The only league that can slow down the SEC–is the SEC

 

Birmingham—At 1:30 p.m. today Commissioner Mike Slive will kick off the SEC’s 2009 Football Media Days with his annual message on the state of the conference. This will be Slive’s eighth football media days since taking over as commissioner in 2002 and he will say that the state of the conference is very, very good.

He probably won’t say this but I will. The Southeastern Conference has been in existence since 1933 and there were a lot of great moments in the first 75 years. But competitively, academically, and financially the SEC has never been better than it is right now. And here’s the rub if you compete against the SEC: For a lot of different reasons this league is about to get even stronger.

 

Let us review:

**–In the 2008-2009 academic year the SEC won five national championships. It finished as the national runner-up in five other sports. So in 10 of the 20 sports that the league sponsors, the SEC finished first or second nationally.

**–Under Slive the SEC has won four national championships in football (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008) with a string of three straight. Florida is a unanimous preseason No. 1 and is favored to repeat as national champions. If the Gators win it, that will give the SEC five national championships in Slive’s eight years as commissioner. And that doesn’t count Auburn, which was 13-0 in 2004. Since Slive became commissioner the SEC has won a total of 43 national championships.

**–The upcoming academic year will mark the beginning of two unprecedented 15-year contracts with CBS and ESPN that will pump $2.8 billion (with a “B”)  into the 12 member institutions and provide unprecedented television exposure to the non-revenue sports and academics. Part of that exposure, we learned this week, is an SEC Network on ESPN that will reach into Big Ten, Big 12, and Big East country. The national interest in SEC football is that high.

**– While other conferences have had to shorten their football media days or eliminate them completely due to finances, the SEC expects over 900 media members (up from last year’s record of 836) to attend this three-day session.

But Slive, a former judge, told me that he will offer a few words of caution today. Yes, things are going very well for the Southeastern Conference.

“We should always remember that the only league that can impede the SEC’s continued ability to succeed,” said Slive, “is the SEC.”

What Slive means is that with all of this success, both competitively and financially, comes the obligation by the leaders of the SEC to practice even more due diligence. Slive’s goal when he took over was to have no teams on any kind of NCAA probation in five years. That goal wasn’t completely realized but there is no question that things are better on the enforcement front.

But with the competitive bar being raised every year and with multi-million dollar salaries at stake, there will be temptations to cut corners. Slive does not want that to happen on his watch.

“This has been one of the great periods in the history of the league,” Slive said. “I take great satisfaction in the success that we’ve had and the progress we’ve made in some other matters off the field. They go hand in hand.

“If we can keep vigilant and compassionate we can continue to enjoy what I have referred to as the golden age of our conference.”

In other words: If you’re the SEC right now, the only thing that can screw this up is you.

Slive had to have a heart to heart with his football coaches at the SEC Spring meetings in Destin. Actually, it was a lot more forceful than that. He had gotten fed up with the back biting among some of the coaches in the press and basically read them the riot act. The message was received and understood by the coaches. The basketball coaches got the same message and, with the arrival of John Calipari at Kentucky, the price of poker in that sport has also been raised considerably.

The last few years have been quite busy for Slive. First he was the coordinator of the BCS, which is one of the least popular jobs in college athletics. He just finished his chairmanship of the NCAA Men’s Basketball committee which may be the toughest, most time-consuming job in all of college sports.

While all that was going on, the SEC had another record year on the field and negotiated the biggest television contract in the history of college sports that will carry the SEC brand nationwide.

And did I mention that Slive’s daughter Anna, who ran the 2007 Final Four in Atlanta, is getting married in August? Slive said he is going to take a little time off in the coming weeks—if he can.

“I’m still waiting for summer to start,” said Slive. “But I think we’re entitled to 10 minutes of satisfaction and then we have to go back to work.”

 

Programming note: We’ll be doing our CSS show, “Talkin’ Football” live each day during SEC media days. Tonight’s show will feature Commissioner Slive along with the head coaches at Vanderbilt (Bobby Johnson), Arkansas (Bobby Petrino), Kentucky (Rich Brooks), and Mississippi State (Dan Mullen). Bob Neal, Mark Schlabach, and Sandra Golden will all be there to give you the inside access to SEC Media Days. Please join us. The show is at 6 p.m. with replays at 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. on Thursday.

