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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott Takes Subtle Digs At Big 12, SEC Weak OOC Schedule

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Larry Scott really wanted to get an ideal vision to determine a champion. His idea seemed to center around certain precepts. His thoughtful idea of the conference champions being the only participants would have made the regular season uber-meaningful. It would have ensured that every game counted until the very end for each of the big-time schools. It would have eliminated favoritism for any individual conference and ensured each team could have at most one representative.

If Scott had come around sooner, it's very likely that his proposal would've carried more weight. However, the SEC had built up too much clout via at-large bid. It would be hard to rseriously consider a plan that would've potentially curtailed their power in the playoff landscape.

It never really materialized though, and Scott had to concede a few things, like a four-team playoff with a conference championship emphasis (but not a requirement), with a selection committee to determine the members. He talked about it on the Petros and Money Show.

"I know I wouldn't want to [be on the committee]," said Scott. "There's going to be some pressure on that committee.

"I'm not really a committee guy honestly. I didn't spell it out thinking that would be a good result. I just don't tend to think the sports world needs another committee but as we got into it, we realized the current system was flawed in so many ways. With coaches voting and they are voting without necessarily looking at the games, computers that are not transparent and one of the fundamental challenges we realized is unlike the NFL, there's not enough games where teams from different conferences are playing against each other. You don't have a body of work to look at that gives you a sense of how teams stack up so there's going to be some subjective element to it regardless of what you do.

...

"I actually came around on this one. Didn't start there but came around thinking this could be a great benefit for our conference."

Scott obviously isn't a big fan of the college football setup to determine a champion, but it is ultimately the most formidable structure to find out a way to filter 100+ FBS teams to try and pick out four that are deserving of the moniker "best in the land". The sample size is small and it'll be hard to really distinguish who the fourth best team is from the fifth best any given year.

Scott also seems to emphasize the tough out-of-conference schedule the Pac-12 has to deal with compared to the milder SEC and Big 12 feast of cupcakes.

Listening to some of my colleagues that have served on the men's basketball committee and realized we have a better chance as a Pac 12 conference to get a fair shake for the fact that we play a nine game conference schedule, the fact that USC and Stanford play Notre Dame, the fact that we play tough out of conference competition, tougher than the SEC or what the Big 12 is doing, and there's a chance that humans can give us credit for the strength of schedule and credit for what it takes to be the champion of the Pac 12 conference the way that polls and computers cannot.

With the Pac-12 ready to start up their Big Ten matchups in a few years, you feel that the conference will always be fighting uphill against the rankings in terms of getting their team in the mix. A selection committee is much likelier to view in favor of the tough schedules the Pac-12 teams put together, and it'll end up helping them earn a bid in the playoff final-four.

It'll be very important for the selection committee to look at strength-of-schedule. That should be Scott's next priority if he wants to make sure the Pac-12/Big Ten regular season partnership stays intact on the football field and his conference doesn't risk fading into irrelevance and being excluded in favor of conferences who game the system and play weaker opponents on a regular basis.