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SEC Headlines 4/14/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1.  Alabama coach Nick Saban appears to be very pleased with the spring performance of running back Derrick Henry.

2. Auburn defender Justin Garrett is back on the field and feeling healthier after dealing with foot injuries.

3. Auburn’s coaching staff expects a lot of the Tigers’ wide receivers this year.

4. Which Georgia players helped themselves this spring? Seth Emerson takes a look.

5. Quarterback Hutson Mason showed he’s ready to lead Georgia, writes Barrett Sallee.

6. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel following the dismissal of Dorial Green-Beckham: “I’ve got to protect the integrity of the program.”

SEC Basketball

7. Bruce Pearl landed his first commitment at Auburn. The prospect was accused of eating marijuana during a January traffic stop.

8. Pat Dooley looks back at the top moments from Florida’s run to the Final Four this season.

9. Jerry Tipton is live tweeting John Calipari’s Monday media tour.

10. ESPN’s Chad Ford on Kentucky guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison will go to the NBA, but “I don’t think either of those kids should leave.”

SEC/NFL Draft

11. An anonymous NFL personnel man called Jadeveon Clowney “spoiled” and “lazy.

12. Clowney goes No. 1 to the Houston Texans in Josh Norris’ latest NFL mock draft.

13. Peter King looks at the draft in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

Extra

14. Dennis Dodd looks at Jameis Winston’s busy weekend, which included a 56-pass spring game and save in a baseball game.

15. Ohio State quaterback Braxton Miller poked fun at rival Michigan over its spring game attendance.

16. Where is outrage about college sports coming from? “Much of it comes from academia and the media, which doesn’t make it wrong.”

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SEC Headlines 4/13/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Spring Games

1. Expect a very different Florida offense this fall. “The Gators will come at opponents quickly, and also in waves.”

2. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the progress of his offense:  ”I think you can attribute all that to [new coordinator] Kurt Roper and the offensive staff and the job they’ve done.

3. Josh Dobbs impressive at quarterback for Tennessee but coach Butch Jones in no hurry to name a starter. ”No timetable.”

4. But what about the other side of the ball? “It was a tough day for the defense.”

5. Mark Bradley on Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason’s performance: “He missed on some deep throws, but he hit on enough of them to kindle hope…(that he could) lead the Bulldogs to an SEC title as a first-year starter.”

6. Safety Tray Matthews missed the game with hamstring issues. Coach Mark Richt: “We probably need to re-evaluate what we’re doing with him…And he’s probably gotta take some ownership of it too.”

7. Dan Mullen on Mississippi State’s spring game: “We got to see, which is what I wanted, a lot of young players put in situations that maybe they haven’t been in before in this stadium. Lingering question is inconsistent kicking game.

8. Freshman running back Ralph Webb a star of Vanderbilt’s spring game.

9. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier called a touchdown pass to women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley “the best play” of the scrimmage (around the 1:50 mark).

SEC Football

10. Missouri running back Marcus Murphy on Dorial Green-Beckham’s dismissal.   ”I just hope it helps people to realize the things they can and can’t do and just how to carry themselves.

11. Coach Gary Pinkel: “It’s not a real fun day to be a head football coach.”

12. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on A.J. Derby’s transition from quarterback to tight end. “I don’t think you could find a happier person on this earth right now than A.J. Derby. He’s loving it.”

13. At Alabama’s second scrimmage, quarterback Blake Sims continued to separate himself from the current competition ahead of Jacob Coker’s arrival.

14. Quarterbacks Drew Barker and Patrick Towles generate buzz at Kentucky’s scrimmage.

15 Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on next Saturday’s spring game“It’s going to be exactly like it was last spring game and we’re going to put the ball down and we’re going to get after it.”

16. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason’s mural gets a makeover.

17. Paul Finebaum apologizes to Jadeveon Clowney for calling him the ”the biggest joke in college football” last season.

18. Former LSU player Tahj Jones participated in LSU’s Pro Day on Wednesday – he was  reportedly shot by former LSU player Brandon Winey on Friday night. Gunshot to the abdomen and in serious condition.

SEC Basketball

19. Glynn Cyprien  is no longer Billy Kennedy’s associate head coach at Texas A&M. “Sometimes it’s best for both parties to go their different ways.”

