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#PMARSHONAU: Lunchtime musings ...

Amid great fanfare, the Southeastern Conference and ESPN unveiled the plans for the SEC Television Network today in Atlanta. It will debut in August of 2014 and will add many more millions to the coffers of SEC schools

It was also announced that ESPN has extended its media rights agreement with the SEC all the way through 2034, the longest agreement in all of sports.

Some other interesting tidbits from the press conference:

* Three football games per week will be televised on the SEC Network, along with competition in all sports.

* The SEC’s television agreement with CBS will continue.

* SEC commissioner Slive praised Auburn president Jay Gogue, the president of the SEC this year, for his help and support.

* Slive said the SEC still strongly supports full cost of attendance scholarships and will continue to advocate for the NCAA to pass legislation allowing them.

* Asked about a possible move to a nine-game SEC schedule, Slive didn’t rule it out. …

The SEC has become a behemoth unlike anything ever seen in college athletics, and there is no end in sight. The SEC Network will make the league even wealthier and even more powerful.

When did it start? When did the SEC become so clearly the unchallenged king of college football and, really, college athletics in general? It’s hard to identify one season or one event that made it happen. Mostly, it’s seven straight national football championships, along with more fans and more passion than any other league. …

Will Slive be remembered as the most successful and influential conference commissioner in the college sports? I believe he will. He’s a brilliant yet warm man who, I am told, is also a ferocious negotiator. You have to give him much of the credit for the SEC’s incredible growth.

Moving on:

Who will start at quarterback for Auburn next season? My guess is it will be a three-man race among sophomore Jonathan Wallace, junior Kiehl Frazier and junior college transfer Nick Marshall.

If Marshall, a truly elite athlete, can pick up the offense rapidly enough, it will be hard to keep him off the field. He was recruited to play quarterback and only quarterback. And he wasn’t recruited to sit on the bench. …

Fullback Jay Prosch will be the only senior on Auburn’s offense next season. That’s not the only senior starter, that’s the only senior, period. …

Five players who I believe could break out for Auburn next season: Cornerback Chris Davis, wide receiver Trovon Reed, left tackle Greg Robinson, defensive tackle Angelo Blackson and Star Justin Garrett. …

Until next time …

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