Thursday, June 17, 2010

12 > 16

After the dust has settled, there will be no Pac-16. At least not yet. Colorado and Utah have both officially become members of what will likely be called the Pac-12 conference.

Texas A&M is apparently disappointed with the way things played out? Well …. duh! The A&M folks were trying to show their independence from UT, but in the end what’s left of the old Big XII just wimped out and deferred to whatever the University of Texas wanted. I’ve got to believe that Texas Tech and Oklahoma State probably aren’t too happy with how things played out either. Instead of joining a “superconference”, these schools are left in a somewhat weakened Big XII and are now cast squarely in the shadow of UT. It remains to be seen if this restructuring might actually lead to revenue losses for any of the remaining ten schools. Texas being the exception of course, they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Colorado and Nebraska were wise to leave in my opinion.

Most bizarre thing is that the University of Texas could possibly start its own tv network. That rumor makes absolutely no sense. A tv network dedicated to one university? Yeah okay, good luck with that.

As for me, I’m happy with the way things sorted out. I like the reasonably expanded Pac-12 lineup. Sure, Colorado and Utah aren’t as flashy as adding Texas and Oklahoma, but based on everything that I’ve read Colorado and Utah are good fits both academically and athletically. The geography works well too (meaning good travel schedules for the sports teams). I think the two 6-team division format with a championship game are positives, and a league title game alone will definitely add revenue.

NORTH = Cal, Oregon, Oregon St, Stanford, Washington, Wash St.
SOUTH = Arizona, ASU, Colorado, UCLA, Utah, USC

Now, the big debate becomes if adding the Denver and Salt Lake City tv markets will make a Pac-12 television network feasible. I have to believe in 2012 that will become a reality, and I’ll be bugging my cable provider to get this channel. … or (more likely) I will be considering a switch to satellite tv. Because I can tell you right now, that if a Pac-12 network does happen, then it’s a channel I want to get. Living here in the Midwest, I miss seeing Pac-10 football and basketball.

* footnote: here’s a preliminary look at Arizona’s possible new football uniforms. Why don’t they just go back to the traditional UofA uniforms? Might even inspire a return of the old Desert Swarm defense!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Wow, these are some strange times for college football fans and some incredibly bizarre times for college football traditionalists. The bs is hitting the fan so fast it’s like being in the front row of a Gallagher show, and I hope there’s a dude at the entrance somewhere selling programs because I can’t tell the good guys from the bad anymore.

Well, at least I know the USC Trojans are bad guys. I know this because the NCAA tells me so. Seems as though the football dynasty that Pete Carroll built there in LA has come crashing down with a big dull thud, and ol’ Pete slinked off to the NFL just before the Fall of Troy. He must be psychic? Anyways, a two year bowl ban and three years of reduced scholarships make for some serious penalties, and (barring a successful appeal to the NCAA Infractions Committee’s findings) the Trojans have been thrown under the bus and left as roadkill.

Even without these NCAA sanctions to SC, the Pac-10 was moving towards parody throughout most of the league. Look at the upcoming 2010 season previews and you find that as many as six or seven teams have legitimate chances of winning the conference. That’s amazing. But hang on, just as things were looking pretty dang exciting for the future, we notice a somewhat ominous cloud lurking there on the horizon. Hmmm, what could that be? It looks like …. I don’t know …. expansion? What is that? Is that a dust cloud?

No, it kind of looks like a stampede. Yeah, it’s a stampede of freaking buffaloes! Wait a minute, buffaloes? Can that be right?!

The University of Colorado has now officially joined the Pac-10 (11?), and if the raging tornado of rumors is to be believed then this is only the beginning. The old Pac-10 will do a ninja raid on the old Big XII conference and pilfer five more schools. Included are Texas and Oklahoma, along with Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. I have officially entered Bizzarro World, and I’m not a happy camper.

Again, this is all still rumor and hearsay, but if things play out as suspected then the UofA and ASU will get thrown in with the six newbies to form an eastern division of a Pac-16 Superconference. I liked the idea of a Pac-10 TV Network (like the Big Ten network I get here in Illinois), but I find it hard to believe that the Pac-10 couldn’t have done that without expanding. Of course the engine that drives all of this is money, I get that. With Texas and Oklahoma onboard the revenue for a new tv contract will be more attractive and more lucrative.


I’m sure over time that I’ll grow to like the Great and Powerful Pac-16, but for now I will begin my mourning over the loss of the beautiful symmetry that was the Pac-10. Five pairs of traditional rivals that made for a perfect round robin football regular season and a Thursday-Saturday home-and-home basketball regular season. It just worked so well.

In a way, most of us that follow the Pac-10 are to blame (myself included). We pleaded that the Pac-10 conference should get more national exposure, and for my part I’ve always complained to anyone that would listen that the Pac-10 football games should be on national tv much more often than they are. I wished for the conference to get more national exposure, and I guess I should’ve been careful about what I wished for. Because it looks like I’m going to get my wish.