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SEC Headlines – 8/22/11 Part Two

1.  Nick Saban says Alabama’s #2 ranking in the AP preseason poll is nothing more than a conversation piece.

2.  Saban says freshman defensive back Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix is “the most pleasant, upbeat, smile on his face all the time, easy-to-coach guy that wants to learn that we’ve probably had around here in a long time.” 

3.  So just how many freshmen will get on the field for the Tide this fall?

4.  Gene Chizik has given Auburn’s players yesterday and today off.

5.  Linebacker Eltoro Freeman has one last chance to shine on The Plains.

6.  The Tigers are hoping to continue their solid special teams play from a year ago.

7.  Ex-baseball player Brent Brewer likes to “put the pain on people” as a Tennessee safety.

8.  Prentiss Waggner’s knowledge of Justin Wilcox’ system has earned him a starting spot in UT’s secondary.

9.  As long as the Volunteers stay healthy, most spots on Derek Dooley’s two-deep have already been claimed.

10.  Vanderbilt has an SEC-high 21 returning starters this season… from a team that finished just 2-10.

11.  Vandy’s roster of scooter-drivin’ Dores is growing.  (Obviously, they haven’t been keeping track of the accident reports from Athens, Georgia.)

12.  This writer says that with expansion looming in the SEC, it’s now or never for James Franklin to make VU a competitive program.

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USC’s Garcia Considered Transfer After Last Suspension

“Last” or “latest?”  Word choice can be tricky when you’re dealing with Stephen Garcia and his string of five suspensions.

If the headline reads, “last suspension,” you can be sure that someone will point out that Garcia is fully capable of landing yet another — sixth — suspension.  If headline reads “latest suspension,” some might think the South Carolina quarterback has received his sixth already.

So we rolled the dice with “last.”

That said, the AP reported yesterday that Garcia considered transferring from Carolina after being suspended this spring, his fifth as a Gamecock.

“I had been contemplating giving myself a second shot” at another school the QB said.  “It was a rough spring I had.”

But Garcia — who has already graduated — chose to remain in Columbia.  Steve Spurrier has said since SEC Media Days that his assumed starter has turned over a new leaf and finally changed some of his off-field ways.

This fall, he will compete with Connor Shaw for the Cocks’ starting job.  While Spurrier is fully capable of flip-flopping his passers, we fully expect Garcia to take the field first in Carolina’s opener.  You don’t take the media bashing that goes with handing out a sixth chance to a player unless you want that player to contribute.

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Pearl Focused On Game; Hamilton Calls Him To Apolgize

Tennessee hoops coach Bruce Pearl faced the media at the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte today and admitted that Mike Hamilton’s comments from yesterday “came as a bit of a surprise.”  UT’s AD admitted in a radio interview that ran in Knoxville yesterday that the school will evaluate Pearl’s status at the end of the season.  That was a switch from the school’s previously stated desire to stand by Pearl through thick and through thin (barring new major violations).

Pearl told the press that he wanted to talk about tomorrow’s game with Michigan, but according to the AP he was “peppered” with questions about his job status.  The coach said “up until recently” he had been under the assumption that he’d be able to defend himself in an NCAA hearing in June.

Meanwhile, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports today that — according to two sources — Hamilton phoned Pearl to apologize.


Pearl confirmed he had talked to Hamilton at Thursday’s press conference in Time Warner Cable Arena, but he declined to reveal what was said.

Pearl did, however say on Thursday that, “I think Mike would have prepared for it to not come out like this.”


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Link Gumbo 12/8/10

LSU
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It’s not A&M week yet, but you may want to check out I Am The 12th Man. (Remember when we were offering them a seat at the table? I swear the preseason feels like years ago)

Here are your AP and Coach’s All-SEC Teams

AP

FIRST TEAM

Offense

K – u-Josh Jasper, LSU, 5-11, 171, Sr.

Defense

T – u-Drake Nevis, LSU, 6-2, 285, Sr.

LB – Kelvin Sheppard, LSU, 6-3, 240, Sr.

CB – u-Patrick Peterson, LSU, 6-1, 222, Jr.

SECOND TEAM

Offense

L – Joseph Barksdale, LSU, 6-6, 318, Sr.

