"I think that you probably are going to find that overall, across the board, senior management at private schools probably do make more than the publics," Williams says. "You'll probably find that all those people, the chancellors, the professors, make more than their counterparts in the publics."
Festus Ezeli, 6-11, Sr., C, Vanderbilt
"He might have the best chance at a long career of anyone in the league. He is older and a legit NBA center."
John Jenkins, 6-3, Jr., G, Vanderbilt
"He is the best shooter in the SEC and maybe the nation. He puts it down some too, but is just deadly when he has a good look."
Jeffery Taylor, 6-7, Sr., G/F, Vanderbilt
"He benefits from being surrounded by great players. But he also suffers because he is talented enough to be a lead role player.''
Was Vanderbilt ever contacted by another league?
Nobody officially ever contacted us. You get people who pick up the phone and say, 'I'm really a good friend of Joe who is a good friend of Larry who is a good friend of Carol who had dinner with the commissioner of the so and so and they are really interested in you.' You get all of that stuff. There was a point in time when the Big Ten expanded, there was a report that came out that the Big Ten was very much interested in going south, and they were. The Big Ten had said their mantra was they wanted all AAU schools, so right off the bat every AAU school in the SEC or ACC was suddenly on their hit list. But did they ever officially contact us? No.
Lost amid the expansion debate has been this question -- why does going to 14 teams make blockbuster financial sense for the SEC? (I've already written that 16 teams is the ultimate destination and explained why that makes sense).
Most have pointed to the renegotiation that will occur in the CBS and ESPN contracts. Indeed, there will be an increased rights fee paid for Texas A&M and the 14th team's addition to the league. And that increase may well be substantial. But that's not the only motivation behind expansion.
I talked with SEC commissioner Mike Slive in detail at the SEC spring meetings in Destin and again at SEC media days. He told me then that he had a couple of revenue producing ideas that he'd formulated. I asked him if he'd be willing to share those plans then and he wasn't.
But I think I know one of them -- Slive is going to pool the local multimedia rights for SEC schools and create an actual SEC Network when he gets the chance to reopen the CBS and ESPN contracts.
2. Does Vanderbilt seriously have Final Four potential? Absolutely.
"The thing that I'd be excited if I were a Vanderbilt fan under first-year Head Coach James Franklin is that for a team that's coming off a couple of two win seasons, they were able to capitalize on an opportunity in an SEC game. In the second quarter, they put that touchdown in by Larry Smith. Then they got a turnover and turned that into a touchdown. The next thing you know, it went from being, `Man, these teams are feeling each other out,' to `It's 21-0 at halftime.'
"And that to me, for Vanderbilt, is impressive. I don't care if Ole Miss is making the mistakes or self-destructing or whatever it was. That's an SEC opponent that Vanderbilt's doing to what people are suppose to do to Vanderbilt. Their attitude impressed me. I think this team has some confidence right now. And that's the best thing that can happen to a new head coach who brings in a new attitude and a new set of rules.
"You can say whatever you want about Elon, UConn and Ole Miss, but to me it's more about what's happening in (Vanderbilt's) locker room and more about this team starting to believe."
every time they say "James Franklin" i keep thinking i hear "James Franco" and i think.. that kid does everything!
"Coach called my dad and my dad surprised me," Andrew said. "I had no clue and I about fainted when my dad told me what happened."
"It was a fun day today and I want to thank coach for letting me come out here and spend time with him," Andrew said after the game. "I had the best day of my life today."
Wild African dogs and Vanderbilt football: a natural match, of course, like peanut butter and broken glass, Lou Reed and Metallica, and the eastern seaboard and powerful earthquakes. It's a metaphor, it's a teaching device, it's also a cult that threatens to transform the overachieving young men of Vanderbilt into howling beasts of the Serengeti.
The second point is that critical note about television revenues. Norby Williamson and the rest of the extremely sensitive souls at ESPN may not be members of the Illuminati, but they at least pay them for consulting. Consider the next level s--t they just pulled off with the Longhorn Network. The Big 12 itself is a product whose individual brands vary wildly in value, so they simply took partial ownership of its most viable line, and then waited for the rest to fall apart.
When it does--and Texas A&M is just one chunk of that--they'll take the rest of the salvage value and show it on the SEC Network in the form of Aggie games beamed to Texas television audiences. Meanwhile, their deal with the Big 12 expires, and rival Fox is left to muddle along on the massive new television deal with the Big 12 signed this past year.