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SEC Headlines 3/15/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Changes to alcohol policy for Georgia-Florida game “highly unlikely.”

2. Spring practice gets underway today at Alabama. Crimson Tide not just breaking in new players, but new coaches as well.

3. Big battle going on in the LSU camp at the right guard position. Coach Les Miles on his quarterback battle: “I think the quarterback position is a position of toughness.”

4. All four of Tennessee’s quarterbacks took reps in Friday’s first spring scrimmage.

5. With Tre Mason gone to the NFL, what are the running back options for Auburn this fall?

6. Missouri defensive end Shane Ray claims a 4.44 4o-yard dash this offseason.

7. SEC coaches divided on the idea of an early signing period for football.

SEC Basketball

8. As Auburn looks to replace Tony Barbee, Tigers will have a search committee of 1 – A.D. Jay Jacobs. 

9. If Auburn calls, Bruce Pearl will listen.

10. Alabama coach Anthony Grant will return.  Has the backing of A.D. Bill Battle.

11. Will Florida freshman Chris Walker return or enter the NBA draft?

12. Improvement will be expected in Rick Ray’s third year at Mississippi State.

13. Adjusting postseason expectations at Arkansas. The Razorbacks “big game hunt withered to small potatoes.”

14. Arkansas, Georgia (if it doesn’t win SEC Tournament), LSU and Missouri all look to be better fit for NIT than Ole Miss.

15. CBI bid possible for Texas A&M?

Extras

16. Did you know?  The Big 12 will be the smallest FBS conference in the country this fall when the Sun Belt expands to 11 football teams.

17. When it comes to earnings, Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady is not that close.

18. New York Times: “One major college basketball participant with no chance of advancing to the national tournament: Las Vegas…”

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SEC Headlines 2/3/2014

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1. An expanded dead period in January has created a busy schedule for  coaches and recruits the last few weeks.

2. Kentucky football put together a regional ad that ran during the Super Bowl.

3. Here’s a look at the SEC as signing day is only two days away.

SEC Basketball

4. Alabama is trying to fight through adversity after consecutive blowout losses to Auburn and Tennessee.

5. LSU was very efficient on offense in its win over Arkansas on Saturday.

6. Mississippi State will try to bounce back this week after losing to Florida and Vanderbilt last week.

7. Ole Miss is preparing for a difficult week. The Rebels will play at Kentucky before returning home to face Missouri.

8. Television has helped make the back end of Florida’s schedule tougher on a yearly basis.

9. “Team transfer” is playing well for Missouri. But they need more help around them.

Super Bowl Recap

10. The Seattle Seahawks were dominant in their win over the Denver Broncos.

11. Former Gator Percy Harvin showed he’s still a dazzling playmaker in helping the Seahawks beat the Broncos.

12. Peyton Manning had a miserable night at the wrong time for the Broncos.

13. Seattle and Denver are two of the top three favorites to return to next year’s Super Bowl.

Extra

14. Florida is No. 4 in the CBS Sports top 25 (and one). Syracuse is No. 1.

15. Kansas is No. 1 in the updated RPI. Florida (No. 5) and Kentucky (No. 13) are the SEC’s highest-ranked teams.

16. Arizona lost forward Brandon Ashley for the rest of the season because of a foot injury.

17. The SEC has four teams in the NCAA tournament in the latest bracket projection from USA Today.

18. Did Mack Brown encourage Texas football recruits to consider other schools?

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SEC Headlines 1/30/2014

headlines-thuSEC Basketball

1. Steven Pearl on the chances his father Bruce returns to coach at Tennessee: ”I don’t know that it would ever work out for my father to coach here again.”

2. Pat Dooley on the SEC and the NCAA Tournament:  ”In the last five seasons, the league has had 19 teams make the field. In the previous 10 seasons, it had 58.

3. Gary Laney: “The assumption the college game has been taken over by one-and-done stars is simply wrong.”

4. Mike DeCourcy on Kentucky: ”Nothing that’s failing with these Wildcats is unresolvable.”

5. Florida at Mississippi State.  Gators highest-ranked team to play at Humphrey Coliseum since Kentucky in 2012.

6. Gators riding an 11-game winning streak - best run since reeling off 17 straight to start 2006-2006 season.

SEC  Football

7. Expect Auburn’s receiving corps to be better this fall.  Every member returns for an encore.

8. Top 10 SEC defensive linemen of the BCS era?  Athlon Sports puts Georgia defensive end David Pollack at No 1.

9. College players pushing a union have a supporter in AJ McCarron.

Extra

10. A Twitterstorm erupts when Syracuse football coach Scott Shafer calls Atlanta “#softnosed.”

11. How bad will Fox’s red-carpet interviews be during the Super Bowl pregame? “As horrible as the worst dreams that invade your mind at night.”

