[Bumped to the front page due to awesomeness.]
A secret location somewhere outside of Houston, Texas, the day before Selection Sunday
Shaka Smart enters the room to find Jeff Capel, Matt Painter, Mike Anderson, Jimmy Sexton, Kim English, Lon Kruger, Cuonzo Martin, Buzz Williams, Brad Stevens and Frank Haith sitting at a table.
What are you guys doing here?
Same thing you're doing here.
Painter pushes a note across the table that reads "Meet at Applebee's 3:00 PM. Don't be late. Appetizers 2 for 1 during Happy Hour"
Who's idea was this anyway, and why now? I need to get back to Springfield and get my team ready for the tournament.
Everyone at the table laughs
Shut up! We're getting in this year!Joviality aside, this does represent an inopportune time for such a gathering.
RAR LITTLE MAN IN GLASSES STOP USING BIG WORDS!
Now look, I realize that popular culture tends to stereotype athletes as "dumb jocks", but I've found that a keen mind coupled to a well-rounded education can do wonders for-
Buzz Williams pushes Brad Stevens out of his chair.
WHERE CHICKEN WINGS???
They'll be up in a minute, you douche!
RAR BUZZ NOT DOUCHE!
Seriously though, who's behind all this?
The door to the room opens to reveal Mike Alden.
That would be me.
Mike? What's the meaning of all this? Most of us have tournament games coming up that we need to prepare for! Except for Cuonzo.
Screw the tournament. We have bigger fish to fry.
Alden whips a chair around backwards and sits down facing the group.
Remember last year during the Big Ten expansion talks when everyone ragged on basketball and claimed that football was where the money was? Well, I crunched the numbers and it turns out that college basketball is seriously undervalued, which presents us an opportunity. Gentlemen, I have a plan that's going to score us millions, but I need your help.
This doesn't involve me flirting with another school again, does it? I did what you told me the last two years but I think it's starting to affect my reputation.
Would $2 million a year sooth your conscience?
What conscience? What's the score?
Alden stands up and walks over to a dry erase board and starts listing coaches and their salaries.
Right now, most of the top ten highest paid coaches make at least $2 million a year, but schools are getting so desperate for revenue that I'm betting they're willing to pay top dollar for second tier talent.
Overpaying in order to generate revenue is a counterproductive strategy.
Don't interrupt me Einstein. Schools will overpay, and they'll overpay hard. They just need a little... coaxing.
OK, I'll bite. How's this work?
I'm glad you asked. It starts with our friend Jeff Capel.
That's right. I want you to call up Joey Cash and tell him he can go to hell.
Won't that get me fired?
Exactly. Oh c'mon Cap, aren't you tired of always sucking up to Bob Stoops?
You know what, I am!
Capel pulls out his cell phone.
Hey Joe, this is Jeff. Yeah, I just wanted to say, f%@# you! Yeah, that's right! Well, you can't fire me because I quit! Ha!
You know, you probably should have waited until after I had outlined the plan and everyone was on board.
Well, now that our first domino has fallen prematurely, let's move on to the next step. I have just received word that Arkansas is going to fire Pelphrey and word is the alumni are looking to pay big bucks to get someone who can win the SEC.
Ar-Arkansas? Anderson's eyes glaze over
Try not to drool on the table there Mike. Yes, you're going to Arkansas.
What the hell??? What about our National Championship?
Kid, a National Championship is only important to people who wake up every morning to the sight of wheat. It's the only thing that keeps them from putting their mouths around an exhaust pipe. If we pull this off, you can buy Mario Chalmer's trophy. Sex Pistol!
Do your magic. I want you to leak to every two bit journo, blogger, moron on the street about this. Get everyone worked up. Push Mike's value above two mil.
Two? When I'm done, they'll rename Fort Knox after him!
But now we don't have a coach!
No, but we do have... a coaching list.
Alden pulls a list out of his jacket pocket and throws it on the table.
Hey! Most of our names are on this list!
That's right, and a few will be on Oklahoma's as well. I imagine Joey Cash will make a play for The Douche-
BUZZ NOT DOUCHE!
Eat your chicken wings.
YEA CHICKEN WINGS!
We'll make a play for Buzz as well, but-
But Marquette wouldn't possibly allow themselves to be the Big East school to lose a coach to the Big XII!
Exactly! Buzz will be buying a whole lot of chicken wings after this.
