Teams fighting for survival.
All you need to know is that Pat McPhee is the new star of "Gameday". The humor will be meaner and don't be looking for anything positive, uplifting, or thoughtful (like your letter today, John). "Gameday", and TV in general, merely reflects the current state of our civilization, particularly our "American exceptionalism"! Help!
Corso was rude and thoughtless with his comment yesterday. But maybe an accurate example of how sports media sees teams like OSU and WSU; “not worth it”. As a former coach of young men, Corso should know better. Each player, each team, each conference, the history, tradition and rivalries matter. Except maybe to FOX and ESPN.
Couldn't agree more with this. Honestly. Time for these two schools to go on offense instead of pretending that camaraderie among fellow university presidents will get them anywhere. Both schools have rabid fanbases, but building their brands is apparently what still needs to happen.
Excellent! On point!
I live in South Carolina, am a UNC guy and want OSU and WSU to grow and thrive. I’ve been ‘reached’; why not many others ?
Sigh. A lot I could say, having sat in the top communications chair on five campuses and advised many others as a crisis consultant.
But I’d bore most of you. So just a few top-line thoughts:
1. Universities do not make most decisions swiftly or easily. Many reasons why, but at the heart of it is a long-standing belief in “collaborative consensus and shared governance.”
2. Yeah--that sounds like academic gibberish. It probably is. But presidents and chancellors fear backlash from their faculty (mostly), board (somewhat) and donors (always). The default always is *not* to act. Wait. Think. Deliberate. Consult.
3. Remind anyone of “Rome burning”? It should, because that’s often what happens: problems fester while everyone deliberates. I guarantee you the two presidents, AD’s, consultants -- and lawyers -- have discussed the pros and cons of mounting a PR campaign.
4. Lawyers. Always the lawyers. I wouldn’t discount their influence here, especially as litigation against the ten departing member schools gets going and they gear up for the upcoming evidentiary hearing. Lawyers *always* counsel clients to be cautious. They insist on carefully reviewing, editing or redacting every word proposed by people like me.
5. To a point, that makes sense. Reckless messaging can wreck legal strategy. I always closely collaborate with lawyers and, usually, we arrive at something everyone can live with.
6. Caution comes at a cost. It wastes precious time. It stunts momentum. It sometimes is overkill. And windows of opportunity can close while everyone ... deliberates. Watching Corso on Saturday strikes me as one of those opportunities missed.
7. John is right. WSU and OSU desperately need their stories -- the real stories -- out there. Sooner than later. They need to engage alumni, donors, students, political influencers, and the media -- the only audience people mistakenly think strategic PR is intended to reach.
8. I’m available. And I don’t cost $30K/mo.
We are living in a cynical, post-empathy world. OSU and WAZZU have been curb stomped and left for dead. It's sad they need a PR firm to craft a narrative to drive public opinion with enough volume to move TV dollars. But hey, if that's the game, get busy and play to win.
Dickert seems to have made leaps and bounds this season as our head coach and it makes Coug nation proud to see one of the highest profile faces of our university speaking out publicly like he is. I liked what Chun said on the podcast with Wilner too and believe we need to be more vocal about these issues. Now if only Schulz approves something like outsourcing to a high profile firm…
Timing/Opportunity is everything and both schools (WSU and OSU) couldn’t be in a better position to go on the public offensive. 4-0 and 3-1, top 25 programs, just played each other in a 3 point game that was sold out and electric as ever. As Mike Leach said “SWING YOUR SWORD”!!!!
John, maybe your statement "room filled with "smart" people" is the incorrect assessment? As I have said previously I'm a Duck fan, but I am also all about "Oregon" athletics, root for the Beavs except when playing the Ducks. It's shameful that the previous and current Pac 12 Commissioners were/are more about getting paid than the success of the conference. The Pac 12 was/is no second rate entity as evidenced by the current national ratings as well as the number of quality quarterbacks who are Heisman contenders. The TV networks should not be held blameless either. How many billions does it take to say we're successful?
That's a great video! The main point is - what are the conferences really looking at? WSU and OSU. Ranked football teams? Check. TV numbers? Check. Strong fan base? Check. Are we really at the point where these schools weren't selected because of their "brands"? If that's the case, then what are the factual reasons why these schools were passed up? I'm a Cal fan, but to me, WSU/OSU bring more value to the table. Their football teams are better, their TV numbers are better and their games are better attended. Do they play in a smaller media market? Yes, but does that matter if they have more viewers. And if we are moving away from regional rivalries to national conferences, does that even matter? Look at Gonzaga. The reason why everybody wants to watch them is because they are good at basketball. Doesn't matter that they are in a small media market. Doesn't matter that their other sports do not do as well. We can't make assumptions about NIL or alumnae support either. Where there is a will there is a way and I'm sure that WSU and OSU will step up so that these are not the reasons they are counted out.
