Pac-12 Notes

August 1st

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Pac-12 Meetings: Apple Streaming with “Escalator Clauses” presented

From ESPN … After months of negotiations and uncertainty, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday presented the conference’s presidents and chancellors with a primarily subscription-based Apple streaming deal for its potential television contract that expires after this school year, according to multiple sources.

While several options were presented, the Apple streaming deal emerged as the likely leader at this point, bringing some clarity to a lengthy process that frustrated many within the league and ultimately played a role in Colorado’s decision last week to join the Big 12. Monetary and exposure questions still loom, though, and outside pressure from the Big 12 remains.

There’s not expected to be any imminent decisions on whether this TV deal is enough to appease Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, which are being heavily courted by the Big 12. The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees both Arizona and ASU, is scheduled to meet later Tuesday, but no decision is expected Tuesday night after the meeting.

According to sources, the first year of what’s expected to be a relatively short-term contract with Apple would start in 2024-25 and begin relatively low to the league’s hopes. But the deal, sources said, would incrementally improve and potentially be competitive with its peers in the Big 12 and ACC down the road, provided certain subscription numbers are met.

When the Big 12’s new TV deal begins in 2025, those schools will see an increase to an average of $31.7 million. That’s long been the barometer at which the Pac-12 deal was expected to be measured.

After the meeting Tuesday morning, there remained ambiguity about the potential value of the Pac-12 deal because of the unknown variance of subscriptions. Sources familiar with the negotiations told ESPN the Pac-12 is in a better position now than it was a month and a half ago to sell digital subscriptions thanks to changes in the media landscape.

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From KSL Sports (Salt Lake City) …  After a large buildup of Tuesday being do or die for the Pac-12, it appears they have given the most anticlimactic answer they could muster. No media rights have been agreed upon but expect another meeting soon.

First reported by Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger in a Tweet, Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors met for about an hour this morning. No agreement on a media deal has been reached, but apparently there is confidence in a deal eventually concluding.

Dellenger finished the statement by adding another meeting is planned for “soon”, but no further details appear to be known on the matter yet.

Apple TV Rumors

ESPN’s Pete Thamel recently Tweeted a few details of the media deal presented to the Pac-12 CEO Group, but no solid numbers were given. Based on Thamel’s Tweet and some other industry experts, it appears the deal presented to the Pac-12 largely relies on Apple TV with incentivized tiers. No word on any linear components yet and how involved they could be if part of the deal.

Thamel … No decisions on the deal or any schools pondering other options are expected immediately. Campus leaders are digesting the possibilities of a stream-centric future and the variance in potential income. The money piece is tricky because of the variables of subscriptions.

Brett McMurphy … Biggest blowback on Pac-12’s possible primary Apple media rights deal w/incentive bonuses is it’s “very challenging” for schools to accurately budget annual revenue, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Another Pac-12 meeting scheduled to discuss further

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Wilner: Future of the Pac-12 could be decided this week 

From the San Jose Mercury News … The future of a 108-year-old college athletic conference could be determined in the next 24 hours as the Pac-12’s existential crisis reaches its tipping point.

Commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday is expected to present a media rights proposal to the nine remaining university presidents for approval, concluding a saga that began last summer when the Los Angeles schools announced their departure to the Big Ten in 2024.

But how will it end?

If the proposal carries satisfactory revenue and media partners, the schools are expected to plow forward together for the remainder of the decade, perhaps with replacements for the three outgoing members, USC, UCLA and Colorado.

If Kliavkoff is unable to secure a media deal that satisfies the presidents, the conference as we know it would cease to exist.

As many as three schools could join the Big 12, which is currently targeting Arizona but is believed to desire Arizona State and Utah, as well.

That would leave six in limbo: Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.

At that point, with the so-called Four Corners schools gone, the six West Coast universities would have two options:

— They could attempt to reform the conference, in a lesser form, with the aid of expansion. San Diego State likely would be the top choice, along with SMU and perhaps Colorado State. But the options are few, largely because of the paucity of schools west of the Rockies. Of the 10 conferences that play major college football, only two are located in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones.

— Oregon, Washington and perhaps the Bay Area duo could attempt to join the Big Ten and form a West Coast division that would include USC and UCLA. However, that scenario likely would require the quartet to enter the Big Ten with reduced revenue shares compared to the 16 existing members. And it would leave Washington State and Oregon State with no home.

Both scenarios would result in the schools facing massive resource deficits relative to their competition in other Power Five conference, thereby impacting the competitive experience for their athletes in all sports.

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July 31st 

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Kliavkoff presenting media rights update to Pac-9 today

From ESPN … With Colorado announcing its departure for the Big 12 last week, the future of the Pac-12 is uncertain. Commissioner George Kliavkoff has long told potential television partners he’d need clarity on what a television deal could look like by July 31.

The Pac-12 presidents are expected to meet Tuesday to finally get from Kliavkoff what they hope is a strong vision of what the league’s television deal will look like.

“The expectation is these schools want clarity and details on a number and that a deal is going to eventually get done,” said an industry source. “They want to know, ‘What are our deal options?'”

Arizona has been at the forefront for a potential move to the Big 12, as it had the most extensive talks with the league prior to the Colorado departure. A move by Arizona to the Big 12 would significantly weaken the Pac-12, putting an unstable league on the brink. And no one realizes this more than Robbins.

“He knows the gravity,” said a person familiar with Robbins’ thinking. “He does not want to be the one to break apart the Pac-12.”

That’s why sources say Arizona, Arizona State and Utah — the Pac-12’s remaining three of the so-called Four Corner schools — are expected to lump their futures together.

As another industry source pointed out: “I don’t see any of them having the fortitude to break up the Pac-12 themselves. They’ll break as three. It’s either going to be all three leave, or none leave.”

Will they stay? Will they go?

It all depends on what Kliavkoff presents on Tuesday as he looks to convince them there’s a deal with enough money and exposure to stay together.

The Pac-12’s deal expires after the upcoming school year, which would mean every school could walk without paying any type of exit fee. Just like USC, UCLA and now Colorado are doing.

Given the complexities of any additional moves, and the deliberate pace at which universities tend to operate, there’s likely not going to be any hard-and-fast decisions on Tuesday night. But the start of this week is going to set the table for the Pac-12’s stability and viability going forward.

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Rating the odds of Oregon and Washington being invited to join the Big 12

From the San Jose Mercury News

Do Oregon and Washington need to give consideration to joining the Big 12? It has been well documented that both schools covet the Big Ten. But the opportunity may not exist today, and they could always join at a later date if/when the opportunity arises. — Andrew Perez

The Hotline doesn’t foresee the Pacific Northwest powers ever joining the Big 12, no matter how dire the Pac-12 situation becomes — even if, for example, the Arizona schools and Utah were to follow Colorado’s lead and flee the conference.

It works both ways: The Big 12 isn’t a good fit for them, and they aren’t good fits for the Big 12.

The reasons are rooted in the financial, logistical and competitive aspects of realignment and conference structure.

First, from the Big 12’s side: Adding Washington and Oregon to a group of newcomers that would include the Four Corners schools would create an 18-team conference — bigger than the Big Ten and SEC and, frankly, too big to function effectively.

To make it work, the Big 12 would need a western division similar to what has been proposed for the Big Ten. But why would the network partners (ESPN and Fox) want a western division that did not include a presence in California? They wouldn’t.

There’s also the competitive issue: Would the likes of Oklahoma State and Baylor welcome two heavyweight football programs that would make playoff access exponentially more difficult for the existing Big 12 members?

From the perspective of the two schools, there are innumerable reasons to decline the Big 12 option. The first, of course, is geography. Can you imagine Washington sending its athletes (in all sports) to Ames, Orlando, Cincinnati and Lubbock on a weekly basis?

Sure, the Huskies would agree to compete on Big Ten campuses if the offer presented itself, but that scenario likely would include transformative revenue and alignment with comparable academic institutions.

In the Big 12 scenario, Washington’s non-revenue sports would be schlepping to and from the Central Time Zone for essentially the same amount of money they would get in the Pac-12. And even if the revenue isn’t fully comparable, the travel isn’t worthwhile. (The same issues exist for the Ducks.)

Yes, USC and UCLA are doing something similar in the Big Ten. But again, they are getting paid well for it.

The competitive issue exists for Oregon to an even greater extent, perhaps, than it does for the Huskies. Why would a football program that has designs on the playoff, and a national title for Phil Knight, want to participate in an 18-team league?

All of which is to say: We don’t envision the Huskies and Ducks participating in the Big 12, ever.

If the Pac-12 loses the Four Corners schools, leaving just the Pacific Northwest quartet and the Bay Area teams, two scenarios would exist:

1. The conference reforms by adding the likes of Boise State and San Diego State to create a league of eight or 10 teams.

2. The Huskies, Ducks and perhaps Cal and Stanford agree to join the Big Ten, likely for reduced revenue shares, thus expediting the creation of the Big Ten’s eight-team western division (with the Los Angeles schools).

The latter scenario feels more plausible and yet, at the same time, not all that plausible.


July 29th

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The Athletic: The real question about whether the Pac-12 collapses is in the hands of Arizona and Arizona State

From The Athletic … It was always going to be Colorado first. But that doesn’t mean anything else is happening. Not yet.

Colorado’s decision to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12 is a notable move but not a surprising one. Whispers about the Buffs’ interest in the Big 12 have been around for a year, far more than other schools. Also over that year, fans and pundits have declared the death of the Pac-12. The league’s complete fumbling of a media rights negotiation thus far has greatly added to that.

But we haven’t passed the inflection point. Not yet. The actual fulcrum was always going to be the Arizona schools. And at this point, they’re still waiting for that Pac-12 TV number.

“All I keep saying is, you know, we’re just waiting to get a deal,” Arizona president Robert C. Robbins told The Athletic’s Max Olson. “And then everybody has to evaluate the deal on its merits. I’ve been pretty steadfast in that stance.”

The Pac-12 can survive without Colorado. As much as “survive” means in the short term these days. The real question about whether the league collapses is in the hands of Arizona and Arizona State.

If the media rights deal finally comes together and it’s enough for the Arizona schools to stay, the Pac-12 will hang around until the next round of media rights negotiations. (We all know Oregon and Washington want to join the Big Ten, but the league continues to indicate that’s not happening anytime soon.) If the Arizona schools leave, then everyone panics and anything can happen.

It’s all about “stability” and stability these days outside the Big Ten and SEC means nobody else wants your schools. The Pac-12 is unstable because the Big Ten wanted USC and UCLA and it has valuable properties in Oregon and Washington. The ACC is unstable because schools like Clemson, Florida State and others are worried about falling further behind the Power 2 while stuck in a TV deal through 2036. The Big 12 is stable because everyone’s about equal and the Power 2 didn’t want those schools.

… Prying the Arizona schools was always going to be harder because there are longstanding relationships with the Pac-12 that go back to the 1970s. I’ve talked to administrators at Colorado and Arizona. They didn’t and don’t want to leave the conference, but the lack of clarity on the media rights deal forced their hands. Utah remains incredibly grateful the Pac-12 invited the Utes to Power 5 status, too.

It feels foolish to say the Pac-12 can still salvage this, after everything that’s happened in the past year, all the blown informal deadlines, all the big talk that hasn’t produced anything. The longer this dragged out, the less reason there was for optimism — if there was a good TV to be had, it would’ve been had already.

For commissioner George Kliavkoff to say in Las Vegas that he had no concern about anyone leaving for the Big 12 and then to see it happen one week later is just the latest bad look in a long string of them. It’s not hard to lack faith in the Pac-12 keeping this together.

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July 28th

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Does CU’s move to the Big 12 make CSU to the Pac-12 an option?

From the San Jose Mercury News … Colorado’s presumptive departure to the Big 12 next summer will leave the Pac-12 with nine teams for the 2024 football season. That’s more than enough to meet NCAA and College Football Playoff requirements but creates a plethora of challenges, with the football schedule near the top of the list.

A nine-game conference rotation doesn’t work with nine teams.

As much as we’d like to see Oregon and Washington play a home-and-home series each fall, there’s no indication the Pac-12 plans to double up the intra-conference matchups.

Sure, it could move forward with nine teams schools drop to an eight-game conference schedule. (The SEC and ACC also play eight league games.) But that approach would require each team to add one non-conference opponent — a tricky and costly proposition at this late date.

Most schedules are completed years in advance. Available teams from the FCS level assuredly would charge a steep price for their services as a creampuff — more than $500,000 for the three-hour date.

The simplest solution for the Pac-12 is the most intricate: Expand by at least one school for the 2024-25 sports year, which coincides with the conference’s next media rights contract — a contract that, ahem, has not been finalized.

Commissioner George Kliavkoff and campus officials are expected to expedite the process once Colorado’s move becomes official (as early as Thursday afternoon).

There are three obvious candidates:

— San Diego State

The Aztecs have been under consideration for the past year and only helped their cause with the run to the NCAA championship game.

They provide a critical presence in the Southern California region, bring the No. 27 media market and have a rising academic profile thanks to a change in California education law that allows the school to award doctorates in public health.


Like SDSU, the Mustangs have been a top-tier expansion candidate for months.

Their football and men’s basketball programs need work, but the school’s wealthy donor base creates the possibility of significant resource investment and a strong NIL collective.

Additionally, the university is No. 72 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings and would provide a foothold in the nation’s No. 5 media market, which also happens to be one of the most talent-rich recruiting regions in the country.

— Colorado State

The Rams’ status as a second-tier expansion candidate could change with Colorado’s departure.

Competitively, they aren’t at SDSU’s level, with one NCAA Tournament appearance in the past decade and a football program that has lagged in the Mountain West.

However, adding Colorado State would enable the Pac-12 to maintain a presence in the Denver media market (No. 16), and the school is No. 151 in the U.S. News rankings (tied with Oregon State).

The Pac-12 could add any of the three schools to reach 10 members or all three to create a 12-team conference.

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July 27th

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Potential candidates to replace CU in the Pac-12

From Athlon Sports … College football expansion and conference realignment is once again dominating the offseason headlines with Colorado’s expected departure from the Pac-12 to the Big 12. The Buffaloes return to the Big 12 drops the Pac-12 to nine members with USC and UCLA also on their way to the Big Ten in 2024.

Finalizing a media deal is the top priority for the Pac-12. However, assuming the conference gets a satisfactory media rights deal completed to keep the nine members in the league, it will have to add teams to its membership for television inventory and either return to the Pac-10 or maintain the Pac-12 setup for next season.

If the Pac-12 opts to add just one team and return to a 10-team setup, San Diego State is the heavy favorite to join. But if the conference expands beyond 10, SMU, Boise State, Colorado State, and UNLV could all jump onto the radar.

Which teams should be on the radar for Pac-12 expansion to replace Colorado? Here are six candidates to watch:

Pac-12 Expansion Candidates to Replace Colorado

Boise State
The Pac-12 likely isn’t crazy about Boise State’s academic profile, but the Broncos consistently win on the gridiron and have a recognizable brand.

Colorado State
If the Pac-12 wanted to maintain a presence in the state of Colorado, then adding Colorado State makes sense. The program has a relatively new stadium (built in 2017), is just over an hour outside of Denver (a key media market), and is certainly committed to building (and spending on) a solid football product.

Fresno State
In terms of expansion candidates from California, Fresno State ranks behind San Diego State in Pac-12 hierarchy. However, if the Pac-12 is going to rebuild the league and have strength in numbers, the Bulldogs should also be on the radar. The facilities need some work, but Fresno State has proven it can build a consistent winner on the gridiron.

San Diego State
It’s no secret the Aztecs are the No. 1 expansion candidate if the Pac-12 adds teams in the future. A new stadium, a location in Southern California that’s crucial for recruiting, as well as recent success in football (and basketball) provide the Pac-12 with a solid all-around program.

If the Pac-12 expands beyond San Diego State, SMU is believed to be the team that’s second in the pecking order. The Mustangs bring a presence in the valuable Texas market and have trended up in football performance in recent years. Also, facility improvements and deep-pocketed boosters certainly doesn’t hurt.

UNLV has struggled mightily on the gridiron in recent years. The Rebels have just one bowl appearance since ’01 and three since ’90. However, with a prime location in Las Vegas and a growing pro sports scene, UNLV has a few factors working in its favor – even if it’s a major longshot.

Big 12 presidents vote unanimously to accept CU as a new member

From ESPN … The Big 12’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously on a conference call to accept Colorado as a new member on Wednesday night, sources told ESPN.

The vote marks one of the final remaining steps to be completed for Colorado to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12, a move that’s hurtling toward being finalized on Thursday.

Colorado still has not formally applied for Big 12 membership, another of the final formal steps remaining for it to join the league. But Wednesday night’s Big 12 vote marks a necessary step toward it joining the conference, a move that’s increasingly becoming an inevitability.

A Colorado departure from the Pac-12 would come after the 2023-24 season and coincide with the end of the Pac-12 television deal. That would mean that Colorado would not have to pay any exit fee to the league.

Colorado is expected to formally apply for membership on Thursday, the same day that the school’s Board of Regents is holding a “special board meeting” that sources say includes a vote on the move to the Big 12. Sources expect the final steps to be taken on Thursday and a deal to be formalized.

The Big 12 vote comes in the wake of Colorado’s board holding an executive board session on Wednesday to discuss the potential move, according to sources. When that was completed, the corresponding move for a public meeting to hold a potential vote on the league change came moments after.

The school announced a “special board meeting” and the agenda is listed as “Action Item: Athletics Operations.” A board spokesman told ESPN that an action item indicates a vote will take place.

In the Colorado system, a public meeting is required for a vote on a matter such as switching conferences. A board spokesman confirmed that Thursday’s “special board meeting” is public.

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July 26th 

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Wilner: Colorado’s identity is at stake in realignment, but which identity?

From the San Jose Mercury News … Utah and Colorado joined the Pac-12 on the same day, July 1, 2011. By all accounts, the Utes are committed to a future in the conference despite the protracted media rights negotiations that have frustrated fans and campus officials alike.

But Colorado’s status isn’t as clear in the public sphere, with speculation swirling that the university could depart for the Big 12 as early as this week — a move that some believe would trigger an exodus and decimate the century-old league.

Would the Buffaloes leave for the Big 12 even if the annual broadcast revenue from ESPN and Fox ($31.7 million per school per year) is comparable to what they stand to earn in the Pac-12?

Would they accept an invitation from the Big 12 before seeing an official offer on the table in the Pac-12?

The Hotline won’t claim to know how the saga within a saga will end (or when it will end). Instead, this exercise is intended to illuminate the issues at the heart of Colorado’s decision — issues that are as unique as CU’s geography.

For all the uncertainty, three things are apparent:

1. Realignment rumors and grapevine position move in lockstep.

The closer your position to the front lines of college football — the space occupied by fans, media, coaches and even athletic directors — the more fervent the speculation that Colorado is prepared to leave the Pac-12.

But reverse course and head toward the ivory towers, where Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano and his nine colleagues are in regular discussions about the Pac-12’s future, and the noise seems to subside.

2. Colorado’s situation is as complex as the map is simple.

The campus is not located on the West Coast or fixed in the Pacific Time Zone (even for half the year). In fact, it’s 200 miles closer to Dallas than Los Angeles. The school was in the Big Eight/Big 12 for 62 years and has been a member of the Pac-12 for just 12.

Yet in vibe, culture and politics, Boulder is more California than Texas, more West Coast than Southern Plains.

3. Colorado’s identity is at stake in realignment, but which identity?

The decision to remain in the Pac-12 or return to the Big 12 illuminates the university’s quest to define itself athletically and academically. What’s best for one might not be best for the other.

Athletically, a connection to Texas, to a greater extent than even California, is necessary for CU’s football recruiting. And there are more blue-chip prospects in the former than the latter: 63 per year in Texas compared to 33 annually in California. (Details below).

The power structure within Boulder reflects the potential for a Big 12 lean, as well.

Coach Deion Sanders, who has transformed the Buffaloes’ national profile since his appointment last winter, views the Lone Star State as imperative. Meanwhile, the chancellor, DiStefano, and athletic director, George, are nearing retirement. Their legacies are at stake.

Will they be swayed by Sanders? What are their priorities? Where are their loyalties? How deep are the scars from the Pac-12’s many missteps under former commissioner Larry Scott?

But when it comes to issues that impact the university in totality, including both the source and mouth of Colorado’s enrollment pipeline, the school seems more suited for the West Coast.

— The source: Colorado welcomed 36,000 students in the fall of 2022, according to the university’s office of data analytics, and slightly more than half (56 percent) were in-state residents.

The out-of-state student population tilts heavily to California. The Golden State is CU’s golden ticket — hello, full-cost tuition! — and accounts for 10 percent of the school’s total enrollment.

There are three times as many students from California as those from Texas.

— The mouth: Colorado has approximately 300,000 living alumni, according to the university. About 50 percent reside in Colorado, while the out-of-state alumni base tilts substantially to Northern and Southern California specifically and the West Coast generally.

There are more alumni in San Francisco than Colorado Springs, more in Seattle than Dallas.

Donations to the athletic department from California increased 903 percent during CU’s first four seasons in the Pac-12, the Boulder Daily Camera reported in 2015.

“Where we play is taking us to where our people are,” George said at the time.

(Note: The alumni data cited above is from 2016.)

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July 25th

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Senators introduce bill aimed at getting NIL under control 

From CBS Sports … Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing name, image and likeness [NIL] issues in college sports on Tuesday. The bill, titled the “Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports (PASS) Act of 2023,” was characterized in a press release as the “culmination of a year-long initiative” in which Tuberville and Manchin collaborated with various parties to draft guidelines surrounding NIL compensation for NCAA athletes.

