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@the_voice @BonzaiB  They have already recovered their original investment. Last year the network made, after expenses, over $7.5 million. Hardly chump change. That was with a very limited distribution network, national access is a major league boost for the LHN. Anyone who thinks Texas does not have a tremendous shot in the arm with this is not reading the tea leaves correctly. This is a major plus up for the LHN. Without lifting a finger, the network now has access to 20 million subscribers (and soon DTV will come on board, almost doubling that). Ted Turner made billions off just putting the worst team in profesional baseball on cable. The Horns have scored a touchdown here. The Aggies left the Big XII and became a true recruiting issue for the Horns, but Texas is not only the richest program in college sports, they are about to get richer. Its simple. Right now the LHN has a fraction of 20 million possible subscribers. As of August, they will have almost 40 million house holds they can hit. You would have to have failed marketing 101, or never taken it, not to see how ESPN / Disney / Texas have just made the LHN very profitable. And the Aggies helped them a lot by jumping to the SEC (their move brought Texas into the footprint of the SEC, which made SECN look much more attractive to DISH). In 2014-2015, the LHN will make much more than the $7.5 mi it made this year. 

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Rumored Deal Between SEC Network/Dish Only One Piece Of A Major Agreement

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Hmmmm. And Texas gets richer still. The Longhorn Network has been a poor starter, as it has been hit and miss for Longhorn fans to buy into that network. It has made money up to now, but has been an underperformer. Now that Disney / ESPN / Dish have given it a central distribution network, the Horns now have a true national network. And their payoff on that investment should make them a lot of money, and give them, in the state of Texas, a better recruiting platform, which makes it a real media horserace  for A&M to recruit.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Rumored Deal Between SEC Network/Dish Only One Piece Of A Major Agreement

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Mizzou fits in just fine.

9 months ago on Arkansas Changing Official School Color? What The?

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I almost did not read the article, but it was a slow day. But, glad I did, it got me curious, especially since my team blew it this weekend, to see how Texas fans were handling all this. It was hilarious to go through some of the Longhorn websites. Most teams look forward to the prospect of a 9-3 season, but these guys are in meltdown mode because they lost one game, and that's just not up to their standards. Of course, they do have to look forward to Baylor (which is salivating to make up for past insults at the hands of Texas), and OU, and ........

It dawned on me however, that most of them are really just not looking forward to suffering through the kind of in your face pounding from other fan bases that they have had so much fun dishing out. I thought that was a shame, cause most fan bases have developed a sense of humor about having a string of so-so years,and have learned to deal with it with humor.

 If you want to see a fan base that knows how to dish it out, and take it, no matter what their record is, I give you the fans of Ole Miss. Since they are playing Texas this week, and are not at all guaranteed success, I looked at their fan sites. The difference is remarkable. Hotty Totty, those (whatever the former Rebels nickname is today) guys can talk some smack, and they just came off the kind of season the Longhorns are dredding. 

Got me thinking, maybe a few good ole fashioned trips to the woodshed will help Texas fans get a grip. And I had a terrible week football wise, Georgia won (groan) and the Gators lost (groan). No Gator website I went to this weekend said we should boycott the team, give up on this season or any other such foolishness. Next week, the team will suit up again and we'll do the Gator Chomp. 

Oh, and Ole Miss, here is to hoping you turn Austin upside down.

1 year, 2 months ago on The Power Shift In Texas Continues At BreakNeck Speed

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I had a different take on the USC game. Their defense looked beat (tired) starting in the early 2d quarter. That is not good news for the team. Hard to fix a conditioning problem that bad in short order. I was not all that impressed with their offense, which was facing a D line that gave up over 50 lbs per position. Clooney looked awful, getting beat by the NC line for the entire first half. Not an impressive start, but Spurrier is a crafty guy, so won't count them out, yet. But not an impressive start, if your goal is a division championship.

1 year, 2 months ago on Carolina Rolls, Ole Miss Nips Vandy In A Music City Shootout

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I like Ole Miss and Vandy to improve a game better in the win column than they each did last year. A&M I think is a 9 win team this year. Everybody else outside of the top three I'm throwing my arms up.

1 year, 2 months ago on MrSEC.com 2013 Opening Power Rankings

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Thanks for the links. Read them all this morning. Good Bull Hunting has some funny stuff on it, but have yet to see an article over there on Manziel that was not conspiracy theory based. I see a lot of "ESPN hates us" over there. Interesting, see some of that at Alligator Army too. ESPN most hate a lot of schools.

1 year, 3 months ago on As Its Investigation Winds Down, NCAA Officials Meet With A&M’s Manziel

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Yeah, I think you nailed it. Before I type the rest of this, my bias is 1) I think Manziel did sign stuff for people he knew were going to make money off it (an NCAA violation) and 2) most likely got paid for some of it. I do not think those are huge violations, but they are violations.

Now, I've read and heard three different opinions today on who probably benefits the most from this deposition (and I think it was a deposition that ran for 6 hours). Most of the opinions run the "both sides were protecting their rears" thread, assuming the NCAA was just doing this to say they had done all they could to investigate the charges, which is the best they could do absent supena powers.

You're the first to mention the "cover up is worse than the crime." angle. That's the one I'd be most afraid of if I was a Manziel fan. I'll admit up front that I'm a former Manziel fan, after the stupidity and immaturity displayed by the guy this summer I just can't get excited about the guy, but don't take this as an "I hope he gets burned," post. Its not. My interest now is sort of tangential, looking to see the character of the guy.What I would hope would have happened (and it probably did not), was the NCAA would have started off saying, "If you did it and own up to it, we'll give you a two game suspension and 100 Hail Mary's," and then we could see what Manziel would do. Since my bias is I think he did the signings for a payoff, the best that would have come from this is a couple of game suspension. He did it, fessed up, took his medicine, then I'd be impressed.

