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SEC Headlines – 4/27/12

Hate to do this to you, but yours truly has an early doctor’s appointment today.  That means quickie headlines from across the league.  Thanks for your understanding and patience this week.  April’s a busy month for behind-the-scenes business work.  And a doc appointment is just the thing to make it all better.  (Sarcasm.)  Here are the big stories today…


1.  With a four-team playoff on the horizon for college football it can now be said that the BCS was killed off by SEC dominance.

2.  Courtney Upshaw surprisingly didn’t make the first round, but that didn’t spoil Alabama’s draft party.

3.  Under Nick Saban, Bama is dominating recruiting season, football season, and draft season.

4.  Gene Chizik says Auburn is just one recruiting class away from solidifying its foundation.

5.  Arkansas interim coach John L. Smith doesn’t want to “goof up” the Hogs’ coaching staff.

6.  New LSU hoops coach Johnny Jones is putting his staff together with some ex-mates from North Texas.

7.  Former Tiger corner Morris Claiborne was stunned the Cowboys traded up to get him.

8.  MSU’s Fletcher Cox is viewed as a “rare guy” by Philadelphia’s front office.

9.  The new faces at Ole Miss are still out drumming up support and pushing fan unity.

10.  Ex-Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is already dodging comparisons to Dan Marino in Miami.

11.  For the first time since 2006, no Florida Gators were picked in the first round of the NFL’s draft.

12.  Georgia O-lineman Cordy Glenn is still waiting to hear his name called in New York.

13.  So were the 2011-12 Wildcats the best Kentucky basketball team ever?

14.  John Calipari will be calling “Riders up!” at this year’s Kentucky Derby (much to Rick Pitino’s chagrin, I’m sure.)

15.  South Carolina had two picks in last night’s first round… the first time that’s happened since 1981.

16.  Derek Dooley says his Tennessee team’s GPA is now under control.

17.  Vanderbilt’s offensive line is still a work in progress.

18.  Missouri’s spread is about to meet the SEC’s defensive dread.

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UGA’s Murray Wants To Be Brady, Not Marino

Aaron Murray put up some remarkable numbers as a redshirt freshman quarterback last year.  And the Georgia QB did it with both his arm and his legs.  For that reason, he’s viewed by many as the next “can’t miss” quarterback in the SEC.

But Murray says he isn’t worried about stats, just wins.

“I think the (success of) quarterbacks aren’t determined by touchdowns or interceptions… the greatness of them is how many championships they win,” Murray told The Macon Telegraph.  “You look at guys like Dan Marino compared to Tom Brady, (Marino’s) one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but no rings.  All that matters is how many championships you’ve got.  That’s all I care about.”

Gotta wonder what Marino thinks everytime he’s used as the poster boy for never winning a title.

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“If Newton Were White, He’d Be The First Pick Of The Draft”

Last week, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon said that Cam Newton is being picked apart in the press because of racism.

“A lot of criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” Moon told  “I don’t see any other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony.”

Our take?  Moon was offbase and he should shut the hell up.  Racism is serious business.  And Moon’s claims can’t truly be backed up.  If he doesn’t see any other QBs being unfairly hammered, it’s only because he’s not looking.

Ryan Mallet has been hung out to dry by the media and draftniks… just like Newton.  And that former SEC quarterback is white.  While Newton’s smile has been called “phony,” Mallett has been accused of being a bad leader and a drug user.  To date, no one — not fans, not media, not draftniks — has produced any proof of the drug charge.  His teammates and coaches have strongly denied the lack of leadership allegations, too.

So what’s happening with Newton and Mallett?  Potential first-round draft picks get nitpicked to death.  And quarterbacks get it worse than anyone.  If you need a history lesson, call Dan Marino whose own draft stock plummeted because of drug rumors leading up to the 1983 draft.  He’s now in the Hall of Fame right alongside Moon and drugs never came up again during his entire playing career.

It’s possible that Moon has been scarred by what he himself went through during his playing days.  As a black quarterback in 1978, he had to go prove himself in Canada before finally getting a shot in the NFL.  It would be tough for a man not to carry that experience around with him.

So here’s a question for you: If we flipped the colors of Mallett and Newton, isn’t it likely that Moon would be talking about how Mallett has been attacked due to racism?  Here’s betting he would be.

Now, unfortunately, when you point out that comments like Moon’s are offbase — and you provide examples like Mallett and Marino — you are lumped in with the “racism doesn’t exist” crowd.  And that’s certainly not the case. 

This site pointed out in the initial piece that racism is real.  And when people claim “racism!” over a topic like Newton’s media coverage — ignoring the similar situation of Mallett — it makes it less likely that people will believe claims of actual racism.  Thus, the “shut the hell up” part.  Moon isn’t doing any favors to his cause, in our view.

To prove the point, take a look at what Dan Pompei of the National Football Post was told by a white NFL executive last week: “If Newton were white, he’d be the first pick in the draft.”

That — if it’s true — is racism.  End of story.

Granted, this is one unnamed executive and no one knows what his motivations are for making such a claim, but this is a much more serious charge than the one Moon floated last week.  Yet, most people aren’t talking about it.  It’s not getting the media’s attention like Moon’s claims.

Moon was talking about fans and media critiquing Newton when lots of other players have been sliced and diced just as much by the press and pundits.

Pompeii, however, has been told by a league executive that Newton’s draft stock is being adversely affected by of the color of his skin.  That’s the claim that needs to investigated.  That’s the story that needs to be expounded upon.

Moon was complaining about something that just doesn’t appear to be true.  Pompei is shedding light on a very, very serious charge against the people who run NFL franchises.  Moon’s claims got more press, but Pompei’s carry more actual weight.

If people want to learn whether or not racism is having a real impact on Newton’s career, they should follow the Pompei story, not Moon’s media claims.

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