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Sprints Is Scheduling Another FCS Team // 06.15.09

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Dentists take a look at scheduling teeth. It's only a couple of months before SEC and other BCS-level teams start devouring cupcakes, so the kvetching about weak out-of-conference scheduling begins.

Among the 65 teams in the six Bowl Championship Series conferences, only 34 percent of their non-conference games from 2006 to '08 were against fellow teams from the big six leagues, according to an analysis by The Birmingham News.

The ACC had the highest rate at 42 percent, slightly ahead of the Big East and Pac-10, which each were at 40 percent. The SEC -- winner of the past three BCS titles -- was fourth at 31 percent. Then came the Big Ten (29 percent) and Big 12 (26 percent). ...

The SEC has fared the best against high-quality, nonconference opponents -- defined by The News as Football Bowl Subdivision opponents with 10 wins or more in a season. The SEC went 6-8 (.429) in those games since '06, topping the Pac-10 at 8-12 (.400).

(HT: Rap)

You will find few advocates of stronger non-conference schedules than your humble correspondent, who actually likes the idea of a conference challenge tournament, though he might rearrange some of Forde's matchups and other particulars.


But there are reasons SEC teams aren't taking as many risks with the out-of-conference slates as they once did, as Eight in the Box points out.

The rankings suggest that during the span of 1975-1979 Alabama basically had little nationally ranked competition within the conference, so it had to look elsewhere to find games that would garner national attention, and by virtue of that attention, respect and consideration in the poll voting. The University of Georgia, who finished ahead of the Tide in 1976, was the only SEC team that appeared consistently in the Final AP polls between 1975 and 1979, but Alabama and Georgia only played each other twice in that span with the Bulldogs winning 21-0 in 1976 (Alabama's poorest showing during this period) and Alabama scoring a victory in the 1977 contest 18-10.

It's more complex than that, as EITB illustrates -- there are revenue and competitive reasons for going with a less difficult non-leage schedule. But EITB also asks an intriguing question: Now that ESPN The SEC Network has contracts with all the major conferences, could the Worldwide Leader re-energize the marquee OOC matchup? They're already doing so, to an extent, by orchestrating games like the year-opening tilts at the Georgia Dome.

Now with crime-fighting abilities. The Orlando Sentinel takes a look at Florida's arrest problem and finds the antidote: The Golden Tebow.

All he has to say is this: "Get in trouble, and you'll have to answer to me." That should do the trick.

Only if the players are more afraid of him than they are of Tasers. But I digress.

Meanwhile, Urban Meyer is trying to clean up his program's image. Or give them insider information to help them get away with more crimes.

UF players have joined in a ride-a-long program offered by the Gainesville Police Department to the general public. UF coach Urban Meyer expressed an interest in getting his team involved, to help them get a first-hand look at what the crime fighters go through each day. GPD welcomed the request.

Know your enemy.

The Sentinel's story about Florida power lawyer Huntley Johnson -- who might as well be on retainer for the university at this point -- probably won't help that image effort.

The blue ink scribbled on the 40-yard line of "The Swamp" somehow delivers the loudest message inside this colorfully cluttered law office.

Huntley, Thanks for being a part of the team. Urban Meyer. ...

Sentinel research shows that of the 23 cases handled by Johnson, 21 resulted in dropped charges, a plea deal or pre-trial deferment plans that help first-time offenders avoid charges after fulfilling court-ordered stipulations.

No word on whether Meyer considers Johnson The Greatest Lawyer of Our Era.

You mean, the public has rights? The NCAA is unfamiliar with this concept. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is trying to improve college football threatening the NCAA with jail time if the Association doesn't turn over records related to the Florida State investigation. Apparently, the NCAA is unconcerned with these "laws" of which McCollum speaks.

According to The Associated Press, McCollumn said the NCAA must release copies or its response to Florida State's appeal of penalties related to its academic violations, or face $1,000 a year in jail or both.

