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SEC Headlines 3/7/2013

headlines-thu SEC Football

1. Tennessee starts spring practice on Friday.  Here are three areas the Vols must repair or improve.

2. Arkansas starts spring practice Sunday. Spring game set for April 20th. Coach Bret Bielema says practices will be closed to the public.

3. South Carolina started spring practice this week.  Here’s the pre-spring depth chart (PDF).

4. Some changes in store for the media when it comes to spring practice at Missouri - reporters no longer able to watch all of non-scrimmage practices.

5. Texas A&M assistant coach Clarence McKinney may be new to the offensive coordinator role, but not to the Aggie’s offense.  ”This will be my sixth year of installing this offense. So I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. It’s pretty natural for me.”

6. Ole Miss makes the hiring of Jason Jones official.  He’ll coach cornerbacks and be co-defensive coordinator.

7. Former Florida International player on new Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal: “Coach Cristobal is everything you need. He’s vocal, however you need him to coach, whatever coach (Nick) Saban wants him to do, he’ll be on it.”

8. Not even surgery can get Alabama off the mind of a Virginia Tech defensive back.

9. With A.J. McCarron firmly entrenched at quarterback at Alabama, this streak seems likely to stay intact.  ”A true freshman quarterback has never seen the field during Saban’s tenure at Alabama.”

10. McCarron tells Dan Patrick he had no interest in going pro early - even as a top 10 pick and he won’t be signing up for online classes: “You get some extra stares, but I love our student base and all the fans we have on campus.”

11. Johnny Manziel coming to grips with Johnny Backlash? “Once a prolific tweeter, @jmanziel2 has recently slowed to a crawl.” Autographed Manziel trading cards?

12. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will spend his spring break in Norman, Oklahoma working with QB guru George Whitfield.

13. More people coming around to the idea that former Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd should be the first pick of the NFL draft.

SEC Basketball

14. Florida’s three seniors not the only Gator players thinking about the NBA.  Junior Patric Young has a decision to make: “ I’m going to do what’s best for me and my family and whatever makes me happy, honestly.”

15. Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes recorded his 13th double-double of the season last night at Auburn.

16. NIT selection committee member was a no-show at the LSU-A&M game last night, but the Tigers victory last night puts them in a good spot for a bid.

17. In bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s first four out – three are from the SEC: Alabama, Kentucky and Ole Miss. Some other thoughts on Alabama’s tournament chances.

18. Kentucky will face a Georgia team tonight that plays good defense.  Bulldogs holding opponents to a 38.6 percent field goal percentage, on pace to be the best in program history (records kept back to 1959-1960).

19. Kentucky coach John Calipari: “I’d like to tell you that we’re still a pretty good road team. It’s just the last two road games, we’ve been abysmal.”

20. More than $13.6 million has been raised to replace Tad Smith Coliseum at Ole Miss.  Tad Pad opened in 1966, 11 of 13 other SEC teams have built new arenas since then.

21. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson still puzzled by the bitterness surrounding his departure at Missouri. ”I don’t know what the regrets would be about.”

Extras

22. With Georgetown’s loss last night, all four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament are up for grabs. Six ranked teams lost Wednesday night.

23. Who’s the player of the year in college basketball?  Vegas has some ideas. So does Mike DeCourcy.

24. A slimmed-down athletics board at Tennessee will cut the number of members from 41 to 18.

25. Long before the Manti Te’o incident, some colleges were giving their athletes social media training. Think before you accept that “friend” request.

26. Here’s how a recruiting text specialist might spend his day.

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SEC Headlines 1/21/2013

headlines-mon1. Coaching rumors and a Twitter spat between Ole Miss and Mississippi State gets Ole Miss A.D. Ross Bjork involved.  Chris Kiffin rumors fueled when father Monte became Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator.

2. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema goes back-and-forth on Twitter with Wisconsin fans over the weekend.

3. New York Giants linebackers coach Jim Herrmann pulls his name from consideration for the Eagles defensive coordinator position.  Georgia’s Todd Grantham and Alabama’s Kirby Smart have been mentioned as possible candidates.

4. For the Senior Bowl on Saturday, with the exception of a center, the SEC could field an offense. The league also has 10 defensive players on the South roster.

5. He’s one of the first two non-seniors ever to be invited to the Senior Bowl, but Alabama lineman D.J. Fluker might not be able to play due to lingering injuries. Fluker has lost over an inch and gained twenty pounds.

6. Auburn’s Ontario McCalebb weighs in at the Senior Bowl at 164 pounds. Georgia’s  John Jenkins tips the scale at 359 pounds.

7. No one is losing more underclassmen to the draft than LSU. A number of them weren’t nearly as good in 2012 as they were in 2011. Another look at early SEC departures.

8. Jackson, TN newspaper: College coaches and recruiters take note. There’s talent in this part of the state.

9. More 3-4 defensive alignments in football?

SEC Basketball

10. How long have opposing fans disliked the way Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss has played basketball? “I’m pretty sure it started in seventh grade, whenever I started playing junior high basketball,”

11. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is getting better - seven blocked shots Saturday, 20 in his last three games. Did Saturday mark a breakthrough for the Cats?

12.  Henderson named SEC Player of the Week – Noel Freshman of the Week.

13. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein probably won’t make the trip to Alabama Tuesday night – had a procedure done on his knee last week.

14. Newsflash: Missouri misses Michael Dixon…badly.

15. Cuonzo Martin was glad to get Tennessee’s first conference win Saturday, but…”I still don’t think we played great basketball, I just think we were good enough to win the game,”

16. Mississippi State coach Rick Ray looks ahead to Arkansas and their press defense.

Manti Te’o

17. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and his parents will sit down for an interview on Katie Couric’s syndicated television show.

18. The alleged mastermind of the hoax may tell his side of the story.

19. Even after Te’o found out the truth, the hoax continued two nights before the BCS National Championship.

20. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher: “I don’t know the situation with Manti and I’ll reserve judgment until the end, but there are so many things about social media that are dangerous.”

21. “(T)he residual effects of the Te’o story…will ripple through sports journalism for years to come…”

Extras

22. One year ago tomorrow – Joe Paterno died. Community residents organizing a vigil.

23. What was New York Jets coach Rex Ryan doing at Texas Tech over the weekend?

24. AJ McCarron’s girlfriend moving to New York to pursue modeling career – offered spot on “Dancing With The Stars”, according to New York Post.

25.  Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean is married to the sister of Jim and John Harbaugh.

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SEC Headlines 1/19/2013

headlines-satSEC Football

1. Auburn tackle Shon Coleman, who survived a battle with leukemia, given a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

2. With graduation, players leaving early and transfers, Florida will be able to sign as many as 33 players in this recruiting class.

3. City manager on judge who released details of Johnny Manziel speeding ticket on Facebook - ”insensitive and inappropriate.”

4. Alabama honors its national champions with a parade this afternoon.

5. The day after signing day, Tennessee coach Butch Jones will crisscross the state – appearing at events in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.

6. Jones on his team: “We do have a long way to go in mental toughness.” Tennessee assistant Steve Stripling: ”Butch is an attention-to-detail coach.”

7. Like Jones, new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is trying to rebuild relationships in his state.

8. Players begin arriving today in Mobile for next Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Phil Savage: “The game is probably three-quarters NFL evaluation and one-quarter all-star recognition.”

9. Former Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley is sharing kickoff duties with LSU’s Drew Alleman today at the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic. ”Everybody knows you’re there and everybody knows your stats. You’ve just got to go out and show them.”

10. Five Vanderbilt seniors taking part in all-star games – most since 1984.

11. Official tally from the NFL - 73 players granted special eligibility for the draft.

Coaching News

12. Former Alabama coach Mike Shula will be working closely with former Auburn player Cam Newton.  Shula promoted to offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.

13. Three members of former Auburn coach Gene Chizik’s staff have found new jobs.

Manti Te’o

14. Manti Te’o denies involvement in the girlfriend hoax.  ”I wasn’t faking it. I wasn’t part of this,” but he did admit lying to his father that he had met her.

15. Te’o: “Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing.”

16. Stewart Mandel: “This Tuiasosopo guy’s a bad dude. He most definitely did this (along with one other man and woman, Te’o said). It’s about the only conclusive detail in the whole saga.” …Agreed.

17. Deadspin:  ESPN has removed all references to the woman claiming to be Lennay showing up at the team hotel from its online story.

SEC Basketball

18. Miami NCAA investigation: Does Frank Haith have more to worry about than Al Golden? 

19. With a victory today against Missouri, Florida coach Billy Donovan will earn his 400th career win with the Gators.

20. John Calipari on Auburn coach Tony Barbee: “Tony is doing an unbelievable job. These guys are being coached exactly how they got to be coached.”

21. Barbee on what Calipari will do if Willie Cauley-Stein doesn’t play: “He just reaches down the bench and goes and grabs another McDonald’s All-American.”

