UGH FINE I guess I'll write about Donald Trump

The President is apparently going to LSU/Alabama?

Good morning! Thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

The last week was my best week for adding new subscribers since this newsletter launched. There are commercial, editorial and other opportunities that can only be realized if this newsletter hits certain subscriber metrics, so your support is noticed, and appreciated, more than you know. I hope I can continue to give you an email that you usually don’t automatically delete.

Quick housekeeping note: I have two other non-Extra Points stories going up soon. I have an interview with WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez that will publish on SBNation.com on Tuesday or Wednesday. We discussed how NIL legislation impacts her league (non-football, mostly small private schools), how the WCC can get creative with basketball scheduling, how we should define Mid-Majors, and more. I know I have a lot of BYU fans who read this, and if you’re into college hoops, you may be interested. Look for a link on @MattSBN.

On Wednesday, I should have my first original story up on Banner Society, just in time for RUTGERS WEEK. It’s a closer look at the Rutgers/Princeton game from 150 years ago that you’ve probably had shoved down your throat all summer. I promise, this is a fresh look at it.

Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s talk about something I have mostly tried to avoid doing in this space.

WELP, I GUESS WE GOTTA TALK ABOUT OL’ DONALD TRUMP NOW

This newsletter was founded on the principle that sticking to sports in college football is stupid, but I’ve mostly tried to avoid talking about Trump that much. A big part of that is because commentary on Trump is the second easiest thing to find on the internet right now, only slightly less common than pornography. And hell, you could probably find people debating Trump in the Pornhub comments section or something if you look long enough.

But hey, this is a newsletter about college football-adjacent news, and if the President is going to inject himself into the biggest game of the regular season, well, I guess we should address it.

Per USA TODAY:

President Donald Trump, an administration official confirmed, is expected to be among those in attendance for Saturday's between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU in Tuscaloosa. It is the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in college football since the school met in 2011. 

Okay, so a president going to a college athletic event isn’t super out of the ordinary. Presidents often attend the Army/Navy game. Obama caught a Syracuse basketball game. Most of our recent presidents have been football fans, and no matter what outlandish thing Trump does at a football game, he probably won’t surpass Richard Nixon at the 1969 Texas/Arkansas game, where he kind of decided the national champion.

But, because {gestures at everything}, this isn’t just a regular ol’ photo op like the Army/Navy game or a gazillion other things presidents do. Here are a few things I’m interested in:

1) Does he get booed? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Trump is attending a college football game in deep red Alabama after getting booed during the World Series in Washington D.C., and then getting booed at UFC 244 in New York. A college sporting event in Alabama, on paper, would seem like more friendly turf for a conservative Republican politician, but nothing about Trump seems to follow conventional wisdom. Would he lash out if he doesn’t get the respect he thinks he deserves? Are we going to fight for a week on Twitter about whether people were booing or saying BOOO-URNS? Yes. Because we live in the dumbest timeline.

2) What happens with logistics and security? Even with heightened security measures across the country, college football fans often take a liberal attitude towards contraband. Even me, the dumb, out of touch, teetotaling Mormon dad knows folks smuggle in booze. But smuggling booze past the ol’ usher or lightly paid security guard, and smuggling in booze when the Secret Service is in town, are two different things.

This game is going to be a madhouse no matter what. But how do fans respond if lines to get in the stadium are longer, and security is tightened everywhere? Does everybody get inside before kickoff? How does that change the atmosphere?

3) Is there a Tommy Tuberville angle to this?

Because 2019 is weird as hell, former Auburn (and Ole Miss. And Texas Tech. And Cincinnati) head coach Tommy Tuberville is running for US Senate as a Republican. In a crowded primary (and one that might get more crowded, if former Senator Jeff Sessions decides to get in the race), Tuberville is leading the polls, perhaps on account of his name recognition, and because he hasn’t been banned from shopping malls for being a creeper like Roy Moore.

On Monday, Tuberville tweeted this:

It feels a little weird for a former Auburn football coach who needs a lot of Alabama fans to vote for him to win a statewide election, while navigating the President, who he is trying to court, coming to an Alabama game. I wouldn’t put it past Trump to somehow mangle the Auburn/Alabama rivalry in some follow up tweet to try and help Tuberville. Given that we’re dealing with Alabama politics, a coach candidate who has never held office, and a President who tweets with even less self control and self awareness than I do…seems like the potential for something very dumb to happen is high!

Hopefully, this whole operation goes smoothly, Trump gets his photo, and we don’t have to spend a week making this a thing. But how often does that happen with Trump? Even welcoming the Nationals to the White House ended up becoming a political stunt that will dominate at least one news cycle.

I was in the room when the Ohio State football team went to the White House to meet Obama. It was about as apolitical as you can get at an event featuring the President of the United States. I know that such a thing is theoretically possible. But it doesn’t happen very often with Trump.

How would you like even later Pac-12 after dark?

I don’t have a strong opinion about daylight savings time. My daughters are five and 16 months, and they obviously don’t listen to God, Me, the Clock or anybody else, so I know that it’s a pain in the ass for parents. But my kids get up early and cause problems no matter what time the politicians say it is. My blood is mostly Diet Coke and Sugar Free Red Bull at this point. You can’t hurt me anymore. Do your worst.

But other people have very strong opinions about Daylight Saving Time. Like for example, California politicians, who would like to make it a permanent thing, so we don’t have to deal with that whole Spring Forward, Fall Back business.

That’s fine. I’m sure that would impact a whole litany of issues outside the scope of this newsletter, and I look forward to reading a rigorous debate on the issues (don’t you dare send me a rigorous debate on this issue, I will block you on Twitter with a quickness). But it would impact at least topic germane to Extra Points. It’d push back Pac-12 kickoff times.

Via Awful Announcing:

If the bill passes through federal legislation and becomes law, that could affect start times for Pac-12 football games seen on the East Coast when clocks go back one hour during the final month of the season. Games that now start at 7:30 Pacific Time would be moved to 8:30 p.m. locally in order to stay in the 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time window for television. Oregon and Washington have passed similar bills that are expected to go through if California’s measure does.

Late night kickoffs are unavoidable for the Pac-12. The more games they have in that 10:30 Eastern Time window, the more valuable their TV package is. Athletic departments might not like having so many night games, but they like having money more than they don’t like playing in front of drunk people and bleary-eyed dads on the East Coast even more. So they’re not going away.

But more 8:30 local kickoff times probably isn’t ideal for selling actual tickets, especially for Pac-12 schools like Oregon and Arizona, where fans often travel pretty far to get to the game.

Since this would only impact the last month of the season, the Pac-12 office could try to protect schools that might be overly disadvantaged by putting teams like Utah or Washington in that time slot more often (where fans don’t have to commute as far). But given everything else the Pac-12 has to take into effect when building a league schedule, that may be impossible.

Maybe this pushes a game or two into that 9:00 or 10:00 AM local kickoff spot. Maybe that’s just a small price to pay for clock simplicity. Maybe we should just get rid of time zones entirely.

All I know is that I bet Larry Scott wishes that California lawmakers could focus on something else for a change. Or, if nothing else, they should pass a law that makes it illegal for a five-star recruit to go to the SEC.

Thanks again for supporting Extra Points. Your subscriptions and readership makes this project possible. Questions, (which are very appreciated! I respond to every one!), comments, article ideas and more can be sent to Matt.Brown@SBNation.com, or to @MattSBN on Twitter.