Archive for May, 2014

Top-rated prospect picks Aggies

Five-star quarterback prospect Kyler Murray has committed to Texas A&M.

Texas A&M beat Oregon and Auburn to the player’s commitment.

Murray, who is 5ft11 and 170lbs, who plays at Allen HS – one of the best high schools in Texas – is the nation’s No.1 dual-threat quarterback, according to 247sports.com. He’s also the top player in Texas.

Murray was also recruited by Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oregon. He also had offers from Texas and Arkansas, amongst others.

 

Other SEC coaches talk on the FCS scheduling issue

Other SEC head coaches than Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp have spoken on the scheduling issue.

This is what they had to say.

Nick Saban (Alabama): “I don’t know that we have a choice sometimes. We can’t just call people up and say, ‘We want to have a game.’ It’s not like setting up a golf game. I call up three of my buddies and say you guys want to play and you play Sunday morning. Then everybody says, ‘Yeah, I can play.’ You ever try to schedule a game? Do you know (what) goes into that? It’s very difficult to do home-and-home with quality teams. To be honest with you, you almost have to buy games to get people to play you. Outside of the neutral-site game we do and our conference games, we struggle to schedule three other games.

We try not to do it now, but sometimes it’s all that we have left to schedule so we can get 12 games. It’s not by choice that we want to do it.

The first people that need to be taken into consideration here, who get no consideration, are the fans and the people who support the program. Quality games for them, so they want to come to the stadium and come to the game and support the program and make it exciting for the players. No, we do not want to play those types of teams. Sometimes we don’t have a choice.

Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss): “At this point, I believe it’s best for us to continue doing that. I just find it hard to believe that one game like that … over the totality of the season would really hinder you if you perform well in those other games.

Bret Bielema (Arkansas) “I know we’re trying to stay away from them if physically possible. But I think they have their place, especially if they’re a regional game. It gives an FCS (opponent) a chance to play what used to be a BCS team. I think that has a lot of merit. I was in the Big Ten when the Appalachian State thing happened and I think that makes college football pretty cool.

 

Muschamp: No more FCS opponents

Florida coach Will Muschamp does not want to see any more FCS opponents on the Gators’ schedule.

Despite becoming the laughing stock of college football after his team’s loss to Georgia Southern – a FCS team- last year, Muschamp still spoke out against the schedule at the SEC Spring Meetings.

He said: “We’re probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents“, adding: “And I think our fan base wants to see better opponents“.

But Florida AD Jeremy Foley had other ideas. He said: “In a perfect world, you play all D-I schools. But also you have to have 12 opponents“.

 

 

Tennessee QB to transfer – reports

Tennessee back-up quarterback Riley Ferguson isn’t expected to return to Knoxville, his coach Butch Jones has said.

As of right now, based on our recent conversations, we do not anticipate that he will be a member of our football family moving forward,” Jones told the News Sentinel.

No-one really knows why Ferguson is planning to leave – aside from the fact that it may be something to do with him wanting to be closer to home – but there is a feeling that his departure could cause Jones a headache, particularly with there only being three quarterbacks on the roster – senior Justin Worley, and sophomores Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman.

 

Ranking The Best Entrances in the SEC

It’s 99 days to go until the college football season starts, and we’re pretty excited. So excited, in fact, that we’re ranking all of the entrances/pregame traditions in the SEC. And we’re not talking about tailgating!

1. Running Through The ‘T’ – Tennessee

Neyland Stadium. Night. The crowd has already drunken itself to a stupor. The Pride Of The Southland Band forms a T. The team runs through it.

2.  ‘War…..Eagle’ – Auburn

Not EXACTLY the entrance, but letting Spirit The Eagle out as the crowd screams “War Eagle” is one of the best traditions in sports. Spirit The Eagle then hitting a luxury box in 2011 might just be one of college football’s greatest highlights, though. The 2013 entrance was pretty cool, though.

3. 2001 – South Carolina

One of the best-known scores in film music becomes one of the best-known scores in college football in Columbia, SC on a Saturday night.

4. Chomp, chomp, chomp – Florida

What gives us the Chills about this one at The Swamp is probably not the entrance itself. It’s the 90,000-strong, drunk crowd chomping along beforehand. The obligatory alligator video. A voiceover about ‘The Swamp’. Gives you the notion that they don’t like you, and that’s OK.

5. Les Miles and his team – LSU

We actually love LSU’s entrance….mainly because of its simplicity. Les Miles crouching in front of his team. The team hopping through the LSU band as fireworks go off. Death Valley going nuts.  It would be soooooo Les is he was run over one of these times

6. ‘March of Honor‘ – Texas A&M

Pumped-Up Yell Leader walks out, screaming and looking like he could go toe-to-toe with Ali, Liston and Tyson…all at the same time. Then come the flag bearers. Then Aggie drummers. Then bouncing around Yell Leaders. Then swaying. Then mist. Then the team, led by a Yell Leader with Reveille The Dog. With some cannon. It’s pretty cool scene in Kyle Field.

