Former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell is known for his perceived anti-SEC stance in his role as a college football analyst for ESPN.
So when fans of the league found out he was a guest host of ESPN’s Mike & Mike for Monday morning’s Labor Day episode, they likely knew some interesting comments were coming their way after what many considered a disappointing opening weekend for the SEC.
And Kanell didn’t disappoint. The losses for LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn contrasted to the Alabama’s blowout win against USC gave the impression that the Crimson Tide may again have to carry the banner of the conference in 2016. At least that’s how he saw it:
“That’s kind of what the conference has been,” Kanell said. “It’s been Alabama. They’ve carried the torch for this conference.
“If you look at it over the last four or five years you could says ‘Look at all the different championships.’ With Auburn, the Cam Newton year was sort of a fluke for Auburn. They got hot and captured that lightning in a bottle. Florida, with Tim Tebow, was another one that was kind of an incredible player. But they’re not that much different than every other conference. They really aren’t.”
Ouch. Harsh words from the former Seminoles signal caller. However, he did admit the league is the best in college football as he got deeper into his explanation, and even called out some of his colleagues for not looking at the league objectively.
“They are the top conference in college football. They are. I think they’re extremely talented and they have a ton of guys in the NFL,” Kanell said. “But it’s not that far removed from everybody else. There’s always a conversation around here (ESPN) that the SEC is head and shoulders above everybody else. And the more people around here that say it, the more you all kind of go into this group think and everyone falls in line with it. All I’ve wanted to do is challenge that line of thinking and say ‘Hey, they’re not unbeatable.’ And I think we saw that this weekend.”
The SEC was unlikely to impress Kanell no matter the outcome of Week 1, but his criticism does seem somewhat fair.