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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 10/5/2013

gameday-links-150x150Georgia State at Alabama

1. This will be the earliest the Crimson Tide kick off this season.

2. With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix suspended, Landon Collins and Geno Smith will get the chance to play free safety.

3. Best thing about being a 55-point favorite?  Likely to be plenty of opportunities for younger players to see the field.

Georgia at Tennessee

4. How will a Tennessee secondary that starts two sophomores and a freshman matchup against Aaron Murray?

5. The guys catching Murray’s passes are impressive as well - four players have at least 10 receptions this year.

6. Tennessee will be in their “Smokey” gray uniforms.  Last time Vols beat a ranked team?  When they wore alternate jerseys against South Carolina in 2009.

7. Today’s uniforms are one of several tweaks Tennessee has made to its uniforms in the past 20 years.

8. “Dare we believe that Verne and Gary will get through an SEC telecast without butchering Butch Jones (for some reason they think Butch Davis coaches the Vols)…”

9. Safety Tray Matthews out for Georgia. Running back Todd Gurley made the trip – bothered by a sprained ankle.

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Alabama Suspends S Clinton-Dix For Violating Team Rules

Clinton-DixWell, I guess you could say violating a team rule at Alabama is no laughing matter.  That’s because starting safety HaHa Clinton-Dix has been suspended indefinitely due to just such an infraction.

Nick Saban broke the news yesterday afternoon, though he refused to go into specifics:

 

“I’m going to be consistent.  When guys get suspended, I never ever say what it’s for.  All right?  So I’m not going there, so don’t ask me.  It’s the way it always happens.  Every guy.

If they do right, they wouldn’t be getting suspended.  I don’t know for how long this will be, so don’t ask me that either.  That’s the only new news we have right now.”

 

OK, got it.

Clinton-Dix is a key member of an Alabama defense that’s had its ups and downs in 2013.  He’s expected to be a first-round NFL draft pick should the junior leave after the season.  He led Alabama with five INTs last year.

A cynical man might point out that Alabama faces lowly Georgia State this week with a visit to bottom-of-the-East-Division Kentucky to follow.  Either way, the loss of Clinton-Dix leaves a large hole in Bama’s secondary.  Saban said that sophomores Landon Collins and Geno Smith will attempt to fill that hole until Clinton-Dix returns.

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Wow Headlines 8/21/2013

SEC releases 2014 schedule…follows same 6-1–1 format with one permanent opponent and one rotating from the opposite division…
Texas A&M and LSU will meet Thanksgiving night in 2014
Kentucky-Louisville football game moving to season finale in 2014
Kentucky quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow are both expected to play against Western Kentucky…Patrick Towles may redshirt
Alabama sophomore cornerback Geno Smith suspended for one game for DUI arrest
South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington could miss the opener against North Carolina…battling hamstring injury
Gamecocks announce running back Mike Davis will get the start in the opener
Georgia now has seven defensive backs on the injured list
Follow SEC news year-round at MrSEC and on Twitter at Twitter.com/mrsec

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Alabama Cornerback Geno Smith Arrested For DUI

mrsec-breaking-newsAlabama sophomore cornerback Geno Smith was arrested early Sunday morning for driving under the influence.  His bond was set $1,000.

As a freshman, Smith appeared in 13 games and had nine tackles. He was a four-star recruit coming out of suburban Atlanta.

Smith is the first Alabama player arrested since February when four players were involved in multiple robbery incidents and credit credit card fraud and were eventually dismissed from the team.

 

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SEC Headlines 12/8/2012

Coaching News & Rumors

1. Butch Jones and Derek Dooley will cost Tennessee about $17 million through 2017.

2. In less than a week, Jones turned down Purdue, rejected Colorado and accepted the Tennessee offer.

3. “If you didn’t know better, you’d think Jones had hired Crash Davis to prep him for his introductory press conference.”

4. The hiring of Butch Jones at Tennessee fuels speculation about the future of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and possible interest by Missouri.

5. Wherever Auburn assistant coach Trooper Taylor winds up, a highly-regarded recruit may follow.

6. Salaries for Auburn coordinators – Ellis Johnson will make $800,000, Rhett Lashlee will make $350,000.

7. Nick Saban’s wife Terry on their relationship with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart: ”He’s like a baby to us, like a son. We’ve had similar relationships with Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, Derek Dooley, Todd Grantham.”

8. Dan Mullen is now the fifth-longest tenured coach in the SEC.“Pretty sweet isn’t it? How about that, I’m only 40.”

9. Bobby Hebert on Les Miles:  “I’ve never seen a coach with that much success and not have a lot of fan base not being on board.”

10. Barry Alverez is stepping into the void left at Wisconsin when Bret Bielema left for Arkansas and will collect about $217,000 for his efforts. “”I’m not doing it for free,”

11. Willie Taggart is leaving Western Kentucky – he’s the new coach at South Florida.

12. Bobby Petrino gaining momentum at Arkansas State?

***Update*** Tommy Tuberville to Cincinnati?

Honors/Awards

13. Doug Flutie on Johnny Manziel: “I love watching him. He reminds me of myself.”

14. More than 20 cease-and-desist letters and more than 1,900 items available on eBay.  With the Heisman Trophy ceremonies tonight, the business of Johnny Football is booming.

15. Johnny Manziel on getting to know Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o: “I thought he might stuff me in a locker and beat up on me a little bit,”

16. What’s a Heisman worth?  Robert Griffin III winning it last year gave Baylor an estimated $250 million boost.

17. How quickly things can change.  Halfway through the season, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was a Heisman favorite.

