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Kevin Sumlin On Bret Bielema’s Style: “Line It Up And Run It At You”

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin meets the media to discuss this week’s matchup against Bret Bielema and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

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SEC Headlines 8/25/2012

SEC West Football 

1. Mo Isom doesn’t make the cut at LSU - “fourth or fifth best kicker.”

2. “Miles is not the coach of some oft-forgotten mid-major starving for attention. He and his program need no gimmicks to generate storylines.”

3. Quarterback questions at Auburn: “If Frazier was far-and-away the best quarterback on the team, why did Chizik and Co. wait so long to crown him the starter?”

4. Former Auburn coach Pat Dye: “There is no discipline problem in Auburn. If you’ve got a Michael Dyer, he won’t make it.”

5. Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter: “We’re going into a man’s league.”

6. Aggies linebacker Jonathan Stewart: “If we listened to what people say, we’re going to be mediocre, not compete against other SEC teams, and not make a bowl.”

7. Arkansas Razorbacks football today vs. 1997.  ”The mood has taken a 180-degree turn from those dark days.”

8. Why Tenarius Wright’s conversion from defensive end to middle linebacker could be a key to the success of the Razorbacks this fall.

9. Gene Stallings on Alabama football: ”When you watch their players play, it’s a joy for me personally as a coach because when they make a play they don’t jump up and high-five and run around in circles.”

10. Nick Saban is no stranger to Michigan.  He’s 5-7 in his career against the Wolverines.

11. Jon Solomon: “The Big Ten still can’t win a big one.”

12. Missing from Mississippi State’s depth chart? Redshirt freshman wide receiver Joe Morrow.  A few other thoughts and questions.

13. Why this year’s offensive line at Ole Miss could be a good fit for Hugh Freeze’s no-huddle offense.

SEC East Football

14. Lane Kiffin on Derek Dooley:  ”He needs more time from all the changes and now all the coaching changes he’s gone through. He’s got to be able to have more time to show what he can do.”

15. With wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers gone at Tennessee, the focus shifts to JUCO transfer Cordarrelle Patterson. ”He’s got the size; he’s got the speed; he’s got the ball skills.”

16. Kentucky’s director of football administration has resigned.

17. Joker Phillips on his backups at cornerback: “We’re going true freshmen. That’s all we’ve got.”

18. Vanderbilt’s 2013 season opener at Ohio State may not happen.

19. The quarterback battle at Florida will extend into the season opener.  Expect to see both Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskol against Bowling Green.

20. Will Muschamp on his Gators team: “I think we’ve improved tremendously.”

21. Mike Bianchi: “The Gators are begging fans to buy season tickets just like everybody else.”

22. Marcus Lattimore likes the running back depth at South Carolina: “I don’t have to take more than 30 carries anymore. That’s a good thing.”

23. With John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers, Georgia has a potent 1-2 punch at nose tackle.

24. Bulldogs try to walk the fine line between letting backups play and burning redshirts.

25. Different league, different border culture for Mizzou.  Gary Pinkel:  ”The passion and intensity level of the fans base is obviously at a whole different level,”

College Football News

26. Pat Forde on the 10 biggest issues facing college football -  Is the SEC’s outlaw image making a comeback?

27. Woes for the Longhorns Network.  Texas AD Deloss Dodds: “It’s painful for everybody.”

28. Missed opportunity this Saturday for NCAA football?

Extras

29. What’s the transition like from sportswriter to high school english teacher?  ”I’m terrified.”

30. Why are there mirrors next to elevators?  The psychology of waiting in line.

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Wade’s Hit Should Send A Message, Not Receive A Consequence Without Solution

TJ Carpenter

Arkansas’ Marquel Wade was ejected from last weekend’s game between the Razorbacks and the Commodores for hitting a defenseless Johnathan Krause on a punt return during their win 31-28 win.

Many people, including John Pennington of this fine site, MrSEC.com, believe Wade should serve a one game suspension in addition to his ejection from Saturday’s game. I will respectfully disagree.

Not with the ejection, which has been heavily criticized in the Natural State, but with the idea Wade should serve an additional suspension for the hit.

