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SEC Headlines 3/8/2014

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1. Report: Dan Mullen and Mississippi State in contract talk extensions.

2. Texas coach Charlie Strong wants to renew the rivalry with Texas A&M.  ”When there’s been so much tradition there, you’d like to see it continue on.”

3. No Johnny Manziel but still plenty of options at quarterback for the Texas A&M.

4. John Theus is moving from right tackle to left tackle for Georgia.

5. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on competition at the quarterback spot:  ”That competition, that’s how you get better, that’s how you grow.”

6. Plenty of options at running back for Ole Miss.

7. Early signing period for college football?


8. Couple of NFL draft analysts now have Johnny Manziel going fourth overall to the Cleveland Browns.

SEC Basketball

9. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive: “One of the primary focuses that we have is changing the perception of our basketball over the next several years.”

10. Andy Staples on Florida: “These Gators won’t overwhelm anyone with their athleticism, but they might overwhelm a team with their defensive stubbornness.”

11. Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs will sit down with coach Tony Barbee at the end of the season.  Is his job in jeopardy?

12. An argument to keep South Carolina coach Frank Martin suspended until he cleans up his “expletive act.”

13. If LSU beats Georgia today, Tigers will clinch the sixth seed in the SEC Tournament. And if Georgia loses and Tennesse wins, Vols claim third place in the SEC.

14. Missouri has received more points and rebounds from this freshmen class than any of the past four seasons.

15. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy on the future of his program: “I’m really high on some of our young guys.”

16. Jerry Palm on bubble teams and potential bid stealers.


17. Paul Finebaum’s book on the SEC goes on sale in August.  Here’s a look at the cover.

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SEC Headlines 1/15/2014

headlines-wedSEC Coaching News

1. One prediction on the impact of Georgia hiring defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt: ”Might as well go ahead, beat the rush and make Georgia your favorite to win the SEC East in 2014.”

2. Pruitt replaces Todd Grantham who left for Louisville.  ”As a straight trade, it’s roughly comparable to swapping George McClellan for Ulysses S. Grant.” Pruitt was Georgia’s first and only choice.

3. Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning reportedly headed to Texas to join Charlie Strong’s staff.

4. How does Strong’s contract compare to the one at Texas A&M for Kevin Sumlin?

5. Mike Bianchi on why Strong didn’t get  a particular SEC job: “He was told that he didn’t get the job because he was a black man who had a white wife…”

6. Stewart Mandel on Lane Kiffin to Alabama: “The massive disconnect between the public perception of Kiffin and the opinions of those that know him have long fascinated me.”

7. LSU reportedly offers its offensive line coach position to Virginia Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes. 

8. Aggies make it official – announce the hiring of Terry Joseph as defensive backs coach.

SEC Football

9. Don’t expect the drug felony investigation involving Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to be resolved anytime soon.

10. Expect South Carolina’s linebackers to lead the defense in 2014.

11. Alabama freshman quarterback Luke Del Rio is leaving the Crimson Tide program. Son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

12. Former Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy headed to Boston College.

13. Here are the nine early enrollees already on campus at Florida.


14. Jadeveon Clowney to the Texans?  Houston owner is a South Carolina grad.

15. Early defections at LSU are up to six players - includes wide receiver Odell Beckham – but offensive tackle La’El Collins is staying for his senior season.

16. Total SEC underclassmen departing approaching 30 – deadline to declare is today.

17. Alabama receiver DeAndrew White says he’ll return for his senior season.

18. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won’t play in the Senior Bowl – wants to focus on NFL draft.


19. Are college sports telecasts essentially” informercials under the guise of entertainment”?

20. The Sports Illustrated series detailing allegations at Oklahoma State has cost the school more than $100,000.

SEC Basketball

21. Auburn walk-on forward Alex Thompson is getting a scholarship.

Tonight’s schedule:

22. Auburn at Tennessee.  Can the Tigers get over the hump and break their 12-game SEC losing streak?

23. Mississippi State at Alabama.  Bulldogs haven’t won a conference road game in over a year.

24. South Carolina at Texas A&M. Two teams going in different directions;  South Carolina 0-2 to start SEC play – Texas A&M 2-0.

