Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

“First down, Cal.”

Jon Wilner makes a pretty good case that the ref who blew the hands to the face call in the Cal-Wazzu game simply had a brain fart.  And, you know, I get that.  We’re all human and the occasional brain fart is part of that.

What I don’t get is how completely broken down the rest of what happened was.

Why didn’t members of the officiating crew correct Richards?

Because he saw the penalty — it was his call.

Wires crossed in his head, he told the crew that No. 15 “on the receiving team” had committed the penalty, and they assumed that meant WSU.

When Richards walked off the yardage, the other officials had no reason to think he was doing so in error.

What about the replay official?

Why didn’t the replay booth or the command center in San Francisco get involved?

Because illegal hands-to-the-face, like holding, isn’t a reviewable play.

Reviewable plays involve the boundary, the goal-line, control of the ball, targeting, etc.

Richards realized his mistake almost immediately.

According to the conference statement Sunday evening, Richards informed the Cougars’ sideline of the mistake “after the next play was run.”

One play — why not fix an egregious error at that point?  It’s not like much happened in the interim.  The reason, I suspect, would be the precedent being set by such a decision.

College football needs some kind of mechanism in place to correct an obvious screw up like this — not a judgment call, such as whether a penalty had occurred, but a true factual error by an on-field official.  This really wasn’t fair.

Yes, I know I’m dreaming.  Bureaucrats prefer finality over accuracy.

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But they meant well.

Sure, we all bitch and moan about bad officiating calls, but in terms of sheer what-the-fuck-were-they-doing-there?, it’s really hard to top that horrendous penalty call on the wrong team in the Cal-Wazzu game last weekend.  Jon Wilmer does the full “let me count the ways” takedown here.

I’m amazed this is all Mike Leach has had to say on the matter so far.

Just another day in Larry Scott’s finely tuned machine, I guess.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

Meanwhile, out west…

Whoa, baby.

That’s some mechanical error you got there, Pac-12.  You gotta love the accountability — anonymous ref is suspended for one game (when?) and the rest of his crew is “downgraded”, whatever that means.

Wazzou lost 33-20, so I’m sure Leach is totally chill about it.

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“But it’s very hard to get in the way of the ballot box.”

Here comes California, messing with college football again.

What began as SB 206 in the California assembly— and became known nationally as the Fair Pay To Play Act — has help fuel a revolution in college sports.

Now along comes AB 7, which threatens to play havoc with your Pac-12 kickoff times.

Think those 7:30 p.m. games along the west coast are a too late?

If Assembly Bill 7 becomes law, late-season games on Pac-12 campuses will start at 8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu — and already approved by voters — AB 7 would place California on Daylight Saving Time all year: No more falling back and springing forward.

California would be permanently sprung forward, with all the lifestyle benefits that come with evening daylight and none of the disruptions to our circadian rhythms caused by changing the clock.

Apparently, if this goes into law in California, Oregon and Washington are prepared to follow suit in short order.  And that would make things inconvenient for Mickey.

The entire West Coast would skip the process of falling back, leaving it two hours behind Eastern Time from early November through early March.

That would create a problem for Pac-12 kickoffs in the final month of the season.

ESPN and Fox use three-and-a-half-hour programming windows (approximately) on football Saturdays, starting with 12 p.m. Eastern and followed by 3:30 p.m., 7 or 8 p.m. and then 10:30 p.m.

The final window is reserved for the Pac-12 — the only Power Five conference capable of starting home games as late as 10:30 p.m. Eastern. (And those are sometimes pushed back to 10:40 or 10:45 p.m.)

If the West Coast doesn’t join the East Coast in falling back, the three-hour difference during Daylight Saving Time would become a two-hour difference from early November through early March.

In order for the Pac-12 games to fill the 10:30 p.m. Eastern window, they would have to start at 8:30 p.m. on the west coast.

Pacific Daylight Time in the winter months would be the same as Mountain Standard Time.

Late games would get later.

Eh, not to worry.  I’m sure Larry Scott’s on the mother.

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

All their goals are still ahead of them.

It’s not even October yet and the Pac-12 doesn’t have a single undefeated team remaining in its midst.

Well played, gang.

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“We’ve narrowed the field.’’

I know that you will be totally shocked, shocked to discover that, once again, the world has failed to appreciate Larry Scott’s financial acumen.

The Pac-12 has decided against selling ownership in its media rights to a private equity firm, commissioner Larry Scott told the Hotline, but it still could take on a strategic partner.

Scott said the presidents and chancellors have ruled out an arrangement with a “pure financial institution” that would receive minority ownership in a media rights holding company and, in return, provide each campus with tens of millions in up-front cash.

However, the Pac-12 continues to examine partnerships with media or tech companies that could involve selling ownership for cash but would better position the conference for media rights negotiations in 2023-24.

“We’ve narrowed the field,’’ Scott said. “(The CEOs) were not interested in doing something with a pure financial institution, even though we had a lot of interesting offers at the kind of valuations we were hoping for and really great terms.

“They don’t want to do something with a private equity or financial firm.”

This, of course, begs the question of why Scott was hot in pursuit of a deal his school presidents didn’t want, but, hell, doesn’t everyone need a hobby?

This is so going to wind up with the Pac-12 cutting the same kind of deal in five years that every other P5 conference has now.  That would be funny, except it means Scott will have given away millions by selling his bosses on how much better his business plan would turn out.  Give the man credit, though.  He’s getting paid like it did turn out better.

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

The sharpest tool in college football’s shed

From the latest installment of “How Does Larry Scott Still Have a Job?“, an ever-continuing series:

Though the Pac-12 has an enviable TV footprint, with five of the top 17 markets in the country — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver — it doesn’t translate to the balance sheet under the terms of its television deals. The Big Ten distributed as much as $54 million in TV revenue to its schools in the 2018 fiscal year, dwarfing the $29.5 million the Pac-12 paid out. The SEC paid out as much as $43.7 million to its schools, while the Big 12 was at $38.8 million and the A.C.C., whose revenues will get a bump this year with the start of its conference network, was at $29.5 million along with the Pac-12, whose payout decreased by $1.5 million from 2017[Emphasis added.]

In this day and age of the value of live broadcast, how in the world does a P5 conference with plenty of major TV markets in its wheelhouse pull something like that off?  It just takes the right kind of vision from the right kind of visionary.

That’s how long the Pac-12 will have to wait to see if Scott’s big bet pays off: the decision not to partner with ESPN or Fox in forming the Pac-12 Network (as other conference networks have) while waiting to cash in on a bidding war for all its TV rights when they expire — a battle among not just traditional networks but also newer contenders like Amazon and Google.

Or so the hope goes.

At the moment, it has been a costly decision. Not only is the conference left with far less money, it also has far lower viewership because cable and satellite companies aren’t compelled by a partner like ESPN or Fox to take the Pac-12 Network as part of a bundle of sports networks. As a result, the Pac-12 Network, which was introduced seven years ago, is in only 18 million homes, less than a third of the audience for the SEC Network and the Big Ten Network, and about half of that for A.C.C. Network, which started in August.

“We determined that we didn’t want to sell the Pac-12 Network — there was anticipation that it would grow — and when the landscape changed, we’d be able to negotiate a better deal and cash in,” Ray Anderson, Arizona State’s athletic director, said. “That’s been a painful wait.”

The truly amazing thing is that their best scenario has the pain continuing until 2024.  And my bet is that Larry “But I feel like it’s my job to regularly think outside the box” Scott will be collecting steady paychecks all along the way.

Man, I’m in the wrong line of work.

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