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Ole Miss QB Wallace Talked, Alabama Simply Played

gfx - honest opinionWhenever we at MrSEC.com take a coach or player to task for flapping his gums or behaving obnoxiously, it’s inevitable that we’ll receive a few angry emails from fans of said coach or player.  “You just can’t stand anyone showing a little swagger.”

Well, yeah, that’s part of it.  Why not just do your job and let the scoreboard do the talking?  The other part of our disdain for chirp-itis is this: What’s it accomplish?

Last week we pointed out that Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace had needlessly popped off about Alabama’s here-one-week, gone-the-next defense.  Heading into a big game at Tuscaloosa, the leader of a then-undefeated Rebel teams said:

 

“Yeah, I think we can put points on them.  I think we can put points on anybody.  We just have to show up and play.  It’s the same thing every week, let’s stay on schedule, control the tempo and don’t have any turnovers…

I wouldn’t say (Alabama’s secondary has had) a drop off, but when you have first-round corners every year, I don’t know if they are exactly first-round corners.  But if you have a guy going in the top 10, you’re going to have a little bit of a drop off the next year.”

 

So much for putting points on them.  The top-ranked Crimson Tide made Bo into a bozo by shutting his team out and his mouth up.  The Rebs managed just 205 yards of total offense.  They recorded just 11 first downs all game.  They turned the ball over twice.

Specifically, Wallace completed 17-of-31 passes for 159 yards.  His yards-per-attempt average was a miniscule 5.1 yards per pass.  His passer rating was a laughable 15.2.  Yes, 15.2.

As a runner he tallied five yards on 12 carries for a 0.4 yards-per-rush average.

In the end, what did Wallace’s comments do to help his team?  How did his “swagger” aid the Rebel cause?  On a larger scale, what team has ever won a game because one of its players talked up his own team and talked down the opponent?

The only thing chatting can do is hurt a team’s chances of winning.  Just ask Wallace about Saturday’s 25-0 loss or Alabama’s corners today.

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Las Vegas Sports Book Has Alabama 3-Point Favorite Over Oregon

Sports BookOne survived on the road against a fellow SEC opponent.  The other one destroyed an SEC team on its home turf Saturday.  With Alabama and Oregon undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2, it was only a matter of time before people began talking about a matchup in a national championship game.

Preparing for a potential matchup, the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas has starting taking wagers with the Crimson Tide listed as a 3-point favorite over the Ducks.

Alabama is a heavy favorite Saturday (40 points in some places) against Colorado State.  Oregon is off this week and kicks off its conference schedule against Cal on September 28th.

This news comes on the same day another sports book says Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is now the favorite to win the Heisman.  He’s a (slight) favorite over Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Here’s how the top five candidates breakdown according to Bovada.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon: 9/2

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 5/1

AJ McCarron, Alabama: 13/2

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: 13/2

Jameis Winston, Florida State: 9/1

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is listed at 25-1.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Alabama Flexes Its Muscle

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxAlabama’s future became even brighter this week.

That won’t excite many fans outside Tuscaloosa, Ala., but it’s true. The Crimson Tide landed a commitment on Wednesday from West Monroe, La., offensive lineman Cameron Robinson, who’s rated the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle by Rivals.com.

Alabama’s 2014 class, which holds 20 commitments, ranks No. 1 in the Rivals national team rankings. Tennessee, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State follow the Crimson Tide.

Robinson gave credit to Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff for being the difference in choosing the Crimson Tide over LSU.

“I just developed a really strong relationship with them,” Robinson said of Alabama’s coaches on ESPNU. “That’s what I truly just based my decision off and how comfortable I felt when I was there.”

Robinson should already feel comfortable with some of his future teammates. Wide receiver Cameron Sims from Monroe, La., committed to Alabama last week and promised to help the Crimson Tide land Robinson.

He admitted the commitment of Sims was a big factor in his decision to commit to Alabama.

“That was real big, me and him going all the way back to third grade,” Robinson said. “It’s just like my little brother. It was extremely influential on my decision.”

Sims said the commitment of Robinson will only make Alabama’s class stronger.

“After he told me I said, ‘Okay, we’re going to do some damage at Bama,’” Sims told Rivals.

It’s hard to argue with Sims. Alabama already looks like it might have the strongest class in the nation with the potential to get even better. As ESPN RecruitingNation‘s Jeremy Crabtree points out, the Crimson Tide is taking advantage of momentum on the recruiting trail.

“What’s even scarier is that the Tide aren’t even close to being finished,” Crabtree wrote. “There are nine uncommitted five-star prospects left on the board, and Alabama is expected to get at least an official visit from eight of those players.”

That list includes running back Leonard Fournette from New Orleans, cornerback Marlon Humphrey from Hoover, Ala., and linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Hinesville, Ga.

Alabama is also recruiting defensive back Laurence “Hootie” Jones, another prospect from Monroe. Sims believes he and Robinson will be influential in Jones’ decision.

“We call ourselves ‘The Big 3′ and we’re going to try and recruit Hootie to Bama with us,” Sims told Rivals.

