Archive for April, 2014

SEC’s 6-1-1 schedule: The Pros and Cons

Les Miles is furious that LSU will remain Florida’s permanent cross-division rival for the foreseeable future.

The SEC announced Sunday that they are going to keep the 6-1-1 structure, with a permanent rival ensuring that LSU plays Florida. Auburn and Georgia will keep The South’s Oldest Rivalry, and Alabama will play Tennessee. They will also be mandated to play one out-of-conference game against one team from either the ACC, Pac-12, Big XII or Big Ten per year starting 2016.

Miles told The Advocate: “We play the toughest schedule in America in our conference, and then we have the bias of the permanent partner…We’re now also being mandated to take a BCS team. The bias of the schedule continues to be disproportionate. Fundamentally fair is not something they’ve given great thought to.

In other words: While Alabama plays a stuck-in-a-rut-of-sucking Tennessee team every year, LSU gets a team who – despite a poor season last year – gives his Tigers one of the hardest games in college football week in, week out. The series is 7-6 in the Gators’ favor since 2000.

We measure up the pros and cons of the SEC’s 6-1-1-1 rule, if you see what we mean….

PROS

  • We HATE seeing SEC schools play St John’s College For The Blind during September. We hate it. While it’s great for the Romans in the Coliseum to get their blood, it’s not great for us as a conference in terms of respect….or the fans who are playing a pretty penny to watch crappy football. A decision to mandate SEC schools play an OOC game against another ‘Big Five’ school keeps alive some of the best rivalries – South Carolina vs Clemson, Georgia vs Georgia Tech and Florida vs Florida State are generally pretty hotly-contested games, and reduces the amount of cookie-cutter games out there. We GET The Les is furious because he has to play a big-time school on top of Florida, but imagine if the Tigers beat the lot. Then Miles won’t be decrying the SEC for ‘bias’. And LSU is capable of doing that every year. They are certainly that talented.
  • The ‘permanent rival’ wasn’t such a stupid idea from the SEC’s point-of-view. LSU and Florida have been playing each other every year since 1971. But it also protects some of the more sacred rivalries… Auburn and Georgia has played each other almost every year since 1898. The only times that game didn’t happen? War…and Alabama and Tennessee has met 95 times since 1901.
  • Scheduling a fellow ‘Big Five Team’ gives an LSU a better chance of getting into the four-team College Football Play-Off, particularly if you’ve got five teams who are unbeaten going into the decisions for the four-team play-off. Non-conference schedule might well come into it, and if LSU’s played Ohio State on the road and won, instead of beating the crap out of St John’s College For The Blind, they should get in ahead of a team with a worse non-conference schedule.

CONS

  • Whether we like it or not, SEC schools NEED to play ‘lighter’ teams non-conference, because of the fact that their schedule is so bruising. Imagine if Les Miles’ Tigers has to play Ohio State on the road at the Horseshoe in Columbus, with the SEC schedule on top of that. By the end of the season, Miles might not be beaten, but you can be assured that his players will be. And the injuries will mount up, and he will limp into a play-off.
  • Who cares about tradition? Texas and Texas A&M (God only knows who’s fault that was) burned down their rivalry when A&M came into the SEC. We’re not getting a Notre Dame/Michigan for the first time in almost 50. Tradition doesn’t matter when the importance is on winning. And if fans are angry about ‘fair’, you can understand why Les Miles is feeling a little aggrieved. I suspect Will Muschamp is feeling the same. I also feel that Tennessee feels the same (now – it didn’t when things we going well!). South Carolina gets Texas A&M, starting this year. Bret Bielema gets Missouri starting in 2016. If things are fair, then make sure every SEC team plays each other regularly, Commissioner Slive!!

 

 

 

 

Would anyone force Steve Spurrier to resign?

It’s interesting, reading excerpts of Steve Spurrier’s interview with ESPN’s Chris Low.

Apparently he said that he’d rather not be siphoned off into retirement, but instead simply “resign”.

I like resign a lot better“, said the South Carolina coach. “Retiring sounds too much like you’re going to sit around and not do a whole lot. I’m not a sit-around kind of guy.

The problem is is that with Steve Spurrier could be a victim of his own success. Steve Spurrier has guided South Carolina to three straight 11 wins seasons (2011, 2012, 2013). He’s also had three-straight bowl wins. He’s taken South Carolina to a SEC Championship Game and if we’re honest, the Gamecocks have been unlucky with their schedule that they haven’t gone to Atlanta more (considering they pretty much own Georgia). Since 2005, South Carolina hasn’t had a losing season. He’s beaten Clemson five times in the last five years (so much so that Death Valley should be re-named ‘HBC Valley’). He’s beaten Georgia three out of the last four…and been rude about their arrest record. And he’s stuck the knife into just about every other football team going.

