Three letters that guarantee big TV ratings: S-E-C
In television, there's nothing that guarantees monster television ratings like a brand name. It's why the Dallas Cowboys are in primetime seemingly every week despite being a championship contender once a decade, why the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers are on national television every other night, and why ESPN manages to pit the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees against each other on Sunday Night Baseball fifty times a season.
College football has its own brand name that guarantees ratings success: the SEC.
College football's highest-rated television package, the SEC on CBS, was up 24 percent this season, giving CBS a record 4.2 rating since the network began its SEC-specific schedule in 2001.
"It was a good year," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in the understatement of the century.
SBNation has compiled a list of the 50 highest-rated teams in the 2013 regular season and, you're not going to believe this, but the top of the chart is littered with SEC teams. Four of the top five, eight of the top 11 and 11 of the top 25 are SEC teams. All 14 SEC teams are represented in the top 47 in the nation.
According to this chart, the average Arkansas game reached more eyeballs than the average Oregon game.
Filling in the gaps at the top of the list are other gold star, brand name programs like Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
Here's the top 25:
1. Alabama - 6.445 million average viewers
2. Michigan - 5.355 million
3. Texas A&M - 5.264 million
4. Georgia - 4.845 million
5. LSU - 4.486 million
6. Ohio State - 4.413 million
7. Auburn - 4.191 million
8. Notre Dame - 3.921 million
9. Florida - 3.433 million
10. Tennessee - 3.392 million
11. South Carolina - 3.382 million
12. Nebraska - 3.187 million
13. Florida State - 3.058 million
14. Stanford - 2.904 million
15. Clemson - 2.876 million
16. Northwestern - 2.684 million
17. Oklahoma - 2.640 million
18. Wisconsin - 2.619 million
19. Penn State - 2.573 million
20. Mississippi State - 2.555 million
21. Missouri - 2.513 million
22. Michigan State - 2.502 million
23. Ole Miss - 2.490 million
24. Arkansas - 2.401 million
25. Oregon - 2.377 million
Tom Herman on the B1G title game: 'This is why you coach. Bankers don't get to do this.'
Less than 24 hours from now, one of the great chess matches of the 2013 college football season will be underway. At Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ohio State's sledgehammer running game takes on Michigan State and its iron wall of a defensive front.
Take a look at some of the stats:
Ohio State rushing offense (321.25 yards per game, 2nd nationally) vs. Michigan State rushing defense (64.75, 1st)
Ohio State yards per rush (7.05, 1st) vs. Michigan State yards per carry allowed (2.23, 1st)
Ohio State total offense (530.5, 6th) vs. Michigan State total defense (237.7, 1st)
Ohio State scoring offense (48.2 points per game, 3rd) vs. Michigan State scoring defense (11.8, 4th)
Ohio State yards per play (7.33, 4th) vs. Michigan State yards per play allowed (3.77, 1st)
Ohio State passing efficiency (163.99, 7th) vs. Michigan State defensive passing efficiency (91.79, 1st)
Ohio State third down conversions (52.05 percent, 9th) vs. Michigan State third down defense (28.73, 2nd)
Ohio State first downs offense (26.2 per game, 9th) vs. Michigan State first downs defense (14.1, 2nd)
Ohio State red zone touchdown percentage (83.93, 1st) vs. Michigan State red zone defense (43.48, 6th)
Ohio State rushes of 10+ yards (130, 1st) vs. Michigan State rushes of 10+ yards allowed (19, 1st)
That's 10 categories where each unit ranks among the top 10 nationally. Michigan State holds the edge in six, Ohio State owns three and the clubs share a first place ranking in offensive/defensive yards per rush.
Think about it, can you remember the last time you saw a game where there was a difference of nearly five yards per rush lining up on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage?
“This is why you coach,” Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman told the Detroit Free Press. “These are the games your competitive nature can come out a little bit and say, ‘I’m going to have my offense, my checkers, my pieces are going to be more prepared and play harder and longer and with better technique and effort than yours.’
“At the end of the day, there’s only a few reasons to live this crazy life that we do. … Bankers don’t get to do this. They don’t get to go compete in Indianapolis against the No. 1 defense possibly in America and say — come out hopefully on top — and say, ‘My guys did that.’ ”
I don't know where you live, but chances are the weather should be awful on Saturday night. So settle in and feast your eyes upon one of the best schematic chess matches we'll see all year between two smart coordinators - stacked with talented, experienced rosters - before one or both of them take head coaching jobs.
The Big Ten Championship kicks off at 8:17 p.m. ET on FOX.
