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Featured Story

Every three or four months Outkick takes a look at the sports talk radio ratings to compile the top 25 sports talk stations in the country. The only public data on these ratings is published here and relies upon the largest possible measurement of the audience -- ratings share for listeners ages six + from six in the morning until midnight.  It's not a perfect data set, but it's the most fair since a station can't rate highly all day long unless its day part ratings are much higher than the six to midnight number.

These are ratings share numbers, not total listener numbers. That is, each station is being compared based on the percentage of people in a market listening, not based on the number of listeners. But as you can see below, both large, small, and mid-size cities are well-represented in this list.  

So which stations in the nation's fifty largest radio markets are the highest rated in the country for March?

You can dive in below. 

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Predicting the 2013 SEC East

Written by: Clay Travis

Yesterday I laid out my predictions for the 2013 SEC West, now I'm giving y'all my predictions for the SEC East. 

I've broken down each team's schedule using five different categories: definite wins, likely wins, definite losses, likely losses, and toss-ups.

So how do I define those games. 

Definite wins are games that should have spreads of 17+. It's possible that a team could lose these games, but it's incredibly unlikely. If teams lose these games you're probably heading for a Gene Chizik like implosion.

Likely wins are those games that a team should win, but it's not a slam dunk. You're somewhere around a 8-14 point favorite in the game.

Toss ups are games I'm forecasting to have a spread of a touchdown or less. These are basically games where a play or two here or there has a decent chance of determining the outcome. I've also put a few games that will likely have a margin of more than seven points in the toss-up category. For instance, LSU at Alabama will probably see Bama as a touchdown or more favorite, but given LSU and Alabama's history of late, would it really shock anyone if LSU went into Tuscaloosa and found a way to win? I don't think so, hence some of my toss-ups are a function of history, coaching, and my own feelings about the match-ups.

Figure that a toss-up is close to a 65-35 outcome at worst. That is, if the game was played 100 times the underdog would win around 35 of the games. Many of these toss-ups are much closer to 50-50 splits, where one team or the other will be a field goal or less of a favorite.   

Likely losses are the reverse of the likely wins, the team that is likely to lose will be 8-14 point underdog.

Definite losses are games where a team will be a three score or more underdog.  

In related news, go ahead and run for the hills Georgia Bulldog fans, you're my pick to win the 2013 BCS title. 

Predicting the 2013 SEC West

Written by: Clay Travis

I'm headed to Las Vegas this weekend to make my yearly over/under and BCS title bets for college football.

I'll update you with my decisions in all these bets once I make them, but in the meantime I've been looking at the SEC schedule and trying to think probabilistically about what I believe will happen this season. So it's time for OKTC to dive into each SEC school and predict what I see for the season.

This year we start with the SEC West.

I've broken down each team's schedule using five different categories: definite wins, likely wins, definite losses, likely losses, and toss-ups.

So how do I define those games. 

Definite wins are games that should have spreads of 17+. It's possible that a team could lose these games, but it's incredibly unlikely. If teams lose these games you're probably heading for a Gene Chizik like implosion.

Likely wins are those games that a team should win, but it's not a slam dunk. You're somewhere around a 8-14 point favorite in the game.

Toss ups are games I'm forecasting to have a spread of a touchdown or less. These are basically games where a play or two here or there has a decent chance of determining the outcome. I've also put a few games that will likely have a margin of more than seven points in the toss-up category. For instance, LSU at Alabama will probably see Bama as a touchdown or more favorite, but given LSU and Alabama's history of late, would it really shock anyone if LSU went into Tuscaloosa and found a way to win? I don't think so, hence some of my toss-ups are a function of history, coaching, and my own feelings about the match-ups.

Figure that a toss-up is close to a 65-35 outcome at worst. That is, if the game was played 100 times the underdog would win around 35 of the games. Many of these toss-ups are much closer to 50-50 splits, where one team or the other will be a field goal or less of a favorite.   

Likely losses are the reverse of the likely wins, the team that is likely to lose will be 8-14 point underdog.

Definite losses are games where a team will be a three score or more underdog.  

Remember OKTC's old friend Orlando Shaw, the Nashville man with 22 children by 14 different mothers, well, he's back.

And he's got a reality show in the works.  

That and he's about to become a grandfather at 33. 

All of this might leave you wondering, why isn't Shaw, wearing a nice all yellow outfit with the word Martian on a t-shirt, considering getting a vasectomy? 

Because of the movie "War Horse."

"Have you seen the movie War Horse? I'm a war horse and I don't want to be cut down there and it won't work the right way no more," said a pensive Shaw.

Urban Meyer's Gonna Urban Meyer

Written by: Clay Travis

Everyone not wearing scarlet and gray knows that Urban Meyer is the fakest major college coach in America. He wags his finger about player discipline, morality and the top 1% of 1% -- meanwhile his players are out committing felonies with reckless abandon. Felony battery and an investigation for a double shooting? Meyer referred to those as "very minor issues," when it came to Aaron Hernandez's tenure in Florida. Now Meyer's felonious culture has reared its ugly head at Ohio State. 

It didn't take long. 

The latest Urban Meyer player to seriously run afoul of the law? Starting running back Carlos Hyde, who was dismissed after being accused of punching a woman at a club in a police report.  Hyde, who had hoped to become the first Urban Meyer running back to rush for 1,000 yards, isn't the only Buckeye in trouble. Starting cornerback Bradley Roby has been charged with battery on the same weekend.

Pop quiz: You know what Urban Meyer usually calls his arrested players?

Team captain. 

Raise your hand if you could have ever foreseen Urban Meyer players having major off the field incidents. (Every college footbal fan not rooting for Ohio State raises his or her hand).  

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. 

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