If he denied it all, and he's innocent, God Bless him, I got it wrong. But after listening to him at SEC Media Days, there just is a lingering suspicion he just might not get it all right in a deposition. Hope that is not the case, but the last sentence in your post is what I'd be worried about if I was an Manziel guy.

1 year, 3 months ago on Report: A&M’s Manziel Denied Taking Money For Autographs, But Could His Interview Have Given The NCAA With A New Option?

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@Jamesgoss That Sharp is not controlled by Texas A&M has nothing to do with the import of what he says, to those listening. Exactly the opposite. Texas A&M is part of the Texas A&M University system, and Sharp is a Chancellor in that system. He is paid over $507,000 a year in his position, over $50,000 a year more than the president of Texas A&M University. To the world outside listening, he sounds a lot like a state official, who is paid a lot of money by the taxpayer, to oversee things that happen within the system, and who has considerable leverage inside the system (that would include Texas A&M itself), and who is spouting off with an opinion about an issue before the University. My point still stands, he is not making things any better by opening his mouth and attacking a reporter for smoking grass and writing a story critical of his pet quarterback.


1 year, 3 months ago on Texas A&M Chancellor Not Happy With ESPN’s Rovell

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I remember when the schedule came out last year, how everybody said A&M was going to do so much worse than Mizzou in their first year, as the East was going to be tougher than the West , blah, blah, blah. We went to College Station and got out of there with a W only because Sumlin called timeout just as his kicker tied the game, nullifiying the kick. We went home saying those guys were a damn good football team  and warned the others going up against them that things were not as advertised in the preseason. 

Mizzou, well we know the story, but the overall point is that SEC schedules can rotate on a single play, in more than one game. The Gamecocks almost got their heads handed to them by a surprisingly good Vandy team, A&M beat out Ole Miss in the last seconds of the game, LSU lost to Bams in the last seconds of that game, and  Bama almost beats A&M in the last seconds of that game. And that was just what was happening in the West. 

1 year, 3 months ago on That Didn’t Take Long: Whines About “Unfair” SEC Schedule in 2014 Begin

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Rovell may be (but not saying he is), a real slouch of a reporter; lazy, not getting his facts straight in 1 to 100 articles, getting duped,etc, etc, etc, but Mr Sharp is being rediculously irresponsible or at best naive by attacking him, in any way, on the article that got all this started. There are three simple reasons why:

1. Johnny Manziel is most likely guilty of doing something wrong here, and even if he does not get nailed on this, he is a loose cannon on deck. Even if the NCAA does not investigate, there is the appearance of impropriety, the breaking of team rules by having unauthorized guests in his room on the Alabama trip, the multiple, and I mean multiple, contacts with people known to engage in autograph selling, and the list goes on. For a senior university official to move from neutral (lets get all the facts in before we make a statement to the public) to attacking the credibility of a reporter (and not on the merits of the specific case, but on the guy smoking grass), puts his own credibility, and A&M's, in question should this escalate. And since we all have seen Manziel doing juvenile and stupid things all summer, there is a real possibility something else is going to pop up, the Board members at A&M should keep their powder dry. If the proverbial hits the fan, no truely independent news outlet or reporter is going to give much of a bump to a guy who not only got it wrong, but attacked the reporter who got it right, no matter how wrong that reporter has been in the past.

2. A&M is known for having an astoundingly good public relations department. Why, when you have some of the best in the business at controlling information, would you cowboy up and put out uncoordinated statements on a very, very hot button issue? That is just not smart, and makes the pro's in the communications departmernt's job that much harder later on.

3. It just keeps the issue from dying down. The more you draw attention to it, the more guys like John Pennington are going to pound on the issue. Mr Pennington's job is to analyze and publish on all things sport in the SEC. Guess what, if Mr Sharp keeps talking about it, Mr Pennington (and thousands of other reporters) are going to analyze what he just said, and in this case, shoot holes in what he just said.

The most dangerous thing for Manziel and A&M right now is Johnny Manziel. You can disagree with parts of point number 1 above, but if you disagree with the part about Manziel being a loose cannon, you may have maroon colored lenses on. I don't have anything against him, but I think he is a self centered, immature young man who has the potential for doing really stupid things. And that means Mr Sharp, that there is a real possibility Manziel could make you look foolish in the end.

1 year, 3 months ago on Texas A&M Chancellor Not Happy With ESPN’s Rovell

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Well, now that I have actually read the possible penalties here (thanks MRSEC for linking to something on that), it looks like the NCAA understands this is a difficult issue and the penalties are not as severe as I thought. Just as a side note, and just because I think the NCAA realizes this autograph problem is a very, very wide stream with a very large number of people putting their toes in, the NCAA today announced it is no longer selling player related products through its web site. I think the NCAA might see this as related to the whole compensation for players issue, and the Manziel case will be the catalyst for refinements (don't take that to mean they will roll over, but as this site has pointed out, there is a debate being surfaced by big names in at least two conferences on players and compensation).

1 year, 3 months ago on Johnny Manziel Family Hires Lawyer; Attorney Has NCAA Experience

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@John at MrSEC @j_scott_o And, to be fair, the "1,000 posts like this a year is probably", a little low, I read more than a few blogs, and yeah, its a little thick out there.

1 year, 3 months ago on Coaches Afraid Their Players Could Follow In Manziel’s Footsteps (Clowney Items All Over eBay)

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@John at MrSEC @BonzaiB @j_scott_o You are correct, you did not say it was that, a poor choice of words to end a post.

