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SEC Headlines 3/5/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Ole Miss All-SEC linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche suspended for season opener against Boise State.  Will also not participate in spring arrest after recent arrest. Bobby Hill no longer on the team.

2. Georgia will face a short-handed Clemson team in its opener.  Tigers suspend four players – including two returning starters. “That’s a nice change for the Bulldogs, who have been mocked before by certain SEC coaches for almost always having multiple players suspended early in the season.”

3. Tennessee wide receiver Alton “Pig” Howard taking a leave of absence from team. Coach Butch Jones says he’s ”dealing with some personal circumstances.”

4. Tennessee fifth-year senior defensive tackle Gregory Clark won’t be on Vols roster this fall - imoving on with his post-college career. Are  A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt one of the best linebacking duos in the conference?

5. Five players who won’t be returning to Missouri this fall.

6. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on proposed 10-second rule: “I’ve heard they’ve hopefully tabled it, but I’m not sure.”

7. There are several ways to impact safety in college football that have nothing to do with tempo.

8. Five SEC quarterback battles to watch this spring.

9. The majority of Florida’s spring practices will be open to the public this year.

10. Auburn hires a high school coach as director of high school relations.

11. Matt Hayes gives us 68 reasons why college football is better than college basketball.

12. Who gets back on top first - Alabama football coach Nick Saban or Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari?  ”The smart money would be on Saban.”

SEC/NFL

13. Pro day today at Arkansas - 14 former Razorbacks participating.

14. List of players that participated in Texas A&M’s pro day this morning – Johnny Manziel will have a separate workout later this month.

15. At Auburn’s pro day on Tuesday, 17 players took part. Former player Demetruce McNeal explains the circumstances of his dismissal prior to the season.

16. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: “Each year, we’ll have guys that go to the next level.”

SEC Basketball

17. As Florida goes for conference perfection Saturday, ticket prices reportedly skyrocketing.

18. Texas A&M at Missouri.  Aggies have won just one true road game all year - at Tennessee.

19. Can Missouri’s Keanau Post build of his breakout game against Mississippi State Saturday?  “It has been a lot more difficult than I thought.”

20. Mizzou’s Senior Night won’t feature a single player who’s spent his entire career with the Tigers.

21. Mississippi State at Georgia.  MSU hasn’t won a road game since last January - and it came at Georgia.

22. Georgia a game ahead of Tennessee and Arkansas in SEC standings - what happens if they end in a three-way tie?

23. Ole Miss at Arkansas. Bud Walton Arena tough place to play for most - but Andy Kennedy’s teams have won four straight there.

24. Tennessee at Auburn.  Expect a close game. None of the four teams to win at Auburn did so by more than eight points

25. Final home game for Georgia’s Donte’ Williams.

26. C.M. Newton on Trevor Lacey’s transfer from Alabama to North Carolina State: ”The Lacey kid leaving the Alabama program was a mistake on everybody’s part, in my opinion. The kid should have stayed right here.”

27. Our earlier roundup of Tuesday night SEC hoops action.

Extra

28. Dementia and 83-year old Dean Smith.

29. Jay Bilas on playing professionally in Italy: “At halftime I went in the locker room and three of my teammates were smoking cigarettes. It was different.”

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SEC Hoops Roundup 12/24/2013

gfx-hoops-round-up1. Tennessee 82 – Morehead State 67.  Vols go on 13-0 run to begin second half.  Derek Reese comes off the bench for Tennessee (7-4) to deliver 12 points and 10 rebounds. Video Highlights.

2. Boise State 80 – South Carolina 54.  Gamecocks (3-6) will play Akron for third place in the Diamond Head Classic after falling to Boise. South Carolina shoots just 37 percent from the floor and commits 18 turnovers.

3. UNLV 82 – Mississippi State 66. Bulldogs (9-3) drop championship game of the Las Vegas Classic.  Mississippi State led by Craig Sword’s 18 points.

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SEC Headlines 12/11/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Bowl games are money makers, not money losers.  ”The perception is out there that schools are losing money going to bowl games and the reality is that’s not true,”

2. Alabama coach Nick Saban was in Ohio yesterday but that didn’t stop someone from paging him at the Austin, Texas airport.

3. Coaches All-SEC team
– Alabama with the most players at nine.  LSU close behind with 8.

4. It’s Alabama vs. Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl - OU players are already talking smack. ”No other college football game has featured two teams that have won more bowl games with Alabama’s 34 and Oklahoma’s 27.”

5. Charles Barkley: “Listen, other than LSU and Alabama fans most of the SEC fans are cool.”

6. Auburn-Missouri tied the Alabama-Texas A&M game for the highest-rated college football game this year.

7. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn hasn’t set the bowl practice schedule yet but he’ll draw on the experience from 2010. Malzahn named Home Depot Coach of the Year.

8. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee’s wife meets Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi – gives him hug.

9. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze no longer the lowest paid coach in the SEC West - gets a four-year deal that will pay him $3 million in 2014.

10. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel named American Football Coaches Association regional coach of the year.

11. South Carolina was the only program this year to beat two teams that will play in BCS bowls.  Steve Spurrier: “It’s been a very good year.”

12. Three Tennes see freshmen played every game this year. Six of them didn’t take a snap and are redshirt eligible.

13. David Climer says a lot of Vanderbilt fans “are looking down their noses at their destination — the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham.” MrSEC: “The bowl system isn’t fair.”

14. Just two SEC teams open as underdogs in bowl games -  Auburn and South Carolina.

15. Only two SEC teams have above .500 records over the past five years against top 25  teams in the final BCS standings.

SEC/NFL Draft

16. Does Jadeveon Clowney’s speeding ticket for going 100 MPH hurt his chances at being the No. 1 overall pick?  Mel Kiper: “Doesn’t help. He’s in a battle to be the No. 1 pick and at that level it does matter.”

17. Auburn redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Greg Robinson undecided on NFL plans. Kiper ranks him at No. 14 on his big board.

Extras

18. Issues at Texas go beyond Mack Brown.  ”The smarter questions that reared themselves again on Tuesday were about the bizarre leadership issues that could impede Texas making a hire.”

19. The coaches pipeline known as Arkansas State loses another one. Bryan Harsin reportedly headed to Boise State.

20. NAIA basketball player hits half-court shot at NBA game and wins $20,000.  He can keep the money.

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Boise State’s Petersen Stands By Twitter Ban

twitter-logoReaders of this site know this writer’s opinion when it comes to athletes tweeting — coaches should outlaw it.  Whether it’s a player creating a distraction for his team or his school or someone tweeting out info that ultimately brings down a program and its coaching staff (Butch Davis at North Carolina), there’s very little good that can come from allowing a teenaged representative of a school to post his innermost thoughts on the web for the world to see.

One of the nation’s most sought-after coaches happens to agree.  Boise State’s Chris Petersen implemented a Twitter ban on his squad three years ago.  To date, Idaho hasn’t had its statehood rescinded, there have been no mass riots, and no Bronco player has lept off a rooftop due to Twitter withdrawal.  In fact, the coach says his no-tweeting rule isn’t that big of a deal for anyone:

 

“It really doesn’t come up around here.  They get that.  I still believe strongly in that just because it can be emotional, and all of a sudden they hit that send button, and five minutes later, they’re going, ‘Oh.’  There are so many other forms of media out there.

I think they’re scared to death we’re going to take away Instagram, Facebook, Vine and all those other things, so they don’t say a word about Twitter.  The important thing is, there are a lot of other social media outlets that our kids do use, and they do know, if they’re not smart and careful with it, that may go away as well.  It’s a privilege to be here, it’s a privilege to play college football.

If you’re not doing it the right way and representing this university, your family and the rest of your teammates the way they need to be represented, then you don’t need to be on that stuff.”

 

Twitter become the place to show one’s emotions and bare one’s soul in the moment.  Why allow someone 22 or younger to possibly hurt themselves, their program and their school with something that’s nothing more to most of these kids than the latest fad technology?

As someone who writes for a living, I can tell you there’s an added worry that goes along with tweeting.  Some of you who like to post comments on websites and at messageboards have experienced it, too.  That worry: No inflections.

There are no inflections in the written word.  You may write something in a calm, cool voice but an angry person doing the reading may read your words and interpret them as being part of a angry rant.  It’s easy to pick up on sarcasm when you’re talking with someone, not so much when you’re reading his tweet.

There are a million reasons for coaches to ban or limit Twitter.  Petersen has done just that and he continues to win games.  Louisville’s Rick Pitino bans Twitter during the season and he just won another NCAA Tournament.  There have been no player revolts.  And the coaches and administrations at Boise State and Louisville have one less thing to worry about when it comes to their young ambassadors.

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UF’s Muschamp Defends Raise For Offensive Coordinator Pease

gfx - they said itEarlier today we told you the Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease would be getting a one-year contract extension and a $100,000 bump in salary.  That’s not surprising aside from the fact the Gators had one of the worst offenses in the SEC last year, Pease’s first in Gainesville.  But head coach Will Muschamp liked what he saw from Pease, regardless of the league’s stat tables:

 

“He did an outstanding job.  You look at a situation where, here he is at Boise State, Kellen Moore threw for 3,000 yards, very difficult for any coach to walk into a situation and you are going into fall camp, basicallly saying, ‘OK, we’re going to play really good defense and regardless of who the quarterback is it’s gonna be a first-year starter.’

… Part of being a really good coach is identifying who you are and understanding who you are, understaings what your football team can do rather than ask them to do something they can’t do.  And that’s something I saw Brent and our offensive staff do throughout the year is create ways for us to be productive.  Was it always what we wanted?  Was it always what we saw ourselves, who we wanted to be at times?  No, but it was productive enough for us to win 11 football games. 

At the end of the day, I’m not a big stat guy, but I’m worried about one stat and that’s winning.  And that’s where I think Brent did a really good job of doing what he had to do to win football games.”

 

Makes you wonder what kind of bump Dan Quinn might have gotten had he not left his defensive coordinator position to take the same job with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

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UGA’s Richt Says Players Need To Be Prepared For Dawgs’ Tough Early Slate

gfx - they said itGeorgia’s Mark Richt knows that it won’t be long before the 2013 football season kicks off.  For Georgia, that means a first-month slate that includes games against Clemson (on the road), South Carolina and LSU is just around the corner.  Richt hopes his players will act accordingly this summer:

 

“I hope they would have the same commitment every year.  But they are human and they’re going to be hearing about it and thinking about it all year and they know that we can’t wait ’til midseason to be in midseason form.  We’ve got to be there Game One.  So that means you’ve got to be prepared.”

 

Or not.

Hey, we get what Richt is saying but it was just two years ago — facing a hot seat type of year — that Richt opened up against Boise State and South Carolina.  A pair of losses later and many Dawg fans were howling for the head coach’s job.

By December, Georgia had righted its ship, rolled off 10 wins in a row and secured an East Division championship.

So, yeah, it’s important to be ready early, but the game’s at the end of the schedule count just as much as the games at the start of it.

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SEC Headlines 12/13/2012

Coaching News

1. Mark Richt surprised other schools haven’t contacted Georgia about his assistants.  “Can you believe that? I think our coaches are worthy of that, and I think our coaches have been obviously courted, but no one has called me.”

2. With offensive coordinator Jim Chaney going to Arkansas, what’s the next move at Missouri?

3. New Kentucky tight end coach Vince Marrow has known head coach Mark Stoops since middle school.

4. Does new UK defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh open up a pipeline to some JUCO recruits?

5. Gus Malzahn – from high school coach to SEC head coach in seven seasons.

6. Do Kevin Sumlin and his staff need a raise at Texas A&M?

7. Cincinnati disputes reports that new coach Tommy Tuberville ditched Texas Tech recruits.

Bowl Game News

8. Capital One Bowl wanted Texas A&M.  But two bowl search-committee members reportedly say SEC forced them to take Georgia.

9. Gator Bowl will allow Mississipi State fans to bring cowbells to the game .

10. The Music City Bowl will pit brother vs. brother.

11. LSU is headed to the Chik-fil-A Bowl – in discussions about a future Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game.

NFL Draft Prospects

12. Reaction to Marcus Lattimore’s decision to forego senior season at South Carolina and enter NFL draft.

13. How does Lattimore’s injury compare to the one suffered by Willis McGahee? “Even with Willis McGahee, it’s difficult to compare. The same knee dislocation can mean many different definitions.”

14. After the Capital One Bowl game, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will make a decision about whether or not to enter the NFL draft.

15. Junior linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree at Georgia are expected by teammates to enter draft – projected as first-round picks.

16. Vanderbilt’s defense will face a top-notch NFL prospect in the Music City Bowl – North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon.

17. AJ McCarron’s father on son’s decision to stay at Alabama.  “He’s smart enough to know that everything coach Saban’s told him to do so far has worked out pretty well for him.”

SEC Business/Academics

18. Arkansas football turned a profit of nearly $40 million in fiscal year 2011-2012.

19, $300 season tickets being offered at Tennessee - no donation required. Budget deficits in the athletic department won’t be financed any longer by the state or the academic side.

20, Nine of the top 11 TV markets for ESPN’s college football are in SEC country.  Birmingham No. 1 for 12 straight years.

21. When it comes to minority graduation rates, Vanderbilt leads the SEC.

SEC/College News

22. Aaron Murray admits he’s not over the SEC Championship game. ”I can’t sleep at night.” Mark Richt defends decision not to spike the ball at the end of the game.

23. Recovering from ankle surgery, Georgia defensive end Abry Jones may play in the bowl game.

24. Mark Bradley: “At worst, Georgia is the nation’s third-best team.”

25. Mississippi State backup tailback Nick Griffin tore his ACL in practice Saturday –  will have surgery today.

26. Auburn offensive lineman Christian Westerman is reportedly transferring to Arizona State.

27. LSU is getting healthy – several players expected back for bowl game.

28. He’s made his mark on defense and special teams - look for Florida to incorporate Loucheiz Purifoy more often into the offense.

