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SEC Headlines 4/24/2014

headlines-thuSEC Basketball

1. Speculation on the Missouri search.  Why isn’t Ben Howland’s agent returning multiple messages? And was Kim Anderson’s name leaked as a trial balloon? “The next 24 hours or so might be a pretty good time to test your FlightAware search capabilities.” 

2. One guy who is apparently no longer a candidate –  UTEP coach Tim Floyd.

3. Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel on Frank Haith’s departure.  ”He had to do what he had to do.”

4. Dave Leitao was an assistant to Frank Haith at Missouri - he’ll have the same job at Tulsa.

5. New Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall is hiring assistants. Ole Miss assistant Al Pinkins joining the staff.

6. With Dakari Johnson returning to Kentucky- the only players whose decisions have not been made public are freshmen Aaron and Andrew Harrison.

7. Did you know?  Absent Missouri’s hire, at the age of 55, John Calipari is the oldest basketball coach in the SEC. But not too old to go on Stephen Colbert’s show.

8. LSU’s Jordan Mickey will return for his sophomore season.

9. Former Vanderbilt assistant David Cason has joined Shaka Smart’s staff at VCU.

SEC Football

10. South Carolina a nine-point favorite over Texas A&M?  A look at opening lines for the first week of the college football schedule.

11. Wide receiver  A.J. Legree is leaving Kentucky.

12. Florida receiver/safety Marqui Hawkins is transferring from the school.

13. Kevin Scarbinsky on the SEC scheduling debate: “Saban’s got it right, and Malzahn’s all wrong.”

14. South Carolina wants an eight-game schedule that eliminates permanent cross-division rivals.

15. Presidents at both Auburn and Georgia voicing support for continuing the Deep South’s oldest rivalry.

16. What is coach Butch Jones worried about at Tennessee?  ”Hands down, it’s depth.”

17. Focus of concerns at Auburn - defense and special teams.

18. Georgia coach Mark Richt on inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler ‘s obsession: “He’s got a Red Bull refrigerator. They send him cases of Red Bull whenever he asks for it.”

19. Bulldogs senior quarterback Hutson Mason on his one and only chance to lead his team.“I don’t have time to get my feet wet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to be remembered as a champion.”

20. No lingering quarterback competition at Arkansas.  Brandon Allen will lead the first-team offense.

21. Texas coach Charlie Strong is talking Longhorns-Aggies again:  ”You would like to see that happen.”

22. Texas recruit tweet: “Texas has discipline. A&M is a circus.”

23. Would you believe?  LeBron James is the most “Googled” athlete in every SEC state – except Kentucky and Tennessee.

SEC/NFL

24. ESPN’s Mel Kiper on Jadeveon Clowney:  ”He’s a once-in-every-20-year guy.”

25. Kiper sees nine SEC players going in the first round – 17 in the first two rounds. Six of the top 10 picks projected to come from SEC.

26.  Kiper on Auburn running back Tre Mason: “He’s a Ray Rice-type runner, I believe. I would say third round for him.”

27. Kiper on Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief: “He’s a second-round pick.”

28. From seventh round or undrafted to possible second-round pick. Why is Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood’s stock soaring?

29. Could Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson be a nice fit for the Denver Broncos?

30. Despite being one of 30 players invited to New York for the draft, opinions are divided on when and where Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy will land.

Extras

31. NCAA meeting expected to give the big conferences more power - including the ability to  provide scholarships that would cover the full cost of attendance.

32. Some broadcasting highlights of the NFL’s 2014 schedule.

33. Herschel Walker: ” I can play in the NFL today.”

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Slive Doesn’t Sound Too Terribly Thrilled To Have Pearl Back In The SEC

PEARL-SLIVESoon after landing at Auburn, basketball coach Bruce Pearl put in a phone call to SEC commissioner Mike Slive.  Not a bad move since Pearl has already left one SEC school on probation (Tennessee).  He also was handed an eight-game suspension by Slive and the league office during his final year in Knoxville for his transgressions.

The commissioner’s take?

