It has been awhile since I have run this feature but it is definitely time to take a walk around the Pac 12 blogging community to gauge the reactions of what has been going on over the last couple of weeks. How to split the conference into two divisions, Larry Scott, and reactions to Texas seems to be the big topics on the plate this morning.
I want to give a special welcome the Utah and Colorado SBN blogs who have joined our Pac 12 network over the last week. I am big fans of both of them and like the schools they represent they bring a lot to the table!
Welcome to the Pac 12!
The Oregon State blog concentrates on the Texas conspiracy theory.
Realistically, Texas surely had hopes of something similar to what played out in mind, but that doesn't mean they weren't seriously considering the Pac-16 as well. That just didn't turn out to be their best option. Texas isn't the most productive sports marketing program at the college level just because Texas is big, though that's an advantage they wisely leverage.
The death of a round robin schedule is discussed over at our Oregon blog.
The days of the Pac-12 are almost upon us. While the additions of Colorado and Utah excite me on almost every level, the one aspect of their addition that saddens me is that the round robin is dead, and in its stead will be a conference championship game. This, of course, means more money; but it also means that we are actually going to have to play in some of these.
Bruins Nation focuses on the story that a firestorm is developing over the North/South split.
This is getting interesting already. Now Larry Scott is officially saying that the Pac-10 has not decided how the conference will be split up. From Jon Wilner in the San Jose Mercury News:
"We haven’t decided yet," Scott said. "There’s a process we’ll now go through, working closely with our athletic directors, to dig into those questions — whether to have a championship football game and whether to have divisions."
The Arizona blog concentrates on the alignment debate.
Now, the division alignment debate begins. Everyone will be gunning to be included in the SoCal division, while I'm sure everyone would like to avoid the Utah/Colorado side. Utah has a recent history of busting major BCS programs, and Colorado, well Colorado just has not been very good lately.
The Cal blog takes a closer look at Larry Scott.
And now here's a story something the Texas-hater in all of us Cal fans should love (although if you want TRUE Texas hating with no basis in reality, check out Clay Travis's Fanhouse takedown that Glanko found). Chip Brown has apparently written the "definitive take" on conference realignment. And, well what do you know, apparently Texas didn't do nothin' wrong. It was our overambitious, bridge-too-far Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott!
Coug Center reports that Utah and Colorado could start play in 2011.
We've tried to answer the how, looking at divisional alignment, but many of you may be wonder when the Pac-12 will begin play. Some of those questions are beginning to be answered, with Utah announcing today that they'd be joining the Pac-10 in 2011.
As a side note, If you haven't welcomed Utah or Colorado to the Pac-10, hop over to BlockU (Utah) and Ralphie Report (CU). Not only have we added two great schools, but their SBN blogs are just as good.
It is a good day to be a Ute!
Demand for attending today's press conference at one was so big, the U decided to open the stadium and allow people to watch it on the video board. So if you live in Salt Lake, get down to Rice-Eccles Stadium and usher in a new era of Utah football!
If you're stuck at work or out of town, no worries. You can watch the press conference live here.
I'm gonna head down to the stadium to catch it, so I'll probably report on what happened when I return.
It has been awhile since I linked to the Wines blog which is an oversight but I love these guys! They have redesigned their blog in a very good way!
Looks like ASU wasn't looking forward to having Texas and Oklahoma in the same division.
Breathe a little. It looks like the Sun Devils football schedule will not be top 10 in the SOS rankings every year. With the decision of the Longhorns, Aggies, Sooners, and Cowboys to remain in the Big-12 minus 2, the Devils will continue to have a shot at a Pac-10 title, a longshot for the time being.
Welcome to the Ralphie Report! So what exactly is Bohn smoking? What exactly is Larry Scott smoking? Didn't they have this all worked out in advance?
Playing in a South division instead of a North with the Bay Area, Oregon and Washington schools was a must for Colorado to accept an invitation. Its largest out-of-state alumni base is in Southern California.
"That is a huge boost for us," Bohn said. "The Southern division for the University of Colorado provides many opportunities that are keys to reaching our alumni to our recruiting and to enhance media exposure that connects best to the Denver market."
So how exactly does Larry Scott get this handled? Is the zipper back on the table? Jon Wilner wants to know!
