Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

Was UNC Looking At The SEC When Maryland Broke Ranks? It Doesn’t Seem So

001uncfansLast week — sorry that we’re only now getting wind of this — The Raleigh News & Observer reported the following: “Emails show UNC doubts about ACC after Maryland’s departure.”  You know the drill from there — the paper did an open records request and then scanned all of the email communications of North Carolina’s top brass, looking for any talk of the ACC and conference realignment.

The gist of their findings is simple: Yes, Carolina officials were worried about the ACC’s television revenue when long-time rival Maryland jumped to the Big Ten.  UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham emailed one Tar Heel fan last November to say: “We are looking at all options.  But keeping the ACC strong is our number one choice.”

Nearly 12 months later, the Atlantic Coast Conference has added Louisville and re-worked its own television deal with ESPN.  Pittsburgh and Syracuse have become official members.  And perhaps most importantly, a grant-of-rights agreement has been inked between the league and its 14 members.

So for the moment things look pretty stable, if not particularly lucrative, along the Eastern Seaboard.  But We know what you’re interested in learning.  After Maryland’s move, did UNC peek longingly toward the SEC or any other conference while “looking at all options?”

Not according to Cunningham’s emails.  The News & Observer’s report only mentions the SEC a couple of times:

 

1.  A financial adviser in Athens, Georgia emailed Cunningham about a meeting he had had with an SEC athletic director.  (We’ll guess that he met with UGA’s Greg McGarity.)  The financial adviser, Joe Frierson, wrote:  “He said the SEC pays out around $20 (million per) team right now.  Thinks it will approach $35 (million per team) when TV contract is renegotiated in a couple of years.  He said the SEC just signed a contract for the Sugar Bowl (between teams from the SEC and Big 12) for 2015 that will pay $40 (million) to each conference… That is ridiculous money.”

Cunningham’s response:  “It really concerns me.  If these trends continue I’m not sure how the ACC (can) compete financially.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Post Comments » Comments (16)

 

 

Spurrier Says Carolina Vs Carolina “A Special Game”

gfx - they said itThe 2013 college football season kicks off on Thursday and the main event on night one is an ACC/SEC battle between Carolina del Norte and and Carolina del Sur.  Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier is looking forward to the matchup as he has some history with the Tar Heels dating back to his 1980s tenure at Duke:

 

“I’m a Dukie.  I’m a Gator, a Dukie, and now I’m a Gamecock.  For us Dukies, back then that was our big game.  I doubt if it was for North Carolina because we did not beat them that much, but when I was there we were fortunate enough to actually beat them more than they beat us.

It was always a fund game when that occurred.  But, yeah, it is a little special when you are coaching against a team like that, just like coaching against Georgia.  The Gators and Georgia were teams that didn’t like each other very much.  That’s a special game, too, so anytime you coach against a team that was a little special wherever you coached at, it remains a special game.”

 

Spurrier actually went 3-0 against North Carolina in 1987, 1988 and 1989.  The Ol’ Ball Coach also knocked off UNC as South Carolina’s coach in 2007.

Post Comments » No Comments

 

 

The SEC Courting Duke And UNC? Just An April Fools’ Prank

The website DukeBasketballReport.com had a little fun with its readers yesterday.  In a story titled, “Mike Slive’s Master Plan About To Come Into Devastating Focus,” the site claimed that the SEC was “deep into negotiations with Duke and UNC and ‘expects to extend an invitation to both within days.’”

A reference to Slive as “Swive,” a knowledge of how the SEC does business — it doesn’t extend invites until schools ask, lest it be sued — some serious jabs at future ACC member Syracuse, and the date of the story — April 1st — made it clear to us from the get-go that this was a prank.

Today, the site admitted as much.  “In case you weren’t sure, to the best of our knowledge, Duke and UNCA are not actively being courted by the SEC and are not ready to accept invitations in the next few days.”

Ha ha.

The problem with April Fools’ Day stories in the day and age of social media and Google is that even a fake story can take off.  Someone searching “SEC, Duke, and North Carolina” three years from now might stumble across the first story without the “just kiddin’” that came out a day later.

At any rate, no, the SEC isn’t trying to pry UNC and Duke from the ACC.

Post Comments » Comments (7)

 

 

SEC Headlines – 3/12/12 Part One

1.  Andrew Steele says Alabama’s return to the NCAA tourney has elicited “one of those indescribable feelings.”

2.  Of course, with higher-seeded Creighton first and then a potential matchup with top-seeded UNC in Greensboro… the experts aren’t giving Bama much of a chance.

