I guess this is my day to crap all over Greg McGarity, but really, I can’t let this comment pass.
“I think if you ask Alabama and Tennessee, like us and Auburn, we’d like to retain the games,” McGarity said. “But does that work? What do the other 10 schools think? Those four schools like having those games but there’s no other East-West match-up that has that piece of history to it. So I don’t where that fits in.”
He said athletic directors will study “numerous models” when they meet.
“With 14 teams, not everybody will be happy,” he said. “Some will have a problem with everything. But we’ll make decisions based on the best situation of the league.”
In case you missed it, fans, the man just gave you the finger.
Let’s make sure you understand the context of that quote. The SEC was doing fine and dandy with a twelve-team arrangement. Nobody – at least if by “nobody”, you’re referring to the people who actually spend the money to watch the games – was screaming for the conference to get bigger. Expansion has happened because people like Mike Slive and Michael Adams have seen their peers in other conferences swinging bigger dicks with their broadcast contracts and aren’t happy about that.
And now that they’ve made a mess of the schedule, they’ve got to decide who takes the hit, the fans or “the league”. Yeah, like that’s a tough choice.
I’ve been a passionate college football fan for most of my life. I’ve blogged about my passion for more than five years now. But it’s gradually dawning on me that the people running the show are bound and determined to suck every drop of joy I get out of it. Step by step it’s happening before our eyes. College football is turning itself into NFL-lite. History and tradition aren’t money makers and thus are to be cast aside when they become nothing more than an inconvenience for those who see 90,000 people in the stands on a Saturday as little more than a bunch of wallets.
I’ll stick around for now, because they haven’t killed it yet. But I don’t trust these guys farther than I can throw ’em and you shouldn’t either. Don’t expect things to turn out well, because they don’t have your best interests at heart. I’m not sure if they ever did. They’re just more open about it now.
UPDATE: Paul suggests McGarity may have one of two target audiences in mind, the fans and…
ESPN/CBS as the Target — The SEC wants a major bump in revenues from ESPN/CBS in broadcasting rights. To get that bump, given that we expanded without a specific monetary promise of greater revenue* from our TV partners, they need some sort of leverage. The idea that the SEC desperately wants to avoid a 9 game schedule could be little more than a negotiating ploy. “We’re so willing to avoid an 9 game schedule, that we would be willing to give up UGA vs. AU and Bama vs. UT to stay where we are….unless you made us one hell of an offer.” So…you leak our fear that the AU series would be lost due to the emphasis we’re placing on the 8 game schedule.
Eh, maybe. But I don’t get why the supposedly preeminent football conference would have to negotiate so publicly and shrilly in order to get its way. If you’re trying to brace the fans over what you’re about to do, though…