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Can Ole Miss turn things around? Week 7 SEC Preview

I’d like to point out that this week the college football schedule is about as much fun as the time when you got ball-tapped by your “humorous” frat boy buddy for the 19th time. Or when Grandpa from Kansas City invited you over to watch the Missouri vs Georgia game because it would be a ‘fun guy thing’, and  you couldn’t say: “I really want to ****ing leave” at half-time, because it would rude and disrespectful (little did you know that he was actually wishing you would go home, so he change the channel, but he felt guilty for doing that, since he invited you over. The Scenario Ending? You both felt like pieces of crap. Well, at least Grandpa had beer. It made things just a little more bearable…

Anyway, here’s our game previews for Week 7’s SEC slate, ranked in importance.

  1. Texas A&M at Ole Miss: We’re all waiting to see if Kyle Allen ups his performance last week and throws 4 pick-6s. And if the clash between Myles Garrett and Laremy Tunsil actually sparks off fires in Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium. And if Ole Miss actually has a defense this week. And if Hugh Freeze realises Laquon Treadwell’s a really good wide receiver.
  2. Auburn at Arkansas: Trainwreck!!!
  3. Tennessee at Alabama: Because this time, Tennessee won’t get killed by Alabama. Says the CBS previewer, begging people to tune into the game.
  4. Western Kentucky at LSU: Ranked this high because Leonard Fournette.
  5. Kentucky at Mississippi State: Kentucky could win two SEC road games this year. Mississippi State could actually find a rushing attack. This could actually be a better game that people expect.
  6. Missouri at Vanderbilt: Missouri’s offensive line and offense in general is offensive. This game is going to be rougher than the hangover you had after the first time you went shot-for-shot with ‘Fun’ Uncle Joe at Thanksgiving.

LSU loses WRs coach to 49ers

LSU’s wide receivers coach Adam Henry has decided to return to the NFL, taking a job with the San Francisco 49ers as the team’s wide receivers coach.

Henry was in the job for two years after moving to Baton Rouge for five years with the Oakland Raiders, where he was offensive quality control coach and then tight ends coach.

Under his watch, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were major difference-makers for the LSU and then in their rookie years in the NFL with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

This is the latest coach to leave Les Miles this off-season after the LSU head coach lost long-term DC John Chavis to Texas A&M.

Henry is not the only position coach in the SEC to vault for the SEC. Florida’s defensive line coach Terrell Williams bolted for Miami just after National Signing Day, prompting CeCe Jefferson to delay his LOI to the Gators, and Arkansas’ running backs coach Joel Thomas has reportedly gone to New Orleans.

OUR TAKE: LSU will find another wide receivers coach pretty easily. But what is it about position coaches leaving for other jobs just after National Signing Day? 

Arkansas gives Bielema contract extension, puts him in $4m club

Arkansas has given head coach Bret Bielema a two-year contract extension through 2020, in a deal that will earn the coach at least $4m a year.

The Razorbacks will raise Bielema’s salary by $100,000 per year, and have also added incentives for athletic and academic success that could give ‘Bert’ an extra $1m a year.

ESPN.com noted that Bielema becomes the eighth SEC coach to earn at least $4m a year.

Jeff Long, Arkansas’ AD said: “Coach Bret Bielema is not only one of the best college football coaches in the nation, he is an outstanding leader. What Coach Bielema and his coaching staff have done for our young men, on and off the field, is something that has dramatically changed the course of our program and most importantly positively impacted the lives of our football student-athletes. He is building a championship program in a way that all Arkansans can be proud of. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program and the many successes yet to come.

After a woeful 2013, Arkansas rebounded to have a 7-6 season, ending with smashing Texas 31-7 in the Alamo Bowl. Most impressively, they beat Ole Miss and LSU, and took Alabama and Texas A&M close.

Will Tennessee continue to rebound against Missouri? SEC Week 13 Preview

It’s Week 13 in the SEC, and to say the least, it’s a really, really dry slate. We know this because the big games of the week of the week are Missouri’s visit to Tennessee and Ole Miss’ visit to Arkansas. The rest is pretty dry.

