Briefing: Tuesday’s Alabama & SEC links

Saban vs. Meyer
Bright House Sports Network’s J.B. Long takes a look at the rivalry between Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and Florida Gator coach Urban Meyer. Long explains, “With a combined four BCS National Championships and three of the last four SEC crowns between them, Florida’s Urban Meyer and Alabama’s Nick Saban represent one of the newest and best coaching rivalries in all of sports—much less college football.” No doubt he is right about the rivalry being one of the best. Both coaches are driven. Both coaches are winners. Long looks at winning percentages, titles, conference titles, rivalry games to give a picture of where the coaches rank in context of the other’s accomplishments.

Long left out one category however, Wigging out. Meyer wins that category following the SEC Championship beating.

Seriously though, I expect Meyer will make use of the beating to refocus his energy and team. He is a good coach. The Alabama-Florida series promises to be one of the best for many years to come.

Another Alabama football preview
CFN posted its 2010 Alabama 2010 football preview over the weekend.
From the article these fun stats for last season:
Fourth Quarter Scoring: Alabama 121 – Opponents 32
Penalties: Opponents 86 for 729 yards – Alabama 69 for 598 yards
Rushing Touchdowns: Alabama 31 – Opponents 5

Odds are Alabama Crimson Tide repeats
The Orlando Sentinel reports, “The Tide are the early favorites at 9 to 2 odds to repeat as national champions. Alabama is also favored to repeat as the SEC West champion (1 to 2) and favorite to win the SEC title. Ohio State is right behind ‘Bama at 6 to 1, followed by Oklahoma at 13 to 2.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s touted acquisition of ex-Alabama star raises eyebrows
According to Haaretz.com, “The acquisition of Mikhail Torrance, the Alabama star who signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday, prompted criticism yesterday from Super League fans and coaches. “ You can check the story out at the above website if you want to learn a little more about the professional career of Mikhail Torrance.

Les Miles on the hot seat
The media is getting on Les Miles. And it isn’t for his George Bushisms. Glenn Guilbeau pens a scorching piece explaining how Miles has squandered the advantages left for him by current Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban; Saban rebuilt the LSU program before heading for the NFL. Guilbeau writes, “It’s simple math. Miles was 34-6 and 19-5 when the majority of the roster was recruited, signed and developed by Saban, including more than 30 on the 2007 national championship team. Since the roster turned over to players recruited, signed and developed by Miles in 2008, LSU is 17-9 and 8-8. Miles inherited an elite program and has made it average. He will have another season or maybe two to return the program to where it was when he inherited it.” Yikes. When the supportive state media in Louisiana reaches this conclusion, then you know the pressure is building.

A hint on conference expansion?
The Wiz of Odds linked to this story in the New York Post. “The Big Ten commissioner, a South Orange native and North Carolina graduate, knows full well the value of the D.C.-to-Boston corridor, whose epicenter is New York. ‘Anyone who forgets that forgets at their peril,” Delany told The Post in a telephone interview. “It’s the center, it has been the center of media activity for a hundred years. It’s the center of financial activity and it has been that way for 150 years. To me it’s sort of where a lot of things start in the county.’”

The Wiz asks if this is a hint about Big Ten expansion. No doubt it is. However, EDSBS expresses some doubt about the viability of college football getting traction in New York City. The counterpoint to that is simply media market access—the Big Ten Network gets many more dollars per household in markets where it has a footprint than in its out of market areas. Even if the ratings don’t improve, the dollars do. Plus, I’m not sure the accepted wisdom that New York is a bad town for college football is an accurate picture of the environment.