Register

Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

This is the one to use if you want to talk about general college football topics.
His Noliness
User avatar
Posts: 6931
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 12:46 pm
Location: In a van, down by the river

Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Aloha Nole » December 7th, 2019, 6:43 am

I got to admit, they had me fooled.

--------------------------------

Pac-12's mediocrity on full display with Utah's lackluster showing against Oregon

SANTA CLARA – The cold drizzle, empty seats and large black tarp covering a swath of the stadium offered a perfect backdrop. The happy-hour kickoff gave an excuse for the assembled masses to drown their sorrows.

The Pac-12 conference, with its lagging revenue, intermittently blindfolded officials and star-crossed flagship programs continued a searing streak of infamy on Friday night. No. 5 Utah’s face-plant in its 37-15 loss to No. 13 Oregon in the Pac-12 title game continues the dueling droughts that define the league.

Utah’s loss drops the Pac-12 to an all-too familiar place. No Pac-12 team will win the national title for the 15th consecutive season. Much worse, no Pac-12 team will reach the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive season.

The national title drought is the longest of any Power Five league. The three-year playoff drought will stand alone by the end of the weekend as the longest in the Power Five. And the Pac-12 picked the perfect way to celebrate its status as the most irrelevant big-money league, as it put on a boring game in a sterile atmosphere which reminded everyone why they’d spent much of the year ignoring the league.

"The stage was set,” Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley said after the game. “We just didn't show up.”

The Pac-12 season finished as an ode to the league’s irrelevance. The blowout of Utah will be Oregon’s only victory over a team that will finish in the Top 25. The Utes will finish the season with no wins over any team that finishes the season in the Top 25. And nothing quite sums up the Pac-12 like a pair of undistinguished division champions atop a collection of interchangeable 7-5 teams. Pac-12, the Conference of Chameleons.

The biggest worry for the Pac-12 is that there’s no clear path out of this pit of mediocrity. USC has finally gotten out of its spin cycle of poor leadership, but there’s no one who views Clay Helton as the coach who’ll end the league’s national title drought. Oregon will be favored to win the league next season, but it’s hard to imagine a more consistent offense without Justin Herbert.

The concerns for the league in the macro are still glaring. The Pac-12 Network has accomplished little other than offering the league a constant reminder of its shortcomings. At this point, its lack of cable reach and revenue have become symbols of the league’s inability to keep up with the Big Ten and SEC.

The other macro concern comes with recruiting. USC’s two seasons of purgatory with Clay Helton simmering on hot seats has crowbarred open the door for the best recruits in Southern California to go elsewhere. Oregon has swooped in to snare its share. But so have Clemson, LSU, Georgia and Ohio State, as USC doesn’t have commitments from any of the top-20 players in the state in the 2020 class. The Pac-12 has become easy to recruit against, with its flagship school behind and the current recruits in diapers when the league last won a title.

The game itself was a study in self-destruction for Utah. The Utes went 0-3 on fourth downs, undercutting coach Kyle Whittingham’s aggression. The failures showcased that Utah’s alleged strength – dominating the line of scrimmage – wasn’t as glaring against even competition. (On another potential fourth-and-short, Utah got a pre-snap penalty and then had the subsequent punt blocked. That sequence just about summed up the night.)

Oregon squandered a pair of chances to blow the game open. They settled for a 23-yard field goal in the first half after throwing to their left tackle behind the line of scrimmage on third-and-goal from the 6. The Ducks squandered two other deep red-zone opportunities, settling for chip-shot field goals in the second and third quarter.
Oregon’s failure to finish those second-half drives injected a dollop of drama to a game that, frankly, didn’t deserve it. Utah had the ball early in the fourth quarter trailing by eight, but didn’t exactly show the urgency necessary with a College Football Playoff slot on the line.

On a fourth-and-4 from the Oregon 40-yard-line, Whittingham decided to go against his aggressive mindset and punt. The Utes soon received the karmic payback that typically accompanies stealing plays from Mark Dantonio’s strategic dossier.

Five plays later, CJ Verdell ended the game’s morsel of alleged drama by cutting 70 yards through the heart of the Utah defense for a runaway touchdown. That was the same Utah defense that was supposed to be the reason they could compete with the elite teams in college football. The same menacing front that NFL scouts were drooling over before the game.

