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SEC Hoops Roundup 12/15/2013

gfx-hoops-round-up1. Wichita State 70 – Tennessee. Video HighlightsDown by just two points with 6:50 to go in the game, Vols can’t hold off late surge by undefeated Shockers.  6-3 Tennessee paced by Jordan McRae’s 26 points.

2. Georgia 84 – Lipscomb 75. Walk-on point guard Taylor Echols hits three three-point shots, matches career-high with 9 points.  Leading scorer Charles Mann out with a bone bruise.

3. Texas A&M 73 – McNeese State 60. Video Highlights. 8-2 Aggies remain undefeated at home.  Junior forward Jamal Jones led A&M with 16 points.

4. Ole Miss 72 – Middle Tennessee State 63.  Rebels get game-high 25 points from Jarvis Summers. Coach Andy Kennedy: “We’ve won seven, we’ve won against the Big Ten and the ACC, and I really believe this is the most quality of wins that we’ve had.”

5. North Carolina 82 – Kentucky 77. Video Highlights. Wildcats drop to 8-3 on the season despite 19 missed free throws from Carolina.  UK misses 14 free throws and commits 17 turnovers.

6. LSU 61 -UL-Monroe 54. Tigers get a career-high 25 points from freshman Jordan Mickey.  LSU now 6-2 on the season.

7. Alabama 59- Charleston-Southern 45.  Career-high 22 points for  Retin Obasohan as leading-scorer Trevor Releford sidelined with hip injury.

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North Carolina 82 – Kentucky 77

Video highlights of the North Carolina 82-77 win over Kentucky Saturday.

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Carolina Rolls, Ole Miss Nips Vandy In A Music City Shootout

postgame-linksSouth Carolina 27, North Carolina 10


Our Take:  So that was easy.  Obviously, we have no idea how good North Carolina will be, but if they’re a bowl quality team, well, that’s a scary thought for the SEC because South Carolina dismantled them.

Most impressive was USC’s ground game which cranked out 228 yards against the Tar Heels.  Mike Davis filled Marcus Lattimore’s shoes quite nicely with 115 yards on just 12 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown gallop in the second half.

Connor Shaw’s passing remains spotty.  Overall he was 11-of-20 for 149 yards and a TD, but 65 of those yards came on his first-drive scoring pass to Shaq Roland.  Dylan Thompson threw just one pass on the night, a 29-yard score to Kane Whitehurst in the back of the end zone.  The Cocks only slowed down in the first half once the Ol’ Ball Coach started calling more passes than runs.  Carolina just isn’t that built that way.

The Gamecocks’ conditioning also looked to be an issue — even Steve Spurrier promised to fix it in his postgame talk — but if this was Carolina at its worst?  Maybe we should move them into the national title contender category after all.  A great debut.


What’s They’re Saying:

South Carolina downs North Carolina, 27-10

Thumbs up, thumbs down from Gamecocks’ win over UNC

South Carolina’s Clowney Show lacks sizzle

Clowney downplays lackluster opener

South Carolina Notes: Gamecocks’ Mike Davis off and running


Video Highlights: click here.


And apparently, Under Armour had a little trouble with one of Carolin(a)’s jerseys…
















Ole Miss 39, Vanderbilt 35

Our Take: If you didn’t stay up for this one, you missed a curtain-raiser that turned into a barn-burner.  There was nary a defense to be found as the two teams combined for 74 points and 915 yards, 583 through the air.  Back and forth they went — Ole Miss up 10-0, Vandy up 21-10, Ole Miss up 28-25 — right down to the final two minutes of the game.

Austyn Carta-Samuels (21-of-36, 300 yards, two TDs and two INTs) connected with Steven Scheu to put the Dores in the lead 35-32 with just 1:30 left on the clock.  Twenty-three seconds later, Rebel running back Jeff Scott weaved his way down the left sideline for 75 yards on a zone read play, giving Ole Miss the lead.

Vandy was driving again when a Carta-Samuels pass bounced off the hands of receiver Jordan Matthews and into the arms of Mississippi defensive back Cody Prewitt.

Both teams should be concerned about the lack of defense displayed on Thursday night, but these teams both have quarterbacks who can move the ball.  UM’s Bo Wallace passed for 283 and ran for another 48 including two touchdowns.


What They’re Saying:

Vanderbilt loses wild game to Ole Miss

Vanderbilt misses chance to bury offseason distractions in loss to Ole Miss

Scott’s late touchdown dash leads Rebels to opener win

Notebook: Ole Miss’ Shackelford strong in return

Same old Ole Miss?  Not the way they showed resilience by beating Vandy


Video Highlights: click here.