RB – Stevan Ridley, LSU, 6-0, 226, Jr.

All-Purpose – Patrick Peterson, LSU, 6-1, 222, Jr.

Defense

CB – Morris Claiborne, LSU, 6-0, 177, So.

 

Coach’s

FIRST TEAM

Offense

RB Stevan Ridley LSU 6-0 226 Jr. Natchez, Miss.

Defense

DL Drake Nevis LSU 6-2 285 Sr. Marrero, La.

LB Kelvin Sheppard LSU 6-3 240 Sr. Stone Mountain, Ga.

DB Patrick Peterson LSU (CB) 6-1 222 Jr. Pompano Beach, Fla.

Special Teams

RS Patrick Peterson LSU 6-1 222 Jr. Pompano Beach, Fla.

SECOND TEAM

Offense

OL Joseph Barksdale LSU (T) 6-6 318 Sr. Detroit, Mich.

Defense

DB Morris Claiborne LSU (CB) 6-0 177 So. Shreveport, La.

Special Teams

PK Josh Jasper LSU 5-11 171 Sr. Memphis, Tenn.

 

Patrick Peterson is on the awards circuit this week. He did not win the Nagurski on Monday night (it went to Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers ) but he is still in the running for the Thorpe and Bednarik awards (part of the big ESPN awards show on Thursday Night) and the Lott Trophy on Sunday.

Meanwhile, A&M’s Von Miller has won the Butkus Award for nation’s best Linebacker.

Jerry Stovall was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York last night.

The final BCS rankings before the end of the season have LSU at #10…..or do they? Either way, it doesn’t matter much. There’s also this great graph of the coach’s poll final ballots from USA Today. Try not to get too mad at some of those Graduate Assistant’s work.

ESPN’s short summary of our season says the same thing everyone else is saying: It’s amazing we won that many games with that offense.

A recruiting season is not won or lost on one player, and it certainly doesn’t stop for you to have a victory party. While we were all celebrating the Mettenberger pick-up, top rated RB recruit (and BR native) Jeremy Hill backed out of a long standing verbal commit to LSU shortly after taking a campus visit to Bama. He’s not ruling LSU out of the running, but it’s not a good sign when a local kid who’s been a verbal since 2009 decides to start shopping again. Here’s a quick summary of how we and the rest of the SEC are doing so far in the second season.

This is a great in-depth piece on the folks responsible for the care of Mike VI.

The biggest name in college football you’ve never heard of” Well of course that’s Tommy Moffit.

Big Herman got signed by the Bears yesterday, currently weighing in at 360 pounds.

SBNation.com rates the best and worst of the announcer line-up for the bowls (note that ATVS favorite Ron Franklin is covering the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve shut-in specials, along with the Fiesta Bowl) The Cotton Bowl, run by Fox, has not made an announcement on this matter, but Pat Summerall has been calling it since 2007 and I see no reason to think he wont continue this year. There is also a list of the bowl swag, but the Cotton doesn’t release that either.

Here’s a well thought out summary of where the last few realignment moves have left us, from Illini blog Frank The Tank.

Pour one out for your homie, The Wannstache is no more at Pitt.

A few college baseball notes here in December. The 20 second pitch clock (which will be enforced throughout all of D-1 baseball) will be kept by base umps during the CWS. And while Cal’s decision to cut it’s more than a century old baseball program is shocking, it’s more indicative of the problems facing the California state schools than any overarching money problems with the sport itself.

A mention here for one of our professional counterparts: The New Orleans Hornets, after multiple years of being unprofitable, are now owned outright by the NBA, who intends to find a new owner. Our friends at At The Hive aren’t panicking yet, but the point remains: the best way to support the team is to get yourself and your friends to some games.

Forget the campus budget problems for a minute, this is just despicable.

We are still in the middle of the exam break (WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! GO STUDY!) LSU returns to action with a Men’s Basketball game v Central Michigan on Saturday.


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Auburn Stars Take Home Some Major Awards

When you win, your players get noticed.  Then they win awards.

Here’s guessing, however, that Cam Newton and Nick Fairley would have taken home the AP’s offensive and defensive Player of the Year awards even if Auburn had gone 9-3.  Those guys get noticed all by themselves.

