Football/basketball: The Pac-16 is dead

It’s official. The remaining Big 12 teams are staying together. That means, for now, the Pac-10 stands at 11 teams. Will Larry Scott go after Utah next? Here is a statement from the conference commissioner:

“University of Texas President Bill Powers has informed us that the 10 remaining schools in the Big 12 Conference intend to stay together. We are excited about the future of the Pac-10 Conference and we will continue to evaluate future expansion opportunities under the guidelines previously set forth by our Presidents and Chancellors.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • juancho

    Well, on the one hand I’m relieved because I didn’t want to see the pac 10 split into two divisions. But I’m also a bit dissapointed texas won’t be joining. Hopefully we get another great program with tradition. Otherwise this 11 team thing is ridiculous.

  • calbear91

    I agree. Adding Colorado alone is absurd. I love the round robin as it is the only way to really say who is tops in the conference. Adding Colorado alone is…and if Utah is the second team then what do we do? 6 team divisions and then 4 out of division? And then the luck of the draw with who you play out of division? It all sounds bad. And I read where someone said that CU Boulder is like Berkeley East, and let me tell you, having lived in Boulder and graduated from Cal, that Berkeley is my friend, and Boulder is no Berkeley for pete’s sake. Fine conservative school for the culturally impoverished midwest, but nothing resembling the Bay Area!

  • uh oh.

    Maybe I’m out of line here, but this is the way I currently feel: Larry Scott is a total idiot who just ruined the Pac 10.
    Way to go, you jerk!
    Texas just negotiated themselves a bigger piece of the Big12 pie at your expense. You were played like a fool!

  • CM

    Calbear91 and Uh Oh, I agree completely. Larry Scott basically just got worked over by Texas and the Big 12. He thought he was outsmarting everyone by jumping the gun and inviting Colorado before any of the other Big 12 teams defected. It ended up backfiring terribly. Now we have an 11 team Pac-10 (probably soon to be 12). Let’s be honest here, Colorado and Utah add NOTHING to the conference, other than possibly a marginal amount of money (although this is very questionable, given each team will now be splitting the proceeds 12 ways, not 10). These are NOT marquee teams whatsoever. It kills the symmetry of the conference, and adds teams that have no geographic business in the PACIFIC-10 conference (as in the proximate to the Pacific Ocean). And now we are stuck with two 6 team divisions (heck Jon Wilner’s laughable “zipper” plan may even be implemented). As a result, Cal may not even play UCLA and USC every year, as we have for decades. So three cheers for Larry Scott, killing decades of tradition for the sake of a catastrophically unsuccessful money grab!

  • Boaltblue

    Failed plan to expand. Terrible, terrible result.

    Colorado benefits, but adds very little to the conference.

    We were better off under the old Pac-10.

  • uh oh.

    But what does Larry Scott care?
    He was a hired gun, and will leave to go try some new project. Meanwhile, we have to live with the consequences. Shame on the officials at the 10 school who voted to approve such negotiating that would backfire.

    I would be fine with Colorado and Utah if they could keep the true and complete round robin scheduling intact (I have nothing against those states or schools, per se) but they can’t keep the schedule the same and so Larry Scott just messed it all up.

    I am so upset right now!!! It would be better to go find 5 or 9 new schools and have true round robins for two divisions than it would be to leave us with 12 and odd team competition each year – luck of the draw (scheduling, who you do/don’t play) is so wrong. But 5 or 9 new Pac 10 like schools don’t exist. So we are hosed.

  • uh oh.

    Regarding CM’s reference to the zipper alignment, read about it here:


  • 66Bear

    For that matter, Uh Oh, what does Chancellor Birgeneau care, either? Why a non-alum Canadian socialist was selected Chancellor beats me. He’s nothing but an opportunistic wanna-be celebrity who saw this job as a bigger gig than his last gig in Toronto, and he was envisioning corking merlots in his sky box in the new McMemorial Stadium when he and the other “visionaries” (read, nitwits) sent Larry Scott on his quest to get snookered by the Big Twelve and the University of Colorado. Both Birgeneau and Scott should be fired for their incompetence, and the University should look for a qualified Cal alum with judgment and integrity to be it’s Chancellor. I don’t know about you guys, by I smelled a rat at the get-go with this mess, and I’m old and in the pasture. How much pay do Birgeneau and Scott draw to trash the tradition and history of the PAC-10 and the University?

