Because of B1G's PR nightmare, Paul Finebaum says its unlikely other 3 Power 5 conferences back off fall football anytime soon
A hellish week in the B1G might be the boost the ACC, Big 12 and SEC need to continue moving forward with the fall football season. At least in the immediate future.
Last Tuesday, the B1G made the bold move of canceling the fall football season, becoming the first Power 5 conference to make that kind of decision. The league might’ve been hoping for a hero’s reception to that decision, but instead, it’s been met with harsh criticism.
In the days since the conference pulled the plug on fall football, parent groups from four different schools — Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska — have written letters to the B1G office. Players and parents from multiple schools have spoke out on social media. Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields started a petition urging commissioner Kevin Warren and the league’s presidents to reinstate the season.
The unpleasant response to the B1G’s decision might nudge the ACC, Big 12 and SEC to stay on track for a football season, according to SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum.
“This may give adrenaline to the other three conferences to move forward without being as careful as they need to be,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s Get Up. “I know that sounds like a major statement, but they feel it. If you’re the Big 12, the ACC or the SEC, you’re feeling that you’re doing something great right now by playing college football, which may not be great at all. But the odds of any of those three backing down before we get closer to Sept. 26 right now, I think, is very small because of the B1G’s PR nightmare.”
One of the biggest issues with the B1G’s decision has been the lack of transparency.
Six days after the B1G released a revised, conference-only schedule for 2020, the league decided to back away from a fall season. Instead, it intends to attempt to implement a spring schedule to squeeze a season in.
But when Warren went on Big Ten Network to explain the decision, very few answers were provided. He dodged nearly every question thrown his direction by BTN host Dave Revsine and was very generic in his response.
Finebaum has very little little sympathy for the conference.
“This is a public relations nightmare for the B1G. And they did it to themselves,” Finebaum said. “They announced the schedule and came right back and canceled. And the biggest problem the B1G has had is they didn’t explain their reasoning. Kevin Warren has done one interview, one major television interview, with the Big Ten Network and quite frankly, it was embarrassing.
“They have no messaging and on top of that, guess what’s happening today (Monday) in the SEC? The SEC is releasing its schedule. They’re doing it in prime time, on SEC Network television. They’re going to trumpet how they’re ready to play, how they have a plan. And meanwhile, everyone in the B1G is watching that and going, ‘What’s going on here?’
It’s been a rough week in the B1G. And the three conferences left standing have to feel pretty good about the position their in at the moment.