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SEC Headlines 2/27/2014

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1. Poll results: Only 25 of the nation’s 128 FBS head coaches are in favor of a rule proposal that would slow down the game.

2. Most departing seniors of any SEC East roster?  Tennessee.  South Carolina has the fewest but the most early NFL draft departures.

3. Several changes at the coordinator position for SEC schools - what will the impact be this year?

4. Soaring expectations at Tennessee for this fall?

5. Florida and Florida State extend their annual football series through 2018.

5. Andre Debose – the “next Percy Harvin” - will be a senior at Florida this fall.

6. Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Park played high school football in South Carolina but was not offered a scholarship by the Gamecocks.

7. Ole Miss guard Aaron Morris and defensive end C.J. Johnson granted redshirt years.

SEC/NFL

8. Tell us how you really feel, Barry.  Switzer on Johnny Manziel:  ”I think he’s an arrogant little prick.” But he loves the way he plays the game.

9. “A fully engaged, fully motivated (Jadeveon) Clowney is the sort of beast that can out-and-out dominate any game in which he plays, even in the NFL. ”

10. Former Auburn tackle Greg Robinson’s mother couldn’t make the trip to the BCS Championship Game because she couldn’t afford it.  ”There’s something wrong with that picture.” Also see Fuzzy Math at the NCAA.

11. Latest USA Today mock draft has Jadeveon Clowney and Greg Robinson going first and second overall.

12. Zach Mettenberger a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals?

13. Defense end Kony Ealy’s profile matches up best with which current NFL players? Paula Deen like Michael Sam?

14. Is the pro future of Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall at another position?  ”I know I can play quarterback.”

15. When you get booted from your team before the season, who hosts the pro day?  ”Agent Chris Turnage said (Chris) Boyd will be healthy enough to fully compete at his pro day workout next month.”

SEC Basketball

16. When it comes to NCAA Tournament chances, is Georgia “the tallest midget in the circus?” An assessment of Georgia’s chances.

17. Ole Miss point guard Derrick Millinghaus received an indefinite suspension before last night’s game against Alabama.

18. Arkansas at Kentucky tonight.  Last time Razorbacks won at Rupp – Nolan Richardson’s 1994 championship team.

19. Arkansas game part of the revenge tour for Kentucky?

20. A plea from Kentucky – bring back Bruce (Pearl).

21. Military family reunited in timeout of Alabama/Ole Miss game.

22. Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith best sixth man in the country?

23. One take on Missouri: “There is no evident or effective leadership on the floor. There is no apparent chemistry. Players don’t seem to trust one another. The team seems adrift.”

Extras

24. Georgia governor on Confederate battle flag license plates:  ”Hopefully, those who take offense at it will look at the fact that it is a part of a cultural heritage of our state.”

25. Richie Incognito smashes his own Ferrari with a baseball bat.

26. Why was St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny cleaning the clubhouse toilets?

27. Jeff Gordon and the Pepsi Max crew are at it again…

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SEC Headlines 2/20/2014

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1. LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers is transferring.  He’s the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers. At 6-8, believed to be tallest QB in LSU history.

2. Georgia freshman defensive lineman DeAndre “Moose” Johnson not expected to continue his career – medical reasons cited.

3. Alabama adds Louisiana-Monroe to its 2015 schedule.  The Warhawks beat the Crimson Tide back in 2007 – Nick Saban’s first season as coach.

4. Auburn has five empty spots on its support staff and coach Gus Malzhan may not fill them all.

5. How Missouri’s offensive line shapes up heading into spring practice.

6. Spring practice dates for all SEC teams. Here are some SEC quarterback battles to watch.

SEC/NFL

7. Brett Favre on watching Johnny Manziel:“I almost thought I was watching film of a young Brett Favre,”

8. NFL analyst Charles Davis on Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans: “I’ve been told — and we will see at the combine — that he could run a high 4.4 time. And if that’s the case, then game, set, match, off he goes.”

9. Josh Kendall on the expectations for Jadeveon Clowney -”everyone expects him to be an otherworldly freak.”

10. The Alabama players with the most to gain from the NFL Combine.

11.  Florida’s Dominique Easley a potential mid-round steal?

SEC Basketball

12. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy: “This may sound crazy, but we are real close to doing some special things with this team and with this program.”

