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Swinging Gate-Gate: More Bad Blood Between Auburn And Arkansas, Malzahn And Bielema

bad-bloodYa know, it’s beginning to seem like Bret Bielema doesn’t care too much for Gus Malzahn.

Flashback to SEC Media Days when Auburn’s new coach was asked if his up-tempo offense was dangerous for athletes.  Malzahn said the first time he’d heard that he thought it was a joke.

In a scene that plays out every year at the league’s media scrum, Bret Bielema was then told that Malzahn had said concerns over hurry-up offenses were a joke.  Arkansas’ new coach assumed that Auburn’s coach was directing that comment right at him, which he wasn’t.  Bielema — clearly angry — said, “I’m no comedian,” and promptly went into a long dissertation on just how dangerous fast offenses really are.

That’s the backstory.  Now we jump ahead to yesterday.

During his weekly Monday gab session, Bielema let the media know that he’d already let the SEC know that Auburn had edited the game tape they are required to send to Arkansas.  That’s a no-no.  And knowing how these programs run their video departments, we can also tell you that the chances of said editing being accidental are infintesimal.

According to Bielema:


“There are just some clips that haven’t — shall we say — the TV copy doesn’t match the film copy.  And it’s something we have king of been aware of now for the last week and a half in getting our preparation.  So we can use other film and stuff like that to make sure we are getting the full picture.”


Bielema saw Auburn use a “swinging gate” formation on a copy of a television broadcast.  That clip was not on the game tape sent from Southeast Alabama up to Northwest Arkansas.  “So if I hadn’t watched the TV copy, or if our guys hadn’t had the time to go back and review, we would have never known that to happen.”

Arkansas’ coach then tossed in this kicker:


“I know Gus stands for everything that’s right and (has) great faith in doing things right.  So I’m sure it’s just a glitch they’ll get to the bottom of.”


Malzahn won’t hold a press conference of his own until today.

Meanwhile, the SEC said in a statement to that “consistent with other discussions between coaches and league office personnel, we won’t comment on the situation.”  The interesting point there?  Bielema did talk about this issue publicly.  SEC rules stipulate that if any team believes a video exchange violation has occurred “it should be reported immediately to the SEC supervisor of officials and not be discussed in the media.”


Expect Malzahn to follow SEC orders and dodge any questions about “Swinging Gate-gate” when he’s asked about it.

Feuding coaches is a storyline everyone enjoys.  The fact that Malzahn — an Arkansas native who coached at Arkansas State last year — is returning to the Natural State makes this little dust-up all the more interesting.

Our outsider’s view: Bielema was a bit of a hothead in Birmingham and shouldn’t get fired up over what a reporter tells him another coach said.  Malzahn and Auburn are way out of line intentionally doctoring game film, and if the film doesn’t match the TV copy, then there’s a 99.9% chance the snips were made on purpose.

So both coaches have been wrong.  And two wrongs, in this case, make for the alright story of a new coaching rivalry in the Southeastern Conference.

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SEC Conference Call: Bret Bielema Talks Alabama

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema talks Alabama – Week 8 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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Arkansas Loses CB Hines For The Season

Let’s just say it was a bad weekend for the Arkansas football team.

There was the 30-10 loss at Florida.  The Hogs were stuffed by nation’s best run defense and held to just 111 yards on 29 carries (less than four yards a pop).  Quarterback Brandon Allen — already dealing with a “tender” shoulder — injured his right hand and “jammed” his fingers.  The Hogs’ starter said afterwards, “no big deal,” but it looked like some sort of deal as Allen tried to finish Saturday’s contest.

Overall the loss marked just the second time in Bret Bielema’s career that the coach has overseen three straight losses.  But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Razorback corner Will Hines suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s second half.  Obviously, it was a season-ending injury, which Hines himself made clear on Twitter:




Hines had made 22 tackles and recorded one interception on the season.  A sophomore, Hines promised on Twitter to come back “10x” stronger.

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SEC Headlines 9/27/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Central Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe on Jadeveon Clowney: “He’s a once-in-generation kind of player.”

2. South Carolina running back Mike Davis recalls being recruited by his home-state team Georgia: “It never came until a month before signing day. So, I was like, it’s kind of too late now.”

3. Georgia safety Tray Matthews on LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger: “That quarterback puts the ball on the money.”

4. Georgia-LSU game is the opportunity to watch two of the best running backs in the country – Todd Gurley and Jeremy Hill.

5. Dennis Dodd doesn’t like the idea of Hill getting another chance at LSU: “None of it reflects well on Miles, LSU and the SEC.”

6. Tempo is a big difference between Alabama and Ole Miss.  Rebels averaging close to 80 plays per game.  Crimson Tide closer to 60.

7. AJ McCarron’s mom on her son’s similarities to Nick Saban.“ It’s funny people call him a little mini-Saban…because he has taken on so many characteristics of coach.”

8. Joker Phillips returns to Lexington – this time as a Florida assistant coach.  How will be received? “I don’t know what type of reception he’ll get.”

