Archive for July, 2013

Texas A&M defensive linesman killed

Texas A&M defensive linesman Polo Manukainiu was killed in a car crash on Monday night, according to FanSided.

The player, who redshirted in the 2012 season, was reportedly driving back from Utah to Texas when the accident happened.

He was a 3-star defensive linesman, and played for Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. He was recruited by Oklahoma, Arkansas, and UCLA amongst others.

State Attorney’s office decides not to charge Florida LB

The Florida State attorney’s office has decided not to charge Florida’s Antonio Morrison after the talented linebacker was arrested for barking at a police dog on Saturday night, according to Gator Nation.

Yes, we’re serious. To misquote Snoop Doggy Dogg – barking at a police dog was the case that they gave him.

To be fair, law enforcement officers are not lawyers or fully aware of what the courts require. Nonetheless, and fair or not, their decisions must meet those standards,” said state attorney William Cervone said, adding that he dropped the charges after seeing the police video. “The charge of interfering with a police animal requires malice, and none exists. lt also requires that the animal be engaged in some official duty, and it cannot be said that sitting in the back of a police cruiser in case he is needed constitutes being engaged in such activity by a police dog. As to the charge of resisting an officer, I challenge anyone who looks at the video of the incident to find any resistance, physical or otherwise, beyond questioning the actions of law enforcement, which is not illegal. Certainly, I see nothing that would allow or persuade a jury to convict.

What’s interesting about Cervone’s points is that he’s basically undermining the Gainseville police. Morrison was arrested on June 16 for punching a nightclub bouncer after he was refused a discount to get into a bar – that he shouldn’t have been in bearing in mind that he was underage in the first place. Morrison got probation and community service.

BOTTOM LINE: Now, has he learned his lesson? Probably not. It might be in Antonio Morrison’s interest- and that of the Florida Gators – if they put him on curfew until the season ends. Because if I’m a betting man, Antonio Morrison’s career – he had 34 total tackles and a sack in his first year with the Gators – won’t last long in Gainseville. And no-one wants to see that.

Saban, Les Miles and the rest — SEC Media Days Day 3

Today was the banner day for the SEC Media Days, with three of the biggest coaches in the conference – and college football taking the podium. Sorry, James Franklin of Vanderbilt, we’re talking about Alabama’s Nick Saban, Georgia’s Mark Richt, and the ever-quotable Les Miles of LSU (if he needs further introduction).

In an effort to kick things off with a bang, we’ll start with Les Miles. And no, he didn’t bring any grass with him.

LES MILES (LSU)

On Jeremy Hill, who’s been suspended indefinitely after getting into a fight in a car park, which he pled guilty for: “Jeremy Hill has a legal entanglement. At this point in time he remains indefinitely suspended. I have a track record with really disciplining my team. We go through the same process that all of my guys will go through. Frankly, you know, we’re gathering information as we go. So he’s been separated from his team and teammates for the summer.” He added: “He’s not been in any team meetings, not been in any workouts. We’ve not allowed him in our facility. It’s been very hard on him, I know. Again, we recognize there’s an ongoing process that’s going to be fulfilled. We’re going to sit on the perimeter and watch. We certainly are respectful of all that have responsibility there. We’ll let you know when we know.

On his off-season duties: “I repelled down a building. I don’t know that that was all it was cracked up to be. It was tall. It was up there” and “I had no vacation. I took meaningful hours watching TCU film. But I’m looking forward to football, in case you wondered. I love baseball, I love watching my kids, but there’s an itch that happens. It’s one of those things that you, as a football coach, can’t wait to get to because it’s why you’re here.” You me both, Les Miles.

On Twitter: “Somebody gave me the magic. They said there’s 500 million on Instagram, whatever the hell that is. There’s three billion on Facebook. These are phenomena that are not just youthful. LeBron James, athletes, entertainers, businessmen of our day. I mean, it’s an amazing thing.

On what it’s going to be like after losing a load of talent to the NFL: “We lost eight guys. The good news is we’ll be a talented football team, but youthful.

On youth on the team: “The excitement, it’s not derived from where you’re ranked or how people perceive you. It’s the youth of your team, what you have to get coached, how you approach a practice. I think that each team has its own potential, its own high-side opportunities. Certainly what we’re trying to do is play to our greatest expectations and exceed them. I think it’s more the youth, wanting to get the message across, teach that technique, make sure that that young player is evaluated so that he has the opportunity to play if, in fact, he is one of our best.

