OT: why is the PAC-12 so lame lately?

Submitted by Human Torpedo on January 4th, 2019 at 8:57 PM

I mean seriously they don't even perform like a major conference anymore in football and basketball. Could likely be a one bid league this year. Has lost countless bowl games of late. Nobody is separating from the PAC to make the Playoff. Is this mostly only a recruiting issue or is it something else?



January 4th, 2019 at 9:09 PM ^

It is a head scratcher but it’s been like that for almost a decade now. The state of California should be able to field overly competitive teams even with 4 schools in the same conference. Basketball and football have been unusually weak. Shits weak!! 


January 4th, 2019 at 9:37 PM ^

Links: Pac-12 hires PR firm to work on 'broken brand'




Andrew Walker, the Pac-12’s head of communications, confirmed to The Oregonian that FleishmanHillard was retained. The agency has helped clients such as Levi’s, Chevrolet, JPMorgan Chase, Crocs, Alibaba Group and USA Gymnastics. Walker told Canzano the agency was hired “to provide a review of our overall communication strategy as part of a collaborative process with our members.”


Not only has the conference been embroiled in controversies over refereeing, including a well-publicized instant-replay officiating scandal, but the league has been left out of the College Football Playoff in three of the past five seasons. The Pac-12 only went 3-4 in bowls this season, went winless in the NCAA Tournament last spring and doesn’t have a Top 25 team in men’s basketball.



January 5th, 2019 at 1:19 AM ^

Of course it doesn't make sense.  But the conference itself can't really do anything because they don't have any control over the product on the field or fan preferences. When you're helpless, you tend to do random things to feel like you're being productive even though it's not going to anywhere.


January 5th, 2019 at 1:45 AM ^

The thing about the California schools is they're culturally and academically more and more like Ivy League schools and institutions like that are becoming less and less desirable for future pros that ain't come to play school.

I think that's really affecting UCLA.  No one goes to their games, no one cares enough.  Mora had a couple good recruiting years, but they've really bottomed out in that respect, which is surprising with Kelly there so it seems like it's something institutional (which is also affecting B-ball).

And then Cal has a TERRIBLE sports history and really just had some random good years under Aaron Rodgers and Tedford and so they're down from that point but they still are making bowls games which is something they never used to do.

Stanford is still good.  Shaw went 9-4 this year, which isn't bad at all, and he ended each of the three previous years ranked.  They've never had this kind of sustained success in their history.

And then there's USC.  Them being down this year was a coaching issue and that stems from a larger institutional problem.  They are dealing with some shiiiiit right now.  They don't have a president after Nikias stepped down, and there's so much trickle down that their AD is barely functioning.  You read the thing on signing day about USC not even knowing who had sent in LOIs because they only have three staffers, right?  Well, yeah.  They have issues.  Need to hire a new coach but that probably won't happen until they have a new president and some of this stuff gets sorted out.


January 5th, 2019 at 10:36 AM ^

USC is probably the fourth best school in the Pac 12, and that's being generous. Cal, UCLA, and Stanford are all much much better. UW might be as well. 

I know many people who went to USC. Almost all of them are local rich kids who weren't accepted to Cal, UCLA, Stanford, or any of the Ivies. 

Michigan is a much better school than USC as well. 


January 5th, 2019 at 11:29 AM ^

"USC is probably the fourth best school in the Pac 12, and that's being generous. Cal, UCLA, and Stanford are all much much better. UW might be as well."

Different ratings criteria produce different results, but your assertion that UCLA and UW are "much better" than USC isn't supported by these two major rankings.

US News: Stanford 7; UCLA 19; Cal 22; USC 22; UW 59


Forbes: Stanford 3; Cal 14; USC 30; UCLA 46; UW 72


You're going to have a hard time coming up with credible rankings showing USC dramatically below UCLA and UW. It's a very good private institution.


January 5th, 2019 at 11:35 AM ^

US News and Forbes aren't reputable. I didn't have any trouble at all:


By the way, I didn't claim that UW was much better. I said that it might be better. 





January 4th, 2019 at 9:12 PM ^

USC is down, Oregon is down. Other than those two schools there's probably no-one in the conference quite with the reach to be a consistent contender. Washington is the big dog now, but they're not a super team that can be reliably expected to be a 0 or 1 loss team. Washington is a bit like us except their lows were lower and now they're a bit closer to contention (tho perhaps mostly because the conference is lacking a team at the level of OSU).


January 5th, 2019 at 9:10 AM ^

Exactly. USC has had more than its share of coaching turmoil with Kiffin, interim coach Orgeron and then Steve Sarkisian; Clay Helton has to be on the hot seat next year. Oregon has had similar problems since Chip Kelly resigned, with Helfrich bombing out after taking his first team to the playoff finals and one year of Willie Taggart. (This is the kind of thing I'd like to see in Columbus for the next decade or two. Could you get to work on that, Buckeyes?)

At the same time, UCLA has had its own problems and has been unable to take advantage. Stanford isn't set up to be a perennial top ten team. I thought we might see more out of Washington under Petersen, but they've been a slight disappointment.


January 4th, 2019 at 9:18 PM ^

The Pac 12 footprint certainly has a ton of elite athletes.  And as far as I know, the majority of them still stay out west.

It shouldn't be a talent thing.

So . . . I don't know.


Durham Blue

January 4th, 2019 at 9:18 PM ^

In football it seems like the Pac-12 has been a one-horse conference for as long as I can remember (late 80's).  It was UW in the 90's.  Then USC in the 00's.  Now it's UW again with WSU and Utah challenging.


January 4th, 2019 at 9:30 PM ^

To many other things to do out there...beautiful weather, beautiful people and a lot of money.  Hell the Rose Bowl is actually kindof a pit.  Beautiful surroundings but the stadium itself is a shithole.


January 5th, 2019 at 2:01 AM ^

But I think this is the underlying issue.  If fans don't care and don't go to the games, how much can the administration care? Not nearly as much as B1G or SEC schools so they don't spend as much on coaches and they don't get pressured as hard to make changes when necessary.  If you don't have the best coaches, you can't be good in college sports these days.


January 4th, 2019 at 9:36 PM ^

I don't think PAC 12 schools really care about revenue sports. Cal kills at rugby but mostly sucks at Football, for instance. 


January 4th, 2019 at 9:43 PM ^

Petersen is an elite coach. He will continue to have great seasons in Seattle and they occasionally will be in the mix for the CFP while the conference is down.

Leach is a good coach but he’s kind of tapped out what he can accomplish at WSU. The fact he won 11 games is damn near a miracle for that school.

USC will get there again eventually. Need the right coach.

UCLA is a head scratcher honestly. Great academics and a campus that is far superior to USC. It’s amazing how poor they continue to be.

Occasionally a school like Utah, Oregon, Stanford, and maybe Colorado could make a bit of a run, but they will never be consistent.

In all reality, the only programs who will compete for a CFP bid in the coming years will be Washington and USC. Top to bottom however the Pac 12 isn’t a whole lot worse than the ACC. They just don’t have a Clemson type team carrying the conference weight.

Mr Miggle

January 5th, 2019 at 9:25 AM ^

I think you're underselling how bad of a job Kelly's doing in recruiting. Jim Mora had them in the top 20 year after year, even when he was on the way out. There was nothing special about what Mora ran. They were always second banana to USC, but that's still in a rich recruiting area and it's a big time school in a beautiful setting.