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Wow Evening Headlines 12/12/2012

Former Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers will bypass his senior season at Tenneessee Tech to enter NFL draft
Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury leaving to become head coach at Texas Tech
Former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is taking the same position at Arkansas
Both South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore and Arkansas RB Knile Davis are leaving school early, declaring for 2013 NFL draft
Alabama QB AJ McCarron will return for his senior year
Georgia QB Aaron Murray said his NFL decision will come after the Capital One Bowl
Mississippi State running back Nick Griffin has torn his ACL, will miss Gator Bowl
Nine of the top 11 highest-rated ESPN college football markets were in states with SEC schools – Birmingham 1, Knoxville 3, Nashville 9, Memphis 10
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SEC Bowl Game Lineup

 

 

Computer Guru Palm Makes SEC Bowl Picks

Jerry Palm — the computer guru/numbers-cruncher who made a name for himself ranking college basketball teams — has posted his predictions for this season’s bowl matchups.  You might want to hold off on ordering tickets with the season still a month away and all, but for a late-summer read, eh, it’s worth a look.

In chronological order, here’s how Palm expects things to shake out for the SEC’s team this season (the comments after each game are mine):

 

Music City Bowl, 12/31 (SEC #7 vs ACC #6): Missouri vs Georgia Tech (A so-so first year for Mizzou.)

Liberty Bowl, 12/31 (SEC #8 or #9 vs C-USA #1): Tennessee vs Houston (Enough to save Derek Dooley?)

Chick-fil-A Bowl, 12/31 (SEC #5 vs ACC #2): South Carolina vs Virginia Tech (A disappointment for the Cocks?)

Capital One Bowl, 1/1 (SEC #2 vs Big Ten #2): Georgia vs Michigan State (A rematch from last year and another reason we don’t like automatic tie-ins.)

Gator Bowl, 1/1 (SEC #6 vs Big Ten #4 or #5): Mississippi State vs Iowa (Pretty good expectations for the Bulldogs.)

Outback Bowl, 1/1 (SEC #3 or #4 vs Big Ten #3): Florida vs Nebraska (Will Muschamp makes some progress.)

Sugar Bowl, 1/2 (SEC champ or At-large BCS bid vs At-large BCS team): Alabama vs Louisville (Bama fans still remember the name of Browning Nagle.)

Cotton Bowl, 1/4 (SEC #3 or #4 vs Big 12 #2): Arkansas vs Oklahoma State (Good, but probably not good enough to land John L. Smith the full-time gig.)

BBVA Compass Bowl, 1/5 (SEC #8 or #9 vs Big East #5 or a C-USA fill-in): Auburn vs Cincinnati (Folks would start to have their doubts about Gene Chizik.)

BCS Championship Game, 1/7 (BCS #1 vs BCS #2): LSU vs Southern Cal (Tiger fans won’t have to wonder if Les Miles will play Jarrett Lee.)

 

The squads Palm doesn’t envision going bowling: Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

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SEC Headlines – 6/8/12

1.  NCAA president Mark Emmert says a report that he could leave his current post to return as chancellor at LSU is “complete nonsense.”

2.  Work begins on a new weight room at Alabama.

3.  Auburn’s summer workouts are serious business for Scot Loeffler’s new offense.

4.  The status of three suspended Arkansas footballers hasn’t changed.

5.  Razorback AD Jeff Long says photos of black football uniforms aren’t “official” and he refutes Jackie Sherrill’s assertion that the SEC has talked about pairing LSU and Texas A&M on Thanksgiving.

6.  MSU’s in-house punishment for receiver Chad Bumphis — arrested on New Year’s day for disorderly conduct and pubic drunkeness — has “been handled.”  (The charges against him have been reduced.)

7.  Two basketball players are leaving Ole Miss’ program, but in the case of Jelan Kendrick, it could be addition by subtraction.

8.  Sherrill has told one writer he does not have first-hand knowledge that talks have taken place regarding an LSU-A&M Turkey Day matchup, but his experience tells him they probably have.

