College Football is Proceeding Just Fine without Oregon and the Pac-12

Jon Joseph Editorials 51 Comments

Larry’s Lackeys, aka the Pac-12 university chancellors and presidents, met on Friday, September 19th, to discuss playing in 2020. The Conference of Champions gurus were not able to come to a decision and agreed to reconsider the issue later on September 24. According to ‘The Bootlegger‘ football blog, Stanford is adamantly opposed to playing ball in calendar year 2020. The Cardinal powers-that-be believe that playing in 2020 will make a mockery of the already endangered “student athlete” model.

CAL and UCLA are leaning in the direction of Stanford. The fact that the Palo Alto platoon still believes in the student-athlete model is well, quaint. As I have noted before, I think the leaders of CAL, Stanford and UCLA would be happy to see the Pac-12 adopt the Ivy league model; no athletic scholarships. Recall that last year, Stanford decided not to give its student-athletes preference in graduate school admissions.

This decision, in part, led to over a dozen Stanford football players entering the transfer portal and getting inspired by pro-football games like NFL prop bets. Including QB K.J. Costello who will be starting for the Pirate at Mississippi State this Saturday. (One of Costello’s teammates is the son of B1G Commissioner, Kevin Warren.) Meanwhile, USC indicated that if the Pac-12 decides not to play that it intends to find a way to play. And Utah, noting that BYU has already played a game, wants to kick off before the likely 2020 start date of November 7th of this year. The foundation of the Conference of Champions continues to crumble.

Meanwhile, the BIG is back. So long group of five? Had both the B1G and the Pac-12 sat out the entire 2020 college football season, a group of five team may have had a shot at scoring one of Bill Hancock’s four Golden Tickets. Now, with the B1G back and notwithstanding UCF’s impressive 49-21 road win at Georgia Tech, the group of five can likely kiss the playoff goodbye. On College Game Day (CGD) this past Saturday, Lee Corso gave the group of five two chances at making the final four: “None and none.” Sad, but the playoff political payoff money still spends.

Richie Grant(Twitter)

The Knight defense played a stingy second half, allowing only seven points down the stretch.

Paper or Plastic? Last season, Syracuse University, with 50 quarterback take downs, finished 127th in sacks allowed. The 2020, 0-2, Orange are consistent in one respect. In its opener, the offensive line gave up seven sacks to UNC. Last Saturday, these young men who have yet to master the ole’ blocking technique, gave up seven sacks to Pitt. These Orange blockers definitely come with pits.

Win One For The Gipper? At halftime on Saturday, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly did his best to wake up the Knute Rockne echoes. “We’re not letting them score any points. We want a shutout. We’re fighting for a shutout. This thing is too damn hard. I’m tired of being a nice guy!” The Domer defense got the message loud and clear. These bad boys pitched a 52-0 shutout against USF, doing their best to morph ‘nice guy’ coach Kelly into an “Irish meanie.”

Meanwhile in Clemson, The Citadel, down 0-49 at halftime eschewed Dabo Swinney’s offer to play the 2nd half with a running clock. The Keydets then proceeded to stonewall Clemson 0-0 over the final 30 minutes. Worry not for The Keydets. The 0ffense didn’t score, but The Citadel did score a whole lot of Jackson’s for taking the short, in-state, body-bag, bus ride.

A Scheduler With a Sense of Humor? From their respective college President, ADs, head coaches, players, fans and all the way down to the peanut vendors, no two schools beefed more about the B1G cancelling the 2020 season than did the folks in Columbus, Ohio and Lincoln, Nebraska. The featured game when the B1G kicks off the weekend of October 24th? You guessed it, Nebraska at Ohio State.


FSU head coach Mike Norvell will have limited team contact for the rest of the season.

The Beat(down) Goes On. Florida State head coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID and will miss next week’s game against the Miami Hurricanes. Slick Willie, wipe that smile off your face!

