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SEC Headlines – 4/17/12 Headlines

1.  Someone accidentally shattered Alabama’s crystal football BCS trophy.  (Here’s guessing they can afford to replace the $30,000 item.)

2.  Bama’s players will be heading to DC to meet the President on Thursday and they’ll have their new championship rings to show to him.

3.  At Auburn, spring progress is giving way to summer expectations.

4.  Tiger players bought into their new coordinators, Scot Loeffler and Brian VanGorder.

5.  This writer says Auburn’s clearly better off without Mike Dyer.

6.  This is behind a paywall, but Arkansas fundraisers say they’ve not lost a single donor since Bobby Petrino’s dismissal.

7.  The Razorbacks will enter Week Two of their coaching search (or interim search) tomorrow.

8.  This writer says the Petrino scandal is just the latest in a long Arkansas football soap opera.

9.  New coach Johnny Jones remembers the glory days of LSU basketball.

10.  Ole Miss would best be served by finding a true leader in its quarterback race this weekend.

11.  Mississippi State’s Malcolm Johnson is not your typical tight end.

12.  Kevin Sumlin says Texas A&M still hasn’t picked a starting quarterback.

13.  Florida’s Billy Donovan will be head coach for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championships.

14.  Georgia’s coordinators break down the Bulldogs’ 2012 spring practice session.

15.  UGA has the toughest drug policy in the SEC and AD Greg McGarity says they’re not going to change it.

16.  The press conference of John Calipari and five Kentucky basketball players has been moved to 7pm ET this evening.

17.  Frank Martin has given sophomore Damontre Harris permission to seek a transfer which means South Carolina with only two returning starters and one of those — Bruce Ellington — won’t join the team until after football season.

18.  A quiet spring was a good thing for the Gamecocks.

19.  Tennessee coaches want their players focused during the final week of spring drills.

20.  Vol kicker Michael Palardy is hoping for a better season in 2012.

21.  Here’s a look back at Missouri’s spring practice.

22.  Alex Oriakhi’s impact with Mizzou could be big.

23.  This year’s Music City Bowl will kickoff at noon ET on New Year’s Eve.

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SEC Headlines – 1/6/12 Part Two

1.  Caesar’s Palace has released its future odds for the 2013 BCS Championship Game and LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia are among the top six favorites.

2.  Rob Chubb has been Auburn’s top hoopster so far this season.

3.  Mike Dyer’s exit from the Tiger football team will open the door for others.

4.  This writer believes Arkansas will need to be effective running the ball to beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl tonight.

5.  How will the Hogs look after their 42-day lay-off?

6.  This writer takes the Razorbacks in a 42-28 shootout.

7.  LSU will be without freshman Johnny O’Bryant (7.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg) when they open SEC play against Ole Miss tomorrow.  O’Bryant could miss a month of action with a broken bone in his hand.

8.  MSU point guard Dee Bost will look to break out of a slump against Arkansas tomorrow. 

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Rumor: Dyer Done At Auburn, Heading To Arkansas State. Chizik Says No

Michael Dyer has been a bellcow for the Auburn program since suiting up as the Tigers’ top tailback last year.  Unfortunately, there have also been off-field issues and an indefinite suspension to go along with all his rushing yards and that BCS Championship Game MVP award.

Now, rumors are swirling that Dyer is finished on the Plains and will be transferring to Arkansas State… where it just so happens Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will be taking over as head coach.

At least two Arkansas State players have already welcomed/congratulated Dyer on his move to Jonesboro via Facebook and Twitter (though that page no longer exists).

But Gene Chizik said today that the rumors that first kicked up yesterday are just that — rumors.

“Michael Dyer’s status has not changed.  If it does, I’ll let you know.  I’m not aware of any of that.”

Pressed for more information, Chizik simply said: “I’m not going to go into details of my discussions with Mike Dyer.  I’ve told you guys his status, and that status hasn’t changed.”

So is Chizik simply avoiding the question until after the bowl game?  Stay tuned.

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AU Suspends RB Dyer For Bowl, Perhaps Beyond

Thousand-yard rusher Mike Dyer will miss Auburn’s Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia.  That much is definite.  Multiple sources have confirmed that news to The Birmingham News.

When he’ll return to the team?  That’s the indefinite part.

Gene Chizik has slapped an indefinite suspension on his offense’s biggest star due to the dreaded (and vague) violation of team rules.  The All-SEC back rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.  This after a 1,093-yard season in 2010.  He is one of just five Tiger backs to post consecutive 1000-yard seasons and the first to do it in his freshman and sophomore seasons. 

Auburn’s second-leading rusher on the season was Onterio McCalebb with 532 yards.  McCalebb serves as the lightning to Dyer’s thunder, however.  So expect true freshman Tre Mason to get Dyer’s share of the work in the bowl game.

For the season, Dyer accounted for 59% of Auburn’s rushing output and 31% of the team’s total offense. 

Oversimplified conclusion: This is an awfully big suspension for the Tigers.

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Dyer Chewing Up The Yards For Auburn

Auburn hasn’t had a great year on the field this fall, but star tailback Mike Dyer has.  And his performance leaves him in line to break some pretty nice records in the weeks and years ahead:

* Dyer is just the fifth Auburn running back to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

* With 135 yards tomorrow against Samford, he will move onto the school’s Top 10 list of all-time rushers.

* Dyer has already recorded five 100-yard rushing games in 2011.

* At his current pace, he could challenge Auburn legend Bo Jackson’s career rushing mark of 4,303 yards.

* By rushing for 1,000 yards this season, Dyer became just the third SEC running back behind Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden to rush for 1,000 as both a freshman and a sophomore.

