Associated Press

In the wake of LSU-Florida ‘postponement,’ potential embarrassment on the table for the SEC

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Public relations-wise and competition-wise, there are at least two absolute and utter nightmare scenarios that could play out for the SEC based on today’s events.

Earlier Thursday, the conference announced that the LSU-Florida game scheduled for Saturday will be “postponed” because of the threat of Hurricane Matthew.  While the league stated that all involved parties “will work to reschedule the game later in the 2016 season if possible,” most see that as highly unlikely at best.

Neither team has a bye weekend that lines up with the other, so that’s not an option.  The teams both play non-conference games the weekend of Nov. 19 and could buy out those games to allow this one to go off, although it’s unclear if LSU would be willing to give up a home game to play in Gainesville — especially when they seemingly bent over backwards in an attempt to accommodate getting the postponed game in this weekend.

The SEC could also push its championship game, set for Dec. 3, back a week to allow for this game to be played that weekend if it would have an impact on the standings.  That could prove to be a logistical minefield, though, and would also have to get the approval of the College Football Playoff Committee as their final rankings that will set the four semifinalists are slated to be released on Dec. 4.

If there’s no resolution that results in the game being played?  Hello mother of all embarrassing PR nightmares.

Per conference bylaws, the winner of the East or West divisions of the SEC is determined by the team with the highest winning percentage. LSU currently stands at 2-1 in league play; if the Tigers win out to finish at 6-1, which would include a win over Alabama, and again this postponed game is not made up, the Tigers could lose out on the West’s spot in the conference championship game to a 7-1 Tide team they beat on the field because of winning percentage (.875 for UA, .857 for LSU).  That scenario, of course, assumes both LSU and ‘Bama handle current conference-unbeaten Texas A&M.

While the potential situation in the other division is a little more unlikely, and not nearly as embarrassing as the above, it’s still a possibility.

Tennessee currently leads the SEC East at 2-0, followed by Florida at 2-1. with the lone loss coming to the Vols. Should the Gators win out they’d finish at 6-1. If the Vols stumble twice to finish at 6-2, Florida would received the title game berth based of winning percentage.

In other words, there’s a very real incentive for the Tigers to get this game rescheduled and played. The Gators? Not so much.

Given the situation, it would behoove the SEC to step and demand that the two teams buy out the Nov. 19 non-conference games and get this game played — and, in the process, ensure avoiding some significant embarrassment on down the road.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.