So here we go with our Week 13 SEC Preview. I promise you, the games are incredible.

MISSOURI AT TENNESSEE

This clash of the unranked doesn’t mean that this game – at night at Neyland Stadium – isn’t important to Missouri – and to Georgia. If Missouri loses one of its upcoming games against Tennessee and Arkansas, it loses its stronghold on the SEC East, letting the Dawgs go to Atlanta. That means that in one of the weirder outcomes in SEC Football this year, Georgia fans will find themselves screaming: “Come On Tennessee!” on Saturday night – if they haven’t already been put into a coma by the earlier games. Missouri’s defense will face off against Tennessee Volunteers quarterback sensation Josh Dobbs, who’s has been putting the team on his back over the past few days. Missouri – which unexpectedly came out of Texas A&M last week with a win (the Aggies had beaten Auburn the previous week) – has a defense which can cause turnovers – but the offense has struggled almost all season long. Happily for the offense, they will face a Tennessee side licking its wounds without suspended playmaking LB AJ Johnson and sophomore defensive back Michael Williams, who were both named in a rape investigation by Knoxville police this week. AJ Johnson is noted as being the second-highest SEC tackler with 101 by blogsite “Rocky Top Talk” – and being virtually irreplaceable. But if we’re honest, if Johnson and Williams DID do what they’ve been accused of, they deserve to be suspended and jailed….but that’s just our opinion. One thing we do know: Neyland Stadium’s going to have a heck of an atmosphere on Saturday night.

PREDICTION: Missouri is a 3-point underdog. Thanks to Johnson’s injury, we think Missouri comes out with the victory by 10.

OLE MISS AT ARKANSAS

Verne and Gary have got to go somewhere on CrapCake Saturday, so it’s to Razorback Mountain to see a revitalized Arkansas side – who won for the first time in 17 tries last week by beating LSU 17-0 – take on No.8 Ole Miss. Theoretically, Ole Miss can still win the SEC West, thanks to its win over Alabama earlier in the year, but Armageddon in the SEC West is going to have to happen for that to happen. Arkansas would LOVE to make it 2 wins in a row, and so would the fanbase, who suddenly only need a win in their last 2 games to become bowl eligible. Ole Miss is still pretty beaten up after their losses against LSU and Ole Miss (WR Laquon Treadwell and LB Denzel Nkemdiche are the big losses on either side of the ball), while Arkansas just can’t wait to have Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams run.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss is a 3-1/2 point favorite. We’re going with the big upset, and taking the Razorbacks to win by 7. 

VANDERBILT AT MISSISSIPPI STATE

Sadly, the thing that people are going to talk about this week when they discuss Mississippi State Bulldogs football ISN’T going to be about Dak Prescott’s still possible Heisman journey, or even the loss to Alabama. It’s going to be about safety Justin Cox, who was suspended after getting arrested for burglary and domestic battery.  As we said about the AJ Johnson case, if he’s guilty he deserves to go to jail. Simple. Anyway, Vanderbilt threw out (yet) another running back this week (Jerron Seymour) too, but he’ll be less of a difference maker than Cox…by a mile. And about the game, we expect the cowbells to keep on ringing as Mississippi State tries and win their last game before the showdown with Ole Miss.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State wins, but not by the 30-1/2 point margin. Bulldogs by 28.

AND THE REST?

All the next SEC games will be won comfortably by SEC teams. And this will be the sound of no hands clapping.

Alabama to beat Western Carolina

Georgia to beat Charleston Southern

Auburn to beat Samford

Florida to beat Eastern Kentucky

South Carolina to beat South Alabama

 

 

Texas A&M stuns Auburn, Alabama heartbreaks LSU: SEC Week 11 Power Rankings

Texas A&M pulled off one of the stunners of the SEC season when they beat Auburn at Jordan-Hare on Saturday. Then LSU looked like it would pull a monster upset in Death Valley by beating Alabama….and then choked. And Georgia looked as though it would struggle at Kentucky BEFORE the game, but destroyed the Wildcats with a terrific performance.

As it’s the SEC, we’re going to do this in terms of SEC commentator calls…… We’re throwing in some Larry Munson (RIP) and some dumbass Gary Danielson stuff too.

