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Apparently we'll make it a 12 pack
Written by EC Rules   
Monday, 14 June 2010 20:15

Alright, the speculation is about over External link. It appears that the Pac-10 that was about to be the Pac-16 is actually going to wind up being the 12 Pac. This thing has been changing hourly so who knows if the scenario will be different tomorrow but it does appear that the die has been cast. The other schools are going to continue to allow disproportionate revenue for the large market programs (Texas and Oklahoma….and Texas A&M to a certain extent) and Texas will be allowed to start their own TV network. Both were non-starters for the Pac-10 and Larry Scott.

 

Good for Mr. Scott. Marginalizing the league in favor of one programs demands would have assured that the Pac-16 had the look of Major League Baseball rather than the NFL. Given that we are probably Pittsburgh in that simile, I would much rather have the chance to be the Pittsburgh Steelers than the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's also assured a little competitive balance for every other sport played beyond football between the schools. Rest assured, college sports aren't really balanced but it goes without saying that the USC and UCLA's don't need any more advantages than they already have.

 

So, what are the key questions for this Pac-12 arrangement if we are to believe that Utah is about to be the 12th External linkprogram invited to the party? At a very cursory level it's a pretty nice deal in terms of competition among the two Universities coming into the fold. Both spend similar amounts on athletics to the bottom three in the Pac-10. In fact, Utah spends less than us currently. We won't go in facing the addition of two USC type programs to begin with and when all the AD's or President's get together at various conferences to decide things like revenue sharing we are more than likely to have allies with these two schools than we would have with Texas, Texas A&M, or Oklahoma.

 

More than anything else, in this topsy turvy world of college athletics and conference alignment, the Pac-10 has added two Universities that badly wanted to be a part of the Pac-10. Just read this incredible article External linkon the University of Colorado and how they received the Pac-10 leadership team and you'll understand that it's more likely that we'll be able to hold these 12 teams together when things will inevitably get tougher with money or when some other conference comes knocking to try and peel away a few schools. We are more likely to see a Pac-12 with these schools still together in a decade than a Pac-16 with several schools only coming on board because of money. It doesn't assure continuity but this might be a true blessing in disguise when we look back on it a decade from now.

 

Let's take a look at the key things to focus on in the coming weeks as we settle into our new arrangement with our friends in Utah and Colorado:

.

What is the TV arrangement going to be?

There is no question that all member schools are in line for a significant raise. As this Forbes article illustrates External link, there is a lot of upside to be gained just by valuing our current markets properly in negotiations with Fox. Apparently, that was something our previous set of leadership was incapable of doing. The question is how much will that raise be? We have expanded our TV market footprint by about 7-10% and most have suggested that is not a big enough leap to justify the additional mouths to feed. However, in combination with some basic negotiation skills I would expect we will see a massive leap in our TV deal.

I am anxious to see what this mystery TV bidder was all about with the Big XII. Does their situation along with SEC and ACC set the market for us? If so, at WSU we could probably expect to see at least a doubling of our TV take from 6.3M to somewhere around 12M. Keep an eye on where we end up as that will happen this year.

 

Do we have the juice to start a Pac-10 Network?

The other variable is whether or not we will now have enough market power to start up a Pac-10 network. That was unquestionably the central goal for the Pac-10 when they courted half of the Big XII. Will owning every major TV market west of Texas get us enough to start our own network? It will be interesting to see what happens on that front in the coming months.

 

Is there a conference championship game now?

One would assume that 12 teams is all about breaking into two divisions and holding a conference championship game. If so, that probably means an additional 1-2 million a year for each school. It makes it just a little harder for a school like WSU to get to the Rose Bowl but the idea of being in a championship game one of these days is awful exciting as well.

 

How will the conference break into group and how will the schedule play out?

A lot of people are talking about the disaster this could be if it closes off California for the Washington schools. I would reserve judgement until I see how the schedules will play out. Obviously, every Northwest school is going to have the same concern about Southern California and it will be interesting to see how Larry Scott handles that. There is a flip side to that coin. The "other than California and Arizona division" is probably going to be a little bit more like the Big XII North was at times. A lot easier to win that side of the bracket and get yourself to a championship game.

 

How will revenue sharing work in the new conference and with the new TV contract?

Larry Scott would not bend on Texas demands to have an outsize share of the pot. What will the arrangement look like among the new 12 pack? Obviously, anything that gets the conference closer to revenue parity on the TV front is good for WSU. They are likely to pick-up allies in Utah and Colorado with that as well. By the way, Mike Bohn who is Colorado's AD has Palouse connections External link having served as AD at Idaho for several years. I'm sure that he is quite familiar with Mr. Moos already.

 

When do we get started??

Does this new thing start in 2012 or 2011? Colorado had indicated that it was a 2012 thing but Nebraska is starting in the Big Ten in 2011. When do we get to kick this thing off?

 

So, there you have it. This idea of a 12 Pac is not a terrible fall back plan and in many ways it could be a great balance between added revenue, competitive balance, and likelihood to stay together over the long term.



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Comments (5)
Kudos to Larry Scott
1 Tuesday, 15 June 2010 07:53
Canyon Coug
.
Yowser.....what a whirlwind week, eh? Kudos to Larry Scott for thinking outside the box (something Tom Hanson never would do) and seeing the possibilities of the first of four 16 team mega-conferences (Big Ten, SEC, and ACC), ultimately leading to a four team playoff for the National Championship. But like so many things in life, all that glitters is not gold and many forces colluded to kill this thing before it gained life (the usual suspects of greed, fear of the unknown, being lazy, etc.). What a ride though, as visions of sugar plums danced in this Coug's head (i.e. playing Texas/Oklahoma at home in Pullman, buckoo bucks flowing in to build out Martin Stadium replete with luxury boxes/second deck, etc.). But now back to reality. With Utah making it a 12 PAC, the confearence will be better and there will be more money flowing into Wazzu's coffers. Bill Moos will spend said monies wisely and we will be better off as a result. But.....it will even take more to build our ability to compete with the new (and existing) players. We must expand our contributing fan base to more than 10,000. We must continue to sell more Season Tickets and fill the stands in support of all Programs. I still contend our future is so bright, we gotta wear shades. Go Cougs!!
realignment
2 Tuesday, 15 June 2010 08:06
Krisb
.
It seems like the Pac 16 could still happen. With the tenuous agreement in the Big 12 (10), all it would take for the whole thing to fall apart and be back at square one is for one of the players in the Big 12 to bolt. If Larry could convince one member that they would be better off in the Pac ? then all bets would be off. It doesn't even matter which school because I don't think anyone thinks the Big 9 is really tenable. What if we add Utah and then lure a couple of B12 teams away? Tx, Ok, etc will then have to decide again where they want to be. Could be the P10+.
conference divisions
3 Tuesday, 15 June 2010 08:21
magic
.
Great post. Regarding how the conference would be aligned in a two-division conference, I think I like the "Zipper" alignment that has been proposed (see http://bit.ly/cCxDLY). It keeps the California exposure but also maintains the natural rivalries. It seems to be the most logical, and I think the author is right to speculate that the NW schools will vote in a block to veto any proposal which isolates them from Cali.
The Zipper
4 Tuesday, 15 June 2010 09:40
EC Rules
.
It looks like this zipper concept that Magic hits on in his comments has legs. Grippi just put out a bit more detail on it. http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2010/jun/15/new-pac-10-and-wsu/ Honestly, I freakin love it. Creates some new rivalries among the six we'd be grouped up with and it preserves the old with UW.
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5 Tuesday, 19 July 2011 00:15
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.
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