“Obviously tonight was a huge disappointment,” Whittingham said after the game. “We lost the game in the one area we’ve been undefeated all season, the line of scrimmage.”

Even if Utah had cobbled together a comeback and won in overtime, the performance certainly didn’t feature any distinguishing qualities that would have pushed the Utes up into the top four. They’d likely still have lost a résumé comparison if they’d somhow managed a way to win.

In the end, the game was much like the Pac-12 itself – underwhelming, uninspiring and giving no reason for the country to take notice. “These are important milestones,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said prior to the game of CFP appearances and national titles. “We're eager to see it happen.”

And after another sleepy title game, the Pac-12 remains lost in the college football wilderness. It lacks the money, cable reach and cachet of its power conference peers. And this slog of a night will serve as a cold shiver heading into the offseason – there aren’t a lot of signs that things will be changing soon in the Pac-12.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb ... ar-BBXSLaA
Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, author of "Lone Survivor," described Navy Seal Medal of Honor recipient LT Michael Murphy as "An iron-souled warrior of colossal and almost unbelievable courage in the face of the enemy."

The Postmaster General
User avatar
Posts: 9907
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 1:08 pm
Location: Suwanee, GA

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Dubby » December 7th, 2019, 10:26 am

They fooled me also

I really thought the Utes had great rushing defense until The Ducks gashed them for 239 yards

The saga of Pac-12's mediocrity continues
Commander Rasczak: Starship Troopers This is for all you new people. I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. If you don't do your job, I'll shoot you myself! Welcome to the Roughnecks!

The Curmudgeon
User avatar
Posts: 9102
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: 39 Latitude, -84 Longitude

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Domer » December 7th, 2019, 11:30 am

I'm with both of you guys. They had me fooled, too.

:?
God, Country, Notre Dame

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » December 7th, 2019, 11:58 am

Will the PAC-12 critics sing a different tune after the Bowls? I suspect, mostly because of a HUGE structural advantage for the PAC-12, they will do really well in the Bowls ... and brag about all off season.

Rose PAC#1 (Oregon) vs BigTen #1 (BUT effectively #2 or maybe #3) probably Wisconsin, but maybe PennState ... structural advantage to PAC-12

Alamo PAC#2 (Utah I assume) vs BigXII #2 (BUT effectively #3) probably OkState .... structural advantage to PAC-12

Holiday PAC#3 vs BigTen #4 (BUT effectively BigTen #6 or so) .... HUGE structural advantage to PAC-12

RedHat PAC #4 vs BigTen #7 (But effectively BigTen #9 or so) .... HUGE structural advantage to PAC-12

the other PAC-12 bowls are harder to tell what the conference ranks are in the middle, and are probably about equal structurally .....

BUT, like last year, the PAC-12 has a big structural advantage in the bowls, accentuated by other conferences getting 2 or 3 or maybe 4 teams into the NY6 and shifting their teams UP the bowl structural, while the PAC-12 gets in maybe 1 team. And they will crow about that Bowl Record and say they are just great. AND lots of sports writers will say that as well to keep the PAC-12 from having the face the facts.

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » December 7th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Image

Evidently this electronic billboard went up in Utah on the Freeway during the Pac-12 Champ Game last night ...

WHOOPS

(I guess it could be photoshopped, but it kind looks real....)

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » December 8th, 2019, 8:15 am

So, what can be done to fix the Pac-12's mediocrity ...

Just saying "Play better on the field and the court" doesn't really count .... HOW do they get there? What are the drivers for the PAC-12 mediocrity recently, and how do they fix it ...

PAC-12 IS the Conference of Champions in so many of the "other" sports, but absolutely NOT that in Football or probably Men's Basketball ... which are, unfortunately for the PAC-12, the ones that pay the bills....

So, what can they do?

-----

I think one thing they can change in the PAC-12 Network. Their model I think is NOT working, and will only get worse with more cable cutting. Trying to run 7 different channels drives up costs, and dilutes content, AND is making it super tough to get cable and satellite platforms in an era when cord-cutting is eating away at those platforms. Drop back down to 1 channel, focus on it, team up with ESPN to dramatically reduce costs, and distribute more money to the schools, and less to the conference office.

