Daily Archives: July 26, 2021

“Trust no one.”

Oh, puh-leez.

One longtime league insider said A&M, which joined the SEC nine years ago and is still a relative newbie to the nearly 90-year-old conference, became painfully familiar in the past few days with how the powerful conference has operated for decades: pitilessly behind the scenes to get things done.

Jeez, Aggies, how do y’all think you got there?

We already knew most fans don’t like seeing the sausage being made.  Turns out some of the folks who work in the sausage plant don’t like watching, either.

36 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

A simple question

If Oklahoma and Texas setting out for the SEC qualifies as This Week’s Worst Thing In The College Football World (just ask Jeff Schultz), why don’t the other conferences and Notre Dame put a crimp in their plans by walking away from Sankey’s pet 12-team CFP proposal?

48 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

Today, in I hope this is snark

Because if it’s not, I wonder what Pete thinks has been going on in college football for at least the last 20 years.

31 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Media Punditry/Foibles, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Homie don’t play that metrics game.

This JT Daniels answer should be right up some of y’all’s alley.

Q: Do you follow outlets such as Pro Football Focus that grade the different metrics of your game?

A: “I don’t follow any of that. I don’t know the metrics or what they measure. Everything I watch and analyze is based on me, the rest of the quarterbacks in the quarterback room, (offensive coordinator) Todd Monken and (head coach) Kirby Smart. What they say is something I will genuinely listen to, because they’re the only ones who actually know the system and actually know the context.

“You can make as many numbers as you want. It’s just difficult in this sport to understand how many moving pieces that there are if you’re not in those meeting rooms. I could watch an entire Ole Miss game, and I could not tell you if Matt Corral did everything perfect or if he didn’t do his job once based on what he’s taught to do by his coach.”

So there.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

What a long, strange trip it’s been

Tate Martell keeps on truckin’.

The thing that amazes me the most is that he’s still got two more seasons of eligibility.  Which means he’s good for at least one more move.

24 Comments

Filed under College Football

Now we are 16.

So, if Oklahoma and Texas are on their way to becoming the newest members of the Southeastern Conference, we can assume the schools will have overcome their biggest concern — the money (duh).  That leaves the fans’ biggest concern, which is scheduling.

The last round of expansion, to fourteen teams, has led to an awkward phase of scheduling, to put it mildly.  The conference elected not to increase the number of games each team played with other members, while leaving one permanent cross-division team in place, which has led to a situation where SEC teams in one division go six years before playing any team other than the one permanent rival (using the term loosely for some).  That’s hardly palatable if one of the purposes behind having a conference is to have members face each other regularly.

So, if fourteen is awkward for scheduling purposes, what does that make sixteen?  Ridiculous, for starters:  without any changes from the current scheduling format, you’ve added another year between cross-division teams meeting.  Obviously the conference will be faced with making some changes to the status quo, if only for the obvious reason that there’s another divisional game on the schedule going forward, which means something has to give somewhere.

That brings us to the pods vs. divisions debate, which is succinctly summarized as follows ($$):

If this move with Texas and Oklahoma goes through, the SEC will need to figure out if it’s more important to have everyone play each other (pods) or create deeper rivalries with the same annual matchups (divisions).

I don’t think it’s any secret that my sympathies lie with a divisional setup, for precisely the reason stated there.  But I’m not Greg Sankey.  And I have a sinking feeling that his choice will depend on the answer to another question; namely, will the SEC change its conference schedule from eight games to nine?  If the answer is no, I don’t see where the conference has any choice but to ditch divisions, because otherwise the result would be even worse than what is has now.

It’s a close call.  On the one hand, you’ve got those coaches who want the cushion of enough cupcake games to grease the skids on the way to bowl eligibility.  (Curious, when you think of all the people who insist that the bowls are on their way to becoming anachronisms in the coming era of playoff expansion.)  Then, you’ve also got coaches who insist the SEC’s brand is so strong that a ninth conference game not only isn’t necessary for playoff consideration, but would be an unfair roadblock.  (Adding Oklahoma and Texas would seem to give further weight to that argument.)

On the other, adding that ninth game means more product for Mickey, which should mean more money for the conference coffers.  Further, a 12-team playoff lessens the roadblock issue.  In fact, if we’re to believe Kirby Smart, a tougher schedule will be a net plus for selection committee consideration.  So, for now, I don’t know how this shakes out.

What’s your preference?

109 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

The 800-pound gorilla is trying to put on weight.

Per Jon Wilner:

The strengthening of the SEC and kneecapping of the Big 12 is, in our view, entirely about ESPN.

Specifically, it’s about ESPN’s master plan, as directed by the Disney overlords, to reallocate resources within a changing media landscape.

As ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro told Variety before the Texas and Oklahoma news broke:

“We have a five-year plan and also, we have a ten-year plan, and we are actively looking at our rights and evaluating what’s coming up, and what we can go after.”

That plan obviously includes college football, but with a laser focus on total ownership of two immense properties: The SEC regular season and championship game; and the expanded College Football Playoff.

ESPN already controls the former, thanks to the recent acquisition of the SEC’s ‘Game of the Week’ package (formerly owned by CBS).

And ESPN is hoping to acquire the latter, if the CFP decides to renew its agreement instead of taking the expanded playoff package to the open market.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Greg Sankey isn’t the only player in this realignment blockbuster.  Nor does he wield the most power.

And Mickey is playing a longer game than is the SEC.

— All of which places immense importance, for the Pac-12 specifically and the sport generally, on the timing of playoff expansion.

The current contract with ESPN expires after the 2025 season.

Contractually, expanding prior to that point would force the playoff to renew its rights with ESPN.

Only by waiting for the current contract cycle to expire could the CFP take its rights to the open market and potentially lure multiple bidders to the table. But five years is a long time to wait for the 12-team event.

ESPN and, by extension, the SEC, undoubtedly want the CFP rights locked up as soon as possible. That would secure a monopoly on two of the sport’s three key media properties — the other being the Big Ten, of which ESPN currently owns a portion.

The long game is easy to spot: Disney would control the rights to the expanded CFP, the SEC, the ACC and part of the Big Ten.

I’m sensing some serious one hand washing the other vibes going on here — ESPN helps grease the skids for SEC expansion and Sankey does his damnedest not to put the CFP broadcast rights up for open bidding in a few years.  Nice win-win there, fellas.

8 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

Never give up, Bowlsby.

Shot.

Chaser.

In other words, dude who had no clue his marquee programs were unhappy enough to consider leaving now thinks he has a handle on things, because “discussion”.  That’s almost as sad as this:

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UPDATE:

Apparently, Bob wasn’t convincing enough.

19 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football