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The Future of The Pac-12

Jan 22, 2021, 2:42 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm
(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Pac-12 announced this week that commissioner Larry Scott and the conference mutually agree to part ways at the end of June.

For me as a long time fan of the conference which before Larry Scott was the Pac 10, he started with a bang. He expanded the conference to include teams like Utah and Colorado and at the time seemed to be close to landing Texas. Still the conference grew by 2 teams that had strong programs. He added the Pac 12 network which appeared to be a great vehicle to showcase the conference.

While these started out as highlights the sizzle seemed to turn to fizzle over the years. This is one of the Power 5 conferences in college sports but at the moment it feels like a Power 4 with the Pac-12 on the outside looking in. The network was never able to reach a larger platform deal with other outlets like Direct TV. They had long term television deals with Fox and ESPN while other conferences moved in on shorter deals with bigger financial wins.

The expansion of the conference was a good thing but in the two largest revenue drawing sports of football and basketball the Pac-12 has been left behind. Over the years, Oregon, USC, Stanford and Washington had been powers and at times were the best of college football. Recently that hasn’t been the case. In basketball, Arizona and UCLA were powerhouses and now the conference doesn’t have the same swagger.

Of course not all of that is on Larry Scott but what will a new commissioner do for the Pac-12? Thinking outside of the box will be critical. The west coast is a hot bed for great high school sports so the turnaround to get the programs back on the top shouldn’t take long. On the television side, what kind of creative deals can be brokered so every one can see the product.

The time is now for the conference to get this move right and to get this once proud group back at the top of college sports.

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The Future of The Pac-12