Daily Archives: August 27, 2021

“There is a lot of interest in the Big 12 Conference.”

The Big 12 is going to fight for its right to partay.

With the announcement Thursday that the Pac-12 Conference will not explore expansion in the near future, the fracturing Big 12 will throw its energy into looking at potential new members, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said.

The Texas Tech athletics director is part of a four-person expansion subcommittee tasked with leading the effort, which starts immediately.

“Right now, our complete focus is to make the Big 12 as strong as it can possibly be,” Hocutt said, “and I expect that Texas Tech will play a leadership role in that. We’re going to continue to be part of the Power Five structure in college athletics.”

You know they’re serious about it when they bring in the big gun.

Hocutt spoke hours later before a Red Raider Club kickoff event at which U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addressed Tech fans. A Tech contingent has been seeking redress from the state’s political leaders since Texas and Oklahoma threw the future of the Big 12 into disarray with decisions to leave for the Southeastern Conference by July 1, 2025.

… Speaking from the stage, Cruz told Red Raiders fans that Tech matters in West Texas, across the state and nationally. He said he was in Minneapolis two years ago, “cheering on Tech” in the championship game of the men’s NCAA Tournament.

“College football right now is in flux. This is an uncertain time,” Cruz said. “But I want to say something clearly and unequivocally: Texas Tech belongs in a Power Five conference.”

Yeah, that should do the trick.  And if it doesn’t, there’s always whining.

Hocutt took thinly-veiled shots at the movers and shakers behind the latest realignment moves. He said that trust has been broken “and without trust, there’s very little relationships.”

“I’m not sure that we’ve ever seen so much distrust and just turbulence within college athletics as we’re seeing now,” he said, “and it’s really unfortunate, the lack of relationships and trust. I think we’ve got to really re-establish some foundational aspects of college athletics as we move forward because things are changing and they’re changing fast. It’s a different time, and it’s going to be different in the next five or 10 years.”

Like he wouldn’t be sprinting for the exits if a P5 conference wanted his school.

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired.

40 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Political Wankery

SEC win projections

Here’s Bill Connelly’s projected win chart ($$) for the SEC:

Of particular interest is what he says about two of those teams.

Tennessee and LSU. Beyond the typical “bet the under on the top teams and the over on the bottom teams” odds that SP+ (and plenty of other metrics) tend to provide, the strongest odds that SP+ has to offer are picking Tennessee over 6 and LSU under 8.5.

Both projections strongly buck conventional wisdom. Tennessee had a chaotic coaching search (in light of a potential NCAA investigation) and throttled the transfer portal with guys coming in and out. Meanwhile, the general narrative assumption is that LSU will rebound quite a bit from last year’s miserable title defense.

To be honest, it gives me the willies even thinking of putting money on either of those picks. But at the very least, let this serve as a reminder of two things: (1) Josh Heupel’s first Tennessee team has a pretty sturdy foundation of talent despite all the turnover (especially if he actually homes in on a starting quarterback at some point), and (2) LSU still has a lot of questions to answer before a rebound can occur.

Eeeeeyeeah, maybe.  Not sure how much I’m buying that talent foundation in Knoxville, and, beyond that, you always have to wonder how a team reacts during the season to the sanctions hammer falling.  I find myself more strongly in alignment with his LSU misgivings because you never know how Coach O’s coaching staff du jour works out in a given season.

By the way, it sure looks like the thinnest deal there is picking ‘Bama and the over.  Bill’s actually projecting Georgia’s conference win total to be a smidge higher than Alabama’s, which, admittedly, says more about the two divisions than it does about the two teams.

27 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

We’re at Georgia Tech! We can’t do that!

Say what you will, the man ain’t that dumb.

While the alliance announced this week between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 has few if any certainties as far as what the partnership will look like, Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury assured that it won’t affect a most significant aspect of the Yellow Jackets’ existence – its annual game with Georgia.

“They’ll definitely stay part of the football schedule, of course,” Stansbury said on an appearance on 680 the Fan Thursday.

Stansbury was speaking more broadly about the four ACC schools with in-state rivalry games with SEC schools – besides Tech, Clemson (South Carolina), Florida State (Florida) and Louisville (Kentucky). Part of the alliance’s plans include interconference scheduling.

“Those in-state rivalries, for the four of us that have them, are just too important to our states and our programs,” Stansbury said. “This definitely won’t affect those in any way.”

Translation:  I’ll believe the Alliance delivers better scheduling when I see it.  In the meantime, a bird in the hand, and all that.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

How’s that whole “revered tradition of amateurism” thing going?

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but there’s a federal judge who just refused to dismiss out of hand the idea that college athletes are employees of the schools they… well, work at.

Here’s the money graf, so to speak.

Gasp!  You mean to say schools aren’t doing it for the kids?

Maybe this is a tempest in a teapot, sure, but, then again, it probably would be prudent at this point to remember Kavanaugh’s concurrence in Alston before jumping to conclusions.

Read the entire Twitter thread and judge for yourself whether this thing has real legs to it.

28 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

Knock, knock, knocking on football’s door

Here’s Kirby, mixing all kinds of metaphors:

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The game that’s changed stays mainly in the Plains.

Tennessee fans:  Hey, there’s no program out there that’s showed its ass with stupid coach tricks like ours!

Auburn:  Hold our beer.

They’re totally beating ‘Bama now, amirite?

26 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

If no one is there to try to take advantage of it, can it really be a crisis?

Hey, it’s everyone’s favorite bow-tied, in over his head, college president, asking people to respect his authoritah:

Stewart Mandel ($$) points out that Gee’s “probably” is doing a fair amount of heavy lifting there.

Since the day he was introduced as commissioner last spring, Kliavkoff has made it unequivocally clear his conference supports CFP expansion. He voiced support for the 12-team model proposed by a subcommittee of commissioners in June. “We believe allowing more teams and athletes to compete for a national championship is a win for the Pac-12 and for our football players,” he said at the conference media day.

Also, this rare moment of honesty:

That doesn’t exactly sound like a guy who’s ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Um… you don’t suppose Gee is clumsily trying to blackmail some P5 conference into providing his school with a safe harbor in the event the Big 12 implodes, do you?  I mean, that would be wrong.  Unless it was for the kids, of course.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Today, in from his lips to Gawd’s ears

Hey, I’m with ‘ya, big guy… but aren’t you selling yourself a little short at only 20?

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football