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SEC Headlines 2/15/2013

headlines-friCoaching News

1. LSU is introducing new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.  Greg Studrawa will return to strictly focusing on the offensive line.

2. Is Alabama interested in South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott?  Steve Spurrier seems to think so. Has reportedly interviewed.

3. Elliott is a candidate along with University of Central Florida offensive line coach Brent Key.

4. Nick Saban’s first defensive coordinator at Alabama, Kevin Steele, is now the team’s Director of Player Personnel.  Looming deregulation in college football will allow him to recruit on the same level as the team’s nine coaches.

5. Alabama now lists 28 people under the heading “recruiting.”

6. Sports Illustrated on Tennessee coach Butch Jones: He “understands the importance of tapping into the resource of former players.”

SEC Football

7. Jadeveon Clowney’s mother.  ”I don’t think he has it in him to sit out. He loves to play football. I know I want him to play.” Steve Spurrier agrees.

8. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel redshirted his first year – meaning he’s eligible for the NFL draft next year. Offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney: “With the uncertainty of Johnny’s situation because of the way the NFL is going — his stock is rising.”

9. Nine quarterbacks selected for Jon Gruden’s QB Camp on ESPN.  Two of them from the SEC – Tennessee’s Tyler Bray and Tyler Wilson from Arkansas. (Some non-QB’s also will be featured – including South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel).

10. Mississippi State wants to target the tight end more this fall. Tight ends coach Tim Brewster: “I think Malcolm Johnson has a chance to truly be one of the best tight ends in the nation…”

11. Bulldogs want to find a backup to leading rusher LaDarious Perkins.

12. Ole Miss projects Jeff Scott to get 15-20 carries this fall -leaving plenty of  room for someone else to step up.

13. Auburn has two quarterbacks, three running backs and six receivers on scholarship heading into spring practice.  Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: “We do have depth issues.”

14. This preseason top 25 has Alabama at No. 1, seven SEC teams make the cut.

15. Bryant-Denny Stadium ranked No. 1 stadium experience by magazine.  SEC stadiums get six of the top 11 spots.

Crime/Legal Beat

16. The NCAA revealed its relationship with the attorney for the man at the center of the Miami investigation to lawyers in mid-January, according to That’s about a week before the NCAA went public with the information.

17. Eddie Williams, one of the four Alabama players arrested Monday, wants permission to return to his hometown while out on bond. Here’s our story from this morning on the Alabama players and Charles Barkley’s comments.

18, Harvey Updyke’s wife was asked if she knew if her husband poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn: “I’ll be honest with you, I never asked him, because I don’t want to know the answer.”

SEC Basketball

19. In light of the Nerlens Noel torn ACL, The New Yorker asks, “Is College Basketball Doomed?”

20. “Should the NBA abolish its age minimum’s? Absolutely not.”

21. With Noel out, will Tennessee go with its small lineup again tomorrow?  Cuonzo Martin after the Vanderbilt win this week: ”I felt like our best lineup is four guards.”

22. For Alabama guard Trevor Lacy, basketball wasn’t his first love.  ”Growing up, I was a football guy.”

23. Florida led the nation in three-pointers last year.  This season, they’re making almost as many. Making 38.9 percent – best in the SEC.

24. Florida goes to Auburn tomorrow where the Tigers are struggling - lost eight of their last nine SEC games.

25. Texas A&M travels to Vanderbilt Saturday.  Aggies still focused on the postseason. Elston Turner: “Ultimately our goal is to make the NCAA tournament.”

26. So did Arkansas coach Mike Anderson intentionally not wear a tie the other night at Auburn or did he forget to pack one?  ”Any other questions?”

27. Anderson will meet his old team Saturday when Missouri comes to Fayetteville: “It’s kind of like a full circle, really.”

28. Headline after last night’s LSU victory over South Carolina.


29. The battle for the future of American sports gambling.

30. That stranded Carnival cruise ship that finally docked apparently had some Arkansas fans on-board.

Woo Pig Sooie_resized

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BCS Title Game Observation 5: LSU’s Option Wasn’t

“And I’ll get on my knees and pray… We don’t get fooled again.”

The Who may have penned that line back in 1971, but obviously Nick Saban sent that same message to his team throughout bowl practice.  LSU’s option attack surprised Alabama in the team’s first matchup.  It was not going to surprise them again.

Back in November, Les Miles adjusted his offense mid-game.  Out went Jarrett Lee after tossing two picks and in came Jordan Jefferson.  With Jefferson came the option game.  The Tigers’ goal was to force the Tide’s linebackers to run from one side of the field to the other, wearing them out in the process.  It worked well enough for LSU to escape Tuscaloosa with a 9-6 overtime win.