 

 

Please follow me on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

 

 

193 comments Add your comment

Overrated

July 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

Gen,

The SEC does have more Championships, this is very true and cannot be argued. They also have some very good teams with UF and LSU, but the rest of the conferenc is mediocre at best. There are so many easy Ws in the SEC and this can be seen by the 9-15 record it posts when it plays other BCS teams.

Why do you think Tech schedules so many SEC oppenents? The answer is because those teams are cheaper than the Sunbelt conference teams and the wins are just as easy.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:12 am

And Saint Simons makes some of the best pen1scaladas. mmmmm good.

CharlotteGator

July 22nd, 2009
11:12 am

m,

Not sure how my opinion is money, but whatever, I’ll play ball….

Va. Tech vs Alabama – Bama, Va. Tech has no offense
NC State vs South Carolina – USC
Clemson vs South Carolina – Toss-up as it’s a rivalry game
FSU vs UF – UF, closer than UF expects
Ga. Tech vs Miss. St. – Ga. Tech, closer than Tech expects
Ga. Tech vs Vanderbilt – Ga. Tech, closer than Tech expects
Ga. Tech vs. UGA – UGA, rivalry game that UGA won’t take lightly this year

4-2 with 1 game I think is a push. At worst I see a 4-3 in favor of the SEC. If one of our powerhouses (Miss. St. or Vandy) pull an upset, then your bravado is in a world of trouble.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:12 am

i really like dem french fried potaters…..

Steve

July 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

m,

Please stop gaying up the blog. We’re trying to talk football here.

Anonymous

July 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

Little “m,”

Thank you, once again, for spoiling another blog discussion among ACC and SEC football fans by dragging all participants down to your level of silliness.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:15 am

m, you may like jacketbackers, but I myself could never turn down a rusty trombone. I know you like them too. Saint Simons told me about that time at the Cornett Club.

reservoirDAWG

July 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

I think Charlotte has it right.

CharlotteGator

July 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

Overrated,

Does that include the post season as well? We’ve had a few posters leave that part of the season off when compiling stats. Also, where are you getting that statistic from? I’d be interested to look at the match ups that lead to the record you’re posting. Thanks.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

i really like to put mustard on dem biscuits…..

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

Gosh darnit Saint…..didn’t I tell you never to mention that night to anyone? Especially Pi$$onaDawg, he tells everyone.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

i fix the lawnmowers for dem jackets down yonder on the flats…..

I get paid in potted meat…..

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……….

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:18 am

Oh crap…..now look what you two have done. I have gone and CESSPOOLED in my diaper. Saint, better call your momma to come clean me up again.

Dwyer doesn’t like racing stripes during our jacketbacker sessions.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:18 am

On the Graduation rate, some degrees are as easy as showing up to class. Do you want your Dr. to have a 2.0 or a 3.85? Both have a degree but knife in hand I want the Dr. that studied more. Navy Seal Recruits are like college football players because both have the same rate of making it into the top of their field of work. Mike Vick is a supposed VT grad but I would love to see his grades, classes, and GPA. Athens must have GT or Auburn grads running your sewer system too. The Tech or Auburn men are making sure it breaks and keeps Athens smelling like it should.

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
11:19 am

m, momma said to clean it yourself this time. Also sorry about telling Pi$$onaDawg, that must have been the night I had too many virgin pen1scaladas at CPJs.

observor

July 22nd, 2009
11:21 am

Mike Vick never graduated from VT you moron. I see doing research and looking up facts aren’t very convenient for intellectual giants like yourself.

CharlotteGator

July 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

SEC Fans,

Anyone see this poll?

http://blog.al.com/segrest/2009/07/sec_media_days_fans_grade_football_coaches_results_are_in.html

Clearly doesn’t mean anything, and I’m not trying to build up UM, I’m just wondering if anyone else thought that the results were strange? Strange that Saban wouldn’t win in a Birmingham poll. In my opinion the top 3 are all just splitting hairs. It is interesting though that some of the guys at the bottom are actually coaches I respect and wouldn’t mind having at my school if UM wasn’t there. I think it speaks to the quality of the coaching in the SEC and why it’s a challenge week-in and week-out. Of course someone has to lose every game, so its crazy to think many of these coaches could be out of jobs in a few years.

