Canzano: Mailbag deals with Rose Bowl, Bo Nix, haircuts, and Pac-12 pecking order
Your questions and my answers.
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Now onto the mailbag… your questions and my answers:
Q: I’d like to know if there is a pecking order of the remaining Pac-12 schools on the media rights’ discussions. Does UW\UO have a larger voice than OSU \WSU? Or Cal a bigger voice than Arizona? — @Chris3puttagain
A: There are definitely some members in the room who hold more clout than others. Right now, it’s Oregon, Stanford and Washington up top. Then, pretty much everyone else. I don’t expect any individual Pac-12 member to receive an unequal share of media rights revenue. However, the disparity in juice is likely to manifest itself when it comes to the length of the next media rights deal, the buyout flexibility, and perhaps, uneven sharing of College Football Playoff and NCAA Tournament payouts.
Q: How is Oregon QB Bo Nix looking? — @ShawnVoican
A: Mature, calm, and improved over his time at Auburn. Those are the things that people come away talking about when they see Bo Nix or spend time with him. Oregon’s quarterback got married in July, worked extensively with a private QB coach in the offseason, and appears motivated to change the narrative of his college career.
Q: When the Beavers go to the Rose Bowl can I be your assistant? — @thabeaver23
A: You would not want that assignment. It’s long hours and tedious work at the stadium. Plus, you’d have to sit with a bunch of belly-aching journalists during the game and couldn’t cheer. Your experience is better off with a ticket, a seat, a hot dog and a cold beverage. In fact, I’d like to be your assistant someday on that front. I’ve often looked down from the press box and marveled at how joyful it must be to sit in the stands, alongside family and friends, with a rooting interest.
Q: Big 12 homers constantly refer to their $80 million per team buyout as a reason the Pac-12 can’t raid the best of their conference. Is this true? Thanks. — @Smittytheclownn
A: Let’s use Texas and Oklahoma as real-world examples because they’re leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. The Big 12’s bylaws require members to give the conference 18 months notice before withdrawing. The exit “buyout” is equal to the sum of the media rights distributions for the final two years of membership (approximately $76 million). But the Big 12’s media rights contract expires on July 1, 2025. It’s why Texas and Oklahoma didn’t immediately jump early to the SEC. They didn’t want to pay that penalty. The Pac-12 would be happy to wait until 2025 for the right member, if it comes to that. Or maybe the Pac-12 would explore poaching a Big 12 member (Houston?) that hasn’t officially joined yet. Or maybe it will take nobody and sit tight. But be sure, Texas and Oklahoma have already demonstrated that there’s a way out.
Q: Trail Blazers’ TV broadcaster Kevin Calabro quit once and is based out of Seattle, could it be that he doesn't want to travel to road games? — @SCHALL1989
A: The Trail Blazers’ decision to keep their TV and radio broadcast teams home is a small-time, cost-cutting move. Calabro isn’t the driving force, but I’ll bet he’s happy to have more time at home. The prevailing theory is that the franchise is trying to get its expenses trimmed and make the books look good in front of a potential sale. But also, the Trail Blazers just sometimes act like a minor-league operation. Whatever the case, it’s a bad decision that should be immediately reversed.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? — @2022SportsGuy
A: Writing this column while being the best dad and husband I can possibly be. That’s it. The three daughters are growing up fast. I’d like to work in a little more family (beach) time during the next five summers. But that will require the Pac-12 and some of the other entities I regularly cover to settle down.
Q: What was your favorite hairstyle when you had hair? — @UACatManDo
A: I had a flat-top hair cut for a stretch in high school. Just before my senior year, I shaved my head after a hot football practice. I’ve been that way ever since. Bald is low maintenance and air-conditioned. Also, it’s on-brand for me.
Q: Was the Ducks No. 11 ranking in the AP poll more about getting TV ratings, or are they legit contenders in year one of the Dan Lanning era? — @PNW_Wildcat
A: Those preseason rankings do matter. They matter to TV, as you pointed out. Also, they matter as bonuses in some of the coaching contracts. But the vote of confidence in Oregon right now is mostly rooted in brand and a roster that has some talented and experienced defensive players. Understandably, UO and Lanning got some votes. Oregon’s key game is Week 3 vs. BYU. Win that one and the season will be just fine.
Q: Should Duck football fans be concerned about several 3-star athletes lately? Seems like the recruiting train has slowed. — @larry_author
A: My recruiting-world friends are not concerned about Oregon’s recruiting trajectory. Check back on this later and get a larger sample size.
Q: I feel like the UW is being underrated. I believe they severely underachieved last year as a result of Jimmy Lake and the change to Kalen DeBoer should really benefit them. Am I delusional? — @jgholifield
A: I like Kalen DeBoer a lot. He’s got solid proof of performance. Washington also doesn’t have to play Utah or USC in the regular season. If you’re looking for a sneaky, sleeper pick to maybe slip into the conference title game in Las Vegas, the Huskies aren’t a terrible one.
Q: Can you expand more on Senate Bill 1503 which would legalize college sports gambling in Oregon? You mentioned it in one of your columns last week, but you made it sound like the bill is dead. Is there any hope for legalized wagering on college sports in Oregon anytime soon? — @JBradBlack
A: It’s not totally dead. But the lobbyists have definitely stalled the bill for now by successfully calling for a study and punting the debate down the road. We’ll need a fresh Oregon lawmaker to take interest in the bill in the next legislative session. That someone can place a wager in Oregon on motor sports, darts, and international basketball — but not a college football game — is silly.
Q: I have a hard time imagining that Cal and Stanford would ever go to different conferences. What do you think? Are any pairs of schools truly inseparable? — @jsnell
A: Nothing is really off the table anymore. We’ve seen loyalty, 100 years of tradition and geography tossed out the window. However, I do think the Stanford and Cal are aligned in a significant way. I have a difficult time seeing Stanford agree to bolt to the Big Ten (or elsewhere) and leave Cal behind. I think it’s far more likely that they stick together.
Thank you… hope you all have a great weekend.
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Branching out beyond the traditional "regional sports writer topics" sounds great.
On the Blazers, I'd bet Jordan Kent would lower their costs from Calabro and I'd greatly welcome that change.
I love reading your column. Always something interesting to me there.