Arkansas Archives

SEC teams dominate Forbes’ “Most Valuable Team” List

SEC domination continues up to Christmas – including Forbes’ ‘Most Valuable Team’ List.

In the magazine’s ‘Business of College Football’ issue, LSU was the top team in the SEC – although the Tigers were still behind Texas, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Forbes estimated that the Tigers had a value of $102m, with football revenues a cool $69 and total profit $45m. That’s a pretty good return on the investment.

Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas were also on the list. Texas A&M slipped out of the Top 10, but is expected to return next year after a bowl game, and someone called Johnny.

The Top 10 list in full (with valuations):

1) Texas – Total Valuation $133m

2) Michigan – $120m

3) Notre Dame – $103m

4) LSU – $102m

5) Georgia – $99m

6) Alabama – $95m

7) Florida – $93m

8) Auburn – $85m

9) Tennessee – $84m

10) Arkansas – $83m

Also on the lists were Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and Les Miles on the ‘College Football’s Most Powerful Coaches’ list. We think Les Miles will be a little up the food chain after his recent raise!

 

 

Sometimes, it was that good: SEC Top 10 moments

But sometimes, the SEC really was that good.

Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel enlivened our souls, Alabama and Georgia played the best SEC Championship Game in recent memory, the SEC got another National Championship entrant (and favorite!), there were crazy atmospheres in Death Valley, Williams-Brice and The Swamp, and Will Muschamp did wonders at Florida. And Les Miles offered to kiss you on the lips. Which is pretty awesome.

The song: Nelly’s “The Champ”…

10. College Gameday, College Gameday, College Gameday

Talk about a recruitment tool. ESPN College Gameday could have just lived on our campuses after the amount of exposure it gave to the conference with the best preview show in sports. Not only was there Alabama-Michigan, but also Chris Fowler and friends went to South Carolina, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, LSU, and the SEC Championship Game. That’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. And all the crowds not only behaved brilliantly, but were raucous throughout. Moment of the year? Brian Kelly getting booed by the SEC Championship Crowd!! Free Boosie!!!

9. The Best SEC Championship Game. Ever.

At the end of the season when the naysayers are saying you’re overrated, sometimes you need to show ’em how damned good the conference is. Alabama and Georgia was the best college football game of the year, let alone in the SEC. After 60 minutes, Georgia was just five yards away from making it to Miami and redemption. This was incredible. And we also got to see Mark Richt get mad at the reporters – at last! If you haven’t seen the game, watch it. It’s worth DVRing for post-January, when there’s nothing to do and you hate basketball.

8. Jadeveon Clowney or Jarvis Jones: Take your pick.

Jadeveon Clowney and Jarvis Jones were HANDS-DOWN the best defenders in the SEC this year. If there was a pair of players more dominant in college football, then please let us know. Jones dominated the biggest game of Georgia’s game against Florida, while Clowney dominated….all season again. The crowning moment has to be Clowney’s game-saving sack of Tyler Bray and force fumble in the emotional end of the game against Tennessee. Although Jarvis Jones’ strip of Jordan Reed comes close.

7. Ole Miss, er, Rises Again.

Using words like ‘Rise Again’ around Oxford, MS is probably not the way to go, but we’re not talking about a bunch of racists, we’re talking about Ole Miss’ football team, which went from a no-win SEC season to a bowl season, which included beating the living Reb out of Mississippi State in the process. And you know what? Ole Miss could have been even better this year. They were beaten on THREE game-ending drives (LSU, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt), although they managed to get one back (game-ending field goal against Arkansas). With Bo Wallace as the QB, this could be fun!

6. The Boys From Ole Florida

Before the season, we thought Florida would be the third – or even maybe the fourth- best team in the SEC East. Yes, they’d make a bowl game, but that was about. And despite having an offense that was offensive to watch (and not in a good way), Florida’s defense was absolutely dominant (see South Carolina for details), and only a Jordan Reed fumble away from the SEC Championship Game. Jeff Driskel will assure us that UF’s offense is going to be a lot better in 2013, while Mike Gillislee is going to be fun to watch in the pros. Especially if he can be as heroic as he was in 2012 for the Gators. Enjoy the Sugar Bowl.