“Student athletes should be able to take advantage of NIL promotional activities without impacting their ability to play collegiate sports,” Tuberville, a longtime former college football coach, said in a statement. “But we need to ensure the integrity of our higher education system, remain focused on education and keep the playing field level. Our legislation with Senator Manchin will set basic rules nationwide, protect our student-athletes, and keep NIL activities from ending college sports as we know it.”

Provisions outlined in the bill include the following:

  • Requiring agents and collectives to register with a regulating body.
  • Establishing a public-facing website to publish anonymized NIL data.
  • Requiring all NIL contracts to be disclosed within 30 days.

Another notable provision in the bill would require athletes to complete three years of residency at a given institution before being eligible to transfer without penalty. Currently NCAA rules allow undergraduate athletes to transfer one time at any point of their college career with immediate eligibility.

“As a former college athlete, I know how important sports are to gaining valuable life skills and opening doors of opportunity,” Manchin said in a statement. “However, in recent years, we have faced a rapidly evolving NIL landscape without guidelines to navigate it, which jeopardizes the health of the players and the educational mission of colleges and universities. Our bipartisan legislation strikes a balance between protecting the rights of student-athletes and maintaining the integrity of college sports. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to consider this commonsense legislation as a way to level the playing field in college athletics.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey are among the various athletic directors, conference officials and coaches that have been calling for federal oversight since the NCAA lifted its ban on NIL compensation for student athletes in Summer 2021. Tuberville in June, described the existing patchwork of state laws on NIL governance a “disaster.”

Stanford coach Troy Taylor: “I don’t want to live in (the world of transfers). I want to build a culture”

From ESPN … Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir is not expecting  an instant revival on the Farm. Not in what has the potential to be a very strong year in the Pac-12 and not with what Stanford has been through.

“I know it’s going to take some time to get us back to where we want to be just because our numbers are a bit down, but he’s not making excuses and he’s trying to get better every day,” Muir said. “And that’s exactly the energy and enthusiasm we’re going to need.”

A bit down sells things a bit short.

The Cardinal lost 12 starters and 17 players to the transfer portal and the school’s stringent admission and transfer requirements precluded the possibility of using the portal to completely replenish the roster for this season in the way most other schools could have. Taylor said he expects to have about 75 of the allotted 85 scholarship players this season.

Those departures combined with Stanford’s downturn are why the Cardinal were picked to finish in last place by the media in a poll released at Pac-12 media day Friday. Muir and Taylor both theorized, however, that the mass exodus was more a product of unusual circumstances — extra year of Covid eligibility, staff change, lack of success, etc. — than something they expect to turn into a trend.

“In this day and age where schools bring in 30 new transfers, we’re not going to live in that world,” Taylor said. “I don’t want to live in that world. I want to build culture and you only build culture when you have people for a duration. You can’t bring in new players every year and think you’re going to develop a great culture.

“I like the idea of building it with high school athletes and then if you’re smart enough to choose Stanford, you’re probably smart enough to stay in school until you get your undergraduate degree.”

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July 24th

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Utah AD: “We are a proud member of this conference and look forward to its future success”

From CBS Sports … The pending departures of flagships USC and UCLA to the Big Ten and uncertainty surrounding the league’s media rights deal have fueled questions about the long-term membership of the the Pac-12’s “four corners” schools (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah). Many believe the Big 12 could be primed to swoop in and poach some — if not all — of the programs as it looks to expand west. When asked about such speculation at Pac-12 Media Day, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan reaffirmed his school’s commitment to the league.

“I think our words and actions speak for themselves,” Harlan said. “We are a proud member of this conference and look forward to its future success.”

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff echoed Harlan’s sentiment in his opening address at the event.

“It’s not a concern,” he said. “We’ll get our media rights deal done, we’ll announce the deal. I think the realignment that’s going on in college athletics will come to an end for this cycle.”

… “Our schools are committed to each other and to the Pac-12,”  Kliavkoff said. “We’ll get our media rights deal done, we’ll announce the deal. I think the realignment that’s going on in college athletics will come to an end for this cycle. The truth is we’ve got bigger fish to fry. There are incredible opportunities and also challenges in front of college athletics, and I need to be able to work with all of my colleagues in Division I and particularly in the A5, and we’ll do that. We’ll move past all the bitter squabbling of the last year, and we’ll work together to make college athletics better.”

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July 22nd 

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Coach Prime’s absence from Media Day another blow to the Pac-12

From The Athletic … A day before Pac-12 Media Day kicked off inside Resorts World Las Vegas on Friday morning, a Deadspin writer penned a column rousing a secular portion of college football circles. There was some predictable fury, pointing to the conference boasting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and other good quarterbacks. The headline: “Without Deion Sanders in attendance, Pac-12 Media Day might as well pack it up and go home.”

It’s both right and wrong. Media days exist for soundbites, where writers and those on radio row alike pray for someone to say anything interesting. Media days exist for outsized personas like Deion Sanders.

Had he been here, he would’ve made heads turn on the third-floor ballroom. There would’ve been a crowd of cameras. Reporters would’ve tailed him about, getting a glance at what he might do next. You would’ve heard that booming voice echo. He might’ve even worn the cowboy hat. Some might perceive all those things as shallow, as easy entertainment, something that cannot be replicated by any other coach in the conference (or the country for that matter). Hey, it is Vegas.

From that reality alone, not having Sanders center-stage here hurts. The Pac-12 needs public perception wins where it can get them.

Having Sanders’ multi-million dollar grin owning an auditorium, going off the cuff and presumably leading this evening’s “SportsCenter” with some Sanders-esque coach-preach would’ve been a victory. Right now, the college football world and fans of the soon-to-be 10 remaining institutions — once USC and UCLA bolt — await a media rights deal that has still yet to be struck.

Colorado defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, who came in place of Sanders, said he texted Sanders throughout the day Friday to check in on him. During Kelly’s time on the main stage late Friday afternoon, the media seating was fairly sparse. Had Sanders been able to attend, it presumably would’ve been a full house. Kelly addressed the absurd amount of roster turnover that has pitted Sanders in a war of words with some head coaches across the country, saying Sanders has always told the truth about how they planned on restructuring Colorado’s program. Some, like Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, are just fascinated to see how the experiment turns out.

“Coach Sanders has really shaken the tree there,” Whittingham said.

During his 45-minute window to kick off the morning, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said this was the most anticipated conference media day ever before facing a peppering of questions regarding the perceived shakiness of the state of the conference and a lack of a 2024 TV deal with five weeks to go before the start of the 2023 college football season. While sharing the stage with Pac-12 executive associate commissioner Merton Hanks and Utah athletic director Mark Harlan, Kliavkoff ended up asking the last question of the allotted time.

He asked Hanks, who won a Super Bowl with Sanders with the 1994 San Francisco 49ers, what it was like to play with Prime Time. Hanks sported his giant, shiny Super Bowl ring as he held the Pac-12 mic.

“He’s always been the guy,” Hanks said. “So people who understand being the guy, there is a pressure that comes with being the guy that stays with you. He’s been able to achieve all along the way, whether it’s been as an athlete, as a coach, as a business individual. He’s going to raise the bar, and quite frankly, bring out the best in all of our coaches because you know you’re competing against a winner on the other side — make no mistake about that.”

When provided with a window to keep Coach Prime in the conversation, Pac-12’s commissioner did it.

Continue reading story here


July 21st 

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Pac-12 commissioner Kliavkoff: Big 12 raiding conference “not a concern”

From ESPN … Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said Friday that he’s not concerned about the Big 12 trying to poach any teams, and that he hasn’t engaged in any public debate over the narrative of uncertainty around the league because he knows “the truth.”

“It’s not a concern,” he said at the Pac-12 media day, addressing the topic publicly for the first time this year. “Our schools are committed to each other and the Pac-12. We’ll get our media rights deal done, we’ll announce the deal. I think the realignment that’s going on in college athletics will come to an end for this cycle.”

While the Pac-12 has remained silent on the topic until now, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has been outspoken about his desire to add more teams if it makes sense and creates value for his conference. Kliavkoff hinted that any notion of his league’s demise has come from the Big 12, saying he “kind of knows where the sources of that are coming from.”

“I discount that because I know the truth,” Kliavkoff said. “I could have spent all of last year getting into a he said-he said on every single rumor that’s been passed about our conference. We decided to take the high road and focus on the future of the conference. That’s why we haven’t engaged.”

Kliavkoff said his bigger concern about not publicly defending the league was the impact it might have on recruiting, but it’s “never been stronger.”

“That kind of reinforced our decision to not engage and stay with the high road,” he said.

Last week, a Pac-12 source told ESPN the league’s new media rights deal is likely to include a mix of streaming and linear options and is expected to be on-par with the ACC and Big 12. For the Pac-12 to stay intact after the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2024, the 10 remaining presidents and chancellors have to sign the grant of rights, which will depend on their satisfaction with the new deal. The 10 schools in the conference have pre-negotiated the grant of rights deal and agreed on the terms, including how the revenue would be split, which signifies a commitment to the conference — at least tangentially. The length of the grant of rights will mirror the terms of the television contract.

Kliavkoff said getting the right deal has always been more important to the board than “getting the expeditious one.” Kliavkoff said he has constantly updated the presidents and chancellors and believes “they’re enthusiastic” about the media deal.

“What we’ve seen is that the longer we wait for a deal, the better our options get,” Kliavkoff said. “I think our board realizes that. There’s an underlying shift in the media market that’s happening and we’re long-term taking advantage of that, but short-term may have provided some hiccups.”

Continue reading story here


July 20th

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Preseason Pac-12 Media poll released: USC 1st; CU 11th

From the Pac-12 … USC has been chosen as the favorite to win the 2023 Pac-12 Conference Championship, presented by 76®, in a vote of 36 media members who cover the league.  The Trojans received 25 of the 36 first-place votes to earn the preseason selection.

WASHINGTON, which received four first-place votes, finished second to edge two-time defending champion UTAH, which actually received more first-place votes (six) than the Huskies.  OREGON, which finished fourth in the poll, was the only other school to receive a first-place vote.

This will be the second season that the Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be played between the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage.  This change came about following the NCAA Division I Council decision in May 2022 to deregulate the rule that had limited an individual conference’s autonomy to determine their football championship game participants.  It was based on a motion brought by the Pac-12 and unanimously supported by all FBS conferences

The media has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 33 of 62 previous preseason polls, including six times in the 12-year FCG era.

2023 Pac-12 Football Media Day will be held in Las Vegas on Friday, July 21.  For all materials needed during media day please go here.

Following are the results of the preseason media poll (points 12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 with first-place votes in parentheses):

SchoolTotal Points
1.  USC (25)413
2.  Washington (4)367
3.  Utah (6)359
4.  Oregon (1)344
5.  Oregon State309
6.  UCLA248
7.  Washington State186
8.  Arizona176
9.  California132
10.  Arizona State122
11.  Colorado98
12.  Stanford54

The 2023 Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76, featuring the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage, will take place on Friday, Dec. 1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. The game will be telecast to a national audience on ABC.

The 2023 Pac-12 football season kicks off in Week Zero on Saturday, Aug. 26 when USC and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams host San Jose State at 5 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network. The first Conference showdown features Stanford at USC on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. PT on FOX. Click here for the complete Pac-12 Football schedule.


July 19th

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San Diego State and Mountain West Conference kiss and make up

From ESPN … San Diego State’s standing with the Mountain West has been crystallized.

A source told ESPN on Tuesday night that the conference informed San Diego State that it is a member in good standing.

According to a source, this step in the recently complicated relationship between the Mountain West and SDSU means the school will soon receive the $6.6 million that the league was withholding.

Those frozen assets came in the wake of SDSU’s muddled attempt to announce its exit last month. The Mountain West took the school’s initial letter about its intention to withdraw as an actual withdrawal, setting up an awkward back-and-forth that appears to be complete.

The Mountain West presidents met Monday. Kicking San Diego State out of the league wasn’t ever really an option, according to sources, but the school is expected to have to cover the modest legal fees for the legal attention necessitated by the back-and-forth.

San Diego State had initially asked for a month extension past June 30 in order to let the Pac-12 protracted television contract play out. News emerged Tuesday that having that extra month may not have helped, as the Pac-12 will not announce a television deal at media days, and it’s unlikely the league will have a television contract by the end of July.

San Diego State is expected to remain in the Mountain West for at least the next two years, as the fee to withdraw before then is nearly $34 million.


July 18th

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ESPN: Pac-12 media rights deal in the “near future”; patience “about to pay off”

From ESPN … The Pac-12 expects to release details of its highly anticipated media rights deal in the “near future,” a league source with knowledge of the conversations told ESPN on Tuesday.

The deal will not be announced at Pac-12 football media day on Friday in Las Vegas, the source told ESPN. It is likely to include a mix of streaming and linear options and is expected to be on-par with the ACC and Big 12, the source said.

“Our 10 schools have been ridiculously patient,” the source said, adding that the league’s patience to make a deal has led to more bidders coming to the table. “That patience is about to pay off.”

For the Pac-12 to stay intact after the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2024, the 10 remaining presidents and chancellors have to sign the grant of rights, which will depend on their satisfaction with the new deal. The 10 schools in the conference have prenegotiated the grant of rights deal and agreed on the terms, including how the revenue would be split, which signifies a commitment to the conference — at least tangentially. The length of the grant of rights will mirror the terms of the television contract.

Leaders throughout college athletics have been paying close attention to the Pac-12 and waiting for months to see how — if at all — the new deal could further impact conference realignment. The biggest flight risk, according to sources, has been Colorado, and it remains to be seen if the administration there has the patience to wait for the new deal before making a major decision that could have a tidal wave of effects.

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July 17th

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SEC Commissioner: An “urgent need” for Congress to enact national standards for NIL

From ESPN … SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on Monday said there is an “urgent need” for Congress to enact a national standard for name, image and likeness and he was emphatic in his belief that “only Congress can adequately resolve these issues.”

Sankey, speaking onstage to a ballroom full of reporters gathered at the Grand Hyatt for the league’s annual media days, used the bulk of his time at the lectern repeating a message he had personally delivered last month to congress members in Washington.

“The reality is, only Congress can fully address the challenges facing college athletics,” he said. “The NCAA cannot fix all of these issues, the courts cannot resolve all of these issues. The states cannot resolve all of these issues, nor can the conferences. Whether congressional action is achievable is a matter of debate. Much debate.

“But educational opportunity, supporting equitable opportunities for men and for women, ensuring the United States’ continued success in the Olympic Games, providing medical care, nutritional support, academic support, mental wellness counseling,” he said, “these are nonpartisan issues that deserve a nonpartisan solution.”

Sankey said that “to our knowledge,” no state has taken action to enforce its own NIL laws. The individual states are also preventing the NCAA and conferences from adopting and enforcing reasonable NIL standards, according to Sankey. He said that while NIL has been “a net positive for young people,” there are also stories of how it has been misused.

“Some stories told and others not told of promises made but not fulfilled, of inducements offered but not provided, of empty commitments, and NIL agreements that created more questions than provided answers and other behaviors in this space that rightly caused concern,” he said. “The reality is our student-athletes deserve something better than a patchwork of state laws that support their name, image and likeness activities if support is the right word.”

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July 16th 

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Hot Seat Rankings: Coach Prime “untouchable”; only one Pac-12 coach given a “3” rating

From CBS Sports … The college football offseason once again saw significant turnover atop FBS programs with 24 programs — 18% of the FBS (now at 133 teams) — changing coaches, which means there’s a large swath entering honeymoon year with their new schools. Couple that with a number of programs who are in the midst of dealing with conference realignment over the next two seasons, and there are plenty of unknowns entering this year.

The Hot Seat Rankings have long been an accurate predictor in terms of job security. Over the last five years, 30 of the 43 coaches rated 4 or worse in the preseason eventually lost their jobs (70%). That includes seven of eight last season; Syracuse’s Dino Babers was the lone coach to survive following a slightly improved 7-6 campaign.

Entering the 2023 season, there are seven coaches firmly on the proverbial hot seat (rated 4 or higher) following the Monday night firing of Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald. However, you can be sure there will be far more than eight job changes as that damn coaching carousel is always spinning no matter the expectations entering a given year.

In addition to the full set of rankings below, we have detailed those seven coaches sitting on the hottest seats ahead of the 2023 campaign. There is also a group “Notable 3s” to keep an eye on throughout the season.

Babers enters 2023 with a 18-30 record since his incredible 10-3 season with the Orange in 2018. Neal Brown is 11-14 after his lone winning mark (6-4 in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season) at West Virginia. And then there’s Jimbo Fisher whose $70 million buyout and national championship (at Florida State) have given him a longer leash at Texas A&M where he has yet to live up to his hefty price tag or lofty expectations. Making a late entry onto the hot seat was Fitzgerald for reasons that extended beyond his 4-20 record over the last two seasons; however, he was dismissed Monday night.

Below you can see where all 133 FBS coaches stand before the season begins. Check out the ratings key first and see where every coach in college football ranks with kickoff scheduled in less than two months.

Untouchables (0) … 

Nick SabanAlabama
Dabo SwinneyClemson
Deion SandersColorado 
Kirby SmartGeorgia
Chris KliemanKansas State
Jamey ChadwellLiberty
Jeff BrohmLouisville
Brian KellyLSU
Jim HarbaughMichigan
K.C. KeelerSam Houston State
Sonny Dykes TCU
Lincoln Riley USC
Jeff TraylorUTSA
Kyle WhittinghamUtah 
Kalen DeBoerWashington 

The rest of the Pac-12 …

  • Kenny Dillingham – Arizona State … 1 (Safe and secure)
  • Dan Lanning … Oregon … 1
  • Matt Rhule … Nebraska … 1
  • Jonathan Smith … Oregon State … 2 (All good for now)
  • Jedd Fisch – Arizona … 2
  • Troy Taylor … Stanford … 2
  • Chip Kelly … UCLA … 2
  • Jake Dickert … Washington State … 2
  • Jay Norvell – Colorado State … 2
  • Justin Wilcox – Cal … 3 (Pressure is mounting)

Read full story here


July 15th

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How will clock rule changes impact games this fall?

From The Athletic … College football games will be shorter this year.

In April, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved three rule changes for the 2023 season. Most notably, the clock will continue to run after first downs, like the NFL, outside of the last two minutes. (Previously, the clock stopped until the ball was set. That will remain the case for plays that go out of bounds outside of the final two minutes.)

Will it have a notable impact on games this fall?

“It’ll be a big factor in the games, in my opinion,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said this week. “Now, if teams have the ability to rush the ball with a clock that continues to move on first downs, very similar to what you see in the NFL, the game is going to expire much quicker and it’ll be considerably different to what it’s been in the past.”

Along with the clock change, the NCAA banned a team from calling consecutive timeouts, and penalties at the end of the first and third quarters will carry over to the next quarter, instead of playing an untimed down.

There are two reasons for those changes: One is player contact and the other is the length of games. College football games in 2022 averaged 180 total plays and 3:30 in length, according to an NCAA study, with many games longer than four hours. That compares to 155 plays and 3:10 in the NFL. Members of the competition committee believe this will reduce games by seven to 10 plays per game and as much as 10 real-time minutes. It’s also a proactive move ahead of an expanded College Football Playoff with more games.

While some Big 12 coaches were concerned about the clock change at conference media days this week, more of them downplayed any change.

“I don’t like four-hour, 15-minute games,” Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I’ve done things from a ball control point of view. Two years ago, we were top three in the country in time of possession. I’ve prided ourselves on being able to run the football and shorten games when we have leads. In my opinion, whatever shortens games, I’m all in favor of. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Teams tend to tempo the most after a first down anyway, so keep that thing running.”

Because of up-tempo offenses, college football officials have already been trained to spot the ball as quickly as possible, typically in under 10 seconds. That’s why they’ve downplayed this as a major change. It’s different in the NFL, where officials dictate more tempo and teams don’t run hurry-up for an entire game, in part due to smaller rosters.

UCF coach Gus Malzahn runs one of the fastest offenses in the country (seventh in plays per game last year) and said the rule won’t change anything for him. He noted the 2006 rule change starting the clock on change of possessions and after kickoffs was much more dramatic in shortening games. A year later, that was repealed and college football went to a 40-second play clock. Coaches realized at that point they could speed up offenses without huddling, and no-huddle offenses became popular through coaches like Chip Kelly and later Malzahn.

“I don’t expect this to be a big factor,” Malzahn said.” We’re going to operate the exact same way. I only expect a difference of a couple plays.”

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July 14th

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Pac-12 Media contracts: “Will be worth the wait”

From Trojans Wire … We are now one week from Pac-12 media day on Friday, July 21. What, if anything, will emerge on that day? Will we have a new media rights deal in the Pac-12? The deal might not be completely finalized, but the framework might be disclosed to the extent that schools (and the public) will gain crucial information. They might be able to (finally) know how much revenue the conference will gain and then distribute to its 10 members (sans USC and UCLA).

While we wait for media day and the possible revelation of a media rights deal, Pac-12 insiders continue to be very, very confident about the ultimate outcome of the process.

John Canzano, at his Substack, caught up with one member of the Pac-12 CEO Group:

“Earlier this year, Disney announced it would cut more than $3 billion in content costs and announced plans for 7,000 layoffs. Those content cuts, interestingly, do not impact live-sports content.

“Does the industry shift work to the Pac-12’s advantage?

“Is it good/bad for the Pac-12 to hear the CEO of Disney talking about selling equity in ESPN?

“The member of the Pac-12 CEO Group I spoke with on Thursday said it was ‘eventually good.’ That the shift at Disney and other places definitely caused a short-term delay, ‘but will be worth the wait.’”

If all of this confidence is not matched by a deal which hits a satisfactory price point, the public relations blowback could be severe. We will see if this backroom, behind-the-scenes confidence is justified.


July 13th

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Sonny Dykes: TCU “more about the steak than the sizzle” (unlike, cough, cough, CU)

From the Daily Camera … Sonny Dykes opened his tenure as TCU’s head football coach with a trip to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes just 10 months ago.

