Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott continues to defend conference's poor postseason
It's been a tough year for the Pac-12 in bowl games and men's basketball tournament play
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott spent part of his opening remarks at this year's media day defending what was an abysmal year for his conference in the postseason. In short, Scott wants to keep his conference's 1-8 bowl record and quick exit from the NCAA Tournament in perspective.
"Much was written and discussed about our bowl record last year," Scott told reporters. "From our perspective, a handful of season-ending games are not a communicator of a conference's overall strength and competitiveness.
"Nine of our 12 teams qualified for bowls and we placed two teams in the six New Year's bowls. At the end of the season, we have four teams among the top-25. It's clear by all those measures we've got a strong, deep and highly competitive conference that provides our fans with great matchups every week."
While it's true that bowl results outside of the College Football Playoff -- which the Pac-12 was absent from last season -- don't mean everything, there's no way to soften 1-8. This is especially true when all but one of the Pac-12 bowl opponents were Power Five brethren. And with only one team -- Arizona -- getting to the Round of 32 in the men's basketball tourney, only to be immediately upset, the Pac-12 missed out on making a name for itself in two major revenue-producing sports.
To this, Scott spun academic and well-rounded athletic success as another measurement.
The Pac-12 does indeed pride itself on being a conference of champions, and to Scott's point, the Pac-12 became the first conference to win 500 NCAA titles back in May. But what typically gets people in charge a raise and extension or a pink slip is, first and foremost, football.
The Pac-12's postseason records are what they are: ugly. But ultimately, they are wiped clean every year. However, when they're coupled with deeper-rooted issues --, some of which are fixable (quality product) while others are not (time zone problems) -- they become a bigger deal.
Right now, postseason results in two major sports are historically bad, CFP appearances are lacking, revenue distribution is lower than in other power conferences, the conference network isn't even readily available in HD in its own backyard and football scheduling needs a makeover (hello, USC's brutal 2017 slate). All the while, Scott is college athletics' highest-paid commissioner at $4.8 million.
That's what you call an imbalance.
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