Tag Archives: SEC

Your NCAA Conference Re-Alignment “Risk” Map – Updated Yet Again

Tyler Raborn from Sports Righting.com was right…he said I would be updating this map regularly, and not even a week later, here we are.  Now that Louisville is the latest defection from the Big East, several new factors have come into play.

1) Don’t look now, but the ACC seems to be interested in making in-roads into SEC territory.  Kentucky joins Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as states split between the SEC and the ACC.

2) The Big East is in it’s death throes as a major conference.  It might as well just merge with Conference USA at this point.

3) Which conference is going to be the first to move into the vast expanse of Unconquered Territory?  We still consider Boise State to be available, because you know they are going to bail on the Big East just like TCU did. Not to mention, Mormon Notre Dame BYU is still in play as well, much like pretty much anybody in the Mountain West Conference, unless it manages to reform as a serious competitor to the Big 12.

What is all boils down to is we are clearly on a march to a college football world with four uber-conferences. It just a question of which of the five shown on this map will be the next to meet the fate of the Big East?

The other important question: How long before we are updating this map yet again?

Your Updated NCAA Conference Re-Alignment “Risk” Map

Do you remember the board game Risk? If you don’t there’s really something wrong with you.  Anyway, with the continuing re-alignment of college football conferences, it occurred to Mrs. Dubsism that the college football world is beginning to resemble a Risk map.

Now that Rutgers and Maryland have opted for the Big Ten, New Jersey and Maryland become B1G blue.  Syracuse and Pittsburgh heading into the ACC puts the Empire state in ACC teal, and splits Pennsylvania with the Big Ten.

Given the splits you see on the map, and given that re-alignment isn’t over, what will be the next shoe to drop?

What We Learned From This Weekend in Football 11/19/2011

1) This Year, the Entire BCS Argument is Moot

Name a team outside of the SEC that can beat Alabama, LSU, or Arkansas…I’m waiting…

2) We Sort Of Forgot About Miami

University of Miami president Donna Shalala being presented a check by Nevin Shapiro.

I think we all know why the scandal that gripped Hurricane football dropped off our collective radars. But now,for some reason, the University of Miami has decided to at least give the appearance of trying to do the right thing.

Despite qualifying with Saturday’s win over South Florida, Miami has made the decision to remove themselves from bowl consideration this season in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry into the Nevin Shapiro allegations. The school has informed both the NCAA and the ACC of its decision.

“We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University. The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties. “

Athletic Director Shawin Eichorst and head coach Al Golden addressed the decision briefly in a teleconference on Sunday afternoon. Eichorst informed Golden of the school’s decision early Sunday afternoon, and further meetings with the coaches and players followed.

Naturally, the fact that they were headed for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl had absolutely nothing to do with this decision.

3) Teams we can start the “Death Watch” on right now

San Diego Chargers

It’s not just the five straight losses, its they way they’ve lost them.  They have no offensive line. They are without Malcolm Floyd and Shawn Phillips. They rely entire too much on Philip Rivers since they have a marginal running game, and there is the matter of the Human Handicap, otherwise known as Norv Turner. Turner could screw up a grilled cheese sandwich, and the Chargers will never win as long as he is on their sideline.

Washington Redskins

Like the Chargers, it’s not just the six straight losses, it’s the way they’ve lost them.  Nobody defines “inconsistent quarterback” play like the Redskins; they got the “good” Rex Grossman against the Cowboys and still lost.  In fact, despite the sideline weakness present in Mike “I never won shit without a guy named Elway” Shanahan, you really can’t fault the offense.  While the Redskins defensive line has proven to be improved and often more physical than the offensive lines they’ve faced, the back seven gives up far too much on pass plays.

New York Jets

It’s official…I’m off the Mark Sanchez band-wagon. This guy sucks swamp-water. This guy saves his job once every six games or so. This guy has to go.

Look at the pattern. When the Jets were on a three-game skid last month, Sanchez led them to a win over then-winless Miami. This is just like 2009, when the  Jets came back from a 4-6 record to make the playoffs at 9-7.

Now, Jets fans are stuck hoping history repeats itself again. This time, the Jets are 5-5 after dropping their and a suddenly-remembers-they-are-supposed-t0-be-lousy Buffalo team is coming to town. But none of that accounts for the dirty Sanchez secret.

