Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on College Football Playoff positioning
Before No. 2 Oregon and No. 7 Arizona kicked off the 2014 Pac-12 Football Championship Game from Santa Clara on Friday, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media at Levi's Stadium.
Asked to pick a winner between the Ducks and Wildcats, he stayed diplomatic.
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"I love all my children the same," Scott said with a smile. "That's what I say at home, and that's what I say at the Conference office. We don't have rooting interest. I actually think we are in a unique situation. I think we may be the only game in the country where the winner of the game has a realistic shot at the [College Football] Playoff, regardless of how it goes."
The Ducks owned the No. 2 spot in the CFP rankings for four straight weeks entering Friday's matchup and look like a lock to make the four-team playoff with a win. Meanwhile, Scott is confident that another win versus Oregon for the Wildcats, coupled with their strength of schedule, would make them a worthy candidate to represent the Pac-12 in college football's final four.
After all, the Pac-12 is the nation's only conference that plays nine league games and a championship. The conference currently features six top 25 teams, including five of the six teams in the Pac-12 South. So it's no wonder why Scott said Friday's game was almost like a quarterfinal game for the CFP.
"I believe in this new era in a playoff, you will be rewarded more times than not for playing the toughest possible schedule as a conference," Scott said. "I think we can say that the champion of the Pac-12 will have had the toughest road to a conference championship of anyone in the country."
Scott said he and league won't be do any lobbying between Friday and Sunday's anticipated bowl announcement, saying he'll allow Arizona and Oregon's respective bodies of work speak for themselves. Many expected the new CFP process to be controversial, and Scott is expecting some more heated discussion this weekend, but added that he's happy with how the selection committee has approached its responsibility.
"From my perspective, they've carried out their mission with a tremendous amount of diligence, credibility, integrity, and most importantly, diligence," Scott said. "I think everyone's been impressed."
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