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Sprints Wants the Money that the NCAA Owes It for All Its Bowl Work // 12.21.09

A busy couple of days. First, today marks the beginning of the roll-out of the SEC Power Poll All-SEC Team. The results will be unveiled across several of our sites. We'll have an entry or two here and will provide you with a guide to the results as they're unveiled elsewhere.

Second, we have a good Team Speed Kills Now coming up for you on Tuesday. A two-hour edition -- which, yes, would make it twice as long as normal -- with several smart bloggers from the teams that will be opposing league members in the bowls. More on that tomorrow.

BCS NATIONAL TITLE GAME: ALABAMA VS. TEXAS

Maybe they're not all socialists
A lot of the commentary around the decision of the Tide to travel as a team to Pasadena has painted the Bama players as doing so out of a team mindset. It's also a scheduling issue.

But the late date of this year's game presented a problem in that most teams break for the holidays and then meet at the bowl site. Alabama could not do that unless it arrived very early for the BCS title game.

Not that there's not some indications that it was a team-centric decision as well. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. And the school is still trying to get them the money.

At least they'll all be there
The Tide avoids "academic casualties."

Kareem Jackson files NFL paperwork
The Tide CB is asking for his prospects to be evaluated.

Dunlap could have gotten a heck of a plea deal in Texas
D.J. Monroe, a kick returner for Texas, will play in the CBCSNCG after he plead guilt to "obstruction of a passageway," which sounds like it's several steps down from DWI. Drunk driving = chance to play for the national championship. Yes, that's a good message to send to college students.

I hope he went to Jared's
Nick Saban forgets his anniversary. This will only increase his stature among Alabama fans.

This is going to end with something burned to the ground
We hope a peaceful settlement could be reached, because I think we all know that it's going to get violent if Tide fans can't watch their team in the national title game.

We'll wait
After blogs found a site that was already selling merchandize for Alabama's 13th national title -- no, they mean the one this year; they haven't claimed another one -- the site now encourages Alabama fans to "Come back after the game."

They could always solve it by claiming another championship
The controversial end to the 1973 Cotton Bowl between Alabama and Texas.

SUGAR BOWL: FLORIDA VS. CINCINNATI

Dunlap playing sets a double standard at Florida?
Alligator Army is afraid of what the decision to allow Carlos Dunlap to play says about Florida -- not the team; the university.

I do not fault Meyer for ending the suspension, since his job is to get kids on the field not worry about an alcohol policy. ... If [UF President Bernie] Machen's influence ended the suspension, and does not extend to students caught in the same situation, Machen has created a problem for the University. Unless Machen now changes the alcohol policy at Florida, he has set a clear line between athletes and students.

Which is a more thoughtful analysis than about 99 percent of the blogosphere and the media have provided on this one.

Not that we shouldn't be asking ourselves this question
Goodman:

If Dunlap had taken his foot of the brake while sleeping at the traffic light (the car was in drive), drifted into the intersection and killed a few people, would he still be allowed to play?

Well I would hope not -- that sounds like enough for even Lou Holtz to suspend him for more than a game. But the purpose of the question -- to think about the thin line between what Dunlap did and something more consequential -- points to the problem with DUI. Had Dunlap been kicked off the team for this, some Florida fans and others would have said it was too strong a punishment for a youthful mistake. DUI is not just a youthful mistake; it is a potentially fatal mistake that shows little respect for human life. There are consequences for the rest of us, and it seems like there ought to be for athletes as well.

How long before they start a two-for-one special?
Florida is having trouble unloading its Sugar Bowl tickets. I'll repeat that: An SEC team is going to the Sugar Bowl and having trouble selling its tickets.

Cincinnati loses second head coach
The interim leader for the Sugar Bowl will leave for Buffalo after that.

OTHER NEWS

He's headed to the NFL
Eric Berry isn't saying anything now, but Lane Kiffin's announcement of an announcement is about all you need to know.

"I talked to Eric again this morning," Kiffin said. "We were going to have an announcement today, but after talking to him, we've just decided to wait until after the bowl game."

Only one reason to do it that way, particularly with Kiffin mentioning that Berry wants to "focus on winning this game."

Rich Brooks doesn't say "no" on retirement question
In fact, he doesn't even come close in an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Q: There's been a lot of speculation about your future. Will the Music City Bowl be your last game as the head coach of Kentucky?

A: I'll address that when the time is right.

Brooks does talk quite a bit about the future of the program in the story. But he doesn't exactly give the question the resounding "No" some Kentucky fans might like.

What's wrong with midnight baseball?
The SEC tries to tweak its tournament schedule to make sure those of us who watch aren't up too late.

A pitch clock also is part of the would-be solutions
Again, nothing that should cause too much heartburn. There's really no reason to take more than 20 seconds between pitches.