Sanchez has chucked pick-sixes in each of the last two games. He’s tossed three total this season.  He also has lost two fumbles that were returned for touchdowns and had an interception returned to the 1 by Dallas on opening night, and the Cowboys scored a touchdown two plays later. That’s 42 points the Jets have allowed, almost all because of Sanchez.

To be fair, the Jets offensive line isn’t helping matters.  They’ve reverted to their early-season ineptitude. They allowed four sacks on opening night 11 in the first four games.  Sanchez has been dropped eight times in the last two games.

4) Teams I Want To Like, But…

Chicago Bears

The Bears are the photo negative of the Chargers. The Bears have won five straight.  They don’t win pretty and they depend on the running game. But when do they get Jay Cutler back?

The Bears’ Achilles’ heel on defense is the deep pass. If you can set it up, you can  you can hurt the Bears on deep passes, something that will be a test for them when they play Oakland this week. But after that, the Bears get Kansas City, Denver and Seattle. In fact, after Oakland, they won’t face a team with a passing game to speak of until week 16 with the Packers.

Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer and Michael Bush might just be what the Raiders needed.  Palmer has yet to be dominant, but he is efficient, doesn’t make mistakes, and gives the Raiders the ability to move the ball against anybody.   Michael Bush can be flat out dominant with his bruising running style.  Plus, all they have to do to make the playoffs is win the AFC West.  But can they do it?  They’ve already lost to the Broncos once.

5) …And in what promises to be an on-going saga…

That whole bit about the Raiders brings us to the ever-present Tim Tebow story. His heroics against the Jets only serve as another chapter in what I fear may be a story that won’t be ending for a while. You can say all you wan’t about how he is a “terrible” quarterback…don’t look now, but this guy is winning games, and with every win, he gets more fans. If Tebow isn’t careful, he’s going to be one of the biggest stars in the league because his appeal transcends football.  Watch it it happen if the Broncos make the play-offs.

Don’t scoff at that thought. Like I said about the Raiders, all that is required to do it is to win the AFC West, and the Tebow-led Broncos have already bested the Raiders. The Broncos would be in the “Teams I want to like, but…” category, but my “but” on the Broncos is more of a belief question.  Do I believe that Tebow’s winning ways are due to him, or due to the fact nobody in the NFL has seen an option offense in 40 years?

What We Learned From This Past Weekend in Football 9/25/11

With yet another weekend of football in the books, there are several more  important lessons we should have learned both in the college ranks and in the NFL.

1) You “instant replay solves everything” people can all bite me…again.

The Toledo Rockets got robbed by not just the officials, but also by the instant replay officials. The Rockets hit a last-second field goal at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, a score which only tied the game when it should have been the game-winner.   Just a few minutes earlier, Syracuse was credited with a successful extra point try that actually missed. And in a moment which proves my argument against instant replay, even after officials reviewed the play, the wrong call was upheld.  Here’s the video which shows the ball passing in front of the uprights.

2) Apparently, Sam’s Club sells testicles. 

Two weeks in a row, Tony Romo has shown an industrial-sized set of balls he’s never shown before. First there was that comeback win in San Francisco with a cracked rib and a punctured lung, then there’s the performance he turned in on Monday night, leading the Cowboys to another victory in spite of themselves. The Plowboys offense couldn’t even snap the ball effectively, and even when they did, the receivers couldn’t run the right routes, and even when they pulled off those two minor miracles, they still couldn’t catch the damn ball. With the sole exception of Dez Bryant’s catch on that 3rd-and-21 play, the Cowboys offense played without organization and focus, which is why they stumbled into 375 Romo-led yards of total offense and a win considering they never once found the end zone.

3) The stock on quarterbacks rises and falls more often than Robert Downey, Jr’s career.

Romo’s transformation from a week 1 “gutless bum” into a week 3 “super-hero” is only the most current example of this phenomenon.  Don’t forget about Joe Flacco, who has managed come full-circle in just four years. First, he was a rookie wunderkind because “he” won first two playoff games . Then he became dogmeat because “he couldn’t beat the Steelers.” There’s even a “Joe Flacco Sucks” group on Facebook. Here’s some of their recent handy-work:

Joe Flacco is wack yo! He is just your average Joe. Ozzie please fire flacco. This season 2011-2012 will be a hard season for us because he was a horrible QB, a wack as O-line, a wack as offensive coordinator and our head coach is a bum. Joe flacco’s stats says it all, he’s just average at best. He throws for 30 and catches 5. He throws for 20 and causes 10 interceptions.

