Discover more from Bald Faced Truth by John Canzano
Canzano: Mailbag deals with betrayal, potential UCLA flip-flop, and sneaker waves
Your questions, my answers...
I love the beach. I’ll bet a lot of you do, too. My favorite beach day came 12 years ago today in Kauai. Anna and I circled up 30 close friends and family members on Poipu Beach and we were married in a small ceremony officiated by a Hawaiian pastor who blew a conch shell like a horn mid-ceremony.
Today is our anniversary. Anna may be your favorite news anchor and investigative reporter, but she’s like sunlight to me. The beachgoers who happened to be present on our wedding day, saw what was happening and rose up off their towels and stood as she walked down a paved path toward the ocean.
Immediately after the ceremony, Anna was being photographed at the edge of the surf. Norm Maves, a long-time newspaper co-worker and great friend, served as the wedding photographer. He was consumed with framing her in the photo. Anna was posing in her wedding dress. What nobody saw was the sneaker wave approaching.
Nobody, that is, except another friend at the wedding — CNN photographer Beth English — who was shooting the scene from a distance for her amusement. Like any great news photographer, English let the story unfold. She did not interfere with the action by warning any of the subjects.
Here’s the series:
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Onto the mailbag… your questions, my answers:
Q: Is there anything SMU can do to help its chances of joining the Pac-12? — @SkipLongbottoms
A: Stay in Texas and hope that the Pac-12 takes San Diego State via expansion. I think SMU makes the list of those considered. I also think UNLV, Boise State, Fresno State and a handful of interesting Big 12 universities make the short list.
Q: What is a realistic Grant of Rights commitment to expect from Oregon/Washington? Will they sign a 5-7 year GOR? Would potential media partners accept a shorter term? — @hamiltonburg
A: I am being told by a multitude of parties — including some on the media partner side — that we should expect the agreement in this cycle to be much shorter than the 12-year deal the conference signed last time. I think it’s reasonable to expect something around four to five years. Commissioner George Kliavkoff told me on Friday that uneven revenue sharing is still on the table, too. That could be an enticement for Oregon and some others.
Q: Should Kliavkoff lock up SDSU, and then try for Texas Tech/Baylor, Oklahoma St, and Kansas? With his #1 criterion being market size, will New Mexico/UNLV likely to be considered over Boise/Fresno because they are top 40 markets? — @bartskee33
A: San Diego State is a no-brainer. Landing it gets you 1.1 million TV households in Southern California. I think UNLV is really, really interesting but I’m not ready to place it as the no-brainer No. 2 option… yet. Pros: There are 758,000 television households — and growing — in Las Vegas. I could see that market reaching 1 million households in a decade and the NFL facilities and sponsorship angles are ample on The Strip. Cons: It has a terrible football program.
Q: I have love for both UO and OSU. W/all the Pac12 upheaval there's been more focus on the impact on UO, not as much chatter about OSU. What are the likely implications for OSU if the Pac-12 goes bye-bye? That stadium needs to be filled and playing Wyoming just won't cut it, do you? — @WebFootChicano
A: Oregon State is in a holding pattern and is a little anxious, I’m sure. If the Pac-12 disintegrates, the Beavers would likely end up alongside Boise State in a conference that resembles the Mountain West. It’s why the Beavers are very invested in trying to help unify the conference right now. My best bet is, OSU ends up fine — for now — because I think the Pac-12 holds itself together in this cycle and signs a deal with ESPN and some others.
A: UCLA brings somewhere between $70 million to $85 million in annual media rights value. An insider told me he thought ESPN might try to make a last-ditch overture to UCLA, offering it a windfall if it stayed in the Pac-12. Nothing is final until the summer of 2024 when the Bruins leave for the Big Ten. Under that UCLA flip-flop scenario, USC would likely go to the Big Ten alone and the Pac-12 would probably try to replace the Trojans with San Diego State. I don’t think UCLA stays in the Pac-12, but I think some interested parties may make a run at it.
Q: Is George Kliavkoff being strategic or desperate/petty when he calls out Big 12 for potential poaching more than he does the Big Ten who actually poached him and publicly stated which other Pac-12 teams he might poach?
A: I think he called out the Big Ten in a more subtle way in his prepared remarks on Friday. The commissioner strayed in the Q-and-A session and took a shot at the Big 12. He admitted later that he was tired of having the Big 12 launch grenades at him in an attempt to destabilize the Pac-12. I asked him in our 1-on-1 whether he felt betrayed by Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren.
Kliavkoff’s reply: “I don’t want to talk about personalities or how they go about their business. I’ve always been someone that has given every single person I meet, respect and trust until they give me a reason not to give them respect and trust. I’ll just leave it at that.”
I did 34 interviews on Friday at Pac-12 Media Day. I published 15 of them in a one-stop shop here. Listen to the full 1-on-1 with Kliavkoff here:
Thank you for being here. I hope you have a great weekend.
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