With UA's basketball practices quiet and closed -- and the Wildcats don't even have any injuries, according to spokesman Richard Paige -- here's a final pre-meeting post about Thursday's Pac-10 summit, which is significant overall, if not that much for basketball...
Here's what to expect Thursday:
Overall: The presidents and chancellors will be voting on what athletic directors have recommended to them, so everything should go along the same lines except possibly the football divisions.
Revenue sharing: The Pac-10 is expected to approve the equal 1/12 split but possibly with a phase-out clause for USC and UCLA, who benefit the most from the appearance-based formula. The Los Angeles schools could receive a premium until a certain media rights threshold, reportedly around $170 million, is reached. However, if the new Pac-12 commands a media rights deal of over $170 million annually, the threshold may be passed immediately and the premium would not be paid.
Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, for one, is all for revenue sharing, as is everyone else in the league not located in Southern California.
Football divisions. The league is expected to approve a North-South split, probably with Arizona, ASU, UCLA, USC, Colorado and Utah in a one division. However, the idea of a L.A.-Arizona-Rocky division passed only 7-5 in AD voting, according to USC's Pat Haden, and because it is a constitutional issue it will require a 9-3 (three quarters) vote by the CEOs. It is possible, though not likely, the CEOs could toss out the proposal and come up with their own plan. The "zipper idea" of splitting up geographic rivals has only limited support.
Also, it is possible the conference will set up an unbalanced rotation of cross-divisional play, so the California schools can still play each other nearly every season. (Midway down in this Boulder Daily Camera report there is some detail on that idea).
-- Football title game. The Pac-10 may want to start at least with home sites, since its geographic disparity could result in empty seats if the competing teams are not within an easy drive of the venue.
-- Basketball scheduling. The CEOs are almost certain to go with athletic directors' recommendation of an 18-game format, with each school playing its geographic rival and six other teams twice every year. Four teams would be played only once and the only question is whether the four single-game teams would be rotated around on a five-year or 10-year cycle.
-- Non-revenue sport changes: The CEOs are likely to follow the recommendations of senior associate ADs, which voted to: Add a weekend and midweek series to softball to accommodate Utah and the resulting bye week (since Colorado does not field softball), keep a double round-robin in volleyball by playing during an extra weekend and squeezing in rivalry games just before the start of weekend league play and during Thanksgiving week, and to mirror the men's basketball schedule for women's basketball. Baseball will not be affected because Cal dropped the sport and Colorado does not offer it, so Utah will simply take Cal's place.
- Television strategy: The Pac-10 won't begin negotiating even with current partners Fox Sports Net and ESPN until January, but it will discuss strategy. The league is likely to discuss creating its own network in addition to partnerships with other networks, as the Big Ten has now.
The good news for UA fans is that television access could get even easier, since a Pac-12 Network would be on expanded or possibly even basic cable packages.
Jesse Perry's former juco teammate, Lazeric Jones, is pushing Jerime Anderson for UCLA's starting point guard spot.
Jeff Withey is trying to come back strongly at Kansas.
Colorado's Tad Boyle is trying to install a more uptempo style this season.