1 year, 3 months ago on Coaches Afraid Their Players Could Follow In Manziel’s Footsteps (Clowney Items All Over eBay)

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@j_scott_o Yeah, I went over to Good Bull, and have spent a hour looking for the "trying to bring down Clowney" stuff, and I took away sort of what you did. I think the article was more directed at showing how widespread the practice of floating autographs is, and that was pretty much how the comments were going. I got the sense most of the posters think Manziel did it, but a squirming around the edges on whether there is enough that is legal to get him suspended. Hardly a hatchet job.

1 year, 3 months ago on Coaches Afraid Their Players Could Follow In Manziel’s Footsteps (Clowney Items All Over eBay)

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Well, it is beginning to look more and more like Manziel is probably guilty of some of this, if not all. Even if the NCAA has trouble proving it (and I really do not think they will have much of a problem doing just that), there is too much smoke here. Video recordings, whether admissible in court or not, clearly show JM signing lots of identical items for a single person. That's a huge red flag right there, and the NCAA knows, whether it can prove it right away or not, that the guy did it. And the number of "brokers" he did it with seems to be more than two. Brokers are, for lack of a better descriptor, low rent (not major league low rent dwellers, but low rent non the less). If one tried to sell some info to a network, the others are seriously thinking about it. There are now two videos out there, which means JM was stupid. Some of you are going to say, "You can't prove that!", but the reality is we know he was doing it and so does the NCAA. Knowing and proving are two different things, but once you KNOW, and you have the resources of the NCAA, it will not be long before this is done and done.

I suspect that with the speed with which this is developing that more than one of these "brokers" are looking for ways to cash in before one of the others beats them to it. Sumlin and A&M will know sooner rather than later if JM is most likely guilty and is a high risk for being convicted as guilty by the NCAA. The ruling may take more than a couple of months, but Sumlin and Co will know within a week or so, if not already, if their boy is toast.

Fan of the Aggies, have been for a while, but Manziel, I think, was not only stupid enough to risk his career for a few pennies, but he was arrogant in thinking he was bullet proof. Hope I am wrong, really do, but I think we do not have to worry about Manziel repeating as the Heisman winner.

1 year, 3 months ago on A&M And Sumlin Have A Big Decision To Make Regarding Manziel

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@the_voice @BonzaiB And I was not trying to project. I personally would not want a thug like Roethlisberger on my payroll, but it is what it is. I wish we could all go back to a time where things were not so elastic in our measurement of what is tolerable on the moral yardstick, but that train has left the station. I agree it is an absolutely different era. I would like to see the NCAA give coaches a bit more discression in doing those things that help a player develop as a person, as a recognition it is a different era, but that is not likely going to happen.

I saw an interview with Sumlin, where a reporter asked about regretts he had leaving Houston. He said something to the effect that the hardest thing he had to do was to talk to players who had been raised in foster homes, by single moms, etc, that he had recruited, that he was leaving. 

That made me think that in todays' world, with all that is changing, an increase in the tools mentors have with this kids is what might help the most, not a legalistic maze that prevents contact during the off season. Have no idea if that is just wishful thinking.

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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@bigreb @BonzaiB @the_voice Now you are just being rediculous, exagerating everything being said. If you're going to be a sanctimonious tool taking every thing written out of context so you can can argue rather thasn discuss, you are not worth the effort.

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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@Tusk @the_voice @BonzaiB You are absolutely correct, and Bryant, if he were alive and coaching today, would be able to do that again, as could Coach X, Y or Z.  But what I was talking about was the ability of a coach to do something about stupid, not illegal, behavior during the OFF season. Namath broke team rules during a season (nothing illegal) and was disciplined for it. Good call coach, but a player in the off season cannot be contacted by a coach and counseled about most of his behavior. I am sure that Namath was counseled by the Alabama staff during that time, so he understood why his behavior was not good for himself, the team or the institution. And to the institutions credit, the Bear's credit, and to Namath's credit, the counseling was effective enough it was taken to heart. That's mentoring at a very effective level.  

If a player commits a crime at anytime, he can be dismissed, etc., but what a lot of people seem to be saying is that somehow Sumlin and Co are negligent for not reigning Manziel in during the summer. The problem for Sumlin is there is not much he is ALLOWED to do by NCAA rules during the off season. He certainly could not have called Manziel in for a heart to heart after Cancun, the NCAA would have gone ape all over the A&M program.

So, my point was that under today's rules, coaches are not ALLOWED to mentor players like coaches could during Bryant's era, specifically in the off season. Now, is it possible for a team to come up with a code of conduct that impacts players at all times, even in the off season, that covers more than illegal activities? I have no idea, but it would be a stretch, I would think.

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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@bigreb @BonzaiB @the_voice You missed my point, I did not compare Manziel to Vick and company, rather that was in response to "no billion dollar enterprise would want someone like Manziel as its face." Not even close to comparing his behavior to anothers as a rationalization for conduct. Again, that point was about the behavior of NFL teams and their hiring practices, not Manziels. Sorry you missed that. And families are complex. I bet if I wandered through just about any modern family's internal workings (including yours), there would be a bunch of denials and blaming going on. And bringing Manson into this is just wierd.

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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@the_voice @BonzaiB All attempts to relate things back to a previous era beg the differences. When Bryant was coaching at Bama, for years he refused to recruit black players, there was no such thing as twitter, internet, cell phone cameras, and there was a much more circumspect press (Bryant drank quite a bit, routinely during radio interviews, and no one said a thing about it. What would happen today if that happened on ESPN?) which allowed that guys were going to be guys. 

