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Because it’s the Offseason: Pac 12 - Arrested Development Crossover Time

And now the story of an #afterdark conference who the rest of the country forgot, and the one blog who had no choice but to keep them all together. It’s Pacific Development.

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UW, UCLA, and CU were late to the photo-shoot.
Source: My awesome Microsoft Paint skills

Apologies to the purists who want nothing but X’s and O’s in our articles. I promise you, that’s not what’s in store today.

This is because it’s the offseason, and that means sports sites’ content options consist exclusively of the following:

  • Way-Too-Early Most-Gingers-in-the-Starting-Lineup Top 25 Projection
  • Who You’d F&%^, Marry, and Kill on Each Projected Top 25 Team
  • Is This Finally Nebraska’s Year?
  • [Quarterback for Fringe Top 10 Team X] Threw a Cuh-Razy Trickshot From the Back of a Horse-Drawn Carriage into the Head of a Mid-Crime Armed Robber, Knocking him out and Saving the Day Because he is an American Hero
  • Is This Finally Texas’ Year?
  • Blah Blah Blah, Something Something Big XII ‘Bout to be Blasted Into Non-Existence by the Death Star
  • Is This Finally Miami’s Year?

And, everybody’s favorite, 8,723,873,475,012 iterations of:

  • Which Coaches are on the Hot Seat and Also Why do you Dumb-Dumbs Keep Reading These God-Forsaken Articles?

In other words, for the love of God and all that is holy, is it football season yet?

The answer, of course, is “No you moron, we’ve still got two months left” and if you need proof that we’re in the doldrums of the offseason, it’s that I just hit the publish button on this. That’s because — I don’t know about you guys — but I think the best way to get through the next two months is to quit it with the articles exposing our denial that it’s the offseason and just have a bit of fun, dammit.

Basically, a couple weeks ago Oklahoma State’s SB Nation site, Cowboys Ride For Free, published the offseason post to end all offseason posts with “Big 12 Football Teams as Characters From ‘The Office.’” Then they did it again with Harry Potter. This was frikkin’ awesome and, if you disagree, there is a 96% chance you’re a crotchety old man and a 100% chance you hate joy and fun.

So we decided to steal that concept, blow it the shit up, and have some fun Pacific-style. (Props to Ben Knibbe for helping me figure out who WSU, Utah, and UCLA are.)

Now, the story of an #afterdark conference who the rest of the country forgot, and the one blog who had no choice but to keep them all together:

The North

Cal — George Michael Bluth

He’s a bit of a lovable dork who probably doesn’t get the respect he’d like from the family. The rest of these manic narcissists are constantly scheming their next move and George Michael gets a bit trampled in the course. Every once in a while he’ll stick up for himself (like, oh, I don’t know, right here?) and then the rest of us are all “Whoah there boy-o where did that come from? You scamp you!”

Also, while Michael wants to “emphasize athletics a little bit more,” George Michael just maybe isn’t feeling that enthusiasm so much. (Get it, because Cal’s Chancellors of Everything don’t give a boot about football?)

Plus his response to “Hey pal, you 4th in the North?” is “Almost always, yeah.” (Seriously, look it up.)

Oregon — Lindsay Bluth Fünke

Lindsay likes that glitz and glamour life more than she likes working to get to the point where she can live glamorously. Despite this, she has the capacity to carry her weight in the family — she certainly tries her best at times — but then frequently can’t get the job done when it comes down to it. Like so:

Her wardrobe combination is endless and she was undesirable for a long time before a major brand renovation/nose job happened. Shortly thereafter she became the hot one of the family and never looked back, although this has had a monstrous effect on her ego. Did I mention she loves new clothes and never wears the same thing twice?

Ostensibly liberal, but we’re pretty sure she’s in it it for the cool-factor.

Stanford — Michael Bluth

No nonsense and gets shit done. Without him, the family would almost certainly be pandemonium because he’s probably the only one we can consistently trust to make the family that is the Pac 12 look good. Then again, he’s full of himself, no fun, not as perfect as he thinks, and has a big fat dumb false sense of superiority.

Look, it’s Stanford and Oregon in their natural habitat!

Oregon State 2015-ish — Tobias Fünke

Arguably the most good for nothing living thing. Truly, honestly, completely useless. His existence consists almost entirely of being emasculated by Lindsay. (And everybody, for that matter.) In fact, if you look here, we seem to have found rare footage of the 2014 Civil War:

Aaaaand then some:

Oregon State now — Annyong Bluth

Nobody quite knows what's happening over there but he might be getting ready to screw some people up. Or he may just disappear into oblivion again and continue being minimally relevant — only time will tell.

