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Jay Woods Commits To Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt’s class of 2013 received a boost on Thursday when defensive tackle Jay Woods from Jackson (Ga.) High School committed to the Commodores.

Woods chose Vanderbilt over Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Clemson and Georgia Tech. It was an unofficial trip to Nashville that helped put the Commodores on top for Woods.

“When I went up there for my visit, I was like … ‘Woah,’” Woods told 247Sports. “Coach Franklin came in a day early from his vacation just to see me, and I felt like it was home. You have the best of both worlds at Vanderbilt. You got a prestigious college in academics and you’re playing SEC football.”

Woods’ commitment helped Vanderbilt’s standing among SEC schools in the 2013 class. The Commodores moved up to No. 8 in the SEC – No. 18 overall – in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings.

Vanderbilt has 20 commitments for the class of 2013.

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Jay Woods Set To Announce; Will He?

Defensive tackle Jay Woods from Jackson (Ga.) High School is expected to announce his decision today.

Georgia has been considered the leader for Woods, who said this week he’s also considering Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Clemson and Georgia Tech. But Jake Rowe of UGASports.com reported Wednesday night that Missouri and Clemson could be making a late push for Woods, who might even decide to postpone his announcement.

Georgia was a late entry into the race for Woods, who’s considered the nation’s No. 15 defensive tackle by ESPNU. Will Missouri or Clemson make a late pass before the finish line? We should find out today.

UPDATE: Woods is still expected to announce his decision this afternoon at 4:30 eastern time, according to JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.

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Jay Woods To Announce Decision

Defensive tackle Jay Woods from Jackson (Ga.) High School plans to announce his decision on Thursday.

“I will be making my college decision on Thursday after my walk through practice,” Woods wrote on Facebook.

His list of schools includes Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Woods hinted earlier this month that a decision could be coming soon.

“I want to get it out of the way so I can focus on the season,” he told Rivals on Aug. 1.

Woods is ranked the nation’s No. 24 defensive tackle by Rivals.

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Reeves-Maybin To Announce Decision

Athlete from Jalen Reeves-Maybin from Northeast High School will announce his decision Friday afternoon at 1:30 central time.

Reeves-Maybin is considering five schools: Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and Louisville. The decision is expected to come down to Ole Miss and Tennessee.

Reeves-Maybin’s recruitment could still continue after he makes his commitment. He told 247Sports this week he will likely take official visits this fall even after he commits to a school.

“I wouldn’t say over with, but I’ll be solid for sure,” Reeves-Maybin said. “I will be pretty solid. I may still visit two or three different places, but it will pretty much be solid.”

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Cameron Sutton chooses Tennessee

Tennessee has received a commitment from cornerback Cameron Sutton from Jonesboro (Ga.) High School.

He gave his pledge during a visit to Knoxville with his parents on Tuesday.

“I remember my first time I came here, out of all the schools I visited this is the one place where I just came home to my parents and was like, ‘Mom and dad, this is where I see myself,’” Sutton told Volquest.com. “And this time they got a chance to see for themselves and witness for their own eyes.”

Sutton’s scholarship offers included Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley helped give Tennessee and edge in its recruitment of Sutton.

“Strong relationship,” Sutton said. “We talk on a consistent basis, more than once a week, maybe twice, three times. Now that I committed and coming here in the near future it’s going to get stronger.”

Sutton’s commitment gave Tennessee a stronger standing in the team recruiting rankings for 2013.

The Vols have the nation’s No. 17 class in the Rivals ranking – tied with Vanderbilt for eighth best in the SEC. The Vols are ranked No. 20 in the nation by 247Sports, which is ninth best among SEC teams.

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The 50 Best SEC Games To Watch In 2012: 10-1

All week we’ve been counting down the 50 SEC games that this writer is most interested in watching this fall.  It hasn’t been a pure countdown as we’ve done things week-by-week… and if you want a full breakdown on how/why games were chosen, you can scroll back on our homepage and read Part One of the series.

But as it shakes out, our final 10 games are the final 10 games scheduled for the SEC’s regular season.  Perfect.

Here’s how those games stack up in yours truly’s eyes:

 

Week Thirteen (weekend of November 24th)

10.  Vanderbilt at Wake Forest — A meeting of these two fine universities’ teams has become an annual affair.  By this point, James Franklin’s reputation will have either fallen back to earth a bit… or he’ll be mentioned in connection with jobs all over the place.

9.  Missouri at Texas A&M — Scheduling oddity: Mizzou will be traveling to College Station for the third-straight year and looking for its third-straight win.  Unfortunately, this one will probably still feel more like a Big 12 game than an SEC contest.

