After whiffing on the Texas schools, the media hasn't been so kind to Larry Scott this week. While the attempted coup of the Big 12 was in progress, Scott was a media darling, with national and local media alike being effusive in their praise for him. The addition of Utah and Colorado has been met more with a "meh" instead of a "woo" by most media types.
Greg Hansen, of the Arizona Daily Star started the festivities a few days ago.
"I grew up in Pac-10 territory, and although there are outstanding institutions, the facilities and fair-weather fans are a disappointment. I suggest their fan support, and the accompanying image it projects, should be carefully examined."
Fair-weather fans? Empty seats? Is that really how the rest of the world views the Pac-10?
With Colorado coming in, and Utah apparently on the way, Beebe might be right.
Hansen spends his article alternating between terrible puns and stereotypes, getting plenty of mileage out of Colorado and Utah. He also opines that Scott shouldn't have invited Colorado before knowing the fate of the Big 12.
Colorado was always going to be invited, whether expansion was large or small. There was no reason to wait to invite them, especially with Baylor jockeying for position.
The biggest thing to take out of this is that the presidents and ADs hired and then trusted someone progressive enough to make these kinds of bold moves. It's a risk in a conference that has historically been conservative and favored the status quo. In order to move forward and evolve, the Pac-10 needed to think outside the box.
Next up on the haterade tour is Ken Goe of The Oregonian. Goe writes that the Northwest schools got hosed by this round of expansion.
From here, it appears that Scott over-reached in an attempt to create his mega-conference by raiding the Big 12 for six schools, including Texas, which would bring with it the monster Dallas and Houston television markets.
The good ol' boys in Austin played him like a six-string guitar, while quietly using Scott's offer to negotiate a better deal from the Big 12.
In the end Scott was left clutching nothing but his hubris and Colorado, with no better Plan B than Utah.
And now, the Northwest schools are going to pay for it.
Are the Northwest schools really going to pay? Ted Miller polled all four Northwest coaches a few days ago, with only Mike Riley voicing any complaint about a North/South alignment. Nobody, including Scott himself, knows how alignment is going to shake out, either. It's a bit too early to be pointing fingers and calling this a failure.
The most level-headed piece comes from the AP.
The verdict on how successful Scott’s plan was won’t come until the conference negotiates its new television deals next year, which could include the creation of its own network to rival the Big Ten’s.
It's easy to sit here and write retrospectives now, but the expansion dust is just starting to settle. We don't yet know what the Pac-12 divisions will look like or what the TV contract will look like. Let the dust settle before calling this a success or failure.
In the end, I will say that Scott is looking better in one year than Tom Hansen did in his entire tenure.