Comment on the developments of the Pac-12 on and off the field…
Rising: Pac-12 Exposure
Amid last weekend’s playoff wreck in Salt Lake City, ESPN brought good news for the Pac-12 on another important front: TV ratings.
Oregon’s demolition of Utah drew 4.8 million spectators, making it the Pac-12’s most-watched regular-season conference game since 2014, According to ESPN,
(The network said which game exceeded 4.8 million viewers in 2014, but a quick check of the SportsMediaWatch ratings database revealed that the USC-UCLA game attracted 4.85 million on ABC. Both teams were ranked at the time. Was.)
For context, we should note that 22 sports across the country have topped five million visitors Mark this season, which includes Oregon’s win over Ohio State in week two (7.7 million).
But it’s rare for Pac-12 Conference games to have more than four million sets of eyes, partly because of issues related to population and fan interest, but also because:
– So many games are placed in the TV window with limited viewership (10 p.m. or later Eastern).
– There are a lot of games on the Pac-12 network, whose reach is extremely limited (about 14 million subscribers).
— Some games on broadcast television receive prime-time coverage during the month of highest interest (November).
But when the schedule builds up to a playoff contender against a ranked opponent, the network reacts in kind: The Ducks and Yuts kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
And viewership followed.
Fall: Marquee Pac-12 Matchup
The viewership data mentioned above makes it a good time to have a reminder.
All those September losses to BYU and Utah State, Nevada and San Diego State, Kansas State and Purdue—those losses are fodder for jokes and easy to dismiss because they don’t affect the convention’s race.
But they matter. Oh, do they matter.
The number of losses affects any team’s ranking (in both AP and CFP polls), and those rankings affect TV selection.
And the effect of TV selection…. Contagion.
Once the Pac-12 teams begin conference play, the zero-sum game begins. Significant climbs in the rankings are extremely difficult and require a (unlikely) winning streak of four or five games.
The Pac-12 ran for three consecutive weeks in the middle of the season. with only one ranked team, Oregon, which can only be in the Power Five conference if the number of early-season losses is excessive.
Had the Pac-12 been more successful against Group of Five opponents, it would have created multiple ranked teams throughout the season.
This would have created more quality matchups for the network.
And more eyeballs for the product.
Rising: Pac-12 Coaching Talent (Probable)
An interested nugget appeared on Twitter earlier this week: Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford is looking for work.
Tedford stepped down two years ago after a successful run at Fresno State and, according to yahoo, was a cardiac procedure.
But he is reportedly healthy and energetic and wants to return to work again.
We can think of 12 programs that could have benefited in some way from Tedford’s mastery of the offense.
Health problems do not make Tedford eligible to be hired, but they will require due diligence and deep trust on the part of potential employers.
(Plus a sound succession plan.)
Whether he is only interested in becoming head coach or would be open to the position of coordinator or analyst, we cannot say.
But clearly, the Pac-12 will be in a better place with Tedford in 2022.
Fall: Pac-12 Coaching Recognition
The Broyles Award, given to the country’s top assistant, recently revealed the list of 15 finalists for the 2021 honours.
Not a single Pac-12 assistant or coordinator made the cut.
The hotline has been critical of the state of training this season, especially in terms of offense.
But it’s laughable to think that Broyles is no worthy candidate for the award.
What about Brian Lindgren, Oregon State offensive coordinator?
Or Washington Secondary coach Will Harris?
Or UCLA offensive line coach Justin Fry?
Or someone on the staff in Oregon or Utah?
One obstacle – perhaps the primary obstacle – to Broyles Award recognition for Pac-12 coaches is the makeup of the selection committee. This includes 15 former head coaches and three media members.
All media members are from ESPN.
How many head coaches were there in Pac-12?
Only two: Mike Belotti (Oregon) and John Robinson (USC).
Meanwhile, four out of 15 coached schools in the Big 12, which have fewer teams than the Pac-12, and Three trained in Georgia: Mark Richt, Vince Dooley and Jim Donan.
That’s right: 20 percent of the coaches on the selection committee are former Bulldogs.
Again, it’s laughable.
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