Ask The Commish!

March 7, 2001

Kathy McClain (Tucson, AZ)
With the Pac-10 women's race being as competitive as it's been thisseason, what's your take on the number of teams that should make the NCAAfield? Also, don't you think it's a terrible oversight if the NCAAcommittee were to only take three PAC-10 teams, with the league boastingthe sixth-best RPI in the country and No. 1 nonconference strength ofschedule? I'm interested in your opinion. Thanks.

Commissioner Hansen: Naturally, I agree with you that with the No. 6 conference RPI and the No. 1 non-conference strength of schedule, the Pac-10 deserves more than three teams. Yet we have hurt ourselves because our unusually good balance of strength has seen all of the teams take turns beating each other. That's good competitively, but it keeps many teams from having outstanding records. Contrast that with the men's race, where five teams definitely have better records than the other five. Whether we will get more than three will depend on who wins in the Pac-10 this final week of the season and what happens in the conference tournaments currently being played. We need to root for the favorites so dark horses do not grab berths via tournament championships.

Rod Metzler (Rancho Murieta, CA)
When is the Pac-10 going to go back to a men's basketball schedule thatdoesn't have all the teams playing on the same days/nights? Years backthe games were on Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, and Monday giving the conference alot of tv exposure, as well as the fans an opportunity to watch multiplegames. Now you get your choice of two at the most.

Commissioner Hansen: The Conference has no plans to change its basic Thursday-Saturday format. The coaches want a day in between games (hence no Friday games), with our travel distances we cannot play prior to Thursday, and we do not wish to schedule games on Sunday if the visiting team cannot make it back to campus that day so its student-athletes can be in class Monday morning. The only possible change that has any support would be to play Friday-Saturday to lessen the time away from campus, but, as I mentioned, the coaches oppose that.

Chris Renner (Pleasant Hill, CA)
Has the Pac-10 ever tried to coordinate a 'Challenge' event with anotherconference where the first place teams from the prior season square off,the second place teams meet, the third place teams (and so on)meet etc?This is already done in basketball but I think it could really beintriguing in football!

Commissioner Hansen: Football schedules are set too far in advance for this to be done. Most non-conference schedules are set from eight to as many as 16 years out. It is an intriguing concept, however.

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