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SEC Hoops Roundup: Arkansas, LSU & Texas A&M All Bounced From Postseason Play

gfx-hoops-round-up2Cal 75 – Arkansas 64

1. Razorbacks end their season at 22-12 after missing 14 straight during a stretch that lasted more than eight minutes.

SMU 80 – LSU 67

2. Tigers end their season at 20-14.  Has junior forward Johnny O’Bryant played his last game for LSU?

Illinois State 62 – Texas A&M 55

3. Aggies finish at 18-16 - won one road game all season.

With last night’s losses, only three SEC teams left in postseason play and all are in the NCAA Tournament – Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Does This Year’s NCAA Tourney Bracket Make You Feel Good About New Playoff Selection Process

committee 1So undefeated Wichita State is put in a bracket with 19 teams (thanks to three “First Four” games assigned to WSU’s region).  Louisville — a team most thought would battle for a #1 seed was handed a #4 seed instead.  They’re one of those 19 squads in the Shockers’ bracket.  Another team in WSU’s region is Tennessee.  Never-accepted Cuonzo Martin finds his team in a play-in game, sparking further outrage from Vol fans who feel the only coach for them is now at Auburn.  But a report by WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville yesterday revealed that the Volunteers were shifted into one of those four play-in games simply because the selection committee didn’t want to put Dayton on its home court for a First Four game.  Congrats, Tennessee, you drew the short straw.

Then there’s SMU.  Larry Brown’s Mustangs had been ranked in the top 25 right up until the final week of the regular season.  Bully for them, the selection committee didn’t put them in the tournament field at all.  Wisconsin-Green Bay — who many felt deserved a bid — didn’t get in either.  The same goes for Florida State, Georgetown, Minnesota, California, etc, etc.

Yes, another Selection Sunday has come and gone and complaints continue to pour in from North, South, East and West.  Bizarre bracketing, senseless seeding, teams shifted due to other schools’ locations.  It’s bad.  It always is.

Thank goodness, then, that the teams for the new College Football Playoff will be selected using the exact same model.

When the conference commissioners decided to do away with polls and computers in favor of a selection committee, we warned that come March everyone would be reminded of all the things they dislike about selection committees.  Here we are.  And with people complaining about the sheer randomness of the seeding process as well as the hard-to-figure out invitation process for the final four or five bubble teams, it should all be quite worrisome for college football fans.  If there’s this much debate over 68 teams, how hot will temperatures rise when we’re talking about a bracket that will include only four teams?

The good news is that the football panel will have a former Secretary of State, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, and a career basketball man to help pick the teams and set the matchups.  Yes.  That was sarcasm.

If anything, the 13-member football panel should expect to receive even more hate mail than the hoops group.  As we noted above, more teams will be getting turn-downs in football.  And American sports fans are also more passionate about college football.  (Check the TV ratings and recent TV contracts if you need proof.)  There will be some serious howling when a team ranked in the top four of all the (now meaningless) polls gets jumped by a fifth- or sixth-ranked team that won its league.  Top 25ish SMU not getting one of 36 at-large bids?  Try an SEC runner-up getting bounced by a lesser-ranked Big Ten champ.

Every March we’re treated to Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale and Seth Davis and Andy Katz telling us what the hoops committee got wrong.  Set your DVRs.  This December we’ll get another batch of analysts telling us everything the football committee botched in carrying out its duties.  So prepare yourself right now to be disappointed.  We see no way the College Football Playoff selection committee escapes controversy.  The basketball committee never does.

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SEC Hoops Roundup 12/1/2013

gfx-hoops-round-up1. Tennessee 82 – Wake Forest 63. Third straight double-double for Jarnell Stokes – 21 points and 10 rebounds. Vols move to 5-2 on the season.

2. SMU 55 – Texas A&M 52. Aggies drop their second straight game - shoot just 34.7 percent from the floor.  Texas A&M now 6-2.

3. Ole Miss 79 – Penn State 76. Jarvis Summers and Marshall Henderson pace undefeated Rebels with 19 points each.  Ole Miss now 6-0.

