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SEC & NFL: Who Impressed At The Combine?

Did former Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans have a better NFL combine than former teammate Johnny Manziel?  Boomer Esiason breaks down the reasons why he believes he did.

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SEC Headlines 2/23/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150Hurry-Up Offenses/Proposed Rule Change

1. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury on Nick Saban: “ I know the last three losses he’s had have been against so up-tempo teams. So I’ll just leave it at that.”

2. Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown: ”I haven’t seen any research that backs the claim that we’re putting kids at risk. I just don’t think it’s true. I think it’s a farce.”

3. David Climer:  “Saban will not give up without a fight. It’s no secret he wants to restrict hurry-up offenses.”

SEC Football

4. Does Florida coach Will Muschamp think he’s on the hot seat? “We have to produce. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

5. For the first time, Auburn’s athletic department budget has cracked the $100 million mark – football comprises 71 percent of budgeted revenue.


6. First overall pick of the draft – Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel or someone else? Manziel’s unofficial 40-time – 4.56 seconds. And a 4.47 for Aggies wide receiver Mike Evans.

7. New York Daily News: “The wise move for the league’s bottom-feeders may be to pass on Johnny Football.”

8. Auburn running back Tre Mason’s goal?  Run a 4.3 forty at the NFL Combine on Monday. LSU’s Odell Beckham runs a 4.31. Same time for South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington.  Again, all times unofficial.

9. Two of the top three offensive linemen times belonged to former SEC players - LSU’s Trai Turner and Auburn’s Greg Robinson.

10. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron plays the disrespected card:  ”I feel like I’ve been disrespected my whole college career because I won.” College Football Talk: “Respect is earned.”

11. Missouri defensive end Michael Sam meets the media. Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks: “The league seems much more prepared to turn the page on his story and focus on his football prospects alone, compared to the media or society in general.”

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SEC Headlines 1/3/2014

headlines-fri-150x150SEC Football

1. Blaming AJ? “This defeat rested squarely on the shoulders of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.”

2. “Maybe Nick Saban was so depressed that Leonard Fournette committed to LSU that his funk carried over to his team as well.”

3. If Florida State “can’t stand up to Auburn’s running game, it’s going to be a long, sleepless night Monday.”

4. Does anyone play defense anymore? “The over-under for Monday night’s title game, despite Florida State’s nation-leading 11.1 points-per-game allowed, is 67 1/2.”

5. Auburn center Reese Dismukes: “The Harvey Updykes of the world are going to be rooting for Florida State.”

6. What’s the relationship like between Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee? “It’s honestly like a married couple fighting sometimes.”

7. From Tee Martin to Jameis Winston – can the BCS era begin and end with winning quarterbacks from Alabama?

8. “Depth, not just in physical ability but coaching, facilities, support and resources, that has allowed the SEC to distance itself from the competition…”

9. David Climer on the rumors surrounding Vanderbilt coach James Franklin: “Wouldn’t you rather have a coach that other programs are interested in than a coach whose phone never rings?”

10. Missouri quarterback James Franklin is a Texas native and will end his college career not far from where he played his high school ball.

11. Mizzou defensive end Michael Sam on Oklahoma State: “We hope they pass all night, to be honest with you.”

12. A postmortem on the Georgia Bulldogs season: “This team, we just had a lot of things go wrong and a lot of things go wrong at the worse time imaginable.” Georgia lost a combined 41 full games from key offensive starters.

13. A prolific 2013 season at LSU: “For the first time in history, LSU had a 3,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher.”

14. Does the “state championship” seem more important now to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier?

15. With quarterback Dak Prescott returning along what should be a better defense, Mississippi State may surprise some people in 2014.

16. The Ole Miss defense features some intriguing possibilities for 2014.


17. As expected, Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans going pro.  Had a school-record 1,369 yards this season.

18. LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson says he’s leaving school early for the NFL.

19. Jadeveon Clowney’s new agent says his client wants to be the first overall draft pick. “He and I have talked about it, that he’s going to commit himself to do the work necessary to put him in that position…”

SEC Basketball

20. Mississippi State 77 – Maryland Eastern Shore 63.  21 points and 16 rebounds for Gavin Ware.

21. Jordan Clarkson off to an impressive start at Missouri – averaging 20 points and more than 4 assists per game.

22. Kentucky’s poor free-throw shooting brings back an appreciation of Kyle Macy


23. Have a Gruden!  Texas donor Red McCombs makes his pitch for the next coach of the Longhorns.

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SEC Headlines 1/2/2014

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Are the Cleveland Browns targeting Gus Malzahn or James Franklin for their next head coach?

