1. Athlon Sports has a list of five bold predictions for the Pac-12 football season. The first two are bold in a very good way- that the Pac-12 will end its CFP dry spell and produce a Heisman Trophy winner. Unfortunately, the author bestows both honors to lame duck USC on their way out of the conference. He does list UW among the favorites for the conference, but picks Oregon State to make the title game ahead of the Dawgs. The place where he comes down squarely in UW’s favor is in his final prediction- that Michael Penix will be one of three Pac-12 QBs drafted in the first round, alongside Caleb Williams and Bo Nix.
2. It was a roller coaster of a Super Regional, but Stanford outlasted Texas to punch their ticket to the Men’s College World Series. After Texas took game one by scoring five runs in the ninth, the Cardinal rode ace pitcher Quinn Mathews in game two. Mathews struck out 16 on 156 pitches in a performance that would have fit right in with former Bay Area neighbor Dusty Baker’s Giants in the Barry Bonds era. On Sunday, Texas scored three in the eighth to tie the game, but Stanford got a walk-off bloop single in the ninth when Texas’s center fielder lost the ball in the lights. Stanford’s road does not get any easier as they will face #1 overall seed Wake Forest in their first game in Omaha.
3. College sports administrators have been pleading with Congress to pass legislation on NIL and provide some regulatory clarity. I’m not sure this is what they had in mind. The lower chamber of the California state legislature passed a bill that would require a revenue split with scholarship athletes in revenue-generating sports. More specifically, it would apply to any program that earns at least $10 million annually for its media rights and would require 50% of that program’s total revenue to be divided among scholarship athletes in that sport. Based on budget disclosures, the current rate for Cal is less than 10%, so the increase to 50% would be astronomical, but it would be in line with the revenue distribution for major sports where players have collective bargaining rights (NBA, 50%; NFL 48%).
4. Coug Center breaks down the limited happenings in a relatively quiet part of the Pac-12 year. They note that Cam Ward is one of seven Pac-12 QBs invited to the Manning Passing Academy. Yes, Michael Penix is also on the invite list. The link has more to do with a fun anecdote about visiting the Army campus than anything about the Pac-12, though.
5. Jon Wilner has this week’s update in the never-ending soap opera of the Pac-12 media rights negotiations. He points out that the verbal agreement over the grand of rights language, which governs the distribution of revenue within the conference, is a crucial step. Nonetheless, so many dominos remain standing and won’t start to fall until the conference finishes negotiating a media rights deal.
I know we had some players we were hoping to keep in Boulder after Coach Prime got here but when you hear stuff like this it just reemphasizes how important culture is for any program. New era in Boulder. #SkoBuffs #WECOMING pic.twitter.com/48vIdLtAgy— SkoBuffs Nation (@SkoBuffsNation) June 12, 2023
6. While I’m sure everyone is a little bit tired of Coach Prime headlines until Colorado actually plays a football game, he continues to dominate on the recruiting trail. The Buffs had a big weekend hosting official visits and it immediately paid dividends. Colorado got three commitments from the weekend already, including a blue chip DL and a blue chip WR. The one three-star recruit who committed just picked Colorado over Clemson and Alabama. Even if it’s not a brand new story, the turning of the recruiting tide from where Colorado was just six months ago is shocking.