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Saban’s Wife To Wall Street Journal: “This Is Where We Are Going To End Our Career”

nick-terry-sabanHey, we’ve never bought into the Nick Saban-to-Texas rumors.  Regular readers know that we’ve pretty much pooh-poohed them right into the same category as the Jon Gruden-to-anywhere/everywhere rumors.

But just for good measure, Terry Saban — wife of Nick and the woman rumored to have been checking out “vacation” properties in Austin recently — told The Wall Street Journal:


“You come to a crossroads and the expectations get so great, people get spoiled by success and there gets to be a lack of appreciation.  We’re kind of there now.”

Uh-oh.  That sounds ominous.  But asked if she’d been house-hunting in Austin, Mrs. Saban called the reports “rumors with absolutely no foundation.”  She then added:


“We’re staying.  We’re not going anywhere…

We feel more like it’s home (in Tuscaloosa), like we are a part of the community and pulling up stakes again would be difficult.

We are trying to educate ourselves, to change ourselves.  We can’t change expectations or change lack of appreciation.  We have to change our mind-set.  We have decided: This is where we are going to end our career.”


The “lack of appreciation” talk needs to stop.  Terry’s husband is the highest-paid employee in the state of Alabama and the highest-paid coach in the country.  If fans aren’t showing up for games against Georgia State and Chattanooga, there’s a simple fix — Saban shouldn’t schedule so far beneath his own weight class.

That said, it certainly sounds as though the 60-something Sabans aren’t looking to start all over again at Texas, where Mack Brown happens to be the current coach.  In fact, it sounds a whole lot more like a “You better treat us better,” leverage play by Alabama’s first couple.  And that’s not the best way to endear yourself to a fanbase.

(It’s a very interesting little article delving into the Sabans’ relationship and and how they make job decisions.)

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5-0 Alabama Beats Georgia State, 5-0 Missouri Beats Vanderbilt

Alabama 45-Georgia State 3. Video Highlights

1. Undefeated Crimson Tide blow out winless Georgia State. “It wasn’t competitive at any point.”

2. Landon Collins gets the start in place of the suspended Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Saban on Clinton-Dix: “No new information.”

3. DeAndrew White’s one-handed touchdown catch. ”I just held with my hand as tight as I could.”


Missouri 51 – Vanderbilt 28. Video Highlights

4. In its first five games, Missouri matches its win total from all of last year.  Gary Pinkel: “I think I’ve got some special guys here. I love this team.”

5. Tigers jump on Vanderbilt early – score on the first six possessions.  Quarterback James Franklin throws for 278 yards and four touchdowns.

6. Vanderbilt gives up most points since 2010.  Coach James Franklin: “That’s not what you came to see, and I apologize.”

7. In three SEC losses, Vanderbilt allowing an average of 41.7 points and 530 yards.


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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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SEC Game Previews – 10/4/13

mrsec game preview (2)Ready for Week Six of the college football season?  Or are you like us and still baffled by how quickly we’ve arrived at Week Six?

Ready or not, our weekly game previews are below, complete with opinions and stats on every contest involving an SEC squad.

Good luck to your favorite team this weekend…


Georgia State (0-4) at #1 Alabama (4-0)

TV:  12:21pm ET on SEC Network

Opening Line:  UA -56

Current Line:  UA -55

One To Watch:  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  If the first-year-in-the-FBS Panthers spring an upset in this one, it’ll be a clear sign that the end is near.

This and That:

1.  For Alabama, the month of October kicks off with a pair of major goals: Stay healthy and improve.  You don’t want to go losing key starters to injury against cupcakes like GSU, but that’s usually just about the only thing these types of games are good for.  Bama also needs to find a consistency on both offense and defense that’s been lacking so far in 2013.  Of course, Georgia State is so outmanned that no one will know if UA has improved or not.  Kudos to Alabama for playing a neutral site, non-conference game with Virginia Tech earlier in the year, but scheduling Georgia State is ridiculous.

2.  Alabama is allowing 14.5 points per game.  Georgia State is allowing 36.5.  To date the Panthers have played Samford (21-31 loss), Chattanooga (14-42 loss), West Virginia (7-41 loss), and Jacksonville State (26-32 loss in overtime).  Nuff said.

3.  The biggest challenge facing the Crimson Tide this week comes from off the gridiron.  With the news that an assistant strength and conditioning coach loaned money to safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix comes a major distraction.  Clinton-Dix, a key starter, is suspended indefinitely.  The strength coach in question is on administrative leave.  With this coming on the heels of the Yahoo! Sports report that ex-Bama player DJ Fluker was given impermissible benefits during his playing career by a runner (another ex-Bama player) on behalf of an agent (who happens to be a Bama fan), Tide fans can feel free to fret a bit.

