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Paul Finebaum: ‘I Can Give You 12 Places in the SEC That Make Iowa State Look Like a Kindergarten Class’

SEC Media Days were held this week in Nashville (TN), bringing everyone who’s anyone in the Southeastern Conference together to talk SEC football with just around six weeks left until the 2023 season kicks off.

One of the most popular topics of conversation this week was Oklahoma and Texas’ move to the SEC in 2024. Coaches, players, and pundits alike gave their thoughts on the Sooners and Longhorns coming into the league, with a wide array of perspectives on the matter.

“I don’t think they know what they’re getting into,” LSU running back Josh Williams said. “The SEC is a beast, everybody knows that.”

 

“I think they are certainly ready,” said South Carolina coach Shane Beamer. “Certainly great tradition at that place and excited about going back to Norman in 2024.”

However, one particular comment on the matter grabbed my attention. Paul Finebaum, who was been shouting the Big 12’s praises just a few weeks ago, likened Jack Trice Stadium to a kindergarten class when describing the jump that Oklahoma and Texas are about to make.

“You can’t limp into this league. You’ll get run over,” Finebaum said, according to On3’s George Stoia. “Nobody needs to take the Big 12 and compare it to the SEC. There’s simply no comparison. OU’s done so well, but everyone talks about going to Iowa State. Well, I can give you 12 places in the SEC that make Iowa State look like a kindergarten class.”

He also used Iowa State as an example in a separate interview this week.

 

“I’ve had people tell me, ‘you don’t understand what it’s like to go to Ames, Iowa.’ Well, first of all, I don’t want to go to Ames, Iowa,” Finebaum told TexAgs. “I can assure you, Saturday night in Ames, Iowa, does not compare to Saturday night in Auburn, Baton Rouge, The Swamp, Knoxville. I mean, you can go 11 deep in the SEC. You think it’s easy to play in South Carolina?

“I mean, the Big 12 is a good league. It’s good for TCU, but this is a different world. Everyone listening and watching already knows that.”

Well, so much for Finebaum getting into the good graces of Big 12 fans.

Honestly speaking, Finebaum’s point has some merit.

Jack Trice Stadium has a capacity of 61,500 people, making it the second-biggest stadium in the Big 12 after Oklahoma and Texas leave (BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium – 63,725). Naturally, Auburn (87,451), Baton Rouge (102,321), The Swamp (88,548), and Knoxville (101,915) are going to be louder environments because they have more people.

Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, the smallest on Finebaum’s list, has a capacity that is 42% higher than Jack Trice. Death Valley in Baton Rouge has a 66% larger capacity crowd.

However, calling the environment at Jack Trice Stadium a “kindergarten class?” C’mon Paul, that’s just ridiculous.

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