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SEC Headlines 1/16/2014

headlines-thuSEC Coaching News

1. Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown reportedly stepping down. Alabama makes hiring of new defensive line coach Bo Davis official.

2. New Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has a new three-year deal expected to be worth $850,000 annually. ”Where the Bulldogs’ defense could benefit most is in the secondary.”

3. New Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers has 34 years of college and NFL coaching experience.

4. New LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes coached the o-line at Auburn from 2009 to 2012.  Former LSU All-American lineman Kevin Mawae wanted the job.

5. Former Auburn and Tennessee assistant Trooper Taylor is now the cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State.

6. James Franklinthanks Vanderbilt fans with a newspaper ad.

*** Trustees make South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s pay raise official.  Coaching staff also gets raises and contract extensions through 2015. ***

SEC Football

7. Vanderbilt investigation finds insufficient evidence against one of the former football players charged in the rape case.

8. Athlon makes some early predictions for 2014.  Are Alabama and Georgia the favorites this fall?

9. Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi is 6-feet-5 inches tall and 300 pounds and  reportedly ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash.

10. Is Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson poised for a 2014 breakout season?

11. Boston College confirms that two former Florida players - quarterback Tyler Murphy and lineman Ian Silberman – are enrolled at the school.

SEC/NFL draft

12. A record 95 early entries for the NFL draft.  Total includes 27 players from the SEC.

13. Could Texas A&M players be the first two picks of the 2014 draft?

14. Auburn tackle Greg Robinson expected to go early, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

15. Mississippi State middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney says he’s coming back for another season. Redshirt sophomore had projected as mid-first round selection.

SEC Basketball

16. Missouri at Vanderbilt.  Why free throws could be the difference in this one. Vandy’s free-throw percentage worst in the league.

17. Where were Arkansas security guards after the game against Kentucky Tuesday night?

Sports Business

18. Sports apparel contracts are worth at $3 million or more annually to at least 14 universities. Biggest SEC deals belong to LSU and Alabama.

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Report: Carolina To Bump Spurrier’s Pay To $4 Million

shirtless spurrier moneySteve Spurrier is about to get a nice, fat pay raise.  According to Columbia’s The State newspaper, the Ol’ Ball Coach will see his salary jump from $3.3 million to $4 million.  His staff will receive raises as well, once South Carolina’s board of trustees approves the increases in a vote tomorrow.

While coaching salaries are never quite cut and dried — they’re ever-shifting thanks to bonuses — The State reports that Spurrier should go from the 12th highest-paid coach in the country to #9 on the current list.

For Carolina it’s money well spent.  For Spurrier it’s money well-earned.

In November of 2004, the South Carolina administration rolled the dice on a 59-year-old coach who’d flamed out in two seasons in the NFL and spent an entire year out of coaching after that.  Florida could have had him back, but Gator AD Jeremy Foley passed.

With a football program that had been a doormat for the better part of a century, USC’s decision-makers felt they needed to take a chance on hiring an older coach, despite the NFL flubs and Florida’s lack of interest.  That was the best decision in the history of the South Carolina athletic department.  Given the added exposure and revenue created during Spurrier’s tenure, it could be argued that it was also the best decision in the history of the university, period.

It took Spurrier time to build the Gamecock program.  While never suffering through a losing season, the coach’s teams did hover in mediocrity for five long years — 7-5, 8-5, 6-6, 7-6 and 7-6.  A corner was turned in 2010 when the Cocks finished 9-5 and ended the year in the top 25.  Since then, Carolina has been a perennial top 10 team finishing 11-2 in three consecutive years and winning two Capital One Bowls and an Outback Bowl.

When Spurrier — now just weeks from his 69th birthday — finally decides take off his visor and put on a shirt, he will have proven that South Carolina can indeed play with the big boys of the Southeastern Conference and the nation.  He also might convince a few ADs out there not to be scared of hiring a man with a little wear on his tires.  You don’t see many hires of coaches who are 60-plus.  Spurrier’s success will hopefully change that trend.

Kudos to the coach and his aides for elevating South Carolina and then sustaining that success over four seasons.  And kudos to the USC administration for being wise enough to reward them for their efforts.