Washington State — Lucille Bluth

Wasted by 10 AM and probably shouldn’t be trusted with anything of value. Still, she’s craftier than she gets credit for and either seems to end up victorious when all had previously seemed lost or does something stupid that snatches defeat out of the claws of victory (See: Lucille vs. Lucille Penthouse Remodel Wars of 2K4).

As well, whenever Lindsay or Michael get too confident, Lucille comes in to break them the hell down and ruin their lives, at least temporarily. This is objectively fantastic.

Most importantly, if there’s anyone whose breakfast order is vodka rocks and a piece of toast, it’s Wazzu*.

Furthermore, she doesn’t give a deuce about whether or not things are going her way — she’s just gonna keep on keepin’ on and sipping her 160 proof drink of choice in the good times and the bad.

*To the Wazzu nitpickers, I know that a more fitting breakfast would be either Fireball or Busch Light, but this is the closet option in the universe of Balboa Towers and The Bluth Company so suck it up.

Washington — Lucille “Two” Austero

Sometimes she stumbles. Sometimes she stumbles as hard as a stumble can be (can we say 0 - 12, boys and girls?). It’s not pretty. But, in the end, she ends up killing it... even if it takes what feels like an eternity to return to that point. During her biggest stumble of them all, many people thought she was dead, but the true believers had faith that what appeared to be her tragic demise was just a mixture of juice and parmesan... or something like that. Is juice Tyrone Willingham in this analogy? Who’s parmesan? Rick Neuheisel’s sports betting thing? I have no clue...

Look, it’s Washington in 2008!

Not to miss, also, is her rivalry with Lucille Bluth. She may have people who she dislikes a lot more, but the role of Lucille and Lucille as frenemies is integral to their roles in the family. Plus, although Lucille Two wants to come out on top, she’s under the impression that the two Lucilles are better friends than they are while Lucille Bluth is pretty much always scheming how to one-up Lucille Two. Lucille Bluth sometimes wins, but more often than not it’s Lucille Two who gets hers.

The South

USC — George Bluth

George was for the longest time the figurehead and patriarch of the family before getting penalized for some shady work and falling from grace. Luckily for him, it looks like he's in a better place now.

George is the face of a SoCal empire, whether you care for him or not.

Even though Michael has a lot of say, and sometimes Lindsay calls in for a change in office decor, and sometimes Lucille Two buys up some shares, (and sometimes Gob is ostensibly president even though we all know he has no real power), and sometimes Lucille will make some noise at a board meeting, George is the emperor of the Bluth kingdom. Deal with it.

UCLA — Oscar Bluth

Kinda like George but, ya know... not. George-lite, if you will. George and Oscar will always bicker and 98% of the time, George will come out on top. Even when you think, “Oh, maybe this time Oscar will finally be the victor,” he manages to almost never be in the end.

However, Oscar does seem to have a pretty good thing going on so long as you overlook his second fiddle status in the brotherly rivalry. He absolutely thrived while George was away. Plus he lived on a freaking lemon grove for a billion years for Christ’s sake. As far as tracts of land in Southern California go, that’s pretty rad. Plus, he’s typically one of the less repugnant of the Bluths, even if it comes at the cost of being the beta Bluth brother.

Arizona State — George Oscar “Gob” Bluth

Pretty much a doofus who wants to be one of the heads of the family but the rest of the family agrees he should never have any real power. Every once in a while he'll be given a title but doesn't do anything with it and, let's be honest, wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.

Exhibit A: We see here live footage from the 2013 Pac 12 Championship, where Stanford Michael squared off with ASU Gob. It went exactly as any sane human would predict:

Also, he’s prone to fits of incoherent yelling, just like Todd Graham with his “it’s Britney, bitch,” headset of Ye Olden Days.

And lastly — not to overdo it with the visuals — seriously though, look at this and tell me with a straight face it’s not just Arizona State in human form:

Arizona — Buster Bluth

“You couldn’t run, you couldn’t throw, you were just a turd out there.”
~George, in his infinite wisdom, to his son/maybe-not-son, Buster

Sometimes, Buster is the only one the family can rely on. Sometimes he’s... not.

He’s almost never on top and his ingrained beta-status means he’ll almost never reach that point. But if there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that, despite Buster being so not the alpha, he still manages to hold himself together better than much of the rest of the family. Do we trust him running the Bluth/Pac empire? No. No way. No no no no no. But while it’s often Buster who’s stepped on and pushed around, he’s stealthily okay at not totally screwing up everything all the time forever.

