Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

SEC Headlines 4/4/2014

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville when Alabama comes to Tennessee: ”He’s a great football coach, but we’ll worry about that game.”

2. Tennessee freshman cornerback Emmanuel Moseley has been practicing with the first team for much of the spring.

3. Did Vanderbilt sacrifice home-field advantage by moving its game against Ole Miss to LP Field?

4. LSU’s spring game on Saturday expected to attract 20,000 to 25,000 fans.

5. Heading into the second scrimmage of the spring, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is not a happy man.  “There’s a lot of guys to me… have to understand how serious it is if they want to get on the field and go play.”

6. Georgia’s J.J. Green on learning to play the nickle back position: “Coach wants everybody to learn a different position just in case he has to throw somebody out there because of injuries.” Lot of spring injuries in the Georgia offense.

7. Anticipating the December day when the fifth-best team in the country is left out of the playoffs.  ”It’ll make college basketball’s Selection Sunday look like a garden party.”

8. An argument for why Bruce Pearl’s arrival as Auburn’s basketball coach is a good move – for Auburn football.

9. Is Auburn defensive back Josh’s Holsey’s recovery from a torn ACL nothing short of remarkable?

10. Auburn receiver Tony Stevens on quarterback Nick Marshall: “His leadership is very strong.”

11. Marshall one of just three SEC quarterbacks that started double-digit games last fall and returning this year.

12/ Defensive line depth a concern at Florida?

13. Big change upfront at Arkansas.  Center Luke Charpentier replacing departed four-year start Travis Swanson.  

14. Texas A&M renovating its football complex.

SEC/Final Four

15. One of the storylines for Saturdays semi-final games. Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin vs. UConn All-American guard Shabazz Napier.

16. Pete Thamel on Billy Donovan: “Donovan sits on the precipice of joining some of the most elite company in college basketball.”

17. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein walking without crutches - still unlikely to play Saturday.

18. If Kentucky wins it all -  ”the cumulative total of the seeds Kentucky defeated in this year’s NCAA Tournament would be 19.” Record is 20- set by Villanova in 1985.

19. Kentucky coach John Calipari on ending one-and-done: ”What I propose isn’t that radical, nor should it be difficult.”

20. X-factors on Saturday.  Does Final Four success hinge on the performance of these guys?

21. The no-booze rule at NCAA events has been around for 40 years.

SEC Basketball

22. Missouri basketball player Zach Price arrested a second time for assault - accused of ramming alleged victims’ car from first incident.

23. If Jabari Brown follows through and enters NBA draft, Missouri will have a returning roster that averaged 18.1 points per game last season.

24. The Wall Street Journal on the not-so-shining NCAA Tournament moments.  ”The Missouri Tigers have the dubious distinction of turning up five times in our 10-year sample.”

25. Rupp Arena - the best in college basketball?

26. Georgia working on ways to improve attendance.

Extras

27. Florida State under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education in connection with case involving Jameis Winston.

28. Texas paid a search firm almost $267,000 to find Charlie Strong. Or as College Football Talk notes, “It cost Texas $266,900 to not get Nick Saban.”

29. Johnny Manziel trademark filing - “The House That Johnny Built”

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Alabama’s Sims Says Battle For Starting QB Gig Is “A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity”

gfx-they-said-it4Senior-to-be Blake Sims has a leg up on departed Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron in one area.  He’s already met with Tuscaloosa reporters.  McCarron wasn’t given his media baptism until he’d won the starter’s gig in August of his sophomore year.

Sims will compete for the Crimson Tide’s starting spot with incoming transfer Jacob Coker.  Coker will arrive this summer after leaving defending national champ Florida State.

So what’s Sims’ view of the quarterback opportunity and spring practice as a whole:

 

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I’m having fun out there.  Everybody’s smiling.  Everybody’s having fun.  Just trying to do what we’ve got to do to be the best…

I think (the QB/receivers rapport is) very good, just communication and building a relationship so we know where we’re going to be with our body language.  Just if we try to say that if I was here, where would this person be, and try to be in the other person’s mind at all times.”

 

That should prove to be an advantage for Sims when his battle with Coker fires up this summer.  Many Tide fans are hoping Coker will step in and snag the starting reins.  But even on the competition front, Sims is saying all the right things:

 

“I’m ready for him to get here and make Bama even (that) much better as a team and bring his personality and make everybody smile and take in with open arms.”

 

For his career, Sims is 23-of-39 for 144 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty.  Coker was 21-of-41 for 295 yards one touchdown and one interception during his FSU career.

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SEC Headlines 4/2/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Is running back Alex Collins unhappy at Arkansas? Running backs coach Joel Thomas: “That’s the first news that it’s been told to me.”

2. Mural of Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason will be redone after complaints from the school’s NCAA chapter.  ”In the mural, his skin is black, not brown, and his lips are white. It doesn’t look like him.”

3. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says linebacker Kentrell Brothers expected to be 100%  by June.  Underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder Friday.

4. Can Mizzou’s receivers fill the void left behind by Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington?

5. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the Gators new offense. “I am very pleased offensively with where we are as far as the installation is concerned,”

6. With Jay Rome and Jordan Davis out, Georgia down to one healthy scholarship tight end.  And on the offensive line, “the guards are anyone’s guess.”

7. Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown on the 2013 season: “With the exception of three games, we had opportunities to win in the fourth quarter…”

8. Kentucky’s practice facility getting a $10 million donation.

9. With a mass exodus along the offensive line, walk-on tackle Jacob Gilliam has a chance to play at Tennessee.

10. How does LSU’s offensive line compare to the one in 2007?

11. “If LSU can bring Pac-12 teams to its campus down the road... why can’t Alabama and Auburn do the same?”

12. Alabama coach Nick Saban:  ”Well we really don’t have a depth chart.” Focused on the secondary: “I thought last year, we didn’t play with enough consistency back there,”

13. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is making a point to welcome former players. ”We would welcome all of them.”

14. Two linebackers are trying to replace the production of departed senior Deontae Skinner at Mississippi State. Higher expectations for the Bulldogs in 2014?

15. Ole Miss coaches are impressed with early enrollee and backup safety. C.J. Hampton.

SEC/NFL

16. Pro Timing Day got underway at South Carolina this morning. Jadeveon Clowney headlines the 10 participants.

17. Running back Alfred Blue hoping to stand out at LSU’s pro day next week.

SEC Basketball

18. Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart on coach Cuonzo Martin: “We are proud that Cuonzo Martin will continue to lead our men’s basketball program.”

19. What’s next year look like for Martin and Tennessee? “On face, it’s not exactly a loaded roster.”

20. Georgia expected to announce extension for coach Mark Fox later today.

21. Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison game-winning shot against Michigan makes the cover of Sports Illustrated.

22. Kentucky freshman Marcus Lee got a standing ovation from his marketing class on Tuesday.

23. High expectations at Florida. “Florida fans seem to expect a championship, but you can’t count on everything,”

24. Alabama center Carl Engstrom is leaving the program to pursue options in Europe.

25. Alabama coach Anthony Grant: “As a program, we’re not where we want to be … yet.”

26. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl on the spring signing period in basketball: “It’s a seller’s market.”

27. Several former Auburn players are possible assistant coaches on Pearl’s staff.

Extra

28. Recruit tweets that he’s committed to Baylor.  April ‘Fools!

29. Congratulations Final Four ticket holder.  Now here’s your view.

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SEC Headlines 4/1/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Alabama coach Nick Saban believes players “should have a voice” when it comes to their rights.

2. Here’s a report from Alabama practice with depth updates at several positions.

3. Auburn center Reese Dismukes has set his own goals to improve this offseason.

4. Set your calendar: LSU and UCLA will play a home-and-home series in 2021 and 2024.

5. LSU’s Ronald Martin and Jalen Mills are battling to hold onto the Tigers’ starting safety positions.

6. C.J. Hampton enrolled this semester at Ole Miss so he can help the Rebels this fall.

7. Kevin Sumlin says Texas A&M has programs in place to educate the school’s athletes off the field.

8. Freshman Will Grier has moved into the No. 2 quarterback role for Florida behind starter Jeff Driskel.

9. Georgia wide receiver Reggie Davis is focused on football and not track as he gets ready for his sophomore season.

10. Marc Weiszer has eight takeaways at the midway point of Georgia’s spring practice.

11. Athlon Sports ranks all 14 head coaches in the SEC. No. 1 will not surprise you.

12. Dylan Thompson is ready to become South Carolina’s full-time starter at quarterback.

SEC/Final Four

13. Florida will look to avenge its December loss to UConn when the two teams play on Saturday.

14. A Florida-Kentucky championship game matchup is inevitable, writes Pat Dooley.

15. Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t expected Willie Cauley-Stein to play in the Final Four.

16. This run by Kentucky isn’t like any we’ve ever seen, writes Mark Story.

17. CBS Sports expects lean toward a Florida-Kentucky matchup in the championship game.

SEC Basketball

18. Cuonzo Martin has reportedly pulled his name out of the running for the Marquette job.

19. Bruce Pearl is in the process of filling out his staff. His son will move to a strength and conditioning position.

20. LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant is likely to announce his future plans sometime today.

21. Guard Jordan Clarkson is leaving Missouri early for the NBA Draft.

22. Tony Criswell’s father was critical of Missouri coach Frank Haith when he called into the Paul Finebaum Show. Criswell called in to defend Haith.

Extra

23. Vanderbilt has consulted lawyers on player unionization.

24. Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is working to improve his team’s level of toughness.

25. Here are 11 amazing facts about the Final Four.

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SEC Headlines 3/31/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Basketball

1. Would coach Cuonzo Martin leave Tennessee for Marquette?

2. Mark Wiedmar: Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart “secretly hopes Martin will jump to Marquette or elsewhere, and the sooner the better, since his buyout dips from $2.6 million to $1.3 million on Tuesday.”

3. Martin may not be the only one leaving.  Will Jarnell Stokes enter the NBA draft?

4. Could former Louisville guard Kevin Ware be headed to Auburn?  

5. Detroit columnist: “Michigan’s Fab Five changed the look and feel of college basketball. Kentucky’s Fab Five is just a collection of AAU stars…”

6. Money for Rupp Arena renovation left out of a Kentucky state budget deal.

7. Missouri coach Frank Haith: “We have to want to make it to the NCAA Tournament every year.”

SEC Football

8. LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers wants to transfer to Vanderbilt. “I took a visit there and really enjoyed it.”

9. Hospitalized on Thursday, Auburn defensive tackle Tyler Nero attended practice Saturday but did not participate.

10. Weather forced Auburn inside for its first scrimmage of the spring.

11. Kentucky-Louisville in basketball is just a warmup for what could happen in football if Alabama and Auburn meet in a playoff game.

12. Five areas where Alabama needs to improve before its spring game.

13. Tight end Malcom Johnson impresses at Mississippi State’s first scrimmage.

14. Georgia coach Mark Richt on the Bulldogs first spring scrimmage: “There’s always something good happening, there’s always something bad happening I guess you could say.”

15. Butch Jones at Tennessee’s scrimmage: “What happens when Alabama comes in here and runs the ball?”

16. LSU coach Les Miles on the Tigers second scrimmage of the spring: “Hard-hitting.” Tigers put their young quarterbacks to the test.

17. The core of the Ole Miss team is its sophomore class.

Extras

18. Johnny Manziel to Texas coach Charlie Strong: “Sorry Charlie…”

19. Arizona fans throw bottles and firecrackers at police.  Cops respond with pepper spray.

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SEC Headlines 3/28/2014

Friday HeadlinesSEC Football

1. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron: “He’s a guy I have tremendous respect for and think is a fabulous football coach.”

2. Sophomore Quincy Adeboyejo expected to be a starting slot receiver at Ole Miss this fall.

3. At least for one day, Georgia’s spring practice was open to the media.

4. Auburn defensive lineman Tyler Nero hospitalized following incident at practice.

5. Auburn’s director of external operations Phillip Lolley is leaving to join the staff of the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL.

6. Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson on the debate over the pace of college football: ”I think the slow-down guys are really not worried about injuries, and I think the speed-up guys are really not worried about how many plays they get.”

7. You can add the kicking game to the list of depleted positions this spring at LSU. Tigers anxiously await the arrival of running back Leonard Fournette.

8. Report: Old Dominion turns down $1.3 million to play at Alabama in 2015.

9. Alabama quarterback Blake Sims spent part of his spring break working out with a private quarterback coach.

10. Is South Carolina safety Brison Williams moving to cornerback this fall?

11. Tennessee was last in the SEC in sacks in 2013.  Vols hope outside linebacker/defensive end Curt Maggitt can change those numbers this fall. Butch Jones: “We’ll be much more talented, but very youthful.”

12. Kentucky defensive end Marcus Dupree: “Next year will be our year.”

Unionization of college athletes

13. Poll says 75% of Americans oppose the idea but support for the idea from Georgia athletes.

14. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “Of course they should be able to organize.”

15. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier: “ I’ve advocated giving college football players and college basketball players a stipend.”

16. Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin: “You pay the tennis player the same as you play the football player. I don’t think that changes.”

SEC/NFL

17. 75 NFL personnel turn out for Johnny Manziel’s pro day. Former President George HW Bush and wife Barbara were in attendance.

18. Where might Auburn’s Dee Ford land?  “I hear a lot of talk about Philadelphia and New Orleans.”

SEC Basketball

19. “Florida coach Billy Donovan is rapidly cementing a reputation as the best coach in the SEC since the late Adolph Rupp.”

20.  ”It is difficult to imagine this Florida team — so close to the Final Four in each of its past four seasons, and more complete than ever before — missing out now.”

21. John Calipari on his relationship with Rick Pitino: ”I would say we’re friends.”

22. “The Vols enter the Midwest Regional semifinal against Michigan acting like a team scorned.”

23. Auburn playing UAB in the future?  ”We would love it.”

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Wonder Why SEC Basketball Ain’t All That? Blame Football

gfx-honest-opinionThe Southeastern Conference used to be solid basketball league.  From 1997 through 2008 the league consistently earned a large number of NCAA Tournament bids.  Each year of that streak the conference received either five or six bids.  Only the ACC and Big East did better on a regular basis.

But something changed in the late-2000s.  Suddenly the league started dropping in the conference RPI ratings.  This past season computer formulas ranked the SEC as just the seventh-best league in America.  NCAA Tournament bids began to drop as well — three in 2009, four in 2010, five in 2011, four in 2012, three in 2013 and again this year.

Those who don’t want to admit a problem need look only as far as the league office where Mark Whitworth was placed in the freshly created role of associate commissioner for basketball last July.  (That move came just two weeks after we suggested the SEC hire a “hoops czar,” by the way.)  Athletic directors and presidents across the conference recognized that they needed a person to aid in basketball scheduling and marketing.  At the time, Mike Slive said Whitworth would “effectively manage our efforts to promote and enhance SEC basketball.”

So what was it that happened in the late-2000s that led to a downturn in SEC hoops and the need for a new basketball “fixer?”

We believe five things are at play.  And all five can in some way be tied back to the sport that SEC schools do best — football.

The SEC has always been a dominant football conference.  But not until an unprecedented run of national championships in the mid- to late-2000s did the crown of “King Football” go unchallenged to the SEC each year.  Florida won the BCS title game in January of 2007.  LSU followed in 2008, then it was Florida again in January 2009.  Three titles in a row.  An enormous wave of media attention on SEC football.

At the very same time that the SEC was kicking off its seven-year run of championships, there was an explosion in television coverage for the sport.  Which conference cut the best deals in terms of exposure?  Take a guess.  Mike Slive’s twin contracts with CBS and ESPN ensured that darn near every SEC football game would be seen by a national audience.  The Big Ten was making money with its own network, but the Southeastern Conference was passing right by Jim Delany’s league in terms of national exposure.  And when did those new contracts pushing SEC football into every American living room kick in to place?  In 2009.

That’s the background.  Since those two things (championship run, increased television exposure) took place, five other changes have come to pass as a result…

 

1.  Salaries for SEC football coaches have boomed.  Alabama’s 2007 hire of Nick Saban for eight years and $32 million raised the bar inside the league and across the nation.  Other SEC schools have since followed suit — Florida, LSU, etc.  Seven years after Saban’s hire there isn’t a single football coach in the SEC making less than $2.2 million per season.  Eleven of the 14 coaches in the league make $2.9 million or more.  South Carolina — long a doormat in the college football world — now boasts a national championship-winning coach who makes $3.5 million per season.  No league pays more money for football coaches than the SEC.  In contrast, the SEC most certainly does not lead the nation when it comes to basketball salaries.  The by-product, of course, is that SEC football jobs are “destination” jobs.  The same can’t be said for basketball.  How many top name basketball coaches have been hired into the SEC as proven stars?  John Calipari.  Mike Anderson.  Anthony Grant if you consider “hot” up-and-comers.  Now turn it around.  How many SEC football coaches are coveted by other leagues?  Saban, Miles, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, Kevin Sumlin, etc, etc.  How many hoops coaches are coveted?  Calipari, Billy Donovan, and who?  The bottom line is this: The SEC has a better group of expensive, proven football coaches than it does expensive, proven basketball coaches.  Better coaches make for a better product.

2.  SEC schools spend more money on football facilities.  Texas A&M is increasing the size of Kyle Field to make it the largest venue in the conference.  Tennessee recently opened a new $45 million football training facility that is state of the art.  Alabama has expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium and boasts a world-class football facility of its own.  Name any other SEC school and you’re likely to find that either its stadium is being upgraded or a new training facility is being built — Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and so on.  Now compare those football digs to the league’s basketball venues.  Auburn just opened a new arena… that seats all of 9,000 fans.  Ole Miss is finally replacing decrepit Tad Smith Coliseum with a new arena… that will seat 9,500 fans.  There are exceptions to the rule, of course.  Tennessee built its own basketball practice facility and upgraded Thompson-Boling Arena in recent years.  Kentucky has been making plans to renovate Rupp Arena.  Arkansas has made improvements to Bud-Walton Arena.  Mizzou Arena went up in 2004, but that was before the Tigers joined the SEC.  Outside of that handful of schools — schools that traditionally have supported hoops better than any others in the SEC — where do basketball venues outshine football venues in the SEC?  Not at LSU.  Or Florida.  Or Alabama.  Or Auburn, Georgia, and so on.  Better facilities equal better recruiting.

3.  The SEC has a reputation for being a football conference.  Put yourself in the size 18 Nikes of a top basketball prospect.  You can sign to play ball for one of America’s highest-paid coaches in a conference that puts basketball first and earns seven or eight NCAA tournament bids per season or you can sign with an SEC team and probably play for an up-and-coming coach in a so-so arena in front of a fanbase that’s more interested in football recruiting than basketball results.  Perhaps that’s an exaggeration.  Perhaps.  But at most SEC schools we do believe it’s a reality that there are as many eyes on spring football as there are on college hoops.  This issue also feeds itself, unfortunately.  The more people refer to the SEC as a “football conference” the more people believe it to be a football conference.  And don’t think recruits aren’t told that when they’re considering SEC scholarship offers.  ”You don’t want to go there, that’s a football school.”

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SEC Headlines 3/26/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. A focus for Alabama’s offense this fall: get the ball to wide receiver Amari Cooper.

2. Auburn is motivated by talk of “flukish” wins over Alabama and Georgia, says Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee.

3. Auburn is rotating players as the Tigers get ready for their first spring scrimmage.

4. Auburn coaches like what they’ve seen from Derrick Moncrief in the secondary.

5. Florida coach Will Muschamp understands the high expectations and pressure following last season.

6. LSU is shuffling its linebackers as it arranges its defensive depth chart.

7. There’s a rivalry brewing in practice between offensive and defensive players on Mississippi State.

8. A redshirt year helped Ryan Buchanan as he prepares to be Ole Miss’ quarterback of the future.

9. Georgia coach Mark Richt is mulling punishment options for the four players who were arrested last week.

10. J.J. Green and Quayvon Hicks are adjusting to new positions at Georgia.

11. Tennessee coach Butch Jones wants to see more from his team now that spring break is over.

12. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason discussed Tuesday’s practice.

SEC Basketball

13. LSU’s season is over as the Tigers fell to SMU 80-67 in the NIT on Tuesday night.

14. LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant will “take everything into consideration” regarding his professional plans.

15. Casey Prather is heading back to his home state as Florida continues its NCAA Tournament run.

16. Here are five things that will and won’t matter as Florida gets ready for UCLA in the Sweet 16.

17. Kentucky’s “light bulb went on” in the SEC Tournament, says ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg.

18. Kentucky’s chance of winning the NCAA Tournament has increased from 1.9 percent to 4 percent, according to Nate Silver.

19. Here are six reasons Tennessee is still alive in the NCAA Tournament.

SEC/NFL

20. Could Houston draft Jadeveon Clowney and AJ McCarron? It’s at least a possibility.

21. Johnny Manziel’s time with Jon Gruden’s QB Camp will air on ESPN on Thursday.

Extra

22. Navy running back Will McKamey died Tuesday while in a coma. He was 19.

23. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had to be restrained during a baseball fight between FSU and Florida.

24. South Florida has killed its deal with basketball coach Steve Masiello. There was reportedly a “background-check discrepancy.”