7. Pig Sooiee – Arkansas

The crowd calls the Hogs. Repeatedly. Team enters Ever think that Cam from ‘Modern Family’ could call a Hog before a Razorbacks game?

8. ‘This is Alabama Football’ – Alabama

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Alabama Football’, the announcer tells the Tuscaloosa crowd, who are already full of cocktails and hate. Crowd runs through, facing an end-zone with everyone shaking their shaker as hard as humanely possible. There are also some words from Bear Bryant, too, IS the voice of God at Bryant-Denny. No excuses.

9. Running Through The Doors – Vanderbilt

Again, underrated but pretty awesome. The team stands behind closed doors as the crowd, fired up, bay on their Commodores. Doors open, team runs out through the smoke. Understated, but nice.

10. Mist ‘N’ Cowbell – Mississippi State

You’re already deaf from some guy ringing a cowbell in your ear for the best part of an hour. Then you look up, and you see maroon and white warriors run through the mist. Chills. If you can see. For whom the cowbell tolls indeed.

11. Tiiigers – Missouri Entrance

The guy doing the voiceover in the stands is auditioning for a job on Saturday Night Fights. “Tiiiiiiiigers!”, he says. The crowd goes crazy. Oh, and there’s some mist, too.

12. Various – Georgia

The walking through the mist is pretty cool (taken from Miami). The swaying is pretty cool. Running through the G is pretty cool. It’s not going to win prizes, but then again, Sanford Stadium is fired up enough already without needed a big, fat show. And Sanford’s already got its frickin’ hedges.

13. ‘Til The Battle is Won’ – Kentucky

Ironic, since Kentucky hasn’t won a SEC game in a while, but the Kentucky team walks out to a cheering crowd and below a massive banner saying: “‘Til The Battle Is Won‘. Special points for warming up the crowd with ‘Zombie Nation’.

14. Simple – Ole Miss

Ole Miss doesn’t do a lot to get a crowd hyped up at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium before a game. They enter. The crowd cheer. In fact, they enter pretty much at the same time as their opposition (see Auburn game). We think it’s because the biggest thing about Ole Miss has actually been the party on The Grove. We like this ad though.

 

 

 

Derrick Thomas to go into College Football Hall Of Fame – ESPN

The late, great Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas has finally been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, ESPN is reporting.

Brent McMurphy tweeted: “Former Alabama LB Derrick Thomas inducted into College Football Hall of Fame, sources told ESPN“.

The news isn’t great just for Thomas’ family, but it’s also great for Alabama football and the SEC in general.

Thomas – who died in 2000 in a car crash – was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2009.

In college, Thomas’ legacy is incredible. He set the NCAA career sack record with 52 sacks, which still stands today. He got the Butkus Award in 1988, as well as being voted an All-American. In that year he had the record for sacks in a single season with 27, and led Alabama to four straight bowl games. He also had 68 tackles for loss – also a Crimson Tide record.

Thomas was snubbed three times for the College Football Hall of Fame before finally getting his legacy sealed.

BOTTOM LINE: There will be tears in Tuscaloosa. 

Defenses plague SEC challengers’ hopes – ESPN

We all know that Alabama is the SEC’s No.1 challenger for College Football’s first play-off.

But according to an ESPN Insider article, there’s some major problems on the radar for other SEC teams hoping to get in the play-offs.

— For Georgia, it’s a crappy secondary. “The inconsistent secondary is still the most prominent weakness for this club“, the report says.  “Linebacker Leonard Floyd will offset some of this with his incredible pass-rushing skills, but it is still looking as though this area of the Georgia defense is going to be every bit the coverage sieve it was last season.” The departures of Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins aren’t going help matters. And to think this was a place where Champ Bailey made his name!

LSU? Poor pass rush. “To say the Tigers were mediocre in their pass-rushing prowess last year might be giving them too much credit,” the report says. “They do have an up-and-coming impact player in Danielle Hunter, but one additional contributor might not be enough to get this pass rush to the level it needs to be to contend for a national championship.

South Carolina? Not enough depth in the defensive line. Not helped by the departure of Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarless.  “Its defensive line depth is so thin that it is considering using a 3-4 front more often this year. It can be a difficult transition to go from generating a pass rush with pure physical talent to producing sacks via creative play calling.” It notes that Gerald Dixon is a “solid replacement” for Clowney.

