The move leaves the future of the Pac-12 something uncertain, with its two iconic brands stepping away from their stature and following.
But when you hear Colorado athletics director Rick George talk about it, it makes it sound as if the Pac-12 hasn’t lost much of anything at all, taking a shot at USC and UCLA and their lack of championship success recently.
“So everyone is clear, we haven’t lost a team that appeared in a CFP playoff,” George said via The Denver Post.
This is definitely a more optimistic way of looking at things.
And while this statement is technically true, you can also say that it leaves out some important information.
Like, say, that the Pac-12 doesn’t quite spoil the College Football Playoff Selection Committee anywhere across its members.
CFP selectors routinely kept Pac-12 teams low in their rankings, sending a clear message that the committee did not consider the conference as producing a table worthy of a playoff team.
Furthermore, the Pac-12 has only had two College Football Playoff games: Oregon in 2014, losing to Ohio State in the National Championship, and Washington in 2016, losing three times to Alabama in the semifinals.
Utah leads the Pac-12 with 35 appearances in the official College Football Playoff rankings, tied with Oklahoma State for seventh nationally, with a standings average of 16.43 and fifth in the school.
Oregon ranks second in the league and 14th nationally with 26 appearances, climbed to number two, with an all-time average of 9.62.
USC tied with Oregon in 26 appearances in the CFP poll, with an average rating of No. 17, and it has reached No. 8.
USC was the last Pac 12 team to win the National Football Championship, in 2004 against Oklahoma under the old BCS system.
Another important fact left by George’s comments is that the Big Ten most likely did not invite the USC and UCLA to the conference for sporting prestige alone.
By adding the Los Angeles Media Market, the country’s second-largest, to its holdings, Congress now has the bargaining power to bid for its next media deal to an amount that is reported to be as high as $1 billion. every year.
Nothing the Pac-12 could have done would have put this league anywhere in the same galaxy in terms of revenue potential.
Given the current economic climate, there’s not much she can do.
That, and that alone, is why USC and UCLA moved to the Big Ten, whether or not the schools appeared in a College Football playoff.
(h/t Denver Post)
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