And on LSU’s schedule: “I’d have to say there’s a repeated scheduling advantage and disadvantage for certain teams in this conference based on tradition and traditional matchups. I’ll give you an example. Auburn played Florida and Georgia 19 times since 2000. That makes a heck of a difference. Now, how many times has the west gone through each opponent? How many times have they played them? Not that many times. Don’t pretend it’s just a game. In other words, we’re going to play the Green Bay Packers, we’re going to play them 12 straight times. I promise you at the end of that, that team will have found that they’re missing some talent, there’s some skill guys that are injured, there’s some bumps and bruises. I think that scheduling is a tremendously important piece. Currently it’s on the ADs, the chancellors, the presidents, and the conference commissioner.

Now onto Nick Saban, the God of College Football, and boss of Alabama:

On trying to control player’s behavior: “We can be the moral compass for our young people, but we cannot always drive the ship. We always cannot be there to drive the ship.

On comparing him to Bear Bryant: “I don’t think I have any reason that anybody should do that. I think Bear Bryant is probably the greatest coach in college football in terms of what he accomplished, what his legacy is. I think the biggest thing that impacts me is how many peoples’ lives he affected in a positive way, players that played for him, because they all come back and say how he affected their life. They don’t come back and say, we won a championship in ’78, ’79, ’61, whenever it was. They come back and say how he affected their lives. 

There’s a lot of Bear Bryant stories that I’ve learned a lot from, that have made me a better person. I certainly appreciate that, have a tremendous amount of respect for what he accomplished. There’s no way that we have done anything close to what he’s done in terms of his consistency over time, how he changed what he did to impact the times. They threw the ball and won. They ran the wishbone and won. I mean, he changed tremendously to do what he needed to do to be successful. I don’t think that it would be fair that anyone really be compared to what he was able to accomplish, the way he did it, and how he impacted other people.

On scheduling: “Everybody doesn’t play everybody in the NFL. You rotate your schedule. We have to rotate the schedule. The things that I think are important in scheduling is, A, I’ve been over this before, every player plays every team in the SEC in his career. That means you must play at least two teams on the other side. I understand where Les Miles is coming from. I coached at LSU. We played Florida every year, too. So if anybody understands it, I understand it. You understand? All right (smiling). They may not have that same tradition. My question is, is do other coaches understand our circumstance? Do they understand Auburn/Georgia circumstance? Do they understand the other teams in our league that do have rivalries that are cherished by the fans?” Saban has a point. It must also be noted that from 1995  – 2006 in the ‘Third Saturday In October’, Tennessee only lost 3 times. Now, the worm has turned – Tennessee hasn’t won since then – but the balance of power will probably shift.

On scheduling Chatanooga: “Do I think that’s what the fans want to see? Probably not. It’s a great experience for those players that are going to have the opportunity to play at Alabama this year. It’s a great experience for them. I’m not trying to take that away from them. But I think in the world that we live in, it is impossible to schedule more than 10 games with real quality opponents….The more games you play with quality opponents, you’re going to have to play home and home. So you’re going to have less home games. There’s a lot of issues involved in all that. It’s not all about just what the coach wants to do. It’s about the business of college football.

Then, it’s onto MARK RICHT, the coach at Georgia who at this time of the year, seems to have half of his class suspended after run-ins with the Georgia police. He’s done well this year….

On the SEC Championship Game: “It was certainly a gut-wrenching thing to see again the way it finished.

On the Nick Marshall vs Todd Gurley competition: “Both of them want to be what would be considered the lead back. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. They also came in knowing who they were. They’re very good friends. They wanted to share the load. They wanted to not be in a situation where they had to carry 25 to 30 times a game. I don’t think they were interested in that.

On Georgia’s rough start to the season, where they play Clemson, South Carolina and LSU all in the first month of the year: “I told the team we’re in a race, and that is to try to be at mid-season form by game one. That race started back in January.

On Georgia’s drug policy, and whether the rest of the league could adopt it: “Would I like that? I would like that. I think that would be a good thing for the league to be in sync in that regard. I would think it’s going to be very difficult to do certainly at the presidential level, they would all have to agree that it should be done, this is what it’s going to look like.

On Alabama’s domination, and a play-off: “I think everybody is beatable. I think some of it is, quite frankly, the way the BCS is set up. There’s some good fortune. If Ohio State wasn’t on probation, they might have played last year. If whoever lost at the end, Kansas State lost at the end, whoever, there’s just some teams that had to lose to make that opening for us or Alabama at the end of that SEC Championship game….In the future, we certainly know there’s going to be at least a four-team playoff to get it started, maybe a little bit better gauge of getting the right people in that game.

And finally, JAMES FRANKLIN, coach of Vanderbilt….

On the ‘legal incident’, which saw 4 of his players thrown out: “I can’t get into any discussion about this. It’s an ongoing legal investigation” (quickly changes subject to study abroad)

On the QB situation: “We have not named a starter at any position.

On playing on a Thursday night: “You play on Thursday night, for us, we’re going to be playing at 8:00 when everybody’s getting off of work, getting home in time to see the game. Players are going to be home from practice. We’re the only show in town.