Speaking of the U. With the 47-34 victory over The Lou, The now 2-0, U is back? Ducks fans certainly hope so. Keep On Rollin’ Miami! Hands off Mario!

Mike won’t be there, but College GameDay, Herbie (Kirk Herbstreit) and Chris Fowler will be in Miami next Saturday for the FSU game. The Canes will be teeing it up in extremely rare back-to-back CGD games. With the SEC kicking off next Saturday, I did not expect CGD to be comin’ to Miami Ci-tay? But then, the light bulb came on. Follow the $ dummy, the ACC Network won’t sell itself.

This week’s best guess of the 4 teams that will be invited to play for World Wide Soda Pop Leader Trophy.
Rose Bowl – Ohio State versus Alabama
Sugar Bowl – Clemson versus Oklahoma

I think I’ve seen this movie before?

Jon Joseph
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo Via Eugene Johnson

Chris Brouilette, the Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.

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We are only 3 weeks into college football season and at best, we can say it is a mixed bag. Out of the Big 12, ACC and AAC (36 teams), we have had 10 teams already miss 1 game and 5 other teams without a single game played. ND and Wake Forest are rescheduling this weekend’s game. I get people are making fun of the Pac 12 because we are not playing football.

However, I’m not really sure you can say the rest of the country is either. It most certainly is all about the money and not because the coaches and players want to play. There is going to be zero leagues that will have all their teams play the full schedule. I think the Pac 12 should go full SEC and rig the schedules.

Have Oregon play all the terrible teams and have USC and Utah play all the terrible teams. We can have 3 undefeated teams come selection committee time.


Quarterback controversy in Chargers land? Not according to head coach, Anthony Lynn, “Justin is a back-up for a reason”. Now, we could be speaking out of Duck loyalty? But EVERYBODY is saying Justin is the guy moving on. Except Lynn.

It’s not hard to see why Lynn is doing this; the old, “a starter doesn’t lose his place due to injury” is applicable here. Lynn also reminded us that last time he checked, “we lost the game” to Kansas City, and they beat the Bengals, when their kicker missed a much closer than 58 yard FG at the end of the game.

So, we’ll see what happens next Sunday.


This is one area where I think it’s the right move. Yeah, Herbie is the “future” of the team at QB, but how many times in the past with other QB’s have we heard that their careers might have been something more than hype coming out of college if only they’d’ve been able to carry a clipboard for a year or two?

Better yet, would these guys be who they were if they were thrust into things after one game…

-Tom Brady – Sat behind Drew Bledsoe his draft year (likely would have longer if not for DB being injured).
-Aaron Rogers – Sat behind Brett Favre for three years.
-Brett Favre – Sat behind Chris Miller (Go Ducks) for a year before being traded to the Packers.
-Drew Brees – Sat behind Aaron Brooks (no basketball relation) for a year.
-Steve Young – Sat behind Steve DeBerg at TB until being traded to SF, where he sat behind Joe Montana.

The list goes on, and yes there are success stories from generational players (Montana, Elway, Peyton Manning), but they were the exception, not the standard. My point is he has a better chance of becoming one of the greats, but learning to cook before throwing things into the pan is going to create a much more desirable outcome…


Yep, thats whats best for him and the team.


Elway struggled on a good team, and was repeatedly relieved by Steve DeBerg. The big difference between Elway and some who got destroyed at the next level was he was on a playoff contending team.

I think the Chargers are in much the same position. I am not saying Justin is the next Elway, but he will go through some of the same struggles, the interception. This will make him better and the other qb will come in and give him time to figure it out.

It does look like he is NFL caliber and the Chargers are a good team. I think it is set up for him to have a decent rookie year. Herbert had a 90 qb rating against the defending super bowl champs, and Tyrod lost to a team that started last season 0-11 and had a qb rating of 70.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

You nailed it Haywarduck, as Justin is on a good team and over time has a great opportunity to be a great NFL QB and make a difference to this team.

What if Joey had been given the same opportunity?

(I know, the thought made me gulp too)


Agree with your points, except that the Tyrod led Chargers actually did beat the Bengals in Wk.1, (the Bengals who are now 2-16 in their last 18 games) a huge part of Lynn’s rationale for going with Taylor.


Some games are won, some games are lost. Bengals LOST to the Chargers when they missed a game tying 31 yd FG. Tyrod had naught to do with that.

After Justin led a late 4Q drive that put the Chargers in a position to win, KC went on a long drive & made a game tying 30 yd FG.

Lynn chose to punt on 4th & 1 in overtime; a David Shaw kind of move. (not a compliment; an observation)

In KCs OT possession Chargers gassed defense jumped offside on 3rd & 8 when KC was still deep in their own territory, allowing an easier 3rd & 3 that was promptly converted into a first down and a continuing drive and 58 yd FG to WIN the game.

So, I disagree with the idea that comparative outcomes from these two games has any merit in evaluating the relative performances of the two Bolts’ QBs.

That said, I’m also staunchly with the crowd that is happy to see Tyrod starting so that Justin can spot some relief appearances while honing his craft, and staying healthy in this (hopefully) one-off season.


These are the discussions that we are fortunate to have here, I would say that the fact that Tyrod had nothing to do with the outcome of his start is telling; as I would argue that “comparative outcomes” between the hapless Cincinnati Bengals & the Super Bowl winning, Kansas City Chiefs, does merit distinction.

It could be that Justin and in the long run, the Chargers would benefit from Justin learning from the sidelines. It is unusual though for a quarterback to make spot appearances, and nobody wants dual quarterbacks as that never works.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It is a long NFL season, and I am confident that whether Herbert plays or not this year–he most likely will be the starter soon enough. At Oregon as a freshman, he did not start until the fourth game and I am sure his time will quickly.

Something I thought that was a great observation by the sportscasters, was how Justin had been through effectively four different offenses in four years. Imagine how he will be next year with the same offense for once!


Yes, but he’s still John Elway.

On a side-ish note…my first NFL game ever, Denver vs Seattle, 1984, Kingdome…Seattle 31-7. I got to watch Steve Largent, Dave Krieg, Jim Zorn, Curt Warner (the original, plus he was a RB) and Kenny Easley, as well as on the bad-guys side of the line, John Elway and Karl Mecklenburg.

Whew! Amazing examples you pulled up DF; outstanding and so informative. Love it….


Perchance to dream:

Mountain West optimistic about playing 8-game schedule starting Oct. 24, w/presidents possibly voting Friday, sources told @Stadium
. If presidents delay vote, MW likely would only have 7-game schedule starting Oct. 31. All 12 schools intend to play at this time, source said


Some chancellors may look at a college “student athlete” and feel that student comes first. I would point out that sports in general has helped to keep more High school age kids in school and off the streets than any social programs. The few that qualify to play at Ivy League schools/Stanford are not that common.

If athletes have the option to opt out of a shortened season, exactly who are they protecting? If it is the liability of potential lawsuits, then Just add another reason to dislike attorneys…lol

While protecting kids is a noble cause, COVID is here to stay. Let’s play ball.


Good points


I think what is happening is college football is proceeding and doesn’t need Oregon. The problem is Oregon needs Oregon to play, compete.

Are we a well endowed Ivy League school or Stanford who can weather the lost season? Lavish Larry can weather the lost season, his pay comes in no matter what.

Players want to play and that is coming out in trickles, coaches want to coach and that is also leaking out, but the predicament is Oregon needs college football to stay solvent and relevant.

I guess we live in an age where debt and sound financial decisions are irrelevant. That is not my or Oregon’s reality.



-Oregon is going to lose recruits because of this (yet still 19 NEW commitments since May, two of which are ’22 commits. How many have decommitted again?).

-Oregon is going to lose coaches because of this (yet none have even hinted at leaving…in fact they’ve by all appearances become even closer with the players, hence the praising even during massive civil unrest everywhere).

