Credibility

By Shane from Centerpoint
Webster’s dictionary defines credible as deserving confidence. Using that definition as a standard it is difficult to acknowledge that the opinions of “talking heads” like ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and CBS’s Gary Danielson really mean anything more than the average Joe sitting in his lounge chair at home playing analyst.

I realize that most college football fans have limited knowledge of the game, but sometimes the media treats them like they are clueless and gullible.

Truthfully, if they were held accountable for everything they said, some of the pundits would look foolish.

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One thing is for sure – they all tend to stick together. When one analyst makes an observation that seems to be correct, the rest of the media quickly jumps on board and suddenly the idea becomes fact.

Not so fast, my friends. Very few of these guys who opine in print, speak on the radio, or appear on the sports channels were successful in their own football-related careers, and some never played the game at all. In fact that is usually why they are involved in the broadcast or writing field.

Some commentators have the ability to remain unbiased and efficiently communicate what they see on the field. However, those types are few and far between. ESPN’s Bob Davie and Todd Blackledge are excellent examples of fair and accurate analysis. Both men appear to have the ability to leave their egos at home and deliver a solid assessment to the viewers.

It is more than evident that Herbstreit and Danielson are in love with their own voices. They also constantly allow their Big 10 bias to control what they say. If you listen closely you can detect that those biases control the information they deliver to the public. (Talking about biases – it was evident during the entire broadcast of the LSU-Alabama game that Danielson was biased against Alabama. Why? Both are Southern teams. Maybe it was jealousy of Saban’s quick success in making Alabama a national power again?)

Do they have a conditioned tendency to look down on Southern football? Of course! Big 10 people have always had an inflated opinion of their football prowess. With that said, it is amazing that Davie and Blackledge are fair and balanced.

One would think that after the SEC totally destroyed Ohio State back-to-back in the last two BCS national title face-offs that the mouthpieces would admit that the South plays a better brand of football than the rest of the country.

Something else concerns me about the media. I don’t understand why there are very few, if any, national color analysts who cut their teeth in the Southeastern Conference. Are they intentionally left out of the mix?

One thing for sure, the SEC realizes that defense wins championships. Yet, no defensive-oriented expert exists within the media system. Many of the “talking-head” types refuse to acknowledge the ability of a great defense to play a major role in the outcome of a gridiron contest.

According to most of ESPN’s crew, offense is the only facet of the game that matters. Somebody needs to step up and clarify that there are three phases involved in a football contest and none is more important than the other.

I understand that something has to be said to create fan interest during the pre-season build-up, but the SEC’s defensive superiority doesn’t get enough respect. How many times does the truth have to hit them in the face before they admit that the SEC is a farm system for NFL defenders?

Every year the public is subjected to a barrage of data from pseudo experts that supports the theory that flashy offense will win it all. Herbstreit and Danielson are former quarterbacks and offense happens to be the only thing they know. Therefore, most of the information and predictions that come from them are offensively oriented.

Will things ever change? How many times does the SEC have to earn the top rank at year’s end before the pundits like Herbstreit acknowledge that conferences without a championship game have no right to have a shot to win the national championship?

These self-anointed soothsayers need to find a clue bag. They need to get over themselves and come to the realization that their credibility suffers every time they disrespect the SEC and its place atop college football.