College football preview: How the sport’s direction hangs in the balance

For years, summer time has been often called Talking Season in faculty football—the July convention media days produce a river of rhetoric from coaches and directors that prime the pump for the blocking and tackling to return. But the previous two summers have change into Plundering Season as nicely, with the Southeastern Conference and Big Ten making blockbuster expansions at the expense of the Big 12 and Pac-12. That has, in flip, affected the nature of Talking Season.

Lately, the speeches from convention commissioners have been extra anticipated, scrutinized and second-guessed than something the coaches must say. With income at an all-time excessive and collegiality at an all-time low, the boardroom drama is extra fascinating than the precise video games. The direction of the total faculty athletics enterprise hangs in the balance, which is of higher gravitas than which groups had the greatest offseason in the weight room.

We’ve now reached a lull—dare to dream, possibly even a cessation—in realignment. We’ve heard from each convention commissioner as they assess the panorama. We noticed flexing from Greg Sankey of the SEC and Kevin Warren of the Big Ten. We heard brass-tacks enterprise discuss from new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark. We received a dose of pushback and perspective—wistful and weak to some critics—from ACC boss Jim Phillips. And we received a combination of dismay and defiance from the Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff.

With Talking Season over and Poaching Season on pause, the place can we stand in faculty sports activities? Where has realignment taken us, and the place may or not it’s heading in the future? Our author roundtable tackles six points.

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