ATLANTA — The talk of Southeastern Conference media days in 2021 was the newly implemented NIL legislature and the impending additions of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. In 2022, the talk of the town was largely centered around the newest members of the Big Ten: USC and UCLA.
The Trojans and Bruins will leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in a few years, a move that came in late June and shocked the landscape of college sports. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was the head coach at USC earlier in his career and noted that the trip to Notre Dame every other year was a trek. The Trojans will now face such travel arrangements on a weekly basis.
“There’s some geographic ones that now don’t make a lot of sense,” Kiffin said. “But everything evolves, everything changes, the game has changed, and now we have conference changing, too. At the end of the day, it’s obviously about money, not about tradition.”
With the expanding Big Ten blueprint, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was asked if he believed college football was headed toward “a conglomeration of super leagues” and if the SEC would be willing to expand beyond adding Texas and Oklahoma in response to the Big Ten’s moves.
“When I walk through the recitation, this is a super league,” Sankey said. “We’re comfortable at 16. There’s no sense of urgency, no sense of panic. We’re not just shooting for a number of affiliations that make us better. Could they be out there? I would never say they’re not. I would never say that we will. We’re going to be evaluating the landscape. I’m not going to speculate. I actually am watching a lot of this activity operating around us, more so than impacting us directly.”
Sankey also said the scheduling model for the SEC once the Sooners and Longhorns join — currently set to be 2025 — “is still under consideration.”
Broeker eyes trip to Texas A&M
Like most college players, Nick Broeker enjoys seeing different stadiums.
He’s particularly excited about the Rebels’ trip to Kyle Field to face Texas A&M on Oct. 29.
The Rebels haven’t played at Kyle Field since 2018, the year before Broeker, a senior left tackle from Springfield, Illinois, joined the program.
“I’m really looking forward to that trip. I’ve heard it’s a really great experience with the 12th man and everything. It will be really fun to play up there,” he said.
Playing the Aggies was a really fun experience for Broeker and his teammates last year in Oxford.
Broeker, who could be a late second-day or early third-day draft pick next spring, was a part of a Rebels offense that put up 504 total yards — 257 on the ground — in a 29-19 win.
Victory wasn’t secured, though, until safety AJ Finley returned an interception 52 yards for a score with 4:50 to play. That put Ole Miss ahead 29-13.
“When AJ had that pick-six that iced the game, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Vaught that loud.”
It’s three, not two
Kiffin fielded a question about “two big personalities” among the college football coaches in the state of Mississippi.
The questioner told Kiffin that Jackson State’s Deion Sanders was the other big personality and asked about recruiting.
Kiffin quickly corrected him to include Mississippi State’s Mike Leach in the big personality club.
“Well, we’ve got another personality in Mike Leach. I would say there are three personalities in the state that are very unique and extremely different from each other,” he said.
Kiffin went on to give a shoutout to Sanders who won the SWAC championship with the Tigers last season.
“It’s nice to see Coach Sanders’ success, how well he’s done down there, how well he’s done in recruiting,” he said.
The follow-up question was whether Ole Miss will play Jackson State any time soon.
“I don’t know the future plans on that, but that would be exciting,” Kiffin said.
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