O I C Stallings is a whinning crybaby and Donovan makes some good points?? Alabama and Tennessee both ran out of gas vs. UK What is the record for teams doing the Thursday-Saturday Turnaround BTW?? So far it's 1-3 since Vandy lost Saturday also which will cost them a NCAA Tourney bid.
Kevin Stallings, you’ve got company. Yesterday, Florida’s Billy Donovan voiced his concerns about the quick Thursday-Sunday turnarounds that some league teams are having to deal with this season. Rather than suggest that his team is at a disadvantage, Donovan used another team as an example of the difficulties of the turnarounds (possibly because he’s 9-1 in such back-to-backs).
Donovan specifically mentioned Alabama — a team that hosted Vanderbilt at 7pm last Thursday before facing Kentucky at noon on Saturday.
“If you’re trying to get more teams into the NCAA tournament, don’t put the teams inside your league into a competitive disadvantage. That’s my only problem with it, where teams are at a competitive disadvantage…
There’s got to be some level of balance there. The league needs to look at those situations where maybe there’s a clear, distinct advantage. I think an advantage sometimes is if a team’s playing a late-night game on Thursday night, there should be some rule put in that you’re not going to play Saturday until after 4 or 5 o’clock. I’m using Alabama because it just happened.”
We’ve got no problem with Donovan’s suggestion that the league try to implement rules regarding start times. We’d suggest going to a pure 48-hour rule. If a team plays at 7pm Thursday, it couldn’t tip before 7pm Saturday.
Unfortunately — and we’ve said this before — that’s not what television executives want. And while TV execs may be paying for Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas during football season… they’re paying for Kentucky’s brand name during hoops season. Like it, don’t like it, that’s a fact. Kentucky versus anyone is likely a better ratings draw national than any other SEC school versus any other SEC school.
Donovan knows this. “Kentucky’s program is extremely valuable and important to our league and their success is important to our league. There’s no question about that. And I’m sure ESPN wants (them), but ESPN also has a Thursday night game, too.”
Sadly, what coaches and fans seldom realize is just how difficult in-conference scheduling can be. Until every team plays every other team at home and on the road, you’re always going to have complaints. And even then some would bark about who’s facing who early in the season, late in the season, in back-to-back games, etc.
SEC spokesperson Craig Pinkerton told The Gainesville Sun that the league has certain parameters it must live within regarding Thursday-Saturday turnarounds. But, “While we make our best efforts to balance out the Thursday-Saturday tandems amongst all of the team, we can’t always make it perfectly balanced.”
Of the major BCS leagues, only the Big East requires its teams to face fewer two-day turnarounds than the Southeastern Conference.
(For some reason I’d initially headlined this piece “Thursday-Sunday Turnarounds. Obviously, it’s Saturday as is written throughout the piece.)