09.Jan.2011 Is College Football in Decline?

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I know the ratings, attendance, and popularity are all up, so it seems ridiculous to ask this question. But, by following Oregon State, you naturally follow Oregon, and it’s hard to argue that what is happening down there (and in Oklahoma) is good for the overall health of the sport.

As we all know, there are no salaries or free agency in college football, but the donor/facility race produces the same effect: have and have nots.

In the forum I discussed this a bit, and the poster ObjCritic chimed in with his insightful post:

The “lesser of two evils’ you mention, with regards to college football, is why I think I soon quit watching the game. This was discussed on another thread, and I was talking about the trend towards “neutral” stadiums like Cowboy’s stadium. I think that trend is a disservice to college students and their fan base who give up a home game. Likewise, its to the direct benefit of professional team owners.

Add the trend of needing big money and flashy facilities to win, and you have a declining sport in my opinion. I don’t think its crying sour grapes or jealousy to suggest that UO would not be in this position without Phil’s generous support. Likewise, I recognize that Reser Stadium, as half-assed as it is, would be worse without the generosity of Al Reser. UO and Oklahoma State are in my opinion good examples of what is occurring with  college football. But I’m preaching to the choir here on this last point. I do appreciate the “Minnesota Twins” analogy you use Angry, to suggest that there is another way for at least episodic success and achievements that allows the team to retain relevance.

I think OSU is on the verge of becoming irrelevant in the Pac-12. It would not be “reactionary” to suggest some significant changes are necessary given the time the current staff has had, the time they’ve had with their own recruits, and the increased competition for So Cal/Pac-12 recruits that’s likely to occur in the Pac-12. You can’t change while the world changes around you and expect to stay in third place…

So, let’s get a pulse of this fan base. How close are you guys to just turning off your televisions and giving up on this sport entirely? I feel like I have another 3 to 5 years of college football in me if nothing changes. The overall increase in popularity, one would think, must be due to the fringe fans, or budding fans of the 20 or so traditional powers. Even if that is not that case, right now the business model is almost like that of a lottery. That is, the majority of people (i.e. fans) are going to lose. And the people playing the game (in this case, watching TV) are the working poor who are doing nothing more than hoping for their long shot.

I don’t think as Beaver fans we’re in this alone. I think most fans are struggling with the reality that their team has no realistic shot at a BCS game, and for the have-nots the odds get longer each year. It makes me wonder how much time the sport has left. Wouldn’t it be ironic, and apropos, if the Ducks won a title and nobody cared? We’re not there yet, but we’re close.

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  • OSU4Life says:
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    I thought this was a great read and brings insight to the reality of uo’s athletic program, much like your article does!
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/michael_rosenberg/01/06/oregon.knight/index.html#ixzz1ANLBEQMS

    • angry angry says:
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      Yes I’ve seen that article. It’s hard not to (involuntarily) follow Oregon if you follow OSU.

      I don’t know what to make of it other than what I wrote. I imagine as fanbases around the country awaken and realize their dream (whatever it may be) has no chance at becoming reality, we’ll see them jump ship one by one. When I say “them” I mean entire fanbases.

      At that point, the BCS will likely dissolve and you’ll see a playoff to continue the illusion that everyone has a shot. Again, the “lottery” business model rather than parity.

      I think the rising “popularity” we’re seeing is the kid from Wittenberg or Portland State or Cal Poly who suddenly wants to be in on this thing called college football, so they latch on to Ohio State or Oregon or USC.

  • CraigBeav says:
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    I foresee myself watching Beaver football for the rest of my life, and making my offspring lifelong fans as well.

  • angry angry says:
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    I think giving recruits “luxury” (i.e. Oregon, Oklahoma State, et al) is a form of payment. It is not salary or monetary on the surface, but it is does carry monetary weight in the form of (free) rent.

    If you could have free rent in Antarctica or free rent in Hawaii, which would you choose?

    I’m hoping with Oregon in the spotlight people will see this and question it. It would be great for the sport if Herbstreit, instead of gushing about Oregon’s facilities, questions the arms race on National TV.

    • mckalk says:
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      Absolutely, and I think it breeds elitist, arrogant fans, who do not appreciate the inherent advantages their schools have over others by way of donations. And how can you make a level playing field when there are always going to be private donations involved.
      In some ways, one could say to U of O football fans…it is about time you reached the championship game…your sugar daddy has not been getting his moneys worth up until this year. That might also explain all of the weirdness during the Mike Bellotti episode and the secretiveness. Off topic, if Stanford cannot get Chris Petersen, do they make a play for Bellotti?

      • angry angry says:
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        “And how can you make a level playing field when there are always going to be private donations involved.”

        Handicaps.

        Teams in the top 5 lose x scholarships per year.

        or, if you don’t like penalizing a good showing, give teams outside the top 25 five extra per year.

        There are plenty of ways to handicap schools that are naturally fertile.

        Also, revenue sharing.

        • mckalk says:
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          NCAA will never have the cajones to do that. They know that there will be enough parity between the elite programs to keep the same old same old. I guess in the end Phil Knight purchased the Ducks way into the club.

          • OneEyedKing says:
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            One of my UO friends keeps trying to point out, when I tell him Phil finally owns a sports team, that he also paid for Pat Casey to stay in Corvallis. As if one salary is equal to the 200 million he’s paid to put Eugene on the map.

  • mckalk says:
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    I think the NCAA tried for parity with scholarship limits, but the rich always find a way around it, but I love college football and will always watch it.
    I have really soured on MLB and the NBA, but never college football.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    I think the sport is as popular as ever. I agree that some programs struggle to be relevant. I am hoping that the big bucks Larry Scott will bring to the Pac-12 will benefit Oregon State. Sure they will likely have less money than Oregon for quite some time, but I do “hope” that Riley will either start winning big games quick or that we as Beaver nation will make a huge uproar and demand either he or BDC or both move on for the sake of Oregon State. I will be very disappointed to be asked to have the same dream every year that we can be more than a 7-5 team showcased in the Kraft Hunger, New Mexico, Maaco or Sun Bowls. Somehow we have to find an inspired leader who wants glory for OSU and to achieve pinnacles and not a stable paycheck or contract rewarding mediocrity where 6-6 is just as good as 10-2. Types like Kelly or Harbaugh or Chris Petersen. There surely is another gifted leader of young men out there.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Enjoyed the S-I read, I didn’t fully appreciate the Phil Knight effect at UO. This, and the Cam Newton situation, lead me to care little about the NC game tomorrow night. It’s a compelling contest of athletes and schemes, but there’s something wrong underneath.

    I quit watching pro basketball years ago because the officiating is a joke. I next quit watching the NFL because of the over-produced broadcast, irritating announcers seeking to be as or more entertaining than the game itself, “free-agent” franchises holding cities hostage for stadium deals, and finally, a lack of diversity in offenses. College football on the other hand, offered a diversity of offenses and deeply rooted fan bases and tradition – teams couldn’t leave town for a better stadium deal after all.

    But now there’s neutral game sites in big pro stadiums (expect more over the next several years), suspect recruiting nearly everywhere, and nonsense BCS system that protects power conferences. Tell me, why iare D-I teams outright blackballed for competing for the D-I championship? If the criticism is they don’t face adequate competition, create new, additional divisions of like teams and let them compete for a championships there; don’t use them for SEC fodder and criticize them for the rest of their schedule.

    Jonathan Smith’s big game as a freshman at UW got me watching the Beavs, but Riley’s annual repeat of the same problems; inability to prepare his team in the offseason, slow starts that inhibit progressively better bowl games, and the trend of the college game itself, will likely lead me to quit watching within 2 years.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      “Tell me, why iare D-I teams outright blackballed for competing for the D-I championship?”

      Oops, meant “why are some D-I teams….”

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I love college football, and expect I always will. I also understand that college football is a big business, and that (as in all businesses) money is power.

    Sure, it is obvious that Phil Knight and his money have been crucial to Oregon’s football success. PK’s enormous wealth gives Oregon an advantage over most other programs, including that of Oregon State. No doubt about it.

    But I don’t think that means “game over” for Oregon State, or for other schools that compete with Oregon.

    For one thing, the new PAC-12 TV contract will mean more $$ for every PAC-12 school. This new money will probably have little impact at Oregon (which already has access to whatever money it needs — just by asking sugar-daddy Phil). But the new PAC-12 TV money should prove very helpful to schools such as Oregon State, where past access to funds has been much more limited. If OSU spends this new money wisely, much can be accomplished.

    Personally, I’m excited to see what OSU can do over the next few years. It won’t be easy to compete with Oregon, but I don’t think it is hopeless or impossible, by any means.

    • angry angry says:
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      I’m curious to see how the $$ injection helps as well.

  • JR says:
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    Morally of course it is terrible that a team has to be a traditional power or have a really rich man donating to the team in order to have a realistic chance of making the title game more than once a lifetime.

    This statement though is not quite true:
    “if the Ducks won a title and nobody cared? We’re not there yet, but we’re close”

    Sorry, but we’re nowhere close to people “not caring” about the Ducks winning. There has never been so much hype and media talk over a team than their has for the ducks this year. Their bandwagon fans (which far outweigh OSU’s) could care less about Knight and think UO’s flashy program is appealing. The hardcore fans put up with the flashiness, the morally wrong control Knight has over the program, the “Kilkenny Court” BS etc., as (nearly) any (honest) fan base would accept in the face of big time winning.

    Hardwork and dedication should always result consistently in the best of the success. This is a statement that I think we’d all like to apply to everything in life but I think because of how sports has leveled the playing field in things like race conflict it is especially hurtful when we realize that sport is not level or remotely fair.

    That being said I do think OSU can make the BCS title game. I’m not saying it will happen but I surely wouldn’t bet against it. Va Tech made it, Cincy would have last year if not for the refs putting time back on for Colt and TCU would have made it this year had there been a slip up from Auburn or Oregon. The nature of College Football will be completely different from decade to decade from now on because of the money involved. Tell UW fans in 1990 that they’d be winless in what? 2006? Despite a what? 11-1 run as late as 2000. Tell them that Oregon makes the national title game in 2010 while their fans are ecstatic over a 7-6 team. Tell them that OSU consistently beat them in the 2000s and had an 11-1 season.

    • angry angry says:
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      Regarding the “not caring” comment. I guess you’re missing my point…think of MLB. Does anyone care who won the world series? It just happened a few months ago, and I can’t remember who won.

      I said that I realize we’re not there yet, but as the hope and dreaming of each fanbase turns into reality over the next decade, I think we might see entire fanbases wiped off the map. How many Kansas City Royal fans were there in 1980 versus today? Probably a much lower %.

      Five, ten years from now we might have the indifference people once thought impossible of “America’s Pastime”…heck, aren’t they calling football the new pastime? Don’t confuse media hype with people caring.

      I think it’s important that each university feels it has a chance and equal playing field in order for the sport to truly be “healthy.” College football is a 50 year old man with “tarry” stools who is trying like hell to avoid the awkward colonoscopy.

      Sure looks healthy on the outside…

      • angry angry says:
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        Sorry, that was pretty disgusting. 😉

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        “I think it’s important that each university feels it has a chance and equal playing field in order for the sport to truly be “healthy.””

        Agree that everyone needs to “have a chance” if college football is to remain healthy over the long-term.

        Disagree about “equal playing field”.

        I don’t think it is realistic to expect anything close to an equal playing field, in any sport (or anywhere else in life, for that matter). The rich and powerful always have big advantages — that’s the way it is, has been, and always will be, in pretty much every area where humans compete.

        Yet underdogs win — not a lot, but often enough to keep things interesting for fans of the underdogs (and to keep things at least a little bit scary for fans of the overdogs).

        Most people love to root for the underdog, and I expect that will remain true forever. So long as the underdog has a chance, fans will watch (and root). Sport does not require an equal playing field. But it does require that the underdog have “a chance” to win. And I think schools like OSU have at least “a chance” against richer programs such as Oregon, and that will probably remain the case.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        I watched the 2010 World Series – not having paid attention to MLB during the regular season. For one thing, the Yankees weren’t in it and and it’s a pleasure to watch Tim Lincecum pitch, in addition to knowing he’s from the Northwest, chose college before going pro, doesn’t have the right body type to throw a fast ball but does, etc., etc.

        If you’ve tired of slick money, stupid commentary, and college professionalism, go to a couple of local high school or Legion baseball games this spring or summer. You will find yourself sitting in the sun, eating a hot dog, and watching competition that is actually fun. You may even spot a potential OSUer.

        • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          +1.

          I love watching my son’s high school baseball games. Love watching my other sons’ Little League games, too. Springtime. Baseball. Kids out there making mistakes but trying their hardest. Few things better.

          But I still love watching Beaver games, too (football, basketball, and baseball).

          Each is great, in its own way. Doesn’t need to be “either/or”.

  • angry angry says:
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    I am thinking to myself right now if I’d feel this way if I were an Oregon fan. I think so, because I am a Met fan (i.e. one of a handful of teams that can win) and still think baseball has a terrible business model. It’s so bad I stopped watching the sport I had played and obsessed over as a kid. Not by choice, but because the sport became sick.

    • mckalk says:
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      Mets have always been my team, but I am not sure they are a good example because they may have money, but they always find a way to piss it away!

      I think the Duck fan base is going far beyond college. With only one pro sports team in Oregon people are just looking for a way to associate with winners. I see people who have never set foot in Eugene decked out from head to toe in Duck paraphenelia.

      • angry angry says:
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        Re: Mets

        Hahaha. True.

        There are always outliners and aberrations, but I’d wager a good sum that 50%+ of World Series have been won by big market cities. That does not make for an interesting story. An interesting story, in DI football terms, would be 120 teams having a realistic chance.

        I realize people will say that is idealistic, or I’m playing devil’s advocate. Half true. Sometimes it’s important to play that role to force discussion, but I honestly believe this sport has a weak foundation.

        • JackBeav says:
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          I’m a lifetime Dodger fan, and my brother is a lifetime Giants fan. So even though I didn’t watch a second of baseball this last year, I can tell you who did what this last year.

          I think it’s cute you think the Mets are one of the ‘can win it all’ teams. In fact there are maybe four or five teams remaining who care enough about baseball to keep it up. And I wouldn’t include Atlanta, the Texas teams, either Florida team or the Cali teams as one of those either. All of those fandoms will rise to the occasion of their team being good enough to win… as any fandom might. But the expectation to win only comes for the NYY, Boston, Philly and maybe St. Louis.

  • BeavGirl BeavGirl says:
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    angry you are such a SOCIALIST! with your revenue sharing and what not.