It makes you wonder where those clever retorts are now,  since Flacco hammered the Rams on Sunday, completing 27-of-48 passes for a career-high 389 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore’s 37-7 demolition of St. Louis. “He” also laid waste to the Steelers in week 1.  Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and Mark Sanchez all are on various places on this same roller-coaster.

4) Tom Brady is fallible.

Take the logic of the “Flacco sucks” crowd and imagine what they would be saying about Brady today if he didn’t have those three Super Bowl rings.  Brady has thrown for 1,327 yards in three games; the most yards passing in any three-game stretch in league history. But remember, this crowd believes in the “What have you done for me lately?” theory, and lately Brady tossed four picks and blew a 21-point lead at Buffalo. Not to mention, just how long has it been since the Patriots claimed the Lombardi trophy?

5) The NFL really needs to decide what it wants to be. 

Michael Vick’s commentary about officiating raises a legitmate point which nobody will discuss because his commentary lends itself too easily to a conversation about the protection of “traditional pocket passers” versus that of the “athletic quarterbacks.” We all know for what those terms are used as “code,” which is exactly where this discussion gets derailed.

The real point is that Vick has a point about his particular situation.  Like it or not, he is treated differently because his mobility gets him out of situations that a “pocket passer” does not. Does that mean he gets hit more often?  Probably, but that’s  not for any other reason than does Ben Roethlisberger. Both of them escape situations and extend plays in ways not possible for Tom Brady.

Let’s face it, anybody can go back and look through game footage to find examples of quarterbacks getting hit illegally and not drawing a penalty. Conversely, you can see many examples of quarterbacks that seem to get barely tapped and the flag comes out.

The problem isn’t about what type of quarterback gets what sort of call, the problem is the NFL in it’s half-assed approach to “protect” players has made a series of rules which are nearly impossible for officials to call at game speed. the root cause of all this is rather simple; the NFL needs to decide if its product is a league of 275-pound leviathans slamming into each other at full speed or if it’s going to be a league of doilies and tea-cakes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should not care about the well-being of the players, but the NFL is going about it in exactly the wrong manner. The way to do this is not to lay it on the players by changing the way the game gets played and expecting players to change the way they play overnight considering they have played and practiced a certain way for decades.  The way to do this is not to enact a bunch of rules the officials can’t’ accurately enforce. The way to do it is to get all the involved parties together to have a honest discussion about the future of the game; the time to do it is now since the NFL and the NFLPA just secured a decade with no labor distractions.

6) Robert Irsay and Bill Polian must cry themselves to sleep every night.

Did you ever have one of those nightmares so bad you couldn’t even wake yourself up? That’s how this whole Peyton Manning situation must feel to the owner and general manager of the Colts.

First, there’s the neck surgeries. Then there’s the fact they didn’t want to be the guy who told Colts Nation that the Manning era might be over, hence the enormous contract they signed Fetushead to after his second neck surgery. Then there was the panic attack when they realized the second surgery didn’t work and they were staring the reality of Curtis Painter, Starting Quarterback dead in the face.  Then there’s the $10 million insurance policy known as Kerry Collins. And now that Collins was concussed by the Steelers defense, the Colts are trying out Dan Orlovsky and Brodie Croyle as back-ups to Curtis “Jeff Spicoli” Painter.

Stay tuned, Colts fans…the death spiral is only in week four.

