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Richt Likes To Watch TV Tape As Well As Coaches’ Tape

GEORGIA MEDIA DAYSAsked how much time he’s spent watching tape of last year’s narrow loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Mark Richt acknowledged that looking at that tape was “a gut-wrenching thing to see.”  More interesting is the fact that Richt says he not only watches coaches’ tape of every game but also the TV broadcasts of each UGA game.

According to Richt, the television broadcasts allow him to pick out different things than the coaches’ tape does.  Also, it allows him to feel the emotion of the game which provides a different perspective.

You don’t often hear coaches say that they watch the traditional coaches’ film but also tape network broadcasts.

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Georgia Kicker Arrested On Boating Under Influence Charges

mrsec-breaking-newsDoes boating under the influence carry the same penalty as driving under the influence at Georgia?  We’re about to find out.  UGA kicker Marshall Morgan was arrested over the weekend on boating under the influence charges.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Rangers made the arrest on Lake Sinclair.  The arresting officer told the Eatonton Messenger that Morgan “admitted to drinking, and I administered a field sobriety test. He refused the state test.”  As the paper points out, under new Georgia BUI laws,  boaters under the age of 21 may only register a .02 blood-alcohol content — as opposed to the .08 limit for persons over 21 — to be in violation.

As pointed out here, the UGA policy toward DUI arrests mandates a two-game suspension.  Should the same rules apply to boating, the Bulldogs could be without Morgan for a couple of games this fall.  Georgia opens the season against Clemson and South Carolina.  A Georgia spokesman says “Coach (Mark) Richt is aware” of Morgan’s situation.

Last year as a true freshman, Morgan appeared in all 14 games, , making 8 of 14 field goals and 63 of 67 extra-points.

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The 7 SEC East Questions MrSEC.com Looks Forward To Having Answered In The Fall

question-marksWith summer upon us and fall moving quickly — too quickly — toward us, we’re starting to get plenty of “fall preview” questions when we appear on radio talkshows across the Southeast.  Having answered the question, “What intrigues you about School X” umpteen times already, we thought it might be a good time to put all of the topics that most interest us together in one or two posts.

Below you’ll find our look at the SEC East and the seven questions — one per team — that we look forward to having answered in the fall…

 

Florida

Can offensive coordinator Brent Pease and head coach Will Muschamp put enough skill position talent around quarterback Jeff Driskel to make him successful?  Driskel showed flashes of dual-threat abilities last season, but the Gator offense continued to slump, just as has since Tim Tebow departed Gainesville.  It’s time some of those hotly-recruited tailbacks and receivers on the Gator roster stepped up and gave the Gator QB some help.  Driskel needs some help from someone.

 

Georgia

Can defensive coordinator Todd Grantham get enough out of a rebuilt defense for UGA to capture another East Division crown?  With so many parts returning on offense, it’s expected the Bulldogs will be able to put up points a’plenty.  But can they stop the league’s other teams from putting up points on them?  UGA ranked 4th in the SEC in scoring defense (against conference foes) last season.  To reach Atlanta again, Grantham and crew will probably need to have similar success… and his crew will feature a lot of new faces.

 

Kentucky

How will offensive coordinator Neal Brown’s “Air Raid” offense mesh with head coach Mark Stoops’ defensive background?  Stoops has talked about creating a Florida State-type strong defense in Lexington.  Brown’s throw-it-all-over system — a throwback to his days at UK under Hal Mumme — actually has Wildcat fans excited for football season.  Now, we don’t expect everything to come together in Year One, obviously, but will they start to come together at all?  Check the stats and you’ll find that pass-happy, up-tempo offenses are rarely paired with tough-as-nails defenses.  Maybe it’s because those defenses don’t get enough rest between series or perhaps it’s because there’s no smashmouth offense to go against in practice, but it’s rare to see a pass-first team sport a brickwall defense.  (Example: Bobby Petrino’s teams at Arkansas.)

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UM, MSU: Masters Of Cupcakery… UGA, VU: SEC’s Toughest Schedulers

cupcakes1When it comes to pastries, no SEC school takes as many trips to the corner bakery as Ole Miss.  Over the past five years, the Rebels have played a whopping six schools from the FCS level.  Worse, their non-conference schedule has featured just two schools — two in five years — from BCS automatic-qualifier conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, and Pac-12).

