It was an awful, awful year for basketball. But you already knew that. So A Sea of Blue provides us with a look at why that was so and what some teams might expect next year. (Surprise: He thinks Cal will give Kentucky a four-seed. Yes, from the NIT to a four-seed.)
What you probably didn't know is that the down probably cost the conference a cool $7 million. That's right -- more than the entire Alabama coaching staff's salary. WARNING: MATH AHEAD. But, hey, Mike Slive had a bunch of money wrapped up in credit-default swaps, so everything should be okay ...
On the basketball note, I would like to gradulate the North Carolina Tar Heel for winning their umpteenth BS-NCAA championship, proving that they are superb to all the teams in the conferences that they play. In a game, no less, that made football's Florida-Kentucky game look downright humane.
Buyouts keep coaches in place. It's worked so well in the past, so Georgia decided to try it again. They've upped the ante a bit, and made it more difficult for Mark Fox to leave with a jaw-dropping $2 million buyout. But who thinks that will stop any tradition-laden school that wants Fox bad enough? There used to be a much better way to keep coaches -- loyalty. Sadly, that seems to be in short supply at any school in any sport.
Meanwhile, the Memphis and Arizona jobs are filled, which means the rest of the SEC rumors can be put to rest. The coaching slate is set for 2009.
Good or bad for scalpers? There could be plenty of tickets available for South Carolina games at this rate. You have to imagine that, for all but the most well-heeled fan bases, this will eventually become a problem. In some ways, given the state's economy, it's not a surprise that the trouble sets in early for the Gamecocks. In other ways, it is; it became something of a maxim for the school's first five or so years in the league that South Carolina had SEC-caliber fans but not an SEC-caliber team. In some ways, though, Carolina is also a unique case, as the school introduces a "seat tax" program called YES.
NFL Dreaming. Knowshon Moreno visits the Bengals -- good for him? At that rate, you might actually want to drop off Cincinnati's radar. Did Percy Harvin test positive for drugs while at Florida? Meyer won't say. Rocky Top Talk continues its look at how Robert Ayers ended up on the verge of an NFL contract.
The Death of the Print Media. This is one of the most sober, thoughtful pieces on the new media and the mainstream media I've read. As someone who is a news reporter on his day job, I might have something to say on the broader trend for an upcoming cocknfire OT. But Dave makes the point I've been trying to make as long as I could: those bloggers gloating over "the end of newspapers" (which will survive in some non-paper form) are deluded. There will bad with whatever good you might imagine.