    • angry angry says:
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      I did vote Obama. :*(

      • angry angry says:
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        It was another “lesser of two evils” moment. Ugh. Society, please fix yourself.

        • JackBeav says:
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          As soon as it was announced that Larry Summers was going to be a part of Obama’s economic team I re-registered to the Green Party. I did not vote a straight ticket, but I did vote for Cynthia McKinney as president.

          I don’t vote for who I would like to win. I vote for the person I think would serve me best.

          No Republican is in office for service, and only half the Dems are there for it… none of that half having any power or huevos… take your pick. I will not be a part of any party complicit in the stupidity that is current politics until someone stands up and says “enough”. The groups mentioned above gladhand their constituents to the Nth degree.

  • FatDog says:
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    The arms race will eventually become an NCAA problem when enough schools fall into the have nots category. A long way off I’m sure.

    A small victory:
    OSU’s best known graduate is Linus Pauling.
    UO’s best known graduate is a billionaire who made is fortune exploiting women and children in the third world.

    Did Pauling like football?

  • jr says:
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    I suppose fair enough on fans not caring in X amount of years. I personally disagree though. There are enough hardcore Duck fans who very much realize the legacy of this Duck team and its back to back Pac-10 titles.

    I think college football has one major thing MLB doesn’t – bowl games. Only the top 8 go in MLB. In CFball, there are a ridiculous amount of teams happy to go 7-5, 8-4 etc., Its nice when more than just one team goes home a winner at the end of the year.

    This of course goes along with football’s natural success – one game a week, easy to tailgate for, good on TV, popular high school, college, professional infrastructure etc.,

    • angry angry says:
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      I’m sure Duck fans will care in ten years–they’ll be relevant from here on out barring injuries.

      I’m talking about the marginal teams. You lose those fanbases (because the teams can’t compete) and things turn bad fast.

      What keeps us as OSU fans engaged? That one magical season in 2000. We’re hoping to win that lottery again. We had a taste of it, and we want more.

      You’re right in that the bowl system rewards a winning season. But, most of us here are disgusted with the mid to lower tier bowls. The Vegas Bowl felt like a slap in the face last season. Also, bowl committees choose matchups based on who will bring in more revenue. So, is the bowl game really a selling point for the business model?

      Personally, the only bowl game I have watched this year was Nebraska/Washington, and only part of it since OSU hoops was on at the same time.

  • mckalk says:
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    It is interesting because I watch a lot of non-conference games to start the season, but not very many bowl games. I guess it is because some teams are technically playing for BCS seeding and the games mean something in September, whereas only one bowl game really means anything at the end.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    If it was true that success only follows the money, then how could we explain TCU/Boise or the flow of other programs that have come out of the Football mid-majors. And on the flipside, how could this explain the Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami, USC … programs that have at times been dominant and are still in every recruiting conversation. I would argue that college football is much more winnable for any team right now compared to the past. Parity is a reallity, at least much more so than in the past few decades. There is no doubt that you can buy some sort of success on the field. Advantages can be had and it certainly makes a difference. But, can you honestly say that Auburn is truly one of the “haves” or look at some of the others in that top tier this year… Stanford or Wisconsin aren’t exactly perennial favorites to be vying for a National Championship and it is certain that Stanford would be playing for it if they had beaten the Ducks. The difference in talent level between the top tier and the second tier of schools is really not that much. And when you are dealing with 18-23 year old men, coaching still matters. That is why I think College Football will not suffer the same irrelevance of MLB, NBA or other professional sports.

    • angry angry says:
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      We know the answer to the former question regarding Boise and TCU–play one or two real games per year, smoke & mirrors, etc.

      As far as why Notre Dame and Michigan can’t win, etc. There are 10-15 “haves”, and probably another handful of teams with teh potential to be haves. Right now they are not one of them. There’s a cycling of those teams, but the crop of teams remains the same. I think Notre Dame will be back in the BCS before, say, NC State…or OSU. No?

      • ObjCritic says:
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        Notre Dame’s false relevance is another symptom of the state of the game. There are dozens of teams with their kind of sustained, middle-of-the-road performance; their relevance is obviously about viewership.

        It galls me that ND can, in this day and age, play Army and Navy on a regular basis with a straight face. It’s not 1940 anymore….

      • JR says:
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        But its not just the one team from the MWC or WAC. Like I said teams like cincy and va tech have had good success despite not being big nor traditional football powers.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    Also, I truly expect a playoff soon either way because it is not fair that a TCU could have a season like this year and not even have a chance at the title. The government will step in soon since they’ve solved all the other important issues facing our daily lives.

    • angry angry says:
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      I agree. There will be a playoff to continue the smoke and mirror show. You’re still going to see the same dozen teams in those games, though.

      Regarding your point about Stanford. It’s a good one. They are not a traditional power, and do not put a ton of money into football, but they do have (a) a great conference (b) tremendous academic reputation (This translates to $$$ down the line for the recruit), and (c) a once in a lifetime head coach.

  • ean says:
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    It will be interesting to see if the Yankee’s Duck’s can pull it out. College football is getting sad in many respects. The top teams spend more than some professional sports teams. As the SI article said they can’t buy a kid a $5 lunch but they can give them a $50 million gold mouth piece holder. The real sad part though is that none of these programs are making money and the “have-nots” are borrowing money just to try and keep up. I mean look at OSU, you can point to them borrowing $6 million from the general fund (I don’t personally think that is right) but there is a good chance that without that money we would not be competitive and without being competitive there is a good chance we lose more than $6 million in donations. To top it off much of the donations are tax deductible meaning that the state and federal government is further subsidizing college football. It is a broken system and completely disingenuous to the idea of amateur athletics…. but alas I am part of the problem and will be watching tonight and claiming my BASF write off.

  • mckalk says:
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    Regarding “smoke and mirrors” I have to agree with Angry. Even last night, BC (a fair to middling BCS program) shut down an elite non-BCS program even though they lost. I think the minor bowl system set up is purposely designed by the NCAA to keep the non-BCS conferences happy and give irrelevant BCS programs something to live for. I am sure everyone has noticed how those type of bowls keep expanding, it is to the point where almost everyone gets to play. Nevada drew 30,000 fans to what was essentially an exhibition game.

  • TheOtherGuy says:
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    Angry,

    Sugar Daddys can certainly impact the environment student athletes are in. Facilities, marketing, creating buzz, etc. The media can also impact the environment as well.

    But winning is what makes a team a ‘have’.

    As we all have experienced, college football is cyclical. The one variable in my opinion that makes a team a “have” verses a “have not” is leadership.

    During the Bellotti-era, the home team won the Civil War in many of those years. This would make me conclude UO and OSU were on equal ground. Once we brought in a true leader with ‘Xs’ and ‘Os’ ability in 2007, that is when things changed.

    Was Phil Knight responsible for making this happen. No. Bellotti was. The key for UO is simply Chip Kelly. His vision – his leadership – and his schemes are the things that have elevated Oregon on the field.

    My recommendation for OSU is to find real leaders for the sidelines and the athletic department.

    Riley needs to surround himself with better game strategists and recruiters. As I said in a previous message, I think your coaching staff relies on the players to lead, not themselves.

    Once you have a solid coaching staff and AD, the winning will happen. When the winning happens, the recruits will notice. When the recruits notice, they will commit. When they commit, the game on the field improves even more.

    It will happen for you guys – sooner, hopefully, than later. But change needs to happen.

