Tag Archive | "SEC"

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Conference Expansions Are Pretty Much A Certainty And Nobody Is Safe

Posted on 04 June 2010 by Corey Johns

Hey everybody it’s been a while since my last post because normally I like to just stick to UMBC sports, but this one is just too good to pass up.

A few months ago the Big Ten explored the idea of expanding to 12 teams in order to reach the minimum for a conference championship game that would make their football more relevant at the end of the season. While they were likely going to steal away one Big East team, conversations have heated up across the entire world of college sports. With the Big Ten network guarantying any school in the conference a lot of money, the conference has the ability to get just about anybody they want to get and they are using that to their advantage to make more money. The one additional team turned into five additional teams to tap into big media markets and make more money. Now it is all but official that the Big Ten is going to expand to 16 teams with the additions of Syracuse and Rutgers (both give them the New York Market) and Pittsburgh (The entire Pennsylvania market with Penn State already in the conference) from the Big East and Nebraska (entire state of Nebraska market) and Missouri (Kansas City and St. Louis Markets).

But that’s not all. With the Big Ten likely to expand to 16 teams the Pac-10 has already invited Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. This would put Arizona and Arizona State in a division with the six Big 12 schools helping to make a mega conference not only athletically but media wise. This would give the Pac-10 media markets in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, all of Oklahoma, and all of Texas.

With Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State now homeless the contingency plan is to have the Mountain West Conference merge with the four schools, and to add Boise State to make a 14 team conference consisting of both football and basketball teams.

But again, that isn’t all. In order to compete with these media market juggernauts the SEC has thrown their name in the mix of a conference that would expand to 16 teams. While their top four choices of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are off the board, the SEC is going to have to look at other options, which means raiding the ACC for four teams. That would mean Miami, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Clemson are all likely headed out of the ACC and to the Pac-10.

While this expansion does not really make any sense since the four teams they will likely add bring no new media markets at all as they are all already in SEC territory, the SEC does not seem content with just sitting back and letting the Big Ten and Pac 10 expand to athletic and financial Goliath’s.

So what options does this leave the now eight team ACC? Another raid of the already diminished Big East. With the Big East left with just five football schools left they could either just extend their inevitable collapse by adding teams that make no sense, or teams could look the way of the ACC. Connecticut would add to the northern market with Boston College while adding a team like South Florida would keep the ACC still tapped into the Florida Market. By adding a teams like Louisville, Cincinnati, and West Virginia the ACC taps inside the east coast into new media markets. That would make for a 13 team conference but the possibility of three more is still high. Memphis and East Carolina have been looking to move up since the last conference realignment when the Big East raided Conference USA, but both were left behind and now could be a good opportunity for them to move up. Also, Temple could be headed to the ACC, giving the conference the Philly market and the school a chance to move their powerhouse basketball team and up and coming football team into better situations. There have not really been many reports of the ACC expanding, but assuming the SEC decides to lure some ACC schools away, the conference’s only hope of getting their football back on track would be another raid of the Big East, which they could just not survive.

The Big East would not be no more though, they would still have eight basketball only affiliates left. While the conference would still be severely diminished on that end as well they could expand too. The most logical option for them would be to get back in touch with their origin as a conference of Private Catholic Schools in urban area. This option would lead to a complete raid of the eight Catholic schools in the Atlantic-10 (Dusquesne, St. Joseph’s, Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis, St. Bonaventure, La Salle, and Fordham) to get back to a 16 team basketball conference, or a a more likely approach of just taking St. Joseph’s, Xavier, Dayton, and Saint Louis to get back into markets in St. Louis and Ohio while restrengthening their Philly Market.  But hey either one is possible in this mess we’re going to see.

Now it gets to the trickle down effect. The expansion of all of the top conference can’t lead the Atlantic 10 empty. Boston University of the America East and Old Dominion, Northeastern, VCU, and Hofstra of the CAA have been attempting to join the Atlantic-10 for years and now they have an open opportunity to move their athletic departments up and getting the Atlantic 10 back to 14 teams. Also, these moves would effect other Maryland schools such as UMBC (America East) and Towson (CAA). While the trickle down effect probably won’t end with the Atlantic 10 regrouping, for those counting there would have already been 40 teams in different conferences with the possibility of more.

If appears to be immanent that the football conferences realign themselves this summer making it likely that their will be even more. While the extend of the realignment could only be speculated, one thing can be for sure, the 2005 realignment is going to look like a little blip compared to what fans can expect in the upcoming weeks.

