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One step ahead of the sheriff (next year). Haith had talent on campus when he arrived in Columbia, thanks to Mike Anderson. His recruiting has been inadequate, and the team has underperformed their talent as well. It's a lot easier to get a job while you still have one.

25 minutes ago on parrish tweet

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If I were a relatively hot commodity as a basketball coach, I wouldn't want to be the next coach at Tennessee. I think I would much rather be the next coach after the next coach. Tennessee's program has much to recommend it, but the expectations are higher than they should be, and the next coach in the job probably won't be able to walk on water any more than Martin could. More time would allow the fan base's fantasies regarding the potential return of Pearl to fade into understanding that he isn't really an option for the Vols in the future. 

However, some good coach will take the job. It is possible he'll be able to be as charismatic as Pearl. Would a good, charismatic coach satisfy Volunteer fans? Would anybody not named Pearl?

4 hours, 2 minutes ago on Martin’s Departure Has Tennessee Chasing Its Tail Again

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First reasonable opportunity.

1 day, 23 hours ago on Cuonzo Marting Leaving Tennessee For Cal

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@CarterCollins @John at MrSEC  Hey Carter, help me understand. Are we suggesting that lying to an authority figure and trying to get others to do the same is OK? If your kid lied to you and tried to get his friend to help him cover up the lie it would be OK with you? Assuming what Pearl did was a little lie (a little pregnant?); if little lies are OK, where do we draw the line. Pearl lied and tried to get others to do the same because he knew he broke the rules. If you don't like the rules it is OK to break them?

I do get your original point. The SEC doesn't need a rule protecting programs from the players who they have booted. The 14 individual programs need to do whatever they believe is in their best interest regarding retaining or recruiting players, assuming they are within the bounds of the NCAA rules.

2 days, 1 hour ago on The SEC Needs A Rule Protecting Schools From Having To Face Players Booted For Disciplinary Reasons

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@scottdean14 @the_voice  A nine game SEC conference football season in the near future seems to me to be a foregone conclusion. So does a more competitive non conference schedule for football and basketball. That is one of the benefits we'll see with the SEC Network. They need 'mo betta' programming.

You may be right about cable contracts overall, but the successful model now is to secure as many passionate eyeballs as you can, find a sports broadcasting cable partner, and mint money with a conference network. Sure seems to be working for the Big Ten. The Big 12's model of third tier rights going to the universities precludes a Big 12 channel (as does their footprint's population). A conference channel didn't work for the Mountain West, due to a number of reasons. The Pac 12's channel has the population, but there is a lack of passion for college sports in that region of the country and the time zone differences work against the heavily populated east coast's viewership. The ACC clearly has the eyeballs that have a passion for basketball, but football is an afterthought; and 70% of the money is about football. I think the conference picture in the future will evolve from a big five to a big two, the Pac 12, and a smaller one or two. Who knows where it all ends? One possibility for the future would be a 20 team conference with two, 10 team divisions and a conference championship in football (90 games of inventory) and a 20 game basketball schedule that has you playing one team home and home. 

3 days, 4 hours ago on Missouri And Texas A&M Worth $41 Million To The SEC In Year One

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Gary Pinkel deserves credit for doing what appears to be the right thing. It must have been a painful decision for him. Hope Green-Beckham gets his act together and makes great use of his talent somewhere as well. Just make it with a team I don't follow.

5 days, 23 hours ago on Missouri’s Pinkel Stuck In Coaching Hell Thanks To WR Green-Beckham

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@scottdean14  First, to say they added $41M is misleading. The league added $41M year over year. Who's to say how much MU and TAM added? It could be any number, really. But even is they did add the $41M and received $39M, it is well worth it when you consider the new SEC Network that comes on line this summer. Texas and Missouri represent over 1/3rd of the population in the SEC's footprint. Carriage fees in that footprint are noticeably higher than in the rest of the country. Without the population of Texas and Missouri , the SEC Network would have been much less interesting to ESPN economically. Wait a couple of years and you'll see a huge increase (about doubling) in SEC revenue, a fair amount of which is attributable to the expansion from 12 to 14.

1 week ago on Missouri And Texas A&M Worth $41 Million To The SEC In Year One

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@John at MrSEC @the_voice  Somewhere out there there is a quantitative moneyball type with time on their hands and curiosity about what variables drive the committee's decisions. Linear regression analysis of the issue might make for a fun doctoral thesis for someone. Or we could just ask Joe Lunardi.

1 week, 2 days ago on Next Hoops Season, Just Focus On Your Team’s RPI And Ignore The Game-To-Game Analysis

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Depending upon the RPI you use, only two teams out of the top 48 didn't make it, Southern Mississippi and Toledo (both had strength of schedules above 100). Three at larges above 48 made it, Kansas State, North Carolina State, and Iowa: all with sub 40 strength of schedules. An RPI of 48 certainly seems to have been the magic number this year. How many wins it takes seems to be a function of what conference you are in and how it is perceived. Southern Miss had 25 wins, SMU had 23, Missouri had 22, and Toledo; 26 and all visited the NIT. Cal, Minnesota, and Florida State had 19 and also went to the NIT. Nebraska and Iowa both had 19 and went to the dance. 