Newton became the first SEC player to ever rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 2,000 in the same season.

Fairley took over games — his one man sack, strip and recovery against Alabama was as good a play as you’ll see — and he made some, er, “big” hits in the process. 

Can’t argue with their taking home the AP’s honors.  Don’t expect the award rush to stop anytime soon, either.  Newton is one of four players who’ll head to New York for his week’s Heisman Trophy presentation.  The only way he doesn’t win that award is if voters decide to penalize him for his father’s pay-for-play plan… something the NCAA and SEC did not do.  (Personally, I don’t know how someone could not vote for him and then look in a mirror.  He was cleared.  He was spectacular.)

South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore captured the AP’s Freshman of the Year honors.

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Seven Tigers Named to AP All-SEC Football Teams

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Seven members of the LSU football team have earned recognition on the 2010 Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference first and second teams, including three unanimous first team selections, the AP announced Monday.
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Marcus Lattimore Named SEC Freshman Of The Year, First Team All-SEC RB

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Marcus Lattimore has been unanimously voted the 2010 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by the AP.  Lattimore was also named to the All-SEC First Team Offense. 

As a true freshman for the South Carolina Gamecocks, #21 has carried the football 248 times for 1,198 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.  Lattimore eclipsed the 100 yard mark four times this season, running for a career high 212 yards against Florida in The Swamp, where he helped the Gamecocks to their SEC Eastern Division Championship clinching win.  In addition to his ground game (99.83 ypg), Lattimore has excellent skills as a receiver out of the backfield.  He’s caught 26 balls for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns in 12 games (Though, let’s not forget he missed a game and a half), displaying tremendous ability in the open field.  Marcus Lattimore has racked up 1,562 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns in what has been a very stellar start to his career in Columbia, and is deserving of the accolades and attention he’s getting.     

It’s a huge honor for Marcus to have received each of these recognitions.  Congratulations, Latti. 


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Gators fall out of AP poll after UCF loss

Florida
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PG Erving Walker leads the Gators with 13.3 points per game. (Photo by Maxwell Kruger, US Presswire)

A three-point loss to UCF on Wednesday pushed Florida further down the polls, and right out of the AP Poll.

The Gators started the year ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP Poll, but a loss to Ohio State and close wins to lesser opponents dropped them to No. 18. Falling to the Knights dropped them out of the poll, and Florida is first on the list of teams receiving votes. So, technically, 26th.

They also slid in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, falling from 16th to 24th.

Florida (6-2, 0-0 SEC) faces Kent State in the O’Connell Center Thursday night before taking a nine days off for final exams.


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Three Gators named to AP All-SEC First Team

Florida
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SS Ahmad Black (35) and CB Janoris Jenkins (1) were named to the AP All-SEC First Team. (AP photo)

Three Gators were named to the AP All-SEC First Team, and Florida placed one on the second team when the list was released Monday.

Strong safety Ahmad Black, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and punter Chas Henry were named to the first team.

Last year as a junior, Black was an honorable mention pick by the AP. He was Florida’s best defensive player this season, leading the team with 102 tackles while also recording three interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was also chosen as a first-team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele.

Jenkins, a projected first-round draft pick he should he choose to leave school early, has covered some of the best receivers in the SEC. He held Alabama’s Julio Jones, Georgia’s A.J. Green and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery – all first- or second-team selections by the AP – to a combined 114 yards.

Henry, a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, leads the nation in punting with a 46.41 average. He earned first-team honors a year after he was a second-team pick by the AP and third-team selection by Phil Steele.

Center Mike Pouncey was named to the second team. Last year, he was named first-team All-SEC by the AP and Phil Steele while playing at guard. He was on Phil Steele’s fourth team this year.

