Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

College sports’ top grifter

All one can do is laugh.

Only a handful, eh?

19 Comments

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

TFW your health is woke

Yikes.

At least nobody accused Kelly of being a racist.

10 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football, The Body Is A Temple

Wednesday morning buffet

Please maintain a six-foot distance from your fellow grazers as you read…

  • Tennessee, Tier 3. (h/t 81Dog)
  • On the other hand, UT is back, baby, in part because… wait for it… they’ve got a chance, playing Georgia in November.
  • In case you want a line on the Dawgs’ opening opponent this season, here’s Pete Fiutak’s Virginia preview.  (All I can say is if the Cavs’ offensive line doesn’t step up, it’s gonna be a long day to be a Hoos fan.)
  • “With 1.139 million fans attending Georgia games — home, away and neutral site — the Bulldogs were one of a dozen schools to eclipse the million attendance mark in 2019.”
  • Louisiana has made it okay for immediate family members of college coaches are now officially allowed to be employed on staff.  I wonder who lobbied for that.
  • Another sign of the times:  apparently Southern Cal and Reggie Bush have kissed and made up.
  • Groo:  Curating a day of classic Georgia football
  • Can I just say this is dumb?

39 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Pac-12 Football, Political Wankery, SEC Football

“They said that, on the surface, we look like a good partner to investigate.”

The Pac-12 is trying to convince the world, or at least the part of the world that spends money on broadcast rights, that it’s hot, hot, hot.  You want proof, skeptics?  Look who’s taking Larry Scott’s phone calls!

But when the Pac-12 Conference negotiates its next media rights deal to start in the fall of 2024, conference executives expect the deep-pocketed digital companies to make serious bids.

Why?

“This is what they’re telling us,” Pac-12 Networks President Mark Shuken said. “Several of them have come to us and said that they want to be in this space.”

The most intriguing conversations have come with Apple, which so far has not settled on a financial model around sports rights. Apple executives have told conference and school officials that they see live sports as a programming genre that can set its direct-to-consumer business apart from its rivals.

Apple also was attracted by the conference’s physical location. The Pac-12 is based in San Francisco; Apple is in nearby Cupertino, Calif.

Wow — both companies are in Northern California.  Sounds like the beginning of a beautifully lucrative relationship, don’t it?

Reality check.

In other words, Larry Scott is still a genius, at least in the minds of the idiots who hired him.  Gotta respect the grift, though.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

“They can’t wait until 2022 to make a decision on Larry.’’

This ought to be fun.

Campus official across the Pac-12 have begun discussing the future of commissioner Larry Scott and believe a decision on his contract could come by the end of this year, if not sooner, according to conference sources.

Scott’s deal expires in two years, but the window is somewhat condensed, sources said, by the timing of the Pac-12’s media rights agreements.

Although the deals with ESPN and Fox run into the spring of 2024, formal negotiations likely would commence 18-21 months earlier, in the fall of 2022 — or just after Scott’s current contract expires.

And the Pac-12’s strategy, according to sources with experience in media deals, would have to be mapped out well in advance of the fall of 2022.

With that convergence of events, a contract extension would position Scott to lead the media rights negotiations that one source called “the most critical thing in the history of the conference.”

Anyone think that’s gonna end well?

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

“It was not malicious.”

Jeez, this is some clarification.

USC athletic director Mike Bohn attempted to clarify Thursday his assertion that “everything is on the table” in terms of the Trojans’ future conference affiliation…

When asked by USCFootball.com’s Ryan Abraham this week if he would consider football going independent or joining another conference, Bohn said, “I think right now, Larry would agree with this, everything is on the table.”

Larry Scott is the Pac-12 commissioner.

“The answer is no,” Bohn said when contacted by CBS Sports on Thursday. “Why would we do that? We’ve got 21 sports here. You know the drill. There would be no way for us to do that.

“Now, that being said, if the unexpected happened and NBC said, ‘Hey we want to partner you guys with Notre Dame’ … then that’s different.'”

I think he just asked for a date, NBC.

22 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

Another day in Pac-12 paradise

As if it weren’t already bad enough watching a middling Michigan State program poach its head coach, Colorado can’t even outbid Nick Saban for Steve Sarkisian’s services.

Steve Sarkisian has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Colorado head-coaching job and instead plans to remain at Alabama as offensive coordinator, sources told ESPN.

Sarkisian, the former USC and Washington head coach, had emerged as Colorado’s top target after interviewing for the job on Wednesday, according to sources, but informed Alabama coach Nick Saban on Thursday that he intended to stay in Tuscaloosa and is expected to receive a raise that will make him one of the highest paid coordinators in college football.

