Talking Points: SEC schedule makers

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

There’s no doubt the Southeastern Conference is a great football league. It might even be deserving of the eight teams it has in the preseason coaches’ Top 25.

But Talking Points would be more impressed if the SEC schools had the guts to leave their backyards to play difficult non-conference games.

LSU opens with Oregon this year, but that’s almost a home game for the Tigers because it’s in Dallas. And Alabama is traveling to Penn State, but that doesn’t make up for the remainder of the Crimson Tide’s non-league schedule — Kent State, North Texas, and Georgia Southern.

With the schedules that most SEC teams play, a 2-6 record in conference play is enough to assure them of a bowl game.

2

This week’s sign that it’s a really, really slow time of year in the sports world: ESPN devoted a one-hour special Friday to the unveiling of its new Total Quarterback Rating.

We’re all in favor of a new system, particularly because ESPN’s creation weighs the impact of a given play on the outcome of the game. But devoting an hour of programming to it is the network’s most narcissistic moment since The Decision.

3

According to reports, NBA commissioner David Stern will not receive his salary throughout the duration of the league’s lockout.

Nice gesture, but radio host Dan Patrick has a better idea: How about using Stern’s salary to help the 114 people who were laid off last month from the league’s offices?

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