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Pac-12 Notes

May 15th

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NIL issues will pale in comparison to $50M (per school per year) disparities between conferences

From ESPN … While all this NIL tail chasing is happening, the Big Ten and SEC are pulling so far away from their alleged peer power leagues so quickly that we appear poised for another seismic realignment shift soon because of the revenue gap. And the only reason people haven’t seen this coming is they are distracted by nonsense.

The smart leaders who aren’t in either of those two power leagues know they are soon going to be competing against schools that receive nearly double the annual revenue from their conferences. This is an unsustainable competitive model that’s destined to shake up college sports much sooner and more drastically than is being discussed right now.

“The solution is smaller units that don’t trigger antitrust,” said another prominent college leader, meaning wholesale decisions can’t be made for the country but rather made in smaller groupings. “I’m not sure it’s the way that we think of the conferences as units today.”

Instead of worrying about NIL inducements, the real play here is for conferences to stop worrying about NCAA regulation and create a model that uses the incoming billions to create inducements.

Forget shiny new facilities and weight rooms. The Big Ten and SEC should be finding ways to leverage revenues that project to be as much as double that of their peers in a few years to distance themselves on the field. The other power leagues should be using brain power to find creative ways to keep up. In the mid-2020s, Navigate Research projects that each Big Ten and SEC school will be making in the neighborhood of $100 million in league payouts and the next three leagues — ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 — will be taking in about half that.

Projections are fickle, and specifics that far out are tricky. But even a $30 million gap annually — the most conservative of estimates — would be unsustainable competitively for big brands like USC, Oregon, Clemson and UNC.

Florida would never lose a recruit to Florida State if it could flex the inevitable financial superiority. Same for Ohio State going up against USC.

All those presidents don’t need their fancy degrees to agree that the talent acquisition model for a billion-dollar business should be more sophisticated than relying on outside collectives to recruit and retain players while pretending they aren’t. That’s essentially the business model right now for the talent — let a former star quarterback start an NFT fund to lure the next one. Or let the courts decide how the awkward outside model should work. This is all about as sustainable as retirement planning by betting red in roulette.

“Everyone is so stuck in what has been,” said another prominent official. “They struggle to see what could be. Everyone is so NIL focused, but it’s not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The reason it has become what it’s become is because we have been suppressing the value of the marketplace.”

The presidents have to bury all the amateurism propaganda they’ve sprouted for decades and realize their days of talent-for-scholarship deals in college football and basketball have ended. Revenue sports are going to cost them more to run. They need to figure out a model to attract the best talent. The revenue streams are there.

Continue reading story here

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May 14th

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NCAA’s delays in ASU scandal hurting Sun Devils more than actual accusations?

From the San Jose Mercury News

How does ASU coach Herm Edwards still have a job after throwing his staff under the bus of the NCAA and losing his best players to the portal? — @SirCharles_OG

This has replaced ‘When will DirecTV carry the Pac-12 Networks?’ as the most frequently asked question on the Hotline.

And unlike the DTV matter, we don’t have a good answer, other than Edwards remains employed because ASU president Michael Crow wants Edwards employed.

Clearly, Crow seemingly has little regard for top-down accountability. Edwards’ coaching staff laid waste to the NCAA rulebook, but Edwards himself remains untouched.

At this point, the Sun Devils would be unable to hire a capable replacement. It’s too close to the season and the arrival of the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations (NOA), which will detail the formal charges against the program. No capable coach would accept the job without knowing the extent of the inevitable sanctions.

ASU’s options are limited: Stick with Edwards, at least until the NOA arrives; or promote an assistant to the role of interim head coach.

Either way, the rest of the Pac-12 South is undoubtedly appreciative of the manner in which Crow and athletic director Ray Anderson have handled the situation.

ASU’s high school recruiting is in a deep freeze, creating opportunities for competitors.

