SEC Network wish list: 10 shows that would equal ratings gold at launch
The SEC Network’s much-anticipated launch happens Thursday with an expected reach of more than 90 million viewers. Anchored by an impressive cast of analysts, anchors and personalities including Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer, Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow and Paul Finebaum, ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly has the programming in order, but we’d like to shuffle it up a bit:
SHOWS SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH WANTS TO SEE ON THE SEC NETWORK
‘LES IS MORE’
THE SKINNY: Following LSU’s Les Miles around with a camera around campus and at his home is a must-see, especially if we catch a glimpse of the Mad Hatter eating grass or delivering a pre-bedtime motivational speech to his grandkids. We can only imagine how long it takes Miles to bend his bill and get his hat perfectly angled before trotting on the field at Tiger Stadium.
‘SURVIVOR: Fayetteville + Lexington’
THE SKINNY: What goes into an 0-8 SEC season? We’re dying to know. Which team — Razorbacks or Wildcats — will be the last one standing at season’s end delivers some comic relief as well.
‘BUILDING A GIANT’
THE SKINNY: How the SEC became the behemoth of college football through coaching, recruiting and deep-pocket boosters is an intriguing, journalism-first tale.
‘ORIGINS OF A DYNASTY’
THE SKINNY: How Nick Saban’s process built Alabama’ is a guide for coaches at all levels. The second episode, ‘How one player changes a program’ gives us a glimpse of Phillip Fulmer’s dominance at Tennessee post-Peyton Manning.
THE SKINNY: Derrick Henry. Sammie Coates. Todd Gurley. Hour-long segments on the SEC’s top freaks could break the television and strike fear in other conferences.
‘GOLF LESSONS WITH STEVE SPURRIER’
THE SKINNY: Make. It. Happen. The Head Ball Coach is a college football wizard on the links and we can only imagine the Spurrierisms being tossed about after a playing partner’s errant tee shot.
THE SKINNY: Similar to SEC Storied programming, features on Bear Bryant, General Neyland, Pat Dye and others would energize the longtime supporters of yesteryear and put a spotlight on tradition for the next new generation at several of the SEC’s elite programs.
THE SKINNY: Offensive linemen never get much love, so this show’s for them. The SEC’s a line of scrimmage league and a commercial-free segment on players like La’El Collins, A.J. Cann, Cedric Ogbuehi and Laremy Tunsil would shed led on a personnel group that controls games.
THE SKINNY: HD cameras inside the renovated monstrosity known as Kyle Field would provide visual brilliance, quite the recruiting tool for the Aggies without having to invite potential prospects on campus. A nightly program at every SEC venue for two weeks leading up to season openers would give fans an inside look at where players train for gamedays.
‘BACK ROAD MICROSCOPE’
THE SKINNY: Every SEC school has rabid fanbases, but we rarely see the day-to-day life of a supporter in Tuscaloosa, or Nashville, or Columbia, S.C. Traveling off the beaten path into the Louisiana bayou and inside the house of an 81-year-old fanatic provides endless stories of SEC greatness. A special 1-on-1 with Harvey Updyke sets up the premiere.