I think Expansion didn't help them as a well as it helped the SEC (but expansion didn't help the BigTen that much either), so perhaps rethink what you can do now ... the BigXII got a pretty good deal rule change to only have 10 teams AND get the money of a Champ Game..... but I don't see a way to go BACK to 10 teams or even 8 teams. But Expansion probably hurt the PAC-12 more than helped, so rethink that.

Out of sight, Out of Mind .... the fact that soooo many PAC-12 games are after press deadlines and after the east coast has gone to sleep is killing the PAC-12 as well. Not sure how to fix the basic problem, but I think MORE cross country trips to play ON the east coast in noon eastern slots would help. An certainly fewer games against "Idaho State" and FCS teams would help.

Other thoughts?

The Green Jersey
User avatar
Posts: 358
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 4:15 pm
Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby irish 78 » December 8th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Xenon wrote:So, what can be done to fix the Pac-12's mediocrity ...

Just saying "Play better on the field and the court" doesn't really count .... HOW do they get there? What are the drivers for the PAC-12 mediocrity recently, and how do they fix it ...

PAC-12 IS the Conference of Champions in so many of the "other" sports, but absolutely NOT that in Football or probably Men's Basketball ... which are, unfortunately for the PAC-12, the ones that pay the bills....

So, what can they do?

-----

I think one thing they can change in the PAC-12 Network. Their model I think is NOT working, and will only get worse with more cable cutting. Trying to run 7 different channels drives up costs, and dilutes content, AND is making it super tough to get cable and satellite platforms in an era when cord-cutting is eating away at those platforms. Drop back down to 1 channel, focus on it, team up with ESPN to dramatically reduce costs, and distribute more money to the schools, and less to the conference office.

I think Expansion didn't help them as a well as it helped the SEC (but expansion didn't help the BigTen that much either), so perhaps rethink what you can do now ... the BigXII got a pretty good deal rule change to only have 10 teams AND get the money of a Champ Game..... but I don't see a way to go BACK to 10 teams or even 8 teams. But Expansion probably hurt the PAC-12 more than helped, so rethink that.

Out of sight, Out of Mind .... the fact that soooo many PAC-12 games are after press deadlines and after the east coast has gone to sleep is killing the PAC-12 as well. Not sure how to fix the basic problem, but I think MORE cross country trips to play ON the east coast in noon eastern slots would help. An certainly fewer games against "Idaho State" and FCS teams would help.

Other thoughts?


Easiest fix at the top is get USC a top coach. Urban Meyer coaching USC makes them a top 10 team over night and a National Champion within 3 years.

I don’t know why UCLA is not good. It is a very attractive school for recruiting

Stanford might get good when they get the hang of their pass first offense.

Washington and Oregon should be able to be good programs.

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » December 9th, 2019, 7:08 am

irish 78 wrote:
Easiest fix at the top is get USC a top coach. Urban Meyer coaching USC makes them a top 10 team over night and a National Champion within 3 years.

I don’t know why UCLA is not good. It is a very attractive school for recruiting

Stanford might get good when they get the hang of their pass first offense.

Washington and Oregon should be able to be good programs.


That is kind of my point ....

Washington and Oregon should be top programs, but for some reason they are not doing that consistently. Washington just lost the Head Coach, under what I think is weird circumstances.... which certainly isn't going to help.

If USC got Urban, yeah, that would be great, but why isn't it a sure that Urban would WANT to jump immediately for USC ... or why isn't it that USC could reasonably be able to pluck any coach from anywhere they wanted. (I'd argue half the SEC and half the BigTen probably can steal any coach they want from 90% of the rest of college football).

What does the PAC-12 have to change so that you would never write that was even a question of USC getting a top coach?

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » January 11th, 2020, 5:17 pm

What about 2020 ... Will the PAC-12 fix the problems leading to years and years of mediocrity?

I doubt it in 2020.... I think 2020 is going to be a tough year for the PAC-12....

