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Anchor Drop, August 4, 2023: 22 Days to Kickoff

Anybody else finding themselves less interested in college football lately?

Tennessee State v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

We are now 22 days away from Vanderbilt football’s season opener against Hawaii. 22 for the Commodores is linebacker Bryce Cowan. The 6’4”, 225-pound redshirt freshman from Tallahassee, Florida, did not play in 2022.

Videos from yesterday’s media availability:

Meanwhile, it looks like the Pac-12 is all but dead, and I think this pretty much sums it up.

Yeah. The Pac-12 getting scrapped and sold for parts because the two L.A. schools got greedy and decided to play in a conference across the country, aside from being the exact moment when conference realignment jumped the shark (“geography? What is that?”), is a pretty sad deal all around. Right now it seems all but inevitable that Utah and the Arizona schools will join Colorado in the Big 12, and the only remaining question is whether the Big Ten decides to throw Cal and Stanford a life raft when they do it for Oregon and Washington. Meanwhile, fans of Big 12 schools are dancing on the grave because they were told one of them or the Pac-12 would be gone and, congratulations, you’re now in a conference that includes both Utah and UCF. I suppose the other loose end is what happens to Oregon State and Washington State, which apparently aren’t of interest to the Big Ten or Big 12.

Back in the days of the Alliance, I wrote that it was really about killing off the Big 12. But the Pac-12 were somehow the ones who ended up getting killed off, in part because the Alliance was a bunch of horseshit. Hell, the ACC isn’t even allied within itself if Florida State’s desperate plea for SEC membership, er, threat to leave the ACC isn’t a sign. Oregon State and Washington State are about to get banished from the “haves” of college football — which they were never really part of, but which they are probably going to not even have a conference membership to be part of now. They’ll probably end up in the Mountain West.

Meanwhile, you might not have noticed, but the long-”anticipated” era of four sixteen-team super conferences appears to have finally arrived at a time when we may already be past peak TV contract; ESPN’s latest rounds of layoffs and weird, sudden decision to play hardball with the Pac-12 in order to kill them off are probably more telling than you think. In other words, we’re about to have super conferences with the main reason for the super conferences to exist on the way out.

All in all, am I the only one who’s losing interest in college football the sport (not Vanderbilt) in all of this? College football in 2023 is like seeing a Buc-ee’s in Georgia: instead of a quirky regional thing, it’s just turning into another soulless corporate behemoth. At least at the Power 5 level. I might get into lower-level sports more, I guess, outside of Vanderbilt.

Sports on TV

All times Central.

  • 1:00 PM: MLB: Braves at Cubs (MLB Network)
  • 1:00 PM: PGA Tour: Wyndham Championship, Second Round (Golf Channel)
  • 5:40 PM: MLB: Rays at Tigers (Apple TV+)
  • 6:00 PM: MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox or Royals at Phillies (MLB Network)
  • 6:05 PM: MLB: Astros at Yankees (Apple TV+)
  • 9:00 PM: MLB: Dodgers at Padres or Rockies at Cardinals (MLB Network)
  • 12:00 AM: FIFA Women’s World Cup: Switzerland v. Spain (FS1)
  • 3:00 AM: FIFA Women’s World Cup: Japan v. Norway (FS1)


MLB: Phillies 4, Marlins 2 ... Rangers 5, White Sox 3 ... Royals 9, Mets 2 ... Orioles 6, Blue Jays 1 ... Giants 1, Diamondbacks 0 ... Yankees 4, Astros 3 ... Brewers 14, Pirates 1 ... Twins 5, Cardinals 3 ... Cubs 5, Reds 3 ... Mariners 5, Angels 3 ... Dodgers 8, A’s 2.

FIFA Women’s World Cup: Morocco 1-0 Colombia ... South Korea 1-1 Germany.