Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff took to the podium this morning at Pac-12 Media Day in Las Vegas and did his best to assure everybody that the conference will be a-OK in terms of both a media deal and weathering the realignment storms.
There’s still no media deal in place, though Kliavkoff said being patient and waiting has allowed the conference to entertain more potential suitors. That patience may well pay off, but it clearly hasn’t prevented detractors from pouncing on the opportunity to paint the conference as nearing a cliff. Just ask Dennis Dodd’s sources.
The lack of media deal was surely the main topic at what is supposed to be the conference’s kickoff celebration, and Kliavkoff made an attempt to downplay the ordeal:
"We are not announcing our media deal today on purpose because we want the focus to be on football."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 21, 2023
(There hasn't been a question about football yet.)
That statement might infer that a deal is done, or nearly done, and the conference is waiting for the right time to announce it. Of course, if it were done, the right time to announce it would have been yesterday on stage in Las Vegas. Kliavkoff didn’t want to talk about it much.
So, as they say, patience is a virtue.
Kliavkoff also poured water on any talk of teams leaving the conference, saying, “It’s not a concern.”
So, we continue to wait, and Kliavkoff does his best to lower the temperature of the Pac-12’s demise.
WSU picked to finish 7th in Pac-12 by conference media
The USC Trojans were the pick to win the conference, with our Cougs coming in at 7th.
(WSU avoids both USC and Utah this season.)
As you can see, four Pac-12 teams received first-place votes, though USC was the runaway winner. If that holds, it could be an awkward trophy presentation in December.
Remember: The conference championship game pits the league’s top two in winning percentage. Divisions are a thing of the past.