In this college football podcast episode,

College football has changed so much over the last few years that the sport, for some, feels almost unrecognizable. Join us for an honest discussion about the questions that friends, family, and fans ask us out in the wild about the state of CFB in 2024 and beyond. We dive into the growing perception that too many dramatic changes to the sport, including the transfer portal, an expanding College Football Playoff, and constant realignment, especially within the Big Ten and SEC, are quickly killing off the charm that made college football unique.

Be it lost rivalries, regular season games taking on different meaning, or players ability to move more freely, we talk about the changes and what they may mean both in the short- and long-term. We evaluate how optimistic or pessimistic we feel about the health of the sport and its future.

Join us for an in-depth conversation about the current state of college football, its potential trajectory, and what it means for fans old and new. What do you think? Are these changes a death knell or a new beginning for college football?

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DAN RUBENSTEIN, YOU SEE THIS SHIRT I’M WEARING?

USA?

GOOD OLD US OF A, MAN.

2-0 OVER BOLIVIA.

GAME ONE OF THE COPA AMERICA

ON SUNDAY EVENING.

FELT GOOD?

FELT REALLY GOOD, YEAH.

NICE.

REALLY GOOD. THIS IS A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SHOW, MIND YOU, BUT

GOTTA SUPPORT THE TEAM HERE

ON THE PODCAST.

I’M TY, HE’S DAN. WELCOME BACK.

WHERE’D THEY PLAY THE GAME? WAS IT AT&T?

PLAYED THE GAME IN ARLINGTON, YEAH.

AT&T STADIUM.

THAT’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL-ISH.

THERE HAVE BEEN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THAT STADIUM.

I MEAN, APPARENTLY,

THE OHIO STATE-OREGON ONE FROM EARLY 2015,

I IMAGINED IT. APPARENTLY, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

CORRECT.

CORRECT.

AND THEY GOT THE TURF SORTED.

I BELIEVE THE FIRST GAME THAT THEY PLAYED THERE,

THE TURF WAS NOT… LIKE, THEY JUST ROLLED IT IN OFF THE TRUCK

A FEW DAYS BEFORE THEY STARTED PLAYING.

GREAT.

AND SO, THE ROOTS DIDN’T-

I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’VE EVER HAD SOD, BUT,

YOU KNOW, LIKE, THE ROOTS GOTTA, LIKE, ANCHOR, OTHERWISE-

GOTTA TAKE HOLD, YEAH.

YEAH, SO IT SEEMED LIKE THAT WAS A LITTLE BIT BETTER

AND THERE WEREN’T ANY INJURIES OR ANYTHING TO SPEAK OF, SO.

GOOD NEWS ON THAT FRONT.

GREAT.

GOOD NEWS ON THIS FRONT.

HEY, WE GET TO TALK COLLEGE FOOTBALL!

WELCOME ONE, WELCOME ALL.

THANK YOU FOR TUNING BACK INTO THE SHOW.

HIT FOLLOW, HIT SUBSCRIBE, WHEREVER IT IS YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS.

IF YOU ARE A SUPER VERBALLER OR JUST WANT TO SUPPORT WHAT DAN AND I DO,

GO ON OVER TO VERBALLERS.COM.

JUST MOSEY ON OVER, CHECK OUT WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER.

WE’VE BEEN DEEP IN THE LAB TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER

SOME OF OUR IN-SEASON BENEFIT TIERS,

WHICH AT SOME POINT, PROBABLY TOWARDS THE LATTER HALF OF JULY,

EARLY PART OF AUGUST,

WE’LL FLIP ON AND YOU’LL SEE WHAT WE’VE GOT IN STORE FOR ALL Y’ALL

THIS COMING 2024 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON, DAN.

YEAH.

IN THE MEANTIME, THOUGH, WE’RE GEARING UP TO DO PREVIEWS,

WHICH IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT MONTH IN THE GOOD MONTH OF JULY,

AT SOME POINT AFTER JULY 4TH.

STAY TUNED FOR THAT.

IN THE INTERIM, THOUGH, YOU MADE A REALLY INTERESTING COMMENT TO ME.

YES.

AND I WAS HOPING MAYBE YOU COULD EXPAND ON IT A LITTLE BIT.

OKAY.

YOU AND I ARE BOTH IN THIS UNIQUE SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ASK US

WHEN WE’RE OUT AND ABOUT, LIKE, “WHAT DO YOU DO?

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO?”

AND I THINK OVER THE YEARS,

WE’VE FOUND NEW AND INVENTIVE WAYS TO MENTION THAT

WE DO THE PODCAST THING WITHOUT BEING, LIKE, TOO OVER THE TOP

ABOUT DOING THE PODCAST THING.

YEAH.

BUT INEVITABLY, WHEN IT COMES TIME TO TALK ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL,

WE FIND OURSELVES GETTING THE SAME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STATE OF

AFFAIRS IN 2024.

THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF CHANGE OVER THE LAST COUPLE SEASONS.

AND SO NATURALLY, NOT EVERYBODY FOLLOWS IT AS CLOSELY AS YOU

OR I OR THE PEOPLE LISTENING TO THIS AT HOME.

WE TEND TO GET A LOT OF THE SAME QUESTIONS.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN, DAN?

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHERE THINGS ARE HEADED?

THERE’S A LOT OF DOOMSDAY SCENARIOS FLOATING AROUND OUT THERE.

AND SO HOPEFULLY TODAY, WELL, YOU CAN EXPAND A LITTLE BIT MORE

ON YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS HERE, BUT HOPEFULLY TODAY WE CAN GO

THROUGH THAT THOUGHT EXPERIMENT AND TALK IT OUT IN FRONT OF

THE VERBALLERHOOD.

I’LL ADD THE FIRST THING THAT PEOPLE ASK ME WHEN THEY FIND OUT

WHAT WE DO FOR A LIVING IS, “YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT JUNE?”

LIKE YOU DO LIKE ONCE A MONTH IN THE OFFSEASON OR ONCE A WEEK.

I’M LIKE, “NO, NO, NO.”

“WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT?”

LIKE, WELL, SOMETIMES IT’S TRICKY.

BUT IN THIS SPECIFIC INSTANCE, EVERY TIME I HAVE A CONVERSATION

ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL, ESPECIALLY AROUND NOW, YOU KNOW, APRIL,

MAY, JUNE, THIS YEAR SPECIFICALLY, IT’S, “WELL, I GUESS YOU GOT

LIKE PORTAL STUFF TO TALK ABOUT AND NIL AND REALIGNMENTS NEW

AND, YOU KNOW, 12 TEAM PLAYOFF AND THAT’S GOING TO 14 TEAMS.”

AND INEVITABLY PEOPLE COME TO SOME SORT OF SOLUTION, NOT SOME

SORT OF CONCLUSION, EXCUSE ME, THAT LIKE, “MAN, ONE OF THOSE

THINGS WOULD BE A LOT TO DEAL WITH.”

THREE, FOUR, FIVE THINGS AT THE SAME TIME?

I DON’T KNOW.

I DON’T KNOW.

AND THEN LIKE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE, LIKE, “OH, NEW MATCHUPS

WITH REALIGNMENT.

THAT’S KIND OF INTERESTING AND COOL.”

AND LIKE, “WELL, GUYS MOVING AROUND THE SPORT, I GUESS, YOU KNOW,

IT’S REALLY GOOD FOR THE PLAYERS IN A LOT OF INSTANCES, BUT IT’S

TOUGH IN THIS REGARD.”

LIKE, THERE IS LIKE A PROS AND CONS PUSH AND PULL TO ALL OF THE

CHANGES IN THE SPORT.

AND, YOU KNOW, YOU SEE IT ONLINE.

YOU SEE IT IN CONVERSATIONS YOU HAVE WITH PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE

THAT FACES DARKEN, FACES, MOODS DARKEN IS PROBABLY THE BETTER

WAY TO PUT IT THAT YOU’RE JUST LIKE, “I DON’T KNOW, MAN.

IT’S JUST GOING TO BE, I GUESS I’LL JUST WATCH ILLINOIS, RIGHT?”

IF I’M TALKING TO, WHICH I DO, MY FRIEND BRIAN THIS PAST WEEKEND

OR LIKE, “I GUESS I’LL JUST, YOU KNOW, I’LL WATCH USC GAMES AND

IT’S KIND OF INTERESTING OR I’LL WATCH, YOU KNOW, TEXAS TECH GAMES

OR LIKE, JUST WAIT AND SEE, SEE HOW WE LIKE IT.”

BUT MAN, THAT’S A LOT NEW AND YOU DO GET THAT LIKE, DOOMERISM

WITH THE FUTURE OF THE SPORT.

AND I DON’T LIKE TO WRITE OFF SOMEBODY’S VIEWPOINT WITHOUT THINKING

ABOUT IT AND TALKING IT THROUGH.

AND SO THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO DO WITH YOU BECAUSE I LOVE SO MANY

MORE ASPECTS OF THIS SPORT THAN I AM WORRIED ABOUT EVEN STILL WITH

ALL OF THE CHANGES.

BUT I WANT TO SEE IF WE CAN GET TO SOME SORT OF INTERESTING PLACE

WITH, YOU KNOW, IF SOMETHING NEW IS STUPID, IF IT’S NOT STUPID,

IF IT’S SLIGHTLY STUPID, SHOUT OUT TO THE BAND SLIGHTLY STUPID,

LEGENDARY, THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCENE, OR IF IT’S NOT, YOU KNOW,

IF IT’S ACTUALLY LIKE LEGIT GOOD.

AND SO I WANT TO SORT OF HAVE THIS POWWOW.

THIS IS OUR DAVOS TY.

THIS IS OUR G7, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.

SURE.

AHEAD OF LIKE PREVIEW SEASON STARTS SOON AND WE’VE BEEN, YOU KNOW,

LOOKING AT CERTAIN TEAMS WITH THEIR OUTLOOKS AND WHETHER THEY CAN

HIT CEILINGS AND STUFF.

BUT I DON’T KNOW.

I THINK THERE’S AN IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.

AND ON TOP OF THAT, LOOK, WE DID THE JUNE 2-PART Q&A EPISODE A COUPLE

WEEKS AGO NOW.

YEAH.

AND YOU’LL REMEMBER THE QUESTION WE GOT FROM ONE OF OUR PATREON

FAVORITES ABOUT WHERE ARE YOU AT FROM A MOTIVATION STANDPOINT WITH

ALL THESE CHANGES?

BECAUSE IT IS A LOT, RIGHT?

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THING YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

THIS MANY STRUCTURAL CHANGES ALL AT ONCE IS A LOT.

IT’S A LOT TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND AND COMPUTE.

AND FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN’T IN THIS THE WAY YOU AND I ARE, SOME OF

THE CONVERSATIONS I’VE HAD WITH PEOPLE, THEY JUST OUTRIGHT FORGOT

ABOUT SOME OF THE STUFF THAT’S GONE ON THIS OFF SEASON.

TOTALLY, COMPLETELY TRUE.

AND I THINK THAT’S TOTALLY NORMAL.

I DON’T EXPECT THAT EVERYBODY IS A SICKLE LIKE YOU AND I ARE DOING

THIS FOR A LIVING LIKE YOU AND I.

AND SO IT IS A NECESSARY DOSE OF REALITY THAT I THINK BRINGS US

TO THIS POINT.

AND MORE TO THE POINT I WAS MAKING A SECOND AGO, THE QUESTION

THAT WE GOT ABOUT ARE YOU MORE OR LESS MOTIVATED GIVEN ALL THE

CHANGES HAS REALLY BEEN BOUNCING AROUND IN MY HEAD.

IT’S REALLY BEEN BOUNCING AROUND IN MY HEAD.

AND I REMEMBER THAT QUESTION.

SHOUT OUT HCB, WHO IS THE NAME OF THE GENTLEMAN THAT ASKED IT.

IT BOUNCES AROUND IN MY HEAD EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE A

CONVERSATION LIKE THE ONE YOU JUST DESCRIBED.

RIGHT.

BECAUSE I CAN’T TELL RIGHT AWAY IF SOMEBODY IS MORE OR LESS

MOTIVATED TO WATCH THE SPORT.

SO WE’RE NOT GOING TO PUMP SUNSHINE AS MUCH TODAY AS JUST I

THINK HAVE A CONVERSATION.

WITH RESPECT TO HOW WE’RE FEELING ABOUT THIS AND WE’RE NOT

GOING TO TELL YOU HOW TO FEEL.

BUT IF WE CAN HELP INFORM YOU ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THAT’S I

THINK A GOAL FOR US HERE.

I AGREE.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO START?

WELL, I MEAN, I’M JUST THINKING TO SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS

I’VE HAD WITH FOLKS AND I THINK INEVITABLY IT IS THE EXPANDED

PLAYOFF THAT COMES UP FIRST.

BY THE WAY, I LOVE WHEN YOU TURN INTO SENATOR TAI AND CALL

PEOPLE FOLKS.

YOU’RE LIKE I SAW I TALKED TO FOLKS ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE

AND THEY’RE ALL SAYING THE SAME THING.

THEY’RE TIRED OF BLAH, BITTY BLAH, AND THEY–

– I GAVE A STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, YOU KNOW THIS.

– I KNOW, I LOVE SENATOR TAI.

– BACK IN MARCH. – AND I DID SAY THAT

GENUINELY.

– THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF.

– SURE.

– THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF IS THE ONE

THAT COMES UP MOST FREQUENTLY FOR ME.

I SUSPECT THE OREGON THING TO THE BIG TEN

IS WHAT COMES UP MOST FREQUENTLY FOR YOU.

IS THAT ACCURATE?

– YEAH, BIG TEN EXPANSION IN GENERAL,

BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE I AM, IN THE CHICAGO BURBS, YEAH.

– WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT THE BIG TEN EXPANSION

IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS?

WHAT IS KIND OF THE SENTIMENT AMONG THOSE FOLKS?

THERE IT IS.

– THEY SAY THE SAME THING.

THEY SAY, “OH, THAT’S RIGHT, WEIRD.”

LIKE, THEY ARE REMINDED THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE

FOUR NEW TEAMS IN THE BIG TEN,

AND THEN I, IN ADDITION, LIKE ALSO SEC, ACC,

AND BIG 12 ARE ALSO SHIFTING THINGS AROUND,

NOT TO MENTION G5 CONFERENCES,

OUR NEW LOOK EVERY YEAR, IT SEEMS.

