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Slive: New Playoff Committee Will Need Objective Data And Metrics

data-sheetsRecently, asked SEC commissioner Mike Slive what type of information the selection committee for the new College Football Playoff will use to determine who gets in and who’s left out.  According to Slive:


“It will be a combination of metrics and opinion.  I think about my experience on the basketball committee, and there are two components.  The subjective eyeball test where you see teams play and form opinions about the quality of the teams, and then there’s the objective data.  One of the challenges we will have will be to create metrics; measuring devices that can supplement the eyeball test.  Trying to get computer programs and metrics and bring technology to the selection committee like we have it in the basketball committee.”


One of the metrics used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee is strength of schedule.  And as the SEC office went to great lengths to explain at this year’s SEC meetings in Destin, one school’s schedule impacts the strength of schedule rankings for all its conference brethren.  That’s because the basketball strength of schedule formula factors in not only a team’s opponents, but also its opponents’ opponents.

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Freeze Warns Against Cockiness At Ole Miss

gfx - they said itOle Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze was last year’s surprising star of the year in the SEC.  He entered the league with little fanfare and took over a program stuck at the bottom of its division.  But like Vanderbilt’s James Franklin in 2011, Freeze served notice in 2012 that a less-heralded hire can take care of business, too.

Last season the Rebels finished the regular season 6-6, won back the Egg Bowl trophy from Mississippi State, went bowling and beat Pitt to finish 7-5.  And then Freeze and staff went out and landed a top 10 signing class last month.

Expectations for 2013 are growing in Oxford.  But Freeze wants to make sure the heads of his players don’t swell too much thanks to one surprising season:


“I’ll be the first to warn that the little success we’ve had can also be an enemy.  You can start thinking that you don’t have to go as hard on certain plays.  We have to be on our guard against that also.  we’ve got to have the same hunger that we had when we wanted to quit being known as the team that was the automatic win on your schedule for a couple of years.  We’ll guard against that.”


The Rebels will open the season at Vanderbilt on ESPN on a Thursday night.  Four of UM’s first five games will be on the road (at VU, home against Southeast Missouri, then road trips to Texas, Alabama, and Auburn with an open date thrown in).  With that kind of start, the last thing Ole Miss needs is for its players to come down with a case of the big head.

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UT QB Bray Tweets A Shot At Some Vol Fans, Then Backtracks

Last week, a few imbecilic Georgia fans decided to egg and roll with toilet paper the house of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray after the Dawgs lost to South Carolina in Columbia.  Their immature, unintelligent actions gave UGA fans everywhere bad pub that none wanted and most didn’t deserve.

Well, after Saturday night’s 41-31 loss at Mississippi State, Tennessee’s quarterback feared he might get the same treatment as Murray from Volunteer fans.  Unfortunately, Tyler Bray expressed those feelings on Twitter.

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WOW Morning Headlines – 9/10/12

Gene Chizik to stick with Kiehl Frazier as Auburn’s QB
Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson “day-to-day” after “hit to the head”
Georgia’s coordinators both want WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell on their side of the ball
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw likely won’t practice until Wednesday
Steve Spurrier says Shaw will start versus UAB if he’s ready to play
ESPN’s “College GameDay” will broadcast from Knoxville for Florida-Tennessee game
Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is considering making a change at QB
Follow and for all your SEC news and opinions

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UK’s Calipari-To-The-Knicks? Yeah, Yeah. But What’s This About His Propaganda Push?

John Calipari says he wants to coach an undefeated team.  That’d be a lot easier done in the college ranks (about 40 games) than in the pros (82 games plus umpteen rounds of playoffs).  But that’s not stopping yet another Cal-to-the-Knicks story from making the rounds.  Only this one has a funny sidenote included.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes today that Calipari now has a collegiate title and the New York Knicks have “a vacancy, a big stage and a blank check.” 

“Money matters to Calipari — matters a lot — and rest assured that Calipari will get Kentucky to push past his $5 million a season salary.  How far does UK go, though?  Six million?  Seven?  Kentucky doesn’t lose bidding wars, but it would lose this one.”

Then comes the obligatory mention of uber-agent William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley, his connections to Calipari and several NBA stars, etc, etc.  We’ve all been down this road before.

But what’s really interesting is found right at the top of Wojnarowski’s story.  According to the writer, Calipari grew so tired/worried about the daily talkshow ripping he took on New York radio as coach of the New Jersey Nets back in the ’90s that he had an intern start calling in for propaganda purposes.

“Anthony from Hoboken” would call into WFAN-AM — as ordered by Calipari — to defend Calipari from the criticism he took from other callers.

Do we at doubt that story?  No.  Friends of coaches have long had their own agendas when it comes to talk radio.  So it isn’t that far-fetched to think that an ego-driven coach — and most of them are very ego-driven — would put someone up to calling in on his behalf.

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin has gained a reputation for calling into Nashville’s WGFX-FM himself when he hears rival Tennessee getting too much positive publicity.

So we’ll bite on the “Anthony from Hoboken” story. 

But not on the Calipari-to-the-Knicks bit.

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Like Miles, Franklin And Mullen Takes Shots At De-Commits; All Need To Grow Up

Earlier today, we gave you our take on Les Miles’ decision to publicly badmouth former LSU commitment Gunner Kiel.  In summary: Millionaire adults shouldn’t insult teenagers publicly.