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SEC Hoops Tonight — 11/18/13

basketballsJust four games on the SEC slate tonight…

 

Southern at Florida — 7:00pm ET on Sunshine Network

The Citadel at Tennessee — 7:00pm ET

Stillman at Alabama — 8:00pm ET on ESPN3

SMU at Arkansas — 8:00pm ET

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A&M Passes Texas In Terms Of Lone Star State Popularity

2011-January-7-20-58-44Americans love a winner.  And America includes the Lone Star State (much to Chuck Norris’ chagrin).

A new poll from a group called Public Policy Polling shows that 22% of Texans asked said that they are Texas A&M Aggie fans.  Only 20% said they are Texas Longhorn fans.  When last the poll was done in September of 2011, the Longhorns got support from 23% while the Ags got just 15% of the backing.

Why the switch?  Well, Texas A&M has shot into the national spotlight while Texas struggled last season and at the beginning of this season.  Johnny Manziel plays in College Station.  And A&M’s game are viewed on CBS or ESPN every week thanks to their jump to the SEC.

As for the rest of the schools in Texas, the polling showed support for Houston (10%), Baylor (8%), Texas Tech (5%), TCU (4%), UTEP (3%) and SMU (2%).

Interestingly, in 1948, Houston tried to gain membership into the SEC but was voted down.  Again in the late 1980s there was some chit-chat between the SEC and Houston.  Texas A&M AD John David Crow and LSU AD Joe Dean wanted the Aggies in the SEC.  When Texas made it clear they wouldn’t come along, Houston — then solid in football and basketball — tried to fill the void.  Those talks died went nowhere and a massive NCAA investigation into the Houston athletic department didn’t help the Cougars’ cause.  As you know, Arkansas and South Carolina were eventually invited to join the SEC (as was Florida State, who opted for the ACC).

Of course, A&M finally did make it to the SEC two years ago.  And in terms of new cash, new exposure, and new popularity in its home state… all’s well that end’s well.

 

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Texas A&M Shakes Off Loss To Alabama, Crimson Tide Shake Up Lineup In Win Over Colorado State

postgame-linksTexas A&M 42 – SMU 13. Video Highlights

1. Aggies rebound behind Johnny Manziel’s 244 passing yards and 102 rushing yards.

2. A&M’s “other” receiver – Malcome Kennedy – leads the Aggies with six catches for 83 yards.  Kevin Sumlin: “He’s playing at a really, really high level.”

3. Starting kicker Taylor Bertolet misses consecutive extra points in the first half, replaced with Josh Lambo.

Alabama 31 – Colorado State 6. Video Highlights

4. Alabama’s offense struggles - 17-6 lead at end of third quarter.  Guard Kellen Williams: ”Today was pretty somber.”

5. Colorado State coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain: “We challenged our guys to come in here and go toe-to-toe.”

6. T.J. Yeldon suspended for first quarter, wide receiver Amari Cooper doesn’t play at all (toe injury) and Nick Saban shakes up the lineup in the secondary. Safeties Jarrick Williams and Nick Perry were both on the sideline without pads 

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SEC Odds And Television Listings – 9/16/13

tv-remotesThe Southeastern Conference has released the television listings for this Saturday and the Saturday to follow.  We’ll show you this week’s schedule first, complete with early lines from Las Vegas (or offshore books).

 

September 21st

Vanderbilt vs UM at Foxboro — 12:00pm ET on ESPNews — Line: Vanderbilt -36 (now -31.5)

North Texas at Georgia — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network — Line: Georgia -36.5 (now -32.5)

Tennessee at Florida — 3:30pm ET on CBS — Line: Florida -15.5 (now 14)

Arkansas at Rutgers — 3:30pm ET on ESPN — Line: None yet (due to QB injuries)

Colorado State at Alabama — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: Alabama -36.5 (now 39.5)

SMU at Texas A&M — 7:00pm ET on ESPNU — Line: Texas A&M -26.5 (now -28.5)

