Archive for June, 2012

Missouri reinstates QB

Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser has been reinstated to the Missouri team, the Kansas City Star has reported.

Berkstresser was arrested in mid-May for leaving the scene of an accident after driving into a parked Oldsmobile and leaving. He was suspended from the team, but reinstated after the Columbia police downgraded the charge to a misdemeanour.

Berkstresser is the Tigers’ back-up quarterback, and will be taking reps with current QB James Franklin currently recovering from shoulder surgery. Without him, the Star said, Missouri would have been struggling with quarterbacks, and have had to go to Ashton Glazer

On this, the Star said: “Without him, Mizzou would have been down to its third-string signal caller in Ashton Glazer”. Berkstresser jumped over Glazer in the battle for the back-up spot.

Yet Another bowl game? SEC adds new bowl to list

The SEC has added a new bowl to its list – and this time it’s not a deal with the Pac-10 or Big Ten…or even Big XII.

Anyway, the SEC – according to a tweet from CBS writer Brett McMurphy – has signed a deal that will see the SEC add the Independence Bowl to its growing list of bowls – with the much-maligned ACC as its partner.

The deal – the SEC’s 10th bowl in all – will be for 2012 and 2013, and will see the SEC’s No. 10 play the ACC’s No.7 team.

The great news for SEC fans is that the Bowl’s in Shreveport, Louisiana, meaning that it’ll be close enough for most SEC schools to get to.

The last time a SEC school went to the Independence Bowl was Georgia, who savaged Texas A&M (then a Big XII school, for those who can’t remember that far back!) 44-20 in 2009. In 2011, Missouri went to the Independence Bowl as a Big XII fan – where they annihilated North Carolina 41-24, while in 2010, Air Force beat Georgia Tech 14-7 in a much more defensively-orientated affair.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Another bowl for the SEC just shows the power of the conference and how in-demand it is getting. This is also good news for the ACC, who have been having problems in the PR department lately with the mooted leaving of Florida State and Clemson. 

 

Breaking news: Mizzou QB arrest charges downgraded

Police investigating the arrest of Missouri back-up quarterback Corbin Berkstresser  have decided to charge the player with a misdemeanor not a felony after being arrested for leaving the scene of an accident in mid-May, Dave Matter of Mizzou’s Columbia Daily Tribune has reported.

Berkstresser was suspended from the team – already suffering from the absence of QB James Franklin, who is recovering from shoulder surgery – after his arrest on May 12th because of the charges hanging over him after he smashed his car into another – parked – one in Columbia.

Matter tweeted: “With the misdemeanor charge, Berkstresser should be able to apply for reinstatement w/ #Mizzou football team to end suspension.” 

He added: “This happened in May; what’s new is the charge and that it’s not a felony.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: Missouri coach Gary Pinkel told reporters at the SEC Spring Meeting that he expects Franklin to be OK for the start of the season, but this news should at least give the Tigers some depth back at the position. Pinkel has not been exempt from the police’s handcuffs after being arrested for a DUI last season, which prematurely ended his season with the team.

 

Auburn picks up new commitment

Just because the Spring Meetings have finished, doesn’t mean recruitment ends.

Auburn University has picked up the commitment of cornerback Jahmere Irvin-Sills from Maryland. He’s been ranked three-star by Rivals, and had a bunch of interest all along the Eastern seaboard.

The recruitment was somewhat of a blow to West Virginia, who had been  interested in Irvin-Sills for a while.

Offering Irvin-Sills – on top of Auburn – were (in no particular order) – Ole Miss, West Virginia, NC State, Boston College, Connecticut, Hawaii, Houston, Maryland, Rutgers, Southern Miss and Temple. Penn State was also said to be interested, but no offer was forthcoming.

Safety coach Tommy Thigpen did the recruiting.

 

SEC Spring Meetings: Winners/Losers

The SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fl. weren’t low on discussion.

To make it a quick read (and to not try and tread on too much old ground, The SEC Football Blog brings you a (not completely complete) list of winners and losers from the three days of meetings. If you have any more, please comment!

WINNERS

The supporters of tradition: The SEC voted for the 6-1-1 schedule to stick around for the next half a decade, meaning that the century-old Auburn-Georgia and Alabama – Tennessee rivalries stay intact. And so does the LSU vs Florida game, which has been going for a mere 41 years, which is just a smidgeon shorter than how old Les Miles is (and yes, we’re being kind).

Lovers of a 4-game play-off: The SEC voted for a four-team play-off. God only knows what it’s going to look like, though.

Steve Spurrier (press conference): You might not like Steve Spurrier, but his press conference on the Tuesday was fantastic. In about 20 minutes, he managed to butcher Florida State (aren’t they No.1 every year), quickly work out an idea for a play-off, not seem too upset about losing Arkansas as a permanent opponent (the Gamecocks will get Texas A&M instead), but got upset about not paying players as well as the idea that non-conference games counted towards end-of-season divisional records.  And numbers-wise, he beat Coach Cal of UK 20-1 on journalist attendance (although we can guarantee that one Kentucky journalist probably didn’t complain too much about having an exclusive interview, as we wouldn’t!).