The game didn’t draw much attention, given that TCU was coming off a 5-7 season and CU was coming off a 4-8 campaign. This year will be dramatically different when the Buffs and Horned Frogs meet up on Sept. 2 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

TCU went 13-2 a year ago and played in the national title game. Colorado was 1-11, but made a splash in December by hiring Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as head coach. Two of the most interesting teams in the country will play in Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff showcase.

Dykes said TCU worries “more about the steak than the sizzle,” but he’s excited to have the spotlight on the opener.

“I think it’s good for college football,” Dykes said at Big 12 media days on Wednesday at AT&T Stadium. “Obviously, Deion is a big personality and a well-known guy and is good for the game. He puts a lot of eyeballs on the game and he’ll be good for Colorado. It’ll be a contrast of styles. We try to operate a little bit more in the shadows, maybe, and it’s just kind of different personalities, but it should be a heck of a ballgame.”

… Dykes likes what Sanders has built, however.

“They’ve done a really nice job recruiting,” Dyke said. “They’ve got good players. They’ve got an experienced quarterback (Shedeur Sanders). All the stuff that gives you the makings of a good football team they’ve got and they’ve got really good coaches.

“I’ll say this: I was very, very impressed with the coaching staff that they put together. I really was. I thought they did a great job of building a really good staff and guys that are good coaches; also guys that are good recruiters. Deion is getting a lot of attention for stuff but that’s the kind of thing you ought to get attention for is putting together a really good staff and going out and finding a lot of really good players.”

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July 12th

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Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark: “We will continue to positively disrupt”

From CBS Sports … When Brett Yormark took the stage at Big 12 Media Days in July 2022 as the conference’s incoming commissioner, he vowed for the league to become “young and hip” amid an ever-changing landscape in college athletics. Nearly a year into his tenure, and speaking from the very same stage Wednesday at AT&T Stadium, Yormark believes what could be a golden era for the Big 12 is still just getting started.

“There has never been a better time than right now to be involved in this conference,” Yormark said. “I’m really excited about our future.”

Approaching the one-year mark of Yormark serving as commissioner, much has changed for the Big 12. It hammered down a six-year, multi-billion dollar extension of its media rights deal with ESPN and Fox Sports and, more recently, added four new members in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF as of July 1. That’s perhaps only the tip of the iceberg concerning a conference that the innovative Yormark intends to further overhaul from a branding perspective.

At the forefront of Yormark’s spiel to begin Big 12 Media Days was the ongoing effort to broaden the league’s reach in preparing for life without Oklahoma and Texas, who leave for the SEC on July 1, 2024. Yormark revealed the league recently executed its first conference-wide strategic plan since 2011, confirming plans to unveil a new logo for the Big 12 next year as part of a larger brand refresh.

“It’s been a busy 11 months [since I took over], but it’s not necessarily about where we have been,” Yormark said. “It’s about where we are going. As we look forward, we will continue to innovate, create and positively disrupt, living at the intersections of culture, sports and business.”

Yormark is as well-versed as any Power Five commissioner on that front with his past as an executive for both the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency. So far, it’s shown. Among previously announced initiatives to grow the Big 12’s exposure are a conference-wide football pro day — believed to be the first of its kind — and plans to hold several athletic events in Mexico. Both are slated to begin in 2024. Also on deck is a  Big 12 “homecoming tour” that visits the four new additions this football season.

That comes after the Big 12 already garnered nearly 100,000 new followers across the social media platforms in the past year, according to Yormark, making for a 309% increase year-over-year. For a conference looking to make a dent in the digital age, those numbers are music to Yormark’s ears.

Continue reading story here


July 10th

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Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald fired amid hazing allegations

From ESPN … Northwestern has fired football coach Pat Fitzgerald, sources told ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Adam Rittenberg on Monday.

Fitzgerald’s firing comes in the wake of a two-week unpaid suspension that was announced by the school on Friday, following a university-commissioned investigation into hazing allegations within the program that were made by an anonymous whistleblower.

A day after announcing Fitzgerald’s suspension, the school appeared to reverse course Saturday night, with university president Michael Schill saying in a letter sent to the Northwestern community that he “may have erred in weighing the appropriate sanction” for Fitzgerald after new details emerged surrounding the hazing allegations.

“In determining an appropriate penalty for the head coach, I focused too much on what the report concluded he didn’t know and not enough on what he should have known,” Schill wrote in his letter Saturday night. “As the head coach of one of our athletics programs, coach Fitzgerald is not only responsible for what happens within the program but also must take great care to uphold our institutional commitment to the student experience. … Clearly, he failed to uphold that commitment, and I failed to sufficiently consider that failure in levying a sanction.”

Fitzgerald’s suspension was among the measures Northwestern announced after concluding the investigation, which began in January and found that one claim from an anonymous whistleblower was supported, even though player accounts varied and there was not sufficient evidence that coaches knew about the conduct. Other measures included no more preseason practices off campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where some of the alleged hazing occurred, and a new football locker room monitor who will not report to Fitzgerald or his staff.

Fitzgerald, an alum who has coached Northwestern since 2006, said in a statement Friday that he was very disappointed to hear about the hazing allegations and had no prior knowledge of the incidents.

“Northwestern football prides itself on producing not just athletes, but fine young men with character befitting the program and our university,” Fitzgerald said in his statement. “We hold our student-athletes and our program to the highest standards; we will continue to work to exceed those standards moving forward.”

Fitzgerald, 48, is two years into a 10-year, $57 million contract, a deal reached after he reportedly received serious interest from the NFL.

Pac-12 Media Day is next week: “The whole world is watching”

From … The Pac-12 Conference is less than two weeks from its media day gathering in Las Vegas. If you follow college sports with a reasonable degree of regularity — not obsessively, but enough to know what is generally happening in the industry — you know that the Pac-12 and commissioner George Kliavkoff are expected to have their long-awaited media rights deal finalized by then.

The industry expectation is that Kliavkoff will use his public remarks at media day to break a very long silence on this and related stories. He has wanted to keep a very low profile and focus on hammering out this agreement. Kliavkoff has understandably felt it is important to keep his head down and tend to the other pieces of very urgent business he has with the Pac-12 CEO Group and the member schools in the conference. Securing contractual agreements, making sure everyone is happy, and creating a pathway to future stability — all while cleaning up more messes left behind by Larry Scott — have necessarily occupied his time.

On July 21, though, it’s go time. Kliavkoff needs to have a deal in hand that he proclaims to the world as a guarantee of conference survival and stability.

All eyes are on San Diego State, too. The Aztecs might seem to be staying in the Mountain West, but the politics of that situation remain clouded and uncertain. Does the Pac-12 want to announce that it has invited SDSU and SMU, or will it wait a year? What else will Kliavkoff reveal about what has happened behind the scenes? That, as much as the media deal itself, will be an enormous point of interest.


July 9th

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San Diego State saga playing out like a Seinfeld episode

From Football Scoop … In the classic Seinfeld episode “The Revenge,” George Costanza famously quits his job, going out in a hail of a blaze of verbal glory, telling off his boss in a way that many employees fantasize about but so few rarely do. George then strategizes with Jerry about his next move and, having come to the realization he quit with zero forethought and he’s not qualified to do any of the jobs he’d like to do, he ultimately realizes his best move will be the roll into the office on Monday morning like nothing happened. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

A similar dynamic is playing out in the Mountain West.

As detailed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State and the Mountain West are currently in disagreement over whether or not the Aztecs are still members of the conference after the 2023-24 athletic year.

At issue is a Seinfeld-ian dispute over the respective parties’ interpretation of the phrase “intends to resign.”

On June 13, SDSU president Adela de la Torre wrote a letter to MW commissioner Gloria Nevarez and her colleagues on the 11 other MW campuses explaining that San Diego State “intends to resign” from the conference, without a specific date of departure. Mountain West bylaws stated that any exiting school would owe $17 million if it left the conference with more than one year’s notice, and $34 million if providing less than a full year’s notice. June 30 represented a drop-dead date, with the 2023-24 year officially beginning on July 1. Therefore, any exit after July 1 would come with less than a full year’s notice, and a $34 million price tag.

Nevarez and the MW office took “intends to resign” as San Diego State’s official resignation, not a warning that SDSU will leave the conference at some TBD date in the near future.

Which means, as far as the Mountain West is concerned, San Diego State is not a member of the conference after June 30, 2024, and any problems that creates in San Diego aren’t the conference’s concern.

In fact, the MW’s response to SDSU’s June 13 letter indicated that the conference received the school’s letter, will be sad to see the school go, wishes them well on their future endeavors, and also that, per league bylaws, de la Torre had been removed from the MW Board of Directors and the conference will withhold a scheduled $6.6 million payment as part of the required $17 million exit fee.

To which San Diego State effectively responded…. “Wait, wait, wait, no, not yet.”

“We previously advised you that SDSU had not made a final determination as to whether to resign from the Mountain West Conference,” de la Torre wrote in a subsequent letter to the conference. “I am pleased to advise you that SDSU has decided to remain in the Mountain West Conference and therefore will not be resigning at this time.”

“Oh what, that? Are you kidding? I didn’t quit.”

Continue reading story here


July 8th

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Report: The Big 12 “has little interest” in San Diego State

From CBS Sports … Back in the day of conference realignment — you know, a month ago — San Diego State had options. With a new stadium, a consistent football program and miracle run to the Final Four, the school was all but a certainty for a conference upgrade.

If not the Pac-12, then perhaps the Big 12. In fact, SDSU athletic director JD Wicker nearly said those exact words during the high times of his school’s conference considerations.

“One or the other is going to happen,” Wicker told The Athletic in April of a move to the Pac-12 or Big 12.

Now? Maybe neither.

The Mountain West has basically taken up San Diego State on its intent to depart the league as stated in a June 13 letter to the conference. A flurry of subsequent back-and-forth letters has ended — for now — with the MWC withholding SDSU’s revenue distribution this year ($6.6 million) as part of an exit fee it believes it deserves.

San Diego State still considers itself a member of Mountain West. The conference says SDSU is out as of July 1, 2024. Yikes.

It gets worse … at least for San Diego State.

Though SDSU once believed the Pac-12 and Big 12 were interested in adding it to their respective conferences, the Big 12 has little interest in bringing SDSU aboard, sources indicated to CBS Sports this week. This despite Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark’s stated intent to expand his league to the West Coast.

Rather, the Big 12’s current expansion focus continues to be on UConn and any Pac-12 schools that may be shaken loose once it has a media rights deal to pitch to its membership.

Meanwhile, San Diego State continues to wait. The Pac-12 remains the best option for the Aztecs. The Big 12 was at least previously interested dating back to a tour of the campus taken by former commissioner Bob Bowlsby before he left office at the end of last year, sources told CBS Sports.

Now? SDSU is not only hearing crickets, it’s sitting in limbo.

Continue reading story here


July 5th

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Washington projected to be the favorite in every game the Huskies play this fall (Utah in 11 games)

Number of games projected as favorite in 2023 via @_Collin1  power ratings:  

12-Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Washington

11-Clemson, Florida State (FSU at Clemson is projected as a pick)

11-Liberty, UNC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Alabama, Texas, Toledo, Tulane, Utah, Wisconsin

10-Air Force, Baylor, Boise State, Coastal Carolina, Maryland, Navy, Ole Miss, Oregon, Troy, WKU

9-Kentucky, Louisiana, LSU, Marshall, Memphis, NIU, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Penn State, Rice, Texas Tech, UCLA


July 4th

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What is the Mountain West’s strategy in maintaining that San Diego State has resigned? 

From the San Diego Union-TribuneLetter 5: With an 11 p.m. Friday deadline approaching and no movement on an invitation from the Pac-12 or another conference, SDSU asserts it is not withdrawing from the Mountain West, which likely means it will stay put at least two more years.

“We previously advised you that SDSU had not made a final determination as to whether to resign from the Mountain West Conference,” de la Torre wrote. “I am pleased to advise you that SDSU has decided to remain in the Mountain West Conference and therefore will not be resigning at this time.”

Letter 6: The conference replies Saturday that, as the bylaws allow, is withholding a $6,602,233.48 payment due the university this week as the first installment of the exit fee “in connection with our receipt of the SDSU Notice of Resignation.”

Translation: You’re out on July 1, 2024, and you owe us $17 million.

So why the hard-line approach by the Mountain West to what many regard as its marquee member, one that just three months ago elevated the conference’s profile to new heights with a trip to the national championship game in men’s basketball?

There could be several strategies at work. One could be simple envy and retaliation over how SDSU approached a potential departure to a power conference, figuring the Aztecs have one foot out the door already so why play nice? One could be gaining leverage should SDSU try to negotiate a lowered exit fee if a Pac-12 invite for 2024-25 comes later this summer.

Another might be an attempt to broker a long-term commitment from SDSU to the conference, further milking the Aztecs for NCAA Tournament shares in men’s basketball and their value to television partners. (Their 2023 NCAA run earned the conference an estimated $10 million over the next six years.)

Also unclear is where CBS and Fox, the Mountain West’s linear television partners, stand on this. If SDSU departs the conference, the networks can restructure the media rights contract that runs through 2025-26 and theoretically pay the remaining members less without the Aztecs and the San Diego market.

Before each season, CBS and Fox select which regular-season conference basketball games they want to air on their various channels; all 18 SDSU games were selected, including two on big-boy CBS and one on Fox. Second-place Boise State had 12 of 18 selected, counting both against the Aztecs, and none on major networks. San Jose State had only six.

Whatever the Mountain West’s motive, it represents a stark and sudden shift in tone. Just months ago, Nevarez was strutting around Houston’s NRG Stadium at the Final Four wearing a bright red blazer, singing the praises to national media about the first Mountain West team to get past the Sweet 16.

“There’s so much excitement, especially in the Mountain West office, because we’re so good in basketball and to finally break through and get this far is just amazing,” Nevarez told the Associated Press in Houston. “Couldn’t be happier for San Diego State. We’re super excited.

“This is the biggest national stage in college basketball and across a lot of other sports. For us to have a team in this moment on this stage, you can’t buy this kind of advertising.”

At football media days last July, former Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson was asked about SDSU potentially being swept up by the Pac-12 in the next wave of conference realignment.

“I hope they don’t leave,” Thompson said. “They’re a great member to the league, and it’s a tremendous market for us. But I would say, ‘Congratulations. Thanks for the time, but you have a great opportunity.’”

Read full story here


July 3rd

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Transfer Portal windows to be cut in half

From The Athletic … The NCAA is considering shortening the length of time its transfer portal windows are open each year, the organization said in a release on Wednesday.

The Division I Council has introduced a proposal to shorten transfer windows to 30 days, down from the current 60-day period. The windows have been in effect for only one year, but that has provided enough data for the NCAA to determine that most athletes enter the portal at the beginning of the window. A shorter window would simplify the task of coaches in their efforts to manage and reconstruct their rosters.

This proposal will now be sent around for feedback from various sport oversight committees and the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Council. It will be voted on by the D-I Council at its October meeting.

Football currently has two transfer windows during which players can enter the portal and become immediately eligible at their next school: the first began the day after the College Football Playoff field and bowl matchups were announced and lasted 45 days; the second ran from April 15-30 this spring. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said this week that he believed the NCAA should shorten the 45-day winter window.

“What you saw when the portal opened, the day after bowl placement, the first week or two was the exact behavior anticipated,” Sankey said on “The Joel Klatt Show.” “A lot of people who didn’t get playing time or didn’t make the right decisions raised their hand and said I would like to leave. After those two weeks, you had a lot of third parties and agents saying, ‘I’ve got a deal for you if you leave.’”

The Division I Council approved two other transfer-related rule changes. If transfers decide to leave their team following a coaching change at their second school, they can still continue to receive their scholarship without counting against the team scholarship limits. The second rule change exempts a school from counting a transfer player against its team scholarship limit if the athlete does not actually enroll.


July 2nd

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Nationally 22 programs over $150 million in revenue (CU 10th in the Pac-12 at $95 million)

USA TODAY recently released its annual database of athletic department revenue, expenses and profit/loss for the Pac-12 and other college athletic departments that reported data in 2022-23.

A total of 22 programs topped the $150 million mark nationally, including one from the Pac-12.

Oregon led the conference in revenue with $153,510,555, 19th nationally, and Washington came in 25th with $145,184,864. (Numbers for private schools USC and Stanford were not reported.)

However, the significant difference between the schools showed up in total expenses and profits or losses.

The Ducks ended the fiscal year in the black with a profit of $12,945,258, while the Huskies had a financial loss of -$4,274,059.

Utah was the second most profitable with net revenue of $3,838,832, followed by Cal with $3,726,331.

The two Arizona schools were the only other conference schools to surpass the $120 million revenue mark, with Arizona earning $124,353,539 and Arizona taking in $121,079,615, though both lost money on the year.

In all, six of the 10 schools that reported recorded a fiscal loss, ranging from a whopping -$28,045,569 for UCLA to -$1,094,866 for Colorado.

In terms of revenue, only the Buffs ($94,873,830), Cougars ($85,028,825) and Beavers ($83,480,015) generated less than $100 million.

Nationally, the richest school is Ohio State with total revenue of $251,615,345 and a profit of $25,881,927.

The table below shows the totals by Pac-12 school for each category, so you can sort by revenue, expenses, and profit or loss (shown in red).

2022-23 Pac-12 School Revenue, Expenses and Profit/Loss



Oregon State$83,480,015$87,729,627-$4,249,612



July 1st 

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Report: NCAA Oversight Committee recommends continuation of signing unlimted recruits

… The COVID-inspired rule was set to expire after this season, which would have made a repeat of what Coach Prime did this past off-season impossible. Now, it appears that such an overall would again be permitted, at least for one more off-season … 

From Ross Dellenger twitter (Sports Illustrated) feed:

NCAA FB Oversight Committee has recommended that the DI Council extend a waiver thru 2024-25 that eliminates the football signing limit

This would continue to permit teams to sign an unlimited number of recruits as long as they stay at/under the 85.

Per NCAA, DI Council approved these recommendations from FB Oversight:
– extend waiver thru 2024-25 that eliminates FB signing limit
– extend waiver thru 2023-24 permitting players to use their redshirt while competing in up to 4 reg. season games+any number of postseason games

… Waiting for a published story with more details … 


June 30th

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San Diego State backs off from exit strategy, recommits to Mountain West

From ESPN … San Diego State is expected to deliver notice to the Mountain West on Friday that it will not withdraw from the league, a source told ESPN.

The update from the school will be the latest in a back-and-forth between the school and the conference that began on June 13 with SDSU informing the Mountain West it “intends” to leave the conference.

San Diego State plans to move forward as part of the Mountain West, per sources, as it does not have an invitation from a power conference. The Mountain West had yet to receive any notice as of early Friday afternoon and has yet to comment.

The news emerged on Friday because it marked a significant deadline. If SDSU were to leave the Mountain West for the start of the 2024-25 season after June 30, it would need to pay nearly $34 million, up from about $16.5 million. That means that SDSU is expected be in the Mountain West for the next two seasons, as it’s unlikely it would pay $34 million to leave prior.

It’s uncertain how the Mountain West will react, as it informed SDSU after the June 13 letter that it had accepted the school’s notice of resignation. Included in the process of withdrawing is the removal of SDSU president Adela de la Torre’s seat from the league’s Board of Directors and withholding payment to put toward the exit fee.

The league typically sends out its annual payment – expected to be around $6 million for SDSU – this week. San Diego State’s payment has not been sent, per a source.

San Diego State’s impending decision on Friday comes the day that the Pac-12’s Board of Directors met again for an update on the league’s television negotiations. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff gave a more detailed presentation to the Pac-12 board, but sources told ESPN’s Heather Dinich on Friday that no deal is expected to be announced imminently.

Continue reading story here


June 29th

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If invited, SMU would have the second-largest NIL Collective in the Pac-12

From John Canzano … Chris Schoemann is the executive director of “The Boulevard Collective” — SMU’s high-octane donor collective. I spoke with a number of wealthy donors for a piece I wrote last week and came away thinking that the buying power of the school’s collective is a threat to some the top entities in the Pac-12.

If the Mustangs are invited into the Pac-12 via conference expansion in the coming days or weeks, where would SMU’s NIL collective rank when it comes to wealth?

Turns out the folks at The Boulevard Collective have studied it.

Said Schoemann: “It’s behind only Division Street. That’s where we are.”

Oregon’s collective has billionaire Phil Knight backing it, among others. Last year, I was told by one UO donor that the initial buy-in for Division Street, Inc. was $500,000 and that didn’t get you a say in who the collective did business with.

Schoemann told me that the SMU collective was included in the analysis done by consulting firms trying to gauge whether the school was a good fit for the Pac-12.

Geography, campus culture, academics, media market, brand and some other criteria certainly matter. But if the Pac-12 is trying to figure out how competitive the Mustangs might be right away, the health of the collective offers a glimpse.

Schoemann told me: “We have had good feedback. believe SMU is being analyzed in a number of ways and we’re part of the component.”


June 28th

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Stewart Mandel: “Everyone I talk to inside the Pac-12 remains confident that no one is leaving”

From The Athletic

Stew, we are creeping up on July and still no Pac-12 media deal. What is the latest a deal can realistically get done? Also, any credibility with the $22 million/year that’s been floated out there? — Noel D.

Friday marks one full year since USC and UCLA announced their departures. You would think I’d have something definitive to tell you by now. I do not. Nor does nearly anyone inside the Pac-12, because George Kliavkoff has kept the circle of people with knowledge of the negotiations incredibly small.

You can tell from the various empty quotes from league presidents and ADs (some of which I myself reported), with their optimistic timelines that never came to pass, that not even they know all the specifics. The next such milestone will come Friday when no deal is reached “by the end of the month,” as Wazzu president Kirk Schultz told his board a few weeks back.