25. Ex-UConn coach Jim Calhoun says he has no interest in the Boston College job.

26. Are the Detroit Pistons planning to make a run a Michigan State coach Tom Izzo?

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SEC Headlines 3/25/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. South Carolina offensive lineman Na’Ty Rodgers suspended from the team indefinitely.  Redshirt freshman arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and consumption of alcohol by a minor.

2. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on quartback Dylan Thompson:  ”I think he’s by far our best player right now.”

3. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace on left tackle Laremy Tunsil: “He makes you feel so comfortable back there.”

4. Florida’s offensive line has a new sign. #ThanksGrammarPolice.

5. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on the quarterback battle featuring Kenny Hill, Kyle Allen and Matt Joeckel: “It’s going really good. They’re all out there and they’re doing good.”

6. Even without Greg Robinson, Auburn’s offensive line should be very good. Tigers return four starters.

7. Former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron will be a special guest at an upcoming Mississippi State coaches’ clinic.

8. Back from spring break, Tennessee returns to the practice field today.

SEC Basketball

9. Florida coach Billy Donovan’s contract extension will keep him in Gainesville through the 2018-2019 season. Average salary will be $3.7 million over the next six years.

10. Florida is 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament against UCLA - all games have come since 2006.

11. What if the NCAA Tournament was reseeded based on the first week’s performance?  Kentucky would move up dramatically.

12. Many heralded freshmen played poorly over the weekend - but not the ones at Kentucky.

13. Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon: ”We’ve got one of the best teams in the nation [when] we just come out and play like it.”

14. Auburn freshman point guard Malcolm Canada made the mistake of missing a team meeting.  Coach Bruce Pearl:  ”He ran until he puked the first day he was back.” Pearl expects to add two more coaches to his staff soon.

15. Losing just one senior, Georgia coach Mark Fox looks forward to next season: “We have more guys back, and that should hopefully get us off to a better start.”

Extras

16. $21.3 million surplus for the University of Alabama athletic department.

17. Bobby Knight on what the NBA has done to the college game:  ”It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion.” Not the first time he’s used a rape analogy.

18. Former Kentucky walk-on and current Manhattan coach Steve Masiello expected to replace Stan Heath at USF.

19. “The SEC is still a better conference; but the Pac-12 might now be the most interesting conference in the country.”

20. The late George Steinbrenner liked everything about the “Seinfeld” Steinbrenner – except the voice of Larry David.

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SEC Commitment Comparator – 3/25/14

blue_poker_chipsIt’s roughly 10 months until National Signing Day; do you know how your favorite football program stacks up?

Below is our much too early commitment comparator for the class of 2015.  Only, it really isn’t much too early.  As the recruiting process speeds up and prospects commit earlier and earlier, those schools that get out to an early jump on the competition typically gain momentum throughout the process.  Using social media, committed players often work as recruiting agents for their schools of choice, luring in friends and contacts from camps and all-star teams.

As always, we’ve used the star ratings provided by Rivals.com to put together our own quickie update.  For now, we’ll look only at quantity (total points) and quality (average points per commit).  For each star Rivals has assigned, we’ve awarded a point.  Where Rivals hasn’t provided a star grade (because they haven’t viewed tape of a prospect yet), we have awarded a lone point anyway because we’re softies.

So where does your team rank in comparison with its SEC foes?  Here’s your answer…

 

  School   Commits   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1- & 0-stars   Total Points   Avg. Pts/Commit
  Texas A&M   9   0   8   1   0   0   35   3.88
  Alabama   8   0   7   1   0   0   31   3.88
  LSU   9   2   1   5   1   0   31   3.44
  Tennessee   9   0   4   4   1   0   30   3.33
  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
  Ole Miss   4   0   1   3   0   0   13   3.25
  Auburn   5   0   1   2   0   2   12   2.40
  Florida   5   0   0   3   0   2   11   2.20
  Kentucky   2   0   0   2   0   0   6   3.00
  Vanderbilt   2   0   1   0   0   1   5   2.50
  Missouri   2   0   0   1   0   1   4   2.00

 

As a reminder, Alabama and Tennessee finished among the top four in the SEC in total points last signing day.  Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M also finished among the top five in the league in average points per commit.  The takeaway?  The top schools in the 2013/14 recruiting field are off to hot starts for 2014/15 as well.

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