7) Parity is a Parody

Does anybody think this league is better because it has 27 mediocre teams and 5 rancid ones? Seriously, look at the breakdown according to record after three weeks compared to their preseason power ranking:

* – Playoff team last season

3-0 Record (3 teams): Green Bay* (2), Detroit (18), Buffalo (28)

2-1  Record (15 teams): New England* (1), Pittsburgh* (4), New York Jets* (5), New Orleans* (6),  San Diego (7), Baltimore* (9), New York Giants (10), Houston (11),  Tampa Bay (12), Dallas (13), Tennessee (17),  Oakland (21), Cleveland (22),  San Francisco (27), Washington (31 )

1-2 Record (9 teams): Philadelphia*(3), Atlanta *(8), Chicago *(14), Arizona (20),  Jacksonville (24),  Seattle* (25), Denver (29),  Cincinnati (30),  Carolina (32)

0-3 Record (5 teams): Miami (15),  St. Louis (16), Indianapolis* (19),  Kansas City* (23),  Minnesota (26)

The fact that half the playoff teams from last year are in the losing record category and that there are teams like Detroit, Buffalo, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington clearly exceeding expectations means the NFL once again has achieved is goal of parity, or in other words making almost every team equally lousy.

8 ) The NFL has competition

Until further notice, the SEC will be treated by Dubsism as a professional football league.

The 2011 Dubsism Pre-Season College Football Rankings

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. There is a rule in the blogosphere that says if you tag more than three posts with “college football,” you are required to do a pre-season ranking. Failure to do so will get your nose flayed and your genitals set on fire.

With that…teams are rated within their conference, and the conferences are ranked in order of overall strength.

Plus, since here at Dubsism we are believers in the yin and yang of things, we felt it necessary not only to do the obligatory Top 25 list, but a comprehensive list as well. Why? Because for every team that should be admired for its prowess, there is one that should be pitied for its ineptitude.


Unfortunately for BYU, she's talking about winning.

This used to be that special category for Army, Navy, and that school in Indiana that used to mean something.  But this year finds a new addition, Mormon Notre Dame Brigham Young.  One thing the folks at BYU are going to discover is that unless you are Notre Dame, it’s going to be hard scheduling favorably. This is why BYU could find itself starting 0-4 and may find itself with only four wins total.

Making the move to being an independent may spell doom for BYU football. Aside from the scheduling issue, the TV network they have started in essentially unwatchable unless you are considering actually becoming a Mormon. But more importantly, they wll never get invited to a good bowl game because nobody can make any money off BYU fans. They don’t travel well, and when they do, they don’t spend money.

A few years back Penn State was selected for a bowl game appearance over BYU despite the fact BYU had a better record. When confronted by angry BYU officials the bowl’s representative allegedly replied “Penn State fans come early, stay late, and have a good time. BYU fans show up with two things: a $50 bill and the Ten Commandments, and at the end of the day, they haven’t broken either one.”

Now let’s talk about things that haven’t changed. Every year, Notre Dame gets more attention than they deserve; a phenomenon that continues up to that point when the Irish get such a crushing loss that every the most ardent Notre Dame fan has no choice but to admit they simply aren’t very good. Even though the Irish have their typically soft schedule, the hype really should be over by the third quarter of the USC game.

  1. Navy
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Army
  4. Brigham Young

11) Sun Belt Conference

Let’s face it… somebody’s got to be the “little brother.” Welcome to the Sun Belt. If you  are a major power looking to pad its non-conferennce schedule, the Sun Belt has so many cupcakes is should be called the “Bakery” conference.

But don’t laugh. Even if they are the last car in the train, the Sun Belt is still a Football Bowl Subdivision participant, which is prestigious relative to the majority of other college football programs in America. Let’s be honest, members of the Sun Belt feast on that status; an all-you-can-eat buffet of major conference transfers, “big money” road dates against big-conference schools looking for the aforementioned “cupcakes,” which leads to modest but relatively large football budget.

The Troy Trojans have been the head cupcake, capturing five straight Sun Belt titles while participating in three straight bowl games including last year’s drubbing 48-21 of Ohio in the New Orleans Bowl. However, parity remains a theme in this conference since no Sun Belt school had less than two conference losses last year.

But this looks to be the season in which a new head cupcake emerges. Florida International looks to take the top spot in a season finding three schools with new coaches — Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas, and Arkansas State.

  1. Florida International
  2. Troy
  3. Arkansas State
  4. Louisiana-Monroe
  5. Middle Tennessee
  6. North Texas
  7. Western Kentucky
  8. Florida Atlantic
  9. Louisiana-Lafayette

10) WAC

Properly stored, even dishes subject to quick spoilage like Utah State can be kept fresh for months.

