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SEC Headlines 5/25/2013

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Noon game-time for Florida-Miami on September 7 and Mike Bianchi doesn’t like it.  ”What is this – Kentucky-Vandy on Jefferson-Pilot or Duke-Wake Forest on Raycom?”

2. Miami A.D.  Blake James: “We requested and lobbied ESPN for an evening slot for the game…Unfortunately, they were unable to accommodate.”

3. The move to eight-man officiating crews in the SEC could be permanent in 2014.

4. SEC officials using an ejection at the Auburn spring game as a teaching tool.

5. Which SEC teams face the most difficult three-game stretches this fall?

6. Ethics complaint filed in Alabama. Booster doesn’t like public officials getting football tickets without donations.

7. Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner on defensive tackle Gabe Wright: “You know, mentally he’s a white-collar guy, but playing defensive tackle in the SEC, you’ve got to be a blue-collar guy.”

8. Ole Miss defensive tackle Carlton Martin needs to step up his game if he wants to see more playing time this fall.

9. Average GPA for Tennessee football in the spring semester was 2.8

10. SEC domination Part 1.  Five of the Top 10 Heisman candidates in this list from SEC.

11. SEC domination Part 2.  On this list of the eight most entertaining assistant coaches on Twitter – six of them are in the SEC.

12. Tony Barnhart on ending permanent crossover rivalries: “I don’t think LSU and the other schools that support this position will win this debate.”

13. MrSEC’s view: “Shortsightedness is not an asset when it comes to running a conference.”

SEC Basketball

12. Fifth straight year for  No. 1 ranked recruiting class for John Calipari at Kentucky.

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SEC Headlines – 12/22/12

SEC West News

1.  New Auburn D-line coach Rodney Garner has never worked with new AU D-coordinator Ellis Johnson… but they should mesh well together.

2.  The Tiger hoops team should expect a real challenge from Winthrop tonight.

3.  Alabama offensive tackle DJ Fluker says in the middle of the season: “My teammates got on me, so I had to step up.”  (Also, he’s yet to decide whether to jump to the NFL.)

4.  Alabama’s roundball team faces another weak non-conference foe in Mercer tonight.

5.  Mike Anderson doesn’t want his Arkansas team to lay an egg tonight against Alabama A&M in North Little Rock.

6.  Les Miles says his LSU football team is “itching to get home for Christmas.”

7.  The Tiger hoops team closes out a three-game road stretch at Marquette tonight.

8.  Mississippi State fans aren’t gobbling up Gator Bowl tickets this year.

9.  A banged-up Bulldog basketball squad will face Central Arkansas in Jackson today.

10.  Ole Miss juniors Charles Sawyer (cornerback) and Jeff Scott (running back) want to get their NFL draft grades before deciding whether to stay or go.

11.  The Rebel basketball team is looking to make the most of its trip to Hawaii.

12.  Texas A&M has picked a contractor for the construction project at Kyle Field.

13.  The basketball Aggies will be looking to build some momentum when they face Southern today.  (They’ll do so without junior Keith Davis who’s leaving the program.)

SEC East News

14.  Florida’s Billy Donovan says Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder “may be the player individually that we’ve faced this year.”

15.  Where will Georgia turn to replace defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner?

16.  Georgia’s basketball team wants to keep its momentum going against Southern Cal today.

17.  Kentucky’s John Calipari on the Wildcats new calorie-counting plan:  “I’m not going to talk about what we did because it’s really interesting, outside the box.”

18.  Here, have a by-the-numbers preview of today’s UK-Marshall game.

19.  True freshman running back Mike Davis is learning as he plays at South Carolina.

20.  Gamecock forward Lakeem Jackson is trying to make the most of his senior season.

21.  Tennessee needed an 18-2 run to take down Western Carolina 66-52 in Knoxville last night.

22.  They’re as good as gone, but Vol quarterback Tyler Bray and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson haven’t made their departures for the NFL official yet.  (Though new coach Butch Jones said earlier this week that Patterson is “definitely going.”)

23.  MTSU knocked off Vanderbilt 56-52 last night at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.

24.  Missouri’s athletic department has received a $6.4 million gift from an anonymous donor.  (If it came with a prize turkey, here’s betting the donor was a Mr. E. Scrooge.)

