I was 10 years old in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik. I can tell you with certainty that Uncle Sammy’s reaction to being eclipsed technologically by the Red Menace was far more tepid than the SEC’s response to college football (CFB) satellite camps.
The U.S. turned to NASA to bridge the gap. The SEC turned to its lap dog, the NCAA, to shoot down coaches orbiting outside of its own solar system; particularly, the Starship Wolverine.
Skippered by Commander Harbaugh, the Wolverine had boldly gone where no man had gone before, daring to travel far from the Ann Arbor Nebula and into the southern galactic kingdom of Paul Finebaum and Saint Nick.
It took but a galactic nanosecond for the empire’s evil emperor, Marcus Emmert, to respond to the SEC’s parochial paranoia and rule that in addition to the prohibition on entering Klingon territory, space commanders not anointed with the SEC’s coveted multimillion-dollar Bar-B-Cue Badge are not allowed to journey anywhere near the southern galaxy’s football drone factories.
It is well known throughout the universe that the drone factories routinely stamp out football studs who can do anything on a football field except throw the ball. Of course, as regards this deficiency the SEC has carte blanche from the emperor to enter Pacific Alliance territory and recruit throwers from California, Utah and Washington, as needed.
Astoundingly, the Pac-12 supported the SEC in shutting down satellite camping. Major Guerrero of the Pacific Alliance’s UCLA Parsec, voted to ground the Alliance’s starships as well as all other ships across the vast universe. Mikecelus Leach, commander of the Starship Air It Out in the Palouse Parsec, is aghast at Major Guerrero’s vote.
Risking his bona fides with the Extraterrestrial SEC Pandering Network, Evil Emperor Emmert, Western Alliance Grand Pooh-Bah Lorenzo Scott and his opportunity to tee it up at Bel Air Country Club in the UCLA Parsec, Leach has asked how, when 11 of the 12 Pacific Alliance members voted in favor of launching satellites, Major Guerrero could possibly have voted to ground the fleet?
Of course, under the Pacific Alliance’s strict Sergeant Shultz media edict “I see nothing; I know nothing; I say nothing,” when asked about his vote Major Guerrero informed intrepid Pacific Alliance blogger Thaddeus Miller to pound silica on Pluto. After all, why should the major, who is the Advanced Recreation Director of a Parsec, even though said Parsec is funded by both California Patricians and Plebeians, have to answer to the people?
But referencing “the people” is, of course, a galactic-like error. Due to this decision writ by the SEC and NCAA, many a high school kid of lesser economic means who cannot afford an unpaid visit to a college campus will not be able to show off his skills in camps that featured “counselors” from both the Power 5 schools and the Group of 5 schools.
These camps gave the unknown recruits the opportunity to try out. Camps were populated by both big time and MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, CUSA and AAC coaches. This gave the coaches the opportunity to evaluate these under-the-radar kids and to offer scholarships to those not yet ready for the big time. Thank you, NCAA and the Pac-12, for eliminating an educational opportunity for poorer kids.
My “Pacific Alliance” brothers and sisters traveling together on the Spaceship Earth, who in the Hades is running the Pac-12 conference? In addition to voting in favor of the ACC and SEC ‘s proposal to end satellite camps as discussed tongue in cheek above, let’s review the recent decisions by the so-called leaders of the Pac-12.
— Former Pac-12 Commissioner Tom Hansen basically gave away the Grand Daddy, the Rose Bowl. In return, the Conference of Champions was allowed entry into the BCS a.k.a. the SEC Invitational.
Oregon was screwed over by the BCS in 2000. Would the Ducks have defeated an amazing Miami team? I doubt it, but Oregon certainly would have put up a better battle than a Nebraska team run over by Colorado in its last game; a Buffs team that Oregon roundly defeated in the bowl game. Tom’s brilliant decision also gave us TCU playing Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl instead of the Badgers facing the Pac-12 champion.
— The Pac-12 Network. Who starts a network without a major media partner as did the B1G Network with FOX and the SEC Network with ESPN? Who starts a network without carriage agreements in place with all major cable networks? And how do you allow the one guy covering football with a big time Q factor, Rick Neuheisel, to bolt and also not feature the dynamic, if controversial, Bill Walton as a lead studio basketball analyst? (So far, only Scott among all the conferences.)
— The Money is Nice. BUT, who wants all of the games that were once played in daylight after righteous and well-lubricated luncheon tailgating to kick off at night so ESPN can fill its late-night network slots? No one back east except for guys nodding off in bars is staying up to watch. Derrick Henry of Alabama had an excellent season, but when the world finally got to see “White Magic” McCaffery in the Rose Bowl, most fans outside of the Yellow Hammer State realized that this Stanford student athlete should have won the Heisman Trophy hands down.
— The Playoff. Knowing that the Pac-12 was a BCS afterthought, plays year after year the toughest out-of-conference competition, travels farther than any other conference to play its games, has played nine conference games for years and has its teams on the road for at least five and usually six true away games every year, why did Scott agree to a four-team playoff field? (By the way, Michigan plays three true road games in 2016.)
Yes, the Ducks with Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and with one loss made the Final Four in 2014. But considering the level of competition, the Pac-12 champ losing but one game in a season is and will be a rare occurrence. Also, the Playoff Committee pays little or no attention to true strength of schedule. If Stanford had blown out UNLV on the farm in Game 1 last season instead of losing at AP final No. 23 Northwestern, the Cardinal likely are in the playoff.
So, does Grand Pooh-Bah Scott want the Pac-12 to schedule like Baylor out of conference in order to make the playoff? To play eight conference games like the ACC and SEC?
Or, and as I suspect, does an east coast guy who ran a woman’s tennis league before heading west really have any clue regarding college football and basketball? Like, in his tennis gig, he scored what at the time was a big bank TV contract. Other than that, and playing Marco Polo in China, what has he done since?
Both Pac-12 players and fans deserve far better than this. Just ask Dan Guerrero.
(Update: Commissioner Scott publicly called out Guerrero’s above referenced vote. Most unusual for a conference commissioner to publicly air out the dirty laundry. Dan then explained that he had not expected the Satellite issue to come to a vote. When it came to a vote he voted in favor of the ACC “shut down” proposal, which he believed was less stringent than the SEC proposal. Why didn’t Guerrero explain himself earlier? If not to the fans, at least to Commissioner Scott? Again, one wonders – who is in charge of the Pac-12?)
Top photo from Sports Illustrated Video