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SEC Headlines 3/13/2014

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Is Florida the best coaching job in the SEC?  Athlon ranks all 128 college football jobs from a coaching perspective.

2. NCAA grants Florida wide receiver/returner Andre Debose a sixth year of eligibility.

3. Who will step up at wide receiver for LSU? 95-percent of receiver production for the Tigers is gone.

4. Will linebacker Kris Frost be a force in the middle for Auburn this fall?

5. South Carolina redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kwinton Smith no longer with the team.

6. Tennessee defensive tackle Danny O’Brien on his offseason arrest: ”I’m glad it happened. It taught me a life lesson that I’ll know forever.”

7. The Internal Revenue Service is auditing three bowls – one of them is the Gator.

SEC Media

8. Expect to see a lot of Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer when the SEC Network launches in August.

SEC/NFL

9. Several NFL coaches on hand for Alabama’s pro day on Wednesday.

10. Does AJ McCarron think he’s the best quarterback in this draft?  ”Yeah, why not?”

SEC Basketball

11. Texas A&M vs Missouri.  What’s the status of Aggies leading scorer Jamal Jones?  “If he can walk and chew gum, we will play him because we need him.”

12. Does Missouri need to win the SEC Tournament to reach the Big Dance?

13. South Carolina vs Arkansas.  Arkansas guard Mardracus Wade: ”I want to finish out with a bang.”

14. Alabama vs. LSU.  Tigers guard Andre Stringer: “I want that sense of urgency to come now.”

15 .Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss.  Rebels need big contributions from Anthony Perez if they’re to have any chance of repeating as tournament champs.

16. Could the SEC Tournament do more harm than good for Kentucky?

17. When Florida plays Friday, it will be the first time all season the Gators have played in a domed stadium.

18. Since 1979, Tennessee has gone one-and-done in the SEC Tournament 15 times.

19. Cutting former Auburn coach Tony Barbee no slack: “It wasn’t working. So it was time for him to go.”

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Musburger To The SEC Network? A Good Move That May Not Come To Pass

August 2006, Windsor, CT -- Play-by-play commentator Brent MusburgerOK, let’s get this out of the way.  Nobody likes Brent Musburger.  That’s not really his fault because we live in an age when nobody really likes anyone.  Check out Twitter during the broadcast of any major sporting event and you’ll find a torrent of insults and jokes all aimed at the person behind the big game mic.

That said, Musburger is a name.  A top name.  He’s witnessed and covered more major sporting events than anyone reading this post can even list.  Toward the end of his career, yes.  But he’s still got some clout to offer.

Earlier this month it was reported that ESPN would move the broadcasting legend from its A-team on ESPN/ABC and slide him into the #1 announcer’s role on the new SEC Network.  Here’s hoping he takes the job as the SEC could get a lot worse.  SI.com’s Richard Deitsch reported over the weekend, however, that Musburger might not accept ESPN’s demotion:

 

“As first reported by James Andrew Miller, Musburger has been offered the job of lead college football announcer for the upcoming SEC Network, which debuts at the end of August.  It is unclear whether Musburger will take that offer, as some source I spoke with noted he is unhappy with how the process is shaking out.  What seems clear is that Musburger is being pulled from the lead announcer spot for ABC’s Saturday Night Football, which is ESPNs top game each week.”

 

Musburger, according to ESPN, isn’t doing any interviews on the subject.

Whether he’s still at the top of his 1980s game isn’t up for debate.  We get that.  But his name and voice alone would add some much needed heft to the new network’s lineup.  Tim Tebow has been hired as an on-set analyst, but as likable as he is it’s hard to imagine him providing any critical comments.  Ever.  In other words, Tebow will probably be  Grudenian in his praise of every team, every coach and every player.  Tebow’s hire feels more like a gimmick than a true attempt to create quality content (and that’s not a knock on Tebow).

Musburger is for many folks the voice of the Rose Bowl and the BCS Championship Game.  Having as your top voice the man who called the last national championship game adds some gravitas to SEC Network broadcasts in Year One.

