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Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott had already used realignment to expand the conference by two teams and secured an incredible television deal with ESPN, FOX and a conference network. Could his next big step be to reform college athletics and help the big conferences break away from the archaic NCAA?
NFL Draft nuts can start getting giddy over April 2012, because it looks like Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck will be there at number one. Luck confirmed to the media at Pac-12 Media Day that 2011 will likely be his final season in Palo Alto, and he'll probably be taking his talents to the next level.
Luck had stated that the reason he came back to Stanford is because he wanted to complete his degree in Architectural Design. Luck is on track to finish his degree this season since this is his fourth year on the Farm (he redshirted in 2008), so everything looks good to go. Luck could have a monstrous season, and certainly as the weeks past and the hopes of certain NFL teams begin to fade, you'd have to wonder if tanking will start occurring.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott wants to do things a little different than other big-time college football conferences, particularly with regards to how he distributes the sports of the conference across the country. It's already been reported that the Pac-12 is interested in a partnership with an online entity like Apple or Google. Now Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has fleshed out what it is exactly Scott is looking for when it comes to combining cable and Internet distribution to garner the most exposure for his conference.
This seems like the most solid of conclusions. The Pac-12 probably needs to have all their football/basketball games on TV to move up in the conference pecking order; at the moment, it's probably near the bottom, with all other major conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East) way ahead thanks to their ties with ESPN. With the new Pac-12 TV contracts factoring in ESPN, you'll see a major upgrade in distribution. With a Pacific-12 television network showcasing the rest of the games, you have every football/basketball game on TV for everyone to see. Finally, the distribution of the grand Pac-12 Olympic sports tradition online, it provides non-revenue sports an opportunity to market themselves with constant exposure. Good times all around in Walnut Creek.
USC Trojans running back Marc Tyler keeps on landing himself in trouble, and he committed the ultimate sin this weekend--getting his face plastered on TMZ. Tyler was suspended today for the season opener by USC, as Lane Kiffin saw no choice but to punish his young star tailback for his transgressions against his football team. Currently Tyler is only out for one game, although it might get longer as the season nears and the Trojans scrutinize his past issues.
This can only mean bad news for the California Golden Bears. Undoubtedly, a longer suspension will probably sideline Tyler for the rest of September, meaning Tyler will be back just in time for the showdown in AT&T Park with Cal. In case you've forgotten, here is what Tyler averaged last year against Cal.
Using science(!), we've determined that Tyler will carry the ball 70 times for at least 700 yards (and approximately seven touchdowns) to make up for lost time. This is unfortunate, but projections never lie when they portend doom for the Bears.
As Brian Floyd of SB Nation Seattle pointed out, if the Pac-12 decides to make a huge leap of faith and star their own network with the help of Google, it'd be a bold step forward into the future of sporting consumption. Additionally, the Google deal for Hulu could end up providing the online TV distribution network its own path to permanence. Hulu has been struggling to make money for awhile, and making its mark in the sports world could be the path they need to profitability.
Remember, most cable TV networks make their money based on subscriber fees, and the more sports networks carry, the higher the carriage fee they can charge to their members. Hulu would probably allow Pac-12 viewers to stream their games live, watch them on replay for a certain set of time (a week?), then put it behind a pay wall (whether it'd be part of Hulu Plus or its own separate subscription is up for debate) for general consumption. General fans would come to Hulu on a regular basis; diehards would up subscriptions to Hulu, and make it a go-to destination on the web.
Would a Pac-12/Google-Hulu partnership benefit the Pac-12 more, Google/Hulu more, both, or neither? Let us know in the comments!
Oregon punt returner Cliff Harris has had a pretty rough weekend, and it just got rougher. Matt Prehm of Duck Territory reports that Harris will be suspended indefinitely, which means he will miss the much-anticipated season opener against the LSU Tigers.
Harris might have gotten off a little easier if this was his first offense. But Harris is a repeat traffic offender, was driving with a suspended license in a rented vehicle purchased by an Oregon employee, skipped a court hearing today, and has over $8500 in traffic fines piled up. The whole situation reeked, and it was inevitable the Ducks would have to come down and punish him.