12. The biggest open secret about the NFL?  Gambling is good for the league’s bottom line.  “If they wanted to stop gambling, they’d stop the injury report.”

13. Peyton Manning wears the perfect Peyton Manning outfit.

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Ole Miss QB Wallace Getting Lippy After 3-0 Start

bo-wallace-helmet-offComing into the 2013 season, Bo Wallace’s ability to take care of the football became a hot topic.  If he could improve his God-awful touchdown-to-interception ratio (22 to 17 last season), the Rebels could take another step forward.  If he continued to turn the ball over, UM could backslide from last season’s 7-6 mark.

To date, Wallace has been outstanding.  In leading the Rebs to a 3-0 start he’s completed 64% of this passes with four TDs and no — zip, zilch, nada — interceptions.  He’s thrown for 648 yards and rushed for an additional 120 with three more scores.  That’s 768 yards and seven touchdowns on his resume through three games.  There’s a reason we kept calling him “a poor man’s Johnny Manziel” last season.

Unfortunately, Wallace is starting to show a bit of Manziel’s cockiness, too.

Heading into Tuscaloosa for a showdown with top-ranked Alabama, Wallace said Monday that he expects to score some points against the Crimson Tide’s defense and secondary:

 

“Yeah, I think we can put points on them.  I think we can put points on anybody.  We just have to show up and play.  It’s the same thing every week, let’s stay on schedule, control the tempo and don’t have any turnovers…

 I wouldn’t say (Alabama’s secondary has had) a drop off, but when you have first-round corners every year, I don’t know if they are exactly first-round corners.  But if you have a guy going in the top 10, you’re going to have a little big of a drop off the next year.”

 

In a word: Why?

And before someone says, “Wallace is just showing the confidence a quarterback must have,” ask yourselves, “Must a person flap his gums in order to have confidence?”  I don’t recall guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees saying their opponent has had a drop off on defense.

Also, Wallace didn’t just pop off about Alabama.  He also fired a few darts at Texas A&M and Manziel’s weaponry:

 

“I think we have better receivers than A&M.  They want to talk about Mike Evans being so good, but we have Donte (Moncrief) and I think Laquon (Treadwell) is going to be that way.  We have better players on the outside than A&M does.”

 

And here we were enjoying Ole Miss’ “little engine that could” vibe.  Oh, well, strap that helmet on tight, Bo.  You’ll have plenty of chances to back up your talk when you face Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU over the next four weeks.  Get through that schedule with a couple of wins (or more) and you’ll have every right to chirp.

Why he would feel the need or want to, though, is anyone’s guess.

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SEC Headlines 9/6/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Kentucky has a new starting quarterback this week against Miami of Ohio.  Max Smith replacing Jalen Whitlow.

2. What do teammates think of Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who’ll make his 2013 debut Saturday?  ”Josh may be the most physical defensive back we have.”

3. “I don’t know that Georgia would have beaten Clemson with Harvey-Clemons, but it’s not a crazy thought.”

4. Is South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw the key to the game? “His legs were the difference (last year)…and if Georgia lets him do that again, it will lose again.”

5. When Florida plays Miami Saturday, it will be an emotional homecoming for Gators wide receiver and Miami native Quinton Dunbar.

6. Matt Hayes on the sellout in Miami: “Florida only received 12,500 tickets, which means more than 60,000 Canes fans might just make Sun Life feel like the Old Lady Orange Bowl of years past. ”

7. Home-opener for LSU this weekend against UAB.  Quarterback Zach Mettenberger: “It’s huge; I love playing in that stadium, love being in that environment.”

8. Arkansas fullback Kiero Small logged about 50 snaps last week - most in his Razorbacks career.

9. How many times has Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott watched the replay of his 75-yard touchdown run against Vanderbilt?“Probably close to 100 times, maybe.”

10. South Carolina sophomore safety T.J. Gurley is a Georgia native and will get the start against his home-state team Saturday.

11. New England quarterback Tom Brady’s message to Johnny Manziel? “So when you look across the ball you have respect for those guys, and you treat them with respect because football’s a physical game.”

