Used to be that the Pac-12 had the best setup for its league play. The conference operated under Thursday/Saturday scheduling in January, February and early March. It was a pretty good arrangement and rhythm for the league. Not only did it help with players actually being in classrooms a bit more frequently than most other major-conference basketball teams, but the trips were built with geography in mind.
So if you were an opposing team, you'd play Washington and Washington State in the same weekend -- and the women's basketball team would also do that, only alternating the teams. You'd also tackle Oregon and Oregon State in a three-day period. Cal and Stanford, and so on. It was efficient. But with an uptick in teams and an increase in exposure on TV, the conference has adjusted its scheduling tactics as of late.
It changed the model to make more money.
With some Pac-12 games on Wednesdays and even Sundays, trips were stretched out. The coaches didn't like it. I can tell you right now I spoke with Steve Alford about this back in March and he expressed the challenges with this approach in what was his first season at UCLA.
It was a bit too big a change and was hurting the teams and players in a few ways, most coaches believed. So the philosophy could be changed up again.
"It's one of the things we're looking at, being able to maybe get our hands around that so that none of us really have those weeklong road trips during conference season, because I don't think that's fair for our players, Number 1, and if you look big picture, the development of our team," UA coach Sean Miller said.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the conference's television deals have brought in added revenue and exposure, but in doing so conference games have had to shift to different days.
"We're not going to radically change our scheduling approach, but there is room for some tweaking here and there," he said.
That means the Thursday/Sunday is still out, but at the very least you should probably expect no more Wednesday/Sunday road-trip schedulings for Pac-12 games next season. The league will announce its intra-conference times and dates over the summer.