Those games typically had a 12:30 kickoff, but that will now be at 12:21 ET instead. The hope is that the slightly earlier start will reduce the spillover effect into the 3:30 CBS broadcasts.
Thanks to ESPN's marketing team, fewer out-of-region Gator fans may
need to shell out for the satellite package to see the early games
this season. The Birmingham News reports there have been negotiations
about the ESPN Regional package being shown on stations in areas like
Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Detroit this year.
LET'S GO BOWLING
The SEC is currently evaluating its bowl situations for the coming
years. Right now the conference has nine spots, counting only the
automatic conference bid in the BCS. Since the conference almost
always has two BCS schools, it can be tough to fill the final couple
of bowl slots since having 10 teams reach eligibility is difficult.
The conference had reduced its slots, but then a 6-6 South Carolina
team got squeezed out of the bowls in 2007 because of the rule that
.500 teams can't fill at-large spots in bowls over teams with winning
records. Now the issue is what order bowls will have in the selection
process. Does the Capital One Bowl maintain its premium spot even
though their stadium renovations have been shelved, or could the Chick
Fil-A Bowl or Outback Bowl move up in the pecking order?
At the SEC meetings in Destin the buzz was that the conference will
likely keep its same bowl relationships, but the Texas Bowl may be
interested in trying to secure an SEC team again. They had been
scheduled to potentially have an SEC team for a few years in the
middle of the decade, but the conference never enough eligible teams
to fill the slot.
SAVING CAN BE FUN
Cost cutting mania is sweeping through college athletics, and even
though the SEC is doing better than almost everyone else they could
pick up some useful ideas in the process. One the SEC would be wise to
look into emulating is from Conference USA. To reduce travel expenses,
they're going to play both men's and women's basketball tournaments in
the same city beginning with the coming season.
The two C-USA events will be played at different venues in Tulsa, but
having them going on simultaneously will reduce the travel costs
considerably. Fans can also support both of their school's teams,
rather than the current unlikely prospect of women's squads getting
much traveling support. The 2010 SEC men's basketball tournament is
set for Nashville, but the women's site hasn't been selected yet. Why
not play the women's event on campus at Vanderbilt beginning Wednesday
prior to the men's games starting downtown the next day? It might
boost attendance for the women's event while potentially getting more
fans to stick around if one of their teams comes up short, and it
should save some money to boot.
SEC Notebook: Football gets 10 minutes closer
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