13. The Texas A&M woman’s team has outdrawn the men’s team the last two home games.

14. Alabama forward Nick Jacobs has taken a leave of absence from the team.

15. ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes thinks four SEC teams will make the NCAA Tournament – Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. Arguments for and against the Vols.

16. With Syracuse losing, is Florida the nation’s top team?

17. Kentucky coach John Calipari sounds off on other coaches’ opinions of social media.  ”They know nothing about social media. Nothing. They don’t do it.”

Extra

18. What’s the difference between NFL and college football?  Sports economist: ”The difference would be … the NFL pays their players.”

19. Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against Nick Saban’s daughter.

20. Football season (FCS variety) will kickoff August 23rd.

21. Never too early to start campaigning for the Heisman.

Heisman squirrel

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Former NFL’er Jackson Lights Up Carolina’s Clowney And Spurrier Over Player’s Work Ethic

gfx - they said itFormer St. Louis Ram Tyoka Jackson is not the biggest fan of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.  In his view his work ethic is shoddy.  The 12-year NFL vet-turned-radio analyst with WGNU-AM in St. Louis isn’t surprised by Clowney’s lack of effort… he says Steve Spurrier has a history of turning out low-motor guys:

Asked if it would make any sense for the Rams to select Jadeveon Clowney with the #2 overall pick in the NFL draft, Jackson said this week (around the 23-minute mark):

 

“I don’t think it does… Now Clowney, to me, is a boom or bust guy… He literally could be the greatest defensive end who’s ever played the game or he could be one of the all-time busts that we’ve ever seen.  I think it’s gonna come down to the team that drafts him in terms of their coaching — do they have a very strong head coach and very strong defensive line coach that’s gonna teach him how to play hard.  He has no idea what it takes to play hard.  And Spurrier’s notorious for having a lot of players come from his program who don’t have great work ethic.  So it’s nothing new there.  It’s not even the kid’s fault.  He hasn’t been coached.”

 

According Jackson, the top job of a coach is to force effort from his players.  In his view, Spurrier doesn’t do that.

Of course, with three straight 11-win seasons, we’re guessing South Carolina fans could care less if the Ol’ Ball Coach has trained his future pros the ins and outs of proper work ethic.  They’re obviously working hard enough in college to turn a once-terrible program into one of the nation’s best.

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Carolina’s Clowney Has “Done A Great Job” This Season

jadeveon-clowneyIt won’t be a surprise when Jadeveon Clowney makes himself eligible for the NFL draft.  The junior defensive end came into the season as a potential #1 pick with some suggesting he could even consider sitting out the year to avoid injury.

Instead, Clowney played.  And because expectations were set at ridiculously high levels, he’s been viewed by many as a bit of a disappointment this season.  Here’s the problem: Clowney was expected to make 10 big plays a game while playing a position where one sack per game is considered fantastic.  There was no way he could make enough highlight reel plays to live up to preseason Heisman talk.  And once the season began, opposing coaches schemed around him.  ”We may lose, but we won’t let Clowney beat us.”

Just ask South Carolina defensive line coach Deke Adams:

 

“I think he’s done a great job.  You don’t see many players that have been double-teamed and triple-teamed and run away from as much as he has this year, and I think he’s done a great job with it.  I think he’s handled himself well.  I think some of the things throughout the year were blown out of proportion with the way it happened.  He’s been great for us here, and we’re happy to have had him here at South Carolina.”

 

What was blown out of proportion was Clowney’s decision to sit out the Kentucky game due to injury.  Head coach Steve Spurrier made it a story by hinting that Clowney didn’t play simply because he didn’t want to… only to later admit that the player’s injury was worse than he had known.

For the year, Clowney recorded 35 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, eight quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.  In 2012 he made 54 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, five QB hurries and three forced fumbles.  That’s quite a statistical decline when it comes to big plays.

But to see the true impact of Clowney on USC’s defense, just check out the numbers for Kelcy Quarles.  While Clowney was drawing double-teams, Quarles was good enough to take advantage.  In 2012 he recorded 38 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and one quarterback hurry.  This season he notched 36 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, and three quarterback hurries.

While #7 wasn’t the dominating player in 2013 that he had been in 2012, opponents’ focus on him created opportunities for his teammates on a unit that ranked third in the SEC in total defense and second in scoring defense.  For that reason, it would be shocking of Clowney weren’t one of the top three picks in the upcoming NFL draft.