No one in the SEC — not even Mississippi State — has feasted on as many cupcakes and creampuffs as the gang from Oxford.  And MSU has nibbled on its share of sponge cake.

On the other end of the spectrum are Vanderbilt and Georgia.  Some might say that the BCS-level foes they’ve scheduled haven’t always been atop their conferences, but at least they’re playing power-conference competition.  Both schools have scheduled 10 games against squads from BCS automatic-qualifiers over the last five seasons.

For comparison’s sake, we’ve gone back through the 2008 season to see which SEC schools have done the best and worst jobs of non-conference scheduling.  We’ve decided to include Missouri and Texas A&M even though they’ve spent just one year in the SEC.  But keep in mind the Big XII played nine league games in 2011.  So both A&M and Mizzou faced one less non-conference foe between ’08 and ’12 than their new SEC roomies.

In addition, please remember that those recent matchups between Texas A&M and Arkansas were non-conference games until last season.

One last note: We’re well aware of the schedule quirks, broken contracts, and state legislators’ desires that have forced your favorite school to line up games with tin cans on occasion.  And to paraphrase a Tommy Lee Jones’ line from “The Fugitive,” we don’t care.  Below is a simple look at how the SEC’s teams have handled non-conference scheduling in recent years.  It is what it is.

The categories used are “actual competition” (BCS conference foes), “cannon fodder” (teams from non-AQ FBS leagues or independents), and “cupcakes” (FCS-level opponents).

Enjoy…

 

Alabama

Actual Competition: 6 — Clemson, Duke, Michigan, Penn State (2), Virginia Tech

Cannon Fodder: 10 — Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Kent State, North Texas (2), San Jose State, Tulane, Western Kentucky (2)

Cupcakes: 4 — Georgia State, Georgia Southern, UT-Chattanooga, Western Carolina

Thoughts: Nick Saban has been pushing the SEC to add another conference game.  He’s also in favor power-conference teams playing only other power-conference teams.  But he’s not an idiot.  Until everyone gets on the same page, he won’t be trying to lead the way with Bama’s schedule.  Still, he’s been more than willing to open seasons against name competition.

2013 Schedule: Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Georgia State, UT-Chattanooga

 

Arkansas

Actual Competition: 5 — Rutgers, Texas, Texas A&M (3)

Cannon Fodder: 10 — Eastern Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe (3), New Mexico, Troy (2), Tulsa (2), UTEP

Cupcakes: 5 — Jacksonville State, Missouri State (2), Tennessee Tech, Western Illinois

Thoughts: Meh.  The Hogs haven’t exactly lined up the best of the best of the best over the last few years.  (Hey, another line from a Tommy Lee Jones’ flick.)  Texas and pre-SEC Texas A&M were good games, but Arkansas’ cannon fodder games were truly that.  Then you toss in five games against FCS cupcakes.  Was any Razorback fan happy to plunk down cash to see any of the last 10 schools on that list?  Happily Bret Bielema and AD Jeff Long are locking up future non-conference games against quality foes from the Hogs’ old Southwest Conference days.

2013 Schedule: Louisiana-Lafayette, Samford, Southern Miss, Rutgers

 

Auburn

Actual Competition: 5 — Clemson (3), West Virginia (2)

Cannon Fodder: 10 — Arkansas State, Ball State, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Monroe (3), Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Southern Miss, Utah State

Cupcakes: 5 — Alabama A&M, Furman, Samford, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin

Thoughts: The same as above.  Auburn had five marquee non-conference games in the last five years.  Their remaining 15 non-conference contests were dreck.  This year’s non-con slate looks to provide more of the same.

2013 Schedule: Washington State, Arkansas State, Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic

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UGA Starting Safety Could Miss Opener Due To Pot Incident; Time For A Uniform SEC Drug Policy

marijuana-leafGeorgia could be without starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons when the Dawgs open their season at Clemson on August 31st.  According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the sophomore-to-be “was implicated in an incident involving marijuana in a UGA dorm room on May 15.”

Also involved in that incident was tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith who was arrested in a separate incident in February.  Just last week, Mark Richt encouraged Flournoy-Smith to transfer to a junior college.

On the 15th, UGA campus police were called to a residence hall by an RA who smelled marijuana emanating from a dorm room.  Police found Harvey-Clemons and Flournoy-Smith inside.  No wacky weed was found in the room, but the police report said the players “exhibited signs of marijuana ingestion” and that one of the players admitted that the pair had “smoked a blunt.”