By this time next year, the WAC may officially change its name to the “Leftovers Conference. The marquee program (Boise State) has already departed in favor of the Mountain West Conference, and next year, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii, will make the same move. I really don’t know what else to say about a conference that is on the road to irrelevance. This conference will put a couple of teams into a couple low-end bowl games; unless you are a hard-core college football junkie, there’s no real reason to pay attention to this league.

  1. Fresno State
  2. Hawaii
  3. Idaho
  4. Louisiana Tech
  5. Nevada
  6. New Mexico State
  7. San Jose State
  8. Utah State

9) Conference USA

This conference reminds me of an NBA All-Star game. Everybody can score and nobody plays defense.  Houston and Tulsa have the ability to hang 60 points on on any given Saturday. Last season, C-USA had at least three teams in the Top 20 for touchdowns scored, total yards, rushing yards, passing yards,  and points scored. The top six teams in C-USA averaged 35.5 points per game last year.

Naturally, it can be said that a conference with such offensive output would have some seriously weak defenses…and it would be correct to say that. Most of the defenses in this league “couldn’t stop a nosebleed” and are perfectly represented by East Carolina. The Pirates were at the bottom in nearly every defensive statistic and were joined by three other C-USA members in the bottom 20.

In other words, expect a lot of 50-45, four-and-a-half hour conference games, and don’t expect anybody below Southern Methodist to be on your radar in November.

  1. Houston
  2. Tulsa
  3. Southern Mississippi
  4. Central Florida
  5. Alabama-Birmingham
  6. Southern Methodist
  7. East Carolina
  8. Rice
  9. Marshall
  10. Tulane
  11. Memphis
  12. Texas-El Paso

8 ) MAC

How many other College Football Previews will give you a Charles Nelson Reilly reference?

This season, the MAC might as well be renamed “meh.” Their will be its usual creative play-calling, but don’t expect any teams from this league to make a miracle run to the top 25.

  1. Toledo
  2. Northern Illinois
  3. Temple
  4. Miami (OH)
  5. Ohio
  6. Western Michigan
  7. Central Michigan
  8. Kent State
  9. Akron
  10. Bowling Green
  11. Ball State
  12. Buffalo
  13. Eastern Michigan

7) Big East

Let’s be honest. This is a basketball conference. Only three programs flirted with the pre-season rankings last year, and none were found there at the end when it matters. That won’t change this season. Pittsburgh and West Virginia underperformed, which allowed a team with a serious “meh” factor (Connecticut) to get into the BCS. Pittsburgh and West Virginia both had coaching changes with some serious drama. Rutgers imploded after Eric LeGrand was paralyzed.

That is exactly why the Big East wants to look forward. This league is in serious need of a credibility infusion and the hope is that comes in the form of  new league member (starting in 2012) TCU, and second-year coaches Skip Holtz at South Florida and Charlie Strong at Louisville.

  1. West Virginia
  2. South Florida
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. Connecticut
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Louisville
  7. Rutgers
  8. Syracuse

6) Mountain West Conference

For one year, the MWC has Boise State and TCU in the same league, giving it two national powers for 2011.  Air Force might be the best of the service academies and is coming off a bowl win against Georgia Tech. This conference will have far better quality football than the Big East, and will make a better showing in the BCS if given another opportunity.

  1. Boise State
  2. TCU
  3. Air Force
  4. San Diego State
  5. Colorado State
  6. Wyoming
  7. Nevada -Las Vegas
  8. New Mexico

5) ACC

This conference is a bit of a train wreck. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the two best programs, but then after that you have the who-knows-what Miami Hurricanes, a North Carolina team deep in the NCAA’s doghouse, and Georgia Tech on probation.

Only one ACC team has won a BCS game in the last dozen years, and an early Florida State test against Oklahoma should tell us a lot about either side.

  1. Florida State
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. Miami (FL)
  4. North Carolina
  5. Maryland
  6. Clemson
  7. Boston College
  8. North Carolina State
  9. Georgia Tech
  10. Virginia
  11. Wake Forest
  12. Duke

4) Big 12

This is soon to be another “leftovers” conference,” what’s left of the conference exists only to bask in the reflected glory of Texas and Oklahoma. Nebraska and Colorado are already gone, Texas A&M is as good as gone, and Oklahoma passed on the opportunity to join the Pac-12 last year. This conference may be a memory soon, but we should have at least one more opportunity to watch Oklahoma choke.

