Bowl opportunity

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said Wednesday playing a bowl in a different part of the country was good for the league.

"There are some tradeoffs," he said. "It's not as easy for fans to get to. You can't drive. It's not as easy as San Diego, perhaps.

"But as I look at the bigger picture, this is the kind of matchup we want."

Adding a game in the Lone Star State specifically intrigued the commissioner, who donned a red Arizona polo shirt.

"We don't want to just play within our footprint," he said. "We do want the opportunity to play in Texas. It's great for recruiting."

He admitted the Arizona Wildcats' fan presence could have been larger.

"You always want bigger," he said. "You always want better. I know in talking to (UA athletic director) Greg Byrne there's a lot he's trying to do in terms of changing the culture by traveling and following the team as well."

One benefit, the commissioner said, was the attention paid to the Alamo Bowl by ESPN.

"When I see the way ESPN is positioning this game, and who's doing the radio, who's doing the commentary … the TV slot is big-time national profile of this game," he said. "I'm really happy with it."

Proud papa

Bill Byrne tried to do the math in his head - how many bowl games had he attended as the athletic director at Oregon, Nebraska and Texas A&M?

"Twenty or twenty-five," he said.

Wednesday, the Texas A&M athletic director witnessed his son Greg's first as an athletic director.

He sat in Greg's luxury box and wore navy and red. He said he and his son would have been happy had their two schools met in the postseason - though his wife Marilyn didn't like the idea.

Bill Byrne joked that, in San Antonio this week, he was known solely as Greg's father.

Case in point: Greg Byrne's hotel room had a view of the Alamo. Bill's had something different.

"A parking lot and roofing units," Bill said.

The big numbers

196, 1

OSU kicker Dan Bailey's extra points made and missed in his career before he flubbed one in the second quarter.

Communication skills

Scott criticized the NCAA for doing a poor job explaining its rulings regarding two of the nation's best teams.

Scott said fans could be "reading the worst" into the NCAA's judgment that five Ohio State players must sit out five games next year for violations, but can still play in this year's Sugar Bowl, after selling memorabilia and accepting discounts.

"The decision's got a lot of people a little bit confused about how something can warrant a five-game suspension and not warrant a next-game suspension," Scott said. "I don't think the NCAA has done a great job explaining that rationale."

Between that and the Cam Newton ruling, the NCAA has faced criticism for its dealing with high-profile teams.

"I don't want to go too far, but at minimum they haven't done a good job of explaining, and it seems like there's a disconnect," Scott said.

"Unfortunately, people are reading in intentions and motivations that I'm sure are not correct.

"I think the NCAA needs to do a better job of transparency and communicating better about their rationale."

Washington out, back

Arizona played the first half without one of its best defensive players, Justin Washington.

Washington, who was splashed on four billboards around San Antonio and touted as one of the UA's great Texan players, did not dress or play in the first half because of an unspecified violation of team rules.

Washington returned, suited, for the second half.

Patrick Finley