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SEC Headlines 1/3/2014

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1. Blaming AJ? “This defeat rested squarely on the shoulders of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.”

2. “Maybe Nick Saban was so depressed that Leonard Fournette committed to LSU that his funk carried over to his team as well.”

3. If Florida State “can’t stand up to Auburn’s running game, it’s going to be a long, sleepless night Monday.”

4. Does anyone play defense anymore? “The over-under for Monday night’s title game, despite Florida State’s nation-leading 11.1 points-per-game allowed, is 67 1/2.”

5. Auburn center Reese Dismukes: “The Harvey Updykes of the world are going to be rooting for Florida State.”

6. What’s the relationship like between Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee? “It’s honestly like a married couple fighting sometimes.”

7. From Tee Martin to Jameis Winston – can the BCS era begin and end with winning quarterbacks from Alabama?

8. “Depth, not just in physical ability but coaching, facilities, support and resources, that has allowed the SEC to distance itself from the competition…”

9. David Climer on the rumors surrounding Vanderbilt coach James Franklin: “Wouldn’t you rather have a coach that other programs are interested in than a coach whose phone never rings?”

10. Missouri quarterback James Franklin is a Texas native and will end his college career not far from where he played his high school ball.

11. Mizzou defensive end Michael Sam on Oklahoma State: “We hope they pass all night, to be honest with you.”

12. A postmortem on the Georgia Bulldogs season: “This team, we just had a lot of things go wrong and a lot of things go wrong at the worse time imaginable.” Georgia lost a combined 41 full games from key offensive starters.

13. A prolific 2013 season at LSU: “For the first time in history, LSU had a 3,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher.”

14. Does the “state championship” seem more important now to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier?

15. With quarterback Dak Prescott returning along what should be a better defense, Mississippi State may surprise some people in 2014.

16. The Ole Miss defense features some intriguing possibilities for 2014.


17. As expected, Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans going pro.  Had a school-record 1,369 yards this season.

18. LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson says he’s leaving school early for the NFL.

19. Jadeveon Clowney’s new agent says his client wants to be the first overall draft pick. “He and I have talked about it, that he’s going to commit himself to do the work necessary to put him in that position…”

SEC Basketball

20. Mississippi State 77 – Maryland Eastern Shore 63.  21 points and 16 rebounds for Gavin Ware.

21. Jordan Clarkson off to an impressive start at Missouri – averaging 20 points and more than 4 assists per game.

22. Kentucky’s poor free-throw shooting brings back an appreciation of Kyle Macy


23. Have a Gruden!  Texas donor Red McCombs makes his pitch for the next coach of the Longhorns.

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Auburn’s Frazier Moves Back To Offense

kiehl-frazierSo much for moving to defense.

Kiehl Frazier — a starting quarterback for Auburn last season — moved to safety after losing out to juco transfer Nick Marshall in this year’s QB battle.  After seeing little action on that side of the ball, he’s moving back to offense for good.  We think.

Frazier has made brief cameos as a Wildcat quarterback and as a receiver in recent weeks, including an appearance in the slot versus Ole Miss this past weekend.  Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee says he’ll be a part of the Tiger offense moving forward:


“I don’t know if I can say there’s not any scenario that would send him back to defense, but he’s definitely going to be (used) heavily on the offensive side.  Kiehl gives us that flexibility.  He can play in the slot, he can play outside, like Kodi Burns kind of did when he ended up making the move.  At the same time, you can put him in the backfield and he’s a run- and a pass-threat.  It’s not like snapping it to a guy that you know can’t throw it.”


On the season, Frazier has rushed the ball twice for three yards.

That is all.

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Auburn Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee: “Not Really Overall Pleased”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee addresses the performance of his unit against Washington State following Monday night’s practice.

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Let The Marshall Hype Begin At Auburn

nick-marshall-auburn-practiceRecently-named starting quarterback Nick Marshall could be facing a bit of what LSU’s Zach Mettenberger experienced last fall – monster expectations.

Like LSU’s signal-caller, Auburn’s new QB arrived at his new home fresh from a stint in the junior college ranks.  But as LSU fans — as well as many other SEC fans — can attest, juco numbers don’t often translate into all-start status in the SEC.

Unfortunately for Marshall, he’s at the one school playing under the one coach who did take a juco quarterback and ride him all the way to a BCS Championship.  That coach is Gus Malzahn and that player — for those of you who’ve been trying to use syrup to patch up the S.S. Minnow and get off your island — was Cam Newton.

All eyes are now on Marshall to see if he can lead the Tigers to anywhere near the heights that Newton did.

According to Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, the offense will be configured to best take advantage of Marshall’s skill set:


“We’re going to play to his strengths.  He throws the ball down the field very well.  He can throw it deep, he can throw vertical balls very well…

(But) you’re talking about weeks in the system and now you’re asking him to go out and run it in a real game, so he needs every rep, every second he can get… to feel very, very comfortable…

My expectation for Nick is to go out and be confident.  Be confident that he knows what to do and what we’re carrying, lead this football team, protect the football.  That’s all I want him to do.  After that, everything else will take care of itself.  I want him to have confidence and lead the guys and most importantly protect the ball.”