5. Texas A&M and Missouri, Welcome To The Show

2012 was the year that we welcomed the Tigers and the Aggies to the SEC with love in our hearts and two new places to go tailgating to in our minds. Although Missouri struggled, thanks to an undersized offensive line that couldn’t deal with SEC pass rushing, Texas A&M prospered, pulling off one of the coups of the year beating Alabama….on the road. And some guy called Johnny Manziel got the Heisman.

4. Alabama & The Crystal Ball

LSU should have beaten them. Georgia got five yards away from beating them. But it didn’t happen. Nick Saban’s team is fired up, and on the way to Miami to play Notre Dame for it all. Although it might be argued that Florida probably had a better resume as a one-loss team, Alabama won the title and so that’s that. Nick Saban’s program just keeps on getting better and better, and this can only be frightening for the rest of college football.

3. Les Miles Loves You!

He implores you to kiss someone on the mouth. And remember, Death Valley’s where dreams come home to die. Unless you’re, er, LSU against Alabama. Miles went through the season frustratingly, amusingly, and awesomely. Les Miles: We love you. Even if a lot of LSU fans don’t.

2. The Usual Incredible Atmosphere

Williams-Brice, South Carolina for the Georgia game. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee for the game against Florida. Death Valley, LSU for the Alabama game. The Swamp, Florida for the LSU game. The Cocktail Party. Every game at Texas A&M and it’s nutty 12th man and traditions. The SEC Championship Game. Incredible atmospheres. THIS is why we love the SEC.

1. Johnny Heisman

We would talk a lot about how wonderful Johnny Manziel is. We could talk about the mazy runs, the great arms, the leadership, the Heisman. We could talk about how he made every lineman he played against look stupid, and maybe even a little insecure. Instead, shut us up and play this link, will you?

Sometimes, it wasn’t that good: Bottom 10 SEC Moments

Don’t worry friends, we’ll get to our ‘Top SEC Moments’ this week, so you can remember fondly the great season that we’ve had a conference (unless you’re Auburn, Tennessee or Kentucky, who combined for 1 conference win between them).

But to go up, sometimes you have to start from the bottom. Here are our Bottom 10 SEC Moments (both off and on the field)….

Our song? Oh: Fun’s ‘Some Nights’….

10) The Fall of Auburn

There was nothing nice to say about Auburn football in 2012. They won no games in their conference. They came close at home to LSU, but that was about it. Otherwise, they completely and utterly stunk. Kiehl Frazier justified his ranking as the SEC’s worst quarterback, and the fans simply stopped coming along. It was tragic. Gene Chizik ran the table in the SEC in 2010-1, and then was run out of the SEC in 2012. Welcome back, Gus Malzahn.

9) Et thou, Kentucky?

We put Kentucky just above Auburn in our celebration of SEC awfulness because they should have beaten Georgia and outplayed South Carolina for a half. Otherwise, they were terrible and Joker Phillips quite rightly lost his jobs. Welcome, Mark Stoops.

8) Arkansas awfulnesss

Once ranked in the Top Ten, the Arkansas Razorbacks were meant to make a run for the SEC West title, and  possible (just possibly) a BCS spot. Knile Davis was back. Tyler Wilson was the quarterback. Cobi Hamilton was the wide receiver. This offense was going to be a lot of fun under Bobby Petrino. Unfortunately for Hog Nation, this wasn’t the only thing under Bobby Petrino. In August, Petrino was involved in a motorcycle crash….and then lied about the student assistant who he was having an affair with. He was fired, and replaced by John L. Smith. Smith provided a lot of fun for the TV cameras, but not a lot of fun on the field. Sorry John, but we can’t smile about the Razorbacks season. Maybe Bret Bielema will be doing better.

7) Zach Mettenberger

If there’s been a bigger let-down quarterback that Zach Mettenberger in the SEC, then please let us know. This tall, strong-armed quarterback was meant to bring LSU to the promised land this year, but in the first half of this year, was absolutely awful. There wasn’t another QB who could overthrow his wide receivers quite like this LSU Tiger did. At Death Valley, we hear that they nearly put warning signs on the sidelines and end-zones when LSU was driving, just in case someone was hurt by the errant throw. Funnily enough, he came good against Alabama and has been pretty good ever since, but he was still a let-down.

6) Mississippi State’s fall from grace

Mississippi State was unbeaten going into Alabama, and everyone thought: “Maybe Dan Mullen’s team won’t be overrated this year”. They were. After a 7-0 start, the Cowbellers lost four out of their last five, including getting blown out by a born-again Ole Miss. But it wasn’t just that. MSU were terrible in the losing run. My only question: How in God’s name did they get their No.11 ranking in the first place? By playing nobody??

