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The View From Section 40: To The Newbies Go The Spoils


"Oh, now he’s a philosophizer."   - White Goodman, from the movie "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"

For my next job, I’d like to work for the Pac 10 Athletic Conference.  Upon hire, I’ll choose to accept a seven-figure salary (actually, I’d prefer an eight, but I’m fair), Rick Neuheisel’s former abode in Medina on the Lake Washington’s waterfront, a BMW 6-series convertible, fried chicken freshly delivered from Ezell’s each afternoon…check that, just hire me Ezell himself, and—oh yeah—let’s have a few representatives (female, thank you) from the Oregon Cheer Squad fanning me with palm leaves on warm afternoons.

Standing Pac 10 employees, take note:  marketing, you each get to give up your comfortable homes, and in return I have some outstanding digs in a Lake City trailer Park.  Administrative support staff, forget the great Pho place you’re enjoying; from here on out, for lunch day you’ll enjoy the same brown lumpy s--- my daughter got served up yesterday in her school lunch.  Executive staff, I have a special one for you, and my yellow lab Suzie is aching to leave it on your manicured lawns each morning.

Well now, THAT about sums up my feelings regarding the latest rumors on Pac 10 expansion.  Rocky Mountain and Arizona schools, we’re going to give you exactly what you want, and oh, by the way, we’re going to give your very own football division with the LA schools, a conference championship game, new television contracts, and whole boat-load more money for your troubles. 

Original Pac 8 schools, here’s what you get:

  • Washington schools, forget the annual game in LA, and the recruiting exposure that goes with it.  Can’t have you beating up on the Trojans every year…not good for us.
  • Oregon schools, same thing.  Oh, you don’t like it?  Too bad…go put on your Birkenstocks, throw down some granola, and find yourself a sympathetic tree to hug.
  • NorCal schools, you’re not really California anyway, so you’ll just get put in a separate division than your SoCal brethren, and guarantee you nothing about all playing each other annually.
  • SoCal schools, you already have LA from which to draw your recruits, so you can forget about any guarantees about playing in NorCal.  But because we’re so worried about keeping you happy, here’s a few mill extra each year to shut you up. 

Look, my inner Gordon Gekko does comprehend that in the end, it’s all about the money, and the projected increase of up to $10M or more is going to mean a whole more to some of the original Pac 8 schools (Wazzu, I'm talking to you).  However, I’ve been firmly in the "Zipper" proposal’s corner since day one of expansion talk, as the way I see things up here in Section 40, it’s the least of all evils.

And while I also understand that without Colorado and Utah’s respective arrivals, there wouldn’t be the projected windfall and exposure of an early-December conference championship game, I don’t understand the how and the why as to their coffers receiving the same economic boost as the original Pac 8, let alone the Pac 10. 

Based on rumors, USC and UCLA stand to receive extra cash annually until a specified economic threshold is crossed.  Therefore, the precedent is set that some conference members are "more equal" than others.  Just spitballing here, but therefore could/should there not be a tiered system of economic "reward" based on years of longevity with the conference?

Just my $0.02 from up here in Section 40. 

***Finally, a note to new M’s manager Eric Wedge:  Dude, you just GOTTA' do something about that mustache.