Every Saturday for some time, it's been the same story. Alabama is the featured team for the SEC on CBS every week. They always win, so Verne, Gary and crew hopped off the Florida and Tim Tebow bandwagon and attached to the Crimson Tide of Alabama. In the last two seasons combined, Alabama has played in a stunning NINE games aired by CBS, eight of them in the regular season.
Every week, we got to listen to Verne talk for the first hour about how McElroy hadn't lost a game since middle school. We got to listen to a good bit of Rammer Jammer, too. Not to mention all of the camera shots of Nick Saban, or the many times we saw the home underdog take the lead, only to relinquish it to the Crimson Tide.
It all ended Saturday. Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard that previously No. 1 Alabama lost to South Carolina last Saturday (you saw it on CBS...) in a game where they fell behind and, uncharacteristically, stayed behind.
The mighty Tide fell down the polls behind other unbeatens such as Oregon, Ohio State and Nebraska.
What was CBS to do? Their "favorite" team lost a game, ending a streak of 19 consecutive victories and 29 straight wins in the regular season.
CBS found a solution. They looked across the SEC for the highest-ranked team that could get the views they were looking for. They came across a team from the state of Alabama....but instead of continuing to roll with the Tide, they went to the Loveliest Village on the Plains for their new favorite: the Auburn University Tigers.
Auburn has played in FOUR CBS games since 2007. In those games, they lost in the "Blackout" to UGA, beat Tennessee in an uglyfest in 2008, lost 36-0 to Alabama the same year and once again lost to Alabama in last year's Iron Bowl. The only reasons last year's Iron Bowl was on were because it was on a Friday and it featured...Alabama.
Now, Auburn's next two games, both at home against two great teams in No. 12 Arkansas and No. 9 LSU, have been set for 2:30 kickoffs on CBS. Not to mention the Iron Bowl also is set for 1:30 on CBS from Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Question: Since when did CBS like Auburn?
Answer: Since Auburn got good.
Let's face it: CBS simply likes the "Flavor of the Week" team or teams. They rode Florida and Alabama to stardom in 2008 and 2009, and then ditched Florida altogether after they were stomped by Alabama in the 2009 SEC Championship Game, 32-13. Then they rode Alabama, broadcasting their 2010 wins over Arkansas and Florida before (regrettably) airing their upset loss to the Gamecocks (Hey, look, they have something in common with Ole Miss after all!).
Auburn-Arkansas will be live from Jordan-Hare Stadium on the network. Next week, they come right back for the Auburn-LSU game. That's proof right there that they have ditched Alabama, because after they chose Auburn-Arkansas, I was sure they would then flock to Knoxville to watch the third (fourth) Saturday in October. Instead, they went with Auburn-LSU, for those are the two "hot" teams right now.
One thing is for certain: There is no way Verne Lundquist will pronounce Philip Lutzenkirchen's name correctly...in fact, he may barely get Cameron Newton right.