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Former NFL’er Jackson Lights Up Carolina’s Clowney And Spurrier Over Player’s Work Ethic

gfx - they said itFormer St. Louis Ram Tyoka Jackson is not the biggest fan of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.  In his view his work ethic is shoddy.  The 12-year NFL vet-turned-radio analyst with WGNU-AM in St. Louis isn’t surprised by Clowney’s lack of effort… he says Steve Spurrier has a history of turning out low-motor guys:

Asked if it would make any sense for the Rams to select Jadeveon Clowney with the #2 overall pick in the NFL draft, Jackson said this week (around the 23-minute mark):

 

“I don’t think it does… Now Clowney, to me, is a boom or bust guy… He literally could be the greatest defensive end who’s ever played the game or he could be one of the all-time busts that we’ve ever seen.  I think it’s gonna come down to the team that drafts him in terms of their coaching — do they have a very strong head coach and very strong defensive line coach that’s gonna teach him how to play hard.  He has no idea what it takes to play hard.  And Spurrier’s notorious for having a lot of players come from his program who don’t have great work ethic.  So it’s nothing new there.  It’s not even the kid’s fault.  He hasn’t been coached.”

 

According Jackson, the top job of a coach is to force effort from his players.  In his view, Spurrier doesn’t do that.

Of course, with three straight 11-win seasons, we’re guessing South Carolina fans could care less if the Ol’ Ball Coach has trained his future pros the ins and outs of proper work ethic.  They’re obviously working hard enough in college to turn a once-terrible program into one of the nation’s best.

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SEC Headlines 1/9/2014

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Report: Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is leaving for the same position at Michigan.

2. Multiple national writers speculated about the possibility of Lane Kiffin replacing Nussmeier at Alabama.

3. Here are several early names being mentioned for the Alabama OC job.

4. The Times-Tribune reports Penn State has offered its head coaching job to Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

5. Vanderbilt AD David Williams called James Franklin the nation’s best coach during a Nashville radio interview Wednesday.

6. Senior defensive end Nosa Eguae to fans: “…you all stayed true. That is why Auburn is different.”

7. Rory Segrest is joining Arkansas’ staff to become the defensive line and specialists coach.

8. Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa – the longest tenured coach on LSU’s staff – is leaving the Tigers after seven seasons.

9. Florida will need consistent play from its special teams in 2014.

10. Fans have left Georgia AD Greg McGarity know how they feel following the Bulldogs’ season.

11. Tennessee confirmed 14 mid-term enrollees on Wednesday. They’ll all participate in spring practice.

SEC/NFL Draft

12. Johnny Manziel wrote a letter to thank Texas A&M fans after he announced he’s leaving for the NFL.

13. Experts expect Manziel to be a high first-round draft pick. He received a first-round projection before he declared.

14. Jeffri Chadiha believes Manziel will become a “star” in the NFL.

15. Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard will reportedly leave for the NFL. He tweeted that he’s still weighing his options.

SEC Basketball

16. Ole Miss will open SEC play at home against Auburn without guard Marshall Henderson, who’s serving a two-game SEC suspension.

17. Auburn players don’t expect it to be an easy game just because Henderson will be missing.

18. Forward Damonte Harris will reenroll at Florida but will not appear in any games this season.

19. Vanderbilt will play the rest of the season without leading scorer Eric McClellan, who was dismissed for the spring semester.

Extra

20. Bobby Petrino is headed back to coach at Louisville, where he compiled a 41-9 record from 2003-06.

21. Stewart Mandel to Louisville AD Tom Jurich: “Have you no shame, sir?

22. The attorney of Jameis Winston’s accuser says she will “absolutely” file suit against Winston and the Tallahassee Police Department.

23. Texas coach Charlie Strong on critical comments made by booster Red McCombs: “You just move on. You have a job to do.”

24. USA Today’s Paul Myerberg selected this year’s All-Bowl team.

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SEC Headlines 1/8/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Johnny Manziel has picked a contract agent and a marketing group.  Will reportedly announce his NFL intentions today.  Gil Brandt says Manziel’s paperwork is in. Apparently not his only big decision, though.

2. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on Nick Saban: “I think he’s a tremendous coach and a tremendous guy, and he and I will always stay close friends.”

3. Good news for Auburn – bad news for everyone else.  For the first time in his college coaching career, a Gus Malzahn team will return its starting quarterback. But should Malzahn split snaps between Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson?

4. Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton in the mix at Georgia Southern? Would appear so.

5. Florida announces its spring game - set for April 12th. What’s the outlook at safety for the Gators?

6. One recruit and one transfer are on campus and taking classes at Ole Miss.

7. Bowl game attendance on the decline for the fourth straight season- lowest since 1978-79.

SEC/NFL Draft

8. Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson is NFL bound.  Could go in the first 10-to-15 picks.

9. Teammate and fellow lineman Reese Dismukes will return for his senior year.

10. What will running back Tre Mason decide? If he’s leaving, went out with a “statement game.”

11. Missouri running back Henry Josey’s draft projections came back fourth round or later – but he’s leaving anyway.

12. Running back Jeremy Hill is reportedly staying at LSU.An official announcement on Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. could come as soon as today.

13. Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson will return for his senior year.

