26.Nov.2011 The Illusion of Improvement & a “Soft Landing”
With the Euro about to implode, there's a lot of talk about whether the technocrats can engineer a "soft landing" that doesn't blow up the entire financial system.
Well, I think we'll see the same philosophy from the OSU athletic department.
- Bob D signed Riley to a horrible lifetime contract. Now it's all about damage control: how many years of Riley's contract will OSU be forced to eat? The longer they can extend the charade the better.
- Convincing donors to fork over money will be increasingly difficult given the football team's performance coupled with current economic conditions.
- Therefore, he will have to engineer the "illusion of improvement" to keep donations flowing. E.g. If Riley wins 4 games next year, he can tell donors there was improvement, and their money is required for continued improvement.
- Now that expectations are so low (i.e. 3 wins) it should be easy to execute this plan. If Riley can win just one more game per year they'll get the soft landing, and in 4 years the Beavs will be back to 7 wins and in a bowl game.
If the Beavs can somehow improve to 6 wins next year, then scrap all the above: things return to "normal" as the lower bar will have been met. However, the engineered soft landing implodes if Riley somehow only manages 3 wins (or fewer) next season. At that point it's chaos. Bob D would have to fire him. After all, Beaver fans love them some Emerald Bowls.
Bob D wants Riley as long as possible for one reason: he doesn't want to be paying two coaches. It'll be interesting to see how long the powers at be can keep up the illusion of improvement. Do they make it to 2019? I doubt it, but the average OSU fan is so gullible and meek that they might just pull it off.