25. LSU at Ole Miss.  Rebels regret missing out on Johnny O’Bryant.  Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy: “We spent a lot of time and energy recruiting Johnny.”

26. Our earlier roundup of Tuesday night SEC hoops.


27.  USA Today: The financial divide between the top five leagues in FBS and the other five leagues…is expected to grow dramatically with the SEC’s new TV money and the advent of the College Football Playoff, which begins next season.”

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December 7th A Date Which Will Live In Infamy For Vols?

Judging from the ol’ inbox, Tennessee fans aren’t a happy bunch this morning.  Apparently landing Butch Jones from Cincinnati wasn’t the preferred option on Rocky Top.  (Though in reality, we all know this is still part of the Vols’ master smokescreen and that Jon Gruden will be introduced any minute now.)

This week we’ve broken down the track records of the new SEC coaching hires who have actual head coaching experience to go on (sorry, Kentucky fans).  We’ll do the same with Tennessee’s new hire now.  And on paper, the hire is probably not as bad as the reaction Jones’ hiring is bringing.

Before we dive into a breakdown of Jones, let’s look at two things we got right yesterday.  One, obviously as you saw here first, Jones was offered the job by Tennessee.  Two, as we suggested yesterday, UT would panic.  Turned down by Mike Gundy and Charlie Strong on Wednesday, the Vols raced to end their search Thursday night/Friday morning.  In doing so they apparently passed up on reported interest from Nebraska’s Bo Pelini who has SEC experience, a better record in tougher conferences, and, yes, anger management issues (which might have hurt his chances with UT’s brass).

Why the rush?  Because Tennessee — like many school’s athletic departments — worries too much about what’s being said in the media, on messageboards, and on sites like this.  The discussion outside seeps in and influences the decisions inside.  So when fanbases scream to get something done, donors scream, too.  When donors scream, ADs jump.

Tennessee’s Dave Hart jumped at Jones, though his hurried move has certainly landed him someone with a better resume than Derek Dooley, the Vols’ last rushed hire.

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SEC Headlines 12/6/2012

Coaching News

1. Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier expected to interview for the head coaching position at Southern Miss.

2. Ellis Johnson reportedly will become Auburn’s next defensive coordinator.  Gus Malzahn has told members of Gene Chizik’s staff they will not be retained.

3. Malzahn will not coach Arkansas State in its bowl game. He can earn an additional $1.5 million in bonuses on top of the annual $2.3 million in compensation.

4. New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema introduced in Fayetteville.  ”I grew up, ironically, on a pig farm. That was my first public Pig-Sooie.” Upset in Wisconsin.

5. Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long met four candidates face-to-face in the job search.  Long on the note he received from Bielema in wake of the Bobby Petrino affair.  ”I still have it.  That impacted me.”

6. Bielema facing battles for assistant coaches?

7. Charlie Strong’s decision to stay at Louisville makes this writer feel better about the coaching profession. Strong getting new 8-year deal through 2020.

8. Did Auburn talk to Charlie Strong? Louisville A.D. Tom Jurich: “I’m not putting anything past them.”

9. “Dave Hart’s search has become every bit the debacle its fans feared.”

10.  Craiglist ad has some fun with the Tennessee coaching search.

11. Nick Saban on Kirby Smart’s interview with Auburn – “not a negative thing, at all.”

12. Cal has a new coach.  Sonny Dykes is leaving Louisiana Tech. Butch Jones reportedly turns down Colorado.


13. Will Muschamp and Kevin Sumlin - the SEC’s co-coaches of the year.

14. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first player to ever win SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season. Other award winners.

15. Manziel turns 20 today.  He’s up for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Maxwell Award (Player of the Year).  All a prelude to Saturday and the Heisman ceremonies.

16. Another player cleaning up in postseason awards – South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.

SEC/College News

17. 11 schools have now climbed past the $100 million revenue mark - five of them are in the SEC.

18. Florida has five juniors that could leave for the NFL draft.  Chances are four of them will.

19. Big change at Florida this year – fourth quarter performance.  Outscored 86-59 last year – Outscored opponents 115 – 29 this year.

20. Vandy fans can’t get enough of those Music City bowl game tickets.

21. What Missouri lost with a 5-7 season – no chance to re-gift their bowl swag.

SEC Basketball

22. Florida 72 – Florida State 47. Most lopsided win over the Seminoles since 1999.

23. The Gators look like the real thing.

24. Dayton 81 – Alabama 76. Alabama center Moussa Gueye leaves game in second half with knee injury. Two others didn’t play at all because of injuries.

25. Virginia 46 – Tennessee 38.  Vols can’t crack the 4o-point barrier for the second straight game.  Shot 29.1% in its three losses this year.

26. Texas A&M 62 – SFA 54. Elston Turner leaves early with ankle injury.

27. Vanderbilt travels to Cincinnati tonight.  Commodores averaging 58 points a game – 320th out of 345 teams in Division 1. 

28. Offensive struggles a familiar theme. South Carolina coach Frank Martin: “We’ve lost three games and all three games have basically been lost with our inability to play offense.”

29. Sean Woods took some heat for talking about a sense of entitlement among Kentucky basketball players.  Maybe he was right.

30. Ole Miss freshman guard Derrick Millinghaus is back – recovering from slight meniscus tear that required surgery.


31. New stadium trend – offer fans the ability to upgrade seats mid-game.

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Report: Strong Not At Louisville Team Meeting

According to the Twitter feed of Tim Sullivan of The Louisville Courier-Journal, a “U of L spokesman says Charlie Strong not here.”


Dramatic Chipmunk


Take this information anyway you like.


UPDATE – Multiple reports say Strong has arrived at Louisville’s team meeting.  Stay tuned.

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Report: Strong Re-Working Deal With Louisville (Maybe)

For sheer silliness, there’s nothing better than a good coaching search to keep everyone entertained.  While the sideline reporter for Oklahoma State has reported today that Mike Gundy will stay in Stillwater and not accept Tennessee’s offer to coach the Volunteers, the word out of Louisville is that Charlie Strong is re-working his deal with the Cardinals.  Or not.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Louisville Courier-Journal tweeted the following a few moments ago:







But then a few minutes later he followed up with this:






So he’s either staying in Louisville… or “anything can happen at this point.”

We’re not picking on Himmelsbach.  This is the nature of coaching search coverage in the Twitter/messageboard age.  There’s more misinformation than ever before — either put out by schools, by bad sources, by wishy-washy sources, or by fans who simply want to mess with other fans’ heads.

The wild ride continues.  Thank God in heaven there’s just one more of these things left to cover.

(Oh, and yes, we continue to get emails stating that all of this has been Tennessee AD Dave Hart’s plan and that Jon Gruden will still be announced as UT’s coach.  Have to give that one the obligatory mention as Gruden-mania never dies in the Smoky Mountains.)


UPDATE –’s Brett McMurphy reports that Louisville is currently “working on extending Charlie Strong’s current 5-year deal” according to his sources.

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Wow Evening Headlines 12/3/2012

Sources tell that Jimbo Fisher, Mike Gundy, Charlie Strong and Larry Fedora are in the mix for Tennessee’s coaching job
Sources tell that Gary Patterson, Jimbo Fisher, Bobby Petrino and Gus Malzahn are in the mix for Auburn’s coaching job
Alabama assistant coach Kirby Smart reportedly interviewed for Auburn job Tuesday
Sources tell that Gary Patterson and Mike Gundy are in the mix for Arkansas’ coaching job
When he was asked if he could definitively say he will be at Louisville next year, coach Charlie Strong said Tuesday, “I will say that at the right time”
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy
Johnny Manziel unanimously named SEC Offensive Player of the Year
Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones named SEC Defensive Player of the Year
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is standing by his ballot in the final coaches’ poll in which he ranked unbeaten Notre Dame fourth behind three Southeastern Conference teams
Follow the SEC every single day at and at

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Coaches Already Denying Interest In The Arkansas Job

Earlier today, we made the case that Arkansas AD Jeff Long should simply find or promote an interim coach for 2012 and use the next eight months to thoroughly research every possible coaching candidate in the country.