Here’s guessing Vandy’s Caleb Azubike just started a new fad…
















SIDENOTE – As we’ve written many times, show us the team that commits the most turnovers and we’ll show you which team lost the game.  Last night, North Carolina was -1 in turnover margin and Vanderbilt was -2.  It’s the single most important stat in football, especially in the SEC.

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SEC Headlines 8/29/13

headlines-thuSEC Football

1.  How have SEC teams fared in recent openers?  Here’s a lengthy look.

2.  Stat geeks, take a gander at this examination of the SEC’s fastest and slowest offenses.

3.  Auburn expects a go-to receiver to emerge.

4.  Gus Malzahn’s D-line will feature a rotation of players to help ease his new defensive tackles into action.

5.  Alabama’s O-lineman Arie Kouandjio is back from multiple knee injuries and ready for action.

6.  After a close call last winter, Bret Bielema is glad Arkansas is changing out its private planes.

7.  Bielema on Hog running back Jonathan Williams: “You’re our guy, we’re on your back.”

8.  For LSU, folks are wondering if the TCU game is on the line late, “will it be (Cam) Cameron’s game to call, or will it be (Les) Miles calling the shots?”

9.  Tiger freshman Rashard Robinson has finally been academically cleared to play.

10.  Mississippi State’s defense feels ready for Oklahoma State’s two-quarterback attack.

11.  MSU is quickly becoming the Oregon of the SEC, breaking out yet another new helmet for Saturday’s game.

12.  Oh, great.  A new book claims that Texas A&M receiver Ricky Seals-Jones got offers of major cash from several big-time programs (but not A&M).

13.  Georgia defenders are getting ready to log a lot of snaps against Clemson.

14.  Mark Richt and Dabo Swinney look back upon — with completely different feelings –  the decisions by running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley to attend UGA instead of Clemson.

15.  Could Will Muschamp fall victim to Florida’s “third-year jinx?”

16.  The man who barks at dogs — Gator linebacker Antonio Morrison — has issued a public apology for his offseason behavior.  (And he actually did a really good job of it.)

17.  This writer — one of the SEC’s best — believes that Kentucky made the right hire in Mark Stoops even if Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky team routs the Cats on Saturday.

18.  UK’s new Air Raid offense won’t totally abandon the run game.

19.  It won’t be a sell-out, but 90,000+ Tennessee fans have bought tickets for Saturday’s Austin Peay game, the first contest of the Butch Jones era.

20.  The Vols’ offensive line is expected to provide “the core and the mentality” of UT’s team.

North Carolina at South Carolina

21.  Can South Carolina’s defense slow North Carolina’s up-tempo offense?

22.  USC versus UNC: by the numbers.

23.  Carolina (the Northern one) hopes to make Jadeveon Clowney uncomfortable in order to take him off his game.

24.  Here’s a quick Q&A with a Carolina (North) beatwriter for Carolina (South) fans.

25.  A columnist with an unfortunate surname says the Tar Heels are hoping to steal the spotlight from the Gamecocks.

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

26.  Breaking down the Rebels versus the Commodores.

27.  Ole Miss’ Nkemdiche brothers are ready to rock.

28.  The Rebels have prepared “a little more for some quarterback runs” from Vandy.

29.  James Franklin says he’d open every year in front of ESPN’s Thursday night cameras if he could.

30.  Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price warmed up in a Vandy football uniform before last night’s baseball game.

Johnny Manziel

31.  A lot of folks aren’t happy with the NCAA for letting Johnny Manziel off the hook.

32.  A&M’s quarterback “gets NCAA wristslap.”

33.  With no evidence, this writer says the NCAA had no choice but to let Manziel walk.

34.  An Oklahoma car dealer pokes a little fun at the Aggies’ quarterback in a new ad.

35.  This writer says the NCAA was better off letting Manziel play than enforcing the letter of its law.

And One To Grow On…

36.  This columnist believes Lane Kiffin never should have left Tennessee. 

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Spurrier Says Carolina Vs Carolina “A Special Game”

gfx - they said itThe 2013 college football season kicks off on Thursday and the main event on night one is an ACC/SEC battle between Carolina del Norte and and Carolina del Sur.  Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier is looking forward to the matchup as he has some history with the Tar Heels dating back to his 1980s tenure at Duke:


“I’m a Dukie.  I’m a Gator, a Dukie, and now I’m a Gamecock.  For us Dukies, back then that was our big game.  I doubt if it was for North Carolina because we did not beat them that much, but when I was there we were fortunate enough to actually beat them more than they beat us.

