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Wow Headlines 5/24/2013

Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity on possible nine-game conference schedule…
“At the end of the day, the presidents will decide, like everything else in the conference”
Georgia approves $93 million athletic department budget that includes more than $1 million for improvements at Sanford Stadium
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Alabama’s 2012 season: “Should have lost three games”…
Meyer on Florida’s 2008 team: “As good or better than any team to ever play college football”
Vanderbilt’s basketball team will play in Greece and Italy this summer
SEC spring meetings set for next week in Destin, Florida
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SEC Headlines 8/15/2012

SEC West Football

1. Tyrann Mathieu’s impact at LSU: “One of the jarring disconnects from the 2011 season was how important Mathieu was to LSU during the other 12 games on the schedule and how irrelevant he was in the two Alabama games.”

2. Even without Mathieu, the Tigers “have everything in place to win it all.”

3. Expect LSU’s tight ends to play an expanded role in the offense this year. Tigers move a tailback to wide receiver.

4. The Texas A&M quarterback job is up for grabs – and it involves not two but three players.

5. Full contact for Knile Davis?  Probably not until its absolutely necessary.

6. 27 secondary violations in the Alabama athletic department over the past year – 11 of them were impermissible text messages.

7. Nick Saban on Michigan’s quarterback: “Denard Robinson is one of the most explosive players in college football.”

8. Virginia vs Auburn in 2015? –  “nothing in place.”

9.The scouting report on Auburn’s Jay Prosch? “He’s a fantastic fullback.”

10. Tigers offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler on freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace: “He’s got tremendous ‘it’ factor. He’s a winner. He’s going to help Auburn.”

11. Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley ruptured his achilles tendon last fall. “But I’m back full speed now.”

12. Tough Tuesday at Ole Miss - “leadership was lacking.”

SEC East Football

13. What’s the relationship like between Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and quarterback Tyler Bray? “We haven’t been yelling at each other as much lately.”

14. Tennessee special teams coach Charlie Coiner on strategy and the new kickoff rules: ”Do you have a [kicker] that can bang it out, or do you want to kick it up there and try to let it drop inside the 5 and see what they’re going to do with it?”

15. Is there one thing Will Muschamp worries about the most? “I don’t know if there is one thing I could say. How much time you got?”

16. Biggest freshman buzz at Vanderbilt? Running back Brian Kimbrow.

17. Mizzou cornerback E.J. Gaines on the challenges of the SEC: “It’s like I’m a freshman coming into a new conference.”

18. Jeff Schultz: “Missouri coach Gary Pinkel seems to be getting a little paranoid before his first SEC game against Georgia.”

19. With Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome, Georgia looks to have another talented duo at tight end.

20. Punter Tyler Hull has only been in Columbia a week, but he’s the likely starter for South Carolina.

SEC Basketball

21. Tigers slay the Dragons.  Missouri gets its third European victory.

22. Tennessee says goodbye to Italy with a 109-59 victory. Vols go 4-0 on their European journey.

23. After beating Lithuania, Arkansas heads to Rome for a game on Friday.

24. Razorbacks on-campus schedule – best in years?

SEC/College News

25. With only 1.5 percent of the nation’s population, how does the state of Alabama manage to win three straight BCS titles?

26. Three of the most expensive tickets in college football this fall feature Alabama games. Average SEC Ticket price – $139.71 - highest in the country.

27. Mike Herndon – “Always, the focus is clear: Get the kid qualified.”

28. USC coach Lane Kiffin on the challenges of scholarship reduction: ”We signed a kicker, a punter and a snapper so that we wouldn’t have to for the next four years.”

29. Here’s something you’d never read about in the SEC.  What’s the buzz in California over the new Pac-12 TV network? “Put simply, not enough folks in the Bay Area and California care deeply about local college sports.”

30. The man responsible for all college programming at CBS is now the Big East commissioner.

31. Your in-studio analysts for the CBS Sports Network – Houston Nutt and Ron Zook.

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SEC Headlines – 8/10/12

Looks like it’s gonna be a headlines-only kind of day.  My apologies.


1.  Alabama freshman receiver Chris Black will miss 3-4 months after shoulder surgery.

2. The passing skills of Tide quarterback AJ McCarron are underrated.

3.  The competition is heating up for Auburn’s safeties.

4.  Arkansas “unafraid” defense took a step forward yesterday.

5.  Hog hoopster Marshawn Powell has been cleared to return from injury during UA’s tour of Italy.

6.  It’s lonely at the top, but LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis likes it that way.

7.  That’s not a bowling ball, it’s MSU running back Josh Robinson.

8. Bulldog quarterback Tyler Russell could break a lot of the Bulldogs’ passing records.

9.  Ole Miss’ freshmen are taking baby steps.

10.  Christine Michael leads a talented stable of running backs at Texas A&M.

11.  Florida’s got quite a battle raging at cornerback.

12.  Redshirt freshman receiver Ja’Juan Story — a once highy-sought after recruit — will transfer from UF.

13.  Georgia freshman kicker and freshman punter have big shoes to fill.

14.  Joker Phillips is in a bind when it comes to true freshman Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles.

15.’s Jeff Goodman says that John Calipari once tried to get him fired.

