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WOW Headlines – 11/29/12

ESPN analyst Jon Gruden reportedly canceled a meeting with Tennessee AD Dave Hart yesterday
Louisville coach Charlie Strong has denied reports that he’s interviewed for the Auburn coaching job
Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is being connected to the Auburn job
LSU coach Les Miles received a raise and contract extension yesterday, soon after speaking with Arkansas AD Jeff Long
CBS analyst Gary Danielson on critics of the SEC: “Until somebody beats them, everybody should shut up.”
Fans are growing impatient as Auburn’s coaching search is on Day 4 and Tennessee’s is on Day 11… it took Kentucky 23 days to hire Mark Stoops
Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is expected to enter the NFL draft in April
Alabama fan who sexually assaulted an LSU fan after January’s BCS title game has been sentenced to 2 years in prison
Kentucky hoops coach John Calipari says he expects to be at Kentucky another 6 or 7 years
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Wow Evening Headlines 10/25/2012

Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu was one of four former LSU players arrested on drug charges on Thursday
SEC commissioner Mike Slive tells ESPN.com that the site for the new Champions Bowl — either New Orleans or Arlington, Texas — will be announced next week
Arkansas AD Jeff Long says he will most likely hire someone who is currently employed as a coach
Sources have told MrSEC.com that TCU’s Gary Patterson is Arkansas’ top choice
Sources have told MrSEC.com that if Tennessee replaces Derek Dooley, Jon Gruden and Bobby Petrino would be 1-2 on UT’s list of replacements
Hurricane Sandy could create a windy day for the Georgia-Florida game
Kentucky will try to play three quarterbacks versus Missouri on Saturday
Texas A&M DL Damontre Moore leads the nation in sacks with 9.5 and tackles for loss with 17
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The Difference At LSU? Not As Much Fun In The Locker Room

When it comes to what’s different between last year’s 13-1 LSU team and this year’s 5-0 (but less impressive the past two weeks) squad, cornerback Tharold Simon thinks he knows the problem:

 

“Last year, it was so much fun.  We came together in the locker room, clowning around on the field — still being serious, but also having fun. 

This year is totally different.  We’re not clowning around in the locker room or talking outside of practice.  We don’t get together like we did last year… That’s been a big problem for us.  We just need people to step up.  The whole team needs to step up and lead each other.”

 

Simon also told The Baton Rouge Advocate that outside pressures and the loss of Tyrann Mathieu have added to the team’s morale issues.

That’s probably not what you want to hear a player saying if you’re a Tiger fan preparing to watch tomorrow’s LSU-Florida Top 10 clash from the Swamp.

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LSU’s Miles Isn’t “Visioning” Football Right Now For The Honey Badger

Yesterday, Les Miles said on ESPN radio that the story of dismissed — for this season — star Tyrann Mathieu might have a happy ending.  Most took that to mean that Mathieu could possibly return to LSU next season.  Having spent 20 years listening to coachspeak, that’s certainly how it sounded to me.

But Miles was asked to clarify his remarks yesterday and he did so as only the Tigers’ coach could:

 

“Everybody seems to have picked on that phrase.  The only thing that I can tell you is for me, to get your degree, that you handle your business, get your life in order and you go do the things you want to do.  I can’t imagine he won’t have a great post-college career at whatever he would decide to do.

I am in no way presupposing football.  That’s not something I’m visioning at this point.  I just want to look at my team and do the things that will make this team ready to play Saturday at Florida.”

 

Miles may not be presupposing or visioning football, but I’ll still go out on that limb and say if Mathieu takes care of his off-field business and wants to return to Baton Rouge to play ball in 2013… he’ll be allowed to do so.  And I think that’s a pretty safe, short, stout limb to climb out onto, by the way.

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Wow Morning Headlines 9/4/2012

New AP Top 25 features six SEC Teams: #1  Alabama, #3 LSU,  #7 Georgia,  #8 Arkansas,  #9 South Carolina (tied with West Va), #24 Florida
Billboard in Gainesville taunts Florida Gators – “You’ve been annexed by Aggie Nation”
Family member says Tyrann Mathieu will enroll at LSU today as a student – football future uncertain
After “old man football” comments regarding Georgia, Mizzou defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson not allowed to meet with media on Monday
Tennessee’s new fast-paced offense produced 79 plays on Saturday, most since 2007
MrSEC.com’s Power Rankings released –  log on to MrSEC.com to see the results

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SEC Headlines 8/15/2012

SEC West Football

1. Tyrann Mathieu’s impact at LSU: “One of the jarring disconnects from the 2011 season was how important Mathieu was to LSU during the other 12 games on the schedule and how irrelevant he was in the two Alabama games.”

2. Even without Mathieu, the Tigers “have everything in place to win it all.”

3. Expect LSU’s tight ends to play an expanded role in the offense this year. Tigers move a tailback to wide receiver.

4. The Texas A&M quarterback job is up for grabs – and it involves not two but three players.

5. Full contact for Knile Davis?  Probably not until its absolutely necessary.

6. 27 secondary violations in the Alabama athletic department over the past year – 11 of them were impermissible text messages.

7. Nick Saban on Michigan’s quarterback: “Denard Robinson is one of the most explosive players in college football.”

8. Virginia vs Auburn in 2015? –  “nothing in place.”

9.The scouting report on Auburn’s Jay Prosch? “He’s a fantastic fullback.”

10. Tigers offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler on freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace: “He’s got tremendous ‘it’ factor. He’s a winner. He’s going to help Auburn.”

11. Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley ruptured his achilles tendon last fall. “But I’m back full speed now.”

12. Tough Tuesday at Ole Miss - “leadership was lacking.”

SEC East Football

13. What’s the relationship like between Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and quarterback Tyler Bray? “We haven’t been yelling at each other as much lately.”

14. Tennessee special teams coach Charlie Coiner on strategy and the new kickoff rules: ”Do you have a [kicker] that can bang it out, or do you want to kick it up there and try to let it drop inside the 5 and see what they’re going to do with it?”

15. Is there one thing Will Muschamp worries about the most? “I don’t know if there is one thing I could say. How much time you got?”

16. Biggest freshman buzz at Vanderbilt? Running back Brian Kimbrow.

17. Mizzou cornerback E.J. Gaines on the challenges of the SEC: “It’s like I’m a freshman coming into a new conference.”

18. Jeff Schultz: “Missouri coach Gary Pinkel seems to be getting a little paranoid before his first SEC game against Georgia.”

19. With Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome, Georgia looks to have another talented duo at tight end.

20. Punter Tyler Hull has only been in Columbia a week, but he’s the likely starter for South Carolina.

SEC Basketball

21. Tigers slay the Dragons.  Missouri gets its third European victory.

22. Tennessee says goodbye to Italy with a 109-59 victory. Vols go 4-0 on their European journey.

23. After beating Lithuania, Arkansas heads to Rome for a game on Friday.

24. Razorbacks on-campus schedule – best in years?

SEC/College News

25. With only 1.5 percent of the nation’s population, how does the state of Alabama manage to win three straight BCS titles?

26. Three of the most expensive tickets in college football this fall feature Alabama games. Average SEC Ticket price – $139.71 - highest in the country.

27. Mike Herndon – “Always, the focus is clear: Get the kid qualified.”

28. USC coach Lane Kiffin on the challenges of scholarship reduction: ”We signed a kicker, a punter and a snapper so that we wouldn’t have to for the next four years.”

29. Here’s something you’d never read about in the SEC.  What’s the buzz in California over the new Pac-12 TV network? “Put simply, not enough folks in the Bay Area and California care deeply about local college sports.”

30. The man responsible for all college programming at CBS is now the Big East commissioner.

31. Your in-studio analysts for the CBS Sports Network – Houston Nutt and Ron Zook.

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LSU Players Move On, But Report Claims Mathieu Wants To Return

On Friday, Les Miles made the surprise announcement that Heisman hopeful Tyrann Mathieu had been dismissed from the LSU football squad.  Failed drug tests and synthetic marijuana were believed to be the cause.

On Saturday, the Tigers held their first fall scrimmage and tried to move forward without their ex-star teammate.

Defensive end Barkevious Mingo said: “It let us move our thoughts toward actually getting ready to play than on the guy we lost.  It helped… It’s a sad situation, but we must go on and lead this team.”

Ah, but Mathieu isn’t completely out of the picture at LSU after all.  Gone for this season?  Yes.  Definitely transferring to an FCS school like McNeese State to play right away?  Not yet, according to ESPN.com’s Joe Schad who writes that his sources say Mathieu has expressed an interest in staying in school at LSU and then returning to Miles’ team in 2013:

 

“Mathieu has been described as ‘heartbroken’ and ‘grieving’ since his dismissal from the team.

Mathieu has told people close to him that he is interested in working on his maturity and character and also in seeking out any way to continue his education at LSU.

The possibility to declare for the NFL draft after this season also exists.  But Mathieu has told people close to him that draft status is not a priority at this time.  If he were to stay at LSU, paying his own way for at least one season is a possibility.”

 

To be clear, Mathieu’s options are transfer to another FBS school and sit out a year, transfer to an FCS school and play right away, or work out a deal with LSU and Miles in which the player stays in school and returns to the Tiger team next year… rather than jumping to the NFL as an early entrant in spring 2013.

For Miles, this could be a tougher decision than one might think.  If the top administrative brass at LSU okays a stay on campus for Mathieu, the coach will have to decide whether or not keeping the kid near his football team would be a good thing or a bad thing.

Miles clearly likes Mathieu, saying nice things about him even as he announced his one-year suspension on Friday.  He may feel that he and the LSU support group could best help Mathieu moving forward.  Or he may look at it and realize that despite numerous warnings, he really never got through to the superb return man at all.  At least not enough to keep him from doing whatever it was — and we all think we know what it was — that earned him his heave-ho.  In other words, it might be best for the young man to suffer the consequences of his actions and then grow up elsewhere.  (Knowing football coaches, that’s a slim possibility, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.)

As for his own team, keeping Mathieu in Baton Rouge might be a positive.  Like an injured player, Mathieu could be around without actually being on the squad.  The players — one would think — would be glad to see their old teammate around campus.  But on the flip side of that coin, what if Mathieu fails to change his ways?  Again?  In that case, the coach would look foolish for giving him an umpteenth chance and the players would have to go through the emotions of losing Mathieu all over again.

If Mathieu wants to stay at LSU and return to Miles’ team next season, here’s betting that’s what will happen.  But there are potential positives and negatives to that plan for both the player and LSU’s football team.  No matter how dazzling a return man Mathieu might be.

 

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Bama’s McCarron And LSU’s Mathieu Trash Tweet

If there’s anything more useless than trash talking its trash tweeting.  But trash tweeting — albeit some pretty tame stuff — was what occurred yesterday between Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and LSU cornerback, Heisman-candidate Tyrann Mathieu.

According to CollegeFootballTalk.com, though many/all of the tweets have now been removed, here’s what the two players posted toward one another:

 

Mathieu:  “@AJMcCarron everybody have a good game every now and then try having a great season back 2 back 2 BACK! DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP NOT YOU.”

McCarron:  “@TM7 Era Ur right the TEAM.. That’s how we play as a TEAM.. We stick together though our losses and wins.  #thatswhatmakesusgreat #wehave14

Mathieu:  “@AJMcCarron you have 1, THE school has 14! you play your part well thanks to great coaching! but anyways we’ll talk nov 3rd!”

McCarron:  “Bama fans don’t talk anymore ab it.  Let’s just sit back quietly and wait our turn.  Y’all know the date.  It’s comin. #november3rd #bama nation”

Mathieu:  “highly favored in DEATH VALLEY!”

 

Uh, yeah.  Riveting stuff.

And if you’d like to see just how much damage Twitter and texting have done to the English language, take a gander at this letter written just 151 years ago.  In today’s Twitter parlance that would appear as:

 

“@Sarah.. dont mourn me dead.. ima ghost for you.. CUL8R. #honorablemanhood.”

 

And despite the fact that I’m an old fuddy-duddy who loathes Twitter, you should join the nearly 31,000 peeps who currently follow us there!

As for the McCarron/Mathieu tweet battle, here’s hoping Bama/LSU 2012 lives up to their June, social media hype.

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SEC Headlines 12/10/2011

1. For the second time in three years, an Alabama running back is in New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

2. Four of the five finalists, including Trent Richardson, arrived in the Big Apple on Friday.

3. Richardson projected to finish third.

4. New York is also getting a taste of honey.

5. No matter how he finishes tonight, Tyrann Mathieu has already beaten the odds.

6. Paul Haynes is the new defensive coordinator at Arkansas.

7. Paul Petrino will make $425,000 as the Razorbacks offensive coordinator.

8. Arkansas punt return/receiver Joe Adams a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award.

9. Charlie Weis on becoming the head coach of the 2-10 Kansas Jayhawks: “It was too good of an opportunity.”

10. No current Florida assistants will join him.

11. Weis to his new players: ”(E) njoy your Christmas holidays — because when you get back in the middle of January it’s not going to be very pleasant.”

12. Bill Ritter: “There’s nothing like compounding one mistake by making another.”

13. Will Mike Shula replace Weis at Florida?

14. Alabam’s Jim McElwain or Oakland Raider’s assistant Kelly Skipper will be the next head coach at Fresno State.

15. Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari: ” I’d be surprised if I’m here longer than 10 years.”

16. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Kentucky guard and Indianapolis native Marquis Teague as the Wildcats face the Hoosiers.

17. Florida 90 – Rider 69.  Patric Young with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

18. Mississippi State faces a Troy team that leads the nation in 3-pointers.

19. Andy Kennedy on his 7-1 Ole Miss Rebels: “We’ve really struggled.”

20. Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon looks to regain his Maui magic.

21. LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson will face his alma mater tonight.

21. Freshman BJ Young is becoming a leader of a young Arkansas team that goes up against Oklahoma today.

22. Roundup of the projected best and the blowouts from this weekend’s college basketball.

23.  Mark Stoops the next defensive coordinator at Auburn?

Extras

24. Memphis police will investigate sexual assault allegations against AAU CEO Boddy Dodd.

25. Is today the day for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M? Update.

26. Jim Mora expected to be named the next head coach at UCLA.

27. Wall Street Journal –  Tim Tebow: God’s’ Quarterback.

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SEC’s Richardson, Mathieu Among Heisman Finalists

When the Heisman Trophy ceremony kicks off in New York on Saturday, the SEC will account for 40% of the candidates.  Alabama tailback Trent Richardson and LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu are among the five finalists for this year’s award.  (Ah, but is it a major award?)

Also heading to the Big Apple are Baylor’s Robert Griffin III — who has gone from “guy with little pub” to favorite based solely on his highlight reel skills — Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

Preseason favorite Kellen Moore of Boise State didn’t garner enough votes to receive an invitation.  Neither did Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley or Houston’s Case Keenum.

The SEC has won the last two Heismans (Cam Newton and Mark Ingram) and three of the last four (tossing in Tim Tebow). 

In the early days, most media members saw games from the East and Midwest.  That’s part of the reason the SEC had just four winners from 1935 through 1981 (not counting South Carolina’s George Rogers).  But the explosion in televised games has aided the SEC.  The league has captured six trophies from 1982-2010.

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