In a vacuum, there is no urgent date by which the deal has to get done. The Big Ten’s new deal with Fox, CBS and NBC that begins this August did not get announced until last August. But as we know, there is speculation Colorado and Arizona may defect to the Big 12 and San Diego State has put itself in realignment limbo, so the longer this drags on, the more likely someone gets itchy. Also, Pac-12 media day is fast approaching on July 21. It will be a bad, bad look for Kliavkoff if he is up there answering the same exact questions he was at this same exact event a year ago.

While Kliavkoff is dealing with several factors outside his control, his strategy from the start has been baffling. He wasted several months waiting on the highly unlikely possibility the UC Board of Regents would block UCLA’s Big Ten move. As best I can tell, he hasn’t spoken publicly about the negotiations since December (remember the suggestion that Colorado hiring Deion Sanders would “absolutely add value” to their media rights?), leaving anyone with a Twitter account or a YouTube channel to fill the void with increasingly dire speculation.

And he’s insisted throughout that the conference has to get the TV deal done before it can add new members, thus precluding what would seemingly be a layup announcement that at least gives Pac-12 fans something to be excited about. Their rationale is, why would a school join the league without knowing how much they’re going to make? But I find it hard to believe San Diego State, which currently makes about $4 million a year from the Mountain West, is going to bat an eye if their new payout is “only” $20 million instead of $25 million.

I’m done trying to predict how much money the league ends up getting, and I’d be skeptical of any dollar figure floating out there, good or bad. There’s a roughly 98.5 percent chance that whoever put it out there is not in the negotiating room. Everyone I talk to inside the Pac-12 remains confident that A) No one is leaving, and B) They’re going to get as much as the Big 12. But even a year into this thing, it’s impossible to tell whether that’s informed speculation or blind optimism.


June 27th

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Resignation letter from San Diego State poorly written; ambiguous

From The Athletic … As the Mountain West and San Diego State continue their standoff over San Diego State’s future in the league, The Athletic has acquired the letters at the core of the issue.

San Diego State on Monday responded to a public records request filed last week for communications between the Mountain West and SDSU president Adela de la Torre. It further confirms what The Athletic and others reported last week: SDSU said it intended to leave the conference, the Mountain West took the university’s initial correspondence as a formal notice and SDSU claimed it was not.

The MWC has deferred comment to San Diego State, which stands by its original statement: “As there has been a large amount of discussion about conference realignment nationally, we continue to do our due diligence to identify the best opportunity and fit in the interest of both our university and our student-athletes.”

Here is the timeline so far.

June 13

In a letter to “Mountain West Conference and All Members,” de la Torre wrote, “this letter is to formally notice that San Diego State University (SDSU) intends to resign from the Mountain West Conference (MWC) effective June 30, 2024 or at an agreed upon later date. It has been an absolute joy to collaborate and compete with each of the member universities.”

The letter also includes requests to extend the official June 30, 2023 notification deadline for exit by one month, “given unforeseen delays involving other collegiate athletic conferences beyond our control.” De la Torre also asked to discuss the exit fee, considering San Diego State earned $10 million in NCAA men’s basketball tournament units this year, and the possibility of spreading the exit fee over a four-year span.

June 14

Mountain West commissioner Gloria Nevarez replied, thanking San Diego State for its consideration and professionalism and saying the conference received the news “with a heavy heart.” The Mountain West letter also confirmed June 13 as SDSU’s “Notice Date,” the official notice of resignation. It laid out the exit fee (three times the average per-school distribution from the conference, which comes out to around $17 million), the fact that future payouts will be withheld and applied toward the exit fee, and that de la Torre has been removed from the conference Board of Directors, as described in league bylaws.

Nevarez also wrote that she would convene the Board of Directors to review SDSU’s waiver requests over exit fee and dates.

June 15

Looking to backtrack a bit, de la Torre replied to Nevarez, asking to clarify that the school has not officially put in its notice of resignation.

“First, our letter dated June 13, 2023 was not the official notice of resignation from the MWC pursuant to Bylaw 1.04(a). As plainly set forth in that letter, its purpose was twofold: to request a one-month extension of time under which we could formally provide our notice of resignation, and to ask for the opportunity to discuss the exit fee. … Second, because SDSU has not already resigned from the MWC, the formal Notice Date, as defined in Bylaw 1.04(a) has not yet occurred. As such, no such payments due to SDSU from the conference for the previous year should yet be withheld and applied to any future exit fee at this time.”

June 16

Nevarez replied to de la Torre, saying the conference will not approve any waiver over the bylaws and that the conference still considers San Diego State to be on its way out, effective June 30, 2024.

“This letter is not intended to express agreement with any interpretation expressed in the Second Notice Letter (June 15), including those concerning whether your letter, dated June 13, 2023, constitutes a ‘Notice of Resignation’ under the Bylaws. The Conference continues to reserve all rights.”

So what now?

June 30 is Friday. It seems extremely unlikely the Pac-12 will agree to a media rights deal and invite San Diego State before then. The Athletic has put in further public records requests for additional communication between the two sides. If the calendar flips to July with no change, either San Diego State will need to hope a Power 5 invitation comes by next summer, and that it’s one worth accepting, or it will need to mend fences with the Mountain West, even if only for a short period of time.

New NCAA rules on NIL conflict with some state rules; disputes coming

From ESPN … The NCAA’s national office informed member schools Tuesday that some methods schools have started using to get more directly involved in helping their athletes make money from name, image and likeness deals are violations of the association’s rules.

New NCAA guidelines directly conflict with some state laws that are already in effect or will go into effect by the end of the summer, setting up a potential clash that will once again test the association’s legal ability to enforce its rules. In a letter sent to the schools Tuesday afternoon, Stan Wilcox, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs, wrote that even if state laws allow for some specific types of NIL activities, schools could be punished by the NCAA for pursuing them.

“The Association has been clear and maintains that schools must adhere to NCAA legislation (or policy) when it conflicts with permissive state laws,” Wilcox wrote in the letter. “In other words, if a state law permits certain institutional action and NCAA legislation prohibits the same action, institutions must follow NCAA legislation.”

In recent months, several states have passed laws that allow for fundraising groups that are legally separate yet closely partnered with universities to start paying athletes for NIL endorsements. In Texas, for example, a law is set to go into effect Saturday that would allow fundraising groups such as the Longhorn Foundation or the 12th Man Foundation — which support the athletic departments at Texas and Texas A&M, respectively — to raise money for NIL deals. Similar laws have been passed in Arkansas and Oklahoma, among others.

The NCAA said Tuesday that schools are responsible for making sure these fundraising organizations do not pay athletes for NIL deals.

The new law in Texas will also allow schools to provide perks to fans who donate to these NIL funds. Schools such as Texas and Texas A&M said in the past month that they are planning to provide priority points to fans who donate to NIL funds that will help the fans get better tickets at home games or have preferred access to tickets to bowl games or postseason events. The NCAA said Tuesday that this kind of incentive to donate to an NIL fund is a violation of its rules.

In an interview with ESPN before Tuesday’s letter, Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said his department planned to start providing that benefit to its fans later this summer. When asked whether those plans would proceed even if the NCAA decided that type of perk was against its rules, Bjork said his department planned to do as much as Texas law allowed.

“The state law is going to govern how we do business,” Bjork said. “We will continue to communicate with the NCAA on a variety of matters, but in terms of this, the state law will reign.”

Tim Buckley, the NCAA’s senior vice president of external affairs, said the NCAA isn’t forcing schools to break any state laws. It is instead letting schools know that just because a state permits a certain type of activity doesn’t mean NCAA members are allowed to do it.

“Until the rules change, the rules are what they are for every member institution whether you are in state A or B,” Buckley told ESPN earlier this week.

Continue reading story here


201 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – Summer, 2023”

  1. This season, due to CP being hired, the first three games are already scheduled to be on national TV; a 1-11 team is opening the season with three nationally televised games. Maybe the loser of the CFP would be on TV for their first game no matter who they played, maybe not. But TCU v. the lowly 1-11 Buffs get the first week’s Big Noon game on Fox, a premium time slot; the game could have been scheduled for any other TV time slot and still have the CFP participant on TV, but because of CP we get to see our Buffs play in a big game time slot on opening weekend!

    The Buff’s hosting neb could have been scheduled for any TV slot, most likely ESPNU or something like that, and yet we get the Big Noon time slot on Fox again. Thank you CP! And three Friday night games on either FS1 or ESPN are already scheduled including the Buff’s third game against CSU, this game is not really a prime time game without Prime Time. If the Buffs play well in their first two games, and go at least 2-1 then the games against Oregon & USC should also be on national TV in good time slots. Play well enough to be in the first two games until the end, and even a 1-2 start would get CP & the Buffs on TV for Oregon & USC.

    That’s 5 games already scheduled for prime time slots on national TV because of [Coach] Prime Time and, unless the team falls on their faces the first two games, that number should be 7 games and counting. My point being, NATIONAL TV v. a streaming service? Get the eff out of here with that crap!

    I get all of the majors, ESPN, Fox/FS1, CBS, NBC & ABC and can watch most of the games, if not all of the games that I want, it’s only the PAC12 networks that my cable carrier doesn’t carry. Rarely is there a game on the PAC12 network that I need to watch, except when CU was on it, and here’s hoping that the Buffs are good enough this season to get on the majors and not be regulated to the PAC12 network. Next year having to subscribe to apple tv to watch CU play conference games and any non-conference games not picked up by the networks would kill the PAC12 worst than the PAC12 network’s mismanagement did. Especially if more top teams leave the PAC12, it’ll become a MWC without the TV contract that the MWC has and how glad now are we that CU jumped to the Big12 and will be on ESPN & Fox and etc next season?

    If the MWC has a TV contract and the PAC12 has a streaming contract, will any team want to jump to the PAC12? It’s probably going to die and those four schools left behind may end up in the MWC.

  2. Campus leaders are digesting the possibilities of a stream-centric future and the variance in potential income. The money piece is tricky because of the variables of subscriptions.

    Does this remind anyone else of Direct Marketing with multilevel earnings or commission?

    If UofA, UW, Oregon, ASU & Utah all leave, the remaining PAC4 will have a worst deal then the Mountain West. How is that?

    Piss poor management is how it happened and with CU going to a conference with an actual TV deal with actual networks that broadcast sports, I’m almost glad to see the demise of the PAC12. Scott had a chance to take out the Big12 and secure rights early too. But he failed and failed again with the TV rights.

    Now that there’s no reasonable piece of the mainstream sports TV contracts left to be had, and they have to come the schools with this “innovated new streaming service” joke of a replacement for a real sports network with established time slots that go with geography and time zones not the west coast; they’re offering less than the contracts that the MWC have!

    1. One question I have about the streaming option is conference wise, how will the TV product even look and who pays for the TV production (announcers, cameras, production crew, replays, etc…). Is that the home team? Is this a conference an added conference costs which is backed out… I heard Apple would take on the PAC-networks remnants, however that cannot be very much– 1-2 crews tops; maybe they are mostly laid-off. If the TV production is B quality or worse (sort of like a HS game, or 2nd rate pro-wrestling show) with 1-3 camera views, then streaming is a total debacle. I’m a golf fan, and I sort of hate the US Open, US Sr. Open etc… because the announcing and TV quality is just awful compared to NBC/Golf Channel…

  3. Reading between the tea leaves between the proposed deal. I think that we will have a decision soon.

    With the deal based on escalator/subscriber numbers UoA and ASU will have to quickly figure out how to they split the Phoenix market–#11; and if one has an advantage over the other. Utah will have to think about their overall following, as compared to BYU and the other Utah schools in estimating what their smaller market subscription may look like. As it sits now, BYU would be on linear TV and they may not. Utah has to decide to whether their TV smaller footprint will sustain them in the near term, then burst when they reach the expanded CFP. Both of splitting the Phoenix market and Utah’s projections will be hard to estimate and could be a real unknown/uncertainty. For these schools, we have to remember they were burned by the PAC12 and Larry Scott and just may not be comfortable with the overall approach. If they feel GK knew the linear TV options were a solid NO for quite some time, they may be PO’d, as they have been strung along. If a CW option is potentially out there, then why doesn’t GK have some terms now?? They may feel hood-winked and fear just another PAC debacle.

    UoA may just not like the uncertainty unless without an excellent gauge on the Phoenix market and decide the B12 is a better option for them. It might be putting basketball sort of ahead of football, however they would have certainty and probably the same deal as CU at 14 teams. The lack of a linear partner, could make UoA’s decision easy, if they crave linear TV options for a ton of their basketball product. They are one of the only basketball powerhouses left out West, so IMO they would be prominently shown on B-12 linear TV. Tons of better exposure in that arena.

    The lack of a linear TV deal could be a deal breaker for the three 4 corners schools. Even if a smaller CW deal was put in, I’m not sure it would benefit all the teams substantially, unless they were on TV at decent times. IMO, Oregon, UW and Utah would take up most of the prime linear spots, as those are the just most appealing FB brands. UoA could do well in hoops. CW is a gamble, but is an option for exposure even if the $$ is not great. Some Presidents may be PO’d if the linear deal is at an infant stage.

    I think if the three 4 corners schools band together they might have enough leverage to make the B12 go back to their TV partners, and see if there is additional money for the expanded 16 tea, is available. This is sort of more wait and see; however the B12 may force their hand or the TV partners come back with a quick yea or nay. Adding SMU could be a quick fallback, and draw DFW even closer. At least 3 of the four corners schools might ascertain that they would not be taking less than $28M if they jumped, and it is stable; and not even want to crunch potential subscriber numbers. Again, UoA may just not care and just go it alone feeling the B12 is just a good stable fit in the best basketball conference.

    Remember, the PAC is plagued by attendance issues. Not sure how this plays into calculating streaming subscribers, but if PAC teams are uncertain about getting fans packed into their stadiums and bowl games with substantial draws, this fear alone could drive teams to bolt, since gate revenue and Bowls are significant revenue sources and exposure opportunities.

    Not sure how Cal and Stanford would do, but I’m not sure they really care, and will probably go along, as they look stuck. The subscription/escalators could spell curtains for OSU and WSU given their smaller stadiums and fan bases, as they could fall way behind financially and become non-factors in the PAC12 arms race. Ore and Wash will probably fare well in this escalator/subscription plan, but they may want linear TV, even a CW package. The PAC has to figure out how it might shake out in basketball, presuming some teams improve and if UoA goes. If they can only put 2-3 teams in the 64, and the B12 gets 6-8 in, that skews in favor of the B12. Bottom line, is PAC fans have to (a) fill up most of their home stadiums; and/or (b) draw enough visiting fans to fill their stadiums; plus perhaps do it with expanded teams. I think a big USC/UCLA motivator was knowing if they go to the B10, the visiting fans come in droves, thus filling up their large stadiums.

    When the PAC talks expansion, it could be very complicated with certain schools wanting certain things. IMO, it can go three ways: (1) if they want academic prowess closer schools like Cal-Davis, Cal-Poly, UCSB, and Gonzaga (they do not even have football) could be options; (2) if for football relevance they then take the best local GO8 schools (Fresno, San Jose State, SDSU) and put in academic improvement plans. Here UNLV could be a good market and make the PAC brand have more appeal, although UNLV has been terrible for decades; and (3) California may want to lock down the CA footprint in the PAC, so they really insist on CA schools only–not sure how that works.

    In some corners the PAC may have to go back to 12 teams just to be relevant. What if the media and football power-brokers trivialize them at 8-10 teams? The only thing I heard was incoming teams would get 1/2 deals for the near future. If so, then I think Colorado State, SMU and anything east would be a real tough go financially, just to have a competing AD budget in the conference. For SDSU, they may feel good given their large market, but they still need to figure out how to pay the exit fee and deal with a 1/2 share. If they cannot make it work, they probably stay in the MWC. With the PAC debacle, I’m not sure how much liquid funds $$ the PAC even has to facilitate/assist in expansion.

    I do think we will get answers sooner (as in tonight or tomorrow), rather than later as to what UoA and the other two 4 corners schools are thinking/doing. They may be distraught that a streaming only package is only offered, after GK has negotiated for months on end. They may feel that the linear TV answer may have just been NO for quite some time from the networks.

    There is tons to think about. I’ll be happy when it is over.

    1. Of course there is the distinct possibility that UO goes independent (and cuts its own deal) and maybe UW too, if, in fact, the 3 corner schools depart to the BIg 12. What happens after that is anyones guess, but if the PAC12 is still there with 6-8 new schools, is it still a Power 5 or are we down to a Power 4?

      1. Agreed, one thing that I missed in my post above is the fact that OR/UW are always a threat to leave for a B1G offer, or go independent. I you are an independent that is not ND or former BYU (that had their own network), going independent might not be bad, if you could stream games at a reasonable rate and have good games that generate revenue. It would be interesting if several PAC teams went independent, since if you play ND and some other good teams, your S/O/S could be enough to for CFP consideration. I think you need like 5 good games, and crush the cream-puffs.

  4. I thought when USC and UCLA announced they were out, that the Pac was dead. I’ve spent the last year hoping that wasn’t the case. Seems like it just may be. We thought the same of the Big 12 a few times in the last 10-ish years, but alas, they’re not. So maybe I’m wrong? But it’s not looking good for the Pac, that’s for sure.

    Jason’s comments are spot on. Yeah, streaming will be the future, but it’s not quite there now. Selfishly, it fits my habits just fine to stay on linear TV, as we can’t stream crap where we are w/ satellite internet (and I’m skeptical of skyling or whatever for where we are too).

    For CU? They had to make this move, it seems like. Affiliation be damned. Going from invisible on TV to invisible online wasn’t a formula for success. Not to mention playing on Thursday and Friday (and possibly Saturday, if they’re lucky) nights.

    In five years? Maybe ten? As I’ve thought and repeated for a while, Apple and Amazon will probably partner w/ (or own) the old linear Big Fox and SECSPN and have the college football championship chase, with regional divisions that look a lot like the old conferences. Historic, geographic rivalries will then be restored.

    Heck, even CU spoke of travel burdens in the Pac relative to Big 12 when discussing their rationale. It’s going to be terrible for the Big 10 non revenue sports to cruise across the country all season long.

    Go Buffs

  5. Subscription based streaming for college football only makes sense for an audience already familiar with the team… a lot of really great recruits probably don’t have the financial means to now pay for a subscription to Apple+ to watch the PAC-9 (which no one was watching anyways).

    Rick George knows that in order to monetize Coach Prime’s time at Colorado (which may only be a couple of years), they need to be EVERYWHERE to levels of exposure on par with the SEC/B1G

    1. I was excited about the headline … but CU is rated 97th on the list, which would rank CU only above Nebraska in the Big Ten …

      1. and below Iowa (!) which I find odd….. what’s going on in Boulder (?)
        CU has slipped noticeably in both academics and athletics over the last couple of decades which is concerning

    2. So it’s been said. Two years and he’s gone. And when he leaves we are where? Cincinnati’s homecoming game? To be fair, not sure commuter schools have homecoming games. Apple not the worst company to get in bed with. This will go down as a colossal mistake.

  6. Is it just me, or does Dan Lanning look like a salesman on his brother-in-law’s used car lot (?)

    1. or worse,,,,sounds like a politician, Used to be coaches (and politicians of the same party) followed Reagan’s rule of never speaking bad of another. They didnt want to burn any bridges because too many of them needed a new job too soon. Maybe Saban-Fisher spat broke that mold.
      To be honest I was musing myself why the worst P5 team last year was the first to be invited to a new conference. Partially the Prime affect? Maybe Yormark saw easy pickins as the leak that might bring down the entire PAC dam.
      Also wondering if we will ever be able to know just how bad the media negotiations have been.

  7. Joel Klatt has a great video on why the Big12 beat the PAC12 and why CU moved. What RG has pulled off in the last eight months and how the “Prime Effect” has taken CU from a 1-11 team to a major conference change and CP with the Prime Effect.

  8. Pretty remarkable how quickly Deion could decimate a currently elite public university. We are willingly changing our peers from Stanford and Washington to Central Florida and Houston. How many AAU universities in the Big 12? One. Now two but not for long. Our west coast elite applicants? Bye. First four years in PAC 12, donations up 900 percent. Why? Because alums live there. All of that gone. Majority of people on favor of this didn’t actually attend the school. Trading Washington and Oregon for Baylor and Oklahoma State? No thanks. How the university has allowed Deion and Rick to do this is mind boggling. The “truck stop” conference? Fits Boulder to a T. Our identity is lost and for what? Two years of Deion Sanders? Please, it’s not too late. Otherwise, fan of 35 years and I’m done.

    1. Putting this on the on RG and Deion is laughable. The Pac 12 has done nothing but sell us a bill of goods for 13 years. Let’s rewind to the summer of 2010. We are told we are going to the pac 10 and it’s possible Oklahoma, osu, texas, texas A&M, and tech are coming too to form the pac16 and we will be the next mega conference. We bolt. Oh never mind, but Utah is coming so it will be all fine. We then are told a new network is coming. It will be revolutionary and we will be rolling in cash and exposure. Fast forward to today, p12nw is still not on direcTV and drowning in debt. Then the bombshell of UT and OU going to the sec. Pac is primed to end the big 12 and get some good football schools like Oklahoma state and TCU, or add a national basketball program like KU. Instead, nah we’re better than them. Then another bombshell about usc and ucla. You loose the best market in the conference and we are being told everything is fine. We will get a new deal and it will all be good. And now we have been told we are weeks away from a new grant of rights deal for almost 9 months. At some point we need to get out of our ivory tower and realize the pac 12 has been nothing but a fraudulent conference for us.

      1. I’m on the other side as you, Shay, in re: Pac whatever or Big 12+. But? I don’t think Deion gives two rips what conference he’s in, really. Maybe he gives a half a rip. He’s shown he can recruit high end talent, from anywhere, to anywhere. First JSU, and then to arguably the worst team in D1 football, in a place that has long been considered, perhaps too, shall I say, undiversified (to make up my own words)?