Violence is a part of the game. But that isn’t my argument. Hits that injure and endanger people on the field are also a part of the game. But the result of the play has no factor in my argument either.

My argument is based solely on intent.

Not to get too Boston Legal on you, but Wade’s recklessness, while unfortunate and certainly punishable was not intentional, nor was it a play that exposed Wade as a player intent on hurting his opponent. It was a part of the game, and a part of what football is poorly attempting to remove from the sport.

Concussions, can be limited, but they are not entirely avoidable. Krause didn’t sustain a concussion. But he was defenseless. There is no excusing Wade’s actions on the play. He was punished for doing what he was coached to do: seek and destroy.

When the NCAA set out to copy their older brother the NFL in taking a hard line against “egregious hits” in the game, they have done so without truly understanding what or how they will enforce.

Wade’s hit was an unfortunate cavalcade of errors by both himself and those surrounding him. His coaches, and all others in football are faced with attempting to coach aggression without injury. Not an easy thing to do. So most coaches choose to simply coach aggression, and when it gets out of hand, fein ignorance and let the players take the fall.

A quickly running gag around Arkansas’ fan base is to say Wade should get a tryout on defense, because at least he is willing to hit someone.

That idea brings out the best and worst of sports.

Fans want their players to be aggressive, and wether they will admit it or not, so do the big wigs in college football in charge of defining the hard stance against “egregious hits” in the game.

It makes the sport more entertaining. (Stop me when I write something untrue.)

The outcry for justice in this case is both false and pathetic. Appeal to your sense of defense of the helpless if you want, the fact remains, what Wade did was a play that has happened before in football, with little more than a 15 yard penalty if any at all.

Cry Krause waved for a fair catch, he didn’t.

Say what he did was classless, he couldn’t have known Krause was hurt on the play.

Say his petulance after the ejection was proof of his bad attitude and further justification of his ejection, he was appealing to his coaches who trained him to play with aggression.

Wade’s play was reckless. It was deserving of an ejection. But suspensions are about more than just reckless behavior and unintended consequences. They are about intention.

College football has suspended players for hits before. In fact, twice this season players have been suspended for hits in a game. However, in both cases the player showed an expressed premeditated intention to hurt the player they were suspended for hitting.

Wade made a mistake, perhaps as simple as timing a hit. A mistiming of milliseconds.

Sending a message saying, “protect yourself and everyone on else on the field should always be a priority” is important. College football, the Arkansas Razorbacks, Vanderbilt Commodores, and the media covering it all have received the message.

Don’t hit defenseless players, or accidentally hit defenseless players, or if you do, make sure the visiting stadium, play-by-play crew, and adrenaline junky opposing coach, don’t turn it into a soap opera. (Concussions of our Lives, Guiding Hit, etc)

The officials made the right call, but if that were a hit in Razorback stadium, it’s a 15 yard penalty, first and ten. I reiterate, the ejection was valid.

But media, fans and the league itself need to know when the punishment fits the crime. An ejection sends the message, and Wade should play against South Carolina.

Wade understands what he did, apologized, his coaches agree with the actions taken by the officials as do Vanderbilt and their head coach James Franklin.

If you want to put blame on someone, put it one the coaches and league, who are the two bodies in charge of coordinating the rules and enforcement of the game. Two bodies miles apart on how to approach a legitimately serious problem. Coaches want to win, and will stop at nothing to do it. The league wants to look good and make money, and will do whatever the can and throw whoever inhibits that goal under the bus.

Ask yourself, is your problem with this play really with Wade as a player or with a problem in the sport no one has a solution to.

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TJ Carpenter is host of The TJ Carpenter Show on The Hog Sports Radio Network from 1-4pm (listen live at www.hogsportsradio.com) TJ Carpenter contributes to www.mrsec.com www.arkansassports360.com and www.collegefootballnews.com.

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SEC Power Poll (Week 13): Everything Shakes Out During Rivalry Week

Georgia
Content provided by Dawg Sports.

