Commissioner Larry Scott just wrapped up his press conference detailing the new Pac-12, which will become official next July 1. Here are the highlights that most affect Cal’s football program:
- Cal is in the North Division along with Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. The Bears will play those teams every season.
- As part of the new agreement, conference chancellors and presidents agreed to lock in games between all four California schools each year. That means two of Cal’s four cross-division games each year will always be against USC and UCLA.
- Scott said the conference looked at four major criteria for choosing the division alignment: importance of rivalry, competitive balance, geography and fan friendliness.
- Scott pointed out that one of the reasons the conference agreed to allow Cal and Stanford to play USC and UCLA every year is the Northern California-Southern California rivalry is longer and has more tradition than some of the more closer geographic rivalries, and preserving rivalries was one of the conference’s main concerns.
- There will be a Pac-10 championship game every year between the winner of the North Division and the winner of the South Division. It will be hosted by the team with the best overall conference record, rather than at a neutral site. Scott said the conference chose having the game at a campus site because to guarantee a sellout and preserving the energy and enthusiasm of the college atmosphere. It also rewards the team that has the best overall record.
- Scott said the conference schedule for 2011 will be available in about 30-45 days.
- The conference is seriously interested in starting its own television network but won’t start really considering that until it first goes through the process of negotiating media rights with its current partners.
Cal reaction to come later this afternoon….