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LSU And Wisconsin Hammering Out Details For Neutral Site Games

mrsec-breaking-newsLSU and Wisconsin have been working on setting up a pair of neutral-site games for themselves for the past couple of months (at least).  According to Tiger AD Joe Alleva today, those games are close to being nailed down.

As of this moment, the plan calls for one game to be played between the schools at Reliant Stadium in Houston in 2014.  Then, a second game will be played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay in either 2016, 2017 or 2018.

As CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler points out today: “Neutral-site games are trendy in part because of the payouts.  The average per-team revenue from such games among power-conference teams is roughly $3 million-$4 million, according to several administrators familiar with the process.”

Hmmm.  I seem to recall someone at this site predicting an explosion in neutral-site games way back in July of 2009.

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Packer Staff Heads To A&M For Lessons On The Read-Option From Professor Sumlin

kevin-sumlin-atm-shirt-smileGo back in time five years and the Wildcat/read-option play was considered a gimmick in the National Football League.  Today, dual-threat quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, and Colin Kaepernick are turning that gimmick into a staple of NFL attacks.

For that reason, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has decided it’s time to do some research on how to better defend read-option offenses.  And he’s turning to an SEC coach for tips.

“We’re even going to the college ranks,” the Packers head coach said.  “We’ll have a couple college coaches come in, spend time with our staff.  Actually, our defensive staff is going to take a trip to Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin is someone I have great respect for and with his ability to share from both the offensive side and defensive side his experience in the read option.  It’s something from an education, preparation standpoint that we will grow as a staff and be better prepared for in the future.”

McCarthy offered further praise for Sumlin and the Aggie program.  “Just the fact what they’ve done on offense and the ability to face it on defense all the time in the SEC.  We thought this would be a great opportunity.  We’re very thankful for him to bring our staff in.”

Think A&M officials are already printing those quotes on mailers for next year’s recruits?

There is a bit of history between Texas A&M and Green Bay.  The man who preceded Sumlin in College Station — former coach Mike Sherman — also preceded McCarthy in Green Bay.  And current Packer assistant Shawn Slocum was once an assistant at A&M where his father RC Slocum was the head coach.

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SEC In The NFL: Randall Cobb Shines In Debut

Just how good was Green Bay Packers rookie and former Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb on Thursday night in his NFL debut? How about two mistakes that both end up as touchdowns.

Cobb tied an NFL record with his third quarter 108-yard kickoff return but he broke a team rule in the process.

“If I have to take any steps back,” Cobb said, “the rule is don’t bring it out. And I did. I’m going to be in trouble for that one. I’m thinking I’m going to get chewed out. ”

Earlier in the game, Cobb was supposed to run a drag pattern – instead he ran a slant.  Result?  A 32-yard touchdown pass.

“We didn’t have off-season workouts,” said Aaron Rodgers after the game. “But surprisingly I was able to read [Cobb's] body language there and he made a nice catch and run for a touchdown.”

“I scored two touchdowns, and they were both mess-ups,” said Cobb. “They’ll go down as ‘MAs.’ Missed assignments. But my first game, it exceeded all of my expectations.”

Cobb missed most of the preseason with bruised knees. I’d bet there’s more than a few fantasy owners kicking themselves today for not drafting the Green Bay rookie.

The Packers first round pick, tackle Derek Sherrod from Mississippi State, was inactive last night.

For the Saints, former Alabama running back Mark Ingram made his pro debut in the backfield. Unfortunately for him, his most memorable carry of the night came up short.  On the game’s last play from the Packers 1-yard line and trailing by 8 points, Ingram was stopped at the goal line by a swarm of Packers defenders.

“I’ve got to get a yard,” Ingram said. “It’s goal line to win the game.”

Ingram carried the ball 13 times for 40 yards in the Saints 42-34 loss.

Former Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem scored the first touchdown of the season for the Saints on a 31-yard pass from QB Drew Brees.  Meachem finished the game with five catches for 70 yards.

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