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SEC Headlines – 1/4/13

headlines-friEast Football

1.  Penalties — big penalties — cost Florida in this week’s Sugar Bowl.

2.  Will Muchamp doesn’t want to hear that the loss to Louisville ruined the Gators’ season: “We’ve had a great year and we’re moving this thing forward at a rapid pace.”  (Hard to argue with an 11-2 season, folks.)

3.  Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray says his draft grade came back “pretty good… second or third round.”  (And all it takes is one team to fall in love to make him a first-rounder.  Ask Tim Tebow.)

4.  Could 2013 be the most anticipated football season in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky?

5.  South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw will likely miss spring practice due to foot surgery.

West Football

6.  Alabama will be wearing new Nike uniforms in the BCS Championship Game.  Don’t worry, though.  The Tide’s new duds look just like their old unis.

7.  Get an inside look at Bama’s inside zone blocking scheme right here.

8.  Auburn has hired ex-Tiger QB Dameyune Craig from Florida State and Rich Bisaccia from the San Diego Chargers as new assistants.

9.  Arkansas’ new football assistants will make a combined $2.8 million.

10.  LSU linebacker Kevin Minter has decided to leave Baton Rouge early for the NFL: “When you’re hot, you’re hot.”

11.  Tiger safety Eric Reid is leaving, too.

12.  Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott will return to schools next year.

13.  What do teams do when they’ve wrapped up practice for Birmingham’s BBVA Compass Bowl?  They go bowling (as Mississippi and Pitt did yesterday).

Cotton Bowl

14.  Tonight’s Texas A&M-Oklahoma matchup looks to be one of the best bowl games this season.

15.  It’s out with the old and in with the new in tonight’s quarterback battle between Landry Jones and Johnny Manziel.

16.  Sooner coach Bob Stoops is ready for football, tired of the pregame events: “Enough of all this.  It’s time we do what we do.”

Basketball

17.  Arkansas’ Mike Anderson has had it with careless fouls.

18.  Georgia will play host to George Washington tonight.  (Guy gets around good for a dead man.)

19.  Kentucky is back up to #2 in this writer’s SEC rankings.

20.  LSU’s Anthony Hickey is expected to come back from his suspension tomorrow against Bethune-Cookman.

21.  Mississippi State whooped New Orleans 97-46 last night in front of — wait for it — 2,218 fans.

22.  Ole Miss will try to stay perfect at home when Fordham visits the Tad Pad tonight.

23.  Three Carolina players won’t be available for the Gamecocks’ game with South Carolina State tomorrow.

24.  More Memphis/Tennessee/Josh Pastner fallout: “How humiliating for Pastner.  He was utterly gutted by his athletic director, who had apparently been negotiating with Tennessee all along.”

25.  Cuonzo Martin doesn’t want his Vols to get “bullied” by the Tigers (as was the case last year).

26.  Texas A&M held off Houston Baptist 67-59 last night.

Extras

27.  The NCAA is looking at a new transfer model that would reduce eligibility penalties.

28.  Would ya believe the old one-point safety trick?

29.  Quackery or the wave of the future?  John Calipari says Kentucky is using a “device” to “monitor and check how much effort players are giving in real time.”

30.  A round of applause for Florida linebacker Darrin Kitchens, a player who showed school spirit all by his lonesome after the Sugar Bowl.

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SEC Headlines 1/3/2013

headlines-thuSEC Bowl Games

1. Recipe for a Sugar Bowl loss – Florida offense took a step backward, defense failed to show up,  ”It wasn’t just the worst game they have played all season, it might have been the worst in three seasons.”

2. Louisville coach Charlie Strong: “They say the Big East doesn’t play anybody. I hope tonight opened up some eyes.” A hug from Florida A.D. Jeremy Foley.

3. Biggest point-spread upset in the history of the BCS. Ranking the BCS upsets.

4. 85,000 tickets have been sold for the Cotton Bowl game between Texas A&M and Oklahoma – closing in on possible Cotton Bowl attendance record.

