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SEC Headlines – 6/3/11 Part One

Lots of headlines this morning as we await the oversigning vote in Destin:

1.  This writer says roster changes are definitely coming to the SEC.

2.  Florida president Bernie Machen said: “If you only have 10 scholarships to offer, you wouldn’t offer it to 15… you’d offer it to 10.”

3.  Don’t forget — the SEC’s coaches wanted a 30-man cap instead of 28 a couple of years ago, but they lost out on that one.

4.  The SEC and NCAA have had their share or recent scandals.

5.  This writer likes Steve Spurrier’s pay-for-play plan.

6.  But this scribe says it doesn’t go far enough.

7.  And this one says it would never work in the real world.

8.  The SEC has owned the BCS era.

9.  Undrafted Auburn players are in limbo as the NFL’s labor situation plays itself out.

10.  Mark Richt says it was “tough” to dismiss quarterback Zach Mettenberger… who’s now at LSU.

11.  Former Ole Miss linebacker Clarence Jackson is heading to Jacksonville State (along with Washaun Ealey from Georgia).

12.  Man I’m sick of this one: MSU’s cowbell situation will be voted on today.

13.  Florida will face Stetson in basketball next season.

14.  Steve Spurrier says you don’t have to cheat to win.

15.  Derek Dooley said: “If we get fired around here, it better be for losing,” not for breaking rules.

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Jefferson: “It’s Time For LSU To Win The National Championship Game”

Jordan Jefferson — the quarterback incumbent most Tiger fans wanted to see unseated this spring — believes LSU’s goals for the fall should be extremely high.

“It’s how I feel deep down,” Jefferson said.  “It’s time for LSU to win the national championship game.  It’s how we all feel.”

Ted Lewis of The New Orleans Times-Picayune believes the Tigers should indeed be considered a favorite for this year’s BCS crown along with Alabama and Oklahoma:

Since quarterback is the only real question mark about the team and the position appears better with Jefferson back for a third year as a starter and junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger waiting in the wings, there’s no reason to believe that the Tigers won’t end their season playing for the national championship at the Superdome — just as they did in 2003 and 2007.

Well, a brutal schedule might be one reason for doubt.  An opener with Oregon in Texas and a road trip to West Virginia highlight the nonconference slate while this year’s game with Bama — which could be a battle for the West Division, SEC and perhaps even national championship — is in Tuscaloosa.

However, a schedule that tough could make it possible for the Tigers to drop a game and still reach the BCS title game.

For his part, Jefferson likes the fact that LSU is getting plenty of preseason spotlight.  “It’s a great spot to be in.  It means we’re being recognized for the talent we have on this team.  We want to be #1 when we start.  And we plan to be #1 when we finish.”

For all of Jefferson’s passing woes and Les Miles’ propensity for head-scratching decisions, the Tigers still managed to finish 11-2 last season.  So smirk if you like — and we at often do when it comes to Miles — but LSU, Jefferson and The Hat could absolutely hoist the crystal football next January.

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SEC Headlines 4/10/11

1. Source: no violation in Brent Calloway’s recruitment at Alabama.

2. Christian Robinson will be the face of the Georgia defense. Bulldogs secondary is banged up.

3. Kentucky’s defense dominates Saturday’s scrimmage.

4. Is QB Morgan Newton the next Andre Woodson at Kentucky?

5. Florida QB John Brantley 4 of 14 for 45 yards in Saturday’s Orange and Blue spring game. The offense will look different this fall with wide receiver Quinton Dunbar playing a key role.

6. While Brantley struggles, Tim Tebow steals the show.

7. No QB controversy at LSU – Jordan Jefferson is the starter – for now.

8. But what about Zach Mettenberger? Dennis Dodd: “Boy can he can light up a stadium.”

9. Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley on Saturday’s scrimmage:  ”One of the most discouraging days this spring, for sure.”

10. Tigers defensive coordinator Ted Roof not ready to name starters.

11. Nick Saban liked the play of both of his quarterbacks on Saturday.

12. Suspended but not forgotten QB Stephen Garcia is still the buzz of South Carolina while wide receiver DeAngelo Smith was the star of the show on Saturday.

13. The buzz out of Arkansas continues to be the Razorbacks defense.

14. Less than a week now from Saturday’s Grove Bowl and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt is not happy.

15. Banged up in Baton Rouge. 15 players sit out LSU’s spring game – including six potential starters on defense.

16. 36,000 fans in the stands for Mississippi State’s Maroon-White spring game.

