I legitimately want to know! This is an important question that will likely be answered in the coming months.
Ding-Dong the motherfucking witch is dead! Well, not dead, but Larry Scott will no longer be the commissioner of the Pac-12 as of June of this year. I don’t know if he was fired or if he’s resigning, and frankly I don’t give a shit. He was fucking terrible at his job, the Pac-12 has become a joke under his stewardship, and the fact of the matter is: he should have been shit-canned AGES ago!
Which gets to the heart of my question: why WASN’T he shit-canned ages ago? He works for the university presidents that comprise the schools in the Pac-12 conference. They are fully aware of the disaster that he has overseen during his tenure. They know all too well that fans of these schools – particularly football fans, as football is the biggest sports moneymaker in college athletics – have been disgruntled since practically the beginning.
It started off promising enough. Within months of becoming commissioner, Larry Scott was working on expanding the conference. There were serious rumblings that the Pac-12 might attract some of the best schools from the Big 12 – including the University of Texas and maybe even the Oklahoma schools – and creating a super conference of 16 teams. That ultimately fell apart, which should have been the first sign that Larry Scott is terrible at his job. I’m sure Texas wanted more than he was willing to give to them, and Larry Scott just HAS to play hardball when more finesse is usually the smarter play.
If Texas wants a bigger slice of the pie, you give Texas a bigger slice of the pie. Why? Because they’re worth it! They’re a nationally-prominent program the likes of which the rest of the Pac-12 schools COMBINED couldn’t hope to reach! You know why else you do what Texas asks? Because that opens up your conference to have an official footprint INSIDE the state of Texas! Where so many of the very best football players come from! They obviously don’t ALL become Longhorns; it would’ve been so much easier for the rest of the Pac-12 to benefit from having Texas in house, because we would get their castoffs (as opposed to them going to the Big 10 or SEC or ACC). Instead, if our recruiters are good enough, we might get dribs and drabs of players from Texas to come out west, but it’s A LOT more difficult than it has to be.
In the end, the Pac-12 had to settle for two additional teams. Our consolation prizes were Utah and Colorado; nobody’s powerhouses. What a joke.
But that’s what our conference has become. We started a network, and alienated DirecTV – one of the biggest distributors of cable channels – reducing our national footprint DRASTICALLY. The fact that the network has been on air since 2012 and we’ve NEVER had it on DirecTV is a travesty!
Among the big Power Five conferences, the Pac-12 is at the bottom when it comes to revenues. We’re already at a disadvantage geographically, and it appears that Larry Scott has never given two shits about improving things. As a result, the games haven’t been televised nationally at the same rate as other conferences back east, which means the high school players aren’t seeing us, which makes it more difficult to recruit (with more and more of the very best players from the west coast moving east for their college careers), which leads to the Pac-12 having more mediocre teams, which leads to fewer berths in the College Football Playoffs (still only two teams have made the final four since it started in the 2014 season), which further reduces our revenues (because schools who make the playoffs get more money), which keeps perpetuating the downward spiral. We can’t even get more than a couple teams ranked in the Top 25 anymore! And if they are, they’re almost certainly starting the season outside of the Top 10, which makes it exceedingly difficult to get into the Top 4 you need to be in for the playoffs.
Why have I been clamoring for college football to change the rules – to make it so every Power Five conference champion makes it into the playoffs? Because that’s the ONLY WAY we’re going to get a team in there!
Thanks, in large part, to Larry Scott.
And, quite frankly, thanks to the schools themselves – and their presidents – who have let this happen. Not only did they hire a buffoon (who thought it would be a good idea to have our central offices in the San Francisco area, where rents are fucking ridiculous, and which has been of zero benefit to the conference whatsoever), but they stuck by him for over a decade!
So, why should we trust the Pac-12 schools to get it right this time? Why should we expect the next guy to be any better? To prioritize football over fucking women’s tennis or whatever the fuck. You want to be a conference that makes money? Make football your #1! Nobody gives a shit that the Pac-12 calls themselves the “Conference of Champions” when we’re MOSTLY the champions of sports that generate no revenue (but, in fact, rely exclusively on the revenue of football for their very existence).
It’s academic, elitist bullshit is what it is. You’re the Pac-12, you’re not the fucking Ivy League, in spite of the inclusion of ol’ Harvard Of The West down there. You want to be the Ivy League? Then you don’t get to be included among the Power Five sports conferences; that’s the bottom line. Drop down to an inferior level of college athletics where you belong, because if you’re not going to take football seriously, then you have no business being where you are now.
I know this is supposed to be a time to celebrate – because really, no one could be worse than Larry Scott – but I’m reserving any further huzzahs until I see the new person and have a chance to find out if they’re able to fix what the previous caretaker bungled. There is a HUGE mess to clean up! I really, really, REALLY hope the new person is up to the task.