It was always a fund game when that occurred.  But, yeah, it is a little special when you are coaching against a team like that, just like coaching against Georgia.  The Gators and Georgia were teams that didn’t like each other very much.  That’s a special game, too, so anytime you coach against a team that was a little special wherever you coached at, it remains a special game.”


Spurrier actually went 3-0 against North Carolina in 1987, 1988 and 1989.  The Ol’ Ball Coach also knocked off UNC as South Carolina’s coach in 2007.

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SEC Headlines 8/21/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Georgia now has seven defensive backs on the injured list. Junior cornerback Damian Swann has a hip flexor and a groin strain.

2. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on the opening game with Georgia: “It’ll be a game for the ages, opening at night, everybody excited for college football to kick off.”

3. North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner on the opportunity against South Carolina and Jadeveon Clowney: “We’re looking forward to playing against a top team, and the best player in the country.”

4. Gamecocks sophomore running back Mike Davis will get the start against North Carolina. Backups Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will also see action.Looking more and more like Bruce Ellington could miss the opener.

5. Could Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles redshirt this season? Kentucky-Louisville game moved to season finale  in 2014.

6. Booted from Auburn, safety Demetruce McNeal will transfer to West Alabama.

7. Is quarterback Jeff Driskel Florida’s top running threat at the moment?

8. No true No. 1 running back at Tennessee – may be a while before there is. Vols have an estimated 81 scholarship players.

9. Injury to Auburn defensive Dee Ford means newcomers Elijah Daniel and Carl Lawson will see immediate action.

10. Vanderbilt defensive backs Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall combined for more tackles last year than any other SEC secondary tandem.  Attorney enters not guilty plea for suspended wide receiver Chris Boyd.

11, Les Miles likes the linebacking corps at LSU: “They could be as talented as they’ve been here in a while.”

12, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on freshman wide receiver  Ricky Seals-Jones: “He’s got real ability, he’s very athletic but he’s got to learn the nuances of the position.”

13. Nick Saban on freshman Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. “He really has made a lot of progress. We actually are increasing his reps.”

14. Mississippi State punter Baker Swedenburg admits he’ll look up at the Jumbotron while he’s on the field. “I try not to but it happens every now and then.”

15, Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on the Vols new gray uniforms:  ”If those uniforms help you recruit, those recruits might help you win. It’s that simple.”

16, In this list of the 20 best players in the SEC, Johnny Manziel is 1A and Jadeveon Clowney is 1B.

17. Test drive a truck and register for the chance to win a Johnny Manziel autographed football?

Practice Reports

18. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn liked what he saw on the final day of preseason camp: “I told our offense at the end of the practice that it was the best rhythm that we’ve had since I’ve been back.”

19. LSU coach Les Miles on the Tigers final fall scrimmage of camp: “We’re sloppy, they need to get things right. If we do that we’ll have an opportunity to beat a lot of teams.”

20, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper should see his workload increase this week, been bothered with a strained foot.

21. Florida walk-on running back Mark Herndon awarded full scholarship. Running back Matt Jones was at practice but didn’t practice Tuesday.  Looks to be getting closer to returning but not expected ready for opener.

22. Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines returns to the practice field.  Had a strained patella tendon in his left knee.

23. Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash on his unit:  ”We’ve got to get more consistent. ”

SEC Basketball

24. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy says guard Marshall Henderson has earned the right to be involved in basketball activities but “he will miss games, The extent of that is yet to be determined as we go through this process.”

25. Rebels will appear on national TV eight times this coming season. Kentucky and Florida with the most – at 14 times each.

26. CBS will carry six SEC games - four of them involving Kentucky.

27. Memphis transfer Antonio Barton has enrolled at Tennessee.

28. Which school will hire former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl next year? “Rest assured, some AD somewhere will be anxious to bring (Pearl) to his campus.”

SEC/College News

29. Defense attorney says he’ll fight extradition proceedings in the Vanderbilt rape case.

30. Despite a new state law, guns are banned everywhere on campus at Alabama, including games.

31. Add the Bahamas and Boca Raton to the list of bowl game destinations.  At least 38 bowl games starting in 2014.

32. Matt Hayes:  ”Even on its farewell tour, the BCS can’t get a break.”

33. The commissioner of Conference USA supports the idea of stipends for college-athletes. 


34. ESPN executive on the SEC Network: “In order to make this thing go…we’re going to have to schedule meaningful games that will resonate with fan bases.”

35. An early review of  how Fox Sports Live compares to ESPN’s Sportscenter

36. apologizes for headline that mentioned football can be confusing, “especially for women.”

