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Pac-12 Notes – Oregon Week

November 4th

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Did the Big 12 leave money on the table with its media rights deal?

From the San Jose Mercury News

In your estimation, did the Big 12 leave money on the table by opting to renew with ESPN and Fox and not going to the open market? Why was it so important for the conference to beat the Pac-12 to the finish line?— Doug Ware

Yes, absolutely. The Big 12 accepted a lower valuation with the early renewal of agreements than it would have received by waiting until 2024 and going to market with its rights package.

And that’s bad for the Pac-12.

If the Big 12 hadn’t moved, the only point of comparison for Pac-12 market value would have been the Big Ten’s deal which is believed to average $62.5 million per school annually ($1 billion for 16 teams).

Now that the Big 12 reportedly has secured $31.7 million per school starting in 2025, potential bidders like ESPN and Fox can point to that figure as the benchmark for the Pac-12.

Previously, there was only a ceiling, established by the Big Ten.

Now, there is a floor, courtesy of the Big 12.

And anyone with an ounce of sanity would conclude the Pac-12 is closer to the Big 12 in valuation than the Big Ten.

So we know why ESPN and Fox would agree to renew the Big 12’s deal: It’s the cheaper option and gives them cost certainty with a valued partner through 2031.

But why would Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark agree to an early renewal?

Why wouldn’t the Big 12 bet on itself, wait a year-and-a-half, and then take its rights to the market?

Well, Yormark is clearly interested in luring Pac-12 schools and now has hard numbers to support any offer. Will it work?

The terms outlined for expansion candidates are not known — the Big 12 hasn’t actually signed its deal yet — but we know it won’t be transformative money for Pac-12 schools.

At worst, the Pac-12’s own deal will be $2 million to $3 million per school less than the Big 12’s contract, which probably isn’t enough to convince anyone to jump.

(After all, the Pac-12 is already making less than the Big 12 — substantially less, in fact. The revenue disparity in the current fiscal year is likely to be $6 million to $8 million per school.)

We should add that the renewal gives Yormark leverage from which he can pursue schools outside the Power Five, including San Diego State, Fresno State and, perhaps, Gonzaga.

But the early renewal strategy wasn’t rooted entirely in revenue.

Security for the Big 12 in post-Texas/Oklahoma era also played a central role, and the early renewal deal provides just that for a conference that has experienced so much tumult over the past 12 years.

Assuming they sign the agreement, Brigham Young, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF are now bound to the conference until 2031.

They are off the market for the Pac-12.

And if you think members of that quartet weren’t quietly keeping their options open — at least until the Big 12 provided them with contractual security beyond 2025 — your head is buried in the windswept dirt of the Southern Plains.

Yormark has smartly locked everyone down into the next decade.

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November 3rd

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Report: UC Regents have authority to rescind UCLA’s move to Big Ten

From the San Jose Mercury News … UCLA’s life in limbo could soon come to an end.

The University of California Board of Regents is expected to decide whether to block the school’s planned move to the Big Ten when it gathers later this month at UC-San Francisco Mission Bay, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

An attempt to prevent UCLA from leaving the Pac-12 in the summer of 2024 is considered unlikely.

However, the sources declined to guess how the regents might rule and cautioned that everything about the process is unpredictable, including the timing.

Exactly how an outcome would be reached, and be made public, is also unknown.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15-17, but the agenda hasn’t been posted on the regents’ website. As a result, it’s unclear if the decision would come in an open or closed session and whether the regents plan to vote on the matter.

What we do know is this: The regents have the authority to rescind the decision — and seemingly could do it without a vote or approval of the full board.

When UCLA announced the stunning news on June 30, it was believed that chancellor Gene Block had final authority over the school’s conference affiliation. That assumption proved incorrect.

During a meeting of the regents in August, general counsel Charlie Robinson indicated the governing board had the right to revoke a chancellor’s authority over conference affiliation.

“For this particular matter, the regents could say ‘We want to act and therefore we do not want the (UC) president or the (campus) chancellors to act in this area,’ and simply assert that,” Robinson said.

In a telling exchange, regent John Perez, who attended Cal, posed the following hypothetical to Robinson:

“Without noticing a meeting, without going to a meeting, between meetings, the board chair and the vice chair could act under interim action to retain an authority that had otherwise been delegated?”

“Correct,” Robinson said.

