If you were to look up the word homer, you would most likely find the definition to include Paul Finebaum. The “Voice of the SEC” is not shy about showing his bias towards the conference and is constantly campaigning for the SEC, regardless of what the agenda is.
To no surprise, Finebaum is now calling for Notre Dame to join the SEC. After moves from Oklahoma, Texas, and most recently UCLA and USC, conference realignment has been a hot topic. With teams on the move, Notre Dame is the biggest name left as an independent. Many are calling for the Fighting Irish to join either the Big 10 or the SEC, but what motivation does Notre Dame have to join a conference?
Notre Dame has their own media rights deal with NBC, which pays out over $20 million per year, on top of a deal with the ACC that has them playing five teams within the conference. The only reason for Notre Dame to want to join a conference would be fear of the so-called “super conferences” taking over the landscape of college football.
Finebaum thinks that the SEC is the perfect fit for the Fighting Irish. He talked about how the SEC commissioner has received phone calls and wonders from who. Finebaum started by saying, “Let’s get to the point, what’s the deal with Notre Dame? Has (Sankey) spoken to Jack Swarbrick? You mention phone calls. From who? I think Saban is a little different because he is in such an exalted state right now that those types of questions aren’t going to happen. Unless something incredible occurs where you really need a specific question.”
Rather than joining the Big 10, which would make perfect sense for Notre Dame on the geographical standpoint, Finebaum stated, “Notre Dame would be a little bit more difficult because they don’t think the same way we do. I think the SEC is a perfect landing spot for them but there’s so much history up there. There’s the turn of the nose toward the academics and got several schools down here. The Big 10 is a better marriage if they went somewhere.”
The Big 10 has the upper hand with Notre Dame that holds rivalries between Michigan and Michigan State that would start right where they left off. The Big 10 also has in-state schools such as Indiana and Purdue that would allow Notre Dame to easily travel to away games without much hassle. The biggest reason for Finebaum’s argument for Notre Dame to the SEC is because of the brands. The SEC holds bigger brands, which will include Texas and Oklahoma once they make the move to the SEC.
You would think that Notre Dame is in no rush to go out and join a conference, having no trouble getting into the college football playoffs, like others. This is just another argument that Finebaum has to show his biased towards the SEC. If the Fighting Irish choose to join a conference, it would more than likely crown that conference as the winners of the realignment with the brand that Notre Dame carries.
The media has chosen to continuously look down on the ACC and the Big 12. With the uncertainty in the Pac-12, it makes sense why they have basically crossed them off the list as a conference that has a chance to sustain themselves, but the Big 12 has made moves to solidify themselves as the third-best conference overall. Yet, some still consider the Big 12 to be in trouble and it all fits the agenda of ESPN to have the SEC and Big 10 conferences as the king of the crop.
There are three certainties in life, death, taxes, and Paul Finebaum’s bias towards the SEC.