Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

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

It’s alive!!


Now you’re just fucking with ’em.


Filed under ACC Football, Big Ten Football, Pac-12 Football

So much for thinking outside the box

So, yeah, my first reaction to yesterday’s bombshell about UCLA and USC leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten’s greener pastures was amusement.  My second?  Well, I wouldn’t say it’s sympathy, exactly.  But I do understand why the two decided to make the jump.

Think about it: two programs with history, branding (certainly in USC’s case, anyway… just ask Stewart Mandel) that sit in one of the biggest media markets in the country.  They watched one conference commissioner, Tom Hansen, serve for better than a quarter-century without grasping the changing nature of college athletics revenue sources.  He was replaced by Larry Scott, a master of self-enrichment and little else besides, who negotiated disastrous media deals and then sold his bosses on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow by letting those bad deals play out over a decade until they expired.

The conference finally worked up the stones to get rid of Scott.  His replacement is another outside the box guy who comes from the gambling industry and whose first big move was to scuttle a CFP expansion plan in a fit of pique he’s tried to sell as some form of a 3-D chess move that’s cost his bosses their share of a half billion-dollar payout.

At some point, if you’re UCLA or USC, you have to ask yourself WTF are we doing here?  Especially when you look up and see Iowa, gawdforsaken Iowa, about to pull in roughly $50 million more than you are, year over year, simply because of conference affiliation.

Yeah, that’s worked out well.

They can tell themselves that, but the reality is that George Kliavkoff woke up this morning less smug about his conference’s prospects than he was the morning before.  The CFP expansion plan he was happy to piss on looks extremely attractive now, but why would Greg Sankey care what he thinks?  There are plenty of rumors out there that other conference members want to join the gold rush to the Big Ten, which means he’s got to spend time shoring up his flanks.

You’ve also got to think the Pac-12 and the Big 12 are eyeing each other carefully right now, wondering who’s going to make the first move to cannibalize the other.  ‘Cause you know that’s coming.

As I said yesterday, welcome to the real world, George.  It’s not pretty when you’re not the lead dog.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

What is this “Alliance” you speak of?


Gee, I hope this doesn’t mess up the CFP expansion talks.

Welcome to the real world, Commissioner Kliavkoff.  “Real world” being the Big Ten, the SEC and then everybody else after them.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Pac-12 Football

One ring to rule them all

The Pac-12 commissioner has an idea and I’m sure it has nothing to do with Greg Sankey’s dominance ($$).

Does college football need the NCAA to run the sport? Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff doesn’t think so. He also doesn’t believe he’s alone.

“We have to be realistic about the fact that football is a unique animal among the rest of the college sports and that there are conferences that should be more aligned and should be more in control of the future of high-level college football,” Kliavkoff told The Athletic on Friday.

“I’ve had conversations with several of the FBS commissioners, and I’ve been surprised by the unanimous support for the idea among the folks that I’ve spoken to about taking football rule-making and football rule enforcement out of the NCAA and investing it in an organization that is run by the 10 (FBS) conferences.”

He doesn’t know the feelings of the commissioners he hasn’t spoken with yet, of course.  I’m sure this will go over well with the head of the SEC:

“The way I think about it is: Control of everything related to college football with the exception of the media rights during the regular season would vest in one organization — setting the rules, enforcing the rules and running the postseason,” Kliavkoff said.

“Everything” is doing some very heavy lifting there, especially when you consider it includes the CFP.  Yeah, I bet Sankey is all for ceding his power and humbly submitting himself to the will of the other nine commissioners.


Filed under Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Today, in asked and answered

Oregon writer haz a question.

This past week, Tipico Sportsbook put out its betting lines for a majority of the Week 1 games, and it listed the Ducks as a 17.5-point underdog, giving them plus-550 moneyline odds to win the game. In contrast, Georgia is listed at minus-1,000 to win the game.

Seems a bit high, no? That’s basically saying this game — one between two top-15 teams — is going to be a blowout. Despite the fact Georgia lost a majority of its historic defense from last season and had 15 players get drafted to the NFL this spring, the Bulldogs are projected to wax the Ducks.

Unfair to Oregon, or are Duck fans living outside of reality in believing that they might be able to keep things competitive with Dan Lanning’s former team?

Oregon writer answers his own question.

A lot of that depends on what happens with the quarterback position in Eugene. If Bo Nix wins the starting job, he can bring his SEC experience to the table and likely calm the rest of the youthful team, having been on that stage before.

Bo’s SEC experience resulted in finishing 9th, 9th and 11th in the conference in passer rating.  Last season against the Dawgs (at home!), he managed a whopping 5.7 ypa en route to a massive 97.97 passer rating.  Sounds pretty calming to me.


Filed under Georgia Football, Pac-12 Football

Lessons from the pandemic

Next time, I can think of a few conferences that will be solemnly swearing not cancelling games is the new “do it for the kids” take.

[Ed. note:  Don’t make me shut down the comments thread, please.]


Filed under Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, The Body Is A Temple

Boom, MFers.



That was fast, Pac-12.  Not that it’s gonna matter.


Filed under Pac-12 Football, The NCAA

College football’s siren song

This could be the year, peeps.

Which pundit invokes “dark horse Heisman candidate” first?


Filed under Pac-12 Football

Larry Scott and his enablers



They may not have known what they signed up for, but it couldn’t have taken them too long to that figure out.


Filed under Pac-12 Football