| FTBL Cecil Hurt: JUST EMBRACE IT

All relationships are different. There are different ways to show love, from big, warm hugs to quiet but rewarding conversations. And there are different ways to show hatred, from settling things with your brother in a backyard brawl to simply packing your bags and walking away from whoever it is you can’t stand.

The word “hate” is probably too strong, since there is enough of the real thing all around us and college football is something of a unifier, no matter which team you pull for. I’ll concede that sometimes the combination of emotionally overwrought fans and alcohol has tragic results. Institutionally speaking, though, most colleges are pulling in the same direction and “hate” is a contextual concept to describe something different.

On the other hand, the SEC is about to have what must be two of the fiercest intrastate rivalries in college football: Alabama-Auburn and Texas-Texas A&M. The fact that Texas and Oklahoma are both coming aboard was made abundantly clear on Monday when Texas and OU declared their intentions to move on as soon as possible.

That just extends what has been a rough row to hoe for Texas A&M for the past week. If the Aggies were left out of the discussion loop, it could be interpreted as a necessary anti-leak precaution or a breach of trust, but, either way, the shock was the same. Roughly 10 years ago, Texas A&M made the decision that enough Texas was enough and it didn’t care if it ever saw the Longhorns again.

That decision proved beneficial for the Aggies. Had Texas A&M won an SEC football title in that time, maybe “beneficial” could be changed to “wildly successful.” It gave A&M its own identity out of the steer’s shadow. Coupled with the power of the SEC, it made College Station a far more attractive recruiting option, especially as Texas stumbled through a series of ill-advised coaching changes.

So imagine the Texas A&M contingent’s surprise when it walked into Hoover last week and was greeted with a hearty “Guess who’s back?”

But consider this: the state of Alabama knows its rivalries. We may not be as big as Texas, but that just pushes people closer together and makes the snake venom more concentrated. Alabama and Auburn went roughly 40 years, starting in 1907, without playing at all. Fifteen of those years, they didn’t play even though they were in the same conference. Don’t think Alabama didn’t just start having influence when Nick Saban arrived. Finally, the state legislature made them play.

Sure, there were still some Alabama fans who found it beneath them and plenty of Auburn fans who hated playing in Birmingham every year. But the two sides soldiered on, bygones not being exactly bygones but more like jet fuel. And it all worked. Some of the classic college football games of the past 50 years have been between Alabama and Auburn. (Plenty of people argue that the Kick Six was the greatest, while Alabama fans who hear that mumble something unintelligible and go back to counting national championship rings.) It’s included on every list of great rivalries and is part of the cultural fabric of the state.

I wrote Sunday on how many of its former league partners found Texas insufferable and still do. But Texas A&M has grown. Look on the bright side, if you can see it over all those stacks of money that expansion will bring in: the classic rivalry is back, a joy that most college football fans have missed for a decade of Thanksgiving weekends. Don’t complain about that. Embrace it.

 

alabama mike

Probably At A Ballgame
Crimson Tide Club
I am ready to embrace the rivalries; Oklahoma vs. Texas, Oklahoma vs. Arkansas, Texas vs. Oklahoma and Texas vs. Texas A&M. I am also ready to embrace the money that will pour into the SEC by adding Texas and Oklahoma. Do we want more schools? Yes, if its the rights schools. Who knows who they are at the current time? Nobody, outside of a very few even knew Texas and Oklahoma had an interest in our league until the story broke last week. No, if its the wrong schools! We can all name them. I guess, we need to look at the TV market they would add to the SEC, see if they have revenue producing sports teams in football or basketball and IF we want to add more teams to the league.
 

TerryP

Ivory Club
We can all name them. I guess, we need to look at the TV market they would add to the SEC, see if they have revenue producing sports teams in football or basketball and IF we want to add more teams to the league.
10 years ago that was the driving factor in expansion across the board: TV markets.

Today, that's just not the case. 10 years ago we didn't have the ability to stream so many sporting events for the SEC and Alabama. TV markets, while remaining valid areas to watch, don't carry as much weight any longer. There's simply too many avenues to catch your favorite team playing.

We could look to another option like bringing in schools from North Carolina: arguably a better geographic fit. However, what do those schools bring in terms of the "value of their brand?" UNC and Duke seemingly would hold an advantage in basketball but on the other hand OU and TX have strong hoops programs.

With OU alone, and their brand, we're looking at better competition in basketball, baseball, and softball.
 

50+yeartidefan

Touchdown Club
Hurts always writes it clear....
The hell with AnMs feelings...

Alabama/Mississippi/Tennessee have 2 SEC schools...

Texas n Oklahoma and LSU will become a hugh rivalry....if Bama moves to SECe...

all will be ok if...SEC moves to 9/10 ( hopefully 10) conference games...where we can see some of these SECe vs SECw games..

exciting days ahead
 

rammerjammer

Gump 4ever
Scholarship Club
In one of the articles I read, it suggested a 4 team pod. I think I like that analogy. You can have a north/south/east/west division for the conference. I still think going to a 10 game conference schedule would be good for this as well. Would be some tough years and some easier years.

A potential pod setup:
— Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas.
— Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.
— Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss.
— Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Geographically this makes pretty good sense. Kentucky/LSU/aTM/Vandy is about the only one that is a little geographically off. You could swap LSU/aTm with Bama/Auburn and that might be a little more conducive from a "travel standpoint.
 

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw

Crimson Tide Club
JMO but I wouldn't move Bama nor AU to the East. Why mess up all the games we currently have today and I am talking about all the current SEC teams in both the east and west.

