The SEC Network is just over five months from launch and already SEC fans are at a fever pitch over whether or not their cable or satellite providers will be carrying the channel.
A couple of weeks ago SEC fans forwarded emails to Outkick from DirecTV in which the satellite provider said it had no plans to carry the SEC Network. That set off a social media firestorm and led to a number of customers cancelling their subscriptions. In the wake of that tempest, DirecTV said they were in negotiations with ESPN over the SEC Network. Then Dish Network, DirecTV's biggest competitor, officially announced it would be carrying the SEC Network nationwide. That increased the pressure anew, leading SEC fans to take to social media and announce they were dropping DirecTV in favor of Dish.
Now DirecTV has issued a new statement, this time to Alabama's JOX radio station, which requested a DirecTV spokesperson come on the show to explain why they weren't carrying the SEC Network.
DirecTV declined to appear on the show, but it issued this statement to the Jox Roundtable, the mid-day show on the station:
Every few months Jim Delany, in his role as collegiate athletics most grumpy old man, picks up the baseball that the little kids have knocked over his fence, brings it next door, and lectures the kids on the need for them to play more carefully.
This is that month.
SI.com's Andy Staples included Jim Delany's declaration in support of the NCAA in the Electronic Arts player lawsuit that could bankrupt the NCAA. You can read that declaration here. In pertinent part Delany argues that if the players are certified as a class-action group and go on to win their lawsuit -- as a practical matter the NCAA would try and settle as soon as the case was certified -- that the Big Ten would leave behind the present intercollegiate model in favor of one more akin to Division 3 sports. In case you're not aware, D3 sports do not provide scholarships for their athletes.
Yes, Jim Delany really said the Big Ten would stop giving scholarships if the American court system ruled that the NCAA had violated American law. (SEC football fans immediately responded, "The Big Ten gives out scholarships?")
It's truly an amazing position, the conference commissioner equivalent of threatening to take your ball and go home after you struck out swinging in a game of wiffle ball when you were six years old.
If you're not betting the NCAA tournament in some capacity, you're in the American minority. Between props, futures, straight bets, and single game betting, getting an action fix during the madness is easier than ever. The king of Superbowl prop betting, LVH, has once again come up with a bevy of wagering options this March for the contingent of college basketball diehards headed west.
For the past five years or so, I've set up an online bracket challenge that's designed to bring out your greatest naming ingenuity. That is, can you make everyone laugh when they scroll through the names and see what bracket challenge name you've designed?
The hope is yes.
We've had some spectacular names in past years so we hope you'll sign up with great names this year as well.
So far "Henderson's Hoes," is the leader in the clubhouse.
In the meantime, is there any doubt that if Sarah Savage -- the one in the pink bikini -- shows up at the Alabama Texas A&M game and the CBS cameras showed her on television that she'd be every bit as famous -- if not more so -- than Katherine Webb?
I can just hear Verne Lundquist now dropping an: "Oh. My. Goodness!" (Chortle)
Sarah's also a model who looks pretty good in a bikini. Sports Illustrated needs to give her a call as well.
It's Mailbag time, and our boy Bill Clinton continues to be my idol.
A few weeks ago I wrote that I was already looking forward to the books that will come out in the next forty years about Clinton's exploits. Then he shows up in the Louisville locker room at the Big East basketball tournament and mugs with the basketball team. These pictures are outstanding, you have to look at them.
Can you imagine what trouble Clinton and Pitino could get into in Manhattan? Every woman between the ages of 18 and 80 is fair game.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Bill Clinton.
Now, on to All That and a Bag of Mail.
I'm writing the mailbag right now as I get ready to head over to the SEC basketball tournament. Today the bubble is set squarely on the SEC tourney with UT, Bama, Ole Miss, and Kentucky all playing. Here's my take on what each team needs to do to make the tournament.
If UT, Kentucky, Ole Miss, or Alabama lose today, they're out of the tournament. Since UT and Alabama are playing, there's no way all four teams can lose.
UT has to beat Alabama, if that happens the Vols are in.
Kentucky needs to beat Vandy and might need to win another game as well since Vandy doesn't do much for the Wildcat resume. (Beating Arkansas would have probably gotten the Wildcats into the tournament). For instance, if Ole Miss beats Mizzou and then beats Kentucky, I think Ole Miss would get in over Kentucky.
Ole Miss needs to beat Mizzou and win on Saturday as well.
Alabama needs to beat Tennessee and then beat Florida, if that happens the Tide are in.
FYI, I think MTSU should be in regardless, I really do. No team has ever been left out of the NCAA tourney with 28 wins and a top 30 RPI. I think they're in.
Now, let's all look at Bill Clinton mugging for the camera.
Yes, Butch Jones won at Cincinnati and yes, past Vol players love him, but the biggest question about Butch Jones to the Vols has been this -- can he win SEC recruiting battles? There was no real evidence to suggest that he could. And in order to win big in the SEC, the Vols needed to return to the best years of Phil Fulmer, when talent was everywhere on Rocky Top. Could Butch recruit top players, especially the top players in his own backyard?
Well, this morning Vol fans got a massive answer to the biggest question hanging over Butch Jones when five star running back Jalen Hurd, one of the most heralded recruits in the state of Tennessee in a very long time, and a top ten football recruit in the nation, tweeted out this message: "I have officially committed to play football at The University of Tennessee. #VFL #RisetotheTop"
Wow, what an unbelievable get for Butch Jones.
Every program in the nation wanted Jalen Hurd. You can look at his 247 Sports profile here.
In last year's 5A state title game Hurd rushed for 394 yards and seven touchdowns.
He's flat out unbelievable to watch play, a first rate game changer of the highest order.
Don't believe me?
Check out his highlight video.
Warning, if you are a Tennessee fan, this Jalen Hurd highlight video will probably give you an erection.
Thirty percent of all Internet traffic is pornography. That's a lot of porn. But everyone searches for different types of porn. We know this thanks to a Twitter follower who uncovered this fabulous website that analyzes porn search terms to determine which types of porn are the most popular.
You already know where this is going, right?
Yep, SEC insults. (And soon to come, other conference analysis as well).