  • Easy Ed

    Hey! Good, all Texas and Oklahoma were going to do was drag down the conference academic standards. Of course that would be hard with USC still with us. Cheat On!

  • CalJeff

    Whoa guys – am I the only one who is excited about expansion? I’m looking forward to a PAC-10 championship game, new destinations, and Utah (hopefully) and Colorado as good fits for our Conference. Geez, you guys are negative

  • milo

    What a weird few days. So Scott has a pair, is smart and willing to go for it. That’s good except he couldn’t close the deal, couldn’t finish. Bad form for the Conference of Champions.

    So how does this effect your California Golden Bears? Frankly $C getting bi-otch slapped by the NCAA and the expanded schedule starting in 2012 favors Cal in some ways.

    No one can see the future but playing 7 or 8 conference games lightens the load a bit. With $C down, Cal would have to handle Oregon, UW and UCLA, all teams they have won against.

    Cal has recruited increasingly better but not exceptionally like a pre-NCAA U$C team. Now that changes *AND* the SAHPC and Memorial will be complete, adding a boast in recruit just when Cal needs it.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Is the “marginal” team many of you are referring to the same one that trashed you in your most recent bowl game appearance. Notice I said “appearance” because the way you guys played that day was just an illusion.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I love how all of the purists on this board are talking about upholding tradition. Does that include the last 50+ years of your own futility?

    No Heisman, No Rose Bowl, No BCS, no outright Pac 10 championship University.

  • Rocko

    Yes of course, were CAL, what’s your point? You follow your team and we’ll follow ours. There are more important things in life than cheating for championahips!

  • covinared

    Moren: You’re living in the past, man! This is now, and your team is in deep disgrace.

  • uh oh.


    Yes, you are the only one excited about this. The problem is that a 12 team conference completely ruins the perfectly even round-robins that we had going in football and basketball. Here’s what we had:

    Football: 12 game season, all 9 in Pac plus 3 OOC games.
    Basketball: 9 home + 9 away games = 18 Pac games.
    With everyone playing everyone, and at both home and away in hoops, you determine the true winner perfectly.

    With 12 teams, it’s all messed up and relegated to the chance and randomness of scheduling.

  • eric

    Look, I like the Pac-10 tradition, but consider this:

    1. Adding two teams gets the Pac-10 a championship game. You may not love it, but it generates $$ and, if the rest of the world is heading that way, so be it.

    2. Adding two teams increases the likelihood of getting two Pac-10 teams into a BCS game. Why? Because (a) no more round-robin ensures the possibility of a non-championship team having only one loss and (b) more creampuff non-conference opponents. Since the BCS came into effect, the Pac-10 has been the most screwed conference in BCS selections. Now, we become just like the Big-10, Big-12, and SEC. Two Pac-10 teams into BCS games benefits all of the Pac-10.

    3. I’m of the view a true playoff is going to occur within the decade. So the whole tradition argument probably gone anyway.

    4. Scott made the Pac-10 absolutely relevant again. When was the last time that happened? He didn’t get played by Texas – the fact is that he almost poached 6 teams from the Big-12 when 1 month ago no one even thought about it. Texas just played the rest of the remaining Big-12 for more money. That is why Nebraska left in the first place – it has been pissed off since 1995.

    Granted, I am ignoring other sports, but we all know this is a football-driven issue.

  • Davidson

    I hope we add Utah. I’m super excited about visiting Colorado and Utah for conference game openers.

  • eric

    One more thing. Even without the round-robin, my guess is that Cal, in addition to always playing the Furd, continues to play UCLA and U$C every year no matter what. Just like Oregon will always play OSU and UW. Not playing the Arizonas every year doesn’t cause me to lose sleep, and not playing OSU every year (at least while Riley is there) is probably healthy for us, since we find ways to lose to them.

  • uh oh.

    Oh, so, Eric, you are saying that we wanted to create a screwed up schedule that would leave question as to who is better, and thus force BCS voters to place 2 teams in the BCS?

    I say, WHO CARES ABOUT THE BCS. I just want to go to a F%*#&@^G ROSE BOWL. And I want to know that the winners of the conference I’m in is determined properly. It’s hard to get excited about “playing it out” when an uneven schedule is one of the opponents.

