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SEC Headlines 7/30/2013

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Georgia coach Mark Richt on Jadeveon Clowney: “I think he might be the very best player who exists today.”

2. Auburn’s coaching staff is ready to open fall camp. The Tigers will hit the practice field on Friday.

3. Auburn fans weren’t happy with former offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s recent comments.

4. Here are five storylines for Mississippi State entering the upcoming season.

5. The schedule for the Bulldogs could be tougher than it first appears, writes Brad Locke.

6. Defensive tackle Isaac Gross is the No. 14 most important player for Ole Miss.

7. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and his former teammate Phillip Sims shared some respect on twitter.

8. Here are five questions for Kent State, a team LSU should dominate with ease this season.

9.  Johnny (Manziel) was being Johnny when got booted from a frat party last weekend, writes Barrett Sallee.

10. The Arkansas football program moved into its new building last week, which means new projects are up next.

11. Florida is working to make sure it fills up its stadium for all six home games this season.

12. Florida’s first two games will have noon kickoffs. Get ready for some heat and humidity early in the season.

13. Mark Richt would like to see a league-wide drug policy. “I’d love it everybody had the same level playing ground.”

14. South Carolina will be a “legitimate national title contender” if it starts the season with a 2-0 record, according to Phil Steele.

15. Athlon Sports looks at South Carolina’s rise to power under head coach Steve Spurrier.

16. The sex crimes investigation involving four former Vanderbilt players is nearing an end, police say.

17. Here are five key questions as Tennessee prepares to begin practice on Friday.

SEC Basketball

18. “Things look bleak” for Vanderbilt following the losses of guards Kevin Bright and Kedren Johnson yesterday.

19. A Georgia walk-on suffered a torn ACL during a bomb explosion while he was serving in the military.

20. Here’s an update on Tennessee’s non-conference schedule. The Vols will play UTEP, followed by Iowa or Xavier in Nassau, Bahamas.

21. Kentucky coach John Calipari has released a new clothing line.

Extra

22. Rick Bozich takes Louisville to task for considering the idea of bringing in former Auburn running back Michael Dyer.

23. Gordon Gee will receive $5.8 million to not be Ohio State’s president.

24. What is the future for the American Athletic Conference? Dennis Dodd takes a look.

25. Police searched a pond in Bristol, Conn., in connection to the murder case involving Aaron Hernandez.

26. Dan Wetzel reports from the pretrial hearing involving three former Penn State administrators.

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Swinney: ‘I’m interested in competing with everyone out there’

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has never shied away from competition.

That’s been obvious on the field, and it’s shown on the recruiting trail. And it could help explain how in recent years Swinney has landed such highly-touted prospects as running back C.J. Spiller, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and 2013 defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who’s committed to the Tigers.

Swinney, who became Clemson’s head coach in 2009 after serving as an assistant from 2003-08, has always gone all out in his pursuit of the nation’s top prospects.

“I was told you can’t go recruit C.J. Spiller,” Swinney told Yahoo! Sports. “(I was told), ‘You’re wasting your time recruiting that guy. He ain’t coming to Clemson.’

“That was the mentality here. I don’t get that. I’m like, ‘What do you mean I can’t recruit him? He takes my call every week. He likes me. He says he wants to visit.”

And that effort by Swinney helped convince Spiller to sign with Clemson in 2006.

Swinney has also helped Clemson find success on the field. The Tigers won a division championship in the ACC in 2009 and won the conference title outright last year. But Swinney’s goals are greater than conference success.

“People always want to talk about this conference,” he said. “I’m not really interested in this conference. I’m interested in being the best. I’m interested in competing with everyone out there. I’ve got to beat those people. I’ve got to beat them in recruiting and I’ve got to beat them in the field. That’s my mentality.”

And that’s why we mention it on this site. While Clemson doesn’t compete against SEC teams in conference play, the Tigers do battle for many of the same prospects on the recruiting trail.

If Clemson continues to have more success under Swinney’s guidance, expect more SEC prospects to take notice of the Tigers.

(And take a look at the entire Yahoo! story linked above. It’s extremely well done by Dan Wetzel.)

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Y’ever Notice That The Media And Those Who Hate The Media Play By Two Different Sets Of Rules?

For the past week, most of the folks in the mainstream media spent their time dismissing the talk of Florida State jumping to the Big 12.  That’s because folks who sign their names to their work — usually — try to actually speak to people in power or try to get real quotes to authenticate rumors they hear.

I know this first-hand because I spoke to two people inside the top levels of two ACC schools last week and they both told me all was well in their league.  The sources were off so we were off.  Ditto everybody else in the traditional media.  And though Dan Wetzel’s excellent column on ACC rage behind the scenes paints the picture as being obvious in hindsight, I don’t recall Wetzel writing any of this before Andy Haggard’s comments, either.  Perhaps a “we in the media” might’ve worked better in his column.

Now, on the other side of the fence you have the bloggers and Twitterers and messageboard posters.  Most are anonymous.  Most run with any rumor they hear.  Some are correct.  Most aren’t.

But here’s what’s interesting:

 

* Traditional media members get little credit when they get a story right (“It’s your job!), but they get eviscerated whenever there’s a mistake made or a “failed to see it in advance” type of issue.  Like the FSU story.

* The blogs and Twitter users and messageboarders pay no price whatsever for getting it wrong when they toss stuff against the wall to see what sticks, but when they hit on a story — or even just a portion of a story — they’re hailed as real, big-time newsbreakers.

 

We’re a website.  I hate the word “blog” because there are three writers on this site and still others provide outside, freelance type commentary as well.  But we’re closer to a blog than we are to the traditional media.  There aren’t 100 of us and we don’t have copy editors looking over our stuff (obbvyussly).  However, we try to carry ourselves like the traditional media because the three guy making up this site’s staff all have traditional media backgrounds.  So throwing out ideas to see what sticks or writing about “nip slips” isn’t tops on our agenda for gaining credibility.

Basically, we’ve got a foot in both camps.  So there’s no bitterness associated with the above observations.  We’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and enjoyed the rewards of both.  We’ve also been discredited as being too traditional and as being up-against-the-wall-stuff-tossers.

Trying to walk that line — hell, trying to find that line to walk — we just find it interesting that the two parties are held to two such totally different standards.

Then again, people in this day and age basically go to news sources that validate their own opinions anyway.  Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC, many people view those right- and left-leaning networks as being “fair and balanced,” simply because they tell the listener/viewer what they want to hear.  Ditto NPR or Rush Limbaugh.

It’s the same with traditional media versus new media.  If you want buttoned-up facts, you turn to traditional sources and sometimes you’re going to be a day late.

If you want speculation and to hear what might happen next before anyone else hears it, you turn to folks who are more likely to run with a rumor without finding two corroborating sources first.  But you’ll have to live with a lot more false information.

To each his own.  As stated, we’re somewhere in the middle of those two groups.  Just trust us on this one — the two types of media are held to very different standards.

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