Troy at Mississippi State — 7:30pm ET on Fox Sports Net — Line: MSU -13 (now -15)

Auburn at LSU — 7:45pm ET on ESPN — Line: LSU -14 (now -16.5)

Missouri at Indiana — 8:00pm ET on Big Ten Network — Line: Missouri -5.5 (now -6)

 

September 28th

South Carolina at UCF — 12:00pm ET on ABC/ESPN/ESPNU

South Alabama at Tennessee — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network

LSU at Georgia — 3:30pm ET on CBS

Ole Miss at Alabama — 6:30pm ET on ESPN

Texas A&M at Arkansas — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2/ESPNU

Florida at Kentucky — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2/ESPNU

UAB at Vanderbilt — 7:30pm ET on Fox Sports Net

Arkansas State at Missouri — 7:30pm ET on CSS

 

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If Your Team Loses In Week One, History Says Forget Winning The SEC Title

kickoff-charlie-brownHow important is the season-opener for each SEC squad?  Well, there have been 21 SEC Championship Games since the SEC first expanded in 1992.  Of the 21 league champions crowned since that date, not one — not a single solitary SEC Championship Game winner — has lost in its season-opening contest.

In fact, of the 42 teams to have reached the SEC title game, only four teams that won their own divisions did so after dropping their curtain-raiser.

Here’s the year-by-year breakdown with the SEC Championship Game victor receiving a * designation:

 

  Year   East Champion in Opener   West Champion in Opener
  1992   Florida 59-21 over S. Jose St.   Alabama* 25-8 over Vanderbilt
  1993   Florida* 44-6 over Arkansas St.   Alabama 31-17 over Tulane
  1994   Florida* 70-21 over N. Mexico St.   Alabama 42-13 over UT-Chattanooga
  1995   Florida* 45-21 over Houston   Arkansas 14-17 to SMU
  1996   Florida* 55-21 over SW Louisiana   Alabama 21-7 over Bowling Green
  1997   Tennessee* 52-17 over Texas Tech   Auburn 28-17 over Virginia
  1998   Tennessee* 34-33 over Syracuse   Mississippi St. 42-0 over Vanderbilt
  1999   Florida 55-26 over W. Michigan   Alabama* 28-17 over Vanderbilt
  2000   Florida* 40-19 over Ball St.   Auburn 35-21 over Wyoming
  2001   Tennessee 33-9 over Syracuse   LSU* 48-17 over Tulane
  2002   Georgia* 31-28 over Clemson   Arkansas 41-14 over Boise St.
  2003   Georgia  30-0 over Clemson   LSU* 49-7 over UL-Monroe
  2004   Tennessee 42-17 over UNLV   Auburn* 31-0 over UL-Monroe
  2005   Georgia* 48-13 over Boise St.   LSU 35-31 over Arizona St.
  2006   Florida* 34-7 over S. Miss   Arkansas 14-50 to Southern Cal
  2007   Tennessee 31-45 to California   LSU* 45-0 over Mississippi St.
  2008   Florida* 56-10 over Hawaii   Alabama 34-10 over Clemson
  2009   Florida 62-3 over Charleston So.   Alabama* 34-24 over Virginia Tech
  2010   S. Carolina 41-13 over S. Miss   Auburn* 52-26 over Arkansas St.
  2011   Georgia 21-35 to Boise St.   LSU* 40-27 over Oregon
  2012   Georgia 45-23 over Buffalo   Alabama* 41-14 over Michigan

 

There you have it.  Just four teams — Arkansas ’95, Arkansas ’06, Tennessee ’07 and Georgia ’11 — have bounced back from opening day losses to win their division.  But not a single overall SEC champion from the title game era has ever rebounded from a Day One defeat.

Obviously, past results don’t necessarily have any impact on future outcomes.  The fact that no team has lost an opener and gone on to win the SEC Championship Game in 21 seasons of action might actually mean that the league is overdue for just such an occurrence.