Well, it seems that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and MSU’s Dan Mullen have some growing up to do, too.  (There may be more across the SEC, but those are the three cases we’ve come across so far.)

In the cutthroat world of recruiting, coaches rise and fall on the commitments and de-commitments of teenage boys.  Naturally, when a coach loses a player, he’s going to be a) ticked and b) hurt.  But as adults representing major universities, they need to show a bit more maturity than the kids doing the flip-flopping.

Especially when coaches have no problem talking recruits into flipping and flopping to their programs.

On Wednesday, Miles questioned the heart and leadership capabilities of quarterback prospect and Notre Dame signee Gunner Kiel.  In contrast, he talked up the “style” of Jeremy Liggins, a Mississippi quarterback who inked a last-minute deal with the Tigers.

Liggins had been a top target of Mullen’s Mississippi State program.  So when he lost out on Liggins, he offered a scholarship to quarterback Nick Schuessler instead.  And here’s what he had to say about that move:

“It was actually funny.  During that whole weekend (leading up to signing day) we were sitting there with Nick, I kind of came to the conclusion Nick was the better quarterback.  Then it kind of became real heavy that he was the much better quarterback.”

Funny how that works.  You study two players for months and target one.  That one decides to go elsewhere and suddenly it’s obvious that he really wasn’t that good after all.  The other guy was “much better.”

How childish and small of Mullen to make a crack like that about a teenager who’s was trying to make the biggest decision of his young life.

But the immaturity and pettiness didn’t stop there.  In Nashville, James Franklin told a group of Vanderbilt backers that players who de-committed from his program were “not men of honor” and “not men of integrity,” according to Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean via Twitter.

Hmmm.  Could that have been a shot at last minute flip-flopper Josh Dawson, who decided his skills as a defensive end would be better honed at his homestate school of Georgia?  (It should be noted, Dawson called Vandy’s coaches with the news on the night prior to signing day.  Even VU assistant Sean Spencer said “he was a man” about it.)

What’s ironic is that Franklin’s signing class includes a quarterback named Patton Robinette who walked out of orientation at North Carolina to drive to Nashville and join Franklin’s squad at the last possible instant.

I don’t recall Franklin closing his door to Robinette, do you?  I suppose a player isn’t a man of honor or integrity when he’s leaving you for someone else.  If he’s leaving someone else for you, well, that’s a sign of high character.

I get that coaches like players who sign with them and dislike many kids who sign elsewhere.  I understand that coaches need to spin “lesser” signees to the fanbase when they lose a higher-ranked prospect.  I also understand that coaches like to be applauded and there’s no easier way for a coach to gain applause than by acting angry and wronged in front of his fanbase.  Talk about rallying the troops.

But the fact remains, these coaches are dealing with teenagers.  Regardless of how they might feel post-signing day or what they might say behind the closed doors of the football complex, they need to show enough maturity to not insult and belittle young men who are being pulled in a thousand directions by grown men promising them everything from playing time, to jobs, to an education.

Miles questioned a teen’s heart and talent.  Mullen dissed a teen’s abilities.  Franklin questioned at least one teenager’s honor and integrity.

I wonder if there’s anyone at any of those coaches’ institutions who will question the scorned, schoolgirl behavior of their highest-paid employees?

You’re older than the players, guys.  You’re supposed to be more mature.  Act like it.

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Spurrier Has Plenty Of Praise For Franklin

Whether it’s his surprising recruiting successes, his upbeat message, or his impressive 3-0 start to the season, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin has been winning people over since this summer.

You can count tomorrow’s foe Steve Spurrier among them:

“I think he’s an excellent coach.  He seems like a very good guy.  I admire him because he doesn’t come to the (SEC coaches’) meetings and do all the talking, which some of the other coaches do.  He and I sort of get along together fine about that…

He’s a sharp guy and I’ve heard their players say this coaching staff makes it fun for us.  That’s what you’re supposed to do.  Their players are out there having fun playing the game.”

Tomorrow’s game in Columbia will be Franklin’s first experience on the road inside the SEC.

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SEC Headlines – 9/8/11 Part Two

1.  This writer says SEC expansion is all about the televisions.

2.  Tennessee is looking to clean up mistakes on offense.

3.  Freshman tailback Marlin Lane may still make some mistakes, but he’s having early success in Knoxville.

4.  Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is “very impressed” with fullback Fitz Lassing.

5.  Now battling the damnable disease MS, ex-football coach George MacIntyre will be honored by Vandy this weekend.

6.  Nick Saban sees good things in both his quarterbacks (despite the fact that AJ McCarron moved the team better in Week One).

7.  What will Bama do on Saturday if Penn State tries to load the box and stop the run?

8.  Auburn will be trying to build on the solid first effort of new quarterback Barrett Trotter.

9.  Gene Chizik says MSU quarterback Chris Relf is “a completely different young man” than Auburn faced last year.

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SEC Headlines – 4/22/11 Part Two

1.  Kentucky plans to unleash linebacker Ridge Wilson as a pass rusher.

2.  Joker Phillips has changed tomorrow’s spring game back to a true game format.

3.  UK will spend $6 million on a new sound system and video boards at Commonwealth Stadium.

4.  Derek Dooley was happy with his early enrollees this spring.

5.  Tennessee’s coach says his team has a long way to go, but the outlook is improved.

6.  Vanderbilt’s James Franklin has a goal of “turning around a university’s football history.”

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