NCAA rules today prohibit coaches from dealing with players during the off season. When people say "Bryant would have done things differently, or Sumlin, Muschamp, Miles, Franklin, et al, should control their players," remember the NCAA has draconian rules that limit the contact a coach, or any member of the school's athletic department, can have with a player in the off season. For most of Bryant's time, there were no such restrictions. Bryant coached during a time where a coach had many, many more options for influencing the behavior of a player. Today, a coach has a legal staff just to interpret the consequences of a phone call to a student with a, "knock it off for your own good," piece of advice during periods the NCAA says a coach cannot even have a casual conversation with a player if they meet at Walmart during the off season.

Its a different era. Manziel is the first Joe Namath type character we have seen in college ball for years, completely independent, a rich kid with amazing talent who does not need the scholarship, a partier, a bit of a loose canon, the Heisman winner, etc, and all this in the age of an exponential increase in social media and the technology that enables it. Watch for more of this, its gonna happen, Manziel is just the current lightening rod. And if Bryant was coaching today, he could not do a thing about it during the summer, and probably would not even attempt to. Remember, when it became necessary to recruit black players later on, Bryant simply said, "I was wrong, now we will recruit black players." Coaches adapt to win.

And football teams, like the New England Patriots, have a history of not only hiring one, but dozens of players with faces much worse than Manziel. Ever hear of Ben Roethlisberger? Multiple sexual assualt charges. Not partying, but MULTIPLE SEXUAL ASSAULT charges, battery, etc. And he is the face of a billion dollar franchise. Fans love him. Michael Vick? There are many others. The NFL averages over 1/3 of its players at one time or another charged with, or having been convicted of, felonies. The only thing that will limit Manziel's NFL chances are the evaluatioin of how he fits into a particular team's system (ala Tebow).

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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I think the Swamp's decline in numbers shows there needs to be a rethink. It is obvious we have a huge number of students who want to go to games, but are stuck with a lottery system that restricts students to a smaller footprint than is now available. Perhaps one way to solve part of this problem is to enlarge the student section. The overall problem is pricing. It's a 360 mile trip to G'ville from my house, and to get the whole game day experience, I really need a hotel room for 4. That's two rooms at almost $200 bucks for the night, parking, meals and then the OMG price for decent tickets, and they are outrageous (all that costs me well over a grand to go to a decent game with the family). I used to go to every home game, then we won the NC. Prices went through the roof and we cut back to one primo game and one cupcake. Now, the cup cake is what we can afford, and that is less worth the effort than it used to be. Money is an alum's biggest problem these days, so pile more students in and fill the stadium.

1 year, 3 months ago on SEC Football Attendance Declines For Three Straight Years, But…

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I remember a number of sites predicting A&M would get beat like a borrowed mule in the SEC, not here, but they were out there. A very large number of Big 12 hometown newspapters predicted A&M would not only fail, but would be begging to come back. Sites that looked at resources available to programs seemed to be kinder to A&M's prospects than Missouri's. None of my Aggie buds predicted anything like this last season, most were praying for an 8-5 season. Sumlin is interesting, but even if he were interested in the NFL, he would not be able to admit it right now. No coach would. If the NFL came looking for Muschamp, he'd say the same thing, and would then evaluate what his options looked like. We all would. Saban did not advertise he was considering Alabama when he was at LSU, or own Urban took a very strange exit out of UF, and we are still scratching our heads on how rediculous the "want to be with my family and I have health problems" schtick now sounds in retrospect. 

Nope, no sitting college coach with a brain will tell a fan base he would consider a move, anywhere. 

1 year, 3 months ago on A&M’s Sumlin Once Again Shoots Down NFL Talk

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Well, I do not feel sorry for, or feel the need to feel sorry for, Manziel. He looks a lot more like Joe Namath to me than most players, and Broadway Joe was pretty "irresponsible and out of control" when he was younger. I watched one of my Division Artillery Commanders (that's a full colonel in the Army, a guy with 25 plus years in, vetted by 5 promotion boards, selected for 3 senior staff and command schools, etc, etc) throw a $25,000 shotgun, a gift from some Saudi prince for great service during the Gulf War, against a tree because he had a bad day at sporting clays. It is way to premature to write a 20 something year old quarterback off because he likes to party, is a bit arrogant, can't control his temper in golf, etc. I watched his performance against Bama, UF, and OU last year. His temperment on the field was just fine. This type of stuff is a big yawner. Yeah, folks are going to write about it and sensationalize it, and all the bad predictions of personal self destruction may come true, but Mr Manziel is not any more likely to self destruct than any other guy with his personality type. And there are a lot of them out there. Am I criticizing folks for writing about it? Nope, sports is a business and sports writers write about Manziel because people actually read it. I just did, so be kind of stupid for me to say there is too much of it out there.

I just think there are a lot of folks out there making more of this than it is. Could be wrong, but my personal history around driven, type A personalities with tempers is..... there are a lot of them who just know how to win at work, no matter how screwed up their equalibrium is at play. 

1 year, 3 months ago on ESPN The Magazine Tackles Manziel Mania

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Its apparent the media is fixated on Manziel and A&M's handling of him. Before media days I would have said enough is enough let the guy alone, but his comments to easily answered questions about really minor stuff raises a red flag. He's lying, and he's not very good at it. The fact the lying is just about really small stuff is more than a little disturbing. If you can't fess up to "Guys, I stayed out way too late, I was partying, and I missed a wake up call because I was being irresponsible," then the media is going to look for the other lies covering up bigger stuff. That's what the media does. Manziel is under many hundreds of microscopes, and if he lies again, he will get caught, and his credibility is already shot. No more do overs, and the line "I'm just a 20 year old kid," will become a puch line. We have 20 year old squad leaders and sergeants whose ever decision, in combat, can be scrutinized by a Courts Martial. Being a 20 year old is not an excuse for lying about small stuff. Mom's start teaching us that at the age of 2, and he's had 18 years to figure out that a lie is a lie. 