On dealing with hurry-up offences: “The only thing that I have an issue with is I want to make sure we’re all playing by the same rules. What I notice time and time again when you’re watching the film is that the officials are not in position to officiate the game. You watch time and time again, not everybody’s set when the ball is snapped, and they can’t officiate that because the pace of the game they can’t keep up with. I don’t really have a concern with the styles. I just want to make sure we’re all playing by the same rules and that the officials have the ability and are put in position to officiate the game all by the same rules for all of us. That’s my only concern.

On moving games to the Tennessee Titans’ field: “We have had some discussions depending on our schedule if we can get an eight-game schedule, the possibilities of taking one of those games to LP Field, which I think would be great for the city as well, great for our program. But we want to make sure that the nucleus, at least seven games, are on our campus every year.

 

 

Johnny Football & Co light up Day 2 at the SEC Media Days

Well, it was over early – unlike a lot of Johnny Manziel’s evenings this off-season. The Heisman-winning quarterback buzzed into the SEC Media Days, faced the media, and buzzed out.

We would go in-depth about his riveting and enchanting interviews, but instead, we’ll pick out the best bits from everybody on the podium in Hoover, AL.

JOHNNY MANZIEL

On getting booted out of the Manning Camp: “I simply overslept. There’s nothing more to talk, and the rumors about the other things weren’t really true….Hearing Eli and Peyton afterward and the key thing was they wanted me to come back next year, that was great because I had such a great time working with the kids I had and doing some things we do at A&M. I’ve just been on a hectic schedule and overslept.

Was he hungover? (With ESPN): “Absolutely not.

On his relationship with his team-mates: “It’s great. Nothing has changed. They understand, the leaders of the team, they’re there for me, texting me and saying your not doing anything we’re not doing. We’re working hard, enjoying life. I love those guys, wouldn’t be here without them, and their opinion, and my family and my coaches’ opinion, that’s all that matters to me.

On the spotlight: (ESPN) “The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago…I guess I feel like Justin Bieber or something. I never thought it would really be that way.

On the criticism of his hard-partying ways: “It gets to me a little bit. I’m not going to lie…I feel like, to be honest, I haven’t done anything criminal this offseason. I haven’t done anything like that. I’ve made my mistakes. I’m still growing up. I’m still learning from that…..At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to make mistakes and the big thing for me is to learn from them and not make the same one twice.

Peyton Manning on Johnny Manziel: “I enjoyed meeting Johnny….I can remember a 20-year-old Eli (Manning) missing a meeting (at camp) and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best and I want him to come back as a counselor next year.

KEVIN SUMLIN (TEXAS A&M COACH)

On Johnny Manziel’s off-season: “I think off the field, there’s no question that he’s made some mistakes. I think today will be a great experience for him, a great experience for a lot of people because he has made some mistakes….I think he has done some things that he’s not very proud of, has made some poor decisions. He’s made some good decisions. Unfortunately, the poor decisions are the ones that are really publicized. It’s a growing process. It’s a learning process. But to answer your question, can he be better in that area? Certainly. That’s something that we’re working at.

On Johnny Manziel hitting the ‘celebrity’ button after winning the Heisman: “It was a good thing for me and Texas A&M (smiling)….

On Johnny Manziel development as a quarterback: “Much like our fans, when he took off running early in the season, everybody stood there and watched him. As they figured out, Hey, this guy can still throw the football, maybe if we block somebody, he’ll score, those guys got involved in some different things. To answer your question, are we going to change who is fundamentally? No. Are we going to try to develop him as an overall quarterback? Yes. The ability to go through his reads, the ability to see the presentation of the defense quicker comes with experience, comes with knowledge. But certainly there’s no question in his development as a passer, really aided our success later on in the year.

DAN MULLEN (MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH)

On the opening schedule: “Obviously going to be a challenging opening schedule. It’s great playing an opening kickoff game, playing a team like Oklahoma State, brings a lot more sense of urgency to training camp for our players and for the team as we get ready to go into the season.

On Tyler Russell, his fifth-year QB: “He understands our offense, understands what we’re trying to accomplish, can help as a leader out there on the field.

On Jadeveon Clowney: “When you have guys like Clowney sitting over there coming off that edge, you’re thinking, ‘I might want to get rid of this ball pretty quick’. The great thing in the SEC, there’s not one, there’s one of those just about on every team you play. I think that does add a lot of pressure to those positions.