That doesn't mean Harris won't play next season. LeGarrette Blount was also suspended indefinitely in 2009 after the famous Falcon Punch in Boise, but he was allowed to return at the end of the season and played a critical role in Oregon's victory over Oregon State in the Civil War. Chip Kelly has proven to be a rather forceful arbiter, but he has shown he can be merciful too. If the Ducks need him, expect the gifted corner/returner to be back for the big games in November.
Is Harris's punishment appropriate? How badly would you have punished Cliff Harris if you were in charge in Oregon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
For reaction from Oregon fans, Addicted to Quack is the place to go.
Generally, when a college football player is placed under the microscope for criminal indiscretions, it is in his best interest to appear contrite and remorseful about the decisions he's made. The NCAA has proven to cast a kinder eye toward teams and players that do their best to give at least lip service and care about their misbehavior.
Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris has chosen defiance. That should go well with Chip Kelly. Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard tweeted this report.
Lesson learned? Not quite. Cliff Harris failed to appear by a Tuesday deadline for earlier speeding/suspended citations
In an earlier post, we discussed whether Harris should be put on probation for committing a misdemeanor, suspended for being a repeat traffic offender, or whether he should be dismissed for driving when he shouldn't have been and having an employee of the university (a potential NCAA violation) pay for the car he was driving. Letting him go scott-free is clearly not an option unless Coach Kelly wants the microscope to be placed solidly on his program.
Failing to show for court will cost Harris $614. Here's to hoping an Oregon employee doesn't pay for that either.
Addicted to Quack (the Oregon SB Nation site) says that Harris should not be punished for driving at a reckless speed. What do you believe Cliff Harris's punishment should be for his crime and not acknowledging guilt for his actions? Should Chip Kelly punish him more severely? Let us know in the comments!
Another day, another arrest at Chip Kelly's peaceful Eugene abode. The Oregon Ducks are constantly trying to battle a perception problem that they are a team of character and commitment, yet every month of every offseason it feels like another Oregon player seems to find himself in some sort of trouble with the law.
However, while Kelly has been fairly consistent in punishing those who've misbehaved at Oregon, at some point it has to be an institutional issue that the Oregon football program has been hemorrhaging misdemeanors of all sorts the past few years. Kelly might be showing no mercy to players who have run afoul of the law, but it's an eyebrow-raiser that he manages to attract so many players who provide negative offseason fodder in the national headlines.
If these reports are true, what should Harris's punishment be: Suspension, dismissal or probation? What will be the fate of Oregon football?
For more discussion of the Ducks, check out Addicted to Quack.
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (which you might remember as the Emerald Bowl, the local Bay Area bowl at AT&T Park) has been moved around quite a bit. It was originally a post-Christmas game and one of the premier non-BCS matchups. Last season it was moved to the weekend before the BCS title game in hopes of drumming up more interest in the Pac-12 closer to the end of the season (although Nevada ended up taking the place of the Pac-12 team when there weren't any bowl-eligible teams left to take those spots). Now, Kraft Fight Hunger is moving again, this time to right smack dab in the middle of those two previous slots.
The game will be contested on New Year's Eve at 12:30 PM PT, 3:30 PM ET on ESPN. Regardless of the day it's contested on though, it still remains one of the more attractive games on the docket with its nice location in San Francisco. All in all, it's a nice compromise for a middling/average/semi-good Pac-12 squad that just couldn't penetrate the top echelon of teams. They will face the Army Black Knights if they manage to obtain bowl eligibility.
What do you think of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on a Saturday New Year's Eve. Will you be interested in watching? Let us know in the comments!
The New Mexico Bowl has long been considered the most glamorous of all the non-BCS bowl games. With a spirited game of Family Feud, a trip to the prized city casino, and a much anticipated chili contest at stake, it's the place where all college football players aspire to be in late December.