8.  Mississippi State at Ole Miss — Dan Mullen has owned Ole Miss since he arrived in Starkville and he’s been happy to let everyone know it.  Can Hugh Freeze pull a surprise upset in his first season and recapture the The Golden Egg?

7.  Kentucky at Tennessee — It’s entirely possible that one or both of the coaches in this game will be coaching for his job.  After snapping a 26-year losing streak to the Vols last fall, can the Cats actually start a streak of their own?

6.  Georgia at Georgia Tech — When it comes to “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate,” anything can happen.  But with Mark Richt’s buyout dropping and expectations rising, UGA’s coach needs step on the Insects from the Institute (hat tip to the late, great “Leonard Postosties.”)

5.  South Carolina at Clemson — This classic rival could be even more heated than usual after Dabo Swinney’s December rant claiming that USC is “never going to be Clemson” regardless of its current three-game win streak.  “My kids’ grandkids won’t live long enough to ever see this really become a rivalry,” he said.  Game on.

4.  Florida at Florida State — Two ex-Nick Saban assistants who both left their fans feeling a bit disappointed last season will meet up in Tallahassee.  So which team’s fans will feel better about their future after this game?

3.  Auburn at Alabama — The Iron Bowl.  Enough said.

2.  LSU at Arkansas — It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and this clash between the Hogs and Tigers could decide — or help decide — who goes to Atlanta from the SEC West.  Also, if you believe Jackie Sherrill, this could be one of the last times these teams meet so late in the season.

 

Week Fourteen (weekend of December 1st)

1.  The SEC Championship Game — Well, duh.  Expect the favorite in Atlanta to be right in thick of the national championship picture at kickoff time.

 

If you want to see the SEC’s complete grid schedule, click right here.

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Vandy’s Recruiting Momentum Swings To 2014

Defensive tackle Jashon Robertson needed little time to make a decision when he received a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on Tuesday.

“He told me that they were going to offer me and everything,” Robertson told VandySports.com, “so I stepped outside and called my mom and came back in and told them I was going to Vandy. They went wild.”

Robertson, a 2014 prospect from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tenn., received the offer after attending Vanderbilt’s camp last weekend. He’s the first commitment for the Commodores’ 2014 class.

Robertson’s pledge comes on the heels of Vanderbilt picking up four 2012 commitments in four days. That group includes Macon, Ga., linebacker Nigel Bowden, who originally committed to the Commodores before briefly switching to Georgia Tech.

Bowden ultimately decided his relationship with Vanderbilt’s coaches and recruits was too strong.

“We’re all ready to come together as a team,” Bowden told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Linebacker Mustafaa Commits To Georgia

Linebacker Naim Mustafaa knew he wanted to commit to Georgia when he visited Athens on Saturday.

“I made my decision about a week ago; I just had to come down to Georgia and tell them face to face,” Mustafaa told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It just came down to where I wanted to be, really. Georgia Tech and Georgia are both great schools. I had to choose one.”

Mustafaa is Georgia’s 30th commitment for the class of 2013.

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How The Five Major Conferences Handle Football Scheduling

Since the SEC Meetings ended on Friday, we’ve been hit with a wave emailed questions — and some in our comment boxes, too — regarding the football schedule formats of the SEC and the other four major conferences.  Below is a simplified look at how everyone else handles their business:

 

ACC – 14 schools

* When the league expands to 14 with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, it will adopt a nine-game conference schedule.  At minimum, each school will play nine BCS-level foes per year with some schools (Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State) facing a guaranteed 10 BCS teams per season via in-state rivalries.

* There will be seven schools in each division.

Atlantic Division: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, NC State, Syracuse, Wake Forest

Coastal Division: Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech

* Each school will play six division opponents, a “primary partner” or permanent cross-division rival, and two rotating cross-division foes per season.  This is the 6-1-2 format that we at MrSEC.com suggested for the SEC last fall.

* Cross-division “primary partners” will be: Boston College-Virginia Tech, Clemson-Georgia Tech, Duke-Wake Forest, Maryland-Virginia, Miami-Florida State, NC State-North Carolina, and Pittsburgh-Syracuse.

 

Big Ten – 12 schools

* The Big Ten was going to go to a nine-game conference schedule until reaching an agreement with the Pac-12 that will lock-in a Big Ten/Pac-12 crossover game for every Big Ten foe each year.  This guarantees that each Big Ten school will face a minimum of nine BCS-level foes per season while a school like  Michigan, for example, will play a 10th BCS foe every year via a non-conference rivalry (with Notre Dame, in Michigan’s case).