5. Johnny Manziel becomes the eighth Heisman Trophy winner to play in the Cotton Bowl - if history is a guide, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

6. Alabama staying at the Fountainbleu in Miami Beach.  Super Bowl atmosphere in south Florida? Nick Saban: ”I’ve never been to the Super Bowl, so I can’t really comment on that,”

7. Alabama center Barrett Jones on his injured foot:  ”I’m really starting to feel good, and I’m really confident about playing in the game.” Lineman Arie Kouandjio treated for dehydration – ambulance met the team plane as it landed.

8. LSU didn’t offer in-state four-star Rivals prospect Eddie Lacy coming out of high school.  That and other prep tidbits about the starting lineup of the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide.

9. Putting perspective on another Alabama national title:  “Alabama seniors could boast more national championship rings in their four seasons than Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno (two each) had in their combined 100 years as head coaches.”

10. Ole Miss freshman nose tackle Issac Gross on playing Alabama earlier this season: “That game gave me a whole lot of confidence. That was my breakout game.”

11. Outdoor practices combined with colder weather make practice a little more challenging for the Rebels.

12. Big jump in the ratings for the Outback Bowl and for the Capital One Bowl. ESPN forget to update their graphic for the Sugar Bowl.

NFL Draft Prospects

13. Florida juniors  Matt Elam and Sharrif Floyd are NFL bound. Elam: “It’s time to take care of the family.” Two more Gator juniors, Dominique Easley and Jordan Reed, remain undecided.

14. Mock NFL draft has three Texas A&M players taken in first eight picks.

SEC Football

15, Plenty of offseason questions at Mississippi State – lost their five games by an average of 21.4  points.

16, If Aaron Murray decides to stay at Georgia, 20 touchdown passes will make him the SEC all-time leader.

17. Redshirt quarterback Hutson Mason likely Murray replacement if he leaves.  Mike Bobo: ” (Mason) does some things that maybe are a little bit better than Aaron, and Aaron does some things a little bit better than him. But I have confidence in both those guys.”

18. If wide receiver Jordan Matthews stays at Vanderbilt, the Commodores will return 13 starters next season.

19. Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett is still weighing a transfer option. “I haven’t decided yet.”

20. SEC dominating Senior Bowl roster - 22 players of 88 confirmed players are from the conference. Next highest is Pac-12 with 11 players.

21. Former Tennessee running back David Oku has found a home at Arkansas State.  Thousand-yard rusher had 15 touchdowns this season – most in the Sun Belt conference.

Coaching News

22. Was Les Miles’ loyalty to offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa a major stumbling block for LSU this season?

23. Butch Jones staff at Tennessee will make a combined three million dollars, almost identical to the number Derek Dooley’s staff was to be paid in 2013.

24. Bret Bielema has retained Arkansas assistant Taver Johnson - he’ll coach cornerbacks for the Razorbacks. One more opening on Arkansas staff -likely to be tight ends coach.

SEC Basketball

25, Auburn 78 – Florida State 72. Tigers overcome loss of Chris Denson who was diagnosed Tuesday with a stress fracture in his left foot. Denson will miss 4-6 weeks, was Auburn’s second-leading scorer.

26, Kentucky 90 – Eastern Michigan 38. UK began second half with a 15-0 run.

27, Mississippi State vs. New Orleans.  Final non-conference game of the season for the Bulldogs.

28. Memphis decision not to play Tennessee fear based? “It has nothing to do with fear based.”

29. Memphis coach Josh Pastner:  ”I know some media people are Tennessee fans. They disguise themselves as Memphis fans, but they’re really Tennessee fans, and they want to see Memphis-Tennessee.”

30. Tennessee sophomore Jarnell Stokes on playing just nine minutes against Xavier.   ”I hope it never happens again.”

Extras

31. Frank Deford on gambling and March Madness: “The sanctimonious commissioners and the blowhard who runs the NCAA maintain, nonsensically, that legal gambling hurts the integrity of sports… while somehow illegal bookmaking remains beneficial for their games.”

32. Ray Lewis will head to ESPN after retiring from the Baltimore Ravens.

33, Economic study: Cities are better off when their sports teams go on strike – less security needed.