Still, SEC fans might want to take another long gander at their favorite schools’ openers.  History suggests any opening day losers can scratch “Gatorade shower in Atlanta” off their to-do lists.

 

Thursday

North Carolina at South Carolina

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

 

Saturday

Alabama vs Virginia Tech (Atlanta)

UL-Lafayette at Arkansas

Washington State at Auburn

Toledo at Florida

Georgia at Clemson

Kentucky vs Western Kentucky (Nashville)

LSU vs TCU (Arlington)

Mississippi State vs Oklahoma State (Houston)

Murray State at Missouri

Austin Peay at Tennessee

Rice at Texas A&M

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Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 2)

Last month, what looked to be a quiet holiday season went boom when the Big Ten surprisingly swiped Maryland from the ACC and Rutgers from the Big East.  The Big East responded by inviting Tulane into the family.  At that point most of the Big East’s biggest basketball schools said, “That’s enough,” and announced just days ago that they would be breaking away from their football-playin’ brothers to create a new hoops-first conference of their own.

Instead of a season of peace, presidents, commissioners, coaches and fans are back to nervously holding their breath as they wait for the next big move.  Silent nights will be replaced with anxious nights for many.

With expansion and realignment in the air once more, we’re taking a numbers-based look at how things might shake out.  Yesterday, we showed you the total revenue numbers — gross not net — for each school currently scheduled to be playing FBS football by 2015.  Follow the money and it becomes clear that about 76 FBS schools — those not in the Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12 and SEC — might be willing to flip-flop conferences if it meant more cash in their coffers.

Meanwhile, the biggest conferences are keeping their eyes on the ACC, the Big East, Notre Dame, and a select number of schools that might actually be worth nabbing.  That’s what we’ll examine today:

 

1.  Which schools would be appealing to the biggest leagues thanks to the number of cable households they can influence/provide?  With several leagues launching their own networks, the more cable households gained, the higher the subscriber fees those conferences can try to charge.

2.  Which schools have “big brand” appeal?  Location isn’t everything.  East Carolina — for example — might be located in the Tarheel State, but ECU doesn’t draw North Carolina-type ratings on television.  Just grabbing San Diego State in California wouldn’t allow a league to claim it has drawing power across the entire Golden State.  Stealing a Southern Cal or a California, on the other hand…

3.  Which schools have the best academic reputations?  As we noted yesterday, academics are playing a smaller and smaller role in expansion and realignment (see: Louisville to the ACC) as dollars and survival instinct become the real drivers behind many leagues’ decisions.  The Big Ten and SEC, however, are in the most powerful positions moving forward.  Their schools currently bring in the most revenue.  If push came to shove, there would be few schools willing to turn down an invite from either conference.  The Big Ten has always been very picky about trying to add AAU member institutions with big research budgets.  The SEC can be choosy, too, at this point.  The league’s presidents are tired of having the pointy-heads from Up North making inferences about the “dumb jocks” in the league Down South.  In addition to growing it’s geographic and media footprint, the SEC’s last round of expansion allowed it to add two AAU schools to its roster.  If forced to expand further, expect Mike Slive to try and land more big name brands with reputations for being solid research-based universities.

 

So let’s start by looking at the 25 schools we identified yesterday as having at least some hope of landing in a bigger conference:  Boise State, Boston College, BYU, Cincinnati, Clemson, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, SMU, South Florida, Syracuse, UCF, UNLV, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

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A&M RB Michael Tweets Play-Calling Tips While He Sits Out A One-Game Suspension

Coaches are used to hearing play-calling “advice” from fans in the stands and on talk radio.  And on messageboards, at church, while pumping gas, etc, etc, etc.

They probably hear quite a bit from their own players behind closed doors, too.

But in what might be a first, Texas A&M tailback Christine Michael took to Twitter to give his Aggie coaches some play-calling tips during last week’s 48-3 rout over SMU.  On the positive side, Michael was serving a one-game suspension for a “violation of team rules” and was not posting his comments from the sideline… or the Aggies the huddle:

 

 

Kevin Sumlin says he’s already addressed the issue with his starting running back.

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