Texas A&M? Not enough returning on the defense. The report made noises about how badly the unit sucked last year (and it really did), and noted that although the Aggies are adding five-star DE Myles Garrett, that might not be enough on a defense that’s really poor. Why hasn’t anyone called for the head of DC Mark Snyder yet?

 

Another solution to the SEC’s 9-game argument

Nick Saban is furious.

Nick Saban wants his nine-game SEC schedule, and he’s going to stand on his Crimson Tide-colored soapbox to get it.

Nick Saban wants Alabama to play all 12 games against the big five conferences, and if it means not playing the mighty Georgia State or Chatanooga, then so be it.

But Nick Saban, we’ve got a question: When was the last time Alabama played a major Big Five Conference team in a home-and-home series? The answer was 2010 and 2011, against Penn State (The Tide won both games). Before that in Nick Saban’s career as Alabama coach? None. After? None.

And which school cancelled a home-and-home series against a competitive Big Five school in 2016 and 2017? That would be Alabama.

We’d also like to put it that we think that in Nick Saban’s world, he would LOVE every game against Big Five opponents. But it would darned well suit him to play all the games on neutral venues, like the SEC-friendly Georgia Dome or JerryWorld in Arlington. Or in Tuscaloosa.

I can’t wait for Wisconsin vs Alabama in 2016….but I wish the game was a home-and-home in Madison and Tuscaloosa rather than Jerryworld, a stadium which we in the SEC are going to get really, really bored of by Season 30.

But that’ll happen when our schools sell their soul.

Alabama fans will yell at you and say: “We’re not afraid of playing ANYONE”, and I would nod and say: “I would have loved to see Alabama go waste Michigan State in East Lansing. But they cancelled that.”

What really needs to change to have the best of both worlds (an 8 game SEC schedule which includes permanent opponents so we don’t do away with all-important historical games like Georgia and Auburn; as well a schedule that’s not thumped by the Play-Off Committee), is the Play-Off Committee itself.

If they changed the RPI of the games, so teams that play out of conference games at neutral venues (therefore not penalizing Texas A&M vs Arkansas or more importantly, Texas vs Oklahoma) get their butts handed to them. 

Or alternatively, Nick Saban should tell Bill Battle to play more home-and-home series.

That’ll give Nick Saban the sorts of games he wants.

SEC releases 2014-2025 Football Schedule Rotation

Looking forward to Alabama going to Georgia? That’s 2015. Texas A&M at Florida? 2017. LSU at home to South Carolina? That’s 2020.

Why the SEC is putting out this schedule we’ll never know, but it’s certainly welcome.

ALABAMA – 2014 vs. Florida; 2015 at Georgia; 2016 vs. Kentucky; 2017 at Vanderbilt; 2018 vs. Missouri; 2019 at South Carolina; 2020 vs. Georgia; 2021 at Florida; 2022 vs. Vanderbilt; 2023 at Kentucky; 2024 vs. South Carolina; 2025 at Missouri.

(Permanent opponents in 2014: Home – Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M; Away – Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

ARKANSAS – 2014 vs. Georgia; 2015 at Tennessee; 2016 vs. Florida; 2017 at South Carolina; 2018 vs. Vanderbilt; 2019 at Kentucky; 2020 vs. Tennessee; 2021 at Georgia; 2022 vs. South Carolina; 2023 at Florida; 2024 vs. Kentucky, 2025 at Vanderbilt.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss; Away – Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Missouri.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

AUBURN – 2014 vs. South Carolina; 2015 at Kentucky; 2016 vs. Vanderbilt; 2017 at Missouri; 2018 vs. Tennessee; 2019 at Florida; 2020 vs. Kentucky; 2021 at South Carolina; 2022 vs. Missouri; 2023 at Vanderbilt; 2024 vs. Florida; 2025 at Tennessee.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M; Away – Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

FLORIDA – 2014 at Alabama; 2015 vs. Ole Miss; 2016 at Arkansas; 2017 vs. Texas A&M; 2018 at Mississippi State; 2019 vs. Auburn; 2020 at Ole Miss; 2021 vs. Alabama; 2022 at Texas A&M; 2023 vs. Arkansas; 2024 at Auburn; 2025 vs. Mississippi State.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, LSU; Away – Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

GEORGIA – 2014 at Arkansas; 2015 vs. Alabama; 2016 at Ole Miss; 2017 vs. Mississippi State; 2018 at LSU; 2019 vs. Texas A&M; 2020 at Alabama; 2021 vs. Arkansas; 2022 at Mississippi State; 2023 vs. Ole Miss; 2024 at Texas A&M; 2025 vs. LSU.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Auburn; Away – Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

KENTUCKY – 2014 at LSU; 2015 vs. Auburn; 2016 at Alabama; 2017 vs. Ole Miss; 2018 at Texas A&M; 2019 vs. Arkansas; 2020 at Auburn; 2021 vs. LSU; 2022 at Ole Miss; 2023 vs. Alabama; 2024 at Arkansas; 2025 vs. Texas A&M.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State; Away – Florida, Missouri, Tennessee.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

LSU – 2014 vs. Kentucky; 2015 at South Carolina; 2016 vs. Missouri; 2017 at Tennessee; 2018 vs. Georgia; 2019 at Vanderbilt; 2020 vs. South Carolina; 2021 at Kentucky; 2022 vs. Tennessee; 2023 at Missouri; 2024 vs. Vanderbilt; 2025 at Georgia.

