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IF YOU HAD $1000000

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A DISCUSSION

Last week, we marked twenty years since the release of Mike Judge’s seminal cult classic workplace comedy, Office Space. (Oral histories are available here and here.) In honor of this momentous anniversary, and because I didn’t notice it until this week, today I’d like to pose to you one of the film’s central questions:

What would you do if you had one million dollars?

Now, I’m going to frame this specifically in the context of college football. Let’s say a mysterious rich elderly relative passes away and bequeaths you the million-dollar windfall, with a specific caveat that you have to spend it on improving your favorite college football program. (It’s a Brewster’s Millions in addition to an Office Space.) Beyond that requirement, the legalese in their will is pretty vague.

So, how would you spend it? Let’s review a few basic options.

DONATE IT TO YOUR SCHOOL’S ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

Shut up, nerd.

I mean, sure, sure, go ahead, just give it straight to the university. That’s a great idea. I love it. In fact, I love it so much I’m going to save you a trip. Just give it to me - in cash, please - and I’ll drive it over there for you.

(Do not give money to your school’s athletic department.)

BECOME A SHADY BOOSTER, FUNNEL IT TO PLAYERS THROUGH A BAGMAN

Appealing, if not the most original. It’ll definitely get you results - $1M is like, five Cam Newtons for your team. That’d win even Gene Chizik a championship. But unless you’re a savvy long-time Auburn booster, you’d probably eventually get uncovered, and that championship will be vacated.

As someone who both believes that players should be paid and that vacated championships are still championships, I’m perfectly supportive of this, but I still think you can do better.

SPECIFIC FACILITY UPGRADES

What drives winning? Recruiting. What drives recruiting? No one knows. But over-the-top facility upgrades seem to be a popular way to get attention. Does your team have a waterfall? Get a waterfall. Is your weight room the size of a Wal-Mart? It better be. Teens like Fortnite? Build an e-Sports arena inside the football facility.

It’s perilously close to donating directly to the university — which, as stated before, I do not support — but at least you can slap your name on the Your Name Here Memorial Lazy River.

DIRTY TRICKS CAMPAIGN AGAINST A RIVAL COACH

Listen, if Russia can do it, you can do it. I bet a million dollars can get some “suspicious” text messages put on your rival’s head coach’s phone.

Am I saying this is what happened to Hugh Freeze? No.

First of all, Mississippi State’s hacker division isn’t yet operating at this level. We’ve been monitoring them closely and they’re at least two years away from this capability.

Second, I’m saying Ole Miss did it to themselves as a false flag attack. They’re playing seven-dimensional chess and it’s only just begun.

Open your eyes, people.

PUT A SWIMMING POOL IN THE STADIUM

Does this help anything? No.

Is the climate where your team is conducive to sitting in a pool during football season? Maybe not.

Will you look exceptionally cool sitting in the pool in November?

SAVE IT FOR A BUYOUT

Listen, money can do a lot of good things for a college football program. Improve facilities, extend recruiting resources, hire coaches - but the time where it always seems to be most needed and least available is when a coach needs to be fired and their buyout is prohibitive.

Maybe a million dollars isn’t enough, considering the size of some of these ill-advised contracts. But if you’re going to spend your money on anything, it might be the most satisfying use.

ENDOWMENT FOR A LIVE ANIMAL MASCOT AND HABITAT

What’s cooler or more dramatic than bringing a real live wild animal out onto the field before the game? Mike the Tiger. Ralphie the Buffalo. War Eagle. Brian Van Gorder. It’s a cherished tradition at the schools that have it, a tremendous gameday experience. Why doesn’t your school have something like this?

“But my school doesn’t even have an animal as its mascot, how can we have a live animal?”

Besides, what’s more in the historic spirit of college football than “our team has a tradition that makes no sense because an idiot gave us money to make it so?”

And that, kids, is how Skittles, The Ohio State University Capybara came to be.

Tell me what you think!

Poll

HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1M ON YOUR PROGRAM?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    DONATE IT TO YOUR SCHOOL’S ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
    (7 votes)
  • 15%
    FUNNEL IT TO PLAYERS THROUGH A BAGMAN
    (63 votes)
  • 7%
    SPECIFIC FACILITY UPGRADES
    (31 votes)
  • 18%
    DIRTY TRICKS CAMPAIGN AGAINST A RIVAL COACH
    (75 votes)
  • 7%
    SWIMMING POOL IN THE STADIUM
    (28 votes)
  • 5%
    SAVE IT FOR A BUYOUT
    (21 votes)
  • 39%
    LIVE ANIMAL MASCOT
    (156 votes)
  • 4%
    OTHER, SPECIFY IN COMMENTS
    (19 votes)
400 votes total Vote Now