5) The let-down that was Dorial Green-Beckham

Dorial Green-Beckham came in at Missouri as the No.1 player in the country. He was athletically brilliant – a no miss, wide receiver. He ended up with 395 yards receiving and 5 TDs, and only 28 receptions. He didn’t have one game of over 7 receptions. Criminally underused? Oh, and he was suspended for the Vanderbilt game for – you guessed it – smoking weed near the school’s stadium. Anyway, we should get a big future out of him next year (early prediction), but this year, Gary Pinkel could have used him more and helped Missouri get a bowl game. Maybe.

4) No unbeatens

On one hand, this shows the strength of the SEC, but on the other hand, it shows that no-one was good enough to run the table this year. No team was particularly amazing in the conference, but we’re pleased to see that the conference’s track record has meant Alabama in the SEC Championship. Oh, and thanks to Stanford and Baylor, too!

3) Rocky Top, Tennessee

Everything was rocky about Tennessee this year. After beating NC State at the start of the year, people started thinking: “Maybe Tennessee could be a dark horse for the SEC title this year”. They weren’t. Truth be told, this wasn’t the worst Tennessee side in recent years that Derek Dooley has coached. They came close in a lot of games, losing two by three points, one by seven points, and they led Florida. Having said that, Tyler Bray continually made bad decisions despite having an excellent offensive line, his wide receivers dropped the ball waaaay to much, and the defense quite simply gave up at the end of the year (see Blowout at Vanderbilt for details). Derek Dooley, who was hated in Neyland by many going into the season, was summarily fired. Oh, and there was the small butt-chugging incident, too, which meant one of the most hilarious denials in the history of hilarious denials. Welcome, Butch Jones…don’t bring any boxed wine.

2)  Tyrann Mathieu Honey Badgers himself

12 months ago, we were cursing ourselves because Tyrann Mathieu didn’t get the Heisman Trophy. 12 months ago, we were replaying highlight reels of Tyrann Mathieu, using the words: “Game changer”, “NFL prospect”, “Incredible”, and asking ourselves questions like: “How on earth does he do that?” Now, we’re asking the question: “How could such an incredibly athletic, game-changing NFL prospect get himself in such trouble over and over again? How on earth does he do that?” Tyrann Mathieu destroyed his own legacy at LSU. And worst of all, he destroyed himself. Here’s to hoping we see you play again, Tyrann Mathieu. But here’s to praying you don’t end up in a very bad way.

 

1) Marcus Lattimore’s saddening exit

Lattimore’s career should not have ended like this. No athlete’s career should have ended like this, but least of all Lattimore, who was looking to rebound after a horrific injury in 2011 took him out. The image that still haunts us is the shocked look of Lattimore’s family, and the prayers of both the South Carolina and Tennessee players. God….

 

SEC Football Blog’s All-SEC team

Sorry we’ve been out of touch…..we’ve been at the SEC Championship Game (did we mention that?), and running around.

Anyway, since we’ve been gone a bit, we’d like to point out a few things:

1) We’re still on the fence about whether we’re rooting for Alabama, Notre Dame, or nobody at the National Championship Game.

2) Well done to Johnny Manziel for winning the Heisman. Great for Texas A&M, and great for SEC Football to have a Heisman winner (again). However, Collin Klein probably had a better body of work, but Manziel beat Alabama. And if anyone beats Alabama, they deserve plaudits. Speaking of that, how on earth does Manti Te’o get to New York but Jadeveon Clowney and Jarvis Jones NOT get a look-in? Come on, guys!!

3) Great hires by Arkansas to get Brett Bielema, and Tennessee to get Butch Jones. Both very competent coaches. What does it say about the SEC that they can get someone with the stature of Bielema to leave the Big Ten and come join an Arkansas team that has up to now been a poor relation of LSU and Alabama (and this season almost everybody else, too!). The Butch Jones hire might not have been Charlie Strong from Louisville, but Tennessee will rebuild under Jones – and he’s done wonders at Cincinnati

Anyway, here’s our All-SEC team on both sides of the ball. Enjoy!!

