I knew his days were numbered after seeing the highlights of that one, but I thought it would happen at the end of the season. Things are getting nasty in LA.
I knew his days were numbered after seeing the highlights of that one, but I thought it would happen at the end of the season. Things are getting nasty in LA.
OK, here we go, the moment of truth for the conference:
OK, into stupid questions now. I’ll give commentary later…
For those who listened to us lament that the Stanford-Oregon game on Oct. 2 would be starting after 11 p.m. Eastern time, good news! Not only has the start time been moved to 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, but it’ll also be the ESPN GameDay location Saturday morning.
Should be a nice showcase for two Pac-10 teams ranked in the top 10. Would be nice if the GameDay crew makes it to Berkeley some year, though…
Well, Larry Scott pulled off another one. He managed to play enough hardball with the Big-12 to get Colorado into the conference next year.
You can read more details from Ted Miller.
It’ll be nice not to have a transitional year and get straight to the Pac-10 and the conference championship game. Other than that, it’s not a huge deal, although it’s nice to see Larry Scott continue to negotiate issues skill.
All that we need now is the division alignments. That will be a far larger and much more controversial deal and should be decided during the October Pac-10 meeting.
Well, ironically, the “Pac-12″ part isn’t official, no new name has been officially chosen, but the fact that the conference will have 12 teams, the traditional 10 plus Colorado (announced last week) and Utah (announced officially today), is official.
Other than that, we don’t know a whole lot yet.
One thing we do know is that the conference HAS NOT decided on how to split the divisions. This is a bit of a surprise considering the information that had Colorado AD indicating they had been promised that they’d be part of the Pac-12 South with the AZ and southern Cal schools. However, from what I’m reading, people have been over-stating the confidence of that fact.
I suspect this is a bit of the telephone game. Larry Scott indicated to the Colorado AD something like “he’ll push for it” or “it’s the most likely case” and the Colorado AD told his contacts that “it’s what I wanted and they are agreeable” and that got morphed into “Colorado was guaranteed it”. Or some similar scenario. Since there’s no official quote from either the Colorado AD or Scott, it’s hard to take those indications as gospel.
We also don’t know for sure there will be a conference championship game (although there will be) or whether the Pac-10 will setup their own TV network (I’d say it’s got a 70% likelihood). Additionally we don’t know if there will be 8 or 9 conference games. We also don’t know what year Colorado will be joining, although it’ll either be 2011 or 2012.
What we do know is that Utah will join in 2011, and that indicates that it’s likely that there will be an attempt to have Colorado come at the same time, however the Big-12 leaving early penalty might impact the decision away from what the Pac-12 would like.
I think I’ve said my peace on what I think is best for the conference, and if Cal can get in the South, my mind will rest easy with what has happened, even if I’m not a big proponent of it. We’ve gained two quality programs and although I’m no big fan of it, the benefits of a conference championship game are hard to ignore. However, if we end up in the North, I’ll be grumbling about it for a long time to come.
More, including possible extended grumbling, to come… (I’m sure)
Well, it appears my worst fears have come to pass. Texas has declined the offer to join the Pac-10, thereby killing any chance of any other major Big-12 team from heading our way either. That leaves 3 likely possibilities:
In my opinion, all three of these are a downgrade over what the conference has now, and only option #3 is anything but a disaster.
For what it is worth, both Denver and Salt Lake are at higher latitudes than Cal and Stanford, although they’re admittedly close (Berkeley is just south of latitude 38, Stanford is just north of lat 37 and Denver and SLC are north of 39 and 40 degrees respectively. To define close, by comparison Portland, Oregon is at 45 and LA is at 34). But as we all implicitly know, latitudes are likely to be one of the last things to decide the split up.
Here’s what I see as the “storyline”. When the teams met for their annual conference, the question of expansion came up and both the Pac-16 and Pac-12 were discussed. In the end both were approved. I’m absolutely confident that both Cal and Stanford were very clear that for the Pac-12 situation that they wanted to be in the South with USC and UCLA. The only question is whether Larry Scott talked them out of it. His point of course would be that we’d be far more likely to attract new teams if we paired them with USC and UCLA.
What’s the answer to whether Larry Scott talked them out of it? Nobody knows for sure, but the Colorado fans seem to think that they’d be paired with USC and UCLA. However, that could easily just be their hopes influencing their thoughts as much as any real info.
It also could be that no promises were made to Colorado, meaning they’d be put in the North if possible, but Larry Scott is keeping the USC/UCLA pairing in his back pocket for negotiations with Utah or whichever team makes team number 12. It might be that Colorado wasn’t insistent, but the next team will be.
So it’s very possible that the answer isn’t even known by insiders like Scott.
In either case, the Pac-11 stinks, stinks, stinks like replacing a toilet with a failed wax seal. Colorado by itself just isn’t worth the lost symmetry and all that made the Pac-10 awesome and we don’t gain anything meaningful like a conference championship game or a notably easier schedule. While the Pac-12 offers something more, a conference championship game and not having to play our difficult full round-robin, being paired with the north will stink worse than the Pac-11.
The north will get less respect and it’ll actually be the more difficult division, particularly if the UW rebound continues apace and UCLA can’t put it together. Plus we’ll lose out on our yearly games versus USC and UCLA. Sure the other teams don’t care about that as much as we do, but there’s no other way to look at it than Cal and Stanford are getting the shortest straw of the group.
Put Cal in the south and it’s closer to an equal situation as the current setup. Obviously we gain a fair amount in the conference championship game and the TV revenue upsides, but I like the round-robin myself. There’s ups and downs to either equation.
But think about this: What’s clear is that neither the north nor the south really want these two new teams. They both want Cal and Stanford. What does it mean when nobody wants the two teams that are supposedly brought in to improve the conference? Doesn’t that say something about whether this is inherently a good deal?
In any case, let’s just hope that scenario #3 works out because everything else is a significant downgrade from where I sit.
If you think the big news on Thursday June 10th, 2010 is that USC is getting a two-year post-season ban and losing
20 30 scholarships over a yet unknown period of 3 years, you are absolutely, moronically wrong (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
The Big News is that Colorado has officially joined the Pac-10.
Thirty years from now, the USC news will be a footnote, the Pac-10 expansion will be a key moment in the conference.
People have asked what I think about the “Pac-16″ (or I’ve heard it referred to as the SAT (surf and turf) conference) and I haven’t completed a post on the subject because I can’t make up my mind. But here’s what I am confident of, I have no interest in the Pac-12 with Colorado and Utah. That scenario loses all that is special about the Pac-10 with its round-robin and natural rivalries without gaining enough in return. So I guess at this point, I just became a proponent of the Pac-16 since the only alternative is either the Pac-12 or even worse, the Pac-11, now that the Colorado announcement is official.
As for the Pac-16, I like the fact that we’re looking at a Pac-8 division in the conference. That’ll work out nicely. I like the fact that the conference championship game will help us in publicity as a conference. I also like the fact that we’ll get access to the Big-12 bowl lineup which is far better than the Pac-10.
However, there are some downsides. We end up losing some bowl slots in bowls that formerly had both a Pac-10 and Big-12 alignment. They’re not going to keep two slots, so the combined conference will lose a spot. If it was only one bowl, but it’s 2 1/2: Alamo, Holiday, and Sun every other year. Add that to the fact that there’s going to be a whole lot of extra competition for those bowl slots and it’s at least a bit worrisome that perhaps the added bowls won’t be enough to improve the situation for the existing Pac-10 teams. I’d want to see the bowls be forced to pick fairly based on team success and not just “pick in order”, which gets very complicated with a two division conference.
I’m also VERY against conference games against the other half that COUNT (and I can’t emphasize this enough) for who is the division champion. I’d love to play Texas every few years, but I most definitely don’t like the idea that the year that we play Texas in Texas ends up being the year we’d otherwise win the Pac-8 division except for that loss sinking us. The same goes for Oklahoma. No, it better be just the 7 games in the division that determine the division winner. I hate, hate, HATE how the current 12 team conferences do it and it’ll be even worse with 8 teams because at most there will only be 2 out-of-division conference games and there’s just no way to “balance” those games so that it doesn’t unduly affect the division standings.