22. “Charles Barkley will be in attendance, football coach Gus Malzahn will speak at halftime” -will the sold-out crowd feature Cam Newton, too?

Extras

23. Happy 67th birthday, Dolly Parton.

24. Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver dead at 82.

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WOW Headlines – 1/18/13

In light of the Manti Te’o situation, South Carolina officials are cracking down on a fake Twitter account tied to DE Jadeveon Clowney
Arkansas has hired Kansas State’s Michael Smith as its new receivers coach
Florida coach Will Muschamp says he and new defensive coordinator DJ Durkin will run the defense together as he did with Dan Quinn
Quinn left Florida to become the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator on Thursday
Rumors continue to tie Georgia’s Todd Grantham and Alabama’s Kirby Smart to the vacant Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator job
Missouri F Laurence Bowers will probably miss Saturday’s game with Florida due to a knee injury
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SEC Headlines 1/18/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Johnny Manziel gets a speeding ticket and a Texas judge takes to Facebook to publicize the case.  The judge, Lee Johnson, is a Baylor alum and could be in trouble for posting the information.

2. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am thought about inviting Manziel but apparently backed off when they discovered it would have cost the Texas A&M quarterback close to $20,000 to pay the entry fee or run afoul of NCAA rules.

3. Manziel on the new generation of NFL quarterbacks: “Watching them you see some of the things that have changed in the NFL, with the read option and where (teams) can do some things with a mobile quarterback.”

4. Collateral damage from the Manti Te’o case hits South Carolina. Fake Jadeveon Clowney Twitter account creates a stir. South Carolina officials informed Twitter about the account Wednesday night.

5. Bret Bielema has completed his staff at Arkansas – hires Kansas State assistant Michael Smith to be the Razorbacks receivers coach.

6. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the departure of Dan Quinn and the promotion of D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator: “D.J. and I will run the defense, continuing the way that Dan and I did for the past two years.”

7. A busy Mark Stoops at Kentucky: ”There have been some moments when you sit back and (it’s like), wow,”

8. Three walk-ons now have scholarships at Tennessee – unofficial number of scholarship players now totals 69.

9. Could the SEC have 11 or 12 bowl teams in 2013?

NFL Draft Prospects

10. Departing Auburn running back Onterio McCalleb will play in the Senior Bowl - marking three straight weeks he’ll play in all-star games.

11. Four Texas A&M players will participate in all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game and the Raycom All-Star Classic are Saturday with the Senior Bowl a week later.

12. Aggies running back Christine Michael, who butted heads with coach Kevin Sumlin and saw little playing time his senior year, is impressing scouts at East-West Shrine Game practice.  “Michael has been the top back in practices.”

13. Even before the girlfriend hoax story emerged, Manti Te’o's draft stock was plunging. Gil Brandt: “In that game against Alabama, this was like a guy who was the best shooter in the world in basketball and here comes a game and he can’t even hit the backboard.

14. Mel Kiper on Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree: “I think he could certainly be top 10-12. I have him 13 right now, but by the time the combine workout is over, he could end up in the top 10.”

15. Kiper on 2014 draft prospect Aaron Murray:  “I think you’re looking at maybe a second-round pick.”

College News

16. Penn State coach Bill O’Brien wins the Bear Bryant Award.  Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin were finalists.

17. Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State coach.

18. Former Alabama great and ex-Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom is the new running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans.

19. Cowboys have talked to Houston Nutt about joining the staff.

20. Big East football will have 10 teams and eliminate divisions this year.

21. NCAA president Mark Emmert: ”It turns out we know how to write rules. One of the problems is sometimes we write lots and lots and lots of rules.”

22. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Te’o is, at best, a gullible sap, and at worst, a willing participant in the most sophisticated hoax college football’s ever seen.”

23. This is perhaps the goofiest “non-sports” sports story we’ve experienced since Tonya Harding. Report: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has admitted to the hoax.

SEC Basketball

24. Missouri forward Laurence Bowers likely to miss Saturday’s game at Florida- has sprained MCL in his right knee.

25. “The Tigers often look like a team comprised of one holdover and numerous transfers, which is close to being what they are.”

26. In their last 19 conference games spread across basketball, football and baseball – Tennessee is 1-18.

27. Since 2000, LSU has lost their first three conference games five times.

28. Arkansas beat Auburn Wednesday night but it was a disappointing performance for Razorbacks forward Hunter Mickelson.  Mike Anderons’ message: “He’s got to have short-term memory and get back in practice and come with it.”

29. ESPN ranks the SEC 1-to-14 – from Florida to Georgia.

30. Ron Morris pays tribute to Carolina Coliseum – “back when basketball games were played in basketball barns.”

Extra

31. “Catfishing”  is a pretty common occurrence.  ”It’s been going on for a while, and I think it just hit the tipping point.”

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SEC Headlines 1/17/2013

headlines-thuNFL Draft Prospects

1. Gil Brandt has four Alabama players going in the first round – Mel Kiper has three. 

2. Kiper on South Carolina receiver Ace Sanders: “Sanders is super quick, dynamic, similar to what Andrew Hawkins is doing with the Bengals,”

3. Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson on his opportunity at the Senior Bowl: ”People don’t think I’m good at pass coverage. But I’ve never really had a true chance to showcase that I can play on the passing downs.”

4. Auburn linebacker Daren Bates hopes moving back to his natural position of safety will impress pro scouts.

5. Now that the draft deadline has passed, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach says Alabama and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray are two of the biggest winners.

SEC Football

6. Comparing staff salaries at Kentucky – Mark Stoops vs. Joker Phillips. New crew costing Kentucky an extra $720,000 (counting the head coach).

7. According to his high school coach, former Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett has transferred to North Carolina State.

8. The last of LSU’s early enrollees has arrived on campus – class starts Monday.

9. Florida lineman Jessamen Dunker will be released from jail today – suspected of stealing a scooter.

10. BCS and SEC Championship rings stolen at Auburn.

11. The 2013 Tennessee Vols – also known as #Team117.

SEC Basketball

12. Florida travels to Texas A&M tonight.  This marks the fourth-time the Gators have crossed time zones since mid-December.

13, Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy on the ovation Elston Turner received after scoring 40 points and walking off the court at Rupp Arena with seconds to go in the game Saturday. ”It was first class. One of my assistants said let’s get Elston out, and it was really nice to hear.”

14. Thanks to that long-distance shot that sent the Vanderbilt game to overtime, Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson has garnered national attention.

15. Jay Bilas on Nerlens Noel vs. Anthony Davis: “It is unfair to compare them.”

16. Tennessee looks to find additional scoring punch beyond Jordan McRae. Only Vol to score in double-digits last two games.

17. Tennessee may be 0-3 in SEC play, but their fortunes could be turning up - thanks to the schedule.

18, Missouri coach Frank Haith on Laurence Bowers, suffering from a knee sprain.  ”I still don’t know that he’ll play Saturday, but he’s doing well.”

19. Haith’s attorney on the University of Miami investigation: “We just want to know when this process will end.’’

20. You can describe this year’s Vanderbilt team many ways - boring isn’t one of them.

21. Shaquille O’Neal prefers “three-and-done” for college basketball.

Manti Te’o

22. The report of a hoax involving Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o's girlfriend last night had Twitter buzzing.

23. Joking about it over a month ago?

24. Who got duped in this story?  For starters, most of the media. South Bend Tribune removed a story regarding Te’o and his girlfriend meeting from their website – but a cached version remains.

25. Now they tell us. Te’o's teammates skeptical about girlfriend all along. Incident drawing comparisons to the movie Catfish. TMZ: All SCAMS Lead to 
RONAIAH TUIASOSOPO

26. But Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Maui’a says he met the girlfriend in 2011.

27. Dan Wetzel: Confused? Everyone is.

28 .ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap will reportedly conduct interview with Te’o. Well…not so fast -maybe not.

Extras

29. AJ McCarron’s mom on Katherine Webb: “The only thing this poor baby did was come to a ballgame to see her boyfriend play.”

30. More meltdown at USC.  Lane Kiffin responds to reports of “a flat out brawl” in the locker room following the loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

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Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel Is A Heisman Trophy Winner

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman in the 78-year history of the Heisman Trophy to win the award Saturday night in New York.

“It’s so humbling for me to be the first freshman to win and really make history. I can’t explain it. It’s just truly so awesome, something I’m so, so pumped about,” said Manziel.

The Aggies quarterback received 474 first-place votes, 153 more than Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who finished second.  Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein finished third.

In his acceptance speech, Manziel took time to mention former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and former quarterbacks coach Tom Rossley.  “Without [them] giving me a chance at A&M none of this would be possible,” Manziel said. “I’m so thankful for them. Those guys are still people I hold near and dear to my heart.”

Manziel won five of the six voting regions.  South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney received four first-place votes.  Georgia’s Jarvis Jones received one.

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