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FishDuck Article

Pac-12 Geographically Isolated From Rest of College Football World

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The discussion of Pac-12 expansion is an important one, and David Marsh brings up some great points for discussion.

 

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Recently in a John Canzano Mailbag article, he was asked whether or not the Pac-12 should consider expansion. Canzano's answer was that the Pac-12 powers that...

 

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Trying to generate more revenue for the conference will probably rely on football broadcasting rights. An agreement for crossover games with another conference where broadcasting rights are sold as a package seems like a viable option. 

While athletic budgets continue to escalate, some Universities may question their ability and sanity of trying to compete in many sports. 
 

I think many of the problems that are faced by athletic departments are complex and are just not easily solved.
 

 

 

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Distance is the biggest issue bar none. That's the reality, no matter how much I wish it wasn't. Mr. Marsh nailed it.

 

It's the same for recruiting. I believe most talented kids want to play in front of family and friends, have the best chance of winning, and getting to the pros as well now of NIL money. I know that's how I would look at it. Oh and girls, that's probably up there as where I might want to play.

 

These things may be insurmountable obstacles for the PAC 12 being able to compete with the rest of the country. Only the future knows.

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If the Pac-12 puts a competitive product on the field and the basketball courts then all our problems will be solved. Looking elsewhere won't solve our problems, probably just a distraction. I do agree geography is a problem as distance is an issue.

 

To strengthen my case I will cite, 4 out of the 10 top viewed games on tv involved Pac-12 teams. Oregon was involved in the 11th and 13th most  watched games. 

 

I look forward to Oregon being part of a top 5 viewed game. When that happens we will know the program is back where it should be and the Pac-12 can negotiate a tv deal enviable to all.

 

Side note, WSU was in the 8th most watched game, the dawgs have never been in a compelling game. It is not just Duck fans who would rather watch paint dry than a dawg game. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:07 AM, Haywarduck said:

If the Pac-12 puts a competitive product on the field and the basketball courts then all our problems will be solved. Looking elsewhere won't solve our problems, probably just a distraction. I do agree geography is a problem as distance is an issue.

 

To strengthen my case I will cite, 4 out of the 10 top viewed games on tv involved Pac-12 teams. Oregon was involved in the 11th and 13th most  watched games. 

 

I look forward to Oregon being part of a top 5 viewed game. When that happens we will know the program is back where it should be and the Pac-12 can negotiate a tv deal enviable to all.

 

Side note, WSU was in the 8th most watched game, the dawgs have never been in a compelling game. It is not just Duck fans who would rather watch paint dry than a dawg game. 

Where are you getting your viewer statistics?  Must not be from last season.  

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I was never a big fan of having Texas teams join the conference because travel there is not just an hour or two--but a whole day.  I never really thought about the Colorado situation in terms of current benefits until this article, but felt they fit the Big-12 better than the Pac when joined.

 

The point to many of us is....we already blew our opportunity to expand.  I think our best chance for higher revenue is via the Alliance now.

 

Great stuff David!

Mr. FishDuck

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On 6/22/2022 at 8:27 AM, SoGaDawg said:

Where are you getting your viewer statistics?  Must not be from last season.  

You're right, the statistics were from an article back in 2015, when all went south for our program, and really the Pac-12. The Pac-12 can be relevant again, but viewership has gone away from Pac-12 football.

 

I certainly wasn't trying to lowball the viewership of the Georgia program. Your program is compelling tv, and the game this fall should be a great one! I have nothing but respect for UGA, great mascot!

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:38 AM, Haywarduck said:

You're right, the statistics were from an article back in 2015, when all went south for our program, and really the Pac-12. The Pac-12 can be relevant again, but viewership has gone away from Pac-12 football.

 

I certainly wasn't trying to lowball the viewership of the Georgia program. Your program is compelling tv, and the game this fall should be a great one! I have nothing but respect for UGA, great mascot!

One thing that I think hurts PAC-12 viewership is the time of your guys prime time games.  There are a ton of viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones that don’t watch one of the best PAC-12 games every week bc it starts so late. I do when possible but for many it’s just not an option. 
 

I don’t see a way around this.  You gotta have prime time cfb on the west coast.  I personally love it.  It means I can catch more good games.  

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:52 AM, SoGaDawg said:

One thing that I think hurts PAC-12 viewership is the time of your guys prime time games.  There are a ton of viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones that don’t watch one of the best PAC-12 games every week bc it starts so late. I do when possible but for many it’s just not an option. 
 

I don’t see a way around this.  You gotta have prime time cfb on the west coast.  I personally love it.  It means I can catch more good games.  

SoGaDawg - You are so right! So many good PAC-12 games start at 10:00PM east coast time. I start watching and fall asleep sometime before the games ends.

 

It's no fun having to go online to see who won the day after! The PAC missing out on a large audience hurts not only viewership, but $ value as well.

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:38 AM, Haywarduck said:

You're right, the statistics were from an article back in 2015, when all went south for our program, and really the Pac-12. The Pac-12 can be relevant again, but viewership has gone away from Pac-12 football.

 

I certainly wasn't trying to lowball the viewership of the Georgia program. Your program is compelling tv, and the game this fall should be a great one! I have nothing but respect for UGA, great mascot!

I will admit.  I can tell you there were Dawg games in 2015 that were like watching paint dry.  It’s kinda sad that one of our most compelling games that year was an overtime win against Ga Southern!  It was very embarrassing for UGA.

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Good food for thought David, thanks.

 

Beside expansion not being a real alternative, the changes to college sports, and those on the horizon could really shake things up.

 

I'm thinking of the potential to keep football revenue for the players and force the other sports to cover their own costs.

 

I'm thinking of some schools simply bailing out of football because costs are escalating out of control.

 

Should Oregon and the LA schools continue to fund Cal, AZ, or Colorado?

 

I guess getting better on the field is the place to start. That's the one area where coaches have any say.

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Yes, as much as a night game and the excitement it brings is attractive from a local standpoint, it is one of the things that isolates PAC 12 football.

 

I would love to watch games, expecially Duck games, but when they are starting at 9 PST that mid-night for me and I work Sunday morning (clergy here).

 

Even 7:30 or 8:00 allows me to watch the first half anyway. 

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I know it hasn't been mentioned here but usually it comes up in these sort of conversations and I didn't go into it in my article. 

 

BYU was also not an option for expansion. BYU has its own institutional rules about when they will play games, basically they won't play on Sundays, which might not be a big deal for football but conference alignment is about all sports and not just football. And there are some other things too that BYU isn't a team player about which is why they have been independent for so long. 

 

The Pac-12 does want team players from all their institutions. 

 

BYU got a chance to dictate terms to a desperate big-12 and took it. 

 

In some ways I think Notre Dame will probably only fully join a conference if they get to dictate their own terms as well.

 

I haven't been able to find when the first time would be for a school to leave the conference, probably around when the media rights re-up. It will be interesting to see if Colorado starts to explore a return to the big-12. Utah I think is happy enough in the PAC for the time being. 

 

Then Nevada University also isn't really a great option for expansion due to the same media market issues as other mentioned schools but they are probably the most natural extension as the pac-12 is hosting more and more conference championships in Las Vegas.

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On 6/22/2022 at 9:02 AM, Pennsylvania Duck said:

SoGaDawg - You are so right! So many good PAC-12 games start at 10:00PM east coast time. I start watching and fall asleep sometime before the games ends.

 

It's no fun having to go online to see who won the day after! The PAC missing out on a large audience hurts not only viewership, but $ value as well.

I do think the PAC should have one (ONE!) game that is in that late time slot weekly because Pac-12 After dark has been one of the few minor successes lately where does hard east coast fans will stay up to watch a game especially in ab uncontested time slot without other competition. 

 

But anymore than just the one game hurts the brand more than helps it. 

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Where can the PAC-12 expand?  Good question. I would say with schools from the Mountain West is the most viable option.  But then it might actually cut revenue.  
 