AND SO, THAT’S THE FIRST REACTION.

THAT’S RIGHT, WEIRD, BUT KIND OF COOL.

AND THIS IS WHEN I SAY, “YEAH, I CAN KIND OF DRIVE

TO A BUNCH OF OREGON GAMES IF I REALLY WANTED TO.”

AND SO, THAT’S GENERALLY THE FEELING.

IT’S NOT PASSING JUDGMENT ON,

OH, IT’S GONNA BE SO MUCH HARDER,

OR WE’RE GONNA HAVE IT SO MUCH HARDER

GOING OUT TO THE WEST COAST.

IT’S MORE JUST LIKE, WEIRD, WEIRD, STILL.

AND THE SEASON STARTS, WHAT, IN TWO MONTHS?

SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

SO, THAT’S THE REACTION I GET.

AND I AM VERY MUCH ON RECORD SAYING

THAT THE DEATH OF WEST COAST FOOTBALL,

IN THAT GROUPING ALL THOSE MAJOR PROGRAMS

OUT WEST AND WEST-ISH, IS A TRAGEDY FOR THE SPORT.

SO, THAT, TO ME, IS JUST EXTREMELY STUPID.

THAT THE SPORT, THE REGION, WHATEVER,

COULDN’T GET IT FIGURED OUT.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FACTORS WHY THEY COULDN’T.

BUT IN TERMS OF REALIGNMENT,

AND IF THIS WILL DOOM THE SPORT,

I SAY LIKELY NOT.

LIKELY NOT, BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT THE SPORT HAS

IS A FULL HISTORY OF CONSTANT CHANGE.

AND SO, THIS IS NOT GOING TO LAST.

MAYBE THERE WILL BE MORE TEAMS IN A BUNCH OF CONFERENCES.

MAYBE THINGS WILL SPLIT UP

AND MAKE A LITTLE BIT MORE SENSE REGIONALLY.

BUT I DON’T GET THE SENSE IN SPEAKING TO PEOPLE

ONLINE, IN REAL LIFE, WHEREVER,

THAT THEY’RE CONVINCED THAT

BECAUSE THE BIG TEN IS ADDING TEAMS,

THE SEC IS ADDING TEAMS,

MAYBE THERE’S PROBABLY MORE RIGHTFUL DOOMERISM

AMONG ACC PEOPLE, GIVEN THAT TWO OF THE POWERS

IN FLORIDA STATE AND CLEMSON ARE TRYING TO GET OUT.

BUT I DON’T GET THE SENSE THAT PEOPLE’S HABITS

WITH THEIR FANDOM AND THE SPORT

ARE GOING TO SHIFT DRAMATICALLY.

AND ON THE SAME TOKEN, YOU DO GET THAT CONVERSATION,

LIKE, OH, WE GET NEW, INTERESTING,

BIG MATCHUPS, POTENTIALLY,

WHEN WISCONSIN, USC FACE EACH OTHER,

OHIO STATE, OREGON, MICHIGAN, WASHINGTON,

IF AND WHEN WASHINGTON POPS BACK UP

TO NATIONAL POWER STATUS.

LIKE, THAT TO ME IS A POSITIVE SPIN

THAT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE.

– I ACTUALLY THINK THAT’S MY SPIN, TOO.

– OKAY.

– I THINK THAT’S MY SPIN.

I THINK THAT’S HOW, GENERALLY, I FEEL ABOUT THIS.

WE, UNFORTUNATELY, GIVEN OUR LARGE AUDIENCE,

STILL DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SWAY TO PREVENT

COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND THE BUSINESS MINDS BEHIND IT

FROM KILLING OFF ONE WHOLE TRADITIONAL CONFERENCE,

THE PAC-12.

WE WOULD’VE SAVED IT IF WE COULD’VE,

BUT THAT IS CLEARLY NOT IN OUR PAY GRADE.

BUT AS THINGS STAND,

I DON’T SEE A WHOLE LOT FROM A REALIGNMENT STANDPOINT

THAT IS GOING TO, YOU MENTIONED THE WORD HABIT,

THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE MY HABITS.

AND THAT WAS GONNA BE MY NEXT QUESTION FOR YOU.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO CHANGE THOSE HABITS

AND TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL DIFFERENTLY ABOUT IT?

BECAUSE, AND I SAY THAT, AGAIN, MINDFUL OF THE FACT

THAT I KNOW I’VE HAD CONVERSATIONS OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS

WITH PEOPLE WHO GENUINELY DON’T REMEMBER

THAT ANY OF THIS HAPPENED.

– YEP.

– AND THAT DOESN’T MAKE THEM ANY LESS OF A FAN.

IT’S JUST A LOT TO TRY AND KEEP TRACK OF,

ESPECIALLY OVER THE LAST 24 MONTHS OR SO.

– SURE.

– AND SO I’VE OFTEN WONDERED WHAT WOULD IT TAKE

TO REALLY LIKE, WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?

WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE FOR YOU TO BREAK THAT HABIT

OR TO FEEL DIFFERENTLY, TRULY FEEL DIFFERENTLY

ABOUT THIS SPORT JUST WITHIN THE CONTEXT

OF CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT?

‘CAUSE RIGHT NOW IT DOESN’T,

LIKE IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE IT MAKES SENSE.

– WELL, IT’S NOT FULLY REAL YET

BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T STARTED THIS SEASON

AND WE’VE HAD REALIGNMENTS OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST,

YOU KNOW, 15 YEARS OR SO IN MAJOR CONFERENCES,

BUT TO THIS DEGREE,

DRAMATIC WITH THE SIZE OF PROGRAMS THAT ARE MOVING AROUND,

IT’S NOT REAL UNTIL IT’S, YOU KNOW,

TEXAS, GEORGIA AS A CONFERENCE GAME.

IT’S NOT REAL UNTIL IT’S USC, MARYLAND OR WHATEVER

AS A CONFERENCE GAME.

THAT’S WHEN IT BECOMES A CONVERSATION.

– I THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE

WHO FOLLOW COLLEGE FOOTBALL

WILL LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE ON A WEEK TO WEEK BASIS

AND THEY WILL SEE MORE BIG GAMES

AND THEY WILL VIEW IT MORE AS A TELEVISION PRODUCT

THE WAY YOU HAVE DESCRIBED FOR EONS ON THIS SHOW,

FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE KNOWN YOU.

– YEAH.

– WE’VE TALKED ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AS AN ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT AND A TV SHOW.

NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE YOU WANT THAT TO BE THE CASE,

BUT THAT IS THE REALITY IN WHICH WE HAVE FOUND OURSELVES

WITH THE SPORT OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS.

THAT’S JUST, IT’S GONE MORE IN THAT DIRECTION.

SO I THINK MOST PEOPLE WILL COME AT IT

FROM THAT STANDPOINT.

THERE WILL BE SOME NOSTALGIA,

CERTAINLY IF YOU’RE AN OREGON STATE,

IF YOU’RE A WASHINGTON STATE FAN,

IF YOU’RE A SCHOOL LIKE A STANFORD OR A CAL

OR WHO KNOWS WHOEVER ELSE

THAT IS GOING TO BE HORRIBLY DISPLACED

AND NOT NECESSARILY REWARDED FINANCIALLY FOR IT.

I UNDERSTAND COMING AT THIS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE,

BUT I THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE

WHO LISTEN TO OUR SHOW,

WHO HAVE ROOTED FOR SOME OF THOSE POWER TEAMS

ARE GONNA LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE ON A SATURDAY

AND BE LIKE, OH COOL, I LIKE THESE GAMES.

THERE ARE MORE GOOD GAMES TO PICK FROM.

THAT BEING SAID, WE ALSO HAVE A LOT OF FOLKS,

SENATOR TAI ADDED AGAIN.

– SENATOR TAI.

– WHO APPRECIATE THE VALUE

AND APPRECIATE THE COMPETITIVENESS AND THE PLAYOFF

AND EVERYTHING THAT GOES ALONG WITH THE POWER FOUR,

BUT ALSO THEIR FIRST ROOTING PREFERENCE IS A G5 SCHOOL.

– SURE.

– THEY LIKE THE G5 SCHOOLS.

NOW, THANKFULLY WITH THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF,

THEY’VE GIVEN A GOLDEN TICKET

TO SOME G5 TEAM TO GET IN EVERY YEAR.

MAYBE THERE WILL BE YEARS WHERE THERE’S TWO, I DOUBT IT.

UNLESS THERE IS SOME INCREDIBLE FORCE OF THE UNIVERSE

WORKING IN FAVOR OF THE G5,

THEY WILL PROBABLY, TONY PETITTI AND GREG SANKYO

PROBABLY TRY TO LIMIT THEIR ACCESS

AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

THAT’S JUST REALITY.

– YEAH.

– THAT SAID THOUGH, I DO WONDER HOW THOSE FANS FEEL.

AND I FEEL LIKE FROM THEIR STANDPOINT,

IT’S LESS ABOUT THE REALIGNMENT

AND MORE ABOUT THE SENSATION THAT THE GAP

BETWEEN THE HAVES AND THE HAVE-NOTS HAS WIDENED FURTHER

AND SHOWS NO SIGNS OF DECELERATING ANYTIME SOON.

THAT I THINK IS LIKE THE TRUE,

WHAT WAS THE DOOM WORD YOU USED BEFORE?

– WHAT, DOOMERISM?

– DOOMERISM, THAT’S THE DOOMERISM IN THIS ARGUMENT.

– SURE.

– THE DOOMERISM IN THIS ARGUMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY

IF YOU ROOT FOR OREGON, OHIO STATE, TEXAS,

MOST OF THE SCHOOLS WE TALK ABOUT ON A WEEK-TO-WEEK BASIS.

THE DOOMERISM IS IF YOU’RE

AN OHIO FAN.

IF YOU’RE A–

– TULANE, YEAH.

– TULANE FAN.

TULANE MIGHT NOT EVEN BE THE BEST EXAMPLE.

BUT IF YOU ROOT FOR ONE OF THOSE G5 SCHOOLS,

I THINK IT’S HARD TO LOOK AT THIS

AND NOT FEEL LIKE YOU’RE SLOWLY BEING SHOULDERED

OUT OF THE CONVERSATION.

– I THINK THERE’S GONNA BE A LOT OF SHOULDERING.

I THINK YOU CAN LOOK AT EVERY SINGLE TIER WITHIN THE SPORT,

EVERY SINGLE TIER WITHIN EVERY CONFERENCE,

AND IF YOU ARE ADDING, SAY WHAT YOU WILL,

TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, SAY WHAT YOU WILL

ABOUT THE LA SCHOOLS, WASHINGTON, OREGON,

YOU ARE ADDING QUALITY TO THE MAJOR CONFERENCES.

YOU ARE ADDING, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU FEEL

ABOUT SMU, STANFORD, AND CAL,

YOU’RE ADDING USUALLY OKAY PROGRAMS.

SO I THINK IT’S JUST EXPANDING WHAT ALREADY EXISTS

IN THE ACC IN THE MIDDLE.

THE BIG 12 IS ADDING QUALITY PROGRAMS

IN THE ARIZONA SCHOOLS, IN UTAH, COLORADO, TBD.

BUT WHAT I THINK PEOPLE, WHEN THEY THINK,

OKAY, WE’RE GONNA HAVE MORE INTERESTING MATCHUPS

ADDING THESE TEAMS TO OUR CONFERENCE,

THE TEAMS THAT PERHAPS ARE USED TO BEING

IN THAT SIX AND SIX, SEVEN AND FIVE-ISH RANGE

ARE NOT GONNA BE SUPER KEEN ON,

OH, WE’VE ADDED QUALITY TEAMS,

NOW WE’RE GOING FOUR AND EIGHT MORE OFTEN THAN MAYBE.

SO I THINK YOU TALK ABOUT BEING SHOULDERED OUT,

SOME OF THE FANS OF THOSE TEAMS

THAT ARE USED TO COMPETING FOR BOWL SPOTS OR WHATEVER,

I THINK THAT THE TENOR OF A LOT OF TEAM SEASONS

AND PROGRAM HEALTH IS GOING TO CHANGE PRETTY QUICKLY.

I ALSO THINK ONE OF THE THINGS YOU MENTIONED IS TRUE THOUGH

WITH THE MORE INTERESTING MATCHUPS,

THE NOVELTY IS GONNA WEAR OFF.

AND AS NOVEL AS EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING IN THE SPORT,

WHETHER IT’S EXPANSION, PORTAL, WHATEVER,

THE FACT THAT WISCONSIN IS GONNA PLAY WASHINGTON

OR TEXAS IS GOING TO PLAY SOUTH CAROLINA OR WHATEVER,

IT’S GONNA WEAR OFF.

PEOPLE ARE JUST GONNA GET USED TO THE REALITY

AND WE HAD THE NOVELTY OF A FOUR-TEAM PLAYOFF

AND INTEREST AND RATINGS AND CONVERSATION

JUST SLOWLY DECLINED OVER TIME.

AS MAYBE THAT’S A PRODUCT OF THE SAME TEAMS

PLAYING AGAINST EACH OTHER

WHEN YOU HAD THE ALABAMA CLEMSON STRETCH

OR GEORGIA PLAYING FOR IT A COUPLE OF YEARS IN A ROW

THAT I THINK COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS IN GENERAL,

BASICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PAINT WITH A WIDE SWATH

AND A LARGE BRUSH,

BUT WE AS A COMMUNITY APPRECIATE NEW.

WE LIKE UPSETS.

WE LIKE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT THINGS

THAT WE’RE NOT USED TO SEEING

AND WE’RE JUST GONNA GET USED TO SEEING A NEW LOOK SEC.

WE’RE GONNA GET USED TO SEEING A NEW LOOK BIG TEN

AND THE NOVELTY OF NEW MATCHUPS JUST BECOMES MATCHUPS.

AND I WONDER HOW QUICKLY THAT HAPPENS.

– WELL, THE NOVELTY OF NEW TEAMS AND NEW PLACES

IS SOMETHING THAT WILL BE THERE THIS YEAR

AND PROBABLY NEXT.

AND I THINK THAT PART OF IT WILL WEAR OFF QUICKLY.

I DISAGREE THAT THE GOOD MATCHUP SIDE OF THAT

IS GOING TO WEAR OFF.

– OKAY.

