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Wednesday Happy Hour is making more money, but at what cost?

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The Big Ten and Pac-12 are looking at a partnership with the Rose Bowl that will far exceed any money the game has previously brought in. All the sudden the value of the Rose Bowl to Jim Delany and the conference seems a lot more defined and worthy of protection:

ESPN’s deal with the Rose Bowl runs from 2015 through 2026, making it concurrent with the new playoff structure. The Rose Bowl’s new $80 million annual rights fee represents a 167 percent jump from the $30 million the network currently pays.

Which is all well and good, but Brian Cook of MGoBlog points out why waiting around for this more lucrative Rose Bowl arrangement still doesn't leave the conference in a very good spot:

In no way is the system with home games worse for the Rose than this one, except sometimes it hosts semifinals that may or may not have Pac-12 and Big Ten teams in them. Which the Rose hates. This is in fact a worse system for preserving the ancestral heritage of the Rose Bowl so pined for in that infamous teleconference above. With the Rose actively trying to back out of its appointed number of semifinal slots, keeping the Rose "part of the equation" clearly can't have anything to do with making a path to the national title.

So congrats, Jim. You sold out the idea of Big Ten teams ever having a home playoff game for rights to a second tier bowl that doesn't even want to be part of the playoff.

Michigan football over-under: How many true freshmen see the field? - The continuing series of 2012 preview articles from Kyle and Nick at touches on how many true freshmen will see playing time. I tend to lean toward the over because as I see it things will break down this way:

Will absolutely play: Kyle Kalis, Ondre Pipkins, Joe Bolden
Will probably play: AJ Williams, Jarrod Wilson, Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh
Special Teams duty: Kaleb Ringer, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Dennis Norfleet

I think ultimately nine freshmen play this year, but only two or three will have substantial roles, and all three of those players were highly rated coming out of high school.

Scouting: Adidas Invitational Part A | Part B - UMHoops provides scouting reports on Michigan commits like Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin from the Adidas Invite.

Early Week 1 preview: Michiga vs. Alabama

Totally unscientific percentage chance Michigan wins: 20 percent. The Wolverines couldn't have found a more difficult opening opponent, and they're playing away from home to boot. Michigan has some major questions on its defensive line and in its overall depth in the trenches, which could prove highly problematic against the Tide's size and strength.

I'll take any chance Michigan can get at this point.

Wisconsin Unveils New-Look Bucky Badger

Alvarez said that Wisconsin officials wanted something "edgier," as well. "No offense, but the old Bucky was just a little too nice-looking. He looked like a friendly little critter you'd find at a petting zoo. Have you ever seen a real badger? Pardon my French but they're [bleep]ing mean sons of [bleep]. They will tear your [bleep] arm off if you try to pet them. Under Coach Bret Bielema, our football program has enthusiastically embraced an attitude of aggressive modernity with a complete disregard of the so-called 'unwritten' rules of college football. Going for two on a supposed rival when you already have a 25-point lead with six minutes to go? Scoring 80 points on an overmatched opponent just because you can? That's the sort of take-no-prisoners, 'to hell with social niceties' approach to modern life that Wisconsin football embodies, and we thought we should expand that approach to Bucky Badger."

BHGP imagines a Wisconsin mascot that is more in line with what one would expect from Wisconsin football under Bret Bielema.


We'll resurface in the 'Ham at the Wynfrey around 2 p.m. Eastern when Steve Spurrier opens things up as he always does: by gimping to the podium, cocking his head to the side, clearing his throat, and saying "Waylll this is my 839th SEC Media Days, and I'm a better coach than Nick Saban." He may not say the last part, but you know he's thinking it.

EDSBS covering the SEC Media days? Make sure to bring your Bingo card to make things more exciting.

Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 in hypothetical college football Mock Draft - This is incredible, but thank god the off season is almost over.

Chip Kelly may or may not be watching film in a hot tub, and more on Oregon's future football palace - Oregon is quickly climbing to the top of every "best football facilities" list that circulates in the off season. If this pace keeps up the Ducks are going to outstrap most pro teams.

Steve Spurrier Had Another Highly Quotable SEC Media Day

“It’s easier to win the national championship than the SEC. Ask Nick Saban.”

That's why everyone loves the Ol' Ball Coach.