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SEC Headlines – 8/31/12

SEC West

1.  Kiehl Frazier takes over Auburn’s starting quarterback gig tomorrow.

2. Who’s got the edge: Alabama or Michigan?

3.  Don’t expect Denard Robinson to go all Cam Newton on the Tide.

4.  After 20 years, ex-Razorbacks coach Jack Crowe returns to Arkansas (with his Jacksonville State team).

5.  LSU’s big O-line is healthy and ready to roll against North Texas.

6.  Former Rebel return man Jesse Grandy will return to face Ole Miss as part of Central Arkansas’ passing attack tomorrow.  “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

7.  UM’s recent fundraising efforts have brought in $75 million.

8.  Will Mississippi State blowout Jackson State?  “Most certainly.”

9.  An “insider” says that thanks to Texas A&M agreeing to play Arkansas in Arlington, “the Razorbacks are willing to give up their regular-season-ending game with LSU so the Aggies and Tigers can meet on Thanksgiving weekend in coming years.”

 

SEC East

10.  Florida wants to resolve its quarterback battle soon.

11.  Will Muschamp already has one win this year — no Gators went to jail this summer.

12. Georgia D-Coordinator Todd Grantham knows how to “make things work” despite injuries and suspensions.

13.  When it comes to Kentucky-Louisville, “the team that has rushed for the most yards has won the game 16 years in a row.”

14.  Hoops update — Former Xavier star Evan Daniels won’t be playing for John Calipari’s Wildcats.

15.  Marcus Lattimore came to the rescue in South Carolina’s 17-13 win at Vanderbilt last night.

16.  With just a painful bruise to his shoulder, Connor Shaw “absolutely” expects to play next week against East Carolina.

17.  Tennessee looks to change its identity tonight against NC State in Atlanta.

18.  Starting next week, Knoxville scalpers won’t be able hock their tickets right beside Neyland Stadium.

19.  A missed call was a “death blow” to Vanderbilt last night because “the Commodores simply aren’t good enough to overcome such things.”  (Death Blow!)

20.  Steve Spurrier on this year’s Commodores: “They don’t have any slow dudes like they used to.”

21.  Missouri AD Mike Alden has gotten a two-year contract extension in Columbia.

22.  Evan Boehm is about to become the first Tiger freshman O-lineman that Gary Pinkel will start in his first collegiate game.

 

SEC/College News

23.  The economy’s sluggish and HDTV is taking over… but college football ticket prices are still rising.

24.  Fourteen SEC beatwriters have made their preseason predictions for the league.

25.  This college football season… it’s an SEC world.  Again.

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Tyler’s Take: The Road To 72

Tyler B.

With the Big-12 vs. SEC bowl game starting in 2014 it’s clear Mike Slive, President of College Football, decided to use his middle finger to draw a line in the embarrassingly messy sandbox of college football to let everyone know he will indeed draw when his hand is forced. And after Slive appointed Chuck Neinas as his Vice President, ironically, an “enemy” of his less than a year ago, he ensured this summer and beyond  will feel like a nuclear winter for certain conferences and about a third of all existing FBS football schools. An even bigger issue, without a streamlined version of college football in place when the BCS contract expires could the NCAA be the next superpower left out in the cold?

You mean… college football completely divorces itself from the NCAA? Absolutely.

1)      Conference expansion.

2)      Conference title games.

3)      Birth of the BCS.

4)      Billion-dollar TV contracts.

5)      Conference realignment that makes no sense.

The last 20 years has given us plenty of evidence about where this sport has been heading, so it’s almost comical that the NCAA is going to get caught with their pants down on this issue. I mean they might as well wake up one morning and chant “ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!” right before college football as we know changes forever.

The absence of NCAA leadership during a time period when college football has grown exponentially has proven that nobody in Indianapolis is remotely capable of captaining a ship this size. The NCAA is fantastic at monitoring a few insignificant and impermissible phone calls to teenage recruits in the off-season, but clearly not at running a billion-dollar industry. And in its defense nor should it.

Doesn’t COMPANY XZY (the winning bidder) that will govern college football with departments specializing in finance, consulting, management and common sense sound like a better alternative than the NCAA? It does to me.

