Huskies Insider Blog

Picking the Pac-12 championship game then not watching it on TV

Ahh,  the power of TV in sports.

Sometimes it can be so good: Jay Bilas, the NCAA Tournament, ESPN Gameday, the Red Zone channel, Erin Andrews, MLB Extra Innings, Gus Johnson, Cris Collinsworth, Dan Shulman, PTI and Tosh.O (okay that last one isn't sports, but you saw his Tebow segment).

Sometimes it can be bad: Dan LeBatard's new show that's already been canceled, non-HD, ESPN's refusal to televise the FCS playoff games (it's been sort of rescinded for $26 dollars a game), Dick Vitale, Billy Packer, Chris Berman and so much more.

Sometimes it can be awful: Skip Bayless, Tim McCarver and this year's Pac-12 championship game.

Yes tonight's game is going to be awful, unless you are an Oregon fan. And even then, it's just a big party, it's not as though there is any drama to the game - except how much will Oregon win by and will it cover the ridiculous 31 point spread, according to heaven, er, Caesar's Palace.

This game is ridiculous in the fact that UCLA is playing in it. Nobody likes it, and even worse nobody respects it.

In a week where the Pac-12 got good publicity with the Mike Leach hiring at Washington State - by the way did you know he liked Pirates - the conference has this large pussy, whiteheaded zit of a title game on its otherwise relatively pristine face. This blemish isn't worthy of a proactive intervention, but commissioner Larry Scott certainly can't be enjoying this. He even sort of admitted it in his commissioner speak.

"Of course it's disappointing when such a strong team as USC is not allowed to participate because of the NCAA ban," Scott said. "It's not something we control. ... Of course people will be disappointed that a team that finished first in that division can't participate but it's the nature of it."

"Of course I acknowledge there is disappointment around the fact that we've got a 6-6 team that fired their coach this week," Scott said. "But I don't spend a lot of time trying to script what happens on the field or what happens as a result of NCAA committee infractions."Not only is the game bad, like being 3-feet in front of a Lou Holtz-rant bad, but its on a Friday - a Friday at 5 p.m. local time.  Not exactly convenient for people to get to. I-5 South was probably a real treat about 3 p.m.

Of course, all of this is because of the power of TV. Scott admitted in his press conference that the Friday game is here to stay. Right now, Fox is thinking, can't we just six re-runs of Cops and two replays of Glee instead? It would get better ratings. I will give the game credit, it should be more entertaining the reruns of King of Queens on CW and The Nate Berkus Show on KONG. Personally, I would rather watch the game rather than the Sounders, but thankfully I'm not forced with that decision.

And what about the game, I'm sure it looks really good that one of the teams in the title game has a coach that's been fired. How much will that be discussed? Even Gus can't get scream-crazy over this game. It will be over by halftime, and then, "Hello Comedy Central!" And no that's not the description of the UCLA bowl resume.

In all seriousness, Oregon should take control by halftime. Bryan Bennett will get some valuable playing time, and De'Anthony Thomas will have three touchdowns, and David Paulson will have one.

Oregon 51, UCLA 3