For the record, it's still the same Pac-10. Same 10 teams. Only this Pac-10, from a line in the movie "American Me," is "making a play to get some respect."
And what a play indeed. Knowing that football is the moneymaker in his conference, Commissioner Larry Scott sent conference coaches and players on a coast-to-coast media blitz to drum up some publicity among the East Coast media and fans for our side of the country's top conference.
He appeared on TV networks. Coaches, including Washington's Steve Sarkisian, USC's Lane Kiffin and Oregon's Chip Kelly, rang the New York Stock Exchange/NASDAQ bell to open trading. A group of Pac-10 quarterbacks kicked it with Chris Fowler of ESPN's College GameDay on the Worldwide Leader's Bristol campus. Next up, it's back to Southern California's Rose Bowl for the official Pac-10 football Media Day on Thursday.
Pac-10 fans already look forward to football season every year with a passion. This year, in a year in which the race for the conference championship is as wide open as ever, Scott has given us even more to be excited about, trying his best to tear down the Berlin Wall that is that East Coast media/BCS bias and getting set to add Colorado and Utah to become the Pac-12 in 2011.
The Conference of Champions even has a new logo, and released this photo of a smiling Scott with the new brand.
Mountains, a wave, things that make the West Coast what we are.
As for the football, USC, the perennial powerhouse, figures to be down some with its sanctions and coaching change. Oregon lost its ace quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, who is looking to transfer and play right away after being dismissed from the Ducks. California and Arizona are definite contenders, and Oregon State and Stanford are looking strong. Washington is one of the doormats in recent years that seems to be on the rise.
Utah and Colorado means a split into Pac-10 North and Pac-10 South Divisions. Wonder how that will work out. The two Washingtons, the two Oregons and the Bay Area schools in the North with the L.A. schools, Arizona schools and CU and Utah in the South? It will be interesting to see.
This conference is always entertaining and full of offense. This season should be no different.