Category Archives: SEC Football

You may want the SEC Network sooner than you think.

Marc Weiszer mentions something you might want to file away in the back of your head.

Georgia associate athletic director Alan Thomas said on AM 680 The Fan this morning that the first event on the new SEC Network would be a Georgia women’s soccer game at Ole Miss. The date of that game hasn’t been announced yet. The SEC Network’s launch date is Aug. 14.

Thomas pushed for Georgia fans to let their cable and satellite providers know they want the SEC Network. There are deals in place with AT&T U-verse and Dish Network. There was an even an implication that Georgia’s football game at South Carolina on Sept. 13 could be on the SEC Network, but considering that the only other SEC game that week is Kentucky-Florida that seems improbable because CBS has the first pick of SEC games each week.  [Emphasis added.]

I’m not sure about that last point, though.  Doesn’t CBS have the broadcast rights to the US Open for the last time this year?  If so, it won’t be broadcasting a conference game that week.  Which means you’d best start making plans on how you’re gonna watch that game.

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UPDATE:  tbia points out in the comments that the US Open ends on 9/8 this season, a week earlier than in the past.  So Marc’s point stands.  (Unless there’s something else going on we don’t know about, of course.)

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Dig in, peeps.

  • From his new role as H-Back, Quayvon Hicks vows that this year will be different.  “I fell off and it won’t happen again,” the junior said. “I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to make sure I’m on the field all season this coming fall.”  I’ll leave it to you to ask the obvious follow-up question.
  • Football Study Hall looks at how sack rates affect point production.
  • Barrett Sallee argues that SEC teams have a track record of thriving with inexperienced quarterbacks.
  • Division III is struggling financially, but is is likely opposed to the easiest way to cut costs, limiting the number of teams in the NCAA championships.  Typical.
  • Man, it hurts a little reading this.  What could have been.
  • The NCAA is looking at adding parties other than college presidents and giving them voting rights to its Board of Directors, while reserving an option go into a president-only executive session when desired.  Accountability without effect – it’s the NCAA way!
  • Another Mark Richt has lost control incident.  You think he’ll make a crack about it?
  • Dr Pepper spends the money to have its name plastered on the CFP championship trophy.

16 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

Gettin’ all hope-y, change-y about SEC scheduling

Shorter Joe Alleva:  SEC presidents need to grow a pair and protect the ability of their football programs to schedule as weakly as they can get away with.

6 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Drinks are on the house!

Evidently the problem with the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party isn’t the cocktail part or the party part.  It’s the outdoor part.

Georgia-Florida had been known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” but the schools have cooled to that name in recent years due to excessive alcohol use on campus and CBS was asked in 2006 to stop referring to the game with that name.

The SEC allows private areas such as suites at games to serve alcohol. That is already done in Jacksonville.

Because it’s a proven fact that the rich handle their boozing better than the great unwashed do.  Must be something about their metabolism.

Hypocrisy smells like the St. John’s River.

48 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

Hungry?

  • You know, there’s a guy every year who seems like he’s been around forever.  My 2014 nominee for that guy is Florida’s Andre Debose, who was just granted a sixth year of eligibility.
  • “I just don’t want to see any University of Alabama (logos).”
  • David Ching makes a case for a guy we probably haven’t thought about much yet, tight end Jordan Davis.
  • SEC basketball crowds suck.  And here I thought continuously loud music packs folks in.
  • So, the question becomes would college basketball be better served as a one-semester sport?  What I love about this discussion is that there isn’t a single word about what fans might want, other than to blame our limited attention spans.  “It is a big challenge to get people to care about college basketball when football is still being played.”
  • Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney thinks it would be swell if college football players didn’t come out early.
  • The day Georgia football almost died.
  • Pretty good column in the Boston College student newspaper about March Madness“Thanks to March Madness, regular season success is overlooked.”
  • Auburn’s AD has fired the football, baseball and men’s basketball coaches he hired since 2008.  Think he’s indebted to Malzahn right now?

26 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football

I never thought it was possible…

but for the first time in my life I feel sorry for Brent Musburger.

Not as sorry as I do for the SEC Network’s listening audience, though.

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UPDATE:  Obviously I’m going to push the obvious…

Obviously.

46 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

“The rooster crow will definitely come back.”

Scott Stricklin’s working group, which decided it would be a swell idea during games to allow recorded music between plays and up until the point the quarterback gets in position at the line, is going to have a lot to answer for this fall.

Though prerecorded music was restricted, bands were allowed to play in between plays. Nichols said there are musical dead periods for the start of the game, before halftime and after halftime — when the band made its way back to its seats in the stadium after pregame ceremonies and going to and from the field for the halftime performance.

Those times are when Nichols and his team would look to take advantage of the rule change.

Not a moment’s peace.

I wonder when somebody will have the bright idea to monetize the dead periods with advertisements.

22 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

From the annals of you’ve got to spend money to make money…

The budgets come as many SEC athletics departments are investing money to build up their capability to produce games. Schools are being asked to produce games for the digital component of the SEC Network.

So while Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs is budgeting “very conservatively” for 2014-15 television revenue, he’s also spending approximately $3.5 million for a new control room, fiber that runs to venues, and equipment.

“Fortunately in the last 10 years we built up a reserve over $16 million so if we have to go into the fund, we will,” Jacobs said. “It’s an investment for the future.”

“Investment for the future”?  Greg McGarity thinks that “reserve fund” doesn’t mean what you think it means, Jay.

I wonder how he’s going to ask Georgia alumni to put up half the production cost as a match.  It’s not exactly as sexy as improving the baseball facilities.