How can the PAC-12 become relevant in CFB again?  I would say the PAC-12 is relevant and always has been.  They just haven’t won a national title in awhile.  Some reason for that is competition inside the conference.  If there were an undefeated PAC-12 champ it would take some unlikely things happening to keep them out of the playoff.  And if they had a win against a quality Big 10 or Sec school it would be impossible to keep them out.  Even a 1 loss champ could make a strong case for the playoff.  It would depend on what happened elsewhere that season.

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:33 AM, SoGaDawg said:

Some reason for that is competition inside the conference.  If there were an undefeated PAC-12 champ it would take some unlikely things happening to keep them out of the playoff.  And if they had a win against a quality Big 10 or Sec school it would be impossible to keep them out.  Even a 1 loss champ could make a strong case for the playoff.  It would depend on what happened elsewhere that season

I do believe that the Pac-12 is the most competitive conference. Doesn't produce national champions and I'm not saying the best conference. But I do think it is the most competitive... Anything can happen in the PAC. 

 

Well almost anything. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:33 AM, SoGaDawg said:

Where can the PAC-12 expand?  Good question. I would say with schools from the Mountain West is the most viable option.  But then it might actually cut revenue.  
 

How can the PAC-12 become relevant in CFB again?  I would say the PAC-12 is relevant and always has been.  They just haven’t won a national title in awhile.  Some reason for that is competition inside the conference.  If there were an undefeated PAC-12 champ it would take some unlikely things happening to keep them out of the playoff.  And if they had a win against a quality Big 10 or Sec school it would be impossible to keep them out.  Even a 1 loss champ could make a strong case for the playoff.  It would depend on what happened elsewhere that season.

At the risk of sounding arrogant to fellow conference members....we need a top-heavy conference for a while.  We need at the minimum....Oregon and USC to be great, and have epic must-see-TV games, and a third team such as Utah would make it that much more interesting.

 

But we need all the 4 and 5-Star players to flow to those three schools--to make us ready to win in the Playoffs, but that would require us being top-heavy as a conference.  Not that we have any control over that...

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:45 AM, David Marsh said:

I do believe that the Pac-12 is the most competitive conference. Doesn't produce national champions and I'm not saying the best conference. But I do think it is the most competitive... Anything can happen in the PAC. 

 

Well almost anything. 

Crazy geographic changes in the PAC 12, especially for football.  One week you can be playing in tee shirt and shorts weather, and the next you could be playing at high altitude in a snow storm. 
 

Always fun to have one of the sunshine teams show up at Autzen for a game in a nice afternoon, or evening rain storm. 
 

Yes…almost anything can happen.   

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To me expansion and Media Rights have to go hand and hand. One must elevate the other.

 

There are some rather large media markets in the west being ignored by the Pac12. San Diego, Las Vegas, Hawaii are some just off the top of my head that are easily in the top 100 markets in the country. SDSU, UNLV, and HI all have decent (at times) athletic programs these schools could be of benefit Kliavkoff for media negotiations. But, I doubt the academia of the conference would see them as equals and fans would not accept them as competent competitors.

 

Watching the Pac12 Network on my phone while traveling the country because no bar/restaurant has it... gets tiring. The current media coverage is simply a joke and without media coverage the Pac will never gain attention. I'm hopeful Kliavkoff can get us an upgrade regardless of whether expansion happens.

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On 6/22/2022 at 1:30 PM, Drake said:

Always fun to have one of the sunshine teams show up at Autzen for a game in a nice afternoon, or evening rain storm. 

Balderdash! Everyone knows that it doesn't rain at Autzen!

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:31 AM, DUCati855 said:

There are some rather large media markets in the west being ignored by the Pac12. San Diego, Las Vegas, Hawaii are some just off the top of my head that are easily in the top 100 markets in the country. SDSU, UNLV, and HI all have decent (at times) athletic programs these schools could be of benefit Kliavkoff for media negotiations. But, I doubt the academia of the conference would see them as equals and fans would not accept them as competent competitors.

I think Nevada is the state that is probably the best to expand into but the teams in Nevada just aren't good. 

 

As for San Diego... I feel that problably doesn't do much to expand revenue for the pac on the whole. The big California teams are already in the PAC and the bigger problem is that California is a pro sports state over college sports. 