* There are currently six teams in each division.

Legends Division: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

Leaders Division: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

* Each school plays its five division opponents, one permanent cross-division rival, and two rotating cross-division foe per season.  This is a 5-1-2 format. (Corrected from an earlier post that said 6-1-1.  Obviously, it’s 5-1-2.  Mistype on the writer’s part.)

* Yearly cross-division rivals are: Illinois-Northwestern, Indiana-Michigan State, Iowa-Purdue, Michigan-Ohio State, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Nebraska-and Penn State.

 

Pac-12 – 12 schools

* Pac-12 schools play a nine-game conference schedule and — as mentioned above — they will also play non-conference games against Big Ten foes each year to bring their guaranteed number of BCS-level foes to 10 per school, per year.  Still, a school like Southern Cal, for example, will continue to play annual non-conference opponent Notre Dame, which means that 11 of the Trojans’ 12 games every season will come against BCS-level competition.

* There are six teams in each division.

North Division: California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State

South Division: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Southern Cal, UCLA, Utah

* Each school plays its five division opponents and four rotating cross-divisional foes per season.  This is a 5-4 plan.  There are no permanent crossover games in the Pac-12… which is a product of the simple nature of the league’s North/South split and its natural rivalries.  (There are guarantees that teams will play California schools each year — for recruiting purposes — but it’s too complicated to go into here.  If you want a look at the rotation through 2018, check here.)

 

Big 12 – 10 Schools

* The 10 Big 12 members play a nine-game, full round-robin slate each year.

* There are no divisions.

* That is all.

 

SEC – 14 Schools

* SEC schools will play an eight-game conference schedule each season, meaning — at minimum — SEC members will face eight BCS-level foes per season.  Some schools (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) will play a ninth guaranteed BCS-level foe thanks to annual in-state rivalries.

* There are seven teams in each division.

East Division: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

West Division: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Texas A&M

* As agreed upon last Friday, each school will play its six divisional rivals annually, plus one permanent cross-division rival and one rotating cross-divisional foe.  This is known as the 6-1-1 plan.  Even though the rotation of cross-division foes will now be done yearly — guaranteeing that schools will meet at least once every six years — this plan still prevents cross-divisional rotating opponents from visiting one another more than once every 12 seasons.

* Permanent cross-divisional foes are: Alabama-Tennessee, Arkansas-Missouri, Auburn-Georgia, Florida-LSU, Kentucky-Mississippi State, Ole Miss-Vanderbilt, and South Carolina-Texas A&M.

 

We at MrSEC.com have previously suggested that the SEC and ACC create an agreement — mimicking the Big Ten/Pac-12 — that would pit each of the 14 schools from one league against one of 14 schools from the other.  From an SEC standpoint — four league schools are already playing yearly rivalries with ACC schools (Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, South Carolina-Clemson, and Vanderbilt-Wake Forest in recent years) and this would prevent rival leagues, rival fans and media members from the North, East and West from attacking the SEC for being the only major conference not requiring its members to play at least nine BCS-level foes per year.

From an ACC perspective, a partnership with the SEC could bring in extra advertising revenue through an umbrella sponsorship and it might also help solidify the league as a major player moving forward, thus fending off possible school departures or even the total collapse of the conference.

We’ve tried to draw up examples of how such a year-in, year-out agreement might work in this post, but these are only examples of who could play in a given year and where.  Anyone judging the plan on who’s playing who and where they’re playing in our sample mock-up is completely missing the point.

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Bowden No Longer Committed To Vanderbilt

Linebacker Nigel Bowden from Macon (Ga.) Central High School switched his commitment from Vanderbilt to Georgia Tech during a visit to the school’s campus on Friday.

“I’ve been thinking about Georgia Tech for a while,” Bowden told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was always between those two, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. I switched because I always wanted to play for my home state school. Plus, my mother always wanted me to go to Georgia Tech. My family can go to all of the games.”

Vanderbilt’s coaching staff can continue to recruit Bowden but it’s not likely to do the Commodores any good. Bowden, who told the AJC at the time of the interview that he hadn’t been able to reach Vanderbilt’s coaches, expects coach James Franklin to be unhappy with Bowden’s decision.

“They are probably going to come after me to get me to commit to them again,” Bowden said. “Overall, Vanderbilt is a great school, but Georgia Tech is where I want to be.”

Of course, many SEC fans will wonder if Bowden is among the “men of honor” Franklin is recruiting to Vanderbilt.

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