 

“He called, and I thought he might…

I think Bruce has faced up to some mistakes he made publicly.  We cleared the air.  Assuming he does what he says he’s going to do, we’re ready to move ahead…

Bruce is an energetic guy who brings a lot of enthusiasm.  He and I have had our moments.  I think you are all aware.  I think there is a lot of excitement that he is back in the league by the folks at Auburn.”

 

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, eh?

Ironically, the same Auburn fans who once wanted Slive and the SEC to slap Pearl around while he was at Tennessee are now likely wanting Slive to butt out when it comes to flamboyant coach.  According to Slive, he does butt out when it comes to the hires made by league schools.

“I really try to stay out of personnel issues,” the commish said.  ”If I was involved every time a coach came or left the SEC, I wouldn’t have time to do anything else.  I really try to stay out of those things the best I can.”

Clearly the onus is on Pearl at this point.  He’s been hired right back into the league he left.  If he plays by the rules, Auburn couldn’t have made a better hire.  But with his tenures at Iowa (as an assistant) and at Tennessee ending in controversy, there’s no guarantee of good behavior.  Tiger AD Jay Jacobs has swung big on this one.  Expect a home run or a strikeout with little room in between.

 

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SEC Headlines 4/23/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Tennessee running back Alden Hill will transfer. Had 10 carries for 58 yards last year as a redshirt freshman. Vols will likely have five scholarship running backs on the 2014 roster.

2. Former Alabama lineman Chad Lindsay transferring to Ohio State.

3. Arkansas running back Alex Collins: “I love it here.”

4. Georgia lost four skill-position players to seasson-ending ACL injuries last year.  Coach Mark Richt was asked Tuesday night if strength and conditioning played a role.

5. Goal for Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall this fall - complete 65 to 70 percent of his passes.  Hit on 59 percent last season.

6. Despite losses, both Missouri’s offensive and defensive lines appear to be in good shape heading into the fall.

7. ESPN takes a stab at ranking the 10 best “three-star” or lower players in the SEC.

SEC Media

8. Conspiracy theorists wonder why Alabama’s SEC Network commercial is one second shorter than the rest of the league.

9. South Carolina’s ad showcased the “Sandstorm” music.

10. Here’s a ranking of all the ads – from No. 14 Kentucky to No. 1 Alabama.

11. Is commissioner Mike Slive disappointed that the league has only two secured distribution deals for the new network? ”Instead of being disappointed we’re absolutely ecstatic.”

12. Former Alabama long snapper Carson Tinker has written a book about the day a tornado landed him in the hospital and took the life of his girlfriend.

SEC/NFL

13. The thirty players invited to New York for the first round of the NFL draft include three from Alabama. Total of 11 from the SEC also includes three from Texas A&M. Complete list here.

SEC Basketball

14. If new Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall is fired before March 15, 2017 – he’s owed a $3 million buyout.

15. Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart “saw a lot of similarities” between Tyndall and Vols football coach Butch Jones.

16. Tyndall was involved in NCAA investigation while at Morehead State.

17. Message to Missouri A.D. Mike Alden: ”Go get Gregg Marshall.”

18. Should Mizzou hire Tim Floyd, his current contract at UTEP does not include a penalty should he leave before it expires in 2015.

19. Auburn’s Bruce Pearl has officially hired his final bench assistant – La Salle University’s  Harris Adler

20. Kentucky’s Julius Randle projected as a top 5 pick in the NBA draft.

21. Randle becomes the 12th one-and-done player under John Calipari at Kentucky. Alex Poythress staying at Kentucky.

22. LSU freshman forward Jordan Mickey will announce this afternoon whether he’ll leave school for the NBA draft.

Extra

23. The Mizzou basketball arena was once named for her.  Now Paige Laurie is getting a divorce.

24. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: “Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program.”

25. Troy offensive lineman squats 810 pounds.

26. New Joe Paterno statue coming to Penn State?

27. If college athletes become employees, does that mean foreign student athletes would be ineligible?

28. Happy birthday, Wrigley Field.  100 years old today.

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Bama’s Saban: Little Support For A 9-Game SEC Schedule

gfx-they-said-it4Nick Saban has been the only vocal proponent among SEC coaches when it comes to switching to an nine-game league schedule.  According to the coach, that’s because there’s not much support whatsoever for adopting a nine-game slate… vocal or otherwise:

 

“I don’t think there’s any support for that, it doesn’t seem like.  I think there’s a little bit more support for staying with an eight-games schedule and everybody playing a ninth opponent that’s in the five major conferences.