25.  Illinois will test the chemistry of Mizzou’s hoops team this afternoon.

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WOW Headlines – 12/21/12

After 15 years, DL coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner is leaving Georgia to take on the same role at Auburn
Asked about conference expansion, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said his league is watching “what’s going on around us with interest”
Slive also said the SEC would be interested in the “quality of the conference and the institutions,” not simply adding schools for the sake of numbers
Rumors of Nick Saban leaving Alabama to take over as coach of the Cleveland Browns continue to swirl
Alabama DB coach Jeremy Pruitt will be the new defensive coordinator at Florida State
Missouri OL coach Josh Henson has been promoted to the role of offensive coordinator
CBSSports.com reports that Tennessee QB Tyler Bray will leave early for the NFL
Alabama LB C.J. Mosley will return for his senior season
Since 2006 the SEC has sent more teams to bowls (55) and won more bowls (36) than any other conference
Friday Night SEC Basketball
Tennessee 66 – Western Carolina 52
Middle Tennessee State 56 – Vanderbilt 52
Follow the SEC every day on MrSEC.com and on Twitter at Twitter.com/mrsec

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Boom! AU Swipes UGA Recruiting Coordinator Garner Less Than 2 Months Before Signing Day

If you’re looking for a story that’s going to make waves across the SEC today, look no further than the news that after 15 years as a Georgia assistant, Rodney Garner is joining Gus Malzahn’s new staff at Auburn.  Garner is one of the nation’s top recruiters and has served as Georgia’s recruiting coordinator since 1998, under both Jim Donnan and Mark Richt.  Garner was UGA’s defensive line coach this past season as well as the Dawgs’ assistant head coach.  He will have the same job titles and responsibilities at AU.

Garner was an All-SEC player on the Plains in the late-1980s.  And make no mistake, his homecoming is major coup for the first-year head coach… and serious blow to Georgia as signing day is less than 50 days away.

Garner told The Atlanta Journal Constitution late last night that his decision was not about the significant raise he’ll receive:

 

“It was a very difficult decision.  I’ve been approached many times about this opportunity.  But it’s my alma mater.  It may be more of a pride thing, just looking at where they are right now and felling like I really wanted to be a part of getting them back on track.  I just felt like God was leading me in this direction.  It’s something I prayed about and it was not an easy decision.  I would not have left for any other reason than Auburn.”

 

Here’s how Georgia has fared nationally in Rivals.com’s recruiting rankings over the past decade:

 

2013 (current class):  9th

2012:  12th

2011:  5th

2010:  15th

2009:  6th

2008:  7th

2007:  9th

2006:  4th

2005:  10th

2004:  9th

 

Not a bad run.  Now, Garner can’t take sole credit for that work and there’s no guarantee he can help Auburn match Georgia’s recruiting prowess.  But if you’re a Tiger fan today, there’s reason for optimism.  And if you’re a Bulldog fan, there’s reason for disappointment.

On his way out the door, Garner did throw some love in Richt’s direction, saying: “Mark has been very good to me and I want people to know that.  People need to recognize the body of work that Mark has done here.  Here’s a guy who has been at Georgia 12 years and he’s gone to the championship game five times.  Priot to him coming there, they’d never been to that game.”

Of course, Richt will now have to get to that game for the first time without Garner coordinating his recruiting efforts.

No two ways around it — a big get for Auburn and Malzahn.

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SEC Headlines – 6/25/12

1.  This scribe says the SEC’s dominance across multiple sports is growing.  (The Pac-12 might have something to say about that.)

2.  This writer wants to see SEC North and South Divisions.  (But that ship has already sailed… and his South Division would be — traditionally speaking — a helluva lot tougher in football.  The league’s goal was to change as little as possible, so this would be a no-go even if the league hadn’t just set its schedules.  We’re linking to this again because I got a LOT of emails about yesterday’s link.)

3.  With a playoff on the way, the city of Orlando has started talking about upgrading the Florida Citrus Bowl again.

4.  Has ex-Kentucky Wildcat Doron Lamb slipped out of the NBA’s first round?

5.  Kentucky football is looking toward Ohio more and more these days.

6.  Georgia D-line coach Rodney Garner says he’s been “blessed” to be a part of SEC football for 28 years.

7.  An NFL coach believes ex-Dawgs kicker Blair Walsh was “too fast with his get off time” on all those missed field goals last year.

8.  The Gainesville Sun says South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor is the SEC’s 22nd best player.

9.  Tennessee’s Derek Dooley knows his seat is hot.

10. Vol basketball coach Cuonzo Martin says his faith helped him get through a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

11.  In a look at the SEC’s cross-division rivals for 2012, this writer says — and Jackie Sherrill would agree — that Thanksgiving week “will be the annual spot on the schedule” for LSU and Texas A&M.

12.  Mississippi State center Dillon Day will be an important man for Dan Mullen’s team in 2012.

13.  Former MSU hoopster Rodney Hood will choose between transferring to Duke or Ohio State tomorrow.  (Tough loss for new coach Rick Ray.)

14.  Ole Miss offensive lineman Patrick Junen — an 11-time starter for the Rebels — doesn’t figure to be a key cog this season… so long as no one gets hurt in front of him.

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SEC Headlines – 6/11/12

1.  Looking for betting lines for November SEC football games?  Well, here are a bunch of them (and they’re sure to be real accurate).

