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UM Once Again In Racial Row; Freeze Not Happy With Media Portrayal

There are many Ole Miss fans who can’t/won’t understand why the school’s administration has worked so hard to distance itself from the racial strife of the 1960s and the school’s own symbolic ties to the 1860s.  Many wondered aloud why ESPN chose to run “Ghosts of Ole Miss,” a documentary about UM’s racially-charged 1962 football season, in the middle of the 2012 season.

Here’s the reason: Because when your nickname is Rebels, you’re located in the heart of the old Confederacy, and you still have racial issues on campus… it’s a problem.  For the school.  For athletic recruiting.

It’s a problem.

In case you’re unaware, “Hundreds of Ole Miss students exchanged racial epithets and violent, politicized chants in response to the announcement of the re-election of President Barack Obama” on Tuesday night.  That according to Ole Miss’ student newspaper and its website.  “What began as an argument around midnight quickly spread across campus,” the paper reported.

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Swiss Prospect: SEC Is Well Known

The SEC is widely regarded as the nation’s top conference in college football as the league has produced the last five BCS champions.

That opinion seems to have spread worldwide.

Offensive line prospect Daniel Glauser from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell is one of the nation’s most coveted junior college prospects for the 2012 class. He’s up to 15 scholarship offers.

Glauser, a native of Switzerland, said he’s drawn to the idea of playing in the SEC.

“I think that’s the best conference in the United States,” Glauser told ARPreps.com. “They’re just football crazy there. Coming from Switzerland, my friends and all of the football players know what’s going on here and they know about the SEC and to play for an SEC team … I mean that would be a dream come true.”

Glauser said he has plans to take official visits to Arkansas, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Florida State.

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Texas A&M And SEC To Celebrate Their Union This Evening

Mike Slive and University of Florida president Bernie Machen will be in College Station this evening to extend a laurel and hearty handshake to Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin.  According to Loftin, A&M students, staff and the public are invited to attend the celebration marking the Aggies entry into the SEC.

“Howdy from your President!” the invitation begins:


“This is an historic time in Aggieland.  Yesterday, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) — the nation’s preeminent collegiate athletic conference — invited Texas A&M to become its 13th member, effective July 1, 2012.  And we have accepted enthusiastically.

By charting our own course, we can assure that Texas A&M wil lbe part of the athletic conference that will provide us with national visibility, as well as greater financial opportunity and conference stability, starting next summer and for decades to come.

Like Texas A&M, eight of the 12 current SEC member institutions owe their origins to the Morrill Act of 1862, which revolutionized higher education through the creation of land-grant universities.  And, like Texas A&M, SEC members have achieved national and international prominence.  For example, two universities — Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida — are members, with Texas A&M, in the elite Association of American Universities, which has just 61 members in the United States and Canada.

Our counterparts int he SEC are much like Texas A&M in other fundamental ways as well: they celebrate their rich histories and perpetuate their unique traditions, they are passionate on the playing field and in the stands, and they are united in their commitment to instilling core values that will prepare future generations of leaders for our nation and world.”


Harrumph!

The celebration will be held at Kyle Field.

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Could Oklahoma’s NCAA Issues Take Sooners Off SEC Radar?

In recent years, the SEC had done much to change its reputation as being a cheaters’ paradise.  Just a couple of years ago the only SEC program in NCAA hot water was Arkansas’ track team and, let’s face it, ESPN doesn’t dedicate a whole lot of airtime to track scandals.

But in the past 12 months all the progress once made has been erased.  The SEC is back to being the World of Outlaws.  So knowing that their league is rightly or wrongly viewed as the dirtiest league in the country, would SEC presidents still eye Oklahoma if expansion push comes to shove in the near future?

Last summer, Mike Slive watched the Big 12 teeter on the verge of extinction and worked to provide a cushy landing spot for Texas A&M and Oklahoma.  If that league were to implode today — and we think it’ll still take a while to cave in on itself — A&M would still be at the top of the SEC’s wish list.

