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The SEC Network: What it could mean for KY Football



This past Thursday the SEC and ESPN announced the launch of the SEC Network, a multimedia conglomerate that will host 24/7 coverage of over 1000 SEC events starting in August 2014.  The agreement is set to last until 2034, meaning that for the next 20 years the SEC will be able to broadcast games and original programming through both the SEC and ESPN family of networks.  “The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” Commissioner Mike Slive explained in a statement Thursday (  Slive, accompanied by ESPN President John Skipper, went on to state that the on-the field quality of SEC play, and the intensity of SEC fans, makes the formation of an “all-SEC, all the time” network beneficial for sports enthusiasts and business people alike.  (Check out Tyler Thompson’s post from May 2nd “What does the SEC network mean for you?”


With the increase of media coverage that will result from the SEC Network, programs that are trying to get on their feet will now have a new opportunity for exposure.   This means that Women’s sports and less televised programs now have a chance to spend their well deserved time in the spotlight – looking at you UK Hoops– and schools that have historically struggled in the major sports have just been handed an almost unfair recruiting advantage.  You’re welcome, Mark Stoops.  It might just be me that thinks this, but it feels like the pieces are falling into place for the new Kentucky Head Coach.  Stoops has already accomplished step one in the rebuilding process: he’s harnessed the power of the #BBN and now has a firm foundation in Lexington.  The added exposure coming from the SEC Network is a gold mine for the Kentucky Football program, and Coach Stoops has shown that he has the tools to take advantage of such an opportunity.


There’s a catch, however, as there always is.  The SEC is going to get filthy rich from this new deal, and with money comes greed.  There has been talk that with the new network deal, the SEC will extend it’s conference schedule from 8 games to 9.  If this happens, it will mean two things for Kentucky Football:


  • First, the rivalry game with Louisville will most likely get dropped.  Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that Louisville has a pretty solid football program, and dropping them from the schedule is the most logical choice.  Dropping the Louisville game hurts the fan bases of both schools and the revenue that comes from the Governor’s Cup will be lost, but a 9 game SEC schedule accompanied by a rotating series with Louisville would be devastating for a program trying to re-build.


  • Second, Kentucky will pick up a game with an opponent from the SEC West, which further compounds an already impossible schedule.  This means the Cats will play the likes of Bama, LSU, and Johnny Football… every year.  It’s hard to compete in the SEC period, but adding another conference  game will make it that much more difficult for schools like Missouri, Vandy, and Kentucky.



The question is: do the benefits outweigh the draw backs?  The keys to success will be patience and persistence.  Stoops has done some impressive things so far, and excitement is higher than ever… but the transformation will not happen in one season.  The defense will be fine (thoughts and prayers to Ashely Lowery) this year, but the offense is going to take some time to come together, so expect the SEC defenses to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and make it hard to get in a flow.  It’ll be a struggle at first, but the SEC Network will help lure recruits into the conference and Mark Stoops will be there to dress them in Blue and White.  Thoughts?



The sun shines bright, folks.  Keep the faith.



stoops and cobb






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Article written by Erik Jarboe

14 Comments for The SEC Network: What it could mean for KY Football

  1. CatfaninBG
    9:34 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    sorry but there is no way the UofL series will be dropped. If it gets put on the table, you will most likely see the g’ment get involved someway to keep it going.

  2. Will
    9:44 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    No way they will drop UL. Florida will play FSU plus UGA-GT, USC-Clem

  3. Wilson Rawlings
    9:48 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    1- the gov’t has already tried their hand in it, and failed. I doubt that it will get handled in the legislature

  4. Reality
    10:18 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    If we can’t compete with uofl, we will always be the armpit of te SEC. Man up and get better.

  5. JohnW
    10:23 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    Keep UofL….When were good enough to keep up with the SEC… we will Dominate anyone in the ACC…..

  6. Duke Sucks
    10:25 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    I get what the writer is saying and he very well could be correct. I just think you are giving UL way to much credit. UK has firmly passed UL untill Joker tanked our program. Even then UL isn’t Bama! I know they beat Flordia but Flordia wasn’t interested in that bowl game. We should know this first hand, no way Robert Morris was better then our team last year facts are I guys gave up just like Flordia did in that bowl game!
    I don’t think we will beat UL next year, but with the talent Stoops is bringing in we could very well be on par with them in a couple of years! Don’t crown the Cards just yet they have greatly benefited from a WEAK schedule which will be getting tougher. I don’t think they are above a 500 team if they played in the SEC!

  7. Lance
    10:30 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    First off, the UofL game. If we get to the point where we can compete with the giants of the SEC, then we should give Louisville the honor of stepping on the field with us. I know Louisville fans believe they could compete with the giants of the SEC because they beat the fourth best team in the league last year in the Sugar Bowl, but with an expanded schedule we will have to keep a few easier games to fine-tune the offense before playing against the real teams. Second what I though about as soon as I saw the post and mention of an increase in SEC programs, is what it could mean for KSR. When basketball season rolls around why not televise a repeat of the show each day. It would only make sense to put one the of the top radio shows on the air on television, especially during basketball season. How much greater would the Ryan Lemond Derby be if we could watch the outcome from the race live on the air.

  8. Cant Drop Louisville
    11:30 pm May 4, 2013 Permalink

    Will SC drop Clemson? Will FL drop FSU? Will UGA drop Tech? Doubtful so I don’t see why we can not play Louisville every year.

  9. UK Freshmen
    12:38 am May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Stupid post. Dumb post. No real argument to drop the Cards. Maybe the TV contract will help recruiting. More likely is the fact that it helps the Bamas too and all the increased exposure will show more potential recruits how badly the Cats are getting slaughtered, which will cause them to look elsewhere. Like UofL. Big recruits don’t want to play for losers that are getting thrashed.

  10. panama
    12:39 am May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Defense will be fine? Do you follow UK football? Maybe in 3 years.

  11. UKBlue1!
    12:41 am May 5, 2013 Permalink

    If the Cat’s go to nine games. I hope the SEC does sometype of parity. Keep the rivalry or crossmatch up game. Then teams should play based on previous season finish. NO 7th place team from either should play the cross divison number 1 or 2 team.

    #8 Tech and Fla St. Will drop the SEC school because the ACC is going to go to 9 games and play Notre Dame in a Non Conference game 1 time every 3 years. The teams are not going to want to play 2 quality NON conference games and a 9 game conference schedule. FSU has had problems winning out in the ACC. I also think UK will need to drop UL. The Cats are going to need to schedule to win first, improve and make adjustments for the nine SEC opponents. If the Cats can get to the place where we are winning 9 or 10 games a year UL could possibly be added back on the schedule. This game really has never benefited UK.

  12. Georgia Blue
    2:24 am May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky will only play 8 conference game a year. Meaning they will play everybody from the east and 2 team from the west. This will only change if they expand the league. This was said by the SEC President when Texas A&M and Missouri joined the SEC. That’s why Kentucky didn’t play LSU and Georgia didn’t play Bama last year . Everybody dropped 1 game from the other side to make room for A&M and Missouri when they joined the SEC.

  13. Blueneck
    7:37 am May 5, 2013 Permalink

    1. I agree with this post (sadly) that they would drop the Tards. Simple fact is that it is about getting 6+ wins. Even in the Rich Brooks era a good season was 3 SEC wins and 4 non-con wins (one was usually UL, thank u Kragthorpe). Don’t be stupid in comparing those other rivalries. Last time I checked (ok, everytime I checked) we aren’t UGA, USC, or UF. If someone thinks we are please state your case. In the rare year one of those lose to their rival they will still have plenty of wins. Plus keeping those games helps their season ticket sales (and price increases). Remember they have games against UK that aren’t a big draw that they have to make up for. All the Cats opponents in SEC seem big since we are always looking up at them. A better comparison is a bottom dweller like UT or Vandy. Are they scheduling anyone? Even MTSU?
    2. That sad part in dropping the Tards is they will scream how much they want to play since their schedule is so weak they can risk losing to the Cats and still get 8+ wins.
    3. I wish this post had compared, especially revenue, to the Big Ten Network.

  14. CatsFanFrankfort
    4:21 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Dropping the UofL game because we believe that we would get a sure-win elsewhere is foolish. UofL was good last year; Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal and Charlie Strong does recruit well. This doesn’t mean we should drop them just because we think we would lose every year. I agree with #6: youre giving them too much credit. They will not be a consistent top-10 team like most SEC schools are. Rise to the challenge; this is what makes the rivalry fun: actually playing your rival every year. And the rivalries that Florida, GA or South Carolina enjoy are all against usually decent teams too. How can we expect to be a contender in the SEC like most people hope if we’re too afraid to play our biggest rival, who isn’t even that good year after year?