SEC Media Days: Banner Year for SEC

HOOVER, Ala. -- A lot of change occurred back in 1933. Franklin Roosevelt took over the White House, Adolph Hitler took over Germany and 13 members of the Southern Conference met in Birmingham and Atlanta to form the Southeastern Conference. Since then, the SEC has captured 16 football National Championships, including the Gators from last season.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive took the opportunity on Wednesday to launch the SEC's diamond anniversary. As one of the most accomplished league's, if not the most accomplished, in the nation, the conference is coming off an amazing 2006-07. The league captured three major national championships while pacing the nation for attendance and revenue marks in football. But it doesn't end there. The SEC captured five more national titles, including swimming, gymnastics, and tennis.

The SEC, however, is known for its football, and once again, it's coming off one of its great seasons. A season that included:

  • Six conference bowl wins – most in conference history
  • Third National Championship since the inception of the BCS
  • Largest total attendance, averaging more than 75,000 fans per game
  • Stadiums filled to 96 percent of capacity
  • Heisman Trophy runner-up
  • Butkus Award winner

    So what does 2007 have in store for the SEC? The upcoming season looks to be one of the deepest in history. The league is loaded with talent, has big name coaches and several schools good enough to once again compete for another National Championship.

    SEC Television Network

    With the tremendous success of the SEC, combined with the most passionate fans in the country, Slive's desire to create a television network dedicated solely to the conference is still very much alive. All but one of the current television agreements expire at the end of the 2008-09 season, so the timing is right for the venture.

    "Our presidents and chancellors and athletic directors have authorized us to explore the viability of an SEC network," Slive said. "The Mountain West and the Big Ten have initiated their own channels. We are keeping our eye on the progress that each is making."

    As technological advancements continue, the possibilities for an SEC television network are endless. Besides the obvious residential satellite opportunities, Cox Communications is the nation's third largest cable provider and located in Atlanta, which hosts the conference's football and basketball championships. Plus, the cable network already has affiliations with SEC member schools. Not to mention the online possibilities and expanding cell phone delivery options for network programming.

    Slive is well aware of the technological innovations, and not just looks for options for the conference, but is also looking to examine ways that the league can work with new media on a day-to-day basis.

    "The concept of new media as a result of the unprecedented explosion in technology makes the matrix of event distribution interesting," he said. "Where does the event end and where does the blogging begin? I know that's an issue that's close to your hearts and close to ours."

    Plus-one?

    Florida president Dr. Bernie Machen was one of the first presidents to push for a revamped BCS system that included at least a national semifinal leading to the title game. As BCS Commisioner, Slive addressed the current bowl system back in January. Then, he was open to a plus-one system, but said it was unlikely until 2010, which is when the current television contract expires.

    The question was raised once again last week in a New York Post article that a plus-one game is possible for 2011, but Slive said not so fast. But although, the league's administrators were against an expanded playoff system during the spring meetings in May, Slive said the SEC hasn't completely shut the door on the issue

    "In the SEC we are very open-minded," he said. "We will [evaluate] keeping in mind the parameters that I have reiterated, which are: the importance of the regular season, continued support of the bowl system and lour commitment to keep college football a one-semester sport."

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