Archive for July, 2015

‘Will Muschamp is the best defensive mind in football’ – Gus Malzahn

According to Gus Malzahn, Auburn’s move to get Will Muschamp was an exceptionally positive one.

“Defensively in the offseason, we hired Will Muschamp, in my opinion, the best defensive mind in all of football, not just college football,” he said at the SEC Media Days. “Our defensive players have taken on his personality, which I really like.”

He added: ” He just has that presence around him that he gives all the coaches confidence. He gives his players confidence. And he’s got the it factor. So we’re very blessed to combine his defense with an offense that we’ve been running. We think the future’s very bright.”

Muschamp’s Florida team last year defensively was one of the best in college football, only giving up 19.5 points per game – good for 11th in the country. He also recruited some great defensive players – including the exceptional Vernon Hargreaves, who’s one of the best ‘shutdown’ corners in college football. The problem for Muschamp was his offense – it was 72nd in the country and truly awful for most of his reign. He was fired at the end of the season.

Having said that, Muschamp may not be able to solve the school’s gaping secondary. “Our secondary will be thin. We do have some of our main guys back, but we’re going to have to ask some young guys to step up as far as that goes.”

He also noted that new starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson could “flat out throw”, but noted: “He’s a better runner than people think….. He probably runs a 4.6.”

Malzahn also put out an early shot at Alabama for the next Iron Bowl clash (which may well turn out to be the SEC West decider), saying: “I like our chances”.

Speaking of shots, Malzahn also said about Jim Harbaugh’s ‘satellite camps’ idea, in which schools would go across country holding camps in an attempt to get recruits: “The chances of a team up north coming into our state and a player that us or Alabama wants are slim to none. So it was just a matter of that was the big story.”

 

 

SEC Media Days: What We’re Expecting (SEC East)

On Tuesday we told you what we’re expecting from SEC West coaches on the schedule. It should be a lot of talk about the schedule, quarterbacking and good running backs. Of course, we’d love them to talk about LSU and Alabama’s penchant for getting people arrested, shitty defensive co-ordinators, and their hot wives/daughters/do-nothing husbands-in-law, but it’s probably not going to happen.

Anyway, this time it’s time for your SEC East coaches.

FLORIDA

What Jim McElwain will probably get asked: How he’s settling into the job (“I love it down here. It’s a change from the Rockies”), how he plans to change the offense (“Don’t expect miracles, but we should be better than last year”); How tough the SEC’s schedule is (“We’re just looking at ourselves”); If Vernon Hargreaves really is the best defensive player in the land (“All I can say is that I’m glad he’s on my team”) and if Tim Tebow should get a NFL contract (“He’s a legend around here. We wish him all the best.)

What Jim McElwain should get asked: If he’s hating the damned heat this time of year (“I know. Terrible isn’t it? Right now I’d be smoking weed with Colorado State co-eds, but instead I’m sweating my ass off”); If he walked into Florida, looked at the offense, and invoked the name of Jesus Christ; Whether Tim Tebow should get a NFL contract, and if his recruiting can possibly keep up with Urban Meyer’s, which not only won Florida a couple of titles but also a couple of stars in jail, too. And one player in NFL jail no-one likes to talk to (We see you, Percy Harvin!).

GEORGIA

What Mark Richt will probably get asked: If Georgia can get over the line this time and get to Atlanta (“We hope so. There are some great teams in our division”); Whether Brian Schottenheimer’s made a difference to the Georgia offense (“It’s been pretty good so far”); Whether Nick Chubb and Keith Marshall are going to be the only running backs used this year (“We hope so, but that’s up to injuries); Who’s going to be the new quarterback (“It’s still up in the air. Brice Ramsey looks good. We’re looking forward to seeing what Greyson Lambert can do. Jacob Park’s doing great. Love that kid); How much the Todd Gurley situation hurt the Dawgs (“A player of that magnitude getting injured? Of course it was huge to us”).

