The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.02.23


Hell yeah, part 1.

Hell yeah, part 2.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodds with some detail on potential rule changes, which would be letting the clock run after first downs except during the last 2 minutes and possibly after incomplete passes. Lots of discussion regarding player safety and too many plays over the course of a game, which I hadn’t thought about, yet here we are expanding games and playoffs. Those don’t seem congruent.

ESPN’s John Gassaway ($) is projecting the bubble and with a 4-game winning streak, Texas Tech has entered the conversation:

Texas Tech Red Raiders
On Feb. 8, Texas Tech was 12-12 and 1-10 in the Big 12. Since then, the Red Raiders have reeled off four straight wins, including the team’s first Big 12 road victories at West Virginia and Oklahoma. Going by the metrics, Texas Tech has now surfaced on the same level as many of your familiar Bubble Watch friends in “work to do.” If the Red Raiders can win two of their final three regular-season games, you’ll be looking at an 18-13 team that went 7-11 in the Big 12. Those three games will consist of home dates against TCU and Oklahoma State on either side of a visit to Kansas. (updated Feb. 21)

ESPN’s Pete Thamel ($) write a similar article that Dennis Dodds wrote about a week ago regarding the issues with the Pac-12 finding dancing partners for distribution of broadcast rights:

Here’s the bottom line on the Pac-12: The television contract numbers Kliavkoff delivers in the upcoming weeks are paramount to the league’s survival. If the numbers are decent, some sort of temporary solution can be constructed with a deal expected to be in the five-year range. And that’s certainly possible.

Commissioners are ultimately judged by their television deals. Nothing else matters. Especially in this case, as there has been a clear disconnect between Pac-12 hopes and market realities.

No one is expecting anything in the $40-million-per-school range anymore. Getting something in the $30 million range — similar to the Big 12 — could keep the league duct-taped together.

And Amazon has entered the chat, but this is the first time where I’ve seen language where Amazon could potential sublicense some Big 12 and Big Ten rights:

Amazon has long been linked to the Pac-12 as one of its suitors. And its interest level has been viewed as a potential lifeline for the league amid a marketplace without many attractive open broadcast windows remaining. But it also could have the opposite impact if Amazon’s dollars are redirected.

Amazon could have outsized influence by putting its money elsewhere — the Big Ten and Big 12 via a sublicense — to help subsidize potential realignment moves.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodds also writes about what the Pac-12 has to offer with the article opening up about college football being about rivalries (says an ESPN exec whose network has spent a decade doing the exact opposite of that) and here is Dodds’ best guess as to where this is headed:

A big deal has been made out of the Pac-12 getting at least as much as the Big 12 ($31.66 million per school). But it is folly to compare the conferences in this situation. They are separate entities worth whatever a rightsholder will pay. The Pac-12 is especially an outlier because it is the last conference in the cycle to do a deal, and the well of cash looks like it has dried up.

Best guess? Indeed, only an educated guess: The Pac-12 will get a deal that pays its schools $25 million annually. The current 12-year Pac-12 deal that expires next year averages $20.8 million. The length of the active deal made former commissioner Larry Scott an easy target as the league got lapped by other conferences.


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