Pac-12 preseason poll
1. USC (22).................. 225
2. Utah (14)................. 209
3. Arizona (3)............... 178
4. UCLA (2).................. 116
5. Colorado (1)............... 80
6. Arizona State.............. 72
1. Washington (40)......... 249
2. Stanford (1)................. 198
3. Oregon (1)................... 178
4. California..................... 108
5. Washington State.......... 98
6. Oregon State.................. 45
Pac-12 title game champion: Washington (37 votes)
Others receiving votes: USC (2), Oregon (1), Stanford (1), UCLA (1)
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Although the Pac-12 remains behind some of its peers in revenue distribution, commissioner Larry Scott maintains confidence in the conference's model going forward.
During the 2017 fiscal year, the Pac-12 topped the $500 million mark in revenue ($509 million) for the first time and distributed roughly $30.9 million to each of its 12 schools.
The SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all topped $34 million per school in the 2017 fiscal year, and there are projections that those conferences will further distance themselves in the future.
Scott, however, believes the Pac-12 is in good position competitively and with future revenue possibilities.
"Our conference has never had more money than some of the other leagues you mentioned, going back 20-30 years," Scott said during Pac-12 media day at the Hollywood & Highland. "I'm confident our schools have the resources they need to continue to win championships more than any other conference. I see no sign of it slowing down.
"I feel great about where we are from a competitive standpoint."
Focusing on football and basketball — the two main revenue sports in college athletics — Scott pointed out that every Pac-12 school has made "major, major capital improvement to their football facilities" in recent years, combining to invest $1.5 billion in the past decade.
He also pointed out that Pac-12 schools have had the resources to hire big-game coaches, including UCLA's Chip Kelly and Arizona's Kevin Sumlin this offseason.
"There is no other example I can point to where in football or basketball our schools have not been able to invest what they wanted to or needed to to continue to excel at the highest level," he said. "So that gives me confidence."
In terms of broadcasting, the conference is going into the seventh year of the Pac-12 Networks and Scott said there are 12-year agreements, through 2024, with most of their distributors.
"We've got a very stable, secure business model through 2024," he said.
The Pac-12's model includes owning and controlling its rights and content, something Scott values.
"The easier path would have been taking a partner at a media company that's got more leverage, could guarantee some revenue," he said. "But that comes with commitments of 25 years that they're going to be your partner."
With the media landscape changing all the time, Scott said the Pac-12's model has it in good position.
"We couldn't be more delighted than where we are strategically in the fact that we're the only conference in the country that, come 2024, is going to have all our rights back, complete control, and we'll be able to adapt, react, and take advantage of this new world media order that's coming in a way others can't," he said.
Scott addressed several other items, including:
• The conference's pilot program to reduce the length of football games, including shorter halftimes, will be expanded to some conference games and will also include some games broadcast by ESPN and Fox. Scott said 30 games will be a part of this year's program.
• For the first time, the Pac-12 Networks will broadcast its pre-game shows for football on campus sites.
• The Pac-12 has had some recent football games in Australia and is looking into future games overseas in places such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico.
• Scott said the conference is exploring the idea of bringing to the Pac-12 title game to Las Vegas, which is building a new stadium for the 2020 arrival of the NFL's Oakland Raiders. "I think the future looks bright for events in Las Vegas," Scott said. "And given that we have a foothold in relationships in basketball and football, I'm sure you'll see us do more there."
CU kickers on watch lists
Colorado place kicker James Stefanou and punter Alex Kinney have received some preseason recognition.
Stefanou was one of 30 kickers around the country named to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, presented to the top kicker in college football. Kinney was named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, presented to the top punter.
CU head coach Mike MacIntyre confirmed that senior safety Jaisen Sanchez has had surgery on a torn ACL — this third consecutive season-ending injury. Sanchez, who missed 2016 with a knee injury and 2017 with a torn pectoral muscle, has not decided if he will medically retire or remain on the roster for this season. ... CU will go into fall camp with 83 scholarship players, two below the NCAA maximum of 85. MacIntyre has not decided what he will do with the extra scholarships, but they will possibly go to walk-ons.