Stewart Mandel on the PAC downfall

By: Old Hickory Trojan



what many have been worrying about this guy finally has the light go off..

"The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel reverses himself and officially dumps on the Pac–12’s football future (now that CU was rudely deserted by Mel Tucker — 5-7 in 2019 — for fully desperate MICH ST).

Mandel in part — “Last year, as Pac-12 fans increasingly made known their collective angst over the conference’s football struggles, I tried to assure them that the league will eventually rebound. ‘Call me crazy, but my guess is sometime in the next five years, a roster of coaches that includes Chris Petersen, David Shaw, Chip Kelly, Mike Leach and … maybe Urban Meyer? … will figure this thing out at some point,’ I wrote last May.

“Guess what? I was wrong about all of it. I’m no longer confident the Conference of Champions is going to rise back up into a regular CFP participant in short order. The coaching lineup is underwhelming. The recruiting is alarming. And now, I finally share their fans’ panic over the mounting revenue gap between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten/SEC.

“As you may have noticed, Petersen and Leach are no longer in the conference. Kelly has thus far been a dud at UCLA, Shaw is coming off the worst season of his Stanford tenure and Clay Helton, not Meyer, remains the coach of USC.

“A conference is only a strong as the roster of its head coaches. There was a time when the Pac-12 could rightfully claim theirs was as impressive as any — like when Pete Carroll was at USC, Kelly at Oregon and Jim Harbaugh at Stanford simultaneously a little more than a decade ago. Following the latest round of turnover, however, the top rung in 2020 is some combo of Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Stanford’s Shaw and Cal’s Justin Wilcox. Good coaches all, but none have yet demonstrated they can produce a Playoff-caliber team.

“(And Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott) can’t control the Pac-12’s increasingly problematic recruiting environment. With its biggest name-brand program, USC, saddled by years of dysfunction related to the handling of Helton’s status, top recruits on the West Coast are deserting the conference. No Pac-12 school finished in the Top 10 in 247Sports’ rankings for the 2020 class, and only Oregon made the top 15. Three of the top four prospects in California signed with Alabama (QB Bryce Young), Clemson (QB DJ Uiagalelei) and Ohio State (QB CJ Stroud). The state’s top player for 2021, DE Korey Foreman, has already committed to Clemson.

“All of which is a long way of saying — I don’t see this thing turning itself around in the near future.”

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