Mike Strange: Rethinking the SEC's projected bowl options

Mike Strange

Is it presumptuous for Tennessee fans to weigh in on the SEC’s new bowl affiliations?

Wouldn’t it be more polite to qualify for a few bowl games before disparaging the projected options?

OK, to be honest, I haven’t heard much complaining about a possible trip to the Belk Bowl. But if Butch Jones gets things going again, this will be a discussion worth having.

The bowl landscape changes considerably when the four-team College Football Playoff begins after the 2014 season.

That it’s changing is not a bad thing. Still, more adventurous options would have been interesting.

The SEC will maintain affiliations with the Sugar, Capital One, Outback, Gator, Music City and Liberty bowls.

The Chick-fil-A and Cotton go away to join the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta in the playoff rotation. That’s not to say SEC teams won’t drop in now and again.

The SEC will cut ties with the bowl in Shreveport that has had a dozen different names. If memory serves, Weedeater was one of them.

Enter the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. North Carolina isn’t SEC turf but Charlotte will be home for the new SEC TV network. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame while you’re there.

Enter the Texas Bowl in Houston. Texas is, of course, SEC turf these days.

There will also be a link to the Orange Bowl. Al.com says the SEC is guaranteed at least three dates in a 12-year window.

And if you’re nostalgic for a trip to Legion Field, the SEC is reportedly still talking with the Birmingham bowl that is seeking a new sponsor after this season.

Commissioner Mike Slive prefers keeping the bowl affiliations in a friendly geographic arc. A different approach offering a little variety would have been more appealing.

Here’s betting SEC fans would travel big to the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas to play a Pac 12 opponent. Blackjack, game, buffet, more blackjack.

Likewise, the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium. The Big 12 didn’t think it was too far to travel. It would be a bold stroke to throw an SEC party in the Big Apple.

California is a welcoming place to visit in December. There are two bowls played in San Diego. Surely the SEC could muscle in on one of them. Why let Texas fans have all the fun?

Tampa and Orlando are tried and true destinations. No team sets out in September with Nashville or Memphis as their goal. But if disappointment strikes, at least they’re convenient. Charlotte trumps Shreveport.

But wouldn’t it be a hoot to take the biggest show in college football on the road to The Strip or Times Square?

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Comments » 28

sameolvolalum writes:

So, fundamentally, Mike, you're querying as to UT's entitlement for remaining eligible for higher up bowl games. Is that right? Is it presumptuous to assume UT's going to suck as a football program infinitum? I'm willing to bet on the resurgence of Big Orange football, even if the pie-in-the-sky championship aura doesn't arrive for a couple more years. Basically; your question is a bit absurd. Let's do more than be happy if we make it to some toilet bowl Let's plan on success. GBO!

NYvolFan writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NYvolFan writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your stupidity apparently knows no bounds. Post on FOOTBALL, not politics or racial commentary. Jeez.

NYvolFan writes:

in response to lguy:

Your stupidity apparently knows no bounds. Post on FOOTBALL, not politics or racial commentary. Jeez.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please stop being a Vol fan. We have enough stupid rednecks as it is.

sameolvolalum writes:

I agree, 81. I thought this was a site for sports fans and not Fox News addicts. Back on topic: The football team is optimistic as to their upcoming potential for far-above-mediocre bowl invitations hereon. Mike Strange is a pretty good writer, but I think he's been around JA a bit too long.........pessimism need not spread any further throughout the KNS staff. The more high-end (meaning BCS) bowls for SEC schools.....the better. Let's not bet on more seasons like the last few and let's, instead, shoot for championships. GBO!

NYvolFan writes:

in response to sameolvolalum:

I agree, 81. I thought this was a site for sports fans and not Fox News addicts. Back on topic: The football team is optimistic as to their upcoming potential for far-above-mediocre bowl invitations hereon. Mike Strange is a pretty good writer, but I think he's been around JA a bit too long.........pessimism need not spread any further throughout the KNS staff. The more high-end (meaning BCS) bowls for SEC schools.....the better. Let's not bet on more seasons like the last few and let's, instead, shoot for championships. GBO!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your comments have absolutely nothing to do with bowl affiliations. They are clearly political in nature and vaguely racist. Stay with the program or find another forum that will accept your opinions, because the regular posters on this site won't likely stomach your drivel.

And, hopefully, neither will GVX / KNS.

TnOrange4Life writes:

Looking forward to a bowl victory right around Christmas.

sameolvolalum writes:

To note the above postings, Strange mentions Times Square.....which is in New York. I have in-laws in NY who're rednecks, too. But, they're not of the white trash ilk like nyvol (somewhat of an oxymoron here.....ny and Vol). We're aware of Jay Z, etc. (I live 50 miles outside of Columbia). We don't care. It's not affecting college athletics as an enumerated whole and it's nowhere near on topic here, so go find something shiny, Jethro. GBO!

RockyMtnVol writes:

Tennessee has the players to be successful, it is a case if they pick up the new offense, I believe the 4-3 will play to UT's strength on the defense. IF the QB (????)is able to manage the game, UT will be much better than last year. Say what you want about CDD, he did bring in some gamers.....Go Vols!

onetruevol706 writes:

I lived in NYC for 4.5 years, that city is such a dump. I would hope the SEC stayed away from there. No college football fans there anyway.

arkyvol writes:

in response to onetruevol706:

I lived in NYC for 4.5 years, that city is such a dump. I would hope the SEC stayed away from there. No college football fans there anyway.

I agree. And the ones who are still think Notre Dame and the Big Ten are the end-all, be-all of college football.

maciste54 writes:

in response to sameolvolalum:

I agree, 81. I thought this was a site for sports fans and not Fox News addicts. Back on topic: The football team is optimistic as to their upcoming potential for far-above-mediocre bowl invitations hereon. Mike Strange is a pretty good writer, but I think he's been around JA a bit too long.........pessimism need not spread any further throughout the KNS staff. The more high-end (meaning BCS) bowls for SEC schools.....the better. Let's not bet on more seasons like the last few and let's, instead, shoot for championships. GBO!

Yet you couldn't resist in politicizing your comment yourself with a reference to Fox news addicts. Which is by the way the number one watched news source in America.

MetroplexMojo writes:

It's less than 200 miles from Pensacola, FL to New Orleans yet Florida couldn't manage to put 4,000 butts in the seats in the Sugar Bowl. I'm not sure putting the bowls outside the Southeast is the best idea.

ewhite#207432 writes:

Not everyone has a newspaper gig to pay the expenses to California, Nevada, or New York. Keep the bowls where we can afford to get to them.

sameolvolalum writes:

Bingo, Bambi. I'm sure Rupert's appreciative for the free advertisement from you. If you've read my past posts, you'd realize that usually I stay away from all that trash (thus avoiding this crying from ditto heads). This NY fella' was over-the-top racist and sorely off topic. I'm sure you'll keep your Faux News on 24/7, so don't let me spoil your brain-washing sessions. On topic: This playoff "experiment" is going to be very interesting the next couple of years. You've gotta' know that favoritism will bare itself regarding the preference for conferences......by both the selection committees and via network booking and backing. Since we fans have virtually nothing to say about all this, it seems far more relaxing for us to focus our "will power" on winning the SECe first, then the rest should come into focus. GBO!

brod writes:

sec teams used to play in the sun bowl in el paso occassionally. wouldn't be a bad tie-in. other than that, i don't see much point in traveling cross-country to watch a mediocre bowl game.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

It's less than 200 miles from Pensacola, FL to New Orleans yet Florida couldn't manage to put 4,000 butts in the seats in the Sugar Bowl. I'm not sure putting the bowls outside the Southeast is the best idea.

Good point, we made the trip to Southern Cali for the "Pigskin Classic" KO game against Colorado and it cost us a fortune that year. And that was for an an opening game not a third tier bowl game. I can't see fans of any school making a trip to Vegas or New York to see their team play against UCONN or Temple.

orangecountyvols writes:

Sameolvolalum, and fellow Vols,

Just to let you know I enjoy your posts and several others like old dog, plus exlineman, Gerry, N O, USAF etc. FWIW, just too many real Vol fans here to mention. Looking forward to a better season, a preview of 2014.

If the Vols scratch and claw in 2013 as we fully expect them to do, some sort of bowl is a very good possibility.

You're right about the Strange/Adams similarity.

brod writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

It's less than 200 miles from Pensacola, FL to New Orleans yet Florida couldn't manage to put 4,000 butts in the seats in the Sugar Bowl. I'm not sure putting the bowls outside the Southeast is the best idea.

florida is not known for their fan support. nobody has better fans than tennessee. we may not be the best athletic program in the sec, but we are #1 in fan support. too bad fan support doesn't equal great teams.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to brod:

florida is not known for their fan support. nobody has better fans than tennessee. we may not be the best athletic program in the sec, but we are #1 in fan support. too bad fan support doesn't equal great teams.