Prediction:  Alabama 50, Georgia State 3


#6 Georgia (3-1) at Tennessee (3-2)

TV:  3:30pm ET on CBS

Opening Line:  UGA -10.5

Current Line:  UGA -10.5

One To Watch:  Georgia RB Keith Marshall.  With Todd Gurley nursing a bum ankle, his backup figures to take center stage in Knoxville tomorrow.  Vol fans should remember him.  His career-best game came against Tennessee last season (10 rushes, 164 yards, two touchdowns).

This and That:

1.  The Volunteers have to hope that UGA — on the road after an emotional win over LSU — sleepwalks into tomorrow’s ballgame.  It’s happened before.  Mark Richt’s program got smacked around by a combined 47 points in Neyland Stadium in 2007 and 2009.  Having said that, with ex-Georgia coaches John Jancek and Willie Martinez now on UT’s staff, some Bulldog veterans will likely have a little added motivation tomorrow.  And Vol quarterback Justin Worley might’ve given UGA some bulletin board material when he said of the Dawg defense: “There are holes there, but you’ve got to find ‘em and execute when opportunities are presented.”  Here’s guessing Todd Grantham has shared only the first part of that quote with his defenders.

2.  The Bulldogs could be without starting safety Tray Matthews tomorrow.  The freshman “tweaked” a hamstring in practice this week and Georgia’s defense hasn’t exactly been a impenetrable wall with him.  Take a key cog away and there might be one or two more “holes” in the Dawgs’ spotty D.

3.  Georgia has scored 35 or more points in every game this season.  Three of those games were against top 10 teams.  In case you haven’t been keeping up, Tennessee is not a top 10 team.  The Volunteers lack of depth has been exposed and Butch Jones referenced that fact this week.  Against South Alabama last week, for example, UT had two cornerbacks play every… single… snap.  The guys in the new “Smokey” gray uniforms figure to be worn down by an offense that’s just a few hundred times better than South Alabama.

Prediction:  Georgia 51, Tennessee 24


#24 Ole Miss (3-1) at Auburn (3-1)

TV:  7:00pm ET on ESPNU

Opening Line:  UM -1

Current Line:  UM -3

One To Watch:  The coaching matchup.  One was coaching high school ball earlier this decade.  His no-huddle spread attack has brought hope to his team’s fanbase.  The other was coaching high school ball earlier this decade.  And his no-huddle spread attack has brought hope to his team’s fanbase.  Well, you get the picture.  There also happens to be a pretty good friendship between Gus Malzahn and Hugh Freeze to boot.

This and That:

1.  Want an interesting stat?  Here’s one: Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace has thrown for 807 yards on the season while Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has thrown for 809.  Both starters have tossed four TD passes, too.  But there is a difference between the Rebels’ second-year starter and the Tigers’ juco transfer.  Wallace hasn’t been picked off in 2013; Marshall has thrown four INTs.  Auburn is minus-two in turnover margin on the season.  AU’s got the homefield advantage, but turning the ball over could negate that in a hurry.

2.  While the focus will be on the two similar offenses, the real difference in this one — if it isn’t turnovers — will likely be defense.  The Tigers and Rebels are within 20 yards of one another in terms of total offense per game.  But UM holds a sizable advantage in total defense allowing 358 yards per game to Auburn’s 439.5.  Both teams can move the football, but Ole Miss has been able to stop the other team on occasion, too.

3.  The Rebels need to get the focus back onto their gridiron work.  Last week, Bo Wallace flapped his gums in the run-up to the Alabama game (only to have it glued shut in a 25-zip loss).  Late this week, UM players were accused of hate speech while attending a play based on the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual.  When the Rebs stick to football, they shine a good light on their school.  When they start boasting or making news off the field — sorta/kinda like an Ole Miss hoops player we all know — they make it tougher to root for them.

Prediction:  Ole Miss 31, Auburn 30

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SEC Headlines 10/4/2013

Friday HeadlinesSEC Football

1. How much impact will Tropical Storm Karen have on the game at Auburn Saturday night? Storm weakens.

2. What’s the biggest difference right now between Auburn and Ole Miss? “Simply put, Ole Miss is more consistent.”

3. Both teams call a lot of plays – 295 for Ole Miss this year, 290 for Auburn.

4. The mystery of Kentucky’s starting quarterback.  Coaches won’t say but a source said it’s Jalen Whitlow.

5. South Carolina is a heavy favorite against Kentucky but will Steve Spurrier “try not to embarrass a Stoops”? Spurrier is common link to many Kentucky blowout losses.

