AP Photo: Mark Humphrey, file
Ah, Memorial Day weekend is in our sights. It’s the unofficial start of summer and the time of year when SEC executives travel to Destin, Florida for their annual meetings.
This year’s affair was to be a hit, especially with the shootings between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and fellow Texas A&M Jimbo Fisher. Some heat is brewing here.
Nick accused Jimbo of buying all his recruits like a Rodeo Drive shopping spree, and Jimbo fired back at Nick, whom he once coached at LSU, basically saying Saban was as dirty as the underside of a snake.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon could be taking notes on the kind of mud Nick and Jimbo are throwing. They basically sounded like they were cutting a promo for this year’s Crimson Tide-Aggie Showdown in Tuscaloosa on October 8th. It could be the biggest game on the SEC’s agenda this year?
Anyone for an underwater cage match between the two vitriol-spitting trainers in Destin next week?
I don’t think anyone was overly surprised by these revelations. Such shenanigans were commonplace in the SEC long before the term “name, likeness, and likeness” came up, but this feud certainly makes next week’s meetings a little more interesting.
And things are already getting very interesting, with the SEC planning to have Texas and Oklahoma join the league in 2025, when college football will also work under a new television deal with ABC/ESPN. Yes, CBS will lose its SEC Game of the Week, which has been scheduled every Saturday in the South, and really across the college football landscape, for more than a decade.
There is debate as to how the league will split up for the game once the Sooners and Longhorns join the group. Will division play continue or will four-team pods be the new fad? The Pac-12 has already broken up divisions and reportedly the ACC will do the same in the near future.
Will the league add a ninth SEC game to the league schedule? It would make sense. It would be one less slot for each program to fill a direction school, and probably more competition for television viewing. It’s also another way to ensure all conference teams play each other more often, which is a growing concern.
Word also spread Monday that SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will consider the possibility of the league creating its own playoff system. yes wild
Apparently he’s upset that other conferences rejected rejections for a 12-team championship tournament last year. When other conferences are reluctant to capitalize on what would be a bonanza for the college game, he’s willing to get the ball rolling without them.
The idea sounds a bit like a trial balloon that Sankey is releasing to get the other leagues out of the pot of indecision, but maybe not.
As a fan of the bowl games, I don’t particularly like the playoff expansion, but nobody asks me. Might as well go with the flow than get ground up in the aisles.
Sankey’s leadership and audacity is a great thing for the SEC and college football fans in general. When the Pac-12 and Big 10 decided to call off their football seasons in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, it was Sankey who held the line and saved this season.
Where it is poised to lead is certainly worth at least serious consideration. It’s good that Sankey wields a big stick in the collegiate athletics world and that he uses it wisely in general.
Many of the speaking minds at ESPN have said Saban should be named Czar of College Football once he retires in Alabama.
What they have failed to notice is that Sankey is already the de facto tsar of college football.