3.  As we told you earlier this morning, Arkansas’ season has come to an end with nary an invite to ary tournament.

4.  Meanwhile, Trent Johnson’s young LSU team will get to keep playing.

5.  After a solid three-day run in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss will return to the NIT.

6.  Andy Kennedy says he was “not overly optimistic” about landing an NCAA bid.

Post Comments » Comments (2)

 

 

Virginia Tech And NC State To The SEC? Prepare For Some Political Battles

In the last hour a pair of emails have dropped into the MrSEC.com inbox asking if NC State and Virginia Tech are “really” going to join the SEC.  After a little digging I found that the folks over at OutkickTheCoverage.com have posted a story today predicting a 16-team SEC with four divisions, semifinals for football, and the Hokies and Wolfpack as the most likely entrants into the league.

Now, we first wrote about the possibility of SEC football semifinals back in August of 2009.  And we still believe that the SEC could someday end up with 16 schools, but only if the landscape changes elsewhere.  After speaking to people at schools across the conference, we do not believe the SEC is fishing for new members at the current time.  In any way.

In our view, if a 16-school is being discussed in the press, that’s a long-range discussion.  Especially with the BCS system sitting on the verge of change that might slow the current realignment push to a halt.

That said, if the SEC expands again, stretching into new markets and new territories is clearly the goal.  That was the goal when Arkansas and South Carolina were added.  It was the goal when Missouri and Texas A&M were annexed.  It’s been the goal of every league throughout the expansion/realignment process.  Our readers know we’ve been beating that drum for two years now.  (Only Florida State — in our opinion — would offer enough name brand value to make them a viable option from inside the existing SEC footprint.)

Looking outside the league, Virginia Tech does make a great deal of sense for the SEC.  But the Hokies used up a lot of political capital to gain an invite into the ACC.  It’s hard to imagine them having the clout or the intestinal fortitude to jump leagues again anytime soon.  Especially after Tech officials made it very clear this summer that their school is better off in the ACC from a travel perspective and an academic perspective.

As for NC State — a school oft-mentioned because no one believes North Carolina and/or Duke would move to the SEC — there would be some serious political issues to work out as well.  NCSU is a “constituent institution” of the University of North Carolina system.  In other words, the schools have a connection.  We’re not talking Texas and Texas A&M, here. 

State has a 13-person board of trustees.  One member is the president of the student government.  Four trustees are appointed by the governor.  The remaining eight NCSU trustees are elected by the UNC board of governors.

If State’s administration decided that their school would be better off in the SEC, it appears from afar that at least two of the eight trustees put in place by UNC’s board would have to okay the move.  And that’s if all the other non-UNC-elected trustees favored the move.  And that’s if a vote to switch conferences only requires a 7-6 majority. 

Is it possible that State would move from the ACC to the SEC?  Sure, anything’s possible.  Especially when millions of dollars are on the table.

But it would appear Virginia Tech and especially NC State would have to wage some large-scale political battles to exit their current league. 

If
they even wanted to switch leagues. 

If
the SEC decides to expand again.

The talk of 16 schools is fun and it’s always good for pageviews.  Trust us, we know.  But for now, there’s nothing to suggest that the league will be expanding again in the short-term.

(Usual caveat: Never say never.)

Post Comments » Comments (17)

 

 

The SEC Already 1-0 In Bowls (Sorta)

In case you didn’t notice — and with an afternoon kickoff from Shreveport you probably didn’t — the SEC sorta/kinda got off to a 1-0 start for the bowl season yesterday.  Newest league member Missouri ran up 31 first-half points en route to a 41-24 victory over North Carolina, presumably the school’s last victory as a Big 12 member.

For those who missed it, you failed to catch an impressive performance from Tiger quarterback James Franklin.  He was 15 of 23 in the passing game for 132 yards and a touchdown and he also led Mizzou in rushing with 142 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.  When the SEC finally announces next year’s schedule and you find the Tigers on your favorite team’s schedule, know that Franklin is the guy that your defensive coordinator will be focused on next fall.

Head coach Gary Pinkel said after the game that he gave his sophomore quarterback a hug and a “congratulations.”  “Then I went back and asked, ‘What happens when you get really good?’ … He kind of gave me a look, but that’s a huge compliment.”

Franklin earned the MVP award in the game and the respect of UNC interim coach Everett Withers (who’s now headed to Ohio State to join Urban Meyer’s staff).  “(Franklin) is just such a dynamic guy running and throwing that you have to respect both.  I always count the quarterback as an extra running back in the spread and that’s exactly what he was.”

Traditionally, Pinkel has been a pass-first guy, so the better Franklin gets in the passing game, the more dangerous his coach’s offense will become.

Here endeth the advanced scouting report.  Welcome to the SEC, Mizzou.

Post Comments » Comments (13)

 

 

Feathers Ruffled, Calipari Says He’s No Chicken

John Calipari said earlier this week that there might be some years when his team is just too young to play one top-notch opponent after another.  For that reason, he suggested that Kentucky might drop a traditional rival like Indiana, Louisville or North Carolina from its schedule.