6. Quarterback Tyler Murphy will make his first career start at The Swamp Saturday when Florida hosts Arkansas.

7. Javontee Herndon is Arkansas’ top receiver and a Florida native but he wasn’t recruited by the Gators out of high school.

8. Travis Dickson is a tight end for LSU.  He grew up a Mississippi State fan and is a third-generation SEC player.

9. How dominant has LSU been in this matchup?  Tigers have won 13 straight and 20 of the last 21.

10. Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is coming off a 15-tackle performance against LSU: “It’s the biggest game I’ve ever played in.”

11. Big reason why Bulldogs have won three straight?  Line of scrimmage play on both sides.

12. Will Tennessee make a bowl game this year?  MrSEC’s Josh Ward is among those with an opinion.

13. Missouri is healthy and undefeated  heading to Vanderbilt: ”Right now, we’re not taking anything for granted. Going into SEC play, we’re 0-0 and we’re just trying be 1-0.”

14. Tigers linebacker Andrew Wilson leads the team in tackles.  Thirty years ago, his father did the same for Mizzou.

15. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews: “He’s really an impact player.”

16. Alabama freshman offensive lineman Grant Hill expected to make his debut Saturday against Georgia State.

SEC/College News

17. Who are the most “volatile” fans in the SEC?  Study says it’s LSU, Ole Miss and Georgia.

18. Pat Forde on the controversy over behavior at a play on the Ole Miss campus that involved freshmen football players: “The apology is certainly welcome and needed. But there has to be action behind it.”

19. NCAA facing its third concussion lawsuit.  Helmet-manufacturer Riddell and its parent compan are also named in the suit.

20. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoades was not a happy man last night after losing to Texas.

21. A rivalry no more but a new book chronicles Missouri-Kansas battles.

Injury Reports

22. Florida guard Jon Halapio is playing with  ”80 percent tear” in his pectoral.

23. Vanderbilt kick returner Darrius Sims practiced this week with a cast on his right wrist and thumb.

SEC Basketball

24. Wendell Lewis booted from the Mississippi State basketball team. Second player removed in the past 20 days.


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USC’s Ward Won’t Rule Out A Move To Georgia State, If Offered

Darryl Slater of The Charleston Post & Courier has put two and two together.  And South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward isn’t saying that Slater hasn’t correctly arrived at four.

With Bill Curry about to retire as Georgia State’s head football coach, Slater postulates that Ward might have an interest in the job because a) he played for Curry at Alabama and b) he has a lot of recruiting ties to the Peach State.

Asked if he’d be interested in the Panthers’ job, Ward said:


“You can’t ever say ‘no’ in this business, but I have a great job.”


Well there’s a non-denial, denial.  Of course Ward would listen if GSU came calling.  The Panthers make the jump from the FCS level to the FBS next season.  The school is located in the recruiting hotbed of Atlanta and currently there are only two other FBS programs in the state — Georgia and Georgia Tech — which is why so many other schools target the talent-rich state.  Georgia State has promise based on location alone.  If South Florida and UCF can build bowl-worthy programs in a state littered with FBS programs, GSU can do likewise in Georgia.  (USF is down this year, but they’ve had success in the past.)

But even if Ward has no intentions of making such a move — if the job is even offered — the attention from Georgia State alone might help him get another raise from South Carolina.

There’s a reason “you can’t ever say ‘no’” in coaching.

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Georgia Guard Compares His Game To Bradley Beal

Our Joseph Thompson recently caught up with Georgia point guard prospect Devin Mitchell as part of his ongoing series of Q&As with potential future SEC hoopsters.

Joseph Thompson: Who is interested in you?

Devin Mitchell: Miami, Ga Tech, Alabama, Stanford,, LaSalle, Florida and UCF

JT: Do you have any offers?

DM: I have offers from UGA, Boston University, College of Charleston, Mercer, Georgia State, Tennessee Tech, Kennesaw State, UAB, and Ole Miss

JT: What teams did you grow up watching?

DM: I grew up watching a lot of Chicago Bulls tapes from the 90′s. My dad was a big fan of the Bulls and Micheal Jordan, so I always watched him. As far as the pros. I watched Kobe and Allen Iverson growing up  as well. As far as college teams, I watched Illinois in the 2004-2005  season when they had Deron Williams and Luther Head. They are my  favorite team of all time!

JT: Who would you compare your game to?