The SEC presidents and ADs: The current 12 schools – Texas A&M and Mizzou haven’t formally been voted in yet, we hasten to add, are pocketing a tidy $20.1 million from the SEC – a total of $241.1 million. We could use the change, boys! Oh, and can you imagine the green they’ll get from the SEC Network?

The SEC Coaches: For making a stand and voting unanimously FOR paying players. No, it probably won’t mean too much. But you know what? It might get a ball rolling. And Spurrier led the charge on this – although some members of the media felt that it was simply Spurrier trying to get media attention.

Mark Richt: While others were losing their cool about the 6-1-1, he was straight down the line with his message: UGA wants to keep the Auburn rivalry.

Dan Mullen: Came up with a very common-sense idea of having a ‘Final Four’ for college football. The Texas Stadium in Arlington wouldn’t be big enough for all the people who’d want to go to THAT week of games, would it? He also got that permanent rivalry with Kentucky, which can only be good for the Bulldogs win column.

Concussion-worriers: Dan Jones, the Chancellor of Ole Miss, is going to head up a committee to look into concussions, which should be interesting – and worrying for football fans the world over if their findings are more productive than that of the NFL.

Texas A&M president Loftin: Making a comment like: “Texas is now SEC territory” (well done, Aggies president R.Bowen Loftin) will make you beloved to your other 13 members. Especially as they then venture into your state and continue to steal your best talent.

…And Horse lovers: Not remotely anything to do with football, but now equestrian is a sport starting 2012-3. Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina, and Texas A&M will field teams. The SEC Football Blog can reveal that Baylor, Brown, Cal State Fresno, College of Charleston, Cornell, Delaware State, Kansas State, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Sacred Heart, South Dakota State, SMU, TCU and UT-Martin all have Division-I programs. Baylor won this year’s National Championship. Now, I bet you didn’t know that. I can see the jokes start flying.

LOSERS

Les Miles: He didn’t get his way about playing Florida every year, which he wanted NOT to happen. The topic of his rage? Mississippi State’s permanent deal with Kentucky. Brought forth a lot of queries about the LSU side and Miles’ recruiting. We get the reason why Les Miles was freaking out – a loss to Florida could well derail LSU’s SEC and National Championship hopes and he didn’t want that to happen -but come on…

Steve Spurrier (paying players): The coaches’ unanimous vote wasn’t carried through by the ADs and Presidents, unsurprisingly. But hopefully, this will get through to the NCAA.

Nick Saban: His quote about ‘self-absorbed people’ (everyone thinks he was pointed at Big Ten head Jim Delany) got people asking the question: Should Nick Saban – a guy with a not-exactly unblemished record in that department –  be the one saying a comment like that? I can bet that that the PR guys at Alabama probably shivered when he said it, particularly at some of the comments spat back at him over Twitter.

The University of Tennessee: Despite having a consistent rivalry with Alabama, it’s not going to be much of one if Alabama continues to recruit and win the way it does and Tennessee continues to falter. We’ll bet that some Tennessee fans probably wanted to forgo tradition and get paired off with an easier team, say Ole Miss. Or Texas A&M.

And….James Franklin: For the record, this is what the Vanderbilt coach said:  “I’ve been saying for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I’ve seen his wife. If she looks the part and she’s a D-I recruit, then you’ve got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal.” He followed this up with: “There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being fun and articulate, that it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.” (Thanks, Baltimore Sun, who then called him a ‘used car salesman). Although Franklin tried to play this down as a joke, it didn’t endear himself to a lot of people – particularly those desperate for a story. He apologised over Twitter later on – “Skills is what I am looking 4.As a husband & father of 2 daughters I regret the way I conveyed my message!” but by then he’d written the headlines that the outraged brigade will feast on every time Vanderbilt doesn’t pick up one of those five-star recruits they always seem to get.

Who else do you think should get on the list? Comment below!!!

Spring Meetings: Schedule news, and the bottom line.

News just in from Friday’s SEC Spring Meetings voting: The 6-1-1 scheduling has – at last and despite Les Miles and Steve Spurrier’s call for something different – passed as expected.

The format will mean that the Auburn vs Georgia rivalry will continue, along with Alabama vs Tennessee and (unfortunately for Miles), LSU vs Florida. Arkansas vs Missouri will be a new rivalry, as will Vanderbilt vs Ole Miss, Mississippi State vs Kentucky, and Texas A&M vs South Carolina.

Florida AD Jeremy told reporters at the event that the vote was “not unanimous”, which sadly means that they’ll be arguing about the scheduling stuff next year, too.

THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a good thing. The SEC NEEDS those traditional rivalries more than anything.

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