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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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Allen Named Hogs’ Post-Spring Starter At QB

Brandon AllenWith spring practice at an end, it looks like Arkansas has a starting quarterback.  And according to Bret Bielema, it’s the guy most expected would grab the job before spring ball began:

 

“Brandon Allen really from the first week until the game that you saw on Saturday made progress all the way along.  But just really the last weeks have been exceptional.  He’s just continued to make strides…

Brandon Mitchell does a lot of really good things as well.  One thing we can’t do is we can’t turn the football over.  We can’t create negative plays on our own.  I think Brandon Allen did a lot better job of that just overall and has progressed in a way that has put him in that position…

As far as with Brandon Mitchell, obviously, I think at quarterback he’s got some special gifts that we definitely can use or make better.  If there’s another role, him at another position, it’ll be something that we kind of work through together.”

 

Could Allen, a sophomore from Fayetteville, still botch up the works with an offseason slip-up or a poor fall practice?  Probably.  But it’s noteworthy that a first-year coach with no proven starter has gone ahead and listed one QB hopeful over another on the post-spring depth chart.  Had he decided to milk the competition thing a bit longer — and many coaches do so just for the sake of doing it — Bielema could have listed Allen and Mitchell neck and neck.

But he didn’t.  And the fact that the possibility of moving Mitchell to another position — he was moved to receiver some last year — was brought up should provide a clue as to just far ahead Allen is in Arkansas’ quarterback derby.

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Bama’s Saban Gigs, Then Praises QB McCarron

aj-mccarron-playingAlabama’s Nick Saban has plenty of praise for the leadership skills exhibited by his starting quarterback, AJ McCarron.  Well, today he does.

Saban shared an anecdote about his QB’s growth at a benefit dinner in McCarron’s hometown of Mobile last night:

 

“I remember the first scrimmage AJ was in, we made him play with the threes.  He was hot behind the collar and fussing out on the field and stormed up to my office when the scrimmage was over and said, ‘How come you made me play with the threes?  I thought I was going to be with the twos.’  I said, ‘We’re only evaluating your leadership today and you failed.’…

He has come a long way.  Now he is the best leader on our team, and has been, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the country.  We’re certainly pleased and proud to have him being our quarterback.”

 

With two BCS championships on his resume already, McCarron should be considered among the greatest Alabama quarterbacks of all time.  If he leads the Crimson Tide to another title next January, his name will deservedly be etched alongside the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the college game.

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MU’s Franklin Tries To Stay Upbeat With Twitter Twirps

james-franklin-mu-new-uniMissouri quarterback James Franklin came into the 2012 football season with high expectations.  In 2011, the dual-threat signal-caller posted 21 touchdown passes (against 11 interceptions) and 15 rushing TDs.  He was expected to be the top new QB in the SEC last year.

But things started badly with Franklin needing offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder.  Coach Gary Pinkle did Franklin no favors when he stated publicly that his quarterback had eschewed a painkiller shot before a September date with Arizona State.  Franklin threw just 10 touchdown passes and rushed for none during his injury-plagued campaign.  In addition, “Johnny Football” happened at Texas A&M, making Franklin’s SEC debut appear even worse.

Unfortunately for Franklin, he now quarterbacks in the age of Twitter and Facebook.  Fans are no longer limited to sharing their frustrations via boo birds.  Now they can reach right out and smack their school’s players around via the internet.  In Franklin’s case, some have.

According to The Columbia Tribune, last month Mizzou’s quarterback tweeted some words of encouragement to Tiger hoopster Phil Pressey.  A few MU fans — can they really be called fans? — had tweeted insults in the direction of the point guard.  Franklin responded with this: “So much for One-Mizzou: if a family member messes up you should positively support them, not make them feel awful! Keep your head up Phil”

At that point, fans began showering Franklin with insults, too.  He tried to respond with humor:

 

Fan:  “You’re right.  Keep strong and be positive.  And maybe you’ll be 3rd string next season”

Franklin:  “3rd string?  Thanks!  I was only giving myself a chance at 4th”

Fan:  “from one failure to another lol”

Franklin:  “yes, we are huge failures!  At least we get a free education right?  I forgot that not everyone fails, my bad”

Fan:  “you gotta be kidding me!!  Pressey is in the same category as you.  Suckass when the games on the line.  #georgia”

Franklin:  “haha no, no one is in as bad of a category as me”

Fan:  “coming from the king of clutch himself… At least he doesn’t always seem to be hurt when the games get tough”

Franklin:  “I’ve always wanted to be a king yeah, but I just love faking injuries to get out of tough games”

Fan:  “have fun sitting on the bench next year.”

