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Alabama tops USA Today Coaches Poll

Alabama is the No.1 pick of the USA Today Coaches Poll, it has been revealed.

Ohio State, Florida State, Southern California and National Champions Clemson round out the top five.

Surprisingly, there are no more SEC teams until No.12, when LSU is selected, followed swiftly by Auburn (13th) and Georgia (15th). Florida is 16th and Tennessee is 24th.

Here is a rundown of the Top 25:

  1. Alabama
  2. OSU
  3. FSU
  4. USC
  5. Clemson
  6. Penn State
  7. Washington
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Michigan
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. LSU
  13. Auburn
  14. Stanford
  15. UGA
  16. Florida
  17. Louisville
  18. Miami
  19. Kansas State
  20. West Virginia
  21. South Florida
  22. Virginia Tech
  23. Texas
  24. Tennessee
  25. Utah

It has been noted that this sets up Alabama vs Florida State pretty nicely, as well as Michigan vs Florida, which would be a monster game in itself if it wasn’t for Nick Saban!

 

Who’s the worst team in the SEC? (Hint: They play in the East)

The race for the bottom of the SEC was a really difficult race, made a lot harder to work out after the frankly illogical Mississippi State victory over Texas A&M, a win that should have been celebrated by the fanbase violently clanging bells on the field. We were shocked the field at Davis-Wade Stadium wasn’t invaded after the felling of the mighty Aggies, but there we go.

But it also made us think: Who in the heck is the worst team in the SEC? So here’s our countdown from 1-14. You can probably guess No. 14. Roll Tide.

  1. Missouri (0-5 SEC, 2-7 total) – Hasn’t won a game and while they looked competitive against South Carolina, this is a bad, bad team – especially on the defense. The fanbase seems to hate new DC DeMontie Cross and the decision to recalibrate the defense, and the offense is riddled with mistakes.
  2. Vanderbilt (1-4, 4-5) – The defense is definitely doing some good things, but the offense is still terrible.
  3. South Carolina (3-4, 5-4) – Back-to-back SEC victories is suddenly exciting a fanbase about the Will Muschamp hire. We’re still not excited about the Gamecocks for 2016, although Muschamp’s 2017 class – considering how good he is a recruiter – could be something to watch.
  4. Mississippi State (2-3, 4-5) – The win over Texas A&M boosted them up the table, but you still think that things would have been different had Trevor Knight and Myles Garrett not been injured during the game.
  5. Kentucky (4-3, 5-4) – Gave Georgia the fright of its life and it’s a lot of fun to watch the Wildcats on offense. Defensively, they are a shambles.
  6. Georgia (3-4, 5-4) – Georgia’s medicore. That’s all there is to really say (They beat UNC, South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky and should have beaten Tennessee, but were slaughtered about Florida, and lost to Vanderbilt and things will probably be really ugly against Auburn)
  7. Ole Miss (1-4, 4-5) – Chad Kelly’s injury ain’t going to make things a lot easier. Defensively again this has been a trouble.
  8. Florida (4-2, 6-2) – Boatraced on the road at Arkansas. The offense hasn’t clicked for most of the season. We will see how the Gators do down the stretch against LSU and FSU. This could get nasty.
  9. Tennessee (2-3, 6-3) – The only saving grace for Tennessee this season has been the win over Florida and the taking Texas A&M to double overtime despite the injury horror show. How much they’ve rebounded from the other horror show – the debacle at South Carolina – remains to be seen. They also haven’t managed to play a 100% good game this year. Butch Jones for Coach Of The Year? Nope.
  10. Arkansas (2-3, 6-3) – The excellent performance against Florida seems to indicate things going in the right direction, although whether this is a minor blip for Bielema remains to be seen what with LSU.
  11. LSU (3-2, 5-3) – The loss at home to Alabama showed us the importance of Les Miles actually recruiting a good QB, which he failed to do every since Zach Mettenberger.
  12. Texas A&M (4-2, 7-2) – This MSU loss was a bad day at the office. With the loss of Trevor Knight for the year and Myles Garrett’s injury really not 100%, we’ll see how bad this day at the office gets.
  13. Auburn (5-1, 7-2) – Hot Seat what? Gus Malzahn for Governor!
  14. Alabama (6-0, 9-0) – Nick Saban 2020. Just saying.

