Daily Archives: July 1, 2022

It’s alive!!

LOL.

Now you’re just fucking with ’em.

24 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Big Ten Football, Pac-12 Football

You couldn’t pay me enough.

Question for y’all:

The Tennessee Volunteers didn’t land a single top-100 national football prospect in their 2021 or 2022 signing classes.

So far in this 2023 recruiting cycle, the Vols have snagged five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava, lost out to Ohio State for five-star receiver Carnell Tate, and are finalists for five-star offensive tackle Francis Mauigoa from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and five-star edge rusher Chandarian Bradley from Platte City, Missouri.

What has Tennessee competing for the country’s elite talent as if Phillip Fulmer was back at the helm?

Is it the success and the excitement of Josh Heupel’s first season that has led to optimism for this autumn and beyond? Is it a Tennessee tradition that includes 13 Southeastern Conference championships and the picturesque setting of Neyland Stadium overlooking the Tennessee River? Or could it be that the Vols have been competitive out of the gate in college football’s new world of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals?

Well, it strikes me that “competing” is doing some heavy lifting there.  Let’s see where the dust settles on UT’s class come December.  In any event, I’m sure the money doesn’t hurt, but that particular playing field is going to level sooner or later, at which point all recruits will be left with is deciding if they really want to wear Urnge.

43 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting

Sankey’s dilemma

So, if D-1 college football is morphing into two super conferences, the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference, that will likely expand significantly beyond their current numbers, where does the latter go from here?

If you’re Greg Sankey, that’s not an easy question to answer.  There aren’t any obvious major media markets to gobble up, as the Big Ten just did.  At least not as long as the ACC exists.  On paper, that’s for a while.

Now, I don’t doubt there are some clever minds out there sharpening their pencils in an effort to find the means to scuttle that, but I’m not certain that would help the SEC much, either.  Sure, Clemson and FSU would likely clamor to join, but neither brings much to the table in terms of media rights.  Sankey’s problem there would be that even if they don’t, he might not have much choice but to invite them to join, strictly as a defensive measure, because even if they don’t move the needle much for him, they would make for an enormous beachhead for the Big Ten to establish in this part of the country if they went there.

So, assume for now, the ACC fends off disaster, probably with some help from Mickey.  In that scenario, where does Sankey go to meet future expansion needs?  I don’t think that’s a question arising from the silly dick measuring contests we’ve seen between the two conferences over the better part of the last two decades, but instead one recognizing where the balance of power in the sport is headed.  No obvious choices jump out at me now, although I recognize the situation is fluid.

What do y’all see?

66 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

The death of regionalism

I know that some of you are firmly convinced that NIL compensation has brought about the end of college football as we know and more power to you for having that conviction.  Me, I see something else.

I see a straight line from NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma to this…

… and recognize it as the death knell to one of the pillars that’s made college football the unique and wonderful experience it’s been for many decades.

Here’s the new Big Ten map:

The Big Ten is now a bi-coastal college sports league.  I’d say that’s nuts, except it’s what the players — the ones who count, that is, meaning the conferences and their broadcast partners — want, damn the consequences.  And, yes, there are plenty of those.  Here’s some low hanging fruit in that regard.

They can’t, and they won’t really care.  (Although the standard playbook would suggest that they’ll make some mouth noises about their concern, come up with a half-assed solution and proclaim they’re doing it for the kids.)

But forget that for a moment.  Who’s really gonna get pumped up for a UCLA-Rutgers conference football game?  Not their respective fan bases, that’s for sure.  But it’s broadcast fodder, and, more importantly, helps to provide a framework for what’s coming out of this, namely a 20- or 24-team super league that will be set up to provide a feeder system for a new college football postseason.

I’m sure that will be entertaining for some.  It will certainly provide shiny new toys to distract the media for years.  But it’s not the college football I’ve grown up with and loved.  Not that those in charge will care, at least not as long as the checks keep cashing.

I’ll be shocked if I’m still passionate about this sport five years from now.  That’s a sad thing to realize.

48 Comments

Filed under College Football

So much for thinking outside the box

So, yeah, my first reaction to yesterday’s bombshell about UCLA and USC leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten’s greener pastures was amusement.  My second?  Well, I wouldn’t say it’s sympathy, exactly.  But I do understand why the two decided to make the jump.

Think about it: two programs with history, branding (certainly in USC’s case, anyway… just ask Stewart Mandel) that sit in one of the biggest media markets in the country.  They watched one conference commissioner, Tom Hansen, serve for better than a quarter-century without grasping the changing nature of college athletics revenue sources.  He was replaced by Larry Scott, a master of self-enrichment and little else besides, who negotiated disastrous media deals and then sold his bosses on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow by letting those bad deals play out over a decade until they expired.

The conference finally worked up the stones to get rid of Scott.  His replacement is another outside the box guy who comes from the gambling industry and whose first big move was to scuttle a CFP expansion plan in a fit of pique he’s tried to sell as some form of a 3-D chess move that’s cost his bosses their share of a half billion-dollar payout.

At some point, if you’re UCLA or USC, you have to ask yourself WTF are we doing here?  Especially when you look up and see Iowa, gawdforsaken Iowa, about to pull in roughly $50 million more than you are, year over year, simply because of conference affiliation.

Yeah, that’s worked out well.

They can tell themselves that, but the reality is that George Kliavkoff woke up this morning less smug about his conference’s prospects than he was the morning before.  The CFP expansion plan he was happy to piss on looks extremely attractive now, but why would Greg Sankey care what he thinks?  There are plenty of rumors out there that other conference members want to join the gold rush to the Big Ten, which means he’s got to spend time shoring up his flanks.

You’ve also got to think the Pac-12 and the Big 12 are eyeing each other carefully right now, wondering who’s going to make the first move to cannibalize the other.  ‘Cause you know that’s coming.

As I said yesterday, welcome to the real world, George.  It’s not pretty when you’re not the lead dog.

25 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football