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK  

Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M): I’d sit there and put up a crap load about Johnny Football’s stats, tell you how he’s almost singlehandedly put A&M in the limelight, or he took the Aggies from SEC wannabe to SEC contender or I’ll just give you two words: Johnny. Heisman. No-one can argue that one QB has done more for his program this year in the SEC – and maybe in college football. Oh, and Florida’s Jeff Driskel, Alabama’s AJ McCarron and Georgia’s Aaron Murray? Y’all had good seasons too. Auburn’s Kiehl Frazier? Not so much.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Todd Gurley/Keith Marshall (Georgia) – ‘Gurshall’ meant one thing: Isaiah Crowell who??
  • Eddie Lacy/TJ Yeldon (Alabama) – One guy said on Twitter: “You’ve got TJ Yeldon for two years. Good luck!” I agree. Lacy’s performance in the SEC Championship Game was something special, too.
  • Also: LSU RB pairing of Jeremy Hill/Spencer Ware, Florida’s Mike Gillislee, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, and Johnny Manziel were up for consideration, too. And what happened to Arkansas’ Knile Davis this season?

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Cobi Hamilton was something special all season long. He was the bright spot in an otherwise goddawful Razorbacks season.
  • Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews was a real difference-maker for Vanderbilt too in their bowl run….
  • Also: Alabama’s Amari Cooper is going to be frightening in the future (he’s already pretty great now!), Ryan Swope at Texas A&M’s good enough to go to the NFL and be a success, and Chad Bumphis (Mississippi State) and Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss) were stand-outs in the State of Mississippi. Catch of the year still goes to LSU’s Jarvis Landry at Arkansas, though…
TIGHT END
  • Jordan Reed (Florida) has been outstanding for the Florida Gators in their one-loss, Sugar Bowl-making season. The best TE in the SEC.
OFFENSIVE LINESMEN
Here, we’re going to go with the best units rather than the best players. That’s because we don’t really identify one person and go “hey, he’s really amazing!!!” , when it’s the unit that gives a team success. 
  • A lot of people are going to talk up Alabama and Texas A&M‘s offensive lines, which is quite right. They were immense. But guess which offensive line gave away the least sacks in the SEC? Tennessee’s. Even though the Vols played a tough schedule, the offensive line stood firm. Which means we can blame it all on Erik Ainge and his wide receivers that couldn’t catch a darned ball!
DEFENSE
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
  • DAMONTRE Moore (Texas A&M) – Second in the SEC in sacks (7), and a frightening proposal for any offensive linesman.
  • She Richardson (Missouri) – The SEC’s best defensive tackle. Had the practise, too – since Missouri rarely put a good drive together (unless they were playing Tennessee!)
DEFENSIVE ENDS
  • Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) – This man destroyed offensive lines all season long and should have been in the conversation for a Heisman. There you go.
  • Sam Montgomery (LSU) – Big Sam can take over games, and when he’s not being held (see the Alabama game for details, because it happened a lot), he’s a destructive influence. An intelligent pass-rusher, he’s got a bright NFL future.
LINEBACKERS
  • Jarvis Jones (Georgia) – Playmaker? Tick. Sack Machine? Tick. Team leader? Tick. Tackling maestro? Tick. Should have been a Heisman Candidate but wasn’t? Tick. Going to make a lot of money in the NFL? Tick.
  • A.J. Johnson (Tennessee) – A lot of people would love to rule this kid out, but he led the SEC in tackles this year. By 16. In a horrible season for the Vols, Johnson stood out mightily.
  • Kevin Minter (LSU) – Minter had great game after great game for LSU, and took over the Florida game before he was hurt. And although he played on, he wasn’t the same person – and the Tigers lost in Gainesville. He might well go to the NFL this year, but  if he’s bright, he’ll wait a year and pick up some big time money in the first round of 2014.
  • We also considered Alec Ogletree (Georgia) (Let’s think about his numbers if he hadn’t been banned for four games, shall we?), Alabama’s CJ Moseley Kentucky’s Avery Williamson. Williamson lastly had a tremendously productive year for UK, despite being on a team that was permanently uncared for.
CORNERBACK
  • Dee Milliner (Alabama) – Will Milliner stay in college or will he go pro? SEC quarterbacks are hoping (and praying) for the latter.
  • Andre Hal (Vanderbilt) – A lot has been made of Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, and we agree, he’s a great player. But Hal had 11 pass break-ups and 2 INTs this year for the Commodores. And Banks this season may have won the Jim Thorpe award for the country’s best defensive back, but as this site said, he disappeared a bit during MSU’s horrible late-season run. Hal did not. Therefore, we’re giving an All-SEC award to Hal this season, although him and Banks are pretty much interchangeable.
SAFETIES
  • Matt Elam (Florida)  – Elam was one of the reasons why Will Muschamp was jumping so much on the sideline. He was sensational all season long. Was there a better safety in college football? Nope. Deservedly named in an AP All-American.
  • Eric Reid (LSU) – Reid is exceptionally talented. There’s no argument about that. His 62 tackles rank at the top of the SEC and he was a floating danger for any quarterback out there. Which made it so irritating when he was penalized for stupid personal foul penalties, or missed his man completely. Which rarely happened.
  • We would have put Bacarri Rambo (Georgia) in Eric Reid’s place, if he hadn’t been suspended for the first four games of the season for pot brownies. Ramob – like Reid – is going to make a lot of money in the pros.