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ESPN Paying Big Time to Stay on Campus

Posted on 27 August 2008 by Vince Fiduccia

According to Sports Business Journal, ESPN will pay the Southeastern Conference (SEC) $2.25 billion over the next 15 years – about $150 million a year – for the conference’s TV rights, giving the network all of the SEC’s content that will not taken by CBS.  This is on top of the $55 million per year that CBS pays for the over the air package of games. The SEC will rake in over $205 million per year for media rights beginning in 2009-10.

ESPN’s preemptive strike stops the league from pursuing a regional cable network like the Big Ten Conference recently started.   It also gives ESPN programming for its fledging ESPNU channel and its main networks ESPN & ESPN2.

So what will the ACC do next?  Will the conference look to start a network like the Big Ten or does follow the SEC’s lead and try to strong arm ESPN or Fox?  ESPN is more than willing to pay to keep down its competition.  The question is does ACC football have the same cache as SEC football.  But you have to believe the ACC hoops package, with national heavyweights Duke and North Carolina along with major media markets in Atlanta, Boston & Baltimore/DC, would be an attractive rights package.

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Preseason Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Posted on 18 August 2008 by Vince Fiduccia

Sometimes the hardest thing during preseason in the NFL is not getting too high or low after the conclusion of a game. Such was my state of mind after leaving the stadium on Saturday night. 

It was hard not feeling low after last night, as the game vs. Minnesota left more questions than answers. First, who in the heck will be the starting quarterback on September 7 vs. the Bengals, when the real season starts? 
The answer is I have no clue. About the only thing I can say for sure is it shouldn’t be Joe Flacco. Flacco will be answer in 2009 and beyond but not now.   The jump from playing at Delaware to playing in the NFL is huge. Go back and look at Peyton and Eli Mannings’ brutal rookie seasons.   They proved that the jump from the powerhouse Southeast Conference (SEC) is hard. The game simply looks too big and too fast for Flacco right now.   Have patience with the kid; after a year of learning and watching, you will see how much better he looks.
As for where that leaves the Ravens right now, I really don’t have the answer. Neither Troy Smith nor Kyle Boller has distinguished himself. Both have looked good from time to time, but neither has reached out and grabbed this opportunity.   Both are still making mistakes, and neither signal caller has shown any form of consistency.   
Boller is still turnover prone, and it seems that the whole fan base is against him.  They boo this guy at training camp when he throws an incomplete pass.   Smith has his own questions, like will he ever be accurate enough. Sure he made some plays with his feet last night, and at times the Ravens last night looked like Nebraska used to, when they dominated college football in the early and mid 90s–an option team, whose quarterbacks scared you with their feet, not their arms. How long before coordinators put a spy on him and force Smith to beat them with his arm? This is the NFL not the Big 12.
Somebody suggested to me last night that the Ravens should abandon ship with these two guys and pursue another option like Dante Culpepper or Chris Simms. No thanks on either player, too late in the preseason and I am not interested in somebody else’s rejects. Although another performance like Saturday night and maybe we need to think about it. 
Then again is it really fair to judge any of these quarterbacks given the offensive line injuries? Can we really start a season with Chad Slaughter at left tackle?  How much difference would Adam Terry and Jared Gaither really make?  
What about their injuries and the injuries to Willis McGahee,  Demetrius Williams, Dan Wilcox, Todd Heap, Ed Reed, Samari Rolle, Chris McAlister, Haloti Ngata, and Kelly Gregg?  Are they really just things that will pass, or should we worry that these will be season-nagging injuries that see players questionable and doubtful from week to week. 
I hope the Ravens are just being careful with these injuries or maybe they are just playing with the Bengals’ minds? But I worry; these guys have missed significant chunks of training camp.  Where will their conditioning be? Can Gaither really be counted on to start this season without the necessary reps in preseason? 
So many questions, so few answers.   They say that the third preseason game is the most important, and for the Ravens, it will be. Next week the game in St. Louis will give us a true barometer on where we are. We’ll see who lines up among the injured vets and looks ready to play and maybe we will be one step closer to naming a starting quarterback.  
Let’s hope next Saturday night we have more answers than questions.   