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May 13th

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Year One under Pac-12 Commissioner Kliavkoff: “George has done an absolutely outstanding job in very difficult circumstances’’

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 surprised its fans and the college sports world at large on May 13, 2021, when it named George Kliavkoff, the president of MGM Sports and Entertainment, as the seventh commissioner in conference history.

But Kliavkoff “won the first day,” according to Oregon president Michael Schill, chair of the Pac-12 board. “He got us all to like him and have that level of confidence that he had the skill set for what it would take to be successful.”

And to hear Kliavkoff’s bosses tell it, the winning streak is 364 days and counting.

“He has exceeded expectations,’’ Washington State president Kirk Schulz said. “I thought he would be a great listener and suggest new ideas, but I’m impressed by how quickly he has developed into a national leader on issues like name, image and likeness (NIL) and the alliance (with the Big Ten and ACC) and in talking to our media partners.

“The board didn’t lay all this out; he just did it. Not only has he done okay, but I’d argue that he has become a leader after what I would say were four or five years of stagnation.”

To mark the anniversary of Kliavkoff’s appointment, the Hotline reached out to three university presidents who were instrumental in the hiring process: Schill, Schulz and Washington’s Ana Mari Cauce.

— Shaping the narrative.

“He has changed the narrative of negativity around the Pac-12 and really brought people together,’’ Schill said.

“It’s very hard for an organization to make progress when there’s only criticism out there, when you are constantly defending, constantly rehabilitating. It’s one step forward and one back, and there’s no progress.

“I’m not saying that (media) narrative was wrong, but it’s nice not to have that narrative.”

Continue reading story here

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May 12th

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NCAA Committee recommends allowing conference freedom to determine who competes in conference championships

From The Athletic … Fans who miss seeing old rivals play or dislike seeing the same few teams repeatedly appear in conference championships have reason for excitement. College football is a step closer to seeing some conferences scrap divisions and form new formats to determine who plays in the conference championship game.

Currently, a conference must play a full round-robin schedule to hold a championship game if it does not have two divisions, as the Big 12 has done since 2017. (The American Athletic Conference has operated for the last two years with an exemption waiver.)

But on April 28, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee recommended the Division I Council remove the requirements to hold a conference championship game and exempt it from the maximum number of games. This recommendation, which is not official but expected to be approved by the Council later this month, would allow conferences freedom to determine who competes in the conference championship game.

Why give conferences freedom to determine own championship?

Chris Vannini, national writer: Several conferences have had discussions in recent months about scrapping divisions. As leagues have ballooned in size, including the SEC soon moving to 16 teams with Oklahoma and Texas, conference schools have gone long periods of time without playing each other. Many formats have been discussed, like pods or a few permanent rivals and more rotating games.

Some divisions in the current setup are also heavily unbalanced. The Big Ten has been won by its East division team in all eight years since the reorganization. Conversely, the Big 12 has also discussed splitting back into two divisions once it adds four new members.

More than anything, the new rule would allow more teams to play each other in a shorter window of time and make it easier for conferences to pit their top two teams in the championship game.

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May 11th

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CU’s odds to win the Pac-12 set at 200:1 (only Arizona, at 500:1, is lower)

From the San Jose Mercury News … If the oddsmakers are right, there won’t be much parity across Pac-12 divisions next season.

Four of the top-five betting favorites to win the conference championship are from the South, according to recently-released odds from @betonline_ag.

Among the North contingent, only Oregon is given a strong chance.

USC
Odds to win the Pac-12: 2-to-1

Oregon
Odds: 11-to-5

Utah
Odds: 5-to-1

Arizona State
Odds: 8.5-to-1

UCLA
Odds: 8.5-to-1

Washington
Odds: 11-to-1

Washington State
Odds: 33-to-1

Oregon State
Odds: 40-to-1

California
Odds: 66-to-1

Stanford
Odds: 80-to-1

Colorado
Odds: 200-to-1
Home: UCLA, Cal, Arizona State, Oregon, Utah
Road: Arizona, Oregon State, USC, Washington
Misses: Stanford and Washington State
Comment: The Buffaloes were 100-to-1 to win the Pac-12 back in 2016, when they rose from nowhere to claim the South (but lost in the title game). Given the personnel and the strength atop the division, we would need something in the 500-to-1 range to get comfortable with a wager on CU this fall. The roster isn’t what it was in ’16.

