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SEC Headlines 12/20/2013

headlines-fri1. The “what-if” game at Alabama.  Quarterback AJ McCarron’s No. 2 school was Oklahoma.

2. Nick Saban has suspended linebacker Xzavier Dickson and running back Alvin Kamara for the Sugar Bowl.

3. Alabama is bringing in two more JUCO transfers for the defensive line.  That’s been a common occurrence in the Saban era.

4. Florida has a new special teams coordinator. Coleman Hutzler replaces Jeff Choate - who’s joining Chris Peterson’s staff at Washington. Just four coaches remain from Will Muschamp’s original staff.

5. How does Florida’s offensive line look heading into 2014?

6. Recognition for Georgia’s Mike Bobo - named Offensive Coordinator of the Year.

7. Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity thinks the school will end up selling about 7,500 of its 15,000 ticket allotment for the Gator Bowl.

8. The “what-if” game of Georgia’s secondary includes Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall.

9. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on his team: “I think if you look at our entire schedule, I would like to think we are battle-tested.”

10. Auburn t-shirt “censors” loss to LSU.

11. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on threats his wife received after tweeting “#Karma” after Wisconsin lost to Arizona State:  ”The only thing I was concerned about her was just her safety. … People are today a little off. ”

12. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on recruiting efforts and expectations for 2014.  ”We cannot fix all of our deficiencies in a recruiting class. It takes time. ”

13. Running back Tom Smith, defensive back Tino Thomas and wide receiver Paul Harris leaving the Tennessee program.

14. Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner on freshman Chris Jones: “He’s a freak. He can be as good as he wants to be.”

15. Ole Miss scout team doing cut-block drills to get the Rebels ready to face Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

16. Depth issues in the secondary at LSU have cornerback Jalen Mills ready to play safety.

17 There may be some title changes, but Kentucky coach Mark Stoops thinks his staff will stay intact. 

18. Missouri agrees to a home-and-home series with Purdue starting in 2017.

19. Mizzou wide receiver L’Damian Washington’s treatment for turf toe includes time in the cold tub, hot tub and five daily massages.

20. SEC Heisman sleeper candidates for 2014?  Here are five names to consider.

SEC Basketball

21. Florida coach Billy Donovan on expectations for freshman Chris Walker: “Chris is going to be a very, very good player. But he has not played competitive basketball since February.”

22. More Donovan: “Scottie Wilbekin is as good as there is a defender on the perimeter in the country.”

23. It’s Missouri vs. Illinois Saturday in St. Louis Saturday - an annual game with a raucous atmosphere.

24. David Climer on Bruce Pearl and Tennessee: “Forget about him. He’s not coming back. Get over it.” MrSEC: “Coach Cunzo Martin is in trouble.”

25. Kentucky point guard Andrew Harrison on the team’s less-than-stellar start.  “I think now we have a chip on our shoulder.”

26. Stephen Covey: “Begin with the end in mind.”  John Calipari: “You can change how you approach the end.”

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Bama Won’t Be Worrying About “Jack” and “Sam” LB Designations This Fall

Nick Saban’s version of the 3-4 defense usually designates one outside linebacker as the Jack and the other as the Sam.  The Jack is a hybrid linebacker/defensive end pass-rushing type.  The Sam, well, that’s the strongside ‘backer, of course.

Only Saban says that he’s looking for his two best outside linebackers, not necessarily his best Sam and his best Jack:


“We have two outside linebackers.  If you say, ‘Who are we going to play at the end of the day?’ The two best outside linebackers.  Not a Sam, not a Jack.  (Adrian) Hubbard played Sam for a long time, he’s played Jack some.  Xzavier Dickson’s played Jack.  We’ve got Dillon Lee playing Sam, lots of young players competing at the position.  All those guys are going to compete, but at the end of the day when we play against regular people, we’re going to play the best two outside ‘backers.”


A huge philosophical shift?  Not really.  While most 3-4 defenses designate a hybrid pass-rusher by name, there’s so much rotation and flip-flopping in today’s game — and so much nickel package used, too — that the “Jack” name really doesn’t mean a whole heckuva lot.  Most coaches — whether they’ve come up with a LB/DE hybrid or a LB/S hybrid — are just looking to get their best 11 guys on the field as much as possible.

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