On Ole Miss’ coming back as a team: “I think it’s certainly sparking the rivalry even more. I think it’s going to make Thanksgiving night an even bigger game. When I got hired, the other school in our state, they’d gone to the Cotton Bowl, won the Cotton Bowl. We came up from a team that wasn’t doing very well and won a couple in a row. Now we’ve been going to the New Year’s Day bowl games the last couple years. They come up, are starting to create some stir. I think certainly when you go around the state of Mississippi, it will make Thanksgiving night this fall a pretty important day throughout the whole state. Not that it hasn’t been before, but I think it is going to draw a lot more attention to it nationally, how important and big that rivalry is for everybody in our state.

MARK STOOPS (KENTUCKY) 

On being at Kentucky for the first time: “There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re excited and moving forward with this program.”

On Bob Stoops’ remarks about the SEC: “Bob was defending his conference. I just left the ACC. You know, I think everybody’s going to defend what they’re doing in their conference. With that being said, I don’t think any of us need to defend what’s going on here in the SEC. The success we’ve had in the SEC speaks for itself. Of course, there’s some other good conferences out there, as well.

On who’s going to be starting quarterback: “We’re not at any decision yet.

On the game against Western Kentucky: “We can’t just show up and beat anybody. We have to play very well.

On fanbase ‘buy-in’ to the new era: “Our season tickets are up. People are excited and anticipating a good year, because we certainly are. We’re not going out there to put all this hard work in to not compete and not try to win games.

GUS MALZAHN (AUBURN)

On the QB situation: “We don’t know who our quarterback is. We have four guys. Going to give them an equal shot. Ideally we figure that out sooner rather than later in fall camp, but we won’t make a decision until we’re a 110% for sure. The positive offensively is the fact that we actually recruited guys specifically for this offense.

On the speedy offense: “We completely believe in pace.

On the Auburn fans: “I feel like we have the best fans in all of college football. If you look at our spring game, we had 83,000-plus fans. Coming off a year like we did last year, that says everything about them.

BUTCH JONES (TENNESSEE)

On the players changing their ways: “At a relatively early stage, about a month and a half into it, our football team lost over 260 pounds of fat and regained that about 230 pounds of muscle mass.

On the rivalries: “Obviously being at Tennessee, we have a lot of rivalry games. I’ve heard that about Florida, obviously. I’ve heard that about Alabama. In order for us to make those rivalry games, we have to get back to being relevant and winning those football games. Obviously those are tremendous football programs with Coach Muschamp and Coach Saban. Obviously they’ve done a tremendous job. I hear that all the time. Our fan base is very prideful, so I’m reminded of that quite a bit.

On Tiny Richardson vs Jadeveon Clowney (and Clowney beating him once during a game): “He’s driven by that, talks about it.

BRETT BIELEMA (ARKANSAS)

On the Big Ten vs The SEC: “Major differences? If you’re talking odysseys in recruiting, the national exposure you have in recruiting. We got a quarterback out of Egg Harbor, New Jersey, that we tried to recruit at the previous institution I was at. He reached out to us once I switched because he wanted to play in the SEC. I said, well, I got a heck of an opportunity for you. He switched, decommitted from other school, became a part of what we did. That was all because of the SEC on our shirt. I said that repeatedly to our coaches in the recruiting process in December and January. Until we win an SEC title, we got to rely on the exposure that our conference has gotten through others. Talk about the SEC, what it means to play in the stadiums we’re going to play in, be part of a conference that’s the best in college football. That’s been the eye-opener for me. It was apparent from day one….I have not been through an SEC schedule. I can tell you I’ve watched, especially our early SEC opponents, a lot of film since spring. One thing that jumps out is the defensive line talent, the speed, the size, the ability that they bring I think is a little bit more up than the previous league I was in. A lot of really good players. See, the problem you guys got me in, the good things I say about the SEC, everybody else gets pissed and vice versa. I’m in a quandary here. It’s just reality. The other thing that has happened as I watch film, on both sides of the football, there are guys that are very gifted in ways that are very unique to them. Might be a wide receiver that can catch something beyond anybody else. Might be a guy that can swim a guard on a pass pro that is better than anybody else in the league. There’s players that have unique abilities that make it very difficult to defend certain players in certain situations. That’s going to be a very, very big task of what we do.

On the hurry-up offense, and the notion that the fact it was dangerous was a joke: “I’m not a comedian. It’s not a joke to me….There are times when an offensive player and a defensive player are on the field for an extended amount of time without a break. You cannot tell me that a player after play five is the same player that he is after play 15. If that exposes him to a risk of injury, then that’s my fault. I can’t do anything about it because the rules do not allow me to substitute a player in whether I’m on offense or defense.

It’s something that I really feel strongly about. It’s not rhetoric. If you want to play hurry-up offense, play it. I’ll play you, I don’t care. But it doesn’t mean that I cannot try to protect my players offensively and defensively. I have just as many offensive players as I have defensive players. That’s the facts.

On faking injuries to slow an offense down: “I tell a player all the time, If you’re injured, go down, stay down. If you can tell me the severity of an injury by how much the guy is crying or wincing, more power to you. I’m not trying to be a doctor.

On whether he would report Wisconsin if he felt there was a recruiting infraction: “What I would commonly do, there was a nice story written about this in my previous institution, is if I had a problem with the way another school was doing things, I would call the head coach and express my concern to them. So what I would do commonly is if I had a problem with a certain university, I would call the head coach, tell them the story I have, give them a chance for them to tell me their side of it, their belief, move forward from there. If I didn’t get the answer that I wanted, I may go to my AD. But there’s a step process we usually follow. I can’t say that happens for everybody, but that’s definitely not one I would take.

On low picks in the pre-season magazines: “The lower the better. I think our kids are carrying a tremendous chip on their shoulder. The same group that’s going to vote us a certain place tomorrow is the same group that a year ago today had us in the top five. We lost some really good players. I do know this: we have a team that’s very hungry, a group of coaches that are very gifted, we have a staff that is very talented and a lot of years to back that up. But I do excel in situations where people think very, very little of us. For those of you that want to, vote us lower. I mean that with all my heart. Then just sit back and watch.

 

SEC Media Days: What To Expect From Day 2

The second day of SEC Media Days is going to be a firecracker – and that’s because Johnny Manziel’s in the house.

The Texas A&M quarterback – together with coach Kevin Sumlin and other players, will be visiting Hoover, Al. (as will cohorts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State), and here’s what we expect everybody to say:

Johnny Manziel: To make some excuse about being dehydrated, ill, and tired as a reason for leaving the Manning camp early. He’ll also say that he made his apologies to all the Mannings, and offered to wash Peyton’s shoes for him. He’ll also say that he’s excited about the 2013 season, but not say anything too lively.

Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M): Will have to keep making excuses for Johnny Manziel’s off-season behaviour. He’ll talk about replacing Luke Joeckel, DeMontre Moore, and Ryan Swope, and he’ll up-talk WR Mike Evans. He’ll also make some comment about the September 14th showdown against Alabama.

Mark Stoops (Kentucky): He’ll talk about life after The Joker was booted out of Kentucky, and how it’s going to differ from life at Florida State.

Dan Mullen (Mississippi State): He’ll talk about the increasing pressure on him to perform – especially after the bowl disaster against Northwestern and getting smashed by Ole Miss. He’ll talk about recruiting, how things are improving, and someone will make some idiot comment about his visor.

Bret Bielema (Arkansas): Where do we start? We expect Bielema to talk about turning around the Razorbacks program, about recruiting, and about how he expects to play SEC offenses. He might talk about his starting QB quandry now Mr WIlson’s gone pro. He will talk about the running game and the offensive line, and make comparisons between the Big Ten – he was previously coach at Wisconsin – and the SEC. He might make a joke, but I doubt it.

Gus Malzahn (Auburn): He’ll talk about the problems Auburn have at quarterback, and whether Kiehl Frazier just needs a bit of Gus to make him the next Cam Newton. He’ll get asked questions about Cam Newton, and leaving Arkansas State for the pressures of Auburn. He’ll be expected to talk about bit about Michael Dyer, and the fact that despite Dyer’s best wishes, he’s not going to play for ‘War Eagle’. He’ll be expected to talk about how great it is to back on the Plains.

Butch Jones (Tennesssee): He’ll talk about recruiting – he’s put together a pretty good one so far for 2014 – and about his starting QBs. He’ll be asked to make nasty comments about Coach Dooley, but he won’t, and he’ll talk enthusiastically about fan involvement.

 

 

 

 

It’s a Steve Spurrier World, And We All Live In It: SEC Media Day Recap: Day 1

As usual, the SEC Media Days opened with a bang with Commissioner Mike Slive, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze all on the podium to face a rabid media…….and ESPN’s College Football Live, which will be spending every waking hour in Hoover, Al. for the next three days.

THE BEST THINGS THAT HAPPENED

1) Muschamp on Ohio State reporting Florida for NCAA violations: “Thanks to our Ohio friends. They certainly know a lot about NCAA violations.” We like this because a) He didn’t refer to Ohio by their proper name: Ohio State. And b) He referred to ‘Tatttoogate’, without referring to it. Made us laugh, anyway.

2) Twitter during Muschamp‘s speech. Seriously, the guy didn’t draw breath for what seemed like hours. It was incredible. If Muschamp ever becomes a politician he’s got the filibusters down pat. The best quote: “To his credit, Will Muschamp crammed 45 minutes worth of words into his 15-minute talk” (Jason Leiser). Having said that, there were others, some of them were funny, others were not.