 

Huge News: Arkansas grabs Brett Bielema from Wisconsin

Huge news in the SEC and the Big Ten: Arkansas has grabbed Brett Bielema, Wisconsin’s coach, according to reports.

Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports said: “An announcement will come today, sources told Y! Sports, but Bielema is not expected to be introduced until Wednesday.”

Arkansas had already dangled a monster contract under the nose of LSU Coach Les Miles before the Tigers gave him a massive new extension and contract increase.

BOTTOM LINE: This is massive news for the Razorbacks. Bielema is a fine recruiter, and has taken Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowls. The Badgers are coached with having a fine running game behind giant offensive linesman. Don’t expect miracles from Bielema in his first year, but if he doesn’t half the job he did at Wisconsin, this is going to be a great hire.

 

Is the SEC really the country’s greatest conference?

I saw this article by Saturday Down South about the SEC Championship Game and how the gap between the SEC and rest of college football was widening.

I’d like to point out – even as a SEC homer – that there are some corrections to be made:

1) If you watched the ACC game, you saw tarps covering large sections of the upper deck coupled with plenty of Carolina Panther-blue empty seats throughout the stands. Most estimates put the crowd size in the 30,000-40,000 range. The Big Ten Championship attendance was reported to be around the 41,000 mark. The Pac-12 Championship Game was hosted on-campus at Stanford on a Friday night and pulled around 31,000 fans. At least the Pac-12 recognizes it can’t support a neutral site venue at this point and maintains an on-campus venue each year. – If you’d seen the weather at Stanford, you would have respected Stanford fans – not the best at going to games – for at least coming out. It was horrific. UCLA fans aren’t great travellers anyway, especially with Friday night California traffic. Why did they have the game on a Friday, anyway. Charlotte for a ACC game is a great spot – although it’s a long way to go for FSU and GT fans – especially when GT is at best weak this year and FSU’s interest in a National Title’s gone. The SEC Championship Game is in Atlanta, which is 3 hours for Bama fans and is a local game for the UGA faithful – and students. Plus, it’s in a Dome so the weather’s perfect! And the fact that it was a big-time game helped matters, too! The point about the Pac-12 and the fact that it ‘can’t support a neutral site at the moment’ is true…. Apart from USC, Pac-12 fans aren’t great travellers – although the distances are far bigger than our beloved SEC!

2) A successful conference championship game requires teams worthy of winning a championship. This is true – but 6-6 Georgia Tech and 7-5 Wisconsin WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME if Miami and Ohio State hadn’t had ‘issues’ with the NCAA. And note that SDS doesn’t mention Florida State or Nebraska, who were worthy winners of their respective divisions. What does SDS expect? Not having the conference championship??

3) My buddy, a die-hard UGA and SEC fan, says this: ‘At the top, the SEC is the best conference in college football, but at the bottom, we’re Sun Belt’. Having seen Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn and Tennessee prodigiously this seen, it’s hard not to agree. All four are awful. Mississippi State proved to be hugely overrated. Ole Miss might be competitive, but they might have also benefitted from a poor conference. Vanderbilt lost to Northwestern (Heeeeeey! They’re a bowl team!!). And Missouri’s so bad, it just beat Tennessee in overtime.

