Close your eyes: Imagine the Texas Longhorns versus the USC Trojans in September inside the climate-controlled University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. It has a retractable roof and the air conditioning kicks in when temperatures reach more than 100 degrees.
Who wouldn't watch that? Or want to attend the game in person?
Amid all the talk of Pac-10 expansion, conference championship games and increasing conference revenue, one often overlooked item is marquee, neutral-site games that would generate huge national interest -- and big paychecks from broadcast partners.
One question is where? But now there's an answer.
The Fiesta Bowl last week settled a lawsuit with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, the public entity that oversees University of Phoenix Stadium, Andrew Bagnato reported on his blog.
Writes Bagnato: "As part of the deal, AZSTA agreed to support the Fiesta Bowl in its efforts to stage occasional regular-season college football games at the retractable-roofed stadium. Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Duane Woods said there would likely be 'no more than one game annually, but we are very excited that this can mean additional economic impact for our state and for AZSTA at a very critical time.'"
This is the sort of thing that would fit what Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott and his Big 12 counterpart Dan Beebe chatted about two weeks ago.
Last year, the Alabama-Virginia Tech game at the Georgia Dome launched the Crimson Tide's national title run. This year, Boise State and Virginia Tech meet in Washington D.C., with the same aspirations. Also, Army plays Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium and Oregon State faces TCU in Cowboys Stadium.
These games generate "extra" revenue over and above what an average nonconference game produces. "Extra" revenue is what every conference at present is obsessing about.
Here's a guess you'll see a Pac-10-Big 12 game hosted by the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in the very near future.