    • angry angry says:
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      +1.

      The right leader can make all the difference. We saw it at Stanford this year. Brian Kelly at Cincinnati, Chip Kelly, etc. There is no doubt or argument that it’s true.

      Look what happened to Stanford, though. That coach was poached after his one great season. A model that expects Stanford or Cincinnati to continually find great, hidden coaches isn’t sustainable.

  • CastorNation says:
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    I don’t know what the real issue is here. I was for the first time really disappointed in the Beavers. Not that they lost, but that on several games just gave up. What has made me a big fan was the team fighting to the bitter end. There has been some really great games and some hard loses, but at least they tried. I saw an article on Beaverblitz about spending by teams in the PAC 12 and OSU was near the bottom, USC was at the top at 21 million. They all have the same number of scholarships and facilities I don’t think are so much a part of the operating budget. So the difference must be private jet vs coach with Southwestern, Hilton vs Motel 6. Does a scholarship limit money per recruit? Can a player live in a high end apartment or home vs a dorm? Maybe if the NCAA came up with standardized limits as to what can be spent per recruit, then schools would be judged on a more academic basis. But that won’t happen. Just look at the power the CA schools exhibited in the new PAC 12 scheduling.

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    Quizz is leaving for the NFL.

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    Question is who takes over at RB. My guess right now is McCants will be starting RB

    • ean says:
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      Hope not but I am afraid you may be right.

      • Trevor says:
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        Two RB’s w/ soft commits to Pac-10 programs – any chance we jump up their list after this announcement?

        Bishop Sankey to WSU (we’re listed per rivals)

        Ka’Deem Carey to UofA (we’re listed w/out offering on both services)

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    Dear Danny,
    Your play-calling sucks ass.

    Dear Cav,
    Your linemen suck ass.

    Dear Riley,
    Your recruting sucks ass.

    Peace out,
    Jaq. Rodgers.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Hmmm – the choices, and my predictions for order of play:

    Jovan Stevenson
    Ryan McCants
    Malcolm Marable
    Terron Ward
    Storm Woods

    Get ready to watch Katz put the ball in the air a la Anderson when Dwight Wright was starting…

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      I think you’re spot on.

      They better start printing the paper now for tallying the “3 & Outs.” I can hear it now…”Ryan Katz overthrows his receiver…AGAIN!”

      But fact is…Number of bowl games we won with Quizz = 0.

      Angry: Today, I hate college football.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think your list is suspect, which is why it’ll probably pan out that way.

      I’m a big fan of TerronWard. He was 5’8″, 195 at the end of his senior year, and he runs just under a 4.4 40. If he follows his brother’s (and father’s) growth pattern, he will be about 5’10-11″, 215 in a year or so.

      He possesses speed not currently at the RB position, and he will have the spring to work the playbook. Because of his presence, I see Woods and Agnew likely redshirting.

      I think it will pan out like this:
      Ward, Marable, Jenkins, Stevenson, McCants.

      Since that’s the way I think the talent falls, you are probably dead on with what our coaches will do.

      • ObjCritic says:
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        I like your list better, and think Ward is the best prospect. However, my list is what I think Riley will actually do.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Ward and Woods get a crash course in Pac-12 ball with Stevenson in their for experience, versatility….

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      Can we just hand the ball off to James? 😉

      I bet McCants starts #1 on the charts with Ward emerging.

      I also like Marable but have not seen or heard much about him beyond his HS films. I hope Riley doesn’t burn Woods’ redshirt, which means it will probably happen.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Riley won’t burn his redshirt. He only does that with wide receivers. Anyways, I hope Ward starts but I just have the feeling McCants will be the starter at the beginning of the year.

    • mckalk says:
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      That might not be a bad thing if Katz can channel the “good Derek Andersen”. I think he threw for over 4,000 yards and the beat the Ducks and Notre Dame that season.

  • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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    Quizz has entered the draft. Maybe he sees it as a no win situation to stay for the final year:

    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/

    • brownale9000 says:
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      Meh. I’m not too worried about him leaving. We’re only going to be as good as our offensive line anyway.

      I seriously doubt McCants starts. I’m thinking it’s Stevenson and one of the incoming freshmen who battle it out for the starting spot.

  • ean says:
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    I still think OSU will be decent next year. The Patrick Ewing theory will be in full effect. I think no longer having Quizz will make the coaching staff realize how important good play calling is and how important spreading the ball around will be. I think we will be in a bowl game next year.

  • SanDiegoBeav says:
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    I hate to sound too critical (that is reserved for the owner of this site), but this entire thread reeks of bitterness.

    I believe college football is the greatest sport on earth partly BECAUSE of the differences in revenue and the lack of parity. USC has a huge monetary advantage over OSU, but it is always one of the most anticipated games of the year. Why? Because the player’s say “F*** it. I don’t give a damn if you have every advantage in the world over us, we are still going to kick your a**!” Am I wrong that that mentality (and that sub-plot) add intrigue to the game? I can’t remember a time I circled the WSU game on the calendar.

    It is a great sport because the little guy always has a chance to beat the big guys. I will take this model over the current NFL style parity any day.

    No, it isn’t a level playing field. But life isn’t a level playing field either. That is what makes it so great when the little guy (in sports or in the real world) reaches the top.

    I will be watching college football for many years to come for the very same reason that you say the sport is in decline.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Longtime reader, first comment.

    This is an interesting discussion. I have followed college football my whole life as a Coug fan raised in Pullman. Obviously the perspective of a “have not”. My impression is that the 85 scholarship limit has gone a long way to evening things out and actually leveling the playing field tremendously in college football. In the 80’s there were way fewer teams that had a chance against the traditional powers. Teams like Miami and SMU broke onto the scene, but had to use some extremely “creative” recruiting to do it. At that time, the idea of a Pac-10 champ coming from Pullman or Corvallis was laughable. Both have either happened, or very nearly happened recently. Obviously, the powers that be are going to fight back and they have, throwing money at the problem. While facilities are obviously important I think the one area where $ really makes things unequal is in coaching salaries. Much like in baseball, where the minute the Royals have a player with a pulse he is snatched up by a team with more money, the have nots in college football cannot retain a successful coach against the much more substantial offers from richer competitors. This means that while success can be obtained more easily than before the 85 schollies, it is nearly impossible to sustain. I still have faith that the game will address these issues (buyouts aren’t going to get smaller, thats for sure) but change happens glacially in college football, so giving it 5 years may not be enough. I say let the conference realignment and equal revenue sharing take effect for a few years and see what happens. I think you’ll see something much closer to the NFL than MLB. Just a hunch.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Both the NFL and MLB have too many teams. That’s why there is no parity in either. And baseball took it a step further with no salary cap. So a watered down league overvalues less than average talent because the game is not as competitive as it once was. And that extends to coaching and scouting as well.

      The NBA screwed itself when it decided the game would be more exciting if the contact mirrored hockey and select players could do what they want when they want. Thank you MJ and the Pistons.

      The decline in NCAA football is palpable as well. But it’s not because of the money levels at individual schools. It’s the money grab by the bowl system. The BCS is a joke, and so are the 31 other bowls.

      Question: When did 1-AA wins count toward bowl eligibility?

      I like sitting at home with nothing but hoops to watch. I haven’t watched a lick of any bowl games. I will have to watch tonight’s game because my wife’s an alum of UO, but oh well.

