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Musburger To The SEC Network? A Good Move That May Not Come To Pass

August 2006, Windsor, CT -- Play-by-play commentator Brent MusburgerOK, let’s get this out of the way.  Nobody likes Brent Musburger.  That’s not really his fault because we live in an age when nobody really likes anyone.  Check out Twitter during the broadcast of any major sporting event and you’ll find a torrent of insults and jokes all aimed at the person behind the big game mic.

That said, Musburger is a name.  A top name.  He’s witnessed and covered more major sporting events than anyone reading this post can even list.  Toward the end of his career, yes.  But he’s still got some clout to offer.

Earlier this month it was reported that ESPN would move the broadcasting legend from its A-team on ESPN/ABC and slide him into the #1 announcer’s role on the new SEC Network.  Here’s hoping he takes the job as the SEC could get a lot worse.  SI.com’s Richard Deitsch reported over the weekend, however, that Musburger might not accept ESPN’s demotion:

 

“As first reported by James Andrew Miller, Musburger has been offered the job of lead college football announcer for the upcoming SEC Network, which debuts at the end of August.  It is unclear whether Musburger will take that offer, as some source I spoke with noted he is unhappy with how the process is shaking out.  What seems clear is that Musburger is being pulled from the lead announcer spot for ABC’s Saturday Night Football, which is ESPNs top game each week.”

 

Musburger, according to ESPN, isn’t doing any interviews on the subject.

Whether he’s still at the top of his 1980s game isn’t up for debate.  We get that.  But his name and voice alone would add some much needed heft to the new network’s lineup.  Tim Tebow has been hired as an on-set analyst, but as likable as he is it’s hard to imagine him providing any critical comments.  Ever.  In other words, Tebow will probably be  Grudenian in his praise of every team, every coach and every player.  Tebow’s hire feels more like a gimmick than a true attempt to create quality content (and that’s not a knock on Tebow).

Musburger is for many folks the voice of the Rose Bowl and the BCS Championship Game.  Having as your top voice the man who called the last national championship game adds some gravitas to SEC Network broadcasts in Year One.

The trouble for the network — at least at start up — is that it will be a “step-up” spot for ESPNs current B-team analysts.  Joe Tessitore, for example, was the first major player to be added to the network.  Tessitore does fine work and will in time likely make an excellent front-person for the new channel.  But if the names and faces were not shown and 10 different ESPN voices were run back-to-back could you immediately say, “Tessitore!”

Doubtful.

But Musburger has exactly that kind of voice.

If the soon-to-be 75-year-old from Up North would make like many retirees and agree to spend one or two golden years in the Sun Belt, it would be a nice win for the SEC Network.  Like him or not, Musburger adds clout.  And a first-year channel needs as much clout as it can get.

 

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Know What The World Needs? More Bowls!

Nassau,_Bahamas_welcome_gateway Were you worried that the little guys of the college football world were going to be be left home for the holidays?  Were you fretting over the possibility of not seeing, say, a matchup of Northern Illinois and Texas-San Antonio?

No need to fear, more bowl games are near.

According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com — Is there a better college football reporter in the country? — the five conferences that left behind by the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 will form their own new bowls in order to ensure that their teams get to have a little Christmastime fun, too.  The AAC, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt and Conference USA are starting three new bowl next season.  Those games will be played in Florida (one in Miami and one in Boca Raton) and in the Bahamas.

While 39 bowls is ridiculous, we gotta admit that the idea of football in the Bahamas is pretty cool.  The stadium that will house the game might be tiny, but we at MrSEC.com might click over and watch a few minutes of Northern Illinois/Texas-San Antonio if it’s coming from Nassau.

The new playoff system, a new bevy of big-bowl tie-ins, a selection committee to pick the teams for both and a host of new big-conference deals — all facing one another and shutting out most of the little guys — will all commence next season.  And now the little guys will have some new destinations to aim for, too.

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Which League Has Biggest Gap Between Football Salaries And Teaching Salaries? The SEC

mortar-board-on-footballCollege football coaches make more than university professors.

Do we need to hand out smelling salts after delivering such shocking news?  Of course not.  Because that news isn’t shocking at all to anyone.

The website InsideHigherEd.com reports on a new study that in part explores the discrepancies between teaching salaries and football coaching salaries.  That study was conducted by three scholars and can be found here.  The slimmed down version in InsideHigherEd.com can be found here.  The title of the report is “Disproportionate Paychecks.”

But we ask, disproportionate in what way?

If salaries were handed out based upon value to society, there’s no question professors should make more than football coaches.  That’s a given.  You’d be hard-pressed to find even a football fan batty enough to argue differently.

But salaries are not handed out based on value to society.  At universities — like most businesses — paychecks are often determined by the amount of money a person helps to create for his employer.  It’s a question of value.  And as the old saying goes, you won’t find 90,000 people showing up on a Saturday to watch a chemistry exam.

Fair?  Certainly not.  Reality?  Yes.

So it should come as no surprise that the site finds that: “Coaches’ salaries increase year after year at much higher rates — even as many colleges say they are engaged in belt-tightening across the board — and that pattern is driven by the institutions with the largest athletic programs.”

But there is a reason we’ve chosen to discuss this topic on a site that covers SEC athletics.  According to InsideHigherEd.com, among all conferences “the SEC saw the highest escalation in football coaching salaries” between 2005 and 2011.  The report states:

 

“In that conference — home to about a quarter of the nation’s 23 athletic programs where revenues actually outpace expenses — instructional salaries rose 15.5% between 2006 and 2011, from $70,886 to $81,758.  At the same time, football coaching salaries increased 128.9%, from $3,147,149 to $5,928,989.”

 

Again, everyone should be fully aware that football — on most campuses — is responsible for the huge revenue stream known as television money.  In addition, thanks to many millions of Americans watching college games on television, football has also become the best form of advertising most schools have.  Armed with that knowledge, it doesn’t a university’s board much time to decide who’ll get the biggest salary on campus.

But here’s the key part of the study in our view — The fact that the SEC has the largest gap between football salaries and teaching salaries only furthers the stereotype that Mike Slive’s league is a so-so academic conference.  And that’s a stereotype Slive and the SEC’s presidents have been trying to overcome through the creation of an academic consortium and with the addition of two more AAU schools in Missouri and Texas A&M (bringing the league total to four with Florida and Vanderbilt).

InsiderHigherEd.com provides a chart comparing the salary information from all Division I conferences.  Below we’ll compare just the SEC’s growth numbers (from 2005 to 2011) to those of the other 10 FBS conferences:

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Location, Location, Location: Barnhart Provides Further Proof That Location Is Everything In Conference Expansion

If we were having a conversation about conference expansion and I uttered the word “location,” you might roll your eyes.  ”If San Diego State can land in the Big East and Florida State and West Virginia could land in the Big 12, location is irrelevant,” you might counter.

Ah, but proximity to current schools in a conference is probably the least important aspect of location during short-term feeding frenzies (long-term, proximity does seem to matter and we’ll have more on that later) .  No, location matters in terms of a school’s nearest television market, it’s state’s population (for cable household purposes), and it’s recruiting grounds.

In 2010, we took a numbers-based look at possible SEC expansion.  You can read that here.  Last fall, we updated our data and took another look-see.  You can start reading that series here.  The final part of that series as well as links to all the parts in between can be found right here.

Today, Tony Barnhart of CBSSports.com examines many of those small programs that are announcing — daily it seems — that they’re planning a jump to the FBS level of the football world.  Specifically, he looks at Charlotte, Georgia State, Old Dominion, Texas-San Antonio and Appalachian State (an FCS school that wants to follow those others up the ladder).  What he found was that location, location, location matters more than just about anything else.

As Barnhart points out:

 

* Charlotte won’t play its first football game at any level until 2013.  By 2015, it’s already set to join Conference USA.  Why?  Charlotte is located in he 25th biggest television market in the country.

* Georgia State will be playing its third season of football this fall and it will jump to the FBS level and join the Sun Belt Conference.  Why?  Because Georgia State is located in the Atlanta television market as well as the recruiting hotbed of Georgia.

* Old Dominion has been playing football for just three seasons, but it will be joining Charlotte in Conference USA in 2015.  Why?  ODU is located in a Top 50 television market (Norfolk) and the Tidewater section of Virginia is rich in high school talent.

* Texas-San Antonio played its first season of college football last year.  It will play in the WAC this season before moving — sign of the times — to Conference USA in 2013.  Why?  San Antonio is the 36th biggest TV market in the country and I think we all know just how many recruits there are in Texas.

 

Sure they’re fledgling programs, but conferences are ready to snap them up because they provide inroads into good recruiting territory, populous areas, and sizeable television markets.

But then there’s Appalachian State.  Located in tiny Boone, North Carolina — population: 14,138 — the Mountaineers will mark their 85th year of football this year.  From 2005 through 2007, ASU won three straight FCS national titles.  They knocked off Michigan in Ann Arbor in ’07.  They led all FCS-level schools in attendance last season.  And they’ve made it know that they want to take a step up in class.

Only no one’s called them.  Conference USA and the Sun Belt would rather have the deep recruiting zones and television viewers provided by newborn programs than the proven football school located in a small, mountainous region of the Tarheel State.

As Barnhart points out, Appy State might still eventually land an invite into either C-USA or the Sun Belt, but as of now, those leagues are more interested in location than they are on-field proof of performance.

A year ago, we were bombarded with emails from West Virginia fans who were angry that we suggest WVU’s location wasn’t likely good enough to provide the SEC — or as it turns out the ACC — with what those conferences were looking for in terms of recruiting zones, total population, and television eyeballs.    That wasn’t a knock on WVU’s program which landed safely in the more distant, but once again strong Big 12.  It was simply a statement of fact.

And the fact is… location, location, location matters when it comes to conference expansion.  Whether that’s at the top of the food chain or the bottom of the food chain, as Barnhart points out in his latest column.

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MSU Hires Collins As Co-DC

Dan Mullen has hired Geoff Collins from Florida International as his linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator.  Chris Wilson was promoted to D-coordinator to replace Manny Diaz who split for Texas.  So Collins is actually replacing Diaz (as linebackers coach) and Wilson (as co-coordinator).

Collins’ FIU defense led the Sun Belt conference in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense and turnover margin. 

“Geoff has shown the type of immediate impact he can bring to a defense by what he did at Florida International last season,” Dan Mullen said in a press release.  “He’s a smart young coach that has great experience, and he’ll bring the same kind of aggressive attitude and philosophy that we expect from our defense at Mississippi State.”

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Don’t Bet On It!: Week Twelve College Football National Game of Disinterest

Georgia
Content provided by Dawg Sports.

Although some wags see it differently, I have not yet declared this week’s national game of disinterest. Although I have gone around the SEC and highlighted the national games of interest, I am only just getting around to identifying the weekend’s least intriguing college football contest. This Saturday, that dubious honor is conferred upon . . .

Florida Atlantic Owls at Texas Longhorns

After this week’s podcast, you might think my reference to the Sun Belt squad from Fort Lauderdale is just an excuse to use the abbreviation “FAU” as a vulgar expression of my attitude toward the Georgia Bulldogs’ oldest rival, but the Owls’ appearance here largely reflects the mismatch that is evident any time a team from the weakest of the Division I-A conferences travels to take on an elite program from a league whose champion automatically qualifies for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.

Here’s what makes this weekend’s matchup in Austin so singularly awful, though: Florida Atlantic has a better record than Texas.

It’s true. The Owls are 4-5 overall and 3-3 in Sun Belt play. The Longhorns are 4-6 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 play. Saturday’s game pits an FAU squad that is playing about like you’d expect against a Burnt Orange outfit that is worse than any of us possibly could have imagined a Mack Brown-coached club being.

Frankly, I’m embarrassed for both teams about the whole deal. Since I can’t pretend the game isn’t taking place, my next-best option is to declare it the national game of disinterest and refuse to pick it on general principle.

Go ‘Dawgs!


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Link Gumbo 11/19/10

LSU
Content provided by And The Valley Shook.

Good Morning and

GEAUX TO HELL, OLE MISS!

Basketball got off the skid last night with a comfortable 79-56 win over UT-Martin. Jrlz should be around in a bit with a recap.

Lady Tigers had an epic home opener against #7 Ohio State and were tied at 53 with just 37 seconds to go before falling 59-55. Highlights after the break. The Ladies will be playing in a tourney at Seton Hall this weekend.

As The Cam Turns continued to get crazier this week, at one point involving a dog track owner, already under investigation for bribing Alabama politicians, who resembles a hairy Buford T. Justice. Where it stands now is that MSU booster Bill Bell now says he might have the proof about the payment plan, if only he could get it off his damaged phone.

The LSU take remains the same: While entertaining, nothing is going to happen fast enough to help us. Better focus on making it to the Sugar Bowl and hope our boy up in Indy can try and speed things along for us (WHAT UP, EMMERT!)

Not that Les isn’t already laying the ground work for the first undefeated national championship contender to have an asterisks in the record books before playing the title game.  Keep hope alive, folks. We ain’t out of it yet.

And a congrats to coach Miles on his 60th Tiger win. He’s behind only Bernie Moore and Cholly Mac on the All-time list and could pass Moore at his current rate in just 2 or 3 seasons.

Speaking of Aubie, they are lucky the BCS computer rankings don’t take into account strength of schedule (and frankly, so should everyone else. 2 loss bama ahead of us? Insanity)

Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS is how you stop a goal line leap.

No change in either of The Polls That Matter this week. Still 5th in the Blogpoll and a firm 2 in the SEC Power Poll.

Maybe we should have had a bit on Zod in the Seniors profile, as none of his teammates think he’ll play another game in Tiger Stadium.

In case you were wondering, Uncle Verne will continue to terrorize SEC on CBS games for the foreseeable future.

The league office put together a fantastically extensive piece detailing the history of the LSU-Ole Miss rivalry. Let it be known that the first LSU player caught with his pants around his ankles was Y.A. Tittle.

Wanna freeze your ass off playing baseball in November and December? LSU will gladly take your money.

HUGE weekend for 16th ranked Volleyball as they have their last homestand this weekend against SCar tonight and then #1 Florida on Sunday. The Sunday match will be televised on Cox Sports at 1pm

 

CONFERENCE EXPANDAGGEDON UPDATE

While you were sleeping, Hawai’i bolted for the Mountain West. Hey, LaTech fans, at least you’ll be the conference favorite for the next few years. The bad news is that the WAC will now be somewhere between the SoCon and the SWAC in the conference pecking order (if it even remains standing in the next few days. Time to swallow your pride and join the Sun Belt while you still can, Techsters).

Josh Jasper – Groza Highlight Reel

Women vs. #7 Ohio St. Highlights


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Week 12 Opponent – Troy Trojans

South Carolina
Content provided by Garnet And Black Attack.

 

Troy_medium 

2009 Overall Record…………………………………………9-4

2009 Conference Record (Finish)………………. 8-0 (1st)

2009 Bowl Appearance…………………………GMAC Bowl

Central Michigan 44, Troy 40 (2OT)

Offensive Set……………………………………………… Spread

Defensive Set…………………………………………………..4-3

Lettermen Returning (O/D/S)……………….. 44 (22/18/4)

Lettermen Lost (O/D/S)……………………….. 26 (12/13/1)

Starters Returning (O/D/S)………………………. 11 (6/3/2)

Starters Lost (O/D/S)……………………………… 11 (5/8/0)

 

The Troy Trojans are 5-4 (4-2, Sun Belt) thus far this season with losses at Oklahoma State, UAB, and Louisiana-Monroe, as well as a home loss this past Saturday to FlU.  Troy averages 33.2 points per game and 296.2 yards per game through the air.  Defensively, they’ve given up an average of 31.3 points per game. 

 


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