On a beautiful Sun-kissed day on San Francisco Bay several Coaches Hot Seat members hosted some good Texas friends of ours after spending Saturday watching their UT football team beat the Hell out of the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl.
A disappointing finish to the San Francisco 49ers – Dallas Cowboys game…
(Give credit to Tony Romo for gutting it out and getting the win for the Boys and kudos to Jim Harbaugh for having his 49ers ready to play against one of the most talented teams in the NFL. If the 49ers can take the Dallas Cowboys into overtime they can beat anyone in the NFL and that reality displays the big strikes made by the Niners in the last 9 months)
….could not spoil a beautiful boat trip back to Tiburon for dinner and drinks at Sam’s Anchor Cafe and as always when one is drinking with Texans it is a good idea to have someone willing and ready to pick everyone up or in this case a hotel close by (a hotel we can heartedly recommend and us for our guests and clients when we are in the Bay area: The Lodge at Tiburon) where one can walk to from Sam’s as the evening comes to a close.
Week 3 of the 2011 college football season was again great fun for everyone here at Coaches Hot Seat and after watching the Horns whip some Bruins’ ass we and the Texans retired to the Santa Monica house of one of our long-time friends and is there anything better than living in a climate where one can sit outside by a pool at night and watch college football on several big screens with ice cold beverages only a few feet away?
No, is the answer to that question!
Again over the weekend there was lots of news made about conference realignment with the usual collection of Candy Asses in the media fretting about that very evil thing of….
A school and athletic department changing conferences!
OH, THE HORROR!
We get a great kick out of reading these news stories from members of the media sitting in press boxes at college football games worrying about a school president and AD deciding to move their school to another conference which is evidently the equivalent of the end of the American Republic but anyone with a working IQ over room temperature knows that THE THING that has made America GREAT and the most powerful country on the planet today is not Americans sitting around on their asses waiting for the moss to grow but Americans doing, creating, dreaming and most of all changing their lives and the situations they find themselves in for the better. Change is THE defining characteristic of America and the sure sign of a country on the way down is when a majority of the people start saying things like:
“You know me….I like tradition.”
Europe has LOTS of Damn “tradition” and the place is going to Hell and if you are ready to let the moss grow under your ass and fight every potential change because of “tradition” then you can kiss your American Republic’s ass goodbye!
We can only wish here at Coaches Hot Seat that service in the US Military was mandatory for all members of the media with a special emphasis on the people that cover sports because someone that has found his or her ass on the bridge as the con office of a US Naval warship in the northern Persian Gulf with Iranian patrol boats 10 miles off the port bow and sonar reporting 4 Soviet made mines (that could easily destroy and sink the boat if one came into contact with the ship) adrift and not tethered to the bottom within 5 miles of the ship while at the same time Combat Information Center is down below coordinating an attack on Iraqi tank positions in Kuwait with F-15’s and an AWACS plane that is circling overhead would bring some perspective to members of the news media sitting on their asses in an air conditioned press box talking with a college sports conference commissioner taking about…
A school and athletic department changing conferences!
Even better in 2011 would be to drop the Candy Asses of some of these handwringers in the sports media into an office off of a factory floor and have them give a try running a manufacturing company in America that employees Americans with good wages and benefits while competing with almost the very same factory in China that has wage and labor costs that are 75 percent below what an American can and should world for in a world that is nevertheless undergoing massive change that the American People can do little to stop and that factory manger and business owner must deal directly with on a day-to-day basis with their jobs and futures ALWAYS on the line!
Here is what the handwringers that think the world is coming to an end are doing….
Typing on a laptop computer in an air conditioned press box at a college football game that they got into for free after talking to a college sports commissioner or “source” and after “talking” about things they are worried the world is going to come to an end because….why precisely?
A school and athletic department changing conferences!
Somebody….Stop the Damn Madness and let’s start immediately a program to send ALL sports reporters and columnists to a 1 year stint in Afghanistan in the US Military so they can gain some…
Damn Perception on what is going on in the REAL WORLD!
Geez….someone get us a 6-pack…..make that a 12-pack!
ACC to 14 Teams….16 Teams Eventually?
As to the actual news that was made over the weekend conference realignment wise the ACC and ACC commish John Swofford made a great move to add two great schools and athletic departments in Pitt and Syracuse and the ACC Conference is now with the additions of these two schools one of the strongest academic and athletic conferences in the country.
We were not surprised at all at the way the ACC quietly went about their business to add Pitt and Syracuse to their conference because that is the way that commish Swofford has done business during his entire tenure with the ACC and during his time as AD at North Carolina.