The final weekend of the SEC regular season left the conference picture clearer than ever, as I had no trouble whatsoever filling out my SEC Power Poll ballot. Frankly, it seems perfectly obvious to me that the only sensible way to rank the twelve teams of the Southeastern Conference is to do so in the following sequence:

1. Auburn Tigers (12-0): Am I the only one who is starting to think of this Auburn team as the college football equivalent of the 1997 Florida Marlins, who didn’t so much win the national championship as rent it for a season?

2. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2): If the Hogs are going to get a BCS berth, it’s lucky for Bobby Petrino that this wasn’t the year the Sugar Bowl was moved to the Georgia Dome, because it would require some pretty complex math to figure out what 13/16ths of 60 minutes is.

3. LSU Tigers (10-2): Thank goodness they lost! I was beginning to think Les Miles’s sideline dice rolls were like the coin flips from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.”

4. South Carolina Gamecocks (9-3): The typical late-season swoon never happened, so an autumn that produced wins over Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Clemson made this year the “next year” Gamecock fans have been anticipating for generations. If a team that hasn’t won a conference championship since 1969 and didn’t win a bowl game for the first 100 years of its history can emerge victorious from either of its last two games to card the second ten-win season in school history, 2010 will end up being remembered as the greatest year of South Carolina athletics.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-3): The good news for ‘Bama fans is that there is precedent for a Nick Saban-coached SEC team going 9-3 the year after winning the national championship. The bad news for ‘Bama fans is that there is no precedent for what a Nick Saban-coached SEC team does two years after winning the national championship.

6. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (8-4): Dan Mullen will never bring an SEC West championship to Starkville. That’s because he’s going to be hired away by a marquee program before he gets the chance to bring an SEC West championship to Starkville.

7. Florida Gators (7-5): On the plus side, there’s no risk that the stress of coaching in the SEC Championship Game will send Urban Meyer to the hospital this year.

8. Georgia Bulldogs (6-6): At least the ‘Dawgs have a stranglehold on the state championship. Well, until Mercer gets its football program up and running, anyway.

9. Tennessee Volunteers (6-6): Clearly, the key to being successful in November is to develop year-end rivalries with teams that suck.

10. Kentucky Wildcats (6-6): At some point, Dean Wormer is going to call Joker Phillips into his office and tell him, “Non-conference patsies, two or three SEC wins, and December 28 bowl games are no way to go through life, son.”

11. Mississippi Rebels (4-8): I think it’s all been an elaborate conspiracy to defame black bears. Personally, I blame racist white bears.

12. Vanderbilt Commodores (2-10): This is what happens when you hire your head coaches from the turkey insemination crew.

As always, your feedback is welcome in the comments below, although, honestly, given the won-lost records and head-to-head results, I have a tough time believing there’s much room for improvement on that ballot.

Go ‘Dawgs!


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Arkansas Players Aware Of BCS Chances

As we noted yesterday, last weekend’s big win at South Carolina might have opened the door to a BCS bowl for the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Bobby Petrino knows it.  And so do his players.

“Our guys are aware of it.  There’s no way you can keep them not aware of it with the way the world is today.  So they understand there’s opportunities out there.  It’s up to us to go take advantage of it.”

If Arkansas can win out — which would include a win over LSU — it’s possible the Razorbacks could land an invite to the Sugar Bowl.  The folks in New Orleans should like the idea of a rabid fanbase like Arkansas’ rolling down I-55 with their hog hats on their heads.  Bobby Petrino’s offense and Ryan Mallett’s arm would also provide the bowl with a nice television draw.

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GAMEDAY: No. 17 Gamecocks vs. No. 18 Arkansas

Click here for information on Saturday’s Southeastern Conference game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Arkansas Razorbacks. Kickoff is set for 7:06 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium.
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Arkansas Preparations Continue Thursday

The No. 19 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) continued preparations for this week’s SEC battle with the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (6-2, 3-2 SEC) at the Bluff Road practice fields on Thursday afternoon.
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Gamecocks Continue Arkansas Preparations

The No. 19 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) continued preparations for this week’s SEC battle with the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (6-2, 3-2 SEC) at the Bluff Road practice fields on Wednesday afternoon.
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Gamecocks Return to Practice Fields Monday

The No. 19 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) began preparations for this week’s SEC battle with the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (6-2, 3-2 SEC) at the Bluff Road practice fields on Monday night.
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