Continue reading story here

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November 2nd

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Bill Walton sounds off of UCLA move to the Big Ten: “My hope is that the move will be rescinded”

From the San Jose Mercury News … In his first public comments about UCLA’s planned entry into the Big Ten, Bruins basketball legend Bill Walton blasted the decision and said he hopes the move is rescinded.

Walton, silent on the matter for four months, issued a statement Tuesday that was obtained by the Hotline.

Here is Walton’s statement (unedited):


UCLA’S WRONG TURN

All progress requires change … not all change is progress,

I’m Bill Walton,

I’m a California native, resident, engaged citizen, voter, and taxpayer,

I’m a product of California’s terrific public school systems,

I’m a proud UCLA alum,

I am not in favor of UCLA’s recent announced decision to leave the Pac-12 Conference of Champions, nor their desire to join the Big 10,

I don’t like this attempted move,

I don’t support it,

I hope it does not happen,

UCLA is a public school that is supposed to serve the interests of the State of California,

UCLA is one of the world’s greatest schools, and brands,

UCLA represents the best of what life has been, and can, could and should be,

UCLA has been as great and as important a part of my life as anything, ever, 

I don’t believe that joining the Big 10 is in the best interest of UCLA, its students, its athletes, its alumni, its fans, the rest of the UC system, the State of California, or the world at large,

Some of the many reasons why I am opposed to UCLA’s attempted move to the Big 10 are, in no particular order:

* the negative impact on the health, both physical and mental, of UCLA’s student-athletes,

* the exponential increase in travel on UCLA’s student-athletes will hurt them physically, mentally, and in their overall lives,

* the negative impact of the excessive travel will extend to families, friends, fans, alumni and everyone else,

* the increased costs of joining the Big 10 will negate the projected increased revenue assumptions of this proposed move,

* this proposed move to the Big 10 is contrary to UCLA’s and the entire UC System’s stated and professed environmental sustainability goals,

this proposed move to the Big 10 has serious negative implications and ramifications for the University of California, Berkeley
 
and flies in the face of the supposed team concept that has always been a part of the California Dream, plan and business model,        

* this proposed move to the Big 10, is all about football, and money,

* what about all the other 24 sports and 600+student-athletes at UCLA, who are responsible for 99+% of UCLA’s National Championships,

* how many of these “others” are represented and willing participants in this proposed deal, 

I went to UCLA— gladly, willingly, and proudly,

it was my dream,

that dream never included the Big 10,

I have spoken to no one, other than the highest-level directors of athletics at UCLA, who think that this proposed move to the Big 10 is a good idea,

every argument made by these senior AD’s and why they like it, is about money,

these same proponents of moving to the Big 10, are the first people I have ever encountered in my life,

who have claimed economic hardship and limitations in Los Angeles,

and that the solution lies in the Midwest,

I have made my feelings known, privately, to the powers that be in the State of California, including the UC’s Board of Regents,

my hope and dream is that this proposed move by UCLA, my alma mater, will be rescinded,

Bill Walton,

UCLA 1974

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November 1st

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Pac-12 Places Five Teams in initial College Football Playoff Rankings

From CBS Sports … The first edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night with undefeated Tennessee slotted at the No. 1 spot in the four-team field. Off to a dominant start to the 2022 season with a win over Alabama already on their resume, the Volunteers sit in the top slot while making their debut in the CFP Rankings as the playoff opens its ninth season of existence.

All but one team ranked No. 1 in a season’s initial CFP Rankings ultimately reached the four-team playoff (Mississippi State, 2014).

Unbeaten teams round out the rest of the top four with Ohio State, reigning national champion Georgia and Clemson filling the next three spots. The Bulldogs, who are seeking to become the first back-to-back champions in a decade, face the Vols in a No. 1 vs. No. 3 matchup at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.

CFP Selection Committee chairman Boo Corrigan, the athletic director at NC State, cited “the explosive nature of their offense” as the reason Ohio State slotted at No. 2 ahead of Georgia.

Just behind those four as the first two out of the playoff field are undefeated Michigan and one-loss Alabama.

The primary surprise to most atop the rankings is the Crimson Tide, whose signature win through eight games is a one-point victory over current No. 24 Texas. They are ahead of undefeated TCU, which has victories over No. 13 Kansas State and No. 18 Oklahoma State without a loss on its resume. The Tigers being ahead of the Wolverines was similarly unexpected, though Michigan’s weak nonconference slate is a likely reason for its position.

