It’s the last day of the Pac-10 conference. After 33 years of existence, the conference gets reborn tomorrow as the Pac-12. It’s the culmination of what Commissioner Larry Scott was hired to do—bring money and prestige to a conference that was a little down on its luck.
Though the Pac-10 was horribly mismanaged for years, the new Pac-12 is shaping up to be a much better entity. A new supervisor of officials might actually improve the league’s horrendous officiating. There’s a new TV deal in place that will generate huge windfalls for all 12 teams. A Pac-12 TV network will arrive next fall. Who knows, the Pac-12 might actually manage to get its second-place football team a spot in a bowl on New Year’s Day. Like every other major conference.
With the conference’s addition of Utah and Colorado, there will be two divisions for Pac-12 football, with the champions squaring off in the Pac-12 Championship Game. All this means, from my perspective as a Cal fan, is that Cal’s chances of going to a Rose Bowl in my lifetime have dropped from “maybe once in the next fifty years” to “never, ever, ever, ever.”
We Cal fans used to hope that some strange confluence of events would accidentally send the Golden Bears to the Rose Bowl. (And it might have happened, if it weren’t for Mack Brown.) Now, of course, that strange confluence of events must be followed by Cal winning a conference championship game against the top team in the other division.
Yeah. That’s gonna happen.
Despite that, I welcome our new Pac-12 overlords. After a decade of grousing how incompetently run the Pac-10 conference was, we Pac-10 football fans will need to find something else to complain about. Like how Reggie Bush won’t give back his Heisman Trophy.