It is hard to argue against your thesis in general. What is hard to know is how those three variables interrelate with each other. How did Iowa, 19-12, RPI 56, SOS 37 make it while a Minnesota 19-13, 50, 9 does not? How do you decide between Florida State 19-13, 54, 34; and NC State 21-13, 55, 33; and why would I need to if a 25-6, 33, 131 Southern Miss is available? There is no real quantitative process. It certainly seems to all be contrived to maximize the slots for the conferences that are perceived to be strong. (Of course, so it the college football bowl system.)

http://www.rpiforecast.com/live-rpi.html

LIVE RPI: Updated at 7:04 PM EDT, Sun Mar 16, 2014

1 week, 2 days ago on Next Hoops Season, Just Focus On Your Team’s RPI And Ignore The Game-To-Game Analysis

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Isn't it great to see SEC fans that actually care about basketball? Wouldn't it be awesome if all 14 schools had fan bases that felt that way?

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Like Sands Through The Hourglass, Tennessee/Martin Soap Opera Goes On And On

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@SEC fan  27,000 passionate Vol basketball fans wanted a new coach bad enough to sign a petition to that effect. If you were Cuonzo Martin, would you want to stay where 27,000 passionate fans were "idiots" (to use your word)?

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Like Sands Through The Hourglass, Tennessee/Martin Soap Opera Goes On And On

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Frank Haith's affinity for transfers seems to be creating a somewhat different 'one and done' model than that used by John Calipari and others.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Clarkson – SEC’s #7 Scorer This Season – Leaves Missouri For The Pros

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I wonder where Martin will end up. Can't see it being Knoxville, but who knows?

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Florida, Kentucky & Tennessee Hoops: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

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Tennessee is graduating 50% of its scoring, has the aura of Pearl down the road, plays in what is statistically a mid-major level league, and has a fan base that may be running a sweet 16 coach out of town. If Martin does leave (and why wouldn't he?), what hot coach is ready for that situation?

On another subject, Arkansas' two wins over KY and OT loss to FL make them look better than when the committee made their selections. A shame they lost to Alabama and SC at the end.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Florida, Kentucky & Tennessee Hoops: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

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Another possibility is private schools being required to withdraw from the NCAA and form their own organization if unionization can't fit within the NCAA rules. A football league might consist of: Stanford, Southern California, Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Tulane, Boston College, Syracuse, Duke, Wake Forest, Baylor, Rice, Vanderbilt, Brigham Young, Tulsa, Texas Christian, and Southern Methodist; which would not be able to play NCAA teams. Kind of brings to mind the phrase "separate but equal".

3 weeks ago on The End Is Nigh (For College Sports As We Knew Them); What The NLRB’s Ruling Means For The SEC

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@John at MrSEC  No doubt SEC country is football centric. The SEC footprint's population is right at 30% of the US as a whole. That means we're way over-represented with that nearly 50% in football and a little under-represented by that 25% in basketball. That explains SEC football dominance, but doesn't really explain SEC basketball impotence.

Each school only needs about 4 signees per year in basketball while needing 25 in football. With 3 times the D1 schools playing basketball as football, there are about twice as many D1 football players on scholarship as basketball players.

Past all that, SEC coaches as a group aren't creative enough with their recruiting. As an example, 25% of NBA players are foreign born. Most play in D1 first. How many foreign born players are playing SEC basketball?

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/29/record-92-foreign-players-on-nba-rosters-to-start-season/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/gw-basketball-is-winning-with-international-flair/2014/02/11/1ddd4632-9341-11e3-b3f7-f5107432ca45_story.html

3 weeks ago on Wonder Why SEC Basketball Ain’t All That? Blame Football

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I agree with much of your suppositions, John, I can't buy the 'there aren't enough basketball playing athletes in the south' though. There are 90+ million living in the SEC footprint. Louisville, Memphis, St. Louis, Baylor, and Texas are  in that footprint. The ACC teams just to the SEC's east find plenty of fine players, as do the Big 12 teams just to its west and the Big 10 to the north. South Carolina and Tennessee could recruit in North Carolina or Virginia. Arkansas and LSU could recruit in Oklahoma or Texas. Missouri can recruit Illinois and Iowa. The problem is, the SEC doesn't come across to the out of market player as the place to be for basketball as they do for football, baseball, track, etc. The SEC needs to make basketball project 1A, right behind maintaining football supremacy. It is possible to be passionate about football and basketball. The Big 12 is a prime example. Is the commitment there from SEC leadership to create passion for basketball? Maybe with the need for good programming to fill the SEC Network, the answer is yes. (By the way, how many D1 players come out of Kansas a year? Kansas still had three teams in the tourney.)

http://deadspin.com/infographics-where-do-high-school-basketball-stars-com-5984694

3 weeks ago on Wonder Why SEC Basketball Ain’t All That? Blame Football

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There were some who said the SEC didn't deserve 3 seats at the NCAA tourney table. Tennessee has shown that a mid-tier SEC team that is hot going into postseason can do quite well, thank you. However, the league needs its 3-14 teams to all step up in class when it comes to scheduling, recruiting, and game coaching. Some teams need less athletes playing streetball and more basketball players making basketball plays. For other teams it means upping their athleticism. Others need less selfish knuckleheads and more of a team orientation.