“We’re looking for a balanced team, offense and defense, and [TCU] has gotten behind in some games. They’ve been able to come back and win those games. But when you look at Alabama — in the wins against Mississippi State, at Arkansas, at Texas and obviously the three-point loss at Tennessee — as a committee, we decided to go Alabama No. 6 and TCU No. 7,” explained Corrigan.

College Football Playoff Rankings, Nov. 1

  1. Tennessee (8-0)
  2. Ohio State (8-0)
  3. Georgia (8-0)
  4. Clemson (8-0)
  5. Michigan (8-0)
  6. Alabama (7-1)
  7. TCU (8-0)
  8. Oregon (7-1)
  9. USC (7-1)
  10. LSU (6-2)
  11. Ole Miss (8-1)
  12. UCLA (7-1)
  13. Kansas State (6-2)
  14. Utah (6-2)
  15. Penn State (6-2)
  16. Illinois (7-1)
  17. North Carolina (7-1)
  18. Oklahoma State (6-2)
  19. Tulane (7-1)
  20. Syracuse (6-2)
  21. Wake Forest (6-2)
  22. NC State (6-2)
  23. Oregon State (6-2)
  24. Texas (5-3)
  25. UCF (6-2)

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October 31st 

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Plenty on the table as Pac-12 Presidents meet in San Francisco

From the San Jose Mercury News … Pac-12 presidents and chancellors will meet Monday in San Francisco as they do every year at this time, just never with an agenda like the one currently before them.

No, they are not expected to vote on a new media rights contract, although there will be updates from commissioner George Kliavkoff.

And no, USC president Carol Folt and UCLA chancellor Gene Block won’t participate for any portion of the meeting given their planned moves to the Big Ten in 2024.

Typically, the fall meetings include a gathering of the presidents, athletic directors and conference executives, then a session with only the presidents and high-level conference staff.

This year, the athletic directors are expected to join remotely, with only the local duo, Cal’s Jim Knowlton and Stanford’s Bernard Muir, appearing in person.

The agenda will include many of the topics covered every year, including operational, financial, legal and NCAA updates. But three additional items reflect the dynamic state of college sports generally and Pac-12 survival specifically.

Kliavkoff and his executive staff will brief the presidents on:

— The University of California Board of Regents’ ongoing review of UCLA’s entry into the Big Ten.

The regents, who are scheduled to meet Nov. 15-17 in San Francisco, have the authority to block the move, slap UCLA with a financial penalty or let the Bruins join the Big Ten unencumbered.

— The latest on College Football Playoff expansion.

The event will grow to 12 teams for the 2026 season, but FBS commissioners are attempting to solve complicated logistical issues in time for expansion to be implemented for either 2024 or 2025.

Washington State president Kirk Schulz, who represents the Pac-12 on the CFP’s Board of Managers, will undoubtedly have insight on this matter.

— The Pac-12’s media rights negotiations.

Although the negotiations likely are closer to the finish than start, the presidents aren’t expected to formalize an agreement.

A conclusion is weeks away, at least, as the Pac-12 waits for a resolution on UCLA’s move to the Big Ten.

Continue reading story here

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October 30th 

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Pac-12 Lines – Colorado a four-touchdown underdog at home against No. 8 Oregon

From VegasInsider.com

Friday, November 4th

  • Oregon State at Washington … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2 … Washington is a 4.5-point favorite at home

Saturday, November 5th

  • No. 8 Oregon at Colorado … 1:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Colorado is a 29.0-point underdog at home
  • Washington State at Stanford … 1:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Stanford is a 3.0-point underdog at home
  • Arizona at No. 14 Utah … 5:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Utah is a 17.0-point favorite at home
  • Cal at No. 10 USC … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … USC is a 19.0-point favorite at home
  • No. 12 UCLA at Arizona State … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … Arizona State is a 9.5-point underdog at home

Big 12 Beating Pac-12 to the Punch, Nearing Media Rights Deal with ESPN; Fox

From ESPN … The Big 12 is on the cusp of extending its current television contract with ESPN and Fox, according to ESPN sources.

The league is in the final stages of putting together a six-year, $2.28 billion contract extension that includes a sizable pay bump for schools. The new contract, which takes hold starting in 2025, includes ESPN owning more than 60 percent of the inventory and Fox adding a sizable portion of college basketball.

The contract’s near completion was first reported by the Sports Business Journal.

