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SEC Headlines – 4/1/11

It’s going to be a short day today due to some computer issues here at’s World Headquarters.  This is being written on a backup laptop that’s slower than smoke… well, you get the picture.

Here are today’s biggest headlines from across the conference:

1.  Chris Rainey is ready to thrive in Florida’s new offense.

2.  UF basketball assistant Larry Shyatt is taking the head coaching job at Wyoming.

3.  Georgia’s competition at safety is heating up.

4.  Center Ben Jones has been firing up his teammates by “screaming, yelling, pushing, going crazy.”

5.  Kentucky’s DeAndre Liggins says he’s one of the nation’s best defenders.

6.  Liggins will likely get Kemba Walker’s best effort when the Cats face UConn in tomorrow’s national semifinal.

7.  This South Carolina-based writer says VCU’s run to the Final Four its not good for college basketball.

8.  Tennessee is rebuilding from an embarrassing year of punt return woes.

9.  Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is adding pages to UT’s playbook.

10.  This writer believes Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings needs to lie every now and then.

11.  This Alabama-based writer believes paying players will cut the influence of boosters.  (Really?  He thinks boosters won’t just provide more icing for the cake?  Please.)

12.  Early enrollee Trey DePriest is making an impact at linebacker for Alabama already.

13.  Notes on today’s practice at Auburn can be found here.

14.  So what’s next for AU following the allegations of four former Tiger players?

15.  Defensive tackle Robert Thomas is happy to finally be at Arkansas.

16.  LSU Chris Davenport is trying to move from defensive tackle to offensive tackle this spring.

17.  The Tigers are starting over at kicker and punter this season.

18.  Mississippi State’s defense snuffed out a sloppy offense in yesterday’s scrimmage.

19.  Tight end Marcus Green has earned the name “Sweet Feet” thanks to his dynamic route-running abilities.

20.  New Mississippi secondary coach Keith Burns likes what he’s seen from juco transfer Wesley Pendleton.

21.  Houston Nutt thought his players looked slow in their first day in pads yesterday.

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SEC Coaches Open Up About Re-Seeding The SEC Tourney

Last year, the SEC East dominated the SEC West.  The four best teams in the league were all in the East Division.  But when the SEC held its basketball tournament in Nashville, there were two West squads enjoying the divisional seeding plan and the byes it produced for them.

During the SEC’s meetings last spring, the league’s coaches briefly discussed the idea of re-seeding the conference tournament 1 through 12, tossing out the division records.  But nothing came of the talk.  And now here we are again, with three of the league’s top four teams once more residing in the East.

According to The Mobile Press-Register,
Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings would like to see changes made.

“I do think it would reward the teams with the best records and I think it would be more fair.  We’ve had two or three years in a row now where a team from the East that finishes third or even fourth might have been in a position to get a bye.”

“I’m sure we’ll take that up at the conference meeting and see what the powers that be think,” Vandy’s coach continued.  “We had some discussions last year at our meeting.  It didn’t seem to generate a whole lot of traction… but I could see this aspect of it gaining maybe a little more.”

Stallings isn’t alone.  The Macon Telegraph reports that Georgia’s Mark Fox also favors changes.

“Everything is cycles.  And the last couple years the East has been maybe a little stronger.  And there may be years where the West is stronger.  I think the one way to protect against that if things get out of balance is to re-seed for the tournament.”

Andy Kennedy has said that he is still interested in re-seeding and Anthony Grant is also “open to discussing changes.”  Kudos to two West Division coaches for being open-minded.

The SEC should be in the business of getting as many teams as possible into the NCAA Tournament.  The best way to do that is to protect the league’s top teams with first-round byes in the SEC tourney. 

As Fox said, there will eventually be years when the West outperforms the East.  Changes to the tourney format shouldn’t be made (or not made) depending on which division is on top right now.  The changes should be made for the long-term benefit of the entire league.

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