12. Alabama is off this week – work has started on next week’s Texas A&M game.

13. Five true freshmen saw action for Auburn last week – even more could play against Arkansas State.

14. Alabama writer picks Arkansas State to beat the Tigers.

15. Missouri opens the season with four straight non-conference games. “Missouri’s schedule is perfect for a team looking to build momentum and create an identity.”

16. Austin Peay game for Vanderbilt part of “what the numbers indicate is by far the weakest nonconference schedule in the SEC.”

SEC Player Injuries/Suspensions

17. Alabama redshirt freshman defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson will have surgery on his knee after injuring it in practice.

18. Who will replace the injured Devrin Young in the return game for Tennessee?  ”We’ve got a number of guys that we feel very confident with…”

19. Dak Prescott will get the start at quarterback in place of the injured Tyler Russell for Mississippi State but the offensive scheme remains the same.

20. Arkansas safety Rohan Gaines will be a game-time decision.

21. What’s the status of LSU running back Jeremy Hill? “Looming return…which could very well happen this week…”

22. Jeremy Fowler on an all-violation of team rules squad: “Florida and A&M had a combined 11 players suspended last week..”

SEC/College News

23. NCAA subcommittee discussing the idea of an early signing period in college football.  Growing trend of early commitments.

24. NCAA wants to be more like the United Nations.

25. Should it really be up to the NCAA to decide on hardship waivers?

26. After Notre Dame got blown out by Alabama, coach Brian Kelly turned to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for advice.

27. 80-year former coach Don James hospitalized.

SEC Basketball

28. Vanderbilt releases their full schedule for 2013-2014.

29. Missouri freshman forward Jonathan Williams showed up to campus weighing less than 200 pounds. He’s now up to 218.

30. Antonio Barton is a better fit in Cuonzo Martin’s system at Tennessee than former point-guard Trae Golden.

Media

31. Following his seven-touchdown performance, Peyton Manning has a future – as a sports broadcaster.  ”I would think all the networks would be tripping over each other if Peyton Manning wanted to do this.”

Extra

32. Is that Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin imitating his quarterback?

 

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Report: Johnny Manziel Gets Booted From Manning Camp

johnny-manziel-holds-ball-smilesToday is the last day for the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, Louisiana and one player who reportedly won’t be there is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.  According to a report at Yardbarker.com, Manziel was booted from the camp by Archie Manning after showing up late Saturday afternoon.

 

Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous because of his connection to the camp, gave us the scoop after Manziel showed up tardy Saturday afternoon after being out on the town Friday night. The Texas A&M star reportedly enjoyed himself a little too much Friday night and rolled back into the camp at Nicholls State University some time around noon Saturday before getting the boot.

 

Manziel was supposed to participate in the “Air It Out” competition along with other top collegiate passers Saturday evening. He didn’t. Camp officials told local media that Manziel “is sick” and was no longer at the camp. But our source claims he was kicked out at the behest of Manning paterfamilias Archie.

 

Manziel was a roommate of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron at the camp. The two were spotted at a restaurant together Thursday night along with Eli and Peyton Manning.

Update: ESPN’s Chris Mortenson says reports about why Manziel left the camp are not accurate.  Camp spokesman releases statement.

“Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach. After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest for him to go home a day early.”

Deadspin also has some updates on what they have heard.

Update II: Back at the original source, Rumors & Rants is sticking by their story.

Since our original report we have talked to several other sources who were in attendance at the camp and they have confirmed that Manziel definitely was not sick despite what was reported to local media

 

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WOW Headlines – 6/18/13

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has been given a talking-to by the A&M staff after his “i can’t wait to leave college station” tweet from over the weekend
Alabama’s new locker room facility will actually feature a waterfall
Florida LB Antonio Morrison is out of jail but he still faces a charge of simple battery for a weekend fight
Missouri has dismissed LB Torey Boozer for “undisclosed disciplinary reasons”
Ex-Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning worked out with current Volunteer football players Monday in Knoxville
Florida coach Billy Donovan says G Scotty Wilbekin “has work to do” before returning from suspension
Former UNC-Asheville G Keith Hornsby will transfer to LSU’s basketball team
Follow the SEC each day at MrSEC.com

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SEC Headlines 4/12/2013

headlines-fri1. What’s the status of Tennessee running back Marlin Lane?  ”That’s up to Coach Jones.” Wide receiver injuries piling up for the Vols.