The school would bring massive Texas television markets (which would please the SEC’s TV partners and drive up league revenue).  It would provide an inroad to fertile Texas recruiting ground.  And the Aggies have the facilities, budget and passionate fan support to fit right into the SEC family.

Oklahoma?  Well, they’re a name.  Tulsa and Oklahoma City aren’t big TV markets and Oklahoma isn’t a particularly rich recruiting zone.  The school would not bring the academic clout of, say, a Virginia or Georgia Tech to the East, either.

Their athletics, however, are excellent.  Oklahoma is a national brand.  Bring in Oklahoma and you bring in one of the top programs in the United States.  Except for one thing.

In case you missed it, the Sooners were back in the news yesterday falling on their swords before the NCAA.  In the past few seasons both basketball and football have run afoul of the rulebook, but this time it was once again the hoops program.  As The Tulsa World states:

“Because the latest infractions occurred within a five-year period of the Bomar/Big Red case, OU was subject to NCAA ‘repeat violator’ penalties.  Those include a one- to two-year suspension of the institution’s offending sport, in which games, coaching activities and scholarships are basically frozen.”

Layman’s terms: OU could face the death penalty in basketball.  While not likely to get hit with such a serious penalty, it should make Slive and the SEC presidents wonder just what kind of trouble the Sooners could get into if they break the rules yet again moving forward.

Not only would snarky columnists be able to write “Outlaw League Adds Another OUtlaw program,” but the Sooners could actually be weakened by NCAA sanctions.  If they join the SEC in the next three or four years and break the rules again, they could conceivably be devastated by NCAA penalties.

If the top reason for grabbing Oklahoma is Sooner athletics and Sooner athletics could be damaged…

We’re looking 15 steps down the road, of course, as the Big 12 continues to put on a semi-happy face for the national media.  But if things once again get froggy on the expansion front, one has to wonder if Oklahoma — with all its current baggage — would still be the SEC’s first choice to join Texas A&M on the league’s invitation list.

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Obama Doesn’t Go All Out For Taylor’s Chest Bump

If I were meeting the President of the United States, I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable asking him for a chest bump.  But I’m not ever-pumped Auburn assistant football coach Trooper Taylor.

After shaking President Obama’s hand at the White House yesterday, Taylor can be seen requesting a presidential chest bump.  Obama obliged with what looks to be a rather half-hearted effort.  Perhaps he knew that a full-on bump would result in the loss of every single Alabama fan’s vote in 2012.




Still, when it comes to personality, Taylor takes a backseat to no one.  At least he didn’t make The Prez wave a towel.

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Chizik Pays No Attention To The “Energy Vampires”

Maybe Gene Chizik has seen “Twilight” too many times on HBO.  Or maybe he just wished as a youth that he could hang with the two Coreys.





Whatever the reason, Auburn’s coach is no fan of vampires.  Specifically, “energy vampires.”

“Whatever people want to say or whatever somebody is comfortable talking about in terms of talk radio or other places, we have absolutely no control over that,” Chizik told ESPN.com’s Chris Low.  “But here’s what we know: We are the national champions, and we were the best football team in the United States last year.  There’s nothing I have to do to defend our honor for that.

“They’re going to say what they’re going to say and discuss what they’re going to discuss, and you have absolutely no control over that.  I call those energy vampires.  They’re not going to suck my energy out worrying about that.  That’s how we work.”

Good attitude.  And then he answered Low’s questions about Cam Newton (which, I suppose, makes Low an energy vampire by default).  “The kid was tarred and feathered for something he didn’t have anything to do with,” the coach said.  “I was always confident it was going to unfold that way it did.  Again, if you look and see how we proceeded during the year, it was evident that’s how I felt.  I just never thought any differently.”

He then attempted to drive a stake through… no, wait.  He just answered another question about NCAA allegations tossed by rival fans.

“That’s the way the world is.  That’s life.  We were the national champions, and just like probably everybody else that won a national championship, there are always people out there who’re going to say, ‘Well, they only won it because they did this or that… where they really shouldn’t have.’