3) Steve Spurrier – On Georgia: “Give Georgia credit, after we beat them the past couple years, they’ve won all their conference games.” //

STEVE SPURRIER, THE QUOTABLE PARTS

1)  On Jadeveon Clowney: “Jadeveon has done a good job staying out of the limelight all summer”…. “He’s actually a little lighter than he was at the end of last year, I think he told me. He’s going to be ready to go.”

2) On player compensation, he said SEC coaches agreed unanimously that players should be paid a $300 stipend – totalling $300,000 per season per SEC school. And if the schools couldn’t afford it, the coaches would stump up the cash. We love you, Steve.

3) On Notre Dame: “We voted 14-0 they ought to be in a conference….” “Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like the rest of us”…. “We just started trying to figure out  why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners. Nobody had a good answer except that’s the way it’s always been done“….”If you were a Notre Damer, you would say, we’re supposed to be independent in football, always, this, that and the other. From all of the rest of us that are in a conference, we say, why aren’t they in a conference? It’s sort of hard to figure out why they have their own conference. They’re sort of in the ACC. I know it’s probably not going to happen, won’t happen because I said it, but maybe if you can give me a good reason why they’re not in a good conference with all the rest of the schools, that’s something we talked about right there.”

4) On schedules: “It’s not always fair. We know that. We know that last year Alabama, Georgia played for the conference championship. Alabama did not play the three top teams in the east and Georgia did not play the three top teams in the west. Scheduling does make a difference. How to make it fair, we’re not all exactly sure how to do it.” He added: The Big 12, they all play each other. 10 teams, they all play each other. That’s pretty doggone fair…..We would like to see the most fair way for determining the champion. If you only count the division games, that team should be the division champ, but it could go the other way.

5) On QB Connor Shaw: “Missing spring I think may help Connor a little bit. He had a stress fracture in his back that healed up completely. Then he had surgery on his foot, another stress fracture, they did surgery on. So he’s ready to go.

6) On Hugh Freeze: “Hugh and I have a lot in common. We both play golf. We both wear visors. We call the plays. How could you not like a guy like Hugh Freeze?

WILL MUSCHAMP – THE QUOTABLE PARTS

1) On losing the Sugar Bowl to Louisville: “I blame myself. We got away from our formula

2) On having a good running game: “Mike Gillislee was our first thousand-yard rusher since 2003. That’s not going to be the exception any more at Florida, that’s going to be the norm.

3) On Bob Stoops and his comments about SEC-bias: ” I never went to a Big 12 media day. If I was Bob, I probably would have said the same thing.”

4) On Jadeveon Clowney: “Number One” (Draft Pick? In his life?)

5) On off-the-field behaviour: “You’re a hundred percent responsible for the young man. Everything that happens. I can’t possibly know everything that happens every single night with our football team. You also can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay either.

6) On not having to come from behind: “My wife wants us to give better talks before the game instead of halftime. I don’t think that’s it….. I’d love to have some 40-point wins. At the end of the day I worry about one stat, and that’s winning, and it doesn’t matter how you do it.

Amen, Coach Muschamp.

HUGH FREEZE- THE QUOTABLE BITS

Before he started, Hugh Freeze said about Will Muschamp’s press conference: “I was going to try to do it with less breaths that he took, but that’s impossible. That guy can go.

Anyway…

1) On QB Bo Wallace’s recovery from injury: “He feels very good about where he’s at in his progress. They’ve released him about four weeks ago to start tossing. Last week he began throwing full go. He’s had some soreness, of course.

2) On playing the first four games on the schedule away from Oxford: “I don’t think it’s ideal….I know that for our fans it’s not ideal. Then we get into October. I don’t think we leave the state of Mississippi.

3) On squad thinness: “Number one, still offensive line. We had quite a few post-season surgeries at a lot of places. We haven’t talked a lot about that. One of the things that keep me awake at night is how will everyone, the C.J. Johnsons, Patrick Junens, Aaron Morrises, and so forth and so on, come back, and Bo Wallace, Charles Sawyer, come back from these surgeries. All of those guys are very key to us. How will they prepare to come back and how will they be when camp starts is an unknown. Offensive line is definitely a concern. I think receiver-wise, we’ve addressed that issues with LaQuan Treadwell, Quincy “Atta Boy” Joe. They’re young. We’ve got to bring them along very, very fast because we need them. Defensive line-wise we’re a little thin at defensive end….Corners and safeties, we’re still thin…..On the depth issue, we’re still terribly thin at tight end

4) On Steve Spurrier: “When I was a high school coach, I wanted to be like Steve Spurrier. That’s the truth. Ever since then, Steve and I have become really good friends. He liked that story. He calls me his visor guy.

And last but not least, GARY PINKEL, the under-fire coach of MISSOURI

1) On injuries to QBs James Franklin: “James had more injuries than I think any I’ve ever had combined.

2) On worries about getting fired: “I’ve been a head football coach 23 years. This isn’t the first time this has happened. You don’t like it, but certainly you learn to deal with it…..We’re used to winning.