4) But there are parts of the article we agree on: The SEC simply has more of these elite programs than any other conference. And that’s why the SEC is the best. The SEC isn’t the best because the best team in the SEC can beat any other team in the country by 40. The SEC is the best because they have 5 or 6 teams that can handily beat or compete against every team in the country. South Carolina vs Notre Dame? Yeah, it’d probably be a good game. Florida vs Oregon? I’d love to see it. Alabama vs Kansas State? Done. You me both, SDS!!

5) And as for the bowl match-ups, I’m sorry bowl people, but we agree with ‘Saturday Down South’ – I’m not going to be watching Florida/Louisville unless I’m dating Ms Kentucky and she’s a Louisville fan… Why are fans upset about the bowl matchups? Because instead of seeing Florida take on a team like Oregon, we have to watch them take on Louisville. Instead of seeing Florida State take on a team like LSU, we have to watch them play Northern Illinois. We want powerhouse vs powerhouse. Having said that, we’re pretty happy about Alabama/Notre Dame, South Carolina/Michigan and Nebraska/Georgia. These are all going to be a lot of fun.

Les Miles signs new contract with LSU

A couple of things happened today that you should be listening to.

After the furore involving Les Miles and a $5m-a-year, 5 year contract with Arkansas, LSU announced that Les Miles has signed a seven-year contract extension with the university.

Miles will earn $4.9m annually to be the Tigers head coach, according to the linked report.

Miles said: “I’m a LSU head coach and will be a LSU head coach for as long as I can be. Hopefully, we’ll look up seven years from now and I’ll be looking for another seven-year extension.”

BOTTOM LINE: It’s not exactly surprising that Miles’ pay raise came at the time that rumors were circulating that Arkansas had reached out to the Mad Hatter. It may well have been Miles’ agent putting out the word to SportsbyBrooks, or other sources, in an effort to drive up his client’s wages. Anyway, the deal’s in place with LSU, and this can only be good for LSU Football.

Kentucky hires Mark Stoops

Kentucky has confirmed the hiring of Mark Stoops, the former Florida State defensive co-ordinator.

UK AD Mitch Barnhardt said: “New beginnings always provide a sense of excitement,” Barnhart said. “That’s why today I’m excited for Mark Stoops and his family as they provide a new beginning for our football program, fans and players. I also want to thank FSU coach Jimbo Fisher for his help in the hiring process. Mark’s passion has been evident in the way he coaches and in his love for the game of football.  That passion carried over into our process and his desire to wear the Blue and White.  Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark.  He comes from a coaching family and has been in big games and big atmospheres throughout his career.  That has prepared him for this opportunity to become head coach at Kentucky.  We welcome Mark, Chantel, Will and Zack to the Big Blue Nation.”

The Wednesday rum0r mill broke the news Wildcats had hired Stoops to be Kentucky early that day.

Kentucky had a 2-10 season last year, with a winless SEC season. They had fired Joker Phillips before the end of the season, but unlike Tennessee’s Derek Dooley, he was allowed to finish the last game on the sideline. Phillips was cheered off after the Wildcats demolished Samford.

Stoops comes from a Florida State side tipped by some college football experts to be in the National Championship Game, but was instead surprised by NC State and then Florida in two mind-bending performances.

Stoops will definitely improve Kentucky’s defense, which gave up 424 yards per game. Reilly Schmidtt, the RantSports blogger, also said: “I believe that bringing in a guy like Stoops will be good for the program…..he will be able to get UK to play some stout defense once he gets some good players into the fold.  In reality, this is a very safe hire that has a lot of upside for the team going forward.”

Frankly, we agree. If he can make Kentucky the home for in-state recruits rather than Louisville, and he can beat the hated Cardinals in the local rivalry game at the start of 2013, then people will love him. They’ll love him more he can get Kentucky to come through with 60-minute games – UK actually played pretty well against South Carolina and Georgia, but failed to come up with an upset-for-the-season ‘W’.

But Stoops is going to need what a lot of coaches haven’t had this season – time to turn this ship around. After all, it fell a long way with Joker Phillips in charge.

Then there were four: Gene Chizik joins the ranks of the fired

It’s official: Gene Chizik has been fired as the head coach of the University of Auburn.

It wasn’t a surprise. Auburn were winless in the SEC, and in their big rivalry games against Georgia and Alabama, the Tigers offense lost 38-0 and 49-0. That’s pretty good going, and enough to really **** off the Tigers fanbases.

