by Kolby Solinsky
Columnist, White Cover Magazine
Not only does USA Today have one of the finer traditional media-based websites out there, but they’re also apparently trying to roll up the rug before ESPN can figure out the trends they, themselves, created.
(Was that confusing?)
While everyone else is fawning over the SEC and their just complete and utter dominance of the BCS Championship and its Rankings in the past six years, USA Today is already looking ahead to its downfall.. And, give them credit, because it happens to every great dynasty. Rome, the Yankees, Gangnam Style… it just never stops, and not even the SEC is immune.
“Not everybody in college football buys the line that the SEC is tops and other conferences are merely also-rans,” writes Today‘s Dan Wolken.
“In this part of the country, where pride in the conference is universally expressed by simple, yet familiar, chants of S-E-C, S-E-C, it’s almost inconceivable that the Bowl Championship Series national title game could have any other outcome.”
“‘There is a perceived SEC arrogance that I think is very real, and it exists because of all this success,’ said Bill King, who hosts a daily radio show on college football for Sirius/XM based in Tennessee. ‘They don’t see the outside college football planet like fans do in Big 10 or Big 12 country. I don’t think the average SEC fan sees Notre Dame as a worthy opponent.'”
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jon Gruden has turned down a job coaching King’s hometown team, the Volunteers.
The only issue with the SEC’s arrogance is that it is mainly a created arrogance founded by outsiders, believed by insiders, and then pushed past the point of no return by places like the one that currently pays Gruden’s rent.
ESPN, for all its glory, is controlled by its own news cycle. It has a certain HAL 3000-like quality. It’s a robot that now has feelings, and the public’s love affair with the SEC is exactly that: the public’s. Most people don’t know anything about American college football, but they have a duty to buy into it and act like they do. There are hundreds — thousands — of colleges in America, and all of them have a sports program of some sort.
If they don’t have a football team, they still view it as the gold standard.
And so, if the SEC is perceived to be the crown jewel at the top of that gold standard, they’ll get all the attention and all the love.
Sure, the SEC loves itself. Georgia believes it’s the best. Alabama does, too. Notre Dame might for this week but, once they’re forced to wait a month and a half or two before they finally get to play in the BCS Championship, insecurity will sink in and realism will tell them that, if they haven’t even been to a title game before, they can’t actually WIN one now.
Good thing Dan Wolken has his foot on their chest.