Oh, you Dennis Dodd, you. Whenever I'm feeling blue and wondering what I'm going to write about in this space you say something pedantic and/or trollerific which is designed for the sole purpose of getting you links out in the blog world and filling some column space. And you did it again. From Dodd's recent discussion of the Pac-10+2's new TV deal, which you'll just have to go find on the CBS Sports website:
The question now becomes what the Pac-12 schools do with their windfall. You can be sure that most of it won't be spent adding sports. There's a reason that only 10 or so schools out of 120 in I-A are turning a profit. The cash will go to the bottom line -- existing facilities, recruiting and coaching salaries. Adding non-revenue sports adds nothing to the bottom line.
In other words, the Pac-12 just became a player for the likes of Urban Meyer. I'm not saying Meyer will be hired in the Pac-12, I’m saying that the Pac-12 can now afford coaches of his stature. UCLA, not exactly Fort Knox when it comes to paying coaches, now has the ability, if it chooses, to pay Meyer if it fires Rick Neuheisel. The question is not whether it will, the reality is that it can make that call without getting hung up on.
Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that the Pac-12 was already a player for the likes of Pete Carroll, Jeff Tedford, Kyle Whittingham, Chip Kelly, Mike Riley and a few other guys who are either very good at coaching football or have convinced university administrators that they should be paid as if they're good at it (Kiffin, cough, another Kiffin). And the fact that the Stanford University athletic department is just as financially able to land a man on the moon as Belize, and has access to more people with the actual know-how to accomplish the task. And for God's sake let's not consider the fact that Phil Knight may or may not actually own the moon, among other parcels of valuable real estate throughout the solar system. In other words, let's ignore the fact that Dodd's underlying, unspoken premise (that the Pac-10 is some sort of poor redheaded athletic stepchild, the Andy Dalton of the NCAA if you will) could only be further from the truth if it were indeed on the face of the moon.
I think the unaddressed issue in Dodd's reasoning is the notion that hiring an Urban Meye- type of coach is going to make the Pac-10 somehow more of a national football contender. The problem is that has already happened. I mean, the Pac-10 had just as many teams in last year's BCS title game as the SEC. Few schools have the historical cache of Southern Cal, nor is it hard to recruit players to Arizona State. Granted, Pullman may be the Starkville of the Pacific Northwest, but no amount of television money was going to change that anyway. In other words, Dennis, the Pac-10 has been a player for the likes of Urban Meyer.
The difference is that Jeremy Foley picked Meyer out of a lineup of bigger name candidates who would have killed for the Florida job, while Pac-12 athletic directors have been overpaying for the likes of Lane Kiffin, Ty Willingham, and Dennis Erickson (not to mention Dan Hawkins, who Pac'ed up his stuff in Boulder before the Buffs were Pac'ed into the Pac-12) . If the Pac-12 wants to dominate college football, they don't need more money for coaches like Urban Meyer. They need money for athletic directors who know how to evaluate coaching talent. People like Utah's Chris Hill, who has guided the Utes' athletic department since 1987, along the way hiring Urban Meyer before he was Urban Meyer, then Kyle Whittingham to replace him. By guiding the Utes into a BCS conference, Hill has established himself as one of the premier A.D.'s in collegiate athletics, and perhaps the top A.D. in his new conference. Maybe his colleagues should put some of that cash toward hiring Hill as a consultant and asking him how he did it. Until later . . .