“So, this isnt’ the first time that kind of thinking is out there.  It doesn’t make me mad, because there are always going to be people who are negative.  You can’t control that, but I can tell you we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

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SEC Headlines – 12/8/10

1.  Here’s a look at Auburn’s favorite formations.

2.  Auburn fans are trying to track down tickets to the BCS title game.

3.  In the last two seasons, the state of Alabama has become the college football capital of the United States.  (It also leads the nation in the production of Cammy Cam Juice.)

4.  Isn’t Bobby Petrino worth more to Arkansas than Jim Grobe is to Wake Forest?

5.  Arkansas’ Marshawn Powell hopes to be closer to 100% when the Hogs face Seton Hall in Louisville.

6.  For John Pelphrey, tonight’s game will be a return to Freedom Hall.

More to come…

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Nutt Denies Colorado Rumors

Houston Nutt once had a chance to go to Nebraska.  Instead, he decided to stay at Arkansas… where his welcome soon wore out.  Now at Ole Miss — surrounded by angry fans — the coach might have Colorado on his mind.  Or then again, maybe not.

After Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State, Nutt was asked what he wanted to work on this offseason.  He said, “I’m going to get into that Sunday.  I just — I want to talk to my team first before they read it.  I want them to hear it first.”

Meaning he doesn’t want them to learn of changes to the offseason workouts on the internet?  Or meaning he wanted to tell them he was leaving?

Internet reports yesterday claimed that Nutt was going to take the Colorado job.  But Nutt texted Parrish Alford of The Northeast Mississippi Journal and said the reports were “not true.”  When asked if he expected to return to Ole Miss next season, Nutt said, “yes.”

Ole Miss has a history of high expectations.  Oh, sure, that’s getting to be the case at every school in the continental United States, but UM’s expectations are steeped in 50-year-old glory that hasn’t been matched in, well, 50 years.

Heck, during quarterback Archie Manning’s time in Oxford the Rebels went 22-10-1.  Manning is now the King of Mississippi.  But if a coach posted a .667 winning percentage at Ole Miss these days he’d be on the hot seat.

Nutt is now 22-16 in Oxford after three years.  Most folks knew that his third year would be a toughie — UM was picked by the media to finish last in the SEC West — but the arrival of Jeremiah Masoli raised expectations.  Now Nutt is feeling the heat for not matching said expectations.

As we have noted regarding Mark Richt and his job opportunities, it’s often wise for coaches to re-set their coaching clocks.  Should Nutt leave — and we’re not completely buying Colorado’s interest — he would be giving himself yet another honeymoon period.  Clearly the honeymoon is over in Oxford.

If Nutt’s smart, he’ll chat long and hard with CU officials.  If they call him.

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Traughber: Fans end 1932 game with Vols

In November 1932, the United States was in the early stages of The Great Depression. That month and year brought Nashvillians two opportunities to vent their frustrations. On November 8, 1932, incumbent President Herbert Hoover was ousted from office in favor of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Just four days later, the University of Tennessee’s football team arrived in Nashville for its annual battle with Vanderbilt.
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Five-star guard Bradley Beal signs LOI with Florida

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Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

G Bradley Beal (right) signed his LOI to play for Florida on Wednesday. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Florida got one commitment from the class of 2011, and the Gators got that lone Letter of Intent on Wednesday on the first day of the early signing period.

Five-star guard Bradley Beal from St. Louis, Mo. signed his LOI, giving the Gators the second-ranked shooting guard prospect in that class.

“Clearly, I feel like we signed one of the best guards in the country,” said coach Billy Donovan. “We’re extremely excited about adding Brad, we believe he’s a special player and a winner, and excited that he’s going to be a part of our program.”

Beal, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from Chaminade College Prep School, was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri last season after averaging 29.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

Beal is rated a five-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.

Beal earned MVP honors for the United States in the inaugural U17 FIBA World Championship this summer. He averaged 18.3 points per game and shot 47.7 percent on 3-pointers to lead the USA to a gold medal.


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