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Top MrSEC Clicks For The Week

 

 

SEC Headlines 4/12/2014

headlines-saturdayDorial Green-Beckham’s Dismissal

1. The first player in Missouri history to catch four touchdown passes in a game is no longer a Tiger. ”This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind.”

2. Missouri A.D. Mike Alden on whether Green-Beckham’s girlfriend was contacted by Mizzou coaches.  ”We were assured by our coaches that that, in fact, did not take place.”

3. Beckham’s dismissal comes on same day independent report is released regarding alleged assault of a swimmer by members of the Missouri football team.

 4. “It will be easy for some to think of Green-Beckham as the sacrifice, the one paying for the sins of others. But that’s not fair.”

5. “There are coaches out there right now salivating over the possibility of adding him for a year, until he leaps to the NFL.”

6. Beckham – from Springfield, Missouri – won’t land at Missouri State.  ”That’s not the kind of player we recruit to our program.”

SEC Spring Games

7. Starting quarterback job on the line?  Spring game at Vanderbilt could determine the leader.

8. One of the storylines this spring at Florida - linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. has been a beast.

9. Gator running back Kelvin Taylor has separated himself from the pack.

10. With defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt being new, don’t expect Georgia to reveal the entire playbook. “Being the fact that it is Jeremy’s first year as the coordinator, people look at our TV spring game.”

11. Mississippi State’s defense has been physical and impressive this spring.

12. Plenty of questions about South Carolina’s defense and its backup quarterback.  ”For much of spring, the gap between Dylan Thompson and his backup candidates has been the Grand Canyon. ”

13. Tennessee coach Butch Jones:  “We’re not going to be the best team on the field, but that’s OK. We’ve won championships with not having the best collection of talent. ”

14. One week from today, both Auburn and Alabama will have their spring games.  ”There’s only one state in the country where anticipation builds to see not only who shows out…but how many show up.”

SEC Football

15. Backup quarterback battle at Ole Miss could continue through the fall.

16. Former Alabama quarterback Luke Del Rio granted immediate eligibility at Oregon State.

SEC/NFL

17. Could be the first year since 2010 that Auburn produces two first-round picks.

SEC  Basketball

18. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes on his decision to enter the NBA draft. “I feel like I can produce on a team in the NBA. I really do. ”

19. Auburn center  Matthew Atewe underwent surgery on his left shin Friday.

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SEC Headlines 4/11/2014

headlines-friSEC Legal Beat

1. Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

2. Little Rock, Arkansas prosecutors say they’ll drop Alabama running back Altee Tenpenny’s drug possession charge if he doesn’t get in trouble in the next year.

3. Arrested in January for resisting arrest, Alabama freshman Tony Brown was granted youthful offender status Thursday.

4. With no charges filed against Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham – is this a defining decision for  Gary Pinkel? “Does the Missouri coach stand on his stated principle or side with expediency?” MrSEC:  ”Pinkel now sits in Coaching Hell.” 

5. Zach Price kicked off Missouri basketball team by coach Frank Haith.   Louisville transfer – who never played at Mizzou – was arrested twice after former teammate Earnest Ross had filed a restraining order against him.

6. Seven Mizzou football and men’s basketball players have been arrested eight times since January.

7. A former intern in the Vanderbilt athletics department files a lawsuit in federal court – says he should have been paid.

SEC Football

8. Thanks to Vanderbilt moving the game to LP Field, Ole Miss will play three straight games in NFL stadiums. 

9. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the impact of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper: “I think there’s a lot of confidence level on our offensive side of the ball for the first time in a while. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has lost 15 pounds.

10. Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t have a lot of patience for mistakes in the secondary.  “You mess up a couple of plays, you’re out.”

11. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: “I want to make it very clear, we’ve not made any changes to our offensive line.”

12. Texas A&M running backs coach Clarence McKinney likes no longer having offensive coordinator responsibilities.  “I can focus on some technical things with those guys we kind of got away from last year.”

13. Brandon Allen on the quarterback battle at Arkansas: “My mindset is I’m the starter and I need to go out and prove to everyone that I’m still the starter.”  A.J. Derby moving to tight end.

14. Tennessee defensive end  LaTroy Lewis getting reps at tight end.

15. In addition to unveiling new uniforms, Mississippi State signs extension with Adidas - seven-year deal worth $17.5 million.

16. Economic study on the impact of LSU football: “Over a 7-game home season, total spending by fans from outside the metro is $62.8 million in Louisiana, with $47.7 million of that spent within Baton Rouge metro.”

17. Daniel Bush spent the past three years working on Alabama’s player personnel staff.  He’s now Arkansas’ new Assistant Recruiting Coordinator/Director of Personnel.

SEC/NFL

18. Johnny Manziel reportedly had the highest Wonderlic score among quarterbacks.

SEC Basketball

19. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes expected to announce he’s entering the NBA draft.

20. For Kentucky basketball fans “no one in recent years — not Duke, not Louisville, not North Carolina, certainly not Tennessee — has been responsible for more heartache than the Connecticut Huskies.”

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Lock Helps Missouri Bolster Offense

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxMissouri’s offense received a big lift this week when it received commitments from quarterback Drew Lock from Lee’s Summit (Mo.) High School and running back Natereace Strong from East St. Louis (Ill.) High School.

Lock, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 5 pro-style quarterback by Rivals, chose Missouri over Tennessee. Kentucky, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Ohio State and Texas also offered Lock a scholarship.

Lock said during a press conference Wednesday night that Missouri led throughout the recruiting process. His father, Andy Lock, played on the offensive line for the Tigers from 1986-89.

“I don’t feel like I could have played anywhere but Missouri because I feel like that’s where their heart lies, and that’s where my heart lies, too,” Drew Lock said. “(Lock’s father) did walk out into that stadium. To think that so many years later, I’m going to get the chance to actually do that, it’s surreal.”

Missouri’s recruiting on the offensive side of the ball is off to a strong start in the 2015 class.

The commitment from Strong, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 21 running back by Rivals, is the third running back commitment for the Tigers. He told Rivals he believes he will fit in nicely to Missouri’s offense.

“Their offense is a good offense – they are powerful and physical,” Strong said. “They put up numbers and I want to be in an offense that puts up numbers because that will help me get to the next level and that’s where I want to be.”

Lock plans to help Missouri put up those numbers. The Tigers’ recent quarterbacks, including Chase Daniel, James Franklin and Maty Mauk, have shown the ability to throw and run. Lock believes he can follow in that line.

“I would definitely say that my label is a pocket passer,” Lock said. “But I feel like I can bring so much more to the University of Missouri and the college level. I can get out and make plays if I need to, if the pocket breaks down. That’s something I take pride in.”

Lock has always taken pride in his family’s connection to Missouri. Andy Lock recalled a conversation he had with Drew about the future of the quarterback position at Missouri.

“Drew, would you be comfortable with somebody else quarterbacking the University of Missouri for three or four years, however long you get to play?” Andy remembered. “He goes, ‘Absolutely not.’ I said, ‘There you go. You just answered your own question.’

“That right there. He kind of went, ‘No, Dad, I’m not OK with that because I love that school and my family loves that school so, no, it would hurt me.’”

And Missouri is glad Lock will be there to help the Tigers.

 

Tennessee continues in-state run

Athlete Jauan Jennings gave Tennessee good news when he committed to the Vols on Monday.

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SEC Headlines 4/10/2014

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Are Columbia police having difficulty getting cooperation from a victim or witness in a case potentially involving Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham? Update: Investigation complete – no arrests will be made. Update II: Victim and roommate feared retaliation.  Girlfriend text:  ”The coaches talked to me and explained to (me) how serious this is and there’s no time to waste at this point.”

2. Certain people who show up for Mississippi State’s spring game may get dinner with coach Dan Mullen.

3. Is Alabama running back Derrick Henry poised for a breakout season? “During the Oklahoma game, I could tell that they didn’t want to tackle me.”

4. Alabama coach Nick Saban on his quarterbacks: “Cooper Bateman and Blake Sims have both done a nice job this spring and are improving very nicely.”

5. Position battle to watch at Georgia’s spring game?  Left guard.

6. Florida wide receiver Chris Thompson had only two catches last season but has been a standout performer this spring.

7. More debate over Vanderbilt’s decision to move its game against Ole Miss to LP Field.

8. More than 1.2 million fans watched Auburn play football in 2013 - more than any other team in the country.

9. South Carolina defensive tackle J.T. Surratt: “I wasn’t too boisterous last year, but this year I gotta step up into that roll and say more things now.”

10. Arkansas names Southeastern Louisiana associate head coach E.K. Franks as the program’s recruiting director.

11. With its entire starting group gone, plenty of opportunities along Tennessee’s offensive line.

12. Tennessee will have a flag football game for former Vols at halftime of the spring game.

SEC/NFL

13. Zach Mettenberger on his performance at LSU’s Pro Day: ”I’ve been saying for a couple of weeks now that I’m healthy, and good enough to go, and I don’t think all of y’all believed me. ”

SEC Basketball

14. The mother of Kentucky star Julius Randle denies an ESPN report that her son has decided to declare for the NBA draft.

15. Kentucky coach John Calipari on the NCAA: “The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years.”

16. Florida forward Chris Walker says he’s returning for sophomore year.

17. Ole Miss guard Derrick Millinghaus is planning to transfer.

18. Former Texas Tech guard Dusty Hannahs is transferring to Arkansas.

19. Former Missouri player Earnest Ross filed a restraining order against teammate Zach Price a before Price was arrested twice for assault.

20. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl has one more spot to fill on his staff.  Interviewed 12 candidates during the Final Four.

SEC History

21. How much did Bear Bryant make when he coached Texas A&M?  $15,000 plus 1% of the gate.

Extras

22. This is how you become a college football bag man.

23. Big Ten opening an office in New York City.

24. David Letterman’s replacement is Stephen Colbert.

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SEC Headlines 4/9/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on the team’s Sunday night opener against Utah State: “We’re very, very excited about that. It’s also a great opportunity to perform on the SEC Network.”

2. Tennessee quarterbacks Justin Worley and Riley Ferguson took first- and second-team reps, respectively, on Tuesday.

3. Georgia and Notre Dame reportedly working on a home-and-home series starting in 2018. A.D. Greg McGarity: “We talk with a lot of institutions about future scheduling and Notre Dame is one of them.”

4. Bulldogs turn to fans for playcalling help?

5. Judge says Auburn fan was guilty of disorderly conduct when he stormed the field following the Iron Bowl. His attorney asks why his behavior was any different than thousands of others.

6. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s message to his team: “The big thing is we needed to be more physical.”

7. Florida coach Will Muschamp on quarterback Jeff Driskel: “He’s throwing the ball very accurately.”

8. Over the weekend, Alabama coach Nick Saban mentioned three quarterbacks by name.  Yesterday, he left one of them out.

9. Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason on Aaron Murray: “I think one of the great things is he kind of just passed the torch,”

10. Injuries taking their toll on spring practice at Missouri.  Coach Gary Pinkel: “We had to cut our reps back a little bit…”

11. South Carolina All-SEC freshman kicker Elliot Fry is now on scholarship. ”It’s awesome, obviously. Love it.”

12. Mississippi State’s Justin Cox is moving back to safety.  “I can see the field. Free safety was my first love.”

13. Arkansas linebacker Otha Peters is changing numbers.  “Five, I felt like, was a curse,”

14. Ole Miss had its spring game early in order to get a full month with the strength and conditioning coordinator.

15. The long-time PA announcer at Neyland Stadium has died.  Bobby Denton had been battling cancer.

16. Steve Spurrier and the advantages of living close to Augusta, Georgia.

SEC/NFL

17. Big turnout expected today at LSU’s pro day. Seventeen players on display with all 32 NFL teams expected in attendance.

SEC Basketball

18. Tim Sullivan on John Calipari rumors: “Was Rex Chapman wrong? Too soon to say.”

19. Regardless of how many players Kentucky loses to the NBA draft, expectations will still be high in Lexington next season. Wildcats at 12-1 to win it all in 2015.  Arizona the favorite at 6-1.

20. Arkansas guard Dee Wagner is transferring.

21. Missouri assistant coach Mark Phelps leaving for a job on the Marquette staff.

Extra

22. UMass guard Derrick Gordon says he’s gay.

23. Are you ready for the AJ McCarron/Katherine Webb reality television show?  

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Missouri And Texas A&M Worth $41 Million To The SEC In Year One

offering-cashAccording to the SEC’s federal tax return for 2012, the conference saw its revenue grow by $41 million dollars in its first year as a 14-school league.  USA Today requested the return which shows the SEC took in $314.5 million in 2012.  Missouri and Texas A&M were welcomed into the Southeastern Conference in the summer of 2012.