Arizona
Odds: 500-to-1
Home: Colorado, USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State
Road: Cal, Washington, Utah, UCLA
Misses: Stanford, Oregon State
Comment: Speaking of 500-to-1 … The Wildcats are worth a dime (that’s a $1,000 to you and me) at this number, especially if you give them a prayer of a chance of winning in Salt Lake City. Quarterback Jayden de Laura came within a game of taking the North title last year with WSU, so the Wildcats have a foundation for high-level success at the most important position.

Continue reading story here

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May 10th

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Updated Pac-12 picks: Arizona positioned to “zoom past Colorado”; “CU an easy pick for the bottom of the division”

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … Spring practice is complete, coaching staffs are set, the transfer cycle is coming to a close and a morsel of clarity has emerged from the Pac-12 haze.

The Hotline feels confident enough to declare all the offseason roster tumult has changed … absolutely nothing.

Oregon and Utah remain our picks for the division races, albeit with margins not as wide as they once were.

(Note: Projections were previously published in January.) …

4. Arizona State
Previous: 5
Best case: third
Worst case: sixth
Comment: The Sun Devils received a rare bit of good news last week when Florida quarterback Emory Jones announced his transfer to ASU — and immediately became the frontrunner for the job. We believe Jones could be the difference between a middle- and bottom-tier finish. But no evaluation of ASU would be complete without mentioning the potential for the recruiting scandal to decimate the ’22 season, with a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA forcing the immediate termination of coach Herm Edwards.

5. Arizona
Previous: 4
Best case: third
Worst case: sixth
Comment: The progress in Tucson is undeniable, but the degree of progress is immeasurable until competition begins. Our hunch is the Wildcats have exited the realm of the awful and moved into that crowded space occupied by the mediocre. Certainly, they are positioned to zoom past Colorado, but have they caught ASU? Perhaps. Jayden de Laura’s arrival helps immensely in that regard, but as with so many teams, Arizona’s success hinges on the frequency with which the defense gets off the field on third down and the offensive line keeps the pocket clear.

6. Colorado
Previous: 6
Best case: fourth
Worst case: sixth
Comment: The roster depletion, combined with questions about the quarterbacks, made CU an easy pick for the bottom of the division. In fact, the Buffaloes won’t escape the South cellar without help. They need Arizona’s recovery to stall unexpectedly and ASU’s season to implode. Otherwise, there isn’t enough of anything to support a marked uptick in what we would describe as an important but not critical year for coach Karl Dorrell. Our strong sense is that ’23 will be the make-or-break season for his tenure.

Continue reading story here

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May 9th 

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Report: Pac-12 may scrap divisional play as early as 2023

From the San Jose Mercury News … While an official pivot could be weeks or months away, it’s clear to us that the Pac-12 football model in place since the 2011 season won’t last the next four years.

Why four years? Because expansion of the College Football Playoff has been delayed until the 2026 season, leaving the conference to navigate four years of the four-team event.

As soon as the 2023 season, we expect structural changes to the Pac-12’s division format and, consequently, how the championship game participants are determined.

The current model leaves the conference at risk of an unranked division champion upsetting a highly-ranked division champion and thereby eliminating the Pac-12 from the CFP.

Eliminate divisions, and you can match the best teams.

The conference is several significant steps away from restructuring:

1) The coaches and athletic directors must approve.

2) The presidents and chancellors must sign off.

3) The NCAA must change the policy that governs participation in football championships.

(Currently, conferences with at least 12 teams must have divisions in order to hold a title game. However, the Football Oversight Committee is considering a policy tweak that would permit championships regardless of the conference structure, according to a report from CBS Sports.)

We’re probably too late in the calendar for the Pac-12 to implement any changes for 2022, but we fully expect a different model by the ’23 season.