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Plenty Of SEC Talent Could Land In NFL Draft’s First Round

fantasy_dual_mock_draftESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. says plenty of SEC talent is headed to the NFL next year.  In a conference call with reporters Thursday, he shared his outlook on the top talent in the conference.

1. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney still projected as likely first overall pick: “My attitude would be, unless you need a quarterback or a great left tackle, you take Jadeveon Clowney.”

2. Three Alabama players make Kiper’s top 25: Linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. He’s especially high on Mosley: ”He’ll be one of the first four, five, six, seven players drafted more than likely.”

3. Three Texas A&M players projected to go in the first round - quarterback Johnny Manziel, receiver Mike Evans and offensive tackle Jake Matthews.  Kiper says Matthews has a chance to be the first overall pick.

4. Several left tackle options in this draft including Auburn’s Greg Robinson.

5. He likes LSU running back Jeremy Hill – “intriguing prospect” – and thinks wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and quarterback Zach Mettenberger could go late in the first round.

6. LSU has four juniors that could enter the draft next spring.

7. Kiper has offensive tackle Antonio Richardson the highest-ranked Tennessee offensive linemen;  ranks A.J. Johnson the No. 2 inside linebacker among underclassmen.

8. Georgia’s top prospects for the 2014 draft are tight end Arthur Lynch and quarterback Aaron Murray. “He’s a heck of a quarterback at the collegiate level. Will he be a starting quarterback you can win with in the NFL? That’s the debate.”

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SEC Headlines 10/16/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Trial has been set for two former Vanderbilt players charged with raping an unconscious student. Other two defendants have their case severed by the prosecutor.

2. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says he turned in several plays to the SEC office for review- including the one that injured quarterback James Franklin Saturday: “We thought, the second guy in, the ball was clearly away.”

3. Gus Malzahn on Johnny Manziel and Cam Newton: “I would say probably those two are probably two of the best that ever played the game of college football.”

4. With quarterback Nick Marshall returning, what will Jeremy Johnson’s role be for Auburn this week? “Good questions. Just don’t expect Malzahn to answer any of them.”

5. Texas A&M wants to cut down on penalties.  Had eight of them against Ole Miss – averaging 6.8 per game.

6. What makes Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin a good coach?  For one thing, he doesn’t waste timeouts.

7. Ron Higgins: “The one East team that seems to be quietly gaining momentum is South Carolina. “

8. South Carolina is back in the Top 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Steve Spurrier: “Guess what, we’re back in the top 10. No big deal.”

9. South Carolina vs. Tennessee means a rematch of Jadeveon Clowney vs. Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, 

10. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze: “I think some expectations were a bit unreal after our start.”

11. Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief has caught less than 50 percent of the balls thrown his way - had two drops on Saturday.

12. More than 15,000 no-shows at the LSU-Florida game Saturday.  One reason?  Apathy.  ”Face it, Tiger fans. Many of you are spoiled.”

13. Alabama’s scoring defense is best in the SEC and No. 2 in the country but coach Nick Saban thinks it could be better: “I think there’s times when we’ve given up too many big plays on defense.”

14. Mark Richt’s message as his team gets ready to face Vanderbilt: “Georgia fans, get ready. It’s going to be a tough game.”

15. Georgia’s defense has given up 30 or more points in five of six games this year.

16. Vanderbilt wants to emulate Missouri - get pressure on Murray:  ”That was the first time I think I’d ever seen Aaron Murray flustered.”

16. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on his defense: “I don’t know if we played a great defensive game for the duration.”

Practice/Injury Reports

17. Tennessee running back Marlin Lane expected to play Saturday.  Linebacker Curt Maggitt may redshirt.

18. Availability of South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore and safety Chaz Elder unknown for Saturday – suffered concussions against Arkansas.

19. Alabama center Ryan Kelly expected to be able to play against Arkansas but Nick Saban not sure how much he’ll be used.

20. Georgia running back Todd Gurley not seen during the media viewing period Tuesday. Neither was safety Tray Matthews.

21. Georgia’s punter Saturday could be a game-time decision.

22. Running back Jeff Scott and six defenders who’ve made a combined 130 tackles for Ole Miss this year were among those not practicing Tuesday for Ole Miss.

23. Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow didn’t practice Tuesday - still bothered by an ankle sprain.