I feel like we've been getting half-truths from the conferences and media execs about why certain teams are "better" for conferences than others. Give us some real reasons why WSU and OSU are fighting to stay alive and Cal and Stanford (who are both bad at football) were able to latch on. (And please don't give me that tired argument about academics or the student-athletes. It's clearly all about the money and academics be damned.) Clearly these are Power 5 football teams.
I just watched that clip for the first time. I just lost all respect for Lee Corso. Forever. Good luck finding redemption in your lifetime.
I feel like OSU and WSU both suffer from a younger sibling syndrome behind Oregon and Washington. Both schools have been proving that the deserve to be a part of the conversation, but for whatever reason aren't willing to shout about it right now. I agree with you John, they need to start screaming it from the roof tops, via a firm or otherwise.
I used to watch portions of College Game Day (CGD) almost every Saturday morning. It was part of my Saturday morning ritual.
I've come to realize that College Game Day is a part of the problem with college football. It idolizes the elite teams at the expense of all the others. It's trains everyone that these brands matter and all the others don't matter. When they do picks for a non-elite game, quite often at least one of the commentators will make a snide remark about at least one of the teams or say, "who cares."
The hosts are often flippantly arrogant and rude. I remember years ago the Huskies were chosen for a CGD. They hadn't gotten one in forever and were naturally very excited. For the outdoor backdrop that day, they chose their fabulously old Suzzallo library. I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking, wow that looks amazing! Minutes later, one of the commentators blurted out how stupid he thought it was that the backdrop is a library. It felt scathingly rude.
Before the start of the season after watching the networks kill the Pac12, I decided I'm not watching CGD anymore. I haven't missed it one bit.
Both schools have great stories to tell and , yes, those stories need a wider audience, not only during football game timeouts. And I'll repeat a comment I made on your other post today: these two schools are a great foundation for a new conference. And not coast to coast, primarily because of other college sports.
In addition to football and basketball, there are a myriad of other sports that are just as important to athletes and their fans. And distance does matter, especially with the non-revenue and women's sports.
For example, Stanford, with its huge endowment will have no financial issues sending its volleyball, fencing, crew, track and field, baseball, softball, water polo, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. teams to Boston, Durham or Clemson.
Cal, not so much. And from the east, Va. Tech, Pitt and other state and /or less-moneyed schools are going to look at Title IX and gulp. And wonder if maybe increasing conference size wasn't such a good idea after all.
Right on the money John, thank you for saying this! I'm a life long Beaver fan and grew up in Philomath, but I've been saying this for over 20 years. Instead of whining about uncle Phil and Nike buying everything for the ducks, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! It's never been more relevant than now in this situation. OSU has always been their own worst enemy. They puff their chests out and try to tell everyone they're big time, in a big conference (until next year), but everything they do is small time, always has been.
Their actions have never matched their words . If you think you still belong in a power 5 conference DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! If not, maybe you've earned your place in the MWC. The fans can't care more about it than the the school does. Unfortunately, that's been the case for far too long.
Been saying this for a long time. The shade thrown at the PAC in general going back as far as I can recall by national pundits like Corso and Holz served to degrade the brand, and devalue the conference leading to its demise.
“PAC 10 is soft”.
“Conference isn’t tough”
“Play no defense”
From self serving sources who never had any connection to the conference,working for companies (ESPN, Fox, etc) with little financial incentive to support it. Even the pundits with PAC backgrounds always seemed reluctant to say positive things. I distinctly recall Rod Gilmore being essentially bullied into silence when he dared stick up for the conference a few years back. And can you blame him? He’s got a career to keep, and being that “PAC 10/12 guy who thinks they’re actually any good…” was probably a career limiter for the guy. He’s swimming in east coast biased waters.
Narratives set opinion. Back when the PAC was setting new standards with passing games and dynamic offenses that are now the template for 90% of all major programs, instead of a positive narrative of ingenuity, it was called “finesse” by the Corsos of the CF world.
“Finesse” is one word that is destined to have zero respect in football.
The corrosive effect helped do the conference in. Or maybe Corso-ive effect is more apropos.
Corso is irrelevant and needs to go wherever they stashed Lou Holtz. It’s sad they still run him out there. No can even understand what he says. And while they’re at it take Kirk Herbstreet with him