Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal proposed the idea a few weeks ago.
[W]hen it comes time for the BCS's committee of university presidents to render a decision on this playoff proposal, the two oldest and most intertwined major conferences of all, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, ought to do something unexpected. They should do the only thing that makes sense for them in this mixed-up, money-soaked, logic-challenged situation.
They need to say no.
The schools of the Big Ten and Pac-12, whose shared history dates to the early 20th century, need to push away from this diabolical poker table, hail a pedicab for two, make their way to the airport and book a flight to Pasadena, Calif. They need to renew their vows and pledge themselves to serve the greater glory of the best thing about college football: the Rose Bowl.
For better or worse, in sickness and health, these two conferences should go back to living as they have for decades. They would play their conference games, determine their champions, who would then meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 (where the Big Ten representative would be ritually humiliated, but that is another story). The Granddaddy of Them All would remain what it is now: one of the greatest spectacles in sports.
Honestly, the Pac-12 would be best off seceding in the near future to capitalize on the advantages they enjoy. And tradition might have something to do with it. But more of it will have to do with the emergence of the superconference, which promises a lot of money for the biggest of the conferences and potentially cutting out the middleman altogether in favor of forging their own playoff proposals on their own.
What do you guys think? Should the Pac-12 stick with the NCAA, or begin moving toward the super-conference era?
After the jump, AndyPanda of Building The Dam had this to say, which offered some excellent points as to why secession from the NCAA is not likely to happen in the near future.
AndyPanda: First of all, sticking with the NCAA, and moving toward the super-conference era are not mutually exclusive concepts, as we have already seen. It's more a matter of making measured moves that make sense, which, admittedly, isn't all that easy when you don't know what moves others are going to make, or when.
Geographic isolation somewhat limits the options available to the Pac-12 relative to everyone located east of the Rocky Mountains, especially now that the Big 10/12ths is apparently re-vitalized, with Texas and Oklahoma now back to interviewing potential new comers instead of accepting proposals for places they might go. At least until enough time passes for some of the other western institutions to continue to ramp up in areas some people see them as deficient in.
Down the road, there are several candidates for inclusion that are located in areas that are growing and will continue to do so, and will eventually become worthwhile additional markets. By then, at least some of the people who hold preconceived notions that the institutions located there "can never" be on an acceptable level to be included into the Pac-12 will have moved along too.
Yes, I'm talking about places like, for example, Albuquerque, Boise, Provo, and Reno (among a few others), all places that aren't so different than Salt Lake City and Boulder, and before that, Phoenix and Tucson, once were. And both the communities and the universities located there will grow faster than the last 4 additions to the conference did in the years leading up to their inclusion into the Pac-solve for "X".
The pace of progress has definitely picked up, forcing everyone to make some potentially hasty moves, and in some cases, even reverse course.
The Big 12/10ths / Pac-12 alliance will help bridge the gap, providing the additional BCS power conference opponents that will provide the attractive contests that make selling tv packages to networks, and selling conference networks to carriers, much much easier, and much more lucrative.
The most popular playoff proposal that preserves to as large a degree possible the Rose Bowl also helps, and the fact that the SEC & Big 12* has gone the same way with their new game validates the concept.
As far as Rachel's article, remember, it was targeted at two specific audiences.
One is the still substantial population in many corners of the Pac-12 that still wish there wasn't even a BCS, that there were no bowls after Jan. 1, and that the Pac-then 10 hadn't expanded. Of course, these people aren't the ones having to pay the bills the revenue from the bowls, the conference championship game, and the television package that wouldn't have been nearly as lucrative as it is had none of these things come to pass, is being used for.
The second target audience is the casual audience that might actually be looking to the Wall Street Journal first for their sports world coverage. Which might include a number of influential, well to do individuals, but they are not the ones actually making decisions about what college game to play in prime time, or which game to place an advertising campaign in.
The story was designed to snare attention from a willing audience for something provocative, something Rachel has done very well many times before. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Pac-12 certainly has to stay on its toes as things continue to evolve, but based on most of the moves Larry Scott has made so far, and how most of them are working out, his getting seriously out-maneuvered in the media marketing arena isn't something that's high on the list of things I'm worrying about.