Florida State's ball boy has his own highlight video, and it's hilarious
Florida State's ball boy is one of the most enthusiastic ball boys in the country. From getting in on touchdown celebrations, to protecting his Seminole brethren by pushing opponents out of the way, Frankie (aka Red Lightning) is truly one of a kind.
I personally guarantee that this will be the most unique (and possibly funny) video that you watch this week. A minute and a half well spent without a doubt.
(H/T Jimmy Traina)
The emotions of the Michigan - Ohio State rivalry boiled into one video
At first glance, this video from The Big Ten Network's "The Journey" series seems to be off to an uneventful start.
Then the maize and blue starts to mix with the scarlet and gray and emotions reach a fever pitch well before kickoff.
Great job by the Big Ten Network here capturing the emotion behind the rivalry from the encounter in the tunnel to Brady Hoke's decision to go for two and the ensuing emotions on both sides of the ball.
This is further proof that there is nothing quite like rivalry week in college football.
Best pre game speech you'll see...delivered by a student manager?
While the Egg Bowl rivalry weeks caps off with Ole MIss taking on Mississippi State, the latest episode of "The Season" takes a look at a rivalry game that takes place during the week of preparation leading up to the big game.
In what has become known as the Turkey Bowl, the equipment managers take on the trainers. This year, the managers were aiming for their sixth straight win in the rivalry
Ole Miss approached the production of this game just like they would the weekend match up against their in state rival, and it looks like they got access to some of the team equipment too. Even Hugh Freeze and his staff showed up to show their support and appreciation, so enjoy this one.
Thursday TV - NFL and Keg of Nails games on tonight
Louisville will face their toughest test of the year tonight when the face Cincinnati and the Texans and Jags square off in NFL action.
Of course, Eastern time is listed.
Houston at Jacksonville - 8:25 - NFL Network
Louisville at Cincinnati - 7:30 - ESPN
Kliff Kingsbury wrote an editorial piece for Esquire
For whatever reason, people are obsessed with Kliff Kingsbury's style choices. When you're the only guy that truly tries, you tend to stand out.
In September, E! - as in the Entertainment Network - did a feature on Kingsbury in September...
... and now Kingsbury has written an editorial for Esquire about why he dresses the way he does. At the end of the day, Esquire magazine is now printing a page - however indirectly - about Texas Tech football.
It must have been Deion Sanders who coined the phrase "If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good." After entering the coaching profession in 2008, I quickly realized that I wasn't feeling the traditional coaching attire: the tucked-in multicolored polo, the pleated khaki coaching pants, and the shiny white jogging shoes. At first, you just throw on what they give you and roll with it. I'd put on the issued gear and think, I haven't worn anything like this since I was in fifth grade. I couldn't get beyond the fact that I was rocking something on game days that I would never be caught dead wearing in my everyday life. If I was going to be a coach, in both my dress and how I worked with players, I was going to be myself and be comfortable. So after my first year at the University of Houston, I went to a different look and have stayed with it since coming to Texas Tech.
My game-day attire consists of a solid-black long-sleeved Dri-FIT shirt with the Texas Tech emblem, flat-front gray pants, and a pair of Under Armour's new Mobtown shoes. They're more of a chill Vans type of shoe. And Frogskins-style shades. I'd worn them all summer while going to the beach and thought, Why would I trade these in for some coachy- looking glasses? They've become a big deal to certain people, I guess, because it wasn't the traditional look.
When I started dressing how I wanted, a few of the older coaches made comments. But as long as you're doing your job successfully, those comments stop pretty quickly. I think they thought I was being a young punk, trying to be cute, but in no way was that the case. I was just trying to be comfortable by wearing what I thought looked right. Whether you are Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola, who has the best game-day attire in the world, the one wearing the skinny tie on the sidelines; or Bill Belichick sporting the cut-off sweatshirt, you want to be consistent in who you are. You get only 12 game days a year. It's a big deal.
VIDEO: A documentary every high school coach should see
John Outlaw is a dictionary-perfect example of a high school football coach. In his face, in his bones, you could tell he was a high school football coach.
Outlaw led Arkadelphia High School to two Arkansas high school state titles, then left for Sherman (Texas), and then won a Texas state championship at Lufkin High School. Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt called him the best high school football coach in America.
And, on the morning of December 23, 2011, he was dead. Outlaw returned home from his customary 4:30 a.m. run, light up a cigarette, and passed away. Matt Skinner is putting together the definitive life story of John Outlaw, titled "Outlaw: Life, Death and Football". As you'll see in the trailer below, those around Outlaw are still trying to make sense of his passing.
The finish product won't be released until next year - it has to make the international festival circuit first - but the final product will be worth your time.