When you can’t make it financially worthwhile for a coordinator to take a step up at a P5 school, you got some real problems.

26 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

“He seemed to be genuine.”

The lesson learned from The Last Hours of Mel Tucker at Colorado is an analogy:  coaches are to boosters what players are to coaches.

But the real lesson the folks at Colorado should take to heart is this:

“Listening back, in hindsight, I think there were some signs,” Hastings said in an interview Saturday. “I think losing an assistant to Tennessee [defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh], and the inability to pay enough to keep his staff, that bothered him…

Tucker’s answer was winding, touching on the loss of Brumbaugh, a key assistant that Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt plucked away with a significant raise. “That was disappointing,” Harrington says Tucker told the crowd, “but he made twice as much money so who could blame him?”

Money talks and coaches walk.

3 Comments

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

Pac-12, you have a problem.

I don’t know if you’ve heard last night’s “life comes at you fast” news, but Georgia’s former defensive coordinator is the new head coach at Michigan State.

Between the sexual assault issues, the feckless behavior of its administrators regarding same and Mark Dantonio’s abrupt exit one day before the February signing date, MSU is something of a dumpster fire, which no doubt factored into Tucker’s initial reluctance to consider jumping ship after only one year at Colorado.  That left the Spartans with only one thing to do.

They made Tucker an offer he couldn’t refuse ($$).

People with knowledge of Tucker’s deal with the Spartans said it doubles his Colorado coaching salary pool (which was $3.15 million in 2019), includes a substantial increase to the Michigan State strength and conditioning staff budget and program resources and will more than double Tucker’s Colorado salary, which is around $2.7 million.

If that sounds familiar, it’s only because Mike Leach was coaxed to Mississippi State with a similar offer.  (Leach came a little cheaper because he’s been jonesing for a long time to coach in the SEC, but still.)

And therein lies the problem for Larry Scott’s conference.  In the last month two Pac-12 programs have seen their football coaches poached because they don’t have the financial resources to match their better funded peers in the Big Ten and SEC.  And that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

Those of you who are concerned that further player compensation would upset the delicate competitive balance of college football have missed the obvious point that the coaching compensation train has already left the station in that regard.

33 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

If Larry Scott actually had a set…

It’s funny, but this exact same thought posted at The Banner Society crossed my mind when I read Jon Wilner’s piece about the Pac-12’s severe revenue gap with the SEC:

We got here because Larry Scott considers himself an innovator who sees non-traditional angles. And Scott should lean even harder into that now to give the conference an advantage greater than all that television money the SEC and Big Ten are about to soak up: The Pac-12 should reverse course and fully embrace California’s new name, image, and likeness law.

Let’s say Scott gets the schools on board and convinces the state governments of Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah to fast-track legislation mimicking California’s. The Pac-12 gets to put on its best forward-thinking face and proclaim they’re the conference that puts athletes first, the vanguard bold enough to abandon the old, unfair model of amateurism.

They also give their schools a powerful recruiting weapon the rest of the Power 5 won’t have: the promise of actual, legal money. Sure, indoor practice facilities and fancy dining halls are great. But they’re not money! Five of the 10 best players in California this recruiting cycle committed to schools outside the Pac-12. Doesn’t it seem more likely they’d stay in the conference given the chance to make money off themselves right away?

The best thing about this recruiting tool: it costs schools almost nothing. Yes, there will be some administrative oversight required to make sure players are staying within the bounds of California’s law, but the actual money these would get wouldn’t come from an athletic department budget. It takes the revenue gap the Pac-12 is staring down and gives schools an increased ability to compete with their SEC and Big Ten counterparts without forcing the conference to find new revenue.

As far as NCAA objections go, Ryan Nanni goes on to point out there’s a lot of intertwining that would be difficult to unwind quickly… or maybe even at all.

No, the NCAA’s not going to like it. But the Pac-12 should paint the Association into a corner. Eight Power 5 schools have a non-conference game with the Pac-12 in 2020. Many more will want to schedule Pac-12 teams in basketball. The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments regularly feature a regional played on the West Coast. The Rose Bowl insists they must play on New Year’s Day, even if that screws the Playoff schedule up, so imagine how they’ll react when you tell them they don’t get a Pac-12 participant. Six other bowls have a deal securing them a Pac-12 participant. And then there’s the fact that all of these games are tied to … lucrative TV contracts.

No, it’s not gonna happen, not because it wouldn’t work, but because Larry Scott isn’t the bold genius he’s convinced his school presidents he is.  Too bad; as a strategy, it certainly beats selling a piece of your conference off to a hedge fund.

10 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football