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Steve Shaw, pacing himself

There is a lot to unpack from this interview with SEC officiating coordinator Steve Shaw about the debate over pace, but the first thing I’ve got to say about the man is that he’s much less arrogant about the topic than Bobby Gaston was.  Compare Gaston’s justification for inserting himself into the process…

Richt argued that the officials should put the ball in play as soon as they are set, regardless of how much time has elapsed, but Gaston said that would provide the offense an unfair advantage.

“Mark Richt would eat their lunch,” he said. “He would go straight to the ball and snap it. He’d get in 100 plays. We have about half the coaches who think we go too fast and about half who think we go too slow so we must be in about the right spot.”

… with what Shaw has to say about that:

“Whether we like it or not as officials, the college rule is different than the NFL rule,” Shaw said. “The college rule says when the ball is ready it can be snapped. So what we’ve got to do is be very consistent — and I’m not just talking SEC, I’m talking nationally. This is a big topic with (officiating) coordinators: How do we stay very consistent from a timing perspective on when the ball is ready and certainly any time there’s substitutions?”

That’s the difference between enforcing the rules and interpreting the rules according to some personal aesthetic agenda.  (Although, interestingly, Shaw seems to have overlooked what Gaston squelched with Richt when he noted at the time the 40-second clock was adopted, “Nobody was pressing the clock like they are now.”)

Shaw also points out that pace isn’t simply a matter of what offensive coaches try to do.

Conference officiating coordinators, along with College Football Officiating, LLC, are in the process of writing up specific standards of how to spot the ball ready for play “for every official in America to read and understand,” Shaw said.

In the SEC, Shaw said the general principle is the umpire will almost always spot the ball. The umpires are instructed to don’t sprint, don’t walk, but to jog crisply.

“I have nine SEC crews,” Shaw said. “When you talk about pace, you have different athleticism of umpires. What is a crisp jog to one guy is maybe not the exact same crisp jog to another guy.”

How much of that is due to athleticism and how much to, say, how an umpire feels about the proper amount of time to get set?  Common standards for spotting the ball seems like something that should have been established already, but in any event, it’s a welcome development.

It always seems that any time I read something about the SEC and officiating, something’s bound to turn up that’s irritating.  In this case, it’s adding the eighth official.  Shaw acknowledges that the conference’s test run had been successful, but…

The SEC tested eight officials in spring practices last year and will do so again this spring. What the SEC found was that an eighth official freed the umpire and referee to focus more on their pre-snap duties. Instead of the umpire spotting the ball, the eighth official — called the alternate referee — spots the ball.

“We manage uptempo much better (with an eighth official),” Shaw said.

More than tempo, though, Shaw said the eighth official allowed for better handling of spread offenses. For example, when five receivers go downfield, five officials become responsible to watch them, leaving just the umpire and referee to handle line-of-scrimmage play, including dangerous hits to the quarterback.

Although the early feedback is helpful, Shaw said he’s not sure if the SEC is ready to switch to eight officials during the season yet.

“We’ll be talking about it internally in the conference,” he said. “There would be latitude to do it in conference games only. Then you get to, do you want consistent officiating all year (since an eighth official is only allowed for conference games)? There’s a cost component to it. There’s one more official the schools have to pay so that always factors in. [Emphasis added.]  What I’m trying to look at is does that make us better?”

The conference is swimming in money, with more to come, but can’t swing the dough for nine guys who it admits can help manage the game better?  SEC, you’re so SEC.

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

“You also have to remember we play the SEC Championship Game.”

Judging from this article, a majority of Southeastern Conference athletic directors favor sticking with an eight-game conference schedule.  What’s interesting is that there isn’t a single mention in the article about television contracts being a motivating factor in the equation.  Instead, it’s almost all about the playoffs.

“I think we’ve done a really good job convincing the country that a one-loss SEC team deserves to play for the national title,” said Mississippi State Athletics Director Scott Stricklin, who supports eight games. “Are we going to be able to make the same argument for a two-loss team, which would happen more often (with nine games)?”

I think Stricklin’s missing the point there.  Greg McGarity, however, isn’t.

Said Georgia Athletics Director Greg McGarity: “The eight-game formula has served us well in the national championship discussion. Is that the right pattern moving forward? I think a lot of us think it is until proven differently.”

In other words, until they see proof that the conference is getting burned by the selection committee on the strength of schedule front, nobody’s inclined to do much of anything.

Which means we should expect scheduling to continue to be a season-by-season process.  And there’s something else we should continue to expect – a steady diet of cupcakes.  The recipe for those comes from the perfect combination of arrogance…

“I’m not worried about other schools playing nine games in their league. In some leagues, the bottom half of their league is cupcakes. So big deal you’re playing nine. You’re playing a cupcake anyway.”

… (because all cupcakes are equal, right?) and finances.

Gate revenue is also an argument made by some ADs for eight games. For Florida and Georgia, which annually play a neutral-site SEC game and an ACC rival that fluctuates home and away, nine SEC games would mean only six home games every other year.

“That’s a net loss of over $2 million what you generate every home game,” McGarity said. “So over a 10-year period, in today’s dollars, you’re leaving $10 to $11 million on the table.”

By negative implication, I assume that means Slive hasn’t been able to get the networks to pony up enough for the improved inventory a ninth conference game offers.

So expect Slive to be reactive instead of proactive on this front.  That means we’ll have plenty of SEC coaches bitching about scheduling for the foreseeable future.  And then even more bitching when one of them gets screwed out of a playoff spot.  Oh, goody for that.

51 Comments

Filed under SEC Football