2. Peyton Manning on why he recruited Butch Jones…to Colorado. Impressed with coach – “I like his slogans and philosophies.”

3. Former coach on running back Braylon Heard, who’s transferring from Nebraska to Kentucky.  “He can change the game at the blink of an eye. He can go 80, 90 yards in a heartbeat.”

4. Kentucky preparing for a crowd as large as 50,000 for this Saturdays’ spring game. They won’t see any kickoffs or kick returns.

5. With Marcus Lattimore gone, a focus on running backs Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds at South Carolina.

6. Texas A&M’s spring game on Saturday will be carried live on ESPN for the first time in school history. Aggies overhauling linebacking corp.  ”“There’s a big hole to fill.”

7. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin will serve as NFL Network analyst on the opening day of the NFL draft.

8. The first team will scrimmage the second team at Vanderbilt’s spring game on Saturday.

9. With the exception of Zach Mettenberger, LSU defenders had the go-ahead to hit all other LSU quarterbacks in practice the past few days.

10. With recruiting deregulation on hold, job responsibilities of support staff are up in the air at Auburn.  Gus Malzahn: “Right now, we’re just going day by day.”

11. Georgia’s spring practice is over but the competition for starting spots is just beginning. Coach Mark Richt: “If you’re working out this summer thinking you’ve got something nailed down, you better re-check your thinking.”

12. Hey Georgia fans, who do you want on the cover of Athlon’s preseason college football magazine?  You can vote for either Aaron Murray or Todd Gurley here.

13. With his Bulldogs team getting ready for its second spring scrimmage, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is looking for leaders.

14. With defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson gone to an NFL as a likely first-round pick, Missouri needs someone to step up in the middle of the defensive line.

15. Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash on safety Eric Bennett: “He’s been a great player. He’s been a great student of the game.”

16. With a year under his belt, expect even bigger things from Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.  ”Everything is easier. “When I first came in, I didn’t know a lot of plays.” Dee Hart may return punts or kicks for Alabama this fall.

17. A profile of Alabama A.D. Bill Battle and his business career.  What if he hadn’t gone to Selma?

SEC Basketball

18. Billy Donovan’s wish for his Gators next year.  ”We have to get more competitive. Nastier.”

19. They may not think it now – but Missouri fans will miss Phil Pressey - “the Jerry Lewis of point guards..”

20.  Garry Parrish on why Kentucky deserves to be ranked No. 1 heading into next season.

Extras

21. When Eli and Peyton Manning need a tune-up, they turn to Duke coach David Cutcliffe.

22. The NBA’s early entry deadline has some issues.  The case of Louisville’s Russ Smith is a perfect example.

23. “Louisville faced the easiest path, seed-wise, of any national champion since UNLV in 1990.”

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SEC Headlines – 12/10/12

General Stuff

1.  Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports are teaming up.

2.  Atlanta is one step closer to replacing the Georgia Dome.

3.  Tony Dungy says Peyton Manning could “absolutely not” become a coach because “it would frustrate him to death” that every player isn’t Peyton Manning.  (Listen and you can hear the sobs of Tennessee fans who’ve always pictured their alum back on the Knoxville sidelines… once Jon Gruden retired, of course.)

4.  West Virginia’s Mountaineer mascot has been told to stop hunting bears with his university-issued musket.

 

SEC Football

5.  New Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will stick with Arkansas State through the Red Wolves’ bowl game.

6.  Alabama will begin practice for the BCS Championship Game on December 18th.

7.  Report: Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is not a candidate for the head coaching job at Southern Miss and has not interviewed.

8.  New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema appears to be taking his time in filling out his staff.

9.  Which LSU team will show up for the Chick-fil-A Bowl?

10.  Mississippi State will close bowl practices to prying eyes after an open scrimmage on Sunday.

11.  Johnny Manziel’s Heisman win is yielding a whole lotta positive pub for Texas A&M.  (Yeah, but can he repeat?)

12.  Georgia’s coaches will make a little more cash from the Capital One Bowl than they would have elsewhere.

13.  Looks like Kentucky will be hiring former Wildcat John Schlarman as its new O-line coach.

14.  Whether Marcus Lattimore turns pro or not, South Carolina’s Mike Davis should be the Gamecocks’ first choice at tailback next season.

