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SEC Headlines – 2/25/11 Part Three

1.  Alabama’s Charvez Davis has upped his defensive effort and become a complete player in the process.

2.  Nick Saban knows how to produce pro talent.

3.  The search continues for Auburn’s next defensive line coach.

4.  John Pelphrey enjoyed his team’s win over Kentucky… now he wants them to keep on winning.

5.  This writer says the Hogs’ win was much deserved.

6.  LSU is okaying raises and handing out salaries this week.  New offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe will make $700,000… $200,000 more than what Gary Crowton would have made in 2011.

7.  The Tiger basketball team felt a big relief in snapping a 10-game losing streak this week.

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Miles’ Praise For Kragthorpe A Backhand Of Crowton?

Whenever a new coach is hired, the comments from the person doing the hiring say as much about the man being replaced as the man being hired.  Take Les Miles’ recent comments about new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe:

“I just felt like he could short cut some of the elaborate thought process that was going on.  I think the reality of it is a I need a guy who needs execution.  I don’t want him to say, ‘Boy, that’s a good idea.’  The ‘good idea’ that’s not executed looks like an ugly play, okay?  And so for me, I needed it to be done extremely well.”

It’s hard not to read between the lines there and conclude that Miles felt previous offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was concerned a bit more with design than with production.  That might not be fair and that might not be how Miles really feels, but it sure comes across that way.

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Forget LSU’s Earlier Denials; Kragthorpe’s The Guy

A few reports yesterday claimed that Steve Kragthorpe had been hired as LSU’s new offensive coordinator.  But as we told you this morning, the Tigers’ media relations department said those reports weren’t true and that Les Miles wasn’t expected to announce a decision until next week.

Nevermind.  Kragthorpe’s the guy and everyone in the Pelican State knows it.  Whether LSU will admit it or not.

Former Tulsa and Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe will replace Gary Crowton in Baton Rouge and “a source close to the program” has confirmed the hiring to The Baton Rouge Advocate.

TigerBait.com is reporting the same thing.  Ditto The New Orleans Times Picayune.

Kragthorpe has been an offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona, North Texas and Texas A&M in addition to his two FBS head coaching jobs.  He also served for two years as the Buffalo Bills’ quarterbacks coach.

Tiger fans wanting to hear good things about your new coach, we suggest you talk to Tulsa backers… not Louisville fans.

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SEC Headlines – 1/5/11 Part One

1.  Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and strength coach Scott Cochran could get raises today.  (Smart was connected to the Florida job, but will remain in Tuscaloosa.)

2.  This writer says there’s no reason for the biggest stars at Bama and Auburn to return for their senior seasons.

3.  Cam Newton says Papa Cecil will be in attendance at Monday’s BCS title game.  (Tickets are going for about $180,000.)

4.  This writer believes Newton the Younger will provide a bright future for some NFL franchise.

5.  Stats don’t matter to Auburn’s defense.

6.  This Arkansas writer tries to Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive after last night’s Sugar Bowl loss.

7.  While the football Hogs were losing in New Orleans, John Pelphrey was taking his worst beating yet — 79-46 — at the hands of Texas.  A bad night in the Ozarks.

8.  LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis says he’s never had a linebacker as versatile as Kelvin Sheppard.

9.  Hey, fans, Gary Crowton was frustrated by the Tigers’ offense this year, too.

10.  Ole Miss is still searching for an identity as they prep for a game at SMU tonight.

11.  A loss to the Mustangs could crush UM’s NCAA Tournament hopes…

12.  And the Rebels might be without Trevor Gaskins due to a hamstring pull.

13.  If Manny Diaz leaves for Texas, defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Chris Wilson would likely replace him in Starkville.

14.  It looks like the rest of Dan Mullen’s staff will stick around another year.

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Miles Not Looking Elsewhere; No Word On Crowton

Les Miles extricated himself from the hot seat this year with a 10-2 record.  For that reason — and the ginormous salary and buyout he has — he’s not looking to leave Baton Rouge anytime soon.

“I’m not expecting to hear from any other school,” Miles said yesterday.  “I enjoy where I’m at.  I have (been) given reason to enjoy how my family is progressing, enjoy the team I’m fortunate to coach and the school I’m fortunate to represent.  I very much enjoy where I’m at.”

Okay, so what about offensive coordinator Gary Crowton?  “I’ve got to be real honest with you, I don’t want to talk about that.” 

Uh-oh.

“Endorsement, no endorsement — all those things are really without relevance at this point to me,” Miles said.  “This is about preparing a team for a bowl game, period.  I think our offense has gotten better.  And I think that our team is maturing.”

That’s not much of a vote of confidence is it?

Crowton himself has been rumored to be in the mix for the head coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette.  But the coach has already ix-nayed that rumor.

“I was never contacted by anyone (from ULL),” Crowton told The New Orleans Times-Picayune.  “I have no interest in that job, and I don’t think they have any interest in me.  I plan on being back at LSU next year.”

In other words, Miles will be back in Baton Rouge in 2011 and Crowton wants to be right alongside him.  Whether he will be or not is all up to Miles. 

And he doesn’t want to talk about that right now.

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