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WOW Headlines – 11/6/12

Georgia DE Abry Jones will miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury
Florida’s Will Muschamp says he would support O-Coordinator Brent Pease for the head coaching job at Kentucky
Texas Tech O-Coordinator Neal Brown and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan have also been connected to the Kentucky job by some media reports
Another injury on Missouri’s offensive line insures that only freshman Evan Boehm will start each Tiger game this season
Florida has parted ways with freshman DT Jafar Mann.  Will Muschamp: “He and I agreed that it’s time for him to move on.”
Tennessee’s Derek Dooley says he’ll commit more of his own focus to the Vols’ porous defense moving forward
If South Carolina wins out this season, Steve Spurrier will become the school’s all-time winningest coach
Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace has missed at least one practice this week with a shoulder injury
LSU LB Kwon Alexander tweeted word that he could return from an ankle injury in “2 to 3 weeks”
Alabama’s Nick Saban on Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel: “This guy reminds me of Doug Flutie.”
Mississippi State freshman basketballer Andre Applewhite has been lost for the season to an ACL injury
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Stop With The Emails, Saban Won’t Leave Bama

Apparently the website — has pushed the “Fret!” button for some Alabama fans.  A writer for the site suggested that Nick Saban could be a target of new Cleveland Browns owner Jim Haslam.  The Haslam family — behind all those Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers you see on America’s interstates — has long been the booster family for the University of Tennessee.

So if Haslam could woo Saban to the Cuyahoga River he’d be a) landing Bill Belichick’s ex-defensive coordinator in Cleveland for his new franchise and b) get him out of the SEC and away from his favorite college team’s schedule.

That’s the story that keeps popping up in my email inbox anyway (from fearful Alabama fans and a hopeful Tennessee fans).

But it ain’t gonna happen.

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SEC Headlines – 2/8/12 Part Two

1.  The Orlando Sentinel says Florida was “completely outclassed” by Kentucky last night.

2.  Brian Cox Jr. signed with the Gators because his papa — the ex-NFL’er — and Gator D-coordinator Dan Quinn worked together with the New York Jets.

3.  Off-field issues have whittled down Georgia’s secondary depth.

4.  This columnist says Anthony Davis’ defense is just the tip of Kentucky’s spear. 

5.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist continues to come up big in the Wildcats’ biggest games.

6.  South Carolina is 1-7 in the SEC and 0-4 on the road heading to Tennessee tonight.

7.  The Vols’ Jeronne Maymon will try to remain consistent, efficient and tough versus the Gamecocks.

8.  Vanderbilt will try to snap a two-game losing streak when LSU visits Nashville tonight.

9.  No surprise — SEC coaches aren’t thrilled with the NCAA’s new multi-year scholarship option.

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Down To 3: Pease, Schottenheimer And White In Running For UF OC Job

It looks like the Florida offensive coordinator search is down to three candidates: Brent Pease, Brian Schottenheimer and Brian White.  But question marks have to be placed beside all three men’s names.

Pease — the offensive coordinator at Boise State — is reportedly mulling offers from both Florida and Alabama.  It is believed he will meet face-to-face with Nick Saban in New Orleans tomorrow.

Schottenheimer — the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator and former Gator backup quarterback — was thought to have removed his name from Will Muschamp’s hat late last week.  But yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Schottenheimer had not pulled his name from consideration.

Finally, White — UF’s current running backs coach — handled the offensive coordinator duties leading up to the Gators’ bowl win, but things looked much like they did under Charlie Weis (263 total yards, one offensive touchdown.  White is a former offensive coordinator at Wisconsin and UNLV and his promotion would provide the Gators some much-needed continuity on the coaching staff.

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Former UT D-Line Coach Smith To Hold Press Conference Today

Former Tennessee player and defensive line coach Chuck Smith is returning to Knoxville today and will hold a press conference outside Neyland Stadium.  So why is that news?  Because Smith was fired from UT shortly after signing day amid rumors that he failed to get along with Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Smith is planning to tell his side of the story and — according to sources close to him — he wants to make it very clear that he did not quit on his alma mater.

As we pointed out at the time of his departure, there had been rumors swirling that Smith could not get along with at least two coaches on UT’s defensive staff, including his boss, Wilcox.  Wilcox had been a target of Mack Brown for Texas’ defensive coordinator position in December, but he elected to stay in Knoxville.  Many assumed that Wilcox stayed — in part — because Derek Dooley agreed to jettison Smith, who had actually been an old high school teammate of the Vols’ head coach.

How bad were things between Smith and Wilcox?  Some in the Knoxville media have heard that the two actually had a physical confrontation right around the time of Smith’s departure.  Questions about that alleged incident might just come up when Smith meets with the media today.

While many Vol fans praised the hiring of Smith, it was an unusual step for Dooley.  Smith had spent years in the media and running his own football camps prior to joining the UT staff.  He had also served for one season as a pass rush consultant for the New York Jets.  But he had never been an actual coach.

The lesson: Hiring a fiery ex-player might win over the fanbase, but it won’t mean much if the guy’s not cut out to be a college coach.

Of course, Smith probably sees things differently.  We’ll know more later today.

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Dooley Dismisses Ex-Vol Smith From Staff

As Tennessee prepped for its Music City Bowl date in December, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was rumored to be on the shortlist to join Mack Brown’s staff at Texas.  At the time, the rumor mill suggested that Wilcox was having some personality conflicts Tennessee defensive line coach Chuck Smith.

When all was said and done, Wilcox stayed at Tennessee.  But Smith isn’t.  In what the school called a mutual decision, the former Vol player is leaving the UT program to “pursue other career opportunities.”  I think we can do the math on what Derek Dooley might have done to keep Wilcox in Knoxville.  FootballScoop.com reports that Dooley “has dismissed” Smith.

Smith will be replaced by linebackers coach Lance Thompson who will take over the D-line group.  Ex-NFL player Peter Sirmon will be promoted from grad assistant to linebackers coach.

“I am grateful for the personal investment, hard work and passion that Chuck contributed to our program this past year,” Dooley said in a statement.  “He is a dear friend to me, and more importantly, will always be part of the Tennessee family.”

Why such glowing words for a man who spent just one year on the UT staff?  Public relations, partly.

Smith was one of the first positive “gets” of the Dooley era in Knoxville.  Vol fans, thirsty for someone with a connection to their program in the wake of the Lane Kiffin disaster, latched on to the former Vol D-lineman who had been working as a consultant with the New York Jets before returning to Knoxville.

In addition, Smith and Dooley were high school teammates years ago in Georgia.

Don’t be surprised to see Smith go back into private business for himself, working as a pass rush consultant to players and/or teams.

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