And to cap all that, he’s about to see Jadeveon Clowney – a player who he hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with all the time – as the NFL’s No.1 pick. And he made Stephen Garcia a college football event unto himself.

And he’s consistently stood up for players getting paid more when most coaches and ADs have shied away from the subject. And in 2005, 2006, and 2007 he gave Duke a Top 25 vote in the Coach’s Poll as a continued ‘Thank You’ for his first job.

You either love or hate Steve Spurrier….and when he’s on your side, you love him.

The big issue for South Carolina is that if this line of success continues, when is Spurrier – who is pretty much a workaholic (aside from his 2001 rounds a year at Augusta and other golf courses) – actually going to resign? He did it once from Florida, went to the NFL, failed there, and is now back on a redemption path.

We DON’T think Spurrier’s going to go: “Well, I’ve taken ’em as far as I can”. Unless he suddenly has a brain transplant, and becomes a little more chilled.

We think it’s going to be a good few years before he leaves. So enjoy your trolling, Steve!!

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi State O-Lineman arrested

Mississippi State offensive linesman Jordan Washington and recently-graduated Bulldog offensive linesman Charles Siddoway were both arrested on Wednesday for burglary and robbery.

Both were charged.

Siddoway was an ever-present in the Mississippi State for the two years he started on the offensive line, while sophomore Washington is expected to be a back-up after not starting in 2013.

ESPN says that incident happened in an apartment complex near MSU’s campus, in which Siddoway was identified, and then Washington.

Washington has been suspended by coach Dan Mullen.

4-star DEs commit to Alabama

Four-star defensive end Christian Bell has committed to Alabama.

The player, who hails from Hoover, AL, was offered by Mississippi State, South Carolina, UCLA and Vanderbilt (amongst others), before making his decision to play for Nick Saban.

LSU had recruited the player but did not make an offer, while Bama’s offensive line Mario Cristobal did the recruiting for their hated rival.

Bell is the No.11-ranked player at his position. He’ll come into Tuscaloosa alongside the No.1-ranked player at the position, Mekhi Brown, who decided to come to the Crimson Tide instead of Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Southern Cal.

 

Three Texas A&M players arrested

Three Texas A&M football players have been arrested on outstanding warrants, it has emerged.

Wide receiver Edward Pope, defensive linesman Gavin Stansbury and defensive back Howard Matthews Jr were all arrested on Thursday night.

KBTX in College Station tells the story like this: “College Station Police stopped a 2008 Pontiac on Texas Avenue, around 11:40 p.m. Thursday, for an expired registration. Edward Pope, a sophomore wide receiver, pulled into the Freebird’s parking lot. When police ran his license, they discovered Pope was wanted on a College Station municipal warrant for Failure to Appear. So, they arrested him.

In an attempt to find someone who could drive Pope’s car, police ran Gavin Stansbury’s license. Turns out, the senior defensive lineman he was wanted on assault charges in Harris County.

Police then ran Howard Matthews Jr’s license. Matthews, a senior defensive back, was wanted on three municipal warrants – Speeding, Failure to Exhibit Driver’s License, Failure to Appear.

Apparently Stansbury was arrested for punching a kid at Rice University on March 16th. More disturbingly, Stansbury seems to have been harrassing a woman on Rice’s campus, too. “A second female witness says she met Stansbury while walking back from a party. She says Stansbury told her he was a Texas A&M football player, but was transferring to Rice next semester. She says she had to tell Stansbury to stop following her when she walked into the women’s restroom.

Pope and Stansbury were both suspended in 2013 for two games for violating team rules after being arrested in the off-season.

Texas A&M said: “The Texas A&M Athletic Department released the following statement: “Gavin Stansbury was initially suspended from all athletic activities, but has since been reinstated to the team. Howard Matthews and Ed Pope are still members of the team.

This news isn’t the first news that Coach Kevin Sumlin has had to deal with over the off-season which concerns players being arrested. Isaiah Golden was arrested on February 23rd for misdemeanour marijuana possession, while Darian Claiborne – who had already been arrested in December on a similar charge to Golden’s – was booked for a noise violation on the same weekend as Golden.

BOTTOM LINE: This blogger would be surprised if Stansbury is not kicked off the A&M team by September, and Pope will be lucky if he’s not too. And Claiborne, too.

 

 

LSU, Syracuse confirm match-up

LSU and Syracuse have confirmed that they will play a home-and-home series in 2015 and 2017.

The first game will be at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on September 26th, 2015, and the return game will be at Tiger Stadium on September 9th, 2017.

“We are thrilled to enter into this home-and-home agreement with a premiere program like LSU. Student-athletes come to Syracuse to play on the biggest stage possible, and this gives our coaches and young men the chance to battle one of the standard-bearers of the SEC on our home turf,” said ‘Cuse AD Daryl Gross.