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May 7th

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NCAA committee: “Inducement pieces. We gotta kill that. If we don’t kill that now, forget it”

… I would laugh if this didn’t make me cry. Is there anyone on the planet who didn’t see this coming two years ago? And yet the NCAA came up with nothing. Now that the big schools have taken advantage, and have stocked their rosters, now the NCAA wants to act quickly to close the barn door well after the horses have gotten out … 

From CBS Sports … An expedited NCAA enforcement process addressing name, image and likeness rights abuses is expected to pass as early as Monday, sources tell CBS Sports. How effective it will be — as the NIL culture chaotically spreads — is up for debate.

“We know we’re going to get lawsuits,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told CBS Sports on Friday.

Smith is a member of a little-known NIL working group formed about two months ago to deal with growing questions of illicit activity. Despite the threat of legal liability, Smith said the NCAA and his subcommittee are determined to put up meaningful guardrails around NIL, which in some cases has edged close to pay-for-play.

The working group’s recommendations submitted this week primarily deal with booster involvement. Several monied boosters have developed “collectives” establish NIL opportunities for athletes. NCAA stakeholders have long been suspicious of such collectives becoming direct inducements for recruits and transfer candidates.

“What’s happening in that space is what we were all fearful of,” Smith said. “What’s going on — on campuses [with existing scholarship athletes] — currently is fine. It’s the inducement pieces. We gotta kill that. If we don’t kill that now, forget it.”

The most likely penalty for boosters, who are not compelled to cooperate in NCAA investigations, is the threat of disassociation from a school. A disassociation means a subject cannot interact with the university in any way.

Former Trojans star Reggie Bush was famously disassociated from USC for 10 years after the NCAA handed down its penalties to him in 2010.

If boosters are found to have collaborated with a program to use NIL benefits as an incentive to lure prospects to the school, the penalties could be severe, Smith said. Options include cutting scholarships, instituting recruiting restrictions and hitting programs and perhaps coaches with lack of institutional control penalties. Those are punishments associated with Level I violations.

Continue reading story here

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May 6th

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Pac-12 Post-Spring Wrap-Up: CU’s offensive line “will take a small step forward”

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Hotline devoted 18 hours this week to watching the relevant portions of every Pac-12 spring football game in order to solidify our grasp of the conference ahead of the 2022 season.

While we won’t name names, some ‘games’ were vastly more instructive than others.

A few were real, old-fashioned scrimmages.

Others, not so much.

With that, we present a quick-hitting overview of the good, bad, known, unknown, likely, possible and everything in between across the conference …

Arizona
Projected QB: Jayden de Laura (from Washington State)
Key stat: The Wildcats were dead last in the FBS in red zone touchdown percentage in 2021, scoring on just 12 of 39 trips (31 percent).
Player to watch: DE Jalen Harris. If Arizona doesn’t increase its pressure off the edges, the defense won’t make a great leap forward. Harris is the key to that process.
Season opener: Sept. 3 at San Diego State
Comment: The offense will be more effective with de Laura in charge and a slew of taller receivers, but the degree of improvement hinges on the offensive line. If the Wildcats can’t run the ball or protect the pocket, de Laura’s impact will be greatly minimized. The front five is better, but is it good enough? We remain skeptical.

Arizona State
Projected QB: Trenton Bourguet
Key stat: The quarterbacks competing for the start job (Bourguet, Paul Tyson and Daylin McLemore) have thrown a combined 28 passes in their careers.
Player to watch: S Khoury Bethley. The transfer (from Hawaii) must solidify a secondary that was hit hard by attrition and could turn from greatest strength to biggest weakness.
Season opener: Sept. 1 vs. NAU
Comment: Since the spring game on April 9, the Sun Devils have lost three key players to the transfer portal, including top receiver Ricky Pearsall, leaving the program with even more questions than it had when the workouts began. Who knew an NCAA recruiting scandal and no plan for NIL would lead to massive roster depletion.

