The seas are parting, the sky is clearing, and the writers and actors are striking at just the right time for college football’s lord and savior to start his ascent.
Deion Sanders and his family have arrived, and every sports outlet is frantically scrambling to get in on those ratings. It’s akin to watching teenagers flock to whatever is trending, and the subsequent conversation is similarly hollow.
The talking heads rarely, if ever, discuss college football this early in the season, and seeing as Aaron Rodgers is a non-story, it’s even worse. I hate to go all protective soccer fan with college football, but Stephen A. Smith’s analysis of the issues going on in Tuscaloosa was to say, “I don’t like this Alabama team.”
Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Paul Finebaum talked Colorado-Oregon, too, and I don’t know if I can do a full season of college football hot takes from people who normally obsess over the NFL (Finebaum notwithstanding). It’s very easy to spot who actually watches college football, because they juxtapose everything with the pros as if college coaches and players are just now learning the intricacies of the forward pass.
Oh, my god, Shedeur looked off coverage? He must be NFL-ready.
In reality, the recent advancements of pro systems wouldn’t have been possible without college football, and it’s those fans’ turn to be condescending, as college football regulars have known for longer than a decade that Black people can be successful quarterbacks, and third-and-long doesn’t necessitate a screen or draw play.
However, this isn’t all about Deion (*gasp* I know). As the content wells dry up, media companies are desperate for non-strike content to move the needle, and live sports qualify. The Colorado-CSU double-OT infomercial was ESPN’s fifth most-watched college football game ever. And they broadcast the playoff.
It’s crazy, because leading up to the season, there were any number of stories decrying the death of college football. If it’s dead, then why did companies bid billions of dollars for the live TV rights? I guess Coach Prime and his sunglasses were responsible for that, too, and every CU game from now until Infinity will be a bigger production than the next.
Speaking of next production: Would anyone be shocked if the father followed his sons to the NFL like he has at every other level? Groupthink isn’t reserved to just the media, and you know some owner out there is drooling about the potential value of the Sanders family.
During any given commercial break on Saturdays, Deion’s smiling mug could appear as many as three times between KFC, almonds, and insurance. If Coach Prime tells Shedeur to “Cut the bull junk” and pass him a wing one more time, I’m going to DoorDash an order and chomp on chicken bones until I choke.
I’d almost rather the coverage stick to Deion and only Deion — almost. Coach Prime is a temporary distraction in the college football world, because he’s going to be an NFL coach. Pat McAfee and Stephen A. already deemed Shedeur a star in the making, and look at how far a good PR team got Baker Mayfield.
Does Coach Prime get access to the Heisman House if Shedeur raises the trophy? Asking for a marketing firm.
The added attention on college football is welcome, and it’s fantastic that, for once, the spotlight is showcasing a positive. But what about the rest of the time? Are we just going to go back to discussing all that’s broken and wrong with the sport?
There’s a lot to love about college football, and it extends beyond the machinations of the football program in Boulder. Idol worship Coach Prime all you want, but trying to talk intelligently about something of which these goombahs clearly know dick all is as inauthentic as it is uninformative.