Traditionalists will have a hard time swallowing the new Pac-12 Conference alignment with a north-south format and a conference championship game in December. No doubt some are still grumbling about the move from the old Pac-8 to the Pac-10.

Traditionalists will have a hard time swallowing the new Pac-12 Conference alignment with a north-south format and a conference championship game in December. No doubt some are still grumbling about the move from the old Pac-8 to the Pac-10.

At a meeting in San Francisco on Oct. 21, the league's presidents and chancellors nailed down the new alignment and other important issues that arose after Colorado and Utah recently accepted invitations to join the Pac-10 in the conference's first expansion since 1978.

The University of Oregon fared surprisingly well in the most important decision — revenue sharing. The conference will switch from an appearance-based model in which the Los Angeles schools traditionally earned more money to an equal sharing of football television revenues when a new television deal goes into effect in 2012.

For the Oregon schools, the new arrangement should mean a larger and more consistent flow of TV revenue. That's a particularly welcome prospect for the UO, whose budget has soared in recent years amid a huge expansion of facilities, including the $227 million Matthew Knight Arena.

There is a caveat: USC and UCLA will get a $2 million payout in any year total revenues are less than $170 million — a not-too-subtle reminder that some Pac-12 schools are more "equal" than others. But the payouts seem unlikely since the league is expected to negotiate a lucrative new TV contract for the beefed-up conference. While the Pac-10 currently gets $60 million from its expiring TV deal, the Big Ten (also expanding to 12 teams) gets $214 million. With Southern California's huge market and the star power of schools such as Oregon and — let's be generous — USC, Commissioner Larry Scott should have little trouble negotiating a deal that ensures equal revenue sharing.

The north-south alignment also was controversial. Some schools favored a "zipper" model that would have split natural rivals such as the UO and OSU but still allow them to meet yearly outside division play. That model had strong appeal for the northern schools, which wanted to continue playing every year in the recruiting hotbed of Southern California.

But the new alignment has some trade-offs for Oregon and the other northern schools, which will still get a Southern California trip every other year. The prospect of an annual championship game, which will be hosted by the football team with the best overall record (that should be the Ducks most years), will provide opportunities for additional exposure.

Traditionalists can take solace that there will be no divisions in other sports. In basketball, instead of playing a home-and-home round robin, teams will play their traditional rivals twice each season. They will also play six other teams in a home-and-home each season with one game against the other four teams.

Given the tangle of competing interests at the Oct. 21 meeting, it was impressive that the 12 presidents and chancellors — and the athletic directors advising them — were able to reach what reportedly was unanimous agreement.

Now, everyone can get back to business in what for a very short time will remain the Pac-10.