You want to know why Manziel will not win the Heisman again? The voters can excuse a bit of partying, but the voters will see a trend in dishonesty, even if it is over small stuff, and will decide they can find a candidate who will not tarnish the "brand." o matter what kind of season he has this year, if there are any candidates even within the ball park of his numbers, he will be blackballed

A&M, which in the past has had a pretty good rep (for the most part), on handling its athletic programs, has wandered into new territory here, and needs to do a lessons learned assessment and a gut check pretty quickly. Not saying that Manziel is going to self destruct, or that his off the field behavior it self will be what embarrasses them, but the old saw about the cover up being much worse than the "crime (its really just lying here, not criminal behavior)" applies here. If very pro SEC sites, like this one, have already raised the BS flag, Manziel has already used up all of his do-overs. Lying is the issue here, its the elephant in the room, and A&M and Sumlin need to figure out how to sit Manziel down and correct it. And Sumlin might want to think about playing the back up quarterbacks at every opportunity. They might be needed.

1 year, 4 months ago on 10 Random Observations & Opinions To Wrap Up SEC Media Days

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I'm a Gator, and the more that comes out about Urban Meyer, the less I am impressed with his honesty and ethics.

1 year, 4 months ago on Blame Game? Nope. But Questioning Meyer’s Discipline At Florida Is Fair Game

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@John at MrSEC @BonzaiBWhere I "disagree", but would not "argue" the point with you, is that somehow academics might be underpaid at universities. Since there is no right answer, your opinion is as valid as mine, I was just giving the site my take on that. If that came across as argumentative, I'll just say I perhaps let my bias out too strongly. Not that that changes anything, its still my opinion and certainly not going to tell you that you on wrong on the point.

Your response to CDarwin, "People were dismayed when Alabama offered Nick Saban $4 million per year, but he's brought in enough money to easily cover his salary.  An expanded stadium (with more people putting more money in school coffers for every home game), BCS championships (creating exposure for the school and driving up applications), etc." is what I concluded with, basically.

And, the mark of a good peice in my mind is one that brings out different takes on an issue, and if I did not think your article was thought provoking, I would not have taken the time to shovel (use that metafor however you would like) my opinion into the mix.

Great site, very good set of articles this week. Been breaking my football withdrawl shakes for the last month. Again, this site is first on more stuff than any other site I read, and well worth taking hits from your keyboard every now and then.

Cheers.


1 year, 6 months ago on Which League Has Biggest Gap Between Football Salaries And Teaching Salaries? The SEC

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@viciousdawg I think so too. The Toads are doing much better than I would have thought, the Hogs will have three years to rebuild with the new coach. Now, if the Frogs can smack down Texas or Oklahoma a couple of more times before the series, that game could be a real spoiler.

1 year, 6 months ago on Hogs Line-Up Home-And-Home Series With TCU

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A slightly different take on that. I taught at the University of Connecticut for 4 years (College of Liberal Arts if that makes a difference), and I will humbly disagree with the comment that professors have more value to society, than say coaches. Coaches have a tremendous impact on academic institutions, and therefore society. As a general rule, from my experience, professors don't get the short end of the stick on salaries. 

Liberal Arts professors MAKE WAY MORE than as a general rule they could make with their skill sets on the outside. Once they start teaching, within 3 to 5 years, they are pretty much on auto pilot for course material. At 10 years, they are tenured. GUARANTEED a job with a PHENOMINAL retirement benefits to salary ratio. Coaches make a bunch, but they generate revenue, they spend many more hours at the work site per week than most profs, they work much more closely with, and have a greater impact on the future of their students, than the average LA professor, are in a career field that is highly risky, etc. And it goes on, and on.

Now, professors in genetics, bio mechanical engineering, (heck, engineering in general), medicine, and more, I'd agree with you. I can tell you, we could do away with 50% of the education professors and 90% of the journalism profs, and we would still generate twice as many in each of those disciplines we as a society could hire. Not much value in that. Philosophy majors? History, political science and the like are place holders for "I think I may want to be a lawyer if I don't have to study much harder than this crowd." And yeah, I have a degree in history.

Understand the sentiment behind the statement, but my experience tells me professors make plenty. Not at first, 'cause universities have 10 times more applications for starting profs than they want. But believe me, professors are more than compensated after tenure. If it was not such a great gig for the skill set and work output, you would not have the astounding numbers of people per job applying. Loved my English Lit class, but the best English Lit professors in the country do not have much of an impact in the big scheme of things.

Most universities realize this. Most know they do not have to offer more than they pay academics to get a very high quality person at the lecturn. The reason is: its a very, very good gig. Academics want more pay, all the time. But drive through an academic town (start with Gainesville if you want). Look at where the tenured profs live. Look at the cars they drive. They do fine.

The test is the "how much professors enhance the value of the degree." Individually, not much. In some cases, a lot, but those profs are few and far in between at any given university. Now,  how much in donations to the University of Alabama does Nick Saban's success generate for academics? Millions. UF alumni, Auburn, USC, etc, throw a lot of money at their schools. What binds them to their alma mater? Sports is the number one answer. Not academics, because most colleges and universities have a "factory" approach to degrees in most disciplines, and most universities produce exactly the same quality of undergrad as the next. There are exceptions, but as a general rule, you can't tell the difference in the educational skills of a grad from one state uni to the next. In contrast, Nick Saban generates a tremendous long term donation stream that dwarfs his salary in the long run, which helps the universities get things they really want.

