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SEC Headlines 1/12/2013

headlines-satCoaching News

1. Nick Saban gets a $525,000 bonus for winning the SEC and BCS championships. Total bonuses for Saban and staff total nearly $1.5 million – that’s up 33.7%.

2. In the wake of an 11–2 season, coach Kevin Sumlin is in line for a pay hike at Texas A&M.

3. Aggies running backs coach Clarence McKinney will be co-offensive coordinator at Texas A&M along with new hire Jake Spavital from West Virginia.

4. Dan Mullen was asked Friday if he expected any additional changes to the Mississippi State staff: “The one that I can control, I’m not going anywhere.”

5. Kentucky expected to announce in the next week the hiring of former Texas Tech wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord, third member of the Red Raiders’ staff to come to Lexington this offseason.

6. New cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley confirmed at Kentucky.

7. The hiring of Pat Washington to be receivers coach likely the last move this offseason for Gary Pinkel at Missouri.

8. Al Pogue is Auburn’s new director of high school relations. He’ll be tasked with  ”selling the program, its camps and clinics to high school coaches around the state.”

9. A common thread for many Auburn assistants -they coached under Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State. “The old gang from the Bulldogs’ 2007 team is back together again.”

10. Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart on Butch Jones:  “He’s spending a lot of time balancing a lot of balls. He’s very, very proficient at multitasking.”

11. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to have second meeting with Philadelphia Eagles.(What new round of dominoes will start to tumble in college football if that happens?)

SEC Football

12. Alabama junior running back Eddie Lacy is projected as a second or third-round draft pick.  Why leave now? “We have to pretty much go when we can.”

13. Redshirt sophomore Adrian Hubbard, who led the team in sacks,  will return to the Crimson Tide. “ I need to improve in some areas as a player before I hopefully take the next step to the NFL.”

14. Eight Florida seniors will play in bowl games in an attempt to bolster their draft position.

15. Mississippi State defensive back Xavier Grindle has left the program.Dan Mullen: “That certainly didn’t come as a shock for me.”

16. Paul Turner is leaving LSU to go play for Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech.

17. The SEC will get a report in May from a group studying concussions in college sports.

18. Dropping attendance has college officials looking to recreate the bowl experience.  Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany:  ”…Maybe a new business model where we’re more incented to create the best possible matchups, more diversity of teams…”

SEC Basketball

19. Georgia welcomes back its 1983 Final Four team today. An appreciation for former Bulldogs coach Hugh Durham.

20. With Laurence Bowers out, Missouri is hoping Tony Criswell can play tonight at Ole Miss. 

21. Defending the college game: “Every night, there’s quality basketball, somewhere.”

22. Mike Strange:  ”Where in the wide, wide world of sports can you find football and men’s basketball, the two marquee sports, simultaneously thriving?”


23. Tim Tebow’s career as a quarterback over? “If his woebegone hometown team won’t even give him a legitimate chance to be a starter then nobody will.”

24. Are Urban Meyer and Ohio State ready to challenge Alabama? “We’re nowhere near having that conversation”

25. AJ McCarron girlfriend Katherine Webb - the anti-Kim Kardashian.

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SEC Headlines 1/10/2013

headlines-thuNFL Draft Prospects

1. Alabama lineman D.J. Fluker will enter the NFL draft.  Two more candidates for the Crimson Tide – running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Dee Milliner – have yet to decide (but expected to follow).

2. Alabama right guard Anthony Steen says he’s staying for his senior year at Alabama.Chance Warmack: “He’s better than me.”

3. Georgia nose guard Kwame Geathers is turning pro.  Third Bulldog to declare for the draft, joining linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.

4. Departing Texas A&M lineman Luke Joeckel pens a letter to Aggie fans while signs point to fellow tackle Jake Matthews staying for his senior year.

5. Of the four players leaving Tennessee early, the decision by defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore provided the biggest surprise.

6. Our story from earlier today on LSU lineman Chris Faulk and the double-digit departures from LSU.

Coaching News

7. Former Colorado defensive coordinator Greg Brown will replace Jeremy Pruitt as the secondary coach at Alabama.

8. Former Mississippi State assistant David Turner is coming back to Starkville as the defensive line coach.

8. Deshea Townsend interviews for a spot on Dan Mullen’s staff.

9. New Georgia defensive line coach Chris Wilson goes from a 4-3 at Mississippi State to a 3-4 defense at Georgia.  Wilson brings his son, Caleb, to Athens – a  rising star in the high school class of 2015.

10. Former Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof is headed to Georgia Tech.

SEC Football

11. Former Mr. Football in Alabama, Clint Moseley, is leaving the Auburn football team.  He plans to stay at school and graduate.

12. Two freshmen defensive backs who’ve never played at Kentucky have been dismissed from the team. Freshman quarterback Reese Phillips has enrolled in school.

13. State government giving a boost to projects at Kentucky. Commonwealth Stadium expansion slated to be done by July 2015. A.D. Mitch Barnhart explains.

14. With Kwame Geathers headed to the NFL, here are the next players up at nose tackle for Georgia.

15. Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Jeff Greene will transfer at the end of the spring semester- considering Arkansas.

16. Nine early-enrollees at Texas A&M.

17. Seven enroll early at Florida.

18. Surprises, disappointments and MVPs- a recap of the 2012 Ole Miss season.

19. Charter bus carrying home the University of Alabama cheerleaders involved in an accident.

SEC Dominance

20. All-time BCS rankings - four of the top 10 teams from the SEC. Different ranking here focusing just on champions places five of the top 10 of the BCS era from the SEC.

21. One theory on the dominance of the SEC goes back to the 19th century.  ”The Civil War had crushed the ego of the South.”

22. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby: :I don’t think there’s any question it would be better for college football if the national championship moved around a little bit.”

SEC Basketball

23. Auburn 68 – LSU 63. Auburn’s first win in an SEC opener in six years. LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant: “When they had the chance, they put the hammer down on us.” Video Highlights.

24. Ole Miss 92 – Tennessee 74.  Rebels get a career-high 32 points from Marshall Henderson. Yells to crowd, “I’m getting 30!”.  UT’s Jordan McRae: “That’s just something you have to take in and remember for the next game.” Video Highlights

25. Ole Miss looks like an NCAA Tournament team – Tennessee doesn’t.

26. Mississippi State 56 – South Carolina 54. Freshman guard Craig Sword leads the Bulldogs with 18 points. Video Highlights.

27. Florida 77 – Georgia 44. Gators hold an opponent under 50 points for the seventh time this season. Concern for Mark Fox? Video Highlights.

28. Texas A&M 69 – Arkansas 51. A&M scores first seven points of second half after scoring final eight points of the first half. Aggies outrebound Razorbacks 51-27.  Video Highlights.

29. Missouri forward Laurence Bowers has a sprained MCL in his right knee. He’ll miss next two games against Ole Miss and Georgia and then reevaluated.

30. Kentucky travels to Vanderbilt tonight.  Kentucky freshman Alex Poythress was  Tennessee’s 2012 Class AAA Mr. Basketball. 

31. John Calipari: “I don’t think there’s any clear-cut national championship winner.”

32. Bubble Watch looks at possible NCAA Tournament contenders


33. From a refridgerator magnet to a signed mini-helmet – the six essential Katherine Webb items you can find on eBay.

34. No more playing in bras and underwear for the LFL.

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SEC Headlines 1/8/2012

headlines-tueBCS Title Game

1. Alabama center Barrett Jones played the game with torn ligaments in his left foot.  Could have surgery as soon as today. Jones ends his college career with three national championships.

2. What was behind the late-game spat between Jones and quarterback A.J. McCarron? ”He’s an emotional guy and we had a snap count difference and I was right. But we love each other and we gave each other a big hug.”

3. Nick Saban on Jones: “I consider him one of the top people in the history of college football.”

4. Saban wasn’t happy at halftime with the Tide leading 28-0.  How unhappy?  On a scale of 1 to 10 – “nine-and-a-half.”

5. All four of AJ McCarron’s top receiving targets will return in 2013.

6. He gets a lot of press attention and received a lot of awards this year, but Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was a non-factor last night.  Credit Alabama for exploiting his weaknesses.

7. The 80,120 on hand Monday Night represented the largest crowd ever for any event at Sun Life Stadium. TV viewers bolted at halftime.

8. Forget all this football talk – what about AJ McCarron’s girlfriend? Kirk Herbstreit: “Wow. AJ is doing some things right in Tuscaloosa.” It wasn’t just announcers – several athletes noticed her as well. McCarron:  “I guess she’s more famous than me now.”

Columnists On Title Game

9. Kevin Scarbinsky: “And to think that Alabama may be one Tim Tebow fourth quarter in the 2008 SEC Championship Game away from four BCS titles in five years.”

10. Mark Bradley: “Even among the SEC’s array of heavyweights, there’s no program like Alabama and no coach like Nick Saban.”

11. Stewart Mandel: “The BCS might want to put an end to these futile championship charades.”

12. Andy Staples: “They smoke better barbecue than you. Their women are prettier than your women. They play football better than your schools play football.”

13. Texas A&M writer before last night’s game: “Right now, this A&M team is the best in the country.”

NFL Draft Prospects

14. Alabama junior tackle D.J. Fluker will reportedly announce his NFL decision on Wednesday.  Cornerback Dee Milliner and running back Eddie Lacy also potential candidates to leave early. If Lacy’s career at Alabama is done, he finished with a flourish.

15. Make it nine LSU players headed early to the NFL – tailback Michael Ford latest to declare but safety Craig Loston is staying. Offensive lineman Chris Faulk could it make ten. “He is undecided right now, fifty-fifty.”

16. Florida defensive Dominique Easley will stay for his senior year.

17. Looking like South Carolina receiver Ace Sanders will stay for his senior year.

Coaching News

18. How powerful is Nick Saban?  He had the plug pulled on ESPN at the team hotel the night before the game.

19. Does Nick Saban deserve to be compared to Bear Bryant? Alabama A.D. Mal Moore: ”I think the success he’s had, certainly,” Moore said. “He’s an outstanding football coach.”

20. Alabama coach gets the NFL question…again.

21. Nevada will make it official on Friday.  Texas A&M assistant Brian Polian is the new head coach of the Wolf Pack.  Five-year contract with a base salary of $475,000.

22. He wrapped up his coaching duties for Alabama Monday night.  New Florida State assistant Jeremy Pruitt is already having an impact for the Seminoles.  

23. Former Tennessee player Terry Fair will be one of a dozen new staff support members for Butch Jones.

24. Former Auburn quarterback and veteran SEC coach Pat Washington a candidate for the open receivers coaching spot at Missouri.

25. How Notre Dame’s loss last night nearly netted Urban Meyer an extra $100K.

SEC Football

26. Early look at top 25 for the 2013 season. Can anyone guess who’s at No. 1?

27. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace will be out four to six months following shoulder surgery.  Rebels will have two scholarship quarterbacks available in the spring.

28. If they were pro franchises, would Auburn really be worth more than Alabama?

29. Kentucky redshirt freshman T.J. Jones arrested over holiday break on a weapons charge.

30. A look back at the 2012 Vanderbilt season – “remembered as the springboard that signaled a new era for Vanderbilt football.”

31. James Franklin, Butch Jones and the battle for Nashville: “We are the University of Tennessee. Nashville is a very big part of that.”

32. Sources tell ESPN the Rose and Sugar Bowls will host college football’s first semifinal playoff games on January 1, 2015 with the Cotton Bowl a “prohibitive favorite” to host the national title game 11 days later.

SEC Basketball

33. Florida forward Erik Murphy is doubtful for the Gators opener against Georgia.  He has a fractured rib – could be out several weeks. Billy Donovan: “He is cleared to play right now, but it is all up to him, how much pain he can tolerate.”

34. Missouri opens SEC play tonight at home against Alabama.  Frank Haith on the new league for his team: “I think SEC is more attack oriented, dribble-drive, stuff like that.”  Tony Criswell doubtful for game with broken finger.

35. Fourth straight year Alabama has opened conference play on the road.

36. Arkansas opens SEC play at Texas A&M Wednesday.  It will be a road test for four Razorback freshmen.

37. Mississippi State opens SEC play against South Carolina Wednesday. Bulldogs are shooting the ball better – more practice time over the holidays has helped.

38. Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon on his decision to redshirt this season: ”I saw that I wasn’t going to be able to play until late January and I didn’t want to come back after missing that many SEC games.” Kenny Hall: “We’re still an NCAA team.”

39. Kentucky coach John Calipari on improved play from point guard Ryan Harrow: ”He’s become that guy we needed him to be.”

40. LSU point guard Anthony Hickey has been suspended multiple times this season by coach Johnny Jones.  Would he even be on the roster if former coach Trent Johnson was still around? “I don’t know.”

41. Early NCAA Tournament projection – three SEC teams make the cut.  Two just miss.

42. Big reason why so few teams make the cut.  Just nine quality RPI wins for the SEC – 20 bad RPI losses. SEC conference RPI behind the Atlantic 10 and Missouri Valley conferences.

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SEC Headlines 1/6/2013

headlines-sunCoaching News

1. Texas A&M special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Brian Polian reportedly interviewed for Nevada job. Favorite to take the job?

2. Mississippi State looking for two assistants.  Former Minnesota assistant Tim Cross expected to be interviewed today for defensive line job. Also watch former Kentucky assistant David Turner and former MSU defensive tackle Dorsett Davis.

3. Alabama coach Nick Saban says he has no interest in returning to the NFL.  How much longer will he coach? ”As long as I’m happy.” Saban also discusses Mariano Rivera, the tight end revolution and up-tempo play in which he sees the end of the huddle. Saban’s messy Miami legacy.

4. Has Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly been contacted by any NFL teams? “Any of those things that occur relative to contact, there’s a strict protocol for that.”

5. Secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt will finish at Alabama Monday night before going to Florida State to become defensive coordinator. “For me, I didn’t want to abandon these coaches or these players.”

Bowl Games

6. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron connects in practice with wide receiver Kenny Bell, recovering from a broken leg.  ”Put him in the game, coach!”

7. McCarron: “I was never an Alabama fan growing up.”

8. Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper needs just five receptions Monday night to tie Julio Jones single-season freshman record.

9. Alabama is a perfect 49-0 since the start of the 2008 season when rushing for more than 150 yards.

10. Notre Dame has six starters from SEC states.

11. Are bowl games really on the brink of irrelevance?  (TV ratings tell a very different story than attendance figures.)

SEC Football

12. Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial on the hit against Aaron Murray in the SEC Championship Game: ”It was a clean hit, from my perspective. I saw the shot and I took it.”

13. SEC teams will likely be chasing Alabama again next season.

14. Looks like Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett is transferring.

15. Postmortem on LSU’s season: Tigers limped into the sunset – major early season roster losses played a big role.

16. Les Miles had some tough words for Gunner Kiel when the quarterback chose to go to Notre Dame.  Kiel doesn’t hold a grudge: “I was dumb during the recruiting process.”

17. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on his offensive line: “That’s going to be the strength of our football team.”

18. Want to reduce concussions in football?   Reduce contact in practice.  ”What’s very clear is if you reduce contacts in practice, you’ll reduce the likelihood of brain trauma and concussions.”

19. Middle school picture of Johnathan Manziel.

SEC Basketball

20. South Carolina coach Frank Martin on LaShay Page, declared academically ineligible.   ”I failed LaShay, OK? I failed LaShay. I didn’t do my job well enough. It’s the first time I’ve had a kid not make it through the year, and that’s on me and my staff.”

21. Florida travels to Yale today.  Senior forward Erik Murphy will have a personal cheering section today.

22. Decision will be announced Monday at Tennessee on whether Jeronne Maymon will play this year or not. Update: Maymon will redshirt.

23. Decision will be announced Monday at Missouri on whether Tony Criswell be available against Alabama.

24. How Mizzou point guard Phil Pressey’s game has changed: “Pressey never attempted more than 15 shots in his first 54 collegiate games. He has taken 18 or more shots in four of his last six.”

25. Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity on the state of Bulldogs basketball: “We talked about it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.”

26. Joe Dean, Jr. on the state of SEC basketball.  Eight of 14 teams are in “building mode.” Half of SEC teams have undergone coaching changes in the last two years.


27. Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu: “”I abused myself through marijuana.” Interview with ESPN.

28. Mike Bianchi on Wikipedia entries and the differences between Michael Vick’s and the one for Ray Lewis: “In the opening paragraph of Vick’s, it mentions his notorious episode of dog-killing. In Lewis’ opening paragraph… there is not a single mention of the fact that he once was charged with murdering two men.”

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SEC Headlines 1/3/2013

headlines-thuSEC Bowl Games

1. Recipe for a Sugar Bowl loss – Florida offense took a step backward, defense failed to show up,  ”It wasn’t just the worst game they have played all season, it might have been the worst in three seasons.”

2. Louisville coach Charlie Strong: “They say the Big East doesn’t play anybody. I hope tonight opened up some eyes.” A hug from Florida A.D. Jeremy Foley.

3. Biggest point-spread upset in the history of the BCS. Ranking the BCS upsets.

4. 85,000 tickets have been sold for the Cotton Bowl game between Texas A&M and Oklahoma – closing in on possible Cotton Bowl attendance record.

5. Johnny Manziel becomes the eighth Heisman Trophy winner to play in the Cotton Bowl - if history is a guide, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

6. Alabama staying at the Fountainbleu in Miami Beach.  Super Bowl atmosphere in south Florida? Nick Saban: ”I’ve never been to the Super Bowl, so I can’t really comment on that,”

7. Alabama center Barrett Jones on his injured foot:  ”I’m really starting to feel good, and I’m really confident about playing in the game.” Lineman Arie Kouandjio treated for dehydration – ambulance met the team plane as it landed.

8. LSU didn’t offer in-state four-star Rivals prospect Eddie Lacy coming out of high school.  That and other prep tidbits about the starting lineup of the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide.

9. Putting perspective on another Alabama national title:  “Alabama seniors could boast more national championship rings in their four seasons than Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno (two each) had in their combined 100 years as head coaches.”

10. Ole Miss freshman nose tackle Issac Gross on playing Alabama earlier this season: “That game gave me a whole lot of confidence. That was my breakout game.”

11. Outdoor practices combined with colder weather make practice a little more challenging for the Rebels.

12. Big jump in the ratings for the Outback Bowl and for the Capital One Bowl. ESPN forget to update their graphic for the Sugar Bowl.

NFL Draft Prospects

13. Florida juniors  Matt Elam and Sharrif Floyd are NFL bound. Elam: “It’s time to take care of the family.” Two more Gator juniors, Dominique Easley and Jordan Reed, remain undecided.

14. Mock NFL draft has three Texas A&M players taken in first eight picks.

SEC Football

15, Plenty of offseason questions at Mississippi State – lost their five games by an average of 21.4  points.

16, If Aaron Murray decides to stay at Georgia, 20 touchdown passes will make him the SEC all-time leader.

17. Redshirt quarterback Hutson Mason likely Murray replacement if he leaves.  Mike Bobo: ” (Mason) does some things that maybe are a little bit better than Aaron, and Aaron does some things a little bit better than him. But I have confidence in both those guys.”

18. If wide receiver Jordan Matthews stays at Vanderbilt, the Commodores will return 13 starters next season.

19. Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett is still weighing a transfer option. “I haven’t decided yet.”

20. SEC dominating Senior Bowl roster - 22 players of 88 confirmed players are from the conference. Next highest is Pac-12 with 11 players.

21. Former Tennessee running back David Oku has found a home at Arkansas State.  Thousand-yard rusher had 15 touchdowns this season – most in the Sun Belt conference.

Coaching News

22. Was Les Miles’ loyalty to offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa a major stumbling block for LSU this season?

23. Butch Jones staff at Tennessee will make a combined three million dollars, almost identical to the number Derek Dooley’s staff was to be paid in 2013.

24. Bret Bielema has retained Arkansas assistant Taver Johnson - he’ll coach cornerbacks for the Razorbacks. One more opening on Arkansas staff -likely to be tight ends coach.

SEC Basketball

25, Auburn 78 – Florida State 72. Tigers overcome loss of Chris Denson who was diagnosed Tuesday with a stress fracture in his left foot. Denson will miss 4-6 weeks, was Auburn’s second-leading scorer.

