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SEC Headlines 1/20/2014

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1. Alabama freshman cornerback Tony Brown was arrested. He enrolled in school earlier this month.

2. Want to watch Nick Saban do the electric slide? Click here.

3. Phil Savage on WR DeAndrew White returning to Alabama: “I thought that was a real wise decision.”

4. Auburn’s defense could help the Tigers win a championship in the next few years.

5. No Georgia players declared early for the draft for the first time since 2008.

6. Steve Spurrier said Dylan Thompson will “without question” be South Carolina’s quarterback next season.

7. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason has a winning mentality, just like the Commodores’ former coach.

SEC Basketball

8. LSU “really needed” its win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Forward Jordan Mickey: “We did a good job staying together, trusting each other.”

9. It will be a big week for Mississippi State, which will host Auburn before traveling to Ole Miss.

10. The Rebels will play at Vanderbilt before coming back home for Mississippi State.

11. Mark Wiedmer examines Tennessee, which seems to keep coming up just short.


12. Florida and Kentucky remain the only two SEC teams  in the CBS Sports top 25 (and one).

13. Wichita State could be headed toward earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

14. Texas quarterback David Ash has been cleared for spring practice.

15. Clemson coach Dabo Swinner’s new contract: eight years at $3.15 million per year.

16. Former Alabama quarterback Luke Del Rio is transferring to Oregon State.

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Ely’s Transfer Doesn’t Necessarily Leave Bama’s Cupboard Bare At Backup QB

Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scanThe word came earlier today that redshirt freshman quarterback Phillip Ely will be transferring to Toledo (which is where, ironically, Nick Saban got his start as a head coach).  The immediate reaction to Ely’s announcement?  Alabama doesn’t have a proven backup quarterback!  Alabama doesn’t have a proven backup quarterback!

But before folks spend too much time dissecting the Tide’s quarterback situation, keep in mind that Ely’s career stat line reads as follows: 3-of-4 passing for 42 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Granted, a passer rating of 245.7 is darn hard to beat, but when it’s based on just four thrown passes, well, that rating might be a bit deceiving.

The fact of the matter is Ely had apparently been passed by Blake Sims and Alec Morris in the race to be AJ McCarron’s understudy.  Morris, like Ely, is a redshirt freshman and that might have caused Ely to reassess his own long-term prospects for playing time.  According to Ely:


“I learned a lot at Alabama and felt like I got all the support I could ask for from the coaches.  They just had to sort of pick a land with all the quarterbacks and I wasn’t in the right land.  It’s better to know that sooner rather than later.”


Alabama will have five scholarship quarterbacks on its roster this fall as well as walk-on Luke Del Rio, the son of NFL coach Jack Del Rio.  This is no slight to Ely, but even had he stayed and won the backup job, a serious injury to McCarron would have still thrust an unproven player into the starting role.

For that reason, it’s obviously important for Alabama’s O-line to keep McCarron upright and healthy.  But it’s no more important today than it was yesterday.

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