We all knew it was coming – I think I first realised that Chizik wasn’t going to be around for too long when this team struggled with Utah State at the start of the 2011 season, and then I knew it when they needed overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe.

Anyway, Cam Newton won Chizik a National Championship, and for the next 48 months, Chizik’s going to be getting just under $150,000 per month. We feel really sorry for the Auburn family now.

Who’s going to come?

Well, with Tennessee and Arkansas all in the mix for a top head coach (sorry Kentucky, but you don’t look as though you really want to spend that much on your football program), this could be interesting. James Franklin, get your cellphone ready…

 

Stir Up The Echoes, Because We’re Facing Notre Dame: SEC Final Power Rankings

Wow. It’s all come so quickly.

After only three months, the college football season is effectively over. Yes, there’s the SEC Championship Game, bowl games and the small thing called the National Championship Game is over, but there are no more SEC night games. There are no more big stadiums with parking lots filled with people cooking gumbo, drinking bourbon, and generally having a damned good time. The pageantry is over.

We do know one thing: We are not going to see an all-SEC National Championship Game. Notre Dame saw to that, but taking care of Lane Kiffin’s USC in Los Angeles.

But the question is is: Who’s going to play the Irish – Alabama or Georgia?

Stir up the echoes, folks, because Saturday’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Anyways, here are your SEC Rankings to end the season:

1) Alabama – Because the Crimson Tide destroyed Auburn, and they are second in the country. Let’s not talk about the resume too loudly, for fear that someone from the BCS might look at their computer again (whisper).

2) Georgia – No-one’s playing better football in the country than Georgia at the moment, who thumped Georgia Tech in Good Ole Fashioned Hate on Saturday afternoon. If Georgia can work at up-tempo offense, they could have Alabama struggling on Saturday.

3) Florida – We didn’t see the Gators’ victory at Florida State coming. If opposite QBs keep giving a defense like the Gators gifts (and let’s face it, they have been doing all season long!), then expect Mike Gillislee & Co to snap it right up. Florida could also have a case for going to the National Championship ahead of Alabama or Georgia – particularly with their body of work. If Georgia loses.

4) LSU – Struggled to a win over Arkansas in the best SEC game of the week. Jarvis Landry’s catch was the highlights of the day, week, month and year. Florida not losing also assured the Tigers that they aren’t going to a BCS game this year. No Sugar, Baton Rouge.

5) Texas A&M- Is anyone flying higher than the Aggies and Johnny Manziel at the moment? Nope, didn’t think so. The biggest thing for the 12th Man could still happen…. Manziel wins a Heisman. The next thing already happened at Thanksgiving – Texas lost to TCU at home!

6)  South Carolina – The Gamecocks had a hard-fought victory over Clemson, completing a 4-0 SEC rout over the ACC. The Gamecocks weren’t brilliant, but their defense absolutely stifled the Tigers. Jadeveon Clowney made an All-American appearance, sacking Tajh Boyd four times in an incredible performance.

7) Vanderbilt – Went to Wake Forest and happily thumped the Demon Deacons. James Franklin is building a good program, but when will they beat one of the SEC big boys (we don’t count Tennessee in that equation anymore!)?

8) Ole Miss – Some people on Twitter got a little annoyed when Ole Miss fans invaded the field to celebrate the Rebels win over Mississippi State, but for us, this was great. When you beat your hated rival, you need to be able to jump on the field. Oh, and Hugh Freeze can forget about worshipping Jesus: The man IS Jesus this weekend. He’s helped to resurrect a program that this time last year, was a national joke.

9) Mississippi State – Hard to quantify how bad Dan Mullen’s side looked last night… Let’s just say that they were cowbell’d and leave it at that, shall we? But all in all, a disappointing season for State, who looked more ‘Fail’ than ‘Hail’ in this Egg Bowl match-up. Tyler Russell needs a better offensive line.

10) Missouri – They are only here because they beat Tennessee in overtime. The Tigers were slaughtered at Texas A&M on Saturday, looking as though they stopped trying during the game. Gary Pinkel’s seat may have become a little warmer.

11) Tennessee – Because they thumped Kentucky.

12) Arkansas – A hard-fought LSU loss means one thing for us: Why didn’t the Razorback team – and its defense – play like this for John L. Smith all season long?

13) Auburn – Gene Chizik should go. ‘Nuff said.

14) Kentucky – Joker Phillips has already gone. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

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