      The BCS system is contorted and crooked. This is the only sport I can think of that tries to award a championship of some kind without actually playing for a championship. It’s just a one-off chance to impress, nothing more.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I think these last three posts are interesting and why I enjoy this site; there’s actually thoughtful discourse in these threads. And a little emotionalism, which doesn’t hurt.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    I might argue that with Quizz entering the NFL Draft (James might be later?) and if the yucks end up winning the National Championship, then OSU is indeed on the decline.

  • mw2 says:
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    Let the Terron Ward era begin.

  • Max says:
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    If two teams vacate a BCS national championship game, does it make a sound?

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    I wish Quizz the best of luck in the NFL. Really.

    I’m guessing Quizz is leaving due to a combination of financial pressure (now that he is a father), fear of injury (having seen what happened to James last season), and lack of faith that next season will turn out much different or better than this season for himself and for OSU.

    As for the Beavers, I’m hoping that the departure of Quizz helps shake things up — something that badly needs to happen if OSU football is going to get better.

    Short term, focusing on next season, this probably means fewer running plays and more passing plays. Personally, I’m excited about that.

    If (a big IF) the OSU coaching staff can work hard with Ryan Katz during the offseason to improve his decisionmaking, the Beaver passing attack could be very potent next season (especially if James Rodgers comes back at full strength). After all, it will be hard for even the best college secondaries to cover Rodgers, Wheaton, Halahuni, and Bishop at the same time. This of course also assumes that the O-line improves. Fingers crossed on that one.

  • mw2 says:
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    BTW, Jacquizz must have been hearing he has a good chance to be a late 1st rounder to early 2nd rounder from credible sources.

    ROUND 1:
    San Diego at #18
    Indianapolis at #22
    Green Bay at #26
    NY Jets at #27
    Chicago at #29
    New England at #32

    ROUND 2:
    Denver at #4
    Cleveland at #5
    Arizona at #6
    Washington at #9
    San Francisco at #13

    Jacquizz could be in play at any one of these selections.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Because NFL teams are putting less guaranteed money on RB’s due to durability, a first round pick seems unlikely for any RB these days. Al Davis will do something stupid like picking LMJ early and ruining yet another football career, but for the most part good teams are making more sound decisions with their money.

      That being said, I’m sure Quizz gets good rep in the NFL, and Green Bay or New England would not find him a reach in their systems. He would fit in remarkably well at either. Beyond that, I think San Francisco will be running a system very similar to Baltimore’s, and they might like a Ray Rice type back to run their game.

  • G Joubert says:
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    I somewhat disagree with your analysis. College football has always been dominated by relative handful of schools. From time immemorial. The usual suspects: USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama, etc. Some of these programs might be down right now, but does anyone seriously doubt that USC will be back on top in a few years? Big money has always driven it, too. How do you think USC got to be a perennial power in the first place? It is a private institution with no state oversight whatsoever, free to pump however much private money they want into the program, legally totally hidden from any watchful eyes. So, there’s nothing new here, except for two things. One is that Oregon, thanks to Uncle Phil’s enormous largesse, is now on the verge of joining the elite club, and that really stinks for us Beaver fans. The other new thing is this whole BCS system. I believe it is harming the college football product in several ways. The thing that will turn me off to college football is the same thing that turned me off to college basketball, which is the pro leaguse skimming off the best talent. All the “one and dones” etc. Bye bye Steven Jackson. Bye bye Quizz.

  • brownale9000 says:
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    I guess college football isn’t dead. Highest ratings ever for cable TV.

    http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2011/01/11/BCS-game-draws-highest-ever-cable-ratings/UPI-61591294797845/

    • JackBeav says:
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      You’re going to take a 12% decrease in viewership over one year and spin it to be evidence of something other than a decline?

      Fine.

      I’ve run across the Mississippi River several times in less than two seconds each time.

      I must be a giant.

      • brownale9000 says:
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        Actually, it was an 11% drop, but who’s counting? And do you mean the Missouri River? The Mississippi comes out of a lake. It’s like 15-20 feet wide at the very source.

        Anyway, back to the ratings…ESPN is available in 15% fewer homes. An 11% decrease in ratings when the broadcast is available in 15% fewer homes…that’s really not a decrease in my opinion.

        ESPN is getting some of their highest ratings ever during these BCS games. Consider that the markets involved in this championship game were…not big…I think the ratings are astoundingly high and college football is as popular as it’s ever been.

        http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-bcschampionship-ratings

        http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2011/01/05/sugar-bowl-espns-second-best-college-football-overnight-ever-886502/20110105espn02/

        • angry angry says:
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          Is popularity a sign of “good” or “health”, though?

          For example, Paris Hilton is popular. “Mmm Bop” was popular. Hootie and the Blowfish were popular. Are these things good art, etc?

          Things can be popular and in decline. Again, my question is this: how many fanbases believe their team has a shot at a meaningful bowl game or magical season? Probably 10 on a yearly basis. The rest of us (myself included, at least for the time being) are dreamers and hopers.

          Bad long-term model. People need to get out of their head the link between ratings/popularity and health. Baseball was extremely popular during the steroid “chicks did the long ball” era. It was marketed in a way that made fringe fans want to watch. Eventually people caught on.

          People are slow to react–it’s what allows prospectors and philosophers exist–but they always eventually they catch on and see the light.

        • JackBeav says:
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          You don’t get to use the argument of college football bowl ratings declining due to their relative exclusivity in viewership. That means they made a conscious decision to exclude viewers… viewers who might otherwise want to watch a game. This is a y poor model to follow.

          I give to you the reality of boxing in today’s world. It was a great sport that could be watched by millions on network TV anytime. They chose to make it exclusive, and the sport has declined to the point where nobody knows anything about it. Only those with extra money or passion enough to overcome the loss of their money watch the sport anymore.

          ESPN is doing a good job of killing the bowl season itself by making it the trophy kids get for just showing up to a sporting event. I imagine a lot of people were just bowled out by the time they got to Monday’s game.
          http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2011-01-11-bowl-ratings_N.htm

          And I’ve been to Itasca and the Missouri headwaters. I meant Itasca. The point was that big expectations aren’t so big when taken in the context of real size.

          You can’t cross the Missouri headwaters–as they’re officially designated–in a matter of seconds.

          • angry angry says:
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            Aren’t the Missouri headwaters in Canada?

            I used to work on the upper Missouri in North Dakota…I seem to remember that being the case.

            I think the Yellowstone river empties into it during mid to late summer, too. Not sure where that one originates (probably Montana?). I guess I could use Google for this. I’m blabbing.

          • JackBeav says:
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            The Missouri headwaters are in Montana where three rivers meet to form the river… well, two rivers at one spot then a third about a half mile down. The names escape me at the moment, but they’re simple enough to remember. That’s probably why I forget them. The two that meet are presidents… probably Washington and Jefferson. The third is something like the Montana River.

          • angry angry says:
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            By the way, all the decreased viewership means is that bowl committees will receive more power to select matchups they want. It is becoming more difficult–borderline impossible– to earn you way into certain bowl games. Almost every team in the Pac-12 is going to be more attractive than OSU if it comes down to a committee decision.

            This model needs revamping. The sad thing is it was just revamped a year or two ago to give committees more power–so the executives who run the sport are definitely revamping, but in the wrong direction.