34, Kiplinger ranks University of Florida third best value among public colleges.

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SEC Bowl Game Odds Update 12/16/12 Update

Wondering what the lines are for the SEC’s bowl games this holiday season?  Here’s an updated look and, yes, the Vegas bookmakers know full well that betters will be plunking down big cash on SEC teams based on their reputation.  That’s why every single team from Mike Slive’s league opened as a favorite:

 

Music City Bowl in Nashville – Monday, Dec. 31st

Vanderbilt vs NC State

Opened:  VU -5

Current:  VU -7 (moved up a half-point this week)

 

Chik-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta – Monday, Dec. 31st

LSU vs Clemson

Opened:  LSU -3

Current:  LSU -4 (no change this week)

 

Gator Bowl in Jacksonville – New Year’s Day

Mississippi State vs Northwestern

Opened:  MSU -2

Current:  MSU -2 (no change this week)

 

Outback Bowl in Tampa – New Year’s Day

South Carolina vs Michigan

Opened:  USC -4.5

Current:  USC -5 (no change this week)

 

Capital One Bowl in Orlando – New Year’s Day

Georgia vs Nebraska

Opened:  UGA -8.5

Current:  UGA -10 (no change this week)

 

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans – Wednesday, Jan. 2nd

Florida vs Louisville

Opened:  UF -15

Current:  UF -13.5 (moved down a half-point)

 

Cotton Bowl in Arlington – Friday, Jan. 4th

Texas A&M vs Oklahoma

Opened:  A&M -3

Current:  A&M -4.5 (no change this week)

 

BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham – Saturday, Jan. 5th

Ole Miss vs Pittsburgh

Opened:  UM -2

Current:  UM -3.5 (no change this week)

 

BCS Championship Game – Monday, Jan. 7th

Alabama vs Notre Dame

Opened:  UA -9.5

Current:  UA -10 (moved up a half-point)

 

Nine bowl games – still nine SEC favorites, three of them double-digits. The first SEC bowl games kickoff two weeks from Monday.

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SEC Bowl Odds – 12/10/12 Update

Wondering what the lines are for the SEC’s bowl games this holiday season?  Here’s an updated look and, yes, the Vegas bookmakers know full well that betters will be plunking down big cash on SEC teams based on their reputation.  That’s why every single team from Mike Slive’s league opened as a favorite:

 

Music City Bowl in Nashville

Vanderbilt vs NC State

Opened:  VU -5

Current:  VU -6.5

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta

LSU vs Clemson

Opened:  LSU -3

Current:  LSU -4

 

Gator Bowl in Jacksonville

Mississippi State vs Northwestern

Opened:  MSU -2

Current:  MSU -2

 

Outback Bowl in Tampa

South Carolina vs Michigan

Opened:  USC -4.5

Current:  USC -5

 

Capital One Bowl in Orlando

Georgia vs Nebraska

Opened:  UGA -8.5

Current:  UGA -10

 

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans

Florida vs Louisville

Opened:  UF -15

Current:  UF -14

 

Cotton Bowl in Arlington

Texas A&M vs Oklahoma

Opened:  A&M -3

Current:  A&M -4.5

 

BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham

Ole Miss vs Pittsburgh

Opened:  UM -2

Current:  UM -3.5

 

BCS Championship Game

Alabama vs Notre Dame

Opened:  UA -9.5

Current:  UA -9.5

 

As you can see, in every game the line has either held or moved in favor of the SEC team.  As we’ve discussed before, Las Vegas oddsmakers set their lines to bring in an even amount of cash on both teams.  They set the lines based on what they believe the perception of Vegas-bound gamblers will be once they arrive in the local casinos.

When bowl season rolls around, that SEC reputation plays a big role in gamblers’ minds and the boys in the desert know it.

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SEC Bowl Game Lines

Bowl season kicks off in six days.  Here are the SEC bowl matchups and where the lines currently stand.

Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. North Carolina State.  Commodores opened as a 5.5 point favorite.  Most offshore lines now have Vanderbilt as a 6.5 or 7-point favorite.

Chik-Fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson.  Louisiana’s Tigers opened as a 3.5 point favorite.  LSU remains a 3.5 or 4-point favorite.

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Northwestern. Bulldogs opened as 2-point favorite.  That line has held steady – MSU favored by 2 or 2.5.

Capital One Bowl: Georgia vs. Nebraska. Bulldogs opened as a 8.5 point favorite – it’s now up to 10 points.

Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan.  Gamecocks opened a 6-point favorite.  That line has moved down a point to 5.

Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Louisville.  Gators opened as 15-point favorite.  It’s now down to 13 or 13.5.

Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma. Aggies opened a 3-point favorite.  That line has moved up to 4.5

Compass Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh. Rebels opened a 2-point favorite. It’s now up to 3.5 points.

BCS National Championship: Alabama vs. Notre Dame.  Crimson Tide opened as a 10.5 favorite.  That line is now 10 points at most offshore books.

That’s nine games – the SEC favored in every single one.

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SEC Headlines 12/3/2012

The Bowl Games

1. If Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame squad looks like an SEC team, it’s no accident.  ”For us to move Notre Dame back into a national prominence, we had to begin with our defense.”

2. Nick Saban on Notre Dame: “Defensively, they probably have the best front seven in the country.”

3. Statistical breakdown of Alabama and Notre Dame - Crimson Tide offense averages almost 12 points more per game.

4. Bruce Feldman: “Bama’s biggest edge over Notre Dame won’t be size or strength, it’ll be experience.”

5. Georgia’s headed to the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska, but the bitterness lingers: Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity: “There’s absolutely no question that we are deserving of a BCS bid, and Florida finished third, and by way of them finishing third in the BCS, that locked out us, without any further discussion.”

6. Only two teams per conference in BCS bowls.  Kirk Herbstreit: “Who came up with this rule?” (BCS cap on conferences will come off when college football goes to the playoff system following the 2014 season.)

7. The Coaches’ Poll factors into the BCS calculations.  Steve Spurrier says he votes differently when his name is on the ballot.  ”If it was anonymous, I would have changed it a little bit, to be honest with you.” James Franklin’s ballot.

8. Texas A&M and Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl – best bowl outside of the BCS games?

9. Seven Heisman winners have played in the Cotton Bowl the year they won the award.  Johnny Manziel could be the eighth. A Heisman straw poll that’s been incredibly accurate says it’s Manziel’s to lose.

10. Florida will face their old defensive coordinator in Louisville coach Charlie Strong.  Will Muschamp: “He’s one of the good guys in this profession.”

11. LSU is back in the Chik-fil-A Bowl, where it played  in 2000, 2005, and 2008. They won all three.

12. Mississippi State will face Northwestern in the Gator Bowl and head coaches Dan Mullen and Pat Fitzgerald have known each other for years.  “Dan’s one of those guys that I’m going to reach out to and do some research and just bounce some ideas off of.”

13. With Ole Miss headed to the Compass Bowl against Pittsburgh, Rebels coach Hugh Freeze conducted his Sunday night teleconference from a recruit’s home.

14. Vanderbilt meets North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl – the two teams haven’t met since 1946.

15. Pat Forde says championship game and Fiesta Bowl are great.  ”But after that?  It’s a joke.”

SEC/College News

16. Expect Hugh Freeze’s contract at Ole Miss to get re-worked.  A.D. Ross Bjork already working on it.

17. Former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch had a big role in getting Mark Stoops to Kentucky. “I really liked Mark from the get-go, I really did,”

18. AD Mitch Barnhart on Stoops: “He has a plan and his recruiting ties were very, very important.”

19. They’re rearranging the furniture at Auburn.  Photos of Gene Chizik are being removed.

20. Steve Spurrier reportedly getting a contract extension.

21. Alabama center Barrett Jones injured his foot against Georgia – but should be ready for bowl game practice in two weeks. Jones will be in four states in four days for awards banquets.

