Movers and shakers from the Big 12 and Pac-10 Conferences have been hard at it, trying to work out a basketball "challenge" event for late 2007, similar to the Big Ten/ACC annual event.
Until it happens, we'll have to settle for today's four-game agenda of football meetings between the conferences — Baylor against Washington State at Qwest Field, Nebraska at USC, Arizona State at Colorado and Oklahoma at Oregon.
The Pac-10 is favored in each game, so if the league doesn't show well, it will heap more abuse on its already bruised image.
Arizona State at Colorado: It's a collision of old friends and coaching cronies, first-year coach Dan Hawkins at CU (0-2) and ASU's (2-0) Dirk Koetter, whom Hawkins has called "probably the smartest coach I know."
Not so smart is suspended ASU receiver Jamaal Lewis, still out while the Arizona Department of Public Safety assesses an incident early Aug. 30, when Lewis was clocked at 115 miles per hour on a freeway.
Oklahoma at Oregon: Either the Sooners (No. 15) or Ducks (No. 18) will creep toward the Top 10. It's a big pride game for the Pac-10, inasmuch as the league is often portrayed around the country as being soft.
"Any coach would bristle at that," said Oregon's Mike Bellotti. "We [Pac-10 teams] truly do play great offense, and sometimes, because of the athleticism of the offense, the defense doesn't get the credit it deserves."
One guy who can do something about that is Ducks defensive tackle Jeremy Gibbs, an Oklahoma product who slipped out of Northeast Oklahoma JC and has been stout up front.
Nebraska at USC: The Los Angeles Times quoted a Nebraska booster-club official as saying he thought "tens of thousands" of Nebraskans would descend on L.A. — many even without tickets.
USC (1-0) coach Pete Carroll is yawning at the hype over a big weekend in college football, saying, "In week two or three, there's no way people are out of it [the title race]. This thing doesn't start to take shape until week eight, nine or 10. It's just too early."
Likewise, Carroll isn't worked up at the idea the Pac-10 has a chance to puff up its chest this weekend.
"I mean, it'd be great if the Pac-10 won, and maybe help us down the road," he said. "[But] we're not getting on the intercom and cheering each other on."
Besides, Carroll has other concerns, including the growing question of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and extra benefits.
Navy at Stanford: How do you get a new 50,000-seat, $100 million stadium built in 9 ½ months? You have a major donor — John Arrillaga, No. 346 on Forbes Magazine's list of richest Americans — who is a real-estate mogul, and who managed to cut out much of the "middle man" delays by making many choices himself.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Arrillaga is in it for about a third of the total cost, 22 donors contributed $2 million or more and Stanford did the rest.
The stadium opens today, thanks to the fact Arrillaga oversaw two crews that worked 16 hours a day and Saturdays.
Portland State at California: PSU is 2-0 and won at New Mexico. Vikings include former UCLA defensive lineman C.J. Niusulu, who had a troubled career in Westwood.
Stephen F. Austin at Arizona: Austin's the key word here. Quarterback Adam Austin gets his first career start for the Wildcats, although Willie Tuitama finally returned to practice Thursday after concussion symptoms. 'Cats (1-1) should shed their offensive problems.