Plus, he and Gob have one of the more intense — and overlooked — sibling rivalries in all of the west coast.

Utah — Maeby Fünke

Fairly or not, nobody seems to pay close attention to what’s happening in Maeby’s neck of the woods — yet she’s quietly built up a respectable amount of success especially considering she hasn’t been in the family that long. Despite being rather neglected by the rest of the family (or maybe because of it?), Maeby does a lot more with a lot less than most. She’s the latchkey kid of the conference and thriving in that position, although sometimes it feels like she’d appreciate a bit more recognition from the rest of the fam.

However, despite her impressive runs of success, she often gets stumped right when it looks like she’s gonna pull off a big fat heist. Even so, her craftiness makes it not difficult to imagine a world where Maeby becomes the emperor of the family.

Colorado — Ann Veal

Was the “her?” of the conference for the longest time and then, tired of winning* the inner beauty pageant, BOOM — got hot all of a sudden!

Well, okay, maybe she still isn’t the sexiest of all the family (honestly, who could compete with Oscar’s hair?), but Ann and the Buffs went from being invariably dismissed to kinda a big deal almost overnight.

Moreover, almost nobody predicted her ascension (except, to toot my own horn, moi because I’m a super-mega-genius**) and now peeps are here wondering why they didn’t buy in before it became cliche to do so.

This is pretty much Colorado after they blew the minds of the Pac 12 South in 2016:

*coming in third place
**to be clear, I am referring to Colorado’s rise, not Ann’s transformation from frumpster to awesome.

The Rest

What’s that now? You thought the Pac 12 ended with its 12 academic and athletic institutions? HA. Oh the naïveté. You, my friend, are muy incorrecto.

Kitty — Crazy blue chip Southern California recruit

A little bit dramatic and if she doesn’t get her way you will hear about it. At any given point she may stick around or have a crazy fit and bolt, going missing for months before finally turning up again. Commits, decommits, then recommits, then decommits again... then commits again. This will happen no less than three times. Furthermore, she’ll sometimes mess around with Gob or flash Michael in an ill-conceived power move to get her way, but in the end is obsessed with George, for better or worse.

Also significant — no matter how cool she thinks she is, she will never ever be able to best Lucille in a drinking competition. Not even close.

Carl Weathers — Utah’s defensive line

No nonsense and jacked as shit. While some teams would overlook his ingredients for success, Carl is frugal and effective — take a handful of big old Utah low-rated three stars, chop some onions, peppers, a tomato, and baby you got a stew goin’. (And by stew I mean emotionally and physically bruised opposing QBs, duh.)

Barry Zuckercorn — Pac 12 Network

Despite all discernible evidence to the contrary, we keep on being reassured “he’s very good.”

This is false, and I suspect Bob Loblaw’s Ball-Lobbing Blog Vlog would do better.

Franklin Delano Bluth — Mike Leach

Love him or hate him, your opinion is irrelevant and Franklin will continue to say Franklin things whether you’re down with it or not. He is neither right nor wrong. He is Franklin, and that is all that matters.

The Literal Doctor — Pac 12 refs

When your (team’s) life is on the line, this is the last person you want delivering the verdict. Truly, miraculously bad. Just straight trash.

Bees - Blitzing too much

Gob/ASU is both obsessed with and confused by how that works. It makes him look kinda dumb sometimes.

Banana Stand — Phil Knight’s pocket book

There’s always money in the banana stand. Legitimately endless flows of cash. Where does it come from? The mob? Spores?

WSU’s annual beatdown by an FCS team — A night out at Klimpy’s

Who ever thought the question, “Plate or platter?” could result in such a crappy outcome for Lucille? It has everything — crying, fighting, alcohol, more crying, the cops, alcohol, mild surprise that this ordeal could turn out so bad, alcohol... You know, everything.

Yet somehow Lucille — although peeved at the outcome — rarely seems too distraught over things the next morning, and meanwhile the rest of the family is vigorously facepalming because Lucille’s tom-foolery made us all look bad. As she herself put it, “This does not bode well.”

The Chicken Dance — #Pac12AfterDark

It looks a bit different on everyone but boils down to one thing: complete chaos that makes the entire family look foolish.

The Narrator — US!

Here at UWDP, we’re fully omniscient and the only people in this whole mess that you can totally trust, duh. Also, completely unbiased and perfect. The true hero of the story, really.

And that is the Pac 12 as The Bluth Company.

Wake me up when fall camp begins.

Lastly, I would feel ashamed — no, downright irresponsible — if I didn’t end on this to brighten up your day:

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.