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Utes come out winners in Pac-10 developments

Published October 28, 2010 10:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Utes came out of the Pac-10 meetings in a great position. The Utes get in a preferable division with USC and UCLA along with Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State. Football is the only sport that will have divisions, with teams playing five division games and four cross division games. There was a compromise made with USC and UCLA playing Stanford and Cal every year to preserve those rivalries.Being in the same division with USC and UCLA should open doors in a recruiting market in which the Utes already were making a dent while the northern schools could be at a big disadvantage since they won't be visiting that market as often. Call it a nice welcome gift for the Utes and Colorado. A championship game is in place starting for the 2011 season to be played at the home site of the higher seeded team determined by best league record. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said hosting the game at home of higher seed rather than a neutral site is the best model for now but he didn't rule out moving to a neutral site. He admitted the league might be leaving some 'revenue on the table' by not going to a neutral site but felt the advantages out-weighed the disadvantages. Personally I think there is a fear out of playing a title game in front of a half-empty stadium like the ACC often does than a desire for the league game to have the atmosphere of being played at a school. Basketball will have an 18-game schedule that includes home-and-home games with traditional rivals, six rotating home-and-homes and single games against the four remaining league opponents. Schedules should be announced in all sports in about a month's time, Scott said. USC and UCLA will get more in TV money until a new deal is in place and an established threshold is reached. Since the Utes don't get any TV revenue until 2012 anyway, when a new TV deal is expected to be in place, that stipulation doesn't affect them. How much money the Utes and the rest of the Pac-10 teams will land is still in question. Some estimates are putting the figure around $100 million, based on other conference deals, while a Pac-12 network could bump the figure up to $150 million-plus. Either way the Utes will come out great. Utah athletic director Chris Hill said last week he doesn't get the impression the league will treat the Utes or Colorado as a lesser team than the old regime. So far it looks like his impression is the correct one.