(Permanent opponents in 2014: Home – Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State; Away – Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

OLE MISS – 2014 vs. Tennessee; 2015 at Florida; 2016 vs. Georgia; 2017 at Kentucky; 2018 vs. South Carolina; 2019 at Missouri; 2020 vs. Florida; 2021 at Tennessee; 2022 vs. Kentucky; 2023 at Georgia; 2024 vs. Missouri; 2025 at South Carolina.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State; Away – Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 2014 vs. Vanderbilt; 2015 at Missouri; 2016 vs. South Carolina; 2017 at Georgia; 2018 vs. Florida; 2019 at Tennessee; 2020 vs. Missouri; 2021 at Vanderbilt; 2022 vs. Georgia; 2023 at South Carolina; 2024 vs. Tennessee; 2025 at Florida.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M; Away – Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Kentucky.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

MISSOURI – 2014 at Texas A&M; 2015 vs. Mississippi State; 2016 at LSU; 2017 vs. Auburn; 2018 at Alabama; 2019 vs. Ole Miss; 2020 at Mississippi State; 2021 vs. Texas A&M; 2022 at Auburn; 2023 vs. LSU; 2024 at Ole Miss; 2025 vs. Alabama.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Arkansas; Away – Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

SOUTH CAROLINA – 2014 at Auburn; 2015 vs. LSU; 2016 at Mississippi State; 2017 vs. Arkansas; 2018 at Ole Miss; 2019 vs. Alabama; 2020 at LSU; 2021 vs. Auburn; 2022 at Arkansas; 2023 vs. Mississippi State; 2024 at Alabama; 2025 vs. Ole Miss.

(Permanent opponents in 2014: Home – Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M; Away – Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

TEXAS A&M – 2014 vs. Missouri; 2015 at Vanderbilt; 2016 vs. Tennessee; 2017 at Florida; 2018 vs. Kentucky; 2019 at Georgia; 2020 vs. Vanderbilt; 2021 at Missouri; 2022 vs. Florida; 2023 at Tennessee; 2024 vs. Georgia; 2025 at Kentucky.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss; Away – Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

TENNESSEE – 2014 at Ole Miss; 2015 vs. Arkansas; 2016 at Texas A&M; 2017 vs. LSU; 2018 at Auburn; 2019 vs. Mississippi State; 2020 at Arkansas; 2021 vs. Ole Miss; 2022 at LSU; 2023 vs. Texas A&M; 2024 at Mississippi State; 2025 vs. Auburn.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama; Away – Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

VANDERBILT – 2014 at Mississippi State; 2015 vs. Texas A&M; 2016 at Auburn; 2017 vs. Alabama; 2018 at Arkansas; 2019 vs. LSU; 2020 at Texas A&M; 2021 vs. Mississippi State; 2022 at Alabama; 2023 vs. Auburn; 2024 at LSU; 2025 vs. Arkansas.

(Permanent opponents in 2014:  Home – Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss; Away – Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri.  Sites alternate home and away through 2025.)

Mississippi State beats Texas to 2015 QB

Mississippi State has signed three-star quarterback Chason Virgil.

Virgil, who hails from Vesquite, TX, is 6ft-2 and 170lb, and is ranked 23rd in the nation in pro-style quarterbacks and 55th in the State of Texas.

“I called Coach (Brian) Johnson and I had already told him two days ago that I wanted to commit but I knew they were so busy earlier in the week. So he already knew why I was calling and he just asked me if I was ready to commit and I said ‘yes’,” he told 24-7Sports.com

“Then me and Coach (Dan) Mullen plan to talk tomorrow when he gets back in town. At first, they kinda wanted me to wait until I could talk more with Coach Mullen. But Coach Mullen gave Coach Johnson the go-ahead to accept my commitment. Coach Johnson said he was very excited and was glad it happened today.”

Mississippi State beat Arizona State, Clemson and Texas to Virgil’s commitment. In the SEC there was also attention from Auburn, Florida, Missouri, and Texas A&M, as well as Notre Dame, Clemson and UCLA among others.

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