My thing is I’m for playing nine conference games and still playing another team in the major conferences, so you play 10 games because of fan interest, people coming to games looking forward to seeing more good games.

So that’s the starting point for me.  I think it’s important for the players to be able to play more teams in the SEC East, on the other side, which we only get to play one now.  I don’t know if we stay with the 6-1-1 or 6-0-2.  I don’t know.”

 

Saban might be the only smart coach in the conference when it comes to scheduling.  In terms of strength of schedule for the new playoff, it appears now that the SEC would be the only league not playing nine conference games and a 10th game against a power league.  That means each SEC team would play three cupcakes instead of two and that will give the playoff selection committee reason enough to exclude a second SEC team from the playoff in coming years.

Also, with schools battling attendance issues, one would think adding a league game would make for a better box office draw.  If you’re an Auburn fan, for example, would you rather see your team play Oregon or Charleston Southern.  Exactly.

The league’s coaches met yesterday.  SEC commissioner Mike Slive said last week that a decision on future schedules could come in the next couple of weeks.  One small group — likely led by Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia — is probably going to vote in favor of a nine-game slate or an eight-game slate that protects crossover rivalries like Alabama/Tennessee and Auburn/Georgia.  Another small group — led by LSU and South Carolina — is expected to push for an eight-game schedule with no permanent rivals.  The SEC presidents will ultimately make the decision.  Best bet?  The compromise would seem to be the status quo — eight games with permanent rivals.

If/when the SEC gets bumped from the College Football Playoff over a strength of schedule issue, you can bet this topic will be revisited.

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Vols Finally Land Their Man In Tyndall, But What Does The Future Hold For Him?

donnie-tyndall-coachingBy most accounts Donnie Tyndall looks to be a pretty good hire for Tennessee’s basketball program.  The Vols’ new coach built up Morehead State over the span of six years.  At Southern Miss he slightly improved upon Larry Eustachy’s rebuilding job the last two years.  He knows the South, has recruited in the SEC before (as an LSU assistant) and — perhaps most importantly for some UT fans — he’s said to have a “big personality.”

There was also an NCAA run-in while at Morehead State, but apparently Tennessee brass heard a good explanation from Tyndall during their rushed Monday romance.

The Volunteers’ latest coach will officially begin his tenure today at 2:00pm ET in Knoxville.  You can bet he’ll say all the right things at that introductory presser.  He’ll know why a vocal part of the Big Orange fanbase turned on Cuonzo Martin — a slow style of play and an unwillingness to “sell his program.”  Expect Tyndall to talk about “embracing the fans,” playing “an exciting style” of basketball as well as stating that he’ll be happy to wear a bright orange jacket that Bruce Pearl and Martin wore for special rivalries.

It was only four years ago that a fella named Derek Dooley won Vol fans over by saying such un-Kiffiny things as “embrace the traditions” and “britches” at his press conference.  He never said “britches” again, never embraced Tennessee’s traditions and flopped on the field, proving that introductory comments really don’t mean much once the actual games begin.

For Tyndall’s sake, he certainly needs everyone in the UT fanbase to come together behind him.  That never happened for Martin.  From Day One he was simply “Not Pearl.”  He won 19, 20 and 24 games and went to a Sweet Sixteen.  Only John Calipari and Billy Donovan won more SEC games the last three years.  His thanks was an extension that would have put him at eighth on the league’s pay chart and a decreased buyout.  It’s a safe bet that no other SEC school outside of Kentucky would have run off someone with Martin’s record.  And Tennessee is no Kentucky when it comes to history.