Georgia’s drug policy — which is one of the toughest in the SEC — calls for a first-time offender to be suspended for 10% of his team’s competitions.  In this case, neither player was arrested, but the issue was reported and documented.  Therefore, it’s likely Harvey-Clemons will miss at least one game for choosing to smoke that blunt.

We at MrSEC.com have been calling for the SEC to adopt a uniform drug policy since 2010.  The league’s 14 schools currently have different policies ranging from very strict to ridiculously lenient and — at some point — those differences provide a competitive advantage for schools that look the other way more often.

To date, the SEC’s leaders have said that they don’t want to give the league office the power to rule on their athletes’ drug violations.  It’s time for Mike Slive — as in this week during the SEC meetings — to convince the conference’s presidents that a universal plan is in the SEC’s best interest.

SEC revenue is set to boom with the advent of the new College Football Playoff, the new SEC Network, and the new Sugar Bowl.  More than ever, the SEC can afford to hire one company to handle all testing, administering the same number and the same types of tests to each and every school.

The schools would have to be trusted to report all drug violations to the league office, of course.  But assuming they would do so, the league would then hand down a ruling based on a predetermined set of penalties for failed tests or drug-related arrests.  For example:

 

First-offense:  No penalty, enter counseling program

Second-offense:  Miss 10% of games

Third-offense:  Miss 50% of games

Fourth-offense:  Permanent dismissal

 

Based upon SEC schools’ existing policies, some would no doubt say our example is too tough while others would say it’s way too easy.  Either way, such a policy would play the same for everyone and that should be the goal.

Here’s hoping Harvey-Clemons’ decision to spark up a joint two weeks ago will help spark some conversation about a uniform drug policy during the SEC’s meetings this week.

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Switching To A 9-Game Schedule Tricky, Not Impossible

confused-by-mathSooner or later, the Southeastern Conference will go to a nine-game conference schedule.  It’s easy to see why.  Creating better content for the SEC Network and the league’s broadcast partners (ESPN and CBS) will result in more cash for the league.  And if cash is a strong enough motivator to drive schools to new conferences and away from old rivals, it’s certainly a powerful enough motivator to push through an extra league game per season for each football program.

But getting from A to B could be tricky.  Or so it’s been said.

Before we look at the SEC’s schedule rotation, let’s tackle some fears that are being drummed up at the moment.

 

“If the SEC goes to a nine-game league schedule, schools will stop playing good non-conference opponents.”

The four SEC schools with annual games against in-state rivals (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina) have made it clear that they would probably nix a quality non-conference game if the league goes to a nine-game schedule.  The reality is that two factors will still play a role in scheduling: the new College Football Playoff and money.

If it becomes clear that teams in other leagues are scheduling 11 big-conference teams per year (nine in conference, two out of conference), then the SEC teams hoping to reach the playoff will have to follow suit.  Strength of schedule is expected to be a key element in picking teams for the four-team playoff.  SEC squads will either do what everyone does or cross their fingers and hope that selection committee members see a nine-game SEC slate as being tougher than other leagues’ nine-game conference schedules.  That’s possible, but with SEC fatigue having already helped push America to a playoff, would the league’s teams want to risk it?

As for money, if the folks at Cowboys Stadium or the new downtown Atlanta stadium guarantee an SEC team a hefty payout to come in and play a good non-conference foe, it’s doubtful that that SEC squad would pass up the opportunity.

The idea that you’ll never see another good non-conference game on your team’s schedule has been overblown.  Most league schools play one good non-conference opponent and three cupcakes now.  If anything — and UGA president Michael Adams recently said this — fans have shown they’re tired of paying to see creampuff games.  It’s likely then that the extra SEC game created by a nine-game schedule would replace a game against an FCS-type foe rather than a game against a decent draw.

 

“Florida and Georgia could face a year where they have only five home games.”

If you’re going to make an omelette, you’re going to have to break some eggs.  Either a) Florida and Georgia exercise the outs they had to have worked into their contracts with the city of Jacksonville or b) they play at EverBank Field every other year.  That one neutral site game is the most complicating issue of moving to a nine-game schedule.  But we’ll have more on that below.  Suffice it to say, neither Florida nor Georgia would be forced into a five-game home schedule just by shifting to a nine-game conference schedule.