            ESPN is a nightmare. Don’t even get me started on them. The day they hired Stuart Scott is the day I stopped watching. Haven’t turned on that channel since unless the Beavs were on.

  • osubaby osubaby says:
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    What’s your beef with Stu Scott? Just wondering but I find him entertaining.

  • DukFan says:
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    This article tastes like sour grapes.

    Haves and have-nots have been the way of CFB for a long time. I’m not saying it’s right, or that there aren’t things to be fixed and/or changed (i.e. bowl season, NCAA rule enforcement, etc.), but I don’t think it’s on the decline.

    And things run in cycles. If OSU just came off a good season, you would not be writing this, I guarantee it.

    • angry angry says:
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      No, like I said, I root for pro sports teams (Mets, Jets) who have the resources to win it all, and I’d admit/write that MLB has been in decline since 1986, ten years after free agency. We’re what, 14 years into the BCS? Hm..

    • JackBeav says:
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      How could you possibly guarantee that? The TV numbers would be a little better if the Beavs were in Nikegon’s place, but not by much. So the numbers would still show a decline.

      You do bring up a good point about things being cyclical. We could simply be seeing a natural decline while interests are drawn to other sports, and college football’s interest will return in the near future.

      If that’s the case, you agree that it is in fact a decline, and you disprove your initial premise. But you do give hope to the sport in the long term.

      I would be inclined to agree that haves and have-nots are common, and they might be another story altogether if their concentration didn’t correlate to the current decline. Yes, there have been upstarts in just about every year of the BCS, but that makes the upstart fans (or fans of potential upstarts) recognize that they have no real chance to be recognized and respected. The BCS has made the haves the primary focus of the sport.

      If fans are segregated into their respective bowls and feel they have been placed there unfairly, they lose interest in the sport when their team isn’t playing. If their upstart team only makes a bowl once in a while, you have maybe a once-in-a-while fan.

      If that upstart team’s fans watch as their team makes a play-off run, you have the potential to create fans of the game that were not there before. They will watch other tourney games to see who they might play next. They might even travel to unexpected locales for host sites (like schools they would never dream of scheduling for a non-con game).

  • DukFan says:
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    My cyclical comment was to mean that teams and programs go through ups and downs. The Beavers happen to be down right now (although not that much) and they’ll return to winning ways sometime in the near future.

    And no, I don’t think this conversation would even be taking place if the Beavers just came off a BCS Bowl season.

    I do agree that a playoff would be good for the sport’s popularity, though.

  • DukFan says:
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    And please explain what you mean by saying you think the ratings would be better if the Beavers were in Oregon’s place.

    I know I might sound myopic, but how could that possibly be true? Oregon has a much larger brand imprint nationwide, and that translates to more interest, and that translates to more eyeballs on the screen.

  • angry angry says:
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    This from yahoo and their terrible writers.

    http://www.thepostgame.com/commentary/201101/most-powerful-people-sports-fans#

    It’s a horrible article, as always, but the overall sentiment is somewhat related to this post and a wee bit interesting. Sometimes the “little people” need reminding that they have the power to change things.

    There’s a reason politicians fear and cave to common folk; our vote of 1 is equal to that of the billionaire.

  • casey says:
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    So I’m trolling. I admit it and as a psychoanalyst would say that is the first step in recovery. I am a UofO grad ’86 and have been a Duck fan since ’79 so you cannot simply ignore my opinion if being a “bandwagon” fan is a death sentence. Listen, money and power HAVE ALWAYS been essential to winning in big time sports. The reason Oregon hadn’t been in a bowl in decades until ’89 was because there was little to no money supporting the program. The BCS bowls did not happen until money began to poor in and fan support (bandwagon or not) increased. It is a somewhat chicken and egg proposition but I believe the money and thus facilities must initiate the winning. In an ideal world all programs would have an equal chance of getting to number one but this is capitalism guys and equality takes a back seat to freedom every time. Try as you might to equal the field in any aspect of our society and you will be rebuffed as a socialist or communist. There are no easy answers for the Beavs. Fan support is necessary and economic support essential but where that comes from and when I cannot say. You know I sat through the toilet bowl in ’83 and never imagined that one day the Ducks would be pimped so incessantly and get to the championship. Now that it has happened I must write that I loved the ride. Oddly, I miss the days when OSU and UofO were equally bad and though we hated each other during the CW we understood that we were not that different on the national stage. I really, genuinely wish that OSU will improve and compete consistently on the national stage so that the two programs can be featured. For a while it appeared to be happening but I fear that OSU will continue to fade unless more resources can be found and applied.
    The ugly truth is, we all know that big money, whether from one donor or multiple is the foundation for success. I don’t prefer it but have benefited as a fan. You all being from the other side hate it I’m sure but must admit that if you had a billionaire donor willing to step up and make OSU number one, you’d cheer, root and support your team. In the parlance of the times, it is what it is. For now we have Phil knight and coming from one who has spent countless hours in the cold and rain watching terrible football and failure, I embrace it without guilt nor shame.

    • angry says:
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      Fair enough.

      Again, I will reiterate besides the Beavers, I am an east coast fan (Jets and Mets), both of whom have billions to spend. So, I understand having that kind of owner…it’s nice. We both know how MLB and NFL differ, so I won’t even go into how much “better” or “happier” I feel when the Jets make it as far as they have versus the Mets.

      I suffered through 20 years of misery being a fan of that team. I get…fans who suffer through years of misery deserve, when their team turns it around, to be happy and enjoy the ride; I wouldn’t expect anything less.

      But, accept that what your “owner” is doing is transforming amateur sport into a semi-pro sport, and before blindly supporting that, think about the big picture. People get caught up in the moment or era they’re living through and it puts the blinders on them. Think about what the historians will say about Oregon, Phil Knight, and T.Boone Pickens ten or twenty years down the line when the sport is in shambles. I have a feeling they’ll point to these programs and men as having changed the game for the worse. Show me an arms race that made the world a better place.

      And if you want to turn this around on me: if the Beavers were in this position I’d be loving it, but in the back of my mind I’d have a voice telling me that what I was seeing was not right. This is exactly what happened to me in 2001 when the Mets went to the World Series. Some people don’t care about that voice or can ignore it, and that’s their prerogative. So, in short, I’d cheer and boast and outwardly be glad, but I’d also feel unworthy and like a cheat as well. And that would be a normal feeling for when someone uses paper money (i.e. a representation of others’ labor) to replace work (i.e. their own labor). To not feel that way is denial or sociopathic. If Oregon had slowly worked for this over time, I’d admire them for their body of work–a much deeper admiration–instead of admiring them for simply finding the success I desire.

      Don’t tell me it’s sour grapes–I am nothing but honest on this blog. It’s why I made it.

