Saturday, August 13, 2011

Time for SEC to "SEC-ede" From BCS

Here's what I'd like to see. It's very simple:

(1) SEC expands from 12 to 16 teams.

(2) SEC withdraws from the BCS cabal.

(3) SEC sets up its own 8-team end-of-season conference playoff, running over three weekends: The quarterfinals run the 1st Saturday of December, usually reserved for the SEC title game; the semifinals are on New Year's Day. The title game is a week later, directly competing with the BCS title game.

(4) SEC sells the 7-game playoff package to a TV network for $500 million dollars, keeps all of the revenue for the conference (rather than giving away BCS millions to the other leagues). Option open to split the package between current TV partners CBS and ESPN.

(5) SEC crowns its playoff champ, implicitly defying the anti-BCS AP pollsters to nullify the SEC's playoff system by picking a different, non-SEC, BCS team as national champ.

Only one conference -- the SEC -- has the credibility, clout and commissioner to pull this off. And they should.

This post is the evolution of an idea I first suggested in November 2008.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Predictably -- and as they did three years ago -- lots of people hate the idea. (But I'll bet SEC commissioner Mike Slive doesn't necessarily hate it!)

08/13 (Very) Quickie

*Texas A&M to the SEC: It's going to happen, even if nothing is official yet. It should happen Monday. The SEC will be deliberate in adding a 14th team (and perhaps, down the line, No. 15 and 16). VA Tech says they don't want in, but you know if asked, they'd want in.

*Big Ten & Pac-12 OK with "Plus-One" CFB playoff format? If you thought there was an outcry finding the Top 2 teams in the country -- and, let's be honest, it's been way easier than not -- you cannot imagine the shitstorm when trying to distinguish between No. 3-4 and Nos. 5-8+. Critics don't think it can get worse than the current system; it can get worse.

(UPDATE: Apparently, Big Ten commish Jim Delany is NOT down with the "Plus-One," as he hasn't been for forever and which made the story kind of sketchy to begin with.)

*NFL last night: (1) Julio Jones is going to be very very good... (2) The Bengals are going to be terrible (and Andy Dalton looks like he'll have a rough go of it this season)... (3) If the choice is Team Rex or Team Beck, I'd like to see Grossman start for the Redskins. More fun, if nothing else.

*Tiger misses the cut: Didn't think his malaise could get worse? This is the worst yet. If people hadn't already written him off, this would be really humiliating.

*Dan Uggla streak hits 32: I'm rooting for him to continue it, if only because it only feels like it'll get interesting once he hits the 40s.

*Carlos Zambrano wants to retire: Meh, let him.

*Hoop Hall inductions: As expected, Rodman stole the show, but more for his heartfelt speech than his typically freaky appearance.

*Bryce Harper hits a walk-off HR: And the incident at home plate earlier this week is instantly forgotten. (Meanwhile, Stephen Strasburg looked good in another rehab assignment.)

*Ravens trade for Lee Evans: Predicting the huge year we've all been predicting for Evans for season after season after season...

If you're out having fun today, pop by Quickish and we'll be sure you are caught up on anything big/fun that happens.

-- D.S.

Friday, August 12, 2011

08/12 (NFL is Back) Quickie

Yet another unintended consequence of the NFL Lockout: Last night's preseason openers were more widely anticipated and embraced than any preseason games in NFL history.

*The Eagles looked good, which only affirms the expectations for them.

*Tim Tebow didn't fail, which only shows that when his critics create low expectations for him, it only makes it that much easier for him to exceed them. (TimTeblog analysis here.)

*Otherwise, it was just enough football to make fans giddy over the real games starting in a few weeks.

More on the radar:

*Texas A&M to the SEC? It's absurd this didn't happen a year ago, but that was pre-"Longhorn Network," which was apparently the final straw for TAMU to bolt the Big 12 for the SEC.

From here, the SEC will need another team to add in (Oklahoma? Unlikely. Missouri? Maybe, but unlikely. Florida State? Not if Florida has any say. Virginia Tech? Possibly.)

As for the Big 12, they will have to scramble to fend off what will inevitably be a strong push from the Pac-12 to snag Oklahoma (and OK St, plus others).

*Basketball Hall of Fame: Fun class tonight, headlined by Dennis Rodman, the greatest rebounder in NBA history -- and one of its top 5 most interesting characters.

