Sprints is Walking Down Expansion Memory Lane // 03.19.12

SCOREBOARD

(BB: NCAA TOURNAMENT) Kentucky 87, Iowa State 71
The seemingly inevitable national champions (according to the conventional wisdom) will next play Indiana on Friday.

(BB: NCAA TOURNAMENT) Florida 84, Norfolk State 50
Good night, Cinderella. Florida will play Marquette on Thursday for a chance to move to the Elite Eight.

(BB: NCAA TOURNAMENT) Wisconsin 60, Vanderbilt 57
The Commodores are out in their second game in the tournament.

Year2's recap of the tournament will be up shortly.

NEWS

Furman Bisher (1918-2012)
One of the South's great sportswriter died Sunday at the age of 93. Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans.

The fight for Missouri
From a story that notes that one Big 12ish official said the league would be better off with West Virginia instead of Missouri:

"We need to discuss litigation idea with Slive even if we do not intend to file," Neinas wrote in a Nov. 8 email to Kansas City-based lawyer Kevin Sweeney and Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis, who replaced Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton as the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. "Remember, Slive is a lawyer and was sensitive to what the SEC has done to B12. … Taking two members within a year appears to be designed to purposely weaken a conference that challenges for BCS positioning."

Sweeney responded three days later with a draft of the lawsuit.

"This gives you something to 'wave around' … when you speak with Commissioner Slive," he wrote to Neinas.

If nothing else, this shows that Mike Slive and others had reason to believe that the Big 12ish might actually sue over one or both of the SEC's acquisitions in last year's expansion boom. Whether holding a league together through the threat of legal action is a wise course of action is up to the Big 12ish brass -- which is to say, do the opposite of whatever they were prepared to maybe do.

The story also suggests that Missouri's move to the SEC was not a "done deal" until later in the process than some of us thought. Not that that's surprising; moves that affect decades of history and hundreds of millions of dollars are not made lightly. But the well-researched article is an interesting historical footnote, if nothing else.

So, when exactly do those new television contracts begin?
You might remember there were some people who were skeptical that adding two Big 12ish teams would lead to the re-opening of the ESPN and CBS contracts. Mike Slive, what say you?

We have started discussions with both our television partners. We feel adding Texas A&M and Missouri has strengthened us in lots of ways, but it certainly strengthened us in television.

Of course, negotiations are several steps away from a new deal, but the fact that talks are going on mean it's more likely than not that the commissioner is going to make it rain soon. The scheduling, however -- well, Slive starts his response on schedules by noting that "The First Amendment is alive and well in the SEC."

That said, he seems to get the most important part of the conversation -- that rivalries have to be protected at all costs. There's an elbow he throws in the direction of Nebraska and Oklahoma ("Some rivalries have been lost nationwide in expansion"), which we will optimistically take as a sign that he's aware that going that way is dangerous.

Ole Miss will fight to keep Andy Kennedy. Unless they fire him
It's a bit hard to get a good read on Kennedy's future based on this article, which calls his firing unlikely but doesn't exactly rule it out. BUT THE REBEL BLACK BEARS MUST LOCK KENNEDY DOWN NOW TO KEEP HIM FROM GOING TO UAB.

Hope he does a better job of resisting defensive linemen
Jason Peacock has been arrested for using another student's debit card to buy gas. He was the proverbial tough nut to crack.

Peacock admitted to police that he took the card and used it. He still had it and gave it to university police when questioned.

The price of gas is getting ridiculous right now, but using someone else's money to pay for it is still frowned upon. Peacock has unsurprisingly been suspended indefinitely by Bobby Petrino.

Going to the seals
Mississippi State is close to unveiling something called "the Seal Complex," but it's not what you think. At least if you thought, like me, it actually had something to do with barking seals that Dan Mullen feeds until he needs their skins for a new coat. Beyond that, I can't really tell what it actually is.

The new football-only facility, the Seal Complex, will be a state-of-the-art facility which will house everything a college football program would desire in order to be competitive in the most demanding league in college football.

So it's going to house a quarterback? That would be progress.

Excerpt of the week nominee
From a story on Kentucky's new wide receivers coach.

He sees each drop as a chance to learn a valuable lesson. There are plenty of teaching tools from last season when Kentucky's pass offense was last in the Southeastern Conference, with a completion rate barely above 50 percent.

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