So, from where I sit, if we either only play 7 conference games or if we play 8 or 9 but only the 7 within the division count for the division standings and our new bowl alignments are significantly better than our current alignments (so much so that even though we’ve got these extra teams and lost a few spots, we’re in better shape), then I’d be happy if the Pac-16 came to pass.
Particularly now that the deed is done with Colorado and expansion is officially underway.
Word on the street is that USC has been hit with a two-year bowl ban, starting in 2010 and
20 lost scholarships over a yet undisclosed period of years (likely either 2 or 4) Update on 6/11 at noon: when the official report came out yesterday afternoon it turns out it was 30 over 3 years, which means no more than 15 new signees each year and no more than 75 total for the next 3 years (end update). It’ll also have to vacate its wins in 2004.
Some people think this is big news, but other than the Bears having a slightly better shot at winning the Pac-10 and going to the Rose Bowl the next couple years, I don’t think it means much. It’s not enough to effect USC’s program overall. The recruits who have yet to commit are very unlikely to be effected. Plus, particularly if the
20 30 scholarships are over 4 3 years, it’s not going to prevent USC from getting many recruits. Over 2 years may have a larger effect.
So from where I sit, USC will be back to it’s dominant position in
two three years time, unless Kiffen turns out to be a bust (which I don’t think he will).
It’s not written from an unbiased or Cal perspective, but I think it’s a very important article to read: Washington AD Scott Woodward pushes for Pac-10 schools to share all revenue.
Short answer of how football revenue is shared:
Interesting stuff and pretty fair if I must say.
A few days ago the Pac-10 announced Larry Scott as the replacement for Tom Hansen as Pac-10 commissioner. I’ve done a little research in the last few days on Scott and here are my thoughts:
Overall, I don’t know if it was the “right” pick, but I think it was a right-minded pick. The conference realizes the Pac-10 isn’t the easiest sell but also realizes it has a lot to offer. It realizes that it needs someone bold and energetic.
And it made sure it hired someone who met those characteristics.
The “catch” is that it is someone who’s a duck out of water now. For some people, that’s not a problem at all, in fact, it’s a strength. They get to see our problems with a fresh set of eyes. However, there are some people who have a passion for a specific thing and when you take them out of that environment, they cease to have the characteristics that came from their passion.
That’s the risk with Scott, he’s a tennis guy. Was he good at promoting tennis because he’s good at promoting lower-tier sports or because he loves tennis so much? Really, no one will be able to answer that question until the 2010 TV contracts and bowl arrangements come out, and that’s at the very earliest.
Overall, I’m taking an optimistic wait and see attitude.
Well all 6 Pac-10 bowl games are now finished and I thought it would be appropriate to review the conferences performance. Overall the conference was 4-2 with UCLA losing to BYU on a last minute blocked field-goal and ASU losing to Texas rather handily in the Holiday Bowl. Two of the wins were blowouts, USC over Illinois and Oregon over South Florida. Finally, both Cal and Oregon St. spotted their opponent an early lead before taking control of the game in the 2nd half.
I think that speaks very well of the Pac-10 and re-enforces what I thought the relative quality of each of the bowl teams was. ASU, although they had an impressive season, was more consistent than they were good. They could beat a mediocre team every time, but they never showed the ability to beat a good team like USC or Oregon at their prime. It was no surprise that they fell short against a strong Texas team. UCLA was the worst of the bowl teams without question and it was a miracle they were 6-6. The only reason they managed that was because they were gifted a number of victories they didn’t deserve. Fate finally bit them back when a game they probably deserved to win didn’t go their way at the last minute. Nevertheless, the fact that they were in a close game against a on-again, off-again Mountain West team says volumes.
I’ll have more analysis of the actual strength of each conference after the last of the bowls are completed, but for the moment I’ll go so far to say that the Pac-10, although not the best, was one of the better BCS conferences in 2007, both during the season and in their bowl games.