22. Junior linebacker C.J. Mosley named Alabama’s most valuable player.

23. One writer’s All-SEC ballot.

24. USA Today ranks every FBS team – from 1 to 124, Notre Dame to Southern Mississippi.

25.  Hurry-up offenses and their impact – on the school band.

SEC Basketball

26. Clemson 64 – South Carolina 55.  First home game this year for Bruce Ellington. Three days after being taken off court in stretcher, Brenton Williams led Gamecocks with 16 points.

27. CBS Sports rankings have Florida, Missouri, and Alabama in its top 25 – no Kentucky.

28.  LSU’s Shavon Coleman and Florida’s Michael Frazier II – SEC Players of the Week.

Extras

29. RIP Rick Majerus.  Memorable quotes from one of college basketball’s memorable coaches.  ”Some guys smoke. Some guys drink. Some guys chase women. I’m a big barbecue-sauce guy.”..

30. $50 8-team parlay would have paid $18,500 until a last-minute touchdown by the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night wrecked the bet.

31. The New Yorker on Paul Finebaum – King Of The South.

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SEC Headlines 12/2/2012

Coaching News & Rumors

1. Names linked to Auburn search: Gus Malzahn, Jimbo Fisher, Gary Patterson, Kirby Smart, Chris Peterson.  Introduction of new coach could come early in the week. All of those names except Patterson were on the winning side Saturday.

2. Auburn’s search committee – the four names at Auburn that matter most.

3. Names linked to Arkansas search:  Gary Patterson,  Mike Gundy, Art Briles,  Chris Petersen,  Kirby Smart, Bo Pelini. One week ago today, A.D. Jeff Long said Arkansas would have its new coach in 10-14 days.

4. Names linked to Tennesssee search: Mike Gundy, Charlie Strong, Jimbo Fisher, Al Golden. Search moves to New York City.

5. New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops left the field last night for the final time as Florida State’s defensive coordinator.  “Thank you, coach!”

6. Stoops lands in Lexington today. Deciding on a starting quarterback will be at the top of the agenda.

7. Pat Dooley: “I was a little puzzled by the hiring of Mark Stoops at Kentucky.”

8. North Carolina State has its new coach.  Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren accepted the position Saturday.

Bowl Projections

9. High level Georgia source: Bulldogs headed to Cotton Bowl or Capital One Bowl.

10. Late word Saturday was that Capital One wanted Texas A&M.  Cotton Bowl to decide between Georgia and LSU. Are Tigers the favorite?

11. This Louisiana writer agrees- Cotton for LSU. This Louisiana writer didn’t get the memo – he says Chik-Fil-A for the Tigers.

12. SI’s Stewart Mandel’s complete bowl projections has Vanderbilt slotted for the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. Jerry Palm has the Commodores in the Gator Bowl.

13. Why Mississippi State could be headed to Music City Bowl.

14. Alabama fans know where they are headed: “I respect the heck out of Notre Dame.”

15. Jeremy Fowler: “These two are meant for each other, and even SEC elitists should acknowledge it.”

SEC/College News

16. The Internet troublemaker known as the ampersand - and why it has Texas A&M officials worried about the Heisman vote.

17. Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief and the Internet sensation known as “Feed Moncrief.”

18. One writer’s players of the year and other informal postseason honors for the Florida Gators.

19. Some stadium renovations at Missouri may be completed a year earlier than planned.

20. One man’s AP Top 25 ballot.  Here’s another one.

21. Man falls 4o-feet at ACC Championship game. Transported to hospital with “life-threatening injuries.” 

 SEC Basketball

22. Baylor 64 – Kentucky 55. Baylor snaps UK’s 55-game home winning streak. John Calipari now 54-1 at Rupp.

23. Cincinnati 58 – Alabama 56.  Tide lose game on a buzzer-beater.

24.  Missouri 72 – Applachian State 56. Laurence Bowers matches his career-high with 23 points as Tigers move to 6-1.  An insufficient punishment for coach Frank Haith?

