Nice of you to show up

So, I had a few people tell me yesterday this Chris Vannini post ($$) was right up my alley.

With each move, each round of realignment, college sports loses what made it special. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it was already gone. But it’s clear where this is really heading, and many of the decision-makers who feel comfortable about the short term need to realize there won’t be a chair for them at the end of this road. And many fans need to remember why they fell in love with the sport in the first place.

I dunno.  Yeah, that’s all true, but a column like this would have reverberated a lot more had it been posted eight or nine years ago.  Anybody with a brain knew then why the SEC embarked on a poorly thought out expansion plan:  Mike Slive had to do something to bail his conference out from a TV deal that was perceived as inadequate and damn the consequences.  (For some bizarre reason, yesterday Slive was being lauded on social media as some sort of heroic visionary, which is ludicrous.  But that’s probably a subject for a different post.)

Greed has been running the show in college football at least as long as this blog has been around.  Yet for some reason this particular round of SEC expansion is triggering angst like Vannini’s.  Eh, big deal.

And even with that, he still manages to pull a punch with this observation:

Less than two months after the Super League collapsed, college football put a hand out for the little guy, planning a 12-team playoff with at least one guaranteed bid for a Group of 5 program. The sport’s leaders sacrificed for the benefit of the game, to keep more fan bases engaged throughout the season. Notre Dame gave up the chance for a first-round bye. The SEC agreed to change a system that already benefits them. The Power 5 agreed to a system in which more than one G5 team could make it. It was a rare moment of unity to help everyone.

By “little guys”, he doesn’t mean us fans.  You know, the ones who will be asked to pay a small fortune to follow our schools around the country as they progress through more rounds of the postseason.  We should pay no attention to the massive payouts to the schools for their “generosity”.  Or the way playoff expansion is eroding the very “regional flair, the communities, the charm and the history” of college football he lauds (correctly) as being a large part of the sport’s unique character.  Because for one shining moment, we’re supposed to believe the conferences had some sort of kumbaya breakthrough.

Folks, there is no unity.  There is only a money grubbing chase on, with alliances made and broken for the temporary advantage of the powerful.  And that shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

At least one college sports figure with his ear to the ground believes that the departure date will seem immaterial in the fullness of time, as the proposed SEC jump will be only the first in a long line of alignment shake-ups. “This is just starting,” said an AD at a Power 5 school currently unaffected by the interconference turbulence. “As soon as [NCAA president Mark] Emmert threw up his hands and sort of said, ‘The hell with it—let the conferences sort it out,’ it was like someone rang a dinner bell at the pig pen.”

Now there’s a metaphor for our times.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

17 responses to “Nice of you to show up

  1. timberridgedawg

    Maybe Jungleland – (Bruce) would make for apropos theme music.

    In the tunnels uptown the Rat’s own dream guns him down…


  2. What is the end game here? A 32-40 school Super League for college football while these schools continue to participate with the NCAA in every other sport? Someone has to lose these games. Will Georgia people be ok with being 8-4 as long as a playoff berth happens?

    Liked by 1 person

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Yes, in the end it will be a AAA league, AA league, A league, etc., just like minor league baseball. The flip side of that is continuing to load up on patsies – and those games are only fun when a GSU beats 10rc or the other GSU beats fu.

      We quit buying season tickets in the mid 90’s when Adams ruined tailgating on East Cloverhurst. Everyone has their threshold. The powers that be quit caring about students and/or fans a long, long time ago. It’s survival of the fittest (schools) now.

      Liked by 3 people

    • biggusrickus

      The end game would 48 or 64, depending how power players are distributed between leagues. And yes, fans will eventually be happy with 8-4 if they make the playoffs until making the playoffs every year isn’t enough without a championship appearance or win. Just like the NFL.

      Liked by 2 people

    • stoopnagle

      Who did we lose to?


  3. rugbydawg79

    I won’t be happy with 8 and 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RangerRuss

    I had adjusted to the new normal of UGA football. That insidious piece of shit Mike Adams fucked up tailgating. I got over that initially by enjoying the fine buffet with excellent seats in a corporate skybox. The transition to section HD was more satisfying than I imagined. The introduction of the SEC Network allows me to watch every game of the season. With the bathroom being only thirty feet away in the wood line I see every play and really don’t miss the reverie of live games. Irritating assholes are summarily banished from Camp Russ/FOB Bonnie. Mr McGoo is gone and Kirby finally has all the pieces in place. The future is very bright and everything is coming up Dawgs. I was preparing to enjoy The Era of Dawgs Domination.
    Oooooooof course the assholes in charge had to go and fuck it all up for no good reason except to further line their own pockets. 12+ team playoffs and super conferences add nothing to college football. I foresee escalating pay- for-view as the next wrench in the gears of my viewing pleasure. They don’t care about the game or tradition and they damn sure don’t give a shit about y’all and I think they especially hate me. The motherfuckers.
    I’m sure I’ll adjust as I always have. As a matter of fact I think the Dawgs are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the changes.
    Kirby Fuckn Smart, that’s why. I’m an eternal optimist that thinks Kirby is on the mutha. We’re fortunate to have a man of vision and intelligence leading the Dawgs into a muddled up future.

    Those Geico McKayla commercials make me happy also.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Tony BarnFart

      Yeah, I’ve seen some speculation that the future of the SEC viewer experience looks like a UFC PPV fight. Maybe not though. The expanded playoff and nationalizing of the sport would say that’s not the path because, even as popular as the SEC is, I’m not sure there are enough crackheads outside of all of us in the southeast that would pay PPV money for single games.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 123 Fake St

      I predict I’ll be hunting more in ten years. Probably less than that.


  5. akascuba

    Dinner bell at the pigpen perfect choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. HirsuteDawg

    Man, I sure do miss the days when we could plan an every other year trip to Ol’ Miss enjoy the tailgate with bloody marys, BBQ, and beer.. . . . I know, I know they aint coming back. Little guys are not going to be one of the playoff (though I allow a really special team may sneak in from time to time.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      I always liked the Ole Miss trip better than going to Auburn….

      Liked by 2 people

    • First time I ever saw a chandelier at a tailgate was in Oxford…back then, I thought they were way over the top, and the girls were fine as frog hair…good times

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tony BarnFart

      As somebody who has been to the grove probably 2 dozen times, my impression is that it has become somewhat of a corporatized clusterfuck. It was crowded 10-12 years ago, now it’s body to body and you aren’t doing it unless you’re 100% outsourcing your entire logistics and probably getting paid catering. And while I do think you can hire one of their companies as a visiting fan, the days of coming in as a road fan and just planning to hang out in the grove winging it with a minimalist setup appear to be long gone.


  7. theorginaldawgabides

    Who all recognized Creed from The Office on that Grass Roots cover?