Call it East Coast bias. Call it West Coast whining. No matter what you call it, the fact remains that as College Football has expanded, adapted, and evolved, the only guarantee has been that the Pacific Ten Conference has gotten the short end of the stick. So it was no surprise when first year Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott announced last month that the conference is openly considering expansion for the first time in nearly two decades.
“Expansion is something we will take a look at,” Scott said. “The most logical time for that is when you're going to sell your media rights," Scott said. "This is essentially the shop window, so this would be a very natural time to consider it, if we are going to consider it."
Let’s face it – the red-headed stepconference of the NCAA hasn’t gotten much love from the BCS and its current format hasn’t helped. With venues like the Poinsettia Bowl, the Emerald Nuts Bowl, and the Las Vegas Toilet Bowl, the Pac-10 bowl schedule is about as profitable and appealing as the “Jackass” sequel. Lou Holtz still calls it “USC and the nine dwarves” and, while the Big-12 and SEC pad their schedule with Bowl Subdivision cupcakes, the Pac-10 beats itself up with nine conference games. In a BCS system where one loss is enough to keep a team out of the National Championship, a round-robin schedule through one of the nation’s toughest conferences is enough to trip up any Championship contender – between 2006 and 2008, USC (34-5, 22-5) went 12-0 against non-conference opponents (six of them finished in the AP top 10), but was invited to play for the National Championship zero times.
Creating a Pac-12 would not only bring revenue, exposure, and an ounce of respect to West Coast football, but would allow for the creation of a marketable Conference Championship game and free up the regular season for big-time opponents like Charleston Southern or Louisiana-Monroe (If Florida and Texas haven’t already rescheduled them).
Really, the only downside would be the outdated URL of this blog. And I, for one, am prepared to take that blow.
"There's a pretty high hurdle for us, academically, athletically, geographically," Scott admitted. The conference’s lofty academic standards and geographic proximity eliminate potential schools like Boise State and Fresno State right off the bat. But if Scott wants to give his new baby a chance to grow up he might want to consider learning how to jump.
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