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SEC Headlines – 10/6/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama’s CJ Mosley and Eddie Lacy are still questionable for Saturday’s game with Vanderbilt.

2.  People at UA are pleased with AJ McCarron’s progress so far.

3.  This writer sees nothing but sparring matches ahead of Bama’s heavyweight bout with LSU at the end of the month.

4.  Last week it was Bama’s Trent Richardson, this week is back on Auburn’s case… trying to figure out how Jermaine Whitehead got his flashy wheels.

5.  The Tigers might be without wideout Emory Blake against Arkansas.

6.  Kiehl Frazier may take on a bigger role when the Tigers face his homestate team on Saturday.

7.  It looks like Razorback defensive end Jake Bequette will return from his hamstring injury this weekend.

8.  Auburn’s offense will test the Hogs’ poor-tacklin’ ways.

9.  Stopping tailback Mike Dyer will be Priority One for Willy Robinson’ defense.

10.  LSU is getting healthy just in time to welcome Florida to Death Valley.

11.  Depending on expansion, this could be the last time the Tigers and Gators face one another as annual foes.

12.  Les Miles is defending quarterback Jordan Jefferson against fan criticism.

13.  Mississippi State is 0-3 in the SEC, but Dan Mullen isn’t panicking.

14.  After an overtime win over Louisiana Tech in their last “breather,” the Bulldogs shouldn’t take UAB lightly this week.

15.  Maybe Derek DePasquale’ neon yellow shoes help his accuracy.

16.  Gunter Brewer — who coached some top wideouts at Oklahoma State — sees big things in store for Ole Miss’ Donte Moncrief.

17.  Houston Nutt has only good things to say about Alabama’s defense… which his Rebels will face on the other side of this weekend’s open date.

18.  Senior running back Enrique Davis could see some playing time on defense in the coming weeks.

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SEC Headlines – 10/3/11 Part One

1.  The SEC has named its Players of the Week.

2.  Alabama’s Trent Richardson owned the national stage on Saturday night.

3.  The Tide’s dominating line play is scary good.

4.  Mike Dyer was a battering ram for Auburn against South Carolina.

5.  That kind of ball control might help AU’s defense against Arkansas this weekend.

6.  In a game of big plays, Arkansas made the most against Texas A&M.

7.  Despite the win, the Hogs didn’t get a great report card from this writer.

8.  The everyone back from suspensions, the LSU team feels whole again.

9.  Les Miles’ decision to play Jordan Jefferson sooner (than expected) is all about later.

10.  LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in the AP Poll and 2-3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.  (Both would kill Oklahoma or Stanford.  Wisconsin?  They might be able give ‘em a game.)

11.  Dual-threat quarterback Randall Mackey — who got the start in Saturday’s win over Fresno State — had Ole Miss’ offense clicking.

12.  Mackey was just what the Rebels needed.

13.  Dan Mullen wants the blame for MSU’s 0-3 SEC record put on the coaching staff and not the players.  (Judging from my inbox, that’s not going to be a problem.)

14.  Mullen says he wants the Bulldogs to win the rest of their games… but winning six and getting to a bowl game is big.

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AU’s Malzahn Ready To Give Dyer More Carries

Most of the talk following the end of Auburn’s 17-game win streak has surrounded Ted Roof’s porous defense.  But offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn feels he needs to make some changes, too.  Namely, he needs to get Mike Dyer even more carries:

“You look at your strengths and you look at what you’re good at, and (Dyer is) playing very good football now.  We’re looking at a lot of different things, but that is one of them.  He’s one of our strengths.  And we definitely need to build upon our strengths.”

Dyer has carried the ball 48 times this season for a total of 358 yards and six touchdowns.  That’s an average of 7.5 yards per attempt.  He’s also been consistent against BCS competition the last two weeks:

Miss. State

Dyer’s 119 yard-per-game average is second only to Marcus Lattimore on the SEC rushing chart and he leads the SEC with four rushes of 30 yards or more.

No wonder Malzahn wants to get him the ball more.

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Crowell Picking Up The Offense At UGA

There aren’t many true freshmen in the country who are under as much pressure as Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell.  Gone are many of the veterans expected to play in front of him.  Gone are some key offensive linemen who could’ve helped block for him.  Yet he’s expected to step right in and become this season’s Marcus Lattimore of Mike Dyer.

Sounds rough, but according to running backs coach Bryan McClendon, so far… so good:

“Not only in this league, but in the NFL or whatever, you’ve got guys that if you can’t trust them out there you’re not gonna put them out there. … That hasn’t been an issue with Isaiah so far.  And this is Day Four of installation, and he hasn’t missed much assignment-wise, and that’s obviously a pleasure to see.”

Before Crowell can do the things that Dawg fans are hoping for this fall, he has to know what it is he’s supposed to be doing.  The fact that he’s picking up the offense quickly should bring some sighs of relief from Rossville to Valdosta.

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4 Ex-Auburn Players Indicted By Grand Jury

On March 11th, four Auburn football players were arrested for armed robbery.  Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens, Mike McNeil and Dakota Mosley were immediately dismissed from the Tiger team by Gene Chizik.

Today all four players have been indicted by a grand jury and are due to be arraigned on May 26th.  A trial date has been tentatively set for June 16th.

Interestingly, four other current AU football players are listed as potential witnesses in the case — Anthony Morgan, DeAngelo Benton, Neiko Thorpe and star running back Mike Dyer.  None of those four have been accused of any wrongdoing, but you can bet they — and Auburn — would just as soon their names not have come up in connection to this case at all.  Even as potential witnesses.

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