29. Ole Miss begins full-scale practice on Monday.  A look back at what worked – and what didn’t – in Hugh Freeze’s first year.

30. Texas A&M students welcome back Johnny Manziel Wednesday night.   Video of the celebration.

31. The social media buzz over Manziel’s girlfriend.

32. The SEC is the national champion – a computer simulation run 50,000 times is the proof. Most common outcome in 16-team playoff? Alabama over Oregon.

Expansion/Realignment

33. Decision from seven Catholic non-football Big East schools expected soon.  ”Would be an upset” if they stayed. New York Post says they’re leaving. A 12-team basketball league?

34. Boise State holds the key to the future of the Big East?  Dennis Dodd: “CBSSports.com has learned that there was interest from a rights-holder in televising Boise State’s home games only, similar to Notre Dame.”

SEC Basketball

35. Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News ranks the 35 greatest NCAA tournament moments. No. 1 on the list – the 1963 Mississippi State basketball team and the Game of Change.

36. Alabama junior center Carl Engstrom had surgery Tuesday to repair torn ligaments.  He’s out for the rest of the season.

37. What’s going on at Tennessee with Jeronne Maymon’s surgically repaired right knee?  Maymon’s father: “It’s not his knee. His knee is fine. He’s trying to get back in shape.”

38. If the sluggish start at Kentucky sounds familiar, it’s because it does.  Think Florida basketball six years ago.

39. Florida in a top-10 showdown Saturday.  The 7-0 Gators face 7-0 Arizona.

40.  Missouri has added a series against Arizona starting in 2015.

41. LSU making progress on Anthony Hickey’s suspension. Looks to be traveling with team.

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SEC Coaching Carousel Update – 12/4/12

We’ll go about today’s catch-ya-up a little bit differently than we have our past coach-search updates.  As so many coaches are on the lists for Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee, we’ll actually give you some news on each coach rather than on each search.  That might make things easier to follow.

 

Larry Fedora, North Carolina – An industry source tells MrSEC.com that Fedora feels he was misled by the UNC administration regarding the school’s NCAA issues and academic requirements.  He or his agent began to float his name in connection to a couple of searches and it’s believed he would seriously consider ditching Chapel Hill after one season.  Tennessee is expected to interview one candidate today and both industry and sources in Knoxville tell us Fedora will be that interview.

 

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – Expected to be high on the lists of both Auburn and Tennessee, it now appears that Fisher will stay put in Tallahassee.  He had an interview set up with the Volunteers yesterday, but that meeting never occurred.  The reigning ACC champ might have earned himself a raise and a bit more power in Tallahassee simply by having his name tossed about in connection with the AU and UT jobs.  This isn’t a huge surprise as it’s incredibly rare for a traditional national power to lose its coach to another school (unless that school is the coach’s alma mater).  Speaking to an Auburn source this morning, we were told that Fisher was never as high on Auburn’s list as it was once suggested because the school didn’t expect Fisher to move.  (Of course, another Tiger source told MrSEC.com that he was a top candidate, if he would listen.)

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Report: Hogs Reach Out To Dores’ Franklin

You can add another name to the list of Arkansas candidates.  We reported in late-October that our sources had indicated that Gary Patterson topped AD Jeff Long’s wish list.  Then came reports that Jon Gruden was Arkansas’ man.

But as both of those coaches have — reportedly — failed to reach an agreement with the Razorbacks, the name of Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is now making the rounds.  Yesterday, ESPN.com’s Chris Low claimed on Bo Mattingly’s syndicated Arkansas radio show that the Hogs had reached out to Franklin.  According to ArkansasNews.com, it’s “not known if the coach is listening to the Razorbacks.”

Long has suggested that he wants to have Arkansas’ search wrapped up by mid-December, but UA fans are starting to grow impatient.  The Hog’s AD chose John L. Smith to be an interim coach in 2012 in order to give himself more time to research potential full-time hires.  While things are seldom as they seem when it comes to coaching searches — note the various rumors/reports regarding Gruden at both Arkansas and Tennessee — perception still matters.

Fans want searches to go quickly and they want big-name results.  If there’s any suggestion that a school is struggling to land it’s first or second choice, panic ensues.  And we begin to get emails from angry fans of that school asking what the heck is taking so long.  Well this week we’re starting to get those types of emails from Razorback fans.

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Vols Land Colorado Lineman

Tennessee received a commitment on Tuesday from offensive lineman Dan Skipper from Ralston Valley High School Arvada, Colo.

Tennessee’s conference was a big factor in Skipper’s decision.

“The big part was playing in the SEC,” Skipper told Volquest.com. “The alumni base there is second to none and the overall atmosphere was incredible.”

Skipper picked Tennessee after visiting Alabama, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and others. He’s the 13th commitment for Tennessee’s class of 2013 and third pledge on the offensive line.

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