Universities spend millions and millions a year on sports for a reason. They get healther every year they do it. Sports makes you famous, and famous helps you hire better and better big name profs, and helps in the end fund that. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Which League Has Biggest Gap Between Football Salaries And Teaching Salaries? The SEC

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Smart move for the Hogs. Their program, much like OU and OSU, depends on getting recruits from Texas. With A&M in the conference, it gets harder, but certainly not impossible. Arkansas now has two games scheduled in the near term for the DFW metroplex, and at least one game each year for a long while (JerryWorld against A&M). Dallas is much easier to get to for Hog fans outside of the state of Arkansas. It makes sense to try for Tech also, but TCU is an up and coming program. JerryWorld would be a good "neutral site" venue for them, the SWC Classic is a very good money maker for the Hogs, but not sure if they can swing games in that venue since the A&M match up will be held there also.

1 year, 6 months ago on Hogs Line-Up Home-And-Home Series With TCU

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I think there is a marketing component to this. Stoops as a head coach in a league cannot say, no matter what the question from a reporter, that his team is not in the toughest conference out there. Coaches in the B1G, Pac 12, and some even in the ACC, will all twist the answer in a way to champion their conferences' accomplishments. If Stoops had said, "Hell yes, the SEC is the best conference," how could he then walk into Texas to compete for players against other outside of Texas recruiters? He has Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Kansas, et al to compete with for the 4 and 5 star Texas recruit who is willing to go out of state. Anyone counted the number of Texas players on OU's roster? And now there is A&M in the SEC? Stoops fan base is not happy with him right now. Getting stomped in post season play by the SEC has to be spun as an annomaly. Stoops is on borrowed time if he does not pull something spectacular out of the hat. And with the recruiting year he just had, that is not likely. His one saving grace, Texas still has Mack Brown as their head coach, so he may be able to tear them up enough again to hold the dogs at bay.

1 year, 6 months ago on Sooners’ Stoops: What’s The Bottom Of The SEC Done?

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@alamoaggie08 I'm not sure that is the issue any more. College Station is going to have a problem in the short term figuring out how to handle the 8,000 or so extra hotel rooms needed to handle the 16-20,000 people.  That said, I've watched the promo video, and it is apparent the vision is not to be the biggest, its to be the most imposing for recruits and big pocket donors. I've been to Texas's Memorial (or Royal) stadium, and its well maintained, but its just a stadium, much like the Swamp at UF is. Both of those are imposing, but they do not project the "center of the universe" feel Kyle looks like it wants to project, with a planned neighborhood (parks, purpose built tailgating, museum, food courts, etc). So, if Texas decides to increase its size to 103,000, not sure that will do anything for recruiting. Kyle is a quantum leap for A&M (and the SEC in a sort of tangental way), and anything less than a major league expenditure of funds to upgrade their stadium won't do it in the keeping up with the Jones' department for Texas, or the rest of us. No university in the nation right now could justify that kind of expenditure. I do not think we will see this kind of expenditure at the collegiate level on facility upgrades for the next decade, or more.

1 year, 6 months ago on A&M’s Kyle Field To Be The Biggest Stadium In The SEC (And Texas)

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@John at MrSEC @BonzaiB Actually, I am amazed you were able to figure out exactly what I wanted to know. I could not figure out how to seperate all the pieces in my head. I just wanted to know I was not going to be part of the price for piggy backing the LHN as part of my subscription to the SECN.

I re-read your article, and you are the only site that explains just how complicated this is. The more I read your stuff, the more I am convinced the SECN will be a national network, but that it will take 2 - 5 years to get the distibution to the point we are all not complaining about it. Price aside.

1 year, 6 months ago on The SEC Network Is A Go, But Don’t Expect Accurate Financial Numbers Right Away (Plus Links)

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So, if I understand this, and my question will show I don't, then if another sports network (you mentioned the Longhorn Network above, so lets stick with that one) owned by ESPN could not easily be added the SECN package without making the cost higher?

The reason I ask is, with the announcement of SECN, a bunch of comments on other sites by Longhorn fans led me to believe they thought the SEC Network, owned by ESPN, would be logically dovetailed as an option to the carrier(s) of SECN, meaning the LHN would become much more profitable because whoever carried SECN would be offered incentives to carry the LHN.

I found that logic a little counter intuitive, and my initial impulse would be that I would be much less happy about getting SECN if my dollars ended up supporting a Big XII cash cow. I mean, I just don't watch Big XII football, much less any other sport.

If I am reading your take correctly, that is not likely to happen, but the LHN might get more traction as an add on to ESPN through AT&TU, eventually.

1 year, 6 months ago on The SEC Network Is A Go, But Don’t Expect Accurate Financial Numbers Right Away (Plus Links)

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" Each of them won 11 or more games last season." Hmmm. This is kind of a contrast to some of the trash talk the good coach was spewing when he first got the gig.

Welcome to the SEC baby, in your first third of the season you face coaches who won a combined 46 games last year, one national championship, one SEC championship, beat the crap out of the Big XII champion in a bowl game, and some other pretty impressive stuff that would take a while to mention.

Lets see how much trash talk you have in you around the second week of October.

1 year, 6 months ago on Hogs’ Bielema Talks SEC Hype

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@I4Bama Should have read, 100 pounds lighter than you from behind. 

1 year, 6 months ago on If High-5′ing Hill Was Caught Beating A Man On Video He Should Be 86′d By LSU

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@I4Bama Correct-o-mundo. I will add, you have to be one mean spirited, cowardly low life to hit a man who is over 100 pounds lighter than you, when you already have him 2-1. Hill is a POS and if others out there cannot see it, it does not change that fact.

