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Wow Evening Headlines 11/8/2012

Auburn University President Jay Gogue could lean on a committee to help him determine the fate of coach Gene Chizik
Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will not be in attendance Saturday against Arkansas…
Coach Steve Spurrier said earlier in the week Lattimore would be on hand when the school unveiled signage honoring the junior
Backup Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett may decide to transfer and seek playing time at another school
Bobby Petrino’s father says his son would be interested in the open Kentucky job and “might take the first job he gets offered.”
Tennesssee has sold more than 13,000 season tickets for the 2012-2013 basketball season
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SEC Headlines 9/5/2012

SEC West

1. Nick Saban the most powerful coach in all of sports?

2. Been there.  Done that.  A low-key response at Alabama to the No. 1 ranking: “This was the first step in that journey, but we have a long way to go.”

3. Crimson Tide filling out its 2014 schedule.

4. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger on media criticism: ”No one can criticize me as hard as I criticize myself.”

5. Facing West Virginia last year gives LSU confidence in facing Washington’s spread offense.

6. Washington prepares for LSU with a live, caged tiger.

7. It’s official.  “Tyrann Mathieu is enrolled at LSU.”

8. Texas A&M prepares for Florida by watching Boise State? “Whatever most coordinators do at their last stop, they bring with them.”

9. Florida may be ranked, but the Aggies are the favorite on Saturday.

10. Mike Herndon on Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin, a postponed game and player suspensions: “Sumlin’s situation may be unique due to the postponement, but that doesn’t excuse him from taking the easy way out.”

11. Look for some changes in the Auburn defense this weekend. Also need some other deep threats beside Emory Blake.

12. Tigers center Reese Dismukes has had his suspension lifted - will play Saturday.  So, too, will fullback Jay Prosch who’s mother died on Monday.

13. Struggles on the Ole Miss offensive line.  Three sacks allowed and only 19 yards on seven third-down carries against Central Arkansas.

14. Looks like Rebels running back Jeff Scott will make his 2012 debut this week.

15. Arkansas twice attempted fourth-down conversions near mid-field in the opener but don’t expect that every week.  John L. Smith: “Had that been Alabama and we’re ahead, yeah, we’re going to kick the ball.”

16. Smith on quarterback-turned-receiver Brandon Mitchell: “We expect him to be good.”

17. With a sack, multiple tackles and an interception for a touchdown on Saturday, Mississippi State’s Matthew Wells has a nose for the football.

SEC East

18. Connor Shaw’s scrambling ability is a major asset for South Carolina, but with the Gamecocks QB already banged up, there’s plenty of risk involved.

19. Steve Spurrier on Shaw: “If he can’t pitch it around Thursday, he’s probably not going to play.”

20. Benching Shaw on Saturday “a blessing in disguise” for South Carolina?

21. Will they or won’t they play?  Georgia is keeping suspensions secret. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham: “I don’t know why you would tell anybody because it is not a league rule.”

22. Replays show Todd Gurley dropped the ball before crossing the goal line on one of his touchdowns Saturday.

23. “Old man football” a compliment?  Mark Richt: “Being over 50, I’m getting AARP stuff in the mail. I thought it was a compliment, really.”

24. Joe Walljasper on Mizzou defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson:  ”If you’re looking for a glib quote, he’s your man.”

25. Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett a transfer candidate?  Maybe not. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease: “Credit to him,” Pease said. “I just saw him in the hallway an hour ago and he’s studying film.”

26. “Florida has been called for at least nine penalties in six of the 14 games Muschamp has coached.”

27. Sluggish practice has Derek Dooley concerned: ”Most teams never reach their dreams because they overestimate the event and underestimate the process.”

28. Eight different defensive linemen saw action for Tennessee against North Carolina State.

29. Kentucky wide receivers started with a clean slate under new position coach Pat Washington: “I asked no questions about any of the receivers.”

30. Kentucky and Kent State - “brothers in ineptitude”?

31. Vanderbilt searches for a backup to running back to Zac Stacy.

SEC/College News

32. The man accused in a shooting incident that killed two former Auburn players and wounded a current one has been indicted for capital murder.

33. The trial involving an Alabam fan’s actions following the BCS Championship game has been delayed.

34. Oklahoma State roommates get into a fight over football.  One goes to the hospital.

35. “I still find it humorous that in this technological age an old-fashioned billboard can still stir things up with the best of ’em.”