      • casey says:
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        O.K., deep breath…Obviously I failed to make my point effectively. What I was trying to write was that big time money, corruption, malfeasance etc., etc., have been a part of college football, basketball and all other forms of huge money making endeavors since value was placed on sporting entertainment. I would love to read an account formed by you as to what scenario none of the above occur. Your quote, “if Oregon had slowly worked for this over time…” is patently absurd. May I remind you that a span of 115 years, all the years applicable to Oregon’s football legacy, were spent “working” for the title. I doubt that if you questioned the players of this year or any other you’d find them claiming that they put little to no work into any/all success achieved. So too the coaches, administrators, etc., etc. As I wrote before, even I stood out in the weather to watch and endure many a poor performance as a way to “work” for the team. I have donated small amounts of money and garnered others to “bandwagon” fan-ship for the team. So what exactly do you mean by work? Time? How much and by whom?
        What appears obvious to me is that your issue is broader and conversely, more narrowly defined.
        I find fault with money in sports but not to the exclusion of my participation. I am aware of the corruption that is broad and timeless, yet accept it as a consequence of reality in a market driven, entertainment industry. I think the reason you bring the issue up now is not just because a single donor (Pickens, Knight) have undue influence on specific athletic departments but moreover because you, and all of us are so acutely aware of it. This, I state is due to the rise of ESPN/ABC and their pervasive “coverage” of all things sports. Their reach even extends to High School and is felt in terms of broadcast, athlete’s behavior and recruiting. Everyone wants to be on Sports Center after all. Do you really think that in the 40s, 50s, and 60s donors, players, etc. were free, clean and lily white pure? Really? So in your estimation the fact that Pickens and Knight have involved themselves in their respective alma maters, that all of college football is on the wane morally, and ethically? One donor is beyond the pale but numerous, wealthy donors are acceptable? I truly fail to comprehend your ire. My feeling was, is and will be that any participation by us as fans is implicit full participation. WE ALL KNOW that the system is crooked but we accept it for what it is and are entertained by it and thus support the further corruption. The ONLY way to not support is to not participate. Do that as you will, but do not walk into the ring and then shout “unfair” when your opponent carries a longer reach, bigger chest, and more formidable punch due to steroids when you knew that was part of the game at the start.
        The real “victims” if any are the players who sell themselves body and soul to the system in hopes of riches and accolades later. Whatever pay, benefits that they may receive pales in comparison to that of the “owners” that control the networks, bowls and advertisers.
        Lament as you may the “demise” of college football, but I say you squeak so much because your wheel is not greased as generously as that 60 miles to the south. Nobody is 100% happy with the money, corruption, graft, avarice, cowardice and exploitation that is big time sports but I hardly agree that Mr. Knight and Mr. Pickens are the ultimate matrix of all that is bad and will lead to the downfall of college football. We are in an age of instant media and communication. We live to be noticed and that leaves us open and naked to exploitation. Our insatiable desire for escape and entertainment is inherent in the continued broken system. Your site, my writing this, our fawning over all things Ducks and Beavers is at the heart of the broken-ness. Shine a light on a game, aim a camera at a player, charge a patron for the privilege of watching and greed ensues.

        • angry angry says:
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          1. “Your quote, “if Oregon had slowly worked for this over time…” is patently absurd. May I remind you that a span of 115 years, all the years applicable to Oregon’s football legacy, were spent “working” for the title.”

          No, you know Oregon skipped steps in program-building when Knight became involved.

          2. “I doubt that if you questioned the players of this year or any other you’d find them claiming that they put little to no work into any/all success achieved.”

          Correct, the players clearly worked, but there was little “work” involved in getting them to Oregon. A few PS3s at their locker =/ work.

          3. “and all of us are so acutely aware of it. This, I state is due to the rise of ESPN/ABC and their pervasive “coverage” of all things sports.”

          I don’t disagree at all. ESPN is overbearing, and they only cover the same 10 teams each year. They send the message that 10 teams are relevant, and nothing but the National Title matters. I can’t even watch some NFL games because of the over-the-top production, and the fact that I simply can’t watch sports for 12 hours a day. And where do they find their sports anchors? I’ve never met a guy who looks or acts like those people in my life.

          4. “Do you really think that in the 40s, 50s, and 60s donors, players, etc. were free, clean and lily white pure?”

          No, but recruiting services and the internet have made (a) information on corruption available to us all and (b) leveled the playing field so that any university can find and research a player in any state. Earlier eras were not clean, but this era is particularly dirty. It’s just like any other industry. Were the finance and mortgage industries clean in the 60s? No. But was it as bad as the collapse we just saw? No.

          5. “I truly fail to comprehend your ire.”

          That’s because you root for Oregon. At one point you probably could have understood it.

          6. “The ONLY way to not support is to not participate. Do that as you will, but do not walk into the ring and then shout “unfair” when your opponent carries a longer reach, bigger chest, and more formidable punch due to steroids when you knew that was part of the game at the start.”

          Not sure what this even means. I’m not participating in any games. I watch a game. And, steroids are not legally a part of any game. Show me a rule book with steroids listed in it.

          7. “The real “victims” if any are the players who sell themselves body and soul to the system in hopes of riches and accolades later. Whatever pay, benefits that they may receive pales in comparison to that of the “owners” that control the networks, bowls and advertisers.”

          This is BS. I’d get hit over and over for a free education, campus celebrity, and possible shot at the NFL. Give me a break. Do you know the average student debt after graduation? $25,000.

          ————————————————

          From the tone of your post, I’m gathering that you think Beaver fans should either dismantle their football program and forget about the sport, or step up to the plate and somehow become more competitive. We know things limit option B, so you are essentially suggesting we dismantle our program. Okay…so I guess NC State, Tulsa, LaTech, Washington State, and the 100 other teams that have no shot at a meaningful season should do so as well?

          That’s exactly why we’ll see the sport lose popularity over the next decade. I feel as if you’re making my point for me by simply standing up for what is going on. It would be interesting to hear your perspective if Oregon could only recruit 1982 talent in 2010.

          Anyway, instead of arguing nuances and semantics while trying to justify the feeling of guilt your owner has displaced onto you, I’d like you to give me one example where wealth among a select few has proven to be a sound, sustainable model. I’ll even let you choose from sports, economics, politics, religion, etc and dating back to any century you’d like. Have fun.

