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SEC Headlines 12/17/2011

1. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart reportedly withdraws from consideration as the head coach at Southern Miss.

2. No academic casualties at LSU.  Expect the Tigers to be at full strength when they face Alabama in the BCS championship game.

3. What did Les Miles and Nick Saban do at the Heisman ceremony? They swapped recipes.

4. The rumors this year about Mark Richt’s status has had an impact on recruiting. Expect his contract to be extended through at least the 2015 season.

5. Georgia tight end Orson Charles, safety Bacarri Rambo and quarterback Aaron Murray file paperwork for NFL evaluation. Charles appears to be the most serious about possibly leaving early, expect Murray to stay.

6. Still offensive coordinator at Auburn and new head coach at Arkansas State, it’s double duty for Gus Malzahn.

7. Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier says he’s staying. Tigers tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen named team MVP.

8. When Middle Tennessee State travels to Starkville next fall, it will cost Mississipi State $930,000.

9. Was Urban Meyer the best hire this offseason?

10.The college football bowl season starts today.

SEC Basketball

11. Ohio State at South Carolina (4-5). Gamecocks coach Darrin Horn on OSU’s Jared Sullinger: “His IQ is off the charts.”

12. Mississippi State (10-1) at Detroit. MSU point guard Dee Bost: “We’ve got great team chemistry.”

13. Texas A&M vs. Florida (7-2).  SEC foes next year, it’s No. 22 vs. No. 13 this year. Billy Donovan signs his contract extension.

14. Southeast Louisiana at Arkansas (5-3).  After two straight road losses, look for coach Mike Anderson to shake things up.

15. Ole Miss (8-1)  at Southern Miss. Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway is everything coach Andy Kennedy thought he would be.

16. Indiana State at Vanderbilt (6-3).   Kedren Johnson leads all Vandy freshmen in points and minutes.

17. UT Chattanooga at Kentucky.  Terrance Jones gets a shot at redemption.  John Calipari: “He knows he screwed it up. Now, he’ll come back and be fine.” Transfer Twany Beckham is now eligible.

18. The Wildcats face a team in controversy.  How does Chattanooga forward Chris Early feel about his coach? “I would run through hell in gasoline draws than to play for this man another year.”

19. North Florida at Auburn (5-1).  The Tigers are still waiting for some players to get healthy.

20. Alabama (8-2) vs. Kansas State.  Trevor Releford goes home to Kansas City to face a familiar opponent.

21. Georgia (4-5) at USC.  Bulldogs look to break a four-game skid.


22. Former Auburn defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads gets a 10-year contract from Iowa State.

23. Former Alabama coach Ray Perkins is reportedly close to coaching again - at a Mississippi junior college.

24. Two New York high school athletes get suspended for paying tribute to Tim Tebow.

25. ESPN analyst Craig James weighs a run in the U.S. Senate.

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SEC Headlines – 11/3/11 Part One

1.  Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley knows that opposing defenses focus on stopping Mike Dyer… which creates more opportunities in the passing game.

2.  Fewer Wildcat snaps for Kiehl Frazier has helped Moseley find his rhythm, too.

3.  Meeting Saturday night, Arkansas and South Carolina have both been slow starters in 2011.

4.  The Razorbacks are preparing for an improved Gamecock defense.  (Though we suggest you look here, too.)

5.  Ole Miss’ Bryson Rose is just four field goals away from snapping Fuad Reveiz’s SEC record of 18 consecutive made field goals back in 1984.

6.  The Rebels will face a Kentucky defense this weekend that features two players “that would get major playing time at Alabama.”

7.  MSU’s defense is bending… but it’s not breaking.

8.  Bulldog defensive tackle Fletcher Cox makes life easier for those players around him.

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SEC Headlines – 10/13/11 Part One

1.  What goes on during halftime in Alabama’s locker room?  Find out here.

2.  BCS guru Brad Edwards believes Alabama will top the first standings of the year.

3.  Gene Chizik takes the high road when it comes to how some in the media covered the Cam Newton story.

4.  Barrett Trotter and Kiehl Frazier will continue to split the QB duties at Auburn… while Clint Moseley waits his turn.

5.  Due to an ankle injury, Arkansas running back Kody Walker could possibly redshirt.

6.  Mike Anderson is remodeling the Razorback basketball program.

7.  LSU’s John Chavis doesn’t want his return to Tennessee to become the storyline of the week.

8.  The Tigers’ season-opening basketball game with Nicholls State will be free to the public.

9.  Three years ago, Ole Miss upset eventual national champion Florida in The Swamp.  Can they upset Alabama this week?

10.  Could the shotgun formation blow up in quarterback Randall Mackey’s face on Saturday?

11.  South Carolina’s defensive ends are a big concern for Mississippi State.

12.  Dan Mullen is keeping every quarterback option on the table for Saturday.

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Chizik Says Trotter Will Be AU’s Starter Versus UF

Barrett Trotter will once again be given the starting nod when Auburn hosts Florida on Saturday.  The quarterback has started every game for the Tigers this year, but his passing numbers have dropped in recent weeks.

“I expect him to play well,” said Gene Chizik today.  “And I expect everybody else around him to play well with him.  We looked hard at everything.  It’s hard for any quarterback to be as productive as you want him to be if everybody else isn’t productive as well.”

Chizik put plenty of the blame on Trotter’s pass-catchers before saying, “I don’t want to turn this into a wide receiver bashing party.”

Kiehl Frazier will continue to run Auburn’s Wildcat package and Clint Moseley will continue in his third-team role.

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Trotter Still AU’s Starting QB, But That Position’s Under Review

Arkansas did things the right way on Saturday.  If you’re going to beat Auburn, you’d better blow ‘em the heck out.  The Razorbacks did.

And while the Hogs’ offense did their part in the 38-14 win, the Auburn offense struggled, failing to create the shootout most of us expected to see.  The performance dropped Auburn into eighth place in the SEC in total offense, eighth in scoring offense and ninth in passing offense.

For the year, the Tigers are averaging 27.8 points per game… two touchdowns off last year’s 41.2 points per game average.  Their 374.7 yards per game average is down from 499.2 last season.

In Gus Malzahn’s first season on The Plains, his offense started hot and then struggled through the meat of AU’s SEC schedule.  Auburn finished just 3-5 in league play in 2009.  Last season, Malzahn was hailed as a genius as his offense — behind best-SEC-player-I-ever-saw Cam Newton — turned football into pinball.

Barrett Trotter is no Cam Newton.  Against Arkansas he completed just 6 of 19 passes for 81 yards and an interception.  For the season he’s 79 of 141 (56%) for 976 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions.  Clint Moseley is just 2 of 2 passing.  True freshman Kiehl Frazier is just 2 of 5 for 18 yards and two picks.  (Yep, he’s completed as many passes to opponents’ players as he has to his own teammates.)

Frazier has been the Wildcat option so far, but he sounds like he’s ready to take on a larger role.  “If Coach Malzahn wanted me to, I could run more of the base offense, but he wants me in the Wildcat.”

Yesterday, Gene Chizik hinted that changes might be coming at the quarterback spot: “Today, Barrett Trotter is our starting quarterback.  Obviously, we’ll spend all day today, we’ll spend all day tomorrow evaluating all of our positions on our team just like we do every Sunday and every Monday.  And we’ll go from there.  But today, Barrett Trotter is our starting quarterback.”

Yes, but for how long?  And who’s ready to step in and take the reins of Malzahn’s offense?

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The QB Duels Continue For The Bammers And The Barners

Midway through August, the quarterback competitions at Alabama and Auburn are still red hot.  Both Nick Saban and Gene Chizik addressed their teams’ QB situations this weekend and both said they’re far from naming a starter.

Chizik said of his quarterbacks: “We don’t have separation.  They all did some nice things.  We’ll decide who the starter is at the right time.”

Saban said his quarterback situation remains unsettled and added: “We have a long way to go as a team.  We probably had far too many penalties out there today, too many missed assignments, too many mental errors.”

So for the time being, AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims will continue to duke it out in Tuscaloosa while Barrett Trotter, Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier will do the same down on The Plains.

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SEC Headlines – 8/10/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama linebacker/defensive end Courtney Upshaw is back from a bum ankle that slowed him last season.

2.  Tide players say the team’s quarterback battle is still tight.

3.  Here’s a UA practice report… and the Duron Carter wait continues this morning.

4.  Auburn’s three quarterbacks will be trying to get a leg up in the Tigers’ first scrimmage today.

5.  True freshman Kiehl Frazier is the wild card in the QB race.  (He’s also our pick to be running the Tiger offense by October.)

6.  Top incoming freshman Kris Frost is “gone for the year” with a shoulder injury.

7.  Bobby Petrino says there’s no rush to name a starting quarterback at Arkansas… but Tyler Wilson ran the first-team offense and Brandon Mitchell ran the second string yesterday.

8.  This writer expects the Hogs’ quarterbacks to use their feet more than Ryan Mallett did.

9.  The Razorbacks are “hungry” for contact drills.

10.  LSU’s coordinators are both high-energy, fast-talking.

11.  New quarterback Zach Mettenberger says he’s okay with his backup role… but he expects to play.

12.  The Tiger defense will be all about speed this year.

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Lugenbill: Malzahn Not Afraid To Use Frazier

The Auburn quarterback job is still open and many folks are wondering if incoming freshman Kiehl Frazier might wind up grabbing the job.  ESPN’s Tom Lugenbill says that he spoke with Gus Malzahn recently and…

“He really feels that if Kiehl Frazier mentally can handle what they’re bringing him along with — ’cause he’s only there in the summer right now, they haven’t seen him in practice, they don’t know what he’s going to do — then possibly there could be a package ready for him.”

Frazier appears to be the player most similar to Cam Newton in terms of dual-threat capability.  If he grasps the offense, we at expect him to be Auburn’s quarterback by the time October rolls around.

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Possible Starting QB Frazier Arrives At Auburn

Eleven true freshmen football players began summer school at Auburn yesterday, but the man in the brightest spotlight is quarterback prospect Kiehl Frazier.  With Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley unable to lock down the starting spot in spring practice, Frazier is expected to get a good, long look at the position once fall practice begins.

Auburn’s coaches have said that ability will outrank experience when it comes to naming starters on this year’s rebuilt team.  With Gus Malzahn’s track record for simplifying his offense — see: last year with Cam Newton — it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if Frazier is the eventual signal-caller on The Plains as a true freshman.

In fact, we at, believe that’s exactly what will happen.

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Auburn Didn’t Wrap Up Spring Until Today

Auburn held a rather bland spring game on Saturday, but the Tigers didn’t officially wrap up spring drills until holding their 15th practice today.

“We will clean some thing up, and we will give them some ideas on what they need to carry on in the summer in terms of them working on different techniques and things of that nature,” Gene Chizik said before the final practice.  “It will be another good, two-hour learning experience for them, and we can’t get enough of them.”

The quarterback race between Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley has apparently not been decided.  Chizik said Saturday that he and Gus Malzahn may not name a starter until August. 

If that’s the case, highly-touted signee Kiehl Frazier might get a shot at the job.  Meaning Trotter and Moseley had better hope they’ve shown a strong enough grasp of the offense to offset any athletic/talent advantage that Frazier might have.

Of course, from the way Cam Newton tells it, Malzahn might not hesitate to simplify his offense for a talented newcomer in the first place.

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