14. Record 80 underclassmen have already declared for draft.

SEC Basketball

15. Arkansas opens SEC play on the road at Texas A&M.  Will the Razorbacks be a better road team this season?

16. South Carolina opens on the road at Florida without Bruce Ellington who’s decided to enter NFL draft.  ”He brought that leadership that our team is kind of lacking in certain areas.” Is Ellington the last of the two-sport stars?

17. Why Florida needs to be ready for a “puzzling” South Carolina team.

18. Mississippi State travels to Kentucky – first ranked team Bulldogs have played this season.

19. Missouri opens conference play with Georgia.  Tigers have had at least six days between every game for the past four weeks.  Now will have to adjust to two games a week.

20. For the fourth time in the past five years, Georgia plays a ranked team to open the SEC schedule.

21. Pete Thamel: Forget freshman, transfers are the new prized recruits in college hoops. (Pretty sure Missouri coach Frank Haith agrees)

Extra

22. James Franklin isn’t the only candidate that Penn State has interest in.  Reportedly will interview San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. One report says he’s already interviewed.

23. Believed to be five finalists for the Louisville football head coach’s job or maybe it’s just three? Either way, Bobby Petrino makes the cut. Update: Yahoo! Sports says hiring of Petrino is “imminent.”

24. Painful.  Auburn fan doesn’t hedge bet that would have paid him $50,000 if the Tigers had won Monday night.

25. Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner fires his trainer.  The guy is his brother-in-law.

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SEC Headlines 1/4/2013

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin will reportedly interview with Penn State on Sunday.

2. Gus Malzhan and NFL rumors: “I’m happy at Auburn and I think I’ve made that clear.”

3. Understanding Malzhan’s success: “To really understand it, you have to see how every piece of the foundation was built.”

4. Media day today in Pasadena - then Auburn will get a full practice behind closed doors.

5. Ellis Johnson on Auburn’s defensive stats: ”The whole thing has sort of confounded me.”

6. Was the SEC overrated this year?  And if so, what does that mean for Auburn?

7. John Clay: “Right now, it’s good to be a Stoops.”

8. Is the coaching search at Texas more evidence that the power in the state has shifted to A&M?

9. What’s next for Alabama? “One of the most fascinating offseason questions in a long time.”

10.The viral video of the Alabama woman fighting Oklahoma fans - says they were taunting her son and called her a name.

11. Why didn’t Derrick Henry get the ball more in the Sugar Bowl?

12. Missouri linebacker Andrew Wilson bypassed his father last night in terms of tackles at the school.

13. With two bowl games left- Vanderbilt today and Auburn Monday night - the SEC is now 6-2.

14. One of those two losses was Georgia – Bulldogs fan decides to burn UGA flag.

15. LSU running back Jeremy Hill was the star of the Outback Bowl – but don’t forget the performance of the offensive line.

16. Tennessee looks to have plenty of options at tight end for 2014.

SEC/NFL Draft

17. Texas A&M receiver Ricky Seals-Jones on quarterback Johnny Manziel: “He’s gone.”

18. LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and right guard Trai Turner have joined Athletes’ Performance – operation that prepares players for the NFL Combine. On Friday, former LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and safety Craig Loston signed with ProSource Sports.

19. South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington will enter NFL draft.  Two-sport star will no longer play basketball.

20. Florida junior cornerback Marcus Roberson joins teammate Loucheiz Purifoy in declaring for the draft.

21. Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard will meet with coach Nick Saban next week before announcing a draft decision.

Media

22. Sugar Bowl television audience largest since 2007.

SEC Basketball

23. George Washington 73 – Georgia 55. Second-straight double-digit loss for the Bulldogs.

24. With Dre Applewhite transferring, Mississippi State must shuffle its roster.

Today’s Schedule

25. Tusculum at Tennessee. Riding a two-game winning streak, are the Vols back on track?

26. Richmond at Florida. Two areas of concern for the Gators - free-throw shooting and assists.

27. UTPA at Texas A&M

28. Long Beach State at Missouri. Tigers have an 80-game home streak in nonconference play.

29. Robert Morris at Alabama

30. Florida A&M at Auburn

31. Dayton at Ole Miss.  Based on RPI, victory by the Rebels would be their best of the season.

32. Rhode Island at LSU.  With the New Orleans playing tonight, LSU moves to an earlier gametime.

33. UTSA at Arkansas

34. Northeastern at Vanderbilt. Commodores try to bounce back after loss to St. Louis.

Extras

35. So is Louisville coach Charlie Strong headed to Texas or not?

36. Earlier Friday, Jimbo Fisher rumors were circulating.  Florida State QB Jameis Winston: “I’m gonna ask if I can go with him – yeah, I’m serious, he’s my coach.”

37. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Florida State has given Winston the opportunity to become the next Bo Jackson,”

38. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and the Cleveland Browns?