What Mark Richt should get asked: (By the loud, obnoxious Bulldogs fan) HOW IN THE **** DOES GEORGIA MANAGE TO CHOKE EVERY GODDAMN SEASON? WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO FIRE YOUR ASS? Also: What’s it like seeing your players play at SEC schools because they couldn’t obey the rules in Athens; Have you told Nick Chubb not to give his autograph to ****ing anybody, even his mother? How pissed were you at Todd Gurley – did you blaspheme? And were you annoyed that Ole Miss outbid your boosters in getting Laremy Tunsil?

KENTUCKY

What Mark Stoops will get asked: How close is Kentucky to being a contender this year (“We’re doing great. I’m excited”); How the defense is going to cope without Bud Dupree (“It’s a huge loss, but we’ll be OK”); What it felt like to beat South Carolina this year and have the marker SEC win (“So happy. The crowd was great. What a day); What’s the banner for UK this year (“I want to win the SEC East)

What Mark Stoops should get asked: Whether he’s on crack thinking Kentucky’s going to win the SEC East this year; If you felt like giving tips to John Calipari about not losing big games after the March Madness loss; Whether John Calipari’s ever sold you a car; Whether you’ve asked John Calipari if he recruit for you; Whether his expectations of Kentucky are maybe a little too high.

MISSOURI

What Gary Pinkel will get asked: How are you going to adjust without Shane Ray (“We did pretty well last year”); How come Mizzou has so many good defensive ends (“We have a great coaching staff and some great recruiting”); What it’s like to win the SEC East back-to-back (“It’s great, but doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win the SEC Title”); What the secrets are to turning a program around (“A great staff, a supportive fanbase, a great family”); and lots of Maty Mauk questions (“He’s one of the best quarterback in the SEC, in my opinion”).

What Gary Pinkel should get asked: When was it apparent that you were going to get your ass kicked by Alabama in the SEC Championship Game? How did you feel about Dorial Green-Beckham going to Oklahoma, not playing a down, and then going to the NFL? Have you got a good enough offensive line not to get Maty Mauk killed this year? Which team’s fanbase do you plan to boot in the nuts this year – Texas A&M, Florida or Georgia?

SOUTH CAROLINA

What Steve Spurrier will get asked: How are the Gamecocks going to rebound from 2014 (“We’ll be OK”)? Whether he’s felt any pressure as to the status of his job (“When you’ve beaten Clemson as many times as I have, you feel less pressure”); Whether he’s thinking of retirement (“Only when Hootie Johnson gives me a green jacket and lets me an August member”); How the team’s looking quarterback-wise (“Connor Mitch, Perry Orth and Michael Scarnecchia are all great quarterbacks. Lorenzo Nunez is pretty good too. We’re in a good place”), and how defense is adjusting after 2014 (“We lost some momentum after Jadeveon Clowney left, but we’ll be alright”). And whether he feels happy now he knows that players are going to get paid in college football sooner rather than later (“I campaigned for this and it’s a great thing. I hope it happens sooner rather than later”)

What Steve Spurrier should get asked: When his tee-time is, how many courses is he playing this week, and who he thinks will win in The Open Championship. Also a bunch of Georgia-related questions to get some Spurrier-like quotes, because if Spurrier’s not on fire, SEC Media Days get old. Fast.

TENNESSEE

What Butch Jones will get asked: The status of Marquez North (“He should be fine for the start of the year”), the progress of Josh Dobbs (“We’re excited”); What’s the key to getting so many great recruits (“Show ’em the stadium, give ’em a night in Knoxville, and let the good times roll!”); And whether this will be the year that Tennessee wins the SEC East (“We’ve got the weapons. Let’s hope so.”)

What Butch Jones should get asked: How much the Tennessee boosters are paying these recruits to commit; Why did he allow “Third Down For What?” in his stadium when it’s such a goddawful song; What’s it like having such an over-expectant program; Does Peyton Manning every call you to give you coaching advice? And how many times a day do you hear about Peyton Manning?

Vanderbilt

What Derek Mason will get asked: What does progress look like to you this year (“A couple of SEC wins and a bowl game”)? What was it like adjusting from being a defensive co-ordinator in the Pac-12 to a head coach in the SEC? (“It took time”)? Are you feeling under any pressure to perform (“There’s always pressure in the SEC”)?