Malzahn adds that his new signal-caller is “very accurate” and “not just in the vertical game, but intermediate and short, also.”  This despite the fact that Marshall hurled more interceptions (20) than touchdowns (18) at Garden City Community College last season.

The majority of juco quarterback transfers into the SEC find themselves on the bench.  But there’s also the lightning strike that was Newton.  Odds are, Marshall will be somewhere in the middle.  As long as Auburn is winning games, that should be good enough for Tiger fans… even if visions of Cam are still dancing in their heads.

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Auburn Offensive Coordinator Lashlee Wants To Make Practice Unrealistically Hard

gfx - they said itEveryone knows that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn wants to run the fastest offense in the country.  To achieve that, he and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee are running Tiger practice sessions at a break-neck pace.  So says Lashlee:


“Our whole philosophy is we want to make practice almost unrealistic, harder than a game, faster than a game.  We want quarterbacks, wideouts, people are thinking and having to make decisions quicker than they would in a game.”


The Tigers averaged 57.9 offensive snaps per game last season.  Auburn averaged 67.3 plays per contest during Malzahn’s 40 games as the school’s offensive coordinator between 2009 and 2011.

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SEC Headlines 8/10/2013

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1. Nashville police plan to subpoena Vanderbilt starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels in connection with the rape charges against four dismissed players.

2. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on the rape charges: “It breaks my heart.” Three of the four former players now in custody.

3. The Texas A&M football team took s a bus to Dallas this morning for the funeral of Polo Manukainiu, a redshirt freshman defensive tackle killed in a car crash last month.

4. As Ole Miss gears up  to open against Vanderbilt, Rebels prepare for the possibility that one of their starting cornerbacks may not be ready to go.

5. Florida senior defensive back Jaylen Watkins sprained his foot, senior NT Damien Jacobs sprained his knee. Both projected starters out at least until August 19th. Gators expect to know about running back Matt Jones early next week.

6. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the many Gator injuries.”It’s just very frustrating.”

7. Tennesssee freshman defensive end Corey Vereen had knee surgery Thursday – could return in “five to six weeks.”

8. Georgia wide receiver Tramel Terry on his recovery from ACL surgery: “I’ll be honest; I’m not ready at all.”

9. South Carolina expects improvement from wide receiver Shaq Roland this year; didn’t always know the playbook last year. “There were times when Shaq was lost out there last year.”

10. LSU still waiting word on the eligibility of cornerback Rashard Robinson.

11. With LSU left guard Josh Williford possibly done for the season, who will take his place on the offensive line?

12. The Alabama-LSU showdown in November is important for a lot of reasons – one of them is recruiting.

13. In another showdown with Alabama, Texas A&M fans are getting their t-shirts ready.

14. Alabama coach Nick Saban on his freshmen defensive lineman: ”All three of those guys have shown some ability that they might be able to contribute this year in some role, some defined role.”

15. Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton likes the depth the Tigers have this year: ”I feel like we’ve got five, maybe six, that you can put out there on the field and be competitive and can get the job done.”

16. The meteoric rise of Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee hasn’t surprised Gus Malzahn:  ”I could see he was going to be a special coach.”

17. Is linebacker a position of weakness at Arkansas?

Practice Reports

18. Missouri scrimmaging this morning with a lot of attention on the quarterback position. Tigers a lot healthier than they were at this time last year.

19. Tennessee undergoing a situational and special teams scrimmage this morning.  Defense “clearly won the day.”

20. LSU coach Les Miles closing practice to the media starting today – apparently not happy about media reports regarding injuries.

21. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops on UK’s Friday night practice open to the public:  ”It was the first practice I could walk off and be disappointed because I just don’t think the energy was great.”

22. Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash on opening today’s scrimmage to the public: “Some players have never been on the field with fans,”

23. Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner not happy with his troops after the first scrimmage: “To be honest with you, it was very disappointing. ”

24. Behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall at Georgia, freshmen running backs are competing for spots.

College News

25. Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer wants to be a part of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

26. Who is the most annoying media person covering college football? Mark May a popular choice in a Sports Illustrated roundtable (and is Gary Danielson “an SEC shill”?)

27. Yearbook photos of some familiar SEC faces.

SEC Basketball

28. Incoming freshman Fallou Ndoye declared a partial qualifer at Mississippi State. Won’t be able to play until 2014-2015.

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SEC Headlines 7/20/2013

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1. Defending Johnny Manziel – “the grim moralizers have no right to dictate who he is or what he should act like…”

2. AJ McCarron is “the antithesis of the antihero from Texas A&M, reigning Heisman Trophy winner and infamous oversleeper Johnny Manziel.”