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Oklahoma State
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Missouri
  5. Texas
  6. Baylor
  7. Texas Tech
  8. Kansas State
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas

3) Pac-12

With Colorado and Utah, the newly-formed conference sports six teams which at one point were  ranked in the top 25.

There are a few major storylines that will be constant throughout the season but the Heisman race sits at the forefront. Last year’s Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck and third place finisher LaMichael James return for the 2011 season as prohibitive favorites for the trophy.

James had a monster season in 2010 and led Oregon to a berth in the BCS National Championship game. Not only was he third in the Heisman voting, he was awarded the Doak Walker trophy as best running back in the nation. In 2011 the Ducks return plenty on offense and could make a repeat appearance in New Orleans. Oregon’s offensive scheme is tailored for James and with a successful campaign he could become just the third running back to win the Heisman since 1999.

  1. Oregon
  2. Stanford
  3. USC
  4. Arizona State
  5. Utah
  6. Arizona
  7. Oregon State
  8. Washington
  9. UCLA
  10. California
  11. Colorado
  12. Washington State

2) Big 10

Forget about Nebraska, the real story in the Big Ten just may be that the three traditional powers in Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State could all have a dropoff.  Ohio State is in the middle of its NCAA drama, Michigan has a new coach for the second time in four years, and Penn State has some major question marks on offense. There’s no telling how all those situations may shake out. For sure one of those three will take a step backward, and possibly all three. It matter little in terms of who will be at the top in the end; this seems to be Wisconsin’s league to lose.

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Nebraska
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan State
  5. Penn State
  6. Iowa
  7. Michigan
  8. Northwestern
  9. Illinois
  10. Purdue
  11. Indiana
  12. Minnesota

1) SEC

The Post-Urban Meyer SEC is the best conference in college football. From the day Pope Urban I landed in Gainsville, the SEC transformed into a juggernaut which has won the last five BCS titles. changed when Urban Meyer took his coaching talents to Gainesville.

It’s almost heresy now in college football to point out the days when nobody, and I mean NOBODY thought the spread offense would thrive in the SEC.  But it didn’t take long for Pope Urban I to win a host of apostles. Within a couple of years, the SEC was no longer a league of jurassic, knuckle-walker offenses and defenses which came with their own coroner.

In 2006, only one team in the league averaged more than 30 points per game. Four years later, that number had increased to seven, and ten averaged 29 or better.  It happened because those teams all used some sort of spread offense. Even the cro-magnon leather helmets in Tuscaloosa dabbled in something other than a tailback-based attack.

This is the bottom line. The SEC has more talent and more good coaches, it’s that combination that makes this league likely to win a sixth BCS title.

  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. South Carolina
  4. Arkansas
  5. Auburn
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Georgia
  8. Florida
  9. Tennessee
  10. Kentucky
  11. Mississippi
  12. Vanderbilt

Overall Rankings

  1. Alabama
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Oregon
  4. Wisconsin
  5. LSU
  6. Nebraska
  7. Florida State
  8. Boise State
  9. Stanford
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. South Carolina
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Arkansas
  15. TCU
  16. USC
  17. Ohio State
  18. Michigan State
  19. Auburn
  20. Mississippi State
  21. Missouri
  22. Georgia
  23. Florida
  24. Penn State
  25. Arizona State
  26. Iowa
  27. West Virginia
  28. Utah
  29. Air Force
  30. Miami (FL)
  31. South Florida
  32. Pittsburgh
  33. Navy
  34. North Carolina
  35. Toledo
  36. Tennessee
  37. Notre Dame
  38. Michigan
  39. Arizona
  40. Maryland
  41. Northern Illinois
  42. Northwestern
  43. Fresno State
  44. Houston
  45. Texas
  46. Oregon State
  47. Temple
  48. Florida International
  49. Southern Mississippi
  50. Washington
  51. Central Florida
  52. Baylor
  53. San Diego State
  54. Kentucky
  55. Illinois
  56. Texas Tech
  57. Miami (OH)
  58. Hawaii
  59. Cincinnati
  60. Clemson
  61. Mississippi
  62. Purdue
  63. UCLA
  64. Boston College
  65. Ohio
  66. Troy
  67. California
  68. Army
  69. North Carolina State
  70. Colorado State
  71. Louisville
  72. Colorado
  73. Western Michigan
  74. Arkansas State
  75. Idaho
  76. Central Michigan
  77. Alabama-Birmingham
  78. Georgia Tech
  79. Vanderbilt
  80. Louisiana Tech
  81. Southern Methodist
  82. Rutgers
  83. Wyoming
  84. Indiana
  85. Brigham Young
  86. Kansas State
  87. Kent State
  88. Virginia
  89. Tulsa
  90. Wake Forest
  91. Syracuse
  92. Akron
  93. East Carolina
  94. Nevada
  95. Rice
  96. Louisiana-Monroe
  97. Minnesota
  98. Iowa State
  99. Bowling Green
  100. Bowling Green
  101. Marshall
  102. Kansas
  103. Duke
  104. Washington State
  105. Nevada -Las Vegas
  106. Ball State
  107. Tulane
  108. New Mexico State
  109. Middle Tennessee
  110. Connecticut
  111. Buffalo
  112. North Texas
  113. San Jose State
  114. Memphis
  115. Western Kentucky
  116. Texas-El Paso
  117. Florida Atlantic
  118. Utah State
  119. Louisiana-Lafayette
  120. Eastern Michigan

