“You may see his smiling face somewhere on Saturday…”

Well, I gotta say this sure sounds like Steve Shaw forced Penn Wagers out as an SEC ref.

“Penn and I had had a conversation over the last couple years and kind of had identified that the 2014 season would be his last season,” Shaw said. “He may work in another conference. You may see his smiling face somewhere on Saturday, you may not, I don’t know.”

As Rod Tidwell once famously said, “You’re a little slow, but you come around.”

That being said, I’m afraid to celebrate too much.  With our luck, Wagers will land in the ACC and wind up calling the next Georgia-Georgia Tech game.


Filed under SEC Football

Enhancing the stadium experience

As it used to go in the old Guinness commercials, “Brilliant!”

It’s almost as if they want the fans to stay home and watch on TV.


Filed under Big 12 Football

Now this is all in.

Not dismayed in the slightest by running close to a $13 million deficit in the last fiscal year, Auburn’s athletic department has infrastructure plans on the table that look like they’ll exceed $200 million in costs.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

The return of Verne

CBS announces the first part of its SEC broadcast schedule.

Saturday, Sept. 5: Louisville vs. Auburn (3:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Sept. 12: Georgia at Vanderbilt (3:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Sept. 19: Auburn at LSU (3:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Oct. 31: Florida vs. Georgia (3:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Nov. 7: SEC Game of the Week doubleheader (3:30 p.m., 8 p.m.)

Saturday, Nov. 14: SEC Game of the Week doubleheader (noon, 3:30 p.m.)

Friday, Nov. 27:Missouri vs. Arkansas (2:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Dec. 5: SEC Championship Game (4 p.m.)

I wonder when Vandy was last on CBS.

In total, CBS will air 17 games featuring SEC teams, including the annual Florida vs. Georgia showdown on Saturday, Oct. 31, consecutive doubleheaders on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14, and the SEC Championship Game, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m.

Here’s a look at the highlights from the 2015 SEC on CBS schedule as it currently stands (all times ET). The remainder of the slots will be filled six to 12 days prior to their respective kickoffs throughout the regular season.


Filed under SEC Football

Here comes the judge.

Mike Slive’s last official act of courage:

But the SEC essentially told the coaches that there was nothing the SEC could do. The cost-of-attendance is determined by each school’s financial aid office, separate from athletics, and messing with the formula could run afoul of the Ed O’Bannon ruling.

Mike Slive, the outgoing SEC commissioner, said it was a short discussion.

“We understand that there are really compelling concern about how it affects recruiting. But we just tried to explain to them that this is something that … The judge in O’Bannon indicated that we were going to follow the federal rules, and it’s a financial aid issue, it’s not an athletic issue. It’s run by the financial aid office,” Slive said.

In other words, it’s Judge Wilken’s world, and he’s just living in it.

Here’s the thing:  he’s only half right, at best.  O’Bannon said the NCAA could cap the amount of new compensation that Division I men’s basketball and football players receive when in school, but that cap will not be allowed to be an amount that is less than the athletes’ cost of attending school.

That’s a floor, not a ceiling.  But, of course, that’s small consolation to those schools in the conference that don’t want to jack up their COAs to run with Auburn and Tennessee.  And nobody’s going to touch player compensation outside of a COA stipend right now.

So that leaves things right where they’ve been.  We’ll have empirical data in a few years to see what sort of impact the disparity has on real world recruiting.  My bet is that if it turns out to have a serious effect, they’ll revisit the concept of player compensation.  It’s not like they won’t be able to afford it.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football

I got ‘yer win totals right here.

5Dimes has its early college football regular season win total prop bets out now.  You can see a summary here.  Interestingly, no SEC is projected to win in double digits.  Here’s how they break down:


  • Alabama 9.5
  • Arkansas 8.5
  • Auburn 8.5
  • Ole Miss 8.5
  • LSU 8
  • Texas A&M 7.5
  • Mississippi State 7


  • Georgia 9
  • Florida 7.5
  • Missouri 7.5
  • Tennessee 7.5
  • South Carolina 7
  • Kentucky 6
  • Vanderbilt 3

The downside to thirteen bowl eligible teams is that it looks a lot harder for a conference team to crack the national semifinals.  And they’re paying head coaches a boatload of money to do just that.

I will say the East looks about right, although that Missouri number looks a trifle low, based on the schedule.  But I have a hard time believing every team in the West finishes with a winning record this season.

Your thoughts?


Filed under SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

“The N.C.A.A. did not respond to requests for a statement about Mr. Byers.”

If you want to read something fascinating today, read the New York Times’ obituary of former NCAA head Walter Byers.

The inventor of the term “student-athlete” came to see collegiate athletics in a different light.

For much of his tenure, Mr. Byers was an ardent advocate of the student-athlete concept and of the necessity to maintain the strict amateur status of college athletes; he consistently came to the defense of the N.C.A.A. enforcement division, whose pursuit of athletes committing minor offenses against arcane N.C.A.A. regulations often drew criticism. But as his tenure grew closer to its end, he viewed the college sports landscape with increasing cynicism, recognizing, he said, that the high stakes of the sports business had led to rampant corruption, made the notion of amateurism quaint and outdated and the N.C.A.A.’s insistence on maintaining it hypocritical.

In 1984 he told The A.P. that he believed that 30 percent of big-time college athletic programs were cheating and that he despaired of bringing the problem under control. He suggested the creation of an “open division” within the N.C.A.A., within which colleges could opt to operate their sports teams as semiprofessional programs.

“I don’t think the fabric of higher education as we believe in it and would like to see it function in this country can stand the strain of big-time intercollegiate athletics and maintain its integrity,” he said in a subsequent interview with Sports Illustrated, adding: “I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that there has to be a major rearrangement on the part of the institutions of higher learning as to what they want to do with their athletic programs. I think there’s an inherent conflict that has to be resolved. I’m not prepared to go into how an open division would work. But we’re in a situation where we, the colleges, say it’s improper for athletes to get, for example, a new car. Well, is that morally wrong? Or is it wrong because we say it’s wrong?”

Shit, no wonder the NCAA doesn’t want to talk about him now.


Filed under The NCAA