 

“With a nine-game schedule, some schools will host five games while others host just four… giving those schools with more home games an advantage.”

The Big Ten just adopted a nine-game schedule for its 14-school league and nixed this argument in the process.  Under the new Big Ten plan, all of the schools in one division will play the same number of home games in a given year.  If East teams play five home games this year and West teams play four, next year the West’s teams would play five home games and the East’s four.

As we’ll show below, the transition to such a schedule would not be as difficult as you might think.

 

Let’s keep a couple of other points in mind, too.  First, thanks to the SEC Network, the league office will have to somehow get more involved in scheduling.  There is no way the league office wants to see a repeat of last November 17th’s “Pay-Per-View Day!”

On that Saturday, Arkansas played Mississippi State, Ole Miss played LSU, Tennessee played Vanderbilt and Missouri hosted Syracuse.  The rest of the schedule looked like this: Alabama A&M at Auburn, Western Carolina at Alabama, Jacksonville State at Florida, Georgia Southern at Georgia, Samford at Kentucky, Wofford at South Carolina and Sam Houston State at Texas A&M.

How much the league will get involved and in what way is anyone’s guess, but that kind of a lineup won’t help get a new television channel off the ground.  So like it or not, the SEC is about to start providing scheduling “tips.”

Second, the new money coming in from the network, the playoff, the new league-owned Sugar Bowl, and a new bowl lineup will more than make up for the lost revenue from a home game every other season.  Pre-2000s, before the NCAA allowed schools to play a 12-game schedule, schools played six to seven home games per year anyway.  That would be the case once more, only with millions of extra dollars from new revenue streams pouring into each school’s coffers.

Finally, those schools with in-state, non-conference rivals would certainly be more limited in their scheduling options.  But that’s the case with an eight-game conference schedule, too.

Trust us not that much would have to change in a nine-game universe.  If the SEC adopted our plan…

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What Kind Of Recruits Were The SEC’s Draft Picks?

gfx - by the numbersBy now you know that the SEC owned last week’s NFL draft.  You’ve seen those numbers.  A record 63 players picked.  No other conference could match the number of prospects produced by the SEC East or SEC West divisions, much less the whole conference.

Of all 250+ players selected, right at 25% came from the Southeastern Conference.  Crazy.

But what did those 63 drafted players look like as recruits coming out of the high school and junior college ranks?  We’ve done the research for you and below you’ll find a couple of different tables.

The first is simply an alphabetical listing of all the SEC players selected last week.  Beside their names, positions, and schools we’ve listed the rounds in which they were chosen.  To the right of that you’ll find their high school class — or a “Juco” designation in some cases — and the number of star ratings they were given by Rivals.com as prospects:

 