JoeV

July 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

CharlotteGator

“Clemson vs South Carolina – Toss-up as it’s a rivalry game”

You probably don’t care, but have you ever looked at this series? If you have paid any attention to it in the past ten years (even for just a second) you would know this game is not a toss-up. Clemson dominates SC nearly every year. Its been over 30 years since SC won two in a row.

DawgFan

July 22nd, 2009
11:27 am

I picked the SEC teams before getting the ACC teams. That’s why. It doesn’t reflect the actual standings, just a projected top 4 matchup. Like i say, not the order, just the best match-ups.

Gatorzone

July 22nd, 2009
11:30 am

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:18 am
On the Graduation rate, some degrees are as easy as showing up to class.

Postings from someone who obviously never really graduated from college! The core courses alone weed out lots of people, and you cannot just walk in and get a degree handed to you!

CharlotteGator

July 22nd, 2009
11:36 am

JoeV,

I didn’t look at the series record (or care to be honest) because it has nothing to do with my opinion on this year’s matchup.

Does that mean the UGA-Tech matchup is already decided?
How about UF-FSU? You’ll notice that I didn’t predict a UF route, but a close game. Under your reasoning those two matchups are already decided.

I’ll try to respond w/o taking a shot (novel concept), but the question posed was predict how the games will go this season. If I was asked to perform statisticaly anomaly analysis on matchups between respective teams, then I may have done the exhaustive research on USC-Clemson that I’m sure you’ve already conducted. Oops, mission failed, I fear I may have taken and indirect dig. My bad.

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

I call Yoda….m you can be Darth this time. That leaves Chewy for Pi$$ on a dog. Ok guys? Lets meet at Rainbows to pick up Pajamas and Roddy!!!

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:42 am

Gatorzone Many football player don’t take core classes they take remeidal math and english classes that count towards graduation progression. You go check your NCAA facts on their policies? Real stupid kids go to Post Grad High School, Stupid go to junior college, and just getting by kids get in college and take what is easiest with help from a student assistant.

Gatorzone

July 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

again, you did not prove your point. I know football players take remedial classes, but they don’t get degrees without completing the core classes. You have proven your lack of knowledge with your last post. Perhaps you should go to college and see how “easy” it really is.

Ga Tech Fan

July 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

Hairy Dawg 73

This is the REAL reason Tech left the SEC – in case you’re actually interested in the historical FACTS. If not your Ga buddies will now see you as the old fart who just likes to stir up trouble by either lies or vivid imaginations.

http://blog.al.com/bn/2008/02/southeastern_conference_charte.html

Southeastern Conference charter schools move on in different directions
Posted by Birmingham News sports staff February 24, 2008 12:02 AM

By Mike Perrin and Jon Solomon
Birmingham News staff writers

“Dodd Walks”
“Bill Curry was a Georgia Tech lineman when the Yellow Jackets left the SEC in June 1964. He said head coach Bobby Dodd pulled the school out of the conference because he was unhappy with scholarship allocations.

Dodd believed Tech was at a competitive disadvantage because he would sign 28 to 30 players a year and keep them all while other SEC schools would sign 60 a year and run off players who weren’t good enough, Curry said.

Dodd devised a proposal to address the issue. “According to legend,” Curry said, “he went to the SEC meetings and somebody promised him a vote, reneged and changed their vote. When that failed, he walked out of the room and out of the SEC. He felt like he got double-crossed.”

Three years before Tech left the SEC, Dodd and Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant began a long feud after Georgia Tech’s Chick Graning sustained a broken jaw from a hit by Alabama’s Darwin Holt. The coaches stopped talking for years and the series was discontinued after 1964.

Curry said Bryant agreed in 1975 to resume his friendship with Dodd and sought to personally sponsor Tech’s re-entry to the SEC. But Dodd knew some other SEC schools wouldn’t let Tech back in, according to Curry.