I’m not a big social media guy…i.e. commenting on here is about as big as it gets for me…but I do see what’s out there and what people are saying so the big question I have is; what are the players and coaches saying? Has anyone taken the time to look at that, or just talk about how much the fans want to see Oregon play?

Yeah, I’m not too much different than most other people…It’d be great to see the Ducks on the field again, but until I start seeing a mass exodus by players and/or coaches, well as the saying goes, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Until then nothing has changed, and a vote to play or not play hasn’t happened as of yet. If I were a betting man though, I’d say the ‘Furd will end up playing along, and we’ll likely know before the week is over.


I think you are right in that we will know before the week is over about playing or not. Like you I think we will be playing. I hope it’s in time to be able to get to the national playoffs.

Some players have already expressed their view that they want to play, (players want to play and coaches want to coach) and about an exodus, we won’t see that until later if we don’t play. IMO it will be hard to see any jumping ship in recruiting until this year is over and we get into the real signing of the 2021 or 2022 class, as recruiting is a long time investment.

The big problem I see now is that Larry Scott is under contract until 2024 (I think) so they will not replace him before then. So we still have lots of time for him and the presidents to keep things “screwed-up”.

IMO I feel the Pac-12 is starting to lose its grip on being a P5 conference and Oregon’s national image is being tarnish by the Pac-12 leadership. In the long run these things will hurt. All of this can be corrected if any Pac-12 team wins a national title but I don’t see any Pac-12 team being able to do that in the next 3-5 years.


Honestly, any “playoff” or “championship” this year is going to have an asterisk attached to it the size of Jupiter, and it’ll have about as much meaning as UCF claiming they were the actual National champions in 2017…neat claim, but reality is different.

Here’s the thing, at least how I see it, with any “exodus”…this season isn’t going to matter. It’s not like a player deciding to transfer right now is going to see the field until at least next season (’21). The pipe is laid and the concrete is just about dry for anyone hoping to transfer to a different school this season…remember, scholarships matter, and pretty much everyone is full already.

If there’s no season, or a delayed one for ’21, then I’ll hover my hand over the panic button…but right now, the transfer portal ship has sailed, and the players know it.


In other words no different than any other year.

  • (<–check it out, an asterisk)…I needed to add to that. The reason there would be an asterisk is because not everyone is playing a full season and really no one is outside of their conference. PAC people want us to be playing so we “stand a chance” of making the playoffs, and yes, as you pointed out that field is already likely set (like it is most years) and all we can do here is hope…so in that aspect, sure, I’ll concede to a smaller asterisk.

That’s right, all an asterisk really means is that whatever it’s denoting is different from normal, which of course this season would be. The negativity about an asterisk is manufactured.


Yes, I am optimistic, but also realistic. Oregon is an anomaly in football. We (as a state) produce how much top-tier, or even mid-tiered talent from our prep athletes? Now compare that to places like, well everywhere, including PAC schools. I don’t have the numbers, but we’re a little school in a virtually no-talent state, yet we’re starting to play with the “big boys” on a rather consistent basis.

You mentioned the “Pirate” bolting for MSU, but did you consider where he came from? Yeah, Oregon is hard to recruit to, but can you imagine if we were in Bend instead of Eugene (I’d’ve said Ontario but they’re close enough to Boise to make it not horrible)? Yeah, I can see why he left, and I can also see why he got a raise…he does win games and does it with much less talent than even Oregon brings in. If he can pluck out even one more win a year it ups their status and they’ll love him for it.

This is just a weird year, an anomaly for pretty much everyone. Like I said, I’ll dust off the cover and hover my hand over the panic button if this drags out into next season, but until then…well even the mighty Oregon has an occasional 4-8 season…and the last time I checked it bonded us all more, and we’re better for it.


