Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
If the Pac-12 ever hopes to overcome the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and other conferences across the country, it will take a multi-pronged approach.
Commissioner Larry Scott has done a great deal since taking over towards moving the Pac-12 more into the limelight on the national college football scene. Now it's up to the coaches and players at each individual school to do their part.
The four new head coaches in the Pac-12 will attract attention in the fall; it's important that they capitalize on that media scrutiny in a positive fashion.
The Pac-12 really needs to win every high-profile non-conference game against the country's leading conferences. For example, the Sept. 8 schedule in the Pac-12 brings four excellent opportunities to make a major statement: Oklahoma St. at Arizona; Nebraska at UCLA; Wisconsin at Oregon St; Washington at LSU.
In an ideal world, the Pac-12 would win all four of those high-profile games and really make a statement at the beginning of the season. But if the Pac-12 loses all four of those games, it will, unfortunately, also make a statement.
We all know we have tremendous talent on the field at each and every school in the Pac-12. Let's make 2012 the year that all that talent lives up to its potential. Student-athletes need to show up in shape for fall camp, and they need to keep their noses clean throughout the summer and the season.
Let's work on character and values along with our football preparation. And, let's not see anymore Vontaze Burfict and Cliff Harris issues in the 2013 NFL Draft.