        You’re absolutely right, that the Pac has done themselves no favors. But, that’s as much on the Presidents and Chancellors (ok, maybe not evenly split, but you get the idea) as that smoke blowing huckster, Larry Scott.

        So, the question remains: where to from here?

        Kliavkoff doesn’t seem to have done himself nor the conference any favors yet, either. Has he got 32million+ rabbits in his hat?

        Perhaps this regents meeting is another negotiating tactic, ie: Hey, you’re on official notice, no more double secret probation, but we need to know the dollars, now, or we’re out?

        Basically, they don’t have to declare anything, at this point, I don’t think. CU or any school can bail on the Pac 12 – unless they sign the new grant of rights – without penalty, up until this current media deal ends, next year.

        Going to be interesting.

        Go Buffs

    2. Above all, (outside of how the team will fare), first and foremost Deion has made CU relevant with tons of exposure. From a student standpoint, CU has not had this sort of positive exposure in decades, so West Coast elites . . . Texas elites . . . Southern elites or whoever the students will consider CU. Plus, the PAC instability/incompetence drove the bus too… If you think of the value of Sports Franchises, CU’s brand was probably in the 50-70’s pre-Deion, and now they are conservatively in the 20-30’s–they are in the media that much without even playing a game. Win a bunch of games and they may be a Top-20 football brand. It is the buzz… and the opportunity.

      When you compare CU’s move to the PAC12 they were sort of desperate seller the last time, as Nebraska bolted (AtM and Missou bolted before or after) with not may options, thus they had to buy their way into the PAC. $80M is the loss for CU. This time CU was actually more a strong seller, as the B12 gave them a full share day 1, without paying any penalty to the PAC. Thanks to UT and OU for paying the conference exit fees $100+M, which make this possible. The flip-side was probably staying in the PAC and the AD department running in the RED.

      If this were about academics, alumni base or identity, the BOR’s vote would not be unanimous. The President would not fully endorse it. Really, this move was about more than that. It is about stability and taking an opportunity to get ahead.

      When you look at UCLA’s departure and the money that they were hemorrhaging (i.e. massive AD shortfalls), one can see why they bolted and leaving Cal behind. Also, for whatever reason, the new PAC was just not committed to one another. I think this comes from the overall feeling of the Board in light of no TV deal. I doubt Ore and UW can move into the B1G right away, as I’m sure USC/UCLA has an exclusive for a certain number of years. Why wouldn’t they? If not, UW and Ore would have seen the writing on the wall and already bolted to the B1G.

    3. This is where you draw the line? 25 years of neglect of the football and athletics by the administration, terrible coaching hires and/or defections, a historically bad and embarrassing football season, and you decide returning to the Big 12 is a line you cannot cross? USC and UCLA are gone, Oregon and UW on the way out, Stanford and Cal care not about athletics. You have no idea of what you speak. Go join Jack Kroll.

  9. I can’t see why going back to the Big 12 would be good….CU would be just jumping back into the frying pan with Texas -again – trying to control, perhaps, everything…..then there are the larger universities that have more revenue than CU.

    We have to deal with that here in the PAC-12….face it…..would you like to travel to Kansas, Texas, Okie State, Norman (OK), Iowa St., Texas and West Virginia. If you ask me, I wouldn’t travel to any of those areas if I had the opportunity to travel to the areas below:

    I would pick the advantages of keeping the HERD in the West, where you can travel to away games on the west coast, in the beautiful desert of Arizona, and to the mountains in Utah where you can also go skiing in the Park City area.

    ‘Cmon R.G. We found a home in the West. Keep us there.

    1. “CU would be just jumping back into the frying pan with Texas -again – trying to control, perhaps, everything”

      UT has left the BIG12 for the SEC.

      I’d rather CU stay in the PAC10 if they could have gotten a deal done that rivals the BIG12, but it’s looking like they don’t have anything close and the powers that be are not liking the deal enough to do this. I’m not convinced it’s the right thing to do, but I am waiting to see the details before freaking out.

      I doubt this move is solely about CP and is more about $$$ and TV time slots and broadcasting locations; ESPN & Fox v. streaming & ????

      1. You’re totally right Marcus…..I apparently don’t read enough of the right stuff, however with UT and OU headed out of the Big 12 what type of a national image will the Big 12 have ? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…. the image – seems to me – will be diluted.

        If we leave the PAC will we suffer a similar disaster as the Cornhuskers leaving the Big 12 for the Big 10, where they became a little fish in a big pond ? You may have a good perspective on that.

        1. It may seem diluted, but they have the ESPN & Fox deal that the PAC12 doesn’t. If CP brings CU back to winning, the Buffs would be at the top of the Big 12 with a record (in the Big12 back to the Big8) that puts them at the top of the conference historically.

          Better game times during the day on ESPN & Fox, even a 7pm in FL that will be at 4pm on the west coast, will be better than the PAC12 after dark. That, along with CP getting them back to winning should make CU fun to watch and a national audience has jumped on the bandwagon to watch them either win or crash and burn, but it doesn’t matter why they are watching, but that they are watching.

          RG & CP have made a 1-11 team not only relevant again, but set up the Buffs to play on national TV… If CP can get them winning again; and I think he can.

    2. Worse, Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC after this season. So, instead of them, you’ll get to travel to Houston or Cincinnati or Unincorporated Orange County Florida or Provo. It’s like the Big 12 minus the teams that made the Big 12 competitive and substituting in G5 teams for good teams.

  10. “There are more alumni in San Francisco than Colorado Springs,….”
    not too hard to figure out. Betting Wilner has never been anywhere near C Springs. By the time I left the population was 6 times what it was when I graduated from high school. Most of the new arrivals weren’t too happy where they were and thought moving to that shining star under Pikes Peak would give them a fresh start giving the Springs hundreds of thousands who brought their baggage with them and it aint Vuitton.
    Wilner asks “which identity”
    He answered his own question with the stats…..and its not the old bugeater’s identity.
    Still the rumors (hopefully just rumors) indicate there maybe a big problem with the media negotiations.
    One one hand its hard to imagine the entire West coast, even sans LA, doesnt have enough viewers to demand a decent figure. On the other maybe the lack of football fans in all that population is dragging it down.
    So what if the Buffs and maybe another PAC team disgust me (sounds like Utah is resisting) go back to the feedlot? What happens to the rest of the PAC. Do they combine with the MW and make the lambs a winner?
    I wont have Wilner to crap on anymore. Maybe I will hitch the manure wagon to dodson….but he is already driving it,

  11. Stanford coach “I don’t want to live in that world”, but that is the world we live in, and since Stanford doesn’t real accept transfers, they will most likely be a bottom dweller for the foreseeable future.

  12. Ol Troy doesnt want to bring in many transfers
    he cant keep em from leaving
    I feel his pain
    money wins….always
    having said that there is noise being made about limiting transfers. Hope Prime gets the wins this year for recruiting’s sake.

  13. I am kinda starting to like that the Pac 12/whatever is the national punching bag of conferences. I still feel we will have the last laugh. But, of course, I grew up in the pac 10, so maybe I am pac biased?

    Nah. I just know the coasts matter. And the pac has the west coast, even without la, plus others. Asu has more alumni than almost anyone, I believe.

    If the product is compelling, people will watch and people will pay for those eyeballs.

    Product is set to be pretty damn compelling.

    Go Buffs

  14. So does this “grant of rights” thing award the most successful teams in the conference a larger share of the media money? If that is the case I assume its a bribe to keep OR and WA in the conference and keep the conference together.

    And if that is the case its just another action increasing the gap between the haves and have nots in college football and turning the playing field to an even more vertical position. It may not even work out in the long run. Some teams mired in the lower half of the conference may take the bait from someone like Yormark.

    1. I don’t believe that’s going to happen, I think all 10 will stay equal in distribution of monies. I do think that the PAC10 will be together for a few more years without adding a lessor school, that would just reduce the per school value. Remember they started as eight and added the two Arizona Schools way back in 1978, 45 years ago, I think they’d rather stay at 10 than “dilute the pool”.

      Get two schools in the CFP every year, the auto bid conference winner and at least one other in the at large bids and the PAC10 will be content until the B1G conference comes a calling. After a few years of the SoCal schools traveling across the county, I predict the B1G will want four PAC10 schools, maybe six schools (ASU & UofA) to go with UCLA & USC. UW & Oregon will be the first two choices, question is can CP get the Buffs relevant enough, and look like he’s staying or the new HC can keep CU there for the B1G to look at CU?

      If CU never fell from their top 16 spot in all time wins, they’d already be in the B1G, or at least in the conversation to be added.

      After UW & Oregon, Neb, and the LA schools make CU & Utah the next good matches (travel wise) for the B1G. If, CP can make them relevant this year and keep them in the top until the next conference grab by the B1G/SEC the Buffs could be in the mix.

      Win CP, Win!

      The rest will work itself out.

    2. Ep, the media revenue is evenly split. The graduated payments are based on post season performance, which won’t be split equally anymore.

      Makes sense.

      Go Buffs

    1. So true. IMO, the pundits have to rank CU toward the lower end of the conference, however they really have no clue, as CU is the biggest “work in progress” in the entire national. If National or Regional, those guys do not have the time to do a deep dive, so they tend to towards the stable teams without as much change. Really they see a 1-11 team that has completely flipped the roster + new coaches + new scheme installs on both sides of the ball, and a brutal schedule. It is hard to bet for that, and place other teams above them. I am shocked they have Cal and Arizona ranked as high as they are.

      Talent wise unless we are being fed a bunch of BS, with CU’s additions on paper their talent level should be somewhere in the middle of the PAC 12.

      If CU does decent in its 1st 4 games, 2-2 and mostly competitive even for just 3 quarters the pundits tune with change considerably. Unless, the team is completely beat up after game 6, I think they win a bunch of games on the back end. I do feel that the earlier win total of 2.5-3.5 has increased to 3.5-4.5 over the past three months.

      1. I dont think I have to wonder how many of those media meatheads would put their money where their mouth is on the Buffs going “1-11” in Vegas …..or even winding up in second to last place.
        They can always use the out that with their salaries gambling would be irresponsible.

  15. I am shocked to learn of Jeremy Pruitt, another Saban protégé, getting busted for paying players. There’s no way anyone in the SEC would do that. Heck, no way anyone would do that in college football. The nerve.

    Go Buffs

  16. I guess there are still some yunguns out there “on the range” but I’m not sure what the Yomark means by “hip”
    Might be a long way to go to make Waco to Manhattan “hip”

    1. There is not a single physical location in the Big XII (outside of Orlando/UCF) that anyone would willingly travel to or vacation at unless absolutely required. No one outside of the midwest footprint is ever going to go ‘hang out’ in Stillwater, OK or Manhattan, Kansas and Yormark knows it. He’s just showing how good a salesman he is for when the next high paying job comes along so he can get himself out of the mid-west (being big city east coast guy at heart). In all honesty though, he’s doing a heck of a better messaging job than Kliavkoff by far (who has no control of the narrative around the P12)

  17. I saw the Fitzgerald firing last night and wondered, Will we get to see someone else try to flip an entire roster?

    I guess not because they’d have to do it in a month, basically. Unless they just go with an interim head coach for the year, and start over again next year?

    Go Buffs

  18. Whole thing at Nirthwestern reminds me of “a few good men”.

    Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
    Col. Jessup: I did the job I…
    Kaffee: [interrupts him] *Did you order the Code Red?*
    Col. Jessup: *You’re God damn right I did!*

    1. yeah, it’s standard CBS / Dodd slander along the lines of: Big 12 “has little interest” in San Diego State (until they can get them on the cheap). Dodd is such a hack.

  19. so what happened to the portal?
    is this a slap in Prime’s face?
    is it the result of pressure from dried up turd coaches like Nar”whoopie”, Rhule the day and Brett, “the Boatload” Bilema?

  20. Hiring Larry Scott seemed like great hire at the time, but then the Presidents of the PAC members allowed him to run amok with what appeared to be little oversight. They then hired George K. who is getting out maneuvered at every turn by the other conference commissioners, most notably Yormark of the Big 12, and what is worse, GK seems to have no contacts or anyone who can give him a heads up on events such as, oh I don’t know, USC and UCLA bolting the conference!! The current state of the PAC must be laid at the feet of the Presidents. A bunch of ivory tower dwelling no-accounts that have no control over the activities of the PAC managers they hired. As much as I don’t like it, BUFFS MUST leave this $H!t show of a conference ASAP to retain any momentum Coach Prime is generating.

    1. Agree with some of your sentiment. I think the Presidents/PAC 12 board made a huge mistake in just giving Larry Scott carte’ blanche, without checks on his performance until it was way too late. It was sort of like Board of Directors hiring a slash CEO and then going to sleep on their job. Another, IMO the Presidents/PAC 12 board possessed a sort of cockiness and inflated worth (ego) of what the Conference is/was–they really needed a reality check many years ago. I hope that they are finally getting up to speed, instead of thinking they were the Ivory Tower.

      I do not share the sentiment on GK. IMO, he is playing his cards close to the vest and I think the Presidents/Board are more involved. I think USC/UCLA bolting was not the fault of GK as there were no negotiations of what it would take to keep them in the PAC. It was just an announcement, so he was blind-sided. I think USC/UCLA’s problems were unique as their fan-bases stopped attending games, even when the teams were decent. Having the Rose Bowl and Coliseum less than 1/2 full was a total embarrassment to the schools and conference. I think that embarrassment sort of forced USC/UCLA’s hand and it may not be bad for the PAC. I like the chances of Prime turning things around in an easier PAC, instead of another conference. The PAC could be really compelling if Ore, UW, Utah and CU lead the way, presuming Prime turns CU around.

      1. Agree, and if CP can get the Buffs back on top and the PAC10 can have four solid schools led the way for a few years with two teams in the 12 team playoff games, the Buffs included, those teams could be next up for the B1G expansion.

        I’m hoping CP brings CU back, and stays at CU for a good while. Then the B1G may want CU, Utah, UW & Oregon to go with the LA schools to make travel easier and to secure the west; CU’s rivalry with neb could be renewed too.

        If bad coaches and the “scandal” didn’t happen along with the admin turning their backs on the Buffs (transfer units & etc.) and CU kept winning like the 90s and early 2000s CU would be in the B1G or a candidate to be in the B1G.

        We need CP to win this year and bring CU back fast and to both stay and continue to win, and maybe CU can get back to where it was in it was top 15 or 16 in all time wins.

  21. Yikes
    SD State is out of the picture. would the PAC take SMU anyway? Does this sound the death knell of the conference? Will the Buffs be playing their games where the earth is definitely flat? Git along little prairie doggies………arrrggghhhh

    1. I’m not that concerned about SDSU or SMU not making the jump. I think the only death knell of the conference is Ore and UW bolting, then the 4 corners schools bolting (which I do not think happens)–or the SEC/B1G Super-conference models comes to fruition. IMO, any conference adding lesser known teams to replace their blue-bloods run the risk of being Top-Heavy with less great match-ups. I am going to be interested to see how the B12 fares this year in terms of TV ratings for their games . . . IMO, it could be an awful experiment. If the B12 fails, BYU could be on the market again; which would be a good add. Eventually, Okie State or Kansas could be a good add for the PAC.

      In light of the recent ESPN firings/downsizing, it is pretty clear that Disney is taking it in the chops. IMO, these are cost-cutting measures. I think CNN, Fox etc… have been going through the same problems. Except for the flagships–ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, I see the other TV channels all in downsizing mode/struggling. I’m sort of interested to see if beyond the 2 best weekly TV choices, if those 3rd and 4th TV games even have decent TV coverage, these could be 3rd world TV productions–total cost cutting! It is a reality of cord-cutting away from cable companies.

      I think the PAC may just want stay together at 10 teams running lean and mean, until the entire TV situation shakes out. Maybe they consider playing a 7 game conference schedule, which opens up the PAC Blue-blood Match-ups to National TV slots. The PAC wants to fill their bowl games and a 7 game schedule can really help that. 3 OOC games against good/great teams (games that National TV wants to see) and 2 OOC games that are dogs but mostly wins. IMO this is a good strategy to get teams into bowls. Also, they could space out their OOC games into the regular season. The SEC and ACC have stuck to 8 game schedules with much larger conferences.

      I just believe, if you have compelling match-ups that the National TV will just materialize–they want the ratings which boosts advertising. We just have to see where TV goes over the next few of years. The PAC new TV deal may not be great, but it may be better sharing it 10 ways instead of 12. If the PAC were able to coordinate their OOC games against ACC teams/Notre Dame, that would be great. A mid-season ACC/ND challenge week could make for some great TV.

      Except for the SEC where college football reigns supreme, I can even envision the B1G having a bunch of dog games, which are not of true TV interest (i.e. great ratings) and sort of top-heavy, since they play 9 conference games. If they have to cost cut on games 3-5 of each week, their TV product may diminish substantially. They are considering 10 conference games and starting to minimize some OOC scheduling with other power-5 conferences.

      1. Yea I have to agree. I’m not worried about the PAC12 not adding schools from a G5 conference just to add numbers, even one in SoCal. Unless SDSU becomes a Cinderella like Utah did and becomes a 10 win team in the PAC12, LA TV audience just isn’t going to be as big of market for SDSU as USC & UCLA was; and when the LA schools are good they get a lot of eyeballs.

        It be like replacing CU back when they were in the BIG12 and when CU was winning 10+ a year & winning divisions and/or conference with CSU, not Sonnie Dykes era, but the last 15 years CSU.

  22. Buffs are an easy win
    last in the conference by the last pin head I read. No better than 9th from anyone.
    The bulletin board material is now about 3 inches deep on the board.
    I sincerely want to thank all you sports writing prostitutes.
    After the Buffs get to a bowl I will send Lindy’s a turd in a box with a written thank you note.

  23. So … Do we interpret “anxious” as in “sorta worried about being beaten by a team which we didn’t have to think twice about last year”, or “anxious” as in “I can’t wait to put Coach Prime and his gang of misfits in their place”? …

    I think it’s both, Stu. And Deion knows it. As do opposing coaches. They know better than anyone you gotta have dudes. Deion brought some. As to his challenge? It’s the same thing he faced playing football, baseball, coaching etc. He knows he’s going to get everyone’s best shot. And, as he says, better shoot quick, ’cause you won’t have the opportunity long.

    I’ve been saying the same thing as Herbie. It’s a fascinating experiment, that I think is going to work out pretty well. It certainly can’t get worse. I still have no idea how to gauge this year’s win/loss potential, but it’s going to be fun to watch, either way. And, CU may just pick up some more fans, in the process. There’s never been a time in history, even during the glory days, that CU football is in the news, basically daily.

    We comin’.

    Go Buffs

    1. If they were ‘eager’ to face the Buffs Herbstreit would have said so… I interpret ‘anxious’ as nervous of the unknown

      1. He certainly may have meant the truest meaning of the word.

        experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
        “she was extremely anxious about her exams”

        wanting something very much, typically with a feeling of unease.
        “the company was anxious to avoid any trouble”

        Go Buffs

  24. The Cornhuskers play Colorado, Northern Illinois and Louisiana Tech outside the league and also get five Big Ten home games. Ohio State and Penn State are absent from the schedule, offering a perfect chance for Nebraska to reach its first bowl since 2016.

    A piss poor team that also hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2016 and have lost the last two to “lowly” CU is going bowling again… Good to hear but it’s not going to be because they beat CU, it’s going to be because the cornhuskies beat the other two non conf and 4 (maybe home) games in conference.

    Why if the huskers haven’t beaten CU when they were down do they think they will win now with a new coach and team?

    1. The slams just keep coming. They must have painted a target and Ralphie’s ass.
      Can’t wait till the season starts and she turns and faces them with those little horns.

      That was such an frigging insult.

      I don’t know why I read that crap cause it just pisses me off.

      Go Buffs.


    2. It’s all about the clicks and ad revenue. Tell igNorant Husker fans anything positive and you’re bound to get several hundred thousand clicks. That’s why every single year the “experts” predict good things out of Lincoln. It’s money in the bank for the writer. And they don’t have to give the money back or get fired for being wrong. It’s win/win for the writer even if the Numbnuts continue to lose.

  25. So why hasnt SDST been given an invitation to join the PAC? Is it because there are a number of schools in the PAC who arent completely invested in keeping the conference together? Schools who have one foot on the PAC and the other pointing towards the Big whatevers?
    What a pile of manure. Kliakoff couldn’t keep things together?
    Ants in the pants…….another money cluster f……………….
    its sickening.
    Lets here some more of that goofy talk about CSU in the PAC.
    The MWC conference would like nothing better than to see the PAC go down. If the 4 corners head to the land of sod houses and WA and OR head further east to the rust belt then MWC could pick up the trash. When does their chiken feed media deal expire?

  26. Yep. It’s true. TCU lost a lot of talent from last year. Sonny’s a fine coach, but I don’t think he’s ever had as many NFL guys on a roster as he walked into last year (Cal, SMU or anywhere prior to those).

    Should be a great first game. I think CU stuns them, and the world. Neither are the same team as last year.

    Go Buffs

  27. I watched a couple of those one score TCU wins last year. Dont know how much was Sykes or the OC but it seemed like the right play was called at the right time and executed with Max Duggan relentlessness. Dont know if Duggan will succeed in the NFL but there was no quit in that guy.

    Having said that the OC is gone along with Duggan and a few other key players. The new OC has a familiar name. Is he related to a previous Baylor coach who was outdoing Osborne with hiding criminal players? So nice that those Christian schools are so quick to forgive.

    1. Agree on that last sentiment, I also agree that Duggan was the difference. As bad as they were for the rest of the season, CU was in the game until Duggan came in after the struggling starter was injured.

