The Pac 12 tried to sneak one by me last Thursday with its public release of “Football Year in Review.”
It hit my inbox at 4:45 p.m., the league apparently thinking I was on my way to the first of five vodka martinis looking for a three-day weekend.
Didn’t someone say this is White Russian history month?
The Pac 12 release might as well have been wearing a fake mustache as it tried to look inconspicuous hiding between two pieces of spam as I was deleting reams of useless sports information from my inbox.
February too often unleashes unification bouts I won’t pay for, free skate programs starring the Chinese, NCAA bracketology updates, Stephen A. Smith talking college football, golf tournaments Tiger Woods has never won at Riviera, NBA All-Star "rising stars" promos and start-up spring football leagues.
I don't need to see MVP Mike Trout watching basketball games, court side in Philadelphia, any more than I need to see MVP Julian Edelman presenting a Grammy at Staples Center.
It’s the reason last year, at this time, I was in Spain.
The good news for corporate types at Pac 12 offices worried about paying overtime is this year’s football year in review, minus any negative news, could have been printed on a refrigerator post-it.
In fact, if not for the state of Washington, in the revenue sports, the conference might be filing for competitive bankruptcy.
Washington State and Washington ended up as the only football schools ranked in the final Associated Press poll. The Cougars led the way at No. 10, followed by the Huskies at No. 13.
This is important going forward knowing that Washington, at this moment, is also the Pac 12’s only ranked team in college basketball.
The facts stated in the Pac 12 football release, actually, told you all you needed to know.
The Pac 12 review listed ONE player named to the AP’s first-team, All America squad. It was linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington.
What wasn’t revealed spoke volumes. There were no USC or UCLA players named to the first, second or third teams.
Washington State, the conference’s highest ranked team, did not win its division.
“Year in review” was released 24 hours after National "Pining" Day produced another ho-hum haul of recruits.
Oregon and Washington appeared to have banner days while most of the league seemed to sag.
USC coach Clay Helton was heckled by a student on campus this week while doing a radio show. The Trojans lost five-star recruit Bru McCoy to Texas and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to the Arizona Cardinals.
UCLA, coming off a 3-9 campaign, signed a class so thin it was immediately pumped with bacon fat and vitamin B-12.
“We’ll take anybody, anywhere,” Chip Kelly told the L.A. Times about the school’s lowest rated class in a decade.
“Year in Review” did not reflect much on a 3-4 bowl record in which three teams from the better-half North, Stanford, Oregon and Cal, combined for 28 points.
It didn’t mention South champion Utah collapsing in the Holiday Bowl, or Cal being involved in the worst bowl game ever played (Cheez-It).
It didn’t recap a scandal-filled fall in which the conference’s main office was thrown into turmoil over its officiating practices.
“Pac in Review” glossed over the conference getting only 39 invites to this month’s NFL Combine, less than half the number being represented by the SEC.
Or, news that five of California’s top high school prospects are NOT signing with Pac 12 schools.
SEC teams, sensing blood in the water, are now recruiting fertile ground once owned by USC. Places like Mater Dei, which is coached by a former USC player and has long served as a Trojan pipeline.
“Review” wasn’t intended or inclined to mention three Mountain West schools, Fresno State, Utah State and Boise State, finishing ranked in the AP ahead of all Pac 12 schools outside of Pullman and Seattle.
Is it all gloom and doom? Perhaps not.
USC fans paying attention should have taken note of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops announcing this week that he wants back into coaching.
Stoops was named coach and GM of new Dallas franchise in the spring league XFL, which debuts in 2020.
If USC starts 3-3 next year, or 2-4, and Helton gets fired on Columbus Day, it should be the duty of every Trojan booster to make sure Stoops never reaches the XFL.
The tough question has been answered: Stoops wants to coach again. He is only 58, still in his prime, the way Urban Meyer, 54, is still in his prime and will soon want to get back in coaching.
UCLA is so excited about 2019 it has moved its opener at Cincinnati up two days, to Aug. 29.
Can’t wait for Coach Kelly’s first post-game presser.
Seriously, though, Oregon could be poised for a monster year in 2019 and Washington is going to be Washington.
Can we thank the Washingtons enough?
That’s it for Pac 12 “football year in review,” released 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 7.
If you thought that was short and sweet, stay tuned for the 280-character Twitter drop of Pac 12 basketball “year in review.”
Look for its release around dusk on July 4.