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Opening Lines – SEC Week 4

Ten games this weekend involving SEC teams.  Four conference games – six non-conference.  Here are the early favorites and underdogs.

Ole Miss at Tulane. No line posted.

Kentucky at Florida. The undefeated Gators return home and open as a 23.5-point favorite against a Kentucky team coming off an overtime loss at home to Western Kentucky. The line quickly moved up to 25 points.

Missouri at South Carolina.  The Gamecocks opened as a 9-point favorite in a game that features both starting quarterbacks dealing with injuries. That line has already been pushed to 10 points.

Florida Atlantic at Alabama. Fresh off their 52-0 beatdown on the road against Arkansas, Alabama returns home and opens as a 51-point favorite.

Rutgers at Arkansas.  Some people still have faith in the Razorbacks.  Arkansas opened as a 2-point favorite.

LSU at Auburn.  LSU opens conference play on the road against their SEC West rival.  Les Miles’ team open as a 18.5 point favorite.

South Alabama at Mississippi State. Cracking the Top 25 for the first time this year, the undefeated Bulldogs opened 32.5 favorite at home. It’s already up to 34.5 in many places.

South Carolina State at Texas A&M. No line posted.

Akron at Tennessee. No line posted.

Vanderbilt at Georgia. After Saturday’s game, both teams were talking last year’s game and the spat between Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.  Judging by the opening line, this shouldn’t be much of a contest.  The Bulldogs open as a 13.5 favorite.

Of the seven games with lines, Arkansas-Rutgers is expected to be closest – Alabama with the biggest blowout.  Of the four conference matchups, Missouri-South Carolina is expected to be the most competitive matchup, Kentucky-Florida the least competitive.

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SEC TV Schedule For 9-22 Released

The SEC has announced its television schedule for Saturday the 22nd today.

All times are Eastern.

 

Ole Miss at Tulane — 12:oopm, FSN

Kentucky at Florida — 12:21pm, SEC Network

Missouri at South Carolina — 3:30pm, CBS

Florida Atlantic at Alabama — 5:00pm, Pay-per-view

LSU at Auburn — 7:00pm, ESPN

Rutgers at Arkansas — 7:00pm, ESPNU

South Carolina State at Texas A&M — 7:00pm, FSN

South Alabama at Mississippi State — 7:00pm, Pay-per-view

Akron at Tennessee — 7:30pm, CSS

Vanderbilt at Georgia — 7:45pm, ESPN2

 

What’s interesting?  For all the leaked talk that CBS — in its negotiations with the SEC — has claimed Missouri and Texas A&M don’t add much value to the network’s SEC package, they sure are featuring Mizzou early in the season, aren’t they?

Also, just look at all those junk games on the docket.  If I were a fan, I wouldn’t pay $5 to watch Florida Atlantic, South Carolina State, South Alabama or Akron take on an SEC opponent.  The more teams like Louisiana-Monroe take down big teams that have no business scheduling cupcakes, creampuffs and other assorted pastries… the more I laugh.

Sure other leagues’ teams do a lot of this nonsense scheduling as well, but that doesn’t make it right.  How any self-respecting SEC fan can look at all the fluff on league teams’ schedules and not demand a nine-game conference slate is beyond me.

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MSU A.D. Stricklin Defends Pastry-Filled Football Schedule

You know how you know you’ve got a week football schedule?  When your school’s athletic director has to constantly defend it.

Mississippi State’s Scott Stricklin has been clear about his desire to avoid a ninth SEC football game because it might hurt the Bulldogs’ chances of becoming bowl eligible.  This year, he’s used his non-conference openings to line up Jackson State, Troy, South Alabama and MTSU.  Several national media outlets have called out that lineup as being one of the biggest laughers in all of college football.

But Stricklin doesn’t sound like a man who wants to make Dan Mullen’s schedule much tougher moving forward:

 

“We have an incredibly tough conference schedule,” Stricklin said. “Our overall strength of schedule, if you look at the computer rankings, I think is usually pretty high…

We’ve had 16 straight sellouts and we have a waiting list for tickets, so whatever we’re doing right now seems to be working from a fan perspective.  And we’ve been to two straight bowl games, so it’s working from trying to produce a consistent winner perspective.”

 

Fair enough.  If State fans will pay good money to see the University of North Carolina at Winston-Marlboro come to town, why not keep playing teams of that ilk?

Oh.  That’s right.  The new strength of schedule factor which is to somehow be weighed by a selection panel when it comes to college football’s new playoff and its biggest bowl games.  We used MSU as an example when discussing that issue earlier this week.  Well here’s what Stricklin told The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal about that situation:

 

“When the day comes when strength of schedule is used to determine – I guess it’s kind of used right now in the BCS formula – when we get to the point where that’s a concern for us, we’re going to make sure we take care of that piece of it.”

 

Until then, State fans will just have to continue to overpay for four big, delicious cupcakes every fall.

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SEC Goes 3-1 On The Court

First, Happy Thanksgiving.  Second, here’s your wrap of SEC hoops action from last night:

Tennessee 86, Chaminade 60

After coming up short against #6 Duke and #8 Memphis, the Volunteers went long to knock off Maui Invitational host Chaminade.  UT dropped 15 3-pointers on the Silverswords to move to 3-2 on the season.


Kentucky 88, Radford 40

Kentucky won its 35th straight home game under John Calipari last night, sweeping aside Radford with ease.  Freshman point guard Marquis Teague had his most efficient game of the season with 13 points, five assists and — more importantly — just two turnovers.

Alabama 82, Alabama A&M 45

Like Tennessee and Kentucky, Alabama also feasted on a pre-Thanksgiving turkey.  Five players hit double-figures for the Tide as Bama won its 23rd home game in a row.

South Alabama 79, LSU 75

Trent Johnson’s team dropped to 3-3 on the year with a homecourt, overtime loss last night.  The Tigers have now lost to Coastal Carolina, Northwestern and South Alabama… none of which will help Johnson keep his job at the end of the season.

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SEC Headlines 11/12/2011 Part Three

1. Jon Solomon: “When the NFL Draft rolls around next April, the SEC likely won’t have a quarterback taken in the first round for just the second time in the past 10 years.”

2. It’s time for Alabama fans to root for the underdogs.

Basketball Roundup:

3. Alabama 64 – North Florida 44.  21 in a row at home now for Anthony Grant’s team.

4. South Carolina 75 – Western Carolina 50. Coming off the bench, Brenton Williams gives the Gamecocks a spark.

5. Auburn 84 – McNeese State 62.  Larger margin of victory for Tigers than any win they had against a Division One opponent last season.

6. Georgia 62 – Wofford 49.  Team-high 15 points for freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

7. Florida 99 – Jackson State 59.  Most lopsided season-opening win in Billy Donovan’s Florida career.

8. Tennessee 92 – UNC Greensboro 69.  Career-high 29 points for sophomore guard Trae Golden.

9. Kentucky 108 – Marist 58.  Nine-point halftime lead turns into a second-half blowout.

10. Vanderbilt 78 – Oregon 64.  18-0 run turns the game for the Commodores.

11. Arkansas 83 – South Carolina Upstate 63.  Despite 23 turnovers, The Mike Anderson era at Arkansas starts with a win.

12. Ole Miss 60 – Louisiana-Monroe 38.  Fewest points allowed by the Rebels in the Andy Kennedy era.

13. Mississippi State, 1-1 after losing to Akron this week,  faces South Alabama this afternoon.

14. LSU football game tonight – basketball game today.

Extras:

15. Should the NCAA start stripping away Joe Paterno victories?

16. The mysterious disappearance of Pennsylvania prosecutor Ray Gricar.

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Mississippi State Lands Defensive Back

Defensive back Kivon Coman from Florence (Ala.) High School has committed to Mississippi State.

Coman considered scholarship offers from South Florida, Arkansas State and South Alabama before committing to Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs have 17 commitments for the class of 2012.

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UM’s Kennedy Happy So Far With Freshman Summers

Yesterday, we discussed what Ole Miss is losing from its backcourt — Chris Warren (graduated), Zach Graham (graduated), and Trevor Gaskins (transferring to Louisiana Tech).  Today, Parrish Alford of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal lets everyone in on someone the Rebels are adding at the guard spot.

Andy Kennedy — likely facing a make or break year in Oxford — is happy with what he’s seen so far from incoming freshman Jarvis Summers:


“He’s a 6-4 pure point guard, a pass-first quarterback who has maturity to his game.  He’s been here for a few weeks now, and we’ve had he opportunity to be around him.  I really like his approach for a young kid, the seriousness about him.  He carries himself the way natural leaders do.  With the void let by Chris and Zach, he’ll compete for minutes from Day One.”


Summers was a three-star prospect (according to Rivals.com) from Jackson.  His offers came from Murray State, South Alabama and Oklahoma State. 

If Summers turns out to be the diamond-in-the-rough type player that Kennedy seems to think, the kid could do a lot to help the Rebels’ sixth-year coach keep his job.

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Hogs to Owe Pelphrey $420K This Year

In a bit of a surprise, John Pelphrey is not the highest-paid assistant on Billy Donovan’s rebuilt Florida coaching staff.  In fact, he’ll make $55,000 less ($180,000) than Norm Roberts ($235,000) this season.

Pelphrey — who previously served on Donovan’s UF staff — has been a head coach at South Alabama and Arkansas the past nine seasons.  Roberts served as the head coach at St. John’s for the past six seasons.

So why would a man with less head coaching experience bank more coin than a man with more head coaching experience?  Probably to turn the screws on Arkansas.

Pelphrey’s buyout for being fired topped out at $1.8 million over three years.  That’s $600,000 per season.  But any salary Pelphrey makes from another coaching job must be subtracted from that total.

Only making $180,000, Pelphrey can still collect $420,000 from the Razorbacks in 2011-12… even though he’ll be coaching against them in the same conference next season.

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Bama DB Transfers To South Alabama

Former five-star prospect BJ Scott will transfer from Alabama to South Alabama this offseason.  The redshirt junior-to-be will be able to play immediately for the Jaguars and is expected to start in their secondary.

The Crimson Tide got a boost this weekend when safety Mark Barron decided to return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season.

Scott played in 15 games for Alabama during his career.  His 2010 season ended with ankle surgery in November.

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Inside the Box Score – vs. South Alabama

A postgame look in and beyond the numbers from Wednesday’s win over South Alabama
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