Colorado
Projected QB: Brendon Lewis
Key stat: Among Power Five teams, only Indiana averaged fewer yards-per-play last season than the Buffaloes (4.4). The next-closest Pac-12 team was Arizona (4.9 ypp).
Player to watch: WR Daniel Arias. The 6-foot-4 senior stands as CU’s best playmaker following key personnel losses (hello, Brenden Rice) to the transfer portal.
Season opener: Sept. 2 vs. TCU
Comment: There are questions everywhere, across all units on both sides of scrimmage, and quarterback tops the lengthy list. But we suspect the offensive line will take a small step forward under the leadership of new position coach Kyle DeVan. And if you can make progress anywhere, that’s not a bad place to start.

Continue reading story here

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Macy 5th

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CBS Sports post-spring Top 25 includes three Pac-12 teams

From CBS Sports … As usual, spring football didn’t teach us much. Coaches didn’t reveal formations, trends or strategy because, well, why would they Still, some progress was made, and that’s what we are here to dissect.

USC just looks different as it tries a complete makeover under new coach Lincoln Riley following a 4-8 season. How many of those stud freshmen signed by Texas A&M can Jimbo Fisher coach up to contribute immediately in 2022? Texas can’t wait to get started with a new quarterback — and outlook — as Steve Sarkisian enters Year 2.

The usual suspects are at the top heading toward the regular season with Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia all easy calls. However, it was difficult finding what projects as a potential fourth playoff team.

Michigan loses too much. Texas A&M isn’t ready. The pick here is Oklahoma at No. 4 … for now. Brent Venables has never been a head coach, but Lincoln Riley left quite a cupboard. Meanwhile, don’t discount Baylor as on the rise given it is still the defending Big 12 champions.

No. 9 … Utah … That was more than Utah’s first Rose Bowl last January. It was a defining moment for the program. The Utes went toe-to-toe with Ohio State. The defending Pac-12 champs should make a return to the Rose Bowl. Gritty Cam Rising returns at quarterback. Stanford linebacker Gabe Reid arrives via the portal. The biggest “move” for the Utes might have been no move at all. Kyle Whittingham, 62, didn’t retire in the offseason. Way-too-early ranking: 13

No. 14 … USC … Just to get to a bowl game would be a dramatic improvement. But that’s why USC is paying Lincoln Riley a reported $110 million over 10 years. Riley must develop a running game and some toughness in both lines. Quarterback Caleb Williams is the headliner in Hollywood. Way-too-early ranking: 14

No. 18 … Oregon … First-time head coach Dan Lanning is the Ducks’ fourth coach since 2016. Cristobal said he left the cupboard loaded. It certainly is on defense where Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell return trying to lead Oregon to a fourth consecutive Pac-12 championship game. Way-too-early ranking: 18

Read full story here

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May 4th

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Ohio State AD begins push to have CFP separate from the NCAA: “We need different rules”

From ESPN … With the collegiate landscape in the midst of sweeping changes and uncertainties, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith on Tuesday proposed the 10 FBS conferences operate under the umbrella of the College Football Playoff with their own rules and structure while the NCAA continues to host championships for basketball and Olympic sports.

Smith, who said he was “just throwing ideas out” in a brief interview with ESPN at the Big Ten spring meetings, said the schools that offer 85 scholarships “need different rules.” He said they could create minimum standards for membership.

“We [can] create our own rules, create our own governance structure, have our own enforcement, we have our own requirements, whatever that might be,” Smith said. ” … That might be in the medical space, for example, if a student-athlete is injured and hurt in his or her senior year. You take care of them when they’re done until they’re healed. And we have the funding in place to do that. You don’t touch anything else with the NCAA. You keep the academic requirements in place. The reality is, those schools who offer 85 scholarships in football have made a different commitment and that needs to be addressed.”

Smith said he’s shared the idea with some of his peers and has received mixed reviews. His suggestion comes at a time when the NCAA and Big 12 are both searching for new leaders, the NCAA is restructuring its entire governance and weighty issues like name, image and likeness and the transfer portal have dominated discussions here.