Franklin:  “thanks, I will try!  But I may get hurt…benches are rough”

 

Now, as this writer has learned via our own MrSEC.com comment boxes, responding to anonymous posters in any way, shape, or form usually leads to trouble.  Regular readers of this site know, too, that I’m in agreement with the growing number of college coaches who ban their players from Twitter.  No good can come from college athletes using social media to engage and interact directly with upset fans.  So some of the blame for this episode does lie with Franklin.

But the truly sorry part of this story is the fact that people who claim to root for Missouri have tried to insult and damage the confidence of a player who needs their support.  What exactly is their goal?  Just to hurt another human being?

I’ve personally never understood the concept of booing, so tweeting nasty comments directly to an athlete seems even more classless.  And if the player is on your favorite team it seems even more pointless.

Franklin had a disappointing 2012.  Many he expect he’ll lose the starting quarterback job to Maty Mauk before 2013 opens.  But while in Columbia, Franklin has already had to deal with knee and shoulder injuries.  You would think that he would have earned himself a little compassion, if not respect, from Tiger fans.

But in the age of Twitter and the internet, you’d be wrong.

As for the “fans” doing that all that negative tweeting, they’d better hope recruits don’t read their cowardly, trashy comments and decide those folks are representative of the entire MU fanbase.

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Johnny Football: I’m Still The Same Ol’ Me

johnny-manziel-passesTexas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has found just how bright the spotlight on a returning Heisman Trophy-winner can be this offseason.  Everything from his ability to get sporting event tickets to his decision to take some online summer classes has come up for discussion in the national media.  His family’s lawsuit to protect his “Johnny Football” moniker was even briefly touted as the lawsuit that would bring down the NCAA (it’s not).

But through it all, Manziel insists he hasn’t changed.  In an interview with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, the Aggies’ star said this weekend that he still sees himself “as the person I was before” the Heisman and the headlines:

 

“If somebody wants to come up to me and freak out, I don’t get it.  I don’t understand it.  We did a lot of great things.  I’ve been blessed to have done the things I did individually.  For me, I don’t see it hat way.  I still see myself as young, the same guy I was before I ever won the Heisman.  Hopefully my friends still feel I’m the say way.  I just want people to know I’m still the same person I’ve always been.”

 

Manziel also said that he’s enjoying his time in College Station but if the NFL comes calling next offseason (after his redshirt sophomore season), “just like anybody else, the decision will have to be made.”

A&M’s coaching staff has made no secret about the fact that the Aggies need to be prepared for their all-everything QB to take his act to the next level.  But that shouldn’t prevent Texas A&M fans from enjoying at least one more season of Manziel’s exploits.  Forget the off-field stuff.  So long as Johnny Football hasn’t changed his game on the field, Aggie fans will be happy.

 

Johnny Manziel | 2012 Heisman Winner | Highlights ᴴᴰ

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22 SEC Players Receive All-America Recognition From The Associated Press

The Associate Press has handed out its All-America honors for 2012 and the SEC landed 22 players on the three-tiered squad.  Nine SEC players were named 1st Team All-Americans.

Alabama led the way with six All-Americans total, four of whom received 1st Team notice.  Florida and Texas A&M each featured four All-Americans, with the Aggies putting two on the 1st Team and the Gators one.

 

ALABAMA — 6 players, 4 1st Team

Chance Warmack, OG, Sr, 1st Team

Barrett Jones, C, Sr, 1st Team

CJ Mosley, LB, Jr, 1st Team

Dee Milliner, CB, Jr, 1st Team

DJ Fluker, OT, Jr, 2nd Team

AJ McCarron, QB, Jr, 3rd Team

 

ARKANSAS — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Cobi Hamilton, WR, Sr, 3rd Team

 

FLORIDA — 4 players, 1 1st Team

Matt Elam, S, Jr, 1st Team

Caleb Sturgis, K, Sr, 3rd Team

Shariff Floyd, DT, Jr, 3rd Team

Kyle Christy, P, So, 3rd Team

 

GEORGIA — 1 player, 1 1st Team

Jarvis Jones, LB, Jr, 1st Team

 

KENTUCKY — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Larry Warford, OG, Sr, 3rd Team

 

LSU — 3 players, 0 1st Team

Kevin Minter, LB, Jr, 2nd Team

Eric Reid, S, Jr, 2nd Team

Sam Montgomery, DE, Jr, 3rd Team

 

MISS. STATE — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Johnthan Banks, CB, Sr, 2nd Team

 

S. CAROLINA — 1 player, 1 1st Team

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, So, 1st Team (2012 Season Highlights)

 

TEXAS A&M — 4 players, 2 1st Team

Johnny Manziel, QB, Fr, 1st Team (2012 Season Highlights)

Luke Joeckel, OT, Jr, 1st Team

Damontre Moore, DE, Jr, 2nd Team

Jake Matthews, OT, Jr, 3rd Team

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A&M’s Sumlin Says “Compare The Numbers” When Pushing Manziel For Heisman

Here’s a quick and easy way to end most arguments: Do the math.  And that happens to be the view of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin when it comes to the Heisman Trophy campaign of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel:

 

“Compare his numbers to anyone who’s played the game — they speak for themselves.”

