Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Big 10 - Pac 12 Failure

The other day it was announced that the Big Ten/Pac-12 pact was dissolved. After the agreement was reached, Michigan scheduled a home-and-home contest with Utah. Now, Michigan is still holding up to their side of the bargain, and MSU will still play Oregon, but the annual 12 games a season between the two is off. So let's examine some particulars:

1. Sources say 4 teams from the Pac-12 were unwilling to agree to the scheduling. I don't know which 4 teams they were, but from what I've heard, Lane Kiffin and USC were major proponents against it. USC has become the perennial powerhouse of the conference since Pete Carroll took over in the early 2000s. And if Kiffin and USC balk at it, others would have certainly joined in. I know it hasn't been said, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Arizona and RichRod were part of this as well. Rich couldn't beat Big Ten teams when he coached inside the conference and he probably knows he would have a lesser chance now. Not to mention being mocked every time he played against the Big Ten.

2. Remember, back in August the Big Ten had agreed to go to a nine game conference schedule by 2017, but those plans were put back on the shelf when this pact was introduced. I wouldn't be surprised if the nine-game conference play idea were to be revisited soon.

3. Another idea some people seem to have floating out there is that since the agreement is off with the Pac-12, maybe we'd schedule another one with the SEC or perhaps the Big-12. I'd like to say right off the bat that it probably will never happen for a multitude of reasons. One being the money. I don't think both commissioners could agree on a revenue model. It wouldn't be as if one team would get a set amount each time, ( like the 4 some odd million Michigan will receive for playing Alabama this season). Mich-Bama would want different money than say Vanderbilt-Indiana. Two, being SEC's penchant for easy non-conference foes. Everyone makes a joke about Michigan playing a MAC team, or OSU playing them, but no one makes fun of the SEC scheduling Georgia Southern, or Mcneese State. Three, the SEC has 14 teams, the Big-12 having 10 teams. Not a huge deal but still something for people to work out.

4. Keep your eye out for what kind of tensions, if any, come out when the opposing sides talk about the Rose Bowl. Yes the Rose Bowl has a new contract through 2026, and while I don't believe the dissolving of this pact is going to have huge repercussions; it will harbor some resentment for the near future.

Either way, this is a huge loss for fans of both conferences as it severely decreases the chance of great non-conference opponents on a consistent basis.  Yes, some teams like Michigan and MSU have shown the desire to schedule tough non-conference games, but that's not going to be mandated as in this agreement.  Definitely a let-down for some future seasons.

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