– BECAUSE THESE ARE GAMES ON CAMPUS.

MAYBE THE STUFF THAT HAPPENS DURING THE PLAYOFFS

IN THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF FIELD

AND PLAYING THOSE GAMES ON NEUTRAL SITES,

MAYBE THAT WILL BECOME OLD HAT SOONER THAN LATER

BECAUSE THERE IS PART OF THAT THAT FEELS VERY CORPORATE,

BUT THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A BIG TIME COLLEGE FOOTBALL MATCHUP

IN SEPTEMBER ON A SPRAWLING CAMPUS THAT’S LOUD AS HELL.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THOSE TWO TEAMS ARE.

THAT PART HAS NEVER GOTTEN OLD

IN THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

SO I DISAGREE FROM THAT STANDPOINT.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE CERTAINLY ASPECTS OF THIS

THAT I THINK RIGHT NOW EVERYTHING IS KIND OF SHINY AND NEW

AND MAYBE YOU HATE IT, MAYBE YOU DON’T,

BUT IT’S VERY EASY TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING

AS IF IT’S LIKE THE BIGGEST NOVELTY IN THE SPORT.

– WELL, OKAY.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO BE, GENERICALLY SPEAKING,

A BIG TIME MATCHUP?

TOP 15, TOP 20?

CERTAINLY YOU HAVE TO SEE NUMBERS NEXT TO EACH SCHOOL

IN THE TV GRAPHIC.

– YEAH, I’D SAY TOP 25.

TWO TOP 25 MATCHUPS.

THAT’S USUALLY THE LENS THROUGH WHICH I AM LOOKING AT

WHAT I’D CONSIDER A BIG GAME

WHEN WE PUT TOGETHER OUR SHOW DOCS DURING THE SEASON.

YEAH, TOP 25 MATCHUP.

– OKAY, BUT YOU’RE ALSO THINKING LIKE IT’S TOP 25,

BUT HOPEFULLY BETWEEN TWO MORE RECOGNIZABLE BRANDS, RIGHT?

– RECOGNIZABLE BRANDS, YEAH.

– RIGHT, YOU’LL HAVE A TOP 25 MICHIGAN-OREGON GAME.

YOU’LL HAVE A TOP 25 OKLAHOMA-LSU GAME

OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

AND SEEING THOSE TWO SCHOOLS NEXT TO EACH OTHER

AND IT’S 17 VERSUS NINE.

WHAT I WONDER IS, I SUSPECT,

AND I KNOW THIS FROM EXPERIENCE

AND FROM A LITTLE BIT OF GUESSING,

THAT THE WAY PEOPLE CONSUME THE SPORT IS,

ONE, THEY HAVE TO WATCH THEIR TEAM’S GAME.

AND THEN TWO, DEPENDING ON WHAT TIME IT’S KICKING OFF,

THEY’LL WATCH WHAT THEY PERCEIVE

TO BE THE BIGGEST NATIONAL GAME OF THE WEEKEND.

THAT NOT EVERYBODY HAS FOUR SCREENS GOING AT THE SAME TIME.

NOT EVERYBODY’S WATCHING FROM NOON TO 1 A.M.

OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

THEY VIEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

IF THEY’RE NOT ONLY WATCHING THEIR TEAM,

THEY’RE WATCHING THEIR TEAM.

AND IF THEY HAPPEN TO BE AROUND,

A BIG GAME THAT KICKS OFF AT 8 EASTERN OR SOMETHING

OR 3.30 EASTERN IF IT’S AN SEC GAME.

SO WHAT I WONDER IS,

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN WHEN YOU HAVE SO MANY PERCEIVED

BIG NEW INTERESTING MATCHUPS,

BUT PEOPLE STILL HAVE THEIR LIVES?

– RIGHT, SO WHAT YOU’RE REFERRING TO IS,

IN EFFECT, DOES MORE EQUAL MORE?

– RIGHT, THAT LIKE,

ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO CANCEL YOUR REAL LIFE

TOUCHING GRASS PLANS BECAUSE NUMBER 21 MICHIGAN STATE

IS PLAYING NUMBER 23 UCLA?

LIKE, OR NUMBER NINE, NUMBER SEVEN,

NUMBER 15, NUMBER 11, WHATEVER.

I THINK THERE’S A THRESHOLD

THAT PEOPLE ARE GONNA HAVE TO FIGURE OUT.

AND ULTIMATELY WHAT I THINK IS,

IT’S GOING TO NOT CHANGE.

LIKE, I THINK WE HAVE THE NOVELTY OF A YEAR OR TWO.

AND THEN IT’S JUST,

I AM INTERESTED OR I AM NOT INTERESTED.

AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THIS REALIGNMENT,

ULTIMATELY IN THE LONG TERM WILL NOT CHANGE MY HABITS.

THAT’S WHAT I THINK.

AND YOU’RE GONNA HAVE MORE BIG TEN AND SEC TEAMS.

AND THIS BRINGS ME TO ANOTHER POINT.

SO IF THE TOP 25 IS NOW BECOMES MORE POPULATED

WITH BIG TEN AND SEC TEAMS,

WHICH MAKES SENSE BECAUSE THESE CONFERENCES

ARE PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE MOST RESPECTED

BECAUSE OF THEIR QUALITY AND DEPTH.

DOES THAT EVEN FURTHER TURN PEOPLE AGAINST

BIG, BIG TEN TEAMS, BIG, BIG TEN GAMES AND BIG SEC GAMES?

BECAUSE ALSO WHAT WE GET WITH ADDING TEXAS, OKLAHOMA,

ADDING OREGON, WASHINGTON, USC, UCLA IS,

YOU’RE SORT OF MUDDYING UP THE TOP OF THESE CONFERENCES

IN TERMS OF WHO MIDDLE TIER TEAMS

OR WHOEVER IS SHOOTING FOR.

– RIGHT, YEAH. – LIKE,

IF YOU FIND OUT THAT KANSAS STATE IS UP 10 ON TEXAS,

IN AUSTIN WITH 11 MINUTES LEFT OR SOMETHING,

YOU’RE LIKE, “OH, WE MIGHT HAVE A SPICY UPSET BREWING.”

BECAUSE EVERYBODY’S GUNNING,

YOU HAVE LIKE THE NARRATIVE OF EVERYBODY GUNNING

FOR LIKE THE TOP TIER POWERS,

FOR PETE CARROLL’S USC OR CHIP KELLY’S OREGON

OR NICK SABAN’S ALABAMA.

AND THEN YOU START MUDDYING WHAT MAKES UP

THAT A TIER TEAM THAT YOU’RE GUNNING FOR.

IT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO SELL,

I THINK, ON SATURDAYS SOMETIMES.

YOU’RE JUST LIKE, “WELL, LSU MIGHT BE UPSET,

BUT ARE THEY THE BEST TEAM IN THE SEC?

DO I FEEL STRONG THINGS ABOUT LSU

BECAUSE THEY’VE WON THE CONFERENCE FOUR YEARS IN A ROW

AND MIGHT LOSE TO KENTUCKY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?”

I FEEL LIKE THERE’S GOING TO BE A MUDDIED NARRATIVE SHIFT

WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE CLEAR ALPHAS.

– ALPHA. – I KNOW, YOU PUT WHAT?

ALPHA MALE NEXT TO YOUR TWITTER HANDLE?

THAT’S A THING YOU DO. – ALWAYS, ALWAYS HAVE TO.

– BUT WHEN YOU LOSE THAT CLEAR STORYLINE,

IS THAT NOT YOU?

I WAS POSITIVE THAT WAS YOU.

MAYBE YOU JUST GIVE OFF ALPHA MALE ENERGY.

– BUNCH OF IDIOTS, KEEP GOING, I’M SORRY.

– NO, MY BROADER POINT IS,

I THINK IT’LL BE TOUGHER WITH SOME TEAMS, RIGHT?

LIKE, YOU KNOW, THE BIG TEN, OHIO STATE AND MICHIGAN

ARE STILL GONNA BE THERE.

WE DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT OREGON’S GOING TO DO

AND HOW THEY’RE GOING TO FIND THEMSELVES

IN THE HIERARCHY OF THE BIG TEN.

SAME FOR TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA,

BUT LIKE YOU LOSE JIM HARBAUGH, YOU LOSE NICK SABAN.

AND SO I THINK IT BECOMES MORE DIFFICULT

TO SORT OF FIGURE OUT HOW YOU FEEL

ABOUT WATCHING CERTAIN GAMES.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

– IT DOES MAKE SENSE.

AND YOU SORT OF TANGENTIALLY BROUGHT UP SOMETHING

THAT I WAS GONNA GO TO NEXT.

AND I THINK IT’S A GOOD SEGUE FOR IT.

SO I THINK ONE POINT ABOUT THIS

THAT I AM MOST INTERESTED IN SEEING DEVELOP

OVER THE NEXT COUPLE SEASONS

IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESCRIBED IN PASSING.

AND THAT IS, WHAT WILL THE SENTIMENT BE

AMONG HARDCORE, CASUAL, HOBBYIST COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS

WITH RESPECT TO THE BIG TEN AND THE SEC?

BECAUSE WE HAVE SEEN, YOU KNOW,

WE’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A LONG TIME NOW.

WE HAVE SEEN, I THINK, A PRETTY DRASTIC SHIFT

IN PUBLIC SENTIMENT AGAINST THE NETWORKS.

– YEAH.

– AGAINST THE LIKES OF ESPN AND FOX,

BECAUSE MANY FOLKS, RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY,

BELIEVED THAT THEY WERE THE POWERS

BEHIND CHANGING COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN THIS WAY.

– AND ESPN MORE SO THAN FOX,

JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR HISTORY WITH THE SPORT

AND GAME DAY AND THE VISIBILITY OF THEIR PERSONALITIES.

YEAH, CONTINUE.

– AND SO I WONDER IF FOR A LONG TIME,

IT HAS BEEN, YOU PLAY AN SEC TEAM,

YOU WANNA TAKE OUT THE SEC.

I HAVEN’T FELT QUITE THAT SENTIMENT

WITH RESPECT TO THE BIG TEN.

WITH RESPECT TO REALLY ANY OTHER CONFERENCE.

IT’S JUST BEEN THE SEC,

BECAUSE THE SEC HAS ALMOST BRANDED ITSELF AS A CUT ABOVE.

AND IT HAS BEEN THE TOUGHEST CONFERENCE TO THEIR CREDIT.

I UNDERSTAND WHERE THAT’S COMING FROM.

BUT NOW IN THIS NEW MEDIA LANDSCAPE,

WHERE IT IS VERY CLEARLY A TWO HORSE RACE

TO BE THE ALPHA MALES OF THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

CONFERENCE ALIGNMENT STRUCTURE,

WHATEVER WORD WE’RE USING HERE,

I FEEL LIKE YOU’RE GONNA HAVE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE OUT THERE

WHO WANT TO ROOT AGAINST THOSE GUYS.

– UNLESS YOUR TEAM PLAYS IN THOSE CONFERENCES.

JUST SOME OF WHAT I’VE PICKED UP,

SOME OF THE NOTES FROM THE KIND FOLK AROUND THIS GREAT LAND,

I HAVE DETECTED A REAL, ALMOST ANIMUS

TOWARDS THOSE TWO CONFERENCES IN PARTICULAR.

– OF COURSE.

– AND ESPECIALLY SO AFTER THE NEWS CAME OUT ABOUT,

OH, WE’RE GONNA EXPAND IT TO 14 NOW.

DENNIS DODD WAS WRITING ARTICLES ABOUT HOW TONY PETITTI

AND GREG SANKEY ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO TRY AND ASSERT

SOME DOMINANCE HERE OVER THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL LANDSCAPE.

I THINK THAT WILL HAVE A KNOCK-ON EFFECT.

I THINK IT’LL TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME

FOR PEOPLE TO GET THERE.

BUT IT WOULDN’T SURPRISE ME IN TIME

IF PEOPLE START HATING ON THE BIG TEN

THE WAY THEY HAVE HATED ON THE SEC FOR ALL THESE YEARS.

– OH, I THINK WE’RE ALREADY THERE.

– THOSE ARE GONNA BE THE TWO CONFERENCES

THAT HAVE A TARGET ON THEIR BACK FOR SURE.

SORT OF A BUILD ON WHAT YOU WERE SAYING,

BUT I THINK THAT’S WHERE WE’RE HEADED

IF WE’RE NOT ALREADY THERE.

AND THE OTHER THING IS, AND WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE,

IS THE ISSUE OF SCARCITY, THAT PEOPLE ARE EXCITED,

AND I THINK RIGHTFULLY SO, AND I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS,

MORE GOOD MATCHUPS, MORE QUALITY MATCHUPS,

‘CAUSE YOU’RE ADDING QUALITY

TO A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT CONFERENCES.

BUT IF THE SEC OR THE BIG TEN IN PARTICULAR,

BECAUSE OF THE SIZE OF THOSE CONFERENCES

AND THE TEAMS THAT THEY’RE ADDING,

IF THEY’RE EVERY WEEK OFFERING YOU A TOP 20 MATCHUP,

I MEAN, YOU DON’T CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY EVERY MONTH.

THERE IS SOMETHING FUN ABOUT THAT

WHAT WE GET TO WATCH DOES NOT HAPPEN EVERY WEEK.

A TOP FIVE MATCHUP DOES NOT HAPPEN EVERY WEEK.

A TOP 10 MATCHUP DOES NOT HAPPEN EVERY WEEK.

AND SO IF YOU ARE OFFERING SOMEBODY THAT,

THREE OF THOSE, SEVEN OF THOSE EVERY WEEK

BETWEEN A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT CONFERENCES,

AND I DON’T KNOW IF MATH DEFINITELY DOES NOT BEAR THAT OUT,

BUT IF YOU’RE OFFERING THAT PEOPLE MORE,

TO PEOPLE MORE OFTEN, YES, IN THE SHORT TERM,

I BELIEVE PEOPLE WILL BE MORE EXCITED

ABOUT THE NEW NOVEL, INTERESTING MATCHUPS.

BUT LIKE, IF YOU’RE WEIGHING,

WATCHING A BIG GAME AT 3.30 EASTERN

VERSUS MEETING BUDDIES SOMEWHERE,

TO PLAY GOLF OR WHATEVER,

AND YOU’RE LIKE, WELL, THIS HAPPENS EVERY WEEK.