Smith said the FCS championship for college football should remain untouched, but the FBS could follow the same model. He pointed out that as the FBS commissioners continue to consider an expanded playoff beyond the 2025 season, they’re only talking about those 10 leagues and Notre Dame.

“The CFP model needs to be looked at differently,” Smith said. “As we consider expansion, we ought to consider the structure. The reality is we need to begin to control our own space. We’ve got to make sure we’re careful with antitrust, but at the end of the day, we need different rules.”

Colorado athletic director Rick George said he’s been saying for years that college football needs somebody to oversee the sport in the same way college basketball is run with Dan Gavitt, who is the senior vice president of basketball at the NCAA.

“College football needs the same thing,” he said.

Continue reading story here

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May 2nd

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Pac-12 Spring Meetings this week – with no lack of discussion topics

From the San Jose Mercury News … Conference executives, athletic directors, head coaches and other campus officials will convene in Scottsdale this week for the Pac-12’s annual spring meetings. But the story isn’t the participants; it’s the backdrop.

The meetings will unfold during a revolutionary era in college athletics, with momentous change targeting the revenue-producing sports and enhancing the Pac-12’s competitive challenges.

The four-day meetings, which begin Monday, are being held in-person for the first time since 2019. The agenda is packed with weighty issues.

Topics include, but aren’t limited to:

— College Football Playoff expansion
— Name, image and likeness opportunities
— Alterations to the transfer portal
— The ongoing transformation of the NCAA organization
— Pac-12 media rights negotiations
— The potential sale of statistics to gambling companies

We don’t expect the conference to announce significant changes this week on any front. Major policy shifts require approval by the presidents and chancellors, and they aren’t scheduled to meet until the middle of the month.

But the gathering will allow the coaches, athletic directors, commissioner George Kliavkoff and associate commissioner Merton Hanks to take an in-person plunge into the best strategic options for Pac-12 football.

The conference is mulling changes to the schedule (continue with nine league games or drop to eight) and the future of the division format — all with the goal of maximizing opportunities to send teams to the playoff.

But options that might have worked for a 12-team event must be reconsidered with expansion on hold until the 2026 season. The Pac-12 needs to develop a plan that best positions the conference during the remaining years of the four-team playoff.

Continue reading story here

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April 29th

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College Football Playoff talks stalled: “We’re not talking about it”

From ESPN … The sun was shining Wednesday afternoon at the sprawling Four Seasons resort as the 10 FBS commissioners and College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock gathered in person for the first time since their tense playoff expansion meetings at the national championship game in Indianapolis almost four months ago.

And yet, there was no change on where they left matters, as they avoided any substantive discussions this week about the future of their sport’s postseason.

“We’re not talking about it,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said bluntly during a break between the annual meetings, which instead focused on the usual mundane playoff recaps with bowl partners, ESPN television executives and athletic directors who participated in the 2022 CFP.

As far as the topic of expansion was concerned, Sankey compared it to the sitcom “Seinfeld”: a “show about nothing.”

This placid meet-up was a complete reversal from months of sometimes contentious conversations and stressful meetings that boiled over and played out publicly until they ultimately culminated in February with an 8-3 vote that will keep the four-team format in place for four more years. For now, the issue of college football’s championship format beyond the 2025 season is on pause — most likely for another year. No expansion meetings are currently scheduled, and no changes have been made to how the four best teams are determined.

“I don’t sense any momentum for conversations on the side at the moment,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN recently.

Continue reading story here

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Pac-12 sees slight uptick with four first-round draft picks 

2022 Pac-12 first-round draft picks … No. 5 – Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon – New York Giants … No. 8 – Drake London, WR, USC – Atlanta Falcons … No. 21 – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington – Kansas City Chiefs … No. 27 – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah – Jacksonville Jaguars …

2022 First Round picks, by Power Five Conference:

  • SEC – 12
  • Big Ten – 7
  • Pac-12 – 4
  • ACC – 3
  • Big 12 – 0

From the San Jose Mercury News … Success in the first round matters, particularly on the recruiting trail. Elite prospects from the West Coast are motivated by two factors to sign with powerhouses elsewhere: The chance to participate in the College Football Playoff, and the lure of becoming a first-round pick.