15.  Tennessee needed a fresh start… and Butch Jones provides it.

16.  During bowl season, Vanderbilt’s players get to play tourists in their own hometown.

 

SEC Basketball

17.  The SEC has named its Players of the Week.

18.  Andy Kennedy doesn’t believe “hunger” had anything to do with his team’s loss to MTSU over the weekend.

19.  Florida will have a whole week off before facing Arizona in Tucson on Saturday.

20.  This year’s Missouri team is an offensive mess.

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SEC In The NFL – McFadden Is The Man

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (Arkansas) is the man.  Just ask New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis.  “He just crushed us today,” said Revis following the Raiders 34-24 victory on Sunday.

McFadden rushed for 171 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns.  One of those touchdown runs went for 70 yards on a play that was supposed to be a pass.  “I just felt like it was in my best interest to go ahead and run,” McFadden said.

“He’s able to get from point A to point B faster than anyone I’ve seen,” quarterback Jason Campbell (Auburn) said. “He can get in a hole and shift out and make two guys miss and get down the sidelines.”

With 393 rushing yards in his first three games, McFadden leads the NFL.  ”He’s the best back in football, bar none,” said Raiders coach Hue Jackson.

On the defensive side of the ball for Oakland, Jarvis Moss (Florida) had a big day for the Raiders, notes Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News.  The defensive end had two sacks, a tackle for a loss, and three quarterback hits.

Pending the outcome of tonight’s Washington-Dallas game, there will only be three or four undefeated teams left standing heading into week 4.  One of those teams is the Detroit Lions led by quarterback Matthew Stafford (Georgia).  On Sunday, Stafford led the Lions back from a 20-0 halftime deficit as Detroit rallied to beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-23 in overtime.

Although this is Stafford’s third year in the league, thanks to an assortment of knee and shoulder injuries, the Lions QB completed his 16th career start on Sunday, completing his “rookie” year.  Detroit News columnist Mike O’Hara breaks down Stafford’s stats and says the former Bulldog compares favorably to another SEC legend – Peyton Manning.

“Stafford is proving he’s the real thing.  He is a quarterback, not just playing the role.”

Sunday afternoon in Minnesota, Stafford completed 32 of 46 passes for 378 yards and two TDs. Stafford is currently fifth in the NFL in passing yards, only behind Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and leader Tom Brady.

Speaking of Cam Newton (Auburn), the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft had his worst statistical game but got something that had eluded him in his first two starts – a victory.  The Carolina Panthers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-10.

After back-to-back  400+ yard efforts in his first two games, Newton completed 18 of 34 passes for just 158 yards yesterday. But he did engineer his first fourth-quarter game-winning touchdown drive in a game that featured “monsoon-like” weather conditions.

“No matter what the conditions were — dry, slick, wet — it doesn’t matter as a quarterback in this league,” Newton said. “There’s an old saying: ’Don’t tell me about the pain, just bring me the baby.’”

Another positive for the rookie yesterday – no interceptions and no sacks.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (Ole Miss) was also a winner Sunday – torching the Philadelphia Eagles for four touchdown passes with no interceptions in the Giants 29-16 victory.

Sean Hartnett says it’s time to recognize Manning for what he is – a top 10 NFL quarterback.

“No longer should he be the whipping boy of New York back pages, radio hosts and fans when things go wrong”

A few other SEC-related notes from Sunday:

  • Mike Wallace (Ole Miss) caught 5 passes for 144 yards including an 81-yard touchdown pass in the Steelers 23-20 victory over Indianapolis.
  • Julio Jones (Alabama) had an impressive showing in a losing cause.  The Atlanta Falcons rookie caught 6 passes for 115 yards against Tampa Bay.  The Bucs won the game 16-13.
  • Sidney Rice (South Carolina) had 8 catches for 109 yards as Seattle won for the first time this year.  The Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 13-10 in Rice’s season debut.  He had been sidelined with a shoulder injury.
  • Mark Ingram (Alabama) scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Saints victory over the Texans.  It was his first touchdown of his young NFL career. New Orleans defeated Houston 40-33.
  • The Broncos lost to the Titans 17-14 on Sunday fueling speculation in Denver that it’s time for Tim Tebow (Florida).  But coach John Fox is still backing Kyle Orton.  “Right now, in our opinion, Kyle gives us the best chance to win.”

And finally, Colts owner Jim Irsay made news this morning when he told a group of Super Bowl donors that Peyton Manning (Tennessee) was out for the season.  Irsay later clarified those comments saying there’s an “outside chance” Manning returns in December.

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