SO I CAN MISS THIS NUMBER 17 VERSUS NUMBER 13 MATCHUP,

BECAUSE I KNOW NEXT WEEK WHEN I TURN ON MY TV,

I’M JUST GONNA GET PENN STATE UCLA

IN THE TOP 20 OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT,

BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN SO MUCH MORE OFTEN

BECAUSE THOSE CONFERENCES ARE GOING TO BE,

RIGHTFULLY OR WRONGFULLY,

RESPECTED IN THE POLLS A LITTLE BIT MORE,

THAT LIKE THOSE TYPES OF MATCHUPS

WILL GO FROM INTERESTING AND NEW TO NOT ESPECIALLY SPECIAL.

– ON THE TOPIC OF HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH FANS,

I HAD A CONVERSATION THIS WEEKEND

WITH MY 14-YEAR-OLD NEPHEW.

– NICE.

– ALWAYS A VERY WEIRD STAGE IN LIFE

WHEN YOUR NIECES AND NEPHEWS,

OR IN SOME CASES YOUR OFFSPRING,

GET OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE REAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SPORTS.

– YEAH.

– THEY KNOW JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO.

REALLY MAKES YOU FEEL OLD, IT DID ON SATURDAY.

BUT WE HAD A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF,

AND HIS QUESTION TO ME WAS,

HEY, WHAT IS NEW, WHAT IS GOING ON?

I’VE SEEN A LOT ABOUT THIS.

MY FRIENDS HAVE TALKED ABOUT IT.

WHAT IS NEW?

AND I MENTIONED THE EXPANDED PLAYOFF,

AND THE REACTION WAS, OH, THAT’S COOL.

THAT’S COOL.

I’M REAL CURIOUS TO SEE A FEW YEARS DOWN THE LINE

IF PEOPLE STILL FEEL LIKE THAT’S A COOL THING,

BECAUSE YOU BRING UP THE POINT OF SCARCITY.

MANY HAVE BROUGHT UP THE POINT

ABOUT DILUTING THE REGULAR SEASON,

WHICH HAS LONG BEEN THE CROWN JEWEL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL,

THESE GAMES ON CAMPUS, THESE BIG RIVALRIES

THAT MAKE THE SPORT TICK, ET CETERA, ET CETERA.

AND ALSO I THINK WITH THE CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT,

WITH SOME OF THESE CONFERENCES GETTING A LOT STRONGER,

IT WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON WIN-LOSS RECORDS.

YOU WILL HAVE A CONVERSATION AT SOME POINT

WHETHER AN EIGHT AND FOUR TEAM BELONGS IN THE PLAYOFF.

NOT BECAUSE THEIR RECORD’S EIGHT AND FOUR,

BUT MAYBE BECAUSE THEY PLAY IN THE SEC

AND THEY PLAYED A BRUTAL SCHEDULE.

– RIGHT.

– THE COMMITTEE WILL TAKE THAT INTO ACCOUNT.

MAYBE NINE AND THREE BECOMES THE NEW 10 AND TWO

FOR SOME OF THESE PROGRAMS

THAT ARE USED TO WINNING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF GAMES,

BUT NOW THE SCHEDULE FOR EVERYBODY

GETS A LITTLE BIT HARDER.

FRANKLY, I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT’S GONNA GO OVER.

NOW I’VE SAID FOR YEARS IN THIS SHOW,

WHEN THE PLAYOFF IS EXPANDED, WE KNEW IT WAS GONNA EXPAND.

IT WAS ALWAYS A MATTER OF WHEN, NOT IF.

WHEN THE PLAYOFF EXPANDS, QUALIFYING FOR THE FIELD,

12, 14, HOWEVER MANY TEAMS IT ENDS UP BEING,

QUALIFYING INTO THE PLAYOFF WILL BE THE NEW THRESHOLD

BY WHICH WE MEASURE COACHING SUCCESS.

NOT SO MUCH WHAT YOU’RE DOING DURING THE REGULAR SEASON

THAT OBVIOUSLY HAS AN EFFECT AS WELL.

BUT ARE YOU MAKING THE PLAYOFF?

AND ONCE YOU GET THERE, ARE YOU ABLE TO WIN GAMES

OR AT LEAST LOOK COMPETITIVE ONCE YOU ARRIVE?

I THINK THAT IS GONNA BE THE NEW MEASURING STICK.

AND I’M CURIOUS IF RECORDS LOOK A LITTLE BIT WEAKER

THAN THEY HAVE IN THE PAST.

I’M CURIOUS WITH IT BEING EASIER TO GET INTO THE PLAYOFF,

MAYBE WITH AN EIGHT AND FOUR, I DON’T KNOW.

DEPENDS ON THE YEAR.

I’M CURIOUS WITH ALL OF THESE FACTORS NOW PLAYING

A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN A WAY

THAT WE DIDN’T SEE FIVE YEARS AGO.

– YEAH.

– IF THAT WILL AFFECT PEOPLE’S PERCEPTIONS

OF THEIR OWN TEAMS.

IF THEY WILL FEEL BETTER ABOUT A NINE AND THREE SEASON.

IF IT WILL BE DISAPPOINTING A NINE AND THREE SEASON,

KNOWING THAT THE SCHEDULE’S GONNA BE HARDER,

KNOWING THAT THE PATHWAY INTO THE PLAYOFF,

LIKE YOU COULD PLAY IT BOTH WAYS.

YOU CAN GET IN THE PLAYOFF AND MAYBE HAVE A WORSE RECORD,

WHEREAS BEFORE YOU COULD HAVE A GREAT RECORD

AND STILL NOT GET IT.

IT FEELS LIKE THEY ALMOST CANCEL OUT TO ME.

I’M JUST, I’M CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT KIND OF EFFECT

THAT HAS ON THE PUBLIC.

– YEAH, THE CONVERSATION SINCE THE ANNOUNCEMENT

OF THE EXPANSION HAS BEEN LIKE,

OH, MORE TEAMS ARE GOING TO BE IN IT

COME NOVEMBER OR WHATEVER, RIGHT?

THAT THERE’S GONNA BE 17 TEAMS

THAT FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE A SHOT.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

I HAVE NO IDEA.

I KNOW THAT MY GUT SAYS YOU MAY THINK 17 OR 19 OR 22

OR 14 TEAMS OR WHATEVER HAVE A SHOT,

BUT ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL,

IT’S GONNA BE THE BIG TEN TEAM GETTING IN.

IT’S GONNA BE THE SEC TEAM GETTING IN.

– LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION ON THAT POINT.

– YES.

– YOU KNOW THE ENERGY LEVEL AROUND COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANDOM.

– SURE.

– EVERY YEAR, IT’S A CYCLE.

WE SEE IT IN DOWNLOADS.

WE SEE IT IN QUESTIONS.

WE SEE IT IN YOUTUBE COMMENTS.

IT HAS BEEN THIS WAY EVERY YEAR

SINCE WE STARTED DOING THIS SHOW.

EVERYBODY IS UNDEFEATED IN AUGUST

AND THROUGH A GOOD CHUNK OF SEPTEMBER.

BUT ONCE TEAMS START GETTING INTO THEIR CONFERENCE SCHEDULES,

USUALLY ONCE YOU GET INTO AROUND THE MID-OCTOBER TIMEFRAME,

THAT’S WHEN YOU START TO SEE INTEREST PETER OUT

A LITTLE BIT.

DO YOU THINK THAT PATTERN IS GOING TO HOLD THIS SEASON

KNOWING THAT MORE TEAMS WILL BE AVAILABLE

COME THE START OF NOVEMBER TO POTENTIALLY MAKE THAT PLAYOFF?

– RIGHT.

– KNOWING THAT EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT MAYBE IN THAT CONVERSATION,

TEAMS ARE GONNA HAVE GAMES AGAINST OTHER PLAYOFF HOPEFULS

THAT ARE MEANINGFUL FOR THOSE FAN BASES.

– RIGHT.

– MAYBE YOUR TEAM AT THAT POINT IS, I DON’T KNOW,

FOUR AND SIX, BUT YOU’RE PLAYING A TEAM

THAT’S POTENTIALLY LOOKING TO GET INTO THE PLAYOFF

AND YOU CAN PLAY SPOILER.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE INTEREST WILL STRETCH OUT DEEPER

INTO THE SEASON AMONG PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO THIS SHOW,

WHO WATCH THE SPORT,

BECAUSE THE PLAYOFF NOW HAS THAT WIDER PATHWAY IN

AND BECAUSE IT’S CERTAINLY, AT LEAST TO START,

IS A BIT OF A NOVELTY GIVEN ALL THE CHANGES WE’VE SEEN?

– OKAY, SO I THINK INTEREST THIS YEAR, YES.

MAYBE NEXT YEAR, YES, ONCE AGAIN.

THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT MORE TEAMS BEING IN IT LATE IS

FANS OF THAT NUMBER 19 TEAM

ARE STILL WATCHING THE GAMES, RIGHT?

THEY STILL HAVE AN INCREDIBLE REASON TO WATCH

WHETHER OR NOT THERE’S A 12 TEAM PLAYOFF OR NOT, RIGHT?

IF YOUR TEAM IS EIGHT AND TWO IN NOVEMBER OR WHATEVER,

AND YOU ARE THE NUMBER 15 TEAM

OR THE NUMBER NINE TEAM OR WHATEVER IN THE COUNTRY,

YOU’RE STILL WATCHING THOSE GAMES

BECAUSE YOU’RE ROOTING FOR A GOOD TEAM

AND YOU’RE LIKELY PLAYING A RIVAL AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

YOU’RE HEADING INTO THE RIVALRY PORTION OF THE SCHEDULE.

SO THE INTEREST IN YOUR TEAM IS NOT GONNA CHANGE

WHETHER YOU ARE THINKING THAT YOU HAVE A CHANCE

TO GO TO A 14 TO 14 PLAYOFF OR A 12 TEAM PLAYOFF.

I THINK THAT THE PEOPLE WHO LOSE INTEREST IN THE SPORT

AS THE SEASON GOES ON

ARE THE ONES WHEN MEL TUCKER GETS FIRED AT 1 A.M.

AND FEWER MICHIGAN STATE PEOPLE

SUDDENLY CARE ABOUT THE SEASON, RIGHT?

WHERE THERE’S SOME SORT OF DRAMATIC CHANGE,

THE STARTING QUARTERBACK TEARS AN ACL

AND IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF FRESHMEN AND WALK-ONS

AND YOU JUST HAVE THIS SENSE THAT LIKE,

“THIS IS NOT GONNA END WELL.

THIS SEASON IS GONNA BE PAINFUL TO WATCH.”

AND SO I AM WATCHING LESS GAME DAY,

I’M LISTENING TO LESS OF THE SOLID VERBAL,

I AM READING FEWER THINGS ON THE ATHLETIC, WHATEVER.

THAT YOUR JUST GENERAL CONSUMPTION IS GONNA CHANGE

BECAUSE YOU FEEL AS IF ALL HOPE IS LOST

LATE SEPTEMBER OR SOMETHING.

SO I THINK THERE WILL BE MORE INTEREST IN GAMES

THAT PERHAPS DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF INTEREST,

THAT IF YOU ARE THE NUMBER 14 TEAM

AND NUMBER 12 IS PLAYING AND LOSING LATE

AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN HOP OVER OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT,

YEAH, I THINK YOU’LL BE MORE INTERESTED IN GAMES

THAT PERHAPS IN PREVIOUS SEASONS YOU WEREN’T INTERESTED IN.

BUT I STILL THINK THIS IS A SPORT PRIMARILY DEFINED

BY PEOPLE ROOTING FOR THEIR TEAMS

AND CATCHING OTHER GAMES IF TIMING WORKS OUT.

LIKE I THINK WE OVERSTATE HOW MANY PEOPLE

ARE JUST LIKE DIEHARD NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS

THAT WATCH ALL DAY AND CARE ABOUT A TON OF TEAMS

AND CARE ABOUT A TON OF NARRATIVES.

– BECAUSE THOSE ARE OUR PEOPLE, RIGHT?

– THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE, RIGHT?

AND THAT’S WHO I AM, THAT’S WHO I’VE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME

AND THERE’S A LOT OF US OUT THERE.

BUT IN TERMS OF GENERAL POPULATION,

THE WAY PEOPLE WATCH THIS SPORT AND CARE ABOUT THIS SPORT,

YEAH, IF YOU’VE GOT A TOP 20 PROGRAM THAT YOU ROOT FOR,

YOU’RE GONNA KEEP WATCHING.

AND IF YOU ROOT FOR A PROGRAM THAT IS CATASTROPHICALLY BAD,

YOU MIGHT STOP WATCHING IN OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER

AND THAT’S OKAY, HOPE IS LOST

AND YOU PICK US UP AGAIN NEXT SUMMER.

THAT’S HOW I GENERALLY FEEL,

THAT LIKE WHILE MORE TEAMS HAVE HOPE,

I DON’T KNOW IF IT APPRECIABLY CHANGES

HOW MANY PEOPLE TRULY CARE IN NOVEMBER.

– BUT YEAH, AND THIS IS WHY WE DO THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

DURING THE SEASON. – OF COURSE.

– BECAUSE NOT EVERYBODY IS US,

WE HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FANDOM

THAT PASS THROUGH THESE GATES HERE ON A GIVEN YEAR

AND WE’RE TRYING TO SPEAK TO ALL OF THOSE BASES.

I’M CURIOUS THOUGH, THIS IS SORT OF MY QUESTION DU JOUR

FOR THE VERBALLERHOOD,

IF YOU WANNA WRITE IN OR HIT US UP ON SOCIALS

OR IF YOU’RE IN OUR DISCORD AT VERBALLERS.COM,

I’M CURIOUS TO GET YOUR SENSE FOR WHETHER OR NOT

THE INTEREST LEVEL WILL BE AS HIGH LATE IN THE SEASON

OR HIGHER AT THE END OF THIS SEASON

THAN IT’S BEEN IN THE PAST FOR YOU.

– I THINK THIS SEASON, YEAH,

I KNOW YOU’RE ASKING OTHER PEOPLE FOR THEIR OPINION,

BUT I’M HERE.

– IF YOU ROOT FOR A TEAM LIKE A PURDUE

OR NOT TO THROW PURDUE, BUT PITT,

LIKE SOME TEAMS THAT PROBABLY WILL NOT BE

IN THE PLAYOFF CONVERSATION,

BUT CERTAINLY WE’LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY

TO PLAY BIG GAMES DOWN THE STRETCH.

