The athletic directors will convene in San Francisco on Oct. 7-8, and plan to discuss issues pertinent to the conference, such as splitting the expanded Pac-12 into divisions and the location of the long-overdue conference title game. They are also expected to discuss revenue sharing.
Still, pundits and Pac-10 officials are both skeptical about any real decisions being made at the meeting.
“I don’t expect any announcements or news coming out of the AD meeting,” Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said.
Many plans have been proposed to remedy the Pac-10 division puzzle. One popular idea is that of a North-South split, which would put four California schools and the two Arizona schools in the South, and the Northwest schools, along with conference newcomers Utah and Colorado, in the North. This plan, however, is particularly unattractive to the northern cold-weather schools, who would be stuck playing in harsher conditions than those in the South.
Next, the ever-popular zipper variation is continually shot down, as nobody can seem to create a plan that leaves long-standing rivalries intact. A zipper variation would most likely split up these geography-based rivalries.
Finally, a radical new “pod” plan has been proposed that includes three pods made up of four teams (one California pod, one Northwest pod and one Arizona/Mountain pod) that would have the entire conference split up into two divisions, and schools playing schedules against every team in their pod as well two teams from each other pod. This system has the advantage of preserving rivalries while crossing geographical boundaries and varying schedule year to year — but with the disadvantage of confusing everyone involved. However, because of the dual categories of division and pod, this idea violates NCAA regulations, which dictate that teams must play every other team in their division.
Eventually one plan will emerge the winner — but don’t expect it soon.