Happy Tuesday, everyone. You undoubtedly heard this rumor started by ESPN Radio personality Marc Ryan yesterday.
Per a reliable source, Clemson+Florida State have reached out to the SEC about joining the conference.— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) August 2, 2021
The SEC is concerned that streaming numbers for Clemson+Florida State don't bring what Oklahoma+Texas do.
Notre Dame is the only "free agent" left that would "add to the pot."
No idea who Ryan’s “reliable source” is, but both schools have categorically denied the claim.
FSU President John Thrasher: “I want to be clear that persistent reports that Florida State has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference are untrue. We have had no communication with the SEC or any representatives of the SEC.”— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) August 3, 2021
The Athletic reached out to Clemson about the Clemson/SEC rumor making rounds today. An athletics spokesperson just now: "There is no truth to the report that Clemson University has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference regarding membership."— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) August 2, 2021
Sounds like a whole bunch of nothing.
Moving along, Alabama extended a slew of coaches yesterday.
Nick Saban’s contract was extended through the 2028 season with total annual compensation of $11.5 million in 2029.
Eleven other coaches received contract extensions, and new football tight ends and special teams coach Drew Svoboda had his contract details announced.
All contracts were met with unanimous approval by the board of trustees.
Svoboda is making $450k as a special teams coach, which would have been unheard of just a decade ago.
CBS Sports has the Tide on top.
After winning the national championship for the sixth time in a dozen years under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide have been consistently sean as the top team in the nation entering next season, including during our post-spring top 25 polling this May. Voters are so confident in quarterback Bryce Young and the depth of the Alabama program that not even the departure of a record-tying six first-round NFL Draft picks could shake the current order of power in college football.
In fact, the entire top six remained in identical positions from our pulse-testing rankings a few months ago. While Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State all have new starters replacing first-round quarterbacks, the unsettled and (more) unproven situation with the Buckeyes contributes to the gap, which is occupied by an Oklahoma team with a Heisman Trophy favorite under center in Spencer Rattler, giving the Sooners national championship aspirations.
Athlon spoke to some anonymous SEC Coaches about Texas and Oklahoma, and they are generally positive about the move.
The coaches we spoke with all mentioned the College Football Playoff’s potential expansion to up to 12 teams as a major reason why an expanded SEC, potentially one with a nine-game conference schedule, makes sense.
“We talked about it briefly as a staff. A lot of us, right away, love the idea. In this league, if you’re playing nine conference games and there’s a[n expanded] playoff, that makes resumes stronger and the game better,” one SEC football staffer said.
You probably heard that Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby sent a cease and desist letter to ESPN, essentially blaming the network for the demise of the conference. While he probably isn’t wrong, UT president Jay Hartzell chose his words carefully while testifying in front of a state senate committee yesterday.
The Texas president was repeatedly asked about the role ESPN played in Texas’ decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. Those questions came after Bowlsby sent ESPN a cease-and-desist letter last week alleging the television network’s involvement in swaying Big 12 schools to join another conference. ESPN strongly pushed back on those allegations and said Bowlsby’s letter had no merit. Bowlsby said Monday he had agreed “not to escalate this publicly” when questioned about his ESPN letter. When Hartzell was asked about whether Texas consulted with ESPN on its move, he said, “absolutely, categorically, no.” The Texas president said only three people other than himself were directly involved in the decision and none was anyone at ESPN.
One senator hilariously roasted Hartzell.
Senator Lois Kolkhorst (a TCU alum): "What's your athletic budget?"— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 3, 2021
UT President Jay Hartzell: "Probably $220-225."
...Kolkhorst: "And that's without a winning football team... 3-7 against the Horned Frogs." pic.twitter.com/rcJawSpr06
“Guess your fans would rather lose to Alabama than TCU.”
The NY Post believes that Bryan Hartsin is going to have a tough time covering the spread this season.
Dead money: Auburn:
Though a more conventional case can perhaps be made against Vanderbilt after it lost every game last season and covered only three spreads, the Commodores might be so discounted that they could provide some value for first-year coach Clark Lea. Auburn, meanwhile, likely doesn’t get the same benefit. Routinely overrated by the oddsmakers after Gus Malzahn’s smashing debut in 2013, the Tigers have been a pretty consistent money-burner since, and no surprise if Bryan Harsin’s Auburn debut is similarly overpriced (at least for a while). Spread failings or not, the thought persists among some SEC observers that Auburn hasn’t made an upgrade with this hire. And if not, point-spread shortcomings from the previous regime are not likely to change much either.
Last, LSU’s QB competition has been cancelled.
LSU quarterback Myles Brennan suffered a left arm injury, putting his availability for the 2021 season in doubt, the Tigers announced Monday. Brennan, the program’s top passer from last season — despite playing in only three games — was competing for the starting job alongside sophomore Max Johnson.
“Myles Brennan suffered a severe injury that will require surgery,” coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement. “His timeline is yet to be determined. Myles has done everything we have asked of him this summer and was in the fight to be the starting quarterback at LSU.”
The Tigers will now have to hope that starter by default Max Johnson isn’t a stiff.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.