Daily Archives: July 27, 2021

How bad do they want it?

If this report is accurate, pretty effing bad.

Using the Longhorn Network money to buy the two schools out of the Big 12 might be the most ironic act of the decade.  And it’s only 2021.

29 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil

You folks got a minute?

Here’s the official announcement.

“While the SEC has not proactively sought…”  is how you know they ran it by the lawyers first.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Allow Bob Bowlsby to retort.

The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year. The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes. We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success. We will face the challenges head-on, and we have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.

And “… the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months…” is how you know he ran it by the lawyers first.

37 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Best of health

I’m not sure I’m in the minority on this, or if it just feels like I am because the other side of the take on JT Daniels’ health last season has been so vociferous, but I never felt like anyone outside of the program has a real understanding of why it took so long for Daniels to get his first start.

Given that, I’ve always found it of interest when I hear any of the decision makers involved touch on that subject, even indirectly, which Kirby Smart did last week at SEC Media Days.

Learning the offense and the mental side of the game, however, isn’t where Daniels has made the biggest leaps this offseason. According to Smart, the biggest area of growth has been on the physical side.

“I think physically he has improved himself with strength, weight, mobility,” Smart said in a meeting with the UGA beat prior to taking the stage at SEC Media Days. “Those are the things that he’s really grown in since the end of the season.”

Big, if true.  If he has fully bounced back from the knee problems — which, remember, weren’t fully disclosed at the time — that should have a significant impact on his deep ball mechanics and his ability to escape the rush.  One thing’s for sure:  it won’t take very long for us to find out.

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

This program was made possible by support/contributions to plaintiffs’ counsel by Mark Emmert.

Shot.

Chaser.

That this is reality now is only thanks to the NCAA’s strategic blunder to appeal the Alston case to the Supreme Court.  That decision may not be as doomed as getting involved in a land war in Asia, but it’s close.  Well played, Mark.

14 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Like they say, a dollar here, a dollar there…

… and pretty soon the SEC is making as much money as the NCAA.

22 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Kirby speaks… again.

Barrett Sallee spoke with Kirby Smart at SEC Media Days and touched upon a number of subjects of interest — the opener, the anticipated growth in Georgia’s offense, Arik Gilbert, the player he fears will be missed the most on defense, NIL, transfers, etc.

You can watch it here.

(h/t)

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

TFW your reputation precedes you

Once again, hell hath no fury like a college president scorned.

Oklahoma State president Kayse Shrum said Monday that Oklahoma’s intentions to explore leaving the Big 12 are “the result of months of planning with the SEC” and a “clear breach” of the conference bylaws.

Shrum made the comments in a statement and in a series of tweets. In the statement, she called Oklahoma’s actions “strategic” and “deliberate.”

“It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma,” added Shrum, who took over as president on July 1.

The breach claim is in reference to Section 3.2 of the Big 12’s bylaws, which references third parties attempting to induce a member institution to leave. It requires schools to inform the conference no later than 12 hours afterward, and to “immediately and unconditionally reject that offer in a form and manner reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner.”

Oh, honey.  It’s like you forgot how your conference was formed in the first place.

… Then UT’s interests turned to the Big Eight. Texas and Oklahoma’s leaders both looked favorably on the idea of being in the same conference, but both schools had other options. Former Kansas State University president Jon Wefald voiced fears that if UT had joined the Pac-10, there would be no way for the Big Eight to ramp up their TV payouts in order to keep Oklahoma from joining the SEC for more lucrative TV payouts.[16]

Negotiations with Texas and other schools

The Big Eight had been in pursuit of some kind of alliance with the Southwest Conference since Arkansas’s departure destabilized that historic conference.[citation needed]

The Big Eight and SWC members saw the potential financial benefits from an alliance to negotiate television deals, but a true alliance of 16 teams which would retain the seven other SWC schools was not viewed as optimal by UT. Dodds and the Longhorn leadership viewed proposals of this sort as continuing business as usual in the SWC. Arkansas’s departure allowed UT and Texas A&M to clear four or more less profitable dates from their football schedules and eight or more from their basketball schedules.[citation needed]

For years the Big Eight could not interest UT in a merger. Without Texas to ensure the retention of Oklahoma, the Big Eight was not interested.[clarification needed][16]

Reports at the end of 1993 disclosed the discussions of the Big Eight about adding BYU and half of the SWC, with SMU, TCU, Rice and Houston “priced out” of the new conference.[2][17]

The Big Eight began negotiations with ABC and ESPN for a new conference that would feature football powers[citation needed] Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado,[citation needed] and Texas.[citation needed]

Texas politicians

After the SEC announced their intent to leave the CFA, the Big 8 and SWC members re-opened discussions to sell their rights together. In a book called “The Baylor Project” by Barry G. Hankins and Donald D. Schmeltekoff about Baylor’s place in Christian higher education on page 68 states that on February 11, 1994, SWC member schools’ leaders met a few Big 8 leaders in Dallas to discuss potentially selling both leagues’ media content in a package deal. Discussions broke down on February 16, reportedly over UT’s interest in the Pac-10. The Big Eight began negotiating a deal that would include the full SWC as a partner and Texas A&M approached the SEC.[18]

In Texas, word leaked out that UT & Texas A&M were close to leaving the SWC; UT to the Pac-10[18] or Big Eight and eventually Texas A&M to the SEC. Texas state senator David Sibley, a Baylor alumnus and member of the Senate Finance Committee, approached UT Chancellor Bill Cunningham and asked him pointedly whether UT planned to leave the SWC on its own for the Big Eight. Cunningham tried to change the subject. Ultimately he did not deny it.[9]

Sibley approached LT Governor Bob Bullock, a Texas Tech alumnus. Texas state senator John Montford of Lubbock was equally motivated to protect Texas Tech’s path to the Big 12. The trio put together a group of legislators who worked to insure those schools were part of any new sport conference.

Bullock called together a meeting of supportive legislators as well as UT’s and Texas A&M’s leaders on February 20, 1994.[19] UT Chancellor William Cunningham admitted that Texas planned to join the Big Eight[9] and A&M’s leadership still targeted the SEC.[9]

A deal was worked out where all four schools would go together to the Big 12. Baylor and Texas Tech would join the Aggies in coming with UT into the new version of the Big Eight.[9]

… UT officials informed the Big Eight leadership that the Austin school was now receptive to an invitation and the Big Eight issued invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech. All four schools quickly accepted.[18]

The more things change, and all…

By the way, for those of you fretting about how Texas will inevitably sabotage the SEC, you need to consider that UT has plenty on its plate in that regard right now.

Big 12 sources told ESPN on Monday that the statement leaves some “wiggle room” and doesn’t fully guarantee that the flagship schools would remain in the league through 2025. The possibility remains that they will pay the $75 million to $80 million penalty for leaving early, while also giving the required 18 months’ notice, per Big 12 bylaws. Some have speculated that this is the first legal maneuver, and the possibility also exists that if the Big 12 dissolves before 2025, OU and Texas would no longer be bound to stay through the duration of the contract.

Gee, I wonder how that’s gonna work out.

24 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Not your father’s (or Jim Chaney’s) Georgia offense

There’s definitely a trend here.

It’s not as if Georgia ran out of quality running backs after Chubb and Michel.  The running game is slowly losing its outsized degree of emphasis (and note that accelerated under Coley).

Where do you think that percentage lands in 2021?  (For comparison’s sake, note that last season Alabama ran on 52.8% of its plays, but its rushing yards were only 33.8% of its total yardage.)

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Pot calling the kettle urnge

This had me howling.

19 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Nice of you to show up

So, I had a few people tell me yesterday this Chris Vannini post ($$) was right up my alley.

With each move, each round of realignment, college sports loses what made it special. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it was already gone. But it’s clear where this is really heading, and many of the decision-makers who feel comfortable about the short term need to realize there won’t be a chair for them at the end of this road. And many fans need to remember why they fell in love with the sport in the first place.

I dunno.  Yeah, that’s all true, but a column like this would have reverberated a lot more had it been posted eight or nine years ago.  Anybody with a brain knew then why the SEC embarked on a poorly thought out expansion plan:  Mike Slive had to do something to bail his conference out from a TV deal that was perceived as inadequate and damn the consequences.  (For some bizarre reason, yesterday Slive was being lauded on social media as some sort of heroic visionary, which is ludicrous.  But that’s probably a subject for a different post.)

Greed has been running the show in college football at least as long as this blog has been around.  Yet for some reason this particular round of SEC expansion is triggering angst like Vannini’s.  Eh, big deal.

And even with that, he still manages to pull a punch with this observation:

Less than two months after the Super League collapsed, college football put a hand out for the little guy, planning a 12-team playoff with at least one guaranteed bid for a Group of 5 program. The sport’s leaders sacrificed for the benefit of the game, to keep more fan bases engaged throughout the season. Notre Dame gave up the chance for a first-round bye. The SEC agreed to change a system that already benefits them. The Power 5 agreed to a system in which more than one G5 team could make it. It was a rare moment of unity to help everyone.

By “little guys”, he doesn’t mean us fans.  You know, the ones who will be asked to pay a small fortune to follow our schools around the country as they progress through more rounds of the postseason.  We should pay no attention to the massive payouts to the schools for their “generosity”.  Or the way playoff expansion is eroding the very “regional flair, the communities, the charm and the history” of college football he lauds (correctly) as being a large part of the sport’s unique character.  Because for one shining moment, we’re supposed to believe the conferences had some sort of kumbaya breakthrough.

Folks, there is no unity.  There is only a money grubbing chase on, with alliances made and broken for the temporary advantage of the powerful.  And that shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

At least one college sports figure with his ear to the ground believes that the departure date will seem immaterial in the fullness of time, as the proposed SEC jump will be only the first in a long line of alignment shake-ups. “This is just starting,” said an AD at a Power 5 school currently unaffected by the interconference turbulence. “As soon as [NCAA president Mark] Emmert threw up his hands and sort of said, ‘The hell with it—let the conferences sort it out,’ it was like someone rang a dinner bell at the pig pen.”

Now there’s a metaphor for our times.

17 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness