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Auburn Fans Celebrate SEC Championship Title (Video)

Auburn fans roll Toomer’s Corner following the Tigers 59-42 win over Missouri Saturday in the SEC Championship Game.

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WOW Headlines – 6/13/13

Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is scheduled to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions Thursday…
Haith is charged with failure to create an atmosphere of compliance while coaching at Miami (FL)
Auburn University spent more than $1 million trying to save the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner and the school wants restitution from Harvey Updyke, the man who poisoned the trees
The state of Kentucky will use coal tax money to pay for renovations to Rupp Arena
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin reportedly turned down head coaching offers from NFL franchises this past offseason
Follow the SEC each day at MrSEC.com and at twitter.com/mrsec

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The Oaks At Toomer’s Corner In Auburn Are No More

toomers-cut-downThe two famed oak trees at the edge of Toomer’s Corner in Auburn have been cut and are being removed today.  Al.com is providing a live stream of the activity on the corner as workers continue to cut, clean and remove.

The two 80-year-old oaks were poisoned by Alabama fan Harvey Updyke following Auburn’s victory over the Crimson Tide in the 2010 Iron Bowl.  Updyke was sentenced to three years in jail for criminal damage to an agricultural facility earlier this spring.  He must serve at least six months of his sentence.

Regardless of the punishment handed down to Updyke, eight decades of Auburn and SEC tradition were finally felled this morning as a small crowd silently stood watch.

A damn shame.

And further proof that for some dimwits, sports are as much about anger and keeping people apart as they are joy and bringing people together.

Which is even bigger damn shame.

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SEC Headlines 2/15/2013

headlines-friCoaching News

1. LSU is introducing new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.  Greg Studrawa will return to strictly focusing on the offensive line.

2. Is Alabama interested in South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott?  Steve Spurrier seems to think so. Has reportedly interviewed.

3. Elliott is a candidate along with University of Central Florida offensive line coach Brent Key.

4. Nick Saban’s first defensive coordinator at Alabama, Kevin Steele, is now the team’s Director of Player Personnel.  Looming deregulation in college football will allow him to recruit on the same level as the team’s nine coaches.

5. Alabama now lists 28 people under the heading “recruiting.”

6. Sports Illustrated on Tennessee coach Butch Jones: He “understands the importance of tapping into the resource of former players.”

SEC Football

7. Jadeveon Clowney’s mother.  ”I don’t think he has it in him to sit out. He loves to play football. I know I want him to play.” Steve Spurrier agrees.

8. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel redshirted his first year – meaning he’s eligible for the NFL draft next year. Offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney: “With the uncertainty of Johnny’s situation because of the way the NFL is going — his stock is rising.”

9. Nine quarterbacks selected for Jon Gruden’s QB Camp on ESPN.  Two of them from the SEC – Tennessee’s Tyler Bray and Tyler Wilson from Arkansas. (Some non-QB’s also will be featured – including South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel).

10. Mississippi State wants to target the tight end more this fall. Tight ends coach Tim Brewster: “I think Malcolm Johnson has a chance to truly be one of the best tight ends in the nation…”

11. Bulldogs want to find a backup to leading rusher LaDarious Perkins.

12. Ole Miss projects Jeff Scott to get 15-20 carries this fall -leaving plenty of  room for someone else to step up.

13. Auburn has two quarterbacks, three running backs and six receivers on scholarship heading into spring practice.  Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: “We do have depth issues.”

14. This preseason top 25 has Alabama at No. 1, seven SEC teams make the cut.

15. Bryant-Denny Stadium ranked No. 1 stadium experience by magazine.  SEC stadiums get six of the top 11 spots.

Crime/Legal Beat

16. The NCAA revealed its relationship with the attorney for the man at the center of the Miami investigation to lawyers in mid-January, according to CBSSports.com. That’s about a week before the NCAA went public with the information.

17. Eddie Williams, one of the four Alabama players arrested Monday, wants permission to return to his hometown while out on bond. Here’s our story from this morning on the Alabama players and Charles Barkley’s comments.

18, Harvey Updyke’s wife was asked if she knew if her husband poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn: “I’ll be honest with you, I never asked him, because I don’t want to know the answer.”

SEC Basketball

19. In light of the Nerlens Noel torn ACL, The New Yorker asks, “Is College Basketball Doomed?”

20. “Should the NBA abolish its age minimum’s? Absolutely not.”

21. With Noel out, will Tennessee go with its small lineup again tomorrow?  Cuonzo Martin after the Vanderbilt win this week: ”I felt like our best lineup is four guards.”

22. For Alabama guard Trevor Lacy, basketball wasn’t his first love.  ”Growing up, I was a football guy.”

23. Florida led the nation in three-pointers last year.  This season, they’re making almost as many. Making 38.9 percent – best in the SEC.

24. Florida goes to Auburn tomorrow where the Tigers are struggling - lost eight of their last nine SEC games.

25. Texas A&M travels to Vanderbilt Saturday.  Aggies still focused on the postseason. Elston Turner: “Ultimately our goal is to make the NCAA tournament.”

26. So did Arkansas coach Mike Anderson intentionally not wear a tie the other night at Auburn or did he forget to pack one?  ”Any other questions?”

27. Anderson will meet his old team Saturday when Missouri comes to Fayetteville: “It’s kind of like a full circle, really.”

28. Headline after last night’s LSU victory over South Carolina.

Extras

29. The battle for the future of American sports gambling.

30. That stranded Carnival cruise ship that finally docked apparently had some Arkansas fans on-board.

Woo Pig Sooie_resized

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SEC Headlines – 3/14/12

We’re gonna have one major dose of headlines today and here they come…

1.  Alabama had better be ready for the nation’s third-leading scorer, Creighton All-American Greg McDermott.

2.  It’s time for Anthony Grant to start building his NCAA Tournament resume.

3.  Good news: The oaks at Toomer’s Corner are showing some encouraging signs.

4.  Arkansas needs to rebuild its receiving corps this spring… and it’s gonna be “weird.”

5.  Have a spring preview for the Razorbacks.

6.  Here’s more on LSU’s “flat” performance at Oregon last night.

7.  Ole Miss will start their run toward a third NIT semifinals appearance when they host Illinois State tonight at 7:30pm ET on ESPNU.

8.  The Redbirds are “hungry” as they roll into Oxford.

9.  Mississippi State is inching closer to expanding Scott Field.

10.  Let the offseason questions begin in Starkville.

11.  Kevin Sumlin says Texas A&M’s gotten good response from recruits on its move to the SEC.

12.  To stay alive in the NCAAs, Florida will need to improve its rebounding.

13.  New coordinator Brent Pease is bringing some change to the Gators’ offense this spring… where the tailback spot is being revamped.

14.  Georgia AD Greg McGarity says Mark Richt isn’t getting an extension, he’s getting a whole new contract.  Which means salary and the size of his buyout will be big issues.

15.  Next up for Kentucky is a date with Western Kentucky, losing record and all.  (Cat fans hope an SEC Tournament finals loss will spur UK to greatness as it did back in 1996.)

16.  ESPN’s Jay Bilas says Anthony Davis has lived up to his potential.

17.  Steve Spurrier liked his team’s conditioning on Day One of spring practice (where Kenny Miles returned and other players changed positions).

18.  This writer will remember the Darrin Horn era for a series of “what might have beens.”

19.  Against MTSU — either tomorrow night or more likely on Sunday morning (Sunday morning?) — Tennessee will need to play like the February Vols, not the December Vols.

20.  Three UT freshman led UT to victory last night.

21.  Vanderbilt wants to avoid another early exit from the NCAA Tournament.

22.  Kevin Stallings says some of his guys have struggled at “managing their emotions.”

23.  Missouri’s young defensive line — such a key area in the SEC — is making strides this spring.

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SEC Headlines – 2/20/12

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

2.  Harvey Updyke’s attorney says the prosecution failed to establish the Toomer’s Corner oaks as “venerated objects.”  (Try telling that to an Auburn fan.)

3.  Over the weekend, Florida handed Arkansas its worst loss ever in Bud Walton Arena and its first loss in the building this season.  (Think ex-Hogs coach and current Gator assistant John Pelphrey enjoyed that?)

4.  If Mississippi State is going to snap a three-game losing streak, the Dogs will have to do so at top-ranked Kentucky.  

5.  MSU’s RPI has been dropping steadily during its current slide.

6.  Ole Miss’ odds for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament are shrinking.

7.  Florida has joined Auburn, Georgia and Ole Miss in pursuing ex-Maryland offensive lineman Max Garcia.

8.  Georgia had no answer for Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins — 28 points and 6-of-8 from 3-point range — in yesterday’s home loss.

9.  Some football Dawgs might be changing positions this spring.

10.  Cuonzo Martin remains calmly focused after Alabama snapped Tennessee’s win streak on Saturday.

11.  Vandy’s Jenkins — mentioned above — says with four seniors and a junior in the starting lineup, the Dores should be poised on the road. (And they were in Athens yesterday.)

12.  Here’s another look at what matters – or doesn’t — to the NCAA selection committee.

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SEC Headlines – 1/26/12 Part One

Between doctors, vets and sales calls for my actual job, today’s going to require just a quick scan of the day’s headlines.  Here’s the first whip-around…

1.  Auburn has decided that if the oaks at Toomer’s Corner die as expected, they will be replaced by one or more new oaks.  (Kind of an obvious solution.)

2.  The Alabama basketball team is going backward.

3.  Boise State doesn’t expect to add Arkansas to its 2012 football schedule.

4.  Dee Bost had a big night for MSU last night… without scoring a lot of points.

5.  Ole Miss will look to pull the upset when #14 Florida visits the Tad Pad tonight.

6.  Rebel quarterback signee Bo Wallace was cited for underage possession of alcohol last Thursday.  Egad.

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SEC Headlines – 9/29/11

Short number of headlines today.  We’re rushing to put together some new expansion numbers for you that we hope to have up sometime between tomorrow and Monday.

1.  This writer puts the over/under on how long Will Muschamp will last at Florida at six years.

2.  It’s rare for the Gators to be a home underdog… but they are against Alabama.

3.  Two more backups have left the Georgia program, reducing team depth once more.

4.  Kentucky is preparing for Saturday’s showdown with The Mad Hatter.

5.  A bad sign: In just his second year, Joker Phillips is the subject of a “give him more time” column.  Yikes.

6.  South Carolina has three outstanding defensive ends and only two defensive end positions to fill.

7.  Obvious statement: Tennessee needs to run the ball better.

8.  Cuonzo Martin says having Bruce Pearl around Knoxville won’t be “a distraction at all.”  (Let’s see what he says after a couple of losses when folks start their “Bring Back Bruce” campaigns.)

9.  Vanderbilt will be sticking with Larry Smith at quarterback.

10.  Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley will be a game-time decision on Saturday.

11.  Harvey Updyke — alleged tree-poisoner — didn’t admit to attacking the trees at Toomer’s Corner, but he did say on the radio yesterday: “I just want to tell the Auburn people that I’m truly sorry for all the damage I’ve done.”  (Nope.  That’s not an admission at all.  Next he’ll write a book with OJ called, “If I Did It.”)

12.  Problems at Auburn have stalled the Gus Bus this season.

13.  Looks like someone else has now contacted MAC officials to discuss their scheduling of a 13-team league… as we did on Monday.

14.  Injuries are testing the depth at defensive end for Arkansas.

15.  Safety Tramain Thomas has taken some heat from D-coordinator Willy Robinson this week.

16.  Through four games, LSU is already at +8 in turnover margin.

17.  MSU’s defensive backs are stepping up at the right time.

18.  Can Ole Miss fix all that’s broken?

19.  The man behind a number of popular conservative radio shows is the lone point person of the Forward Rebels campaign to get UM to fire AD Pete Boone.

20.  The president of Ole Miss came out swinging yesterday, decrying the group’s “anonymous, malicious and public attacks” on Boone.  Dan Jones also revealed that he’s received threats stating that “it is going to get real ugly” if he doesn’t fire Boone… and that attacks on other athletic department officials might be next.  (Pathetic.)

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SEC Headlines – 7/1/11 Part One

1.  Here’s a look at who’s had the most home field success in SEC football since 2006.  (And here’s a correction.)

2.  The trial of alleged Toomer’s Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke has been delayed until Halloween.

3.  Former Auburn and Alabama assistant football coach James Willis has pleaded guilty to charge of assault and domestic violence and has been sentenced to six months of deferred probation.

4.  Four people were charged with allowing underage drinking at the party where former Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas died.  (The medical report showed that Douglas had multiple drugs in his system, but not alcohol.)

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SEC Coaches Help Save MSU’s Cowbells… For Now

Just when it looked like Mississippi State’s cowbells were about to be silenced, the SEC’s football coaches came to the rescue.  Yesterday, the league’s athletic directors voted to discontinue last year’s “cowbell compromise.”  But then the league’s football coaches voted in favor of giving State one more year to show that they can ring the bells at the appropriate time.  As a result, the ADs changed their vote and passed the issue on to the league’s presidents for a vote tomorrow.

“I think the football coaches swayed some of that first vote,” State AD Scott Stricklin said afterwards.  In a text to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Stricklin said, “We appreciate the ADs’ and football coaches’ vote to continue Mississippi State’s valued tradition.

Dan Mullen went on the offensive yesterday in his defense of the tradition.  First, he and Stricklin spoke of deceased player Nick Bell’s mother ringing a cowbell in honor of her son.  Then Mullen compared MSU’s cowbell tradition to the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.

“I empathize with Auburn this year,” the coach said.  “Somebody came in and tried to hurt one of their traditions.  I can empathize with that because it’s happened to us.”

The fact that the league’s coaches voted in favor of the cowbells shows that the bells — when used at assigned times — are not that big of a distraction.  And because the league’s coaches went to bat for State’s tradition, MSU fans should be respectful of that fact next season and ring the bells only during stoppages in play.

If State fans do that, then eventually the league will be able to stop discussing cowbells every June in Destin.

With the league’s coaches and ADs voting to allow the bells, it’s expected that the league’s presidents will follow suit in their vote on Friday.

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