The trouble for the network — at least at start up — is that it will be a “step-up” spot for ESPNs current B-team analysts.  Joe Tessitore, for example, was the first major player to be added to the network.  Tessitore does fine work and will in time likely make an excellent front-person for the new channel.  But if the names and faces were not shown and 10 different ESPN voices were run back-to-back could you immediately say, “Tessitore!”

Doubtful.

But Musburger has exactly that kind of voice.

If the soon-to-be 75-year-old from Up North would make like many retirees and agree to spend one or two golden years in the Sun Belt, it would be a nice win for the SEC Network.  Like him or not, Musburger adds clout.  And a first-year channel needs as much clout as it can get.

 

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That Weird Eminem Interview On ABC? Don’t Blame The Announcers

In the internet age there’s no telling what the viral story/topic/video of the day is going to be.  One day it’s “Gangnam Style,” the next it’s some girl “twerking” until she literally catches on fire.

Well for the past couple of days, the topic seemingly everyone has been talking about — and this has nothing to do with the SEC, by the way — is the bizarro halftime interview of rap star Eminem (or Marshall Mathers, if you prefer) during Saturday’s Michigan/Notre Dame game.  That clip is everywhere.  Hell, it’s even right here:

 

Eminem talks Berzerk, MMLP2 & asks Brent Musburger to call a Lions Game

 

Now, the go-to joke in all of this has been that Brent Musburger is so obsessed with gambling that he just had to question Eminem about the Detroit Lions’ ability to cover the spread on Sunday.  (They did.)

OK.  Got it.  Ha ha.  Everyone picks on Brent.

But just what were Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit going to ask Mathers that would have worked?  Herbstreit tried to be hip by asking Mathers’ about his new album.  And when asked what excited him about his new recording, Mathers said, “Um, nothing.”

Now where would you go at that point?

Hey, for all the mockery being tossed at the two broadcasters, Saturday’s failed, goofy interview can be traced to one person only… and it’s not even the goofball being interviewed.  No, the person who should have to wear a little egg on their face today is whoever decided it would be a good idea to put Eminem in the broadcast booth with Herbstreit and Musburger during a football game in the first place.

I’ve worked in television for 20+ years.  I’ve been a producer and I’ve been, ahem, “talent.”  The first rule of producing is this: Don’t make the talent look stupid.  I can tell you that as someone who’s been on both sides of the camera.

No one should be fired for swinging and missing on this one.  It happens.  But for all the grief the two pros are getting for their inability to steer that vessel away from the falls, the person who should be saying “my bad,” today is the same person who said last week, “Eminem, football, Musburger… yeah, that could work.”

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15 Alabama-LSU Headlines (Plus A Bonus) – 11/3/11

Line watch:  No movement today, the line is at Alabama -4.5 for the second consecutive day.  It opened at Bama -4 and then moved to -5 before settling in at the current position.

Ticket watch:  According to StubHub.com, the highest price for tickets is $1,177 a piece for four in the lower level of Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Earlier this week two tickets were going for more than $10,000 a pop.

And now the headlines…


1.  Trent Richardson will take to the Heisman stage on Saturday.

2.  CBS’ Gary Danielson says “this game means everything.”

3.  SEC coaches weigh in on the game and its significance.

4.  Florida’s Trey Burton said Alabama’s defense is better than LSU’s… “hands down, a lot better.”

5.  Bama backup tailback Eddie Lacy had a noticeable limp at practice yesterday.

6.  ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit says he and Brent Musburger will have the LSU-Bama game on while they’re calling Oklahoma State-Kansas State. 

7.  The Tigers’ offseason work led to a leaner, tougher defense in 2011.

8.  John Chavis will probably use more of his base defense against the Tide.

9.  Nick Saban and Les Miles have both been highly successful, but they have two different approaches to life and football.

10.  What if Miles were Alabama’s head coach?

11.  LSU’s been rolling since last year’s win over the Crimson Tide.

12.  Is Bama’s D an all-time great… or just very good and fortunate?

13.  Saban isn’t ready to crown his defense just yet.

14.  If the Tide wins Saturday, give some credit to their mental conditioning coach.

15.  Last year’s fourth-down gamble against Bama changed everything for Miles.

BONUS — Writers for The Sporting News have made their predictions.


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