17. Bulldogs defensive tackles dominate.

18. Derek Dooley on the Tennessee defense: “We don’t have 11 first-teamers.” But he likes the progress on the offense.

19. Does Vandy’s offense have some big-play potential?


20. College athletes and endorsements.  The sponsors would benefit.  The school would benefit.  Athletes would remain unpaid.

21. St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Had (Cuonzo) Martin found a way to fend off scandal-ridden Tennessee for 48 hours or so instead of taking the job, he might well have been named Mizzou’s coach last week.”


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SEC Headlines – 4/4/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama is halfway through spring practice.

2.  Alfred McCullough and Aaron Douglas are battling for the last open spot on Bama’s O-line.

3.  Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe is getting comfy at safety.

4.  Stanley McClover says he didn’t give up any names of shady boosters to the NCAA when he spoke to them last week.

5.  Arkansas’ weekend scrimmage got mixed reviews.

6.  Will LSU’s Russell Shepard finally find a home at receiver this year?

7.  Tiger fans are excited about new quarterback Zach Mettenberger, but Jordan Jefferson’s stock keeps rising.

8.  This past weekend Randall Mackey appeared to grab the lead in Ole Miss’ quarterback race.

9.  As the Rebels start their second week of practice, here are four position battles to watch.

10.  Chris Relf and the Mississippi State offense looked good in a weekend scrimmage.

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SEC Headlines – 3/9/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama’s JaMychal Green is thankful he was tabbed for the All-SEC team.

2.  Anthony Grant was glad to see his old boss win SEC Coach of the Year honors.

3.  Alabama will hold its Pro Day today… alas, with no live TV coverage.  (One more trivial tidbit for Bama and Auburn fans to snipe over.)

4.  Tony Barbee’s Auburn team has added confidence heading into the SEC Tournament.

5.  Former Tiger Zach Clayton made a big impression at Auburn’s Pro Day.

6.  Cam Newton isn’t finished with his pro preps yet.

7.  Rotnei Clarke and Delvon Johnson were recognized by the SEC’s coaches yesterday.  (And not in a, “Hey, I know that guy,” kinda way.)

8.  Former Hog tight end DJ Williams didn’t take part int he speed and agility tests during Arkansas’ Pro Day.

9.  Despite an up-and-down season, LSU’s Ralston Turner was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team.

10.  New LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger got some advice and help – after his dismissal from Georgia — from former New Orleans Saint Danny Abramowicz (and others).

11.  Lots of jobs are up for grabs as the Tigers gear up for spring practice.

12.  Attendance at The Hump in Starkville dropped by nearly 17% this season.  (That’s not good for Rick Stansbury.)

13.  MSU AD Scott Stricklin prefers the velvet glove approach while Dan Mullen prefers to use a hammer.

14.  Backup linebacker Michale Hunt has quit the team because “he lost his love of the game.”

15.  Andy Kennedy and his team continue to tease impatient Ole Miss fans.

16.  Mississippi’s Chris Warren and Reginald Buckner have been honored by the SEC’s coaches.

17.  Ole Miss AD Pete Boone answers the biggest complaints about him right here… including the one about him killin’ off poor Colonel Reb.  (‘Cause nothing’s more important than a guy in a suit with a giant stuffed head.)

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LSU Signees (10:50AM ET)

Here’s LSU’s updated list of signees:

Zach Mettenberger, QB
Anthony Johnson, DT
Kenny Hilliard, RB
Odell Beckham, WR
James Hairston, P
Jonah Austin, OL
Trai Turner, OL
Alonzo Lewis, WR
Jalen Collins, S
Micah Eugene, S
Jarvis Landry, WR
Terrence Magee, RB
Corey White, OL
Ronald Martin, S
Paul Turner, ATH
La’el Collins, OL
Trevon Randle, LB
Stephen Rivers, QB

Tiger fans have their fingers crossed for the Tim Jernigan announcement coming up shortly.

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LSU Signees (9:15AM ET)

Here’s LSU official signee/enrollee list to date:

Zach Mettenberger, QB
Anthony Johnson, DT
Kenny Hilliard, RB
Odell Beckham, WR
James Hairston, P
Johah Austin, OL
Trai Turner, OL

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Mettenberger Transforms Into Teen Wolf?

Folks on the Bayou have Mettenberger Fever.  Tiger fans are already hoping/praying that former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger — by way of Butler Junior College in Kansas — will step up this spring and grab the starting QB job from senior Jordan Jefferson.

And Mettenberger is expected to battle for the job.

