15.Jun.2010 Larry Scott: Egg on His Face?
Note to Larry Scott: when you bluff Texas cattle wranglers you get them hotter than a nanny goat in a pepper patch, and they send you home in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
The good news is that the conference is better off without the Big-12 south. Did anyone else have the feeling it was a mismatch we were trying to force for the wrong reasons? I feel relief it’s over, and I’m content with the outcome, since I was only for expansion if Scott could land two specific teams.
Okay, so he landed one. Awkward, but not unworkable.
This is what Larry Scott should do:
1. Poll fans of the PAC-10. Ask what they want. I think the answer would be parity (i.e. fairness), revenue, round robin format (for recruiting purposes), rivalries, excitement (e.g. championship game anyone?), and academics.
2. Achieve all the above. How? Just say “no” to Utah. Go to the NCAA and say, “Listen, we have 11 teams and we’re capping it there. If we play a round robin and remove a creampuff from our schedule, change the bylaw and give us a championship game.”
This would give the fan everything they want.
For Oregon State, it would be especially good. 2/11 = 18% chance of reaching championship game. This gives the “have nots” (Oregon State, Washington State, AZ schools) better odds of something to play for. That is, there is at least an 18% of their last game of the season being meaningful. Once in the game, that is another story: the odds are the same as if there were no championship game–the aforementioned .18*.5 or 9% . The positive thing about a championship game, besides revenue, is it acts as a wild card, giving each team better odds of at least playing in a meaningful game. That is good for the league, even if it means the national embarrassment of an occasional 8-3 team beating a 10-1.
Larry Scott seems intent to etch his legacy in college football. He can still do that by being the first commissioner to get an 11-team conference a championship game. By keeping rivalries and the round robin format intact while increasing revenue via the Denver TV market and a title game, Scott will appease Pac-10 fans while also making his mark in college football history.