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SEC Headlines 8/3/2011

1. Barrett Trotter has an advantage over his competition for the Auburn starting QB position – he’s the only one who’s thrown a college pass.

2. QB is not the only position battle for the Tigers.

3. Auburn players battle low expectations for this year’s team.

4. 10 questions facing the LSU Tigers. Two signees won’t be reporting to camp today.

5. Tennessee linebacker Austin Johnson calls his arrest “embarrassing.”

6. Vol defensive end Jacques Smith had surgeries on both feet in the offseason.  Daniel Hood tries to make the switch from offensive lineman to defensive tackle. Tennessee returns only one starter among the defensive front seven.

7. Fifth-year defensive end Ben Martin also knows a thing or two about injuries. He admits that quitting crossed his mind.

8. Is Tennessee due for an upset victory?

9. The most anticipated season for South Carolina since they joined the SEC?

10. Five storylines to watch for the Gamecocks.

11. G.A. Mangus will be on probation for the rest of his contract.

12. 105 Georgia Bulldogs report for training camp. At least 15 players have either left the program, unable to obtain eligibility or are injured.

13. Five questions for the Bulldogs.

14. Mississippi State defensive back Charles Mitchell thinks the Bulldogs will be faster this year.

15. Alabama offensive lineman  Barrett Jones will graduate Saturday with a 4.0  GPA and an accounting degree.

16. The longest running rivalries in the SEC.

17. 31 reasons to love SEC football.

18. Why Vanderbilt Stadium is one of the 10 worst in college football.

19. Which teams have the best chance of stopping the SEC national championship streak?

20. It’s August – welcome to Heisman Trophy campaign season.

21. Bruce Pearl has an interview for a head coaching job – in the NBA developmental league.

22. Former Florida Gator Al Horford is training with John Calipari. A lot of familiar faces on Calipari’s Dominican Republic National Team.

23. Should the NCAA resurrect the “death penalty”? ”Amateur hour” thinking at the NCAA.


24. The Big East considers expansion.


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SEC Headlines – 4/15/11 Part Two

1.  South Carolina’s board of trustees is expected to vote today on a raise and contract extension for Steve Spurrier.

2.  Defensive end Jacques Smith be out of action through June at Tennessee.

3.  Fullback Channing Fugate should see more action for the Vols this fall.

4.  Here are some Vanderbilt practice notes.

5.  This writer says Auburn’s Heisman statues are too much — and in the case of Cam Newton — “far too soon.”

6.  Here are some Auburn practice notes.

7.  Nosa Eguae — who’s one tough lookin’ dude — is “a natural leader” at defensive end.

8.  Here are some Alabama practice notes.

9.  No one’s got an edge at quarterback for the Crimson Tide yet.

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SEC Headlines – 11/11/10 Part Two

1.  Despite all the talk, Cam Newton is set to start for Auburn on Saturday.

2.  A rogue booster could still prove to be trouble for AU.

3.  Auburn seniors will be looking for their first win against Georgia this weekend.

4.  Nick Saban hasn’t gotten through to this year’s Alabama team the way he did with last year’s.  (And he warned all summer that each team is different.)

5.  Bama will honor former Tide players who served in the military on Saturday… and they’re scheduled to be wearing their Nike Pro Combat unis, too.

6.  If Tennessee loses to Ole Miss on Saturday, it will be the first time in history that the Vols opened the SEC season at 0-6.

7.  The Vols’ secondary is being hit hard with injuries.

8.  Defensive end Jacques Smith pleaded guilty on a simple assault charge today… and then shook hands with Vol fans outside the courtroom.  (What a world.)

9.  The best thing going for Vanderbilt these day?  Punter Richard Kent.  And that’s pretty much all there is to report on Vandy today.

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SEC Headlines – 11/2/10 Part Three

1.  An undefeated home record – something they haven’t done since 1987 — is still a possibility for South Carolina.

2.  This week Carolina’s inconsistent pass defense will have to withstand Arkansas’ aerial assault.

3.  Alshon Jeffery should be considered one of the best receivers in the nation.

4.  Derek Dooley says neither of his quarterbacks have played well enough to earn four quarters of snaps.

5.  Safety Janzen Jackson will take over as UT’s punt returner Saturday at Memphis.

6.  Freshman defensive end Jacques Smith isn’t likely to miss any playing time after being arrested this weekend for simple assault.  Hmmm.

7.  Vanderbilt’s Zac Stacy says it’ll be hard to replace Warren Norman, one of the “best playmakers on the team.”

8.  Robbie Caldwell continues to defend his decision to flip-flop quarterbacks at Arkansas.

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More Turbulence On Rocky Top

On Saturday, the Tennessee football team will make the long trek across their home state to play longtime punching bag Memphis.  But to date, it’s the Volunteers who must feel like they’ve been sparring with Mike Tyson.

The Vols are just 2-6 overall, 0-5 in the SEC.  They are looking up in the standings at Vanderbilt and Kentucky, something UT fans aren’t used to.  On Saturday they used just 46 players in a 38-24 loss to South Carolina.  By comparison, the Gamecocks used 57 players… which underscores the lack of depth Derek Dooley inherited.

But Dooley has made matters worse by creating a quarterback controversy.  His squad’s offense has been one of the league’s worst this year, but starting quarterback Matt Simms has hardly been UT’s biggest issue.  Dooley has said he wants one of his quarterbacks to “take the reins,” but that’s hard to do while opposing rushers are stampeding right over you.

On Saturday, Simms was benched for fumbling twice on sacks.  He was criticized for holding onto the ball too long.  Unfortunately, his backup, Tyler Bray, was sacked an identical three times and he threw a pick six against the Gamecocks.

Now Simms has gone to the press to complain about the benching, the fans want Bray to start, and the team is reportedly split over the two.  (Dooley has yet to say who’ll get the start at Memphis, but the smart money is on the true freshman Bray.)

The last thing Dooley needs at this point of the season is for his already undermanned lockerroom to split apart over who’s calling the signals.

Wait.  Scratch that.  The last thing he would need would be an arrest of one of his most promising freshman.  But he got that, too.

Defensive end Jacques Smith was arrested early Sunday morning after a fight in a Knoxville bar.  Dooley said his punishment will be handled internally.

“Well it sounded like in this latest incident that there were some emotions over a girl,” Dooley said.  “Jacques used some bad judgement and our team did the right thing to defuse the situation.”

The incident involving Smith was the first for UT’s football team since a bar brawl made national news back in July.  In fact, Dooley touted the fact yesterday that the Vols’ flight crew after Saturday’s game in Columbia said that UT’s team was “the most respectful, best-behaved football team that they’ve ever transported.”

So the Vols have got that going for them.  Unfortunately for Dooley — a coach who is now just 1-20 against FBS teams with winning records in his career — UT’s season is going nowhere near as smoothly as the team’s flights.

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