Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
It's been a weird week here at Extra Points HQ. I was in Louisville Tuesday and Wednesday for some business and scheduling meetings with the D1.ticker folks, only for snow and ice storms to hit Chicago and Indiana. Suddenly, I didn't have a flight home anymore, and since my wife's birthday is today, simply riding it out in Kentucky wasn't an option. I had to grab a car and drive back.
After some white-knuckle driving through very not-cleared highways, we're all safe, sound and back in Sweet Home Chicago. But if it's taken me a little longer to get back to your email, that's why.
All that time up in the air and on the road meant that I didn't have time to make as many videos for Connect this week. But we did have a chance to produce some other things that I think you'll enjoy:
I started working in college sports journalism full-time in 2014. I'm not sure if there's been some sort of scandal or weirdness happening in Louisville constantly since that time, but boy, it sure feels like it. Just in the few months since I've joined up with the Ticker, Louisville is now out a president, athletic director and men's basketball coach. The men's basketball program has been on NCAA punishments watch since, well, I lost count...and the palace intrigue of this place could fill a month's worth of newsletters. Shoot, it's probably a book.
To better explain all of this, Bryan and I sat down with an old friend of mine, Mark Ennis of ESPN Louisville, to try and unpack everything. This episode of Going For Two should be live in your various podcast feeds, or you can find it here on our YouTube Playlist:
In this episode, the three of us discuss, among other things,
- Why the Chris Mack era went wrong at Louisville
- What makes Louisville so unlike virtually every other college sports market in the US
- Why this athletic department is suddenly looking for a new AD and a new president
- What makes a gig that has produced so many wins and enjoy so much fan support so stinkin' hard
- Why the UK/UL rivalry is uncommonly political and just downright mean
- and much, much more:
Speaking of videos, you might have missed our second Going For Two podcast from last week, a conversation with The Athletic's Scott Dochterman.
This conversation touches on many topics, including,
- Why the Big Ten is potentially considering ditching divisions and moving to an eight-game conference schedule
- Where is the Iowa football program going right now, exactly?
- What's worth more as TV inventory...nine Big Ten games, or eight + an ACC/Pac-12 game?
- Why the hell would anybody want to chair the College Football Playoff Selection Committee?
- How you can save 15% off your first order at Homefield Apparel by using promocode EXTRAPOINTS
- and more!
If you enjoy the show, liking, subscribing, and sharing with your friends is very much appreciated.
Full Extra Points subscribers also got to read these other newsletters:
1) Extra Points contributor Andy Wittry reached out to multiple experts to better understand the unique dynamics that come from recruiting twins to basketball rosters....and why one twin might be way better (at least at first).
2) You got to see the video early for our Wednesday podcast, which discussed National Signing Day, and also got into existential questions about the ethics of fandom and small children.
3) We got a copy of the FCS football feasibility study for the University of New Orleans, and discussed how this shows how much it really costs to start a program, what UNO would hope to get out of it, and the latest updates on potential expansion and realignment for the Southland conference.
4) Finally, in case you missed it, I drove to the UIC to the Missouri Valley press conference last week, talked with UIC's AD, and got some updates about where the athletic department, and the conference, go from here:
You can make sure you get every Extra Points newsletter, and get three free stickers, and get access to our special Discord server and feel good about keeping Extra Points alive, by upgrading to a full subscription right here:
What else is coming soon for Extra Points?
I can't tell you everything that came out of our meetings this week, but I can share a few updates.
- We've been working with some developers to roll out some quality-of-life updates for the website, as well as a visual refresh. You should begin to see some of those updates over the next two weeks. Those updates will include a new Extra Points logo, improvements to the newsletter tagging system, performance updates, and more.
- We're hammering out some future travel plans, but I can tell you I absolutely plan to hit the road multiple times before the end of this basketball season, including a trip to a conference tournament. Covering the UConn/UMass football game was one of my highlights of this newsletter experience, and I am very open to other suggestions for campuses we ought to visit and unique stories we should be telling.
- Starting today, I'm uploading even more documents to the Extra Points FOIA Directory, and will continue over the next several weeks. Look for FY21 FRS reports, coach contracts and more to be added to this directory. If you have anything you'd like to add, drop me a line at Matt@ExtraPointsMB.com.
It's been a busy week! Can't wait to share more fun stories with you next week.
Thanks for reading, listening and following along.
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To sponsor a future Extra Points newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For article ideas, newsletter feedback, FOIA tips, athlete NIL sponsorships and more, I'm at email@example.com, or @MattBrownEP on Twitter. Andy can be reached at @AndyWittry on Twitter or at Andy@ExtraPointsMB.com. Extra Points can be found on Reddit at /r/extrapointsmb