By now most of you have probably heard the news about Pac-10 expansion. You've probably dissected the USC/NCAA battle that seems to be only beginning. But maybe you still have some questions, some unfilled gaps of knowledge about Thursday's two big news events. So before Friday gets filled up with World Cup, Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten or somebody throwing another perfect game, we'll give you tools to fill those gaps. Kind of like a dentist and my front teeth. Read on.
• We tried to cover the Colorado-joining-the-Pac-10-and-its-effect-on-WSU news yesterday with this story, while looking at the money aspect here. And John Blanchette delved deeper into expansion and WSU's future in his column. ... But there is still a lot more ground to cover. If you have a boatload of questions, you might get some of them answered in this San Francisco Chronicle story. ... What's the next step? That's seems to be everyone's question. Will the big shoe (Texas, Oklahoma, et al) fall, or will it be just a slipper (Utah)? Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy, who will host Washington State in the season opener Sept. 4, talks as if the 16-team model is a done deal. No matter what happens, we know it is will alter the landscape and is motivated by money. Those are givens. ... What do people think about the changes? The Times' Steve Kelley loves them. And Eugene's George Schroeder relays some athletes' opinions. ... Before we move on to USC, let's get some of the Colorado reaction, including Woody Paige's column and John Henderson's in-depth story.
• Now on to USC. Instead of trying to be all-inclusive here, we found these three stories that we believe cover the nuts and bolts well, including an overview that explains how hard this could hit the Trojans in the pocket book, what the future holds for USC and who the Trojan fans should blame. And then there's this little nugget from Ted Miller about athletic director Mike Garrett's reaction.
• That's all for now. No, one other thing. You might see widely varying athletic budget figures for Washington State (there is an almost $36 million number on the bottom of the Denver Post story). If you are wondering why the number is so large, when we keep writing $30 million, here is a quick explanation: When colleges report their athletic budget to the feds to assure Title IX compliance, they have to report everything, including things they really don't control, like utilities, facility upkeep and the like, duties the university takes care of for everyone, along with things like construction spending. WSU's athletic operating budget is right at $30 million, but if, say, the school spends $30 million one year on expanding Martin Stadium, the feds would report the school athletic budget that year as $60 million. Get it? Anyhow, the federal numbers are OK for comparing different schools – everyone fills out the same form – but don't accurately express a school's true operating budget. ... We'll be back as events warrant. Until then ...