What Derek Mason should get asked: Do you think Vanderbilt’s academic prominence help or hurt you during recruiting? How did you feel coming into a program that was still under the shadow of the rape case? What’s it like to continually lose – and lose big – in the SEC? When do you think you’ll actually competitive? What’s your favorite country band?

 

SEC Media Days: What We’re Expecting (SEC West)

The SEC Media Days (July 13-16) don’t generally have a whole lot, yet they are still entertaining. Maybe it’s because Steve Spurrier is always guaranteed the good one-liner, maybe it’s because Nick Saban’s always whining about something that’s wrong with college football,  or maybe it’s because we’re all waiting for Les Miles to kiss one of his players on the mouth.

Here’s what we think each school’s going to get asked about…..and what they SHOULD get asked about….

ALABAMA

What they will ask Nick Saban: The evil schedule (The quotes that will get spouted will be: “We play in the toughest conference in the land”), the QB situation and who’s going to start (“We don’t, they are all good candidates”), how recruiting is going on (“We keep recruiting hard”), the threat from Ohio State (“Urban beat us pretty good last year. He’s a hell of a coach”), and the toughness of the SEC West (“Do you see any easy games in our division? I don’t), whether he’s pissed that Everett Gholson went to Florida State (“He’s a great player, but decided to go another way”), Derrick Henry (“He’s a great running back”) and his daughter’s wedding (“It was great!”).

What they should ask Nick Saban (but won’t): What Alabama’s been doing about domestic assault, and how could it be happening (Alabama’s had three players arrested for domestic assault charges); What he ACTUALLY thinks of the SEC’s rules about letting players from outside conferences transfer in when they’ve had disciplinary issues (see Golson, Everett); If he actually likes his daughter’s husband, who no doubt he’ll be funding or finding jobs for for the next decade or so; And how Alabama, with all its strong recruiting, had such an awful secondary last year and what steps he’s taking to improve this, because it sure as hell was a problem with the coaching.

AUBURN

What they will ask Gus Malzahn: Lots of long and boring Will Muschamp questions (“Great to see him back”), followed by more Muschamp questions (“Great to see him back”), and maybe some Muschamp questions about how his defense is holding up against Gus Malzhan’s offense (“It’s fine. The best he’ll face all year”); then a few about how Jeremy Johnson’s doing with the offensive plan (“He’s doing great”). Oh, and the SEC schedule (“Never an easy game in the SEC’). And maybe someone being overexcited and asking about Auburn vs Oregon (“It’s gonna be fun. Hopefully I’m there to see it!!”).

What they should ask Gus Malzahn (but won’t): How long Will Muschamp’s leash is if Auburn’s defense doesn’t radically improve from 2014’s; How the new SEC rule banning players with disciplinary problems transfer into SEC schools hurts Auburn; Whether the fact the Auburn basically gave up at the end of the Georgia game was the reason for the firing of former DC.

ARKANSAS

What they will ask Bret Bielema: About the running back duo of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams (“They are two great running backs. Can’t wait to see ’em run up the middle again”); If the close losses in 2014 can be turned into wins (“If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t be here”); How special teams is shaping up this year (“We’re going to have a big improvement”), and how the defense is looking now Trey Flowers has gone (“We’re sure gonna miss him”).

What they should ask Bret Bielema (but won’t): What his language was like to former special teams co-ordinator Rory Segrest after special teams blew games against Texas A&M and Alabama and whether thoughts of killing him entered his head; Has he told her gorgeous wife, Jenn, never to tweet “karma” EVER AGAIN; Whether he actually LIKES calling the Hogs; And whether he’s worn the ‘Hog Hat’ while bedding Jenn?

LSU 

What they will ask Les Miles: About the Anthony Jennings situation (“It’s a legal matter, I can’t answer it.”); The LSU QB situation last year and why it was so bad (“We had two young quarterbacks, but we’re getting there”); The explosion of Odell Beckham Jr in the NFL (“We’re not surprised. He was catching kicks one-handed here”); The LSU defensive line and the departure of John Chavis (“Good luck to him. We’re moving forward); The improvement of Brandon Harris (“He’s going to be a great quarterback”): The SEC schedule (“We’re in the BEST CONFERENCE IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL.”)