So what happened? Either:
1. Bohn was misinformed or overplaying his hand, which I doubt.
2. He was misled, which I also doubt.
3. Scott figured that his vision — a North-South split with the Bay Area, Oregon and Washington schools grouped together — would be fine with everyone involved.
USC is excited by expansion but they just got hit with an anvil by the NCAA.
As I've said before on here, as a fan, the idea of expansion, whether to 12 or 16 teams, is an exciting alternative for a conference, that for the past 20 years, has seemingly been a bastion of conservatism and rejected nearly every possible method of generating more revenue.
Under the direction of former commissioner Tom Hansen, the league appeared content with being an after-thought in the college football world. (minus USC of course ;) Now, under the watch of Larry Scott, that all seems to be changing.
Just last week, the conference nearly added powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas to the fray, and today, it has essentially finalized the creation of a 12-team league coupled with a conference championship game.
In short, Scott has accomplished more in one year than Hansen did during his entire tenure. Thus far, Scott has been proactive, aggressive, and more than willing to find ways to improve the conference as a hole.
This is one of the best blogs in college football. The WSU football blog doesn't think the North/South is a big deal.
So I know some of you - myself included - thought the idea of the Northwest Pac-12 schools losing out on playing the LA schools on an annual basis would be a big deal.
It is now very clear that the new Pac-12 alignments are going to be North-South, as reported and acknowledged several times over the last couple of days.
The "zipper" scheme that some have floated, which would split the state schools in opposite divisions, appears to have lost out to geography. The picture above does a nice job showing the new divisions (the left is Pac-12 South, on the right is Pac-12 North. And thanks to "westcoastute" from the Cougfan message boards for the picture).
Anyway, the North isn't going to come away empty-handed in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. California is right there with Texas and Florida in terms of producing BCS-level talent on an annual basis, that much is no secret. SI.com did a big story last year, breaking down exactly where the talent resides in the country. Having at least a guaranteed road game against the Bay Area schools is a big win for the NW schools, no doubt about it.
Does anyone really think that Texas A&M would have been a good cultural fit for the Pac 10?
Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne blamed his "irish temper" for what is now his confirmed voicemail challenge to an email sender who accused him of having his tongue up Deloss Dodds' ass, a charge which would anger anyone who's ever seen the endless stream of barely cooked steaks Dodds feeds on daily.
...and for those of you who liked it BILL BYRNE WILL PERSONALLY CALL AND THREATEN YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER FOR ONLY $199 DOLLARS! Fundraising was never made so easy.
So is the "Not So Big 12" the hunter or the hunted?
Just when it looked like realignment in college athletics might be winding down, multiple sources in the Big 12 told Orangebloods.com Arkansas has put out feelers about a possible move to the Big 12 to reconnect with former Southwest Conference rivals like Texas and Texas A&M.
Those sources said Arkansas currently doesn't have the votes among the Big 12 schools to join the league. But those sources said they would need to see how the television money would work if adding a school or two to know if they'd vote for expansion.
Bob tales a look at UW's limited history with Utah.
When Colorado was admitted to the Pac-10 last week, it wasn't hard to come up with some memorable football games between the Huskies and Buffs that will at least allow fans to feel some sense of rivalry when the two start meeting again regularly.
Utah, though, is a different story.
Ted Miller breaks the news that Colorado and Utah were not guaranteed a spot in the South division. He alsp illustrates the problem of with travel associated with the zipper.
Earlier in the week, it appeared a North-South divisional split was the plan. In fact, Colorado AD Mike Bohn apparently believes this lineup -- with Colorado in the South -- was promised to him before the Buffaloes agreed to go west and leave the Big 12. Scott said, however, that no decision has been made on the divisional lineup.
"We know what [Colorado] wants," Scott said. "[The North-South split] is not part of our contract [with Colorado]."
Larry Scott's legacy is all tied to the next TV contracts the conference signs according to the AP.
Scott shot big by going after Texas, Oklahoma and three other Big 12 schools that eventually turned him down. The conference settled for expanding into the Mountain time zone, but couldn’t crack the lucrative Texas market.
The verdict on how successful Scott’s plan was won’t come until the conference negotiates its new television deals next year, which could include the creation of its own network to rival the Big Ten’s.