Syracuse finished 7-6 (4-4) in their first season in the ACC in 2013.

LSU and Syracuse have played two games against each other in the schools’ history. The current series stands at 1-1. The first game was in 1964 (LSU won 13-10) and the second game was in 1988 (Syracuse won 23-10).

BOTTOM LINE: All power to Syracuse for scheduling a big-time SEC opponent. Now, can LSU schedule a big-time college football opponent in another home-and-home series? 

Texas A&M QB to transfer

Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel is to transfer, the school said today.

He will eligible for the 2014 season immediately, as he has already graduated from College Station.

As a back-up for Johnny Manziel, Joeckel saw virtually no action for the Aggies, and with in-coming freshmen Kyle Allen and Kenny Hill obviously bigger frontrunners than Joeckel in the battle for the starting job, Joeckel judiciously saw it was time to leave.

Joeckel managed 27 throws, 335 yards and 2 TDs in a 2-year career for the Aggies.

Pre-Iron Bowl? 4-star Safety/RB opts for Auburn, not Alabama

4-star running back/safety Kerryon Johnson has committed to Auburn, nixing hot competition from Alabama and Florida State.

Johnson, who plays at Madison Academy, AL, said in a press conference: “The Auburn coaches are good Christian guys who will get on you, but it’s about love…..We talked about family.”

Johnson also had offers from Clemson and LSU, and had visited Alabama, Florida State and Auburn previously.

He’s ranked the 2nd-best player in the State of Alabama behind defensive tackle Daron Payne….who’s also committed to Auburn.

Highlights of Johnson’s offensive and defensive highlights can be seen here.

4-star CB de-commits from UK, commits to Alabama

Alabama has added another defensive back commitment for the 2015 recruiting class.

Montrell Custis, a cornerback from Lovejoy High School in Hampton, GA, is ranked as a 4-star player by 24-7 Sports.com.

He had originally committed to Kentucky, but now has decided he wants to play in Tuscaloosa instead.

Despite also being offered by Auburn, Custis committed to Kentucky on November 10th. On February 25th Alabama offered the player, who then visited the Crimson Tide’s facilities at their Junior Day on March 1st, and visited the school on April 12th. He de-committed from Kentucky on April 14th.

On February 19th Custis told Rivals that he was still solid. Well, not anymore.

Here are the 2013 highlights from Montrell Custis’ Hudl site.

Custis had 4 INTs, 67 tackles, and 12 assists in his 2013 season, where he was named first-team All-Georgia defense.

Missouri boots out starting WR

Missouri has booted out starting wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

The troubled wide receiver had been suspended earlier in the week (although he wasn’t arrested) by coach Gary Pinkel, who later decided to dismiss him.

Pinkel said in a release sent out to the media: “This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind….Dorial’s priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start.

Pinkel’s decision seems to have been made after a Green-Beckham was allegedly involved in a burglary in Columbia early Sunday morning. There were no arrests after the people involved declined to press charges, although they did report the burglary to police.

The Columbia Daily Tribune added: “An incident report released by the police Thursday alleged that Green-Beckham forced his way past one occupant of the apartment while she was trying to close the door on him, then pushed another occupant and caused her to fall down some stairs.

The report added that Green-Beckham allegedly forced himself into the apartment looking for his girlfriend, and was physically violent towards a female.

He entered the apartment searching for his girlfriend, who later texted the woman he allegedly pushed that he had dragged her out by the neck as well.

This incident is the latest chapter in Dorial Green-Beckham’s dark off-seasons at Missouri, which included getting arrested after getting stopped on January 10th in a car that contained over a pound of marijuana. He was riding in the car, but the car was not his. He had been arrested in October 2012 for possessing marijuana, and was suspended for that too.

Before his suspension Green-Beckham had said in this statement through his adoptive father: “Don’t blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything. I am not looking for sympathy. I thank those who have given me concern. I have been young and dumb. I want to be better. During my suspension I’m entering counseling. With help, I know I can be stronger emotionally and spiritually.

Now, the Columbia Daily-Tribune was told that John Beckham said that his adopted son was “devastated“.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite a trouble-less 2013, Green-Beckham had been in trouble at Missouri seemingly ever since he arrived at the school, and despite being quite a target on the field, with 87 catches, 1,273 yards, and 17 TDs to his name, which included an 883 yard, 12 TD and 59 reception year in 2013. The news is not good for the Tigers, who are going to miss what would be their No.1 receiver for 2014. But Gary Pinkel will just be moving on. So, anyone else think Green-Beckham’s going to go back to a SEC school? We think so! Our money’s on a SEC West school! 

 

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »