1. SEC football games are in high demand, even for visiting teams. SEC schools allot more seats for visitors than any other conference because SEC fans travel like a group of hippies following a Phish tour. And the economies of Tuscaloosa, Auburn, College Station and the like have that to be thankful for, as the Wall Street Journal's Rachel Bachman pointed out Tuesday. Hotel prices shoot up like fireworks in SEC locales on game weekends - 144 percent in Tuscaloosa, 120 percent in Auburn and 89 percent in College Station. In fact, nine of the league's 14 cities see hotel prices rise more than 40 percent on game weekends.
2. People rolled their eyes last fall when Nick Saban said that the spread (pardon the pun) of no-huddle, up-tempo offenses were unfair and even dangerous for defenses. Now Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has come out in support of Saban. "Not to get on the coattails of some of the other coaches, there is a lot of truth that the way offensive philosophies are driven now, there's times where you can't get a defensive substitution in for 8, 10, 12 play drives," Bielema said. "That has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real."
On the other side stands Gus Malzahn, Butch Jones, Kevin Sumlin and Hugh Freeze. "No, I'd say that's probably more of an in-shape issue than anything else," Malzahn responded. Both sides have their reasons, but good luck getting the offensive coaches to give up what has clearly become a competitive advantage. We think you'd have a better chance getting the SEC to play 12 conference games than change the rules to slow down offenses.
3. Last month we showed you the options under consideration for the Atlanta Falcons' new home. Option 1 and its multitude of retractable roofs was approved earlier today. Work of art, state of the industry, yes, but to us it looks mostly like the greatest origami project in the history of the world.