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USC’s Clowney Will Play In Opener, But Ellington Still Injured

gfx - they said itEarlier this week, Steve Spurrier called out three of his top players for not bouncing back from injury quickly enough.  Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Damiere Byrd returned to practice the next day.  Fellow wideout Bruce Ellington has not.

According the Gamecock coach, Clowney is now fully cleared for Carolina’s opener against the other Carolina two weeks from today:


“Clowney’s back full-go, he looks good.  Get the word out to those national media boys.  Clowney’s back in good shape, back in the fold.  He’s going to play against North Carolina.  All communication problems have been solved.  He’s back on the team in good standing.”


Spurrier’s quip about “those national media boys” feels a bit off since he himself told reporters that Clowney and the others might not play.  He also knows how to play the media like a harp.

As for Ellington, the coach said: “Bruce is still hurt.  He’s got a lingering injury that prevents him from practicing.  I don’t know when he’s coming back.  You’ll have to ask Bruce and the trainers about that, but he hasn’t done anything for a good week.”

Ellington — USC’s leading receiver last year — is dealing with a hamstring injury.

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Alabama-Tennessee As A Non-Conference Game? Steve Spurrier Has A Schedule Suggestion

gfx - they said itIt’s no secret Alabama coach Nick Saban wants a nine-game SEC schedule.  South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has an idea on how he can get there – play Tennessee each year as a non-conference game. Here’s what Spurrier told Matt Hayes of The Sporting News.


“Nick Saban wants nine games, well he can have nine and be happy. Yep, nine games against conference opponents—but one of them won’t count, that’s all.

“Our commissioner seems to think if Alabama-Tennessee is not a conference game, no one will want to watch it. I told him, you think no one wants to watch South Carolina play Clemson? We’ve got North Carolina in the first game of the season; a border rival, our stadium will be full. You think no one will want to watch that?

“If the commissioner doesn’t think that’s a big game, he should come watch it. So there you go, Nick can have his nine (conference) games. I’m all for it.”


Spurrier’s idea could extend beyond Alabama-Tennessee and include other traditional rivalries such as Auburn-Georgia and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt.  He told Hayes he suggested the idea at last month’s meetings in Destin but it gained little traction.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 5/26/2013

recruiting-headlines-gfxSEC Football

1. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops continues his success in the state of Ohio.  Liberty Township offensive lineman Jarrett LaRubbio became the sixth recruit in the Buckeye State to commit to UK this offseason on Saturday.  According to Rivals, Kentucky now has five of the top 35 prospects in the state of Ohio. LaRubbio chose Kentucky over North Carolina State.  

2. Opelika, Alabama tight end Jakell Mitchell is now an Auburn commit.  Why Auburn? ”The thing that stood out to me the most was the offense. It fits me the best, there’s great coaches and the academics.”  Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Wisconsin, Kentucky and North Carolina were all reportedly interested in Mitchell.

3. Mitchell isn’t the only Auburn commitment on Big Cat weekend.  Four-star cornerback Nick Ruffin also says he wants to play for the Tigers but he says he still intends to make an official visit to Georgia.  ”My decision is final. I don’t plan on going back on it. My word is my bond, and I don’t plan on changing that.”

4. Other prominent prospects visiting Auburn this weekend include defensive tackle Elisha Shaw from Atlanta (who lists Alabama and Georgia in the lead)  and McDonough, Ga defensive end Andrew Williams.

SEC Basketball

5. Devin Booker is the son of former Missouri guard Melvin Booker.  He’s drawing plenty of attention from the Tigers and several other schools.  ”Every school that’s recruiting has offered me so far. That includes Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Florida, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina.” Booker says he’s not sure when his recruiting process will end – “just taking it slow and enjoying it right now.”



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USC To Face UNC In Charlotte As Neutral Site Games Continue To Boom (Something Our Futurists Predicted Years Ago)

bank-of-america-stadiumThis fall, South Carolina will open the 2013 football season against North Carolina in Columbia.  The two teams will also meet to open up the 2015 season, but that game will take on a more special feel.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the Gamecocks and Tar Heels will butt heads in Charlotte at the NFL Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium.  An official announcement is expected to come tomorrow.

The explosion in the number of neutral site games across the college football landscape is something we discussed way back in July of 2009.  In a piece focusing on the future of the SEC, we sat down with a sports marketing expert and tried to imagine what might come next in the world of college sports.  “Keeping The SEC On Top: What’s The Next Big Thing” provides a snapshot into a world when the SEC’s twin TV deals were still wowing folks and the overall US economy was still frightening them.

Now four years on, it’s a pretty interesting read.

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