  • 66Bear

    Dear Eric:
    I guess the differing views stem from whether one is interested in preserving the benefits and joy of intercollegiate competition in sports–for players, students, alums, and fans–or creating a market-driven spectacle designed solely to shake the money tree. It is clear to all that Birgeneau and Scott are interested in is money and self-aggrandizement and that thoughts of the good of the University, students, players, fans, the State of California, or the educational enterprise never break through their fog of self-absorption.

  • rollonubears

    we should form a 24-team alliance with the big10, have our own 2-game playoff for the top 2 teams on each side, at the rose bowl, and say to hell with the big 12 and the sec.

  • 66Bear

    Dear Uh Oh:
    You are so right on. And although the Rose Bowl was the diamond of the bowl games (and intercollegiate sports, generally), these nitwits are going to end up cheapening it even more that they have already with the BCS crap. The BCS has been screwing Cal (does anyone recall getting booted out of the Rose Bowl in 2004?) all along, and the mess that Birgeneau and Scott are cooking up will just make matters worse. Just wait until the BCS down-grades us below other PAC-10 teams we haven’t beaten because we haven’t been scheduled to play them. Birgeneau and Scott are trying to turn the Conference of Champions into the Conference of Chumps and should be fired.
    P.S. to Eric: I’m attributing your statement that you’d like the Bears to get to the Rose Bowl by not playing PAC-10 teams that will beat us to your rich heritage of AYSO soccer.

  • jabes

    Once you open up the change box you can’t close it. Cancel the perfect round robin, and as long as we keep the annual Big Game I can accept if we don’t play each LA school every year. Regardless if this is Pac11Ten with eight conference games or Pac12Ten with some division set up, let’s just do it the way everybody else does and get four non-conference games.

  • jabes

    The Rose Bowl is gone. The BCS killed it. My preference would be Pac-10, play everybody, winner gets the Rose Bowl, season ends, polls be damned. Since that is not going to happen, I accept the alternative where we put the best Pac-10 team in the best position to win the BCS and the second best in position to be in a(ny) BCS bowl. Upgrading the TV contract and non-BCS bowl options would be nice too.

  • Eric

    66 – thanks for the ps note. Ad hominem attacks are much appreciated in this forum. And, since I played club soccer, I think I get the point you are making.

    Let’s stop pretending about history, tradition, blah blah blah. You remind me of Grandpa Simpson complaining about the metric system. Players leave early all the time now (Jason Kidd anyone? Aaron Rodgers? Marshawn Lynch? Desean?), but that wasn’t always the case. The number of bowls has so greatly expanded that teams that go 6-6 go “bowling,” cheapening the entire enterprise. And, most obviously, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Pac-10 football WASN’T a format that required playing each other Pac-10 school. 1989, Cal did not play ASU. 1988, Cal did not play Oregon. 1987, Cal did not play Washington or Oregon. Does “tradition” only start in 1990?

    And if you want to go back into the mists of history, the Rose Bowl WAS the national championship game, pitting East versus West. It wasn’t always Pac-10 versus Big-10 (or 11, or 12).

    And it used to be that the best team wasn’t always the one who made it to the Rose Bowl. Didn’we get jobbed out of the Rose Bowl in the 1970s with Joe Roth?

    Anyway, Jabes correctly noted, that the Rose Bowl concept – at least we knew it pre-BCS – is gone. Even in 2004, when we got screwed by that whore Mack Brown, we still would have only backed in (putting aside the cheating by U$C), so it wouldn’t have been pure anyway. At this point, with the Rose Bowl not really the Rose Bowl as I knew it when I was at Cal (for the record, graduated in 1995), I would love a pure playoff system, and expansion across the conferences is going to make that happen. The Mountain West, with Boise State, now has a very good case for an automatic bid. The expanded Big-10 (or 12, I guess) will always clamor for 2 spots. The ACC and Big East will either expand to preserve their spots or will fight for a playoff. It is inevitable. For the Pac-10, if we have to expand, I like Colorado, and I like Utah. Both are more in tune with west coast schools, and have real academics, far more than T Tech, OU, and OSU. Besides, thinking of the snowboarding opportunities for those away games.

  • Davidson

    Agree w/ Eric. Sky is not falling. Before all this started, Colorado and Utah were ideal choices to expand. Then we got greedy and the whole country tried to stop us…and they did. Now, we get 2 teams (knock on wood, Utah) that fits us much better than the other scenario.

