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SEC Hoops Roundup 11/29/2013

gfx-hoops-round-up1. LSU 82 – St. Joseph’s 65.  Tigers move on to play Memphis in the Old Spice Classic as four players reach double figures. LSU now 4-1 on the season.

2. UTEP 78 – Tennessee 70.  Vols fall to 4-2 and will play Xavier in the consolation round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 22 points but Vols shoot just 23-of-39 from free-throw line.Video Highlights. 

3. Missouri 78 – Northwestern 67.  Mizzou now 6-0 on the season after rallying in the second half. Both Ryan Rosberg and Johnathan Williams III score career-high 14 points.

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UTEP 78 – Tennessee 70 (Video)

Video highlights of the UTEP 78-70 victory over Tennessee in the Battle 4 Atlantis Thursday.

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Kentucky, Texas A&M Blowout Non-Conference Opponents

postgame-links-150x1501Kentucky 48 – Alabama State 14. Video Highlights

1. That was a win Kentucky needed. It was the Wildcats’ first win in 56 days.

2. Kentucky hasn’t committed a turnover in four straight games. That’s a school record going back to 1946.

3. Writer John Clay: “If we didn’t know it before, we know now that Jalen Whitlow is Kentucky’s quarterback from here on out.”

4. Kentucky isn’t used to handling blowout wins. “We’ve got to learn to celebrate better.”

Texas A&M 57 – UTEP 7. Video Highlights

5. It was another big game for Johnny Manziel: He totaled 340 yards and six touchdowns.

6. Texas A&M got off to a slow start before it outscored UTEP 48-0 in the final three quarters.

7. Texas A&M still has work to do to improve. Coach Kevin Sumlin: “Our guys understand that we can be better than we were tonight.”

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SEC Gameday Links: Saturday Night Lights 11/2/2013

gameday-links-150x150Auburn at Arkansas

1. Whether it’s Nick Marshall or Jeremy Johnson at quarterback for Auburn, the Tigers have the same goals: ”I think we’ve still got some people to prove wrong.”

2. Gus Malzahn, Bret Bielema and tonight’s philosophical war.

“3. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Auburn doesn’t try to score 100 points on Arkansas. Not one bit.”

4. It’s not just Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn returning to Arkansas today. It’s also a homecoming of sorts (among others) for Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

Tennessee at Missouri

5. If Tennessee is to get its first road victory over a ranked opponent since 2006, they’ll have to do it with true freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs leading the way.

6. South Carolina and Georgia are Tennessee fans today.

7. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is 15-4 against FBS head coaches in their first season at their schools.

8. Mizzou kicker Andrew Baggett made the game-winning field goal against Tennessee last year.

Alabama State at Kentucky

9. Kentucky expects Alabama State to have an effective pass rush.

10. But Kentucky’s advantages in this game are abundant and obvious.

UTEP at Texas A&M

11. Texas A&M has a 6-2 record - identical to what it was last year at this time.  The difference?  The buzz is not nearly as great.

12. Texas A&M’s Mike Evans is a wide receiver, a potential Heisman candidate, and a father.  ”I’m more mature now, and I have something to play for now.”

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SEC Odds And Television Listings – 10/28/13

television-wallThe SEC has released the television listing for this Saturday and the next.  We bring you both schedules below plus the opening and updated betting lines for this week’s games.


November 2nd

Mississippi State at South Carolina — 12:21pm ET on SEC TV — Line: South Carolina -11.5 (now -13)

Georgia vs Florida in Jacksonville — 3:30pm ET on CBS — Line: Georgia -2.5 (now -2.5)

Auburn at Arkansas — 6:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: Auburn -7.5 (now -9)

Tennessee at Missouri — 7:00pm ET on ESPN — Line: Missouri -13 (now -11.5)

Alabama State at Kentucky — 7:30pm ET on CSS — Line: None posted yet

UTEP at Texas A&M — 9:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: Texas A&M -45.5 (now -45.5)


