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Carolina’s Shaw Could Play Saturday Vs Kentucky

connor-shaw-helmet-offWell that was quick.  Injured in last week’s hard-fought victory at UCF, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was expected to return to action in two or three weeks.  Now it looks as though Shaw’s shoulder sprain might be well enough for him to be back in, oh, about three days.

According to The Charleston Post & Courier, Shaw “picked up a football and chucked it downfield, high and spiraling through the air like he had a healthy shoulder” after Monday’s practice.  Running back Mike Davis took to Twitter and said, “Connor Shaw is the toughest football player I have ever been around.”

Shaw’s ability to fling the pigskin with a bum shoulder has led Steve Spurrier to say that he “should be ready” to play Kentucky this weekend, where backup Dylan Thompson was expected to start.


“The trainer had him out two to three weeks.  Yesterday, he threw a ball 60 yards.  So, I don’t know.  You need to ask the trainer how he made such a miraculous recovery.  It wasn’t 60, but it was about 55, I would say…

Who knows the pain factor?  Nobody knows.  So you just sort of guess that.  But Connor is a very tough kid who wants to play, and he should be ready to play this week.  He’s played very well for us.  His record speaks for itself, percentage-wise the winningest quarterback.”


It’s entirely possible, of course, that Spurrier is engaging in a bit of gamesmanship ahead of his team’s visit from the Wildcats.  If, however, Shaw does play versus Kentucky, his rapid recovery from what seemed to be a serious injury will make him even more popular across the Palmetto State.

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South Carolina 28 – UCF 25 (Video)

Watch video highlights of the South Carolina 28-25 victory over UCF.

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SEC Odds And Television Listings – 9/23/13

tv-remotesThe SEC has released the television listings for this Saturday and the Saturday that follows.  We’ve also included the early betting lines from Las Vegas (or an offshore book) for this weekend’s action:


September 28th

South Carolina at UCF — 12:00pm ET on ABC — Line: South Carolina -7.5 (now -7.5)

South Alabama at Tennessee — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network — Line: Tennessee -19 (now -19)

LSU at Georgia — 3:30pm ET on CBS — Line: Georgia -3 (now -3)

Ole Miss at Alabama — 6:30pm ET on ESPN — Line: Alabama -16.5 (now -17)

Texas A&M at Arkansas — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: Texas A&M -3 (now -3)

Florida at Kentucky — 7:00pm ET on ESPNU — Line: Florida -14 (now -14)

UAB at Vanderbilt — 7:30pm ET on FSN — Line: Vanderbilt -20 (now -20)

Arkansas State at Missouri — 7:30pm ET on CSS — Line: Missouri -21 (now -21)


October 5th

Georgia State at Alabama — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network

Arkansas at Florida — 3:30pm ET on CBS or 7:00pm ET on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Ole Miss at Auburn — 3:30pm ET on CBS or 7:00pm ET on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Georgia at Tennessee — 3:30pm ET on CBS or 7:00pm ET on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

LSU at Mississippi State — 3:30pm ET on CBS or 7:00pm ET on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Kentucky at South Carolina — 7:30pm ET on FSN

Missouri at Vanderbilt — 7:30pm ET on CSS


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SEC Basketball Headlines 11/24/2012

1. Louisville 84 – Missouri 61. 23 turnovers for the Tigers.  Center Alex Oriakhi. “We have a lot of work to do.” Suspended guard Mike Dixon takes to Twitter to defend himself.

2. Alabama 59 – Charleston Southern 46. Defense wins it as Alabama survives 1-for-16 stretch.

3. Kentucky 104 – Long Island 75. 60 points in the paint for John Calipari’s team. Coach expects point guard Ryan Harrow to return this weekend.

4. Georgia 54 – East Tennessee State 38. 63% from the field for the Bulldogs – best shooting night in almost two years.

5. Arizona State 83 – Arkansas 68. Razorbacks drop their first game of the season despite 29 points from BJ Young.

6. Ole Miss 91 – Lipscomb 45. Rebels get game-high 23 points from Murphy Holloway.

7. Florida 79 – UCF 66. Gators bench vs. UCF bench – 28-0.

8. Marist 50 – Vanderbilt 33. Worst offensive performance ever under coach Kevin Stallings.

9. “The sport of college basketball is now a dumpster fire.”

10. Morehead State coach Sean Woods gets one-game suspension for sideline conduct in game against Kentucky.

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Green-Beckham And Two Other Freshmen Suspended For Mizzou’s Game With Vandy

The top signee in America hasn’t gotten off to a great start on the field for Missouri this season.  Now his issues have carried over off the field as well.

Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and fellow freshmen Levi Copelin (receiver) and Torey Boozer (linebacker) were arrested last night for suspicion of less than 35 grams of marijuana.  All three players have been suspended for Saturday’s game in Columbia against Vanderbilt.

Green-Beckham has just seven catches for 128 yards and one touchdown on the season.  The TD came on an 80-yard pass play last week against UCF.


UPDATE –   The University of Missouri has clarified that freshman defensive tackle Harold Brantley and freshman tight end Brandon Holifield were also at the scene,  They weren’t arrested but are suspended.

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USC’s Spurrier Says “Time Will Tell” With Mizzou

Missouri has played two SEC football games to date and lost both by 21 points.  One game was closer than it looked, the other not so much.

But before kicking dirt on the Tigers’ 2012 campaign, it should be noted that those losses came to two undefeated teams currently ranked in the Top 10.  In their only other game against an FBS opponent, they beat Arizona State with their backup quarterback behind center.

South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier saw the SEC’s newest bunch of Tigers up close on Saturday during his team’s 31-10 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium.  He’s not quite ready to bury Mizzou just yet:


“I think time will tell.  I don’t want to make any predictions, and they’ve got a tough game this week.  Are they underdogs going down to Central Florida.  UCF is a good team down there, but I think we’ve all got to play the season out.  Some teams get better as the season goes along, and some teams get worse.”


For the record, the game opened as a “pick ‘em” but the line now has UCF as a three-point favorite on its home field.

As for Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, he says the Tigers “are disappointed we didn’t play any better” against Carolina and Georgia.  But like Spurrier, he says things aren’t over yet.  “There is a lot of season left, and the SEC is obviously a great league, and we’re excited being in it and want to do a better job.”

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Tyler’s Take: The Road To 72

Tyler B.

With the Big-12 vs. SEC bowl game starting in 2014 it’s clear Mike Slive, President of College Football, decided to use his middle finger to draw a line in the embarrassingly messy sandbox of college football to let everyone know he will indeed draw when his hand is forced. And after Slive appointed Chuck Neinas as his Vice President, ironically, an “enemy” of his less than a year ago, he ensured this summer and beyond  will feel like a nuclear winter for certain conferences and about a third of all existing FBS football schools. An even bigger issue, without a streamlined version of college football in place when the BCS contract expires could the NCAA be the next superpower left out in the cold?

You mean… college football completely divorces itself from the NCAA? Absolutely.

1)      Conference expansion.

2)      Conference title games.

3)      Birth of the BCS.

4)      Billion-dollar TV contracts.

5)      Conference realignment that makes no sense.

The last 20 years has given us plenty of evidence about where this sport has been heading, so it’s almost comical that the NCAA is going to get caught with their pants down on this issue. I mean they might as well wake up one morning and chant “ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!” right before college football as we know changes forever.

The absence of NCAA leadership during a time period when college football has grown exponentially has proven that nobody in Indianapolis is remotely capable of captaining a ship this size. The NCAA is fantastic at monitoring a few insignificant and impermissible phone calls to teenage recruits in the off-season, but clearly not at running a billion-dollar industry. And in its defense nor should it.

Doesn’t COMPANY XZY (the winning bidder) that will govern college football with departments specializing in finance, consulting, management and common sense sound like a better alternative than the NCAA? It does to me.

When it comes to the creation of super conferences I have two questions:

1)      How long will it take?  I believe football super conferences will be announced within 18 months, however, this date is moving because the fluidity of the FSU situation.  But with now with the Big-12/SEC partnership, does it even matter what FSU does? FSU leaving for the Big-12 today would be just like leaving for the SEC in just a few short years.


2)      Will the NCAA be a part of the super conference? I say it’s 80/20 the NCAA remains in charge, but just the threat of losing college football has to scare the NCAA enough to take/talk action.


Will someone make copies of the current NCAA rule book and sell it to the highest bidder – a private company – so they can run the sport? What can the NCAA do if JP Morgan wants to partner up Deloitte and a few other companies to buy college football? They bypass the NCAA and meet with the AD’s of the five major football conferences to buy and run college football. How hard is that? And with a private company running college football how much political red tape would be removed the second the contract is signed?

The NCAA losing college football is a far-fetched idea I understand, but business is business and a billion-dollar industry doesn’t go unnoticed on Wall Street. And as each year passes the bottom line becomes more and more important than coaches, players and teams. Does this sound any different than a Fortune 500 company?

Something to think about: Does the NCAA hand out scholarships? Is the BCS title the same as the NCAA title? From the most simplistic view, what does the NCAA do besides govern when it comes to college football?

So now onto the Super Conferences… What I wrote below is pretty much identical to the article I posted on this very site back in August. Only now it makes a lot more sense.

What does a season look like with FBS 72 teams?

  • Four 18-team conferences, each with two divisions of nine.
  • 12 regular season games.
  • Every team in the division is played.
  • Three rotating teams from the opposite division (home and home two-year series).
  • One out of conference game is played and it’s a conference vs. conference challenge.
  • Divisional winners play title conference games.
  • NCAA tournament is created with 8 teams — Title game winners of the four conferences and four at-large teams selected by rankings.
  • Highest seeds host first and second round games.
  • Title game location goes to the highest bidder.
  • Any team with a winning record is eligible for a bowl game bid against any bowl eligible team.

How do we get to 72?

Step 1: If a team didn’t average more than 30,000 fans for home games it doesn’t deserve to play with the big boys. End of story. I removed several BCS schools and Independents:  Washington State (24,000), Army, Navy, Duke (23,000), and Iowa State. But feel free to swap “borderline” teams that did/didn’t make the cut: Navy (32,653), Army (31,667), UCF (39,314), East Carolina (49,665), San Diego State (34,133), UTEP (29,350), Houston (31,100), and So. Miss. (29,400).

Step 2: Schools that don’t make the cut are “demoted” to the FCS. (There will be revenue sharing from the new league of 72 schools to help those schools who got cut.) These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map. Either that or they shut down their football program.

Who goes where?


1)      North Carolina

2)      N.C. State

3)      Wake Forest

4)      East Carolina

5)      Virginia

6)      Virginia Tech

7)      Vanderbilt

8)      Tennessee

9)      West Virginia


1)      UCONN

2)      Boston College

3)      Maryland

4)      Syracuse

5)      Rutgers

6)      Penn State

7)      Pittsburg

8)      Cincinnati

9)      Louisville


1)      Miami

2)      Florida

3)      Florida State

4)      South Florida

5)      Georgia

6)      Georgia Tech

7)      Clemson

8)      South Carolina

9)      Kentucky

SOUTH #2             

1)      Alabama

2)      Auburn

3)      Ole Miss

4)      Miss. State

5)      LSU

6)      Arkansas

7)      Oklahoma

8)      Oklahoma State

9)      Missouri


1)      Notre Dame

2)      Purdue

3)      Illinois

4)      Northwestern

5)      Ohio State

6)      Michigan

7)      Michigan State

8)      Minnesota

9)      Wisconsin


1)      Iowa

2)      Indiana

3)      Kansas

4)      Kansas State

5)      Nebraska

6)      Texas

7)      Texas A&M

8)      Baylor

9)      TCU


1)      Colorado

2)      Air Force

3)      BYU

4)      Utah

5)      Arizona

6)      Arizona State

7)      USC

8)      UCLA

9)      Stanford


1)      Cal

2)      Utah

3)      Oregon

4)      Oregon State

5)      Washington

6)      Hawaii

7)      Texas Tech

8)      Boise State

9)      Fresno State

Will this happen? I think college football will look something similar to this within a decade. Either way, during the past two years there has been no better place in the sports world when it comes to college football expansion coverage. I think our John Pennington would write a 1,000 page novel on this in about 24 hours if needed…

Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company.  A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written. 

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Dooley Says Staff Exodus At UT Was “A Good Correction For Me”

When a head coach loses seven of his nine assistants in one offseason — an offseason heading into what many view as a make-or-break season, for the matter — it’s hard to put a good spin on the turnover.  But that’s what Derek Dooley has been faced with at Tennessee since last November.  And with each coach who’s left for a lateral job elsewhere the mass exodus has been viewed more and more as a case of rats scurrying to find an exit from a sinking ship.

But don’t tell that to the Vols’ third-year coach:


“Is it normal to have seven coaches transition in a year?  No, it’s very rare for something like that to happen.  But I kind of view it as sort of a correction.  When you start a company, when you start anything, you always have that little initial correction to kind of fix all the things maybe you didn’t get right in the beginning.

I think it was a good correction for me, and I think it’s going to be for the team…

I think some left because the fit wasn’t right.  I think some left because they maybe allowed the fear… the fear made the wolf a little bigger than it was. I think some left just because professionally they thought it would be a good growth situation.

Each coach was unique in why they left, and it’s part of the profession.”


Uh, sort of.

Yes, coaches move.  But not in droves as they did from Knoxville over the past few months (as Dooley freely admitted).  Part of the problem for Dooley’s staffing issues might have resulted from a miscalculation — or a signal sent — on the part of his boss, new AD Dave Hart.

Several of Dooley’s ex-aides were looking for some type of contract extension this past offseason to insure that they wouldn’t be left without a seat in the coaching game should things go poorly for UT this fall.  But Hart wasn’t interested in giving extensions to coaches who had led the Vols to an 11-14 record in two years and who had just blown a 26-game winning streak over Kentucky.

Several of the ex-coaches realized it was better to make a lateral move for a two-year deal than to stay in place on a “you-could-be-done-at-year’s-end” type of pact.  Heck, that’s just smart business.  The bad part for UT, however, was that the school found in order to hire new assistants — many from smaller schools like UCF, The Citadel, and MTSU — Hart and Tennessee wound up having to offer multi-year contracts anyway.

Whether this was a miscalculation on Hart’s part or a message to Dooley that he’d better put things together quickly is anyone’s guess.  In fact, a bit of both could be true.  But the bottom line is this: Dooley’s heading into a key season with seven new assistants and he’s implementing a new 3-4 defense as well… a move that usually works better in Year Two than in Year One of such transitions.

At this point, Dooley’s not willing to compare his last staff to his current one.  He told The Chattanooga Times Free Press that “it’s a little premature” for that kind of call.  He did say, however, that he believes “this group has a real good understanding of Tennessee, the SEC and what it takes to be successful in this league.”

For his sake, he’d better hope so.

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A Case For Malzahn’s Departure

Following the news that Gus Malzahn would leave Auburn for the head coaching job at Arkansas State, it took mere nanoseconds for the internet/talk radio world to start suggesting big troubles on The Plains.

In my car for much of Wednesday, I can tell you that the national talk radio shows had a common theme yesterday and it went a little something like this: “With Malzahn and Ted Roof both leaving for lesser schools, you have to wonder if something bad is going on behind the scenes at Auburn.”

Apparently, most of those folks haven’t spoken to anyone at Auburn.  I have.  And the Roof and Malzahn departures should not be lumped together in any way, shape or form.  Roof saw the writing on the wall after three consecutive years of unimpressive defensive numbers and jumped at a chance to work with an old colleague, doing the same job at UCF.  His move saved his own neck.

Malzahn — it appears — is simply trying to further his career.  As we suggested yesterday, he might see that his offense needs a top-flight quarterback to really work in the SEC.  (Urban Meyer learned the same thing at Florida.)  So maybe he felt it was better to leave now than wait another year and possibly see his stock drop further.

Perhaps he simply wanted to get back to familiar surroundings.  We never know what role family issues play into these types of moves. 

And speaking of family issues, Malzahn’s wife’s viral video moment might have played some role in preventing him from landing a bigger gig this year, but to be fair, his wife could have shot a bird at Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler following last year’s BCS title game and it would have had zero impact on her husband’s job search.  Malzahn was hot last January.  Now, he’s not.  His wife’s video only became an issue because Malzahn’s stock had already dropped.

In the end, perhaps Malzahn simply made what he believes to be the best move to land himself a better head coaching job down the road.

Think about it.

Malzahn was mentioned as a potential candidate at Ole Miss.  Instead of getting a serious look from UM, he saw Arkansas State’s Hugh Freeze land that job after just two years in Jonesboro… and only one as the school’s head coach.  Granted, Freeze had been on the Rebel staff under Ed Orgeron and had made some Oxford contacts, but it’s not hard to imagine Malzahn reaching the conclusion that it’s easier to land a head coaching job when you already have a head coaching job.

If Malzahn had stayed at Auburn, he would be in control of the offense and at the mercy of his team’s defense.  Gene Chizik would make the big picture decisions. 

At Arkansas State, Malzahn will run the show.  In effect, he’ll control his own destiny.  Entirely.  In an area he knows.

Push through the smoke stirred up by messageboards and talk show hosts yesterday and Malzahn’s decision — especially considering the fact that he erred by turning down Vanderbilt last year — actually seems to make some sense.

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Georgia on Kevin Ware’s List Of Schools

Kevin Ware’s recruitment continues to be difficult to follow.

The one-time Tennessee signee and Central Florida commit updated the list of schools he’s considering on Tuesday night. Ware posted on his Twitter account (@_incrediblekid) that he’s considering Georgia, Louisville, UCLA, Kansas and Kansas State. Ware said he has no order of favorites.

Could Central Florida get back in the mix? It depends on the current investigation into the recruiting practices at UCF.

The school has been contacted by the NCAA
following reports from ESPN and the New York Times linking UCF and Ken Caldwell, who reportedly has ties with ASM Sports Agency.

Caldwell is also accused of pushing athletes toward UCF. Kevin Ware’s name was specifically mentioned in the reports.

“We take the current allegations of NCAA violations very seriously,” UCF associate director of athletics for communications Joe Hornstein said in a statement. “Our review of this matter began immediately upon receiving notice. It is premature for us to provide comment regarding these allegations at this time, without having the opportunity to thoroughly and competeley review the facts. Following our review we will appropriately address this matter.”

Meanwhile, other schools will continue to recruit Ware. They just might want to be careful considering the latest developments in his strange recruitment.

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