1 year, 6 months ago on If High-5′ing Hill Was Caught Beating A Man On Video He Should Be 86′d By LSU

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Kyle is kind of a magnificent dump. An odd stadium built in stages on top of a 1920 ish baseline. Friends who went to the stadium for the UF-A&M game said it was really bad on concessions, has a problem with bats, bathrooms are not up to par, etc. On the other hand, the Ags seem to have made a shrine out of the place, and pack a campus full of students into it.

Looking at pictures of it, it is the most vertical stadium I have ever seen, and its open at one end. If the Ags are smart, they will take a page from the Ducks stadium and fix it so the noise is funneled back onto the field. At any rate, its good news to see modernization of this caliber occur in the SEC. If the Ags can fill it (and adding 16 - 20,000 more butts in any stadium is a major league challenge these days), it will be impressive. Now, if they will JUST lower their ticket prices and give visiting fans better seats.....

1 year, 6 months ago on Report: A&M To Expand Kyle Field To 102,000

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@SJSPEED There is a problem with UC, and not that the teams are not getting better. Its a cultural thing. SEC schools tend to be very Southern in their outlook, very regional fan base that is quite protective of their football heritage. While UC would bring more tv sets in, there is already a significant amount of grumbling (justified I think) over the loss of inter divisional play with the move to 14 teams. If Mizzou were to leave (and they are not, period) because they had a rough year in football, they'd catch holy hell from coast to coast from their fan base, which is still pretty optimistic about the move. Vandy is actually quite proud of their position in the conference. A small private institution that stands up to the gigantic state schools and puts up a very good fight. They are not going anywhere, because they would gain nothing from moving, period. 

A&M was a good fit, because they are nuts, polite, passionate, small town cowboy boot / hat wearing sports wierdo's who don't need a Google translator to talk to us. Mizzou is a little harder fit, being from a slightly more liberal background, but Missouri has a lot of Southern cultural ties, they think they are much better than they are (and that makes them fit in nicely in a strange sort of way) and they really want to beat the hell out of some of us to prove they belong. And while we discount them a bit in capability, they are all in, raising money for sports facility expansion, the whole nine yards.

Bottom line, the fans in the SEC don't want more expansion as a rule. And if we do, the fans want a bunch of questions answered (not that leadership will consider that, but we still are going to tell them), about protecting our cross divisional rivalries (and expanding the number of games between divisions BACK to where they were in the first place).

As a group we tend to want to pound on Alabama more often than we want someone from a metropolitan area we have no real desire to go to. I want more, not fewer, opportunities to play Ole Miss, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Auburn, A&M and LSU. That means no more SEC teams and a 9 game conference schedule. The front office may or may not be listening, but this is why I would be strongly opposed to UC. You don't fit from a practical and cultural standpoint. Quality of teams? Not really the biggest stumbling block for us as fans when it comes to UC.

1 year, 7 months ago on Sources: The Big Ten Did Expansion “Homework” On Vanderbilt, Kansas & Oklahoma

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Iw must say, you are bang on with respect to A&M and Mizzou rappers. As a person of WASP decent, the attempts by A&M students in particular were just.... embarrassing. Insert shudder here. Not a fan of rap or country, but this version is much better than the Ags attempts. That is to say, you can actually listen to this without feeling the immutable urge to lose your breakfast in the nearest porcelien container.

1 year, 7 months ago on New AU Novelty Song Better Than Most… Well, At Least The Video Is Better Than Most

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There are a few cracks in the "armor" of SEC attendance, but those cracks seem to permeate college number attendance. Some of the bowl attendance numbers were way down (UF's bowl numbers were horrible), but I think that has to do with a very repetitious and tiring alignment for bowl games. Fans want to go someplace new sometimes. The SEC got a big boost this year with a bit of excitemenet from two new teams, both of whom's fan base turned out to support the transition. Overall, the SEC is better off today for attendance numbers than last year. Mizzou's small stadium sort of brings the average down, but the percentage of fill per seat probably went up this year (or at least maintained from the previous year).

Be interesing to look at the numbers for next year in comparison for this year. I suspect attendance nationwide will continue to slip by fractions. Especially in the bowls.

1 year, 7 months ago on Final SEC Spring Game Attendance Numbers Are Out

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@5LittlePiggies As one who had to wait over a year to "win" the lottery at UF to get a ticket, I share your pain. However, as an alumni, there are two things that influence this at opposite ends of the spectrum.

1. Debt on one side. Non-student tickets normally are much more expensive (therefore lucrative) to the university, and almost every college football team in the country is in debt up to its eyeballs. Yeah, they rake in money, but they also spend like drunken sailors. Urban Myer won us a national championship. He was guaranteed a $5 million bonus. His coaching staff got huge bumps as well. That was not scheduled in the budget and UF did not have lottery insurance (that was an attempt at humor). Our ticket prices went thru the roof after that, and they are still a lot less expensive than Texas A&M's this year, and they just won a non-BCS bowl.  I just went to a web site to lookup some ticket prices to justify my argument here. LIST prices for the Texas A&M vs Alabama game are BETWEEN $438 and $1082. Read that last number again. There are NO decimal points in that, that's the price for a COLLEGE football game. No coincidence the Aggies are starting to do a $450 MILLION dollar upgrade to Kyle Field. Folks, this is close to insanity. The point here is, for every seat the Aggies give up to a student from these "at large" tickets, they lose money they really need. And there is no guarantee in two years they will be able to get this kind of money. And I thought UF's pricers were bad. Not even close.