9.  LSU AD Joe Alleva — like Arkansas’ Long — has dissed Sherrill as well: “Well, that’s totally wrong.  I don’t think Jackie knows what’s going on.  I don’t think he’s been at SEC meetings and I don’t think he knows what’s up.”  Zing.

10.  Florida was in the black for its Gator Bowl trip.

11.  Georgia inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti got a new perspective on life when his 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.

12.  UGA D-coordinator Todd Grantham got a raise… but he’s actually dropped to fourth on the list of SEC defensive coordinators.

13.  When it comes to Kentucky, the NBA combine is Big Blue reunion.

14.  The Sporting News calls Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes “a star in the making.”  (Stokes is a Team USA U-18 finalist.)

15.  Missouri and Texas A&M are getting ready for Season #1 in the SEC.

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SEC Headlines 1/2/2012

1. The SEC and Big Ten in three matchups today all starting at the same time. Today’s bowl schedule.

2. Florida vs. Ohio State in the Gator Bowl.  Gators say Urban Meyer represents the past.  Time to move on.

3. Gator Bowl players to watch in a game where writers and analysts agree – Florida has more to gain from a win.

4. The Gator Bowl wants to keep the SEC-Big Ten rivalry.

5. Is New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer a candidate at Florida?

6. Georgia vs. Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.” The three times Georgia had a chance to make a statement, it made the wrong one.”

7. An important day for Bulldogs running back Isaiah Crowell.  ”This will be the final chance on the field for Crowell.”

8. Mark Bradley: “All things considered, you’d rather be Georgia than Florida or Tennessee or even South Carolina today.”

9. South Carolina vs. Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.  Gamecocks wide receivers expect man-to-man coverage.

10. This time it’s different?  Gamecocks taking bowl game seriously.

11.  South Carolina’s success brings back memories of 1984.

12. Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.  He says he was “attacked with bottles.”

13. Win the ground game – win the national title.   ”Only twice in the 13-year BCS era has a team won the national title game and lost the rushing stat.”

14.  A turning point in the first Alabama-LSU matchup?  When Alabama’s Marquis Maze turned his ankle.

15. Nick Saban on LSU punter Brad Wing: ”I think that he, you could argue, (is) maybe the best punter in the country.”

16. Nine fifth-year seniors on the LSU team watched the 2008 national championship game from the sidelines in street clothes.

17. Arkansas arrives in Dallas for Friday’s Cotton Bowl.

18 Razorbacks junior running back Knile Davis is thinking about the NFL while defensive end Jake Bequette says he’ll play in the Senior Bowl.

19. Dennis Dodd on the changing landscape of college sports: “Everything you watch and hear is about to be new in the second decade of the 21st century.”

20. The Omaha World-Herald on the changing landscape of college football: During a 10-season span from 1985-94, the SEC produced one team — one! — that finished top-3 in the AP poll. The past five years, it has produced eight; all other conferences combined have seven. And that’s before LSU and Alabama finish top-3 this year.

21. John Clay on Kentucky-Louisville: “When was it conceivable that Rick Pitino could lose six of eight games to his most important rival?”

22. The Tennessee basketball team looks to stretch its winning streak to four game tonight against Chattanooga.

23. LSU faces a mirror-image team in Virginia tonight – a team on a long winning-streak that plays strong defense.

24. Auburn faces Bethune-Cookman tonight.

25. Vanderbilt is at home against Miami-Ohio.

SEC/NFL extras

26. Tim Tebow’s disappearing act. But the Broncos win even when they lose.

27. Former LSU and current Green Bay backup QB  Matt Flynn throw six touchdown passes.

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Florida Needs Bowl Win To Fend Off OSU, Meyer In Recruiting

When Urban Meyer was finally coronated at Ohio State last month, ripples quickly went out across the great sea of recruiting.  “How many players will he grab from Florida?”

The new Buckeye and old Gator coach said at his initial presser that he would mainly focus on landing good ol’ Ohio boys for the scarlet and gray, but anyone with a noggin knows that Meyer will attempt to catch a few top prospects from the Sunshine State each year.  After all, interim coach Luke Fickell has admitted as much this week:  “Outside of our 250-mile radius, (Florida’s) the next probably largest area (we recruit).  It’s great anytime we can just get exposure down here.  Obviously, you want to play well and do well.”

