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  • Here are some (mostly? kinda?) serious suggestions for Oregon State and Washington State:

Here are some (mostly? kinda?) serious suggestions for Oregon State and Washington State:

It's time to be bold. Not just ad agency bold. Elect a message board moderator to statewide office bold.

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

It’s been at tough several months for Oregon State and Washington State. After the two schools were left without a major conference home after the collapse of the modern Pac-12, both schools endured months of departures from athletic directors, coaches and athletes.

Now, the two schools are looking at a football TV contract with the CW, uncertain long-term conference homes, and dramatically diminished broadcast revenues.

The timing couldn’t be worse. After all, assuming the House settlement is eventually certified, schools will be able to directly share revenue with athletes, something both colleges will need to opt-into if they want to remain nationally competitive in recruiting. Other expenses, from travel to construction services, are likely to only go up. Private equity looms in the background, threatening to push for a more formal breakaway between the football Haves and Have Nots.

Not to belabor the point here, but the stakes couldn’t be higher for both schools. If they want to ensure they’re on the right side of the proverbial cut line, they need to take dramatic action to elevate themselves, just in case the P4 decide to make room for two more members.

I believe it was John Canzano who first made this point…that both schools need to be prepared to make bold decisions, even if those actions are uncomfortable. I’ve seen him argue that both schools ought to hire big-time ad agencies to tell the Oregon State and Washington State story across the country. Now is the time to commission documentaries, buy billboards, the whole nine yards.

Honestly, I think that’s probably a good idea!

But respectfully, I’m not sure if that goes far enough. If both schools really want to make sure they are driving national conversation, I think they ought to go bolder.

Because I believe in Serious Professional Service Journalism, allow me to make a few completely serious suggestions both schools could try that would make sure the entire country is talking about the Cougars and Beavers, no matter what.

It’s time to challenge the Chicago White Sox

Oregon State has an excellent baseball team. The Beavers finished in the Top 10 last year, and plan to play an independent schedule in 2025 so they can play major teams from across the country and build the ratings profile needed to host a regional.

Great idea. OSU has the cachet to get games against ACC, Big 12 and SEC opponents, and there are plenty of solid teams in the Big West and WCC. If they keep winning 45 games a season, I have every reason to believe their schedule will put them in a position to compete for Omaha.

But beating Cal State Fullerton, Gonzaga, Nebraska and West Virginia might help you host a regional…but it won’t capture the hearts and minds of America, not to mention national sportswriters and television executives.

So play the Chicago White Sox.

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