Thursday, September 29, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Heat is on
The heat is really being felt in the SEC and it is not solely centered on the play by play.
Last week the really glowing headlines were not extolling the exploits of the SEC teams making their runs, but rather about the dissatisfaction of some fans and their perceptions of how these runs were being made. At least two area newspapers carried scathing reports which indicted some college or universities’ leadership from athletic directors to presidents. These were not some obscure ads buried among the gaggle of one- or two-paragraph classifieds, these were full-page ads. They garnered the attention which was intended.
And they were not cheap. As a matter of fact, Corey Mac of ABC 24 in Memphis stated that one ad cost $17,000 to place, plus another $2,500 if it were to run in color. If that is true, the alum or fan which authored the ad was serious.
It is a well-known fact that the alumni of most colleges and universities comprise a great portion of the fan base for the teams of those institutions and they want to have their say when things don’t go according to their Hoyles. Just where the influence line should start or stop will probably never be defined.
This particular ad pointed to the University of Mississippi and held the fans, coaches and players blameless. It clearly pointed to the administration. The text of the ad offered no suggestions or remedies, just who should be held responsible for the Rebels’ record thus far. The ad was in the papers after Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt.
Along with Houston Nutt, head coach of the Rebels and in his fourth season, was Mark Richt of Georgia, who also came under fire in the reports of the preceding weeks because his record was matched to Ole Miss. Richt has been leading the Bulldogs for 11 years (which does not seem quite right to me, but what do I know) and his hot seat might have cooled a bit since he won the match-up between the Bullies and the Rebels last Saturday. That was the 10th win for Georgia out of the last 11 contests between the SEC combatants.
These are not the only two coaches feeling the heat. The University of Memphis’ head coach is also having a bad day, but so far the only coach which has been terminated (that I am aware of) this season is New Mexico’s head coach.
The current unrest notwithstanding, the SEC is still the strongest conference in the NCAA and is getting stronger. The Aggies of Texas A&M will be joining the league in 2012, barring any legal preventive challenges.
At the latest rankings the SEC had five teams in the top 25 with LSU deposing the Sooners of Oklahoma at number one. And the top-ranked teams are still undefeated.
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