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Cavalcade of Mark Helfrich Firing: If Oregon & Phil Knight Are REALLY Offering $10 Million A Year ...

Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy: Mark Helfrich Firing, and What Oregon Might Be Able To Buy


If Oregon & Phil Knight are REALLY talking about $10 million a year for a head coach… in a very special daily version of the Cavalcade of Whimsy.


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This week’s Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Case Against Ohio State

Sorry if this blurb sucks, it’s not my fault …

I took my team to the College Football Playoff national title two years ago and all I got was this lousy $11 million buyout.

“Yesterday we were an army with no country, tomorrow, we have to decide which country we want to buy!”

Oregon letting Mark Helfrich go might not be your typical coach firing.

All the big boosters at the big schools talk large when it comes to their willingness to pony up whatever it takes to get the right head coach, and then they end up with Tom Herman instead of Nick Saban.

But what if a booster – say, a multi-gazillionaire grand poobah of the world’s iconic sports apparel company – is willing to throw around, say, $10 million a year on a college football head coach?

If that’s true – and let’s just pretend it is for a moment – then just imagine who Oregon can reasonably go after.

If we’re really talking about $10 million a year as a possibility, Oregon’s not going to hire Bryan Harsin – the guy lost to Air Force again and hasn’t even won his own Group of Five conference over the last two years.

If we’re really talking about $10 million a year as a possibility, Oregon’s not going to hire a fricking MAC head coach. Let P.J. Fleck row his boat at Purdue first.

Oregon’s not going to hire Lane Kiffin – it’s just not – and it’s not going hire Chip Kelly – it’s just not – and it’s not to bring back Scott Frost quite yet, although hiring any of one of those three would work.

But if you have $10 million a year to potentially spend, then go spend $10 million a year.

You’re not thinking big enough, people.

This is Phil Knight’s program. The man is getting older, and he has a lot of money, and he likes to go all Drake around winners he helped create – hanging out with Ohio State this weekend instead of at Oregon’s game against Oregon State.

With that in mind, and knowing Knight likes the elite big thing, and knowing money isn’t going to be an issue for the right head coach …

Why not go after Urban Meyer?

Or at least give it a shot, considering Urban is barely able to keep the lights on, making around $6.5 million a year.

Nick Saban? He’s making ends meet on ramen and love at over $7 million a year. Jim Harbaugh? After all the incentives and bonuses, about $9 million.

But that’s not $10 million.

How much money do these coaches really need and want? Simple, for some of the most hyper-competitive people on the planet – more than than other guy.

In the words of C. Montgomery Burns, “ah, yes, but I’d trade it all for a little bit more.”

This is Knight. This is Nike. This is Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter. If any of these hopes are even close to being true, and Knight really is willing to help the cause and drop the cash for a head coach, then yeah, we’re ten miles past the Fleck/Harsin/Phil Montgomery territory.

Okay, then go for it, and don’t screw around.

You want a Chris Petersen type? Get Chris Petersen.

You want Dabo to create Eugene Clemson? Sure.

Hell, if you want Tom Herman, you can close to double his salary.

Everyone … has … a … price.

Or how about giving Pete Carroll a ringy and offer to up his puny $8 million-a-year salary?

If Uncle Phil wanted to give Bill Belichick a massive raise, you don’t think the guy might at least answer the phone?

Okay, okay, okay, obviously I’m way-too-deep into the absurd now – the man would bring his own hoodies to the Pacific Northwest, though – and obviously we really are going to be talking about the idea of the Kiffins, the Flecks, the Harsins, and maybe the Kellys of the world in the Oregon coaching search.

And the idea of Knight, or anyone, dropping $10 million a year on a head coach – don’t forget about the $11-or-so million to buy out Helfrich – might just be fun banter.

But what if it’s not?

If you’re Jimmy Sexton, or Trace Armstrong, or any high-powered agent, you’re not doing your job if you don’t at least find out whether or not this is for real, if for no other reason than to use it as leverage to get your already generational-wealthy clients more money for their great-great-great grandkids.

It sure is fun to play with other people’s money. Oregon Duck football fans are dreaming of doing just that.