College football is shifting rapidly before our eyes, and we are watching some teams soar, and others crash and burn.
The SEC’s biggest cheerleader, Paul Finebaum, did what he always did and crapped on teams that aren’t in the conference while boosting his own personal bias.
As Oklahoma and Texas dash from the Big 12 to the SEC, there are serious concerns over what might happen to Power conferences in college athletics, which worried some enough to form an alliance.
The Big 10, ACC, and Pac 12 have all joined an alliance that will promote more non-conference games between the three and ensures that the SEC doesn’t have all the best matchups. Finebaum clearly did not like this move and is outraged that the other conferences could hurt the SEC.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “And not only that, it just seems that if you’re not in the Southeastern Conference footprint — and that goes for fan or member of the media or whatever — that suddenly Greg Sankey has become public enemy No. 1. He is being blamed for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in the world. It’s really one of the most absurd things I have ever seen. I think we all accept the fact that we are fans of the SEC and we like Greg Sankey, but that has nothing to do with it. What’s going on right now makes no sense. They’re not using common sense, and they’re about to blow up the College Football Playoff, which benefited — outside of maybe Clemson and Ohio State — everyone outside the SEC. Yeah, of course, the SEC would get more than 1 or 2 schools in the (12-team) Playoff, but the Pac-12 finally had an invitation. Other schools had a shot at getting in there. Quite frankly, if they do this out of spite, they’re cutting off their own nose to spite their face. It makes no sense. Every time I get more agitated about it, more people seem like they start circling the wagons about it and start blaming folks like us for simply telling the truth.”
Here’s the deal: the SEC is trying to become a monopoly. Shortly after the OU and UT move, there were rumors that Florida State and Clemson were also interested in joining. The other conferences can’t have that happening. They needed some unity that says they will not let the SEC grow too big. Maybe Finebaum is right that Sankey doesn’t deserve the hate, he is just doing his job after all, but the SEC has to stop growing at some point. Of course, Finebaum did not stop there.
“What all these other leagues are saying now is the SEC has left us behind, and to me, it’s embarrassing for proud conferences like the Pac-12, let me scratch that, like the Big Ten and the ACC to join with the Pac-12 and pretty much admit they have to join forces to compete with the SEC,” Finebaum said.
Call it what you will, but it’s not embarrassing that these conferences are doing this. It’s something they need to do to stay ahead. With this new “alliance,” these three conferences are focused on the health of college sports. Of course, part of that is probably a load of crap, and money is the driving factor in every move, but there could be some good to come out of this.
One thing these three conferences will focus on is incredible non-conference games. While the SEC is stuck with teams like Georgia playing South Carolina or Mizzou playing Arkansas, we could see Oregon take on Ohio State, Arizona State take on Clemson, Michigan take on USC. There are huge programs in these other conferences, and it’s not fair to say that it is embarrassing that they want a better product.
Of course, the other major part of this is for TV reasons. ESPN is the biggest advocate of the SEC, and of course, Paul Finebaum works for ESPN. While the ACC also has a sweet deal with the worldwide leader of sports, getting other networks involved is a must. These conferences make sure that competitors like FOX, CBS, and other streaming services won’t be shut out from the college athletics world.
There might be just one thing that concerns me with this alliance, and it’s that nothing has been signed; there is no official contract. The only thing that these commissioners have is a handshake agreement after “looking each other in the eye.” If we know anything about college sports, we know that means nothing whatsoever. It is sad, but, indeed, you can’t trust college athletics officials. It has become a very fixed and rigged system, and so hopefully, they can figure something out soon, permanently.
And of course, there are still questions over the Big 12 and why they were left out. It seems like the other conferences, the SEC mostly, has left the former powerhouse to die. After all, the Big 12 may not be the best football conference, but they did produce a National Championship in men’s basketball.
This new alliance may not be perfect, there may be flaws, and some things will need to be worked out, but it is certainly isn’t embarrassing. Finebaum is full of it because he is paid to be full of it. Anyone who eats and sleeps in the SEC money will do what they need to protect their pockets.