But seeing the above picture of the new, shaggier Mettenberger, we’re left to wonder if Trent Johnson should talk to him about playing basketball, too.

If he starts surfing around Baton Rouge on top of a van, we’ll have our answer.

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Butler begins the drive at its own 23 with 1:05 left. Mettenberger’s pass is intercepted by Chazz…

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Butler begins the drive at its own 23 with 1:05 left. Mettenberger’s pass is intercepted by Chazz Edmond-Paris. Since Butler has only one timeout left, the Bulldogs can run out the clock.

NJCAA championship game final: Navarro 13, Butler 12

Zach Mettenberger’s Juco career presumably ends on a pick. Still, not a bad year when you have +30 passing TD’s and over 2500 yds (those stats are intentionally nebulous, I’m having difficulty compiling complete stats)

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Post Game Chatter: The Ole Miss Game

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Hats off to Jefferswag; he deserved this one. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Gerald Herbert – AP

Hats off to Jefferswag; he deserved this one. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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If I told you Monday that of last week that against Ole Miss we would have 470 yards and 43 offensive points; I think you would have laughed at me all the way up till kickoff. Hello offense, glad we found you. Unfortunately, it’s too bad it couldn’t have been a sound whipping (though, whoever expects that against Ole Miss at this point is out of their basket). For literally the first time all year I can say this and it not be a joke: We moved the ball at will for an entire game. I’ve stated my feelings on the matter in recent weeks, but this game more than ever cemented that there’s no reason to play Jarrett Lee any longer, Jordan Jefferson has taken ahold of the starting job. It appears the light has finally come on. For the previous 2 1/2 years we’ve seen Jefferson survive on athleticism (he’s a talented guy, after all). Recently, we’ve seen him become a quarterback. I’m not sure if he did, but I hope he got game ball. Jefferson played his ass off yesterday.

And that was the good news from Saturday… the bad after the jump…

Early in the 2nd half, my buddy, who is in law school, shot me a text and asked me to text him if the game was interesting with six minutes to go. My response? “It’s two of the craziest/dumbest coaches in college football… it’s going to be interesting.” Now, I don’t think Les is stupid, but in all likelihood Houston Nutt is. Both have a reputation for being gamblers. Both are pretty routinely mocked by talking heads. I think Miles is a superior coach, but the point is, count on this game to be close, particularly with the two coaches involved. 

I tip my hat to Jeremiah Masoli and the Ole Miss offense, not just for playing a great game, but for getting up off the mat after an early turnover that seemed damning. In most games this year our defense has ranged from anywhere to very good to downright dominant. But against both of the spread rushing offenses we faced, we’ve greatly struggled. Issues with tackling persisted in both games. What throws me for a loop is that the defense we throw out is undersized and fast, yet we’ve contained downhill, traditional power running attacks really well. But the two offenses which used more “speed” approaches (don’t read this to say “finesse” as both are very physical), have scorched us on the ground. We’ve struggled to bottle up speed sweeps and QB option plays whether they be zone read, or midline veer. It’s a defensive weakness and one I shutter to think about in a matchup against Oregon next season.

Yet, one thing sticks with me from an episode of Hard Knocks this season. Speaking to his team, Rex Ryan commented during film review that this is how we do things, “when the defense doesn’t show up the offense will pick them up.” I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea… it’s a team effort. It’s disappointing that the offense didn’t play well, but damn promising that the offense was able to rise up and win a game for us. It’s something we’ve been waiting for all year.

A Few Other Notes:

-Kudos to the Seniors and probably Patrick Peterson, who are playing their final games in Tiger Stadium.

-Our backfield is something else. Zero seniors, the the most talented guys are arguably the youngest (Ford, Ware, not to mentioned Hilliard and Hill coming in next year).

-This may well have been Michael Ford’s breakout game. Everyone’s preseason fantasies are finally coming true.

-Good to see Mr. Randle rise up and make a huge play yesterday.

-Chris Tolliver sighting, everyone. Good to see him finally emerging.

-The pass play to Clement, despite being ridiculously called “cute” was a beautiful play. Good Gary is fun to watch.

-Offense was still wretched on third down last night.

-We averaged 12.3 yards per pass. Big plays were to be had in the passing game and we took them.

-Maybe the presence of Zach Mettenberger was all the motivation Jefferson needed to prove his worth this week.

-10 wins. Some said it would never be repeated. Some said we wouldn’t beat Alabama or Florida again, much less in the same season. Hats off to Coach Miles and this damn strong team.

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