As you know by now, there was some scheduling drama in college football last week. On Wednesday, the ACC announced that they were implementing a “ten plus one” model for the season. The model allowed for ACC teams to play one out of conference game, meaning that traditional rivalries like Georgia-Georgia Tech, Clemson-South Carolina, Kentucky-Louisville and Florida-Florida State could still be played, but only if the SEC’s scheduling model also included an out of conference game.
Well, the SEC decided playing games against the ACC really isn’t that important in 2020, and decided to go with a schedule of ten conference games. ACC folks used that development as an opportunity to say, “Y’all Scared,” and SEC folks used the moment as an opportunity to say, “Y’all ain’t matter none.”
This created a big ol hullabaloo. For a moment there, Georgia Tech fans excitedly stuck their chests out. Then those same fans realized that Georgia would have no reason to be afraid of playing the mighty Yellow Jackets, and their biggest recruiting weekend of the year had disappeared. Cubicles were punched. Cosplay events were delayed.
The posturing for perception went so far that South Carolina decided to be the one school to vote against the SEC’s schedule proposal. The matter was never in doubt, but at least that way they could say “HEY! WE’RE TOTALLY NOT AFRAID OF GETTING OUR ASSES BEAT BY CLEMSON FOR THE SEVENTH TIME IN A ROW.”
Now I’m wondering if the SEC’s own network is on the act. True to its name, the SEC Network normally plays old SEC football games this time of year. As I’ve flipped channels the last couple nights, I’ve noticed something kind of strange.
On Monday night, the network re-aired Georgia’s 2014 win over Clemson.
On Tuesday, the 2004 Florida-Florida State game was on. It was a hideous game that involved both Ron Zook and the immortal Chris Rix. Florida upset the eighth-ranked Seminoles in Zook’s last game as coach. I tried to watch it, but the 2000 Independence Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas A&M that took place in a blizzard was on another channel, and it remains one of the more entertaining football games ever played.
I wondered, why would anyone ever put that particular UF-FSU game on the air anyways?
Then it hit me. What if someone in the SEC Network’s programming office wanted to throw a little bit of barely perceptible shade at the ACC? They’d probably play some old games in the library that feature SEC teams beating ACC teams. I dug further.
On Wednesday night the network is airing the 1991 Sugar Bowl between Tennessee and Virginia. On Thursday night the 2018 CFP Semifinal between Alabama and Clemson is slated to air.
The timing is interesting, but I thought to myself that this could all be a coincidence. However when I checked some online TV guides, they showed that those games had not been scheduled at the time those websites mined upcoming programming information.
Maybe the SEC Network really is trolling the ACC. If so, I support it.
That type of petty spitefulness is what makes the college football world turn