      Add in as you mentioned the number of guys that went to the NFL compared to the number of potential NFL guys CP brought in and I think not only is the spread ridiculous, but the Buffs could win. CP will have them ready and amped up for the game with a new scheme that TCU will have no tape on. Sure they can see how the OC used his offense when he was a Head Coach, but no tape on how he’ll use all the new Buff players or what tweaks or changes they will make.

      Look for the Buffs to surprise and score early while TCU tries to figure out the Buffs’ new fast offense… While TCU tries to get their’s own offense going with the new/old QB.

  28. It is entirely possible the demise of the pac 12 was greatly exaggerated, and kliavkoff is living up to his reputation as a shrewd back room negotiator.

    Anyone notice Netflix getting into sports streaming?

    Go Buffs

    And Deion? I hope his foot and leg issues are resolved with as few hassles as possible. Doesn’t sound fun.

  29. The SD thing brings a ray of hope thinking this means the PAC will remain in existence. If it means someone else is going to move east where the only break in the horizon is a silo, the feedlot smell roams and its damn hard to find decent food….and its the Buffs I will lose my lunch

  30. SI – and others – will be highlighting the logistical nightmare of the new and improved BigFox for years. It’s why I see no way the current realignment chatter/hysteria can last.

    From SI “USC and UCLA both will be traveling across three time zones for three of their league road games in 2024, and across two time zones for one apiece. USC will visit Maryland, Penn State, Purdue and Northwestern; UCLA will travel to Rutgers, Michigan, Iowa and Indiana. (The actual week-by-week schedule hasn’t been hammered out yet.)”

    And that’s just football. Tennis, swimming, water polo, track, volleyball, soccer, etc. Friggin’ nightmare.

    I still say all this is going to end up with roughly 60-80 teams competing in the College Football Championship Challenge, and it’ll be organized into geographic divisions. It may take some more time, and convoluted and inane moves to get there, but it’ll get there.

    Hey, for CU, that’s one nice thing about being close to the middle of the country. Much less arduous travel to each coast, if/when needed.

    Go Buffs

    1. I doubt the travel will affect the kids a whole lot. If anything the 5 or 6 hours a weekend they are on the plane could be a study hall. Realistically or not, most of them are counting on the NFL and are taking things like art appreciation or the esoterica of shoe repair. Should be enough.
      I’m sure the spoiled brats and their crosstown rival factored in the extra cost of extra travel time (How much is an hour of jumbo jet these days? ) against their additional revenue. If not they better give you a call.

      1. True for football and basketball. But not the other 15-20 sports, their support staff, parents, etc.

        Rowing and swimming teams often have high contributing alumni parents.

        Go Buffs

        1. not worried about the parents. unless they got that rowing straightened out but its always something with people that let their money corrupt them

  31. Everyone is waiting to see what (happens). Count me cynical. Even after an amount is announced if WA and OR can get 5 mill more from the B1G, or whatever they call themselves these days, they will be gone anyway. Buffs will have to join the dust covered billiard table with no more compensation.
    Aside from that if the conference does stay together I wonder if the figure being thrown around includes the SD socal market or will that add to the pot afterwards?

  32. Pay for performance.
    I like it.
    Just because you are in the conference and you never go to a bowl, why should you get and equal share of the bowl monies

    You go you get more

    Go Buffs……………… a bowl game

  33. Still gnashing my teeth over this. Why does the big wheat field have leverage over the PAC and why is it always one talk of teams leaving the Pac? why cant the PAC poach someone like TCU, BYU or even Tex Tech which has a much larger viewer base than Lubbock/Amarillo. SD State is ready to join convince TCU to defect and the media rights deal will improve, Is it really worth that much more money to travel around the land of Taco Johns and Motel 6?

    1. I think adding teams for the sake of #’s is a bad proposition. SDSU could be a good pick-up, but none of the others bring very much–and they need/want 12. You can’t add that 12th if they bring very little to the table.

      If you ask me, if the B-12 wants to expand so much, then have them bring in Rice, SMU and Tulane. Perhaps, the PAC could somehow wrangle BYU away and that would be a good fit with SDSU.

    2. “Fit: 7.5/10 … Likeliness: 6.5/10”
      “How much that is worth in this modern day of college football, is hard to tell. ”
      (The SI nimrod of nimrod’s words.)
      At the risk of beating a dead horse guys like him keep proving my point sports media is in the crapper

  34. Can we just move the Big 12 please and end this?
    ‘The dye is cast’…Have moved 180 degrees as a lifelong Pac10 follower, would rather it leave a solid legacy than continue as a watered-down entity, like an aging superstar.

    1. The speculation is like a never ending soap opera but I would much rather the PAC stay together than the Buffs return to the dust bowl conference.

  35. Derrick White has become the talk of the NBA… amazing to think how he was playing in Div. II when Tad recruited him.

  36. Although we all know the pitfalls of uneven distribution (and conferences being dominated by the loudest voices), that might be the likeliest mechanism for keeping the Pac-12 together with a weak media. I would insist, though, that the distribution percentages be ‘re-ranked’ either 1-2 years so teams like Oregon or Utah don’t monopolize their current high standing in football. I remember when Oregon was trash in the Pac-10 and there’s no reason they should be rewarded for just being Uncle Phil’s team… he won’t be around forever and they will likely regress in the not too distant future unless they are artificially inflated again by uneven distribution.

  37. The fact that Narduzzi didn’t have to deal with the current state of College football when he started makes it easy to spit out his “holier than thou” comments. In my opinion, what is really bad for College football is the nearly unlimited transfer portal. CU has been a major victim of this. I also believe that if the players want all of these benefits like NIL, which I believe is fair by the way, or the ability to transfer at pretty much any point, etc. then you also have to live with consequences, like what is going on at Colorado. After all, if you want to try to manipulate the system in life, be prepared to be manipulated (or simply stated as live by the sword, die by the sword). I no longer have any sympathy for any of these players if it doesn’t go their way.

    1. Agree completely. We watched CU being poached by the ranked schools year after year, some left with their coach who got a job at the same school; no tampering/talking with players before they left there?! (What is the proper punctuation for Sarcasm?)

      Year after year, coaching changes and transfers (out) kept CU as one of the younger roster in the conference. So we’ve been there and done that, and bitched about it, so not sorry to finally be on the flip side! For the first time in how many years CU is finally going to have a mature team?

      Per Howell’s chat: “They have 21 guys that are in their 5th, 6th or 7th year of college and another 14 that are in their 4th year.”

      That’s 35 guys with 3 plus years of playing /development time. A few spent time recovering from an injury and are in their last year to impress; nothing short of another injury is going to stop them from doing their best to get that NFL film! For the first time in a long time CU has a full class of seniors and older grad students (21! PLUS*), that maturity is going to make a big difference. The last time CU had 22 seniors (if memory serves) they won the South. Have they had a senior filled class since?

      It’s all because of the coaches that CU is attracting those players, they’re not lining up to play at Pit, so waaa.

      The coaches have more playing… Err head coaching and overall coaching experience too. Yes CU had a couple of older coaches, but they seemed to be destined to be position coaches at mid level programs, with an occasional rising star that would be poached too. But now CU has a successful ex-head coaches as their OC and other coaches with experience at major programs mixed with up and coming coaches, all following Prime here to do something special.

      *Note: Many of those have been through Covid’s extra year and some have a 4 game redshirt under their belt too, others a medical year, but that adds up to a lot of experienced at 22 & 23+ years old. Much better when demanding more from them than a team of 18-20 y.o. with small class of Jr & Sr. to try to lead the way.

  38. Nartuzzi is a nimrod. The rules are a ot different now than 8 years ago. Coach Prime didn’t make the rules and he certainly didn’t break the rules. I imagine the Pitt coach is still angry that the Internet was invented and longs for the day when 8 track tapes were the norm. What a wallower in the olden days of yore

    1. not just a nimrod but a pure bred female dog. I’m sure the team he inherited didnt go 1-11 and hadn’t been to bowl game in 8 years and got slaughtered in that one. Great ………one more team to root against. Add em to he list with Baylor, any team jumbo fisher coaches and of course the feedlot cobbs

  39. Sorry Pat Narduzzi if your virtuous criticism of Sanders registers a big fat Pfft with me. In 2015 he inherited a Pittsburgh Panthers team that finished 6-7 in 2014…missing a chance at finishing 7-6 when it lost to Houston in the 2014 Armed Forces Bowl. Aside from the fact that there was no transfer portal then for him to imagine what he would have done, he would do well to remember that he wouldn’t have even gotten the Pitt job had Paul Chryst not decided to go to the BIG and take the Wisconsin job.

  40. Stuart, I am going to have some fun with this post… at the expense of those Wile-E-Coyote Super Genius type writing for Heartland: “”Extra, Extra, Washington and Oregon “vetted” and “cleared” by Big 10.”” This reminds me of that Bob Knight interview when he was spinning the glass to see into the future…. Hmmm… Then the business lawyer gets the better of me– with what sort of “vetting” would be necessary:

    From the business “vetting.”:
    1. I guess the teams would have to make more money for the conference what lose money? (Off Bob Knight, I’m spinning and looking into the glass now…; I see dollar signs);
    2. We need to look into Uncle Phil and the UW boosters wallets;
    3. Vegas needs to think it is a good idea;
    2. The TV folks need to be on board;
    4. USC and UCLA’s models would have to work too…

    Legal vetting:
    1. Extra precautions need to be made so the Duck cannot bring Bird Flu or contract Flu in B1G country; Also, that Huskey will needs all its shot and to be on the look out of deer ticks and hantavirus. Good gracious, if the Huskey is ravenous, perhaps only the Wolverine or Badger would even be able to put up a fight (there are No Blue Lions, and CA Briuns have been extinct for years); I think the Duck would be okay, if he could fly!;
    2. It is agreed all new athletes must wear “the mask,” regardless of CoVid emergency status;
    3. When travelling in New Jersey (NY too) or certain parts of Penn, new admittees of the B1G need to be on the lookout for free money, gambling, and 55 gallon drums, as if they stray, they could float in the East River;
    4. If USC or UCLA have an exclusive, the other Presidents just vote to screw them and then litigate the liquidated damages.

    As for the “Clearance” portion there must have been a committee:
    1. Greg Shiano (Isn’t he Rutgers anyways);
    2. Some Cornhusker thing running around in chicken suit;
    3. Barry Alverez (I love this guy), but he would be 3 servings of pasta in;
    4. Someone even fatter than Gov Pritzker to represent ILL (they may run out of food);
    5. Jay Paterno (I think they got rid of the trustees);
    6. President, Iowa Farm Bureau;
    7. IU–the ghost of Murrey Spurberger;

    That must have been one heck of a Vetting and Clearance process!! LOL

  41. “It’s just a question of when, or if, the Big Ten want to add those schools,” McMurphy stated

    This is something new?

    And the infinity of rankings continues. Won’t be long before they are ranking the cleaners the maintenance crews use on the locker rooms. Breaking news!!! Ohio State has signed a contract with “Jock Itch Begone”

    Sports media is mostly crap

  42. …so the Big Ten steals away USC and UCLA (and is poised to also take Oregon and Washington), but they “don’t want to look like the bad guys”

    That dye has already been cast

    1. I too thought that was awesome spin.

      Ultimately? I think it is 65-80 teams, in regional divisions, competing for the super bowl, I mean college football championship. Brought to you by big fox and secspn. And their streaming affiliates.

      Go Buffs

  43. Having Oregon & UW to go along with USC & UCLA makes sense for the B1G, but that’s only three schools for each to play and still a lot of travel for the rest of the conference games. Man I wish that CU and Utah or another PAC school could get into the Big and that would give the conference six western state schools; one more and they have a whole pod, like the 14 that are now split into West & East.

    The Big12 after UT & OU leave is just a mirror of what the PAC will be like if the commish can’t get a good deal.

  44. On the Iowa State thing, it will be interesting to see if some of those betting is an unintended consequence of NIL money. The Bama baseball coach is a total idiot. I think that schools, administrative betting regulators, and the NCAA will probably find more of this, across a bunch of schools. IMO, betting issues can be the death knell of any athletic team or even athletic department as a whole.

    Also, the San Jose Mercury News article posted 3 down, has pretty good information on the headwinds of making a TV deal. The TV industry as a whole is just getting hammered financially and with the cord cutting. When we look at the early PAC projections for this coming season, the PAC has 5-6 teams in the top-25, albeit two of them are USC and UCLA–which is a resurgence. When those teams leave, if the PAC gets 4 in the top-25, I think the conference will be fine. For CU, so long as Prime is here and taking up so much oxygen, CU will find its way onto TV. The over-under wins betting numbers are so weird, as I read in one article CU is #7 in bets from them to win the playoffs; and no pronosticator is even really projecting a bowl game!

  45. A more realistic statement would have been “It’s a tremendous risk to keep all of those guys,” Deion said he was going to replace and he has. If Saban were brought in, he would have done the same and been declared a visionary genius.

  46. Of the PAC does have to dissolve one of these days I would much rather the Buffs go to the B1G. If covering time zones mean anything Utah and CU may have a chance over WA and OR. Prime not becoming the Buff’s version of Scott Frost would also help.

    1. It really sucks that CU fell while UW rose back to the Don James era in wins, had CU maintained their position after Mac left, CU would probable either be a candidate, leaving for (like USC) or already in the B1G. CU was yearly in the top 25 (top half and higher) of college football rankings. The Buffs were also in the top 25, I think around #16 in wins, both the total number of wins and the percent of wins and was loved by a national audience in their New Year’s Bowl games appearances and the Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday) games.

      I believe if Mac had stayed just one more year and tricky rick was sent packing (took another HC or OC opportunity), and the right coach (like a KW @ Utah) followed, that CU would have never fell the way they did.

      And whatever happened to that all important organization that Mac left CU to build? One more year and a different set of Head Coaches to follow could have been all the difference.

  47. I suppose its inescapable to talk only about the players in relation to 1-11 when flipping over 3/4s of the team. No one mentions the coaching contribution, which was horrid,.
    I understand what CP is doing with the big flip now that college football has come out of the professional closet. Still its hard to see a handful of players go who, in spite of the clown coaching last year, proved themselves in a miserable team situation. When the money is at stake there is no room for loyalty or legacy.
    The one thing I see improving the most is the depth albeit with some players who may not be all that much better than the best ones who left.
    Back to coaching. It looks and sounds like the OC position is in good hands. I just hope the tempo thing isnt the only arrow in the quiver. Lewis has been quoted as a run first coach. Of course that may not be the case with the HC’s kid being the QB. Thats also the reason Hunter appears to be a most time WR. That may have to change after a few games. If it does they may wind up missing MLC and/or JT.
    The D? who knows?
    In any case it will be the coach’s task to get 80 players who are on the same team for the first time together enough to avoid looking like the keystone cops in one preseason practice session.

    1. On the flipping of the 3’s/4’s on the team, for the guys that were here and played in some games and travelled with the team, it would be a bitter pill to swallow if a good prospect were told they could stay and be relegated to the Scout team. Some blame goes on the coaching, but CU was sort of stuck with Midnight Mel leaving. KD gave a decent CoVid season, but the lack of talent really showed against Texas in the Bowl game, as well as the 2nd half of the Utah game. CU might have stayed with Utah that game, had Nate Landman not got hurt.

      It think a bunch of it was CU just not being very good and not able to recruit for many years. Also, for whatever reason, this past season it did not seem like most of the guys were lifting year around and getting bigger/stronger etc… That is on the coaches and mostly the S&C coach. I think part of KD’s problems were his changes at the coordinator positions. The new guys were not dynamic.

      This regime’s coaches will be tasked getting 53-65 players on the same page with a new install on both offense and defense. That is a huge lift and may take 5 games even with better talent and experienced transfers.

  48. CU should at least receive some kind of Finder’s Fee for Blackmon and Gonzalez being drafted… we found them first (!)

    1. Agreed. Props to both of those guys– to me they are CU guys, even if they did one year of finishing school elsewhere. Special props to Blackmon, who battled through so many injuries. That is a feel good story for me.

  49. Here comes Dennis Dodd again. A previous poster described him pretty much as a paid schill for the Big 12. Starting look very true from where I sit too.
    And if the Buffs go 3 and 0 to start the season I know the TV rights will be worth more. Hopefully any decision to stay or go will be delayed until then.

    1. Agreed. Dodd’s article on Prime said the Buff’s looked “small” in the Spring game albeit from a tv lens. I guess he never watched a game from the sideline last year, or last years’ Spring game. The guys Prime is brought in are bigger and in much better football shape. Props to Louis Passarello, the kid looks like he put on 90 pounds of muscle! No wonder he got a number.

      On all the roster turn over he said: Don’t hate the player, hate the game. LOL

      On the conference stuff, it will come down to: 1) the TV deal–I think if it is somewhat close to ACC/B-12, they will stay together; 2) if the North teams (Ore and UW) have no place to go–(I have always got the feeling that USC/UCLA have an exclusive of sorts to keep the West Coast schools out for a few years; and 3) if the B1G is not interested in CU or Utah, they could make more sense in the short term for the B1G.

      Finally, IMO, the longer the PAC12/10 goes staying together, I think that they will ride it out. On the 4 corner schools going to the B12, I’m not so sure UoA or ASU are all that appealing in football since by state law the August, Sept and even some Oct games are required to be played at night. That sucks, because their OOC games are either on the road or at-night.

      1. Even at night I’m sure the temperature is responsible for some of their success. Every other team in the PAC aside from their state rival has to feel the heat. I had to spend a night in
        Phoenix when I missed a connection. Walked out of the airport at 10pm when it was still 102. When its dark it really feels weird and suffocating.

        1. Our family is from AZ, and it is just a tough place to play early season. I think UNLV suffers this in Vegas. They probably need a Dome/Retractable roof, but an athletic department cannot really afford that and the tax payers will not front the bill either. They cost a ton to operate.

          Also, specifically ASU that has to compete with so many sports down there, and they have Cardinal stadium.

    1. Whoever thinks we ARE NOT going to get national attention come September, are living life in a fog.

      BEING IN THE CENTER OF ALL THIS ATTENTION AND CURIOSITY is going to be positive or negative and we’ll have to live with it. 2024-25 and beyond could be determined by how well the Buffs do in the first 5-6 games.

      Recruiting – fortunately or unfortunately – might be affected one way or the other, even with Coach Prime commanding the coach’s office.

      I don’t mean to be a naysayer of doom, I’m just hoping the offensive and defenses get coordinated and that the talent we are hoping for surfaces.

      GO BUFFS

  50. All this conjecture is just that, and the reality is pretty simple. The PAC-10 (after UCLA/USC leave) will stand pat until they see a media deal and based on that (or they don’t get a media deal in the next year or so) it will either stay together or fall apart. There are two counterweights, Oregon and Washington in the North, and the four corner schools in the South. If either don’t like the deal and have an out with another conference then they will leave as a group. JMHO.

  51. Now they are hammering the cw? I remember when fox was an also ran network, with shows like in living color and the simpsons. There are plenty of other examples. Hulu, anyone?

    I guess this is where Kliavkoff makes his money. His reputation is as a media savvy, back room negotiator. Let’s hope he delivers.

    Go Buffs

    1. you are the money man.
      There must be a reason the PAC doesnt just upgrade the PAC network beyond the mediocre level the other broadcasters currently provide, get rid of the ESPN/Fox/ etazos conference agenda driven middle men and keep all that commercial money for themselves. I understand Direct TV is a thug entity but without ESPN etc taking the chunk out we should be able to afford them.
      If you cant join em, beat em

      1. You touched on this before, and I think it has to be part of their negotiations.

        From what I’ve seen – and heard and read – it seems that by all accounts, the production value of the Pac 12 Network is top notch (or was, until they had to cut costs, and went to remote broadcasts of live events, reduced cameras, etc.). Heck, like ’em or not, they had Bill Walton, Rick Neuheisel and a host of other talented on air people who’ve either come from and/or gone to much bigger platforms.

        The issue was, and is, the distribution. That kneecapped them financially. So, if Kliavkoff et al can enhance distribution, and leverage the existing production quality, that might be really appealing to the likes of streamers (apple, amazon, youtube, hulu, etc.), or lower tier (currently lower tier) networks looking to up their game (oh, sorry, couldn’t avoid the pun if I tried) who don’t really have the production quality systems in place that the Pac 12 network does.

        I think Rick is very much in favor of the Pac 12 staying together, as long as it’s not a financial dead zone. I don’t think it will be. I think the other members are on board, too. And SDSU has to be getting an invitation, right? And SMU, to pick up Dallas.

        To CU Alum’s points though, there really are only a few ways (ok, two ways) it’ll play out: Money’s good, Pac 12 stays together. Money’s not good, it ceases to exist as we know it.

        Here’s to hoping the money’s good. If the demand for the product is there, meaning if the quality is good – and it looks like it will be outstanding, at least in 2023, but I say that bodes well for the future, too – people will pay for it.

        Go Buffs

  52. So, Buffs are the ONLY Spring game on ESPN, yet are competing with Alabama, Nebraska and Washington for ratings?
    Coach Prime is must watch TV… the huskers with a retread coach? c’mon

  53. Not an accountant, stat guy or one of these “analysts” who keep spouting the party line…….but….
    I am wondering why not scrap the PAC 12 network or at least use it to rebuild in a professional and attractive manner. I think with the right people it could be done better than the pitiful “gold” standard of the mainstream sports media.
    Too many of the established guys are pap offerings and run of the mill personalities. It shouldn’t be that hard to attract fans with knowledgeable commentators with engaging personalities. I’m sure all the “gpld” standard guys would pay a pant load of money to farm in the best games even if their commentators find themselves a level below.

  54. NIL is so much bigger than pay for play, there’s no way Congress can put that genie back in the bottle. Any legislation will go right to court, that has already set precedent.