Oregon loses multi-year starter at QB, and has to build around new guy. I suspect even with a new QB Oregon will be the best of the PAC-12, but I think breaking into the top 4 with a new QB, and probably starting at best around 10th in the rankings is going to be a hard road for the Ducks. They probably win the PAC-12, but end the season around 6th or so in the CFP rankings.

Washington loses Head Coach. Again, I think Washington is probably pretty good, and the transition is probably as smooth as possible with internal hire promotion, BUT, that is probably NOT the best way to make a CFP run.

Utah ... Losing 10 of 11 starters on defense, and over half of your offensive starters is not a great starting point either. This year was Utah's year, being very very senior heavy. Next year will be starting over.

Washington State loses Head Coach Mike Leach. Probably means they are kind of starting over again. You may or may not like Leach, but with WSU breaking in a new coach with the old coaches players, and some players leaving, that is not a situation that says "CFP bound"

USC ... Clay Helton stays at USC ...is that good or bad? I don't know. BUT I am SURE that it will be huge news every game, and incredibly distracting, and probably not the likely place for a CFP run.

---

NOW, there are some positives

ASU ... Coach Herm Edwards is building a very solid program at ASU. The Sun Devils MIGHT be the surprise team from the PAC-12 that makes a run. BUT they likely will be starting very very low in the polls, and that will be a tough climb. BUT, ASU is the team that has stability and trending in the right direction.

Oregon and Washington have the CHANCE to prove they belong on the national Stage... Oregon gets tOSU Buckeye's in Eugene and Washington gets Michigan Wolverines in Seattle. IF Oregon Wins that game, then they are in good shape, but tOSU is likely to be a top 3 program again next year, so that is going to be TOUGH!!!

---

My point is, no team in the PAC-12 is going into 2020 without alot of questions. No team in the PAC-12 is likely to be preseason Top 4 team. Every team has some big question marks.

Chances are, no one is going to be strong enough to make it through the season without at least one in conference loss. And chances are, unless there are alot of 2 loss champions from other Power Conferences, a one loss PAC-12 is going to be ranked below one loss champs from the BigTen, SEC, ACC and BigXII.... So, to make the CFP, the PAC-12 probably needs a undefeated champ, and NO TEAM is starting the season with a "undefeated" season looking team outlook.

The X-Man Cometh
User avatar
Posts: 2411
Joined: August 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pac-12's mediocrity on full display

Postby Xenon » January 30th, 2020, 4:51 pm

https://athlonsports.com/college-footba ... early-2020

Oregon predicted by nearly everyone to win the PAC-12.... But can they make the playoff ...

The Ducks have to replace quarterback Justin Herbert and four starters on the offensive line, but coach Mario Cristobal’s team is an overwhelming favorite in the Pac-12 for 2020. Cristobal continues to reel in outstanding talent on the recruiting trail and hit another home run this offseason by bringing aboard former Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead as the team’s new offensive coordinator. Moorhead’s first task is to identify a replacement for Herbert ....
The Ducks face off against FCS champion North Dakota State in the opener and play Ohio State in Eugene in Week 2. The conference slate is favorable, as Oregon hosts Washington, USC and Arizona State next fall.


So breaking in a new Offensive Coordinator and New Starting QB in Week 2 with Ohio State..... That sounds tough ... I suspect the Ducks lose that game ... but the rest of the schedule is favorable....

Can a 11-1 Oregon with a Loss to (assumed top 5ish Ohio State) make the playoff .... Depends on what happens in the BigXII. If the BigXII champ has two loses, then yes, but if the BigXII champ is undefeated or has one loss, I'm not so sure.

what about USC ....

A good way for coach Clay Helton and USC to avoid hot seat talk in Los Angeles is to make a run at the Pac-12 title. And with quarterback Kedon Slovis and one of the nation’s top receiving corps in place, the Trojans should be able to reach that goal in 2020.....
The Trojans open with Alabama in Arlington and play Arizona State (home) and Utah (road) before mid-October. The Nov. 7 date at Oregon could be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game, and there’s a Nov. 28 matchup against Notre Dame also on tap.


Alabama, and ND, and Oregon during the season ... that sounds like at least 1 loss as well, if not two .... and probably NOT a playoff run...

Next

Return to Everything About College Football

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests