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James Franklin: “We Were Very Disciplined”

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin meets the media following Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.

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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 11/30/2013

gameday-links-150x150Florida State at Florida

1. The 1979 and 2013 Florida Gators have more in common than just losing records.

2. If Florida is to have a chance today, it needs long, sustained drives.

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

3. Vanderbilt prepares to say goodbye to the winningest group of seniors the school has seen in more than 60 years.

4. Can Vanderbilt keep its starting secondary on the field today?  Lost all four starters in last week game – three to injuries and one to a suspension.  Free safety Kenny Ladler will sit out the first half today.

Georgia Tech at Georgia

5. The Georgia attack will be led today by quarterback Hutson Mason – better known to his friends as “Cole Slaw”

6. Can the Georgia front seven stop the Tech running attack?  Yellow Jackets ground game ranks fourth in the country.

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SEC Odds And Television Listings – 11/25/13

tv-remotesWell, the final week of the regular season is upon us.  The past three months have zipped by and we’re left with one last Thanksgiving-week feast of SEC football.  Below are the television listings for the week ahead including the latest odds from Las Vegas:


Thursday, November 28th

Ole Miss at Mississippi State – 7:30pm ET on ESPN — Line: None yet


Friday, November 29th

Arkansas at LSU — 2:30pm ET on CBS — Line: LSU -24.5 (Current: -25.5)


Saturday, November 30th

Florida State at Florida — 12:00pm ET on ESPN — Line: None yet

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt — 12:21pm ET on SEC TV — Line: Vanderbilt -14 (Current: -14.5)

Georgia Tech at Georgia — 3:30pm ET on ABC — Line: Georgia -3 (Current: -3)

Alabama at Auburn — 3:30pm ET on CBS — Line: Alabama -9.5 (Current: -11)

Clemson at South Carolina — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: South Carolina -6 (Current: -4.5)

Tennessee at Kentucky — 7:00pm ET on ESPNU — Line: Tennessee -4 (Current: -4.5)

Texas A&M at Missouri — 7:45pm ET on ESPN – Line: Missouri -3 (Current: -4.5)

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What’s At Stake In NCAA Lawsuit? Schools “Might Cease Playing Division I Or Football Bowl Subdivision Sports”

lawsuitA potential class-action lawsuit that threatens  the NCAA amateur student-athlete model has the association fighting back in court.

A federal-court filing on Thursday revealed just how big the stakes are and what college officials fear could be the end of certain athletic programs at some schools, including football, at the FBS level.

Specifically, should college football and men’s basketball players be paid?  Here’s what Texas A.D. Deloss Dodds and women’s A.D. Christine Plonsky had to say in the filing:


Texas “has no interest in a model that would force us to professionalize two sports to the detriment of the balance of the athletics department’s sports, fitness and educational programs.”


Wake Forest University president Nathan Hatch went even further.


The school ”might cease playing Division I or Football Bowl Subdivision sports entirely if pay-for-play became a reality…

“Instituting a pay-for-play model, even if the payments are deferred to after graduation would change the nature of the relationship Wake Forest has with its football and men’s basketball student-athletes. It would, essentially, turn those teams into professional squads. That would not be acceptable to Wake Forest.”


One issue that has university officials worried – Title IX and gender equity concerns.  California State University system chancellor Timothy White included this in his statement:


“Paying male athletes for their participation in sports would seriously undermine the objectives of Title IX and CSU’s ability to remain in Title IX compliance.”


These filings come as a result of  a judge’s  ruling in January allowed plaintiff’s lawyers to proceed with efforts to have the case certified as a class-action. The suit, initially filed against the NCAA and video-game maker Electronic Arts back in 2009, contends that, among other issues, defendants violated anti-trust law by conspiring to fix at zero the amount of compensation athletes can receive for the use of their names, images and likenesses in products or media while they are in school.

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Wow Headlines – Saturday Afternoon 11/24/2012

SEC Football Finals
LSU 20 – Arkansas 13 (Friday)
Georgia 42 – Georgia Tech 10
Tennessee 37 – Kentucky 17
Alabama 49 – Auburn 0
Florida 37 – Florida State 26
Vanderbilt 55 – Wake Forest 21
Texas A&M 59 – Missouri 29
Ole Miss 41 – Mississippi State 24
South Carolina 27 – Clemson 17

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Wow Headlines 11/24/2012

Georgia Tech at Georgia. MrSEC Pick:  Georgia 41, Georgia Tech 24
Kentucky at Tennessee. MrSEC Pick:  Tennessee 24, Kentucky 21
Auburn at Alabama. MrSEC Pick:  Alabama 38, Auburn 7
Florida at Florida State. MrSEC Pick:  Florida State 20, Florida 13
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest. MrSEC Pick:  Vanderbilt 27, Wake Forest 17
Missouri at Texas A&M. MrSEC Pick:  Texas A&M 42, Missouri 17
Mississippi State at Ole Miss. MrSEC Pick:  Mississippi State 28, Ole Miss 27
South Carolina at Clemson. MrSEC Pick:  Clemson 30, South Carolina 24

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Early Look at Week 13 SEC Lines

Final regular season weekend of SEC action – all 14 teams in action with one game on Friday, the rest on Saturday.

LSU at Arkansas. Les Miles team hits the road to Razorbacks country and open as a 14-point favorite in this Friday afternoon game.

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest. Seeking their 8th win of the season, the Commodores go on the road and open as 8.5 point favorites.

Georgia Tech at Georgia. Bulldogs open as 14-point favorites against their in-state rival.

Kentucky at Tennessee. The Volunteers, sans coach Derek Dooley, open as 14-point favorites in a battle of two teams that will have new coaches in 2013.

Auburn at Alabama. Crimson Tide opens as a 34-point favorites. As far back to the 1970′s, this looks to be  the largest spread point in this rivalry. That line is down to 31 or 31.5 at many offshore books.

Florida at Florida State. Listed at even at ESPN, most places don’t have a line on this game yet.  Jeff Driskel’s status could have an impact here.

Missouri at Texas A&M. Aggies open as a 16.5 point favorite against a Missouri team seeking to become bowl eligible.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss. Listed as even at ESPN, you can find Ole Miss as a one-point favorite at some off-shore books.

South Carolina at Clemson. Gamecocks open as a four-point underdog against the Tigers.

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SEC Coaching Rumors: Anyone Headed Out?

Yesterday we caught you up on the coaching murmurs we’ve heard in talking to people at Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as an industry source.  Everyone’s got their own sources but we feel confident enough in ours to state again that we’re hearing:


* John L. Smith is finished at Arkansas (whether he wants to admit it or not) and TCU’s Gary Patterson — who gave the most non-denial denial ever when asked about it — is AD Jeff Long’s top choice as a replacement.  We think this one pretty far down the pike, too.

* Gene Chizik is thisclose to having the curtain fall on him at Auburn and surprisingly Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher continues to be connected to the job.  There’s no question he dislikes having a one-loss team that’s out of the BCS title picture due to the ACC’s perceived weakness — he could remedy that by not losing to a team like NC State or Wake Forest every year — but we believe he may just be making a play for more power on FSU’s campus.  If not Chizik, would Bobby Petrino finally land on the Plains?

* Kentucky has already pulled the plug on Joker Phillips and we believe the two most realistic “gets” for AD Mitch Barnhart are Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes and San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre.  Those names are certainly getting a lot of play from the folks we’ve spoken to.

* Tennessee’s Derek Dooley is done and AD Dave Hart might be done, too, if he bucks the school’s biggest boosters in an effort to save the embattled coach.  We don’t think Hart’s that crazy, we just believe he’s trying to mark his territory one year into his Knoxville reign.  We’re told that Tommy Tuberville’s name has gained “traction” in recent days — no word on what his slap of a grad assistant might have done to his chances — and that Al Golden will definitely be in UT’s mix as well.


Another name that’s making the rounds today is that of Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy.  Various outlets have tied Gundy to the Arkansas job, the Auburn job, the Kentucky job and the Tennessee job.  Could he wind up at one of those places?  Sure.  But the fact his name has been connected to all four jobs suggests that either a) some reporters are just throwing out big names for the sake of gaining pageviews or b) Gundy’s agent is throwing his client’s name around in order to remind OSU brass and fans that they’ve got a sought-after coach.

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Beatdown In Athens A Reminder Of Just How Much Work VU’s Franklin Has To Do

James Franklin has pushed so many right buttons since his arrival at Vanderbilt a year ago that many folks forgot just how many buttons needed to be pushed to steer the Commodore football program from troubled waters to tranquil seas.

In 2011, he won over a fanbase that was tired of being treated like a doormat each fall.  His post-game comments after last year’s tight loss to Georgia were for Vandy fans a cross between Tim Tebow’s Promise and Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.  There were six wins (granted against Elon, UConn, Ole Miss, Army, Kentucky and Wake Forest) and those victories brought a bid to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.  Along the way, the Dores came within five points of Georgia, three of Arkansas, five of Florida and six of Tennessee.  VU was giving even big-name SEC foes all they wanted.

Off the field, Franklin sold his program to starved fans, recruits and the media.  Recruits responded in historic fashion for VU last February and his list of commitments is above average again this year.  Media members have responded even more positively than the recruits.  After a single 6-7 season at Vanderbilt, Franklin’s name was attached to much higher-profile jobs all across the US fo A.  Matt Hayes of The Sporting News put the icing on the cake by ranking Franklin as America’s 25th best football coach.

But now people are starting to remember just what kind of job lies ahead of Vandy’s fiery, energetic, salesman of a coach.  The Dores are 1-3.  They’ve lost to South Carolina and Northwestern in come-from-ahead-to-lose fashion.  And after a route over tiny Presbyterian College, Vanderbilt was dismantled on national television by Georgia 48-3 in Athens on Saturday.

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Charlotte Linebacker Chooses South Carolina

Linebacker Larenz Bryant from Zebulon B. Vance High School in Charlotte, N.C., committed to South Carolina on Monday.

Bryant, who’s considered the nation’s 10th-best inside linebacker by ESPN RecruitingNation, chose South Carolina over Florida, Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest.

The timing of Bryant’s commitment is somewhat surprising. He told earlier this month that he would likely make his decision near the end of his senior season. It’s possible Bryant could still take visits this fall, which would leave open the possibility of him changing his mind.

Bryant is the 18th prospect to commit to South Carolina’s class of 2013.

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