Per utk.edu >>> Men's SEC championship team titles: 114 (most of any league school)

Rise to the Top
Go Vols

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

sec teams used to play in the sun bowl in el paso occassionally. wouldn't be a bad tie-in. other than that, i don't see much point in traveling cross-country to watch a mediocre bowl game.

Bowl games are big perks for rafts of boosters, administrators, legislators, donors, etc., plus family members and business partners of same. As a group, they only care so much about football, but they love all the wealth, tradition, and passion that surrounds it. The game itself is only a small part of the trip. They will be there for a week prior and a couple days after, so they are looking for golf courses, cultural magnets, good restaurants and bars, and different shopping. Of course, people like that would get tired of going to unglamorous places like Shreveport over the holidays. Of course, the ones who DO care about football will most likely be glad enough to go to some place like Shreveport THIS year, after, uh, not going anywhere recently.

frblalack writes:

Disappointed in this article...that you Strange?
Wonder how many Vol fans would travel to New York City? Seriously.

sameolvolalum writes:

in response to brod:

florida is not known for their fan support. nobody has better fans than tennessee. we may not be the best athletic program in the sec, but we are #1 in fan support. too bad fan support doesn't equal great teams.

Nothing could be truer, brod. During my years at UT and beyond I've been to countless ncaa football games all over the U.S. On the west Coast, U.C.L.A and U.S.C. are meek as compared to everything eastward. In the Big Ten, where UM and OSU are traditional powers,these programs, indeed, have strong and rabid fan bases and one must admit to their excellent support. During the dozen years I lived in Austin, I went to quite a lot of athletic events with my faux UT fans. The Longhorns and even our new SEC member Aggies are about the level of the USCe game chickens, which is good but not great; somewhere around the Auburns, Arkansas' and Ole Misses. The swamp is second-rate and the fans are rude. UGA has notably strong fan backing, with LSU and UA even more strident. Death Valley is as noisy as any place I've been and the bammers really do stand behind their crimson gumps. Nobody.....and I mean nobody, though.....throws out a crowd ruckus like our orange-clad Vol fans singing Rocky Top! Let's give our fan base some well-deserved credit for supporting the power T through these lulls. Only a half-dozen programs have such a solid base, and one must give credence to such support for holding up their institutions during hard times. When "Rocky Top" is heard nationwide on forthcoming Januaries, a good portion of credit should go to us tens-of-thousands VFL's. GBO!

sameolvolalum writes:

in response to brod:

florida is not known for their fan support. nobody has better fans than tennessee. we may not be the best athletic program in the sec, but we are #1 in fan support. too bad fan support doesn't equal great teams.

Nothing could be truer, brod. During my years at UT and beyond I've been to countless ncaa football games all over the U.S. On the west Coast, U.C.L.A and U.S.C. are meek as compared to everything eastward. In the Big Ten, where UM and OSU are traditional powers,these programs, indeed, have strong and rabid fan bases and one must admit to their excellent support. During the dozen years I lived in Austin, I went to quite a lot of athletic events with my faux UT fans. The Longhorns and even our new SEC member Aggies are about the level of the USCe game chickens, which is good but not great; somewhere around the Auburns, Arkansas' and Ole Misses. The kitties, commodes and MSU are mediocre as compared to the rest of the SEC. The swamp is second-rate and the fans are rude (not an exaggeration). UGA has notably strong fan backing, with LSU and UA even more strident. They''re strong. Death Valley is as noisy as any place I've been and the bammers really do stand behind their crimson gumps. Nobody.....and I mean nobody, though.....throws out a crowd ruckus like our orange-clad Vol fans singing "Rocky Top!" Neyland and TBA are awesome! Orange is the power color.....not a fashion statement. Let's give our fan base some well-deserved credit for supporting the power T through these lulls. Only a half-dozen programs have such a solid base, and one must give credence to such support for holding up their institutions during hard times. UT fans cover the globe. When "Rocky Top" is heard nationwide on forthcoming Januaries, a good portion of credit should go to us tens-of-thousands VFL's. GBO!

orangecountyvols writes:

SameolVol,

Well said !

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