If the ACC is going to move past 14 teams to a 16-Team Superconference the two obvious additional schools would seem to us to be Rutgers and UConn which would lock-up the last remaining geographic hole in the ACC footprint and would help establish a strong foothold in the New York metro area for the ACC.
The SEC…waiting on A&M….and?
If we were SEC commish Mike Slive right now we would move aggressively to add Texas A&M for the 2012 SEC football season and we would look to add three other schools as well before the dust settles too much and while there are still many people dazed from the weekend’s happenings.
What 3 schools would we recommend that Slive and the SEC add? Well, since it looks like the ACC schools are going to stick together then the SEC should add….
TCU, Missouri and West Virginia
TCU and Missouri are great academic institutions that have terrific athletic departments as well and West Virginia would be the 16 th school with WVU having a nice athletic department and something akin to many of the schools in the SEC academic wise.
The Pac 16?
We have talked with our Texas friends over the weekend a good bit about the news coming out of the Lonestar State about Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State joining the Pac 12 to create a new Pac 16…
Sources: Plan could bring UT, three others from Big 12 to a Longhorn Network-friendly Pac-12, Austin American-Statesman
…..and none of us can find very many negatives in creating this new 16-Team Superconference which would dominate the Western and Southwestern United States and provide incredible synergies both on the athletic fields and in the classroom.
We here at Coaches Hot Seat will admit that we come to the idea of a Pac 16 that would add the 4 schools of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the already power-packed academic and athletic lineup of the current Pac 12 Conference with a selfish point of view and since we have a strong interest in the Pac 12/16 being a strong college sports conference for the long-term it also makes perfect sense that adding the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma along with Texas Tech and Oklahoma State would make the Pac 16 a formidable conference for decades to come.
If the “details” can be worked about between Texas and the Pac 12/16 on the Longhorn Network and the divisions using a 4-team pod system can also be agreed to we see no reason not to move forward with the Pac 16 and we are not worried that the new Pac 16 would encounter some of the problems the WAC conference did a few years ago when it had 16 teams for a short period of time since those 16 schools that were in the WAC then bare no resemblance to all to the schools that would be in this new Pac 16.
The 16 teams that would make up the new Pac 16 all have strong personalities in the president/chancellor’s offices and in the athletic departments as well, but having a wide diversity of strong schools and leaders would only make the new Pac 16 that much stronger and the potential for these 16 schools working together off of the playing fields in the Western/Southwestern United States which will rival the southern US for the most population growth in the next 100 years has to be something too good to pass up for any current Pac 12 president or chancellor if they are looking forward into the future instead of into the past.
One thing that all of the 16 presidents and chancellors should consider when thinking about putting together the new Pac 16 Conference is an issue that is often uppermost in the minds of people that run America’s colleges and universities…
No, we are not talking about money from TV contracts that would flow to the athletic departments and even down to the schools from the creation of this new powerhouse Pac 16 Conference…
(For all of those bloviating about how the schools changing conference is just about “money” we would invite the handwringers to look at the athletic department budgets at the schools now involved in changing their sports conference and the overall budget to run those same schools and one will quickly find the athletic budgets are tiny and nothing compared to the amount of money and resources it takes to run one of these huge state or national private universities. That is why these fundraising folks never stop calling asking for more money!)
….but rather the potential that exists to both raise more money across the entire footprint of the Pac 16 from existing and future alumni that settle far away from where they went to school but still in the Pac 16 region AND for something else that is increasingly driving the budgets of America’s colleges and universities.
As most people know when someone living in a state decides to attend an in-state public college or university they pay a lower tuition rate than out-of-state students and with resources being stretched on many college campuses these days many schools are now looking at attracting more out-of-state students who pay a higher tuition rate (and the true cost of attending school since in-state students pay a subsidized rate that is way below the true cost even when one includes what their parents have paid in state taxes that actually got to the schools) which can help out and have a big positive impact on the bottom-line of schools that admit more out-of-state students.
BusinessWeek just did a great story on this phenomenon of school admitting more out-of-state students and the impact it is having on the bottom line of America’s colleges and universities:
The Out-of-State Solution to College Budgets
As the BusinessWeek story on out-of-state students points out Cal-Berkeley is the “poster child” for the “out-of-state recruiting movement” and they are doing that because the California economy has been struggling in recent years and thus the funding to the state schools has been cut a good bit and thus the need to find more revenues with out-of-state students being one of those new revenue approaches being undertaken by the UC.
