Canzano: Pac-12 needed football IQ & hiring Merton Hanks brings it For years, the Pac-12 Conference was football dumb. Nobody at conference headquarters had ever suited up, coached, played or had much of a connection to the game. A conference that fueled itself on the back of football-generated revenue meandered along for years with a low football IQ.

Commissioner Larry Scott is a Harvard-educated tennis player. His top lieutenant, Jamie Zaninovich, is a basketball guy. Woodie Dixon, the since-departed general counsel, had served as a salary-cap analyst in the NFL. But the conference coaches found themselves routinely frustrated that nobody at the conference level seemed to understand the game.

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