Sched­ul­ing re­mains is­sue in Pac-12

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS -

With Washington’s loss and the Pac-12’s chances of hav­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off all but elim­i­nated, there’s been a lot of at­ten­tion on the league’s sched­ul­ing and whether it hurts the teams it is meant to show­case.

Stan­ford up­set the No. 9 Huskies 30-22 on Fri­day night, tak­ing out the Pac-12’s last real shot at rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the play­offs. The play­off has never in­cluded a two-loss team.

But this sea­son every one of the con­fer­ence’s teams has at least two losses. Yes, it could mean that play in the league is hav­ing a down year. But sched­ules have been a re­cur­ring theme through­out the sea­son.

Fri­day night games have par­tic­u­larly come un­der scru­tiny be­cause three ranked teams — Washington, Washington State (at Cal­i­for­nia) and USC (at Washington State) — all lost on a Fri­day night af­ter a short week.

In fact, road teams are 0-4 on Fri­day nights af­ter play­ing the pre­vi­ous Satur­day.

Here’s one more thing to con­sider: South­ern Cal­i­for­nia will play 12 straight weeks this sea­son with­out a bye, but will get the week­end off be­fore the Pac-12 cham­pi­onship. What­ever team the Tro­jans face — Washington, Washington State or Stan­ford — will be com­ing off a short week.

USC clinched the Pac-12 South last week­end with a 38-24 vic­tory over Colorado.

The league’s coaches ad­mit there’s not much that can be done: Tele­vi­sion drives sched­ul­ing.

By ex­ten­sion, the Pac-12’s TV deals pro­vide na­tional ex­po­sure.

But even the tele­vi­sion fac­tor has been crit­i­cized. The start of the game be­tween Washington and Stan­ford — a show­case of the league’s top team against Heis­man hope­ful Bryce Love — was de­layed and shifted to an­other chan­nel be­cause of the Camp­ing World Truck Se­ries.

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