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Report: “Champions” Bowl Goes To Sugar Bowl And New Orleans

I have no idea if the guy I voted for today will be President of the United States tomorrow, but if ESPN’s sources are correct, at least I can go to bed knowing that one race has gone the way I wanted.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy is reporting that the SEC and Big XII have decided to place the “Champions” Bowl in New Orleans, meaning that the “Champions” Bowl will be known as the Sugar Bowl when it pits Big XII versus SEC on January 1st, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Orleans and the Superdome outbid Arlington, Texas and Cowboys Stadium for the right to host the game.

New Orleans is the better tourist destination — no offense to the Metroplex — and the Superdome has hosted just about every major sporting event in America at one time or another.  It’s also about as close to the geographic center of the two leagues as you could get (while still remaining in a warm city).

McMurphy reports that the leagues will indeed receive $80 million from ESPN as expected… the same cash amount paid out to the Rose Bowl.  One gets bank because it’s been around for a century.  The other gets mucho cash because it’s home to the two best leagues of the BCS era.

Good call, SEC and Big XII.  The best site won.

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“Champions” Bowl Site To Be Announced Next Week

The Big XII and the SEC have apparently decided on a host city for their new “Champions” Bowl which starts up in 2014.  But you’re going to have to wait until an announcement next week to find out which city/bowl won the game.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that — as we all already knew — the selection of the host city has become “a two-horse race” between Arlington, Texas and New Orleans.  It’s Jerry Jones’ monster stadium versus the French Quarter.  It’s the Cotton Bowl or the Sugar Bowl.

Based on its tourism industry and it’s geographic location about halfway between the two leagues, MrSEC.com has stated on multiple occasions that we would like to see the game land in New Orleans rather than Arlington.  Nothing against the Metroplex, but where would you rather spend a few days in January?

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Wow Evening Headlines 10/18/2012

SEC releases 2013 conference schedule; No permanent cross-division rivalries were killed
Tennessee will replace a road date with Mississippi State with a November home visit from Auburn.
Vanderbilt cancels 2013 games with Northwestern and Ohio State
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore  may not start or even play versus Florida on Saturday
Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby says either Arlington, Texas or New Orleans will host the new Big XII/SEC “Champions” Bowl
The NCAA has cleared Kentucky basketball freshman Nerlens Noel to practice and play
Tennessee AD Dave Hart says “There are more challenges than met the eye” when he took over the Vol program last year
LSU OL Alex Hurst has left the program and may not be back because of “a family thing”
Auburn has not decided on a starting QB for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt
Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on coaching again: “I don’t think you can ever say never.”
Kentucky, Florida and Missouri are all ranked in the first basketball coaches poll of the season
Get all your SEC news from MrSEC.com… seven days a week, 365 days a year

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Big XII Commish Talks Playoff, Make-Up Of Selection Committee, New “Champions” Bowl

Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby said yesterday that by “sweating all the details” the college football leaders working on the sport’s new playoff will keep the regular-season relevant and distribute revenue fairly.  “I’m confident we’re going to get it right by the time it’s all done,” he said.

He also revealed what the current thinking on the selection committee’s make-up is:

 

“Some of them will be active people currently in the profession [and] retired people.  I’m probably a little more trusting than some others might by having gone through the basketball committee process.  The basketball process is a very honorable process.  If you have a dog in the fight, you leave the room.  You don’t try to influence the other people in the room for your own benefit.  This will be the same way.

Will it be harder to come up with four teams than it is to come up with 68 [in basketball]?  Yeah.  Would we be any less confident in terms of integrity?  No.”

 

Bowlsby said he expects the number of panelists on the committee to be about 18.

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Honey Badger’s Family Calls Sports Illustrated Story “Ridiculous”

Yesterday we told you of Sports Illustrated’s new profile of former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.  The profile was not the most positive thing ever written as it dealt with the Honey Badger’s dismissal from LSU’s team this season, his brief drug rahab stint, and possible NCAA violations that he might have committed while still a member of the Tiger football team.

According to SI.com, Mathieu’s image was used to promote parties at nightclubs in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  His image appeared on fliers and in video promotions for the events and — according to Sports Illustrated — Mathieu and current Tiger defensive tackle Anthony Johnson might have also received VIP treatment at the clubs.  If true, those claims could cause worries for LSU and Johnson.  They could also prevent Mathieu from returning to the Tigers next season as he had hoped.

Well, his adoptive parents have lashed out at SI.com over the report.

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LSU’s Loss To Florida? Oy, It Was So Humid!

When it comes to goofy excuses, a team from Louisiana claiming humidity in Florida hurt its chances of winning is way up near the top of the list.  Anyone who’s ever been to South Louisiana in August — when LSU goes through preseason drills — knows that the air is as thick as the jambalaya.  I once went to a July convention in New Orleans and walking out my hotel onto the street at 9am was like walking into a wall of gelatin.

