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With Dirt Being Thrown On Brown, Florida’s Muschamp Mentioned In Connection With Texas Job

Barring a major turnaround in Austin, most folks seem to think that Texas coach Mack Brown is as doomed as Davy Crockett at the Alamo.  So where might the Longhorns turn for a replacement should the plug be pulled on Brown’s administration?

According to Paul Finebaum via Twitter, one Texas insider tells him that Florida’s Will Muschamp (and ex-Brown assistant) and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart could be potential candidates if Brown walks away (or is shown the door).  Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com — the Rivals site covering Texas — also told Finebaum that the Horns could go as high as seven or eight million dollars per year for Nick Saban.  Finebaum’s response to that:

 

finebaum-texas-saban-tweet

 

Meanwhile, Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com has tossed out the name of Georgia’s Mark Richt as well (among many others).

Interestingly, Alabama fans might be more attached to Smart — even after last Saturday’s performance at Texas A&M — than Florida and Georgia fans are to their head coaches.  After any loss, the “can’t win the big one” talk starts anew in Athens.  And Gator fans aren’t showing up at The Swamp or even for BCS bowl games like they once did.

But while we’re looking around the SEC for potential Texas candidates, let’s throw out the name of another man who’s shown he’s not afraid to change jobs quickly.  If Gus Malzahn somehow manages to win a surprising number of games at Auburn this fall, don’t be shocked to see his name kicked around in connection with the Texas gig.

And while the odds of it happening are a million-to-one, what better way for Texas to steal some of the spotlight back from Texas A&M than by nabbing Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin?

For now it’s all talk and speculation.  If Texas can muster eight wins this year, Brown will likely return in 2014.  But if losses continue to mount, expect to hear more talk about Saban (silly), Smart, Muschamp, Richt, and others.

 

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SEC Headlines 9/12/2013

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Heisman candidate Todd Gurley.  The Georgia running back has rushed for at least 100 yards in 11 of 16 games he’s played.

2. Arkansas safety Alan Turner lost his father the night before the Samford game.

3. Biggest problem for South Carolina’s defense against Georgia?  Couldn’t get lined up right.

4. South Carolina running back Mike Davis is averaging 9.4 yards per carry  - best in the conference among players with 20 or more carries.

5. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on Jadeveon Clowney: “He is going to have an impact in the game, but what you can’t afford him to do is have a huge impact on the game.”

6. Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian on quarterback Justin Worley:  ”I think he’s continually getting better. ”

7. Has Auburn found their big-play receiver in Sammie Coates?

8. Ole Miss is an underdog at Texas this weekend but Athlon calls for a Rebels victory.

9. Rebels biggest weakness could be at cornerback. Have started four different corners in two games.

10. Cornerback Cody Quinn is back for Kentucky.  That’s good news for a defense going up against Lousville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

11. How can Kentucky beat Louisville?  “We’ve gotta play with more tempo.”

12. Mississippi State’s Christian Holmes aka “Turtle” is a popular guy.  “I got a lot of tweets from a lot of ladies. My girlfriend didn’t like that too much.”

13. Georgia could end up redshirting more than half of the 31 newcomers from this year’s signing class.

14. Missouri redshirt freshman quarterback Maty Mauk is getting thrown into a fire on a weekly basis.  “It’s good for him to get out there and get going.”

15. Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel on the new targeting rule:  “If we don’t do something there’s going to be a tragedy on the field.”

16. SEC lost eight non-conference games all of last season.  Lost four already this year.

17. “Barring a pair of miracle upsets, the league is going to add at least two more losses this weekend.”

Investigations

18. A concession from Les Miles? “I wasn’t there at every place all the time. ”

19. Our morning wrap on the Yahoo investigation regarding five SEC players allegedly receiving extra benefits.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M

20. Nick Saban on Texas A&M: ”This is a fantastic offensive football team.”

21. Saban says LSU did the best job of defending Johnny Football in 2012. Crimson Tide will use linebacker C.J. Mosley as a “spy.”

22. Saturday’s game is a football laboratory - old school power football vs. new school uptempo offense.

23. SEC coaches on how to defend Johnny Manziel. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel: ”Everybody had plans for how they were going to stop him, but nobody can stop him,”

24. Texas A&M has hosted the No. 1 ranked team only once before – back in 2002 when the Aggies beat Oklahoma.

25. Twitter buzz for this game up dramatically from last year - especially in Texas.

26. “Texas A&M is the university of Texas” tweet creates a stir in Lone Star State.  Mack Brown asked about it.

Practice/Injury Reports

27. Depending on health, either Tyler Russell or Dak Prescott will start at quarterback for Mississippi State.  Auburn is preparing for both of them.

28. Auburn’s Dee Ford and Justin Garrett continue to practice – uncertain if they’ll play.

29. Tennessee wide receiver Pig Howard held out of Wednesday’s practice with an unspecified injury.

30. Georgia may look to make a change at the strong safety position.

SEC Media

31. Don’t expect to read any more Ron Morris columns about Steve Spurrier.  He’s been banned from writing about Gamecocks football.

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Running Back Matt Jones Latest Casualty At Florida; Out Indefinitely With Viral Infection

Matt Jones_FloridaFlorida running back and third-team preseason SEC pick Matt Jones is out indefinitely with a viral infection.  Coach Will Muschamp says Jones will be re-evaluated next week.

“He came down with this the last four or five days. Right now we’re filling him full of antibiotics, and how his body responds will tell me how quickly he can come back. I probably won’t know definitively until end of next week on Matt. Just one of those things that happens. He’s got a lot of (gastrointestinal) issues right now and dealing with those things. He should be fine. Again, I don’t know when he’ll be able to return.”

Teammates say Jones has lost considerable weight. He was expected to be Florida’s primary back this year after rushing for  275 yards and three touchdowns as a backup to Mike Gillislee last season. Redshirt junior Mack Brown will take the No. 1 spot in Jones’ absence.

Muschamp also announced that redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio is out indefinitely as he recovers from a partial tear of his pectoral muscle. Junior guard Max Garcia will miss the first few days of camp  with back soreness

Florida is already without quarterback Jeff Driskel as he recovers from an emergency appendectomy.  He’s expected to miss a couple of weeks. Add it all up and that’s four offensive starters who won’t be available at the start of camp.

And with the Gators starting camp today, suspended linebacker Antonio Morrison is “going to miss a portion of it,” according to Muschamp. The Florida coach suspended Morrison following two arrests over the summer. Morrison is suspended for Florida’s first two games – Toledo and Miami.

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Johnny Manziel Thrown Out Of Texas Fraternity Party

What would a weekend be without a Johnny Manziel story?  The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from College Station spent the weekend in Austin where he ventured into a University of Texas fraternity party.  According to a report at Burnt Orange Nation, the Texas A&M quarterback was thrown out of the party “quickly and harshly.”

Manziel can be seen in a pink polo shirt. As he walks out, he’s met with jeers and a few cups or cans are tossed in his direction. Of course, Mack Brown famously denied Manziel the opportunity to play quarterback at Texas coming out of high school. But I doubt he used language you can hear on this video. Warning: There may be a word or two you probably won’t hear in Sunday School this morning.

 

There were also reports of Manziel attending parties in a Tim Tebow jersey.

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Saban On SEC Network Time Commitments: “Can’t Be Increased”

gfx - they said itThe SEC officially announced the new SEC Network this week and while there are many battles to be fought, expect one of them to be over time demands on football coaches.  When the network launches in August of 2014, it will mean even more media attention, constant television cameras and hours of programming to fill each and every day.  Regardless of the changes, Alabama coach Nick Saban says he doesn’t have any extra time to devote to media-related duties.