On both fronts, the Pac-12 is lagging: It hasn’t placed a team in the CFP since the 2016 season and typically generates fewer first-round selections than most peers.

First-round picks by Power Five conference from 2019-21:

SEC: 36
Big Ten: 19
ACC: 16
Pac-12: 9
Big 12: 8

“The Pac-12 isn’t in its golden age,” said Randy Mueller, a former NFL general manager (Miami and New Orleans) who runs a Seattle-based scouting service.

“The difference between out here and the schools in the east is the big guys. You watch some of those teams play, and on the lines, it’s a different game. And the exodus of high school quarterbacks going other places hasn’t helped.”

How far has the Pac-12’s overall talent production fallen?

The nine first-round picks produced over the past three years equal the number from a single draft in the middle of the last decade.

In 2015, the conference had nine Day One picks. Not surprisingly, that draft followed one of the best regular seasons in conference history with Oregon reaching the College Football Playoff and six teams included in the end-of-season AP top-25 poll.

The paucity of first-rounders in recent years tracks closely with the dearth of playoff participants and ranked teams.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” Mueller said.

The lack of first-rounders and playoff success prompts elite recruits to sign elsewhere, which further undermines the product and exacerbates the recruiting challenges.

Or as Stanford coach David Shaw explained last year: “There’s that cycle of, if you want great players to come into your program, you have to show them that you can help great players improve and live that NFL dream.”

Continue reading story here

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April 28th

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NCAA Transformation Committee considering revolutionary changes: “It’s going to make some heads explode”

From Sports Illustrated … Imagine a college sports world where schools are able to offer each baseball player a full scholarship. Or if a football team’s on-field coaching staff could exceed 25 people.

What if the transfer portal was open to players for just three months out of the year? And what if the recruiting calendar featured no evaluation or quiet periods?

There is a distinct possibility these ideas could become more than just concepts.

The Transformation Committee, a group of high-ranking college leaders charged with overhauling and modernizing NCAA governance, is considering revolutionary changes some administrators describe as “radical.” In a briefing with athletic administrators this week in Dallas, committee leaders revealed ideas to deregulate longtime NCAA bylaws and decentralize such decisions to the conferences.

“It’s going to make some heads explode,” says one athletic director.

The Transformation Committee decided to share the concepts in an apparent effort to prepare administrators for impending change that is even more transformative than many expected. And many officials believe Tuesday night’s announcement that NCAA president Mark Emmert plans to resign next June is a first step in what will be a new NCAA, with transforming starting at the very top.

Several athletic administrators and college sports insiders discussed the Transfer Committee’s concepts under the condition of anonymity. They include (1) eliminating scholarship caps on sports that offer only partial scholarships; (2) abolishing the limitation on the number of coaches per team; (3) expanding direct payments from schools to athletes; (4) reconfiguring the recruiting calendar; and (5) implementing closed periods in the NCAA transfer portal. At least the first three items will be left in the decision-making hands of individual conferences, if the concepts are approved.

While these are only concepts and not approved measures, the ideas are being socialized across the college sports landscape, both in conference-wide meetings and at administrative summits such as the one in Dallas hosted by LEAD1, an organization that represents the FBS athletic directors. The items will be central topics at league meetings next month, when coaches, athletic administrators and university presidents gather to discuss national and conference legislation. (Any recommendations would likely need approval from the NCAA Division I Council and Board of Governors before becoming official.)

“Change is coming,” says another athletic director on hand for the committee’s three-hour presentation Monday in Dallas. “We better get prepared. We shouldn’t be shocked if all this does happen.”