 SEC/College News

18. Mark Richt on his bowl game opponent: “I grew up a Nebraska fan.”

19. Even though LSU went 10-2, the 2012 season was a rebuilding one, thanks to injuries and suspensions. 38 starts by freshmen this year.

20. Three Mississippi State players, offensive guard Gabe Jackson, running back LaDarius Perkins and safety Nickoe Whitley have filed paperwork to the NFL board.

21. John Adams: “UT might be a top-20 program based on its tradition, facilities and fan base. But it’s not a top-20 program today.”

22. An impressive freshman season for Alabama cornerback Geno Smith.

23. Photographs at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the University of Kentucky.

24. Where will the first championship game of college football’s playoff era be held?  Looking like Dallas.

25. ESPN’s 30 for 30 film “You Don’t Know Bo” is “inspirational and uplifting.”

SEC Basketball

26. South Carolina 91 – Jacksonville 74. Four players reach double-figures for the 6-3 Gamecocks.

27. Coach Frank Martin on Bruce Ellington: “He doesn’t like losing.”

28. Ole Miss at Middle Tennessee State.  Undefeated Rebels go on the road for the first time this year.

29. Forward Jason Carter dismissed from Rebels team.

30. LSU point guard Anthony Hickey suspended indefinitely.

31. Could “Camp Cal” be the spark that Kentucky needs? John Calipari: “I’ve gone back to more roughhouse practices, which I normally don’t like to do.”

32. Tennessee State at Missouri.  Guard Keion Bell is playing better coming off the bench.

Extra

33. Professional leagues and the NCAA are trying to prevent sports gambling in New Jersey.

34. The musket is no prop.  West Virginia Mountaineer mascot kills a black bear and WVU officials aren’t happy about it.

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Could Tennessee Have Landed Geno Smith?

Alabama landed a highly-touted recruit last August when cornerback Geno Smith from St. Pius X High School in Atlanta committed to the Crimson Tide.

Smith, who signed with Alabama in February, chose the Tide over such schools as Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas and Southern California.

Alabama should be thankful it didn’t have to beat out Tennessee for Smith’s services. That’s because in a Q&A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith revealed a secret about his recruitment.

“I really liked Tennessee,” Smith said. “All my junior year, I would come home and play ‘Rocky Top’ on YouTube and then hit repeat.”

That kind of interest could have given Tennessee an advantage in its recruitment of Smith. That’s why he told the AJC his biggest disappointment from the recruiting process was the lack of communication from the Vols.

“A coaching change happened with whomever recruited my area during my junior year,” Smith said. “I didn’t know who was recruiting me until later that spring. By that time, I was like, ‘OK, we’re going to shift it to Alabama and Auburn.’”

The coaching change Smith referenced involved former defensive line coach Chuck Smith, who left Derek Dooley’s staff following the 2010 season. It’s unclear who on the staff was responsible for recruiting Smith during the spring of his junior year.

It’s puzzling why Tennessee would be slow to recruit Smith, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 cornerback and 31st overall prospect in the 2012 class by ESPNU. Atlanta, which is less than a four-hour drive from Tennessee’s Knoxville campus, is also a city of focus in recruiting for the Vols.

It’s possible Smith wasn’t ranked as highly on Tennessee’s board as most other schools, although that would be surprising. There’s also no guarantee Smith would have signed with the Vols even if they had begun to recruit him earlier in the process.

But there’s a reason Smith was disappointed in the slow recruitment from Tennessee. Vols fans will likely join him in that frustration.

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247Sports Updates Its Team Rankings

Alabama is battling Texas for the top recruiting class for 2012, according to 247Sports.com.

Texas is currently ranked No. 1 in the updated class ranking by 247Sports. Alabama is second, followed by Michigan, Florida and Texas A&M.

Alabama’s top ranked prospects according to 247Sports include athlete Eddie Williams, wide receiver Chris Black and cornerback Geno Smith.

There are nine SEC schools ranked inside the top 25 (including Texas A&M).

1. Alabama
4. Florida
5. Texas A&M
7. LSU
10. South Carolina
11. Auburn
15. Tennessee
19. Arkansas
22. Georgia

247Sports has already started to rank the class of 2013. The top four looks good for the SEC.

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Auburn
4. Texas A&M

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Geno Smith Chooses Alabama

Highly-touted cornerback Geno Smith announced his commitment to Alabama on Wednesday afternoon.

Smith, who chose Alabama over rival Auburn, is considered the nation’s second-best cornerback in the nation by ESPN.com.

“Everything kind of came together when I went there for my last unofficial visit,” Smith said of Alabama. “It’s the place where I felt the most comfortable. I love the players there and they all had nothing but great things to say about the school. Plus, they have a really good broadcasting/communications department.”

Smith is Alabama’s 17th commitment for Alabama’s class of 2012. He’s the second highly-touted player to choose Alabama this month, joining wide receiver Chris Black from Jacksonville, Fla.

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Bama Leads For Atlanta CB Smith

Atlanta cornerback Geno Smith — the #1 prospect in the state of Georgia for 2012 — said last weekend that Alabama is his current “leader.”

“I really like a couple of their assistants, and I have had some great conversations with (Nick Saban),” Smith told The AJC.  “I feel like my relationship with Alabama has grown a lot stronger.  I’ve been liking them for the last couple of weeks, or maybe even a little longer than that.  They push you hard and make you the best you can be.”

We noted yesterday that TJ Holloman — Smith’s teammate — has committed to South Carolina and says he will try to recruit Smith to Columbia.

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