3) On Dorial Green-Beckham : “The more he touches the football, the better team we’re going to be.

4) On the SEC: “Honestly, I think any good football team in college football, that’s where it starts. I don’t care what league it is. The really good teams are best up front. The difference in the SEC is there’s so many good football teams. That’s why it’s such a great, great league.

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SEC releases first few weeks of TV schedule

We’ve gone crazy on our Twitter feed about the fact that ESPN has decided in its infinite wisdom to make the South Carolina vs Georgia grudge-match at 4.30pm kick-off time – a time despised by most tailgaters and college football fans who don’t tie themselves to a TV during the whole of a Saturday.

We can only think that it’s because ESPN’s prime-time game on Week 1 is Georgia’s trip to Clemson, which will be an 8pm kick-off.

Oh, and CBS is making Alabama vs Texas A&M in the searing heat a 3.30pm kick-off, unsurprisingly. And College Station will be loud enough for that one.

Anyway, here’s the full schedule.

 

DATE                         GAME                                     NETWORK                                    TIME

Week 1

(Thur.) Aug. 29            North Carolina at South Carolina            ESPN                                        6:00 ET

(Thur.) Aug. 29            Ole Miss at Vanderbilt                                  ESPN                                         9:15 ET

Aug. 31                        Toledo at Florida                                                SEC Network                        12:21 ET

Aug. 31                        Rice at Texas A&M                                              ESPN                                      1:00 ET

Aug. 31                        Miss. State vs. Oklahoma State            ABC & ESPN2             3:30 ET

                                    (Neutral Site: Advocare Texas Kickoff – Houston)                       

Aug. 31                        La. Lafayette at Arkansas                        FSN                                       4:00 ET

Aug. 31                        Virginia Tech vs. Alabama                        ESPN                                      5:30 ET

                                    (Neutral Site: Chick-fil-A Kickoff – Atlanta)

Aug. 31                        Austin Peay at Tennessee                        Inst. PPV                          6:00 ET

Aug. 31                        Washington State at Auburn                        ESPNU                          7:00 ET

Aug. 31                        Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky            ESPNews                        7:00 ET

                                    (Nashville)

Aug. 31                        Georgia at Clemson                                    ABC                                    8:00 ET

Aug. 31                        TCU vs. LSU                                                ESPN                                    9:00 ET

                                    (Neutral Site: Cowboys Classic – Arlington)

Aug. 31                        Murray State at Missouri                        Inst. PPV                          TBD

 

Week 2

Sept. 7                                    Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky                        FSN                                    Noon ET

Sept. 7                                    Florida at Miami                                    ESPN                                    Noon ET

Sept. 7                                    Western Kentucky at Tennessee            SEC Network                        12:21 ET

Sept. 7                                    Toledo at Missouri                                    ESPNU                          3:30 ET

Sept. 7                                    Alcorn State at Miss. State                        CSS                                    3:30 ET

Sept. 7                                    South Carolina at Georgia                        ESPN                                      4:30 ET

Sept. 7                                    Samford at Arkansas (Little Rock)            Inst. PPV                           7:00 ET

Sept. 7                                    UAB at LSU                                                ESPNU                          7:00 ET

Sept. 7                                    SE Missouri at Ole Miss                        Inst. PPV                          7:00 ET

Sept. 7                                    Sam Houston State at Texas A&M            Inst. PPV                           7:00 ET

Sept. 7                                    Arkansas State at Auburn                        FSN                                    7:30 ET

Sept. 7                                    Austin Peay at Vanderbilt                        CSS                                       7:30 ET

 

Week 3

Sept. 14                        Louisville at Kentucky                        ESPN                                    Noon ET

Sept. 14                        Southern Miss at Arkansas                        SEC Network                        12:21 ET

Sept. 14                        Alabama at Texas A&M                        CBS                                      3:30 ET

Sept. 14                        Tennessee at Oregon                          ABC/ESPN/ESPN2                        3:30 ET

Sept. 14                        Miss. State at Auburn                        ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU             7:00 ET

Sept. 14                        Vanderbilt at South Carolina            ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU             7:00 ET

Sept. 14                        Kent State at LSU                        ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU             7:00 ET

Sept. 14                        Ole Miss at Texas                                    LHN                                      8:00 ET

 

Other Announced Games

Sat.            Oct. 19                        CBS Doubleheader                                    CBS                                    Noon/3:30 ET

Thur.             Oct. 24                        Kentucky at Miss. State                        ESPN                                    7:30 ET

Sat.            Nov. 2                        Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville            CBS                                    3:30 ET

Sat.            Nov. 9                        CBS Doubleheader                                    CBS                                    3:30/8:00 ET

Thur.            Nov. 28            Ole Miss at Miss. State                        ESPN                                      7:30 ET

Fri.            Nov. 29            Arkansas at LSU                                    CBS                                      2:30 ET

Sat.            Dec. 7                        SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)            CBS                                      4:00 ET

 

 

 

 

Rape Case: ‘Vanderbilt Four’ identified

Vanderbilt has released the names of the four Commodores players booted off the team in an investigation of a sexual assault.

