Kevin Sumlin, shown learning how they do things in the SEC at the conference's annual mandatory player discipline seminar. (Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE)
Aggies Gonna Aggie: Back in June, Kevin Sumlin suspended starters Howard Matthews and Steven Jenkins for the old unspecified "violation of team rules". That suspension was supposed to take place this week when the Aggies visited Louisiana Tech; since that game's been washed out by Isaac, that means they'll instead be suspended for A&M's first-ever SEC game against Florida next we--
Wait, what? They're still suspended for the Louisiana Tech game? You mean they get to play five games before serving their suspension, just oh so coincidentally not being suspended for games against Florida, Southern Methodist, Arkansas, and Ole Miss? Here's the thing I don't understand; if you're going to be cynical and venal, why not just suspend them for the South Carolina State game on September 29?
("Because that would be too obvious" is the answer.)
I was taken to task over my Twitter comment about this last night by Aggies, who I suddenly remember I won't miss one little bit. One guy even went so far as to carry on a lengthy assault in which he insisted I tell him the details of what the players did to get suspended (as if that's even relevant to the issue at hand) and then suggested I was just jealous I couldn't get into A&M, which is funny because I got into three Ivy League schools but just couldn't swing the money.
I mention this because it illustrates a very important detail: football is back, and that means it's time for the trolling to ensue. Thank goodness.
And of course, that means it's time to get back behind the wheel here at the National. The format's going to be in flux; rather than the old model of basically serving as a (sort of) daily link dump, it's instead going to be a (sort of) daily commentary. I'll pass along news bits that may flow under the radar a bit, but I'll probably dodge basic front-page type stories unless they require comment. I'm also going to focus a bit more on interesting and/or funny stuff from around the SB Nation network, especially on Wednesdays.
And on that note:
I Demand Credit for Breaking This Story: Loyola (MD) is leaving the MAAC for the Patriot League on July 1, and before any news outlet posted it, before Loyola or the Patriot League themselves tweeted the news, before anyone else tweeted it... I did. Yes, that's an epic #humblebrag, except it's not even humble. Loyola, you may recall, earned an NCAA basketball bid last year and the Greyhounds are the defending NCAA Division I men's lacrosse champion, so it's a pretty good get for the Patriot. The move makes good sense for Loyola for travel purposes, and winning the Patriot in basketball will be a bit less thorny than winning the MAAC. They'll join Boston University as the new kids on the block.
Did You Consider Lowering Your Monetary Demands?: DirecTV isn't picking up the Pac-12 Networks, and the Pac-12 is throwing all the blame at DirecTV. This has been a thorn in my side for a long time. Content providers (read: networks) like to point their finger at service provides (read: cable and satellite companies) and claim that "they're keeping you from seeing our programs". The truth, of course, is precisely the opposite. If the networks provided their programs for free, no cable or satellite provider would refuse to carry them. Now, nobody's suggesting that any network should operate with no income; my point here is that your product is only worth what someone is willing to pay. If making your programming available is that important to you, you lower your demands... and anyone who argues that it's the cable or satellite provider's fault needs an adjustment. The flip side, of course, is that if enough people complain to their provider, then a deal will sometimes get done. That doesn't work so well with DirecTV, though, because most DirecTV customers have only one other option... and really, who wants to give up steak in protest only to be forced to eat Spaghetti-Os?
Actual News Briefs: The NCAA is inching closer to offering women's triathlon as a championship varsity sport. ... Purdue just released LB Dwayne Beckford; adjust your betting appropriately. ... In addition to the postponement of the A&M/LaTech tilt, Nicholls State at Oregon State has been postponed due to travel concerns for the Louisiana FCS squad. They'll either make it up 12/1 (if Nicholls isn't in the FCS playoffs and Oregon State doesn't win the Pac-12 North) or not at all.