Category Archives: ESPN Is The Devil

I’ll take “Whatever Mickey Says It Is” for $200, Alex.

Legitimacy questions?  What legitimacy questions?

When asked what constituted a legitimate playoff, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said, “Nobody has asked me that yet.”

But he didn’t say whether he’d asked that.  Or the people who pay him.  I’d be shocked if they haven’t already broached the subject with ESPN, though.  Not in the Casablanca sense, either.

If Disney strokes the check, there will be a college football playoff.  The money would sure be legitimate.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

BREAKING: Water is still wet.

You will be shocked, shocked to learn that Mickey has conducted a fan survey that shows fans want Mickey to sell them product.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Georgia lost control of Jake Fromm.

Herbie susses where it all went wrong last year.

Herbstreit called Georgia’s offensive struggles in 2019 a “collective effort,” pointing out that Fromm didn’t have the same level supporting cast around him.

“They didn’t necessarily have the receiver play they had the past two years when he was a freshman and sophomore, they weren’t able to get the ball downfield in this offense, and I think eventually it caught up with them,” Herbstreit said.

“I think they also re-evaluated their offensive coordinator,” he said, referring to James Coley being replaced by Todd Monken as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator.

“They’re going in a different direction, which I think maybe will help them moving forward.”

Amazing what this guy gets paid to provide the same kind of analysis you can find in the comments section of this blog on a weekly basis.  Give yourselves a raise, peeps!

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

Kirk Herbstreit has lost control of Kirk Herbstreit.

This is what backtracking sounds like.

ESPN college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit caught a lot of heavy criticism in March when he made a comment about the future of the 2020 college football season. Herbstreit said on ESPN radio that he would be “shocked” to see a college football and NFL season happen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And then, the backlash came. Whether it was fans, coaches, athletic directors or more, everyone had their own opinions on Herbstreit’s take. But on a conference call on Monday morning, Herbstreit said his comments weren’t painted entirely accurate.

“It was kind of misconstrued, misrepresented based on what I said in a radio interview and how it was taken by a lot of people,” Herbstreit said. “…I was almost just thinking out loud. It was the day baseball was supposed to start, Opening Day, and we were reminiscing about how sad it is that we weren’t having any baseball. I was like, ‘Hey, man, this thing’s scary. We may not even have football.’ I was kind of thinking out loud at that point.

“…I’m not making any predications. I really wasn’t that night. I was trying to explain how real this pandemic is.”

Just like now he’s trying to explain how real ESPN’s pressure to deliver product is.

“I’ve talked to a ton of people who are actual decisionmakers in the college game — can’t speak about the NFL — but in the college game. I think what they’ve done is they built 3-4 contingency plans,” Herbstreit said. “Based on what happens with this virus and what Dr. (Anthony) Facui and others recommend, the President, these governors. I think, ‘Okay, everything’s okay, status quo, show up on campus in July, two-a-days, regular season, here we go.’ That’s the first contingency. And then they built it all the way back — the second, the third, the fourth — all the way back to a willingness to start in late February or March, turning it into a spring sport and playing in March, April, May, and playing postseason in June, which I think (would be) a last-ditch effort.

“Which proves how willing the administrators are with the NCAA, the conference commissioners, ADs and presidents, to have a college football season. They’re going to do everything they can, if it comes to that extreme, to be able to potentially have a 2020 season.”

And broadcasts, Herbie.  Don’t forget the broadcasts.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Unique, alright

Six months ago, who could have seen this coming?  (Hell, six weeks ago, for that matter.)

On Monday came the announcement from the PGA Tour that its major championships would be rescheduled to this fall due to the ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. That included The Masters, now set to be played November 9-15. That change brought an interesting proposal from ESPN commentator and former basketball coach Dan Dakich.

Dakich floated the idea of ESPN’s College Gameday coming to Augusta to College GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit and he appears to be all in.

“Love this!!” Herbstreit responded, tagging College GameDay producer Lee Fitting as a potential programming nudge.

That could make for an interesting atmosphere, as Georgia is scheduled to host SEC rival Tennessee that weekend if the 2020 college football season goes unaltered. With CBS having television rights to both the Masters and the SEC on CBS game of the week, that could result in the Dawgs and Volunteers playing in Athens at night as the CBS broadcast. It is a truly unique scenario that might never happen again…

“Might”?  Gawd, let’s hope not.  I don’t think I could take another pandemic meltdown like the one we’re going through, interesting atmosphere or otherwise.