So here we go:

1) MISSISSIPPI STATE

“Aaaand the Bulldogs are still No.1!! Keep ringing those cowbells! And pass me a smoke!” – Jack Cristil, legendary Mississippi State broadcaster, RIP

2) ALABAMA

“We just LOVE what Nick is doing with this team. He and Lane are the greatest. I cried a bit when I thought they would lose at LSU. But they didn’t. So I’m happy.” – Gary Danielson.

3) AUBURN

“Forget the Auburrrrrn. On Saturday, it was just burrrrrrrn.” – Rod Bramblett, Auburn broadcaster

4)  OLE MISS

“And the Ole Miss Rebels fought a war with themselves. Their souls were hurt by the loss at LSU, and even worst by the loss at home to Auburn. But they had faith. And against Presbyterian, they proved themselves competitors. And I was there, cheering them on. Because that’s what belief is about here in Oxford” – Wright Thompson, ESPN.

5) TEXAS A&M

“You know what that was? That was karma! THAT was karma! And that’s payback for you guys humping Myles Garrett, too!” – The “Around Aggieland” podcast guys, probably.

6) GEORGIA

“You’d better avoid Lexington tonight, because all them Dawg People are going to be out tonight, burning down stables, basketball courts and houses to celebrate that win” – Larry Munson, in heaven.

7) LSU 

“I really, really, really, really, really ****ing hate Nick Saban” – Any LSU play-by-play guy

8) ARKANSAS

“We’ll get through. We beat Bye Week pretty easily. Bret’s going to turn us around. I believe in us. Pig Soiee.” – Paul Eels (RIP).

9) MISSOURI 

“In the same way that I’m no Jack Buck, I know that we’re no Alabama. But we’ve played pretty well despite the loss of talent last year” – Mike Kelly, Missouri commentator.

10) FLORIDA

“OH MY! THE GATORS ARE SUDDENLY ON FIRE!!” – Mike Hubert, the Voice of The Gators.

11) SOUTH CAROLINA

“Me and my buddy Steve have hope for the Gamecocks this season. So you should too” – Todd Ellis, South Carolina.

12)  KENTUCKY

“That was a hell of a butt-kicking, but we’ll get back on the hoss!!” – Tom Leach, Kentucky announcer

13) TENNESSEE

“On Saturday it will once again be football time in Tennessee” – Bobby Denton (RIP)

14) VANDERBILT

“The last time we looked up hope, it came up with a Vanderbilt degree” – Joe Fisher.

Top HS player in Mississippi picks MSU over Alabama

Top safety Jamal Peters has decided to commit to Mississippi State over Alabama, LSU and Florida State.

The four-star player from Bassfield, MS, decided to stay at home despite going to LSU and Ole Miss on unofficial visits.

Peters, who is 6-3 in height and weighs 200 lbs,  has been rated the top high school player in Mississippi by 24-7Sports.com, had 28 offers, including Georgia, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida State.

 

 

Nick Saban gives thoughts on ‘Saban Rule’

Below is Q&A done with Alabama Coach Nick Saban by Al.com‘s Brandon Marcello on the controversial ‘Saban Rule’, which would force offenses to wait before snapping the football, therefore slowing down the game.

***FIRST PUBLISHED ON AL.COM***

Q: What are your thoughts on the 10-second rule proposal?

Saban: “I really don’t necessarily have an opinion on the 10-second rule. I think there are three issues that need to be researched relative to pace of play, the first being player safety. When you look at plays that are run, and a team averages 88 plays, and we average 65 at Alabama, that’s 20-something plays more a game over a 12-game season, that adds up to four more games a year that guys have to play. I think it’s wear and tear and tougher to prepare players when you have to play against a hurry-up offense because of the way you have to practice. 

