Just Sayin' . . . It's almost here

No question, it's just about college football time and we say it's time to talk the game that's almost here.

Since college football season has officially kicked off -- what, the four-day media extravaganza last weekend for the SEC in Birmingham doesn't count? Could have fooled us. Time for just sayin' and askin' as we move closer to the actual kickoff.

*** But staying on that theme, does it strike you that when the big news out of the SEC involves the bedazzled kicks that Nike and Adidas had the coaches wearing, we might be seeing the moment when the SEC Era is officially over -- if last season's first college football playoff didn't make that clear. The SEC may have gamed the BCS. They won't be doing that with a four-team playoff going forward, especially if their QB play doesn't pick up . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But at least someone in the SEC can generate a newsworthy football item when Missouri's Gary Pinkel, with his shot at Notre Dame for playing by its own rules and not being in a conference where it would have to earn its way into the playoffs the way Mizzou, for example, will have to after opening against Southeast Missouri State, then Arkansas State (hmmm), UConn, Kentucky, South Carolina (the other SC) and Florida with Vandy coming up and no Alabama, LSU or Auburn anywhere in sight. And Notre Dame? The Irish open with Texas, Georgia Tech, Virginia, UMass, Clemson, Navy and USC and finish up with Stanford. Maybe ND should head for the SEC East right now . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Here's some advice for the no-longer-totally-dominant SEC right now from their glass house of a schedule: Do not throw rocks. You've been warned . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Amazing the love USC's linebackers, as unsettled as that position is right now, have been getting. Talent and numbers and experience matter apparently. First Phil Steele says they're the nation's best, then ESPN says they're the best in the Pac-12 . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Saw this number the other day. The Dallas Cowboys starting offensive line, the best in all of football, averages 6-foot-4 and 318 pounds. If you put Chad Wheeler back into the USC O-line, the Trojans will average 6-6 and 326 pounds . . . Just Sayin'.

*** When USC hosts Rice in 2022, it will mark the first game between the two teams in 51 years. Seems about right to us -- every half-century or so . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But when USC has to note in the press release for the Rice game that "in the last 16 years, Troy also has played Ohio State, Auburn, Nebraska, Penn State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Syracuse, Boston College, Hawaii, Minnesota, Virginia and Fresno State on its regular season non-conference slate," you know USC is feeling a bit defensive about the game and the name . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And yeah, we know it's easier to complain about USC's nonconference games against the likes of Western Michigan (2017), UNLV (2019) and New Mexico (2020) than brag about Alabama (2016), Texas (2017 and 2018), as well as BYU (2019, 2021 and 2023) or even Utah State (2016), but with nine conference games and the quality of the Pac-12 South and Notre Dame every year, that also seems about right to us . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And we also know UCLA has inked some high-profile nonconference opponents and good for the Bruins. But you can bet they'd dump them all if they could get the Irish to play them every year . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Sorry to rain on anyone's parade here, but just because AT&T, whom the Pac-12 has a nice business relationship with as a sponsor and carrier with its U-verse bundle, has permission from the Feds to acquire DirecTV in a $49 billion deal, that doesn't mean the teeny, tiny amount of business the Pac-12 Networks would mean for that deal will get the kind of pronto attention it would take to get DirecTV able to carry USC's games against Arkansas State and Idaho the first two weeks in September. Count us skeptical here . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But hopefuly this TV distribution issue is a big topic for discussion at Pac-12 Media Days next week. Hard to believe how toxic this topic is for the 1.4 million DirecTV subscribers in SoCal -- the biggest single subscriber area in the nation for the network . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Just try to tell them the Pac-12 will do wall-to-wall coverage of the July 30-31 Media Days -- or telecast those first two USC games. They do not want to hear it. And if your job is communicating things and many of your target audience do not want to hear it in what should be your No. 1 geographic target, you are in real trouble Larry Scott. . . Just Sayin'.

*** Sure this is anecdotal but the other day, we thought we'd see what was on the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Networks in the middle of the day. The SEC had "Top 20 Football." The Big Ten had "The Best of Penn State Football" and "The Best of Ohio State Football." And the Pac-12? Water polo. Forget who. And not to throw cold water on the guys and gals in the pool, it's not exactly the most telegenic sport . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Might be the way this plays out here for the Coliseum with the development this week that Duke's iconic Wallace Wade Stadium, built in 1929 and host of the 1942 Rose Bowl during the uncertain early days of WWII on the West Coast, was renamed for $13 million donors and will now be called Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium. We're thinking of something like Fox Field at the LA Memorial Coliseum . . . Just Sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.

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