Could Powerful SEC Go It Alone?

Could Powerful SEC Go It Alone?

HAN VANCE on American college football: Peril. Peril, peril, the season is in real and immediate jeopardy, with the Big 10 (of the Power 5 conferences) meeting immediately on a Sunday – not insignificant in and of itself – to discuss postponing or canceling the 2020 NCAA football season. They voted 10 to 2 to cancel the season, only Nebraska and Iowa voting to play football.

The Power 5 conferences called an emergency session to gauge where member leagues stood, with the Pac—12 reportedly set to make an announcement as early as Tuesday.

SEC! SEC! Just Friday, the world’s most powerful sporting conference announced that two cross-divisional league opponents had been added to the existing schedule slates of the conference member institutions. My University of Georgia Bulldogs adding (underdog) Miss State and (lowly, rebuilding) Arkansas to a proposed schedule that would start 9/26 and be 10-game, league-only. I posit the boldest and biggest-in-value league could go it alone without other football conferences even playing any football season and it still be a valid product. SEC head honcho Greg Sankey, a yankee, has stated that crowning a league champion is his big goal for the season. While I’m not the first to express that a low-key power struggle for controls has been ongoing between the SEC and an infamously unlimber NCAA.

Glancing to the list of national champions for the last 15 years or of all CFP entrants, more recently, shows the league’s dominant power position over the entirety of the college football landscape. The mighty SEC has been wanting to flex harder on the powers that be at NCAA Football, for a long minute.

It was wrongly supposed by the scribe types who like to suppose everything and love putting the carts in front of the horses as much as possible, that SEC schools a: would definitely play and b: would add the next two non-divisional league schools up in rotation. The league instead started there and then tweaked it, based on supposed strength of programs at current, being especially careful not to disadvantage any SEC championship contender while plainly thumping non-contenders as harshly as needed, prime examples: (+ LSU & Bama for) Mizzou and (+ Georgia & Florida for) Arkansas.

The current television “super season” I once-fantasized here at BHB about, featuring hot teams such as Vegas in the NHL playoffs, (here in ATL well below the ice line) good MLB baseball nightly with the occasional doubleheader, an action-packed NBA in O-town schedule, which shows an amazingly-deep, stratified Western Conference jockeying for playoff position, Lebron Lakers showtime and the Beard, while in the Eastern, the great Greek Freak, with a big entertainment gap coming in November and December. Will there be NFL but none of the 50-years-older college sport, which I and so many other Southerners consider the “Real Football”? Crazy talk.

Can Atlanta handle that? Can I?

My new ALL COLLEGE REPORT (www.allcollegereport.com) podcast and sports talk show was pushed to 9/20/20 on Saturday. While my hometown of Atlanta (proper) already lost an estimated total economic impact of $400 million from a canceled Final Four and an additional $40 million from this late summer’s three slated Kickoff Games, including Georgia-Virginia, which I’d looked forward to attending in person for months.

ACC brass John Swofford, a name familiar to diehard Georgia fans, said they would push forward with plans for a season, while his league’s QB1 Trevor Lawrence, a presumed number one overall NFL draft pick for the next incoming pro class went all in on multiple tweets with the theme #WeWantToPlay, also expressing eloquently that it’s more dangerous for players not to play in many personal situations. Fellow Georgian/CFP-QB Justin Fields, a former Georgia Bulldog at Ohio State, expected to battle Lawrence for both the Heisman and Natty for 2020, said, “There’s been too much work put in!! #WeWantToPlay.”

The Power 5 is – little Football 101 for some who want it – leagues: SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and Pac-12. The latter two feel way less solid than the former three in wanting to play and play now (Sept.). Media darlings Notre Dame have joined the ACC conditionally for this season. A four-team (#CFP) College Football Playoff could be expanded, and I’m one of the more vocal longtime proponents of expansion. But, if just three major leagues compete the existing crowning system would work well. Better than usual, actually with three champs plus one other entrant to be decided.

Nothing firm has been announced by the NCAA, Power 5 or SEC. When will we know?

{Photo: “spring in ATL”}

Could there be a full-length spring regular football season? Yes. Maybe. Certainly consider, though, that if the big leagues aren’t playing by this fall, they very well may likewise not be able to play in spring, under the same reasoning, after a long fall and cold winter of further potential Covid-19 spread or no marked progress.