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Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff’s scheduling idea should be policy yesterday

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NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Oregon vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott had a lot of bad ideas that bore bad results during his tenure as head of the league. New commish George Kliavkoff is a breath of fresh air, particularly because of his latest idea around scheduling non-conference football games.

Here’s what Kliavkoff said this week:

It boggles the mind that this had to be said out loud and in 2021. This is an obvious thing that should been implemented years ago. Why do schools have to sign contracts with each other for games played with players who are currently in second grade? I’m sure coaches and ADs love to point to those games in recruiting, and ADs like the resume builder. But those aren’t strong enough reasons for not ditching the long-term commitments and figuring out which non-conference games you’ll play the next season after the prior season ends.

Heck, make it a TV event! Get ESPN to televise the whole thing and reveal the matchups with Lee Corso donning each team’s mascot head. The Alliance members are already planning on scheduling each other. Make it a marketable moment.

For reference, and thanks to FBSschedules.com, here is what WSU has committed to starting next season through 2033 (!):

2022

  • vs Idaho
  • at Wisconsin
  • vs Colorado State

2023

  • at Colorado State
  • vs Wisconsin
  • vs Northern Colorado

2024

  • vs Portland State
  • at San Diego State

2025

  • vs Idaho
  • vs San Diego State

2026

2027

  • vs Kansas
  • at Fresno State

2028

  • at Kansas

2029

  • vs Kansas State

2030

2031

  • vs Mississippi State

2032

2033

  • vs Boise State

As we’ve seen before, some of these games will end up shifting or being canceled all together. The true freshman on the WSU team that hosts Boise State in 2033 are currently six years old. That’s ridiculous.

Scheduling the non-conference games in January after the previous season allows schools to know which players they’ll have in the fall and maximize the best matchups. Matchups can look good on paper eight years in advance, but who knows, maybe those two teams will be middling programs by the time the games roll around.

So kudos to Kliavkoff for the idea. It’s a no-brainer, but it’s nice to hear no-brainer ideas coming from the Pac-12 commissioner for a change.

Links

Football

Three Washington State players named to AP All-Pac-12 first team | The Spokesman-Review
Three Washington State football players landed on the All-Pac-12 first team when the Associated Press announced its postseason honors Friday.

Pac-12 bowl picks: Washington State to end season with memorable performance, Utah to upset Ohio State | The Spokesman-Review
Within a disappointing bowl season for the Pac-12, which has no playoff participants and only one New Year’s Six team, lies opportunity.

Washington State OC Brian Smith reportedly interviews for Idaho State job; former Cougar assistant Ken Wilson hired at Nevada | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State offensive coordinator Brian Smith is reportedly searching for his next destination.

‘We’re gonna do it our way’: Washington State coach Jake Dickert talks new ‘Coug Raid’ offense, introduces recently hired coordinators | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State coach Jake Dickert declined to call it the “Air Raid.”

Miami coaching, player changes for Sun Bowl. Justice to SMU | Miami Herald
Miami interim head coach for the Sun Bowl Jess Simpson spoke to the media Friday about the Dec. 31 game against Washington State.

Miami football Sun Bowl staff versus Washington State clarified
Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald reported on Friday that the Miami football staff for the Sun Bowl has been clarified.

Volleyball

Hannah Pukis, Washington State volleyball's standout setter, enters name into NCAA transfer portal | The Spokesman-Review
Hannah Pukis, a captain for Washington State's volleyball team and arguably one of the top setters in the country, plans to leave Pullman early.