You can always tell when Rick Neuheisel is feeling good about himself because that’s when you hear from him. When he was Pete Carroll’s whipping boy, you never heard from him. But the moment that Carroll left for Seattle, he was yapping about how the city of Los Angeles now belonged to UCLA. Of course, things didn’t quite work out that way and Neuheisel was canned by UCLA. He then, went into his little hole again and we didn’t hear a peep from him.
Then, the Pac-12 decided to give Neuheisel a role on its Pac-12 Network and he decided that he had room to talk again. So when Tom Hoffarth of LA Daily News spoke to Neuheisel about life on the media side of things, Neuheisel explained how he couldn’t believe the lack of coverage the Pac-12 receives nationally. And that “we (Pac-12) don’t have to take that anymore.”
But while Neuheisel was pumping up the Pac-12, he also found time to take a shot at the SEC. Because in his mind, the SEC is considered to be the best conference in college football only because ESPN talks them up so much.
“You wonder how the SEC became so powerful? It’s a direct correlation to how ESPN has been talking them up over the years, because they have a financial interest in them. So all the sudden, it’s a monster conference.”
For the record, ESPN is invested in the Pac-12, having signed a rights deal in partnership with Fox Sports that covers 12 years and $3 billion for the conference. Neuheisel still isn’t convinced that’s enough to make a network like ESPN change its focus.
“I think they just want to be competitive in all the time zones, but we’re still not given the same amount of attention as the SEC or the Big Ten. Watch `(College) Game Day,’ and the Pac-12 will get one block, and it’s usually just about USC or Oregon.”
That sounds all well and good, Rick. But SEC football is more powerful that Pac-12 football because people REALLY care about it. You’d never see tickets for a SEC home game on Groupon or Living Social. Throw in the fact that the South is littered with football talent and it’s easy to see why the SEC is so dominant.
But you just keep feeling good about yourself out there in LA, Rick.