And now, Larry Scott has received the prize of a lifetime--Albuquerque! Forget the new TV contract with ESPN and Fox, this could be the biggest news to date for the Pac-12, which will have their seventh bowl tie-in. It will follow the Rose, Alamo, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowls in relative importance. The New Mexico Bowl will definitely ensure that at least seven Pac-12 bowl eligible teams will be playing in the postseason in 2011.
Currently, the New Mexico Bowl will pit a Pac-12 team against a Mountain West squad, which will make it similar in structure to what the Pointsettia Bowl has been in previous seasons. It'll be the first bowl of the 2011-12 college football season, contested on December 17th at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT on ESPN, a pretty early time for a Pac-12 contest. But hey, that's the price you pay for coveting the fabled lands of Albuquerque.
Is the New Mexico Bowl the right tie-in for the Pac-12? Let us know in the comments.
Although the defending Pac-10 champion Oregon Ducks are likely to be the main attraction of the conference next year, Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal are ready to make their bid for the top as well. Luck will have plenty of chances to showcase it on national TV, with at least four games on the Worldwide Leader. Here's the info courtesy of Ted Miller, and you can view all the games so far released by clicking on the link.
Oct. 22 Washington at Stanford 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Oct. 29 Stanford at USC 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET ABC
Nov. 26 Notre Dame at Stanford 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
The Stanford-Oregon game has yet to be picked up, but it could very well get slotted if the game has significant meaning.
As for the California Golden Bears, they'll get some undesirable slots with ESPN, all of them being weekday games: Thursday Night Football on two consecutive weeks in October, one on the road in Oregon and one at home versus USC. Then they'll play a Black Friday game after Thanksgiving in Tempe against Arizona State. Not the most enviable slots drawn up for the Bears.
There are few teams in college football that stay true to their original colors. One of them is the stodgy USC Trojans, who have for the most part worn the same uniforms for decades. However, for some reason, they're thinking of changing it up net year and scrapping the traditionals for at least one game. While there has been speculation that Oregon jazzing up their uniforms has helped the Ducks land key recruits away from the Trojans, USC also has a brand they like to protect, and you would think they wouldn't want to mess around with one of the most distinguished wardrobes in all of sport.
So after all this bluster about staying true to the USC Cardinal and Gold, you get this, according to Scott Wolf of Inside SoCal.
Lord. What is that? It's as if the Stanford football team had their helmets dipped in mined oil and their uniforms soaked in olive oil, and that's what USC will be playing in once next season. Good luck trying to look good in those, particularly going against some of the best uniforms in sports, the UCLA Bruins powder blues. (Yes, Lane Kiffin wants to debut these monstrosities in a rivalry game.)
What do you think of the USC alternate look? Do you have any opinion other than 'hideous'? Let us know in the comments.
For more thoughts on these unis from Trojan fans, check out Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans and Colorado Buffaloes are Pac-12 South compadres next season, and they’ll both have their first matchup in Boulder, Colorado the first weekend of November. However, they will both be suffering from short turnarounds for their game; their matchup has been moved from Saturday to Friday night, giving both teams only five days of rest. The game will be on ESPN2 at 6 PM PT/9 PM ET.
This will be one of many future Pac-12 football games that’ll be making the journey from Saturday to Thursday/Friday in the hopes of garnering additional television revenue for the conference (and better bolstering the possibility that a Pac-12 television network succeeds in the future).
Neither USC nor Colorado have to be thrilled with this arrangement. The week prior, the Trojans will be contesting one of their toughest home dates of the seasons against Stanford, and the Buffaloes will have to get through what figures to be a road struggle in Tempe against Arizona State. Both teams could be groggy, although USC has to be less than pleased with a short week to go up in the mountains and face the Buffs.
The new and unprecedented Pac-12 football contract stipulates that all conference championship games will be played on Friday nights, either on FOX (in even years) or an ESPN network (odd years). And they're going to get moving with that plan this year as well. Dan Bell, vice president of communications at Fox Sports, tweeted that this year's Pac-12 title game will also be moved to Friday night, December 2.
