Pac-12 alignment possibilities abound

Use the North/South split, the Mountain/Coast split, the 'Zipper' or the Rival split and poof! You have two divisions of the yet-to-be Pac-12, as well as the conference title game and all that extra revenue. Isn't that what this expansion to a mega-conference is all about?

Who knows what formula they will use to decide but I know one thing that can't be debated; we know Tom Hansen isn't in charge anymore. With all the moves Larry Scott has done of late, you definitely know a new sheriff is in charge out west, and thank god for that.

When Colorado and Utah came aboard I figured the North/South split was an automatic; the two Washington schools, the two Oregon schools and the two bay-area schools would be in the North, leaving the two LA schools, the two Arizona schools and the two new comers in the South. Or, the newcomers would join the Oregon and Washington schools, leaving the entire state of California and Arizona in the South.

You would be playing two year schedules and have six teams in each division split up and you would play four teams from the other division - for a total of nine league games. Then everyone finds three non-conference games to make up a typical 12-games schedule. Of course that means most likely beating up on the smaller in-state local schools like the Arizona schools do with Northern Arizona and the Washington and Oregon schools do with Eastern Washington and Portland State (look out Central Washington - you too could get pounded someday).

The Rival split could be a good idea, with one Washington team in each division, along with one Oregon, one northern Cal, one southern cal, one Arizona, and one mountain school. Each rival would also automatically play their corresponding rival in the final game of the season for both schools, so hopefully that means no more of those mid-December games for hardly any money.

Then you can draw again after two years, meaning conceivably you could be in with USC and then with UCLA, or even both if it's strictly by draw, but I seriously doubt the blind draw will be used. But in the end I could see them splitting the rivalries and going that way, guaranteeing they will still be playing each other in a cross-over.

I was amused to hear that not playing every year in LA would be detrimental to the northern schools because of the great recruiting base. Hogwash! There were a number of years when we didn't play one or the other of the two LA schools, and three times missed playing in LA period. It didn't change our recruiting at all and merely cut out the zoo-like atmosphere that always surrounded our hotel whenever we did play there. 1982, 1992, and 2000 were three years Washington didn't even play in SoCal and we still did fine recruiting the next year.

It seemed the only times we didn't play one of the two LA schools they were terrible that season. That's just the draw and that's what's liable to happen here. But really, you are only going to be playing four of six from the other division and they could automatically put you against those two you miss in the next draw. Plus you would still be playing your in-state big game.

None of this will take place for a couple of years anyway or at least until both Colorado and Utah complete their existing contracts and become full time members. 2012 looks like the target year for this to happen, and somebody will complain and someone will be upset but really it won't make any difference because you still have to win the next game - no matter who it is. Like Sark and Chip Kelly have recently said - line 'em up and go play.

Personally I'm just thankful whatever scenario they come up with doesn't include the Texas schools. The travel alone would have broken the bank for most schools - especially after you include all the other sports. Besides, they do things different down there, and we couldn't afford to do the Texas two-step. Top Stories