It would help alot if the 14 SEC member institutions filled their gyms with loud fans and worried less about maximizing ticket revenue. If you are one of the better HS basketball recruits and you have an option of playing in front of a league full of impassioned fan bases or gyms that are half full and/or disinterested fans, where would you choose to take your talent?

3 weeks, 2 days ago on 3 SEC Teams Still Alive In The NCAAs? Sweet, But The League Still Stunk

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The top 10 basketball conference's (by league RPI) sweet 16 participants:

   1) Big 12 - 2 - Iowa State, Baylor

     2) Big 10 - 3 - Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State

     3) Pac 12 - 3 - UCLA, Arizona, Stanford

     4) Big East - 0

     5) ACC - 1 - Virginia

     6) A10 - 1 - Dayton

     7) SEC - 3 - Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee

     8) AAC - 2 - Louisville, Connecticut

     9) West Coast - 0

     10) Mountain West - 1 - San Diego State

(All other conferences eliminated.)

3 weeks, 3 days ago on SEC Hoops Roundup: Kentucky & Tennessee Give SEC Three In Sweet 16

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Maybe SEC basketball isn't quite as bad as the pundits believe. (Although there isn't any knowledgeable person who could say it's a good basketball league with a straight face.)

4 weeks ago on SEC Hoops Roundup: Tennessee Gets OT Victory; Perfect Tournament Night For SEC

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@John at MrSEC @the_voice  I wasn't saying UT fans are unique. Quite the contrary. Everyone who is too close to a situation emotionally can't possibly view things involving their program dispassionately, particularly when it involves the NCAA folks.

I can see how you read my comment as a critique of your journalistic integrity. Since I don't get paid to wordsmith, I don't always make myself perfectly clear. I believe if you reread my first post less a an assault upon you and more as dismissive of a UT fan's likely perspective, you'll better understand my unclear post.

1 month ago on If Pearl Lands At Auburn, Get Ready For “Conflict Of Interest” Questions For The NCAA

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John, that's a plausible point of view from a UT perspective. I'm betting that the farther away from Knoxville you get, the more that perspective looks like so many of the conspiracy theories; theoretically possible but highly unlikely.

There really wasn't any good place for Pearl to land a coaching job within the NCAA structure. He's toxic. However, he is also an excellent coach, which buys you more chances (see Bobby Petrino).

It's hard to say which is more embarrassing; Auburn basketball before hiring Pearl or after it. It's easy to say they will be a much better basketball team while he is there.

1 month ago on If Pearl Lands At Auburn, Get Ready For “Conflict Of Interest” Questions For The NCAA

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@AllTideUp @the_voice  My preference would be GWU and SLU, two very similar schools.. Neither one would preclude adding VT or 1-2 NC schools in the future as full SEC members.

1 month ago on The SEC Pays The Price For Bad Hoops On Selection Sunday (Again)

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@AllTideUp   I like the creative thought. Here's another one. In order to inject some basketball culture into the league, why not consider expanding to add maybe 4 basketball members. Possibilities: Davidson, VCU, Richmond, George Washington, Memphis, and St. Louis would all fit into the SEC's desired footprint and would all add to the SEC's basketball resume. If the BIG can add Johns Hopkins for lacross, why not at least consider it.

1 month ago on The SEC Pays The Price For Bad Hoops On Selection Sunday (Again)

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Half the Big 12 conference is seeded higher than Kentucky this year. Seven of their 10 are seeded higher than Tennessee. The A10, which lost Xavier and Butler this year, has twice as many teams in the NCAA tourney as the SEC does. Is this the year that the SEC finally forces the issue with it's members and requires (in some manner) basketball become a point of emphasis? If a noticeable chunk of the SEC network money doesn't go into basketball, what do the powers that be think people will be watching on that network between the fall football season and spring football? Time for the SEC basketball boys to step up in class in a major way.

1 month ago on The SEC Pays The Price For Bad Hoops On Selection Sunday (Again)

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@CarterCollins @the_voice  Some people interview well. All hat and no cattle.

1 month ago on Auburn The First Test Case For Ex-Tennessee Coach Pearl

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Congrats. to USC. Who saw that coming?

1 month ago on SEC Hoops Roundup 3/14/2014

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