– RIGHT. – I’M JUST WONDERING

IF THIS AT LEAST INITIALLY IS SOMETHING OF A RISING TIDE

THAT LIFTS ALL THE BOATS.

– YEAH, I THINK THERE’S GONNA BE THAT NOVELTY.

YEAH, I THINK PEOPLE WILL LISTEN TO THE SHOW

OR WHATEVER YOUR PREFERRED PODCAST OR TV SHOW OR WHATEVER,

BECAUSE YOU WANNA HEAR ABOUT WHAT THE HOSTS

HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM.

IF IT’S AFTER A BIG WIN, IF IT’S AFTER A BIG LOSS

AND YOU’RE ABLE TO STOMACH THAT CONVERSATION

ABOUT YOUR TEAM BLOWING A GAME LATE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT,

YOU STILL GET THAT SENSE OF LISTENING

TO A CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR TEAM.

BUT I THINK THE DROP-OFF STILL COMES FROM PEOPLE

WHO A, FEEL LIKE THEIR SEASON IS HOPELESS,

OR B, I DON’T LIKE DAN.

DAN HAS GOTTEN ON MY NERVES.

I TRIED FOR SIX WEEKS, FOR NINE WEEKS

TO SEE IF HE COULD TURN IT AROUND,

BUT I’M JUST NOT A DAN GUY.

TY SEEMS HANDSOME AND WITTY, BUT I’M NOT A DAN GUY.

SO THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO DROP OFF IN MY VIEW.

– I LOVE THE PEOPLE THAT GET US MIXED UP, BY THE WAY.

– YEAH. – THAT’S MY FAVORITE.

– I DON’T EVEN NEED GLASSES.

THERE’S NOT EVEN A PRESCRIPTION IN THESE BAD BOYS,

BUT BECAUSE WE’RE BOTH HANDSOME DUDES WITH DARK HAIR,

I FEEL LIKE I HAD TO DIFFERENTIATE.

– DIFFERENTIATE. – YEAH.

– HERE’S ANOTHER TOPIC THAT COMES UP OFTEN

WHEN I’M TALKING WITH THE FOLKS OUT IN THE GREAT LAND.

– ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE,

I’M TALKING TO SALT REAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS.

– THAT’S RIGHT. – YEAH.

– I GET THE, IT’S NOT SO MUCH A QUESTION,

IT’S MORE OF A RHETORICAL QUESTION OR COMMENT.

WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT TRANSFER PORTAL?

WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT- – OUT OF CONTROL.

– WHAT ARE WE, YEAH, OUT OF CONTROL.

WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT THESE PLAYERS GETTING PAID?

WHICH OF COURSE IS A LOADED QUESTION.

IT’S NOT EVEN REALLY A QUESTION.

AND MOST OF THE TIME WHEN I GET THAT,

YOU KINDA KNOW RIGHT OUT OF THE SHOOT

WHERE THE PERSON IS COMING FROM WITH THAT STATEMENT.

YOU’RE NOT IN FAVOR OF IT.

– RIGHT.

– I’VE REALLY STRUGGLED WITH THAT.

– YEAH.

– IF I’M BEING HONEST HERE WITH EVERYBODY,

I’VE REALLY STRUGGLED WITH EXPLAINING THAT IN A WAY

THAT ISN’T COMPLETELY OFF-PUTTING.

– RIGHT.

– AND THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M USING LIKE PROFANITY,

BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT I DON’T THINK

THERE’S A GOOD WAY TO SUGARCOAT IT.

I THINK IT IS A GOOD THING FOR THE PLAYERS.

I THINK THE PLAYERS ARE LONG OVERDUE

TO GET THEIR FAIR SHARE.

THIS HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR A WHILE.

IT IS OBVIOUSLY ACCELERATED.

IT HAS CHANGED THE GAME,

MAYBE MORE SO THAN ANY OF THE STRUCTURAL STUFF

THAT YOU AND I HAVE JUST DESCRIBED.

– YEAH.

– PLAYERS BEING ABLE TO GET MONEY

IN TANDEM WITH THEM BEING ABLE TO MOVE ABOUT FREELY

IS TRULY THE BIGGEST EARTHQUAKE WE’VE SEEN

IN THIS SPORT IN A GOOD LONG TIME.

SO I TRULY BELIEVE THAT.

I THINK YOU AND I ARE LIKE-MINDED IN THAT RESPECT.

WE BELIEVE THEY ARE CERTAINLY WITHIN THEIR RIGHT

TO BE PAID AND BE COMPENSATED AND GET SOME SLICE OF THE PIE.

– WHICH IS BOTH DIPPING INTO THE NIL QUESTION

AND THE PORTAL QUESTION, BUT YES.

– EXACTLY.

SO I THINK WE BELIEVE THAT.

WHERE I STRUGGLE THOUGH IS,

IS THERE A WAY TO KIND OF BRING THIS INTO BALANCE?

IS THERE A WAY TO BRING THIS INTO BALANCE

WHERE IT’S NOT, I’LL JUST USE OHIO STATE AS AN EXAMPLE,

WHERE IT’S NOT JUST THE TEAMS WITH THE MOST MONEY

THAT ARE BUYING OFF THE BEST PLAYERS

AND THE REST OF THE SPORT IS GONNA SUFFER?

LIKE WE GET THE QUESTION OFTEN ABOUT THE SUPER LEAGUE.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

OR IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WE HAVE A SUPER LEAGUE

OF 20 OR 40 TEAMS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL?

I DON’T KNOW IF THAT’S EVER GONNA HAPPEN.

I’M SKEPTICAL THAT IT WILL.

BUT FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES,

IF YOU’VE ONLY GOT A HANDFUL OF PROGRAMS

THAT HAVE ALL THE MONEY

AND START BUYING OFF THE BEST PLAYERS,

DON’T YOU KIND OF CREATE THAT INFORMALLY ANYWAY?

– SURE.

– I STRUGGLE WITH HOW TO EXPLAIN THAT TO PEOPLE

AS BOTH A GOOD THING FOR THE PLAYERS,

AS WELL AS A GOOD THING FOR THE SPORT LONG-TERM.

I’VE NEVER HAD A GOOD ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

MAYBE YOU’RE DIFFERENT THAN ME.

YOU’RE MORE ELOQUENT WITH YOUR SPEECH

AND BETTER AT EXPLAINING THESE COMPLICATED CONCEPTS.

IN MY PEA BRAIN, I CANNOT FIGURE OUT A GOOD WAY

TO EXPLAIN THAT THAT DOESN’T TURN PEOPLE AWAY.

– OKAY, SO I CAN HELP.

BECAUSE I HAVE THIS CONVERSATION A LOT LIKE YOU DO.

AND HERE’S WHAT I HAVE FOUND

WHEN TALKING TO SOME FOLKS ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE.

NOBODY LIKES THE TRANSFER PORTAL.

– NO, THEY DON’T.

– NOBODY LIKES THE TRANSFER PORTAL.

– EVERYBODY HATES IT.

– IN TERMS OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS,

OR IN TERMS OF SPORTS FANS WHO TUNE IN FOR BIG GAMES

OR WHO LIKE WATCHING THEIR ALMA MATER,

BUT DON’T STAY LOCKED INTO THE SPORTS RHYTHMS,

THE SINE WAVE OF THE SPORT.

I TOOK ENOUGH MATH TO KNOW WHAT A SINE WAVE IS.

I DIDN’T TAKE A TON OF MATH.

– THAT’S THE EXTENT OF MY SINE WAVE KNOWLEDGE, CONTINUE.

– WENT TO A STATE SCHOOL, NEVER TOOK CALCULUS,

DID OKAY IN AP STAT.

SOME PEOPLE CALL IT STATS.

I THINK WE HAD THIS CONVERSATION MANY MOONS AGO.

BUT NOBODY LIKES TRANSFER PORTAL.

NOW, WHEN YOU SAY IT’S GOOD FOR THE PLAYERS,

THE ISSUE I WOULD TAKE WITH THAT IS

I THINK IT’S GOOD FOR SOME PLAYERS.

– IT’S GOOD FOR SOME PLAYERS.

YEAH, THAT’S FAIR.

– I THINK IT’S DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ARE AS A PLAYER,

THAT IS MEANINGFUL.

– THERE’S A LOT OF FALSE PROMISES OUT THERE TOO

IN THE TRANSFER PORTAL.

AND THAT’S WHERE BEING SMART AND HAVING SMART ASSOCIATES

AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU, A GOOD SUPPORTIVE TEAM AROUND YOU

CAN REALLY PAY SOME DIVIDENDS BECAUSE, YEAH, I MEAN, LOOK,

THERE’S ALREADY PLENTY OF EXAMPLES

OF GUYS GOING IN THE PORTAL,

MAYBE BEING PROMISED RICHES OR MAYBE JUST PLAYING TIME.

AND IT’S BEEN A BIT OF A COIN FLIP, FRANKLY.

THEY DON’T ALL WORK OUT.

AND AT LEAST IN THAT ASPECT, YEAH,

IT’S NOT GOOD FOR EVERY PLAYER.

– NOBODY LIKES THE TRANSFER PORTAL.

AND THE ASTERISK IS BASICALLY LIKE, YES,

IF YOU ROOT FOR A TEAM THAT HAS A TON OF MONEY

THAT SUCCEEDS MORE THAN FAILS

IN TERMS OF BUILDING A ROSTER THROUGH THE PORTAL

OR ADDRESSING NEEDS THROUGH THE PORTAL,

I AS AN OREGON FAN HAVE SEEN OREGON USE THE PORTAL

TO GREAT EFFECT, GREAT SUCCESS.

YOU AS A NOTRE DAME FAN, SIMILAR.

MICHIGAN DIDN’T WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE OF IT,

BUT THEY CERTAINLY PLUGGED HOLES AND CREATED DEPTH

WITH QUALITY GUYS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE, ON DEFENSE.

THEY DID A GREAT JOB ADDRESSING NEEDS AND BUILDING DEPTH

AND ENDED UP WINNING A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP,

AT LEAST PARTLY BECAUSE OF IT.

BUT EVEN MICHIGAN FANS, EVEN OREGON FANS,

EVEN NOTRE DAME FANS, WHOEVER,

OLE MISS FANS WHO HAVE SUCCEEDED WILDLY,

FLORIDA STATE FANS, THEY’LL SAY,

“YEAH, IT’S GREAT, WE GOT THESE GUYS,”

BUT IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE A FUN WAY TO HAVE A SPORT.

AND I UNDERSTAND WHY WHEN WE SAY SOME PLAYERS, RIGHT?

THAT LIKE, IF YOU ARE SUDDENLY AN ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYER

WHO IS MAKING NO MONEY AND HAS AN OPPORTUNITY

TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

BY GOING ELSEWHERE BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED

AND YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE YOUR SCHOOL HAS THE MEANS

OR HAS THE DESIRE OR WHATEVER,

THEY’RE HAPPY TO HAVE YOU BELOW MARKET RATE, WHATEVER.

LIKE, YEAH, THAT’S A GREAT THING FOR THAT SPECIFIC PLAYER.

BUT FOR THE SPORT, HAVING THESE DRAMATIC SWINGS

IN QUALITY FOR TEAMS AND LOSING TRACK OF WHO’S WHERE,

WHETHER YOU’RE A REGIONAL FAN, SPECIFIC ONLY TO A TEAM,

WATCHING SOME NATIONAL GAMES THAT LIKE,

YOU AND I WERE HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT,

BIG TEN QUARTERBACKS, WE MENTIONED GAVIN WIMSATT

AT RUTGERS A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, AND WE BOTH WHIFFED

AND FORGETTING THAT GAVIN WIMSATT IS NOW GONNA BE LIKE

A BACKUP AT KENTUCKY.

– RIGHT.

– LIKE, OKAY, LIKE, ALL WE DO IS PAY ATTENTION

TO THIS SPORT EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR LONG.

– DAN, I WATCHED THAT RUTGERS SPRING GAME.

– YEAH.

– THE FULL WAY THROUGH,

OR AT LEAST WHATEVER WAS AVAILABLE ONLINE,

I WATCHED IT START TO FINISH, EVERYTHING I COULD FIND

BECAUSE WE DID A SHOW ABOUT IT.

– YEAH.

– WE TALKED ABOUT GAVIN WIMSATT.

– YEAH.

– I’LL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT, I WHIFFED TOO.

I TOTALLY WHIFFED, I HAD NO IDEA HE WENT TO KENTUCKY.

THERE’S TOO MUCH THAT’S CHANGING.

AND TO YOUR POINT THAT YOU’VE MADE FOR SO LONG AS WELL,

LIKE SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU SAID OVER THE YEARS,

I FEEL LIKE HAS COME TRUE, TO YOUR CREDIT.

– YES.

– IT’S A HARD SPORT TO GET INTO.

IT’S A HARD SPORT TO JUST SORT OF HAPPEN UPON AND GET INTO

BECAUSE SO MUCH IS CHANGING EVERY YEAR.

NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS ALL THE STRUCTURAL BS

THAT WE’VE BEEN DISCUSSING HERE,

BUT PLAYERS CHANGING TEAMS SO READILY IN THE OFF SEASON.

IN SOME CASES WHERE PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND I

DON’T EVEN DETECT IT.

– RIGHT.

– THAT’S REALLY HARD TO KEEP TRACK OF

AND REALLY HARD TO BE A FAN OF

AND DEVELOP ANY KIND OF LOYALTY.

YOU KNOW, IT BECOMES VERY TRANSACTIONAL.

– I FIND MYSELF TELLING FANS OF TEAMS

ABOUT THEIR NEW TRANSFERS BECAUSE THEY WERE UNAWARE.

I HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH A WISCONSIN FAN

AND THEY’LL BE LIKE, MAN, THEY WERE SO SHAKY AT QUARTERBACK.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS YEAR?

LIKE, ARE THESE GUYS GONNA GET BETTER?

ONE, NOT KNOWING TANNER MORDECAI’S GONE.

TWO, NOT KNOWING TVD CAME IN FROM MIAMI.

AND SO FANS OF THEIR OWN TEAM,

AND THESE ARE VERY SPECIFIC EXAMPLES.

