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Anchor Drop, July 3, 2022: 55 Days to Kickoff

Rant time? Rant time.

Austin Peay v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

We are now 55 days away from Vanderbilt football’s August 27 season opener at Hawaii. 55 for the Commodores is offensive lineman Gunnar Hansen. The 6’5”, 317-pound redshirt freshman from Boca Raton didn’t appear in a game in his first season on campus but has good size.

And, the offensive line class gets smaller by one.

“Politically incorrect” is probably not a great description of my views on NIL. But, it sure seems like decommitments have ramped up since NIL became a thing. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.

And, here’s a national college football writer cheerleading the rise of megaconferences.

Andy got mad when I called out the NARRATIVE here, because national writers want to view themselves as neutral observers of the news and not actually creating the news. The disconnect is most obvious when College Gameday does it, but any sportswriter can do it. Speaking of which, here’s the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel arguing that USC and UCLA are the Pac-12, effectively telling you there’s nothing to see there now that they’re gone.

It was, perhaps, inevitable that college football, long a regional sport where you played teams that were close by to you because that was what the realities of 1933 dictated, would see some consolidation into a national sport. But it’s perfectly reasonable to hate the way that college football is going about shifting from regional to national, just like it’s perfectly reasonable to hate the way NIL and the transfer portal have changed the game, even if you agree that those developments are good for the student-athletes themselves.

But it’s hard to see who benefits from the realignment trend, other than university administrators who can announce revenue distribution checks from a megaconference TV deal. To the extent that this makes the fan experience better, it’s only the sort of “casual fan” who likes the idea of Ohio State playing USC every year because those are schools he’s heard of, instead of USC playing Oregon State every year because that makes geographic sense. When Bill C. came up with the pods idea, I hated it mostly because I legitimately don’t care if Vanderbilt plays Texas A&M, ever. I certainly don’t care if every four-year player at Vanderbilt plays a game at Kyle Field.

The tension between the old college football and the new college football is forever here, and I don’t particularly like the new college football. (For the record, I like the new college basketball even less, but at least my interest in that sport is much more deeply-rooted.) Anyway, I don’t care for your Narrative that the ACC is doomed because its revenue distribution checks are slightly less than the Big Ten’s. Stop rooting for that to happen.

Sports on TV

All times Central.

  • 7:00 AM: European Tour: Irish Open, Final Round (Golf Channel)
  • 7:00 AM: Tour de France, Stage 3 (USA)
  • 11:00 AM: MLB: Royals at Tigers (Peacock)
  • 12:00 PM: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic, Final Round (Golf Channel)
  • 1:20 PM: MLB: Red Sox at Cubs (ESPN+)
  • 2:00 PM: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic, Final Round (CBS)
  • 6:00 PM: MLB: Cardinals at Phillies (ESPN)


MLB: Rays 6, Blue Jays 2 (Game 1) ... Yankees 13, Guardians 4 (Game 1) ... Twins 4, Orioles 3 ... White Sox 5, Giants 3 ... Marlins 5, Nationals 3 ... Pirates 7, Brewers 4 ... Cardinals 7, Phillies 6 ... Astros 9, Angels 1 ... Braves 4, Reds 1 ... Tigers 4, Royals 3 ... Mariners 2, A’s 1 ... Rangers 7, Mets 3 ... Rays 11, Blue Jays 5 (Game 2) ... Yankees 6, Guardians 1 (Game 2) ... Cubs 3, Red Sox 1 ... Dodgers 7, Padres 2 ... Rockies 11, Diamondbacks 7.