What they should ask Les Miles (and might): Which player would he really like to kiss on the mouth if he beats Alabama; Whether he smokes as well as eats grass; The reasons behind some of unbelieveable decisions over the years – including the one in the loss against Alabama; Whether he considered Michigan before Jim Harbaugh got the job; And what in the hell’s going at LSU with all the fighting they’ve been getting into over the last few years. Whether he wanted to beat John Chavis to the ground after he left for Texas A&M….and then took the Tigers to court over money.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

What they will ask Dan Mullen: What it felt like to be flying so high at the top of the polls in November (“We always knew we had a difficult second half of the schedule”); The status of Dak Prescott after his Spring Break assault (“I hate that that would happen to a guy”); What he’s expecting from his side in 2015 (“We expect to win the SEC”), the SEC schedule (“It’s brutal. It’s the SEC”).

What they should ask Dan Mullen (but won’t): Whether his contract extension earlier this year to $4.275m a year was a product of a fantastic 2014, or was because he said: “I’m thinking about going somewhere else”); If the clanging bells give him a headache; How much he hates Ole Miss.

OLE MISS

What they will ask Hugh Freeze: About the situation with Laremy Tunsil (“It’s a NCAA and legal investigation, and we can’t talk about it right now”); About the recovery from injury of Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell (“They are in great shape. Fantastic to have them back”); Who’s going to be the starting QB: Ryan Buchanan or JUCO transfer Chad Kelly (“It’s a close race”); The SEC schedule (“This is a not a schedule from heaven, folks”) Maybe one about Michael Oher and the player’s difficulty adjusting to NFL Life (“He’s reached out to me. We talk.”)

What they should ask Hugh Freeze (but won’t): Whether he ever invoked blasphemy when talking to Bo Wallace about some of his decision-making; How come Robert Nkemdiche wasn’t suspended after he allegedly punched that frat boy last summer; Whether he asked Katy Perry back for a few beers with the Freezes after the Alabama win; How come a booster offered National Championship tickets to Laremy Tunsil, and whether he was a) super-confident or b) Knew Laremy just enjoyed football; And did he know about the Tunsil situation but is B.S.ing everybody>

TEXAS A&M

What they will ask Kevin Sumlin: About new DC John Chavis and the changes under him (“John’s a great coach and I’m psyched to see how he can make us a premier SEC defense”); Myles Garrett, Myles Garrett, Myles Garrett (“I’m glad I’ve still got two years of him playing for me! Guy’s a playmaker!”); Kyle Allen and his quarterbacking (“He’s a great young QB. I hope he continues to progress) and possibly some stuff about Johnny Manziel (“He’s had a tough start in the NFL. Some caused by him, some not. He’s realised he needed to mature and I’m proud of him for doing so. I still believe he’s a NFL quarterback.”)

What they should ask Kevin Sumlin (but won’t): Are you pissed that John Chavis has taken Texas A&M to court only days after bringing him to College Station (Because I know I would be!!)?; Did you celebrate with champagne when you fired Mark Snyder? Why did you do it so late?; Johnny Football – what an idiot, eh; Which SEC coach do you dislike the most and why?.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Things We Love About The SEC

We love America. We love America so we’ll be celebrating by joining our buddies drinking beer and hanging out and celebrating our wonderful country. We probably won’t go in the water by the beach, because if that 30-person flotilla’s anything to go by,  it’ll be a sewage dump come about 6pm.

Anyway, we love America, and we love the SEC. So here’s Top 10 things we love about the SEC.

Happy Reading.

1) Our stadiums Cool names, cool looks, and hedges. What could we want more? We love our stadiums at night more than we love them during the day, because the atmosphere’s something special. From the well-known (The Swamp) to the slightly-less-but-still-deafening-at-night (South Carolina’s Williams Brice) to the cool city stadium (Vanderbilt), every one of our stadiums shows you why we’re the best conference in the world. Thanks for building our stadiums, ESPN SEC Network money!

