Will the SEC Network Carry Clemson at Georgia?
Will the SEC Network Carry Clemson at Georgia?
Will the SEC Network Carr...

Will the SEC Network Carry Clemson at Georgia?

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Featured Story

Will the SEC Network Carry Clemson at Georgia?

Written by: Clay Travis

The SEC Network is slowly rolling out the first weekend's football schedule. The goal? Exact a maximum amount of pain for DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner, and the other smaller cable providers who have not yet signed up to carry the channel.

So far six SEC teams will be commencing their seasons on the SEC Network. It starts on Thursday night when Vanderbilt hosts Temple and then Texas A&M travels to South Carolina. The two games are not so subtle shots at Time Warner -- which is big in South Carolina and Texas -- as well as Comcast, which is based in Philadelphia and dominates the Nashville market. In fact, look into the SEC Network schedule and it's a fascinating battle plan, designed to cause the most pain possible for recalcitrant cable and satellite companies. 

On Saturday Auburn and Arkansas are playing and on Sunday Utah State travels to Tennessee.

That means six SEC teams have been announced for the opening weekend on the SEC Network, but there are still two games left to announce.  

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Is A La Carte Cable Good or Bad for Sports Fans?

Written by: Clay Travis

I've been thinking a lot about a la carte cable of late. (Yes, I'm really a dork). I planned on writing about a la carte last year around Thanksgiving when I started doing research on the issue. Since that time I've read quite a few different business analyses of what would happen to cable and satellite subscriptions if consumers could choose their own cable packages on a channel by channel basis as opposed to buying bundles. 

In particular I've been focused on whether a la carte -- the idea that you should be able to select your own cable channels rather than buy a bundle offered by a cable or satellite company --  would be a good deal for sports television consumers.

In theory, a la carte makes sense -- you should be able to buy the stations you watch and not pay for the stations you don't watch, right? It sounds more democratic, giving consumers more control over their spending habits and eliminating needless purchases. That's the idea behind a bill recently introduced by Senator John McCain.  McCain and other a la carte supporters believe that consumers will be better served by this option. It makes sense in theory, especially since according to a recent detailed study of cable viewing habits, most of us watch about 16 stations regularly. 

Wouldn't it be cheaper for us to just buy those sixteen stations and not have to pay for the other 108 stations on our cable packages? (The average cable or satellite subscriber now has 124 stations and pays around $70 a month for that package.)

The answer may surprise you if you're a sports fan.

So let's dive into the a la carte vs. cable bundle debate. 

Okay, it's mailbag time.

The college football season doesn't seem that far away now. That always happens once SEC Media Days arrive.

We're 41 days from the Thursday night college football kickoff.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Johnny Manziel because he managed to take over the entire sporting calendar by hooking up with a girl on Friday night. I'm not sure that's ever happened before. So props to Johnny Football. 

Now on to the mailbag. 

(Note, the Alabama fan pictured here was in the lobby at SEC Media Days. I took this picture myself. He is real. So is his mustache.)

Now on to the mailbag. 

If you wanted a moment to crystallize the ascension of college football as our nation's second most popular sport -- Johnny Manziel's SEC media days appearance this morning is a perfect illustration of that rise. On the morning after the Major League Baseball All-Star game, Manziel, the 20 year old sophomore quarterback of Texas A&M, appeared live on ESPN's Sportscenter to address his Manning Passing Academy departure and his offseason. 

ESPN promoted the interview for nearly twenty-four hours. The SportsCenter exclusive, carried live across the nation, came before Manziel's first scheduled appearance before the SEC Media Days throngs at 8:30 in the morning. 

This was the latest culmination of the SEC's rise from regional conference to national behemoth -- why a quarterback left an offseason football camp early is the biggest story in a sporting-mad country. 

This was Johnny Manziel, a second year college quarterback, already more famous and recognizable than ten or twelve of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL sitting down to talk to the nation. 

Here was ESPN anchor Joe Tessitore's "Frost v. Nixon" moment.

Tessitore did not disappoint. He completely and totally grilled Manziel on what happened at the Manning Passing Academy and also about his offseason. At no point did Tessitore smile or acknowledge the latent absurdity of the story.

No this wasn't Egypt.

This wasn't a bombing in Afghanistan.

This was... a college kid saying that he overslept and missed a meeting. 

Oh, the humanity.

If Tessitore had gotten eight minutes with George W. Bush, we might have managed to avoid the entire Iraq war.  

You can watch the interview here.

A couple of weeks ago we announced that Outkick the Coverage and FoxSports.com were entering into a partnership.