    I would bet Travis and shedeur’s sponsors, by and large, are not CU alumni money. Rather national brands hitching their wagon to those kids hoping to garner eyeballs.

    Does subway root for golden state and steph curry? Tom Brady? No. They just want eyeballs.

    Deion understands that. It’s in part how he got Walmart to spend money at jsu. Good pr and eyeballs.

    Ncaa can’t stop that at the player level, when every other aspect of the enterprise can do what they want, with non-public contracts.

    Go Buffs

  55. On the Congressional Hearings/Fed Oversight articles:

    As a general rule, I just hate the Feds getting involved in anything, as they are just too darn big and “out to lunch” as necessary to grasp this inherent issues and deal with them with a Common Sense Approach- yielding actual results. Certainly, I don’t want the head of a Fed agency every 4-8 years upsetting the apple cart every few cycles. Plus, politicians are the kings of graft/grifters, no matter what which party that they reside. Political campaigns cost millions and special interests always play an outsized role and that is the game. Plus, the Fed steps are akin to using a sledgehammer when a scalpel is needed. In general, I like the free market but somethings things go off their wheels completely. I think that we are at that juncture with NIL and the recent College Football landscape.

    1. I’m not real fond of the idea of these NIL talks and proposals being bantered around with 16-18 year old kids, although parent(s) presumably sign too. The age in Colorado for emancipation is 19, if all can believe that. Generally, I give the benefit of the doubt to the parents, but with NIL$$, in some homes this may be the largest check or revenue stream that they will ever see–and the family may reap all the rewards. I know some lawyers will review these contacts, but they have precious little bargaining power given wealth disparity. Heck, these trusted lawyers may have their eyes on becoming the athletes agent. That whole concept just leaves me a some sour gut.

    We know from broke Pro-Athletes just how their lawyers, agents, or sports management companies can leave them in bankruptcy in a hurry. Most of these instances were adults, not teens.

    For the younger kids, they really need an impartial to protect their interest– what about health insurance after football?; for high performance what about health insurance for injuries (Willis Magahee, even Marcus Dupree [who was older])?; and what about judging the financial shape of the NIL provider–can they go belly up and then the athlete is SOL? Should they have to post a bond, to ensure their obligations will be met? Side note, how may pro-sports teams have been temporarily left without naming rights for their stadium–Denver went a year. What happens if the coaches change and that player has to look elsewhere, is the NIL deal SOL/defunct via its very terms?–that is an impossible situation. In sum, the pressure is enormous, we are dealing with young people, a short window to complete things, and all the impact can be of an entire lifetime.
    These impartials should look at college only, and cannot become their agent for pro-sports too. Marcus Dupree was a prime example of that. Although the Sports Agency Industry has cleaned up since its early years, I believe that they have distances to force before they are signing teens, specifically football players who can be a major injury away. These folks cannot be housed in company groups, where one does college and then their partner PRO’s, vice-versa. Too much overlap.

    2. Given that we are in the wild-west phase, I fear the fine print in NIL contract and that these NIL contacts are all over the place. Either Congress, Fed or the Fed agency via the NCAA needs to promulgate a “uniform contract,” (much like in baseball) that has the standard legal ee’s necessary to protect the athlete–the disclosures, protections for the over-all welfare of the athlete–through college and beyond, if they do not go into pro-football. With CTE and other major injuries, they need medical insurance coverage past college. Remember: a fair share of 5*’s don’t pan out–Marcus Houston’s knee. A larger share of 4* don’t pan out–Lynn Katoa spend more time in state housing than he did on the football field; and 3* kids are a hodgepodge, so make it, many do not.

    3. Also, I think that the Feds need to protect the welfare of the overall game, as a whole. This can be done via the appointment of an Commissioner, whose sole job is to protect and promote the game of college football nationwide, rather than line their pockets. I suppose they could revamp NCCA having them step-up, but IMO it should have a specific football component (since this sport pays for most of the other sports on any campus) and another commission that protects the other sports. Maybe a 3-headed monster: football, all other sports (this may have a separate Olympic sports sub-chair) , and Title IX department??–since this overlays all college athletics.

    4. This appears to be the appropriate time to bring this up. You have TV and certain conferences colluding rendering it very difficult to be televised for their home audience. The PAC is in trouble, the Big12 was in trouble, and there are grumblings in the ACC. IMO, if a team sells out their stadium and are not on major TV, the game should go out to bidding to Local/Regional Market Networks for free network or streaming. They cannot slot you on ESPN+ which exacts an extortionate fee. The Team(s)/game earns that via sellout, and those athletes have a right to be seen. The commentating may be spotty, perhaps a simulcast–but you get to see your team in your home.

    5. Lastly, we had the recent article on CSU. Even if they are little brother, I would not like to see their teams or teams like them disbanded or relegated to Div.II. They have a place at the table even if it is the 101st ranked team in a smaller conference. Sure, it is much tougher to get into a playoff and they are likely to be crushed. However, they should not be in a position where less than 1/2 their games are even on TV. We someone to protect the national game, rather than a few regions with plump TV contracts. In this sense, they may have accept a dirty word/concept called Revenue Sharing–not just with their conference peers, but college football as a whole. We don’t need an equal sharing for the 134 schools in the BCS, but they should be compensated enough that they keep all their teams and can be somewhat competitive in the sport.

    In conclusion, I think this P65 conglomeration, their conference chairs, and 2 conferences (B1G and SEC) in particular have unfortunately: “taken the train off its track,” so something needs to be done soon.

    It should be the P65 with an outside shot for others, instead of the looming P20/21 (this is based on the TV $$) that owns a monopoly on the great TV rights. This renders major college football into Regional Coverage, where your local team is severely cut out. It should be Nationwide Coverage.

    This is where on the one hand I loathe federal intervention, but on the other feel that it is probably needed sooner rather than later. Any thoughts are appreciated??

    P.S.–did you know that the NTSB/FAA in their anti-trust provisions actually require major airlines to run some unprofitable routes, subsidized to the consumer (i.e. the tickets sold, and cardo delivered to not cover the cast.). All the value airlines love certain markets; however the smaller less profitable routes are necessary so we have Nationwide Airline Access as a matter public/national security.

    1. I like the uniform contract and health insurance thing. ….and the NCAA’s demise was because of their highly discretionary scalpel only.

      I dont have the time or inclination to study this NIL thing and it probably has more angles and openings for the lawyers to discover yet and exploit.

      I still think the best way out of this mess, if legally possible, is for the Alabama’s and Ohio States et al to form their own full blown professional college football league. Let em go into a full money war with each other and good riddance. This 16 team super conferences where they are headed now is just pissing in the wind by holding the perennial doormats hostage.

      For the rest of the college football world keep the levels as they are now with enough regulation to keep the money income somewhere level. I dont know if this is even legally possible now. If a player is in the new again “amatuer league” and a booster offers him instant retirement can anyone say No? Can a even a D2 or 3 college who wants to keep the money out of it altogether say no to NIL?
      Would avenues for players and teams to switch from the full pro league back to the new amatuer league and vis versa leave some room for money regulation?

      Herding cats looks a lot easier. Sour gut is an understatement

    2. An outstanding synopsis of the issues that lie ahead. I too cringe a bit when possible federal government intervention commences—someone once saying that for every one problem that government solves, it creates ten new problems in the process. Just look at how things have exploded since 2014’s Ed O’Bannon case that opened the NIL door. The judge in that case, Claudia Wilken laid out the first ground rules. Ground rules that now look like relatively “chump change…..At the time the ruling stipulated. ” Compared to what collegiate athletes can now command. Players at every position will be paid equal shares for their NIL rights from a trust fund after they leave college. It is not a free-market system where the star quarterback can make more than the backup linebacker.
      Though the NCAA can cap that amount, it cannot prevent schools from offering at least $5,000 per athlete per year. Once the cap has been set—the NCAA would likely keep it at $5,000—schools can choose to participate if they want. This is done to promote competition in the “marketplace” of college athletics.
      The NCAA is also free to cap stipends, so long as they don’t fall below the actual cost of attendance.
      Wilken prohibited athletes from making money for endorsing products/services”………..I have absolutely no idea where, when, and if the dust of this ever evolving whirlwind will settle.

  56. It’s always Oregon and Washington that have/add value… It sucks to know that back when Pat James pulled UW back up from a losing program, CU was also a national name with Mac at the helm. Both schools had risen out of the ashes from bad coaches and both schools were a national draw when they played each other; it was great!

    Oregon was a middle player in the Pac10 & Pac8 before that, and didn’t start their rise until Knight’s money came along. Same time as Mac leaving.

    Bad hire after bad, with a “good enough” hire followed by a “could have been good” hire if he stuck around and then another bad hire that was bad timing more than anything, CU finally has a good hire again. But too late for this round of talks.

    And, so far, CU has a great hire. Will he be great enough for people to remember when CU was great?

    CU can be great again, just start winning. I know that’s a big sentence with a lot behind it, meanwhile, Oregon is always going to be a smaller TV market. However, as long as Knight’s money and/or B1G money comes in, they can stay big. Shouldn’t a school like CU have value to the B1G if Prime brings them back to the national spotlight? And he sticks around?

    Really, if taking all of the schools with TV/market/fan/history value available in the P5s, from the B1G footprint to the West Coast and everywhere in between is the goal for the B1G, then they should want CU to go along with OU, UW, UCLA, USC? They need schools for those schools to play without major travel every game.

    And… Maybe, the desert’s schools too if locking up all Power5 TV markets, including Basketball.

    But Oregon isn’t a large TV market and it’s national draw is solely because of the money pumped into it’s recruiting, uniforms, coaching and facilities; it wouldn’t have it’s recruits or record if not for the money.

    So I’m tired of hearing about Oregon being a big dog while CU just seems a little late getting back to the party…

    But, as CP has said “They are Coming”

    1. Don James, not Pat. Sorry. And he had a winning record, but resigned after probation and problems. But CU’s fall lasted longer, but CU could return under CP. We’ll See.

    2. You struck a chord there that has bugged me all along. All this conference re-alignment bullcrap talk is about teams that are trendy now. A lot of them were nobody’s 20 years ago. So what does a mega conference do when they have schools with non-competitive sports programs that are actually costing them money? Do they eject them? How would that work? Nobody is thinking about that yet because the dollars are right in front of their noses and long-term thinking is not something greedy people tend to do well. It will need to happen someday because the current path is not sustainable.

  57. A true merger (even just in football) with the ACC makes no sense. Not if you are truly considering it a single conference with a single champion at the end of the season. That would take away spots in the newly expanded playoffs. As it is now, each league’s champion is most likely in plus one or 2 next in line. Merge and only 1 champion is guaranteed and likely not as many next in lines as would otherwise make it.
    Now, a TV network partnership (combining the ACC and PAC12 networks) and ensuring lots of cross conference games each year, that is a good idea. Just not at the expense of officially merging the conferences. If for no other reason than it would contractually allow FSU, Clemson, Miami, and UNC to freely leave the league as their contract and grant of rights would have to be redone. You really think the SEC and Big10 would sit around and not try to poach them?

  58. Well the AU prez didnt really clear anything up…did he? His optimism on the PAC deal may be setting himself up in an attempt to shed criticism when he runs the school into the arms of his good buddy Yormark…….if it comes in less than 31 mill per school. Yikes
    Surprised he is a doctor. Most doctors dont seem to make good businessmen….which is a good thing as they have enough complexity and responsibility taking care of the rest of us.
    I had a doc buddy who wanted to invest in oil so I set him up with another buddy who was in oil who proposed a conservative drilling prospect in order to minimize the risk. Instead the doc went with a con straight out of the old TV show “Dallas” and lost tens of thousands.

  59. I can’t wait for the TV and conference stuff to go down one way or another. If the PAC was looking for a “miracle,” I think that it would be an ACC affiliation + Notre Dame. Notre Dame would be the wildcard. Their $25M/year NBC deals goes through 2025. If the TV market continues to soften and weaken, NBC may not want to give them a better deal? Notre Dame may not be all that happy with NBC for partnering with the B1G; and just want to spur their advances? Not sure where those negotiations sit, but it sounded like ND wanted $75M a season from NBC. Those talks have sort of gone radio silent. What if NBC is like your 6-7 good games are on, the 5-6 remaining go to Peacock and they get a $30M number? ND just feels unstable in the climate.

    Doing an East/West deal with ND would be complex, and there would have to be special gives to ND (like Texas in the B12 with the Longhorn Network), but it would lead to a bunch of intriguing must watch games; and really force some TV hands.

    ND seems like a natural fit with the B1G and they have been invited many times, but never said yes. Maybe they are frenemies?

    The B1G is already cancelling home and homes with PAC teams, what if they threaten to do the same to ND unless they join the Mega-Conference, and ND just balks? ND being independent has always been about them: a) wanting to have nationwide appeal/brand and they have fans everywhere; b) a special TV partner; and c) the other special perks that they get which are substantial. Well if their TV partner softens; the B1G plays hardball; maybe ND considers the ACC with an affiliation

  60. Stuart,

    Thanks for posting my comment above. I thought the follow up comments were great.

    The only thing that I would add is that although the West Coast footprint is huge in terms of TV numbers; I how good the TV footprint is (poor/decent/good/great) in terms of fans numbers actually watching the games. Is it a great college sports footprint? I don’t think TV market-size is a driver, unless the WestCoast TV consumer is actually watching the games. In fact, conference wise I’m not sure how many rabid die hard fans there are about all Sports and College Football in general on the West Coast. I definitely think College Football is king in Oregon, and maybe Washington; and in general I think they are good/great sports states. I think the Utes, although a smaller market have an excellent following; as do the Jazz.

    I lived in SoCal in the mid-90’s and I was amazed at the lack of rabid/die hard sporting interest, where bars and the games would be packed–except for very few games, they were not. In CA, there is nice weather and just so much to do. Also, I think some of it comes down to travel time and ease of access. I’d say the same thing in visiting Stanford and Cal . . . they have fans but it is not like they are football crazy. When Stanford was good, I liked their fans a lot. The Alums show up. IMO, some CA fans, even alums won’t go out of their way to watch every away game or even battle traffic to attend certain home games; much less have a huge TV following for other PAC games. I do think part of USC & UCLA leaving to the B1G were the empty stadiums for home games–very embarrassing, especially when they had winning teams with tradition.

    The 49ers are the only CA pro Football team, I see with a strong constant following. The Raiders are 2nd and they moved to Vegas. The Chargers could not fill up a small soccer stadium after bolting San Diego and have had some decent team watchable teams. The Rams are not must see TV despite winning the SB 2 years ago. I hear similar things about their Hockey and Pro-Hoops teams, the storied Lakers have LeBron but it is not like they sell out most games. In baseball, the Dodgers are sort of the cream of the crop in MLB and they have the same Regional TV issues we have– one cable station has a monopoly so–like only 1 in 8 Angeleno’s can watch the games? Many fans don’t want to battle traffic into downtown LA for a Dodger night game. In Denver, the Altitude–Comcast etc… conflict is ongoing news and people are not happy about it. In CA, those TV issues are an afterthought.

    I get the same feeling with Arizona–I think some of that has to do with their lack of success on the college gridiron. UoA has never made it to a Rose Bowl. ASU looks to build and then collapses without a huge local out-cry. The Arizona Cardinals are like an afterthought, since the stadium is so far away. I think the NHL still owns the Coyotes. I think the Suns do pretty well. I don’t think the Diamondbacks draw anywhere close to the Rockies, or even have a huge local TV following.

    IMO, certainly, huge TV market is great, unless the fans don’t truly tune in. The bars etc… don’t buy the package. Are the teams in the PAC footprint Sport’s towns? There are always exceptions for great teams, but except for the Teams/States listed above, the sports fans are just not rabid, consistent or committed in numbers elsewhere. They are nothing like the Broncos fans, where we have suffered sustained poor seasons, yet they are still topic #1 and must-see, even when they are bad and we just complain. Support for the Av’s has been great if their product is good. I think the same for the Nugs. The Rox are just awful, but fans still flock to Coors field. The Buffs fans made a decent showing for last years 1-11 team, although many left early for good reason. This is sort of why, I doubt the PAC TV contract will come close to the Big-12’s, although IMO the PAC probably has more compelling teams even without USC & UCLA.

    When we look at TV markets the total size is one thing; but the quality/quantity of the fans has to come into play. The TV people know this–it is all about advertising revenue. The more households predicted to be watching, the more expensive the ad buy.

    Again, IMO, the night games, specifically the Sat night games don’t help the PAC. For a college football fan, unless your team is playing and/or it is a great game (USC v. Utah, Ore v. UW etc…) it is easy to snooze that game away. If you are a college football fan in general, you are on game #4 or maybe #5 to watch the after-dark PAC match-up. Myself, unless CU is playing, I am sort of football’d out by the time the 7:30/8:30pm PAC game comes on.

    1. USC & UCLA will still have empty stadiums… that won’t change. No one is flocking to the Rose Bowl to see UCLA vs. Indiana or USC vs. Minnesota

      1. I think for a period of time, Big-10 opponent fans will flock and fill the stadiums. Even when CU was decent in about 2005, went to the Alamo Bowl v. Wisconsin, it was like 7 to 1, Wisco to CU fans and a sell out. If USC and UCLA’s performance drops off, certain opponent fans may outnumber the home fans!

    2. I’m not sure how anyone can justify moving to the pac-12 after only one good year. It was a horrendous decision that played a huge part in the decline of the program. West coast may be talent rich but when it comes to tv or excitement for college football, it isn’t in the top 10 list of priorities. We left Texas where football is #1,
      just so that the alumni could travel to California at the expense of losing week in and week out. They can make excuses all they want, but wanting to be a west coast team cost us losing our identity and almost the entire program. Thankful to Coach Prime for bringing a national stage back to CU.

  61. Like I’m sure was the same for most of us, my initial gut reaction to CSU potentially being considered to join the PAC12 was basically open disdain and disbelief. After giving it some thought and letting the possibility marinate a little bit, I think I might actually be a smart move.
    Yes, while CU has the Denver market, that would only be 1 game a week. Denver will be the 4th largest PAC12 market once LA is gone. The conference needs to maximize viewership. Adding a second team to a decent market, adds value and increases the interest in the conference at large by having 2 teams (2 of the 3 DIV1 teams) playing in it.
    It also adds more non-pacific time timeslots to schedule games in.
    Plus it was finally add a real rivalry to CUs conference schedule. For the rest of the league, it gives another winnable game to the schedule, at least for the first few years.
    If it adds value to the league (new teams will need to have a partial distribution for this next contract for that to be the case), and also stabilizes the league, then I’m up for it.

    1. The rivalry part goes past Colorado. Fort Fun has been inundated with cobbs who love the elevated culture they can get there that is missing in the truck stops and feed lots back home and still feel safe with.
      They even brought some of home with them….Runzas.
      If the cobbs dont give you enough willies, giving CSU a bigger element of recruiting draw, within the state too, might not be that desirable. Right now they can barely get more than 2 stars.
      Not kicking them while they are down. Just not letting them up. Be the bigger fan (man)?

      1. I don’t think CSU to the PAC-12 is going to happen. They do not have a Medical, Law School or other post-graduate programs that the PAC-12 academics are looking for, at least that I know of. CSU has a world class Vet school and are great in some other graduate areas (Natural Resources?) Do they have a Business School? The lack of academic fit is exactly why UNLV is an after-thought in PAC discussions. Although the Vegas market is large, it has a great geographical location, and I’m sure facilities could be upgraded; academically they are a world apart. They did get a Law School about 8 years ago. I do a ton of business in Las Vegas and have for years, and although UNLV has made some strides academically, it is just not close. Closer academically to Northern Colorado than the PAC schools academically.

        Also, I think that for exposure reasons, Teams/Presidents etc… may block neighboring schools that sharing a larger TV market, this being Denver. I have been surprised with BYU’s movements, and staying away from Utah–vice-versa. That screams rivalry, but I just don’t think that they want to share the Salt Lake market.

        I don’t have the vitriol that I used to have with CSU. I guess our teams being so down for so long is part of that and it makes you look back fondly at the Sonny Lubick days. I’m no Bradlee Van Pelt fan. I am impressed with the new stadium and facilities. I am impressed with how FOCO has grown into a nice large college town. It is cool.

  62. GR and MAB bring up some good points. I saw a recent story about the demise of the regional sports networks that I almost posted here. But basically, that puts all the conference networks in a similar category, I’d think. And, streaming is definitely eating into the pie of eyeballs.

    As to the Pac 12? My opinion has evolved. At first I thought when USC and UCLA bailed, they’d be toast. But, as the dust settled, and the season played out w/ some fun football again, that view changed. Even more so with the return of all the stud QBs from last year, plus the addition of Prime Time in Boulder. If only 2023’s season were the first of the new media rights deal, not the last of the old one.

    But, what it illustrates is that the quality of the programming is not forever dead, as some may have us believe. Even without USC and UCLA. If the Pac’s games are fun to watch, people will watch them.

    The West Coast is a market everyone wants to own. That helps. Even if a lot of us who live here do other things w/ our time than watch sports.

    I also believe Rick George is all in on the Pac 12 – as I think he should be – at least until/if it’s dead. CU’s move to the Pac has been huge for fundraising. Doubt they get the Champions Center funded without it. There’s a litany of other reasons too.

    I still think once this thing fully evolves into the College Football Playoffs brought to you by Big Fox, SECSPN and Apple Pie (or Amazon) there will be something like 65-80 teams, split into divisions, that some will think look a lot like the original conferences. Regionality will play a role after people tire of flying the tennis team across the world. Or even just the football team, if that and/or men’s basketball break out into their own, separate from the olympic sports. Hell, the pros don’t even like flying across the country for interdivisional contests, whether NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc. They’re all regionally based. And they fly private and stay at the Ritz or Four Seasons. Oh, and they don’t have school.