I think your missing part of the point of Jon’s comment. If we start playing and you remove your hand from the panic button thats great for right now, the immediate future, but what about long term ?? The problems that the Pac-12 have need to be fixed now – today, in order to get us back on track for the next 5 years. To not take these problems seriously and keep a hand over the panic button is to just say “we’ll remove any fire dangers after the fire starts”, which of course to late. It’s like saying we’ll fix the problems with the airplane after we have an airplane crash and it kills a couple hundred people (thank you Boeing). The time to panic and fix the problems is before the problems cause any more damage.


I actually think I’m right on point…thinking more about the future than knee-jerk reactions. People are panicking about a lost season that hasn’t been lost. It’s like freaking out because you can’t find your sunglasses…that are on your head.


Sorry but that doesn’t convince me.


That’s OK, it doesn’t have to. The beauty of this all is we don’t all have to agree all of the time. That’s one of the things I love about this site…we don’t all agree but (I can only speak for me in reality here) I don’t think there’s any animosity between any of us.

We could probably squabble back and forth all day long and then sit down to a beer together and squabble about something else…or totally agree on it.




Yeah, me either, “crossing the bridge when we get to it” is not the philosophy the Pac-12, or Oregon in particular, needs to adhere to.


The PAC? No, they don’t because they’re on that bridge…”the season is lost” I keep hearing (far from just on here), yeah, we will because we don’t have a choice on that one.


Why debate it? Because we don’t have anything better to do…hehe.


This just in: Larry Scott and his crew are getting their 2020 year bonus, one is getting $10,000.

Help – the bank is being robbed and no one is calling the cops.


Hey, I’m not exactly a fan of the guy, nor am I his most hugely advocate either, but I’m actually kind of glad, especially at his 2.5 million to himself bonus. I think he knew that’s what most people call a severance package…cause that writing is on the wall.


I sure hope the writing is on the wall. Is this what you call “legalized thievery” ??


Mmm…I’m gonna go with the rich doing what the rich do. It’s no different than oil executives raising the prices of oil after a refinery goes out of operation, or some roughneck complains of a hangnail all the while telling the public that it’s because of supply and demand. It’s odd how with that supply supposedly not being able to keep up with the demand there are no vehicles parked along the side of the road because they ran out of gas…and that executive just bought a new mansion in Dubai with their record quarterly profits.


Yep, I think the days of long lines at the gas stations are over.


Somehow I think all the bonus’s totaled around $4 million. Not chump change. That would certainly pay for some scholarships in the woman’s games.


If the college football season started and the Pac-12 wasn’t there, would anybody notice? The answer is an obvious, NO. If any of the other P5 conferences was missing, it’s logo would be on a milk carton. But nobody is looking for the Pac-12.

Long time baseball announcer Bob Uecker used to joke that when he was a player the team used to give him the wrong game times; this is what it feels like Larry is dealing with when he reaches out of his lavish office. Of course, Uecker knew he was a joke as a player, I think that Larry actually thinks he’s doing a good job.

The B1G was planning from the minute the postponement was announced to re-start, meanwhile the Pac-12 can’t even get all its teams on the same page. As Gertrude Stein said, “There’s no there, there.”


It looks like the breaking point for the PAC 12 is coming soon. With no plans or assurances for the future in the conference, players and coaches will take their futures somewhere else. Will the conference programs go down with the PAC 12 ship? They don’t have much time to decide whether to defect.

On the upside, the Power FOUR conferences will make any playoff scenario much easier to implement.


I wonder if the Pac-12 leadership can see, what the lack of leadership is causing ??


I like that: Inspector Clouseau = Larry Scott


As always Jon, an interesting article. So many things going on around college football, that is except for the Pac-12, who look at things and say “the only thing you have to fear, is fear itself”.

For the Pac-12, “To play or not to play, that is the question”. Could this be the start of the end, or the end of the start toward its own demise ?? Is it possible the Pac-12 could vote to play and then have one or more schools not show up when the time comes ?? Or is it possible that the Pac-12 could vote not to play and then have a school independently jump out and play it’s own schedule ?? Oh so radical, don’t you think ??

Stay tuned to the Pac-12 “where anything can happen”.