Canzano: Pac-12 exploring creative options
Plus, my Week 11 picks here...
A few months ago, I reported that the Pac-12 Conference and ACC were exploring a “loose partnership.” I believe that’s still very much on the horizon.
I also expect the Pac-12 will announce plans to drop from nine conference football games to eight, perhaps in time for the 2024 season. Merton Hanks, the Pac-12’s supervisor of football, told me early this season that there’s support for that scheduling move.
Not everyone is in favor of it, though. It’s tricky enough to find three non-conference opponents. Now, you’d be asking the Pac-12 members to find a fourth game. Also, the cost of booking non-conference “guarantee” games is growing prohibitive.
Oregon paid BYU $1.1 million to play at Autzen Stadium earlier this season. Florida State will pay Louisiana-Lafayette $1.4 million for their upcoming game in Tallahassee. And Auburn will write a $1.9 million check to Western Kentucky for their Nov. 19 game.
Said one Pac-12 source: “There is no way some of the Pac-12 schools could afford a fourth guarantee game.”
It’s why crossover games vs. ACC opponents make sense. Some of them might even become lucrative revenue-generating events. Think about matchups such as Miami-Oregon and Clemson-Utah and Washington-Florida State. Some of the high-profile games could be played at neutral sites (Read: SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium).
The schools either get: A) a fresh home-and-home series with a new opponent; or B) a payday game at a neutral site. Oregon received $4.5 million to play Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium earlier this season, for example.
It solves a problem for ESPN — the ACC’s media partner — too. The network could use the crossover games to sprinkle new revenue over the restless ACC members.
It’s a win-win.
Keep that in mind as we watch the news unfold in the coming weeks. I don’t think a scheduling partnership is announced before media rights or expansion. But I think it’s evident that the Pac-12 is looking for creative options to generate new revenue in football and basketball.
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Every week I pick the Pac-12 football games. I’ve been on fire lately (knock on wood). I’m hoping to keep that going this week.
My Week 10 record vs. the spread: 5-1
Week 10 record, straight-up: 5-1
Record vs. the spread this season: 42-27 (.609)
Straight-up season record: 53-16 (.768)
My Week 11 picks…