For Florida, that’s become awfully important, too.  Not only do the Gators need to show the local recruits that there’s hope under Will Muschamp, but they also need to make it clear to the state’s 17- and 18-year-old blue chippers that their program isn’t going to get lapped by Meyer at OSU.

Recruiting guru Tom Lemming spoke with Rachel George of The Orlando Sentinel regarding the threat Meyer poses for UF:


“Urban Meyer was the biggest name in Florida.  Everyone there knows him.  He’s won two national titles, so the kids that followed him at Florida, some of them will follow him to Ohio State, especially if he has a good showing now and hasn’t lost his magic.”


Certainly, it will be Meyer’s program on the field Monday in Jacksonville, but the coach himself will not be in attendance.  And that’s probably a safe move on the part of Meyer. 

Recruiting his first class for Ohio State — and doing so at the last minute — Meyer can still make the case to Florida prospects that the Buckeyes are going to win at big levels once again, very soon.  But if he coached in the Gator Bowl and lost head-to-head to Will Muschamp and a 6-6 UF team, his message might not be as believable.

Especially to teenagers who tend to view the world through black-or-white lenses.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines – 12/27/11

1. Here’s the latest on the recruitment of defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard from Shelby, N.C.

2. Vanderbilt’s recruiting is affecting Tennessee’s recruiting, writes John Adams of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

3. Could Florida’s appearance in the Gator Bowl help its recruiting in Jacksonville?

4. South Carolina is still in the picture for Ole Miss running back commit I’Tavius Mathers.

5. Georgia Tech is pursuing a few players targeted by SEC schools.

6. See which SEC classes are “moving and shaking” according to Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.com.

7. Illinois is a new suitor for athlete David Perkins from South Bend, Ind.

8. Will Missouri be able to recruit in the SEC?

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Meyer Says He’s Really Not Interested In The Gator Bowl

Nothing’s more important than spending time with his wife and kids.  He never wanted to coach anywhere else after wearing the orange and blue.  He wasn’t going to raid Florida’s football program for staffers.

By now, it’s become pretty clear that what Urban Meyer says and what Urban Meyer does can be two completely different things.  So prepare for the coach’s latest canard:


“I’m sure I’ll watch some (of the Gator Bowl between Florida and Ohio State).  It’s hard or me to sit and watch a whole game.  I think people are making more of it than I would.  At some point, that story is going to go away.”


Uh, yeah.  As soon as the fourth quarter ends on January 2nd in Jacksonville.  Until then, the 2012 Gator Bowl is in reality the Urban Meyer Bowl.

And if you think the head coach at Ohio State won’t be watching his new squad battle his old squad — if for no other reason than to simply gauge his new troops’ abilities against athletes he’s familiar with — then you’ve probably believed every other fabrication Meyer has spun in the past 24 months.

“I want to form my opinions after we coach them,” Meyer said of his new Buckeye players.  “It’s a great opportunity for these players to push restart.  I’m not going to develop an opinion based on this game.”

Maybe not, but the idea that he won’t be watching the game from start to finish is downright laughable.

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SEC Headlines – 12/23/11

1.  A Rob Chubb dunk with 3.9 seconds to play gave Auburn a 65-62 win over Hawaii last night in Honolulu.

2.  Nick Saban told reporters that he was scared of Santa Claus as a boy, but Tide D-lineman Damion Square thinks his coach got it backwards.  “I think Santa Claus was scared of him.”

3.  Through film study, Alabama and LSU know each other quite well.

4.  Rickey Scott awoke from his slump to lead Arkansas past Louisiana Tech 77-63.

5.  The SEC’s scheduling issues are wearing on Arkansas AD Jeff Long.

6.  With a road victory at North Texas last night, LSU has run its win streak to six games.

7.  The Tiger football team weathered off-field drama this year thanks to its “unity council.”

8.  Arnett Moultrie — a transfer from UTEP — registered his seventh double-double of the season as Mississippi State downed Northwestern State 82-67 last night.

