As we approach the month of August, conference media days are wrapping up from around the country, meaning the 2023 season is just around the corner. Two weeks ago, Big 12 Media Days was held in Arlington (TX), while SEC Media Days and Pac-12 Media Day were last week.
While the Pac-12 stole headlines for all the wrong reasons, there was a comment made at SEC media days in Nashville that still sticks with me. Of course, the man that made the comment was none other than SEC fanboy, Paul Finebaum.
“You can’t limp into this league,” Finebaum told On3’s George Stoia. “You’ll get run over. 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.”
As crazy as it sounds, this was not even the only interview last week wh he mentioned Iowa State. “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.”
I am not even sure where to begin with this nonsense, but I will give it a shot. First of all, what is wrong with kindergarten class? All I can remember about kindergarten is naps and recess. I don’t know about you Paul, but that sounds a lot nicer than having to write about this load of malarkey that came out of your mouth at SEC media days.
Secondly, why Iowa State? Out of all the schools in the Big 12, you picked one of, if not the most passionate fan base in the conference. Jack Trice Stadium holds over 61,000 strong and that stadium is just as big as Kentucky’s and Missouri’s stadium. Do you make fun of those places too? You mentioned schools such as Auburn, Florida, and South Carolina. Forget about the stadiums for a second, what have those schools done in the last few years? Auburn has been a disaster since they fired Gus Malzahn, Florida hasn’t intimidated anyone since Urban Meyer left in 2010, and South Carolina has had one winning season in conference play in the last nine years.
If you are trying to say that playing at Jack Trice Stadium is nothing compared to those schools, then you are crazy. To say you don’t want to go to Ames, Iowa, is fine. I am sure nobody wants you there anyways, but I will say that you’re missing out on a great college football atmosphere. The tailgating scene there is incredible, and the people are some of the nicest you will ever meet. There’s beer and food everywhere and the hospitality is top-notch.
The way I see it, it’s just another ESPN personality speaking out of turn and is out of touch with what’s really going on in the Big 12. It’s also funny that he brought up TCU in this conversation, especially considering what he said about them last year. He bashed the Horned Frogs when the College Football Playoff rankings came out, and when they kept winning Finebaum said this on First Take: “Assuming TCU continues to win in the Big 12, they have Iowa State and then the Big 12 Championship Game, which none of us are going to be watching very closely.”
This is a perfect example of why people don’t care about ESPN anymore, particularly those that reside in Big 12 country. It’s made up of nothing but clowns, and those that are decent seem to get the hook with every wave of layoffs. Most of the people there now are clueless about the Big 12, saying it isn’t a good football product, or that it doesn’t have the passion or support like other conferences in college football. It’s things like this that make me realize just why I enjoy doing what I do here at Heartland College Sports so much.