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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 9/28/2013

gameday linksSouth Carolina at Central Florida

1. South Carolina will try to slow down UCF’s talented group of skill players on offense.

2. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is ready to take on South Carolina on a national stage.

3. South Carolina knows it’s entering a sleeper game as it prepares to play at Central Florida.

South Alabama at Tennessee

4. Tennessee’s young secondary will be challenged again on Saturday. The Vols got healthier this week.

5. South Alabama will use two quarterbacks. The Jaguars will have to be careful with the ball against Tennessee’s defense.

LSU at Georgia

6. There will be plenty of eyes on Georgia’s Todd Gurley and LSU’s Jeremy Hill, two of the top running backs in the nation.

7. LSU’s linebackers will need to play well against Georgia’s talented offense.

8. Here are five keys for Georgia as the Bulldogs face another tough test.

9. How do Georgia and LSU matchup statistically? Click here to find out.

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Which SEC School Will Be The First To Go Nuts With Its Hoops Court Design?

Credit Oregon and Nike for starting two trends that are taking over college sports.  One is the necessity for darn near every school to have umpteen alternate uniforms.  The other is the growing practice of creating funky designs for a basketball court.

This is what Oregon’s court looks like:




That’s a salute to the state’s forests for those who can’t figure it out.

Now UCF — that’s Central Florida — is planning to get in on the act with a blacktop design that’s designed to mimic the look of outdoor courts:


ucf court


The University of Memphis recently allowed fans to vote on its new court design.  A few other schools have already gone in the same direction.

Eventually, an SEC school will go the whole nine yards with its court, too.  It’s really just a matter of time.  One website has already mocked up an Oregon-style, bayou-themed court for LSU:


lsu court


Love the cattails/corndogs in the design.

So which SEC school will be the first to go all-in with a new hoops court?  Here’s guessing it will either be a Nike school or a school that’s already shown a willingness to trot out dozens of different uni designs in football, basketball or both.

Best guess?  We’d put a buck on Mississippi State and Missouri, two schools that have worked hard to create/rebuild their brands in recent years.  MSU has gone uni-crazy through adidas.  Mizzou has allowed Nike to relaunch its look from the ground up.

If you’re looking for a long shot, consider Florida.  The Gators have been more than willing to trot out any new hoops or gridiron uniform that Nike has sent them.  If the Kings of Swoosh tell UF a new court design would help further the school’s brand and attract recruits, we would expect Billy Donovan to OK such a move.

All that said, here’s hoping this is one trend that does not spread to the Southeastern Conference.

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LaGrange Lineman Commits To Tennessee

Tennessee has received a commitment from defensive lineman Joe Sanders from Troup High School in LaGrange, Ga.

Sanders told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he picked Tennessee over offers from South Florida, Western Kentucky, Central Florida, Eastern Kentucky and South Alabama.

“I committed tonight because I had it made up in my mind that I wanted to go to Tennessee,” Sanders told the AJC on Wednesday. “I liked the atmosphere, the coaches, and how they push you once you’re down there.”

There have been questions about the future of Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who has a 15-19 record since becoming the Vols’ head coach in 2010. Sanders told the AJC he’s not concerned about Dooley’s job status.

“I’ve heard things but I haven’t really looked into it,” Sanders said. “Coach Dooley hasn’t said anything about that, so it doesn’t mean that much.”

Sanders is the 19th prospect to commit to Tennessee’s class of 2013.

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Mizzou Gets A Road Win, A&M Crushes Arkansas, Georgia Outlasts Tennessee

Missouri 21 – Central Florida 16

1. Marcus Murphy third-quarter punt return for TD changes momentum of the game.

2. 80-yard catch-and-run for freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

3. Central Florida outgained Missouri, ran more plays and had more first downs. “In fact, an argument could be made that UCF was actually the superior team Saturday.”

4. And what if the Tigers had lost? “This season was headed toward a free fall that would leave the record somewhere sub-Shreveport.”

Texas A&M 58 – Arkansas 10

5. Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel sets SEC record for total yards in a game -Aggies get their first conference victory.

6. A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury on his quarterback: “The sky is the limit.”

7.  In two SEC games-  Arkansas has been outscored 110-10.

8. Starting quarterbacks against the Razorbacks defense last four games – 107-of-156 passing for 1,451 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Georgia 51 – Tennessee 44

9. Seventh-highest scoring non-overtime game in SEC history.  Mark Richt: “Well, that was fun.”

10. “Gurshall” -  the Georgia freshmen running back duo - combine to rush for 294 yards and 5 touchdowns.

11. Big plays against the Tennessee defense – Vols have now given up four runs of 70 or more yards in the past three weeks.

12. Last three Tennessee possessions ended in turnovers.

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Wow Weekend Scores

Saturday SEC Football Schedule
Afternoon Games
Missouri 21 –  Central Florida 16
Texas A&M 58 Arkansas 10
Georgia 51 – Tennessee 44
Evening Games
South Carolina 38 – Kentucky 17
LSU 38 – Towson 22
Alabama 33 – Ole Miss 14

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Gameday Links: SEC Afternoon Action

Missouri at Central Florida

1. Since the start of the 2010 season – Mizzou just 3-7 in true road games.

2. “Perhaps there’s some consolation in the fact that by the NCAA’s measuring system, Mizzou (along with Vanderbilt) has played the toughest schedule in the nation to date.”

3. Will the stadium be full today? “I’ll be shocked if the Knights come within 5,000 (actual attendance) of filling the stadium today.”

Arkansas at Texas A&M

4. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on the Razorbacks: “A wounded animal is the most dangerous to deal with. “

5. After an experiment at middle linebacker, Tenarious Wright is back at defense end for Arkansas. The “collisions (at linebacker) are maybe much more violent than let’s say his collisions would be on the ball playing on the line of scrimmage.”

6. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has accounted for 11 touchdowns the past two games.

Tennessee at Georgia

7. What Tennessee faces: “Dooley is 4-13 in SEC play, 1-7 on the road and 0-11 versus ranked opponents. Rhetoric can’t change that. Winning can.”

8. “Imagine a few years saying that a game against Tennessee sandwiched in between games against Vanderbilt and South Carolina was a letdown game. But that’s exactly the worry in some quarters.”

9. The last time Georgia won three straight SEC games by more than 20 points? 1981.

10. Dennis Dodd: “The Dawgs have that undefeated look.”

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Wow Weekend Headlines 9/29/2012

Saturday SEC Football Schedule
Missouri at Central Florida. MrSEC Pick:  Missouri 27, Central Florida 24
Arkansas at Texas A&M. MrSEC Pick:  Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 27
Tennessee at Georgia Pick:  MrSEC Pick: Georgia 38, Tennessee 24
South Carolina at Kentucky. MrSEC Pick:  South Carolina 38, Kentucky 14
Towson at LSU Pick:  MrSEC Pick: LSU 48, Towson 7
Ole Miss at Alabama. MrSEC Pick:  Alabama 44, Ole Miss 14

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SEC Game Previews – 9/28/12

Here’s your weekly rundown of all the SEC action on tap for Week Five of the regular season.  (Man, time flies.)  As always, you’ll find everything from TV listings to the betting lines to our own predictions.

Enjoy the games, be safe, and best of luck to your favorite school this weekend.

Here goes…


Missouri at Central Florida

12:00pm ET on FSN

Opening Line:  Pick

Current Line:  UCF -3

Storylines:  Mizzou QB James Franklin raised eyebrows this week when he said that shoulder pain is “killing” his confidence as a passer.  If the Tigers struggle early — which is possible because UCF is better than many people think — a lot of Mizzou fans will be watching to see if Gary Pinkel makes a call to the bullpen and brings in Corbin Berkstresser to spell Franklin.

Keys for Missouri:  Protection and confidence.  First, a battered MU offensive line must find a way to protect Franklin (and open holes for a so-so Mizzou rushing attack).  The line won’t be facing a defense on par with Georgia or South Carolina this week, so expect some improvement.  Second, the Tigers can’t hang their heads after an 0-2 start in their new conference.  Pinkel needs to have his bunch ready for a rowdy atmosphere — the Golden Knights don’t get many visits from SEC-caliber teams — or else MU’s season could really start to go downhill in a hurry.

Pick:  Missouri 27, Central Florida 24


Arkansas at Texas A&M

12:21pm ET on SEC Network

Opening Line:  A&M -11.5

Current Line:  A&M -13.5

Storylines:  Arkansas turns the ball over too much on offense and can’t force many takeaways on defense.  Last week against Rutgers, there were signs of quit from a team that no longer has championships to play for.  Toss in a fanbase that wants John L. Smith ousted ASAP and you’ve got a full-on mess.  At A&M, the Aggies have been honing their skills against SMU and South Carolina State, but are they ready to record their first SEC victory?  Also, Aggie fans will get to experience the “joys” of an SEC Network 11:21am CT kickoff.  Whoop?

Keys for Arkansas:  Hold on to the football on offense.  Take the ball away from A&M on defense.  Pretty simple, really.  The Hogs need to have something good to happen for them and, to be honest, they’re overdue for some good fortune.  Despite the fact that at least three starters are expected to miss tomorrow’s game, expect Arkansas to put up a little more fight this week.  If they can force an early break.

Keys for Texas A&M:  Effective runner/passer Johnny Manziel should have a field day against an Arkansas defense that’s been absolutely terrible.  Still, it’s time for A&M to get over one monster hurdle — the second half.  The Hogs might not be playing well, but they’re more talented than SMU or SC State.  The Aggies will want to break the Razorbacks’ will early, but even if they do run up a quick lead, A&M can’t let up.  It’s time for TAMU to snap a two-year run of come-from-ahead losses in big games.

Pick:  Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 27


Tennessee at Georgia

3:30pm ET on CBS

Opening Line:  UGA -15.5

Current Line:  UT -14

Storylines:  Tennessee (#1) and Georgia (#3) feature two of the best passing offenses in the SEC.  Their defenses rank last and next-to-last when it comes to giving up plays of 30 yards or more.  So this one could feature more fireworks than a roadside “Crazy Dave’s” stand.  The Vols are looking for an elusive signature win as well as a bit of redemption after their last failed attempt versus Florida two weeks ago.  Meanwhile, the Dawgs are expected to work starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree back into their defense which could help cut down on opponents’ big plays.

Keys for Tennessee:  The Vols don’t have enough of a running game or defense to win a game against a good foe if Tyler Bray has a bad day.  Georgia is a very good foe.  Therefore UT’s signal-caller has to remain calm in the pocket and not force passes into coverage.  If the Bray from Tennessee’s first two games shows up, expect a shootout.  If the Bray from UT’s last two games shows up, expect Georgia to pull away with ease.

Keys for Georgia:  Balance.  Tennessee will likely be playing more zone defense after moving several new faces into the secondary in recent weeks.  The Volunteers haven’t had a great pass rush up front which means Aaron Murray should have plenty of time to throw.  If Mike Bobo keeps the Vols guessing run or pass, sooner or later Todd Gurley could turn a five-yard gain into 50.

Pick:  Georgia 38, Tennessee 24

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USC’s Spurrier Says “Time Will Tell” With Mizzou

Missouri has played two SEC football games to date and lost both by 21 points.  One game was closer than it looked, the other not so much.

But before kicking dirt on the Tigers’ 2012 campaign, it should be noted that those losses came to two undefeated teams currently ranked in the Top 10.  In their only other game against an FBS opponent, they beat Arizona State with their backup quarterback behind center.

South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier saw the SEC’s newest bunch of Tigers up close on Saturday during his team’s 31-10 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium.  He’s not quite ready to bury Mizzou just yet:


“I think time will tell.  I don’t want to make any predictions, and they’ve got a tough game this week.  Are they underdogs going down to Central Florida.  UCF is a good team down there, but I think we’ve all got to play the season out.  Some teams get better as the season goes along, and some teams get worse.”


For the record, the game opened as a “pick ‘em” but the line now has UCF as a three-point favorite on its home field.

As for Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, he says the Tigers “are disappointed we didn’t play any better” against Carolina and Georgia.  But like Spurrier, he says things aren’t over yet.  “There is a lot of season left, and the SEC is obviously a great league, and we’re excited being in it and want to do a better job.”

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SEC Releases TV Schedule For September 29th

The networks have made their picks and the television schedules is now set for next Saturday — or “Saturday-week” as folks in my family might say.  Here’s when and where you can find your team the Saturday after this one… meaning the 29th:


Missouri at Central Florida — 12:00pm ET on FSN

Arkansas at Texas A&M — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network (This will be the Aggies first appearance on the league’s syndicated package.)

Tennessee at Georgia — 3:30pm ET on CBS

South Carolina at Kentucky — 7:00pm ET on ESPN or ESPN2

Towson at LSU — 7:00pm ET on ESPNU (Towson is no longer known as “Towson State.”  Didn’t know that.)

Ole Miss at Alabama — 9:15 ET on ESPN or ESPN2

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