Interestingly, the SEC showed an overall deficit for its fiscal year which ended on August 31st, 2013.  While the league brought in $314.5 million, it spent $317.9 million.  Most of that money went back to the member institutions in the form of annual payments.  The league will hand out new checks next month during the SEC Meetings in Destin, Florida.

The SEC’s tax return also shows:

 

*  Missouri and Texas A&M each made about $19.5 million in their first year in the SEC.  The two schools made a little more than $12 million in their final year in the Big 12.

*  Mike Slive’s base pay increased to nearly $1.2.  His overall income was down from 2011 when he received more than half a million dollars in bonuses.

*  Slive’s base salary in 2012 was less than what fellow commissioners John Swofford (ACC), Jim Delany (Big Ten) and Larry Scott (Pac-12) made in 2011.

 

The Southeastern Conference fell $1 million shy of the Big Ten’s revenue total ($315.5 million) from the previous year.  When compared to all other conferences, the SEC and Big Ten are still dominant financially.  For example, the ACC ranked third in revenue in 2011, making $223.3 million.

The SEC’s revenue will continue to rise over the next few seasons as the new playoff system will debut, new bowl partnerships will kick off and the SEC Network will launch.

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SEC Commitment Comparator – 4/9/13

blue_poker_chipsYou know what today is?  It’s exactly 44 weeks from National Signing Day 2015.  So why the heck not compare the league recruiting classes to date?

As usual, we’ve used Rivals.com’s star rankings as our foundation.  For each star they award a prospect, we assign one point.  We also give a point to the 0-star recruits who’ve yet to be graded by Rivals.  Toward the right of the table below you’ll see the total points amassed by each SEC program up until now.  On the far right you’ll also see the average points per commit for each school.

It’s early — obviously — but as the recruiting process begins earlier and earlier each year, it’s not too early to begin to draw a few conclusions.  Over the past few years we’ve seen that those programs that can lasso a large number of commitments early create a momentum that’s hard to stop.  In the age of social media, committed prospects serve as additional recruiters.  And those players who’ve already committed will have the opportunity to woo other prospects at various camps and combines this summer.

In most cases it pays to get the ball rolling early.  The table below will give you an idea of who’s done just that…

 

  School   Commits   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1- & 0-stars   Total Points   Avg. Pts/Commit
  Alabama   9   0   8   1   0   0   35   3.88
  Texas A&M   9   0   8   1   0   0   35   3.88
  Tennessee   10   0   5   4   1   0   34   3.40
  LSU   9   2   1   5   1   0   31   3.44
  Miss. State   9   0   2   5   0   2   25   2.77
  S. Carolina   7   1   3   2   0   1   24   3.42
  Arkansas   7   0   4   2   0   1   23   3.28
  Georgia   5   0   4   0   0   1   17   3.40
  Kentucky   6   0   0   5   0   1   16   2.66
  Ole Miss   4   0   1   3   0   0   13   3.25
  Auburn   5   0   1   2   0   2   12   2.40
  Missouri   4   0   2   1   0   1   12   3.00
  Florida   5   0   0   3   0   2   11   2.20
  Vanderbilt   2   0   1   0   0   1   5   2.50

 

As you can see, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M — as usual — are off to good starts.  Ditto Tennessee where Butch Jones is off to a hot start for the second year in a row.  Dan Mullen and Mississippi State are racking up commitments as well.  And while MSU’s point total isn’t quite as high as those mentioned ahead of them, there is reason for optimism in Starkville.

At the other end of the spectrum, Auburn, Georgia and Florida all have just five commitments to this point.  For Auburn and Georgia, there’s little reason to worry as those schools typically finish strong.  The same can typically be said for Florida, but the temperature of Will Muschamp’s seat leaves us wondering: Are the Gators just taking their time or are prospects leery of committing to a coach who might not be in Gainesville a year from now?  Time will tell.

Missouri, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt all have four or fewer commitments.  Derek Mason is just getting his feet beneath him at Vandy.  Hugh Freeze has shown that he can recruit, though his most successful class — a top five class two years ago — benefited from a hot start.  Missouri fans — as one pointed out via email today — can be pleased with the fact that Missouri has two four-star prospects out of its four-person class.  Last year the Tigers signed just two four-star prospects in their 28-man haul.

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