If you asked college football fans what they imagined when they think about the SEC, the Paul Finebaum Show would be one of the first things to come up. In fact, Finebaum and the conference have become almost synonymous over the years, with his show becoming well known nationwide for featuring some of the most intense fans in the country. Could Finebaum actually leave the SEC behind, to cover its rivals up north?
Well, it’s more likely than you may think. While ESPN is close to reaching a deal with Finebaum at the end of his five year contract, they haven’t actually done so. According to SportingNews, Fox is pursuing Finebaum. Fox owns the Big Ten Network, which is the reason there’s talks of Finebaum getting a BTN show.
Of course, there’s a reason why the title of this article is “Paul Finebaum To The Big Ten Isn’t An Impossible Scenario.” It’s not exactly the most likely scenario, it’s just one that hasn’t been eliminated yet. There’s not a lot to go on at this point, other than the Big Ten’s executives desiring a “Paul Finebaum-like show”, and ESPN taking its time with closing the deal.
Why are we talking about this, if it’s not the most likely outcome? Because there’s still a legitimate chance that Finebaum moves networks. It’s not smooth sailing in the negotiations with ESPN, and Finebaum has already threatened to stay out of SEC Media Days unless his deal is done by the time they happen.
There’s no guarantee that he moves to the Big Ten, if he does leave ESPN. The Sinclair Broadcast group is also interested, as well as the third largest radio station operator in the United States, Cumulus Media. Perhaps the most threatening to ESPN is Sirius XM, a place where Finebaum could move to without changing his content drastically.
But if he did start covering the Big Ten, it would be an interesting thing to see. After all, the conference can compete with the SEC in terms of having loyal and crazy fans, and right now, the Big Ten doesn’t have any equivalent show that puts that aspect of the conference on full display.