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Does it matter if the Pac-12 struggles in bowl games? Issues & Answers

We’ve come out the other side of another underwhelming Pac-12 bowl season.

The conference played in seven bowl games, was favored in five and won three by a total of four points.

The Merc’s Jon Wilner writes it wasn’t good enough. If you’re looking at wins, losses, offensive production and the national perception of college football fans, he’s undoubtedly right.

The O’s John Canzano has spent the last several weeks doing a brilliant job detailing the hows and whys for the Pac-12′s decline in revenue and in the performance of its marquee sports when compared to other power conferences.

Canzano has another piece today in which he reveals the Pac-12′s response to this crisis has been to hire a high-priced public relations firm. A time-honored way to deal with a problem you can’t or won’t fix is to obfuscate.

My question is: so what?

Does it matter to most residents of Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado whether their states’ major college football programs match those in Alabama or Ohio dollar for dollar and victory for victory?

On this side of the country we have a large percentage of transplants who moved here for quality-of-life reasons that have nothing to do with college football. They neither went to the in-state universities nor grew up watching their games. Much of the Pac-12′s footprint is in professional markets in which the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball rule.

People here have options when choosing how to spend their entertainment dollars that have nothing to with seat-license fees for the right to buy season tickets, or two-hour drives in the wee hours to get home from night games.

We’re are more apt to spend a nice fall day on the river or on a hike or on a bike than in a stadium.

This story from an Alabama website notes ticket prices for this year’s national championship game in Levi’s Stadium in suburban San Francisco are plummeting on the resale market. The game might not sell out.

Part of the reason for this is Alabama and Clemson are coming clear across the country to play for the title. It’s an expensive trip for fans to watch a game they can view comfortably in their living rooms.

The other part is local fans aren’t stepping in to pick up the slack. It’s no surprise. College football has been an afterthought in the Bay Area since the NFL moved west.

I’m not sure this is a bad thing. Let Alabama fill Bryant-Denny Stadium and pay coach Nick Saban like a Fortune 500 CEO. People there have to live in Alabama.

They need something to celebrate.

OK, more links:

The O’s James Crepea takes a deep dive into Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the good, the bad, the encouraging and the discouraging.

Ryan Kostecka of Ducks Maven: Oregon’s offense needs to evolve for the Ducks to have a better 2019.

Tyson Alger of The Athletic: Style points or not, the Redbox Bowl is a successful conclusion to a successful Oregon season.

UO coach Mario Cristobal says the Ducks will rethink the offensive playbook in the offseason.

Oregon receiver Dillon Mitchell declares for the NFL draft..

Greg Moore of the Arizona Republic: Central Florida and LSU put on the kind of show that proves it’s time to expand the playoff.

Ivan Maisel of If playoff expansion means more blowouts, well, no thanks.

Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times: Another loss on the big stage leaves Washington coach Chris Petersen’s Huskies still in search of a signature win.

Art Thiel of The Huskies lack both plan and purpose in the Rose Bowl.

Christian Caple of The Athletic: Upon reflection, the Huskies acquit themselves well in defeat.

Vince Grippi for the Spokesman-Review: Washington’s loss shows the Pac-12 just doesn’t measure up against college football’s elite level.

Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News: Washington’s loss to Ohio State is one more Pac-12 disappointment.

Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times: Urban Meyer leaves a legacy at Ohio State that doesn’t smell so good.

Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles Daily News: Along all the victories, Meyer leaves Ohio State an asterisk.

Washington wilts in a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State, leaving the Huskies with bigger questions.

Washington’s three, fourth-quarter touchdowns aren’t enough.

Huskies don’t find their groove until it’s too late.

Even in defeat, UW tight end Hunter Bryant shows he is a difference-maker.

Taylor Rapp, the All-America UW safety, misses the Rose Bowl with an injury.

Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins says he hasn’t decided about the NFL.

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly want to interview USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury for their vacant head-coaching position.

Kingsbury reportedly will interview for at least two NFL head-coach jobs.

Cal defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter reportedly interviewed for the Houston head-coaching job.

Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune: The more Utah’s coaches and players look back on the disastrous third-quarter of the Holiday Bowl, the more it will bother them.

Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune: After that second-half meltdown in the Holiday Bowl, Utah has some offseason questions to answer.

Lack of ball security in the third quarter torpedoes Utah in the Holiday Bowl.

Stanford tight end Kaden Smith says he will leave early for the NFL.

Jay Johnson is ready and eager to coordinate Colorado’s offense.

George Schroeder of USA Today: Let’s put aside Central Florida’s national championship claims and appreciate what the Knights accomplished.

Central Florida’s winning streak comes an end, and the Knights deal with their first loss in two years.

After being embarrassed by Texas, what’s next for Georgia? (The Athletic)

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley turns his back on the NFL and re-ups with the Sooners.

Miami coach Manny Diaz purges the offensive coaching staff.

Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington’s fill-in quarterback, has given the Eagles reasons to smile.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

The links from Beaver Sports Now.

— Ken Goe

[email protected] | @KenGoe

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