Blanchette: Pac-12 Networks offer break from reality

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2011, 10:45 P.M.

In announcing the creation of Pac-12 Networks for launch next year, commissioner Larry Scott was asked if he thought enough programming could be generated to keep all his new channels sated.

“I’m confident,” he gushed, “we’ll have a terrific 24/7 offering.”

Now we know why. A mole inside the Pac-12’s programming department has leaked us a typical day’s schedule, and games might be the least of it:

6 a.m.: Sit and Be Fit – Exercise. Arizona football coach Mike Stoops finally gets the what-fer from the Pac-12 to cut the sideline histrionics.

6:30: Ben 10 – Cartoon. UCLA coach Ben Howland turns to the Omnitrix for new life forms to replace another wave of players eager to escape to the NBA.

7: The 700 Club – Blind Faith. That’s 700 as in Gs, what Washington’s Nick Holt banks annually to coordinate the seventh-best defense in the league.

8: The Price Is Right – Game. Item: A box of year-old recruiting data and some old Sports Illustrateds from the attic of Willie Lyles. Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s bid: $25,000.

9: Biggest Landscaping Mistakes – Gardening. Today’s subject: the Stanford Tree.

9:30: Everybody Hates Chris – Comedy. Washington State holds Chris Polk to just 350 yards rushing in the Apple Cup, but only by delaying his arrival until the third quarter by letting the air out of his tires.

10: Live with Regis and Kelly – Talk. Reege’s retirement is hastened when he shows up and finds dyspeptic Chip Kelly is his co-host.

11: Hannity – Gasbaggery. U.S. deficit crisis is blamed on President Obama’s brother-in-law, Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson, after losses to Texas Southern, Sacramento State and Seattle University – twice.

Noon: Antiques Roadshow – Collecting. Reggie Bush’s mother and stepfather get a price on a Heisman Trophy they discovered in a spare bedroom of their rent-free home.

2: What Not to Wear – Fashion. Football game day at the University of Oregon and the uniform choices are grim.

2:30: Curb Your Enthusiasm – Comedy. It takes Wazzu until mid-October to draw as many fans as USC does in its home football opener.

3: Extreme Makeover – Remodeling. The change couldn’t be more dramatic and scary for UW coach Lorenzo Romar and his basketball team. Instead of the usual one true road nonconference game, the Huskies have two in 2012.

3:30: Animal Cops: Corvallis – Crime. In a series favorite from 2005, Oregon State player Ben Siegert is pulled over for drunk driving with a 200-pound ram in the back of his pickup, kidnapped from the school’s study on homosexuality in sheep. (Rerun)

4: Dr. Phil – Help. Bummed by headlines about dubious recruiting tactics and wayward athletes, Oregon gets its favorite sugar daddy to fund another tricked-out building.

5: Say Yes to the Dress – Fashion. New Pac-12 members Utah and Colorado agree to wear helmets and uniforms of Nebraska and BYU, respectively, when they play, so their players will actually give a damn about their “rivalry.”

6: Behind the Music – Documentary. Recounting the highlights of the Stanford band, including their salutes to the Irish potato famine (at a Notre Dame game), polygamy (at BYU) and Patty Hearst’s kidnapping (at Cal).

7: Access Hollywood – Celebrities. Lane Kiffin, loving life on probation, decides to do it Pete Carroll-style and open USC practices up to the old glitterati and groupies.

8: Necessary Roughness – Comedy. The Pac-12 fires a bunch of its football officials and hires a new boss to upgrade the operation. Supervisor: Curly Howard.

9: Cougar Town – Comedy. Husky fans go crazy when a Wazzu home game comes to Seattle, what with all the tractors on I-5 and Gomers honking and hollering, “Go Cougs!”

9:30: It’s Me or the Dawgs – Comedy. WSU grad marries UW alum.

10: Punk’d – Hidden Camera. Dennis Erickson tells recruits he’s coaching in his “retirement job,” then excuses himself to make a phone call and accept a different one. (Rerun)

11: Dumbest Stuff on Wheels – Cars. Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris clocks a cool 118 mph in a ride rented by a UO employee.

Midnight: Cops – Crime. Relations grow strained in Pullman when police keep finding new ways to bust basketball players who can’t put away the pipe.

1: Fantasy Island – Drama. Huskies think Gonzaga should resume their basketball series at “neutral court” KeyArena, 5 miles from the UW campus.

2: Pawn Stars – Reality. Terrelle Pryor needs cash for new tats. Wait, wrong network.

3: Exteme Barhopping – Reality. USC basketball coach Kevin O’Neill gets in a fracas with an old nemesis from his Arizona days at the conference tournament.

4: Austin City Limits – Face the Music. Texas declines to join Larry Scott’s expansion party, understanding that being the star of the Longhorn Network beats sharing air time with 15 other schools. Also: Rick Neuheisel on guitar.

5: Big Bang Theory – Reality. Washington basketball player Venoy Overton cements his well-earned legacy.


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