November 9th  (Due to the CBS double-header, five SEC contests will kick off by 12:30pm ET)

Auburn at Tennessee — 12:00pm ET on ESPN

Missouri at Kentucky — 12:00pm ET on ESPNU or FSN

Vanderbilt at Florida — 12:00pm ET on ESPNU or FSN

Arkansas at Ole Miss — 12:21pm ET on SEC TV

Appalachian State at Georgia — 12:30pm ET on Local Television

Mississippi State at Texas A&M — 3:30pm ET on CBS

LSU at Alabama — 8:00pm ET on CBS

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Kentucky, UTEP Talking About 50th Anniversary Rematch Of Groundbreaking NCAA Title Game

uk-utep-si-coverIn what’s a very cool idea, Kentucky and UTEP officials are discussing the possibility of staging a contest in 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of college basketball’s landmark games.  In 1966, UTEP — then “Texas Western” — beat Kentucky in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.  The Miners used an all-black starting lineup.  The Wildcats’ lineup was all white.

From a civil rights perspective it was a groundbreaking moment.  If you read the history — and don’t just accept what was presented in the movie “Glory Road” — you’ll find that black stars like Bill Russell and KC Jones had been leading teams like San Francisco to national titles since the 1950s.  But the ’66 title game marked the first time an all-black starting captured the crown.

Kentucky wouldn’t feature a black player until Tom Payne starred in 1971, five years later.

Current discussions for a 2016 game are targeting a matchup on Martin Luther King Day to be played at Cole Field House, the site of the 1966 game.  Maryland no longer uses the arena as its basketball home.

Kudos to Kentucky for its apparent willingness to draw attention to a game it lost 50 years ago.  Then again, when has current UK coach John Calipari ever missed a trick when it comes to gaining national attention for his Wildcat program?  The man is the Maestro of Marketing.

Here’s hoping a deal can be struck between the two schools and the University of Maryland.  This is an idea that needs to come to fruition.


History Day Documentary (Kentucky vs Texas Western 1966).mpeg

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WOW Headlines – 4/17/13

In light of the Boston terror attack, Alabama and Auburn are evaluating their stadium security plans
Alabama freshman RB Derrick Henry broke his tibia and tore ligaments in his ankle, leaving the Tide with three healthy running backs
Florida has hired Will Choate from UTEP as its new special teams coordinator
Tennessee RB Marlin Lane is still absent from practice in Knoxville due to a “sensitive situation”
Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney says his quarterbacks are improving in the passing game
Arkansas F Hunter Mickelson is transferring from the Razorback basketball program
Florida C Patric Young has undergone surgery to remove a bone spur in his right ankle
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His Boss’ Job Security, His Buyout, And “The Pearl Factor” Could Work In Barbee’s Favor At AU

SEC Men's  Basketball TournamentTony Barbee will lead his Auburn Tigers onto the floor of Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena tonight for what could be the final time.  Barbee’s third AU team finished dead last in the SEC thanks to an overtime loss to Mississippi State on Saturday.  The Tigers are 9-22 on the season and have dropped 15 of their last 16 games (the program’s worst stretch since the 1940s).  At #253 they have the lowest RPI rank of any major-conference team.

Worse, in three seasons on the Plains, Barbee has gone 35-58 overall with a 12-38 mark in SEC play.  That’s the worst three-year SEC stretch in Auburn history.  And Barbee’s most recent team is his worst.

Two Tiger plays has said this week that it’s not the coach’s fault that his players haven’t bought into his plan yet.


Frankie Sullivan:  “What Coach Barbee did at UTEP is the same thing he brought here, and they won at UTEP, so obviously, his methods work.  You’ve just got to buy into it.  (Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski) doesn’t do it.  He doesn’t change his approach for his kids.  When he brings in kids, they come and they buy into it, you’ve got to get guys to come into your program and buy what you’re trying to sell.”

