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Pac-12 Football: Commissioner Larry Scott Got It Wrong


Nov 17, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive line prior to the snap against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

As a huge fan of Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner, criticizing the man responsible for elevating all member schools athletic programs is an onerous task.

In a moment of hesitation, Scott ceded power to television executives when it probably wasn’t necessary.

Thursday Night Football on ESPN this week will feature one of the best pairings in all of college football.

No. 2 Oregon will travel down to The Farm in Palo Alto, CA to take on No. 6 Stanford setting the stage

So why would ESPN be allowed to ‘showcase’ a game with national championship implications on a day other than one which traditionally is set aside for College Game Day, Saturday?

Simple answer to that one. Because they can.

I know schedules are set prior to the beginning of the season for a number of reasons.


Will someone please clarify the reasoning behind scheduling what promises to be a great game for college football fans during the week instead of a traditional Saturday?

Thinking back to last Thursday, scheduling Arizona State vs. Washington State as the featured mid-week game makes sense. Both teams are up and coming. Both teams have a new approach to their style of play because of relatively new head coaches. Both teams look to be heading for post season play.

Oct 19, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney (25) with the ball behind the line against the UCLA Bruins during the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Come on Larry Scott! You’ve got some power to wield when it comes to dictating schedules.

There was no question coming into this season Stanford and Oregon would be the two best teams in the conference. When there is an opportunity to showcase a game of this stature, you demand to have it on ABC at 2pm PST.

If you’re running the best conference, your best game should be covered by the best team televising college football. You should demand this game be placed in the prime time slot. At the very least, get the game in front of a Saturday night national audience.

By covering Washington State football, it’s easy for me to see why this might have happened. The Cougars are still learning what it takes to win football games.

To be the best you have to know you’re the best.

On the field of play, you know you’re going to win. No concessions. No excuses. No tomfoolery.

I was under the impression Larry Scott knew he was the head man for the top athletic conference in all of college sports.

The Pac-12 rightfully lays claim to the title, Conference of Champions. Member schools have earned more national titles than any other conference. Period.

Act like you are the best Mr. Scott.

At 9pm Thursday night on the East Coast, most folks will be winding down their evening. Some will opt to click their channel remote to ESPN and watch the first half of Pac-12 football before padding down their hallway to crawl under bed covers. Others may decide to tune into network prime time offerings like: Glee; Grey’s Anatomy; Sean Saves The World or The Crazy Ones. Wow! That’s the competition?

Perhaps I’m just picking nits.

That said, I doubt the Big Ten would subjugate themselves to allow ESPN shifting a game between Wisconsin and Ohio State to Thursday night. How about Alabama vs. LSU? Not in this lifetime.

Oct 26, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De

The grand matchup between two powerhouse programs with polar opposite approaches to the game of football will be seen on national television. College fans across the country will get a chance to see if the Ducks will run their world class speed-burners on fly sweeps until Cardinal linebackers look like drowning victims gasping for precious air. Or it’s just as likely Cardinal linemen will so dominate the line of scrimmage, Duck players will be pounded flat like Domino’s pizza dough.

When this Saturday rolls around, college fans will be watching games other than one of the best in 2013. They’ll not see an argument made for claim to the best college football conference in the country.

Oh well.

At least I won’t have to choose between DVR content and the Pac-12 broadcast of the 2008 game between TCU and Utah.