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I would love to see all collegiate sports follow the baseball model. That is that any player would have the option to play-for-pay in a minor league professional system, or to play as an amateur in collegiate athletics. Unfortunately that involves a professional minor-leagure infrastructure not present in football, and that is still only developing in basketball. This would potentially hurt the high profile of collegiate football and basketball, but paying collegiate athletes would shutter most of the smaller programs and result in lost opportunities for many athletes, not only in the non-revenue sports, but also the revenue sports as well. 

1 year, 7 months ago on As Opposition To Stipends Increases, So Too Do The Chances Of A New Subdivision In College Sports

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I completely agree. I was thinking about this this morning, but not necessarily with Arkansas (thought about  Ole Miss, but obviously their B'ball following is pretty poor, so Arkie would be better). I thought that UT could try to organize an early season tournament in Memphis too, and try to maintain a more regular presence in the west side of the state. It would have to be an attractive draw for some other national opponents, so I am not sure how well that would work. UT's absence from Memphis has hurt in football, too. I don't have any numbers to back this up, but before SEC expansion in the early 90's, UT and Ole Miss had an annual rivalry on the gridiron. With Ole Miss' proximity to Memphis, this kept UT in the local news on a more regular basis. Since the rivalry ended, it would seem that UT has had a much tougher time recruiting in Memphis. The Memphis/UT rivalry in football doesn't generate quite as much interest, even in Memphis. I think it's a case of out of sight, out of mind for UT.

1 year, 10 months ago on As Memphis Fights To Keep Schools Out Of Its Backyard, Hogs And Vols Should Sneak In

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 @GeoffDawg  @badbadhoggie

 It was a little tongue in cheek. Some background--Fulmer, Dooley and some other coaches have complained that the University has some academic policies that makes it difficult to compete with other SEC schools. For example, apparently there are majors for 'at-risk' student athletes that aren't quite as challenging where the athletes are better able to stay qualified academically. The complaint is that the university doesn't offer some of these programs where other universities in the league. There were some other issues as well, where it appears that he academic side of the university is at odds with the athletic side. I think its kind of a lame excuse, but its out there.

1 year, 11 months ago on Butch Jones Hired By Tennessee

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I'm over the banter about who has a top ten job a top 25 job, etc. I think it is so overstated. Truth is, the job is only as good as the last guy that left it. I am sure once Saban steps down, many big name coaches will clamor to get that gig, because the table is set for immediate success. But, in most situations a school is looking to hire a coach because the last guy was fired and whomever replaces him has got a rebuilding job with a fanbase that demands quick results. I understand there is some stigma with the guy that follows the legend, but I believe it's more difficult to succeed at a school that has been down for several years. Tennessee's tradition, facilties, and historical success are among the tops in the nation, not to mention its commitment to football, but it's going to be a much tougher job than any of the big game coaches would have left to take over the reins.

1 year, 11 months ago on Butch Jones Hired By Tennessee

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In following coaching searches, I like to go to the local newspapers of a school where a potential hire is located. This AM in the Courier Journal, despite all the noise about Strong possibly leaving, I had to search just to find anything about Louisville football. I guess there could be an advantage of coaching anonymously in a school with an overriding basketball culture, but I can't imagine he gets all the resources that he needs there (aside from income), and he probably just has to work like hell just to generate a buzz in the community around his program. I am for the Strong hire. I have concerns about a coach like Gundy who seems anxious to leave his alma mater. I realize there is some friction with the AD, but geez, it sounds like a good situation there.

1 year, 11 months ago on Vols To Hire Strong Today? Gundy Not Out Of The Picture Yet

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 @BamaWahoo

 I think in the Matt Hayes article, the feeling is that UNC and Duke will be a package deal. One won't make the move without the other.  I don't think either adds much with regard to football, but they are both big properties for college b'ball and are obviously  premier academic institutions. The DC issue is definitely relevant, which is why I don't think that 16 is some magic number.

1 year, 12 months ago on You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: From Why Your Search Is Taking So Long To SEC Expansion

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I was pro-Gruden at first, but the more time that passes, it feels that UT is being leveraged. If not, and there is genuine interest, I am trying to imagine every December wondering if the Philadelphia Eagles,  Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, NY Jets, etc will come calling. If UT could get him, how are they going to keep him?

 

I really like the prospects of Fisher or Fedora over some of the other names that have been mentioned.

 

As far as conference expansion is concerned, I keep hearing 16 team super conferences. I am not opposed to 16 if we could maintain some traditional rivalries, although I realize that is probably unlikely. I don't know why 16 teams is thrown out as being the limit. I wouldn't be surprised to 20 to 24 team conferences, which I guess almost happened with CUSA and the Mountain West. If it's gonna happen soon for the SEC, count me in favor of the north carolina schools, especially UNC and Duke if for nothing else, basketball.

1 year, 12 months ago on You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: From Why Your Search Is Taking So Long To SEC Expansion

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Being from the Nashville area, Vandy was always second fiddle to Tennessee, and that was before the Titans came to town. Now, add a large contingent of Bama football fans and Kentucky basketball fans to the mix, and I would say that Vandy has a relatively share of the market given that that is their home city. I wouldn't even consider Vanderbilt as 'Nashville's team,' maybe just 'West End's team.

2 years, 2 months ago on Weeknight Game, NFL In Town... VU-USC Not Sold Out Yet

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Love the idea of a relegation system, and college athletics would be where this would fit well (couldn't work in pro sports because networks would revolt if any team from a major Metro area got relegated and a team like, say Oklahoma City is playing in the top division). I am in favor of a division 1 set up in multiple tiers, based on winning percentages, attendance, budget, facilities, etc, but I would allow for all of the schools to have up to the same limit of schollies (same for all tiers; schools could offer up to this limit or less depending on their aspirations for upward movement). I think it would be challenging to shave off 10 or more scholarships from one season to the next due to relegation, because although you have some attrition with athletes leaving each year, there's also a years worth of recruiting to replace those athletes. Love the idea, but don't think it will ever happen. Unfortunately, for some programs, a system of relegation would probably be program killers (why would a fan base used to seeing SEC level competition look forward to seeing Sunbelt level competition from one season to the next; the impact on attendance on some programs would be drastic, making upward mobility very difficult). 

2 years, 6 months ago on 10 Steps To Better College Football Livin’

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