Skull Session: SEC is Done Expanding, E.J. Liddell Suffers Knee Injury, and Big Ten Broadcast Negotiations Begin

By Kevin Harrish on July 12, 2022 at 5:29 am
Larry Johnson is cool in today's skull session.

I feel like they didn't even need to ask this question.

Personally though, I'm with my good pal Luke on this one:

Word of the Day: Extricate.

 ALL DONE. When the Big Ten added USC and UCLA out of the blue, the general consensus seemed to be that the next few weeks were going to be absolute chaos as the entire landscape of college football changed.

Turns out, we might not get that unbridled chaos after all, because the SEC apparently isn't looking to expand further.

“We’re positioned at 16 (teams) for a robust future,” an SEC athletic director told SDS. “The need just isn’t there.”

Potential future moves on the expansion front could change that “need,” two SEC sources say, but conference presidents believe the SEC is positioned well for the future growth of college football.

“I don’t see any (expansion) move as threatening to us,” an SEC source told SDS.

When asked if Notre Dame to the Big Ten would be a threatening move, the SEC source said, “Why? I’ll put our product vs. anyone’s product. So we’re going to just add schools to add schools? There’s no value in that.”

A move that could force the SEC to change its stance would be the Big Ten adding Notre Dame and moving to 20 teams by adding Pac-12 and/or ACC schools. If and until then, any thought of SEC expansion isn’t the preference.

I love that "I don't see any move as threatening to us" line, as if the SEC wouldn't shit itself if the Big Ten suddenly added Notre Dame, Clemson, Oregon and Washington tomorrow.

I do believe the SEC doesn't want to add more teams (more than that, I believe that ESPN has no interest in further blowing up the ACC or Big 12), but that doesn't mean it's not going to happen if other conferences make some moves.

Personally, I'll believe it when I see it.

 NEW TV DEAL COMETH. This entire USC + UCLA thing was all about money for both parties, and it looks like we're about to find out just how much it's all worth as the Big Ten's media rights negotiations are set to begin this week.

This week is shaping up to be a big one for the Big Ten’s media rights negotiations as companies will submit new bids for at least two available packages early in the week.


Even before last week’s blockbuster announcement that UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten in 2024, this media deal was set to eclipse $1 billion per year. The addition of those two schools should see an increase of more than 15% over those rights fees.

It’s standard for college media deals to pay incrementally more (or less) for schools that get added (or dropped) from conferences. Now, instead of an incremental increase, the addition of USC and UCLA becomes part of the base package. Renewed interest comes from the added inventory of USC and UCLA games -- combined with the weakening of a rival conference.

Last week’s announcement caused several media companies, including ESPN and NBC, to become more aggressive in the bidding. CBS and Amazon have continued to be active in these negotiations, while Warner Bros. Discovery remained on the sidelines.

As somebody who will be receiving 0% of the money involved in this deal, I personally just want to be able to watch the Buckeyes on my television in the most painless way for the least amount of money possible.

Whichever network can promise that gets my sword.

 LIDDELL DOWN. The last couple of weeks have not been kind to E.J. Liddell. First, he fell out of the first round of the NBA Draft. Now, at the start of the NBA Summer League, he's suffered what could be a serious knee injury.

Prayers up that this ends up being something minor, but if it is serious, I have absolutely no doubts he'll bounce back. Dude's a fighter.

 REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. If any of y'all are looking for a reason to send yourself or your offspring to Braxton Miller's football camp at the Woody, he just gave you another one – particularly if you happen to be a tight end.

While we're here, I'd like to take a moment to point out that Jake Stoneburner led the team with 14 receptions *on the season* in 2011. Meanwhile, Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 14 passes in multiple games last season.

Times are changing.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "It's Tricky" by RUN DMC.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. An Indiana high school basketball court was converted into a house and it’s for sale... Why you should quit your job every 10 years... Albuquerque is erecting statues of Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman... NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back... Humans have always been wrong about humans... How artists get paid for streaming...

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