2. Vanderbilt A.D. says people have contacted him about talking to Franklin. Penn State makes Bill O’Brien’s departure official.

3. Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer attended practice at Florida State in September.  What he saw reminded him of his days in the SEC.

4. The Auburn-Florida State game that never happened - Bowden vs. Bowden.

5. Gregg Doyel: “Alabama is the best team in the country.” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops agrees.

6. With Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans likely gone to the NFL, what’s the future look like for the Texas A&M offense?

7. Five predictions for the 2014 Aggies.

8. Mississippi State’s senior class going out in style – four straight bowl games after just one in eight years.

9. Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief and safety Cody Prewitt are both expected to soon make decisions on whether or not to enter the NFL Draft.

10. Missouri lineman Max Copeland on the distraction of the enormous scoreboard at AT&T Stadium: “The first time I walked out here for our first practice, it was like a chicken in the rain.”

11. Several Mizzou players reportedly invited to NFL Combine – but they’ve yet to hear the news. Running back Henry Josey may leave early for the NFL.

12. South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington may decide to leave early to the next level.

13. Connor Shaw finished his South Carolina career with a 27-5 record as a starting quarterback.

14. Conflicting reports about AJ McCarron’s status for the Senior Bowl.

15. Florida’s downfall started one year ago at the Sugar Bowl.”It was an embarrassing night for the Gator Nation before the game ever kicked off.”


16. Is Lane Kiffin headed to Tampa Bay?

17. Time to change the rules for NFL extra points?  Bill Belichick thinks so.

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SEC Headlines 11/22/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Alabama coach Nick Saban explained what freshman cornerback Eddie Jackson has to do to earn more playing time.

2. Seniors AJ McCarron, Kenny Bell and Kevin Norwood have formed quite a bond during their time at Alabama.

3. Auburn’s linebackers played well last weekend despite a breakdown “here or there.”

4. Arkansas freshman running Alex Collins has been great but is “nowhere even close to being what he can be,” according to coach Bret Bielema.

5. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen hasn’t announced which quarterback he will start against Arkansas. Bielema said he wouldn’t say so either.

6. LSU is preparing for a tough test against Texas A&M star wide receiver Mike Evans.

7. LSU’s defensive ends will be focused on staying disciplined against Texas A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel.

8. Where does Manziel stand among the all-time SEC greats? Ron Higgins takes a look.

9. Ole Miss is preparing for the return of Missouri quarterback James Franklin.

10. Texas A&M’s defense will certainly be tested when it goes up against LSU and quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

11. Meet Christian Provancha, who’s one play away from being Florida’s starting quarterback.

12. Players are standing up for Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham as he hears criticism over the defense’s struggles.

13. An injury during his freshman year slowed the development of Georgia senior D.J. Stripling.

14. Kentucky has suspended three players for this week’s game at Georgia. One is suspended indefinitely.

15. True freshman quarterback Reese Phillips has impressed Kentucky coach Mark Stoops while Phillips redshirts this season.

16. South Carolina running back Shon Carson is preparing to make his first career start against Coastal Carolina.

17. The Tennessee-Vanderbilt game is important because the two schools battle for the same in-state players.

18. Vanderbilt will need a good defensive performance as it tries to beat Tennessee in Knoxville.

19. Ole Miss is preparing for Missouri’s strong pass rush. “They’re a special group,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

SEC Basketball

20. Georgia lost 94-82 to Davidson on Thursday night. It was Davidson’s first win of the season.

21. A balanced attack from Florida helped the Gators beat MTSU 79-59 on Thursday night.

22. Highly-touted freshman Jarell Martin is getting closer to returning for LSU after he injured his ankle in the season opener.