    Go Buffs

    1. Eric–

      I like your comments. I struggle to find how the Conferences evolve back into practical Regional type Conferences, with even 40-60 schools. I do think the Euro-soccer model with relegation could be a good thing. It would permit large schools that are bottom feeders to turn things around in a lower division and jump back up; and schools that struggle go back down. I just have a hard time finding the scenario where it happens:

      1. I guess it could happen team-wise if the travel of the overall entire athletic department becomes too expensive and a headache to justify chasing larger TV revenue. Perhaps in some non-football sports they find it harder to recruit and compete because of the travel burden. 6 football games is one thing, but 12+ hoops games, golf tourneys, tennis, baseball could be a travel headache. In this, UCLA and/or USC try the B1G for 10 years or whatever their commitment is, and then they get back to the West Coast. Nebraska says we tried the B1G and it has been a rough run, so we want back into something like the Big 8-12. Maybe other teams just fold–Rutgers and Maryland has had a tough go. I just know West Virginia has stayed in the Big 12, not seeking a way into the ACC.

      2. Another scenario is political pressure/legislation likely federal to require the NCAA to step back in or something appointing a national commissioner (like MLB, NBA, Golf–any pro sport) with broad sweeping powers whose sole job is the protecting/promoting the welfare of all College Athletics as a whole. In that, I think you head down the road of National revenue sharing or a luxury tax of sorts. However, we know Congress cannot get anything done, plus for the States that are in the SEC and B1G political pressure and major donor money will come into play. If it breaks certain conferences financial advantage, that would be a hard sell. It would be interesting to just see Congressional Hearings on the subject, akin to what McCain did in standardizing boxing commission standards.

      The hurdles are high and entrenched. The power Conferences are well funded with powerful conference boards backed by big money interests; so it is much more than just stripping a conference commissioner or putting “them into line,” so to speak. I not sure how well-received the federalization of College Athletics would be in many States, specifically the ones benefiting with the current lay-out. You need a majority in the House and 60 Senators to go along. A vote for such a thing, a yes vote could spell a political end for certain members of Congress, regardless of what party they reside. I would say in really Red States like Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Alaska etc… it may be good for them football-wise, but the “States Rights/Small Federal Government” arguments could rule the day.

      Certainly, it is interesting times.

  63. With the Rockies and 3 other teams losing their TV deal to ATTRM’s: “we need to split or we do it in bankruptcy,” I am starting to wonder just how much of the PAC’s woes are really the state of some collapsing of the TV industry. MLB says it can bail out the Rox and their other teams via overall revenue sharing. Could it just be overall TV revenue decline across the entire industry? Too many teams splitting a smaller pie, and doing it unequally.

    Face it: ESPN is nowhere close to what it was 10 years ago; just look at the website content; and filler shows that they sometimes put in. ESPN had to slash so many good personalities and reporters just to slash costs. Other sports TV stations have failed local or national. Now even some daytime slots on the big channels are filled with infomercials–not 10 years ago. LIV golf is probably a bad example of a bottom feeder, sure they have the CN deal, but they are paying CN and covering all the production costs, then splitting the ad revenue– this will be a huge loss; which the Saudi’s will just pay. It used to be the other way around, the TV networks paid you for their airtime. In College Football it was many conferences . . . now it is less and less.

    Sure there is a huge market for the reconstituted SEC and B1G (TV mega-plums) but aren’t they just plucking-off individual TV plum teams (USC, UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma) and leaving , in contrast to supporting a Conference. Isn’t TV is now actually supporting less teams? Clearly, the ACC and B12 are just becoming weaker, and the PAC-12 is now sort of an afterthought. From a TV perspective throw pennies at it…

    A thing I found amazing is that CBS, NBC, FOX + their secondary channels and streaming are all sharing the B1G & B10 the network still exists. They split the games taking the best, and the rest are shuttled to secondary networks. The crap is shuttled to the cheaper streaming and B1G network. For the SEC, ABC and ESPN are all in, with ESPN’s various channels.

    Although they made a deal, the Big 12 deal really looks like scraps from ESPN and Fox, certainly 2nd fiddle to the other 2 Prime conferences. The ACC is still in their old deal until 2032, but who says ESPN does not gradually make them 2nd fiddle and they are screwed when their TV contract ends? The Clemson and FSU noise seems to forecast this scenario.

    I think sometimes we look at it is the Conferences poaching teams, but aren’t the moves that just based on TV. We went from 5 major networks (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, ESPN [who played to all the conferences] + all their secondary conferences) all bidding for one Major conference + ND to now these 5 jointing together to set up TV rights sharing 2 Prime conferences. It is not 4 major networks taking 4 conferences, and ESPN in with the other + others–it is just 2.

    I sort of take a very basic wide view– presuming TV is slumping, don’t they really drive the re-alignment: 1) they need to bet on sure things; (2) have the best; and (3) for college football doesn’t this mean plucking select teams into their power conferences, rather than paying a bunch of conferences for the whole conference.

    If TV plays the TV scenario plays out, Clemson, Florida State, maybe Miami and one more head to the SEC. If ND sees a declining TV deal, don’t they join the B1G or SEC? Maybe you see both Prime conferences 20-24 teams with very select brands?

    TV and college FB maintain they are doing great because they set certain record deals (SEC and B1G), and just downplay the rest. In the end, isn’t this a strategy for TV to pay more to less teams for TV rights… + buy scraps, rather than support the Power 65 much less all of DivI. For CU, I am not sure that going to the B12 or staying in a perhaps disintegrating PAC is the wrong or right move–I don’t think they have choices–except if Prime makes them a Plum they will get picked. I don’t know which is better, as I think the ACC, Big12, and PAC are all on the shrinking end of this TV game. I’m not sure adding SMU or SDSU will yield a larger TV share, it my be less. Thoughts anyone??

  64. Dennis Dodd aside, I too have a growing sense of foreboding about the future of the PAC 12’s present situation. While I hope there is an elusive rabbit out of the hat scenario that could develop, that possibility appears to be more and more fleeting. I feel bad for Kliavkoff as Larry Scott left him with a heck of a mess. While it’s easy to be dismissive of Dodd, I’m hardly dismissive of the thoughts of the former coaches. In the name of due diligence I also hope that AD R.G is keeping the private backchannel lines of communication open with the BIG 12 and his 4 corners AD cohorts.

    1. I have the same foreboding feeling. Not much talk about Conference expansion now. I just hope the expanded B12 can yield a large tv partner or partners, or it will just be 3rd or 4th fiddle and just diminishing on the TV exposure side. I used to hate the idea, but if Prime makes a ton of noise and the B1G comes calling, they may need to just jump on that bus. If you are a good team in that conference, you will get on major TV!

      1. Your description of ESPN fits right in with the rest of the economy. With groceries and other areas of food service including restaurants you get smaller portions with increased prices. No doubt inflation had a covid supply chain and oil price (Ukraine war) springboard but it seems to me it is maintained by the attitude that the sky is falling if a company ….or a conference….or a network…..and a team …..cant keep on make more and more money.
        hey, I certainly wish I could have made more money but at some point will all this money grab make the whole football economy collapse? or at least recede to a point that increases parity and competitiveness? not holding my breath
        Even if the B10 and SEC grow to 24 team conferences there are still going to be the perennial big dogs and at least 3/4 of the rest of the conferences fighting for scraps. Will Ohio State and Alabama be on TV every week while Vandy and Rutgers become occasional beer league viewing? The same scenario thats happening right now with the big dogs in the ACC wanting a bigger share of the pie will probably happen in the 2 superconference scenario, The rich will keep getting richer. Out of control greed usually only dies by its own hand.
        I guess I am speaking in hyperbole because the whole thing makes me ill. The charm or intrigue of college football is history.
        As far as the Buffs go you nailed it. Prime may be what keeps the Buffs relevant in this entire debacle….and if Lewis can keep the offense on steroids moving.
        Then again that situation will be very temporary when the next Michigan State comes calling. and the road goes on forever

  65. Another day, another Dennis Dodd hit piece. At least the media sharks are starting to circle around the ACC too, now that they smell blood.

    1. Blood and money
      Florida State and Clemson are climbing aboard the greed band wagon. They are trying to make enough wiggle room in their ACC contract straight jacket to demand a bigger share than the equal part thing now.
      Bood, money and the stink of a mountain of fresh excrement….. made even more disgusting by this dodd creature

  66. Not whining as much as stating the facts
    I live in the sticks. My phone reception and internet connections arent powerful enough to stream. If it comes to streaming I will have to drive as many as 35 miles to get to a friends house or a bar with cable that is willing to accomodate my viewing selections.
    As the money train picks up speed it wont stop in places without enough consumer power.

  67. It’s time to move on if Cu wants to be relevant.
    Prime time and CU want to be a national presence and you don’t get that on a streaming service

  68. I sure hope the steady drumbeat of the death of the pac 12 that cbs is pushing is wrong. Hell, if the 2023 season was part of the new media package, it may qualify as must see tv. Loaded qb’s. Loaded talent. And prime time in Boulder, baby.

    Go Buffs

  69. PAC 12 Is turning into a failed conference. They can’t seem to do anything right. This TV deal just shows how out of touch they are. They spent years fighting with DirectTV and forcing their own network. Now they thought they could compete with other conferences and waited thinking they were in the catbird seat. Ridiculous. If they sign a deal that forces me to pay another subscription fee to another entity, I will be highly annoyed. Most sports fans already pay for espn one way or another. Many will choose not to pay for another service. They need to get this figured out and stop looking at short term money and actually strategize how best to build the conference over time.

  70. So this is definitely a risky take but I might consider an Apple TV liscence if, and only if Apple (or the pac-12) stands up a real college football program that competes with ESPN. Fox sports built out a college and nfl experience that I often like better than ESPN. Sure I think never having ESPN gameday at Boulder or a PAC school would be a huge blow. But then do your own damn version. I will watch college gameday without actually watching the game there. Do the same. Apple is big enough to take that risk, without Apple committing to that risk though I think you have to have ESPN…..

  71. Washington should try to schedule a set of games with an ACC team. Same for any other PAC school that has a Big Ten game/series cancelled. Start getting those cross conference games going with the ACC. I’d include the Big 12, but they’re annoying at the moment, so not really wanting to reward them.

  72. Holy buckyeyehola!!

    Bucks cancel dogs
    2024 EYES ARE now gonna have EIGHT (8) home games.
    You mean they already had SEVEN (7)

    alo kornholers weed

    Just a shame. Really

    When do the Buffs get 8 home games let alone 7

    Deon needs to go buy out the away side of all those games home and home ganes
    Buffs should 7 or 8 home games every year.
    Get the “highers” attention!!
    Get the earwax out!
    Beat the eardrum!
    Cause the earache
    they capitulate

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Funny how you can nickname em and they become well trained pups

  73. So is he PAC circling the drain?
    Not sure how this works but wouldnt taking the 4 corner schools or any other school thin out the media money for all the Big 12 conference schools? which doesnt sound all that great to begin with.
    Is it possible that there is a conspiracy afloat to eliminate the PAC.? Big 12 gets the 4 corners and Big 10 gets OR, WA, Stanford and Cal? Be funny if they take the Beaves in place of Cal.
    No matter what happens we get more commercials. You can add more commercials to the death and taxes thing.

  74. 100 million……yikes…for one stinkin season
    Now that CP is here Osborn’s voodoo woman might be looking for some work. Maybe I will ask her to throw a spell on USC and UCLA. She might want too much to include TX and OK. Better yet the entire Big 10 ans SEC. Maybe not total failure but a return to mediocrity.

  75. My vote is to keep the conference at the existing 10. San Diego State might be ok but if we have to take any team from Texas to even it out forget it.

      1. looks pretty stiff compared to CU. Hopefully they keep the AC on in the summer and keep the grid from freezing up in the winter.
        Oil money is a wonderful thing….eh? Remember last time we were in a conference with Texas teams? almost more arrogance than oil. Tech was the only team I would watch. Still remember the last second catch by Crabtree to beat UT.

    1. Hear Hear ep. Totally agree. After the old Big 7 let those TexA$$ schools join the conference it was never the same or better for CU. The arrogance & egos that emanate from TexA$$ will never change. There are a lot of other schools to conference with and things would be just fine minus those TexA$$ schools.

  76. I have to say that I am relieved that Rashada did not come to CU. With his history so far, it just seems that he would have been problematic for team chemistry.

  77. As everyone says, it has to help the PAC12 media rights deal to have Prime in the fold. Only question is will someone come give him a bunch of money/NIL/something else to move on? I think the money would be matched by CU, if CU starts losing recruits becuase they do not have enough NIL backing that could be one, the facilities are nice keep them up and that will be good.maybe if the path to the National Championship cannot be done in Boulder? Strangely enough a USC and UCLA less PAC10 would have an easier path to the the playoff and national championship than the SeC or Big10. I could see him staying if we can figure out enough NIL to get the recruits he wants.

  78. open letter to Mr. Mandel.
    Glamorous is a strange word for a football game but If I have to use it glamorous is in the eye of the beholder. I dont get paid to fatten up watching football games all day so pardon me if dont watch SEC, ACC or few big 12 games. The last time I can remember ever watching LSU was when Joe Burrow was the QB, and only because. Virginia? pfftt. Tennessee? pfft, Definitely never Alabama or Tex A&M
    The way things are going these days in college football I may get cut off watching any of it because I dont watch enough…and when I do watch the max 2 a week I record them first so I dont have to get nauseous watching the same lawyer, pharma and insurance commercials 16 to 20 times.
    Gosh there must be millions of folks out there without any other spare time interests.

  79. Rumor mill is spinning harder that CU won’t have to play against rashada next year. He will be a Buff.

    As the rumor mill turns.

    Go Buffs

        1. Yo how is he rumor mill treating ya. You were pretty firm on the gerbil spinner eh?

          Keep the wax out the ear aches less.

          Go Buffs

    1. I was thinking about Rashada this morning. 2 Blue-chips are in Phoenix this weekend. Rashada is visiting ASU and presumably Duce Robinson is 5* TE (#1 TE) is in Phoenix where he lives. Robinson is crystal-ed to GA for quite a while. His warm teams are: GA, TX, SC, BAMA and Ore. His four visits were before Nov 12th. He has not visited ORE, so that could be this weekend or he is just a silent commit…

      CU is not even listed as an offer, which I find a bit odd. IMO, Duce Robinson would be an instant great get for Prime and the final “Shock the World” signing day NLI out of nowhere. At 6-6 he is big enough to start in a 2 TE and move to the slot. He would see playing time right away. He could beat out our transfer, or just be #2 with some specific packages. He’s listed at 230 and could put on 10-15 pounds upon hitting campus if he came for just the summer, so he could block some and have enough durability to hopefully not get hurt. I know some of the returning TE’s are well liked, but none are close to 6’6″ 230+ come game-day A total nightmare match-up guy.

      The question is, does Duce have any interest in CU? Does he want to play right away? Does he want to stay somewhat closer to home? At Bama and GA he probably red-shirts–they have so many great developed TEs. Perhaps, the same at TX, depending on how developed they are at the position. SC he may play, but does he want to go to the PAC for 1 season then the B1G.

      Phoenix to me is interesting, since it is drive-able and there are a ton of flights to/from DIA, which are generally pretty cheap. If his Parents want to see their kid play, Colorado is easier than all of the teams he lists as Warm. At SC, he loses playing in his home state after 1 season. At CU, he always has one game his parents can easily drive to.

      IMO, if Prime were to pull a Feb 3 rabbit out of his hat, it would be signing 1 if not both of these guys. I just can see it. Some would depend on the dead period, and when Rashada ends his ASU visit. I could see a quick Sun-Mon or just Sun trip to Boulder. Commercial it is an hour fifteen min to Denver, less if they went private and landed at Rcy. Signing Robinson would be the most insane Signing Day coup possible.

  80. A massive – allegedly – nil deal gone wrong? Who saw that coming? And massive is of course relative. A million dollar nil deal sounds massive to me, for a high school kid. $90k seems about right. Or cars, housing and pocket cash, like the good ol days.

    Go Buffs

    1. somethings are just too good to be true…Santos syndrome. Sure hoping our dynamic duo at corner play out.
      million schmillion…. if his receivers cant get open he might as well be a 2 bit QB

  81. I really woud like to see a 3rd legit conference for the west, Big-Pac.
    Would be a distant 3rd to SEC and Big 10 after recent defections, but there would be enough good teams that could make it viable and who knows what happens over time

  82. I applaud the Washington legislature with their effort that might somehow contribute to keeping the PAC together…..but please dont give the big wigs at fort fun any ideas

  83. Daniels…sheeesh. 4th school. I read somewhere he has helicopter parents. Apparently he doesnt mind the ride. Even if the kid shines at Rice if I was an NFL GM his gypsy factor would weight heavily on his draft potential.

  84. I’m a little indifferent on letting kids transfer multiple times with immediate eligibility, or not. It definitely changes the game to a more mercenary style, vs kids being at a school for most, or all of their careers, but it seems that train already left the station. And I sort of expect with portalling losses – kids transferring to nowhere – that may settle down. My question is, will someone challenge that restriction in court? Probably.

    Go Buffs

  85. “way too early…” is absolutely correct. Why bother? These guys need to find another job in the off season. Something that doesnt require much brains or brawn

  86. Perhaps the demise of pac 12 and particularly pac 12 football has been over stated.

    Pac 12 may have the best qb’s top to bottom they’ve ever had.

    Go George. Grab that bag.

    Go Buffs

  87. 16 team playoff means a 4 game post season to the NC. Strength and conditioning, if it really does help prevent injuries, is more important than ever,

  88. Utah reminds me of the Huskers . Run up scores against weaker teams. If they play a strong team OOC they lose. They lose their bowl game. And they wear red. The fans are also starting to get a little cornholish so the resemblance is more and more apparent.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Red is bad. Players getting too cocky and not playing with class. While I wanted the Pac to look good there was something gratifying watching the Utes get pounded. It was only a matter of time for Cam to get pummeled too.

    1. How about the Buff offense as good as USC’s? …and it wouldnt take all that much improvement for the Buff’s D to be better than theirs.

  89. There are 4 quality QB transfers with great potential coming west, add them to the 3 big dogs returning and the 2 others for WSU and UofA and why would Cam Rising stay to face many of those guys in next year’s daft?

    So I’m thinking Cam goes this year like he originally said he’d planned and I can see Utah bring in a transfer too. The west has lost a lot of QBs to schools east of the Rockies/Denver and this year looks to be stacked with transfer talent coming west, some came last year. I guess it all depends on the lines, the supporting skilled players and the OCs, but the competition in the Pac12 looks pretty solid for 2023.

  90. Stinkin’ Lincoln Riley can’t coach defense or find an assistant that can, thus the Spoiled Children will never win the Big 10 title and will be an afterthought in basketball. UCLA will go the way of the Cornholers path in the Big 10, never really in contention in football. However, in basketball they will probably be very successful.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Except for basketball I think it will be a negative, not a positive, because 2 games in a week played 1-2 timezones to the East, week after week, is not going to be good. For UCLA football? Bruins will probably get steamrolled except the Big10 west you never know. Although from the looks of it, ChipK really likes to eat, so maybe all the regional meat ‘n potatoes and fried food will make him a happy camper.

  91. Thanks for the Leach collage Stuart.
    There have to be hundreds more funny and off the wall things
    If you didnt know he was a football coach you never would have guessed it let alone one of the most innovative. Death to cookie cutter football…..and sounds like it might die here at CU with Lewis

    1. Agree with you ep. Leach was an entertaining personality and an excellent coach. Few are able to say that. Thanks Stuart for posting this.

  92. Is there an easier team to hate than U$C? Watching them get blown out was cathartic even if slightly self destructive, at least from a money standpoint.

  93. dang
    I have been too busy working . Overlooked this game was last night.
    Gotta love it though
    the bigger they are the harder they fall.
    The best team money can buy went down like a sack of potatoes when their main guy couldnt play. You dont think they have been full of themselves all season do you and thought this one, along with 2 more were already in the books?
    I imagine getting ready for next year the spoiled children will simply buy 2 more of the nation’s best QBs for back ups and a plethora of new D players who wont collapse when the going gets tough. Overrated Mr. rice might then get at least a PAC ring.

    1. It was a good game.

      Chances are, usc still makes the playoff. That is good for the pac and CU for the cash.

      I am sure mekhi and Brenden have zero regrets.

      Let’s hope Deion comes to Boulder so we can get even higher tier players.

      Go Buffs

      1. After that showing on prime time there is no way usc will be in the playoffs. They were an embarrassment, have fun getting your ass kicked in big 10 smashmouth football Trojans

  94. Choosing a college football head coach is a crap shoot. Fisch is a prime example of beating the odds. When he was hired my first thought was another annual precious and rare win for the Buffs. the guy never played the game and never had any experience as even a coordinator.
    And as such when hired he had to be the least paid coach in the PAC.
    I’m certainly not saying he will keep bringing the team on the uphill climb to the conference championship but he did make the team competitive in 2 years.
    I’m also not saying that the Buffs make that big of a reach but they need to look a little deeper than some guy who was a fired former HC at the G5 level. They wont have the fire in their belly that obviously also missing in KD. In one of them you most likely will have someone who is coasting with millions on his last buyout and has a certain degree of arrogance.
    Some folks to will point to Bilema as someone who proves me wrong but his success was more attributed to a Leavitt like performance by Walters. When the big “B” was at Arkansas I heard him whine about making up tempo no huddle football illegal. That was enough for me to decide I didnt want that dinosaur anywhere near CU football.
    I have heard the Admin will be willing to make Prime one of the highest paid coaches in the conference. That is also a crapshoot even though I think he will be a good hire. Speaking of money, Prime should bring enough “jazz” and attention to the team to get more money bags to contribute to the NIL.

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