Last night?  Not so much.  And while Jefferson didn’t do the best of jobs running said option, the Bama defense was ready for it when the Tigers called it.

On the night, Greg Studrawa called option plays on seven occasions.  The results:

1st Qtr:  RB ran up the middle on option for 3 yards
1st Qtr:  QB ran left on option for 2 yards
1st Qtr:  RB ran left on option for 0 yards
1st Qtr:  QB ran right on option for -1 yard
3rd Qtr:  RB ran right on option for -2 yards
4th Qtr:  RB ran up the middle on option for 3 yards
4th Qtr:  RB ran left on option for -3 yards

That’s seven option runs for a grand total of two yards.  Remarkably — as we mentioned earlier today — it appeared as though LSU had cooked up nothing new between November 5th and January 9th.  “Hey, the option worked last time,” appeared to be the thinking. 

Well, it sure didn’t work this time.

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Miles Talks Up His 2-QB System (With Good Reason)

Quick.  Who’s got the top-rated passing offense in the Southeastern Conference?

If you said LSU, you’re right… and you’re probably still shocked that you said LSU.  Coming into the season, Jordan Jefferson was an unpopular starter and Jarrett Lee was an unpopular backup best known for throwing seven pick-6 interceptions as a freshman.  Zach Mettenberger was the people’s choice to quarterback the Tigers.

Good thing Les Miles didn’t listen to the people.  When Jefferson ran into legal troubles, Miles didn’t hesitate to name Lee his starter.  And then senior has responded by throwing just one interception in 132 attempts.

When the charges against Jefferson were lessened, Miles immediately reinstated him to the team and got him back onto the field.  We at wondered if the return of Jefferson might negatively impact the psyche and confidence of Lee.  So far, it hasn’t.

And Miles is a happy man as a result:

“We enjoy our quarterback situation.  We’re fortunate to have two veteran quarterbacks who have both played as starters… A diversity of attack with our quarterbacks is what we want…

It’s going to give defensive coordinators issues.”

It already has.  Readers of this site know that we’re not fond of two-quarterback systems unless the two players in question are totally different types of players.  Jefferson and Lee are.  Wisely, Steve Kragthorpe and Greg Studrawa have the quarterbacks running two different types of offense.  Jefferson handles the run-heavy, option-style attack.  Lee takes care of the pro-style system which features more passing.

Defensive coordinators studying LSU don’t just have to prepare for two quarterbacks.  They have to prepare for two offenses.

Those offenses are proving to be awfully hard to stop, too.

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SEC Headlines – 10/18/11 Part Two

1.  Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley has gained maturity and perspective through the ups and downs of his career.

2.  Defensive end Corey Lemonier and Auburn’s front four are getting to the quarterback more often.

3.  Alabama players tempted to overlook Tennessee need only think back to a near upset in 2009.

4.  The Crimson Tide’s defense is probably worthy of a nickname, but how ’bout we don’t give them one?  (I would expect a nickname for a defense at a smaller program, not at a school as steeped in history as Bama.)

5.  Arkansas looks to be getting healthy just in time for old coach Houston Nutt and Ole Miss.

6.  Razorback AD Jeff Long unveiled his school’s facilities master plan today.

7.  Offensive coordinators Steve Kragthorpe and Greg Studrawa have LSU clicking on all cylinders.

8.  Jarrett Lee has been credited with another touchdown pass during last Saturday’s game with Tennessee.

9.  The Baton Rouge Police Department has now returned to Jordan Jefferson all 49 pairs of his shoes.

10.  Mississippi State’s quarterback battle might continue all season long.

11.  State’s defense has shown improvement in recent weeks.

12.  Suspensions, injuries, a dismissal… Ole Miss needs its remaining players to step up.

13.  Rebel coaches are still trying to figure out how to replace two defensive starters who were lost for the season last Saturday.

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LSU’s Chavis Says It’s Great To Be A Tiger

LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis will be starting his third season in Baton Rouge in just a few weeks.  The Tennessee alum — who won a national title running the Vols’ defense in 1998 — says a fan paid him the ultimate compliment at a summer speaking stop:

“A guy made a comment at the end of my talk, and it really made me feel great.  ‘Coach, you guys talk about the Tigers — the players and the team.  Well, we want you to know that you’re a Tiger, too.’  What a great feeling that was to hear from one of our fans.”

Chavis said that “everybody’s a Tiger” feel will also apply to Steve Kragthorpe — recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — and Greg Studrawa who will fill in as offensive coordinator.  “When you’re a Tiger, you’re a Tiger,” Chavis said.

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