Larry Scott's manifest destiny for Pac-10
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott held a conference media day in New York City this week in which he skillfully generated a lot of national buzz focused on how the conference is supposedly stodgy and irrelevant beyond the West Coast while he also bragged about how his genius would change all this. Because, after all, who has ever heard of USC football or Arizona and UCLA basketball or the University of Nike outside of the Pacific Time Zone? That's why Scott shrewdly expanded to the glamour that is the University of Utah.
That's not all. Page 2's dubious network of sources offers details of other moves you might not have heard about from Scott's PowerPoint presentation in New York:
"The Pac-10/12 needs a bold new TV package, but it can't do that if we're still wedded to its old school Pacific Time Zone game clock. From now on, we're starting 'Tailgate at Wimbledon' with all football games kicking off at 4 a.m. so they can be shown live in London on the BBC. That extends our reach to the Greenwich Mean time zone, adding 100 million TV households -- which will really come in handy when we expand to the Pac-14 by adding Oxford and Cambridge.
"I'm also working on an exciting AM/shortwave radio deal with Radio Free Europe. The Steve Sarkisian coach's show is going to absolutely kill in Armenia!
"In honor of Colorado joining the conference in 2011, all Pac-12 games will be played with a fifth down to boost offense, scoring and ratings. Quarterbacks and running backs pad their stats and get Heisman love, fans regularly enjoy 63-59 games and TV networks get extra scores which they can follow up with more commercial breaks. Everyone wins! Well, maybe not punters.
"Branding is essential in this era, which is why I spared no expense in having a striking new Pac-10 logo designed. It is far superior to the previous logo because, as you can see, it is the dynamic shape of a shield rather than a dull, tradition-bound square. The new logo announces our presence on the national scene! And in a bit of guerrilla marketing that will appeal to our student-athletes, each player will be required to have the logo tattooed prominently on their body in at least two places.
"Alumni stubbornly living in the past complain that adding two teams plus a conference championship game will make it much harder for schools to reach the Rose Bowl. Whaah, whaah, whaah. Who wants to be associated with something called the Granddaddy of Them All anyway? Grandfathers are a demographic that holds no appeal to advertisers and TV networks. I mean, how many Snuggies can you sell? That's why I'm auctioning off the conference rights to play in the Rose Bowl. This gets us out of being contractually rooted in a past that no longer exists and allows us to move forward into the new global world of sports, with our conference champion annually playing in the coveted spotlight of the world media that the International Bowl in Toronto will guarantee.
"And finally, to assure more coverage by the influential East Coast media, we must make ourselves accessible to national media outlets. Therefore, coaches will hold their postgame press conferences as well as their weekly press conferences in New York City. To make this feasible, we will play all Pac-10/12 conference games in the greater New York area. We will also relocate Washington State University to Newark, which I'm told is an improvement over Pullman."
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. You can follow him on Twitter at jimcaple.
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