Kyle Ringo
Kyle Ringo
When dreaming of expanding his conference to 12 teams and adding a football championship game, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott likely never envisioned that title game doubling as a bowl game for any of its participants.

That might have to be how this season's representative from the South Division views the game if the final two weeks of the regular season unfold just right.

It's possible that a team could win the South Division with a 6-6 record this season, play in the championship game, lose that game and not be eligible for a bowl game at 6-7. Whoever does represent the South will certainly be the underdog and the road team, likely against Oregon in Eugene.

Glass is half full: How about that for motivation to pull the upset?

Glass is half empty: How about that as a reward for winning your division?

This is just another way the NCAA sanctions against USC have hurt the league. In a normal year in which the Trojans were eligible for the postseason, this week's marquee matchup in the league -- USC at Oregon -- would likely be a preview of the title game. But the Trojans are serving their final year of a postseason ban leaving Arizona State, UCLA and Utah to vie for the right to play for the title and possibly miss a bowl game in the process.

If it actually turns out this way, it sure would make for a memorable start to the new era in the Pac-12.


Safety dance

Colorado and UCLA both have missed senior safeties in recent weeks and the Bruins believe they will welcome back Tony Dye for senior day against the Buffs on Saturday.

Dye has been out since mid-September with a neck injury but was able to practice this week in full contact situations.

CU senior Anthony Perkins suffered a severely sprained ankle three weeks ago in a loss to Oregon and hasn't played since. He is walking without crutches and on his way into the training room on Wednesday when asked if he will play this week, he said, "We'll see."

Miles from the poorhouse

USA Today published its annual look at college football coaching salaries this week and CU coach Jon Embree comes in at 11th in the Pac-12. Only Washington State coach Paul Wulff makes less than the $725,000 Embree is paid.

It's important to note that Embree probably could have had a larger salary when he was hired last December, but he agreed to take less so the school could pay his assistants more with a goal of retaining assistant coaches longer.

Turnover in football assistant coaches has been a huge problem for the program for more than two decades because state law limits each school to a maximum of six multiyear contracts.

Here is a look at what Pac-12 coaches are making this year, according to USA Today. These salaries do not account for all possible income. Coaches typically have plenty of incentives in their deals.

Chip Kelly, Oregon, $2,800,000

Jeff Tedford, California, $2,300,000

Steve Sarkisian, Washington, $2,250,000

Kyle Whittingham, Utah, $1,700,000

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State, $1,503,000

Mike Stoops, Arizona, $1,465,000

Mike Riley, Oregon State, $1,313,471

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA, $1,285,000

Jon Embree, Colorado, $725,000

Paul Wulff, Washington State, $600,050

USC and Stanford are private schools and don't have to release salary information.

Numbers game

6 -- Number of former UCLA quarterbacks who have played that position on Super Bowl teams in the NFL.

Who's hot?

Colorado cornerback Jason Espinoza has picked off two future NFL quarterbacks in his last two games. Considering he played most of his career and the first half of this season at wide receiver, it's an impressive achievement to intercept USC's Matt Barkley and Arizona's Nick Foles in consecutive weeks.

Who's not?

Arizona State place-kicker Alex Garoutte has missed crucial field goal attempts late in consecutive losses to UCLA and Washington State the past two weeks.

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