That's great and all, but what about the rest of us? No one's going to give me a raise.
Oh, ye of little faith. Our good friend Cuonzo is going to make sure everyone gets a raise.
Am I going to Mizzou? Please tell me I'm going to Mizzou. Those people at Missouri State are crazy! It's always "F Mizzou! F Mizzou!" SHUT UP!
No, you're aren't going to Mizzou. You're going to Tennessee.
Oh hell no! They're looking at sanctions!
Exactly, which means no big league coach will want the job. They'll pay you anything out of desperation and in five years, you'll have your pick of jobs.
And maybe while you're there you can get some tips from Pat Summit on how to get into the tournament.
Everyone at the table laughs.
Screw you! We're getting in!
No, actually, you're not. It would completely defeat the purpose of going to Tennessee if SMS actually made it in. That's why VCU is getting in instead.
That's right. I've called in some favors and VCU will play-in versus Clemson.
Not that I'm not appreciative, but this is crazy. No one will believe we deserve to be in the tourney.
They'll believe it when VCU and Butler face each other in the Final Four.
What the hell???
The odds of two mid-major teams reaching the Final Four are approximately 1,293,641 to 1.
Never tell me the odds Poindexter. Butler's already in, but as for VCU-
Wait a minute... according to this bracket you're showing us, if VCU gets in that means they have to beat Purdue!
Matt, just listen-
No way in hell! No way! I will not sell out my alma mater like that!
Aren't you the one always crying about how Purdue doesn't support basketball, about how the arena doesn't have air conditioning, about how Morgan Burke makes you go down to the swim complex with him and help him get into his wet suit?
I- Sometimes he makes me shave him.
Paint, if you let these people walk all over you, you'll never get your big payday. That's why you're going to interview for the Mizzou job.
But... I don't want to leave Purdue.
You won't. That's why Cuonzo has to go to Tennessee. Without him as a backup, Purdue will give you anything you want to stay. Especially after I drop some toto the local "media". I promise you, Bernie Dispatch will have the Purdue faithful whipped into a frenzy with reports from "sources" saying you're gone. Kimmie's going to help with that by trolling the hell out of Twitter.
It’s the role I was born to play!
English sends out a cryptic tweet containing only the word ‘pancake’ and immediately gets retweeted 500 times
No no no, this will never work. Burke is too much of a tightwad. He once made me drive a VW Beetle on a recruiting trip. Have you ever tried to fit a 7'2" power forward in a Beetle? I even had to pay for my own oil changes.
Paint, trust me. We're going to work the Purdue faithful into such a frenzy that Burke will have to pay you if he wants to keep his job.
The door opens to reveal Nancy Cross, the sultry Purdue Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Sports, framed in the doorway.
That's my job.
Cross saunters over to Alden.
Boiler down, baby.
Alden and Cross kiss passionately.
I don't understand. No one even knows who Nancy is.
Cross breaks the kiss and pulls a folded piece of paper out of her cleavage and hands it to Painter.
They will after I issue this press release.
'Ironically, I believe we would not be in this situation had more than 11% of our current membership...' My god Nancy! You can't release this! The alumni will go nuts!
And then they'll... they'll...
They'll pony up the cash to keep you at home. A raise, money for assistants, air conditioning for your arena. Whatever you want.
My god, that's brilliant! I'm in!
OK, this is all fine and good, but for VCU to get to the Final Four, there's still the little issue of facing #1 Kansas in the Elite Eight. I mean, what are the chances that Kansas loses to a mid-major in the tournament?
Everyone at the table bursts out laughing.
Oh, I get it. OK, I'm in.
Ah, I see! By getting two mid-majors into the Final Four and connecting them to vacant coaching jobs, you drive up our market value prompting raises from our current employers! It's a simple application of the law of supply and demand!
That's right Mr. Wizard!
But Mike, that still leaves Missouri without a coach.
Haitheraide, are you sick of Miami yet?
Hell yes! Even North Carolina State laughs at us.
Then welcome to Missouri, Coach!
Woo hoo! I'll do it for $2 million!
Oh, I get it! And then you hire me as an assistant at Missouri!
Sure, whatever. And then Lon takes the Oklahoma job.
Woo hoo! I'm back in the Big XII baby!
This plan is so crazy, it just might work!
It will work if everyone sticks to the plan.
That still leaves one loose thread. Who gets the Miami job?
The door to the room explodes inward.