Originally, only the MAC Championship game by ESPN was broadcast on Friday nights, as the big conferences (SEC, Big 12, ACC) took up all the big games on Saturday. Larry Scott's decision to switch things up to Friday night is an interesting, but sensible move. The Big Ten (on FOX) and ACC (on ESPN) will have the Saturday night market cornered, and the SEC (on CBS) will have the Saturday afternoon market swallowed up. Picking Friday night gives the Pac-12 its own market to dominate.
All in all, it looks like a shrewd move by Commissioner Larry Scott, unless the ratings bottom out. Considering the demand for college football these days though, that's looking unlikely. It's a good time to fight for the Roses.
What are your thoughts of future Pac-12 football title games on Friday nights?
Despite all the drastic changes in terms of national exposure for the contracts by both ESPN/ABC (click here for details) and FOX/FX (click here for details), the overall number of games that will be distributed on both of these networks didn't change (44 to 44). Considering there are at least 54 conference games and 36 non-conference games, that means we still have 46 games unaccounted for. Where are the rest of the games going?
The Pac-12 television network, silly. It's clear that the creation of any TV network would have necessitated some of the college football games be shown on their channels, because otherwise it would've been difficult for the network to make any sort of sustainable profit. The network has also stated they will be showing some big-time matchups, meaning that we could see a lot of ranked Pac-12 teams end up here in national telecasts (likely in the 5 PM PT/8 PM ET window). This will ensure higher demand for the conference network and ensure more cable subscribers put the Pac-12 Network into their TV lineups.
Although it's not stated explicitly, it's very likely the Pac-12 network will use that to retain access of some (if not all) of the rivalry games, the conference's mainstay rating draws. While while not every alum will care about college football on a week-by-week basis, Cal-Stanford, USC-UCLA, Arizona-ASU, Oregon-Oregon State and Washington-Washington State are all guaranteed to be huge hits year-in, year-out. So it would make sense if the Pac-12 TV Network put at least a few of those matchups on its network.
So don't be surprised if you see The Big Game, Civil War, Apple Cup, Duel In The Desert, and the Victory Bell all be contested on various weeks in November.
Although ESPN's new deal with the Pac-12 will draw the lion's share of attention, the restructuring of Fox's deal with the conference is also quite extraordinary. You wouldn't think it'd be much different, right?
Pac-12 football fans, what are your thoughts on the FOX/FX part of the deal? Let us know in the comments!
The big deal regarding the new Pac-12 football deal (running from 2012 to 2023) involves the return of ESPN as a major player in West Coast college sports. Many fans on the West Coast have griped about the lack of good access to their TV networks with Fox Sports as the primary distributor. That'll no longer be a problem with ESPN providing many national telecasts of their conference's games.
Here are the important details, courtesy of ESPN Media Zone.
All in all, not a bad haul. Lots of nationally televised games, plus a lot more access to the online ESPN3 service that distributes games digitally (depending on your cable subscriber) and ESPN mobile that should broadcast games to your cell phone. This is quite a forward-thinking TV contract.
Pac-12 fans, what's your reaction to the new TV contract on ESPN. Do you love it? Like it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments!
The new uniforms and helmets of the Arizona St. Sun Devils debuted to much fanfare last week, and they were met with rather wide acclaim by their fans and athletes. However, it might become a bigger problem for Sun Devil fans residing in the Second City. One ASU alum who's worked the Chicago beat for the past couple of decades believes ASU will become the symbol for something far more sinister. Bob Young of the Arizona Republic reports.
"The gangs adopt sports teams and wear their gear," Epich [Sgt. in the Chicago PD] said. "The S.D.'s are going to adopt the (ASU) hat as their hat of choice just as soon as they see the first person wearing one."
He probably has reason to worry. After all, there's the devil tie-in. Sun Devils and Satan's Disciples both start with an S and a D.
And, of most concern to Epich, there's that trident.
Turns out the gang uses a trident similar to ASU's as one of its symbols. Gang members have them tattooed on their bodies and tag neighborhoods with them. Epich believes some of the artwork he has seen of the gang's symbol is strikingly similar to the ASU trident.