When it comes to the creation of super conferences I have two questions:

1)      How long will it take?  I believe football super conferences will be announced within 18 months, however, this date is moving because the fluidity of the FSU situation.  But with now with the Big-12/SEC partnership, does it even matter what FSU does? FSU leaving for the Big-12 today would be just like leaving for the SEC in just a few short years.

 

2)      Will the NCAA be a part of the super conference? I say it’s 80/20 the NCAA remains in charge, but just the threat of losing college football has to scare the NCAA enough to take/talk action.

 

Will someone make copies of the current NCAA rule book and sell it to the highest bidder – a private company – so they can run the sport? What can the NCAA do if JP Morgan wants to partner up Deloitte and a few other companies to buy college football? They bypass the NCAA and meet with the AD’s of the five major football conferences to buy and run college football. How hard is that? And with a private company running college football how much political red tape would be removed the second the contract is signed?

The NCAA losing college football is a far-fetched idea I understand, but business is business and a billion-dollar industry doesn’t go unnoticed on Wall Street. And as each year passes the bottom line becomes more and more important than coaches, players and teams. Does this sound any different than a Fortune 500 company?

Something to think about: Does the NCAA hand out scholarships? Is the BCS title the same as the NCAA title? From the most simplistic view, what does the NCAA do besides govern when it comes to college football?

So now onto the Super Conferences… What I wrote below is pretty much identical to the article I posted on this very site back in August. Only now it makes a lot more sense.

What does a season look like with FBS 72 teams?

  • Four 18-team conferences, each with two divisions of nine.
  • 12 regular season games.
  • Every team in the division is played.
  • Three rotating teams from the opposite division (home and home two-year series).
  • One out of conference game is played and it’s a conference vs. conference challenge.
  • Divisional winners play title conference games.
  • NCAA tournament is created with 8 teams — Title game winners of the four conferences and four at-large teams selected by rankings.
  • Highest seeds host first and second round games.
  • Title game location goes to the highest bidder.
  • Any team with a winning record is eligible for a bowl game bid against any bowl eligible team.

How do we get to 72?

Step 1: If a team didn’t average more than 30,000 fans for home games it doesn’t deserve to play with the big boys. End of story. I removed several BCS schools and Independents:  Washington State (24,000), Army, Navy, Duke (23,000), and Iowa State. But feel free to swap “borderline” teams that did/didn’t make the cut: Navy (32,653), Army (31,667), UCF (39,314), East Carolina (49,665), San Diego State (34,133), UTEP (29,350), Houston (31,100), and So. Miss. (29,400).

Step 2: Schools that don’t make the cut are “demoted” to the FCS. (There will be revenue sharing from the new league of 72 schools to help those schools who got cut.) These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map. Either that or they shut down their football program.

Who goes where?

ATLANTIC #1

1)      North Carolina

2)      N.C. State

3)      Wake Forest

4)      East Carolina

5)      Virginia

6)      Virginia Tech

7)      Vanderbilt

8)      Tennessee

9)      West Virginia

ATLANTIC #2

1)      UCONN

2)      Boston College

3)      Maryland

4)      Syracuse

5)      Rutgers

6)      Penn State

7)      Pittsburg

8)      Cincinnati

9)      Louisville

SOUTH #1

1)      Miami

2)      Florida

3)      Florida State

4)      South Florida

5)      Georgia

6)      Georgia Tech

7)      Clemson

8)      South Carolina

9)      Kentucky

SOUTH #2             

1)      Alabama

2)      Auburn

3)      Ole Miss

4)      Miss. State

5)      LSU

6)      Arkansas

7)      Oklahoma

8)      Oklahoma State

9)      Missouri

MIDWEST #1

1)      Notre Dame

2)      Purdue

3)      Illinois

4)      Northwestern

5)      Ohio State

6)      Michigan

7)      Michigan State

8)      Minnesota

9)      Wisconsin

MIDWEST #2

1)      Iowa

2)      Indiana

3)      Kansas

4)      Kansas State

5)      Nebraska

6)      Texas

7)      Texas A&M

8)      Baylor

9)      TCU

WEST #1

1)      Colorado

2)      Air Force

3)      BYU

4)      Utah

5)      Arizona

6)      Arizona State

7)      USC

8)      UCLA

9)      Stanford

WEST #2

1)      Cal

2)      Utah

3)      Oregon

4)      Oregon State

5)      Washington

6)      Hawaii

7)      Texas Tech

8)      Boise State

9)      Fresno State

Will this happen? I think college football will look something similar to this within a decade. Either way, during the past two years there has been no better place in the sports world when it comes to college football expansion coverage. I think our John Pennington would write a 1,000 page novel on this in about 24 hours if needed…

Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company.  A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written. 

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Carolina’s Secondary Has Improved, But The Schedule’s Helped

South Carolina’s pass defense is the second-best in the SEC to Alabama.  It’s third-best in the nation behind Michigan State and the Tide.

Not too shabby, eh?

On the season, the Cocks have allowed just 1087 yards through the air and 508 of those came in Carolina’s first two games against East Carolina and Georgia. 

So what changed from those first two games to the last six?

“There are not as many checks and audibles,” safety DaVonte Holloman told The Charleston Post & Courier.  “We’re not making as many pre-snap calls.”

Steve Spurrier said that “there are fewer mistakes” as well.  “I think that’s a big part of it, and just the guys playing hard, playing their assignments, playing with effort.”

Fewer pre-snap calls.  Fewer mistakes.  Better play.

Yes, yes and yes.

But there’s also this factor — take a look at who Carolina has played:


Opponent
Passing Offense National Rank
Yds Vs Carolina
East Carolina
#11
260
Georgia
#54
248
Navy
#119
61
Vanderbilt
#108
73
Auburn
#104
112
Kentucky
#115
17
Miss. State
#81
165
Tennessee
#45
151



There’s been a pretty steep drop-off in the passing ability of Carolina’s opponents over the past few weeks.  And don’t forget, the Tennessee of that high national ranking is quite different than the Tennessee USC faced on Saturday night… the one with the true freshman quarterback making his first start.

This doesn’t mean that Carolina’s secondary hasn’t improved and hasn’t played well in recent weeks.  But it does mean anyone expecting the Gamecocks to squelch Arkansas’ passing game on Saturday will likely come away disappointed. 

The Razorbacks — for comparison’s sake — rank 9th nationally in passing offense.  And unless Melvin Ingram, Jadeveon Clowney and the Carolina pass rushers can mount some serious pressure, Tyler Wilson will likely put up some passing numbers reminiscent of those posted by ECU and Georgia earlier this season.

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Tyler’s Take: 18 Is The New Sweet Sixteen

I originally wrote this several weeks ago but I have updated it because so much … and really nothing has happened just yet. First, let’s get two things straight: college football is the engine car and caboose on the college sports train. Whatever college football decides to do in the next few years in the world of expansion, other sports teams will figure out what to do because profits they pocket from football keep them afloat.

Mike Slive wants to order the murder, and not be the trigger man, because he doesn’t want blood on his hands. But at this point he might as well sit back and enjoy it. (A particular Bobby Knight quote would be extremely appropriate and inappropriate right here.) Slive is already guilty in the pre-meditated murder case of college football, so it’s no longer necessary to ride shotgun in a white Bronco on every major Interstate in the South and make every SEC athletic director sport an Al Cowlings mask. You’re guilty, Slive, so just go all in.

Don’t eyeball 13 or 14 teams and dismiss the idea of 16 teams. Finish what Roy Kramer started and go straight to 18 teams. If college football wised up a decade after the SEC went to 12, I can assure you it won’t take as long this time around if the SEC goes to 18. Everyone else will follow, I promise.

What does a season look like with FBS 72 teams?

  • Four 18-team conferences, each with two divisions of nine.
  • 12 regular season games.
  • Every team in the division is played.
  • Three rotating teams from the opposite division (home and home two-year series) are played.
  • One out of conference game is played.
  • Title game for each conference is played pitting divisional winners.
  • NCAA tournament is created with 12 teams.
  • Conference winners receive a first round bye.
  • Eight at-large teams are chosen using something similar to the BCS points system.
  • Viola!

How does the NCAA get to 72?

Step 1: If a team didn’t average more than 30,000 fans for home games it doesn’t deserve to play with the big boys. End of story. I removed several BCS schools and Independents:  Washington State (24,000), Army, Navy, Duke (23,000), and Iowa State. But feel free to swap “borderline” teams that did/didn’t make the cut: Navy (32,653), Army (31,667), UCF (39,314), East Carolina (49,665), San Diego State (34,133), UTEP (29,350), Houston (31,100), and So. Miss. (29,400).

Step 2: Schools that don’t make the cut are “demoted” to the FCS. Would this be so bad when the only reason many of the schools left out only joined the FBS for guaranteed money and a guaranteed loss on their schedule? To soften the demotion there will be revenue sharing from the new 72. These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map.

Who goes where?

A mere 31 driving turns and 1,591 miles away, TCU is in the same conference as Syracuse. Major realignment doesn’t make sense?

ATLANTIC #1

1)      North Carolina

2)      N.C. State

3)      Wake Forest

4)      East Carolina (or Duke)

5)      Virginia

6)      Virginia Tech

7)      Vanderbilt

8)      Tennessee

9)      West Virginia

ATLANTIC #2

1)      UCONN

2)      Boston College

3)      Maryland

4)      Syracuse

5)      Rutgers

6)      Penn State

7)      Pittsburg

8)      Cincinnati

9)      Louisville

SOUTH #1

1)      Miami

2)      Florida

3)      Florida State

4)      South Florida

5)      Georgia

6)      Georgia Tech

7)      Clemson

8)      South Carolina

9)      Kentucky

SOUTH #2             

1)      Alabama

2)      Auburn

3)      Ole Miss

4)      Miss. State

5)      LSU

6)      Arkansas

7)      Oklahoma

8)      Oklahoma State

9)      Missouri

MIDWEST #1

1)      Notre Dame

2)      Purdue

3)      Illinois

4)      Northwestern

5)      Ohio State

6)      Michigan

7)      Michigan State

8)      Minnesota

9)      Wisconsin

MIDWEST #2

1)      Iowa

2)      Indiana

3)      Kansas

4)      Kansas State

5)      Nebraska

6)      Texas

7)      Texas A&M

8)      Baylor

9)      TCU

WEST #1

1)      Colorado

2)      Air Force

3)      BYU

4)      Utah

5)      Arizona

6)      Arizona State

7)      USC

8)      UCLA

9)      Stanford

WEST #2

1)      Cal

2)      Utah

3)      Oregon

4)      Oregon State

5)      Washington

6)      Hawaii

7)      Texas Tech

8)      Boise State

9)      Fresno State

Is it a perfect fit in some cases? No. Should a few teams be in a different conference? Maybe. Will fans get used to it after a few years? Do fans complain too loudly a year or two after joining a new conference? Welcome to the New World Order of college football, served up by none other than Mike Slive.

Tyler Beam works as a communications specialist for Brown-Forman in Louisville, Ky. A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written. 

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SEC Headlines 9/4/2011 Part Three

South Carolina 56 –  East Carolina 37

1. Gamecocks rally from 17-0 deficit.

2. Connor Shaw out – Stephen Garcia in.  Result? 49 points in a 28-minute span.

3. Spurrier vetoes suggestion to give Garcia a game ball but the senior QB will start against Georgia.

4. 16 tackles for defensive tackle Antonio Allen.

Tennessee 42 – Montana 16

5. Tyler Bray throws for 293 yards but only 129 rushing yards on 45 attempts.

6. John Adams: “Passing was a breeze. Running was a source of frustration.”

7. Derek Dooley: “I thought we were much improved defensively.”

Vanderbilt 45 – Elon 14

8. Commodores win in James Franklin’s debut.

9. Went for it three times on fourth down.

Florida 41 – Florida Atlanta 3

10.   The Will Muschamp era begins with a win.

11. 468 yards of offense for the Gators.

12. Trey Burton injured, Sharrif Floyd declared ineligible.

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Vince’s Vibe: Fave 5 Week 1 Games

Each week I’ll break-down my favorite five games of the college football weekend. I’ll focus on the SEC and Top 25 for the weekend, but on occasion I may step out of those borders for a game or two, if there’s enough national intrigue there.

Ferrara’s Fave 5 – College Football Week 1

1. (3) Oregon vs. (4) LSU in Arlington, TX (Sat at 8pm)

The intrigue of this game is obvious. The entire NCAA staff is likely to be mandated to not only watch but DVR, so they can go back and review for more potential violations. Can Jarrett Lee protect the football? Can LSU’s great defense handle the pace of the Oregon offense? Who will have more yards rushing, LaMichael James or Spencer Ware? Will that Tigers defense disrupt the Ducks at the line of scrimmage up the middle ala Auburn? This game will be close and both will have great moments. I’m not a believer that LSU’s season falls apart. Les Miles has a history of guiding teams through adversity (three different hurricanes including Katrina.) Oregon is very good again this year but I give LSU the edge. I like LSU to win.

 

2. (5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia in Atlanta, GA (Sat at 8pm)

To be honest, I’ve flipped on this game numerous times. I almost went Boise just because of what the Georgia pro combat uniforms looked like. Boise’s uniforms don’t look great either, so I nixed that thought. This is a great test of how much Georgia’s defense has improved in the second year of Todd Grantham’s 3-4. Even with the Broncos losing the top two WRs from a year ago, the offense with Kellen Moore and some talented backs should still be a challenge for Georgia. What not enough people are talking about is how (or if) Boise State can stop Georgia’s offense over four quarters. I think Georgia wears them down a little late in the game. The Georgia Dome will be pro-Bulldogs, which will help. The difference though will be the nation’s best special teams wearing the red, white and black. I like Georgia to win.

 

3. (12) South Carolina vs. East Carolina in Charlotte, NC (Sat at 7pm)

Connor Shaw will now start at quarterback for the Fighting HBCs? It is always must-see-TV when it comes to Steve Spurrier and his handling of the quarterbacks. Watching true freshman freak DE Jadeveon Clowney is must-see material as well. Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery are pretty fun to watch as well. ECU has a prolific offense that should be even better now that terrific QB Dominique Davis has gone through a full spring and off-season to learn the offense. Ruffin McNeil has switched the defense to a 3-4 to try to improve a really bad unit from last year. South Carolina will give-up some points but the Gamecocks should score more than enough to beat ECU. I like South Carolina to win.

 

4. SMU at (8) Texas A&M (Sun at 7:30pm)

This could easily be called the Big 12 baton-passing bowl. Texas A&M intends to leave. SMU wants in. June Jones told me on my sports talk show a few weeks ago that four 16-team super conferences and separation from the NCAA was coming, which would happen in the next two years. The first domino in that theory is his first opponent. Jones said this is the best defense he’s ever coached in college. If so, with the offensive weapons of the Mustangs, SMU will give A&M all kinds of fits. In the end, Texas A&M is too big and strong, especially in the offensive line. I like Texas A&M to win.

 

5. BYU at Ole Miss (Sat at 4:45pm)

This is a very different and interesting match-up between a long-time SEC school and a brand new independent. Jake Heaps and the BYU offense will score points. Ole Miss has more unknowns but more upside, including new QB Barry Brunetti. The Rebels have a massive and physical offensive line (smallest linemen are 315,) an excellent running game led by Brandon Bolden and an overall size advantage that will help them in the fourth quarter. Oh, by the way, the game is in Oxford. The Rebel Black Bear celebrates, or something. I like Ole Miss to win.

 

Enjoy the games!

Vince Ferrara has more than 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, in numerous SEC and Big 12 markets, working in sports radio, play-by-play and television. You can hear him host the “News Sentinel Sports Page” weekdays 10am-12pm ET on WNML - “The Sports Animal” in Knoxville and read more of his work at Examiner.com. 

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Shaw Gets The Start For Carolina Over Garcia

Ultimately, who starts at quarterback next Saturday at Georgia will be more important than who starts for South Carolina tomorrow against East Carolina.  But for the record, tomorrow’s starter will be Connor Shaw, not Stephen Garcia.  And that ends a streak of 28-straight starts for the Cocks’ oft-troubled senior.

“I said way back we’re going to have a preseason competition to see who the starter is going to be (the) first game,” Steve Spurrier said yesterday.  “We’ve gone through preseason, so it’s over.  The guy who rated the best was Connor Shaw.  He played better than Stephen Garcia.  Simple as that.  So he’s going to start the game.