Here’s a look at the entire AP list. U indicates a unanimous selection.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cam Newton, Auburn
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nick Fairley, Auburn
COACH OF THE YEAR: Gene Chizik, Auburn
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

FIRST TEAM
Offense

WR — Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina, 6-4, 233, So.
WR — Julio Jones, Alabama, 6-4, 220, Jr.
L — u-Lee Ziemba, Auburn, 6-8, 319, Sr.
L — Derek Sherrod, Mississippi St., 6-6, 305, Sr.
L — Barrett Jones, Alabama, 6-4, 301, So.
L — DeMarcus Love, Arkansas, 6-5, 315, Sr.
C — Ryan Pugh, Auburn, 6-4, 297, Sr.
TE — u-D.J. Williams, Arkansas, 6-2, 251, Sr.
QB — u-Cam Newton, Auburn, 6-6, 250, Jr.
RB — u-Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, 6-0, 218, Fr.
RB — Knile Davis, Arkansas, 6-0, 220, So.
K — u-Josh Jasper, LSU, 5-11, 171, Sr.
All-Purpose — Randall Cobb, Kentucky, 5-11, 186, Jr.

Defense
T — u-Nick Fairley, Auburn, 6-5, 298, Jr.
T — u-Drake Nevis, LSU, 6-2, 285, Sr.
E — Devin Taylor, South Carolina, 6-7, 249, So.
E/OLB — Justin Houston, Georgia, 6-3, 258, Jr.
LB — Kelvin Sheppard, LSU, 6-3, 240, Sr.
LB — Chris White, Mississippi St., 6-4, 245, Sr.
LB — Danny Trevathan, Kentucky, 6-1, 223, Jr.
CB — u-Patrick Peterson, LSU, 6-1, 222, Jr.
CB — Janoris Jenkins, Florida, 5-11, 184, Jr.
S — Ahmad Black, Florida, 5-9, 190, Sr.
S — Mark Barron, Alabama, 6-2, 210, Jr.
P — Chas Henry, Florida, 6-3, 215, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
Offense

WR — Randall Cobb, Kentucky, 5-11, 186, Jr.
WR — A.J. Green, Georgia, 6-4, 212, Jr.
L — Byron Isom, Auburn, 6-3, 302, Sr.
L — Larry Warford, Kentucky, 6-3, 329, So.
L — Joseph Barksdale, LSU, 6-6, 318, Sr.
L — Clint Boling, Georgia, 6-5, 315, Sr.
L — James Carpenter, Alabama, 6-5, 300, Sr.
L — Bradley Sowell, Mississippi, 6-7, 315, Jr.
C — Mike Pouncey, Florida, 6-4, 310, Sr.
TE — Brandon Barden, Vanderbilt, 6-5, 245, Jr.
QB — Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, 6-6, 238, Jr.
RB — Stevan Ridley, LSU, 6-0, 226, Jr.
RB — Mark Ingram, Alabama, 5-10, 215, Jr.
K — Blair Walsh, Georgia, 5-10, 183, Jr.
All-Purpose — Patrick Peterson, LSU, 6-1, 222, Jr.

Defense
T — Marcell Dareus, Alabama, 6-4, 306, Jr.
T — Malik Jackson, Tennessee, 6-5, 265, Jr.
E — Jake Bequette, Arkansas, 6-5, 271, Jr.
E — Antoine Carter, Auburn, 6-4, 256, Sr.
LB — Josh Bynes, Auburn, 6-2, 235, Sr.
LB — Akeem Dent, Georgia, 6-2, 233, Sr.
LB — Dont’a Hightower, Alabama, 6-4, 260, So.
CB — Morris Claiborne, LSU, 6-0, 177, So.
CB — Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, 6-1, 189, So.
CB — Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt, 5-11, 188, Jr.
CB — Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee, 6-1, 181, So.
S — Robert Lester, Alabama, 6-2, 206, So.
S — Tramain Thomas, Arkansas, 6-0, 198, Jr.
P — Tyler Campbell, Mississippi, 6-2, 210, So.

HONORABLE MENTION
Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi St., 5-11, 215, Jr.; Brandon Bolden, RB, Mississippi, 5-11, 215, Jr.; Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama, 6-3, 225, Sr.; Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee, 5-11, 213, Jr.; William Vlachos, C, Alabama, 6-1, 289, Jr.; Jonathan Cornell, LB, Mississippi, 6-1, 235, Sr.; Zac Etheridge, S, Auburn, 6-0, 213, Sr.


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Auburn Jumps to No. 1 in AP poll

Auburn rode its overwhelming win in the Southeastern Conference championship game to its first No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press college football poll since 1985.
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