9. How Joker has become “a a one-man buzz generator” at Florida.

10. If Kentucky is going to upset Florida – they need wide receiver Javess Blue to make some plays.

11. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on wide receiver Keon Hatcher: “He’s just got that mojo,”

12. Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham caught 28 passes his freshman season.  Already has 17 grabs this year.

13. As a slot receiver, Tennessee’s Pig Howard plays a crucial role in Butch Jones’ offense.

14. Spending 12 years at each school, Watson Brown left an impact at both Vanderbilt and UAB.

15. Focus at Auburn – stopping early defensive mistakes.Defensive end Dee Ford: “Auburn is beating Auburn right now.” Secondary is “razor thin with injuries.”

16. When Alabama-Ole Miss kickoff, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn won’t be watching - he’ll be out recruiting.

17. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Hard to believe, but it’s very possible the SEC could finish September with only two teams with perfect records: Alabama and Missouri. ”

Practice/Injury Updates

18. Alabama safety Nick Perry is out for the season after having shoulder surgery this week.  Qualifies for medical redshirt – expected to return next year.

19. Alabama cornerback Deion Blue sat out the last game with a toe injury but he’s expected to return for Ole Miss.

20. Ole Miss cornerback Charles Sawyer returns from suspension this week. Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche will reportedly play – won’t start.

21. Florida likely to turn to freshmen to replace defensive tackle Dominique Easley, out for the year with a knee injury.

22. Unless Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen is 100% Saturday, “I’m not going to put him in harm’s way,” said coach Bret Bielema.

23. Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins sprained his ankle against Oklahoma State – handled the ball just 13 times since.

24. Missouri offensive line coach Bruce Walker on replacing injured linemen: “When you move guys, you’re better off keeping them on the same side…than you are moving from one side to the other.”

SEC/College News

25. Alabama cancels its home-and-home series with Michigan State: “Alabama requested to cancel the series due to uncertainty with the SEC schedule.”

26. Did you know? The SEC is the only FBS conference that uses headset communication devices between officials. One of many nuggets in Matt Hayes profile of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

27. Early bowl projections for SEC teams.

28. Why Georgia is one of 10 programs facing pressure this weekend.

29. The NCAA is the lone defendant left in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit.  EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company settle claims.

30. EA Sports will not produce a college football video game in 2014.

SEC Basketball

31. Georgia returns two starters and seven lettermen from last year’s 15-17 team.

32. Tennessee will live video stream its first practice on Tuesday.

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SEC Conference Call: Bret Bielema Talks Texas A&M

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema talks Texas A&M – Week 5 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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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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Arkansas QB Allen Will Start Versus Texas A&M… If He’s Ready

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coatFile this one in the “no duh” category.  Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema addressed his team’s quarterback situation yesterday afternoon, saying that Brandon Allen will start against Texas A&M this weekend… if his bruised throwing shoulder is given a clean bill of health from team docs.

“If (Allen) at any point, even if it’s not until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, says that he can go and the doctors give him 100% we’ll go in that direction,” the coach said.  “If not it will be, obviously, AJ (Derby) again and Austin (Allen) as his backup.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Derby, the juco transfer who’s completed 18-of-32 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown filling in for Allen the last two weeks.  Derby’s has been a fine game manager (one TD pass, no interceptions), but he’s not been able to create big plays through the air (a 5.41 yards-per-attempt average) to help open up the Arkansas running game.  The run game suffered last week in a loss to Rutgers.  The Razorbacks mustered just 101 yards rushing on 34 carries.

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Arkansas QB Allen Questionable For Texas A&M

Brandon AllenArkansas might or might not have its usual starting quarterback in the lineup when highly-ranked Texas A&M rolls into Fayetteville this weekend.  Brandon Allen is still questionable due to a bruised shoulder suffered two weeks ago in the Hogs’ win over Southern Miss.

Allen did not play in Saturday’s come-from-ahead loss at Rutgers.  Backup AJ Derby completed 14-of-26 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

According to Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema, it’s going to be “wait and see” all over again for Allen this week.  “If he can go, he can go.  If not, we’ll continue with AJ’s progress and development and see what he can do.”

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Bielema’s Contract With Arkansas Released

cartoon-man-with-bag-of-moneyThe numbers are in for first-year Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema… and they’re some pretty big numbers.  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Bielema’s six-year deal with the Razorbacks has been finalized and it will pay him about $2.95 million per season.  An additional $700,000 per year is available via bonuses and incentives.

Bielema’s $2.95 million contract places him among the 12 highest-paid coaches in college football.  It all puts him ahead of everyone in the SEC except for Nick Saban ($5.5 million), Les Miles ($3.9 million), and Steve Spurrier ($3.6 million).

Bielema’s buyout stands at $12.8 million through the end of the 2015 season, before starting to decline.  If Bielema leaves Arkansas after this season, he’ll owe the school $3 million.  That total decreases by $500,000 per year through the life of the contract.

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SEC Conference Call: Bret Bielema Talks Rutgers

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema talks Rutgers – Week 4 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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