16.  South Carolina’s got playing time available at wide receiver, behind Ace Sanders.

17.  Linebacker depth is a concern for Tennessee.

18.  While their new football complex is being finished in Knoxville, the Vol team heads off campus for a week of NFL-style camp.

19.  Vanderbilt’s new video board is in place at Dudley Field.

20.  For the first time, Missouri has sold out its season-ticket allotment and Gary Pinkel has praise for those doing the buying.

21.  Help is on the way for the Tigers’ banged-up offensive line.

A final sidenote…

22.  Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips has announced he’s retiring.  (So I guess now that FSU/Clemson “done deal” to the Big XII thing can be announced.  We’re still waiting for a couple of Big XII fans to return and apologize — as they promised they would — for ripping us when we called those initial rumors nonsense.)

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SEC Headlines – 4/4/12

1.  Athlon Magazine has ranked the SEC’s football coaches from Nick Saban down through Joker Phillips.  (Interestingly, James Franklin ranks ahead of Gene Chizik and Dan Mullen is ranked ahead of Les Miles.  Plenty of red meat for you.)

2.  Everyone wants to change the NCAA/NBA’s one-and-done policy… except for the players’ union.

3.  Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley was throwing the ball at practice this morning.

4.  Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron says the Tide has enough leadership to avoid a 2010-style backslide after UA’s most recent BCS crown.

5.  Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said of his brother’s quick return to practice after a motorcycle injury: “He’s a Petrino… tough.”

6.  The coach’s helmetless accident could help save lives in the long run.

7.  Juco transfers are giving MSU help on its offensive line.

8.  Bulldog hoopster Rodney Hood told new coach Rick Ray — according to the coach — after his first day, “Coach, that’s the hardest workout I’ve ever had.”

9.  Receiver Tobias Singleton could be moving to running back at Ole Miss.

10.  The tempo has increased at Texas A&M as this video will attest.

11.  Total sidenote here, but if you want to feel old, check out what the Astrodome looks like these days.  (Bottom gallery.  It’s like the History Channel’s “Life After People” series.)

12.  For the second year in a row, Florida’s spring game won’t actually be a game.

13.  Georgia’s D-line is providing hope and stability (while the secondary’s in a shambolic state).

14.  Freshman tailback Keith Marshall will be “a very important piece” of UGA’s offense once he returns from a hamstring injury.

15.  The President made the traditional post-championship phone call, this time to Kentucky.

16.  But a violent post-game celebration on Monday night marred UK’s victory.  (One gunshot victim had to have his foot amputated.)

17.  Thankfully, yesterday’s banner-raising at Rupp Arena went a lot more smoothly.

18.  And Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart enjoyed the heck out of it.

19.  Frank Martin has announced his first South Carolina coaching staff.

20.  Despite spring struggles, Connor Shaw is locked in as the Cocks’ starting quarterback.

21.  Tennessee’s basketball team will play four games in Italy this summer… and Jeronne Maymon should be back from knee surgery by then.

22.  Prentiss Waggner is the leader of the Volunteers’ secondary.

23.  Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins is 50-50 on whether to jump to the NBA or return for his senior year.  (The deadline for college players is next Tuesday.)

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Demps To Meet With Muschamp Today’s Joe Schad believes Jeff Demps is back from Italy and ready to meet with Florida’s football coach:

“Within the last few minutes I was informed that Demps is expected to meet with Florida coach Will Muschamp — he’s back from Italy — later today and that every indication is that Demps plans to tell Muschamp that he does plan to play football this season.”

Demps was the Gators’ top rusher last season.

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Muschamp At The Podium

Here’s a rundown of Florida coach Will Muschamp’s comments:

* Muschamp seems comfortable and at ease.  Some new coaches seem a little spooked by the massive throng of media they face in Hoover.  Not Muschamp.

* “It’s an exciting time to be a football coach.  We’re all undefeated.  We haven’t made any poor decisions on third down and that sort of thing,” Muschamp joked.

* Muschamp said Urban Meyer has been “first class” and that the new coach has listened to the old coach’s advice “more than anyone else.”