Continue reading story here

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11 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. Sure glad to hear all the praise for Kliavkoff. I feel confident he deserves it. He comes from a background where performance was necessary.
    on the other hand
    You have to wonder about the PAC 12 Board and all the Conference University administrators who were complaining about the last “4 or 5 years.” What were they doing all the time Scott as doing nothing except spending money? If Scott was a such a stone around the conference neck why didnt they get together and threaten to sue him for non performance and money waste if he didnt accept a discounted buyout before his contract ended?
    Maybe its because they were all enjoying their lazy money.
    Money for nuthin
    Chicks for free
    Mighta got a blister on their thumb
    Kinda like the NCAA

  2. Wilner as a reporter has got to be one of the laziest. I doubt he watched even a single spring game much less all 12. I doubt he did more than look at the records last year, reviewed who transferred out that he knew their names, and looked at the recruiting class.

  3. If I was more of a betting person I would wager that Wilner harbors frustration over the probability that his pay for Hotline scribble lags and underperforms badly in the Denver/Boulder/Colorado subscription market.

  4. Wilner says:
    “The Hotline feels confident enough to declare all the offseason roster tumult has changed … absolutely nothing.”

    Indicating to me nothing has changed with Wilner’s ability to forecast, predict or take naps. I guess that is what you get when you are writing sports for all the nerds over in silicon valley

    1. So you bud Wilner list where his stuff is available in each pac 12 market.

      Colorado: We’re available on the Denver Post’s college sports page.

      There ya have it

      Go Buffs

  5. To me, scrapping the Pac 12 divisions isn’t ideal, but not that big a deal, either. They could even keep the same format as now, but just have the top ranked teams play in the championship, vs. the divisional champs playing, regardless of ranking (with, ahem, NCAA approval to do so).

    But, the more important piece to that scheduling deal is to get the SEC to step up and play 9 conference games, like everyone else (except maybe the big 12, since they haven’t had enough teams – which will also change soon). Why doesn’t anyone seem to push for that?

    If the SEC stopped playing Southwestern Mississippi State School for Monks in November, and instead had to face another SEC foe, I’m guessing we’d see fewer undefeated SEC teams by year’s end. They’ve also done a nice job of not having their top teams play each other every year. Once they have 16 teams, staying at 8 conference games seems even harder.

    I think had the SEC played 9 conference games for the last 11 years of the CFP, they would have not been quite as dominant in the playoff format. But, since they got in early and often, in part on the backs of their weaker scheduling, that became a feedback loop on the recruiting trail, too. “Hey, you want to play for national championships? Come here!”

    But who knows? By 2026, maybe the whole D1 football landscape is different anyway, and it’s a semi-pro league of 30-40 teams? I doubt it. So, get the SEC to commit to playing 9 conference games.

    If # of games played is a concern (or a red herring) in an expanded playoff? Fine. Drop one or two of the tune up non-conference games at the early part of the season.

    Go Buffs

  6. Wilner says:
    “Eliminate divisions, and you can match the best teams.”

    So what does that mean? If the conference is so desperate to get a team in the four team CFP does that mean teams like CU and AU have to play Oregon and USC every year to make sure The Ducks and the condoms stay unbeaten?

    Wilner also says:
    “The current model leaves the conference at risk of an unranked division champion upsetting a highly-ranked division champion and thereby eliminating the Pac-12 from the CFP.”
    Holy crap
    Isnt that “why they play the game?” Why dont we just mail the damn score in and forget about actually playing the game? We can send half the money the University saves over to the Ukraine.

    Forget tilting. What else can these nitwits do to turn the playing field vertical?

    Screw the CFP. If it isnt already bought and paid for with 20 million dollar coaches and millionaire players it will be completely in an another year or 2.
    But of course this right up little Wilner’s alley. He can bask in the after coitus glow of his dear USC and remain just as lazy as ever about anything outside Cal.

    I dont watch any of the CFP games now. If things in college football get any worse I may limit my fandom to hoops and hockey.

    Go Avs
    and whenever the Buffs start skating

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