If you're not caught up in the wave of support for the US Women's World Cup team currently sweeping the nation, basking in the FIVE GAME LEAD the Astros are currently carrying in the AL West, or joining me and the other addicts in the football methadone clinic that is Live Canadian Football on ESPN3, you may have noticed a neat promotion the SEC Network is currently running. Beginning this past Monday and running through next Sunday, each SEC school is given 24 hours to Takeover and air the programing of their choice, as curated by the school and a special celebrity representative for each school. These reps range from former players like Mark Ingram and David Price, coaches like Jimmy Dykes and John Calipari, ESPN SEC alumni like John Anderson and Kayce Smith, Leigh Anne Tuohy of "The Blind Side" fame and WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION OF THE WORLD (and former Gator) Titus O'Neil.
LSU's day will be Sunday and the selected rep is 2015 #2 overall MLB draft pick Alex Bregman, though I wonder how much input he could have had seeing as how he's been tearing it up in Single A ball for the Astros almost as soon as the team got back from Omaha. While a full press release has not been issued as of this writing, I stumbled upon the schedule through WatchESPN's listing page while charting the CFL game times for the weekend. There may be brief campus tour type specials in addition to what I have listed below, but this is the full list of actual games selected for air on the day.
All Times Central
11:00 PM - Gym - Florida vs. LSU - 2/20/2015
1:00 AM - Football - Virginia Tech vs. LSU - 9/8/2007
3:30 AM - Volleyball - LSU vs. Texas A&M - 11/6/2014
5:00 AM - Women’s Hoops - Georgia vs. LSU - 2/10/2013
6:30 AM - Men’s Hoops - Arizona vs. LSU - 12/21/2002
8:00 AM - Football - Florida vs. LSU - 10/6/2007
10:30 AM - 2015 SEC Men's Golf Championship
11:00 AM - Women’s Hoops - Kentucky vs. LSU - 1/18/2015
12:30 PM - Softball - LSU vs. Florida - 3/14/2015
2:00 PM - Men’s Hoops - Kentucky vs. LSU - 1/28/2014
3:30 PM - Baseball - LSU vs. Florida (SEC Championship) - 5/25/2014
6:00 PM - Football - Georgia vs. LSU - 12/3/2011
8:30 PM - Baseball - Texas A&M vs. LSU - 4/23/2015
I'll say this for it: If it was truly scheduled by Bregman, he's only chosen things that have happened while he was aware of LSU sports. Despite the near 80 year history of the SEC and a tape library that presumably stretches as far back as at least the 1960's, the oldest thing on the list is a Brady Ball era hoops game. The majority of the games are from within the past 2 seasons. Looking over the teams having SEC Network Takeover days before LSU (Bama, Ark, Auburn, UF, UGA, and UK) Kentucky is the only other school so far to decide to air only games from the 21st Century. Let's break it down.
Florida 2007 is possibly The Greatest Football Game Ever Played, and on it's own is a fantastic choice. But the others are kinda head scratchers. UGA 2011 in the SEC Championship Game was great (personally, I was there in Atlanta that day and have actually seen very little of this game on TV beyond highlights) but for my money, the game the previous week against Arkansas was better, not to mention At Bama earlier that same year. Virginia Tech 2007 is an even odder choice, a 48-7 blowout that was over almost before halftime. Why not the 2005 Katrina game at AZ St, a game reaching it's 10th anniversary this fall. The 2001 SEC Championship shocker over Tennessee. The 2001 SEC West play-in game vs Auburn. The Earthquake Game. Bring Back The Magic. Florida 1997. And that's just what I can come up with from my lifetime. The SEC archives supposedly stretch back far enough, how about 1972 Ole Miss?
2002 vs Arizona. LSU upsets #1 at home in a matchup of Ronald Dupree, Jaime Lloreda, and Collis Temple III vs Andre Iguodala. An underrated classic and actually a great choice. 2014 vs UK. The Ice Dome game. Possibly the Johnny Jones era's high point so far (at least as far as games that LSU won). But nothing from the Final Four year? No Daddy Dale? Delving further back, how about a random Maravich game, if the tape exists? I mean, how many of us have honestly ever seen a Pistol Pete game? That would be fascinating to watch.
The choices on the women's side are even more odd. I checked and they are both home upsets of ranked SEC teams by an unranked LSU team, but they kinda leave me feeling...meh. How about one of those early 2000's classic bouts against Tennessee? I'll watch a game with Temeka Johnson and Seimone Augustus any day.
Probably one of the only schools who choses to air 2 baseball games on their takeover day (Vandy's list isn't out yet). If we're to believe Bregman had a real hand in selecting, he certainly picked these, two of the best SEC baseball games of his career. Just so I can make a vault suggestion, how about the 1997 Championship vs Bama?
Nice that they get a well deserved spot, and if you didn't see this tense game on the road at Florida earlier this year, here's your second chance. Watch it live or DVR it, a fantastic choice for this list.
Rounding out this fairly diverse list is the best home Gym meet of last year, a great volleyball match from last season, and...the SEC Golf Championship highlights package. I don't mean to downplay the golf team's SEC championship, but this is the wrong choice, even in this sport. For one, the SEC golf championship didn't air live originally, so this is likely just a replay of the final day's truncated round highlights. If you're going to air LSU Men's Golf from 2015 it has to be the surprisingly exciting match play final against USC for the National Championship. I, frankly, generally dislike golf as a sport, but that final was the most fun I've had watching it in years.
Overall, not a bad list, just kind of a let down. It's kind of the same problem I have with the SEC Network in general. They've got this vast sea of air time in this empty summer and I fear it's just going to be spring game replays, games from the 2014 season, and WAY too much Finebaum. Where are the random 70's Bama football games? A Miss St. baseball game from the late 80s? A Vanderbilt Jefferson Pilot upset special we've all forgotten about? I don't even really want the SEC Rewind treatment on these games. Just pop in the tape and let it roll, warts and all.
What say Y'all? Who's gonna set their alarms and spend a day on the couch pretending Alabama doesn't exist?