Who else gets that kind of time to find the right man for a job?

Apparently, UA seems to be heading in that direction.  Matt Jones of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that “an interim coach seems the most likely route for Arkansas to take” this fall.  In his words, “This is an experienced and invested staff of assistants with which the players feel comfortable.”

If Long’s smart, that’s exactly the route he will take.  But there’s good money — or at least good pageviews and ratings — in kicking around the names of coaching candidates.  So before Bobby Petrino’s coaching casket was lowered into the ground, website and talk radio shows were already targeting his replacement.

Garrick McGee, Butch Davis, Gus Malzahn, Skip Holtz, Dana Holgorsen, Kirby Smart, Art Briles, Charlie Strong, and on and on.

Of those mentioned, two “candidates” have already distanced themselves from the rumors.

Arkansas State’s Malzahn told a radio show this morning that he’s “the coach at Arkansas State” and that he’s “committed” to staying in Jonesboro.

Skip Holtz of South Florida also shot down the speculation.  “I have not talked to anybody from Arkansas… I am not looking to leave here.  I am not calling anybody.  I am not trying to put my name out there.  I want to be the head football coach here.”

Coaches lie, folks.  So I have no doubt that Malzahn or Holtz would jump at the Arkansas job if it were eventually offered.  After the season.

But to move between spring practice and the fall?  That’s a heckuva mark to put on one’s resume.  Such a move wouldn’t be forgotten.  See: Petrino’s own midseason departure from the Atlanta Falcons.

A new coach would also be walking into a complete mess.  How would players embrace him?  Would he come alone and use Petrino’s old staff?  Would he bring in his own staff and learn Petrino’s system from the players?  Would he implement his own system during fall practice?

The right thing for Long to do is to find the best man for Arkansas this year and let that interim handle things in 2012.  Then, by December, Long will have had plenty of time to uncover the perfect choice for next year… and beyond.

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SEC Headlines – 1/5/12 Part Two

1.  A pair of Florida footballers who announced they were last October have decided to join former Gator coach Charlie Strong at Louisville.

2.  Billy Donovan’s guards are having a big year even though they’re not scoring big points.

3.  Georgia AD Greg McGarity says the Dawgs loss in the Outback Bowl won’t have an impact on his contract negotiations with Mark Richt.

4.  Kentucky is out-rebounding its foes at a ridiculous clip.

5.  A state senator from Louisville is pushing a bill that would require the Cats and Cards to meet in football and basketball each year.

6.  Steve Spurrier says Carolina will “try to have a big year next year.”

7.  Tennessee got “out-toughed” in a 69-51 loss at Memphis last night.

8.  James Franklin was pleased with the number of Vanderbilt supporters who showed up at the Liberty Bowl.

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SEC Headlines – 6/28/11 Part Two

1.  Mark Richt — as he’s wont to do — has given offensive lineman Brent Benedict an unconditional release.

2.  This writer says John Calipari won’t leave Kentucky for the NBA over money… or stay in Lexington because of money.  In other words, it ain’t about the money.

3.  This writer makes the case — a valid one, too — that paying huge dollars to coaches like Calipari doesn’t guarantee a school will get past Butler or VCU in the NCAA Tournament.

4.  So why did Clifford Snow leave Kentucky’s football operations job to take the same gig at Louisville?  He says because he wanted to work with Charlie Strong again.

5.  Tennessee linebacker Shane Reveiz sees his hard work pay off with a scholarship from Derek Dooley.

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