36. This set of power rankings has Alabama No. 1 and LSU No. 2.

37. With the Knights traveling to Ohio State to face the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer, will Florida fans root for UCF this weekend?

38. Stanford’s tax return reveals former coach Jim Harbaugh’s salary in 2010.

SEC/College Basketball

39. Shrinking roster at Mississippi State.  Backup guard Shaun Smith and forward Kristers Zeidaks booted from team for “violation of team rules.”

40. Rick Carter has officially joined Frank Haith’s staff at Mizzou.

41. An ugly situation at Texas Tech for former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie.  Accusations of mistreatment and a mass exodus.  15 players have left in 18 months.

42. Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson (and brother to Michelle Obama) at the Democratic National Convention. “Any seven-footers out there, gimme a call!”

Extra

43. As the NFL opens tonight – “Football is king right now. It’s hotter than any sport has ever been at any time in this country.”

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Driskel Earns The Start At QB For UF On Saturday

Jeff Driskel’s performance against Bowling Green on Saturday was enough.  After a spring, summer and fall of battling back and forth with fellow quarterback Jacoby Brissett, Driskel was named Florida starting quarterback by Will Muschamp today.

Muschamp said he told Driskel, “I don’t want you to be looking over your shoulder, but you need to play well.”  At which point Driskel probably started looking over his shoulder.

Driskel’s ability to move around in the pocket turned out to be a key difference between himself and Brissett.  “The rhythm of the game dictated that we were going to need some movement in the pocket,” Muschamp said.  “Jeff gave us that opportunity.”

And now Muschamp is giving Driskel the opportunity to start Saturday’s contest at new SEC rival Texas A&M.  “It’s been a lifelong dream,” the sophomore said.

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UF Releases Depth Chart… But Two-Headed Monster At QB Remains

There’s an old adage in football and I happen to be a big believer in it:

 

“Show me a team with two good quarterbacks and I’ll show you a team without a great quarterback.” 

 

For the sake of Florida’s fans, I hope that’s not the case in Gainesville this season.  But it sure seems to be.

Today, Will Muschamp unveiled his depth chart heading into Saturday’s opener with Bowling Green.  The quarterbacks, however, were listed with a great big “OR” between their names.  Oh, sure, there’s an element of gamesmanship involved in this.  But make no mistake, Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett have been splitting reps from spring onward.  Even with Driskel suffering a bruised scapula, Brissett was apparently not able to grab the starting job and run with it.

And these aren’t drastically different types of quarterback.  This isn’t a change-of-pace kind of deal.  Show me a Leak/Tebow or Greene/Shockley dynamic and I’ll buy forget about that old adage above.  But Florida’s QBs are similar.  One’s 6-6, 237.  The other is 6-6, 229.

In 2012, Driskel was 16-of-34 for 148 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.  He had 16 rushes for 18 yards.  Brissett was 18-of-39 for 206 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.  He had 13 rushes for seven yards.

Sim-i-lar.

Perhaps one or the other will prove himself be a gamer come Saturday.  For now, though, it appears that Florida will have to lean pretty heavily on Mike Gillislee and the new Gator ground game in 2012.

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SEC Headlines 8/25/2012

SEC West Football 

1. Mo Isom doesn’t make the cut at LSU - “fourth or fifth best kicker.”

2. “Miles is not the coach of some oft-forgotten mid-major starving for attention. He and his program need no gimmicks to generate storylines.”

3. Quarterback questions at Auburn: “If Frazier was far-and-away the best quarterback on the team, why did Chizik and Co. wait so long to crown him the starter?”

4. Former Auburn coach Pat Dye: “There is no discipline problem in Auburn. If you’ve got a Michael Dyer, he won’t make it.”

5. Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter: “We’re going into a man’s league.”

6. Aggies linebacker Jonathan Stewart: “If we listened to what people say, we’re going to be mediocre, not compete against other SEC teams, and not make a bowl.”

7. Arkansas Razorbacks football today vs. 1997.  ”The mood has taken a 180-degree turn from those dark days.”

8. Why Tenarius Wright’s conversion from defensive end to middle linebacker could be a key to the success of the Razorbacks this fall.

