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Sprints Loves Football More Than You Do // 07.09.09

No news; let's talk conferences. The Rivalry, Esq., finds that SEC fans don't love football more than Big Ten fans do. I have to put myself in the qualified agreement category. (I'm paraphrased in the story. While it's not a direct quote, it's pretty close and probably makes me sound smarter than I deserve to sound.) I would, coincidentally, ask Big Ten fans when they last chanted "Big Ten" after a Rose Bowl victory. Oh, wait a minute ...

I think that there might be a degree of difference not in the amount of love but in the intensity, in part because SEC fans are more focused. As I wrote to Graham while he was preparing his piece:

As far as why, remember that I don't believe any SEC state had any professional franchises (except for maybe a few early baseball teams in Kentucky) until the Braves and the Falcons got started in Atlanta in the 1960s. And there still are no pro teams from the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi or South Carolina. For a lot of sports fans in those states, the college team is the only one around.

It's not really fair for me or anyone else to decide if fans in our region love the game any more or less than fans in another region. But because baseball and (to a much lesser extent) the NFL have never caught on around the greater South the way they did in the North, we don't have anything else to talk about.

They might still be in love, but we're obsessed.

Because football season can't begin without an injured Georgia OL ...
Luckily for them, Tanner Strickland "was expected to provide depth," code for "We'll only miss him a little." Well, maybe more than a little.

LSU will change its jerseys. And the earth-shattering revision includes ...
Adding "LSU" to the front. That's it.

Will someone just rob a bank or something so we can have some news to write about?

What, negative recruiting in the SEC? Scandalous!

According to, a rival coach of the Gators recently told UF commit Matt Elam (6-0, 205 pounds, linebacker, West Palm Beach Dwyer) that UF coach Urban Meyer is leaving Florida after the 2009 season.

Without knowing who else is recruiting Elam, my suspicions would fall on Steve Spurrier or Lane Kiffin. Or Charlie Weis.

Then again, Elam is supposedly denying at least parts of the story. Does that make it double-negative recruiting? Because every high school grammar student knows you're not supposed to do that.

Thoughts and prayers
Former Arkansas football coach Jack Mitchell died Sunday. Mitchell, who coached the Hogs from 1955-57, was 85.

Nebraska's schedule actually isn't all that tough, BCS defenders
DawgsOnline takes a look at how conference schedules can also vary widely even within the SEC. Fans in Baton Rouge, avert your eyes.

LSU is the only other SEC West team that will face both Florida and Georgia this year.

Which way are you going? And whose side will you be on?
Chris Low maps out the "SEC forks in the road," or the most important road games for each team. Most of the picks are pretty solid and predictable.

If the Crimson Tide can go into Oxford and win, you heard it here first: They will win the West.

Way to go out there on a limb, Chris.

Crompton at 12 just shows how far Tennessee's fighting spirit has fallen
Orson ranks the 12 SEC quarterbacks according to which one you'd want in a bar fight. No. 1 might be a bit of a surprise.

Pearl's raise official
He says: "I look forward to being the men’s basketball coach at Tennessee for many more years." Which is about what you'd expect someone who's about to make $2.4 million next year to say.

It's July!
A Sea of Blue compares last year's Memphis and Kentucky teams to try to see what Cal might be able to do with this year's Wildcats. Um, I know you're a Kentucky blog and all, but you guys do know that football season starts in two months, right?

Meeks signs contract with Bucks
It's a three-year deal with financial terms apparently not disclosed.