They are: Freshmen Tip McKenzie, Corey Batey and Brandon Banks. The fourth was transfer from junior college – tight end Brandon Vandenburg.

All four players would have contributed to the team, says Vanderbilt blog ‘Anchor of Gold‘ – although Vandenburg – rated one of the country’s best juco tight ends – was the only potential starter.

The alleged incident happened in a dorm room earlier this year, and is currently being investigated by the Sex Crimes Unit.

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin – who is bound to get questions asked about this when he takes the podium during the SEC Media Days, had this to say in a statement: “For student athletes at Vanderbilt, it is a privilege, not a right, to be a part of the program. My coaching staff and I make sure every member of our team understands that. We insist on high standards of personal responsibility and integrity, and there are consequences when those standards are not met. 

“In dealing with this matter, the Commodores football team will continue to hold itself to the same high standards of responsibility and integrity Vanderbilt demands of all of our students. 

“We are cooperating fully with the Nashville Police Department and have pledged not to say or do anything that could interfere with its work or compromise the rights of anyone involved. We have not prejudged anyone’s guilt or innocence.

 

Kentucky RB Clemons to miss whole of 2013 season

If you get a college football scholarship, you’re lucky.

Well, for Kentucky running back Josh Clemons, it’s a curse. The Courier-Journal has reported that Clemons  – a sophomore – will miss the whole of the 2013 season after he ruptured his achilles tendon during workouts on Friday.

“We are extremely disappointed for Josh because he has worked so hard and come so far,” UK coach Mark Stoops said in a statement. “He ran well during the spring and was eager to contribute this season. We are hopeful for a full recovery and look forward to his return to the field.”

He had a solid start to his UK career, putting up 279 yards and 2 TDs before injury cut his season seven games short in 2012.

The Courier Journal said that seniors Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George are expected to pick up the load.

Here’s hoping Clemons returns soon.

SEC Media Days: What To Expect From Day 1

It’s Day 1 of the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, and with  Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Missouri talking, it should be a bright start – especially with Steve Spurrier doing some mouthing.

So we expect these coaches to be talking about these things:

From Steve Spurrier (South Carolina): He’ll point out that South Carolina beat Georgia last year, but didn’t go to the SEC Championship Game. He’ll blame the tough 2012 schedule – but he’s not going to mention the 2013 one, where the Gamecocks don’t play Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M (we can only dream of Jadeveon Clowney vs Johnny Manziel). He’ll also point out that players need to get paid to play college football (his usual rant), and he’ll make stir some crap about Clemson. He’ll also point out that South Carolina’s QB quandry with Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson isn’t a bad thing to have, as options go. Oh, and he’ll be asked how he felt when Clowney knocked the head off that Michigan guy. He’ll probably answer: “Pretty good”. He won’t answer: “I laughed”.

From Will Muschamp (Florida): Some idiot’s going to ask him how the arrest of Aaron Hernandez and subsequent focus on Urban Meyer (who recruited Hernandez) has hit the Florida team (Certainly it hasn’t given Gainseville good PR – that’s for certain!). He’ll talk about the importance of improving UF’s passing game, as well as the players ‘missing’ from the 2012 team – and try and lower heady expectations. He’ll also talk about the Boston Red Sox and Jeff Driskel, and maybe make a nasty point about Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, just to annoy the Aggies fans. As usual.

From Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss): He’ll talk about the incredible recruiting that Ole Miss did in 2014, and say something like: “It won’t mean anything if the players don’t bed in this or next season”. Someone will ask him about how he felt watching the Super Bowl and the Big Guy From The Blind Side (Michael Oher), and the sense of pride. He’ll make some comment about The Lord, and he’ll address the sadness of losing Park Stevens, who died in a car wreck only a few weeks ago. He WON’T talk crap about Dan Mullen and Mississippi State, but he may well make a nice comment about Tyler Russell, who’s one of the better QBs in the SEC.

From Gary Pinkel (Missouri): He’ll be asked about the pressure of the SEC, the hot seat, the worry, the pain, the bad 2012 record, the underperformance of wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the poor QBing, the poor defence, oh, and the pressure. He won’t tell you that he’d rather that his Mizzou team was in a much more palatable Big XII (although last year, it was fiercely competitive, and Missouri would have been middling there, too (but they would have comfortably won the Border War). He’ll be asked about how he sees things in 2013, and what a measure of success will be.

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