23. Ole Miss will be at home Friday night as it takes on Mississippi Valley State.

24. Transfer Jordan Clarkson has shown he will be an important part of Missouri’s basketball team.


25. Pat Forde and Dan Wetzel take a close look at the investigation involving Florida State QB Jameis Winston.

26. USA Today’s college football staff is split on picks in the Ole Miss-Missouri and LSU-Texas A&M games.

27. Lane Kiffin on Southern Cal’s head coaching vacancy: “That’s easy. That’s already done. It should be Ed Orgeron.

28. Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix is lost for the season with a torn meniscus.

29. What happened to the Heisman buzz surrounding Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Ted Miller looks at Mariota’s strong season.

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A&M’s Sumlin Thinks WR Evans Should Be Getting Some Heisman Love

mike-evans-tamu-practiceThe latest USA Today Heisman Poll is led by Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.  Behind him comes Florida State QB Jameis Winston.  At #3 is the reigning Heisman-winner, Johnny Manziel.  Then come two more signal-callers: Baylor’s Bryce Petty and Alabama’s AJ McCarron.

That’s a whole lotta quarterbacks.  And while Kevin Sumlin is sure to be happy for Johnny Football, he believes one of his quarterback’s key weapons deserves some Heisman hype as well.  Where’s the love for Aggie receiver Mike Evans?

“I think he’s as good a player as there is in the country,” Sumlin said yesterday.  “I’m more surprised there isn’t any Heisman talk about him.”

Obviously, Evans and Manziel are tied to one another when it comes to on-field success.  Manziel leads the SEC in passing with 2,594 yards, 22 touchdowns, and a completion percentage of 73.0% through eight games.  Evans is the SEC’s leading receiver with 137.6 yards per game, 1,101 yards overall, and 11 touchdown catches.  He also leads the league in average yards per catch with a 22.94 yard-per-catch clip.

Both Manziel and Evans are sophomores.  “They are playing at a high level and have played at a high level,” added Sumlin.  “And I don’t anticipate that changing.

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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 10/26/2013

gameday linksVanderbilt at Texas A&M

1. Two of college football’s finest wide receivers on display in this game – Mike Evans for A&M and Jordan Matthews for Vanderbilt.

2. Texas A&M needs its defense to get pressure on Vanderbilt redshirt freshman quarterback Patton Robinette

3. What does Vanderbilt coach James Franklin think about Johnny Manziel and his injured shoulder?  ”He’s going to be fine. I think he’s got like titanium bones.”

4. Vanderbilt needs to score a lot to have any chance to win this one.  Texas A&M averaging 46.9 points per game.

5. Vanderbilt gets introduced to Kyle Field today.

Tennessee at Alabama

6. The last Tennessee coach to beat Alabama in his first attempt?  Former Vols coach and current Alabama A.D. Bill Battle.

7. Not the first time this year Alabama has faced a team that’s playing better and seemingly has a little momentum.

8. Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers played a great game against South Carolina – he’ll need to do it again to give the Vols a chance today.

9. Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley on playing Tennessee and the possibility of shaking up the SEC schedule: “If we lose a game, this would not be the game to lose.”

10. Alabama’s secondary is banged up – could it mean a big day for Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North?

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Ole Miss QB Wallace Getting Lippy After 3-0 Start

bo-wallace-helmet-offComing into the 2013 season, Bo Wallace’s ability to take care of the football became a hot topic.  If he could improve his God-awful touchdown-to-interception ratio (22 to 17 last season), the Rebels could take another step forward.  If he continued to turn the ball over, UM could backslide from last season’s 7-6 mark.

To date, Wallace has been outstanding.  In leading the Rebs to a 3-0 start he’s completed 64% of this passes with four TDs and no — zip, zilch, nada — interceptions.  He’s thrown for 648 yards and rushed for an additional 120 with three more scores.  That’s 768 yards and seven touchdowns on his resume through three games.  There’s a reason we kept calling him “a poor man’s Johnny Manziel” last season.

Unfortunately, Wallace is starting to show a bit of Manziel’s cockiness, too.

Heading into Tuscaloosa for a showdown with top-ranked Alabama, Wallace said Monday that he expects to score some points against the Crimson Tide’s defense and secondary:


“Yeah, I think we can put points on them.  I think we can put points on anybody.  We just have to show up and play.  It’s the same thing every week, let’s stay on schedule, control the tempo and don’t have any turnovers…

 I wouldn’t say (Alabama’s secondary has had) a drop off, but when you have first-round corners every year, I don’t know if they are exactly first-round corners.  But if you have a guy going in the top 10, you’re going to have a little big of a drop off the next year.”


In a word: Why?

And before someone says, “Wallace is just showing the confidence a quarterback must have,” ask yourselves, “Must a person flap his gums in order to have confidence?”  I don’t recall guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees saying their opponent has had a drop off on defense.

Also, Wallace didn’t just pop off about Alabama.  He also fired a few darts at Texas A&M and Manziel’s weaponry:


“I think we have better receivers than A&M.  They want to talk about Mike Evans being so good, but we have Donte (Moncrief) and I think Laquon (Treadwell) is going to be that way.  We have better players on the outside than A&M does.”


And here we were enjoying Ole Miss’ “little engine that could” vibe.  Oh, well, strap that helmet on tight, Bo.  You’ll have plenty of chances to back up your talk when you face Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU over the next four weeks.  Get through that schedule with a couple of wins (or more) and you’ll have every right to chirp.

Why he would feel the need or want to, though, is anyone’s guess.

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Johnny Manziel: “Not The End Of Our Season”

Johnny Manziel meets the media following Alabama’s 49-42 victory over Texas A&M Saturday in College Station. He says this is “not the end of our season” and calls Mike Evans “the best receiver in college football.”

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SEC Headlines 6/28/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Kentucky is reportedly an option for former Pitt running back Rushel Shell (not to be confused with a “a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.”

2. Here are 12 newcomers to the SEC expected to make an impact this fall.

3. Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson gets a $60,000 raise.

4. Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith: “I’m not in jail and I’m not dead. You feel me? So I’m just thankful to be alive and be here.”

5. A 96-year-old Georgia fan gets a surprise visit from quarterback Aaron Murray.

6. There’s more to the Texas A&M offense than quarterback Johnny Manziel.  Sophomore wide receiver Mike Evans ”could truly be one of the best in the country.”

7. Here’s a roundup of early Heisman odds.  No surprise that Manziel is the favorite in all of them.

8. One man reading of preseason magazines.  They “remain in love with Alabama despite the Tide’s key losses on the offensive and defensive lines.”

9. Michigan State AD on the planned upcoming series against Alabama starting 2016: “We have a contract to play and we’re excited to come down there and excited to have Alabama in East Lansing,”

10. Why August practices are so important for South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson.

11. ESPN’s Colin Cowherd is bullish on Ole Miss.

12. Ranked as the nation’s top punter in high school, Jimmy Hutchinson was expected to enroll at Auburn in January of 2014.  He’s now enrolling August 1. Where Auburn’s early enrollees fit in the big picture.

13. Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs is optimistic about the Tigers this fall under Gus Malzahn.  ”I do believe that what we’re going to see this fall is exciting for our fans and I think it’s going to rejuvenate them.” Auburn adding more than 2,000 free parking and tailgate spots.

14. John Clay critiques MrSEC’s story about the four new coaches in the league and what it means for Kentucky.

15. Arkansas’ uniforms getting an update – numbers now solid white.

SEC Basketball

16. 18-year old Archie Goodwin was the youngest player taken in the NBA draft.

17. His former teammate, Nerlens Noel, went from jitters to dejection, according to USA Today’s behind-the-scenes report.

18. Since 2006, 32% of early entrants in the NBA draft have gone undrafted. One of those players is former Mississippi State Bulldog Renardo Sydney.

19. With five draft picks, the SEC had as many selections as the Big Ten.  ACC and Pac-12 tied for the most with seven.

20. “If ever there was a concrete indictment of the AAU summer basketball system, this draft was it.”

21. Former Auburn guard Jordan Price is reportedly transferring to La Salle.

22. Auburn’s point guard of the future is freshman Tahj Shamsid-Deen.

23. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin on freshman Darius Thompson: “He has every opportunity to be a starter in our program.”


24. For the 18th straight year, LSU No. 1 in college baseball attendance.

25. Bill Raftery reportedly teaming up with Gus Johnson for college basketball coverage on the new Fox Sports 1.

26. Big Ten plays more BCS games than any other conference.

27. Another waterfall - this one at Oregon.

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