Still, for LSU players, they’re saying the humidity got to them in Gainesville on Saturday.  Yep, you can apparently chalk up Florida’s 14-6 win over the Tigers to the weather.

Now, the average October humidity in Florida ranges from about 71% in Pensacola to 79% in Jacksonville.  The average October humidity in Baton Rouge is 73%.  And last Saturday in Gainesville the temperatures were in the 80s to boot.  So it’s a little hard to grasp the weather excuse that a few Tigers are tossing out there.

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Bama Fan Pleads Guilty To Obscenity Charges For BCS PostGame… Well, You Know

Alabama fan Brian Downing has pleaded guilty today to two counts of obscenity for “sexually taunting” a passed-out LSU fan at a Krystal burger joint after the Tide’s BCS Championship Game win in New Orleans in January.  I’m sure you remember the story and have seen the video.

Unbelievably, prosecutors said a deal was reached before the trial that calls for Smith to be sentenced to two years in jail. 

What a sad story.

Downing acted stupidly and criminally in this writer’s view, but two years in jail on top of what he’s already been through?  That seems a bit steep.  Of course, I’m not the man who was “sexually taunted.”

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First Playoff Title Game To Go To One Of Six Bowl Sites

The new college football playoff hasn’t come into existence yet and already tweaks are being made.  Example:  Initially, the conference commissioners had planned to use six bowls as part of the overall playoff rotation, but last week word came that a seventh bowl might be added (to give more opportunities to small-conference schools, no doubt in the hopes of fending off potential lawsuits).

Now comes word that the championship game will not be bid out to any ol’ city as initially expected.  Instead, sources told ESPN.com that in order to “expedite the process,” the first playoff title game on January 12, 2015 will go to one of six cities, all of which currently host a bowl game:

 

Arlington, Texas (Cotton Bowl)

Atlanta, Georgia (Chick-fil-A Bowl)

Glendale, Arizona (Fiesta Bowl)

Miami, Florida (Orange Bowl)

New Orleans, Louisiana (Sugar Bowl)

Pasadena, California (Rose Bowl)

 

Starting in 2016, any city can bid to host championship game, while the semifinals will rotate through the six — or seven — bowls picked to be, basically, “big boy” games.

Let’s get back to that date of January 12th, just for a second.  Wasn’t this whole thing supposed to speed up the college football season to make sure that it didn’t stretch further into January and into the dreaded second semester than university presidents have so often used as a reason to nix a playoff?  Well, that title game on the 12th will be the latest date for a championship game in college football history.

As usual, the conference commissioners and presidents say one thing… but do another.  Proving that we could have had a playoff years ago.  (As if you needed me to point that out to you.)

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WOW Morning Headlines – 9/7/12

LSU starting LT Chris Faulk will reportedly miss the season with a knee injury
Alabama’s Nick Saban on available tickets vs W. Kentucky: “We can’t sell out with all the games we’ve won?”
Houston has reportedly put in a bigger bid to host the “Champions” Bowl than Arlington or New Orleans
Tennessee is paying nonconference foes Ga. State, Akron and Troy more than $2 million to visit Knoxville
Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart: “We want people in the stands, but we’ve got to earn that back.”
Two W. Kentucky players promise a victory at top-ranked Alabama on Saturday
Follow all 14 SEC schools and their recruiting efforts every day on MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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Report: Houston Puts In Highest Bid For “Champions” Bowl

Longtime national sportswriter Mark Blaudschun is reporting on his own blog that Houston — not Arlington, not New Orleans, not Atlanta — has offered up the biggest pile of cash for the right to host the SEC/Big XII’s new “Champions” Bowl. 

Unfortunately, there are still a lot more unknowns than knowns when it comes to the leagues’ new game, which will kick off at the end of the 2014 season.  Will the game be played in one city each year taking on the name of that city’s bowl?  Will the “Champions” Bowl rotate between cities as was once expected when the game was first announced pre-playoffs.  Now with a playoff on the horizon, will there be a way to lock in a bowl rotation for the “Champions” Bowl inside the overall rotation of games hosting the semifinals and finals?

Blaudschun cites “source familiar with the bidding process” as saying that Houston, Dallas (Arlington), and New Orleans made the three highest bids overall.  Atlanta and San Antonio had also planned to put in bids, but — apparently — their bids were lower.  At least according to Blaudschun.

As we’ve stated before, until the details of the playoff are worked out, it’s going to be difficult for the SEC and Big XII to move forward with their own plans for the “Champions” Bowl.  And either way, the new set-up will wind up being more convoluted and confusing for fans than the old BCS means of selecting teams and games.

 

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