  • 66Bear

    Dear Eric: Since I’m only old enough to be your father, is it OK if I remind you of Homer Simpson instead? Your response reminds me of an adage: Things just aren’t as good as they used to be . . . and they never were. So although I agree that things were never perfect, I don’t believe that my wish to maintain University tradition, or wish for a University administration that is more competent and less corrupt than this one, is evidence of my senility. Or my wish that Cal sports remain an honorable and joyful competition between our students and the students of other universities and not morph to a shameless quest to build our “brand” and increase market-share.

    I had the privilege of attending the Cal-USC game in 2003, and I think that that triple-overtime victory was as much fun as winning the national championship for the athletes, coaches, and fans. I’ll take those sorts of experiences any day over winning a national championship by corrupting the University and its teams. (Should we take a moment here to thank Coach Tedford, Coach Montgomery, and the rest of the Cal coaches for being such good examples and running programs that uphold the honor, integrity, and excellence of the University? Would only that the administration serve the University as well.)

  • uh oh.

    1) Didn’t want any Pac10 expansion before the Big12 thing came in.

    2) The scheduling has NOT been perfect in the past, as Eric points out. If there had been a tie atop the Pac10, the team that went to the Rose was the one that hadn’t been as recent as the other. But it recently DID become perfect when the NCAA allowed a 12 game season (9+3 for all Pac10 teams, not 8+3). So, now that it finally became perfect, don’t abandon that.

    3) Rose totally hosed Cal in 2004. The bastards! But not other bowl game has a parade in Pasadena on New Years Day.

    4) There are billions of dollars in college football and basketball. The kids are slave labor, and should instead be paid! Larry Scott is getting WAY more money than any of them, but they are just chips to move around, no? That reeks!

  • Eric

    Of course the 2003 game was incredible, but the best game I ever saw at Memorial was the 1993 game against Oregon. In many ways, Oregon has been a heck of a better rival in the last 20 years than, say, UCLA.

    But I don’t think you squarely addressed my point. “Tradition” is whatever you make of it. The Pac-10 was the Pac-8 in my lifetime. Has adding the Arizonas destroyed tradition? Pre-1990, all Pac-10 schools did not play each other. Since 1990, that has been the case. Which tradition is better? The Rose Bowl agreed to abandon the Pac-10/Big-10 matchups. Where is your outrage directed towards them?

    And if it matters so much to have each Pac-10 team play each other, that can still happen in a Pac-12. Granted, everyone only gets a single out of conference opponent, and that might get a little boring, but tradition for tradition’s sake can be preserved. Just to note – traveling to Nebraska in 1999, Michigan State in 2002, and Tennessee in 2006 were pretty freaking awesome.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    And while the posters on this board continue to beat a dead horse here is something you may have missed reading.From the Seattle Times.

    But then I heard former Washington State coach Jim Walden on Jeff Aaron’s KJR sports-radio show last Saturday, and as a result, I’m trying to cut Carroll some slack. You’d think that head coaches would know everything about their players, but they don’t.

    “If no one tells you that one of your kids is doing something, you don’t find out ’til the news hits,” Walden said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I never had an idea of where the parents of one of my kids were living. I don’t want to hang it on Pete Carroll at all, but they always go to the highest level.

    “Blame Pete Carroll if you want to blame him, but I’ll be strongly on his side. It’s absolutely bogus. Reggie Bush is not his one concern. He’s got 84 other guys. You just don’t have time for them all. You have no way of knowing. He’s only coaching those kids; he’s not running their lives.”

    Carroll initially won Walden’s support by not having his vastly superior team run up the score against Washington State the past two years.

    “Not once did he indicate that he was trying to put it on us by doing one of those (Jeff) Tedford B.S. deals,” said Walden, who can’t stand the Cal coach for pouring it on the Cougs. “Pete Carroll is a man of dignity. He showed his colors to me.”

  • milo

    Hey that’s not any dead horse…that’s Traveler damn it. He and Tommy Trojan died trying to a stag film.

  • Boaltblue


    Read the full NCAA report on sanctions against USC at ncaa.org. and you will discover what the NCAA found with respect to the wrongful conduct of USC football’s assistant coach on the Reggie Bush matter. So do not claim that USC did not know or lie to cover up. IMHO, the fact that the same assistant coach is still employed with USC speaks volumes on USC’s lack of integrity and proclivity to reward cheaters.