I don’t know that there’s any particular scientific evidence that you could say, more guys get hurt in this offense versus that one, or hurry-up, or whatever, but everything that we’ve ever done in the NCAA is about exposure. How many exposures does a player get? We’ve always tried to limit spring practice, we limit fall camp, we limit the number of days you can hit now. We have acclimation days: so many days in shorts, so many days in shoulder pads. The NFL even limited their practice even more, but really found that they got more guys hurt in the games. The ratio of guys that get hurt in the game is 7 to 1 that guys get hurt in practice. So we’re limiting practice, and playing more plays in the game. College football is the only game in the country, of any kind, that the college game is longer than the pro game. And the disparity in plays run is like 59 to 72 in the NFL – 59 for the lowest-average team, 72 for the highest. You know, in college, it’s more like 61 and 90. Alright, so there’s a large disparity. But that’s just something that people need to look at.

The second thing is, can officials officiate the game? They’re not in position when the ball is snapped, just like defensive players aren’t in position when the ball is snapped, so that’s a game administration issue that people should probably look into.

And the third thing, to me, and the last thing, which is not the most important, I think the first is most important, is there any competitive imbalance created by the pace of play.

So I think those are all issues that people need to look at. In the NFL, what they did is the officials stand over the ball until the officials are ready to call the game. Alright, that’s how they control the pace of play. The coach at Philadelphia ran 83 plays a game at Oregon, and ran 65 a game in Philadelphia. So why do they control the pace of play in the NFL? I mean, I’m just asking.

But anyway, there’s just a lot of issues that need to be looked at, but I think the bottom line is, was football intended to be a continuous game?

 
Soccer is a continuous game, rugby is a continuous game, but for the physical elements that are involved in playing a football game and the number of plays that you play, I don’t know that it was ever intended to be a continuous game.”Q: Bret Bielema last week mentioned player safety being No. 1 for him, and even brought up the Cal player who passed away in February during a conditioning drill. His proof is death certificates, that these hurry-up offenses could lead to some player safety issues and the last thing he wants to see is a player, one, get injured and maybe even worse in the future. What are your thoughts on that?

Saban: “I think player safety is the No. 1 thing, and that was my No. 1 issue as well. I think when players get tired they’re more susceptible to get injured if you can’t substitute players when they’re tired or if they’re injured and you can’t get them out of the game. Or if a player has a pre-existing condition, whether it’s sickle cell, asthma or whatever it is and the trainer says that guy needs to come out. The only way to get them out of the game is to call timeout, so the other way, we could, you know alleviate — there’s a lot of solution to the problem. I don’t think coaches should be making this decision. I don’t think I should make it, I don’t think any coaches should make it. I think somebody outside all of us should decide what is in the best interest of the game, whether it’s player safety, game administration, whatever it might be. That’s sort of the concern that, I think, we all have.”

Q: Gus Malzahn mentioned he doesn’t necessarily want to nix this right away, but he would like there to be a year to where everybody can kind of discuss and maybe do some research to gather data about it. Are you OK with that?

Saban: “I think one thing people don’t understand is they don’t have all the facts about this. The reason — I had nothing to do with the idea of the 10-second rule, but the committee decided the 10-second rule because they took 12 games of three fastball teams: Oregon, Auburn, Texas A&M and I forget the fourth one, it might have been Baylor, I’m not sure. And they said, OK, how many times did they snap the ball in the first 10 seconds of the play clock? It averaged four times a game, so you’re really not changing — I don’t think anybody was trying to change what they do or how they do it, but the fact that they can get on the line and snap it quick, you can’t substitute. All right. So, that becomes an eventual player safety issue and I think if you ask the guys philosophically, a lot of them that run the offense, they say we want to wear the defense down and get the defense tired. Well, you get the defensive players tired they are going to be more susceptible to getting injured.

Even though  there is no scientific data to prove this, there was a study at Virgina Tech in 2003. All right, they did sub-concussive head traumas on eight players for 10 games. Those players played 61 plays a game and had 18 sub-concussive hits in a game, so they played 61 plays a game for 10 games. So, I’m saying if you’re playing nose guard, three-technique, defensive end, offensive tackle, offensive guard, if you played 88 plays in a game, there’s no scientific evidence but there is some logic that says the guy would have more hits. So, that’s a player safety issue that I think people need to sorta look at. 