Because as we all know, it's not people that kill people, it's logos. Bad, crazy logos.
For more background on the Satan's Disciples, check out this episode spotlighting the group on Gangland (part 1 can be found here and is embedded blow; click here for part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5). Warning, excessive violence and langauge in these videos.
Makes sense that the two big private schools with rich academic traditions in the Rose Bowl conferences would team up for a few college football games in the near future. The Stanford Cardinal and the Northwestern Wildcats will be playing each other a few times, starting about eight years from now, John Taylor of College Football Talk reports. Here are the future dates of each game.
Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois: Sept. 14, 2019
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, California: Sept. 19, 2020
Evanston: Sept. 18, 2021
Palo Alto: Sept. 17, 2022
This will not be the first time Northwestern will play games against a Bay Area team in the near future. In fact, the California Golden Bears will be starting a two game series with Northwestern in 2013-2014, playing a home game in Memorial Stadium in 2013 and heading over to Ryan Field the subsequent year.
The Arizona Wildcats should probably have a much better offense this year, but their defense is the big question mark. Arizona's defense did not perform well down the stretch last season, giving up 30+ points in four of their final five games, all losses. And it's going to be an even bigger punctuation point after this week's sad injury report, as they lose Jake Fischer possibly for the 2011 college football season to a torn ACL until well into fall 2011.
Fischer was a great tackler, racking up 58 tackles, 7.5 of those for a loss, plus two sacks. Although he wasn't quite as productive as his counterpart Paul Vassallo, Fischer would have probably provided the speed element necessary to keep UA's pass rush from dropping totally off. Vassallo and Derek Earls will both be returning, but with only freshmen lining the two-deep and Fischer likely out for most of the season AND at least four senior defensive linemen departing (including Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore), the question of how well the front seven will perform will be all the more pressing.
For Wildcat reaction, head over to Arizona Desert Swarm.
Head coach Rick Neuheisel of the UCLA Bruins has some pointed words about the Pac-12 scheduling structure. He told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times that the Pac-12 "was sold a bag of goods" that the Big Ten would play nine conference games this year, and that it makes no sense to play nine conference games.
He's right you know. There are many reasons for UCLA not to play nine conference games, and many of them involve Rick Neuheisel.
|10/04/08||Washington St.||W 28-3|
|10/11/08||@ 10 Oregon||L 24-31|
|10/25/08||@ California||L 20-41|
|11/08/08||18 Oregon St.||L 6-34|
|11/15/08||@ Washington||W 27-7|
|11/28/08||@ Arizona St.||L 9-34|
|12/06/08||3 USC||L 7-28|
|10/03/09||@ Stanford||L 16-24|
|10/10/09||11 Oregon||L 10-24|
|10/24/09||@ Arizona||L 13-27|
|10/31/09||@ Oregon St.||L 19-26|
|11/14/09||@ WSU||W 43-7|
|11/21/09||Arizona St.||W 23-13|
|11/28/09||@ 22 USC||L 7-28|
|09/11/10||4 Stanford||L 0-35|
|10/02/10||Washington St.||W 42-28|
|10/09/10||@ California||L 7-35|
|10/21/10||@ 3 Oregon||L 13-60|
|11/06/10||Oregon St.||W 17-14|
|11/18/10||@ Washington||L 7-24|
|11/26/10||@ Arizona St.||L 34-55|
In his tenure at his alma mater, he's currently 8-19 in the Pac-10, for those of you who are counting. Makes perfect sense he'd want to play less games. It's not very good to keep on losing.
Neuheisel would probably be happier if he embraced a completely independent route--out of conference, his record is a far more tolerable 7-3, including victories over Houston and Kansas State, a series sweep of the Tennessee Volunteers, and of course last year's whopper in Austin against the Texas Longhorns. Perhaps he is interested in taking the Bruins down the Notre Dame/BYU route, and THEN the BCS berths will pile on for the Men of Westwood.