I’M NOT SAYING WISCONSIN FANS

ARE NOT FOLLOWING WISCONSIN FOOTBALL,

BUT I’M JUST SAYING THIS HAS HAPPENED FOR MULTIPLE

– OH YEAH.

– YOU KNOW, TEAM, PEOPLE THAT ROOT FOR TEAMS,

BUT DON’T PAY ATTENTION BETWEEN JANUARY AND AUGUST.

MAYBE THEY PICK UP A MAGAZINE,

MAYBE THEY LISTEN TO A PODCAST,

MAYBE THEY COME ACROSS SOMETHING

IN A NEWSPAPER, WEBSITE, WHATEVER.

AND THEN THEY LEARN THAT MIAMI’S QUARTERBACK TRANSFERRED IN

AND HAD A GOOD STRETCH IN 2021 OR WHATEVER.

SO THAT TO ME IS SORT OF THE DIFFICULTY WITH THE PORTAL

IS IT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO BE A FAN.

YOU HAVE TO LOCK IN SO MUCH MORE OFTEN,

AND IT’S NOT A HORRIBLE PROBLEM TO HAVE

IF YOU’RE A FAN OF WHATEVER TEAM,

OF WASHINGTON STATE OR CAL OR SOMETHING.

BUT THERE’S A DISCONNECT THAT I DON’T THINK EXISTED.

AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS, TO ME, DRIVEN SO MUCH BY LIKE,

MY IDENTITY IS TIED IN WITH MY HISTORY AS A NOTRE DAME FAN,

MY HISTORY AS A FLORIDA FAN OR WHATEVER.

AND IF PLAYERS ARE COMING AND GOING,

THEN IT FEELS MORE THAN EVER LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING FOR LAUNDRY

THAT YOU’RE JUST LIKE,

“OH, NOW THIS ARKANSAS DUDE IS THE SAFETY,

AND THIS SOUTH CAROLINA STATE GUY IS PLAYING RIGHT TACKLE.”

SO IT FEELS AS IF YOUR TEAM IS MORE OF A VEHICLE

THAN A PLACE.

AND THAT’S A BUMMER TO, I THINK, A LOT OF PEOPLE.

AGAIN, MY EXPERIENCE MAY NOT BE YOUR EXPERIENCE,

AND I’M SPEAKING TO LISTENERS RIGHT NOW THAT LIKE,

“NO, THAT’S NOT MY EXPERIENCE AT ALL.

THAT’S NOT THE EXPERIENCE OF ME AND MY FRIENDS.”

AND FOR THAT, YEAH, THAT’S TOTALLY POSSIBLE.

BUT IN MY EXPERIENCE,

THE TRANSFER PORTAL HAS AN APPROVAL RATING OF ABOUT 3%.

LIKE NATE SILVER IS VERY WORRIED

ABOUT TRANSFER PORTAL’S POLLING RIGHT NOW.

– IT’S GOT THE LOWEST Q RATING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

– AND MAYBE THAT’S BECAUSE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

IS INHERENTLY PRETTY ANTI-PLAYER, RIGHT?

BECAUSE WE’RE JUST, WE ROOT FOR INSTITUTIONS.

LIKE THAT’S WHAT WE DO IN THE SPORT.

WE’RE NOT FANS OF LIKE THE 1998 TEAM SPECIFICALLY,

BECAUSE WE LOVE THE DEFENSIVE LINE.

WE’RE A FAN OF NEBRASKA.

– YEAH, THIS ISN’T THE NBA WHERE YOU ROOT FOR PERSONALITY.

– YOU SEE FACES, YOU’RE ON YOUR TEAM

FOR NINE YEARS OR WHATEVER.

SO IT’S A SPORT THAT’S AT ITS CORE,

YOU’RE ROOTING FOR INSTITUTIONS.

AND I THINK THIS JUST EMPHASIZES THAT MORE.

AND THAT’S SAD BECAUSE I THINK THE IDEA

OF ROOTING FOR PLAYERS AND FOLLOWING ALONG

WITH A PLAYER’S JOURNEY FROM LIKE A SPECIAL TEAMER

TO A ROTATION GUY TO A STARTER FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS,

LIKE THAT HELPED FORM A LOT OF PEOPLE.

SO I HOLD CONFLICTING VIEWS THAT LIKE–

– ME TOO.

– I AM FOR THE ABILITY FOR PLAYERS TO FIND A BETTER FIT

FOR THEMSELVES, BOTH COMPETITIVELY AND FINANCIALLY.

BUT LIKE OVERWHELMINGLY, I HAVE TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE

WHO LIKE THE SPORT, WHO SAY, THIS MAKES IT LESS FUN.

AND SO I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE LONG-TERM SOLUTION

IS GONNA BE BEYOND LIKE GETTING THINGS DOWN ON PAPER, RIGHT?

GETTING CONTRACTS AND EMPLOYMENT, EVERYTHING LIKE THAT

TO SORT OF NORMALIZE OR OPTIMIZE, WHATEVER THE WORD IS,

THE IDEA OF WE LIKE PLAYERS WHO STICK AROUND

THAT WE GET TO KNOW.

AND THAT’S SORT OF THE TRADE-OFF FOR THE MONEY.

– I’M GLAD YOU BROUGHT THAT UP.

THERE IS ONE TENTACLE OF THIS THAT I DO BELIEVE

CAN BE REASONABLY SOLVED.

– OKAY.

– AND IT IS NOT MASS PLAYER MOVEMENT,

BUT MAYBE THE ONLY THING THAT HAS A LOWER Q RATING

THAN THE TRANSFER PORTAL IS BULL OPT-OUTS.

– SURE.

– PEOPLE HATE BULL OPT-OUTS, THEY HATE IT.

EVEN THOUGH THE BULL GAMES ARE EXHIBITION GAMES,

THERE IS THIS SENSE THAT IT’S EVEN MORE

OF A MEANINGLESS EXHIBITION GAME THAN BEFORE

BECAUSE SO MANY OF THE PLAYERS ARE NOT PLAYING IN IT.

– YEAH.

– PEOPLE HAVE REAL RESENTMENT TOWARDS THAT RIGHT NOW

AS A THING THAT PLAYERS CAN DO.

I THINK THE IRONY IS THAT IN ORDER FOR THAT TO BE SOLVED,

WE ALMOST HAVE TO GO FURTHER DOWN THE PATH

OF PLAYER COMPENSATION, FURTHER DOWN THE PATH OF,

AS YOU SAID, PUTTING IT DOWN ON PAPER,

FURTHER DOWN THE PATH OF THERE BEING EVEN MORE MONEY

AVAILABLE TO PLAYERS.

WHAT I THINK HAPPENS IN DUE TIME

AND WHY I THINK THEY CAN AND WILL SOLVE THIS

AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE,

I’M NOT SAYING THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR, BUT IT’S-

– I THINK A LOT OF THIS IS GOING TO BE SOLVED, BY THE WAY.

I’M VERY OPTIMISTIC.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS FOR TV RATINGS, BUT CONTINUE.

I’M OPTIMISTIC THAT A LOT OF WHAT AILS COLLEGE FOOTBALL

IN TERMS OF PERCEPTION CAN BE SOLVED.

– I THINK THE BULL OPT-OUTS THING CAN BE

BECAUSE IF WE COME TO A POINT IN TIME,

AND IT SEEMS LIKE WE’RE GONNA,

WHERE PLAYERS GET A SLICE OF THAT TV REVENUE,

A SLICE OF THAT PIE,

WHERE SOME OF THE NIL INFRASTRUCTURE

IS NOT BEING GOVERNED BY A THIRD PARTY,

BUT INSTEAD BY ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS

AND THE INSTITUTIONS THEMSELVES.

– YEAH.

– AS SOME QUALIFIER,

AS SOME PART OF SIGNING ON WITH A PROGRAM,

THERE WILL HAVE TO BE CONTRACTS IF THERE IS MONEY INVOLVED.

THERE ALREADY SORT OF IS A CONTRACT.

THAT’S WHAT A LETTER OF INTENT IS,

BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT TO A NEW LEVEL

IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ACTUAL FINANCES.

– RIGHT.

AND THERE’S NO SPECIFIC STANDARD ACROSS THE SPORT.

– EXACTLY.

BUT AS PART OF THOSE AGREEMENTS,

WHICH I’M SURE WILL BE VETTED BY VERY SMART LAWYERS,

NEITHER YOU NOR I ARE LAWYERS HERE.

WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT,

BUT IF THERE’S MONEY INVOLVED,

CLEARLY THERE WILL BE LAWYERS INVOLVED

THAT ARE OVERSEEING THE PROCESS

SO THAT EVERYTHING HOPEFULLY IS DONE ON THE UP AND UP.

– YEAH.

– AND I GOTTA BELIEVE THAT AS PART OF THOSE AGREEMENTS,

THERE WILL BE LANGUAGE IN THERE

THAT KEEPS GUYS PLAYING IN BOWL GAMES,

THAT SOME PORTION OF THEIR REVENUE

WILL BE CONTINGENT ON BOWL PARTICIPATION.

– AND LOOK, A BIGGER PLAYOFF MEANS THAT

THERE IS JUST GOING TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE REASONS

TO KEEP PLAYING BECAUSE YOU FEEL AS IF

YOU WANT TO WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

OR YOU WANT TO PLAY ON THAT STAGE,

EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’RE LIKE,

YEAH, I’M PRETTY SURE I’M GOING TO BE A FIRST

OR SECOND ROUND PICK BY ME PERFORMING

IN A HUGE WAY AT PENN STATE, AT MIAMI, AT TEXAS, WHATEVER,

WITH MORE EYEBALLS THAN EVER WATCHING,

THAT I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO EITHER CEMENT THAT

OR MAKE A LEAP IN PEOPLE’S EYES

BECAUSE OF THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION I CAN SHOW OUT AGAINST.

– I BELIEVE THAT THE BOWL OPT-OUTS THING IS SOLVABLE.

I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S SOLVABLE YET.

I THINK WE’LL STILL SEE A FAIR SHARE OF THAT.

I ALSO THINK IT’S A MATTER OF TIME,

ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL WE HAVE A THREAT

OF A PLAYOFF OPT-OUT.

– EVERYTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN.

– IT WILL HAPPEN.

IT WILL HAPPEN.

THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

AND I THINK SOME ASPECT OF THE OPT-OUTS

CAN BE RESOLVED IN DUE TIME.

– YEAH.

– AND SO I’M OPTIMISTIC ON THAT.

– I THINK THERE WILL BE MORE AT PLAY THOUGH.

I DON’T KNOW THAT WE’RE GONNA SEE A LOT OF OPT-OUTS

IN A 12 OR 14 TEAM PLAYOFF THAT ARE JUST LIKE,

I WANT TO PRESERVE MYSELF PHYSICALLY.

I THINK IT’LL BE MORE, I AM ALREADY PRETTY INJURED

AND IT DOESN’T SEEM WORTH IT TO JEOPARDIZE

WHAT I MIGHT HAVE IN THE FUTURE.

OR I HATE BEING IN THIS LOCKER ROOM

PLAYING FOR THESE COACHES.

I’VE GROWN TO JUST HATE MY EXISTENCE

IN WHATEVER COLLEGE TOWN, IN WHATEVER CULTURE,

LOCKER ROOM, WHATEVER.

I JUST SEE NO REASON TO CONTINUE LONGER THAN I NEED TO

FOR MY FUTURE, FOR MY HAPPINESS OR WHATEVER.

THAT’LL HAPPEN.

AND MAYBE WE WON’T GET THE WHOLE STORY

AND THAT PERSON WILL BECOME A VILLAIN

BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY.

BUT YES, ANYTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN.

– ONE OTHER THING FOR ME,

AND THEN IF YOU’VE GOT ANY OTHER POINTS

THAT YOU WANNA BRING UP, YOU CAN GO FOR IT.

ONE OTHER COMMON QUESTION THAT I’VE GOTTEN

ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION,

THE WHOLE NICK SABAN RETIREMENT THING,

I THINK COULD HAVE A REALLY INTERESTING EFFECT

ON THIS SEASON.

– ARE YOU GONNA DO THE SADDAM VACUUM THING?

– A LITTLE BIT.

– OKAY.

– A LITTLE BIT.

SABAN RETIRING REALLY DOES LEAVE

PRETTY BIG VACUUM IN THE SPORT.

AND THEY REPLACED HIM WITH KALEN DEBOER

WHO WAS ALREADY ONE OF THE BEST COACHES

IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL,

ALBEIT HE HASN’T BEEN A HEAD COACH

FOR ALL THAT LONG AT THE POWER FIVE LEVEL,

BUT OBVIOUSLY HAS PROVEN THAT HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING.

I DON’T THINK, IF YOU’RE OUT THERE ROOTING

FOR ALABAMA TO TAKE A MAJOR STEP BACK,

YOU’RE GONNA BE WAITING A WHILE.

I THINK THEY’RE GONNA BE FINE.

BUT IT DOES CREATE SOMETHING OF A VOID,

NOT HAVING SABAN IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

AND THE THOUGHT THAT WAS EXPRESSED TO ME

WAS THAT COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS MORE ENJOYABLE NOW

WITHOUT SABAN.

WHICH I DON’T KNOW IF I FULLY AGREE WITH,

BUT I DO UNDERSTAND WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM

WHEN THEY BRING THAT UP,

BECAUSE MUCH LIKE WE’VE SEEN IN OTHER SPORTS WITH DYNASTIES,

AFTER A WHILE, SURE YOU APPRECIATE THE GREATNESS,

BUT ALSO YOU’RE SORT OF READY FOR THAT NOVELTY.

YOU’RE READY TO FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH THE SPORT

AND HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE STEP UP AND CLAIM THAT MANTLE.

AND WITH SABAN RETIRING,

WE’VE TALKED ABOUT IT ALL OFF SEASON.

WHAT KIND OF EFFECT IS THAT GONNA HAVE ON THE SEC?

WHAT KIND OF EFFECT IS THAT GONNA HAVE

ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL AS A WHOLE?

AND I HADN’T REALLY CONSIDERED WHAT KIND OF EFFECT

THAT MIGHT HAVE ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANDOM.

I FEEL LIKE SO MUCH HAS CHANGED

OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS EVEN,

THAT SABAN LEAVING AT THIS POINT IS ALMOST AN AFTERTHOUGHT.

