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Sprints Congratulates Birmingham on Its TV National Championship // 08.29.12

Fans of both these teams combine to make Birmingham, AL the top city for ESPN's college football ratings.
Fans of both these teams combine to make Birmingham, AL the top city for ESPN's college football ratings.

Stay safe out there.

Isaac has all but parked itself along the coast of southern Louisiana, and its track has shifted even more to the west. Thoughts and prayers to all of you dealing with this storm.

Sheer dominance.

ESPN put out a release about college football viewership, and Birmingham was the top market for the sport in 11 of the past 12 years. Only in 2001 was it bumped down to second place, but both Bama and Auburn went 7-5 that year.

Five of the top 10 markets from a year ago are in SEC country, as were 11 of the top 25 overall. That number jumps up to 12 if you want to claim Kansas City. If you want to know why the SEC plans to get a bigger deal than the Pac-12 did, than you'll find it there. The only top 25 market for college football in Larry Scott's territory was Portland, Oregon at No. 24.

This is sounding worse and worse all the time.

First, Mississippi State had an assistant coach resign abruptly for "personal reasons". Then we found out that those personal reasons were probably related to an NCAA investigation. Then Mississippi State put out a statement saying that the NCAA was investigating a "recruiting irregularity".

Now, we find out that MSU has dissociated a booster for improper contact with a recruit. When you add this all up -- sudden coach resignation, investigation kept under wraps for months, dissociated booster -- it doesn't sound good. Maybe it's nothing, as MSU's involvement in the rather fishy recruitment of Cam Newton ended up with no charges brought against the school, but this series of events can't be an encouraging sign.

The preseason BlogPoll is up.

Alabama is No. 2, LSU is No. 3, and six SEC squads made the top 25.

Imitation can be a sincere form of genuflection.

Yes Mack, it's true that having a single point of failure is not a good thing, but that is true for any style of play. In any event, we appreciate you wanting to be like us, but no matter what you try to sell to recruits and fans, there's only one SEC program in the Lone Star State.

"You want me to make a list of people who are going to get their houses burned down?"

We still don't know how the selection committee is going to work or who is going to be on it, but it's going to have to be some brave people. North Carolina sports radio host Taylor Zarzour actually got death threats over his preseason AP Poll vote in 2008. Preseason. AP vote. In 2008, long after the AP left the BCS. We might need to send the family of committee members to undisclosed locations just to be safe.

Catch up before it's too late.

Bill Connelly's excellent SEC preview series is nearly done, as only Alabama is left to go. You can find all of them at this link, and it will update with the Bama article when it goes live.

A for effort, F for cartographic skills.

Someone from Reddit tweeted out this map of college football fandom. The creator got, um Nebraska right, I guess. And he didn't put the Georgia logo on Montana.

Someone alert Phil Fulmer.

Krispy Kreme is selling a football-themed donut on weekends from this fall through the Super Bowl. You know what to do.