Those against Martin were vocal from the start and with an underachieving regular season — not unlike Kentucky this year — their discontent spread quickly.  Several thousand folks put their names on a petition that helped steer several candidates (by all accounts) away from the UT job.  Not only A-listers passed, but so too did a three-year coaching veteran from Louisiana Tech.  Michael White wanted a big buyout for security’s sake.  No wonder.  But that didn’t happen and the La Tech coach passed on the Tennessee job, bringing to mind this:

 

 

So Tyndall became the guy because several other guys said “no thanks.”  That doesn’t mean he’ll flop anymore than saying the right things today will mean he’ll succeed.  If he does play an exciting style — Ken Pomeroy’s tempo ratings suggest his teams play only slightly faster than Martin’s teams — and if he does play the role of showman — one Vol writer says UT hoops fans require an “experience” to support hoops — then he’ll likely do just fine.

That is until he loses to Pearl and Auburn.  At that point, don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t break out a new petition.

Martin’s tenure showed that winning isn’t enough at Tennessee.  A coach has to win big and act as a salesman/promoter/carnival barker if he’s to win over all the Vol backers.  (It’s a good thing UT didn’t make a run at a guy like Ben Howland who’s not exactly known for being PT Barnum — though it sounds like his UCLA program did become a circus away from the court.)

Until Tyndall sinks or swims with his coaching and warmth, we would suggest Volunteer fans actually support the guy.  Buy in from the outset and let Tyndall prove you wrong.  If folks start out as skeptics, it’s much harder to win them over.  Ask Martin.

Tyndall is UT’s fifth basketball coach in 15 years.  If Tennessee’s fans support the man from the get-go and if he proves to coach and sell well, maybe he’ll be around Knoxville longer than the man he’s replacing.

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SEC Headlines 4/22/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Reggie Ragland believes Alabama’s defense is “more focused” and has more speed heading into 2014.

2. Greg McElroy had a problem with AJ McCarron saying some of his teammates became complacent last year.

3. Wide receiver D’haquille Williams was the top spring standout for Auburn. Here are some others.

4. SEC commissioner Mike Slive expects a decision on future football schedules to be decided sometime in May.

5. Arkansas unveiled new uniforms on Monday. It includes the new secondary Razorback logo.

6. Offensive lineman Austin Golson is considering transferring from Ole Miss. He’s projected to start at right tackle.

7. Who will lead the SEC in rushing in 2014? Several writers gave their opinion.

8. Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III wants to become more of a leader entering his second year on campus.

9. Collin Barber is optimistic he can regain Georgia’s punting job after losing it last season.

10. Injuries have mounted at receiver for Kentucky this spring.

Coaching Searches

11. Central Missouri coach Kim Anderson is a candidate for the Missouri job, according to ESPN.

12. Gregg Marshall’s agent said he hadn’t heard from Missouri officials as of Monday afternoon.

13. Here’s a look at what Donnie Tyndall accomplished before taking the Tennessee job.

14. Louisiana Tech’s Michael White wanted the Tennessee job until he met with UT officials.

SEC Basketball

15. LSU forward Jordan Mickey’s father said his son hasn’t decided whether he will enter the NBA Draft.

16. Kevin Brockway looks at the link between Florida coach Billy Donovan and the NBA.

17. A higher age limit to enter the NBA wouldn’t be fair, writes Tim Sullivan.

SEC/NFL Draft

18. Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood has plenty of confidence as he prepares for the draft.

19. Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews is scheduled to visit the Houston Texans this week.

Extra

20. NCAA president Mark Emmert cited “competitive fairness” when asked why athletes can’t capitalize off their likeness in college.

21. Slive believes autonomy for the big five conference represents a “vision for the 21st century as it relates to our relationship with student-athletes.”

22. Florida State took a financial hit playing in and winning the BCS Championship Game.

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SEC Headlines 4/20/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Coaching Searches

1. Tennessee focused on Louisiana Tech’s Michael White? Former Ole Miss player and assistant coach for the Rebels has a $600,000 buyout.

2. White would be right...for Missouri?

3. Does Missouri need to go for the “home-run hire” to energize the fanbase?

Spring games

4. Big step forward for Alabama’s defensive backs but did quarterback Blake Sims’ performance raise a few red flags? Running back T.J. Yeldon the game MVP.