For more discussion of UCLA sports, check out Bruins Nation.
It's going to be a long offseason for Cal football fans dying to know who will be stepping up at the quarterback position next fall. Because if spring practice is any indication, no one has any idea who will win the job. In the latest practice report from the Bears in San Jose by Jonathan Okanes of the Contra Costa Times, Jeff Tedford was exasperated by his offense's inability to do anything right, as they were unable to take care of the ball or even track the snap count.
So let's break down the prospects of each quarterback.
In any case, these are your three candidates barring injury. May the best man win.
For more updates on Cal football, check out the California Golden Blogs.
The UCLA Bruins had one of the worst offenses in the country last year, and the big issue has been an unstable offensive line prone to injury and shakeups in the depth chart. The Bruins aren't expected to have a great offense this upcoming season, but much is expected as Rick Neuheisel edges closer and closer to the hot seat.any
If spring scrimmage is any indication, they have a long way to go. Jon Gold of Inside UCLA reports.
The passing game was really off, though. Constant pressure in the backfield, with some big plays from Owa Odighizuwa and Iuta Tepa. Overall, the offensive line just didn't get a lot of push.
The second-team offense really struggled with the snapping of Kody Innes. With Greg Capella running with the ones and Kai Maiava sidelined, Innes took the second-team snaps and almost every single one was off.
Now, a lot of things can change between now and fall, but it has to be concerning that Bob Palcic has gone four years without developing consistent execution on the frontline with any of his groups. Other than an early stretch of 2010 where the Bruins Pistol attack was quite effective, UCLA has been mired in the mud and their quarterbacks have been caught running for their lives.
Although the runners were more effective in practice (particularly Jordon James and Johnathan Franklin), the passing game has been what's lacking in Westwood the past few years, and soild pass protection is needed. It's safe to say that finishing 73rd in sacks allowed and 102nd in tackles for loss allowed won't be tolerated this season by a discontented UCLA fan base.
For more on the Bruins football team, check out Bruins Nation.
College football recruiting is a fickle business. You're dealing with 17-18 year old highly impressive football athletes who are being. Securing their commitment to your program is not an easy thing to do for the majority of programs, and they often have to result to unsavory methods to ensure commitment of the best of the best.
Well, unless you're the USC Trojans. In which case, you can have subtle promotions like this one.
To be fair, this whole event will help fund the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. But still, how do you compete recruiting wise with that? USC football players and staff getting to push around some of the most attractive women on the West Coast through the McDonald's Swim Stadium? What's the next step, a snowball fight and hot cocoa with the Oregon dancers on a cold winter's night in Eugene?
For more on the Swim With Mike charity event, click here. For more photos of the Song Girls (possibly NSFW, depending on your company policy of scantily clad cheerleaders), click here. I'm fairly sure you will click on both links with equal regularity.
Darron Thomas is the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks next year, make no mistake about it. But let's face it, no one in Oregon's offense, particularly at the quarterback position, is ever immune from injury. They run the ball a lot, exposing them to low hits from feisty linebackers/defensive linemen and high hits from defensive backs. The possibility of injury is that much greater with so many additional tackles on the quarterback.
Which is why this news of one of Thomas's competitors messing up this past weekend is all the more pertinent. Ken Goe of OregonLive reports.
Haines after he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest early Saturday morning by Eugene police responding to reports of a loud party.
"Yeah, he's suspended until we figure out what's going on,'' coach Chip Kelly said after Monday's practice.
Police say Haines became hostile and scuffled with officers. He was charged with with excessive noise, interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest.
Now, I don't really know how good Haines is (he isn't really ranked that highly by any of the recruiting services), but it's clear he can run the football from this highlight reel, and that's winning half the battle right there for being an Oregon quarterback.
Dustin Haines Highlight QB 09 (via stieg18)
Entering Chip Kelly's doghouse probably means if Thomas ever get injured, the responsibility falls to Bryan Bennett to lead Oregon on the field. Bennett is a highly respected quarterback, but is he ready to handle the high-octane Duck attack in case that moment arrives?