26, Kentucky 90 – Eastern Michigan 38. UK began second half with a 15-0 run.

27, Mississippi State vs. New Orleans.  Final non-conference game of the season for the Bulldogs.

28. Memphis decision not to play Tennessee fear based? “It has nothing to do with fear based.”

29. Memphis coach Josh Pastner:  ”I know some media people are Tennessee fans. They disguise themselves as Memphis fans, but they’re really Tennessee fans, and they want to see Memphis-Tennessee.”

30. Tennessee sophomore Jarnell Stokes on playing just nine minutes against Xavier.   ”I hope it never happens again.”


31. Frank Deford on gambling and March Madness: “The sanctimonious commissioners and the blowhard who runs the NCAA maintain, nonsensically, that legal gambling hurts the integrity of sports… while somehow illegal bookmaking remains beneficial for their games.”

32. Ray Lewis will head to ESPN after retiring from the Baltimore Ravens.

33, Economic study: Cities are better off when their sports teams go on strike – less security needed.

34, Kiplinger ranks University of Florida third best value among public colleges.

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SEC Headlines 1/2/2013

headlines-wedSEC Bowl Games

1. A four-interception day for Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.  Dan Mullen: “Excuse my language,” said Mullen, “but it sucks.” Johnthan Banks ended his college career with an injury on a punt return - suffers nerve damage to his thigh muscle.

2. A thrilling ending for South Carolina in the Outback Bowl in one of the most dramatic games in school history.  Steve Spurrier: “We haven’t won like that since I’ve been here.” Spurrier says team hit eight of 10 team goals this year.

3. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward on the Jadeveon Clowney hit that had everyone buzzing: ”That’s the hardest hit I’ve ever seen in my coaching career.”

4. A big day for Georgia’s linebackers in the Capital One Bowl.  Following a 13-tackle performance Alec Ogletree says he’s going pro.  Teammate Jarvis Jones, expected to go pro, set the school record for sacks in a season.

5. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham wasn’t crazy about the Big 12 officiating crew: “I really appreciate the SEC officials…”

6. It’s Florida vs. Louisville tonight in the Sugar Bowl.  Last time Gators played in this game, Urban Meyer was the coach, Tim Tebow was the quarterback and Brian Kelly was leaving 12-0 Cincinnati for Notre Dame.

7. Is Florida overlooking Louisville because it plays in the Big East?  Will Muschamp: “I think that’s hogwash.”

8. ESPN could be looking at record viewership for Alabama-Notre Dame - could become one of the most-watched college events ever.

Coaching News

9. Defending Dan Mullen whose team started the year 7-0 and ended it 1-5.  ”Dan Mullen doesn’t merely coach competitive teams at MSU, he’s built – and continues to build – a strong program.”

10. Will Mullen shake up the staff? “I’m going to evaluate that as we move forward.”

11. With Kliff Kingsbury’s departure to Texas Tech, Texas A&M needs an offensive coordinator.  Kevin Sumlin says he’s in no rush to hire a replacement. Kingsbury cried when he told Aggie players he was leaving.

12. New Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon: “It’s a chance to win championships and a chance to be with a great head football coach and have the opportunity to do great things.”

13. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen:  ”He’s a great recruiter, but he’s also a very good football coach. I did my due diligence of calling around.”

14. Jones is bringing at least two graduate assistants from Cincinnati to join his staff in Knoxville.

15. Florida wide receiver coach Bush Hamdan is headed to Arkansas State as an assistant offensive coach.

16. Why Oregon coach Chip Kelly is so appealing to NFL clubs.

SEC Football

17, With his big hit yesterday, is South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney now a favorite for the 2013 Heisman Trophy?

18, Tennessee lineman Daniel McCullers will stay for his senior season and not enter the NFL draft.

19. Alabama center Barrett Jones practiced on Tuesday. He had missed nine postseason practices dealing with a sprained foot. Tide flies to Miami today.

20. Ole Miss offensive line coach Matt Luke on two of Pittburgh’s defensive linemen: “They are guys that could play on any team in the Southeastern Conference, so they’re quick.”

21. Breaking down the 2012 LSU Tigers: “This season was defined by questionable coaching calls and inadequate execution by the players…”

22, Six Mississippi State players to watch in 2013.

23. Looking ahead to a very different 2013 Georgia Bulldog team.

24. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on the future of his team: “ We have very, very high expectations for this program, where we’re going, who we can be and what we can achieve.”

SEC Basketball

25. After making the game-winning catch against Michigan, it’s back to basketball for South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington.

26. Auburn vs. Florida State.  Tigers still looking for that signature non-conference win.

27. Tennessee plays Memphis Friday night.  Don’t expect these two to play a regular season game anytime soon.  Memphis coach Josh Pastner: ”We will not play Tennessee anymore as long as I’m the head coach and I’m doing my scheduling,”

28. An “Orange-Out” in Memphis Knoxville Friday?

29. Only three college coaches have won at least 900 games - could John Calipari join the club?

30. Missouri guard Keion Bell – rap song writer.   “Coach Haith is the professor, and he be teaching chemistry.”


31, At the Rose Bowl - ESPN brushes off ESPN….for ESPN.

