My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football

( 3 )


An all-access pass into the powerhouse teams and passionate fanbases of the legendary Southeastern Conference, from one of the most influential men in college football: ESPN’s Paul Finebaum.

Proud owner of 14 prestigious college football programs, producing seven consecutive national championships, twelve NFL first round draft choices, and a budget that crushes the GDP of Samoa, the Southeastern Conference collects the most coveted ratings, rankings, and revenue of any ...

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My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football

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An all-access pass into the powerhouse teams and passionate fanbases of the legendary Southeastern Conference, from one of the most influential men in college football: ESPN’s Paul Finebaum.

Proud owner of 14 prestigious college football programs, producing seven consecutive national championships, twelve NFL first round draft choices, and a budget that crushes the GDP of Samoa, the Southeastern Conference collects the most coveted ratings, rankings, and revenue of any conference in college football. With its pantheon of illustrious alumni like Bear Bryant, Hershel Walker, Peyton Manning, and Nick Saban, the SEC is the altar at which millions of Americans worship every Saturday, from Texas to Kentucky to Florida.

If the SEC is a religion, its deity is radio talk-show host Paul Finebaum. In My Conference Can Beat Your Conference, Finebaum, chronicles the rise of the SEC and his own unlikely path to college football fame. Finebaum offers his blunt wisdom on everything from Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal to the relevancy of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, and chronicles the best of his beloved callers, and the worst of his haters.

My Conference Can Beat Your Conference is illustrated with 8 pages of black and white photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Southeastern Conference has the largest stadium and television audience of any college football conference, Finebaum's daily radio show anchors ESPN's new SEC Network, and the Paul Finebaum Radio Network made its home station, WJOX, the second-highest-rated sports station in the country. All of which means that sports fans will want this book. With a 75,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
A pedal-to-the-metal survey of SEC football.Radio and TV sports personality Finebaum is known as the"Mouth of the South," and for the first few pages, his local boosterism andsheer windbaggery will make readers understand why his title comes with capitalletters: "The SEC is college football's version of Rome, the center of thefootball universe. Long may it rule." Given the past 10-plus years in collegefootball, it may be hard to argue with him on that note. When he comes out with"the most meaningful traditions," readers may have already had enough, but thenanother note creeps in—"the most decadent football stadiums…the most obsceneoperating budgets…the kind of personal scandals that give TMZ a reason tolive…the most obnoxiously large marching bands"—and you realize that the Mouthhas a Tongue that is at least partly in Cheek. Wade through the logorrhea, andplenty of worthy football nuggets and insights become evident. Finebaumpresents a sharp profile of Texas A&M and many chromatic vignettes of otherfootball towns. The author also picks coaches apart. Of legendary Alabama coachBear Bryant, he writes, "I couldn't understand a word he said. It was as if hewere speaking in tongues." And former Florida and current Ohio State coachUrban Meyer: "a good and decent person underneath the steely demeanor. Don'tmisunderstand me: I wouldn't want to go on an Alaskan cruise with him." For allFinebaum's ego and opinions, there is plenty of false modesty. As a TVcommentator, he writes, "I was born with the facial elasticity of an IRSauditor." The author is always well-informed and plenty happy to deliverjudgment: "Clemson is always good for at least one inexplicable letdown perseason."Finebaum is articulate and knows his football, though thisbook is just more candy for his admirers and grist for the mills of his detractors.
Library Journal
Longtime radio personality and current ESPN college football analyst Finebaum, with the help of veteran sportswriter and fellow ESPN contributor Wojciechowski, offers an entertaining mix of autobiography, analysis, and history of Southeastern Eastern Conference (SEC) football—as well as silly braggadocio about his beloved SEC. The book is organized around the 2013 season, with each week's matchups and results serving as a springboard for Finebaum to veer off in a variety of directions, some humorous and others serious, not unlike his former radio program. Over the course of this breezy, fast-paced book, Finebaum shares his thoughts on all 14 SEC programs and comments on the biggest stories of the 2013 season, including Johnny Manziel's attempt at a second Heisman Trophy and the unforgettable ending to that year's Alabama-Auburn rivalry game. The fiery Finebaum is at his best when he tones down the humor and tells touching stories of his early days in sports broadcasting, shares behind-the-scenes stories of the ESPN set, and pays tribute to a colorful cast of radio show callers who helped him rise from small-market anonymity to celebrity status. VERDICT This blatant tie-in with the launch of ESPN's SEC Network is recommended as light reading for college football fans.—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062297419
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 48,109
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Finebaum is a college football analyst for ESPN and host of a daily national radio show heard on ESPN and SiriusXM and simulcast on the SEC Network. He has also been a regular contributor to ESPN's College GameDay and SportsCenter. He previously was an award-winning investigative reporter and newspaper columnist in Alabama, and several collections of his columns have been published. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including 60 Minutes, Nancy Grace, and Morning Joe. He has been honored by a number of universities, from Columbia University to his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. Finebaum lives in Charlotte.

Gene Wojciechowski is a columnist for and a regular contributor to ESPN's College GameDay and ESPN's golf majors telecasts. Before joining ESPN in 1998, he worked as a sports reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. His work has been honored by the Football Writers Association of America and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and has been featured in the annual Best American Sports Writing series. He has authored or coauthored nine other books, including the bestseller The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky. Wojciechowski lives in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2014

    Who is Paul Finebaum? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

    I will keep this simple: I am not a Finebaum fan. I've listened to his show 30 or 40 times in the last two years, watched him on ESPN (I call him "The Ferengi") and tried really hard to listen to what he has to say. As an LSU fan, it's hard to take.

    But I know in my heart he and the Bama fans have built something pretty cool, one way or another, so I bought his book to see if I could get a view on how that was done, and God Help Me, WHY it was done.

    Surprise, surprise, I really enjoyed the book.

    Paul and Woj did a really nice job of explaining why the SEC is so good at football, and why Alabama is the center of that football universe. He went over a lot of controversial things he said, and then explained WHAT he was thinking (maybe he made it up later, I don't know....) and the logic was simple and resonant.

    Don't want to give away too much, but as a person who has followed SEC football for the better part of 30 years, when Saban landed in Tuscaloosa, I didn't think he'd stay very long. I mean, he danced a sidestep leaving Baton Rouge, did it again to the Miami fans, I figured it was only a matter of time before he did it to the "Roll Tide!" nation. Now that I've met some of Paul's listeners, I realize clearly why Saban has never left Bama, and never will:

    He's afraid they will hunt him down....(Kidding).

    If you love college football, love a good story, and love watching a kid with no ideas or direction grow up turn into a national phenomenon, then this book is for you. (And Paul, you might ought to have listened to your Momma and thrown your hat in the ring. Never let a good crisis go to waste!)

    He even found it in his heart to say a few nice things about Les Miles, one of my favorite people on earth (that's a first). So I guess Finebaum can't be all bad.

    Buy this book! It explains a lot! Worth every penny!


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    Posted August 8, 2014

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    Posted August 11, 2014

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