The Week That Was

Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville speaks out; The New Orleans Saints offer a chance to feel like a champion and shout outs for last week's accomplishments.

The Lead

You'd think most Texas Tech fans would be used to the idea of a coach wanting to voice his opinion on certain subjects and being honest about it. But it appears some are shocked by the recent comments Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville made on a radio show this week regarding the new, 10-team Big 12 Conference and its comparison to his experiences in the SEC.

"I don't think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams," Tuberville said of the new Big 12. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes."

I go both ways on this topic because on one end, I don't think that one school should get more money than the others if you want all the teams to be equally happy in the conference. But at the same time, what if it was every school for itself and the money you got was purely based on the national and regional games you were able to get selected for? Makes you think twice about it.

The Big Ten and SEC have set a precedent for giving teams equal value to large TV revenues and that is why teams are bolting for other places, as Tuberville notes in his next comment.

"Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes," Tuberville said of the SEC. "That doesn't happen in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little more money and have a little bit more stroke than some of the other teams, and when that happens, you are going to have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave."

Several writers have voiced their opinions on the subject, with some like Tulsa World's Dave Sittler saying, "some have praised (Tuberville) for having the guts to say that. Or maybe Tuberville's diplomacy skills need some polishing."

ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben also had a good point in his take on Tuberville's comments and that "he was honest and accurate. People took notice. They shouldn't take offense."

Ubben's final quote selection from the interview is also the one I think speaks the most of what Tuberville and maybe other Big 12 coaches not named Bob Stoops or Mack Brown are thinking.

"Being here for six months, I've just kind of noticed there's just not a lot of camaraderie in this league like you have in the SEC. … It starts with the commissioner. And I think [SEC commissioner] Mike Slive has done a good job. [Former SEC commissioner] Roy Kramer did a good job of building a base where everybody was on the same page. And that just has not happened here in the Big 12. It's just a matter of time, to be honest with you, unless they get everybody on the same page."

Around The Sports World

A Nice Ring To It

Any sports fan would love to own a Super Bowl ring or college bowl championship ring. It's the ultimate sign of accomplishment and the most recent Super Bowl ring usually tries to outdo the last with diamonds and flamboyant designs.

But the New Orleans Saints took it to a whole different level.

Not only does the franchise's first championship ring have an exuberant design made by Tiffany & Co., but the franchise is offering anyone a chance to win one of the rings through a raffle that helps those affected by the Gulf Coast disaster. As of Thursday, the Saints have already raised a reported $500,000. Raffle tickets are $2 but each contestant must make at least a $10 order by Sept. 9. The winner will be announced just before the season-opening kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings.

Really?

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan's office announced Wednesday that the Nigeria national soccer team has been suspended from international play after its poor showing during the World Cup in South Africa.

Nigeria was eliminated in pool play, going 0-1-2, earning just one point.

According to the Associated Press, the poor play also follows corruption allegations which surrounded the team in the run-up to the tournament. Spokesman Ima Niboro said all funds directed toward the Nigeria Football Federation would be examined and "all those found wanting will be sanctioned."

Shout-Outs

·      Shout out to Detroit Free-Press sports columnist, author and playwright Mitch Albom on receiving the Red Smith Hall of Fame Award from the Associated Press Sports Editors this last week, one of the most prestigious awards given to a sports writer. A favorite of mine, Albom has been covering sports for 30 years and published several novels. He shared wisdom and experience with those there. One story included good advice to anyone suffering in hard times or on the highest mountain of accomplishments: "This too shall pass." Link

·      Shout out to Chris Ward for capturing the Texas Amateur Golf Championship this past week in Dallas at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Ward, who won the Big 12 Individual Title this season, fired rounds of 64, 68, 70 and 68 for a 14-under 270 total. He was the first Red Raider to win the title since Robert McKinney did it in 1999.

·      Shout out to freshman pole-vaulter Shade Weygandt who took home the U.S. Junior Pole Vault title to make her second consecutive U.S. Junior Championship Team. The two-time Big 12 Champion set a new meet record of 14-feet, ½ inch (4.28M) to win the U.S. Junior Outdoor Pole Vault Title.

Travis Cram is the Managing Editor for RaiderPower.com. Follow his daily updates and news on Twitter.


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