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Arizona Writer Goes Off About Adding Utah And Colorado To The Pac-10

Texas was the first choice for the Pac-10 that is indisputable, but bashing Colorado and Utah to this degree is unwarranted.  However, Greg Hanson from the Arizona Daily Star believes neither school brings anything to the new Pac-12.  He also prefers Tom Hansen who was the old conference commissioner who was a puppet controlled by the Rose Bowl and the schools Presidents.

Pac-10 presidents and chancellors for decades ran the league with such old-school conservatism that former commissioner Tom Hansen seemed to have less authority than those on the Tournament of Roses committee, or whomever was coaching football at USC or basketball at Arizona.

During NCAA tournament basketball games, Hansen wouldn't sit with the ranking figures of college sports, as is befitting the Pac-10 commissioner, but rather in the media room, munching popcorn, waiting for the stats to be distributed.

The conference commissioner of a BCS league is regulated to sitting in the media room next to part time radio reporters (something I have done).  Seriously doubt that the other BCS leagues have their commissioners sit in the media room and not sitting with the athletic directors and school presidents.  Tell me why it is a good thing to have your conference commissioner be a blatant mouthpiece of the schools with little or no power?  No wonder the current Pac-10 television deal is such a joke, and the worst out of the BCS leagues, well maybe they would rival the Big East for lack of exposure.

I get it that Utah and Colorado are not the big time money that Texas and others would have brought in, but a title game brings in money, as does the Denver market, and the fastest growing state in the Union.  Now below will be some prime quotes from Hanson with some interjection by myself:

Colorado brings little to the Pac-10. No baseball, no softball, no swimming, a basketball team that averaged 6,267 fans and almost no new money.  Utah would bring even less. The Utes wouldn't help to solve the raging financial crisis at Oregon State, Wazzu and ASU.

So when did non-revenue sports matter?  I know the Pac-10 takes pride in those things, but football rules all.  Also, why is it Utah's responsibility to help programs solve their financial problems; that should be put upon the schools themselves.  So winning two BCS bowls, their last nine bowl appearances, and has won three conference titles this past decade.  Besides USC in the Pac-10 has been that dominate, so I soundly disagree that Utah brings nothing to the table.

Adding Colorado, and possibly Utah, puts the Pac-10 in a neutral negotiating position with more partners in the split. When Scott goes to market next year, the TV people at ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Net next year will see what they've always seen. Colorado and maybe Utah won't generate more money.

I am no economist but the last Pac-10 deal is so bad not sure how it could get any worse, and a Pac-10 title game is estimated to be worth $12-$15 million per year.  If the Pac-10 gets put on a more national basis rather then regional cable channels that can only be seen if one lives in the area, or ponies up for the sports package on your cable or satellite carrier.  Plus, if Dan Bebee can somehow get upwards of at lest $17 million for a conference that nearly collapsed I think the Pac-10 can improve off of their deal.

The most famous man in the history of Utah sports is Rick Majerus. Big dude. Lived in a hotel. Told lots of funny stories. If Utah enters the Pac-10, can it arrange to get Majerus back?

The Mount Rushmore of Colorado Buffalo sports is a vintage collection. If you are over 50, you may remember Olympic skier Jimmie Heuga, gold medal decathlete Bill Toomey, football star Whizzer White and U.S. Open golf champion Hale Irwin.

Why is history such a big deal for the Pac-10?  Also, who is the big name that Washington State has, do they really want to hang their hat on Ryan Leaf?  Exactly, a long history does not need to matter that much, but recent history does and that is something Utah has, and Colorado has shown in the past twenty years that they have the ability to be a good program.

This guy is just bashing on two schools that will actually bring in more money to the league with a title game, a Utah team that will be second to only USC in BCS bowl wins, and could show up the Pac-10 in their first year.  Also, he does not consider the fact that adding two more teams means more games will be on television, and in two solid markets.

Then there is this that Hanson added in which includes some comments from Big XII commissioner Dan Bebee:

In a manifesto Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe sent to conference big shots this week and obtained by Sports Illustrated, the commissioner appealed to the Big 12's sense of togetherness. He essentially said that they must be crazy to consider going into business with teams located in Corvallis, Ore., and Pullman, Wash.

Beebe grew up in Walla Walla, Wash., attended school in Southern California and absorbed the culture of Pac-10 sports. In his letter to Big 12 insiders, Beebe wrote:

"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.

Wouldn't the problem of fair weather fans applied before Utah and Colorado came into the fold, but perhaps he is looking for a Pac-10 scape goat when the riveting Colorado vs. Washington State game (sorry to pick Washington State) is not a sell out.  If Hansen has done his research Colorado has a pretty rabid fan base, and Utah has been near capacity in season ticket sales the past five years.

Yes, missing out on getting the Big XII South hurts, but Utah and Colorado were going to be added eventually to the Pac-10, so get over yourself and your old time traditions.

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