Although it does make you wonder who Mickey would get as the GameDay guest picker…

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

The price you pay your broadcast partner

This is not a pretty picture.

Screenshot_2020-03-11 College football must innovate as FBS attendance dips for sixth straight year to lowest since 1996

As you can imagine, there is a lot of flopping around concerning solutions to stem the decline, most of them tired, like better wi-fi.  There are also duh suggestions, like winning and beefing up home schedules (great, if you’re a P5 athletic director who can cut deals with your peers; not so great if you’re working at, say, a MAC school).

One big problem is structural.

TV ratings continue to soar because it is increasingly easier to stay home. College football is the nation’s second-most popular sport. But its attractiveness as a live event is slipping.

Mickey’s money is so good, it reduces the pressure on schools to find a long term attendance fix.

Speaking of ESPN, here’s the other problem:

We already know the attendance drop has reached the highest level. The seven games run by the College Football Playoff posted a record low in cumulative attendance following the 2019 season. That marked the halfway point of the 12-year CFP contract with ESPN.

Not to mention, the CFP has contributed to making it a playoff-or-bust discussion in the country. Check those Tuesday nights in November when ESPN has made appointment viewing out of the weekly CFP Rankings.

“If you watch college football in this day and age, the only teams people are talking about is the six teams that can make the College Football Playoff,” Dykes said. “If you’re not one of those six teams, you lose interest in your team a little bit.”

That’s the price you pay for letting a network nationalize the appeal of your product.  Wi-fi won’t do a damned thing about that.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Change of plans

Not the G-Day we were expecting…

Sounds like it doesn’t mean more to Mickey.  Not my problem, though, as I plan on doing my part to help recruiting attending.

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UPDATE:  Apparently, every SEC spring game, with the exceptions of Auburn and LSU (both on ESPN2), will only be available in their entirety on SEC Network+ digitally.  Helluva broadcast partner you got there, Mr. Sankey.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

ESPN, all things to all men

If you didn’t like the FPI number Mickey’s stat department tagged Georgia with, stick around for Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early rankings, where he places the Dawgs fourth.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

ESPN preseason FPI top 10

I see ESPN’s crack statistical crew (sans Bill Connelly) is back at it again.

If you’re gonna put TAMU in there, I don’t see how you omit Florida.  And you know how I feel about the Gators.

And Texas is back, again?

The main reason I’m posting this is so I can go back at season’s end and mock it.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Stats Geek!

Master of the finger wag

Swear to Gawd, between the Beckham stuff and his two top assistants leaving for greener pastures, I was gonna do a mocking Herbstreit-esque “Ed Orgeron has lost control” post this morning, only to find that the man himself has already beat me to the punch.

“Burrow’s comment about ‘I’m not a student-athlete anymore, yeah it was real money.’ If you care about the program, do you really say that,” Herbstreit said. “Going into this game I was thinking with Tua leaving Alabama, I was like not only are they gonna win this thing, there’s a really good chance that Coach O’s got some mojo going right now. This thing’s gonna be around for a while.

“And after the dust settled I’m like let me get my Bama roster back out. I don’t see them coming back next year at all.”

LSU completed its first undefeated season since 1959, defeating seven teams that were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the meetings. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, set the record for most touchdown passes in a season with 60, passed for 5,671 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns in his team’s two wins in the College Football Playoff.

“I will say this: as much as we’re celebrating this team, I wasn’t a real fan of the postgame stuff, the OBJ stuff with the money,” Herbstreit said. “The way they handled themselves at times. If it’s just about 2019, great. But this is about staying power, right? This isn’t the finish line of their program. Don’t they wanna win in 2020, don’t they wanna win in 2021? I almost feel like it’s all the chips in, we made it, that’s it and forget everything else.

“Part of what makes Clemson, Clemson is they’re gonna be back and be preseason No. 1 next year. Part of what makes Alabama, Alabama is they don’t do that. Sure they celebrate, sure they’re happy, but guess what: they have freshmen that are watching, they have sophomores that are watching, they care about the health of their program.”

Of course, unlike me, he’s serious about that.

LSU fans, welcome to the new narrative.  We Dawg fans are happy to pass the torch to you.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football