Is Texas A&M Getting Ready To Leave It’s Wife For The “Hot Chick?”

This blog really has its genesis in my response to a post over at TheSportsKraze (he’s done a great job with that blog, and you should read it…after you are done reading Dubsism, of course).  His premise is that Texas A&M was “rejected” by the SEC, and as much as I like his work, I couldn’t disagree with him more.

It was a done deal. The SEC vote was simply a formality. Texas A&M was ready to leave the mighty Big 12, get out from the shadow of the Longhorns, and head to the best football conference in America. Think again.

A&M got rejected. And for the time being, the Aggies program as a whole must be embarrassed by recent events. I am not sure if any of you have seen the movie “She’s Out of My League.” But this recent chain of events is reminiscent of a scene in that movie. During the movie, the protagonist is on an airplane with his family. Realizing that he no longer wants to go on the family vacation and wants to go after his old (very hot) girl, he lets his family have it. He scolds them in front of all the passengers on the airplane. After the dramatic speech, he gets up to leave; only he can’t leave. The plane is ready for takeoff.  So the protagonist puts his head down and sits down right next to his family that he just reamed.

A&M didn’t get rejected; this relationship is going to be consummated at some point. To understand why, let’s flip TheSportsKraze’s model; let’s make Texas A&M the “hot chick” being pursued by the SEC.

Make no mistake; Texas A&M is undeniably a “hot chick” in the eyes of the SEC. Make no mistake again, all this recent conference re-alignment is about TV markets. The Big Ten has its own network, the SEC has its own network, and schools are all looking for the Big 12’s emergency exits because Texas is getting their own. Getting your network carried on the cable/satellite providers in a major market is bigger than JaMarcus Russell’s plate at Golden Corral, and the fact that A&M would bring a presence in two Top-10 TV markets (DallasFort Worth, 5th and Houston, 10th) gives the SEC folks a hard-on you could cut diamonds with.

Just look at a map while keeping conference alignments in mind. The Pac-10 grabbed Denver and Salt Lake City.  Admittedly, those may not be the biggest markets (18th and 33rd respectively), but they are the two best available options which make geographic sense for the conference.  The Big East now has a presence in Dallas/Fort Worth, and the fact that others are looking to get their tentacles into Texas is precisely why the members of the Big 12 who aren’t Texas are getting a wandering eye.

Look at that map again, this time focusing on Big 12 territory. Look at how many major TV markets there are outside of Texas…now that Denver is a Pac-10 market, the only other “major” market left is Kansas City (#31st).

This is exactly why Nebraska jumped quick to the Big Ten…they are a “money program” without a major market and they knew their value plummets if they are in a conference that is merely the Big 12′s leftovers.  Once one of the major markets (Denver) left, the Big 12 became a slow-mo version of Musical Chairs; Texas has its own chair and the scramble is on for everybody else.

This is also why the SEC would love to get schools from one of two other “target states,” Virginia or North Carolina; in other words, states which would offer the exposure to a major TV market where they currently do not have a presence. Of course, if that were to happen, that would mean a major change to the ACC, which in turn would start another cascade of conference-jumping.