 

As for Hawaii.... Again another potentially natural expansion but Hawaii is really far away and is expensive to get there. The university of Hawaii keeps going back and forth on their economic viability of their football team because of the travel costs. 

 

I also think Hawaii is kinda built into the pac-12 media bubble already with so many players going to PAC schools out of high school. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 12:34 PM, David Marsh said:

As for San Diego... I feel that problably doesn't do much to expand revenue for the pac on the whole. The big California teams are already in the PAC and the bigger problem is that California is a pro sports state over college sports.

I'm not sure I agree on that. I'm from San Diego and I can assure you that UCLA does not draw an ounce of attention with SD viewers. USC isn't a whole lot better. Since the Chargers left for LA (don't get me started...) SDSU football has gained much traction in the community as the only team in town. If the Aztecs were on TV against any Pac12 team SD viewers would watch.

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Sorry if this has already been discussed, but from a fan's perspective, the PAC-12 is often difficult to follow within its own footprint. Here in my area, the major cable company (Charter) doesn't even carry the PAC-12 network, although it has  the Big Ten Network, The SEC Network, and extensive  coverage of the Big-12 and ACC. 

 

For Oregon  fans here, this is maddening.  Was it  last  year after the OSU  upset  that the Ducks played Fresno State and struggled mucho to win? We couldn't figure out why this wasn't televised on one of the traditional football networks (I think it might have been on PAC-12, but my Duck buddy and I found that none of the many casinos in Carson City even carried that  channel. How frustrating for my Duck friend who remarked that he could watch my Dawgs just about  every week but his Ducks but a few times a season. Kind of sad I think.

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On 6/22/2022 at 12:54 PM, David Marsh said:

Then Nevada University also isn't really a great option for expansion due to the same media market issues as other mentioned schools but they are probably the most natural extension as the pac-12 is hosting more and more conference championships in Las Vegas.

Just some thoughts to ponder.  What about UNLV instead of Nevada or possibly both? if PAC12 decides to take up interest again to expand as possible candidates.  Interesting information below:

 

Nevada:

US News & World Report University Ranking: 227
Enrollment: 21,000
Media Market: 104

Pac-12 Expansion Fit: This is a tough one.

 

So this can be seen in two ways.  Either the Pac-12 would take UNLV and assume it has the state of Nevada – even if Reno is a whole separate area and base – or it jumps on the Rebel-Wolf Pack, Fremont Cannon rivalry and makes it more of a thing.

 

The big issue would be that Nevada just isn’t quite big enough. The media market is okay-not-great, and there’s no national fan base to up the overall profile.

 

UNLV:

US News & World Report University Ranking: 258
Enrollment: 31,175
Media Market: 40

Pac-12 Expansion Fit: This would be strictly a home base play.

 

It’s almost a lock that the Pac-12 will someday be mostly operating out of Las Vegas – especially if the big sport conference championships will be there.

 

UNLV doesn’t quite fit when it comes to the school or the national academic profile, but the TV market is great and the fan bases of the other Pac-12 institutions would make the road game a huge event.  Call this a trophy get as the league expands a bit geographically.

 

What is interesting, according to the report below UNLV has reached tier 1 research status.

 

0518_Intersection_UNLV_by_Aaron_Mayes_co
LASVEGASSUN.COM

As new graduates were receiving their diplomas Tuesday during UNLV’s winter commencement, the university got another major reason to celebrate. It came with ...

 

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As David Marsh mentioned about these schools:

 

San Diego is the No. 27 media market in the country and would be No. 6 in the conference behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Portland.

National University Ranking : 148

Enrollment:  31,491

 

Athlon Sports stated about San Diego State:

 

"Whether they would be competitive in the league right away would be a question. In men’s basketball, yes. They would need to play catch-up in the other sports, however.

 

Also, a new stadium and more recruiting territory in California are always positives to sell. However, adding another team in the Golden State probably wouldn’t move the needle in terms of value to television partners."

 

But, if PAC12 expands and only staying within close proximity, can't help thinking San Diego State might not be a bad move to bring in along with the Nevada schools and one other (not sure which other).  At this time, as DUCati855 mentioned, the city of San Diego does have a pro football team.

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