I said earlier that the USC loss was bad for the Pac-10. I still believe that. It’ll hurt, albeit slightly, the Pac-10’s reputation as we lose a marque program at the top of the rankings. The more marque teams we have towards the top of the rankings the better for our national reputation as a conference.
But national reputation is only a small aspect of what Cal fans should care about. Really we care about how the Bears do, not how the Pac-10 does. So, the question remains, is the USC loss good for Cal? Danzig points to an article at Addicted To Quack where the author suggests the loss is good for Oregon, is the same true for Cal?
While I wouldn’t have phrased it the same way they did, I think it’s mostly accurate, with a few glaring errors. Basically, there are two ways to get to a BCS bowl game: win the conference or get an at-large bid. Computing the at-large possibilities is nearly impossible because it’s a delicate balance between the BCS rankings and the specific bowls and what teams appeal to them, so I’ll ignore that aspect at first and come back to it.
The simple way to end up in a BCS bowl game is to win the Pac-10. Anyone with half a brain can tell you, every time your main competition for the title loses, it increases your chances of winning the crown. In that sense, there is no doubt: USC losing is good for Cal. It sets up two situations. 1. If Cal loses to USC, it only takes one other USC loss for Cal to still win the conference. 2. It ensures that with a USC victory, Cal could lose up to two other games and still beat USC for the title. There’s too many permeatations at this point to deliniate them all, but the short matter of it is that if Cal beats UCLA, ASU and USC, it seems pretty unlikely that Cal won’t win the conference. Those teams, along with Oregon, are likely to lose one more and I just don’t see Cal losing to OSU, UW AND Stanford, which is what it would take for our 4 competitors to beat us out in that scenario. So, every way around the block, a USC loss, is good for Cal.
Going back to the at-large bid, there are two scenarios that likely get Cal to a BCS game (note that undefeated means we win the conference, so isn’t included here):
So there we have it. 2 ways to get there that break down into 3 scenarios. One scenario just got better, one scenario just got a bit worse (although it should be noted that a one-loss USC was BCS title game bound before they lost to UCLA) and a last scenario that is unaffected. Personally I think the good scenario out-weighs the bad because more than anything, I want Cal to win the Pac-10 with out that stinking “co” to be at the front of the Champions part.
Final answer: yes, it was good for Cal.
As much as I’m a happy guy that USC got knocked off by Stanford, it was bad for the Pac-10. While it SHOULD mean that the Pac-10 is so strong from top to bottom that even one of the worst teams can beat one of the best teams, that’s not the way it is seen across the nation. It’ll be seen as “the Pac-10 is soft”.
Going across town to the Rose Bowl, UCLA laid an egg against Notre Dame. In fairness to UCLA, although it it something that no one outside of the Pac-10 will ever know, UCLA played most of the game with a walk-on freshman QB who was playing in his first meaningful situation. His turnovers were what pretty much sunk UCLA. Nevertheless, across the nation, this will be seen as “one of the ‘better’ Pac-10 teams got beat by the horribly pathetic and winless Notre Dame!?! Those Pac-10 teams… just as soft as we thought.”
So as much as I’m a closet Notre Dame fan (an occupational hazard of being Catholic) and I think UCLA deserves to be stomped on AND I look forward to knock USC off of their pedestal… let’s make sure we temper that joy with the knowlege that his will be a bad thing for Cal and the Pac-10’s reputation across the nation. Said another way, while it’s still a 50/50 proposition, the likelihood of a GameDay visit to Berkeley on November 10th just took a hit.
On the plus side, USC looks very beatable come November 10th in Berkeley and that Rose Bowl is looking better and better.
UPDATE: With Cal and ASU being Pac-10’s only two undefeated teams, the October 27th matchup in Tempe is shaping up to be another big one. (Cal has OSU at home and UCLA in the Rose Bowl while ASU has Washington at home and then a bye, all games that the two should win.)
Now that the traditional non-conference weeks of the season is over I’m going to start up a weekly item on the state of the Pac-10.