Cranky Curmudgeon: Ted Miller is WRONG about the Pac-12

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The Cranky Curmudgeon, is a new writer at, and I welcome him as a critic of all, and one who is not reluctant to step into negative writing territory. Reading a few of his first articles submitted required me to step back from the keyboard, lest the flames singe my eyebrows. Jon Joseph is a retired corporate attorney who can bring the heat, but is also a gentleman to talk to in his home in Central Oregon near Bend. This first one is mild by comparison, and will mark the beginning of more balance in the editorials of this site. – Charles Fischer

Let’s review a few of Ted Miller’s criticisms of the Conference of Champions from his ESPN PAC 12 Blog posted on January 20, 2016?

Ted criticized the PAC 12 for signing the then largest college TV broadcast contract in 2011. A contract that exponentially increased the cash flow to member schools. This deal ‘is so 2011’ opined Mr. Miller.

RESPONSE – Ted, what do you suggest the PAC 12 do? Tell its broadcast partners that it will not honor the contracts? Demand a new agreement now? Threaten to not have its member teams play the scheduled games? Obviously, the PAC 12 will honor its agreement. The fact that it entered into a contract in 2011 is simply a reflection of the date when the prior agreements expired.

Ted Miller of ESPN

File Photo from Video

Ted Miller of ESPN

Ted suggested that the PAC 12 should cut administrative cost by moving from San Francisco to Salt Lake City?

RESPONSE – Per John Wilner who covers the PAC 12 from the Bay Area, all in the PAC 12 administrative expense is approximately 10% of gross revenue. Just slightly more than the SEC. And the majority of SEC fans who believe the SEC administration unduly favors ALABAMA want SEC headquarters moved from the less expensive Birmingham, Alabama to the more expensive Atlanta, Georgia.

The PAC 12 went 6-4 in its bowl games, beat only two Power 5 teams post season and generally failed to live up to expectations in 2015.

RESPONSE – With two fewer teams and playing nine instead of eight conference games the PAC 12 had one fewer bowl eligible team than did the SEC. With three BIG 10 teams and NOTRE DAME making the playoff field or participating in ‘Contract Bowls’ the SEC faced a watered down bowl schedule this post season. Anyone who follows college football understands that the SEC has a far better bowl lineup than does the PAC 12. Why should UCLA, for example, be fired up to play a 5-7 team in a baseball stadium in San Francisco when the Bruins trip to the Bay area every season?

Ted: The SEC is set to kill the PAC 12 in recruiting rankings in 2016.

RESPONSE – Ted if your employer is not a monopoly it is at the very least a college football cartel. It broadcast 40 of the 41 games played this off-season. Compare the wall-to-wall coverage this year’s Playoff Championship game between ALABAMA versus CLEMSON received this season compared to OREGON versus OHIO STATE last season. It wasn’t close. Why? Because ESPN owns the SEC Network! This isn’t that difficult Ted, follow the money!

The PAC 12 will NEVER match the SEC in recruiting rankings as players from the Southeast will always be over valued compared to West Coast players and players from the Pacific Islands, who are basically ignored. Why would a kid come west to play in a conference that comparatively gets little or no national coverage from the World Wide Leader? Recruiting rankings is an annual SEC self-fulfilling prophecy.

This game got MUCH better ratings!

John Sperry

This game got MUCH better ratings.

Miller: The PAC 12 Network is still not broadcast by DIRECTV.

RESPONSE – It is called GEOGRAPHY and DEMOGRAPHICS, Ted. And this in part answers your criticism here and in 3 and 4 above. IF TEXAS had not pulled the rug out of the TEXAS, TEXAS TECH, OKLAHOMA + OKLAHOMA STATE expansion to the PAC 12 Conference, this would be far less of an issue. It is only fitting that TEXAS and its Longhorn Network was hoist on its own petard as was its broadcast partner ESPN.

I understand that many like you are peripatetic in this wired world in which we live today. However, one season of less than expected results on the Left Coast and a season when ALABAMA — with the biggest college football operating budget in the nation — and not the SEC in its entirety by the way, wins the championship does not mean the PAC 12 is now the fifth best of the Power 5 Conferences.

By the way, Ted, far more folks watched OREGON play OHIO STATE than watched this year’s championship game. And if all of these recruiting rankings ring true, please explain how TOLEDO defeated ARKANSAS and MEMPHIS took down MISSISSIPPI?

Perhaps you should credit the PAC 12 for playing nine conference games and consistently playing the most difficult out of conference schedules? And you may want to consider, Ted, that the PAC 12 is not mediocre but is the deepest college football conference from top to bottom?

As I have noted before to Mr. Miller, perhaps the PAC 12 would get a fairer shake from ESPN if its lead blogger did not grow up in the south and graduate from the University of Richmond?

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Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now resident in central Oregon Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.

  • Drex Heikes

    I for one am a big fan of Ted Miller who, among other things, avoids be relentlessly snarky.


    Great stuff JON and tell it like it is because that guy is a SEC Honk and this is really about Politic’s and nothing else. There just needs to be a real Playoff schedule like next year go to 8 teams. Then and finally 16. Then you would get your true champion after all’s said and done.