          • casey says:
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            I’ll try to hit point by point as best I can, but since you appear to be intransigent on your position it appears futile and thus I should stop while I still have fingers.
            1) What are the “steps” in program building, and how were they skipped? In my mind UofO athletics had begun to ascend with the initial Independence Bowl in ’89 then the ’94 Rose Bowl. Knight came in after an turbo charged the process that was already underway.
            2)Recruiting. What in your mind constitutes work in recruiting? Contact with prospective players and families across the country? Competing with like minded programs for limited talent and talking up your program over the others? Showing off your school, facilities, team, etc. etc.? Other than the ability due to money and connections directly with Nike the UofO does the exact same as other schools albeit with inferior weather, location and tradition and some would say connections to the NFL. Nike helps balance those inequities with the likes of tOSU, Notre Dame, Texas, Oaklahoma, USC, etc. etc. Once again the issue of “fairness.” Is it fair that the other programs are in better inherent recruiting positions than WSU, OSU, Minn., Wisc.? No. Does Knight/Nike help balance the equation. No doubt. Your problem with this is that it is one donor. I’ll get to your last question last on this one.
            3) Agree on ESPN and the like. The internet has also allowed us to surf many diff. sites like yours to feed our need regarding our teams. Umm, like the posts on OSU’s recruiting that opens today’s Angrybeavs site. Seems odd that you demonize the mother ship when you suckle from her teat.
            4)You state that this era is “particularly dirty” While giving no facts on which to back the statement. This era is no dirtier than any other just more blatant and transparent. As time passes we become accustomed to malfeasance and public displays of outrage decrease. We become inured to the outrageous actions of others with continued exposure. There was a time when open displays of sexuality would be banned, members arrested for obscenity and the public would decry the decline of morals. Time has passed and it takes more and greater severity of actions to elicit such outcry. The crimes are all the same but we view them more often and with greater ease due to media access so it seems things are worse. The SMU, Blacksox, and countless boxing scandals all occurred years ago. Give me some solid examples of which you write or chalk this up to your perception, nothing more. Comparing economic collapse that is completely unrelated to our subject only muddies the salient issue and does nothing to illuminate either of our positions.
            5)Personal condemnation toward me by relegating me unable to objectively assess your points because I am a Duck fan is not only off base and false but does not strengthen your position. I fail to understand your ire because you have yet to illustrate in what manner college football is on the decline. Saying that it is and stating it is because two schools have Billionaire donors who wield huge influence on said athletic departments doesn’t prove a position merely uncovers your concern. How does having Knight and Pickens contribute in such ways destroy a system that is already corrupt? You state it corrupts more but in what ways. Facts, details etc. needed not opinion.
            6) This was supposed to be an analogy. You choose to participate in college sports not literally but by means of a fan. Your eyes, ears, fingers and mind applied to television, computer, radio and thus, subsequently your dollars help keep the system afloat. If everyone stopped participating in the system from the lowest level fan, to the greatest monied corporations the system would fail. You don’t, I don’t and millions of others do not as well. The steroids are analogous to the graft, corruption and avarice that is KNOWN by all of us. We step into that ring when we decide to become fans of any team and vote with our eyes, ears, hands and dollars. Don’t cry “unfair” when it is know to be unfair prior to your getting involved.
            7)Ahh, the I’d get in the ring with whatever heavy weight champ for 10 million dollars argument. Yeah, in theory it sounds like anyone would but we don’t. We don’t because we cannot or will not subject our bodies to the punishment that is required. These young men choose this game because they are good at it and they get positive regard for doing it well. It seems odd to me that the same men in a few years could do the same thing at the pro level and get huge paychecks for it yet in college it is the scholarships and potential for which they play. Scholarships can be taken away at any time and injury looms to eliminate any hope of moving to the pro level. Just as Quizz about why he left this year. I’m not saying they are innocent but are surely the ones with the most to gain and thus the most to lose. That lose part applies to no other entity in college sports.
            Lastly, I do not think OSU should stop being a football school. On the contrary my initial post indicated that I wish they could resurrect the program to stay relevant. I have no good answers as to how that can occur. I do think as Canzano has written at the most basic full fan support is a dire necessity. Sell out Reser, sell out Gill and help get verve and energy back to the program. Can it happen before winning does? I doubt it. Everyone loves a winner. Do I hope some rich donor(s) come along to make OSU competitive? Absolutely. It would be good for the state and good for the North of the Pac. 12. I am a Duck fan but I am not blind to the downside to money in any endeavor. However we live in a society that covets and holds dear success. Winning in all its forms often boils down to money. UofO has it OSU does not. Funny how I do not hear the same qualms about Knight donating 100 million to Stanford’s business school. That seems unfair to me.
            Lastly, a model of wealth among few? Well monarchy, feudal systems, oligarchies, corporations, are just a few. Are they sustainable? In as much as any human systems are. In fact an argument could be made that power concentrated is a natural order and many neoconservative believe just that. Do I? No, but the systems exist and have since humans began to gather. Power begets power and in a capitalistic system, to expect college sports to be somehow outside that system is naive at best. Morality has no basis in a purely monetary system.

          • angry angry says:
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            Fact: 11% decrease in viewership for this year’s title game.

            http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/01/college_football_bowl_ratings.html

            We’ll see how it plays out. I predict the sport loses viewers over the next ten years; this is due to fan bases becoming disenchanted after realizing their alma mater has no chance in the current system.

            As games move to NFL stadiums (“neutral sites”) it just adds to the muck and semi-pro feel. If I want pro, I look to the NFL…the semi-pro model is not going to work long term.

            High school football may become the new college football.

          • angry angry says:
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            ps. I’ll be waiting for an example where wealth among a select few has proven to be a sound, sustainable, long-term model. You can email it to me if you ever find one.

            There’s a reason the NFL is the new past time, don’t you think?

          • casey says:
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            This is inane. I wrote to the question regarding the concentration of wealth and power above. Agree or not all are viable options for organizing/arranging human systems of cohabitation. The ratings numbers are a spurious argument as it was on pay cable and fewer households had access. It was the highest rated sports program in the history of cable. The NFL is a funneled outgrowth of college ball. Or stated another way college ball is the minor league of the NFL. Many more college teams much more regional in interest so it will never overtake the NFL, but that in no way indicts it as a sport in decline.

          • angry angry says:
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            I guess you didn’t read the whole article.

            “regular-season ratings were down at CBS (4.5 percent), ABC (10.3 percent)”

            casey wrote: I wrote to the question regarding the concentration of wealth and power above.

            All of the things you listed either (a) failed or (b) are in the process of failing.

          • angry angry says:
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            People have a hard time understanding that things that are popular can, at the same time, be in decline.

            For example, Brittney Spears sold more records than the Rolling Stones. If I were to say, “Music sure has declined since 1972” would you argue with me? I mean, there are artists who are more popular than ever, and selling more records than ever. But, I’d argue that music as a whole has declined.

            Sales or popularity do not paint a whole picture (since humans can be tricked into buying anything). The fundamental questions is this: is the sport healthy?

            If you answer “yes”, it better be based on more than popularity or excuses such as cable tv (which in this case is a piss poor argument because even network games where down 10%).

            You want facts; you want math? Look at the pre-season Vegas odds on each team, and tell me how many have a viable chance at playing in a meaningful bowl game. Money talks, right? What is the money saying? It’s saying 10 teams have a shot–the same thing I am saying.

            You want inane? Argue that’s healthy, and you will have it.

  • angry says:
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    And on cue, Texas signs a 300 million dollar TV deal. Greeeat.

    • mckalk says:
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      Wow, a 5-7 record for the Longhorns is a helluva lot different than a 5-7 for the Beavers. Apparently, the investors see a lot of upside to Longhorn stock!!!!

    • ObjCritic says:
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      That is crazy. I anticipate it will continue to be a trend that allows individual teams in the “power conferences” to stay ahead of any legitimate efforts to have a competitive process for determining a national championship:

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/574694-university-of-texas-expands-empire-signs-300-million-tv-deal-with-espn

      “And, as if the money fails to satisfy, consider also the additional advantages created by such a network; high school and junior college athletes, regardless of national location, will be able to watch 24 hours of University of Texas sports coverage, creating essentially a network of non-stop, pro-Texas propaganda, exposure invaluable in the world of recruiting.

      Not that Texas had been struggling to recruit before it and ESPN struck the deal. Quite the contrary, actually, as Texas currently holds the this season’s top football recruiting class according to both Rivals and Scout.”

      With the demonstrable income that football brings to institutions like this, one has to wonder if “pay-for-play” will gain more traction and be more than just scholarships.

      • mckalk says:
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        I do not know what to think. What model is out there for comparison? Notre Dame and NBC? That has certainly been a mixed bag. Maybe the exposure got ND into a couple of BCS bowls it did not deserve, but overall it has not translated to performance on the field like everyone thought it would. With this Texas/ESPN deal, I guess it is more of the rich getting richer. No way to stop it unless the NCAA gets into the business of limiting business. I just do not want to hear some numbnut ESPN announcer using the term student-athlete ever again during football season!

  • angry angry says:
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    This is an old post, but this news today supports the argument.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6236194

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