IT WON’T BE ONCE THE SEASON GETS HERE,

EVERY ANNOUNCER AND EVERYBODY WRITING ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL

OR DOING WHAT WE DO IS GONNA TALK ABOUT IT

BECAUSE WE HAVE TO.

NEXT MONTH WHEN WE DO PREVIEWS,

WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO TALK ABOUT SABAN

AND WHAT THE NEW VERSION OF BAMA

AND THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE LOOKS LIKE WITHOUT HIM.

THAT’S JUST THE REALITY THAT WE LIVE IN.

– YEAH.

– BUT THE EFFECT THAT IT MIGHT HAVE ON FANDOM,

MORE PEOPLE OUT THERE BEING INTERESTED IN SEC

AND IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AS A WHOLE,

BECAUSE THE BIGGEST TITAN OF THE SPORT,

THE BEST COACH IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT,

IS NO LONGER THERE, THAT WAS A ZAG I DID NOT EXPECT, DAN.

– YEAH, I THINK AT LEAST IN THE SHORT TERM,

PEOPLE ARE NOT REALLY GONNA KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT

IF YOU’RE A FAN OF SOMEBODY ELSE,

BUT LIKE NUMBER SEVEN ALABAMA’S PLAYING

NUMBER NINE GEORGIA OR SOMETHING,

THAT LIKE IT DOESN’T BECOME AS MUCH OF AN OBVIOUS TV SHOW

WITHOUT NICK SABAN.

WHETHER YOU LIKE ROOTING FOR HIM

OR YOU’RE JUST CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT THIS YEAR IS,

YOU KNOW THAT ALABAMA’S GONNA HAVE

SOME SORT OF DYNASTIC SQUAD IN SOME WAY

BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY’VE PRODUCED

PRETTY MUCH THROUGH THE LAST 15 YEARS.

– AND THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE,

BAMA GAMES HAD HIGH RATINGS.

AND PART OF THE REASON WHY THEY HAD THE RATINGS

‘CAUSE THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD HATE WATCH.

– YEAH.

– WHAT’S IT GONNA MEAN THIS YEAR

IF YOU’RE NOT HATE WATCHING ALABAMA?

YOU KNOW, THAT’S KIND OF THE SENTIMENT

THAT I THINK I’M TRYING TO GET TO,

OR THAT’S AT LEAST BEEN EXPRESSED TO ME.

HONESTLY, I HAD NOT CONSIDERED THAT ASPECT OF IT.

I CONSIDERED EVERYTHING ELSE, JUST NOT THAT.

– WELL, AND THE SORT OF THE MEANING OF BEATING ALABAMA

CHANGES.

– IT DOES.

– RIGHT?

– ABSOLUTELY.

– LIKE THE MEANING OF BEATING KALEN DEBOER ALABAMA,

EVEN IF HE GOES 10 AND TWO EVERY SEASON

FOR THE ENTIRETY OF HIS REGULAR SEASON CAREER AT ALABAMA,

BEATING KALEN DEBOER ALABAMA

IS NEVER GONNA BE BEATING NICK SABAN ALABAMA.

AND JUST IN TERMS OF SETTING AN SEC OR A NATIONAL NARRATIVE,

IT’S A LITTLE BIT OF DAVID LEE ROTH, SAMMY HAGAR.

YOU SAW VAN HALEN, BUT WHICH VAN HALEN?

– YEAH.

– RIGHT?

THAT’S A REFERENCE FOR THE OLD PEOPLE OUT THERE.

– FOR THE OLD, YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT.

– THERE’S JUST, YOU HAVE TO BE MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT,

YOU KNOW, YOU BEAT JIM HARBAUGH MICHIGAN

OR YOU BEAT SHERRONE MOORE MICHIGAN.

SHERRONE MOORE MIGHT BE INCREDIBLE,

BUT THERE WAS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF HATE OR APPRECIATION

OR EVEN JUST KNOWLEDGE AND RECOGNITION OF JIM HARBAUGH

AT MICHIGAN AND JUST AS A FOOTBALL COACH,

WHERE YOU’RE JUST LIKE, OH, I KNOW WHAT I’M GONNA GET

ON THE SIDELINE FOR AS LONG AS THIS PERSON IS COACHING THERE

AND YEAH, EVERYTHING CHANGES.

AND WHEN I SAY LIKE, I’M OPTIMISTIC THAT THE ISSUES

THAT YOUR TRANSFER PORTAL HAS, THE ISSUES THAT NIL HAS,

THE ISSUES THAT AN EXPANDED PLAYOFF,

THE ISSUES THAT REALIGNMENT HAS,

THIS IS NOT A SPORT THAT MAKES A DECISION

AND STICKS WITH IT FOR 30 YEARS.

IT HAS NEVER BEEN THAT.

AND SO I DON’T KNOW WHAT LIKE A COMPARISON,

AN APT ANALOGY WOULD BE, BUT YOU KNOW,

SOME OF IT’S DATING, RIGHT?

YOU DATE SOMEBODY FOR A COUPLE MONTHS, YOU’RE LIKE,

I DON’T KNOW IF I WANNA BE WITH SOMEBODY LONG-TERM

WHO IS 6’6″ OR THAT LOUD OR THIS RELIGION OR THIS MESSY

OR DRINKS THIS MUCH OR DRINKS THIS LITTLE, WHATEVER.

AND YOU JUST SORT OF FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

AND YOU’RE ALWAYS TINKERING.

AND THAT’S WHAT THE SPORT IS.

THAT’S WHAT IF PEOPLE KEEP GETTING TURNED OFF

AND WE KEEP HAVING THESE TANGIBLE EFFECTS

THAT LIKE CHIP KELLY GOES FROM BEING THE HEAD COACH

AT A MAJOR PLACE TO AN OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

AND JEFF HALFLEY AND KANE WAMENG,

ALL THESE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES THAT THESE GUYS ARE HAVING

IN REACTION TO THE REALITY OF WHERE THE SPORT IS,

THE SPORT WILL ADJUST.

I THINK THE SPORT IS GOING TO RECOGNIZE THAT PERHAPS,

AND I USE THIS LIKE THE SPORT,

BUT I THINK CONFERENCES AND COMMISSIONERS

ARE GOING TO COME TO THE REALIZATION

THAT CERTAIN THINGS THAT THEY’VE DONE

HAVE TURNED OFF TOO MANY PEOPLE.

AND IT’S NOT THAT THEY’RE GONNA MOVE BACKWARDS

AND WE’RE GONNA GO TO THE BCS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

BUT I THINK THERE WILL BE INCREMENTAL CHANGES

OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS IN RESPONSE TO NEGATIVITY

SURROUNDING THE SPORT.

SO WHETHER THAT IS RE-REGIONALIZING

THE WAY TEAMS ARE GROUPED TOGETHER OR THE WAY,

LIKE, I DON’T KNOW HOW BACKWARDS THE PLAYOFF COULD GO,

BUT I THINK WE COULD SEE IT, YOU KNOW,

HOP BACK FROM 14 TO 12 OR TO EIGHT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

IF YOU KEEP SEEING LESSER AND LESSER TV RATINGS

AGAINST THE NFL IN LATE DECEMBER,

LIKE THERE ARE TANGIBLE WAYS TO MEASURE

THE SUCCESS OF THE SPORT.

AND I THINK THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THE SPORT AREN’T DUMB

AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO EXPAND

AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO TRY AND GROW THE BOTTOM LINE

AT THE EXPENSE OF LONG-TERM THINKING FOREVER.

AND SO WHATEVER, HOWEVER YOU WANT TO COMPARE IT,

I DO BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE RUNNING THE SPORT AT SOME POINT

ARE GONNA RECOGNIZE THAT RUNNING CERTAIN ASPECTS

INTO THE GROUND ARE GOING TO KILL IT.

AND SO I’M OPTIMISTIC THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT THAT STUPID.

– WELL, YOU CAN ONLY EXPAND SO MUCH FURTHER.

– THAT’S TRUE.

– AND THERE ARE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF DOLLARS OUT THERE.

THIS IS NOT AN INFINITE SUM OF MONEY.

AT SOME POINT YOU REACH KIND OF A TERMINAL VELOCITY

WITH ALL THIS.

AND I DON’T KNOW WHEN THAT POINT ARRIVES.

I DON’T KNOW WITH THESE CONVERSATIONS THAT WE’VE HAD

ABOUT PRIVATE EQUITY AND THESE OTHER SOURCES OF REVENUE

THAT PROGRAMS ARE APPARENTLY INVESTIGATING.

SEEMS LIKE THEY’RE ALL INVESTIGATING IT ON SOME LEVEL.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT DOES TO THAT EQUATION,

BUT CERTAINLY THIS IS NOT SOMETHING

THAT CAN EXPAND FOREVER.

RIGHT NOW THEY’RE TRYING TO MAKE THIS

AS STRONG OF A BUSINESS CASE AS THEY CAN

WITH AS MUCH MONEY AVAILABLE TO ALL PARTIES.

AND THAT’S FINE.

AT SOME POINT THOUGH, I THINK THERE WILL BE

MORE OF A STRATEGIC CONVERSATION ABOUT WHERE IS THIS HEADED.

– AND UNFORTUNATELY, THE MOST OBVIOUS PLACE

OF LIKE UNBUNDLING IS, HEY GUYS,

WE’RE GONNA HAVE 28 BIG TEN TEAMS AND 28 SEC TEAMS.

AND IT’S GONNA BE THE NFC AND AFC

AND WE’RE GONNA GO FROM THERE.

THAT’S PROBABLY THE GREAT BUNDLING

AND UNBUNDLING AT THE SAME TIME.

BUT ALSO, I THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE A RECKONING.

I REALLY DO THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE RECKONING

WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE SPORT.

AND THERE IS GOING TO BE, DESPITE 150 YEARS OF EVIDENCE

TO THE CONTRARY, THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME SORT OF

LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP THAT DOESN’T EXIST RIGHT NOW

THAT IS GOING TO GET A BOARDROOM OF SOME KIND TOGETHER

WITH ALL OF THE CONFERENCES.

AND THEY’RE GOING TO COME TO CONCLUSIONS

THAT WILL BENEFIT THE HEALTH OF THE SPORT, I THINK.

– YEAH, I THINK IT A LITTLE BIT LIKE LORD OF THE RINGS,

THE FIRST LORD OF THE RINGS WHERE THEY GATHER ROUND

AND FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY’RE GONNA DO NEXT.

IN SOME CASES, WARRING FACTIONS

TRYING TO GET ON THE SAME SIDE.

I MEAN, IT MAY TAKE SOMETHING LIKE THAT

TO PRESERVE THE LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE SPORT.

IT’S KIND OF HARD TO FORESEE THAT RIGHT NOW.

I DON’T THINK THAT LEADERSHIP EXISTS,

BUT AT SOME POINT, IF THE MONEY DRIES UP

AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT, OR IF AT LEAST THE AVAILABILITY

OF MONEY, LET’S SAY, MORE ACCURATELY IS WHAT DRIES UP,

AT SOME POINT, THEY’LL HAVE TO THINK LONGER TERM ABOUT IT.

– IS THERE AN EVENT, IS THERE A SPECIFIC EVENT

THAT YOU THINK WOULD CAUSE DRAMATIC CHANGE?

OR LIKE, IS THERE AN OPTIC?

IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR MIND THAT YOU’RE LIKE,

“WOW, COLLEGE FOOTBALL HAS GOTTEN TO THIS POINT

AND IT’S SO BAD THAT THEY’RE ALL GOING TO HUDDLE UP

IN SOME SORT OF HYATT PLACE IN TEXAS

AND FIGURE OUT WHERE IT WENT WRONG

AND HOW TO GET BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK.”

IS THERE LIKE THAT SPECIFIC EVENT FOR YOU?

– I THINK A VERY, VERY SMALL EXAMPLE

OF THAT OCCURRING RIGHT NOW

IS WHAT’S HAPPENING AT COLORADO WITH DION.

AND THE OVER-RELIANCE OF THE TRANSFER PORTAL.

CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THAT WORKS?

CAN YOU IMAGINE IF WE’RE FIVE YEARS DOWN THE LINE,

DION BUILDS A ROSTER EVERY YEAR OUT OF THE TRANSFER PORTAL,

STEALS EVERYBODY’S BEST PLAYERS?

THERE WOULD BE- – I MEAN, HE HASN’T STARTED

DOING THAT YET.

– HE HASN’T STARTED DOING IT YET,

BUT I’M SAYING IF WE’RE DOING THIS THOUGHT EXPERIMENT,

I THINK IT WILL TAKE SOMETHING LIKE THAT,

SOMETHING RADICAL LIKE THAT,

THAT WILL FORCE EVERYBODY TO GET IN A ROOM

AND THINK ABOUT, “IS THIS WHAT WE WANT?”

SOME PEOPLE WILL COME AT IT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF,

“WE FEEL IT’S A COMPETITIVE UNBALANCE

THAT WE NEED TO TRY AND RECTIFY.”

OTHERS WILL COME AT IT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF,

“HEY, WE WANT TO TRY THIS TOO.”

BUT I THINK IT’LL TAKE SOMETHING RADICAL LIKE THAT.

LIKE IF THERE IS, LET’S SAY, AN INJECTION OF PRIVATE EQUITY

INTO A SCHOOL LIKE A FLORIDA STATE,

AND SUDDENLY THEY CAN GO OUT

AND PAY ALL THEIR PLAYERS $10 MILLION,

WHICH WON’T HAPPEN, I KNOW THIS IS AN EXAGGERATION,

BUT INSTANCES LIKE THAT, I THINK,

WOULD BE THE KIND OF THING

THAT FORCED PEOPLE TO SIT DOWN IN A ROOM AND LIKE,

“HOLD UP, LET’S SEE WHERE WE REALLY WANT TO TAKE THIS,

AND IS THIS FAIR FOR EVERYBODY?”

– YEAH, I THINK IT’S GONNA BE PROGRAMS SHUTTING DOWN.

PROGRAMS THAT’S FINANCIALLY- – ARE YOU SHUTTING DOWN

SOME OTHER ONE? – I MEAN, YOU REMEMBER

DURING COVID WHEN THERE WERE ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACROSS THE COLLEGE SPORTS LANDSCAPE

THAT THIS SCHOOL HAS JUST CANCELED FOUR SPORTS

FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE OR FOREVER, WHATEVER.