For more fan reaction from Oregon fans on the Haines suspension, head to Addicted to Quack.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils are going to get at least one chance to be seen on a nationally televised audience next year. The Devils will be playing the Missouri Tigers on Friday night football September 9th on ESPN at 7:30 PM PT/10:30 PM ET. The game will follow some Louisville-Florida International game that should be over by halftime, so this one is clearly the main attraction.
I wouldn't be surprised if Larry Scott had a bit of a hand in organizing this move from the original Saturday date. The big thing Scott has been emphasizing is more exposure, and nationally televised dates on ESPN (even with late start times) with no other competition for viewing is a positive step in that direction. Kudos to the commish for this move.
With regards to the concern of Bay Area fans, only the California Golden Bears will have to scout their opponents and their new uniforms/helmets, as Cal will be playing in Tempe the final week of the regular season. The Stanford Cardinal will sadly get the chance to miss out on Vontaze Burfict and his genuine madness.
For more on ASU, check out House of Sparky.
The Washington St. Cougars had an understated look to their new dubs. The Arizona St. Sun Devils decided to go the other way with their new Nike look. Lots and lots of flash here, which seems like the right way to go for the very flashy environment of Tempe.
Here's what the new black uniforms look like.
That's some desert terror right there. Considering the Sun Devils arguably had the worst uniforms in the Pac-10 before this upgrade, so I'm more inclined to say this is a step in the right direction.
Also, check out the pitchfork helmet. Compared to the Disney devil that danced on the old Sun Devil hat, this is a drastic improvement because of the total sickness. It looks like there's some influence from the San Diego Chargers thunderbolt, which is one of the coolest helmets in football. For those who had affection for Sparky, he's still on the helmet. He's just placed on the back.
And we thought there was no way to make Vontaze Burfict scarier to face on the field. Silly us.
For more reaction from Sun Devil fans, check out our ASU blog, House of Sparky. For more photos, head over to ASU Athletics and their Facebook photo album, which features candid shots of Sun Devil athletes sporting the new apparel.
The Washington St. Cougars haven't done much on the field the past few seasons, so clearly, it's time to change things up. And by things, I mean clothes! Because you've got to always be prepared to dress for success.
Wazzu has unveiled their new unis courtesy of Nike, which definitely have that clean, crisp look to them. The Cougars have returned more to standard greys and reds rather than the more flashy maroon and silver look. The bigger news is their alternates, which should be a more divisive look to Cougar fans.
It's hard to think of why the Cougars decided to go this way. This could be reflective of solidarity with their Canadian brothers to the north (Canada seems to prefer a pastoral and postmodernist look to thei) or a statement for simplicity remains to be seen, but it's clear that the Cougars are going to make one opponent gape and stare a little bit longer than usual prior to kickoff. For once it won't have to do with questions like "Wow, why's that Pullman high school kid lining up at left tackle?" and "Which student won the random drawing to be quarterback?"
As the Pac-10 transitions into the Pac-12, there's a lot for everyone to adjust to in the upcoming months. Spring practices, finalizing schedules, team depth charts, plus TV deals, new officiating crews. There's a lot for Larry Scott to deal with, and there's a lot for every team in the conference to cope with.
Many questions surround each squad.
Arizona Wildcats: Mike Stoops's team finished last year on a precipitous slide. Can they recover and figure out who their quarterback is?
Arizona St. Sun Devils: Dennis Erickson could be coaching his last season. Can they turn things around in Tempe behind the strength of their defense?
California Golden Bears: Can the Bears recover from their first losing season in the Jeff Tedford era?
Oregon Ducks: Can Oregon manage a threepeat of the conference and find its way back to the BCS title game?
UCLA Bruins: Can Rick Neuheisel turn around the stagnant Bruin program before Westwood openly turns on him?
Washington St. Cougars: Can Wazzu finally escape the doormat of the conference?
All news and updates pertaining to the conference's football squads will be updated on this Pac-12 storystream!
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