SEC and ESPN finalize SEC network

SEC cable network

Today, the SEC and ESPN announced their partnership in forming an SEC network. The deal will give ESPN the rights to all SEC sports on television. However, CBS will still be able to keep one SEC game of the week, keeping a longstanding arrangement between CBS and the SEC.

The SEC Network deal runs until 2034. Making it the longest television deal in history. Not the longest college football deal, the longest ever television deal.

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BTN’s Tim Doyle: worst. sportscaster. EVER

tim-doyle

You listen to Tim McCarver, Skip Bayless, or even worse yet, Jemele Hill and it makes you wonder “how does this person have a job?” Not only they do have a broadcasting gig, but it’s one with a very large footprint. There is no justice in the world.

The Big Ten Network version of that is Tim Doyle. As a player at Northwestern, he seemed to always be around and accumulate stats despite possessing no discernible talent. He’s the exact same as an announcer. Doyle is like Dick Vitale, he RUINS every game he calls. He’s so bad that he makes CBS 2’s Ryan Baker look good by comparison. And that’s really hard to do because Baker pulls off the impossible combination of being both bland/boring and annoying/irritating at the same time.

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BTN fails to air Freeh press conf; claims to not be a news organization

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Despite what you may think, despite how things might appear, BTN, which stands for Big Ten Network, is not a news organization. We were puzzled by why they didn’t cover the Joe Paterno firing in November, and they were harshly criticized for doing so.

Today numerous networks, including ESPN, MSNBC  and CNN, interrupted their regular programming schedule to air this morning’s press conference detailing the findings of Penn State’s internal investigation regarding the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. However, Big Ten Network did not air investigator Louis Freeh’s press conference, instead sticking with a replay of the ’11 Ohio State-Purdue football game. The move is drawing harsh criticism on Twitter. SI.com’s Richard Deitsch wrote it is “another missed opportunity for credibility & educating viewers” for BTN.

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Big Ten conference bigger player in national football power structure

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There were a lot of topics on the table of discussion in last week’s Big 10 meetings. First and foremost, is the rapid move towards a four team playoff in college football, which could get here in a couple years. I asked Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips what his biggest takeaways were from the meetings.

“Couple things – tremendous collaboration between all 12 institutions in trying to get to the “right place” in current landscape and our complete confidence and trust in Commissioner Delany,” he said.

No doubt about it, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany (the second highest paid commissioner, behind only the Pac-12’s Larry Scott) is one of the most powerful men in college football. He’s a big reason we’re getting close to having a true playoff, as his getting on board with the hybrid bowl/playoff idea will be critical to having a final four.

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Why Isn’t the Big Ten Network Covering the Penn State Situation?

Last night, as the Penn State board of trustees met to discuss the firing of Joe Paterno, and a press conference with a trustee was broadcast live, ESPN and CNN covered the event. When PSU students took the streets and some even flipped over a television news van, both cable networks had cameras rolling and talking heads squawking.

At the same time, Chicago-based BTN, which stands for Big Ten Network, did next to nothing when the biggest story in conference history broke. They just continued to replay taped, old college football games.

They had zero coverage of the board of trustees meeting or the riots and demonstrations in State College. Instead they just ran a simple crawl at the bottom of the screen explaining that JoePa had been let go.

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Going Inside Big Ten Network Headquarters, Conference Expansion Rumors

Last night I was lucky enough to be at a small private reception that included Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Yes, I was at the same party as the most powerful man in the prestigious college basketball and college football league.

Delaney’s a University of North Carolina alum, and this was a Chicago Carolina Club gathering at Japonais, a downtown restaurant located a few floors below the Big Ten Network (BTN) studio. Yes, I infiltrated a group of Tar Heels (despite the horrors of the 2005 national title game) in order to get the story.

Before we get to the tour, we’ll go over some conference expansion rumors and innuendo. Because once you get on any topic remotely connected to this issue these days, the conversation inevitably leads there anyway.

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Ohio State Buckeyes Football Schedule: Primetime Games Announced

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The Big Ten recently completed its primetime college football selection process that decides which of its teams will play on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2  in an 8 p.m. slot.  Ohio State got the nod to compete under the lights for three games in the upcoming season, according to a press release from the university.

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Tom Crean Tweets His Disgust for Early Tip off with Illini

Tom Crean

I just gained a lot more respect for Indiana Hoosiers Coach Tom Crean. This is the highest amount of college basketball sensibility I have ever seen him display. For INEXPLICABLE reasons, the Big Ten decided to make his March 5th contest at border rival Illinois an early Saturday morning tip-off.

Now 11 A.M. doesn’t sound ridiculously early, but to a good portion of the media who cover the Illini, (by that I mean the large contingent of media members based in the Chicago area, an estimated 25-40% of their regular media) an 11 a.m. tip means either

a.) Getting your outlet/you yourself paying for a hotel in Champaign-Urbana the night before or

b.) Getting up at 6:30 a.m. to be there early enough to set up, effectively killing any plans you had for the Friday night before. And your plans for Saturday better be very early evening because you’ll now be ridiculously tired from covering this contest.

So with the weekend (and any semblance of a social life) now a casualty, we feel your pain Tom.

Here’s Tom’s thoughts/feelings on it.

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Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees living the “dream”

Fighting Irish Football

Most of the luster has faded and the invincibility is gone, but for many young men, playing football at Notre Dame is still a dream.

Stepping on the to field at 18-years-old, masterfully engineering the game plan and leading the Irish to its first defeat of a ranked team in four years is a whole different thought. And that is exactly what freshman and Lake Forest, IL native Tommy Rees did last Saturday inside Notre Dame Stadium.

By Brian McCabe

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Big 10 to usher in Megaconference Era

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It’s May and we’re talking about college football!

Yey! That never happens. And what’s breaking up the usual May malaise? Big Ten expansion, and the dominoes that will fall all around the country once it goes through.

It’s the only Big Ten topic anyone cares about right now even though the Big Ten Network is not touching it with a ten foot pole. But hey, they’re busy providing ample coverage of Big 10 conference baseball, softball and track, because the four whole people that watch that stuff need to get their fix.

–By Paul M. Banks

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The Big Ten Passes Logic Course… Maybe

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by Peter Christian

If the rumors are true I’m on board. If, in fact, the Big Ten did make offers to Notre Dame, Rutgers, Missouri and Nebraska to leave their current conference posts to join the Big Ten, it is a brilliant idea. Yep, that’s right, brilliant. Now I know that I’ve been steadfastly adamant against Notre Dame joining the Big Ten previously, however, in this case it makes a ton of sense.

Also, I’ll admit, I was probably arguing against Notre Dame joining the conference because I tend to hate them so much. If I can come to grips with my Notre Dame hate, so can you. Especially when you consider the positives of the proposed expansion.

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Big 10 makes formal pitch to Notre Dame, Rutgers, Nebraska and Mizzou

big ten conference

notre dame cheerleader

By Paul M. Banks

A Kansas City radio station reports that the Big Ten has made initial expansion offers to Notre Dame, Rutgers, Nebraska and Missouri, citing multiple unnamed sources close to the situation. This is how we have to get Big Ten expansion news, through “multiple unnamed sources,” since commissioner Jim Delany says absolutely NOTHING about the situation every time he publicly comments on it.

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