32, ESPN’s Hannah Storm back on the air after a grill explosion – sufferered first and second degree burns, lost half of her hair.

34, Some rare photos of former Alabama quarterback Joe Namath.


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SEC Headlines 12/31/2012

headlines-monNFL Draft Prospects

1. Texas A&M junior defensive end Damontre Moore made it official Sunday – he’s leaving school for the NFL, considered likely first-round pick.

2. Moore’s teammate - junior offensive tackle Luke Joeckel – could be the first pick of the draft.  But he’s yet to make up his mind. ”I’ve weighed all the options, but I have not made a decision yet,

3. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones seems to be soaking up the college experience one last time.  ”If I decide to come out… I’m gonna train to be the No. 1 draft pick.”

4. Here’s a columnist who thinks there’s a “good chance” the bowl game will be Aaron Murray’s last at Georgia.

Coaching News

5. Former Miami Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon will be Bret Bielema’s linebacker coach at Arkansas. Two openings left on the Arkansas staff. 

6. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn needs three hires to complete his staff. Wants to have his staff complete before recruiting starts again in earnest on January 4th.

7. College coaches are being mentioned as candidates for the head coaching job  with the Cleveland Browns- but Nick Saban is not one of them. Busy day on the NFL coaching front.

8. Just-retired Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips gave both Les Miles and Dabo Swinney their first head coaching jobs  Miles and Swinney: “Passionate. Determined. And, at times, just slightly out of focus.”

9. Before tonight’s game between LSU and Clemson, former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will be inducted into the Chik-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame.

SEC Football

10, Former Iowa quarterback A.J. Derby will  walk-on at Arkansas. 

11, Florida running back Mike Gillislee is impressed with quarterback Jeff Driskel:  ”Tim Tebow is a great quarterback, I don’t want to take nothing from him. But I think Driskel is going to be a lot better.”

12, Scoring 37 points against Florida State has Florida’s offense playing with confidence headed into the Sugar Bowl game against Louisville.

13. It will be a gameday decision on Georgia defensive end Abry Jones – he’s recovering from ankle surgery.

14. North Carolina State defensive coordinator Mike Archer on Vanderbilt: “What you see now is that they have the SEC swagger.”

15. Making a bowl no longer good enough for the Commodores.

16, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will pick his spots to ramp up the offense against Alabama: ”There’s no question that up-tempo is beneficial during the game and we’re going to utilize it.”

17, How will Michigan use quarterback turned running back/receiver Denard Robinson against South Carolina?  Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward: “We don’t care.” Brady Hoke and Steve Spurrier talk quarterbacks.

18, The boldest personality on the South Carolina defense? Safety D.J. Swearinger.

19, LSU running backs have cracked the century mark seven times this year – three different running backs rushed for 100 yards at least twice.

20. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze admits he took a chance by redshirting two senior specialists.  “I could have been raked over the coals for that and probably was by some people.”

21. Northwestern senior linebacker David Nwabuis on playing another SEC school (Mississippi State) : “Since I’ve been here we’ve played the SEC three times, and you can go check out our record against them if you want to.”

22. Texas A&M freshman receiver Mike Evans led the Aggies in receptions this year – he wanted the school to recruit him for basketball.

23. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is discovering his life will never be the same: “I’m slowly starting to realize that like everybody said, life is different, things are going to change … just how under a microscope you are with everything.”


24. Kansas State president sees a 10-team Big 12 having one advantage over 14-team SEC – fewer teams to split revenue with.

SEC Basketball

25. Tulane 53 – Alabama 50. Crimson Tide now losers of five of their past six games.

26. Florida A&M 59 – Mississippi State 57. Bulldogs blow a 15-point lead.

27. Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes prepares to play his hometown team this week – the Memphis Tigers.

28. John Clay: Will the real Kentucky team please stand up?


29. First it was “Salsa/Seltzer”  and now it’s “Les Miles/Les Mis”

30. Why it’s a good idea to wait to hand out NFL draft report cards.

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SEC Headlines 12/26/2012

headlines-wedSEC/College News

1. Alabama center Barrett Jones is swimming to rehab his injured foot. Jones sprained his  foot in the SEC Championship Game.

2. From running backs coach at Notre Dame to A.D. at Alabama, Mal Moore brings a unique perspective to the BCS Championship Game.

3. Notre Dame is built like an SEC team – starting with the defensive line.

4. South Carolina redshirt freshman running back Shon Carson was going to miss the entire 2012 season with a wrist injury but he’s healthy now and will play in the bowl game.

5. South Carolina’s D.J. Swearinger will play his final game for the Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl.  USC is 37-15 in Swearinger’s four years.

6. Swearinger one of two SEC players suspended this year for flagrant hits to the head - something the SEC has made a point to emphasize.  Tim Tebow admitted in his autobiography that he played a game in 2009 with post-concussion symptoms.

7. Georgia is arriving in Orlando today, players will hit Universal Studios Thursday and Disney World on Saturday.

8. LSU arrives in Atlanta today to begin bowl game prep against Clemson.

9. LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow returns to where it all began.  He made his college debut in the Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game two years ago.

10. Sugar Bowl trip pays Florida just over $1.8 million.  But total trip expenses are just under $2.5 million.

11. Vanderbilt sees similarities in their bowl-game opponent quarterback, North Carolina  State’s Mike Glennon, and Tennessee QB Tyler Bray. “I would put him a very close second, in terms of arm strength, behind Bray.”

12. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on staying at home and playing in the Music City Bowl.   ”The only bad bowl is the one you’re not playing in.”

13. Did you know? Vanderbilt has the longest winning streak in the SEC.

14. One writer predicts an 8-1 bowl season for the SEC.

15. The Sporting News Matt Hayes on why the spread is dead and why Tennessee fans should stop “whining/pining for Gruden.”

Coaching News

16. At both Central Michigan and Cincinnati, Butch Jones took over Brian Kelly-led teams that had won conference titles.  Coattail riding?  ”I have a tremendous amount of respect and he’s a very close friend of mine, but I think that’s the furthest thing from the truth.”

17. Melvin Smith is leaving Mississippi State to join Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn where he’ll coach cornerbacks. The hiring completes Auburn’s defensive coaching staff.

SEC Basketball

18. Ole Miss 81 – Hawaii 66. Tied at 63, the Rebels go on 18-3 run to finish the game.

19. The Rebels were in Hawaii playing in the Diamond Head Classic – a tournament that South Carolina will play in next year.

20. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson had his Razorbacks practicing Christmas night with tw0-a-days scheduled for today and tomorrow.

21. Is Kentucky’s Ryan Harrow really as good as any point guard in the country?

22. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel has two older brothers that play college football – one at North Carolina State and one at Boston College.

23. One writer thinks Missouri may be the best team in the SEC, but a road trip to UCLA Friday night should provide a good reality check.

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SEC Headlines 12/21/2012

Coaching News

1. Yet another report on Nick Saban bolting for the NFL. One source claims he’s already interviewing potential assistants.

2. With Rodney Garner departing for Auburn, what’s next for Georgia?

3. Saban on finding secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt’s replacement at Alabama: “If we find him before Christmas, we’ll hire him. If we find him after, we’ll hire him.”

4. Pruitt will leave Alabama after the BCS title game to become Florida State’s defensive coordinator.  His salary will jump from $260,000 to around $540,000.

5. Former Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri will join Pruitt at Florida State. He’ll get a $198,000 base salary at FSU and receive $50,000  a month from Tennessee.

6. Three years after getting fired at Georgia, assistant coaches John Jancek and Willie Martinez have reunited in Knoxville.

7. Promoted to offensive coordinator, Missouri assistant coach Josh Henson will make $500,000 a year in his new role, more than doubling his salary. This should help pay the salary.

8. Pat Forde hands out grades for new coaching hires.  Only Arkansas gets an “A” in the SEC. 

9. Berry Tramel on Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy:  ”Gundy often brings up commitment to the seniors…Forget, for a moment, the irony of a coach who flirted with Tennessee and Arkansas two weeks ago to talk like that.”

10. One view on former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz: “After years of irrationally picking Notre Dame to win every game… this undefeated run has made him the smartest man in the studio.”

11. Why some Oregon boosters are highly annoyed at Chip Kelly.

12. Derek Dooley joins the FFCA – “founded by some guy name Gruden.”

NFL Draft Prospects

13. CBS Sports says Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray is headed to the NFL.  A range of predictions for his NFL draft slot.

14. Linebacker C.J. Mosley will stay for his senior year at Alabama.  Two other Alabama juniors - Eddie Lacy and Dee Milliner – will wait until after BCS Championship Game to make a decision about the NFL.

SEC/College News

15. Former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia could be a presence at bowl practices. Steve Spurrier says he’s not worried about it but he did have high praise for defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward: “I think he’s developing into one of the best defensive coordinators in college ball.”

16. Georgia junior offensive tackle Austin Long underwent surgery Thursday for a broken hand – not counted out of bowl game. Defensive end Abry Jones continues to recover from ankle surgery. Mark Richt: “It’s definitely a possibility (he plays).”

17. Gus Malzahn signed Kiehl Frazier back in 2011 when he was Auburn’s offensive coordinator.  The new Auburn coach says the quarterback will benefit from his return: “We recruited him specifically for this system.”

18. How did Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze react to the news of signing prized junior college recruit Lavon Hooks? “He started crying on the phone.”

19. 15 true freshmen have played this year at LSU – that’s second most in the country.

20. Expect the tight ends to play a more prominent role in the Mississippi State offense in 2013.

21. Preparing college athletes for sudden wealth.  Ole Miss uses a curriculum devised by financial guru Dave Ramsey.

22. 56 players have accepted invitations to play in the Senior Bowl – including 13 from the SEC.

23. ESPN: “Since 2006, the SEC has won more bowl games (36) and been to more bowls (55) than any other conference”

24. A Christmas wish list for SEC East teams.

SEC Basketball

25. Arkansas 79 – Robert Morris 74. Career-high 16 points for forward Hunter Mickelson.

26. Vanderbilt vs. MTSU. Teams are meeting for fifth straight year but no plans to play anymore.

27. Mississippi State senior forward Wendell Lewis may petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt. Had surgery Wednesday for a fractured right knee cap.

28. Redshirt season a possibility for Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon.  No special NCAA waiver is necessary.

29. Kentucky’s point guard: “(I)f this team is truly going to reach their full potential, they need Ryan Harrow to be able to run the show.”

30. ESPN draft experts rank Kentucky’s pro prospects.

31. A chance for Ole Miss to get some resume wins this weekend in Hawaii.

32. Mizzou-Illinois Saturday in St. Louis.  Coach Frank Haith: “I’ve never seen that (kind of atmosphere).”  “College basketball needs more games like this before conference play.”

33. More on Haith: “I really, really want to be good.”

34. The season ticket base at Florida has dwindled from 7,000 to 4,100.

35. This SEC Power Poll has the Gators at the top of the conference. Florida and Missouri in two of three “Must see TV” games this weekend.

36. LSU guard Anthony Hickey has returned from suspension but he’ll have to work his way back into the starting lineup.

37. Will Leitch: “I think it’s time for college basketball to stand up for itself.”

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SEC Headlines 12/20/2012

NFL Draft Prospects

1. Arkansas offensive guard Alvin Bailey will forego his final season and enter the NFL draft. Listed by one service as sixth-best offensive guard in draft.

2. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson - “definitely going to the NFL.”

3. Will LSU linebacker Kevin Minter make the jump early to the pros? “It’s kind of up in the air right now.”

4. With brother Alec rumored to be jumping early to the NFL, the Ogletree twins’ time as teammates at Georgia looks to be coming to an end.

5. Five Florida juniors may depart early for the NFL - but they’re not talking about it. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam projected as first-round picks

Coaching News

***Update*** Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt announced as Florida State defensive coordinator.

6. New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops on the first 18 days of his new job: “It definitely has been overwhelming at times. I don’t think there’s any way around that for anybody, whether you’ve been a head coach or not.” Transcript & Video of Press Conference.

7. Rated as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country, former Miami Hurricanes assistant George McDonald is joining Bret Bielema’s staff at Arkansas.

8. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has known Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for a long time: “Heck, Kevin and I used to run around South Florida together recruiting when he was at Purdue and I was at Kansas State. We were chasing the same kids all the time.”

9. J.B. Grimes will coach the offensive line at Auburn.  He coached with Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State.

10. Butch Jones is a prolific Tweeter, Mark Richt not so much: “I don’t feel like you have to Twitter to recruit or to promote your program.”

SEC/College News

11. Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson has withdrawn from school. Coach Kevin Sumlin says Johnson may re-enroll or transfer.

12. With the offensive coordinator position vacant, A&M running backs coach Clarence McKinney will call plays in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

13. Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and Damion Square Alabama team captains. Jones: “That’s probably the biggest award I’ve ever gotten, is being a team captain, because it’s elected by your teammates.”

14. Alabama defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt not at practice Wednesday - believed to be for personal reasons, not because he’s accepted a rumored job at Florida State. (see update above)

15. Alabama and Notre Dame - just five years ago, neither team finished the regular season was above .500.

16. Although Florida is a double-digit favorite over Louisville, don’t expect Gator veterans to take the Cardinals lightly – they’re familiar with coach Charlie Strong.

17. Only four true freshman – out of 22 -played this year at Vanderbilt.  All four contributed to Vanderbilt’s  best regular season in 30 years.

18. What will Jadeveon Clowney need to do to get more Heisman attention next year? “I’m going to go for more forced fumbles next year. And just more big plays – interceptions. Everything I did in high school.”

19. Marcus Lattimore’s advice to South Carolina freshman running back Mike Davis. 

20. With Bo Wallace resting his injured shoulder, quarterback Maikhail Miller is getting more practice reps this week. 

21. Thanks in part to a new practice routine, LSU receivers picked up the pace late in the season.

22. The economic impact of recent Mississippi State bowl games.

23. Five more players from the SEC accept invitations to the Senior Bowl - SEC contingent now up to 10.

24. Does college football need more bowl games?

25. Associated Press on steroids in college football: College football players are packing on significant weight — 30 pounds or more in a single year, sometimes — without drawing much attention from their schools or the NCAA in a sport that earns tens of billions of dollars for teams.

SEC Basketball

26. Alabama 66 – Texas Tech 62.  Crimson Tide nearly blow a 20-point lead but hang on to win.

27. South Carolina 74 – Appalachian State 69. One-possession game with 20 seconds left to play. Video highlights.

28. Ole Miss 73 – Loyola-Marymount 70. 16 points and 14 rebounds for Murphy Holloway.

29. Florida 82 – Southeastern Louisiana 43.  20 points for Mike Rosario – fourth straight game in double figures. Video highlights.

30. Arkansas faces Robert Morris tonight and coach Mike Anderson doesn’t want the Razorbacks to take them lightly. “They’re a very explosive team.”

31. Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi on learning about what to expect Saturday in St. Louis – 20,000 fans evenly divided between Missouri and Illinois. “I didn’t know it was like that. Daaaanng!”

32. The SEC is beating up on bad teams in non-conference play – not nearly as successful against the good ones.  No guarantees of a fourth NCAA Tournament bid?

33. Redshirt possible for Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon?


34. 2012 Studs and Duds from the sports media universe

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