
- Mark Schlabach’s early Top 25 has Georgia sitting at number eight.
- Do you ever try to figure out what all those advanced stats mean? Bill Connelly’s glossary is here to help.
- Bob Stoops is getting back to Mike Leach ball on offense.
- ESPN’s SEC signing day roundtable has nary a mention of Georgia.
- Is Vernon Adams this year’s version of Jacob Coker? We’ll see how much media love he gets this offseason.
- It sounds like pace of play won’t be a big issue for the rules committee this season.
- Oklahoma State wants to ask Charlie Strong who orders the Code Red.
I don’t know if this is simply leverage to get the game moved from a neutral site in Denver to a home-and-home basis, but Colorado’s athletic director says he’s had enough of the rivalry series with Colorado State (h/t Doc Saturday).
Colorado athletic director Rick George said Wednesday that it is in the “best interests” of CU to not renew its annual football series with intrastate rival Colorado State after the current contract concludes with the 2020 game...
“After the current contract, playing the game in Denver is dead,” George said. “And I’m not sure where our series with CSU goes after that either. Today, we would not extend our agreement (for CU to play CSU in football) past 2020.”
Officially, it’s a matter of priorities. Having a sixth home game trumps playing your in state rival.
Every other year, Colorado will play only four home conference games, so it can be difficult to schedule six home games and still play a representative schedule if one of the nonconference games is played in Denver against CSU.
“My job is to do what’s best for CU, the athletic department, our teams, our student-athletes,” George said. “I think our best interest is to move games under the contract to campus sites and then, after 2020, I’m not sure (the series) is in our best interest, and that’s why at this point I wouldn’t extend it.”
Except that’s only a problem every other season, and… hmmm, you only play a road game against CSU every other season.
George sounds like he’s a masterful negotiator. Asking Colorado State to move the series away from Denver while at the same time marking the end of the rivalry is kind of screwy. Then again, complaining about the size of the crowds in Denver while offering your season-ticket holders the option of declining the CSU game and using that dollar credit to buy more single-game seats for CU games played in Boulder seems a bit counter-intuitive, as well.
Unless you really, really want out.
Rivalries ain’t what they used to be.