Despite Calipari’s God-like status in the Bluegrass State, many Wildcat fans weren’t thrilled with the idea of losing a big rivalry game.  They probably also knew what folks from around the country would say — that UK and Calipari are “scared” to play Indiana, Louisville and UNC every year.

That’s not the case at all according to John Calipari and his Twitter feed:


“I’m the originator of playing anytime, anyplace, anywhere.  I just want flexibility in our scheduling to modify based on our roster.”


If you look at UK’s schedules since Calipari took over in Lexington, there’s no denying that he’s played as many big-time teams as anyone else in the country. 

That said, you can bet the coach’s tweet will still be met with the following response from folks outside the Commonwealth:



Post Comments » Comments (28)

 

 

SEC Headlines – 11/17/11 Part Two

1.  Auburn might be struggling, but sophomore tailback Mike Dyer is not.

2.  Gus Malzahn’s wife signed up to follow the mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the city’s police department and several other UNC-related Twitter feeds this week.  (D’oh!)  So folks on The Plains are wondering who’s next if/when Malzahn leaves.

3.  Alabama kicker Cade Foster needs to get over his three missed field goals in the LSU game.

4.  Anthony Grant’s basketball team hopes to make this year’s trip to the Caribbean a lot better than last year’s (which helped cost the Tide an NCAA tourney bid).

5.  Arkansas’ special teams have become a unit to fear in the SEC.

6.  The Razorbacks are preparing for a very physical Mississippi State offense.

7.  The Honey Badger is back in full effect in Baton Rouge.

8.  It’s not just the quarterbacks… LSU’s running back by committee approach is working well, too.

9.  Without the athletic (but suspended) Randall Mackey at quarterback, Ole Miss will have to do a good job of protecting its passer against LSU.  (Good luck with all that.)

10.  This writer believes Ole Miss must hire an offensive guru as its next coach.

11.  MSU’s secondary will have to slow down the Arkansas passing game on Saturday.

12.  The basketball Bulldogs are in New York City for a pair of matchups with some of the best teams in the country.

Post Comments » Comments (5)

 

 

3 Games, 3 Wins For SEC Hoopsters

The SEC went three-for-three on the hardwood last night and with Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss all collecting victories.  Here’s a quick wrap of the action:


Auburn 68, Kennesaw State 55

The Tigers opened 2-0 for the first time in five seasons with their home win.  Frankie Sullivan — back from last year’s knee injury — led the Tigers in scoring with 22 points. 

“It gives you a lot of confidence that you still got it,” he said.  “I was a little skeptical about my jump shot because I wasn’t hitting it over the first few games.  but I see that I still have it.”


Ole Miss 69, Grambling State 39

Sure they’re not playing UNC, Duke or Kansas, but the Rebels are playing some early season defense.  Andy Kennedy’s team gave up just 39 points last night after allowing Louisiana-Monroe just 38 in their season-opener.  Murphy Holloway — back from his one-year transfer to South Carolina — tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds for Ole Miss.


Alabama 74, Oakland 57

The 16th-ranked Crimson Tide were led by JaMychal Green and Trevor Releford in their win over an NCAA-capable foe that beat Tennessee in Knoxville last season.  Bama pulled away from the Golden Grizzlies in the second half.

“We played with great focus and great intensity, especially in the second half,” Anthony Grant said.  “Offensively we got in a better flow tonight.  The guys understood their jobs more, of what we’re trying to do from an offensive standpoint.”

Post Comments » Comments (5)

 

 

SEC Headlines – 9/22/11 Part One

1.  Florida’s Charlie Weis had gone from happy to “miserable” due to his offense’s production.

2.  Gator defensive tackle Dominique Easley is a unique dude.

3.  Georgia’s putting pressure on quarterbacks, but the players want more sacks.

4.  Just what UGA needs right now — a potential quarterback controversy.  (Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.)

5.  Facing Florida this week, Kentucky defensive coordinator Rick Minter doesn’t want to get into his firing from Notre Dame at the hands of UF’s current offensive coordinator, Weis.

6.  UK will be looking to snap a losing streak to the Gators that dates all the way back to 1986.

7.  South Carolina AD Eric Hyman will be staying in Columbia after interviewing for North Carolina’s vacant post.  (Hyman is a UNC grad.)

8.  Continuity is a big plus for the Cocks’ offensive line.

9.  Despite Vanderbilt’s perfect record, this writer says Carolina will not be facing a very good team on Saturday.

10.  “Catastrophe plays” are killing Tennessee on defense.

11.  The Vols had good energy at practice yesterday before heading into their open date.

12.  Vandy has played South Carolina tough for four consecutive years and this writer believes the Gamecocks will take the Commodores seriously as a result.

13.  Backup quarterback Jordan Rodgers says he’ll be ready if called upon this weekend.

Post Comments » Comments (26)

 

 



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC