Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Bulldogs, Bruins and Trojans, oh my!
Well Spot fans, this IS a Central Valley blog, so the Spot figured it was time to pay a visit (or at the very least blog about) our friends down in Fresno.
For those who don't already know, the Pac-10 has already gone on record as saying that it will seriously look at expansion over the next year or so. Conventional wisdom from the usual cast of pundits in Bristol, Conn. (ya know, ESPN) and other alleged experts have the the most likely suspects being BYU, the Univ. of Utah, Colorado or Texas. Nothing wrong with those choices, they're nice, safe and could possibly happen. However, there's a group from Fresno that won't take being bypassed for Pac-10 inclusion laying down.
David Mitzman is a Fresno State alum who started the Facebook group "Get the Bulldogs in the Pac-12". In just three weeks the group has already attracted over 1,000 fans and has the feel of a real grassroots movement to get the Pac-10 to seriously consider the Fresno State Bulldogs when it comes to expansion.
According to David, who was kind enough to reply to some e-mail questions the Spot had on the subject:
"What better school to be selected than Fresno State? Our amazing fan base travels for all sports and contributes significant revenue to the respective school and city; we post great records against the Pac 10 in all sports; the university is centrally located for ease of travel to Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, by bus which will reduce travel expenses for all the universities teams; our fabulous home base of fans who attend all sporting events in huge numbers, and most importantly our exceptional athletic facilities for all NCAA sports including the soon to open state of the art swim and diving complex."
The group's grassroots plan is to get over 20,000 emails sent to the Pac-10 offices (emails should be sent to Pat Cesnik: firstname.lastname@example.org for those who are interested) by the time the Pac-10 gets into serious deliberations on expansion. Will it work, the Spot doesn't know, but 1,000 facebook fans in 3 weeks and 20,000 emails has to catch someone's attention, right?
So whats the Spot's take on Fresno State in the Pac-12...err...I mean 10. Well, first off, the Pac-10 should stop daydreaming about getting Texas and Colorado. They aren't leaving their rivalries with Oaklahoma, Nebraska and all the ESPN/ABC money that it brings. Sorry guys, not gonna happen!
That leaves the Pac-10 with four options: BYU, Utah, Boise State and Fresno State. If the Pac-10 were smart and decided to, oh, I don't know, think outside the box, they'd take Boise State and Fresno State in a heartbeat. BYU and Utah are comfortable being big fish in their small pond. Why go from king of the hill in a Conference with its own TV network, to becoming possibly just a middle of the pack (no pun intended) Pac-12 school.
Both Fresno State and Boise State have proven they aren't afraid to mix it up with the BCS powers that be, any time, any place. For the Pac-12, adding Boise would make national waves, because lets face it, when it comes to football (and football is the only thing driving the bus on expansion) Boise State IS a national program, smurf turf and all. As for Fresno, the Pac-12 would be expanding into a television market that could potentially extend from Sacramento to Bakersfield, and Fresno's rabid fan base, the "Red Wave", travels not by just the thousands, but ten's of thousands (The Spot was on hand to see 20k+ "Red Wave" fans invade San Jose to play Air Force and Michigan State in the old Sillicon Valley Classic). I've seen the Rose Bowl during UCLA home games...they could use the extra 20k fans in there! All of that equals just that much more money, and thats why the Pac-10 is even talking expansion, right? (as a matter of fact, thats why ANY conference talks expansion)
Well, that's the Spots take on the subject. What do you think? Feel free to let the Spot know! Till next time....