5. Competition at running back still wide open at Auburn. Quarterback Nick Marshall offensive MVP.

6. Auburn draws more than 70,000 fans but the crowd at Alabama was even better despite lowest attendance of Saban era.

7. One thing clear from Missouri’s spring game – this is quarterback Maty Mauk’s team. But there’s also some talent at the bottom of Mizzou QB depth charts.

SEC Football

8. Mississippi State will not face punishment from NCAA over a Yahoo! Sports report linking former Alabama player Luther Davis as a middle man for agents and potential NFL draft picks.

9. Arkansas defensive lineman Horace Arkadie no longer with the team.

10. $46 million east-side expansion at Missouri’s Memorial Stadium expected to be ready for season opener.

11. Auburn’s trip to the BCS title game cost over $3 million - money that will recouped after bowl payouts.

12. With former assistants now elsewhere, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had his team change the names of every formation and play call in its offense this spring.

13. Texas A&M wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones - potential Heisman candidate in 2014?

14. If Georgia receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley can be healthy by June, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s “s blood pressure will go down considerably” according to coach Mark Richt.

15. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on quarterback Dylan Thompson: “He does make good, quick decisions.”

16. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott: “I’m a quarterback that can run. And I can get out of bad situations.”

17. Coming out of spring, obvious that Jeff Driskel will be Florida’s quarterback but backup battle will continue this fall.

18. What makes coaching at Vanderbilt such a tough job got even tougher because of heightened expectations.

SEC Basketball

19. Former Marshall guard Kareem Canty reportedly transferring to Auburn. Update: Will visit South Florida before making final decision.

20. Paying tribute to former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson: “His unique brand of hoops forced the rest of the SEC to adjust, much as Florida coach Steve Spurrier’s “Fun ‘n Gun” passing offense did in SEC football during the ’90s.”

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When It Comes To SEC Basketball Jobs, Who’s Better And Who’s Best?

Who's_Better,_Who's_BestMick Cronin.  Ben Howland.  Chris Mack, Tim Miles, Archie Miller and Richard Pitino.  For kicks throw in Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart, too.

With the Tennessee and Missouri jobs now open, you can expect to see many of the same names on the Vols’ and Tigers’ lists of coaching candidates.  From our list above, expect Howland to push for both UT and MU, though there’s a reason he’s been passed over by Cal, Marquette, Boston College, Wake Forest, Tulsa, and everyone else he’s contacted this year.  (The reason is likely this.)  On the other side of the coin, Marshall and Smart aren’t likely to being going anywhere at all this offseason (but never say never).

That means Mike Alden and Dave Hart will be probably end up chasing those other guys.  Aware of that fact, Cronin, Mack, Miles, Miller and Pitino will be able to drive up their salary demands accordingly.  Two jobs in the same league open?  It’s called “leverage” and coaching candidates will have it.

But which school has the better basketball program?  Which school is the bigger draw?

Below we present you with our ranking of all 14 SEC jobs as if they were open right now.  We based our selections on facility size (fan support), stability (recent coaching turnover), and overall tradition (titles and tourneys).  We’re not just throwing out names from the top of our heads here.

 

Coaches would kill for…

1.  Kentucky

All-time:  53 NCAA tourneys, 16 Final Fours, 8 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 3 head coaches

Arena capacity:  23,000

Upside:  Limitless

UK is clearly the top job in the SEC and it’s in a group of just four or five schools that could make a legitimate claim to being the best gig in the country.  We believe it probably is tops in America, but schools like North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana are all terrific.

 

2.  Florida

All-time:  17 NCAA tourneys, 5 Final Fours, 2 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 1 head coach

Arena capacity:  11,548

Upside:  Limitless

Billy Donovan has turned Florida into a national power.  Now, whoever replaces him will have to survive in a legend’s shadow.  But the UF athletic department has been incredibly stable, the recruiting base is large, and most of the heat in Gainesville gets directed toward the football coach.  If Donovan left today, Jeremy Foley could have a new coach by suppertime.

