Monday, October 22, 2007

Pure Brilliance

I have insinuated in the past that Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen is a moron. He clearly loves the way things used to be and it hurts the Pac-10 as a whole. I could go on and on with his love for the Rose Bowl. I agree that it is a great bowl but Hansen has said the Pac-10 would want nothing with a playoff or even a +1 system because it wouldn't ensure a Pac-10/Big Ten matchup in the Rose Bowl. I would much rather win a National Championship than play a JV squad from the pathetic Big Ten but I'm too young and don't appreciate tradition. Okay, now that I have that off my chest I'll move on to the things I really want to talk about.

Since I only write a blog I am not a 'real' journalist so I wouldn't be able to ask Hansen the following question at a press conference but I wish someone would. Why do you love having Fox Sports Net as the flagship network of the Pac-10? It makes no sense to me at all. Take this weekend for example. Oregon plays USC in what is easily the biggest game of the weekend in the country and perhaps the entire season as far as the Pac-10 is concerned. This game starts at 12:30 locally and is being broadcast on FSN. Who really watches FSN and why is the Pac-10's premier game buried on a regional network? The only people that like FSN are NHL fans, people looking to get scammed by watching a real estate pyramid scheme infomercial or card players interested in watching the minor league professional poker circuit.

After spending some time in Michigan earlier in the football season I believe there is an East Coast bias. I don't think it's an intentional bias but one that is related to time zones and the brilliance of Tom Hansen. Pac-10 night games start as late as 10:30pm on the East Coast. There is no way to get around that but burying games on FSN is a self-inflicted problem. If I'm on the East Coast or even in the Central Time Zone I would much rather watch a highlight show on one of the ESPNs then go to sleep. Who in his/her right mind would scour the cable listings for a Pac-10 game on a second-rate network when highlights of all the day's action is one channel away?

My second beef with Hansen is the brilliant bowl tie-ins he has found for the Pac-10. Having been to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX I can assure you I will never go again. It is not a coincidence that the Big Ten no longer is aligned with the bowl. To make this even better the #5 team in the country had Sun Bowl representatives at its game this past weekend. That's right, Sun Bowl folks were in Seattle watching the Oregon Ducks.

The Big Ten didn't have any trouble bucking with tradition and saying "adios" to the Sun Bowl. (The use of "adios" was intentional. El Paso is whole lot more Mexico than it is USA.) In fact, the Pac-10 is the only conference that even wants a part of the Sun Bowl. The 3rd place Pac-10 team faces a Big 12/Big East team. I suppose the conference commissioner that loses a rock-paper-scissors battle has to tell the constituency that they've been banished to El Paso. I am by no means a BCS expert but I'm sure it's completely reasonable that a Pac-10 team that has spent much of its season in the Top 15 could be sent to the Sun Bowl. What a treat for having a great season in the 1st or 2nd toughest conference in the land.

Tom Hansen needs to pull his head out or the Pac-10 athletic directors need to throw him out. Given his track record, relying on Hansen would be a terrible idea so I guess we're left with the hope that the athletic directors will realize a change is needed. It's great to be 'The Conference of Champions'. But winning the women's equestrian title is not going to help the bottom line at all. In fact, it likely hurts it but that's for another blog entry. If schools are expected to pay for women's lacrosse teams it's about time Hansen gets the boot so more money can be made.


Anonymous said...
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J M Smith said...

Wow! I had no idea Tom Hansen or women's lacrosse coaches had such colorful language. I apologize to anyone who has read what he/she said.