3. All-SEC Teams.  One vote for AJ McCarron as quarterback. Here’s one for Johnny Manziel.

4. An endorsement of LSU coach Les Miles – “the most sensible rant this week?” MrSEC takes a different view.

5. Georgia writer and Clemson grad says the Bulldogs lose to Clemson – and then win every other game on the schedule.

6. As one of only four returning starters on Georgia’s defense, Garrison Smith will anchor the Bulldogs defensive line.

7. When it comes to setting the standard, everyone wants to emulate the Alabama model.

8. The great unknown at Tennessee.  Who will be the starting quarterback?

9. The new look at Kentucky?

10. Auburn center Reese Dismukes “has the talent to be one of the league’s top centers and a possible NFL prospect.”

11. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on the debate over tempo: “We all play within the rules. I know this: There’s not a lot of 15-play drives…”

12. Auburn would like to name its starting quarterback by the middle of fall camp.

13. Ole Miss has sold nearly 40,000 season tickets.

14. Missouri had the fewest All-SEC selections from the media this week than any team in the conference.


15. Vanderbilt AD David Williams on linebacker Chase Garnham’s decision to join the lawsuit against the NCAA: “We support Chase’s right to join and will not interfere with his right in any way.”

16. With EA Sports and the NCAA parting company, what does that mean for the future of the video game?

17. Another NCAA lawsuit brewing?  Organization could face a class-action over concussions.  NFL currently battling a similar case.

SEC Basketball

18. Former Kentucky player Kyle Wiltjer makes it official: “I’m choosing to transfer to Gonzaga because I feel they have a proven plan in place to help develop players similar to me, which has seen great results.”

19. John Clay on the hypocrisy in college sports – and the vastly different approaches taken under two different Florida basketball coaches.

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SEC Headlines 5/26/2013

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Football

1. Expect nine-game conference schedule to be a hot topic of debate at the SEC spring meetings this week. Here are five things to watch.

2. Scott Rabalais: “For the sake of Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia (but really just Alabama-Tennessee) the conference has forced permanent opponents down everyone else’s throats.”

3. Mark Wiedmar: “SEC championship game…arguably did as much to change college football as the forward pass.”

4. Nine of 14 SEC schools suffered attendance declines last year.  Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity: “It’s at the top of our list of concerns, and we talk about it constantly.”

5. JUCO defensive tackle Jarran Reed won’t be able to transfer and play at Florida this fall – not enough credits. Now planning a spring transfer.

6. Former Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland on Nick Saban: ”I improved as a coach in my two years at Alabama because of him and his knowledge of football and his willingness to share that with me.”

7. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on his wide receiving corps: “The best guys are going to play — I don’t care if you’re a freshman or a senior.”

8. Could Ole Miss backup quarterback Maikhail Miller emerge as a short-yardage option this fall?

9. Three of the top four most expensive opening weekend game tickets on StubHub involve SEC teams.

SEC Basketball

10. Both Alabama and LSU will participate in a tip-off event at American Airlines Center in Dallas in early November.  ”The plan is to generate a lot of excitement and hype about college basketball in the city that’s hosting the Final Four.”


11. Ever wonder how much of your cable bill is from ESPN? “Basic cable customers paid an average of $5.06 a month for ESPN in 2012, making ESPN… by far the most expensive product on basic cable.”

12. Starting quarterback Everett Golson no longer enrolled at Notre Dame. Academic violation reportedly the cause.

13. Could Gunner Kiel return to Notre Dame? Apparently not.

14. An incident from her past at Tennessee could return to haunt new Rutgers A.D. Julie Hermann.

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SEC Headlines 5/11/2013

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1. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace ran the ball 143 times last year.  “I’m going to have to change the way I play.”

2. Reasons not to be optimistic about the future of Jeremy Hill at LSU.

3. Kentucky safety Ashely Lowery released from hospital.  Spent several days in intensive care following car wreck last weekend.

4. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on his offensive coordinator: “I feel blessed to have Rhett Lashlee with me.”

5. Status of position battles at Auburn - Mike  linebacker and left guard.

6. Missouri leads the SEC  - in arrests.  That’s according to an unofficial tally from the  New Orleans Times-Picayune going back to 2010.

SEC Basketball

7. Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith went to court to find if his bank account was illegally accessed.  The petition was denied by a judge.

8. Haith faces June hearing on the NCAA’s “failure to monitor” charge.

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Auburn Coaches Asked About Alleged NCAA Violations

gfx - they said itAuburn coach Gus Malzahn didn’t speak to the media today regarding alleged NCAA violations surrounding the program  but two of his assistants did respond to questions.

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee was a grad assistant back in 2010, the time in question.  When asked about published reports regarding recruiting violations and failed drug tests, Lashlee said this:


“You know, our administration’s handling that. My job is to coach football. That’s all I’m really worried about. We had practice this morning, we’ve got a big-time coaches clinic going on – I’m getting ready for that – that’s all I can deal with.”


Added defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson: “I don’t know nothing about it. I really have no knowledge about it. People above my pay grade are handling that.”

Malzahn was not available to the media as previously scheduled.  He’s scheduled to address the media following Saturday’s practice.

One of the players mentioned in the report this week was former Auburn safety Mike McNeil.  At a hearing today, a judge cleared the way for his trial to begin next week on robbery charges.

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