One thing the BusinessWeek story does address is the problem that comes with admitting more out-of-state students which is the potential for fewer in-state students being admitted which we believe is something that can be aggressively dealt with in a positive way by making sure that there is an increased amount of money being spent to accommodate more out-of-state students by building out the campus and expanding the infrastructure of the school while still not impacting the opportunities for in-state students.
Something that is not discussed in the BusinessWeek article about out-of-state students is another advantage for Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as they look West for their athletic teams and that is what we believe will be a large influx of college students coming to America from Asia to study and those Asian (mainly Chinese, but also from Korea, Japan, and other countries in the south Pacific) students will not be like the Asian students we went to school with or were taught by in science labs 25 to 35 years ago that had little money and few resources, but rather from families in Asia that will have parents that will want to send their kids to great American universities and have the resources to do that (at the out-of-state tuition rate).
Anyone that has been to China lately knows that they are minting millionaires by the day and they have an exploding upper and middle class which is not all that different from the upper and middle classes that emerged in America after World War II and since China will not have universities in their country that will be able to compete with America’s great universities for decades to come the schools in America that position themselves as places that are ready to give a strong education to kids from Asia will find another revenue stream that could have a significant impact on the bottom-line of their institution.
The kicker to more students from Asia with the majority coming from China studying in the United States at our large colleges and universities is what we here at Coaches Hot Seat call the “America” Effect.
What is the “America” Effect you ask?
The “America” Effect is what happens to someone, especially someone in the late teens and early 20s, that comes to America to study, to work or even to vacation and learns very quickly that America is a very unique country in the way its citizens are able to move freely around, are able to speak-out on what they believe in and are able as individual people to decide what they want to do with their lives. Many Americans take all of the above for granted, but since most of us here at Coaches Hot Seat have traveled widely across the world both in the US military and in our business careers we know that most of the world is NOT like America and even in these tough economic times America as a society along with its People can have a big impact on visitors to our country and it is that “America” affect that can not only change how people look at us, but also change the way those visitors to our country decide to act when they go back to their home. (Or stay in America since it makes little sense to educate young men and women at our colleges and universities and then send them back home. Let them stay here and use that great education….in America!)
(Just as a side note on students from foreign countries studying in America when several of us here at Coaches Hot Seat were in college 25 to 35 years ago we often had young Chinese grad students that taught our science and math labs and we would ask them about China and the lack of human rights and other freedoms in their country that we enjoy in America and many times those young Chinese students that spoke pretty good English would not want to talk about China’s faults in the public setting of a science or math lab, but they were more than willing to tell the truth about China over a beer and after they complained about the shortcomings of their country they would always say something like: “You are very lucky to be an American.” We often wondered how many of our young Chinese friends that finished their educations in the late 1970s and 1980s went back to China and talked about their experiences in America and ended up in Tiananmen Square in 1989 when the world saw things like….
…Yes, we really Damn wonder because some of our young Chinese science and lab teachers were pretty Damned determined to make China more like America and anyone that has been to China lately (and 3 of us here at CHS were in China in late August) has to be struck by how much the large cities in Asia look like modern day America if even in some cities in China they are not moving ahead of most of America when it comes to infrastructure.
Check out the two pictures below with the first being Shanghai, China in 1990:
And the second being Shanghai, China in 2010:
Getting back to our primary point here (which we always eventually get back to!) everyone here at Coaches Hot Seat and are Texas buddies are in agreement that the Pac 16 Conference would be a great move for ALL of the schools involved because the advantages that would accrue to ALL of the schools in the classrooms, in fundraising, in expanding one’s student outreach, etc. coupled with the incredible power of these 16 schools coming together on the athletic fields is an unbeatable combination that would change all of the schools for the better and transform and energize college sports in the West/Southwest for as far as the eye can see into the future.
Can you imagine holding the Pac 16 Conference Championship Game at the Rose Bowl or the new San Francisco 49ers stadium each year which would guarantee both an outside venue for the game and great weather?
What about the Pac 16 Conference basketball tournament with some great basketball programs rotating each year between Dallas, Texas (can Jerry Jones’ place host a basketball game?) and Los Angeles?
What about the potential for Stanford and other Pac 12 schools having even more great competition in the Olympic Sports that would lead to some incredible Pac 16 Track & Field, Swimming, Golf, etc., championships each year?
We could go on but we believe you get what we are saying which is the Pac 16 would be a powerhouse college sports conference that would make ALL of the schools in the new Pac 16 stronger both in the classroom and on the athletic fields and we say…
Let’s get this deal done and get ready for some great days ahead in the Pac 16!