 

Coaches would be interested in…

3.  Arkansas

All-time:  29 NCAA tourneys, 6 Final Fours, 1 national title

Last 15 years:  0 Conference titles, 4 head coaches

Arena capacity:  19,200

Upside:  Strong

Arkansas eeks into the three-slot based mainly on what’s happened there in the past, just not in the recent past.  The arena is top-notch and the recruiting base includes Memphis (if a coach can tap into it).  When the Hogs are rolling, a good case can be made that UA becomes a basketball school.  It’s also hard to ignore a place with six Final Fours and a national crown.  There’s plenty of upside in Fayetteville and Jeff Long has shown that he’ll spend whatever cash the Razorbacks’ biggest boosters will give him.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Missouri’s Haith In Play For Tulsa Job

The coaching carousel seems to have gotten a late start in the SEC.  Well past the Final Four and the usual hiring time, one SEC job is already open and a new report suggests another one could be on the verge of opening soon.

Just days after Cuonzo Martin made a surprising move from Tennessee to California, Missouri’s Frank Haith is being mentioned in connection with another job.  And unlike Martin’s move, it wouldn’t be from one major conference school to another:

 

parrish tweet

 

 

According to Parrish, Haith is a “serious candidate” for the Tulsa job Danny Manning recently left for Wake Forest’s.  One source said, “Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri.”

Should Haith escape Columbia for Tulsa, we may soon see which SEC gig is most attractive to coaches — Missouri or Tennessee.

Update: Source tells ESPN.com that Haith has agreed to become the next coach at Tulsa.

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Slive: “I Live In Tomorrow” As Decision Over Scheduling Looms

the-future-signIn a speech at the University of Massachusetts’ Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management last night, Mike Slive described where his focus must be stay:

 

“Today doesn’t exist for me.  I live in tomorrow.  That’s my job.  Today is the job of 35 other people (on the SEC’s staff).  I am the trustee of a sacred public trust, and if you live in the South, you know exactly what I mean.”

 

ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel points out that Slive also stated last night that the SEC will decide at next month’s spring meetings whether or not the league will switch from an eight-game football schedule to a nine-game conference schedule (beginning in 2016).

Slive’s views on today/tomorrow are shared by any good executive, any good leader.  During the recent conference expansion craze, for example, Slive had to consider how additions to the league would look in 20 years or 50 years, not just in the now.  The same goes for everything else the man does.  What are the long-term ramifications of his league’s actions?

At MrSEC.com, we’ve stated on many occasions that we believe the league should move to a nine-game  conference slate.  Such a move would protect the league’s oldest rivalries (Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia, Mississippi/Vanderbilt).  And when it comes to protecting “a sacred public trust,” there is nothing more important than the traditions built over the past 81 years.

A nine-game schedule would also allow SEC schools to see teams from the opposite division more often.  Call us crazy, but if you’re in a conference you should probably see everyone else as often as you can.

But switching to a nine-game schedule would also aid the league moving into the future.

We suspect that the new College Football Playoff selection committee will do it’s best to pick teams from four different conferences when it comes selecting who’ll compete for the national crown.  Strength of schedule will be a important factor in that process.  The Big Ten has announced nine-game schedules beginning in 2016.  The Pac-12 is going with nine-games as is the Big 12.  ACC commissioner John Swofford said in February that there is “considerable support” for a move to nine games in his league as well.  If the SEC doesn’t move to nine, it will be the only major conference playing eight league games… which means SEC teams will likely play one more cupcake than teams in other conferences will.  If the selection panel is looking for reasons to keep a second SEC team out of its playoff, you can bet the cupcake issue would loom large.

Nick Saban is just about the only SEC football coach to date to publicly push for a nine-game schedule.  Most other coaches want to avoid anything that might make getting to six wins and a bowl game more difficult.  But if Slive’s job is to think about the future, he needs to convince a few more coaches, ADs and presidents that a move to nine games is most likely the wisest step.

Unfortunately, we don’t believe that will happen.

That means come 2016 and 2017, the SEC will be at a disadvantage in the new playoff landscape that was created immediately after the BCS featured an SEC versus SEC title game.  The playoff now exists to prevent such SEC dominance.  A decision to become the only eight-game league in the Big Five conferences would only aid those who are looking to “spread the wealth” among all the leagues.

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