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Sorry Jarren, you're wrong and Regular guy is right (if not a bit unartful). If you don't see it, you're not paying close enough attention (though you are hardly alone in that). Look at the things being protected through censorship (and think about that statement for a moment). Things on the "good" list all have a common denominator - I'll not spoil the surprise and let you figure it out on your own.
1 year, 4 months ago on Sanctioning Schools For Dimwit Fans? It’s Hard To Police Thought
I'm not a lawyer, so can somebody out there explain why a grant of rights is sacred while an exit fee is not? I understand that a GOR involves much more money and a longer time horizon. But at the most basic, both are in essence a signed agreement that says "I agree to give you X if I leave the conference". In a GOR, the X is to give media rights for 15 years. With an exit fee, X is to pay $50M in cash. If I try to get out of an exit fee, I am trying to get out of a signed contractual obligation and not have to give up what I agreed to give up. If I try to get out of a GOR, I am doing the exact same thing. Again, I understand the numbers are bigger, but at the end of the day in both cases I am simply trying to break a signed contract. The subject of the contract doesn't seem like it should be relevant (to me a non-lawyer). Is a loan of $10M more enforceable than a loan of $10K? Why then is a GOR more enforceable than an exit fee?
I wonder if maybe that's why UVA, GA Tech, FSU, etc agreed despite having wondering eyes. They look at Maryland and say, "if MD can beat the $50M exit fee, we can beat the GOR. If they can't beat the $50M, then we're stuck either way because we can't/won't pay the $50M. So why not allow a GOR, it doesn't really change the calculus from where we are today."
1 year, 4 months ago on Buck Up, Expansion Fans, You Might Be Thankful For This Unanswered Prayer
From a content perspective, FSU / Va Tech / Clemson / NC State is the best add.
I understand, but don't agree with, all the push-back on FSU and Clemson. From a new territory perpsective, the SEC is only going to add the states of NC and VA (barring the outside/unlikely additions of OH via Cincinnati and PA via Pitt). In VA, there is UVA and Va Tech. UVA is not a good fit and they don't want to be in the SEC anyway. Done and done. So pick-up Va Tech and that's best we can do for the state of VA.
The state of NC is dicier. There's UNC, Duke, and NC State. If you want to argue that replacing UNC and Duke for Clemson and NC State in the four team group above is overall more attractive, you could. But I think in terms of cultural fit the Clemson / NC State pairing is stronger and still gets you into NC. And if NC State can pull a Texas A&M (that is use an SEC invite to distinguish itself from its big brother), then they will deliver the state of NC more strongly than they get credit for as of now.
So take those four and you get as much new terriority as your going to get in any case, plus great additional content. That seems like the clear way to go to me.
1 year, 6 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC
I see #1 as the current running beneath all of the other three. I've long thought that so called "cultural fit" should be the single most important factor in expansion (though in reality, as has been detailed extensively by John, it clearly is not). But contracts come and go, teams rise and fall, so there will always be something new and shiny out there and some hot new girl to chase. For a conference to be stable and healthy long-term, you've got to have members that are like minded and genuinely buy-in to the conference as a community, one that is truly appreciated, respected, and protected.
I think the previous 12 SEC members were/are that kind of community (which is a big part of what makes the SEC special/unique). I see A&M as joining in in that respect very well. I'm not as sure about Miz, time will tell. It's a not-so-well-kept secret that they have always preferred the Big 10, so I suppose that is the reason for my skepticism.
With all that said, to turn to expansion of today, I'm rooting for the SEC to add (if it must) VA Tech, NC State, Clemson, and FSU. I recognize that UNC/Duke are the big fish everyone's trying to catch (and I understand why). But for me, culture is king. I think most everyone can see that UNC and Duke both fit the Big 10 profile much better than they do the SEC. If the SEC were to add that group of four, it will have added three very strong football programs (and yes, two new states for the TV guys), all of which would be excited to come to the SEC and join the community and be who we are and not try to be who anybody else is. Let's not try to be Big 10-light, let's be the SEC and be proud of it.
We can never catch-up to the Big 10 in terms of number of AAU schools, research dollars, etc. They simply have too big a head start. What we can be (and what will make us unique among the major conferences) is a collection of schools with similar enough profiles and close enough geographic proximity that the conference is actually a cohesive, bound-together (by will, not by contract) group. College football is what it is because of regional ties/rivalries. The new expansion craze is poised to kill the golden goose by taking that away. Let all the other conferences span multiple time zones and need flights to most of their games. Let's keep the SEC with a spirit unlike anywhere else.
1 year, 7 months ago on Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long
John, in all your expansion coverage (which is the best I've found) I don't think I remember ever hearing you suggest 16 team conferences going to four divisions of four teams. Maybe I just missed it. Is that (four divisions) something you ever hear from your sources as a possible outcome? Keep up the good work!
1 year, 9 months ago on With Seven Schools Exiting The Big East, Get Ready For The Big Bang
For me, it's simple. The SEC should go for VA Tech as #15 and for #16 go for one of FSU, NC State, or UNC (in that order). You go to four four-team divisions. Those 16 schools break into a logical geographic grouping that is pretty much competitively balanced. You play your three division opponents every year and two from each of the other three divisions (yes, you even get a bonus upgrade to a 9-game conference slate).
The result is a conference which is geographically compact (by today's conference standards), maintains regional rivalries, and gets every team in the conference to play every other team in the conference home and away in a four year cycle. No other conference could touch that. It would be the envy of every fan outside the SEC.
And since the fans obviously matter little, I note that those additions all scored high on John's super-fantastic analysis from last year. So the money-grabbers will be happy too. Come on Mike, please get through expansion without destroying everything we love about the SEC!
1 year, 10 months ago on Virginia Tech AD Weaver Talks SEC; Twitter Melts