Look, I’m all for what’s best for the game. The game is what it is, I don’t think any coach should determine, just like when they went to Philadelphia in the NFL and they were going so fast, the officials said, ‘We control the pace of the game.’ The league said, ‘The officials control the pace of the game, not a coach.’ So, I’m just saying what’s best for the game. That’s what Nick Saban is for.”

Q: The officials controlling the pace of the game, is that something you’d like to see instituted in the college level?

Saban: “They spent a lot of money in the NFL figuring out what’s best for the game and what’s best for the players and they have a lot invested in it and I think sometimes we don’t need to do all the things that they do but I think in some situations the officials controlling the pace of the game in that league has, I think, benefited the players and I would like to see the officials be able to control the pace of the game. I think the officials control the pace of the game in all games, but they don’t in college football.”

Bauer, Giant WRs highlight Missouri’s National Signing Day class

There’s a band out there called ‘They Might Be Giants’. Have a listen. You’re never going to keep them down.

We know that they’ve been around longer than Missouri’s wide receiving class….but the guys that Gary Pinkel’s recruited might be giants, too.

Only one of the SIX wide receivers who decided to come to Columbia is play for Pinkel is under 6ft…and he’s 5 ft 10. Four-star receiver DeSean Blair – the pick of the bunch (who actually committed to Louisville before deciding he wanted to play in the SEC– is 6 ft 4, while Dorial Green-Beckham’s brother, Darnell, is 6 ft 5 (Important question: What does Mrs Green-Beckham feed her kids, and could we have some?).

Missouri fans are definitely excited about OL Andy Bauer, who de-committed from Ole Miss to come play for Pinkel. Bauer’s from St Louis, so it was hardly the country’s most surprising decisions. Bauer, who was recruited by everybody, was described as the ‘gem of the 2014 recruiting class’.  And the gem could start as early as this season. Whatever happens, Bauer should shore up the offensive line for QB Maty Mauk, who’s one of a handful of sure-fire SEC QB starters who’ll get reps this Spring.

Missouri was 39th in the 24-7 rankings, and 33rd with ESPN.

 

 

Florida QB Murphy to transfer

Back-up Florida Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy is to transfer despite starting seven games in the place of injured starter Jeff Driskel last season.

Murphy is to join old offensive co-ordinator Steve Addazio at Boston College, where he reported to be enrolling as soon as this week.

Murphy had a mixed season for an awful Gators team, passing for 1,1216 yards, 6 TDs and 5 INTS, and rushing for 61 yards and 3 TDs.

The good news for the Gators is that Driskel is going to return after getting injured in the second game of the season, but is expected back by Spring Practice.

BOTTOM LINE: If Driskel stays fit, it won’t matter that Murphy’s gone to BC. However if he doesn’t – and Matt Jones can’t start the year – then it could be another long old season for Will Muschamp.

 

LSU RB Hill and Guard Turner declare for draft

LSU junior running back Jeremy Hill and guard Trai Turner have both declared for the NFL Draft.

Hill said on his Twitter account: “I am a Tiger for life. I will forever be grateful to my LSU fans, friends, coaches and family. This decision has been very difficult for me….. With all of that being said, I have decided to forego my Junior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

The loss of Hill will be huge for LSU fans who – at the start of the 2013 season – were probably wondering if Hill would actually be playing for LSU at all. Hill was involved in a fracas outside the ‘Tigerland’ set of bars in Baton Rouge, in which he blindsided a member of the public. LSU coach Les Miles left it up to the LSU players to decide if Hill would stay around — and he did.

Hill ended the season with 1,401 yards and 13 touchdowns as an eligible sophomore last season – including stealing the show against Iowa in the Tigers’ bowl win.

ESPN noted that Hill’s leaving would create a hole for top prospect running back Leonard Fornette and junior Terrence Magee, who had over 600 yards and eight TDs to his name.

BOTTOM LINE: I remember speaking to a LSU fan about the possibility of Hill not playing for the Tigers in 2013 after his arrest and he said: “We’re not going to miss him. We’re really deep at running back.” And as it turned out, LSU was pretty deep at running back in 2013 – but Hill helped them be that way. Hill puts up a huge amount of production, and particularly with a talent-stacked SEC West, this is going to be a huge loss for the Tigers. 

 

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