Chris Denson:  “People are just not buying into what Coach Barbee is talking about.  I mean, he’s a great coach and people just aren’t buying into what he’s saying.  But I think that all comes with maturity.  We’ve got a lot of young guys on the team, so we’re looking to build that up next year.”


Asked for a response, Barbee said he’s not seen buy-in as being a problem for his team.  He’s also said he’s “not at all” worried about his job security and that AD Jay Jacobs has talked to him about games only, not the overall state of the program.

For his part, Jacobs sent out an email to Auburn boosters on February 5th asking for “patience” as Barbee tries to build his program.  The very next day, the Tigers knocked off arch-rival Alabama.  They’ve lost nine straight games since.

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SEC Suspends UM’s Elston For Texas Game Due To Illegal Hit

Fresh off a surprising 2-0 start, Hugh Freeze and his Rebels got a bit of bad news from the SEC this morning.  The league has announced that freshman defensive back Trae Elston will be suspended for this weekend’s game against Texas due to an illegal hit he doled out in last week’s Ole Miss/UTEP game.

According to the league’s release:


“This action was the result of a flagrant and dangerous act which occurred at the 3:18 mark in the fourth quarter.  The action is in violation of Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which reads, ‘No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder,’ and Rule 9-1-3 which states, ‘No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet.’”


To be sure, many Rebel fans won’t like it, but we give the league a thumbs-up on this one.  When it comes to player safety, is a big proponent of doing anything and everything to protect the athletes on the field.  (And we’ll make the point again later today.)  The video below shows that at least one UM fan was proud of the fact that Elston teed up a defenseless receiver.  More than likely, that same fan would have decried such a vicious hit had a UTEP player endangered a Rebel receiver in the exact same manner.

Take the rah-rah team stuff out of it and no player should be allowed to launch himself in the manner below at a defenseless foe.  And that has as much to do with the safety of the person launching himself as it does the person being targeted.


Trae Elston Huge Hit (LandShark) Ole Miss


UPDATE — As expected, I’ve already gotten six emails from angry Ole Miss fans.  All said Elston’s hit was legal.  Two actually said they’re tired of this pro-Mississippi State website.  Gotta love some folks.  Write something that doesn’t jive with their school and the writer must secretly “hate us” or “love our rivals.”  Yeesh.

This was not a legal hit.  Read the rule — already posted above — and look at the stills below.


“No player shall target and initiate contact…










to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent…










with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.”










Elston could have seriously injured another player with that hit.  That doesn’t make him a bad guy, just means he made a bad play.

If there’s a fanbase in the country that should realize that athletes’ safety must come first, it’s that of Ole Miss.  Unbelievably, it seems a few folks in Oxford need to be reminded that the bronze bust players rub before taking the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is that of former Rebel Chucky Mullins, paralyzed during a game in 1989.

Or maybe Mullins has become nothing more than a lucky charm for current Rebel players and fans.  I’m disgusted that in a situation like this — where a player is suspended for clearly violating a league rule — so many people will defend him and curse the decision simply because the color jersey he was wearing.

And the ol’ “Well, they didn’t suspend this guy” argument that’s now popping up in our comment boxes doesn’t hold water, either.  The league needs to be consistent in its rulings, no doubt.  I agree completely.

But if I get a ticket for driving 90 miles per hour, it’d be hard for me to use the “but that guy was also driving 90″ defense.  A) Because I was indeed driving 90 miles per hour and B) because the police officer would have clocked me, not him.  Fair?  Maybe not when compared to other driver.  But when held to the actual legal standard, absolutely fair.

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Wow Saturday Headlines 9/7/2012

Saturday SEC Schedule
Auburn at Mississippi State
East Carolina at South Carolina
Florida at Texas A&M
Western Kentucky at Alabama
Georgia State at Tennessee
UTEP at Ole Miss
Washington at LSU
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas (Little Rock)
Kent State at Kentucky
Georgia at Missouri
Vanderbilt at Northwestern

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