 

“I think the time that we have to spend on media-related promotion, whether it’s coaches, student-athletes or whomever it is, it can’t be increased because we have other things that are important to do.”

 

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze tells Brandon Marcello at AL.com he expects to do less interviews with reporters and fewer last-minute requests because of the network. “It’s about managing.”

This wouldn’t be the first time a television network clashed with a coach’s schedule.  Texas coach Mack Brown famously complained about the Longhorn Network last year, saying ”I didn’t ask for it.” The network taped the first 30 minutes of each practice which led Brown to worry that opponents were picking up valuable tidbits about the Longhorns.

Brown estimated he was spending six hours a week planning or participating in shows that air on the Longhorn Network.

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Writer: Texas’ Dodds Needs To Let Go Of Aggie-phobia

gfx - they said itRandy Galloway of The Fort Wort Star-Telegram is the latest journalist to kick Texas AD DeLoss Dodds around for his latest comments regarding Texas A&M.  Earlier this week Dodds said that it was A&M that scuttled the Longhorns/Aggies rivalry, that it would only be re-started under Texas’ rules, and that Longhorn fans don’t even care about playing their most hated rival any longer.

That’s all nonsense, of course, and everyone outside of those in burnt orange knows it.

That’s why Galloway believes it’s time for Dodds to get over his Aggie-phobia:

 

“Well, first, not once as the Aggies were departing the Big 12 did anyone in College Station say the rivalry with UT was over. It was just the opposite. School officials repeatedly said, with the move to the SEC, A&M wanted to continue the game, and if it could no longer happen at Thanksgiving, pick another date.

Second, if DeLoss is actually listening to his fan base, I’d like to know what his poll says on Mack Brown continuing as head coach.

But these are tough times for Dodds. Shockingly, the Aggies became the national talk of college football in their first SEC season. The Longhorns, after the last couple of seasons, just hope they are still talked about in Austin.

Based on current conditions, DeLoss should have a wet finger in the air, and be playing the wind. If he doesn’t want to play A&M again, a much more diplomatic answer to the question would come across better.

DeLoss had the PR hammer as the Aggies departed. In a one-eighty, the Aggies now have the hammer.

The rivalry, at some point — probably after DeLoss retires — will continue. It should continue. Everyone knows that.”

 

Galloway also did a little recon on other Texas-based schools that used to play A&M to see who’d be interested in scheduling them again.  Texas Tech and TCU are both in favor of playing the Aggies.  Baylor — which threatened lawsuits in an attempt to block A&M’s move to the SEC — shows no interest.

But if given the opportunity to fire up some old rivalries, here’s guessing the Bears would rank behind the Longhorns, Red Raiders and Horned Frogs on most Aggie fans’ lists.

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Mack Brown Hires Nick Saban Protege To Be Director Of Player Personnel

Nick Saban Mack BrownIf you can’t beat them, join them. Or at least have them join you.  That seems to be the message coming from Texas football coach Mack Brown.  Two weeks after saying that, “Alabama is ahead of all of us with the number of personnel they’ve hired, and that’s something everybody’s looking very closely at,” the Longhorns coach has hired a director of player personnel.

Patrick Suddes is an Alabama grad, began his career as a recruiting intern for Nick Saban at LSU and was serving as Alabama’s associate director of football operations when Mack Brown announced the hire on Thursday.

“When I was growing up, The University of Texas was always one of the programs that I thought about as a great place to be because of its tradition and history as a winning program,” Suddes said. “This is the only job I would have left the Alabama program for. I think being able to grow within a system and building something new here is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Suddes also spent two years under Saban with the Miami Dolphins as an assistant responsible for scouting opponents and organizing game plans.

The director of player personnel role is expected to have a bigger role in recruiting thanks to proposed deregulation by the NCAA. However, an NCAA working group announced yesterday they are proposing that new rules be modified.