Just move OU to the East and UT to the West. Bama then has one new game each year and that is UT. The game vs OU will be like the UGA/Florida game and that comes around sooner or later. You get A&M vs UT each year and UT plays OU as their one crossover game.

That is 9 conference games and leaves us with 3 little sisters of the poor or add one more big guy if you wish.

There is no need to go blow up the schedules for all the other 14 teams in the conference for these two new teams because all their games will be new anyway so it doesn't matter.

Ten Bears and Lone Watie are in agreement but I must admit Lone isn't that happy with taking in that Wagon group. Personal I guess.

He said something about a gun to his head..........

1627396607525.png
 

50+yeartidefan

Touchdown Club
JMO but I wouldn't move Bama nor AU to the East. Why mess up all the games we currently have today and I am talking about all the current SEC teams in both the east and west.

Just move OU to the East and UT to the West. Bama then has one new game each year and that is UT. The game vs OU will be like the UGA/Florida game and that comes around sooner or later. You get A&M vs UT each year and UT plays OU as their one crossover game.

That is 9 conference games and leaves us with 3 little sisters of the poor or add one more big guy if you wish.

There is no need to go blow up the schedules for all the other 14 teams in the conference for these two new teams because all their games will be new anyway so it doesn't matter.

Ten Bears and Lone Watie are in agreement but I must admit Lone isn't that happy with taking in that Wagon group. Personal I guess.

He said something about a gun to his head..........

View attachment 18265
Lone Wolf also was thought to be a "chief"
 

Crimson&WhiteGecko

Century Club
A potential pod setup:
— Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas.
— Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.
— Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss.
— Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee.
That's an interesting setup but what would be the point of 4 divisions when we have 2 divisions to play for the conference championship? Or how would we determine the teams for the conference championship?
 

It Takes Eleven

Quoth the Raven...
Scholarship Club
In one of the articles I read, it suggested a 4 team pod. I think I like that analogy. You can have a north/south/east/west division for the conference. I still think going to a 10 game conference schedule would be good for this as well. Would be some tough years and some easier years.

A potential pod setup:
— Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas.
— Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.
— Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss.
— Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Geographically this makes pretty good sense. Kentucky/LSU/aTM/Vandy is about the only one that is a little geographically off. You could swap LSU/aTm with Bama/Auburn and that might be a little more conducive from a "travel standpoint.

I'll say:

OU/TX/aTm/Mizzou
LSU/OMiss/MState/Arky >>> I think Mizzou/Arky interchangeable here.
Bama/aubrun/TN/Vandy
GA/FL/SC/KY

I think that's more regionally based and protects the rivalry games except FL/LSU. A nine game conference schedule works well with this, with three in pod and playing everyone else every other year. Perhaps a ten game schedule would allow for one more perm game or a slightly more off-kilter rotation so everything isn't the same every other year.

Regardless, it will be a tougher schedule.

RTR,

Tim
 

1CrimsonTider

Touchdown Club
10 years ago that was the driving factor in expansion across the board: TV markets.

Today, that's just not the case. 10 years ago we didn't have the ability to stream so many sporting events for the SEC and Alabama. TV markets, while remaining valid areas to watch, don't carry as much weight any longer. There's simply too many avenues to catch your favorite team playing.

We could look to another option like bringing in schools from North Carolina: arguably a better geographic fit. However, what do those schools bring in terms of the "value of their brand?" UNC and Duke seemingly would hold an advantage in basketball but on the other hand OU and TX have strong hoops programs.

With OU alone, and their brand, we're looking at better competition in basketball, baseball, and softball.
I'm sure you're not one to agree with Andy that often.

 

mando

Sideline Club
I guess I am really getting old and set in my ways. Not that it will not create some interesting games but I could do w/o OU or UT coming into the SEC. Just seems like more whiney opposing fans joining the league and we have enough of those already.
 

TerryP

Ivory Club
I guess I am really getting old and set in my ways. Not that it will not create some interesting games but I could do w/o OU or UT coming into the SEC. Just seems like more whiney opposing fans joining the league and we have enough of those already.
On the other hand imagine watching a Mike Leach led Bulldog team beat Texas on a Saturday afternoon. Imagine the meltdown threads we'd see.
 

It Takes Eleven

Quoth the Raven...
Scholarship Club
If the conferences continue to grow and regional affiliations wain, what of the bowl games? The idea of playing someone outside your conference, an intersectional matchup, will become less and less interesting compared to the variety that will reside in expanded conferences each week. Fewer (or no) FCS games will reduce the number of bowl-eligible teams.

In this scenario, I'd say bowl games decline in number, or they are relegated to the remnant of teams not eligible for the playoff.
 

rammerjammer

Gump 4ever
Scholarship Club
In this scenario, I'd say bowl games decline in number, or they are relegated to the remnant of teams not eligible for the playoff.
I have wondered this as well. We have all said there were too many bowls, especially when they are letting teams in with losing records.

I could see the upper echelon bowls being incorporated into the play off.

I think the smaller schools that will not be part of the 64 (4 Super conferences) could establish certain bowl games and a play off network and do it on a lesser scale than the big 4.
 

mando

Sideline Club
On the other hand imagine watching a Mike Leach led Bulldog team beat Texas on a Saturday afternoon. Imagine the meltdown threads we'd see.
No doubt there will be interesting games as I said. Just the incredible whining we already get from the Barn, UGA, Viles etc.. will be amped up even more with the shorthorns specifically. Would be great to laugh at them like we do the Viles. I do not blame UT and OU for wanting this.

The real question now is do we call the Viles UTe and the shorthorns UTw :). That alone will create all kinds of whine from the shorthorns. The Viles are already beaten down so not much more whine they can do.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom