SEC: Bernie Machen

SEC lunchtime links

November, 19, 2013
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Plenty of goings-on in the SEC today. Let's dive right into it:

Muschamp received extension in August

November, 27, 2012
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Florida coach Will Muschamp received a one-year extension back in August, meaning he will now be under contract through the 2017 season.

The Gainesville Sun originally reported Muschamp's extension, which is the second one-year extension Muschamp has received this year. He originally signed a five-year deal through 2015 back in 2011.

It says a lot about the faith that athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen had in Muschamp following his 7-6 debut as the Gators' coach in 2011.

"Dr. Machen and I believed in the leadership and direction of the football program this summer and we made a decision to extend Coach Muschamp's contract an additional year this past August, prior to the start of the season," Foley said.

"The financial terms are unchanged but he is now under contract for the University of Florida through the 2017 season."

That confidence certainly paid off, as Muschamp helped guide the Gators to an 11-1 season in his second year and has Florida poised to play in a BCS bowl game in January.

SEC lunch links

June, 1, 2012
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A look at what's making news in the SEC:

Texas A&M to SEC on hold for now

September, 7, 2011
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We seemed so close to hearing the announcement of a new school in the SEC.

But things are on hold ... again.

On Tuesday, the SEC presidents voted and unanimously accepted Texas A&M's application to become the conference's 13th team, according to a release by the SEC.

All finally seemed right in the SEC world until one Big 12 school decided to take last-minute action.

"After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC," University of Florida president and SEC chairman Dr. Bernie Machen said in a statement released Wednesday. "We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011."

The SEC wants to make sure it isn't sued by any Big 12 school for accepting Texas A&M, but sources told ESPN's Joe Schad that Baylor hasn't given the league that assurance.

That's interesting because in that letter to SEC commissioner Mike Slive from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on Sept. 2, Beebe made it clear that no legal action about be taken against the SEC.

Here is the intro to that letter:
"This is to confirm our discussion yesterday during which I informed you that the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors unanimously authorized me to convey to you and their colleagues in the Southeastern Conference that the Big 12 and its members will not take any legal action for any possible claims against the SEC or its members relating to the departure of Texas A&M University from the Big 12 and the admission of Texas A&M into the SEC; provided, however, that such act by the SEC to admit Texas A&M is publicly confirmed by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on September 8, 2011."

Regardless, Baylor seems to be the hold up for the SEC at this moment, but if my memory serves me, the Big East sued Miami, Boston College and the ACC after those schools decided to jump the ACC.

Guess where those schools, including Virginia Tech, are? Yep, the ACC.

Stay tuned on SEC expansion

August, 15, 2011
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By now, we've all had time to digest what the statement Sunday from the SEC presidents and chancellors really means concerning Texas A&M and expansion.

Most around the league I've talked with view it more as a timeout than anything.

The statement by Florida president Bernie Machen certainly leaves the door open that the SEC could extend an invitation down the road to Texas A&M, but in no way does the SEC want to get caught up in any litigation involving Texas A&M's exit from the Big 12. So perhaps this is the SEC's way of allowing Texas A&M to get its business in order before anything happens. SEC commissioner Mike Slive doesn't want to be part of raiding a conference or cherry-picking teams from a conference, which is why the SEC wants it known that Texas A&M approached the SEC and not the other way around.

The other factor that weighs into the SEC taking this timeout is that a 14th team would have to be found if Texas A&M does indeed come aboard. Where would that team come from? Several in the SEC have suggested that the league is not interested in going into the neigboring ACC and adding teams.

So for now, we all wait.

But stay tuned.

Florida's Machen not a fan of the BCS

February, 23, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

All those playoff proponents in college football can take solace in the fact that there's at least one high-profile president out there who doesn't like the BCS.

Florida's Bernie Machen, whose Gators have won two of the last three BCS national championships, called the current BCS format unfair in a wide-ranging Q&A that Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel conducted with Machen recently.

In particular, Machen said the BCS system is not fair for a school like Utah, which he says could "beat a lot of SEC schools." Machen was the president at Utah before coming to Florida, and the Utes blasted Alabama last year in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to complete an undefeated season.

For a playoff to have any chance in college football, it's going to take more presidents like Machen getting on board and pushing for one. Right now, Machen is in the minority among his peers when it comes to a playoff.

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