2.  LSU’s Les Miles gave a surprise commencement address at his Ohio high school on Saturday, telling graduates: “You’ve got to live life like someone’s stealing it from you.”

3.  This writer expects defensive back Corey Broomfield to be one of the 25 most important figures for Mississippi State this fall.

4.  Meanwhile, this writer’s long countdown of important Ole Miss footballers has reached #58, fullback HR Greer.

5.  Georgia D-line coach Rodney Garner says his latest group stacks up with the best he’s ever coached.

6.  This writer says Florida Atlantic is the least important game on UGA’s schedule.

7.  Construction work is underway at Vanderbilt.

8.  Yet another writer comes out in favor of a nine-game SEC football schedule.

9.  This scribe says everything about college football — from the number of conference games played to overall spending — is imbalanced.

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Offers Continue To Roll In For Shaq Wiggins

Shaq Wiggins‘ commitment to Georgia on Feb. 10 has done nothing to slow down his recruitment.

The cornerback from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., told MrSEC he’s received five scholarship offers since that day, bringing his total offer count to 19. His offer list includes Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State.

The other schools know Wiggins is committed to Georgia. But that hasn’t slowed their efforts.

“Sometimes they ask me, ‘Are you still wide open? Do we have a chance?’” Wiggins said. “My response is I don’t really know yet. I’m 100 percent committed to Georgia.”

Wiggins said he hasn’t spoken to any of Georgia’s coaches about the interest from other schools. But Wiggins, who said he speaks often to recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner and other members of the staff, knows it will come up at some point.

“They kind of stay on me pretty hard and try to get me down there as much as I can,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins is trying to talk other prospects into joining him in Athens. He’s also aware of the pressure they’re facing early in the 2013 recruiting season.

“I’m just trying to be straight up with them,” Wiggins said.

And expect him to do the same with Georgia’s coaches.

Wiggins, who said he could graduate early and enroll in college in January, will continue to hear from schools. And they’ll continue to push him to visit.

“I haven’t really picked out any schools I want to visit or take any officials to,” Wiggins said. “I have a year to think about that.”

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Offers Continue To Roll In For Shaq Wiggins

Shaq Wiggins‘ commitment to Georgia on Feb. 10 has done nothing to slow down his recruitment.

The cornerback from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., told MrSEC he’s received five scholarship offers since that day, bringing his total offer count to 19. His offer list includes Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State.

The other schools know Wiggins is committed to Georgia. But that hasn’t slowed their efforts.

“Sometimes they ask me, ‘Are you still wide open? Do we have a chance?’” Wiggins said. “My response is I don’t really know yet. I’m 100 percent committed to Georgia.”

Wiggins said he hasn’t spoken to any of Georgia’s coaches about the interest from other schools. But Wiggins, who said he speaks often to recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner and other members of the staff, knows it will come up at some point.

“They kind of stay on me pretty hard and try to get me down there as much as I can,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins is trying to talk other prospects into joining him in Athens. He’s also aware of the pressure they’re facing early in the 2013 recruiting season.

“I’m just trying to be straight up with them,” Wiggins said.

And expect him to do the same with Georgia’s coaches.

Wiggins, who said he could graduate early and enroll in college in January, will continue to hear from schools. And they’ll continue to push him to visit.

“I haven’t really picked out any schools I want to visit or take any officials to,” Wiggins said. “I have a year to think about that.”

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Jordan Watkins Chooses Stanford

Defensive tackle Jordan Watkins from Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., committed to Stanford over Georgia on Tuesday.

There have been questions about Georgia and how its recruiting would be affected by the Bulldogs’ 0-2 record to start the season. Watkins expressed concerns about Georgia and the future of head coach Mark Richt and defensive line coach Rodney Garner.

“In my mind, Coach Richt deserves to stay, but the fact that everyone is talking about him leaving made me think of what will happen with (Garner) if Coach Richt leaves,” Watkins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve developed such a good relationship with them that it’d be tough to go to Georgia if they weren’t there.”

It’s been tough for Georgia to land the top in-state prospects for 2012. Fourteen of Rivals’ top 20 prospects in Georgia have already committed to schools. Only two of them have chosen Georgia.

By comparison, the Bulldogs signed 10 of the top 20 prospects in Georgia last year.

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SEC Headlines – 8/26/11 Part One

1.  Here’s an evaluation of Florida’s preseason camp.

2.  The Gators are still unsettled at cornerback.

3.  Safety Matt Elam has some folks calling him UF’s best defender.

4.  Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray bulked up this offseason after taking some wicked hits in SEC play last year.

5.  D-line coach Rodney Garner says of banged-up nose tackle John Jenkins: “You can’t make the club in the tub.”

6.  They’re still looking for the next Uga down in Athens.

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