Questions and opinions about the new SEC Network will likely be dissected and debated until well after the Network launches in August of 2014. Sunday papers are full of news and views on the topic. We’ve assembled a compendium of thought on the topic starting with this quote from Arkansas coach Bret Bielema – who’s knows a thing or two about a conference network – since he came from Big Ten country, where the Big Ten network officially launched in 2007. Bielema addressed the topic of how the network can impact recruiting.
“I have seen it first hand with the Big Ten network. At Wisconsin (where Bielema previously coached), the issue wasn’t recruiting in the state. We were the state university, we had great fans, but for us to be successful, we had to expand out of the Midwest.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I would go into a prospect’s house in Florida and California, and he’d know all about us. He’d say ‘I’ve seen all your games.’ That didn’t mean he had seen them on Saturday. He was watching the replays on Tuesday night. That was huge.”
Here’s what MrSEC said about the recruiting impact on Friday. Here’s how others around the league have reacted to the news.
* Kevin Scarbinsky on what other league commissioners were thinking about during the unveiling of the SEC Network: ”Any vision you might’ve had of unseating the SEC as the most dominant collection of institutions of higher learning in the country just faded to black.”
* Officials at Ole Miss and Mississippi State look forward to the national attention the new network will provide. MSU coach Dan Mullen: “Everyone around the country is going to learn a lot more about Mississippi State.”
* Missouri A.D. Mike Alden: “Data shows that the two most valuable brands in college sports today… are the SEC, No. 1, and ESPN is No. 2,”
* For Missouri, “there will be long-term benefits for the short-term pain.”
* “Will the SEC Network advocate hard-hitting journalism, pump sunshine, or somewhere in the middle?”