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Pac-12 Announce Conference Alignment, Revenue Sharing

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The Pac-10 had a press conference this morning in San Francisco unveiling the conference alignment of the new Pac-12 conference and monetary issues. With USC Athletic Director Pat Haden decrying the possible elimination of rivalry games between the two Los Angeles schools and the two Bay Area schools, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott reassured that rivalries were the focal point for their decision.

“We used four primary criteria to determine our division alignment, the importance of rivalry games, competitive balance, geography and fan-friendliness,” Scott said. “Our rivalries have been kept completely intact. And this is an important focal point for the conference going forward. Part of the DNA of the Pac-10 is the importance of traditional rivalries.”

Having said that the conference alignment was pretty much as expected: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, California and Stanford comprising the Pac-12 North; USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah making up the Pac-12 South.

The conference will continue to play a nine-game schedule with five games within the division and four inter-divisional matchups.

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“This schedule that we’ve created also locks in annual inter-divisional games between our California schools so that the Northern California schools will play the Southern California schools each year preserving their long-standing rivalries dating back to the 1930’s,” Scott added.

As for the Pac-12 Conference Championship game, the division winner with the best conference record will host the game in their home stadium. The complete tie-breaking scenarios haven’t been finalized, however Scott did say that the first criteria would be a head-to-head matchup before they use the BCS rankings. Also decisions were not made if USC were to win the Pac-12 South next football season if their two-year post-season ban by the NCAA was upheld in appeals.

“We will not have divisions in any other sport,” Scott added.

The Pac-12 will continue to have an 18-game conference schedule with home-and-home games with traditional rivals, a rotating home-and-home with six teams and rotating single play with the remaining four teams.

The most important part of any conference is money, and for the first time all revenues will be shared evenly by all 12 schools. Previously revenues were divided based on television appearances. The only exception would be if revenues were under $170 million where USC and UCLA would be guaranteed an additional $2 million.