But much like the above picture of the Texas A&M girls, the SEC is having that “two hot chicks” fantasy. There is a very practical reason for this; an odd-number of teams makes scheduling virtually impossible. This is why breaking the ice will take two; A&M needs a partner to fulfill the SEC’s three-way desires. So, let’s look at the other “hot chicks” the SEC is eyeing.

1) Virginia Tech

Upside: VT offers the 9th largest TV market (Washington D.C.), makes geographic sense, and brings a perennial Top-25 football program to the table.

Downside: May actually lower the SEC’s “redneck” factor (if that’s even possible).

2) North Carolina

Upside: Comes with the 24th (Charlotte) and 27th (Raleigh-Durham) largest TV markets, makes even more geographic sense than VT, and they are already used to being investigated.

Downside: SEC basketball programs would have another team to worry about besides Kentucky.

3) Missouri

Upside: This is another school which would bring two TV markets (St. Louis #21, and Kansas City #31), there would be less entanglement to queer the deal (unlike the ACC schools; the Big 12 is already imploding), and the ever-present “makes geographic sense.”

Downside: Missouri isn’t exactly a “big-time” program in anything.

4) Oklahoma

Upside: Oklahoma is a storied program in football, does basketball well, and has an athletic department plumbed with hot and cold running money.

Downside: Doesn’t bring a Top-40 TV market with it.

5) Duke

Upside: Like North Carolina, Duke would bring the same TV markets and a basketball power, plus, somebody’s gotta worry about grade point averages, right?

Downside: Duke sucks in football, and SEC fans like Mississippi State as their pigskin “whipping boy.”

Whenever there is a pursuit of “hot chicks,” there’s the girls left in the bar at closing time. In this case, those would be Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Miami. The SEC might pick one these if it must, but they don’t offer anything since they are all in states in which the SEC is well-established; therefore there is no growth potential for the SEC TV network.

However it shakes out remains to be seen, but make no mistake, what happened this past week was not a rejection. The detail that is delaying this consumation is the SEC is in the midst of a “two chicks” fantasy, and as hot as Texas A&M is, she’s still only one.

Finally, Somebody Has Stopped The Insanity

Since we are a month past the end of the World Cup, Americans and their notoriously short attention spans have likely forgotten the insanity that was the vuvuzela. Since I want to test that short American span, I want you to remember who was stopping the insanity close to twenty years ago.

If you are fortunate enough not to remember who this spiky-headed slice of craziness was, I’m about to share my memory misery with you. Her name is Susan Powter, and she was the “Stop The Insanity” infomercial queen in the early 1990’s.

Granted, while there is nobility in helping battleship-sized women regain their humanity, there is something to be said for introducing a level of nuttiness that obviates any good you might be accomplishing. This was the position of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president who refused to ban the patently-annoying noisemakers during the World Cup. His argument was that the cheap, annoying plastic horns were “uniquely South African,” and therefore wouldn’t be banned.

Of course, that was a complete load of bullshit. This is also where the Southeastern Conference (SEC) has shown a wonderful bit of being proactive; playing the Powter role by stopping the insanity.

As far as the SEC is concerned, the vuvuzela is noisemaker non grata. After watching how that 2-dollar plastic horn contributed to the World Cup being a disaster, the league clarified its stance on the noisemaker and it’s incessant, brain-melting buzz. See, there was some confusion about which noisemaking devices are allowed at SEC games because of the conference’s decision to allow cowbells at Mississippi State games. This lead some people to believe the patently annoying cowbells paved the way for the uber-annoying vuvuzela. SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom would beg to differ.

“Our policy allows for ‘traditional’ artificial noisemakers to be allowed in stadiums and played during specific times. Other forms of artificial noisemakers are not allowed. I do not believe a vuvuzela is tied traditionally into one of our institutions.”

“Vuvuzelas cannot be brought into the game per policy. Cowbells, since it is traditionally tied into one of our schools, can be brought in at that school.”

See, Bloom gets what Blatter does not. A vuvuzela by definition can’t be in anybody’s tradition, because traditions are based on history. Anything that was made out of plastic 20 minutes ago has no history.

Which, oddly enough, is how most Americans feel about soccer.


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