24. Texas A&M defensive back  Deshazor Everett is “probably probable” this weekend against Auburn.

25. Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley – out for the season – tweeted that he’ll have surgery Thursday.

26. Practice focus for Arkansas this week - staying in rhythm.

SEC Media/History

27. “Tennessee and Vanderbilt, who are both winless in the SEC, will soon have a combined four CBS appearances this season compared to none for SEC East leader Missouri.”

28. Former Alabama basketball player Leon Douglas will never forget the mailgram he received from George Wallace – less than a decade after the governor stood in the schoolhouse door

SEC Basketball

29. David Climer: “By the time this contract runs out, Nashville will have played host to the SEC Tournament — either men’s or women’s — 21 out of 26 years, dating to 2001. ”

30. Florida coach Billy Donovan on his team: “We don’t have all of our pieces there, but we are drastically worse defensively than we were a year ago.”

31. Missouri point guard Jordan Clarkson made his unofficial debut at a team scrimmage Tuesday night.

Extra

32. More Thursday night games for the NFL?

33. Another mock draft that has Jadeveon Clowney the first overall pick.

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SEC Headlines 10/11/2013

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1. Jadeveon Clowney is expected to start for South Carolina when the Gamecocks play at Arkansas on Saturday.

2. Alabama quarterback Blake Sims should still be considered in Alabama’s future plans.

3. Auburn QB Nick Marshall’s status for Saturday’s game will be determined on Friday.

4. Auburn’s defense has been better than some of the statistics indicate.

5. Arkansas is remaining positive despite its 0-2 start in SEC play. The Razorbacks are 3-3 overall.

6. LSU is expecting a physical battle this weekend against Florida.

7. LSU running back Jeremy Hill has improved thanks to a “bounding” drill involving his teammates.

8. Florida’s offense will have to control the ball and try to keep LSU’s offense off the field.

9. Texas A&M shouldn’t take Ole Miss lightly after the Rebels challenged the Aggies until the end last year.

10. Mississippi State will take a break from SEC play to face a motivated Bowling Green team.

11. Gregg Doyel on the Jadeveon Clowney drama this week: “Steve Spurrier is where it went wrong.”

12. Georgia needs wide receiver Chris Conley to step up as a leader. He’s taking the role seriously.

13. The Bulldogs’ defense has struggled this year, but they know the offense can’t carry the team all year.

14. Kentucky is struggling on the field but there’s still a “glass-half full” way to look at things.

15. Tennessee’s receivers had a “big-time” performance last week. WR coach Zach Azzanni hopes the Vols build on it.

16. Missouri has made the SEC take notice as the Tigers get ready to play at Georgia.

Extra

17. Louisville defeated Rutgers 24-10 on Thursday night. The game was close until a late touchdown by Louisville.

18. Southern California beat Arizona 38-31. It was USC’s first game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron.

19. Bruce Feldman expects Ole Miss to challenge Texas A&M before the Aggies win a close one.

20. How do you stop Baylor’s offense? Here’s a look at what the Bears have done.

21. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich won’t be taking the Texas AD job, according to Yahoo Sports.

22. Eddie Timanus of USA Today predicts Missouri to upset Georgia. Dan Uthman has Arkansas knocking off South Carolina.

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SEC Headlines 10/10/2013

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1. Missouri QB James Franklin will present plenty of problems for Georgia’s defense.

2. Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn’t plan to change the way he coaches special teams.

3. “The Hit was the worst thing that ever happened to Clowney.” Jason McIntyre looks at the national criticism of Jadeveon Clowney.

4. Alabama running back Kenyan Drake is more involved in the offense because he “did what he was supposed to do.”

5. Auburn running back Tre Mason wants to prove he can play at the NFL level.

6. Arkansas is preparing as if Jadeveon Clowney will play for South Carolina this weekend.

7. Nick Saban would have attended the reunion of LSU’s 2003 title team if not for Alabama’s game against Kentucky.

8. Here are five Gators LSU will pay attention to when the Tigers host Florida this weekend.

9. Ole Miss and safety Trae Elston don’t plan to miss any opportunities against Texas A&M after a close loss last year.

10. Mississippi State still has issues on third-and-long.

11. The Bulldogs have “two of the best quarterbacks in the nation right now,” according to Tyler Russell.

12. Unlike Mississippi State, Texas A&M hasn’t had third down issues. Johnny Manziel might be one reason.

13. LSU’s Zach Mettenberger is “looking like an NFL quarterback,” according to Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison.