 

Okay, let’s check him against the last five Heisman winners.

 

  Season   Player   School   Position   Total Offense   Touchdowns
  2007   Tim Tebow   Florida   QB (13 games)   4,181 yards   55
  2008   Sam Bradford   Oklahoma   QB (14 games)   4,767 yards   55
  2009   Mark Ingram   Alabama   RB (14 games)   1,992 yards   20
  2010   Cam Newton   Auburn   QB (14 games)   4,327 yards   51
  2011   Robert Griffin III   Baylor   QB (13 games)   4,992 yards   47
  2012   Johnny Manziel   Texas A&M   QB (11 games)   4,161 yards   38

 

Now let’s compare Manziel to this season’s top five total offense leaders.

 

  Rank   Player   School   Position   Total Offense   Touchdowns
  1   Johnny Manziel   Texas A&M   QB (11 games)   4,161 yards   38
  2   Jordan Lynch   N. Illinois   QB (11 games)   4,086 yards   38
  3   Rakeem Cato   Marshall   QB (11 games)   3,913 yards   33
  4   Colby Cameron   Louisiana Tech   QB (11 games)   3,861 yards   31
  5   Nick Florence   Baylor   QB (10 games)   3,838 yards   34
  6   Tajh Boyd   Clemson   QB (11 games)   3,833 yards   41

 

For the record, this writer doesn’t care much for the Heisman Trophy because there is no official criteria used to determine the winner.  One year voters will base their decision on stats — and that would certainly aid Manziel this season — while another year they’ll vote for the best player on the best team.  Only one defensive player has ever won the award (Michigan’s Charles Woodson) but his all-purpose numbers were trumped by another defensive back just a couple of years later (Georgia’s Champ Bailey) and that player didn’t even sniff the Heisman.  So in our book, it’s the most over-hyped award in a sport filled with over-hyped awards.

But if you go by the numbers, Sumlin’s right.  If the Heisman is going to go to the guy with the best stats this year, the winner should be Manziel.

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MrSEC.com Stat Analysis: Playmakers 10/25/12

Regular readers of MrSEC.com — as opposed to you irregular readers — know that we like to look inside the numbers on Thursdays.  Usually, we look at team-based stats, but today we want to examine the work of individual performers.

This stat’s pretty simple, really: Which offensive players are responsible for the most yards per touch?  We call it our Playmakers measure.

We take rushing yards, passing yards and receiving yards and then divide that number by the total number of touches for a given player.  We include only those players who’ve touched the ball — run, pass or catch — at least 30 times against SEC defenses only.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Wow Evening Headlines 10/18/2012

SEC releases 2013 conference schedule; No permanent cross-division rivalries were killed
Tennessee will replace a road date with Mississippi State with a November home visit from Auburn.
Vanderbilt cancels 2013 games with Northwestern and Ohio State
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore  may not start or even play versus Florida on Saturday
Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby says either Arlington, Texas or New Orleans will host the new Big XII/SEC “Champions” Bowl
The NCAA has cleared Kentucky basketball freshman Nerlens Noel to practice and play
Tennessee AD Dave Hart says “There are more challenges than met the eye” when he took over the Vol program last year
LSU OL Alex Hurst has left the program and may not be back because of “a family thing”
Auburn has not decided on a starting QB for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt
Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on coaching again: “I don’t think you can ever say never.”
Kentucky, Florida and Missouri are all ranked in the first basketball coaches poll of the season
Get all your SEC news from MrSEC.com… seven days a week, 365 days a year

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WOW Headlines – 10/18/12

South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore missed practice yesterday and may not start or even play versus Florida on Saturday
Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby says either Arlington, Texas or New Orleans will host the new Big XII/SEC “Champions” Bowl
The NCAA has cleared Kentucky basketball freshman Nerlens Noel to practice and play
Steve Spurrier says he will discipline DT Kelcy Quarles for punching LSU OL P.J. Lonergan during last weekend’s game
Tennessee AD Dave Hart says “There are more challenges than met the eye” when he took over the Vol program last year
LSU OL Alex Hurst has left the program and may not be back because of “a family thing”
Auburn has not decided on a starting QB for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt
Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on coaching again: “I don’t think you can ever say never.”
Kentucky, Florida and Missouri are all ranked in the first basketball coaches poll of the season
Get all your SEC news from MrSEC.com… seven days a week, 365 days a year

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