Why yes, I do look good in the glow of a conference championship win some five days after it occurred, thanks for asking. Like a chemical peel or whatever it is the kids these days do to retain their youth and vigor but here’s hoping it’s chain smoking 2:30 a.m. cigarettes at a $10 blackjack table in Reno. If it is, I’m living forever.
We find ourselves near the end of September with your Washington State Cougars at 4-0, No. 16 in the country. Not only that, Cougar volleyball currently resides at No. 6 in the nation and soccer sits at No. 23. Maybe no better time on the field to be a Wazzu fan. So, of course, the perfect time for the most college athletics upheaval in half a century.
The bye week is a perfect time (say perfect time again, Michael) to continue our previous podcast exclusive of Ask Michael Anything on this here website. Yes, it occurs to me this is like Bill Simmons old mailbag columns on Page 2. No, I’m not going to explain to you what Page 2 was. It was brilliant though.
What are your thoughts on this podcast (first 10 minutes)? Is there any truth to it? https://t.co/vzOvuwXiHZ— Andrew Lewis (@AndrewL426) September 27, 2023
I mean, Wazzu and Oregon State have always been a perfect fit in the Big 12 from an institution stand point. Land grants who have occasionally overachieved athletically with rabidly passionate fanbases. Its always been there!
But the Cougs and Beavs find themselves on the outside looking in after the realignment dance decided their crushed velvet suit just didn’t fit in these days. Not invited to a dance with the popular kids? No way I could relate at all. No sir.
With the Cal Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal off to the Atlantic Coast Conference despite their location mere miles from the Pacific Coast, which, you’ll note, is on the opposite end of the continent, geography doesn’t matter any more. Academics don’t really matter either with UCF and BYU already in the Big 12.
It’s all about “media market” or whatever. Or at least it has been to this point. It’s pretty clear now that no one really expected the Cougs and Beavs to bow up and actually fight. Everyone thought we’d just accept fate and roll into the Mountain West but we haven’t. In fact, we’re doing quite the opposite.
And it would appear that no one really thought all the implications through because the current Pac-12 rep on the College Football Playoff Board of Managers is ... Kirk Schulz. And for the board to make any changes to the format of the playoff before the 2025 edition, votes need to be unanimous.
So that brings us to the one way that you might see Kirk Schulz willing to make the change: an invitation to the Big 12 for his institution along with OSU. If that happens, they’re likely very happy to drop their lawsuit, carve up the conference and make the changes to the CFP the other managers would like.
How likely is that though? I’d still classify it as fairly remote though I’ve been comically wrong about a lot in this saga. A Big 12 invitation for Wazzu and OSU is definitely a “believe it when I see it” situation and until it actually happens, I just won’t believe it.
Realistically how long can we hold onto Coach Dickert and Arbuckle? Especially given all the realignment uncertainties— Coach Dickert Era | Cougs vs Everybody (@EtherDash) September 27, 2023
Until all the dust settles, we won’t really know. Dickert will almost certainly need to accept a pay cut of at least 40% off his $3 million salary. It would also probably be a step backwards for Arbuckle prestige wise even if the schools go it alone as the Pac-2 for a couple of years and merge with the Mountain West under the Pac-12 banner.
Arbuckle is probably a good candidate to go elsewhere this offseason regardless if his offense continues on this trajectory. We knew the offense would be better but this much better? He’ll surely be getting calls for interviews in November.
So how to keep him? A raise we probably can’t afford, unfortunately.
Top of the mornin’ to you Michael, I noticed at the Oregon State game that we are SO back, do you care to comment?— it's me Harold (@harrysack_) September 27, 2023
/steps to microphone
/takes deep breath
We are so damn back.
What happens to the PAC-2 next year in your opinion….— Chris Kleene (@ckleene) September 27, 2023
I know what I would prefer, which is for them to go it alone as the Pac-2 assuming they are granted an injunction against the other conference members making decisions. It’s likely where the most money is for them for a couple years and you can negotiate a clean TV deal when you fold the rest of the Mountain West in three years from now.
Most likely? The schools are certainly hedging against that. But reps from WSU and OSU are being very non-committal right now, likely at the advice of their attorneys and Oliver Luck.
If I had to put percentages on it though?
70% - Pac-12 lawsuit settlement and just fold into Mountain West
20% - Get your injunction, go it alone as Pac-2
9% - Big 12 invitation
0.9% - Create a new Super Conference with every state school out there and call it the “Land Grant Union”
0.1% - Somehow get the Four Corners back and manage to finagle like $40 million a year from Apple and just send UW and Oregon the Homer Simpson double finger guns gif
Dearest Michael - what’s been your favorite play or scheme we’ve seen from our boy @arbuckle_ben so far this year?— Max is Lawyered Up (@MaxLikesSports1) September 27, 2023
The double QB sets are my favorite damn thing in the world. It currently competes for a podium spot with snuggles with my 3-year old and the perfectly prepared grilled chesse she had for dinner tonight and I absolutely did not steal a piece of, how dare you accuse me of it.
Leave some more questions in the comments and I’ll get to them!