All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s the last Friday before Christmas which means a ton of you slackers are already cutting out of work and school.

Meanwhile your boy is here grinding away, never taking a day off, the Cal Ripken of sports media.

We only get two days off for “Lock It In” over the next two weeks — Christmas and New Year’s Day — so if you’re home for the holidays check us out at 4:30 et, 3:30 ct, 2:30 mt, and 1:30 pt.

Here we go with the Friday mailbag questions:

Star Spangled Vol writes:

“I know it won’t happen, curious to know if this could legally happen: if Trump were successfully removed from office, could Pence appoint him as VP and then resign, making Trump president again?”

This is a fascinating question, but the new Vice President has to be approved, I believe, by Congress. So it doesn’t seem likely that would happen.

Otherwise the line of succession means that the vice president goes to the speaker of the house.

This, as you can imagine, is a bit messy because Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat and everyone else in the presidential line of succession is a Republican. After Pelosi comes the president pro tempore of the Senate, presently Chuck Grassley, then the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense  and the Attorney General. (It continues all throughout the cabinet.) This is why, by the way, one person in the government isn’t allowed to be present at the State of the Union, so in the event the entire place is blown up, we’ve got a president in place.

There are, however, a ton of impeachment questions that aren’t resolved because we really haven’t had major court cases attached to them.

For instance, did you know that if the Senate votes to remove Trump from office — which clearly isn’t going to happen — they’d also have to separately vote to disallow him from running for president again?

In other words, removing him from office doesn’t keep Trump from running again in 2020. That’s a separate vote. (Albeit one that has a lower floor, a simple majority is required to disallow Trump from ever holding office again). Still, at least in theory, the president could be removed from office and then reelected to it.

As the impeachment charade has played out, I’ve had a great deal of respect for our founding fathers requiring a two-thirds majority for removal in the Senate.

Can you imagine the chaos if it were a simple majority?

Honestly, the only thing I’d probably change is requiring both the House and Senate to need 2/3rds majorities in order for impeachment to take place. Because I think what’s likely to happen in our divided government and polarized times is impeachment will become somewhat commonplace when the House is controlled by the opposing political party.

I didn’t support impeaching or removing Bill Clinton from office and I don’t support impeaching or removing Donald Trump from office. That means whether you agree or disagree with me, at least I’m being consistent. Something you can’t say about most politicians.

For instance, look at what Gerald Nadler said when Clinton was being impeached twenty years ago, nearly, to the day and look at what he’s arguing now.

It’s transparently hypocritical.

That’s why I haven’t followed impeachment very closely because, as I tweeted a couple of months ago, it’s like trying to get excited about a game when you already know the final score.

It was pretty clear the House was going to impeach Trump and then the Senate was going to vote to acquit him. So why get all worked up by the process at all? We all know how it’s going to end.

The more interesting question, and a bunch of you have been asking me about this for months, is how will the impeachment battle impact the 2020 election?

I think the answer is it makes it more likely Donald Trump gets re-elected.

I think one of the big parts of the 2020 election that is being totally underrated is how much more money Trump will have in 2020. It doesn’t get talked about enough, but Hillary Clinton dominated Trump in total money spent in 2016. She spent hundreds of millions of dollars more than he did.

In 2020 Trump will have at least equal amounts of money to every Democratic nominee except Michael Bloomberg — who can spend billions of his own dollars — and I think that will be very impactful, particularly considering how few toss-up states there truly are.

If I were betting now, I’d put money on Trump being re-elected.

I think impeachment will help him with his base and with independents in the Midwest.

Now, granted, a ton can change between now and November of 2020, but it appears the economy will still be rolling along. It would take a massive story — a huge terrorist attack,  maybe? — to truly shake up the calculus of this race. Trump’s support seems to top out at 44 or 45% right now, but once the Democrats pick a nominee and he’s actually being paired against someone else, his numbers will rise and we’ll end up, roughly, at a 50-50 race again.

But remember, and this is key, the national polls don’t matter very much.

This will be a battle fought in individual states. So what matters is statewide polls, not really the national polling.

Trump could lose the popular vote by even more in 2020 and still win the electoral college by more in 2020 than he did in 2016.

Wes writes:

“After the SBJ newsletter this week predicting that ABC would take over SEC rights from CBS, what is your personal take/opinion on what will happen to the SEC’s broadcast TV rights? Network, price, format, etc.”

I’ll write a long form piece on this sometime soon, but my prediction would be CBS, Disney/ESPN/ABC, Fox, and Comcast/NBC all bid for the SEC’s rights package.

I believe the rights deal will ultimately sell for between $325 and $450 million a year, which is a seismic jump over the $55 million a year the rights cost now.