“(Shaw) is going to play the first quarter and Stephen’s going to play the second quarter.  And we’re going to see what happens after that.  That’s the fair way to do it.”

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SEC Headlines – 9/1/11 Part Two

1.  ESPN’s analysts have made their picks and Urban Meyer has tabbed Alabama to win the SEC.

2.  New Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn wants his defense to play “physical and fast.”  (As opposed to playing weak and slow.)

3.  Charlie Weis will call plays from the sideline for now.

4.  Gator fans are going to find a shiny, new present under the tree on Saturday.

5.  Georgia might have some inside knowledge of Boise State’s offense.

6.  The Dawgs should also have “a little bit more power up front” on its O-line.

7.  Joker Phillips says Kentucky QB Morgan Newton is “night and day” better than last year’s bowl game.

8.  Tonight’s UK-WKU game in Nashville is still far from a sellout.

9.  First Chuck Norris.  Then Tim Tebow.  Now Jadeveon Clowney.  (It stopped being funny after Norris.)

10.  There are still plenty of seats available for South Carolina’s opener against East Carolina in Charlotte.

11.  Lance Thompson believes his Tennessee D-line will be versatile.

12.  The Vols look to reclaim their old moniker: Wide Receiver U.

13.  Vanderbilt’s players are ready to hit someone after a preseason camp with limited full-contact tackling.

14.  TJ Greenstone brings a starter’s mentality to his role as a backup defensive lineman.

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Reports: UT offers Bama’s Hart AD Job

Reports out of Tennessee and Alabama are claiming that Tennessee has offered Alabama executive director of athletics Dave Hart the AD position in Knoxville.  No word on whether Hart has accepted the offer or not.

Hart served as the athletic director at East Carolina and Florida State before becoming Mal Moore’s heir apparent in Tuscaloosa in July of 2008.  Hart played basketball for the Tide under CM Newton in the late-60s, early-70s.  In 2009, he was given the title of “chief operating officer” for the entire Alabama athletics department.  At that point, Hart was to handle the day-to-day operations while Moore focused on fundraising and “facility enhancements.”

To leave, Hart would have to walk away from his alma mater, which could be tough.  Especially knowing that Moore is 71-years-old.  Hart could leave for Knoxville today only to see Moore retire in six months or a year.

From a Tennessee perspective, Hart would seem to be a very solid hire.  His 12 years at FSU coupled with his most recent stint at Bama certainly give him big-time BCS experience at a pair of major programs.

But if Hart says no and is convince to stay on in Tuscaloosa, then UT will have been turned down by two in-conference candidates in the past month.  LSU’s Joe Alleva flirted with the Vols before deciding to stay in Baton Rouge for a pay raise.

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SEC Headlines – 8/30/11 Part One

1.  Will Muschamp says there’s still a lot of work to do at Florida this week.

2.  The Gators look to start two true freshmen in the secondary for the first time in school history.

3.  Howard Schnellenberger knows that his Florida Atlantic Owls aren’t likely to get a hoot out of playing in The Swamp.  (Hoot?  Owls?  Get it?)
 
4.  If Georgia tailback Richard Samuel is healthy on Saturday, he’ll split carries with Isaiah Crowell.

5.  Mark Richt won’t say if safety Bacarri Rambo is suspended for the opener or not.

6.  Boise State’s Chris Petersen says he’s put a blowout loss at Georgia in ’05 out of his mind.

7.  A dozen freshman are likely to contribute for Kentucky this season.

8.  There’s not as much hype for a UK-WKU opener as their is a UK-Louisville opener.  Big shock.

9.  UK has stupidly banned its own student newspaper from today’s basketball interview sessions because a college reporter did his job.

10.  Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw are listed as co-starters on South Carolina’s depth chart.

11.  Akeem Auguste has reinjured his foot… meaning CC Whitlock will start at corner for USC against East Carolina.

12.  Gamecock freshmen are getting a crash course in SEC football.

13.  Tennesssee — including return specialist Devrin Young — is getting healthy at the right time.

14.  UT will have two true freshmen flanking a senior in its linebacking corps this fall.

15.  Vol players are excited that the season is finally upon them.

16.  Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith seems to have more confidence this season.

17.  James Franklin has decided not to call plays on offense… for now.

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