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Just 2 SEC Squads In First Coaches Poll

ballot-boxUSA Today unveiled its preseason top 25 men’s basketball poll today and Tony Barbee won’t like the results.  How could his fellow coaches who vote have placed just two SEC teams — “The best basketball league in the country, period.” — in the top 25?

First, the good news:  The SEC has two top 10 teams.  In fact, Kentucky is ranked #1 while Florida comes in at #8.

Now, the bad news:  No other SEC team is ranked.  Not one.  None.  Zip.  Zilch.

Memphis, Gonzaga, Virginia Commonwealth, Wichita State, and New Mexico are among those ranked.

Tennessee received enough votes to come in at #30 if the poll dropped that far.  But Creighton got more votes than the Vols.

Harvard, Boise State, St. Louis, and LaSalle all got more votes than Missouri, the SEC’s next best club (according to the voters).

Temple received more votes (four) than LSU (two) or Georgia (one).

If the SEC is to live up to Barbee’s puffery, a lot of teams will have to rise up and surprise their fellow hoops coaches.  Right now, the league is picking up where it left off last season… and that’s not a good thing.

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Texas A&M To Attend Funeral For Teammate On Saturday

Polo ManukainiuThe Texas A&M football team will attend the funeral of defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu on Saturday.  The redshirt freshman was killed in a car accident on July 29th in New Mexico.

“This is going to be a struggle,” defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said.  “I know how tight-knit the family is and what a great kid he was.”

The Aggie team will bus nearly 200 miles from College Station to Colleyville for the services.

Our condolences to the Manukainiu family and the Texas A&M program.

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WOW Headlines – 7/31/13

A vigil for a Texas A&M freshman football player drew more than 1,000 mourners on Tuesday night…
Polo Manukainiu was killed in overnight car crash in New Mexico early Tuesday morning
Florida QB Jeff Driskel had an appendectomy on Tuesday, but he could be back at practice within two weeks
The high school coach of RB Jabo Lee says Tennessee left the now Temple-bound player “out to dry”
Auburn will hold its preseason practices in the afternoon to prepare for the team’s 6pm opener against Washington State
With two recent departures, Vanderbilt’s basketball team is down to nine scholarship players
Follow the SEC all year long at MrSEC.com and at twitter.com/mrsec

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Reports: A&M Freshman Footballer Manukainiu Killed In Car Accident

mrsec-breaking-newsTerrible news from the state of New Mexico today.  According to Texas A&M official and various media reports, freshman Aggie football player Polo Manukainiu was killed in a car accident overnight.

The 19-year-old Manukainiu was a passenger in an SUV that crashed outside of Cuba, New Mexico.  His 14-year-old brother and a former high school teammate (who was an incoming freshman at Utah) were also killed.  The other two passengers in the vehicle were injured in the accident as well.

Alcohol was not involved in the accident.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel tweeted the following this morning:

 

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Manukainiu redshirted last season.  He was expected to compete for playing time along the A&M defensive line this fall.

Our thoughts go out to the family of those injured and lost as well as to the Texas A&M and Utah football programs.  Terrible news.

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Women’s Soccer Star Trying Out For LSU Football Team

Get ready.  The SEC’s all-boys club might just have to put in a ladies room.

LSU soccer star Mo Isom is going to try to land a placekicking role in Baton Rouge this spring.  She began a walk-on tryout yesterday.  If she makes the Tiger team, she’ll be the first female kicker at an FBS school since Katie Hnida nailed two extra points for New Mexico back in 2003.  Hnida also had an extra point blocked by UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl that season.

Les Miles claims he would have no problem using Isom in a game if she’s the best person for the job:


“No I would have no reservations playing her.  If she gave us an opportunity and an advantage, and I mean add an advantage, then certainly we would consider that.  The good thing about it is she’s an athlete.  She’s been through team before.  She understands the commitment.  I would have much less reservation with her than I would any number of other people that frankly didn’t know what they were getting into.  But the real interesting thing is it has to be an advantage obtained.”


In other words, Isom has some work to do.  She’s got to be better than the guys kicking against her, not just as good.

Let’s face it, whether people want to say it, admit it, or hear it, adding a woman to a football team is tricky business.  Ask ex-Colorado coach Gary Barnett.  He’ll remember Hnida, the female kicker mentioned above.

She initially walked on at Colorado before transferring to New Mexico.  In 2004 she told Sports Illustrated that she had been sexually molested and verbally abused by some of her teammates at Colorado.  She claimed to have been raped by one of them.  Barnett claimed there wasn’t “a shred of evidence” to back up her allegations.  He also made the mistake of saying, “She was awful… Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible.”

Hnida is now a public speaker and author.  Barnett — thanks in part to his comments about a woman who might have been a rape victim — was nuked from the coaching profession in 2005 when a recruiting scandal also popped up at CU.

Adding a female to the team adds an unknown variable into a male-dominated, testosterone-fueled lockerroom.  We’re not saying Isom doesn’t deserve a shot.  But we do agree with what Miles appears to be saying: To go through the trouble of adding a woman and to take on the risk of problems, Isom had better be able to kick the pigskin better than the any male walk-ons. 

As for the former LSU goalkeeper, she says this is not for show.

“People’s first presumption about this is that it’s a media stunt or some attempt for attention and glory,” Isom said.  “That could be any farther from the truth.  I feel it was a goal God placed in my heart.  It’s just something I want to do.”

Miles said yesterday’s conditions made it “a bad day for anybody to kick because the wind was just so strong.”  Isom said she landed “some great kickoffs between the 5-yard-line and the goal line.”  Miles admitted, “obviously she’s got ball skills… she’s been around it.”

According to The Shreveport Times, last August Isom connected on a 51-yard field goal attempt while working out with LSU’s kickers.

She was also named LSU’s homecoming queen last fall.

Last September she took part in a skills competition with the Honey Badger himself, Tyrann Mathieu:




And she also once scored a goal from 90 yards out during an LSU soccer match:




Finally, she’s posted a thanks on Facebook to all of those supporting her.  “There is so much power in prayer, please know that I truly appreciate every single one of you!”

She closes with a quote from Phillipians.

Athlete.  Christian.  Good-looking.  Somebody get Tim Tebow Isom’s number.

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Running Back Brown To Visit South Carolina

Running back Wes Brown from Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., plans to reveal his list of six school soon.

“South Carolina made the list,” he told GoUpState.com. “I think I could announce (the list Tuesday) or the next day but I haven’t gone public with it yet.”

Brown said he will likely take an unofficial visit to South Carolina in November when the Gamecocks host Florida. He’s also considering an official visit to Columbia.

“I want to take all five (official) visits and South Carolina has a really good chance of getting one,” Brown said. “I like the offense they run. It fits my skill sets really well and they have really good academics.”

Brown, who’s ranked the nation’s 19th-best running back by Rivals, has already taken unofficial visits to Miami, Maryland, Virginia Tech and New Mexico.

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Hogs’ DE Bequette Out Versus Bama

Facing one of the best running back tandems in the country, Arkansas will be without an All-SEC D-lineman when it travels to Tuscaloosa tomorrow.

Razorback senior defensive end Jake Bequette won’t play against Alabama due to a hamstring injury.  Bobby Petrino made the announcement yesterday following his team’s practice.  Bequette injured his hamstring two weeks ago during the Hogs’ game with New Mexico and has not played since. 

“It’s unfortunate,” Petrino told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  “He made huge improvement throughout the whole week but he didn’t quite get ready to practice.  I’m encouraged, though, with home much improvement he made… It’s really hard for him.  He hasn’t missed games is a guy that works out year-round, and is in great physical shape.  But the hamstring needs to heal before he can get back out there.”

Sophomore Chris Smith will start in Bequette’s stead, as he did last week against Troy.

“I thought he did a good job,” Petrino said.  “He got a nice sack and played real hard.  His athleticism really showed up and his ability to change directions and run down the line.  He didn’t always make the play but didn’t allow a cutback or a place for the running back to run.”

He’ll need to be on top of his game against the Crimson Tide.  Bama is the only team in the country with two backs who each average 100 yards per game (Trent Richardson at 105 and Eddie Lacy at 101).

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SEC Headlines 9/10/2011 Part Two

Southern Illinois at Ole Miss

Houston Nutt isn’t taking any chances against the Salukis – a FCS opponent: ”All you have to do is watch the film to know that they are a scary bunch.”

Will quarterback Zack Stoudt hold on to his job?

Alabama-Birmingham at Florida

Expect the Blazers to test the Florida secondary.

UAB is one only two FBS teams that have yet to a play a game.

The Blazers may be the perfect team to get the Gators ready for the SEC.

New Mexico at Arkansas (game in Little Rock)

The Arkansas ground game needs work before the SEC opener at Alabama.

Will the Razorbacks win by seven touchdowns or eight?

Connecticut at Vanderbilt

Vandy hasn’t had back-to-back victories since 2008.

They’ll face a Connecticut team with three “starting” quarterbacks.

Northwestern State at LSU

Some off-field questions for the Tigers as they prepare for their home opener tonight.

QB Zach Mettenberger could see his first action tonight.

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SEC Headlines – 3/22/11 Part Two

1.  Safety Brent Brewer is back on the Tennessee football team after domestic abuse charges against him were reduced to “offensive touching.”  (Never heard of that one before.)

2.  UT opens spring practice today.

3.  UT AD Mike Hamilton’s two main hires both ran afoul of the NCAA and this writer says he should follow both coaches out the door.

4.  This writer says Pearl’s wounds were self-inflicted.

5.  James Franklin is bringing a new attitude to Vanderbilt.

6.  Alabama’s 74-67 win over New Mexico in the NIT last night improved its home record to 18-0 on the season.  (Now that’s how you keep the hometown fans happy.)

7.  The Crimson Tide will host Miami on Wednesday night with the winner moving on to Madison Square Garden for the tourney’s semifinals.

8.  Mark Barron participated in Bama’s first day of spring drills yesterday despite a misdemeanor arrest on Sunday.

9.  Auburn is having to replace eight starters on offense… and eight more on defense.  Ouch.

10.  All that turnover includes the receiver and tight end positions.

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SEC Headlines – 3/21/11 Part One

1.  Here are five questions facing Auburn as it opens spring practice.

2.  Two of the four Auburn players arrested for armed robbery made bond (at $511,000) this past weekend.

3.  Spring practice is the first chance for Alabama’s new assistants to shine.

4.  And spring drills began today in Tuscaloosa.

5.  Tonight Anthony Grant and crew host a New Mexico club that beat BYU twice.

More to come…

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