How one would jail the NCAA is an open question. But I'm more amused by the NCAA apparent impression that is has the right to determine whether it must follow the law, which is more peculiar when you consider they enforce the rules in college athletics.

Speaking of enforcing the rules, good luck with this one:

Although a rule banning media attendance at the camps colleges conduct for high school athletes has been on the books since 2007, a large loophole caused a sometimes loose interpretation.

"The rule said you can’t invite media to these camps," explained UT associate athletics director Brad Bertani, "however, if camps were left open to the general public then it was OK (for media to attend)." ...

"An institution has an obligation to preclude the presence of media (including scouting services) at its institutional camps for the purpose of writing stories, filming and/or taking pictures," the NCAA states. "... As a result, we advise you to notify media outlets they are not permitted to be present at institutional camps."

DawgsOnline sees the influence of Kiffin here.

Unless the NCAA is asking schools to bar the public from the practices, I'm not sure how you can do this, either constitutionally or practically. Constitutionally, it's difficult to see how you can allow other members of the public to attend but not the media (see: First Amendment). But, practically, how would you tell anyway? What is a member of the media? A blogger -- many of whom don't work for scouting services or the mainstream media?

The NCAA would be well-served to realize that while its rules are important, the law is a bit more so.

NBA Drafting. The deadline for players to remove their names from the NBA Draft is 5 p.m. ET today, and the league expects to get several more notifications by the cut-off.

NBA consultant Chris Ekstrand said Sunday that the league typically receives notice of about half the withdrawals on the day of the deadline.

This year saw 105 underclassmen enter the draft, Ekstrand said. Of those early entries, Ekstrand said the NBA would expect about 50 to withdraw. Only about 25 had withdrawn as of Sunday afternoon.

Another SEC name dropped out over the weekend when Devan Downey returned to the Gamecocks, keeping South Carolina as one of the contenders for the SEC East crown. The leader in that race, at least right now, is waiting for a decision from one of its big names: Jodie Meeks.

A Sea of Blue is concerned.

Now though, after examining the 'Meeks leaving' scenario a bit more closely, I've come to the conclusion that Meeks' presence in a UK uni could mean the difference in Big Blue winning its final game, or ending the season with a loss.

There are basketball points that I will not attempt to summarize. Glad I didn't put money on that "the Magic might win" thing.

'Will make an idiot of myself for quarterback.' Boy Wonder's RECRUITING methods have failed to produce one, um, fairly important piece.

The Volunteers are the only Southeastern Conference program with no quarterbacks still enrolled from the last three signing classes, and they have none publicly committed for 2010.

But impressive roster numbers don't mean anything "if you don't have good players," UT assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron said recently.

"If you sign a kid who can't play, then you're sitting there for five years stuck with a kid who can't play," he added.

Better to not have a quarterback at all, apparently. (HT: Blutarsky)

South Carolina: 'On the verge' for the third consecutive year. Steve Spurrier's capacity to give almost the exact same answers to the same questions The State has been asking for four years now is a skill.

And really, three or four years goes by so fast, and if you’re in good health (and) you feel like you’ve got a team that’s on the verge. You know, I think we’ve got a team on the verge, I really do. And we’ve got excellent coaches with Ellis Johnson and Eric Wolford, Lorenzo Ward -- all those guys. Brad Lawing.

Q: Has that been energizing, having some new guys in the room?

A: Yeah. But again, talk to me at the end of the summer, and I hope I can say this was the best participation in summer workouts we’ve ever had.

Yep, hit all the bullet points. Even the summer participation.

Wind Sprints. Even a Bama blogger doesn't see much hope in an appeal of the Textbookgate penalties, and sees the only likely upshot as "ruffling the NCAA's feathers," though that's never bothered the Tide before ... Dr. Saturday sees another mediocre year for Auburn, as in 6-6 being a reason to change the low assessments of Chizik ... WR E.J. Adams bids Kentucky adieu for "personal reasons" ...