Just add him to the list.

 

Big names to watch at Georgia-South Carolina 

There will be plenty of talent in attendance on Saturday in Athens, Ga., when Georgia plays host to South Carolina.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Coach Nick Saban – Week 2 SEC Conference Call

Alabama coach Nick Saban addresses the media Wednesday. Crimson Tide have an off-date this weekend before playing at Texas A&M September 14th.

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Bama LB DePriest Suspended For Violating Team Rules; Saban Talks Discipline

suspended-man-on-hookStarting inside linebacker Trey DePriest has been suspended from the Alabama football team for a violation of team rules.  DePriest did not practice yesterday.  He was second on the Crimson Tide team last season with 59 tackles.

According to head coach Nick Saban:

 

“He will be eligible to return to the team if he does what he’s supposed to in relatively short order.  If he does those things, he’ll be back with us in as soon as a week…

We have a lot of respect for Trey.  He’s played well for us, he made a mistake, he didn’t do the right thing, it wasn’t a very smart thing to do and there has to be consequences sometimes when you don’t do the right things.

Hopefully he’ll learn from it and it will make him better and he’ll have a better chance to be successful in life.”

 

Saban went on to explain why he chose to suspend a veteran like DePriest:

 

“I don’t have to suspend players.  I don’t like suspending players, but if we’re going to punish any players or suspend any players, it’s going to be in their best interest to change their behavior so they have a better opportunity to be successful.  If it’s not going to do that, I don’t see any reason to do it.

It’s almost like raising your kids.  If you’re going to spank them and it doesn’t change their behavior, why spank them?  If you can take their computer or their cell phone away from them and it changes their behavior, then I’d say that’s the thing to do.  We would only do it in the best interest of the player.”

 

I wonder if DePriest would have been suspended if Saban had put it to a team vote.  Hmmm.

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New Online Odds List Bama As “Even Money” SEC Favorite

bookie-cartoonHow big a favorite is Alabama in this year’s SEC football race?  Mondo big.

The online bookmakers at Bovada.com have updated their SEC championship odds and the Crimson Tide is listed at 1/1, even money.  The next closest rival is Georgia at 7/2.

 

Odds to Win the SEC Football Championship

Alabama 1/1

Georgia 7/2

South Carolina 9/2

Texas A&M 15/2

Florida 9/1

LSU 9/1

Ole Miss 33/1

Tennessee 50/1

Vanderbilt 50/1

Missouri 66/1

Arkansas 75/1

Auburn 75/1

Mississippi State 75/1

Kentucky 100/1

 

It’s easy to see why Alabama is such a heavy favorite.  The Tide return a good portion of a roster that’s won back-to-back BCS crowns.  Their quarterback is going for his third national championship.  Nick Saban is the best college coach in the country, bar none.

But as we’ve pointed out before, all teams need breaks to win championships.  It’s hard to imagine Alabama getting those breaks for a third straight year.  Doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t, just means it’s hard to imagine all the dominoes falling perfectly once again.

And before you place that 1/1 bet on Bama, remember that no program has repeated as back-to-back SEC Champions since Tennessee in 1997 and 1998.  The reason the folks at SEC Media Days usually get their championship prediction wrong is because they typically pick the team that won the title the year prior.  That formula hasn’t worked in a decade-and-a-half.

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Wow Headlines 7/20/2013

Former Kentucky basketball player Kyle Wiltjer is transferring to Gonzaga
Six current college football players, including Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham, join lawsuit against NCAA
Record year for donations at Ole Miss…Rebels have also sold nearly 40,000 season tickets
SEC Media pick Georgia to win the West and Alabama to win the West…with the Crimson Tide predicted to be SEC Champ
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on what he’s doing to motivate  his team to play Alabama…
”Same thing we did last year. That seemed to work”
Follow SEC news year-round at MrSEC.com and on Twitter at Twitter.com/mrsec

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SEC Headlines 6/6/2013

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Five players reportedly leaving Kentucky. Down to four scholarship receivers until incoming freshmen arrive. ”When you have a new coach taking over a 2-10 team, some bags are going to be packed.”

2. Tennessee running back Marlin Lane reinstated?

3.South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier 38 wins away from breaking Bear Bryant’s record for most conference victories by an SEC coach and drawing inspiration from the pope.

4. Recalling Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s first SEC Media Days appearance and his assessment of the SEC West:  ”What’s my assessment? It’s a pretty damn hard league.”

5. Alabama an early six point favorite over Texas A&M, first time less than touchdown favorite since 2012 BCS championship game. Crimson Tide 11.5 favorite over LSU.

6. Is Mississippi State a trap game for LSU?

7. Nick Saban is not opposed to a duel-threat quarterback at Alabama: “You would like to always be able to recruit players that fit your system. But sometimes that’s not always possible.”

8. Alabama makes the honor roll for academic success.  Saban:  ”I think that speaks volumes for the commitment that we have to academics…”

9. Saban wants 10 BCS games: “So if everybody played 10 BCS games, we’d certainly play nine in the conference.”  What about a national rival game for every SEC team?

10. A vision of an SEC regular-season kickoff game in Birmingham?

11. A chance to revive the Missouri-Illinois series in St. Louis?

12. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on Jay Prosch:  ”He has a chance to be one of the better H-backs we’ve ever had.”

13. Former Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain on his relationship with Malzahn: “My and Gus’s relationship is generally that of any former athlete and coach, especially ones who have shared times like we have.”

14. Dukes assistant coach Leon Wright joining Les Miles’ staff at LSU as a graduate assistant.

SEC Basketball

15. Former Missouri guard Michael Dixon is officially a Tiger, a Memphis Tiger.

16. Dixon on Missouri coach Frank Haith and assistant Tim Fuller: “They have been tremendously supportive of me. I love them for that and always have and always will.”

17. Florida will play Dixon’s new team in the Jimmie V classic in New York in December.

18. Frank Martin adding Perry Clark as an assistant coach at South Carolina.

Extras

19. Florida State looking for an athletic director.  Randy Spetman has left the position.

20. Oklahoma State Mike Gundy facing a lawsuit that involves an Oklahoma t-shirt.

21. Outgoing North Carolina chancellor says it’s time for A.D.s to handle athletics.

D-Day Anniversary

22. 69 years ago today, Operation Overlord started.  D-Day invasion led to Allies victory in Europe less than a year later. Ceremonies in France today.

23. President Reagan’s speech at the 40th anniversary: “These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs.”

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SEC Headlines 5/2/2013

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Will Muschamp assesses Florida football: “We’re an ascending program.” Muschamp a more popular man this offseason vs. last.

2. A review of the lines for season openers in  the Nick Saban era at Alabama.  Crimson Tide open as a 22-point favorite against Virginia Tech – haven’t been underdog since 2009 SEC Championship Game.

3. Saban asks North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams for advice on how to defend up-tempo offenses.

4. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn talks depth chart – quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace even. “Dead heat” battle gets a new entrant this month with arrival of  JUCO transfer Nick Marshall.

5. Auburn safety Demetruce McNeal is back in good standing with the team.  Malzahn: ”We took care of all the off-the-field issues that we had, so he is going to be in the mix.”

6. Texas A&M announces expansion plans for Kyle Field - but what happens when the newness wears off? “You have to go back only a couple of years when — other than the Texas game — sellouts were few and far between.”

7. LSU running back Jeremy Hill, not formally charged yet for his role in a bar fight, won’t face a judge this week regarding probation for a prior case.

8. Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James on learning to be a leader: ”Leadership is hard, because it’s making decisions first of all upon yourself and living the right way…”

9. Who would you take – Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron or Aaron Murray?  When it comes to the NFL draft, here’s one vote for Murray.

SEC Basketball

10. Guard Brian Greene, Jr. is leaving Auburn.  Rutgers point guard Jerome Seagears will transfer to Auburn.

11. Klem Ogbueze  on the decision by his brother, Braxton Ogbueze, to transfer out of Florida. “He should have been playing. There were some teammates, some people on the coaching staff that felt he should have been playing more.”

12. Kentucky unveils its non-conference schedule – five opponents that ended the year with a top 50 RPI.

13. Andy Katz asks – can we do away with two NBA draft deadlines?

SEC/College News

14. A record $71 million surplus for the NCAA in 2012.

15. “The entire concept of college sports amateurism belongs in history’s dustbin.”

16. NCAA officials meeting today to discuss revising a handful of recruiting deregulations.

17. The financial gap between Alabama and Auburn – “Alabama generated $18.9 million more in revenue than Auburn last year, marking the fifth straight year Alabama’s advantage exceeded at least $13 million.”

18. Update on status of two lawsuits filed against the University of Tennessee by current/former athletic department employees.

SEC/NFL Draft

19. Father of former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray on the NFL draft. “I know I’m his parent, but I don’t see how 11 quarterbacks get picked, and the best quarterback physically is not picked.”

20. Former LSU cornerback Tharold Simon, drafted by Seattle, addresses his arrest last week. “I had 30 witnesses right there that know I didn’t do anything wrong.”

21. More undrafted Ole Miss players sign free-agent contracts.

22. Missouri fans, did you know you had a fullback last season?  Jared McGriff-Culver gets a shot with the Oakland Raiders.

Extra

23. Is Knoxville, Tennessee the most perfectly average place in America?

 

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Trevor Lacey Granted Release From Alabama

mrsec-breaking-newsAlabama sophomore guard Trevor Lacey has decided to transfer and has been granted his release, the school announced Tuesday.

Lacey called the move a “family decision” in a statement released by the school.

“This definitely was not an easy decision to make,” Lacey said. “It’s been great at Alabama during my two years. It was tough my freshman year coming off surgery and having to work my way back. I wanted to improve during my sophomore season and I thought I did that. I want to thank the coaches and staff, my teammates and all the fans for their support.”

Lacey was a key all-around contributor for Alabama last season, averaging 11.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. The Huntsville, Ala., native was the only player to start all 36 games for the Crimson Tide.

 

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