Two key points to analyze here in order to set odds:

1. Will CBS pay substantially more for the four years remaining on their deal?

Right now CBS’s negotiation advantage is they have four years remaining on their SEC rights deal.

Let’s say CBS went to the SEC and said we’ll give you $325 million a year for a ten year extension and we’ll start the increases next year. Then CBS would be offering over a billion dollars more than anyone else could pay because they’d be increasing their payments massively in the four years remaining on this existing deal.

So whoever put in a winning bid would have to top that guarantee from CBS and make up that $1.3 billion on the back end.

Unless CBS is willing to do this, I don’t see them as very likely to maintain this rights package.

And, by the way, CBS is only in this position because they made the disastrous decision not to extend the SEC when the league added Texas A&M and Missouri. They had the opportunity to add ten years to the deal back then and they could have done so, probably, for $100 million a year or so.

Instead they even balked at the SEC’s request for a pro-rata price increase, which may well have killed their golden goose deal.

2. Does the SEC want to have all of its rights owned by one company?

This is a big question that impacts the Disney/ESPN/ABC bid in a major way.

Personally, I wouldn’t want all my rights under one company’s umbrella. There’s a reason the NBA, MLB, NFL, Big Ten, Pac 12, Big 12, and SEC all have their rights spread across multiple networks rights now. Sure, that allows you to make more money, but it also makes it much more likely you’ll receive multiple avenues of promotion.

That’s why I could see a hybrid deal making sense here. Potentially the SEC sells ABC the SEC title game standing alone, but sell its game of the week package to Fox or Comcast/NBC.

I don’t think you can underrate Fox and Comcast/NBC here because they keep the league from all being under one umbrella and offer major promotional advantages.

Fox has built a Big Noon college football strategy, which was wildly successful, partly on the idea they could have a noon game leading into an SEC game at 3:30 eastern. Remember, the SEC game of the week rates off the charts and there is zero lead-in from any other game on CBS. So when LSU-Alabama draws over 16 million viewers imagine how much higher that could be if the SEC had a major lead-in from another big college football game at noon.

Similarly, NBC loves premium sports brands. That’s what they consider Notre Dame. Well, is Comcast/NBC going to be a major player in college football or not? If so, they could make a big splash with the SEC package and pair it with Notre Dame games.

I don’t think any of the streaming companies are players here because I think the SEC wants to be on broadcast television so they can have the largest possible reach for their biggest game. That means ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC will be the destination.

DBauer writes:

“Worst day to work: last day before a long break, or first day back from a long break?”

Without question it’s the first day back from a long break.

The last day before a long break is a great day to work because you’re excited and energized about the days off coming.

The return is brutal.

No contest here.

Joey writes:

“How do you see the ability for college athletes to profit on their likeness affecting parity in college football? Will this help the weaker schools in that they can now throw money at coveted prospects or will the rich get richer?”

I actually think it will help the weaker schools more than it will the richer schools.

We had a good discussion on Outkick with Dan Wetzel about this.

Every school, even the weak ones, have big boosters and local companies they could theoretically use to help persuade players to sign with them.

I think it could even help non-power 5 schools compete.

Let’s say you’re the 18th best potential Alabama recruit and you’re from south Mississippi.

Well, that could make you the best player Southern Miss has ever signed. So isn’t it possible that a school like Southern Miss could have a booster who could make an incredible offer to that local player, an even better offer than Alabama could make?

I think so.

Southern Miss isn’t going to compete for the top players, but they could certainly offer more for a mid-tier top player than Alabama might.

To me, this could theoretically spread out talent quite a bit.

And at the top of the list, I think things would be even more competitive.

That’s because it would be harder for a single school to stockpile five star talent because no school is really rich enough to have, for instance, eight five stars all signed to better deals than they could get from eight top programs where you are their top target.

So I think the net result of name, image and likeness payments would actually be for talent to be more spread out across college football, not more concentrated.

Eric writes:

“What did you think about Antonio Brown tweeting “No More White Woman 2020”?

I’m not sure Antonio Brown will ever be able to play in the NFL again, but I’m absolutely certain it would be a massive story if Julian Edelman or Adam Thielen went on social media and said, “No More Black Women 2020.”

Or even if a retired white player like Tim Tebow did it.

I don’t understand why the media doesn’t hold all people, regardless of their skin color, to the same standards.

Which is why I keep hammering home this idea — imagine how much different the country would look if we treated everyone the exact same, white, black, Asian and Hispanic, when it came to racism.

It’s not 1962 any more.

America’s racial diversity means exclusively focusing on white perpetrators and black victims is a fundamentally broken way to talk about race relations in America today.

Happy Holidays.

Thanks for reading Outkick.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.