All these years later, Curry regrets Georgia Tech left the SEC and says Dodd did, too.”

In case you’re interested – which you probably aren’t since you don’t seem to have much interest in the facts, the article further states the reason Tech’s stadium seats only 55,000 rather than building the larger capacity stadiums found in the SEC.

[...] Commissioner Mike Slive administers a conference flush with cash. Tony Barnhart’s blog this morning on the SEC points out the $2.8 billion television deals and the national exposure of [...]

UGASlobberknocker

July 22nd, 2009
11:54 am

Does anyone know if the new ISP deal will mean a change in the radio stations? will WSB still be the flagship?

JoeV

July 22nd, 2009
11:56 am

Leave it to a gator to be an ahole when people are trying to have a civil football discussion. I was simply implying that when a team beats another nearly 70% of the time its hardly a tossup to predict a winner. I don’t really give a crap if you care about our rivalry, or our schools, or our women’s tennis team for that matter. But calling a game a tossup JUST because its a rivalry shows you are not only arrogant but ignorant as well.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:58 am

I need to be manhandled. Any volunteers? Please be gentle, I am fragile.

Gatorzone

July 22nd, 2009
12:12 pm

1eyedJack

July 22nd, 2009
12:26 pm

m, Ramble on, Pi$$onaDawg, I’d like you to meet …..Mohammed, Jugdish and Clayton. Now go away, and take off those stupid beanies.

G8R GRAD

July 22nd, 2009
12:27 pm

Attaboy, AtlG8r.

ReptilesRule

July 22nd, 2009
12:30 pm

The ACC Championship game was played here in Tampa last year (and will be again this year). I’ll put it all in perspective for ya…there were MORE fans at MISSISSIPPI STATE’S SPRING GAME than there were at that ACC CHAMPIONSHIP game!!! THAT, I would think, says it all!

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
12:31 pm

((((( 45 42))))) hahahahahahahahahahah Tech owns uga!!!!!!!!

Frozen_Gator

July 22nd, 2009
12:39 pm

Tony………I think the good commish is implying that if you have beef, bring it to the SEC office and let’s work this thing out IN HOUSE. The goose needs all 12 of her golden eggs or she won’t be as valuable anymore. I wonder if there anything in the TV contracts that have a stipulation a member going on probation?

Also just how hard headed does the Big 10 have to be before they realize how far the separation with the SEC,Big 12 is becoming. They need to add a team, have a B10CG and start competing. It would help clarify the MNC.

m

July 22nd, 2009
12:40 pm

Ga Tech Fan

You failed to mention that haughty Tech refused to play in Mississippi and would also rather leave the conference than travel there.

Dodd knew he had no chance of rejoining despite Bryant’s efforts.

Just one of the reasons som many people despise Tech.

Anonymous

July 22nd, 2009
12:47 pm

For the record, here are the CU-USC scores for the 4 years since Steve Spurrier became USC head coach

CU 13-9 USC (4-pt CU win)

USC 31-28 CU (3-pt CU loss)

CU 23-21 USC (2-pt CU win)

CU 31-17 USC (17-pt CU win)

Anonymous

July 22nd, 2009
12:48 pm

JoeV,

Maybe you need to do YOUR homework. The last 4 years of the Clemson-USC series don’t exactly fit he definition of Clemson “dominance,” do they?

G8R GRAD

July 22nd, 2009
12:51 pm

Bamadad:

Atlanta Gator’s case in point, see:

http://www.fanblogs.com/ncaa/007839.php

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
12:53 pm

“there were MORE fans at MISSISSIPPI STATE’S SPRING GAME than there were at that ACC CHAMPIONSHIP game!!!”

I’m sorry but I thought that bore repeating. Too freaking funny. What a sad and depressing joke the ACC is. My oh my.

G8R GRAD

July 22nd, 2009
12:56 pm

Charlotte Gator:

Regarding the SEC/Birmingham News readers’ poll, did you notice who came in LAST?

Can’t wait for Sept. 19th.

Tide Rising

July 22nd, 2009
12:57 pm

I’ve managed to condition myself to look forward to some of m’s posts because some of them are just plain funny.