DM: I would compare my game to a bigger version of Jason Terry and  Brad Beal.

JT: What are you looking for  in a NCAA program?

DM: My first thing that look for in a school is the coaching staff. I like to play for guys that I’m comfortable with because I play my best basketball when I’m comfortable; so coaching staff is always first. Second would have to be location.

JT: Do you have a dream school?

 DM: When I was growing up I always dreamed of playing for Michigan. I guess that would be like a dream school but besides that, not really.

JT: Are you a fan of an NCAA team?

 DM: I’m really not a fan of any team because I watch so much  basketball. I like everybody. I’m more of a fan of how teams play, and how they play as teams.

JT: Do you have any visits planned?

DM: Yes, I have visits that I’ll be taking in the next couple of  weeks. I’ll be at College of Charleston, Mercer, Tennessee, UGA,  Georgia Tech,Georgia State, UAB, and hopefully UCF and Miami.

JT: Have you visited any schools?

DM:Yes, I’ve visited UGA, Georgia Tech, UAB, Georgia State, and Kennesaw State recently.

JT: You had a great summer. What are your goals for the upcoming season?

DM: My personal goal is to take Collins Hill to the state playoffs   this year and make a run while there. We haven’t been in the last 3  years and it would be special for our seniors on the team to play in a State Playoff game before they head out and our fans deserve it!

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Vols Expecting Big-Name Prospects This Weekend

Tennessee is hoping for a win against Florida this weekend to get a head start on play in the SEC.

The Vols, 2-0 this season after defeating North Carolina State and Georgia State, are confident as they prepare for the Gators. And Tennessee’s coaching staff plans to have several highly-touted recruits in attendance Saturday to see the Vols beat Florida for the first time since 2004.

Here are some notable visitors expected to visit Tennessee this weekend:

S Vonn Bell – Rossville, Ga.
DL Jason Carr – Memphis, Tenn. (Tennessee commitment)
RB Derrick Green – Richmond, Va.
RB Derrick Henry – Yulee, Fla.
S Kameron Miles – Mesquite, Texas (Tennessee commitment)
WR Marquez North – Charlotte, N.C.
ATH Jalen Reeves-Maybin – Clarksville, Tenn. (Tennessee commitment)
OL DeVondre Seymour – Suwanee, Ga.
RB A.J. Turman – Orlando, Fla.
LB Corey Vereen – Winter Garden, Fla. (Tennessee commitment)
CB Brian Walker – Charlotte, N.C.

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Tennessee And Ole Miss Move To 2-0, Vanderbilt Goes To 0-2

Tennessee 51 -Georgia State 13

1. A four-touchdown day for Vols quarterback Tyler Bray.

2. Georgia State coach Bill Curry: “Tennessee’s execution was superb in the passing game when the game was still in question…”

3. Florida up next for the Vols.  “Now let the real games begin.”

Tennessee Video Highlights

Ole Miss 28 – UTEP 10

4. Rebels 2-0 for the first time since 2009. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze: ”We should have had a lot more points. “

5. One rushing touchdown, three passing TDs for Bo Wallace.

6. Texas up next for Ole Miss and Freeze knows they need to get better. “We didn’t take care of the ball offensively and on special teams and our defense struggled on third down, but they made some big-time plays at big-time moments.”

Ole Miss Video Highlights

Northwestern 23 – Vanderbilt 13

7. Only one field-goal in seven second-half possessions for the Vanderbilt offense.

8. Just 86 yards in the second half for Vandy.  Possible competition at the QB spot?

9. Northwestern converted 5-of-10 third-down chances, Vanderbilt just 4-of-15.

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SEC Gameday – Week 2 Afternoon Affairs

Here’s your non-conference afternoon football rundown for Week 2.

East Carolina at South Carolina

1. A final decision on playing quarterback Connor Shaw won’t come until an hour before kickoff.

2. No matter who’s under center, Steve Spurrier wants an improved passing game.

3. Gamecocks tinker with the offensive line – Spurrier wants to look at more of his tackles.

Western Kentucky at Alabama

4. Week 1 launched Alabama into orbit. “Now will gravity pull the Tide back to Earth?”

5. As you might expect, no matter where you look – Alabama has the advantage.

6. The only thing that may slow down the Tide?  The weather.

Georgia State at Tennessee

7. What can Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson do for an encore? “Oh, he can get a lot better — a lot better,”

8. A focus on the basics – Tennessee wants to see better blocking and fewer missed assignments.

9. Give the edge to Tennessee at every spot as the Vols try to go to 2-0 and prepare for Florida.

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