  Player   Pos.   School   Rd.   Class   Rivals’ Stars
  J. Banks   CB   MSU   2nd   09   3
  J. Bostic   LB   UF   2nd   09   4
  J. Boyd   DE   MSU   5th   09   4
  S. Commings   CB   UGA   5th   08   3
  J. Cunningham   TE   USC   7th   09   2
  K. Davis   RB   ARK   3rd   09   4
  Q. Dial   DE   ALA   5th   09   4
  L. Edwards   DE   LSU   5th   08   3
  M. Elam   FS   UF   1st   10   5
  J. Evans   FS   UF   6th   09   4
  S. Floyd   DT   UF   1st   10   5
  DJ Fluker   OT   ALA   1st   09   5
  M. Gillislee   RB   UF   5th   09   4
  Z. Gooden   LB   MU   3rd   08   3
  C. Gragg   TE   ARK   7th   08   2
  C. Hamilton   WR   ARK   6th   09   3
  D. Holloman   LB   USC   6th   09   4
  J. Hunter   WR   UT   2nd   10   4
  J. Jenkins   LB   UF   4th   09   5
  J. Jenkins   DT   UGA   3rd   Juco   4
  L. Joeckel   OT   A&M   1st   10   4
  N. Johnson   LB   ALA   4th   09   5
  TJ Johnson   C   USC   7th   08   3
  B. Jones   OG   ALA   4th   08   4
  J. Jones   LB   UGA   1st   09   4
  T. King   WR   UGA   5th   08   4
  E. Lacy   RB   ALA   2nd   09   4
  M. Lattimore   RB   USC   4th   10   5
  C. Lemonier   DE   AUB   3rd   10   4
  B. Logan   DT   LSU   3rd   09   3
  T. Mathieu   CB   LSU   3rd   10   4
  C. Michael   RB   A&M   2nd   09   5
  D. Milliner   CB   ALA   1st   10   5
  B. Mingo   DE   LSU   1st   09   4
  K. Minter   LB   LSU   2nd   09   4
  S. Montgomery   DE   LSU   3rd   09   4
  D. Moore   DE   A&M   3rd   10   3
  A. Ogletree   LB   UGA   1st   10   4
  C. Patterson   WR   UT   1st   Juco   4
  S. Porter   LB   A&M   4th   09   3
  B. Rambo   SS   UGA   6th   08   3
  J. Reed   TE   UF   3rd   09   4
  E. Reid   FS   LSU   1st   10   4
  S. Richardson   DT   MU   1st   09   5
  M. Rivera   TE   UT   6th   08   3
  A. Sanders   WR   USC   4th   10   4
  R. Seymour   OG   VU   7th   08   2
  T. Simon   CB   LSU   5th   10   4
  D. Slay   CB   MSU   2nd   09   2
  Z. Stacy   RB   VU   5th   09   3
  C. Sturgis   K   UF   5th   08   2
  DJ Swearinger   SS   USC   2nd   09   3
  R. Swope   WR   A&M   6th   09   3
  D. Taylor   DE   USC   4th   08   3
  D. Thomas   OT   UT   3rd   08   3
  S. Ware   RB   LSU   6th   10   5
  L. Warford   OG   UK   3rd   09   3
  C. Warmack   OG   ALA   1st   09   3
  C. Washington   LB   UGA   6th   08   4
  J. Williams   DT   ALA   5th   Juco   4
  M. Williams   TE   ALA   7th   08   4
  S. Williams   SS   UGA   3rd   09   3
  T. Wilson   QB   ARK   4th   08   4

 

So what does that tell us?  It tells us that 4- and 5-star recruits do indeed have a better chance of being drafted into the NFL than 2- or 3-star recruits.  Seems obvious, but many still dismiss recruiting rankings entirely.  At MrSEC.com, we believe they should be viewed as a compass, but not as a GPS.  Those rankings can give you an idea of in what direction a prospect is going, but they can’t provide a completely accurate picture of how his college trip will turn out.

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WOW Headlines – 3/26/13

Alabama will host Maryland in a third-round NIT game on Tuesday night
Video has now surfaced of Ole Miss G Marshall Henderson making obscene hand gestures toward the crowd after his team lost to LaSalle in the NCAA Tournament
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says QB Johnny Manziel’s push of a graduate assistant during a recent practice has been overblown
Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell expects to “make a jump” this year because he won’t be asked to spend time in the UGA secondary
New Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillispie will make $300,000 this year
Follow the SEC every day on MrSEC.com and at twitter.com/mrsec

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UGA’s McGarity Believes Controversial Recruiting Changes Could Be Undone Before An Override Vote

gfx - they said itGeorgia athletic director Greg McGarity has made it clear that he’s not a fan of some of the NCAA rule changes scheduled to take effect this summer.  After meeting with his fellow SEC ADs last Friday, he “got that sense everyone was on the same page.”

He also seems to believe the changes could be tweaked or ixnayed altogether before a potential vote to override on March 20th:

 

“There could be modifications, or it may not even reach the override vote because there may be enough discussion between now and that period of time, to where they may be some adjustments to amendments, or withdrawals, or what have you.  I think there are a lot of options that will be discussed by the membership in the next three weeks.”

 

McGarity also touched on a topic that we brought up on the site yesterday – what happens to all the folks already hired to be extra recruiters if the rules are changed?  Just as soon as the presidents said an unlimited number of support personnel could call/text/mail recruits, schools like Alabama began adding additional staffers.  So what will those new aides do if things are reversed as expected?

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O-Lineman Crowder Selects Clemson Over Georgia

mrsec-breaking-newsOne of the nation’s top five offensive lineman has picked Clemson over Georgia.  Tyrone Crowder said he’d had a longer relationship with Clemson’s coaching staff.  He also said that UGA “fell off a little bit” on the contact front.

Despite all the Georgia losses that have piled up throughout the day, the Bulldogs will still probably finish with a top 10 recruiting class.

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