9. Gene Stallings on Alabama football: ”When you watch their players play, it’s a joy for me personally as a coach because when they make a play they don’t jump up and high-five and run around in circles.”

10. Nick Saban is no stranger to Michigan.  He’s 5-7 in his career against the Wolverines.

11. Jon Solomon: “The Big Ten still can’t win a big one.”

12. Missing from Mississippi State’s depth chart? Redshirt freshman wide receiver Joe Morrow.  A few other thoughts and questions.

13. Why this year’s offensive line at Ole Miss could be a good fit for Hugh Freeze’s no-huddle offense.

SEC East Football

14. Lane Kiffin on Derek Dooley:  ”He needs more time from all the changes and now all the coaching changes he’s gone through. He’s got to be able to have more time to show what he can do.”

15. With wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers gone at Tennessee, the focus shifts to JUCO transfer Cordarrelle Patterson. ”He’s got the size; he’s got the speed; he’s got the ball skills.”

16. Kentucky’s director of football administration has resigned.

17. Joker Phillips on his backups at cornerback: “We’re going true freshmen. That’s all we’ve got.”

18. Vanderbilt’s 2013 season opener at Ohio State may not happen.

19. The quarterback battle at Florida will extend into the season opener.  Expect to see both Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskol against Bowling Green.

20. Will Muschamp on his Gators team: “I think we’ve improved tremendously.”

21. Mike Bianchi: “The Gators are begging fans to buy season tickets just like everybody else.”

22. Marcus Lattimore likes the running back depth at South Carolina: “I don’t have to take more than 30 carries anymore. That’s a good thing.”

23. With John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers, Georgia has a potent 1-2 punch at nose tackle.

24. Bulldogs try to walk the fine line between letting backups play and burning redshirts.

25. Different league, different border culture for Mizzou.  Gary Pinkel:  ”The passion and intensity level of the fans base is obviously at a whole different level,”

College Football News

26. Pat Forde on the 10 biggest issues facing college football -  Is the SEC’s outlaw image making a comeback?

27. Woes for the Longhorns Network.  Texas AD Deloss Dodds: “It’s painful for everybody.”

28. Missed opportunity this Saturday for NCAA football?

Extras

29. What’s the transition like from sportswriter to high school english teacher?  ”I’m terrified.”

30. Why are there mirrors next to elevators?  The psychology of waiting in line.

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Driskel Injury At UF Shines Light On Bigger Problem With Fans, Media

The quarterback duel in Gainesville between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel may be decided by injury rather than by on-field performance.  According to Twitter reports today, Driskel has banged up his left, non-throwing shoulder.  Ah, but the extent of the injury is anyone’s guess.

Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun claims a source told him that Driskel sustained a “significant shoulder injury” in practice today.

But Bryan Holt of InsideTheGators.com — the Rivals site covering Florida — claimed he had heard from “a source close to Florida” that Driskel “seems fine.”

Meanwhile, WJXL-AM 1010 in Jacksonville has reported that Driskel suffered a “broken scapula.”

The website AlligatorArmy.com does a nice job of summing up just how bizarre the whole situation is.  And it’s really just symptomatic of a larger problem.

Fans knock news outlets when they don’t get a story first.  But fans also knock news outlets when they rush a story that turns out to be more rumor from poor sources than fact.  Catch-22.

Then you have schools who close down practices, won’t talk about injuries, and — in some cases — produce their own “news” coverage on their official athletic department website which is really nothing more than PR spin.

And fans like that, too.

So fans want news first and fast and accurate — which isn’t always possible — since many media members are now more worried about getting something up on Twitter before anyone else than they are actually getting their facts straight.  Oh, and there are also more media members than ever before, all trying to make names for themselves.  Break a story, get followers.  It’s a simple formula.  But not every media member out there paid attention in — or even attended — journalism ethics classes.  Some folks are more likely to throw a lot of nonsense up against the wall, knowing that if just one thing sticks… they’re gold.

So while we wait for final word on Driskel’s injury — if that word ever officially comes — it might be a good time for fans and those of us in the media alike to ponder just what the hell we’re doing these days.

 

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Weis Disappointed In UF’s Offense; Danielson Says Muschamp’s Got Little Talent To Work With

Mired in a four-game losing streak — the program’s longest since 1988 — folks in Florida are wondering who to blame.  On Halloween, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel — a provocateur on par with Woody Woodpecker — asked Gator fans to blame Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp or Charlie Weis for UF’s many offensive woes.  (The fans who voted saddled the ex-Gator head coach with the blame.)

In Weis’ case, the offensive coordinator was realistic about his team’s chances against Alabama and LSU… it’s the last two games against Auburn and Georgia that have bothered him most:


“I thought the rest of that Alabama game (without an injured John Brantley in the second half) was going to be a bit of a struggle.  And going into LSU I thought that would be a bit of a struggle, especially when young Jacoby (Brissett) was dialed up after he hadn’t had a snap, I thought that would have been a bit of a struggle. … I’m probably most disappointed that in the last two weeks, we didn’t make enough plays on offense to win the last two games.

I think that’s probably my biggest disappointment.  They were two games that you can’t say were mismatched opponents.  That’s the thing I’m discouraged about the most.”


Should he be disappointed?  It doesn’t sound like Gary Danielson believes so.  The CBS analyst just doesn’t think the Florida’s staff or its head coach has a whole heckuva lot of talent at their disposal:


“I believe Will Muschamp is doing about as good as he can.  To me, I really think Will Muschamp has a butter knife, basically a dull butter knife of talent in a league that everybody else has steak and you need a steak knife to win in this league.  He has no chance.  He does not have a team put together to compete at the highest level at this league, especially with an injured quarterback.”


Somewhere, Meyer is muttering, “But they’re loaded, I tells ya.” 

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It’s Official: UF’s Brantley Is Out For LSU Game

A hat tip to ESPN’s Joe Schad who reported earlier today that John Brantley would miss Florida’s game with LSU on Saturday.

Will Muschamp announced today that his senior quarterback will indeed be unavailable, though he would not confirm or deny reports that Brantley has a high ankle sprain.

Freshman Jeff Driskel now moves into the #1 quarterback slot, but Muschamp said he could be passed in practice this week by Jacoby Brissett or Tyler Murphy.

Best of luck to whoever draws Saturday’s assignment.  It’s a toss-up as to which SEC defense is scarier — Alabama’s or LSU’s.

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SEC Headlines – 8/24/11 Part Two

1.  Linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins are ready to make a difference for Florida.

2.  Will Muschamp says freshman quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett are awfully similar.

3.  Placekicker Caleb Sturgis is back from injury and “he’s been kicking the ball extremely well.”

4.  It looks like hotshot tailback prospect Isaiah Crowell is in line to start in Georgia’s season opener.

5.  Fifteen of UGA’s 25-man “Dream Team” signing class are likely to play this fall.

6.  Georgia — knock on wood — hasn’t had a football player arrested this year.  Maybe this is why.

7.  Here’s a look at Greg McGarity’s first year on the job as UGA’s AD.

8.  Kentucky’s Collins Ukwu now looks the part of an SEC defensive end.

9.  The Cats’ special teams units look to be solid…

10.  But UK’s banged-up O-line needs more time to jell.

11.  Joker Phillips thought his team was sharp in last night’s scrimmage.

12.  South Carolina’s new special teams coordinator is all about positive reinforcements.

13.  The Gamecocks are running out of bodies in the secondary.

14.  Quarterback Tyler Bray is showing signs of maturity at Tennessee.

15.  Once again, UT is looking to replace dismissed safety Janzen Jackson.

16.  It’s been 10 years since Tennessee won more games than Georgia in a football season.  Wow.

17.  Vanderbilt is working to set its starting lineup for its season opener.

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Three SEC Schools Lead For Lineman Miller

Patrick Miller appears to be the next player in a long line of standout prospects from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The offensive lineman told the Gainesville Sun he currently favors Auburn, Florida and LSU. He also has offers from such schools as Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame.

“I want to play in the SEC,” Miller told the Gainesville Sun.

The Sun’s Jeff Barlis has a video interview with Miller, which you can see here.

The pursuit from Florida should be worth watching. The Gators have signed several players from Dwyer in recent years, including Matt Elam, Gerald Christian, Robert Clark and Jacoby Brissett, who joined Florida’s most recent class in February.

“Obviously they all try to promote Florida, which is great,” Miller said. “It’s a good resource to have. … It seems like Dwyer kids do really well at Florida.”

Miller said he doesn’t have a leader and that his top three schools are even.

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