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Texas To Hire Director Of Player Personnel As Mack Brown Concedes: “Alabama Is Ahead Of All Of Us”

Texas coach Mack BrownEveryone, it seems, has an opinion on looming deregulation in recruiting.  Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity, Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox and Tennessee football coach Butch Jones have all come out in recent days voicing concern on that proposals that would lift restrictions on communicating with recruits and allow schools to hire as many people to help with on-campus recruiting as they like.

And then there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room – Alabama.  South Carolina recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier, Jr. specifically mentioned the Crimson Tide when asked about recruiting changes earlier this month.  Nick Saban’s decision to bring in Kevin Steele as director of player personnel and bring in an army of experienced heavyweight recruiters has caught the attention of competitors – in and out of the conference.

Texas coach Mack Brown is the latest to take note.  The Longhorns football coach said Thursday he’ll create a director of player personnel that will oversee recruiting.  Like Spurrier, Jr., he specifically mentioned one SEC team in his decision-making process.

 

“Alabama is ahead of all of us with the number of personnel they’ve hired, and that’s something everybody’s looking very closely at…

“I can’t blame Alabama for doing what they need to do to be successful. The thing you’ve got to look at, if you’re looking at college football, is can everybody do that? And is that fair? It’s fair for Alabama because they’ve made it work for them. I would not be critical of them at all.”

 

Brown adds he expects that analyst/quality control positions will eventually be restricted by the NCAA.   ” I don’t think we’ll have unlimited numbers this time next year.”

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 2/14/2013

recruiting-headlines-gfx1. The state of Georgia had approximately 190 seniors sign with FBS schools.  At least 55 of them flipped their commitment at least once before signing their paperwork.

2. Texas coach Mack Brown is taking a hardline approach with recruits – once committed, don’t take any more visits.  ”If you are committed to us, be committed. If you’re going to go look, we’re going to go look.”

3. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on 2013 quarterback signeee Jeremy Johnson: ”I’m telling you, Jeremy was the rock of our class.”

4. Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow  is targeting Ohio in 2014.“I am already on the top 15 guys (in Ohio) for next year. Can’t say their names, but they’re some very highly recruited guys.”

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As The Gruden Turns: Hogs Swing And Miss, Vols On Deck (And Sources Say They’re In Good Shape)

On Sunday, CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora claimed Arkansas and Tennessee were both targeting ex-NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden for their coaching vacancies.  Two nights ago, KTHV -TV in Little Rock reported that Arkansas had officially offered Gruden its head coaching job.

Rumors of a Gruden hire have swirled at both schools for more than a month with various fans and friends of friends of friends claiming that both Gruden-to-Arkansas and Gruden-to-Tennessee were done deals, depending, of course, on which said of the Arkansas/Tennessee border you stood.

Numerous sources from the Natural State have indicated elsewhere — and specifically to MrSEC.com last night — that Gruden politely turned down the advance from the Razorbacks.  Ron Higgins of The Memphis Commercial-Appeal — a city that straddles said border — reported the following on Twitter last night:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Tennessee in the on-deck circle at this point, MrSEC.com was told by an industry source this morning that it might not take a “mind-blowing” offer to land Gruden.

As everyone knows by now, the Super Bowl-winning coach began his career as a grad assistant at Tennessee in the mid-80s and married an ex-UT cheerleader who still has family in the Knoxville area.  Those ties could be causing Gruden — who’s spoken with Tennessee during previous searches — to lean more in the Vols’ direction this time around.

According to the source we spoke with today, Gruden and his agent are no longer asking for $50 million in guaranteed money over 10 years as had been widely speculated/reported in East Tennessee over the past few weeks.  If true, perhaps Gruden is willing to give UT a “hometown” discount on account of his wife and in-laws.  It’s also possible that the coach believes he could use his national celebrity to earn a good deal of cash over-and-above his Vol salary through national advertisements (he’s currently a pitch man for Hooters).

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