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SEC Rivalry Week

Posted on 22 November 2007 by johnkeller

Big weekend in the best college football conference in the land, the SEC.  It actually starts on Friday with Hogs and Tigers in Baton Rouge.  Will this be Houston Nutt’s final game coaching the Razorbacks?  All signs are pointing to him leaving for the greener pastures of Waco and the Bears of Baylor!  Good Luck with that Houston!  Now on the match-up between Arkansas and LSU.  If the Hogs use the passing offense and use the weapons in the passing game then the Hogs have a great a chance of upsetting #1 LSU.  But that is putting alot of faith in the Ark. coaching staff, believe me I have serious doubts about those guys.  Ark. pass defense is poor.  I will call it LSU 31-13 over Ark.  

Alabama vs. Auburn: How in the world did the Bama boys lose to La.-Monroe?  Now that’s collosal.  Nicky Satan can resurect himself with a win in the Iron Bowl.  The Iron Bowl means everything to the state of Alabama and the alum from the two schools all over the world.  It should be an entertaining affair with Auburn edging out the Tide in the end.

Tenn. vs. Kentucky:  Kentucky balanced offense is too much for the Vols.  I like Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium.  Georgia takes the SEC EAST with a Tenn. loss. 

Miss. vs. Miss St.:  EGG BOWL madness, I like Miss. State to win the bragging rights in Miss. for a year.  Croom has done a great job with this team will go bowling this year.

It should be LSU vs. Georgia in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta!  Now that’s game not to miss.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Hog Wild

Posted on 07 November 2007 by johnkeller

I was foturnate to witness college footbal history last Saturday night in Arkansas.

35 carries for 323 yards from the great Darren McFadden, an SEC record!

The Hogs ran for 541 yards!!!  That’s right 541 yards against another SEC team! Even though the lame Spurrier’s played defense like a D. III school. D-Mac joined Georgia’s Herschel Walker as the only SEC players to run for 1,000 as a freshman, sophomore and junior.

It was a perfect Fall evening football and Hogs pleased the faithful.  During halftime, ceremonies were held to dedicate the naming of the field to retiring AD Frank Broyles.  Former NFL player and Hogs radio analyst Keith Jackson and longtime ABC broadcaster Keith Jackson did the honors emceeing the event.  Over 200 former Razorbacks, including Jerry Jones, Barry Switzer, and others were on hand for the glorious occasion.

SEC Picks for this week:

Hogs vs. Tenn.–my gut says the Vols are the pick at home, but I’m going with the D-Mac show to roll the Vols and further ignite the Vol nation.

Bama vs. Miss. St.–Sly Croom picks off the Tide in Starkville!

Kentucky vs. Vandy–I like the Cats here, but it will close

Auburn vs. UGA–This should be a dandy between the hedges.  I will go with the Richt bunch, I wonder if they celebrate as a team in the endzone after a touchdown?

Fla. vs. S.C.–Gators chomp Spurrier and the Gamecock misery continues.


Congrats to NAVY for ending the streak!

It’s for McNair to sit, start Boller!

Last night’s debacle in Pitt. was an embarrasment to anyone who loves the Ravens.  McNair is not the same QB as last year, he is obviously hampered by the groin and back injuries. 

MD Terps are hapless and we need a miracle to make a bowl this year.  Fridge has alot of work ahead to get this team back on track.

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Bits & Pieces

Posted on 02 November 2007 by johnkeller

First on the docket, D.C.United.  So much for being the top seed in the Leaque!  For some reason they can’t get the Chicago Fire off their back.  Chicago get’s in the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and they proceed to humiliate D.C. at R.F.K. in front the Supporter’s Shield faithful.  United did show some fortitude and effort by tying the match late and with some luck the match could have went into OT and you  never know what can happen in OT.  Soccer is a sport that underdogs prevail frequently and Chicago had momemtum and matched up well with D.C.  I will stick with my prediction that the NE Rev. will play Houston for the Cup at  R.F.K.

On the SEC and the Hogs.  I like the Hogs to win a squeaker (23-21) against the “Old Ball Coach” Gamecocks Saturday night in Fayetteville.  D-Mac and company will overpower Carolina in the end.

Look for LSU to bounce back and take out Saban and the Tide!

Florida should beat Vandy, but you never know these days in the SEC.  I’ll take FLA in a close one.

Could the NAVY losing streak to the Irish end tomorrow.  I would have said yes before last week’s loss to the Blue Hens of Delaware. You have to root for NAVY to knock off Notre Dame tomorrow, it would be a sweet victory and it may not happen again in my lifetime.  The service academy’s are usually undermanned against the big schools, but they never give up and they play with pride and team spirit.   

I’m off to the Ozarks tomorrow to watch my Hogs and enjoy another sun filled college football Saturday this Fall

Cheers!   Go Ravens beat the Squeelers!

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