* UF’s coach said the “most important hire” for any coach is his strength coach.  “He’s the one that’s gonna convey that message every day, the toughness, all the things you want done.”  Muschamp said Mickey Marotti — a holdover from Meyer’s staff — “does it at a high level.”

* Muschamp said he is concerned about his team’s depth.

* Muschamp is speaking faster and faster.  Maybe he’s not as comfortable as he initially appeared to be. 

* “We’ve got close to 40 years of NFL experience (on our staff).  I thought that was important.”  Muschamp said he didn’t want NFL scouts having to “project” how players would play in the NFL coming out of his system… he wanted them to see his players in an pro-style system. 

* Jeff Demps is currently running track with the US national team in Italy.

* Asked if it’s tough to make changes at a program that has had a great amount of success, the coach said: “I think more than anything that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  And Urban did a phenomenal job.  He and the staff did some great things that we’re gonna continue to do.  There’s things that were very good at Florida.  Why change them if they’re working?  But obviously from a scheme standpoint we feel differently defensively, do a little different offensively, special teams there’ll be a lot of continuity. … But if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  Don’t just change it for the sake of change.”

* Muschamp said the recruiting battles in Florida are “much more fierce” due to the proximity “of programs like you.”

* Asked what he learned from Nick Saban, Mushcamp said: “Well I think more than anything, total program management.  Philosophically, what you believe offensively, defensively, special teams being tied together on both sides of the ball for what you want to be.  Not having two separate units for what they are.  You know, some teams do that.”

* Muschamp also said Saban’s system of targeting recruits stuck with him.

* Muschamp got a hair snippy when asked if he’s not 100% sure that Demps will be back in the fall.  “Based on our conversations he’ll be back.  I don’t deal in rumors and I don’t deal in messageboards.  I don’t know any good ball coaches that do that.”  Now, imagine that being said at 100 miles per hour with no punctuation.  That’s how quickly Muschamp speaks.  When asked why the coach said he still needs to meet with Demps, Muschamp said the player is in Italy right now and he likes to deal with people “eyeball to eyeball.”  He then drew some laughs when he said, “And I ain’t never been to Italy.”  (It probably shouldn’t be a surprise since both men coached under Saban, but Muschamp does share some mannerisms with Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.)

* Asked if it’s odd to get along so well with rival coaches like Saban, Dooley and Jimbo Fisher, Muschamp responded: “I wouldn’t say we all get along that well.  (Laughs).  No, I don’t have any problem having great respect for and liking someone that we’re competing against.  I played in the backyard with my brothers and I wanted to beat as bad as anybody.  I still love ‘em.”

* Muschamp was asked how it feels to be “a Georgia guy” coaching Florida.  “I’m a Florida guy.”

* “Our policy at the University of Florida is that we don’t oversign and we don’t greyshirt.  It hasn’t really affected our success.”

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LSU Team Mixes With “Jersey Shore” Crew, Improves In Italy

Trent Johnson was pleased with LSU’s recently completed basketball tour of Italy.

“I thought it was very, very productive for our team,” the four-year Tigers coach said yesterday.  “It was very physical.  Our guys had every opportunity to — being put in pressure situations — to collapse and lose their aggressiveness, lose their confidence.  They more than exceeded my expectations.  We stayed the course.  They were obviously a little tired, fatigued.  There were some challenging times.  It was more than a great experience.  It was a productive time for our basketball team moving forward.”

Overall, things from Baton Rouge sound good.  Especially for a program coming of back-to-back 20-loss seasons.  But we’ll deduct a few points for the fact that some members of the team mingled with the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” while in Florence… upping the chances that someone might need penicillin shots this fall.

Perryn Keys of The Baton Rouge Advocate breaks down some specifics (that we’ll simplify for you below) right here.  According to Keys:

1.  Forward Storm Warren says the Tigers’ new motion offense — “more of a freeplay motion” — looked good overseas.

2.  Assistant coach Lynn Nance has re-retired after just one season on LSU’s bench and he’s been replaced by Nick Robinson.

3.  All three of LSU’s incoming freshmen are enrolled, on campus, and ready for summer school.

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LSU Gets Off To Un Buon Inizio

After back-to-back 20-loss seasons, maybe LSU should try to move some regular season games to Italy.

Trent Johnson’s Tigers got off to a good start — or “un buon inizio” according to the online English-to-Italian translator I used — on their Italian exhibition tour last night.  LSU defeated Virtus Frusino 106-70 in Rome.

“Despite the time adjustment and the long travel day, our intensity and energy was good to start the game and we were able to sustain it,” Johnson said.

The Tigers will play a total of six games in 11 days as they tour Italia and — hopefully — they’ll do some team-building along the way.  Beats the heck out of one of those cheesy ropes courses.

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