Oh my Gawd.
That’s so bad, I’m almost embarrassed for Mullen. Almost.
UPDATE: Ted Lasso was more coordinated.
James Cook, getting some of that sweet fried chicken and biscuits money:
Jere Morehead’s Q&A with Seth Emerson ($$) is a tour de force of deflection. A sample:
I think people understand that when Texas and Oklahoma come to you it’s too compelling to not discuss. But to people who worry that it’s becoming too big, that college sports are going to super leagues, that you’re losing intimacy and regionality that makes college sports and college football special, do you share any of those concerns?
Well, change is never easy. But these were the same arguments made a decade ago when Texas A&M and Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference, and I think they’ve been very strong and capable members. So I think we have to adapt to a changing landscape, and really just always keep at the forefront that our focus is on our student-athletes, and on what’s best for our young people in the decades ahead.
Yes, this was all about doing it for the kids. Isn’t it always?
If we’re to believe Morehead, the SEC presidents haven’t discussed conference consolidation, yet it’s “transformative”. They haven’t discussed scheduling. Nor have they discussed a particular time frame for when the new schools will actually participate in conference play. The CFP never came up in discussion. As a bonus, he has no strong opinion on Georgia’s current conference rivalries.
Honestly, I give Seth some credit here. I would have given up half way through. Instead he managed to finish on this high note:
Is there anything else on this that you want to add?
I would just emphasize that (Texas and Oklahoma) are two great institutions, great athletic programs, a lot of tradition, culture and success. And we think they align very well with the current members of the Southeastern Conference.
The whole thing is truly five minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Thanks, Jere.
One other interesting thing this morning (at least I think it’s interesting):
If the NCAA and conferences were truly honest about their complaint regarding different jurisdictions with different NIL compensation laws (I know, I know), they’d embrace this effort as a means of leveling the legislative landscape. But we all know the real reason they want Congress to manage this is because they believe it’s their only faint chance for an antitrust exemption.
Whoever did the PR for this announcement…
… needs a refresher course in their field of expertise. A “constitutional convention”? Really, could pipsqueaks sound more pompous if they tried?
Besides that, are we seriously supposed to believe that a group of clowns that’s had years to reform their amateurism protocols is going to “dramatically overhaul its governance model” in a matter of a few months? Sure they will.
One day, historians will look back at this era of college athletics and wonder what the people who put Mark Emmert in charge were thinking.
The chances of the College Football Playoff growing to 12 teams in 2023, the first year officials have stated it could expand, appear to be diminishing.
The combination of uncertainty in the environment and a building skepticism over the power being collected by ESPN and the SEC after recent realignment moves have prompted a more cautious approach to expansion. The exploration of growing from a four-team model to 12-team model was announced in early June and is being deliberated on, with a decision expected in the fall.
“I think the pause button should be hit,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told Yahoo Sports. “We need to evaluate the landscape and what it’s going to look like. We still need to evaluate the 12-team playoff. We don’t need to rush into that when there’s legitimate concerns that need to be addressed.”
… Other leaders around the country have expressed a skepticism toward the financial value of allowing ESPN to continue to be the sole owner of the most powerful rights in college football. The College Football Playoff is, essentially, a television contract with ESPN that runs through the 2025 season. ESPN owns all of it now, which includes three playoff games and other New Year’s six bowls.
After sucking at Disney’s teat all these years, that’s just now dawned on them, eh?
These people are so clueless they make ordinary clueless people look like geniuses.
Does somebody want to remind Herbie of the outfit he works for?
That was fast.
UPDATE: The Sooners are on board as well.
The die is cast.
UPDATE #2: And it’s Jere Morehead who officially welcomes them to the party.
More money is in sight, so the suits are happy. For the fans, what’s left is what to do about cleaning up the mess Mike Slive created.
… In the conference’s current format, teams play eight games: six each year from within their own division and two opponents from the opposite division, one on a permanent basis and one rotating—a 6-1-1 model that has long been the target of criticism both in and outside the league.
For many, the permanent, cross-divisional matchup is the real problem. While it preserves long-standing rivalries, it creates imbalance in scheduling and prevents teams from regularly playing their SEC brethren, with as many as seven years between matchups of some teams.
Yeah, that’s been less than optimal. So, what’s on the table starts with three basic considerations, according to Dellenger.
Pods or divisions?
Two permanent opponents or three?
Eight games or nine?
Of those three, the last is by far the most important. If the conference elects to stay with an eight-game schedule, it almost has no choice but to change the format for its schools to play. Maintaining the status quo would mean an even longer period for some schools to go before facing certain teams in the other division.
If that’s the case, his first question is no longer pods or divisions. It’s pods or nothing.
“Each team has three permanent opponents and six rotational,” suggests one league source.
This division-less 3–6 format would preserve long-standing rivalry games—though not all of them—and would guarantee that every team in the conference would meet one another every other year. While the model is gaining steam within the league, it has its own issues.
The two teams with the best records play in the SEC championship game, but that may lead to messy tie-breakers and too many rematches.
True to both, and besides that, you’re probably looking at a bloody fight as to which teams are assigned as a school’s three permanent opponents. (One can only imagine what Greg McGarity’s approach would be like. Shudder.) It wouldn’t be any easier with an eight-game, 3-5 format.
To me, pods are a little less free flowing than that, but still create similar problems.
Going to a nine-game schedule gives the conference more options in how that’s structured, including maintaining the current divisional arrangement in place. It also gives ESPN more product, which, given the times, is probably a bigger factor than what the fans want.
I have no idea how this is about to play out, but whatever the conference chooses, it’ll probably be less than optimal. Some traditions really don’t change.
In the wake of being trolled in the comments yesterday (given that said commenter had the word “troll” in his handle, yes, I probably should have known better), maybe I need to make something clear. Or clearer, anyway.
I don’t take any pleasure out of the newest round of SEC realignment/expansion. Nor am I slitting my wrists over it. For me, it just is.
What it represents to me is a culmination of events that have taken their steady course over more than a decade now: conference realignment, broadcast “partnerships” (now, there’s a word) and playoff expansion. The less than holy trinity that has slowly sucked the life out of my favorite sport.
Am I sad about that? Of course. But that’s nothing new. I was sad when Mike Slive embarked on the conference’s last round of expansion, which was driven by greed and jealousy over what the Big Ten was raking in with their broadcast deal. I’ve been even sadder watching ESPN pervert regionalism for a broader, but less passionate, national interest in the postseason, because it’s a more efficient way of monetizing the sport. On a local level, I was sad watching Butts-Mehre use the Magill Society platform to screw with a loyal fan base that had put its money where its collective mouth was for decades, only to be pushed aside for nouveau contributors who have been allowed to jump to the front of the line. Those are all part of the same story.
The horse, in other words, has already left the proverbial barn and is roaming freely somewhere in the next county.
So when I see sentiment expressed by Seth Emerson ($$) and others like this…
What makes college football great is the regionalism, the intimacy and differences of conferences, the arguments we have over which conference is better, people screaming “S-E-C”.
… all I can do is shrug. Because the money trumps everything, and by the time the idiots who run the sport realize how they’ve managed to screw up an incredibly good thing, it’ll be way too late to do anything about it.
My mantra for the past few years has been “if only I can get another five good years out of college football, it’ll be alright”. I think I’m running on borrowed time now.