When he said that Dwyer, a fine rb in his own right, would supplant Herschel Walker as the greatest state of Georgia rb ever I just about fell out of my seat laughing. Dwyer is good but Herschel is arguably the greatest college football player ever. Damn that was funny.

It was funny also to see him mention the ACC won the regular season 6-4 over the SEC and of course he omitted the 2 bowl games won by the SEC to even the record. I thought it was amusing that he actually didn’t think that people would notice this obvious oversight. Its kind of like watching a petulant little child who stole extra cookies out of the cookie jar and didn’t think anyone would notice.

Guys, just look at m’s posts for what they really are which is just kind of silly, amusing juvenile humor. For me they just give me a chuckle and I’ve come to view m as my humor break for the day.

You can’t be mad at m for being stupid. If you’re stupid then you can’t really realize how stupid you are because of the fact that you’re stupid to begin with. As my favorite Bama player of all time Forrest Gump would say “Stupid is as stupid does”

CharlotteGator

July 22nd, 2009
12:59 pm

JoeV,

You’re 100% correct. Everyone knows me as the Gator fan that prevents civil discussions and is totally ignorant. I’ll research the history of your posts and tailor my communications with the rest of the posters on this blog to more closely mirror your inclusive, humble, informed, and accepting style/attitude.

Tide Rising

July 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

G8R GRAD and Charlotte Gator,

I saw the poll this morning out of the birmingham news. I thought it was pretty spot on and I’m not that surprised that Bama fans picked Urban as the best coach. Hard to argue against 2 ncs in 4 years plus his accomplishments at building the Utah program before he ever even came to UF.

The other thing i liked is that the poll had Houston Nutt 4th I think. Nutt is the coach I think is underrated and underappreciated. I agree with Saban when he says that he admires Nutt the most because he gets more out of his players than any other coach. He just doesn’t have the talent to work with that a Meyer, Richt, or Saban has.

Didn’t surprise me in the least who finished last. I think fans throughout the southeast would probably vote him last. Hard to believe though that a guy with no head coaching experience in Mullen would finish ahead of him.

Tide Rising

July 22nd, 2009
1:09 pm

Gator fans,

Your stats to Bamadad regarding graduation rates are blatantly misleading. The reason our graduation rates were lower is because most of our athletes get bored with school, skipped their senior year, and went straight into NASA’s astronaut program thus skewing our graduation results.

Gatorzone

July 22nd, 2009
1:09 pm

Tide, how about a guy sporting a 10 game losing streak (Cheezit) finishing ahead of Kiffin. THat to me says how low the other coaches think of him!

G8R GRAD

July 22nd, 2009
1:14 pm

tide Rising:

Well said.
I think the nod to HN is well deserved as well.
Glad we’re not playing them again in this year’s regular season.
But regarding Coach Mullen’s finish ahead of Lame Kitten’s:
Probably a testament to the profound dislike and disapproval UT’s coach has burdened his program with.
They will undoubtedly be playing their entire season with targets on their backs and opposing coaches will, in all probability, be reluctant to call of the dogs in the latter quarters.

The Jackal

July 22nd, 2009
1:16 pm

Scroggins will go to USC

Tide Rising

July 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

Gatorzone,

That’s interesting. I’ll give Chizik this. Its really, really hard to win at Iowa state. Probably dang near impossible. If Chizik coaches the D and he is an absolutely awesome D coordinator and Malzhan’s offense really does produce like at Tulsa then maybe he could actually do something special at Auburn. The thing that’s hurting him the most right now is that he’s just getting killed in recruiting by all the coaches around him. He may have a 10 game losing streak but don’t forget though that he did put a whooping on North Dakota State and Kent State before losing 10 close ones

As for Kiffin when I first read about him I remembered him as the guy who lined up for a 76 yard field goal with a minute left in the half. Forget about all the antics, juvenile and immature comments as the new head at UT.That one single call of lining up for a 76 yard field goal tells speaks volumes about just how dumb this guy really is. Need I say more?

Just my opinion but a premier national program like UT deserves better than this clown.

Jan Kemp's Ghost

July 22nd, 2009
1:27 pm

Nothing has changed