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Former Bama, Bryant Assistant Schnellenberger Says Iron Bowl Loss A Needed “Serving Of Humility” For Saban

93817_h_schnellenbergerGo ahead, Howard.  Tell us what you really think.

Paul “Bear” Bryant protege Howard Schnellenberger let Alabama coach Nick Saban have it with both barrels during a television interview in Louisville yesterday.  Asked about the missed 57-yard field goal that Auburn returned 109 yards for the win in last weekend’s Iron Bowl, the ex-coach had this to say about the man who made the decision to kick it:

 

“I thought that was the greatest thing in the world.  Not for the (Alabama) football program.  For the football coach.  He needed a big serving of humility.  He’s been Mr. Perfect.  He’s been Mr. Arrogant.  There’s no reason for that.  Every coach all the way down to Little League knows that you cover that field goal…

They just made a stupid play.  Every coach in the country knows you don’t go into that play thinking, ‘I hope the kick is good.’  You go into it telling your players, ‘What if they run it back.’”

 

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Nick.

Of course, Saban did say after the game that his field goal team is taught to fan out and guard against a return (which drew some negative responses from a few who felt Bama’s coach had thrown his team under the bus.)

Schnellenber served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 1961 through 1965.  He went on to become head coach of Miami (FL), Louisville (where he thumped Bama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl), Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic.

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Al.com Opens Bear Bryant Photo Vaults

bear-bryant-goalpostWednesday will mark the 100th anniversary of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s birth.  Which means it’ll be pretty much a state holiday in the state of Alabama.

To get an early start on the celebrations/memorials, the folks at Al.com have posted online 20 rarely seen photos of The Bear.  It’s fantastic for Tide fans and Tide haters alike.  Anyone with a memory of the legendary coach leaning under the goalposts before a game will enjoy taking the trip into the past.

An A+ to The Birmingham News, The Mobile Press-Register, and The Huntsville Times for giving us a new glimpse at one of college football’s greatest all-time figures.  And when we say “new glimpse,” we mean it.  Ever seen Bear Bryant in a beret?  Heck, it’s not even houndstooth.

 

paul-bear-bryant-100-years---forgotten-moments-3e45e09fd382adfe

 

 

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Stoops The Latest Football Coach To Get The “UK Basketball” Question

KENTUCKY MEDIA DAYSJoker Phillips.  Rich Brooks.  Guy Morris.  On and on all the way back to Paul “Bear” Bryant.  Kentucky football coaches are always asked about playing second-fiddle to Wildcat basketball.  Today, Mark Stoops became the latest guy to have that question lobbed at him.

Like all his predecessors, Stoops played down the issue.  He praised John Calipari and said he enjoys being around him.  Like Phillips when he took over, Stoops said that UK’s basketball success should be a positive for football.  He also added that the fans have already proven to him that they will support football moving forward.

It was an answer we’ve heard before.  It was a question we’ve heard before.

The reality is that come October, UK fans will start turning their attention to basketball and why wouldn’t they?  They’re expected to have the best team in the nation.

Would Cat fans continue to support a football team — even in October and November — if it’s in the race for an East Division crown?  Probably.  But there’s no proof of that.  First, because we haven’t seen Commonwealth Stadium packed to the rafters late in the season and, second, because Big Blue Nation hasn’t been given a title-worthy team to watch in decades.

Watch video of Mark Stoops at SEC Media Days.

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Bama A.D. Battle Compares Saban To Bryant

gfx - they said itNew Alabama athletic director Bill Battle played under Paul “Bear” Bryant and led his own program as head coach at Tennessee.  In his view, current Tide coach Nick Saban is doing what’s never been done before:

 

“I think what they’ve done is unprecedented.  I have admired what they’ve done from afar, and for the last few months, have admired what they do up front.  Coach Saban has got a great program going.  He is as focused and intense a guy as I’ve ever been around.  Everything that they do, they peel back all the layers to get down to what needs to be done as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

 

The word “unprecedented” likely leaves some Bama fans wondering if Battle is putting Saban ahead of his own legendary coach.  Is he?

“What coach Bryant did was unprecedented at the time, I think.  This is a different time.  I don’t think that competition has ever been greater in the history of college football than it is today.”

Good sidestep.  Especially considering that both Bryant and Saban would likely find their faces on an SEC Mt. Rushmore should one ever be commissioned.

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Congrats To Meilinger, Wuerffel On College Football Hall Of Fame Honors

college-football-hall-oF-fameThe 2013 College Football Hall of Fame class was announced today and two more ex-SEC’ers are headed for enshrinement.

Steve Meilinger, a defensive end at Kentucky from 1951 through 1953, and Danny Wuerffel, Florida’s quarterback from 1993 to 1996, will both be inducted into the Hall of Fame in New York City in December.  While the ceremonies are in the Big Apple, a brand new College Football Hall of Fame will open in Atlanta — probably on one of the city’s 462 Peachtree Streets — in 2014.

Meilinger was a member of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s final three squads in Lexington.  Wuerffel won the Heisman Trophy and led Steve Spurrier’s Gators to the national championship in 1996.

Also voted in this year:

 

Ted Brown, RB, North Carolina State

Tedy Bruschi, DE, Arizona

Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin

Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska

Jerry Gray, DB, Texas

Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State

Rod Shoate, LB, Oklahoma

Percy Snow, LB, Michigan State

Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami (FL)

Don Trull, QB, Baylor

Wayne Hardin, Coach, Navy and Temple

Bill McCartney, Coach, Colorado

 

Congratulations to all of those being honored.

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Wow Saturday Headlines

SEC Saturday Basketball…Early Finals…South Carolina 75, Arkansas 54…Tennessee 54, Alabama 53
…Kentucky 75, LSU 70…Missouri 81, Vanderbilt 59
Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says he will attend NFL draft combine in February
A facelift of Missouri’s Memorial Stadium that will expand seating capacity by more than 6,000 seats is underway
Friends and family remember former Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who died 30 years ago on January 26, 1983
Get all your SEC news from MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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A Tip O’ The Cap To MSU’s Mullen For Shouldering The Blame For Loss To A&M

Fact or fiction, part of the legend surrounding the mythic figure known as Paul “Bear” Bryant is that the SEC’s greatest coach would pass credit for a victory to his players… and accept blame for any defeat in their stead.  That’s a fine way to coach and it’s refreshing whenever a millionaire coach takes that approach in today’s game.

With that in mind, we tip our MrSEC.com hat — it’s a red and blue kepi with gold stitching, if you’re wondering — in the direction of Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.  The fourth-year coach got State off to a 7-0 start for the first time since 1999 this season.  But then came a 38-7 wake-up call defeat at Alabama two weeks ago.  Then that loss was followed on Saturday by a not-as-close-as-the-score-suggested 38-13 loss to Texas A&M.

Mullen took full responsibility for what happened Saturday.

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SEC Headlines 9/22/2012

1. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on the timeline for a possible SEC Network: ”We hope to decide what our future is going to look like, certainly by the end of the year, maybe sooner.”

2. Tony Barnhart on LSU-Auburn: “While the world has been talking about the struggles of sophomore quarterback Kiehl Frazier, the reality is that Auburn is going down big time against LSU because it can’t stop the run. ”

3. “For all those wondering where Auburn’s program is headed, Saturday night’s game will be the greatest indicator.”

4. A South Carolina cop gets fired for posting details about of a traffic stop involving Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on a University of South Carolina message board.

5. Dennis Dodd: “The Big Ten is so bad that the conference as a whole, together, as one has beaten four BCS-conference schools three weeks into the season – Syracuse, Boston College, Vanderbilt and California.”

6. Any team in college football had a more eventful three weeks than Louisiana-Monroe?  A win at Arkansas, an overtime loss at Auburn and on Friday night, a 47-42 loss at home to Baylor.

7. Big Blue Madness campers in Lexington get a visit from the head coach.

8. Sounds like Billy Clyde should have never left College Station. “It’s been more than five years since Gillispie bolted Brazos County for the greener bluegrass of Kentucky, but his name here still draws reverential nods typically reserved for celebrated football coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Jackie Sherrill, for the miracle he performed on Texas A&M basketball.”

Extras

9. Mark Kizla on the Broncos quarterback: “When Manning falls short of awesome, we’ve discovered he can be PGM. Peyton Grumpy Manning.”

10. Track and field athletes are unionizing.

11. Why everything tastes like chicken.

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Spurrier Says Carolina Will Do More Running, Pick Its Spots To Pass

In 2008, South Carolina passed the ball 452 times and ran it 403 times.  In 2009, USC’s offense passed the ball 402 times and ran it 409.  In 2010 — with Marcus Lattimore arriving on the scene — the Cocks tossed 389 passes and ran the ball a whopping 522 times.  Last season, the passes were down to 317 while the rushes jumped to 553.

Spot the trend?

As anyone who’s paid attention can tell you, Steve Spurrier has learned to win in an different way from his old Fun N’ Gun Florida days.  If you want to know the mark of any good coach — or businessman, for that matter — it’s the ability to reinvent oneself and change with the times.  Most coaches can’t do it.  The greats can.

Paul “Bear” Bryant threw out an offense that had won him three national titles, replaced it with a wishbone and went on to collect three more championships.  There’s a reason Spurrier’s visored mug would be carved alongside Bryant’s on an SEC Mt. Rushmore of coaches.  He’s proven that he can adjust and adapt.  He’s gone from a pass-first coach to a run-first/play-good-defense kind of leader.

And it sounds like you can expect even more running from the Gamecocks this year with Connor Shaw at quarterback:

 

“We’ll probably be more of a running team, play defense, pick your spots to throw the ball.  That’s not a bad formula.  A little different that I’ve coached int he past.  As all of us know, you can win a bunch of ballgames doing it that way.”

 

Spurrier’s proving that he can win a bunch of games in two different ways.  That’s impressive.  As was the way he switched up last year’s offense to utilize more zone-read plays when Shaw took over for Stephen Garcia.

When Spurrier was hired, a Carolina fan who happens to be a friend of mine said that at least USC football would be fun to watch.  But instead of being competitive in high-scoring games, the Cocks are winning grind-it-out affairs.  It might not be as exciting as watching 50 passes per game, but those winning is a lot more fun than just being competitive.

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SEC Headlines – 5/11/12

1.  It appears as though there could actually be some serious discussion of raising the NBA’s minimum age limit.  (If that happens, the one-and-done rule could disappear.)

2.  The SEC will try out wireless communication for its officiating crews this fall.

3.  A great find.  Now you can read a letter Paul “Bear” Bryant wrote to an incoming Alabama freshman about 40 years ago.  (We pause for Tide fans to wipe their tears.)

4.  Think Nick Saban will remind his team about Jim Delany’s “that team” remark when they open with Michigan this fall?

5.  LSU chancellor Mike Martin is a finalist to become the chancellor at Colorado State.

6.  Here’s a look at Mississippi State’s safety position p0st-spring drills.

7.  And here’s a look at Florida’s receiving corps after spring practice.

8.  This writer tells you which nonconference teams he thinks Georgia should schedule in football.

9.  Kentucky hoops signee Nerlens Noel says the NCAA hasn’t contacted him directly and that he’s in “great position to qualify” academically.

10.  Steve Spurrier and Frank Martin visited Augusta, Georgia yesterday saying, “It’s great to cross the state line and still be in Gamecock Country.”

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