I THINK THAT LIKE CAL AND WAKE FOREST HAVE JUST DECIDED,

THEY CAN’T COMPETE,

AND INSTEAD OF THROWING MONEY AT THE PROBLEM

THAT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING, THEY’RE SHUTTING FOOTBALL DOWN.

OR SOME SCHOOL THAT HAS HAD A TON OF SUCCESS,

BUT NOT LATELY, THEY’RE JUST LIKE, “WE’RE DONE.

WE’RE GONNA DESTROY THE STADIUM AND BUILD A GOLF COURSE.”

– THE CAVEAT IS IT HAS TO BE A PROGRAM

THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE CARE ABOUT.

– YEAH. – AND I MEAN NO DISRESPECT

TO VANDERBILT, TO RUTGERS WHEN I SAY THIS.

THEY ARE VERY FREQUENTLY THE PUNCHING BAGS

OF THIS CONVERSATION. – YEAH.

– BUT YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I, WE HEAR ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.

WE WON’T TALK ABOUT IT AS MUCH ON THIS EPISODE,

MAYBE ANOTHER ONE.

ONE OTHER THING WE GET A LOT OF IS,

“HEY, WHEN ARE THEY GONNA KICK RUTGERS OUT?

WHEN ARE THEY GONNA KICK VANDERBILT OUT OF THE SEC

WITH ALL THE MONEY ON THE LINE?

COULDN’T THEY GIVE THAT SPOT TO A BETTER TEAM?”

IF IT’S A PROGRAM AT SOME POINT

THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE CARE ABOUT,

OR THAT IS VERY PROMINENT IN THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION,

IF THEY’RE UNABLE TO REMAIN SOLVENT

BECAUSE OF THIS NEW WORLD ORDER,

THAT WOULD TURN SOME HEADS.

– YEAH, THEY DON’T WANNA TAKE PRIVATE EQUITY MONEY

AND IT JUST, IT GOES SOUTH. – YEAH.

– THE STANDS ARE EMPTY.

LIKE WHAT IF THE STANDS ARE EMPTY AT PLAYOFF GAMES?

I MEAN, WE’RE ALREADY GONNA HAVE PLAYOFF GAMES

WITH SCHOOL NOT IN SESSION.

AND AT A NUMBER OF PLACES THAT DOESN’T MATTER.

BUT YOU DO LOSE SOMETHING, RIGHT?

I THINK FINALS ARE IN GENERALLY EARLY TO MID-DECEMBER

AND THE PLAYOFF STARTS LIKE AROUND THE 19TH OR 20TH,

MOST SEASONS IT LOOKS LIKE.

LIKE SO YOU’RE GONNA HAVE LIMITED STUDENTS AT GAMES

IF THE WEATHER’S TERRIBLE SOMEWHERE

AND 10,000 PEOPLE DON’T SHOW UP

AND YOU GET PEOPLE POSTING PICTURES

OF LIKE SEMI-EMPTY PLAYOFF GAMES, NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

THAT PEOPLE DON’T WANNA GO TO, WHATEVER.

I THINK THAT COULD BE A SORT OF IMPETUS.

– THERE’S A LOT OF TRAVEL.

– THAT MEETING.

– THERE’S A LOT OF TRAVEL, A LOT OF TRAVEL INVOLVED

IF YOU’RE A FAN OF A TEAM.

YOU HAVE TO DECIDE IF YOU WANNA, IN MANY CASES,

SPEND THE MONEY TO GO TO A FIRST ROUND MATCHUP ON CAMPUS.

IF YOU WANNA SELL OUT AND TRY TO GO TO

ONE OF THE QUARTER OR SEMIFINALS.

– LIKE ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

– ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT, HELD AT LIKE THE CHICK-FIL-A

PEACH BOWL OR SOMETHING.

OR IF YOU WANNA TRY AND DELAY IT EVEN FURTHER

AND TRY TO GO TO A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

I MEAN, IT’S A DECISION FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE

TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE.

– YEAH, I THINK ULTIMATELY,

THE THING THAT’S FUNDING THE SPORT RIGHT NOW,

TV IS GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST BAROMETER.

THAT IF THEY’RE JUST ABSOLUTELY SHELLED, RATINGS WISE,

AND THERE’S JUST THE CONVERSATION SHIFTS AWAY

FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN LATE DECEMBER, EARLY JANUARY.

YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT NFL, NBA,

ALL SORTS OF STUFF HAPPENING AT THIS TIME.

AND JUST THE CONVERSATION AROUND THE SPORT

AND VIEWERSHIP ACROSS THE SPORT IS JUST LIKE,

I MEAN, I THINK THE OREGON-OHIO STATE GAME

HAD SOMETHING LIKE 18.1 WAS THE RATING

OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

AND TCU GEORGIA WAS IN LIKE THE EIGHTS OR NINES,

SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

LIKE IF YOU GET THAT SORT OF LOW NUMBER CONSTANTLY,

AND I KNOW THEY’RE ADDING VOLUME TO TRY TO MAKE IT UP

AND IMPRESSIONS AND EVERYTHING FOR ADVERTISERS,

BUT LIKE IT’S NOT GONNA BE A SENSIBLE SOLUTION

IF PEOPLE AREN’T WATCHING.

– WELL, I THINK- – IT DOES NOT.

– I THINK ROUND ONE ON CAMPUS WILL GET A TON OF ACTION.

– YEAH.

– I THINK THAT WILL OVER THE LONG HAUL

BE THE ROUND THAT GETS THE MOST INTEREST FROM THE PUBLIC.

NOT JUST BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE GAMES AND MORE TEAMS,

BUT I THINK THE ALLURE OF HAVING THOSE GAMES ON CAMPUS

IS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY, VERY INTEGRAL TO THE SPORT.

IT’S MEANINGFUL TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE ROOTED FOR THE SPORT

FOR A LONG TIME HAVING THOSE GAMES ON CAMPUS.

I THINK WE’LL SEE THAT REFLECTED IN THE NUMBERS,

BUT THE DEEPER YOU GO INTO THIS THING,

YEAH, I’M CURIOUS TOO.

– DO YOU THINK I’M BEING TOO PRECIOUS

IN SAYING THAT LIKE COLLEGE FOOTBALL WILL FIND A WAY,

TOO ROMANTIC?

– YES.

– REALLY?

– I DON’T TRUST THESE GUYS, DAN.

– YEAH.

– THEY’VE NOT REALLY GIVEN US A GREAT REASON TO TRUST

THAT THEY’RE GONNA DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THE SPORT

IN THE LONGTERM.

– YEAH.

– AND AT LEAST IF THE CURRENT TREND HOLDS,

IT’S THE PURSUIT OF THE DOLLAR

AS OPPOSED TO THE BETTERMENT OF THE GAME.

– YEAH.

– AND I AM NOT A PESSIMISTIC PERSON

WITH RESPECT TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

I’M GONNA WATCH REGARDLESS.

I’M GONNA FIND THE FUN STUFF TO TALK ABOUT ON THIS SHOW.

IT’S JUST WHAT WE DO.

WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE A DOOM AND GLOOM APPROACH.

WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE AN I TOLD YOU SO APPROACH

TO ANY OF THIS WHERE WE’RE RIGHT, WHERE WE’RE WRONG.

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, WE’LL BE WRONG.

– YEAH.

– THAT’S JUST NOT WHO WE ARE.

BUT UNTIL THEY GIVE ME A REASON TO BELIEVE

THAT THEY ARE TRUSTWORTHY

AND THEY’RE NOT JUST GOING OUT AFTER THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR,

I HAVE NO REASON TO THINK OTHERWISE.

– YEAH.

SO YOU’RE MORE DOOMER WITH THIS THAN I AM, WEIRDLY ENOUGH.

– I AM MORE DOOMER WITH RESPECT TO THE POWERS THAT BE.

– OKAY.

– BECAUSE THERE’S NEVER BEEN A CENTRALIZED

GOVERNING BODY HERE TO KIND OF KEEP THIS THING ON THE RAILS.

YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF FOLKS OPERATING FOLKS,

FOLKS, FOLKS, FOLKS, OPERATING.

– FOLKS, FOLKS, FOLKS.

– OPERATING. – ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE.

– IN THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST.

– YEAH.

– AND UNTIL THERE IS SOME SORT OF EVENT

OR SOME REASON FOR THEM TO WORK A LITTLE BIT MORE TOGETHER

AND NOT TRY TO GET AS RICH AS POSSIBLE,

I’M NOT AS OPTIMISTIC THAT ALL OF THESE THINGS WILL BE SOLVED.

I THINK SOME OF IT WILL KIND OF COME OUT IN THE WASH.

I THINK SOME OF IT WILL BE SOLVED

THE DEEPER WE GET INTO THIS NEW STRUCTURE

WITH MONEY AND CONTRACTS AND EXPANDED PLAYOFF AND CONFLICT.

LIKE SOME OF IT WILL KIND OF WORK ITSELF OUT.

BUT IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ULTIMATELY

TRYING TO MAKE THE SPORT AS FUN AS IT CAN BE,

AS EQUITABLE AS IT CAN BE, AS SUSTAINABLE AS POSSIBLE,

I HAVE NOT SEEN MUCH EVIDENCE

THAT ANYBODY’S INTERESTED IN THAT RIGHT NOW.

– WELL, HERE, YOU KNOW, AN INTERESTING CANARY IS

FOR CANARY IN THE COAL MINE TYPE SITUATION IS

WHAT DO WASHINGTON STATE AND OREGON STATE GAMES LOOK LIKE

IN TERMS OF THE PEOPLE THERE?

WHAT DO THE CROWDS LOOK LIKE?

WHAT DO THE TV RATINGS LOOK LIKE?

WHAT DO THE CONVERSATIONS LOOK LIKE?

AND NOT JUST EARLY ON, BUT LATER ON IN THE SEASON,

ESPECIALLY IF ONE OF THOSE TEAMS

IS LIKE AN EIGHT AND FOUR-ISH TYPE TEAM,

DO WE SEE CATASTROPHIC DOWNTURNS?

DO WE SEE SURPRISING LIKE RALLYING BEHIND THESE TEAMS

WHO DEFINITELY FEEL LIKE THEY’VE BEEN WRONGED BY THE SPORT

AND BY THE OTHER TEAMS IN THEIR REGION?

LIKE THAT TO ME WILL GO A LONG WAY

AS FOR EXPLAINING THE TRUE LOVE PEOPLE EITHER DO

OR DON’T HAVE FOR THEIR TEAMS,

REGARDLESS OF THE STATE OF THE SPORT.

– SO LOOK, DAN, WE DO SHOWS LIKE THIS FROM TIME TO TIME

WHERE WE’RE NOT PLAYING A GAME,

WHERE IT’S JUST STUFF THAT’S ON OUR MIND

AND WE FEEL THE NEED TO TALK IT OUT AND HAVE A CONVERSATION.

IF YOU HAVE MADE IT THIS FULL WAY THROUGH,

IF YOU FOUND THIS CONVERSATION VALUABLE AND MEANINGFUL–

– TWEET THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE AT TONY BARNHART.

NO. – YEAH.

WE’RE NOT DOING A SECRET VERBAL HERE.

– NOT A SECRET VERBAL, OKAY.

– NO SECRET VERBAL, WE’LL SAVE THAT FOR THE SEASON.

IF ANY OF THIS HAS BEEN THOUGHT PROVOKING FOR YOU,

HIT FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE ON THE PODCAST,

HANG WITH US ALL SEASON LONG.

THINGS WILL START TO ROLL A LITTLE BIT MORE DOWNHILL

THE CLOSER WE GET TO EVERYTHING.

BUT FOR THE TIME BEING ANYWAY,

THESE ARE THE TYPES OF CONVERSATIONS

THAT DAN AND I HAVE BEEN HAVING WITH PEOPLE WHO JUST FIND,

OH, YOU TALK ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOR A LIVING?

WHAT ABOUT THIS?

WHAT ABOUT THAT?

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME COMMON THEMES.

WE OBVIOUSLY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU AS WELL.

SO WHETHER YOU EMAIL IN SOLIDVERBAL@GMAIL.COM,

WHETHER YOU HIT US UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA,

COMMENTS ON YOUTUBE VIDEOS, WHEREVER,

WHEREVER YOU CAN POST,

WE WOULD WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK

ON ANY OF THE STUFF WE DESCRIBED HERE TODAY.

LET US KNOW WHERE WE’RE RIGHT, WHERE WE’RE WRONG,

AND MAYBE STUFF WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT NEXT TIME AROUND,

‘CAUSE THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME AROUND.

THIS IS JUST THE STATE OF BEING RIGHT NOW IN 2020.

– WHETHER OR NOT YOU FEEL LIKE BOONE PICKENS STADIUM

WILL BE TURNED INTO LIKE A SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN STORE.

– THAT’S RIGHT, THAT’S RIGHT.

– OR NOT, YEAH.

– THAT’S RIGHT.

ALL RIGHT, AGAIN, VERBALLERS.COM IS WHERE YOU CAN GO

IF YOU WANNA JOIN THE COMMUNITY.

WE’VE GOT A TEEMING COMMUNITY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS

EVER SO INTERESTED IN THIS COMING COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON,

TALKING FEVERISHLY ON OUR DISCORD SERVER

ABOUT ANY AND ALL THINGS, NOT JUST COLLEGE FOOTBALL,

BUT SPORTS AND LIFE IN GENERAL.

VERBALLERS.COM IS WHERE YOU CAN GO TO CHECK THAT OUT.

YOU ALSO GET BONUS EPISODES, AD-FREE EPISODES.

IF NOTHING MORE, YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT WHAT DAN AND I DO.

FOR THE LAST TIME, HIT FOLLOW, HIT SUBSCRIBE

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU HEARD HERE TODAY

AND YOU WANT MORE OF IT IN YOUR PODCASTING FEED OF CHOICE.

DAN, THAT’S ALL I GOT, MAN.

– YEAH, IT’S EVERYTHING I HAVE.

– FOR THAT GUY OVER THERE, MY GOOD FRIEND, DAN RUBENSTEIN.

FOR MYSELF, TY HILDENBRANDT, THANK YOU FOR DOWNLOADING,

FOR LISTENING, FOR SUPPORTING.

WE WILL TALK TO YOU ALL ON THURSDAY.

IN THE MEANTIME, STAY SOFT.

– PEACE.

(UPBEAT MUSIC)

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