2. Keeping students in the game, how important is that? The wider the differential between what you can get from a student ticket (a SINGLE ticket at A&M for a student is $200, or you can get a season ticket for students at $350), so there is a differential between the AVERAGE single ticket price for the Alabama game and a student SEASON ticket is over $200. A&M is picked again for this diatribe because their student section is over 31,000, the largest in college football. Every wonder why A&M has the largest student section in college ball with a stadium that seats about 20,000 less than the standard setters (the Swamp, Death Valley, BDS)? Might be the reason. The Aggies charge INSANE prices for student and non-student tickets. To get that kind of money into your pockets, you have to take it from ANYBODY who will pay it. The Aggies decided to keep their student section huge. Aggie student wants a ticket? No problem. Just pay for it. It is a lot of money, but you get a ticket. Right now, the Aggie students are willing to pay that price.

At UF, if we could not get a ticket to a game, the best beaches in the US are just 3 hours away. In College Station, there must not be much else to do on a Saturday.

Holy crap. My brother and I were just complaining last month about the rise in nose bleed tickets in the Swamp to the high double digits.....

1 year, 7 months ago on Do Freshmen Students Have Football Ticket Rights? Louisiana Legislator Wants To Make It Law

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Well, all of our Aggie posters seem to think the singular feature of Leach is that he's an ass. Hmmmm. Think I'll temper his "educated remarks" with that fact. If Nick Saban, Les Miles, Muschamp, Sumlin, Franklin, Richt, et al said something to that effect, I might buy it. 

1 year, 7 months ago on WSU’s Leach Thinks The Only Advantage The SEC Has Is On The D-Line

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@alamoaggie08 That might be an inside Texas kind of thing, I mean, its not like the amount of publicity the Spurs gets is something the rest of us think about. But I am very happy (don't know why, just am) that Johny Football does not hang out with the team of that reprobate Cuban. Surprised you Texans have not run him out of Texas on a rail.

I am an unabashed Tebow fan. Gator, can't help it. Manzeil is the closest thing in buzz and hype in college ball to Tebow I've seen. They are very different in both playing style and how they are handling all of this (about as different as you can get). Tebow's was the safer route, and he still got slammed. JFF is going to get hammered this next year, assuming he has a good one, by everybody. There are chinks in all of our armor, so some dirt is going to come out, real or imagined. Bet on it.

Gator Nation went through that as fans, but in the end, its just a game and heres to hoping two things. 1, that JFF has a successful career in college that ends well, and 2, we don't have to play him again.

1 year, 7 months ago on A&M Compliance Keeping Tabs On Manziel’s Travels, Sumlin Keeping Tabs On His Ego

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@KellyJones2 @BonzaiB Thats the word I got when I was scheduling a visit to A&M a little over a year ago. I wanted to see the yell leaders, etc, so I called the office that supports the yell leaders (yeah, the Aggies have a whole staff of folks who coordinate public appearances for the yell leaders, their travel, etc). Anyway, I asked the woman who schedules their events, and there were a couple going on, and she mentioned Reveille would be at one of them. Asked her about the dog, and she gave me a wonderful half hour history, the personalities of the different dogs. I was blown away. All I wanted was a date and time, but she found out I was from UF, and it was like we had been pals for life. I asked if the dog went to all their games, and she said very firmly, "No." And then explained that Lubbock was strickly prohibited (she did not mention any others, but I assumed there were). Interestingly, Austin was not mentioned. Apparently, the Longhorns and the Ags can agree on something.

1 year, 7 months ago on New Texas Tech Coach Kingsbury “Was Never An Aggie”

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I don't watch Mad Men, but good scenario.

Kudo's to Mr Pennington again. The best analysis I have read on the topic.

1 year, 7 months ago on The New SEC-ESPN Partnership Is About Much More Than A TV Network

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AJ is one of the two best quaterbacks in the country. I'd love to have had the guy playing for UF these last couple of years. You don't get to be that successful without a tremendous set of coaches working with you all the time. If A&M would have had AJ this year instead of Manziel, the Aggies would still have won 11 games. If UF had him, we'd have won the East and maybe the SEC championship. That boy can play football.

1 year, 7 months ago on Bama’s Saban Gigs, Then Praises QB McCarron

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When A&M bolted, more than a few teams in the Big XII made a very public, and very coordinated, set of statements about not playing A&M any time soon. Don't know if Tech was among them, but a quick search of Aggie blogs shows the two most hated teams (for Aggies) in the Big XII were Texas and Tech. Texas is hated, because duh, its in Aggie DNA to hate them. But most Ags seem to be raring to get at them again on the field. Texas would have to come crawling (most Ags seem to think that would be appropriate), but the Ags would have a go at them, and relish it.

Ags however, seem to dislike intensely Techg fans at a whole different level, and examples of the things they go on and on about start with Red Raiders crashing yell practices (which are attended by dates, kids, etc) and throwing batteries, bottles, etc. The Ags have a list of places they will not take their mascot, a tame sort of mild mannered 40 pound relative of Lassie. Lubbock seems to be number one on that list of places full of people who would harm a collie, so the dog does not go to any sporting events in Tech territory. 

That, coupled with Tech being a school that can be a spoiler, the small size of their stadium, the long drive from College Station, A&M's focus on making a run for a BCS or national title qualifying game in the near future, etc, etc, etc, would seem to indicate A&M's silence on Tech's public teasings means they really are not interested.

My vote is for A&M to schedule a team from California or Washington. Somebody with a real spread offense. SEC spread against Pac 12 spread would be fun. About a million points in the first half would be a break from Alabama vs LSU.



1 year, 7 months ago on New Texas Tech Coach Kingsbury “Was Never An Aggie”

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