2) Our fans SEC fans are loyal. Alabama fans might be seen as the spoiled football kids of this decade, but they remember the Mike Shula years also. Every school struggles with good and bad. Our fans are famous for their YouTube rages (that woman STILL hates LSU), and that’s OK. We’d rather our fans to be passionate than just a bunch of ho-hum dontcarers. The party is also won by us, because there are more of us. And we’ve got LSU.

3) Our draftees NFL coaches have a blow-up doll they make love to every draft year, and it’s in SEC colors. That’s because every year soooo much talent comes out of our conference. We had 54 players drafted in 2015 and 49 in 2014. We own the first round. Yes, we get that there have been first round SEC draft busts (take a bow, Johnny Manziel). But for every first round SEC draft bust, there’s been a first round SEC Draft success (take a bow, Eddie Lacy). And yes, we know the big schools don’t always produce the NFL No.1 talent (not EVERY Alabama and LSU player is going to Canton in a few years time (Here’s looking at you, Trent Richardson).

4) Our mascots Go and stick your Buckeye Nut, your Nittany Lion and Scrooge McDuck where the Sun Devils don’t shine, as well as the weird dudes in the Irish costume and the flaming spear. We’ll take our live mascots. We’d love to see LSU and Texas play home-and-home, with a pregame clash between Bevo and Mike The Tiger. Mike’s a 2/1 favorite.

5) Our co-eds Because our co-eds are pretty and classier than  your co-eds are. Sure, there are some schools which could compete on a SEC level like most Californian and Arizona schools and Texas, but generally, we’ve got you beat. They don’t say “Ole Miss, by damn” for nothing. Plus, we look cooler in our sundresses, bow ties, and colored pants. And what answer have you got for a dude who’s first name is “Sherwood”, Jane?

6) Our running backs Three yards and a cloud of dust. That’s what we like. And some of our running backs did 80 yards and a hurricane, like Herschel and Bo back in the day. And there’s Eddie and Trent from Alabama. And this year’s going to special, what with Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb (probably) going to be duking out for a Heisman, with Alex Collins down in Arkansas, and whoever they want to throw at you at Auburn.

7) Our Past. “Peyton” is still as much worshipped as he was the day he touched his first feet on Neyland Stadium turf. Houndstooth is still the thing to wear for the Bear’s Brigade in Tuscaloosa, Auburn embronzed Bo, and Georgia fans shed a tear thinking about how good Herschel Walker was, and Texas A&M fans are still hollerin’ about how much they hate Texas. Arkansas doesn’t like Texas much either. And there’s Spurrier, too.

8) We don’t forgive. We don’t forget. We love a grudge down in the South, and particularly in football. We hate our refs with a collective passion, and we hate the B.S. non-holding calls. We don’t forgive our coach for screwing up that one time against our most hated rival, and every player’s mistake is thought about and brought up. On the other side, we remember a great play (we document them as well as anybody), but we want to know what you’ve done for us lately. On the first game of the season.

9) Our knowledge If you brought a typical, fairly bright SEC fan onto any game show and his subject was his own football team, he’d be rolling in the green. A Georgia fan wouldn’t choke like Mark Richt on questions about Georgia Football failures, because they are engrained in his brain. But then again, he’d probably know who started at left tackle four years ago, too.

10) Our warcries OK, so “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!” might be annoying for you, but it’s damned funny for us seeing y’all peed off when we’re beating you by 30 in a game (note, we’ll punch you if you chant it back at us if you’re beating us by 30 in a bowl game), but there’s so many other awesome ones. “Rammer Jammer” at Alabama, “War Eagle” at Auburn, “Geaux Tigers” at LSU (plus L-S-U and THAT student section), Pig Soiees at Arkansas, Florida Gator chomps, clanging bells at Mississippi State, grown men barking like a dog (and no, Sanford Stadium isn’t a weird cult), “Fight Tiger” at Missouri. Oh, and we’ve got A&M, who sings and yells like a really well-train 100,000-person, drunk choir.

 

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