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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.”

Extra

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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With Outback Bowl Victory, LSU Gets Fourth Straight 10-Win Season

postgame-links-150x1501LSU 21 – Iowa 14

1. LSU gets 10th win of season behind career-high 216 yards from running back Jeremy Hill.

2. Hill becomes first LSU player to rush for than 200 yards since 2004.

3. “In a game littered with future NFL players on both sidelines, Hill was best player on the soggy field at Raymond James Stadium.”

4. LSU defense holds Iowa to 233 yards, lowest output against any FBS team the Hawkeyes faced this season.

5. “Rainy and miserable day… mostly empty Raymond James Stadium…”

6. LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry says an announcement  on leaving early for the NFL coming soon.

7. One-handed catch by LSU receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.

 

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SEC Headlines 12/30/2013

headlines-monSEC Football

1. The ACC once planned to challenge the SEC in football. So what happened?

2. The Ole Miss running game will be an X factor for the Rebels when they face Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl.

3. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are both preparing for run-dominant opponents in Georgia Tech and Rice.

4. It was a frustrating first year for Alabama running back Derrick Henry but there are positive signs for the future.

5. Alabama WR Amari Cooper failed to live up to expectations this season due to several injuries.

6. Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah will see his best friend when the Tigers play Florida State in the BCS title game.

7. LSU running back Jeremy Hill won’t say whether he will leave for the NFL after this season.

8. LSU’s running backs are preparing to play with quarterback Anthony Jennings, who will make his first career start against Iowa.

9. Johnny Manziel said he’s “nowhere even close” to making an announcement on his future plans.

10. Not surprisingly, Gil Brandt reported that Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans will leave for the NFL.

11. Several Georgia players are dealing with a stomach virus. Mark Richt: “I think it’s just a 24-hour bug kind of thing.”

12. Georgia running back Keith Marshall isn’t likely to redshirt but it “still can’t be ruled out.”

13. South Carolina sure is glad it landed linebacker Skai Moore. He’s the Gamecocks’ leading tackler.

14. Here’s a look at some defensive snap stats for Missouri’s football team.

SEC Basketball

15. Patric Young reached the 1,000-point milestone in Florida’s 76-34 win over Savannah State.

16. Kentucky forward Alex Poythress is making progress and helping the Wildcats.

17. Tennessee and Virginia both enter tonight’s game needing a win.

18. Marshall will play its first game in more than a week when it plays at South Carolina tonight.

19. Criticism has helped Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller improve. The Commodores will host Saint Louis tonight.

Extra

20. Here’s a look at the top 25 athletic revenues in college sports for 2012-13.

21. Athlon Sports has some of the best SEC stats from the 2013 season.

22. Wichita State needs Alabama or Tennessee to step up before the college basketball season ends.

23. Penn State could target Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano if Bill O’Brien leaves for the NFL.

24. Duke’s David Cutcliffe won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year award.

25. Dan Wolken has more on Johnny Manziel and his future.

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SEC Christmas Day Headlines 2013

Christmas stockingsSEC Football

1. Florida reportedly has a new offensive coordinator.  Duke’s Kurt Roper set to be announced later this week. Roper has been David Cutcliffe’s offensive coordinator at Duke for the past six years.

2. Nick Marshall’s fumbles have Auburn coaches worried - he’s lost the ball 14 times in 12 games.

3. Stewart Mandel’s favorite stories from the 2013 college football season.  Gus Malzahn and the Miracles are No. 1.

4. With Austyn Carta-Samuels out, the job of quarterback at Vanderbilt belongs to Patton Robinette. “He knows it’s not one of those deals where, ‘If I make a mistake I get pulled.’ ”

5. Alabama defensive back Landon Collins is a New Orleans native.  Sugar Bowl will be his first opportunity to play in the Superdome.

6. Ever heard of the “U Dub Step”?  It’s a dance South Carolina doesn’t want to see.

7. One of the top plays of the year for LSU? Wide receiver Odell Beckham’s 100-yard return of a missed field goal.

8. When it comes to making a decision about leaving early for the NFL, Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson trusts inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti: “He’s been in the NFL for a long time and scouted guys, so he knows.”

9. An 11-win season has draft experts paying more attention to Missouri prospects, including wide receiver L’Damian Washington. Todd McShay: “I’ve got a fourth-/fifth-round grade on him right now and have him in the top 20 wide receivers.”

SEC Basketball

10. How many Kentucky basketball players will announce they’re leaving to go pro after the season?

11. Is coaching at Kentucky one of the “6 hardest coaching jobs in sports”?

Extra

12. Who are the best NFL alumni from each college?

13. One of the prices paid for realignment/expansion – colleges are chopping smaller sports.

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