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Sprints Thought the Plus-One Proposal Was Gone // 05.24.12

'With this plan, we hope the BCS can annoy fans for at least another five years.'
'With this plan, we hope the BCS can annoy fans for at least another five years.'

Earlier on TSK: SEC Baseball Tournament 2012: South Carolina, LSU Lose Openers as Arkansas, Georgia Eliminated
It was a topsy-turvy day in the SEC baseball tournament, and there could be some more surprises in store.

Official SEC Baseball Tournament page
Your morning reminder.


We might have unwittingly revived the Plus-One idea
Or perhaps wittingly. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said he's pleased with the new SEC-Big 12ish deal because -- wait for it --

"I'd say before Friday that idea of a plus-one didn't have much traction, but I think the announcement on Friday's a game-changer," Scott said. "We're pretty far down the path on four-team playoff options, but given the very positive reaction to what the SEC and Big 12 have done, it's possible that (a plus-one) could get some traction."

Actually, when you look at it, things have kind of been headed in this direction for a few weeks. The kumbaya moment of the early BCS meetings have given way to squabbles over who plays what game and where it gets played. The idea of playing the semifinals within the bowl games seems to be taking the lead on the latter question, but there are still a ton of proposals being floated about the former.

So you can see the commissioners and company throwing up their metaphorical hands and getting rid of the meddlesome questions with a plus-one model that keeps the Rose Bowl, the Champions Bowl (please rename this) and maybe one or two other bowls alive as part of the framework.

Which is kind of like the BCS, when you think about it: Not what most fans want, but a lot better than what we used to get.

Cameron Clear is suspended indefinitely
But then, you already knew that was coming. What you probably didn't know is that Clear has never seen any procedural drama over the last five years.

Clear logged into a jail cell Tuesday after police traced the laptop’s Wi-Fi signal to Gate 2 at the stadium around 1:30 p.m., UT police Cpl. Ben Doty wrote in the arrest warrant. Clear was still at the keyboard when officers walked up, according to the warrant.

There are so many ways in which this was not a particularly wise thing to do that we'll leave you to come up with your own list.

Arrested Arkansas players might never return. Or might be back next week
John L. Smith isn't really saying for sure.

"It's a felony and it's a serious, serious thing," Smith said. "They're not a part of this football team until this thing gets cleared up or they'll never be a part."

Which is probably just a polite way of saying that they're indefinitely suspended and unlikely to return. No word on whether Smith slapped himself after addressing the issue.

All we need for a good donnybrook now are James Franklin and Todd Grantham
Will Muschamp's little swipe at College Station did not go unnoticed, and now Kevin Sumlin has responded. Welcome to the SEC.

"He needs to worry about his own team," Sumlin said Wednesday.

In fairness, this might have just been some heartfelt advice from one coach to another. Given last year's results, Will Muschamp does indeed need to worry about his team.

'Experiences' turns out to be code for 'spend $1,000 to watch a basketball game'
Kentucky head basketball coach and noted humanitarian John Calipari has a brilliant idea: More Kentucky fans should get to watch Kentucky play basketball games. As long as it's not actually in Kentucky.

In addition to non-conference games against Louisville, North Carolina and Michigan State (Champions Classic) in 2013-14, Calipari spoke of an "only at Kentucky" moment that will feature the Wildcats' attempting to break the NCAA attendance record by playing Baylor in a women's-men's doubleheader in Cowboys Stadium. That same season, he said the Cats also hope to play in Lucas Oil Stadium.

In a way, he's right. Only at Kentucky would SEC fans pay to see a perfectly good football stadium instead used to host a basketball game. Faculty members from across the country, who have apparently never heard of John Calipari before, are outraged.

Tennessee's cut of the increased television contract might be spoken for
If the allegations from former Lady Vols media relations director Debby Jennings are true, this would be a whale of a lawsuit.


The Big East is looking to expand its, um, Western Division
Assuming, of course, that it has a Western Division. Air Force and BYU are possibilities because none of the other major conferences want them.

But while having a Western Division would make sense for our first transcontinental football conference, the Big East has other ideas. Doesn't it always?

One proposal would split the league into East and West divisions beginning in 2013. Another called for North and South divisions. And the third would have a non-geographic alignment, splitting the West Coast schools, the Texas schools, and the Florida schools.

Not only do they have a disjointed conference with no real identity and little revenue-producing potential, but they have the added bonus of exorbitant travel costs. Brilliant!

That's it for Idaho and New Mexico State
What looked like the last possible opening for the former WAC members after the disintegration of the league was pretty much slammed shut Wednesday by Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson.

"We are not pursuing additional members at this time," Benson said on a telephone conference call Wednesday. " ... At this juncture, the Sun Belt shouldn't be considered a landing spot whether it’s an FCS member or an existing FBS member."

That's sad. It makes it very, very likely that Idaho and New Mexico State are going to have a hard time making a go of it as FBS football teams. Maybe situations like this are just inevitable in the kind of realignments that periodically sweep college football -- but it doesn't make it any less unfortunate.

In fact, it's heartbreaking
And maybe it isn't anybody's "fault," per se. After all, let's remember that the WAC got into the mess it got into by trying to get BYU to jump ship from the Mountain West -- which it eventually did -- and prompting a counter-raid from the MWC that eventually destroyed the WAC for good.

But two of those schools, and two that you have to think were not the most influential in the room at the time, will face all of the downside of the WAC's ill-fated gambit. Several of the schools ended up upgrading to the Mountain West themselves. Other programs went to the Sun Belt, which is now pretty clearly a lateral move.

So now, coaches like Robb Akey of Idaho are instead telling their players something like this.

Let’s play so well that we make the world fall in love with the University of Idaho Vandals. We’ve got the opportunity to be the last WAC champions. You look at that gravestone and we have the chance to have our names on there forever.

And there will be people like me who will cheer for Idaho, just because it would be nice to see this program go out a winner. Even though it would be nicer to see the program not go out at all.

This is what I'm talking about when I argue that conference realignment needs to stop. This doesn't have to happen. No one is going to get rich off of the new Sun Belt television contract, or likely even the Mountain West contract.

This doesn't have to happen. But it's going to. Just because.