Sprints Is Glad Nick Saban Visited the Gulf -- and Joe Barton Didn't // 06.21.10

The latest realignment fallout after the other news today. Just because I'm tired of leading off with that and it's become ever more tangential to the SEC.

SEC 0-2 in College World Series opening round
Oklahoma 4, South Carolina 3
It included six hours of rain delays -- pushing the first-round game between Clemson and Arizona State into today -- but otherwise the back-and-forth game between the Sooners and the Gamecocks was a good one. South Carolina had its chances, loading the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, the latter with one out, but got a combined one run -- and that on a walk.

UCLA 11, Florida 3
Florida, meanwhile, was basically out of the game after the fourth inning. At that point, it was 5-3; there would not be a scoreless UCLA inning the rest of the game. Five Florida pitchers appeared in this game -- all of them allowed at least one earned run. The four wild pitches probably didn't help. Florida will face Florida State in an elimination game, meaning we could see two of the SEC-ACC grudge matches deciding who goes home if Clemson loses.

Nick Saban visits Gulf Coast, avoids unfortunate football analogy
Actually, there's nothing bad you can say about Saban's visit or his perspective on it.

First, there are the 11 oil rig workers who lost their lives. That’s the most important. Next, there are thousands of people whose lives will be affected in ways they don’t even know yet. These are people who have worked there all their lives and they don’t know what the future will be. Then there is the environmental impact of it all.

As someone whose family (on my mother's side) hails from the Mobile area, I applaud Saban for calling attention to the issue, because not enough attention can be drawn to it. And part of me wishes he would be put in charge of the clean-up effort. No one -- bureaucrat, BP, governor -- would be slow with him as leader.

Woodson in the UFL
I'm rooting for Andre Woodson, the former UK quarterback who's now in the UFL. He's trying to make it on a team that has three other quarterbacks, though that will be two once Ryan Perrilloux finds the nearest casino.

Forget Mitch Mustain to Arkansas
Looks like he can't return to Fayetteville and probably will remain at Southern Cal.

Thoughts and prayers: Jamel Turner and an unnamed female
Turner is an Ohio State recruit.

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT FALLOUT 

When all your problems are a nail, every event looks like a hammer
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, apparently hasn't had a good week in the logic department. For reasons passing understanding, he believes that the near-death of the Big XII helps a playoff because it points to the money that would be made with a playoff. Which has been a big secret?

"The reason the Big 12 stayed together is the commissioner was able to put together a deal that enabled Texas and Texas A&M to go from about $8 million-$12 million a year to around $20 million a year" apiece, the Republican said. "I don't really have a dog in the hunt as to how the conferences ought to be aligned. But I do think this moves us toward a playoff because we now know where the money is." ...

"I think what happened with the Big 12 staying together maybe postpones the creation of a playoff system," said Barton, who has introduced anti-BCS legislation in Congress. "But it doesn't eliminate it."

So to recap: We've moved toward a playoff, but a playoff has been postponed.

He doesn't have 'a dog in the hunt' -- unless it's Texas A&M
And then he wants them in the SEC.

Other words of wisdom from Joe Barton
For those of you who have been on another planet -- or who completely ignore any and all political news -- here are some of Barton's other great remarks, these addressed to the CEO of BP:

But I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is -- again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize.

Yes, Joe Barton apologized to BP for ... something that isn't entirely clear. So take that into account when weighing anything he says.

So, Sen. Hatch ...
... is Joe Barton one of your "reasonable people"?

Um, proof?
The Post-Dispatch has found one of the key villains in the Big XII deathmonth rumor mill: The Blogs. (Capitalized because they are a monolithic being.)

The proliferation of new media and talk radio, diminished accountability in those formats and rabid interest heightened hysteria and misinformation, as did the increasingly blurred line between reporting and opinion fostered by blogs.

A few things to note here. First of all, there is no proof offered of the influence of The Blogs in conference expansion talks. Right after this, the article talks about the radio report that had Missouri invited to the Big XII. Radio, even talk radio, is not even remotely "new media," so you've proven half your statement.

Leaning on my own logic -- because the Post-Dispatch doesn't offer any examples to consider -- I find it hard to believe that any of the "what-if" scenarios floated by The Blogs had an actual influence on what schools and conferences were doing. If so, there are far deeper problems with college football than The Blogs. (Though that would explain the way Dan Beebe acted.) And it's not as though The Blogs were the only outlets talking about what might happen.

Finally, while we can all argue over how accurate he was after this, let's not forget that the first report about the Pac-16 idea was published by Orangebloods.com. That, Post-Dispatch, is what we're talking about when we say "new media."

The Big XII is being held together by duct tape and bailing wire commitment
Here's the blood oath that kept the Big XII together:

As part of their plans for continuing the Big 12 with impending defections, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State and Missouri agreed to 10-year commitments as a sign to other schools that might have considered joining or remaining in the league. The 10-year commitment now only applies to those five and may not be even applicable given the change in circumstances.

So the schools that weren't leaving in the first place pledged that they wouldn't leave. And that isn't even binding if circumstances change. The more we learn about the Big XII "deal," the more it sounds like a charade. But I guess we best be careful about saying that here on The Blogs; it could change the future. (HT: Coug Center)

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