Sprints Would Invite Texas Just to See What They Would Say // 06.04.10

20(BIG)12: THE END OF THE WORLD

Now, they'll talk about expansion
The reports about the Pac-16 has now prompted the SEC to admit that, yeah, they're going to have to talk about conference expansion Friday. And Commissioner Mike Slive all but acknowledged that interest in Texas is the driver -- if you read between the lines.

"I have no personal knowledge about this particular report, so I don’t know if it is accurate or not. If it is, it would certainly be something we would want to think seriously about. But I don’t want to engage in any hypotheticals."

We know that the SEC isn't going to go off and do something insane like invite Colorado. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State might be attractive, but they're still a stretch. And Texas Tech alone joining the league doesn't make any sense. So the only plausible reason the reports would prompt more discussions in Destin is if Texas and A&M are targets.

Obviously, I'm less skeptical than Year2 about the likelihood of an offer to Texas for a few reasons.

First, academics are important, but I fail to see the connection to athletics at all. There are some good academic schools in the SEC and some that aren't so good. Granted, the Texas president and board might consider it, but the two aren't really related. I agree with those who say academics is a smokescreen for a school that's used to getting a larger share of the money and doesn't care to come to our socialist conference without a good dose of Reaganomics.

Second, A&M is supposedly more interested -- or at least equally interested -- in the SEC. And we all know that the Texas Legislature isn't letting the Longhorns go anywhere without bringing the Aggies along. It might not be all Texas' choice, depending on how insistent A&M is going to be about this. Which is why it would be smart for the SEC to extend an offer to Texas and A&M now if they want the two schools; if the Big XII is going to implode, the schools are going to be on the move and will have to go to the Pac-10 if no other bid is on the table. A&M won't have any leverage in that case.

Finally, while a formal offer isn't extended unless you know that the school is going to say yes, there's no reason for the SEC not to informally ask if academics are a sticking point. If they are, let Texas go to the Pac-10. If they aren't, make an offer.

Slive also says the distribution of the SEC in terms of TV markets is fine.

"So we don’t need to expand the league for purposes of distribution. There’s nothing there that would cause us to expand."

Except that distribution isn't what advertisers pay for -- and thus isn't what drives offers from TV networks, who make the money they use to pay for the games based largely on commercials. Ad-buyers pay for eyeballs watching the screen. And Texas would bring plenty more eyeballs to SEC games.

Big XII cancels press conference on expansion; Oklahoma AD practices straight-man comedy routine
The entire Big XII story here is worth reading, but some of the highlights from an article that is really almost comedic at times:

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and Texas president Bill Powers had been scheduled to brief reporters at the end of the day on Thursday, the third day of the league's spring meetings.

But after a separate meeting of the presidents ran an hour long, Beebe emerged to say -- as he was pursued by reporters into a waiting elevator -- that the news conference would be on Friday. ...

"Each athletic director had a chance to convey their thoughts about the future of our conference, and that was great," [Oklahoma AD Joe] Castiglione said. "A lot of passion about the Big 12 in that room, I can promise you that."

"A lot of passion" does not exactly translate into "We're all going to stay." And Oklahoma is one of the schools that reportedly wants the league to stay together.

Pac-10 issues non-denial denial
Whenever you see a denial with phrases like "I'm not anticipating any definitive decisions coming out," it means the game is afoot.

Colorado AD kind of confirms it
Mike Bohn doesn't really know what's going on, but he knows an offer is coming. Maybe.

Bohn said CU has not had any contact with the Pac-10 or its representatives and he was not clear on how he came to believe invitations could be forthcoming. But he said Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech could receive invitations possibly as soon as this weekend when Pac-10 officials meet in San Francisco.

"The longer that we were together in Kansas City it appeared that that rumor or speculation did have some validity to it," Bohn said in an interview with the Camera as he left the Big 12 spring meetings here today.

Which means he's either believing everything he reads on the Internet and is really glad that Wikipedia says ABBA is releasing a new album, or he knows something but isn't telling. (HT: Dr. Saturday)

SEC SPRING MEETINGS

What? We're playing who in Week 12? You don't say
Addressing the possibility of changing the SEC schedule to help Alabama's heart-string-tugging bye-week ordeal, Auburn coach Gene Chizik doesn't so much strain credibility as shoot it and leave it to die in an alley.

"It's hard to play 11 weeks in a row of football," Chizik said. "So (the open week) came at a point of the season that was good for us, no matter who we were playing in week 12."

Which might be halfway plausible if not for details like (a) Alabama is always the 12th game on the Tigers' schedule, so it's not like it was a surprise; and (b) the team could also avoid playing 11 games in a row to begin with by having its bye week at literally any other point in the season. I'm obviously not big on making anyone change their schedule for this, but let's be honest when discussing the reasons for it.

Chizik said he thought opinion was "50-50" on the Friday playing date, although it slightly heightened Auburn's perceived advantage last season since Alabama played a game on the previous Saturday while Auburn was idle.

The Crimson Tide is currently scheduled to play Georgia State on the Saturday prior to the Auburn game, although UA officials continue to contemplate options, including moving the game to Thursday.

Because playing Georgia State is going to take so much out of the Alabama players. Greg McElroy might have to play two whole quarters before the score is 42-0.

Making cowbells part of another moronic rule
The artificial noisemaker stupidity continues.

Here’s a compromise idea straight from conversations in the hallways of the Sandestin Hilton: Classify cowbells as noise similar to what comes out of the stadium speakers. (That’s institutionally controlled noise, in SEC jargon.) Such noise is allowed at certain times in the game — pregame, halftime, between quarters, timeouts, etc. It’s not allowed during game play or between plays.

Which is also a dumb rule. During play is one thing -- though, again, how anything other than a nearby nuclear explosion could be more distracting than the roar of tens of thousands of people is beyond me. But if you can't concentrate despite noises from bells or loudspeakers between plays -- play golf. They have to be quiet there.

OTHER NEWS

Kentucky-Louisville to be part of worst Saturday football schedule ever
Wildcat and Cardinal fans can be happy that their teams will be part of ABC's regional coverage on the opening Saturday of the season, but ugh the 3:30 p.m. slot is awful: UCLA-Kansas State and Connecticut-Michigan are the other two games. These are inter-regional matchups that still manage to lack much punch. At least it'll be a rivalry game in the Southeast.

Which is almost as much as the Vols paid Monte
Jonathan Crompton is making $2.68 million a year over four years to play football. Ponder that for a moment, and be sure to clean up all the pieces of your exploded head once you're done. In all seriousness, it's good to hear that Crompton will do well despite being coached by Dave Clawson and Lane Kiffin. (HT: Rocky Top Talk)

Want an autographed copy of Phil Steele?
You best have at least $101 (as of this writing). And it would probably help if you're an Auburn fan, just for practical reasons, as he addressed it in part to "the entire Auburn family."

Southern Cal report probably won't be released this week
This thing is either 3,000 pages long or the NCAA needs some new, quicker writers.

Keith Olbermann is right and your examples are wrong
Whatever you think of his politics, the Countdown host loves baseball. And hammer meets nose in this segment on Armando Galarraga:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

One more thing while we're on the topic: I've heard a lot of people talk about how this game or that game would have turned out differently if a bad play was reversed, etc. etc. About the nicest thing I can say about that argument is that it deserves to die slowly but should die quickly. The Tigers win the game either way. The outcome of the game is not at stake here. We're not making someone else win the game or changing the score or anything else. We're changing whether someone got on base. If you're going to make an argument about the game, make an intellectually honest one. Or please be quiet and let someone else make the anti-change argument for you. 

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