9.  That’s 11 wins in a row for the 12-1 Bulldogs.

10.  Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway is dealing with a high ankle sprain, not a break.

11.  Hugh Freeze will be taking a page out of Ed Orgeron’s recruiting book in Oxford.  (Hopefully that doesn’t mean a 50% wash-out rate.)

12.  Florida routed Florida State 82-64 last night thanks to the Gators’ defense.

13.  It looks like six true sophomores will start for UF in the Gator Bowl.

14.  Former Georgia tailback Jasper Sanks can relate to Isaiah Crowell and he hopes he can bounce back from a rough season off the field.

15.  Mark Fox’s basketball team will be looking or its third win in a row when the Dawgs host Furman tonight.

16.  Freshman Kyle Wiltjer led a slow-to-wake Kentucky team to an 87-63 win over Loyola (MD) yesterday.

17.  This writer believes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been UK’s pre-Christmas MVP.

18.  As South Carolina wraps up the pre-Christmas portion of bowl practice, the Cocks got word that safety DJ Swearinger will return for his senior season.

19.  Left tackle Kyle Nunn might be healthy enough to play in the Capital One Bowl… but if he does he won’t be eligible for a medical hardship waiver.

20.  Five-star forward Jarnell Stokes — who committed to Tennessee yesterday — could start playing for the Vols next month if cleared by the NCAA.

21.  Cuonzo Martin wants his current Volunteers to handle ETSU’s “funky” zone tonight.

22.  Meanwhile, a UCLA commit made national news yesterday when he said ex-UT coach Bruce Pearl sent a beautiful “groupie” to recruit him to Knoxville.

23.  A pair of Vandy football players will feel right at home at next week’s Liberty Bowl.

24.  Mike Slive talks expansion, scheduling and plus-one plans for football with Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News.

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Muschamp Needs To Take A Good Look At White For OC Job

Charlie Weis may be gone to Kansas, but Will Muschamp says his offense — or something very close to it — will remain at Florida.

“We’re not going to come in here and change what we’re doing,” Muschamp told The Gainesville Sun.  “I don’t think that it’s smart to hire a guy and have 40 guys learn as opposed to one guy learning.  Obviously, will he tweak some things?  Certainly.  Will he change some things?  Maybe.”

“We’re not going to just take a playbook, throw it out the window and bring another one in.  We’ve got a young football team and I think continuity is the most important thing at this point with our football team.  That’s really the parameters I’m looking for right now.”

Weis’ offense — if it’s the same one he used in the NFL and it likely is — uses terminology that many other offenses do not.  Most college playbooks include everything under the sun at this point — spread passing plays, option running plays, Wildcat packages, etc — but it’s the verbiage involved in calling those plays that makes each offense a bit different.  And Weis’ is believed to be more unique than most.

With that in mind — and knowing that the clock is already ticking on him in Gainesville — Muschamp sounds like he’s about to make a very wise decision.  Better to teach the next offensive coordinator a new vocabulary than all the players on the offensive roster.

Further, the coach says current UF assistant and former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Brian White is a candidate to fill Weis’ shoes.  White’s handling of the Gators’ bowl work will serve as part of his evaluation, according to Muschamp.  Obviously, going with a man on the current staff would ease the transition a bit more for the Gator players.

But Muschamp said once again yesterday that he plans on talking to multiple candidates and will not make a hire until after the Gator Bowl against Ohio State.

For stability’s sake — and that’s something the coach desperately needs in Year Two — we believe Muschamp should take a long, hard, fair look at White.  Fans might not be wowed by his hiring in the short term, but if White can do the job, that’s all that will matter in the long run.

Remember, Weis was a splashy, fan-pleasing, outside hire last offseason… but Gator fans sure aren’t cutting Muschamp any slack right now because he “won the press conference” with that move.

If White can do the job, the fact that he knows the players and Weis’ offense (and its terminology) should give him a leg up on the competition.

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