At the time I said there would be more details forthcoming.

Here are some of those details -- I'll be joining Fox Sports 1's college football pregame show which will air from 10-12 eastern, 9-11 central, and 7-9 pacific each Saturday morning during the college football season.

Yep, we're going head-to-head with ESPN College Gameday. 

After our pregame show, FS1 will air triple and quadruple headers of college football games. As if that wasn't enough for college football fans, the national Fox network will also air a nighly game of the week in primetime. 

The show will broadcast from Fox's Los Angeles studio so I'll spend all day Saturday out there monitoring and writing about college football games in real-time. I'll also have a role in the post-game show to help put the day's games in context. In addition to these roles I'll be appearing on FS1 shows during the week via satellite.  

Every year SEC football gets bigger. 

On the eve of 2013 SEC media days Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is the second-biggest star in league history. Manziel has crossed over from a mere football player to something more, a luminescent icon bestriding our pop culture universe. 

Four years ago Tim Tebow arrived in Birmingham as the most famous SEC player of all time. It was like the Beatles arriving for a concert as he moved from one part of the hotel to another. It's rare you see someone so famous that the atmosphere around them is electric, there's a collective intake of breath, you halfway expect to see teenage girls -- and overweight Alabama fans -- faint. Two years later the same thing happened when Tebow appeared at the Super Bowl after leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs. Grown men in NFL hoodies stood, jaws agape, craning on their high-topped tiptoes for a mere glimpse of Tebow. 

But Tebow was a rockstar with none of a rockstar's habits.

He was a football playing monk, an ascetic whose rejection of the excesses he could have embraced helped to define him.

Even as he beat the crap out of your teams on the field, Tebow's popularity grew across the SEC.

By his senior year, just about everyone in the SEC, regardless of who they rooted for, loved Tim Tebow.  

According to a website report, Johnny Football was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy this weekend for being hungover and showing up late for events on Saturday.    

Here's the full story.  

"Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous because of his connection to the camp, gave us the scoop after Manziel showed up tardy Saturday afternoon after being out on the town Friday night. The Texas A&M star reportedly enjoyed himself a little too much Friday night and rolled back into the camp at Nicholls State University some time around noon Saturday before getting the boot."

Who kicked him out according to the report?

Archie Manning. 

Okay, it's time for a mailbag from lovely Mackinac Island, Michigan. 

We got engaged here ten years ago and try to come up for a week every summer. 

If you haven't ever been and you have kids, it's pretty awesome. If you're a college kid and you're trying to find somewhere to go to make decent money and have a lot of fun without having to spend much money, it's a no-brainer. If I hadn't married a girl from Michigan I would have never heard of the place. But if you get tired of Southern humidity and you're looking for a place where it's around 78 for a high and 65 for a low in July, this is your place. 

Okay, on to the mailbag. 

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Kelly Hall, Matthew Stafford's girlfriend. She loves America. 

Funny story about she and Stafford. At the Indianapolis Super Bowl I was walking outside with Chad Withrow, my buddy and one of the co-hosts on the midday show here in Nashville. 

 By TJ Hatter Some month’s back Deadspin’s brilliant polemic Drew Magary pondered the idea of giving us all more football. His solution was to move college football to the spring (see here) in order to get us closer to the Nirvana that would be a British Premier League style expansion of the sport. I was impressed with the idea initially but having mulled it over, I reject the solution but not the premise.

Outkick the Coverage: Year Two Stats

Written by: Clay Travis

The official two-year anniversay of Outkick the Coverage is July 20, 2013. 

But last year I broke out our one year data while on family vacation in Mackinac Island, Michgan and this year I'm going to do the same again. 

I share this data with you guys because I want you to feel like you have ownership of OKTC too. You guys are the ones driving traffic here, sending me great links, keeping the mailbag incredibly fun and just generally allowing all of us to make sure the days pass quite a bit faster thanks to OKTC.

The first year the question was -- could Outkick work? In the second year, we thrived. As we prepare to enter the third year in a large partnership with Fox Sports, the newest question is this, how do we continue to grow rapidly while retaining the vibe that has made OKTC so much fun thus far. 

As always, I hope you guys will continue to email and Tweet your story ideas, suggestions, and reactions. 

The past two years running Outkick have been more fun than I've ever had professionally. 

So let's dive into the data. 

By @TreyHimself

This preview is not concerned with X’s & O’s or talent. It is going to predict the standings of the Big 12 based on the mental health of each Big 12 team with a focus on the head coach. DISCLAIMER: I am not a psychiatrist.  

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