*Justin Verlander wins 17th: It's neck-and-neck between he and Weaver for the AL Cy race. But, wow, Verlander is on the short list of players that you really should see in person so you can say you did when he's a Hall of Famer.

*Tiger stinks: It's worth repeating -- Tiger struggling is vastly more interesting than Tiger dominating. We're all rubber-necking at this point.

*Ohio State faces NCAA panel today for Tressel infractions: Don't hold your breath that the NCAA will come down hard on OSU. Can't wait to hear the way Tressel slithers in and out of his answers to the committee.

Should be a fun day -- and weekend -- on Quickish. Pop by!

-- D.S.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

08/10 (Good Reads) Quickie

It's surprisingly slow in sports today -- presume that picks up tonight with Klinsmann's debut with the USMNT and tomorrow night with the first NFL preseason games -- but there are a bunch of really good reads from this week's SI that I recommended on Quickish yesterday and today:

*The story about the Auburn trees at Toomer's Corner.

*A profile of Dustin Pedroia.

*A profile of fascinating MLB prospect Trevor Bauer.

All three are great -- worth bookmarking or Instapapering for reading at lunchtime or downtime or over the weekend.

Unrelated to sports: As always, you've got to read Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair writing about the economy -- this time, about Germany.

More on Quickish all day.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

08/09 (Bearish) Quickie

A few extraneous thoughts while the U.S. economy collapses (again)...

*Just can't get outraged about Steve Williams somehow overstepping his bounds. On the contrary: Isn't it refreshing to have someone trash-talk Tiger so openly?

*Here's the thing about Roy Halladay and the Phillies: All the regular-season success in the world won't mean anything if the Phillies don't win the World Series (and I think they know it).

*Love that CFB practices are underway. (Obviously, I had a very high tolerance for all the love for Florida on ESPN yesterday.) Working on my Top 25 and my unifying theory of the season.

*FWIW, Lions rookie RB Mikel Leshoure was going to be one of my lock-solid fantasy football sleeper picks (which always includes my fetish for undervalued rookie RBs and WRs).

*How about Ricky Williams on the Ravens? That team has consistently brutalized fantasy GMs -- you think Ray Rice is The Guy, then one of the RBs gets all the touches near the goal-line.

*Tim Tebow listed at No. 2 on the Broncos' QB depth chart: Should include a caveat "(For now.)"

*Oh, is it really so bad that Real Madrid signed a 7-year-old? Let's put it this way: It is more economically and strategically irrational to have artificial age-limits than it is NOT to.

*Here's a slow clap for 61-year-old Diana Nyad, who had to give up her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after the seas wouldn't give her a fair shot.

Be sure to check out Quickish today, all day long!

-- D.S.

Monday, August 08, 2011

08/08 (Monday) Quickie

Steve Williams seems like kind of a dick, but I can't help but appreciate him tweaking Tiger Woods yesterday after he carried Adam Scott's bag to a WGC title. (No one else has the wherewithal to insult Tiger, so to me, this feels refreshing, even if it's coming from a jerk.)

Great Football HOF ceremony -- the Sabol intro video, the emotional Sharpe speech, Deion's showmanship (including tying that bandana to his odd-looking HOF bust).

Red Sox solve Rivera, beats Yankees in 10: I just can't get too worked up about any result between the Yankees and Red Sox in August -- not when both teams feel like locks for the playoffs.

Stephen Strasburg Watch: 4 Ks in a bit less than 2 IP. He gave up a HR among three hits allowed, but no walks. It's going to be fun watch him get back up in September.

Oscar Pistorius has been picked to participate in the track and field world championships in late August: Not the Paralympics -- the one for able-bodied athletes, becoming the first disabled athlete to run in a mainstream world championships. Predicting this will be a huge "must-see" moment for sports fans.

Atlanta Hawks sold: The presumption here is that the team will inevitably get moved, no matter what the new owner says about their intentions. That franchise is stuck: It won't break into the East (let alone NBA) elite, but has too much invested in its top-tier players to rebuild.

ESPN "all-access" at Florida today for football practice? Yes, please.

Today feels like a "dog days of August" moment -- rooting for something interesting to break.

Keep up with all the interesting stuff at Quickish

-- D.S.