The deal projects for the Big 12 to make a sharp increase in media revenue per school, despite Oklahoma and Texas not being in the league after the 2024 season. A source said that the league is expected to agree to a grant of rights with its 12 members for the length of the deal.

The overall value of the Big 12’s media deal is expected to increase from $220 million annually to $380 million. That’s an average increase in media-only revenue per school from $22 million to $31.7 million (the $380 million is now divided 12 ways with the addition of BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston).

The new deal will mark an uptick in the Big 12’s overall distribution number, which currently stands at $42.6 million per school. That number is subject to myriad variables such as NCAA tournament units, bowl revenue and new College Football Playoff revenue.

It’s safe to project the overall per-school revenue increasing to nearly $50 million starting in 2025-26. That number could well be much bigger depending on money the 12-team College Football Playoff delivers.

Continue reading story here

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14 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. So not worried.

    Let espn and fox play their little game of their in charge.

    The Pac is set up perfectly to get on board with the major streaming services. Only conference left they can do this with for 10 years. Last chance corral baby.

    The condo I own has 61 units. This year we canceled our Comcast contract we have had for 7 years. At this point all units have internet, but only 3 have resigned with comcast for tv. The Rest stream.

    Pac 12 can lead the way in this endeavor.
    And oh yes the networks will want in and they will have to pay.

    Go Big Pac

    Show us the money

  2. Lastly, Cal schools (that includes you too Stanford) give USC the cold shoulder. Don’t schedule any games with the Trojans, give USC kids no chance to play in-front of friends and family besides their home game. Time to ostracize this former PAC member…take some wind out of their sails when it comes to recruiting California… granted USC pays for their players and championships… both of Pete Carrols championship teams (one of which has an asterisk) were bought and paid for by Big Chief.

  3. UCLA having Regents neg the move is the best case scenario for them. They now become the defacto big dog of Orange County. Wait till USC kids start playing the Big Noon game in Iowa come late October, travel to Rutgers and Maryland… joy! . PAC 11 now should pick up San Diego State. Pony up ESPN you know you want to combine the ACC and PAC 12 into a bi-coastal super conference. You’ll own all time zones and gain traction in west coast markets where your ancillary programming underperforms to that of FOX.

  4. So if UCLA has to stay home does the Big 10 make a play for Oregon? Isnt there anyone in the Big 12 they could take instead? (rhetorical question)

    1. I think the prevailing belief is that they would go stronger after Notre Dame. Which may or may not fly. IF the Pac can get close to $50mill/yr/school, I think that holds them together. And IF they keep UCLA, they may just add SDSU to lock up the rest of So Cal.

      Always – you guessed it – interesting to watch.

      I still think it’ll eventually be the college football playoffs, brought to you by Big Fox and SECSPN, with about 65 teams, split into geographic regions, called used to be Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and ACC.

      Go Buffs

      1. Someone desperate to get out of the ACC (maybe a lot of them as their “deal” doesnt expire for four more years) would be Clemson the Big 10 might take…dont know anything about their academics though

  5. If the PAC 12 media deal exceeds $50 million, which initial reports of an Amazon or Apple deal indicate it will, then Walton’s rationale and arithmetic will add up with regard to travel for the other sports and coaching salaries in football and basketball. In reality, it may be a net minus if the PAC 12 deal winds up around $60 million. This is not to mention the travel cost to boosters and parents, particularly parents in the non-revenue sports. The. Commissioner has mentioned this from the start, but members of the media and certain Big 12 proponents and pundits dismissed his comments as “clutching pearls.” The fact that Bill Walton has put the issue out there once again will, hopefully, enable the idea to gain traction. We will see.

  6. The Big 12 has reached a new media rights agreement beating the PAC 12ish to the punch and further diminishing the PAC’s potential deal. Huh? Kliavkoff must be a bigger clown than Scott.

    1. My thought on that was, wow, so they’re in at $35mill-$40mill/team? Isn’t the Pac 12 around $30mill/yr now, with a terrible deal b/c of the lack of DirecTV and other distribution?

      So, from there, take out the LA schools (presumably both) but add streaming? New member/s, maybe? Pac whatever may not be looking that bad, after all? I think they’re trying to get to $50mill/school/yr; can they?

      I expect the Big 12 to add a streaming component, too, but still. I wasn’t as impressed by the $2.2billion after I saw the length, etc.

      Gonna be interesting to watch them fight over media money.

      Go Buffs

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