25. Ole Miss 80 – Rutgers 67.  Murphy Holloway and Reggie Buckner post double-doubles as Rebels move to 6-0.

26. Providence 73- Mississippi State 63. State now 0-5 in games away from Humphrey Coliseum.

27. Villanova 62 – Vanderbilt 52. Commodores now 2-4, worst start since the 1988-89 season.

28. Texas A&M 70 – Houston 59. Aggies go to 6-1 behind 26 points from Elston Turner.

29. South Carolina plays Clemson today.  Fifth-year senior LaShay Page is a steady influence for the Gamecocks.

30. LSU is hitting its free-throws when it matters most.

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Alabama Returning To BCS Championship Game, Beats Georgia 32-28 In Classic SEC Title Bout

1. Alabama ground-game dominant. Tide set SEC Championship-game record with 350 rushing yards.

2. 270 of those yards came in the second and third quarters.

3. What did Mark Ingram tell Eddie Lacy on the field moments after the game? “He said that’s the best I’ve ever seen you run.”

4. Georgia rally ends at Alabama 5-yard line as time expired.  Why didn’t Bulldogs spike the ball?  Mark Richt: “Well, spiking the ball takes time.” Aaron Murray: “I wasn’t calling the plays.”

5. “Someone asked me just a second ago what I thought the difference was (in the game),” Richt said. “All I could think of was, we just ran out of time.

6. “Several guys came back to be deemed SEC champions, to play for a national championship,” Georgia senior receiver Tavarres King said. “Those dreams were crushed tonight.

7. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Nick Saban’s teams have won bigger games…but one of his Alabama teams has never won a bigger game from a bigger hole, against a better foe, on a bigger stage.”

8. Dan Wetzel: “In many ways Saturday could be called Saban’s greatest victory…”

9. Saban on Georgia: “If you got in this game, you should be in a BCS game.”

10. Dennis Dodd on Quintin Dial’s shot to the head of Aaron Murray:  ”Dial may not get the luxury of suiting up for Notre Dame when SEC officials examine the film.

11. Mark Richt’s testy exchange with a media member after the game.

12. Richt post-game news conference video.

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MrSEC.com Bowl Projections – 11/14/12

With just a few more weeks remaining in the college football season, the bowl picture should be coming into focus.  But there’s still a whole lotta shakin’ that could still go on as we wind up November and move through the conference championship games.

At the moment, eight SEC teams are already bowl eligible: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.

Two more teams are a single win away from bowl eligibility with two games to play: Missouri (games with Syracuse and Texas A&M) and Ole Miss (games with LSU and Mississippi State).

Two other teams have to win their final two games to become bowl eligible: Arkansas (games with Mississippi State and LSU) and Tennessee (games with Vanderbilt and Kentucky).

It’s likely at this point that even if the SEC doesn’t have a team reach the BCS Championship Game it will still place two teams in BCS bowls (one as the league champ in the Sugar Bowl and one other as an at-large team in another BCS game).

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Champions” Bowl Announcement Coming Soon

It’s Thursday and people are starting to get a little froggy about the “Champions” Bowl announcement that the SEC and Big XII had said they’d make this week.  No press releases came on Monday.  No press conferences were called on Tuesday.  No news broke yesterday.

But SEC associate commissioner Mark Womack says a decision between the Cotton Bowl in Arlington and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans is coming soon:

 

“We’re not quite there yet.  The goal was to try to get it done this week.  Whether that will be the case or not, we’re still not quite sure on that.”

 

We were told by someone in the SEC office yesterday afternoon that it’s still hoped a decision will be announced by the end of the week.

According to The Baton Rouge Advocate, the delay seems to revolve around the number of times the “Champions” Bowl will serve as national semifinal game during the 12-year playoff run that will kick off after the 2014 season.  Womack admitted that getting the SEC, Big XII and ESPN on the same page is tricky:

 

“Getting two different conferences to work things out and having all of our ADs on board is a little more time-consuming…

“We are talking about a long-term, major deal here.  And we need to have everybody on board and in agreement.  But we’re hopeful to have it done soon.”

 

Better hurry, guys.  In our microwave society, people want their news yesterday.

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