What are you going to do for programming one month from today on SEC Cupcake Saturday, November 22?
Will the 24/7/365 Southeastern Conference-loving network (that would be you, ESECPN) treat the nation to Alabama vs. the Western Carolina Catamounts?
Or is it, Carolina Western? Even Nick Saban can’t talk up the “potential” of Western Carolina.
Or how about Auburn vs. Samford (& Son) Bulldogs?
Jesse Palmer’s Florida Gators will be playing the dreaded Eastern Kentucky Colonels that same day in “The Swamp.”
And David Pollack’s Georgia Bulldogs will be lining up in between the hedges against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.
Let’s not forget South Carolina vs. South Alabama Jaguars (Southern Mississippi would be a real opponent).
Reportedly, ESECPN Game Day will visit Nashville to get everyone stoked for Vanderbilt’s game that day against Vassar.
As they say: “You can’t stop the Vassar Brewers’ offense; you can only hope to contain it.”
Are these glorified late-season scrimmages the net result of the SEC refusing to play a nine-game conference schedule, and shamelessly loading up on body-bag games against sacrificial lambs?
Sure looks that way from this humble vantage point west of the Tennessee River.
Four Playoff Spots for Four ESECPN Teams?
Wouldn’t it be great for SEC’s cable sports network if the national championship was decided by a quartet of football factories located somewhere in the old Confederacy, south of the Mason-Dixon Line from Texas in the west to South Carolina in the east?
What if the South rises again, secedes from the union (and the NCAA), and makes the four-team All ESECPN playoff an annual event? No need to consider and follow the exploits of teams from the 14-team Big 10, the 10-team Big 12, the 12-team Pac-12 or any other sad-sack conference.
What is really unfortunate about SEC Cupcake Saturday is the loss of traditional rivalries that were played on the fourth Saturday in November. Included in these games on this hallowed date were the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn and the Egg Bowl between Mississippi and Mississippi State. Instead, Alabama and Auburn are devouring cupcakes that day, basically scheduling a “bye” in drag before the Iron Bowl.
There is hope for college football fundamentalists November 22: You just have to venture west of the Hudson River to Pasadena, California. Yes, USC plays UCLA that day in the Rose Bowl in a real football game with genuine competition. By closing one’s eyes, you can see O.J. Simpson (without his knife) and Gary Beban dueling it out in the Crosstown Rivalry.
Up north that day will be Stanford vs. Cal in the latest renewal of the so-called “Big Game.” Who can forget the one “Play” against Stanford that serves as the single highlight of Cal’s 128-years of inglorious football?
Instead of feasting on cupcakes the week before their rivalry games, the remainder of the Pac-12 is playing conference games that day: Arizona vs. Utah; Colorado vs. Oregon; Oregon State vs. Washington and Washington State vs. Arizona State.
Playing Conference Games in November?
The apologists for the Southeastern Conference at the studios of ESECPN will inevitably point to the fact that other teams in other conferences play their own cupcake opponents. The charge is valid, but these games come at the beginning of the campaign, not the week before the traditional season-ending rivalry game.
They will also cite that Arkansas plays Ole Miss on November 22; Ditto for Mississippi State vs. Vandy and Missouri vs. Tennessee … or six teams out of 14 are actually playing conference games in week four of November. Shameful.
Here is a unique idea for the folks at ESECPN in Bristol, Connecticut: Why not demand the Southeastern Conference play a nine-game conference schedule, putting an end once-and-for-all: Cupcake Saturday?
Let’s make it easy or simple enough for the occupants of the SEC’s headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama: Conference games and only conference games are played in November with the obvious exceptions of Florida vs. Florida State, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech and Kentucky vs. Louisville.
Whattyathink Jesse Palmer?
Any thoughts David Pollack?
Can you live without Florida playing a “home game” against Eastern Kentucky (e.g., the Gators would never step foot in Richmond, Kentucky let alone find it on the map) or Georgia taking on Charleston Southern in a glorified high school stadium?.
Based upon a quick review of the secondary ticket market even with the football crazies south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the fans agree. Tickets for Alabama’s certain annihilation of Western Carolina on November 22 start at $119. Tix for the Iron Bowl the following week start at $297 and peak at $5,855 per ticket.
Which game would you rather watch? Hey ESECPN, let’s dispense with the cupcakes and go for good old-fashioned raw meat instead.