14. LSU’s wide receivers vs. Florida’s defensive backs will be a great matchup to watch this weekend.

15. Kentucky’s defense knows it will be tested on Saturday when it hosts Alabama and quarterback AJ McCarron.

16. Tennessee defensive end Jacques Smith needs to be more consistent. He’s still working his way back from injury.

17. Tennessee and Virginia Tech will play a game at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016.

Injuries/Practice Reports

18. Clowney was back at practice for South Carolina on Wednesday. His status for Saturday’s game is still unknown.

19. Georgia is hopeful WR Michael Bennett will be able to return from his knee injury to play against Florida.

20. Auburn QB Nick Marshall is improving from the knee injury he suffered against Ole Miss. But what if Marshall can’t play this week?

21. Alabama coach Nick Saban says receiver Amari Cooper is “getting healthy” after dealing with multiple injuries this year.

22. Ole Miss defensive end C.J. Johnson’s status is known for this week. Running back Jeff Scott will play.

23. Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson will be “full speed” against LSU.

SEC Basketball

24. Florida is talented but there are plenty of questions surrounding the Gators.

25. All seven CBS staff members picked Kentucky to win the SEC. Which teams might challenge the Wildcats?

26. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes said he was in tears after hearing so much criticism last year.

Extra

27. A few SEC coaches are included in Athlon’s list of potential coaching candidates this offseason.

28. The 15-yard targeting penalty will be reviewed this offseason.

29. Ben Kercheval looks at everything that is the “Red River Rivalry” as Oklahoma and Texas get ready to play.

30. Baylor coach Art Briles says he can’t see himself coaching anywhere but Baylor.

31. The strong play of Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy is one of the nation’s biggest surprises this season1

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Carolina’s Clowney: “I Haven’t Played My Last Game Here”

jadeveon-clowney-helmet-off-meanAs kerfuffles go, this one seems to have kerfuffled out pretty quickly.

The “Will he or won’t he?” talk about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and his prospects for suiting up again in the garnet and black can officially be put to rest less than a week after it started.  Last night the junior met with the media to discuss his commitment to the Gamecock program.  This after his coaches were surprised to learn that he didn’t feel well enough to play against Kentucky on Saturday.

 

“I haven’t played my last game here.  I will be back on the field.  I just don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get back, but I will be back…

Regardless of what people think, I didn’t sit out (the season).  I could have sat out.  I am not looking to sit out.  I am not that type of guy.  I am here for the team regardless, and I am here to work with the team.  When I get back healthy, they know I am going to come there to play and do my job, do what I have to do to take care of business on the field.”

 

On Saturday, Steve Spurrier said reporters would have to ask Clowney about his commitment to the team because the coach couldn’t speak for the player.  It was hardly a reassuring comment for Carolina fans.

Yesterday, Clowney indeed spoke for himself.  “Am I fully committed?  Always.”

Clowney could miss Saturday’s game at Arkansas with a muscle strain near his ribcage.

 

Jadeveon Clowney will play again for South Carolina

 

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Carolina’s Spurrier Tries To End Latest Clowney Furor

gfx - they said itIs he tanking?  Will he come back?  Are the coaches mad at him?  Is he just out of shape?

Steve Spurrier tried to today to toss some cold water on the Jadeveon Clowney situation that exploded in the national media following Saturday’s game.  Clowney didn’t play due to bruised ribs, at least that was the early explanation.  After Saturday’s win over Kentucky, the Ol’ Ball Coach made it pretty clear that he wasn’t happy with how the player handled things.  The story grew when Spurrier told reporters they would need to ask the player about his commitment to the team because he “can’t speak for Jadeveon.

Well today Spurrier said this:

 

“He was in pain.  It was diagnosed later (as a muscle strain), and obviously we all handled it poorly.  All of us did…

Let me say this about Jadeveon: If he never plays another snap here, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina. We’ve won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we’ve had in the history of this school, so none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon, none of us.

I’m all for Jadeveon and his future, and when he’s ready to play, we’re going to put him out there.”

 

When the story is this or this, you want to walk it back.  Today’s reaction shows that Spurrier knows exactly how to walk back a story.

 

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