Roll Tide Rolling: Week 5 SEC Rankings

What sickens us to the stomach is that we’re nearly at the HALF-WAY POINT of the College Football season, which is basically the worst thing that’s happened in 2016 since the last crappy thing that happened in 2016.

Anyway, this week, the greatest thing that happened was Georgia beating Tennessee by a Hail Mary then getting a Dobbs-Nailed Boot to the nuts via another Hail Mary, aided by dumb playcalling and stupid penalties. What a game. Elsewhere, LSU looked damned good in utterly destroying Missouri, Alabama looked good for 2.5 quarters against Kentucky, and neither Florida or Vanderbilt looked good in their game. Texas A&M is also unbeaten but it looked pretty lacklustre against South Carolina, and the Ole Miss-Memphis game was a lot of fun.

So here are your SEC rankings:

  1. Alabama (5-0): Because they seem unstoppable defensively, and when the offense clicks, it’s unstoppable as well. Mind you, they haven’t played a decent defense yet this year, have they? (Seriously, we don’t rate Ole Miss as a ‘decent defense’ anymore).
  2. Texas A&M (5-0): Great wide receivers, and an exceptional defense. Can’t wait to see The Battle Of The SEC’s Best Wide Receivers when the Aggies play Tennnesee on Saturday. College Gameday’s going to be at College Station too.
  3. Tennessee (5-0): That was a hell of a finish in Athens. This Vols team never gives up. But get this: Tennessee is still a team that seems to be only capable of playing when it’s double-digit scores down. Everyone will tell you it’s the ‘Miracle Vols’ – and maybe it is – but against Texas A&M and Alabama, their exercise of going down double digits before waking up might prove to be a problem.
  4. Ole Miss (3-2): Because the Rebels are a lot of fun to watch, and although they nearly blew a comfortable lead against Memphis, they didn’t, and The Elvis Cup was theirs. We need to have this game every year, by the way. Gosh it’s a lot of fun.
  5. Arkansas (4-1): After the loss against Texas A&M it’s hard for me to say that this team is really that good, and a win over Alcorn State is not going to change my mind about how great this Razorbacks team is. It’s really not that good. A win over Alabama would, though!
  6. LSU (3-2): 634 yards of offense. Derius Guise is a FREAK. Darrel Williams is a FREAK. More than made up for Danny Etling trying to get itself killed. LSU had energy – even if the roar from Death Valley was the one at Clemson rather than the one at Baton Rouge this Saturday night (the place wasn’t full). But still, LSU suddenly looks a scarier prospect for Florida than it did 2 weeks’ ago.
  7. Florida (4-1): I’M SORRY, LSU VS AUBURN….THE FLORIDA VS VANDERBILT IS NOW THE WORST GAME OF THE YEAR.
  8. Georgia (2-3): Georgia’s Hail Mary was a thing of beauty by Jacob Eason. The dumb penalties, the awful playcalling on the Dawgs’ own goalline and the missed tackles were a thing of first-year coaches by Kirby Smart. You hope. Mark Richt’s still unbeaten at Miami, by the way.
  9. Auburn (3-2): Smashed Louisiana-Monroe like they were meant to do. Defense again looked good, and the offense looked good against a crappy opponent. Still one of the weakest teams in the SEC West, though.
  10. Mississippi State (2-2): Had an off week. They were able to tell people how good Dak Prescott is and how they discovered him. This was a good week for the Bell Boys.
  11. Missouri (2-3): The last time I saw Mizzou get this owned was at the SEC Championship Game against Alabama a couple of seasons ago. Mizzou fans at the game didn’t seem to care…..they were too drunk. I hope that that was the case for the fans in Death Valley this weekend. I really do.
  12. Kentucky (2-3): Put up a good defensive performance for 1-1/2 quarters against Alabama before getting run all over. If Kentucky had an offensive line, they might have worried the Crimson Tide. But it didn’t, so it didn’t. UK still beat South Carolina though (that’s why it’s 12th).
  13. South Carolina (2-3): Brave, battling performance against A&M, but consistently snuffed by the Aggie defense (you’ll hear that a lot this year). Will Muschamp’s ‘D’ played pretty well, too. But they still lost to Kentucky.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-3): THE FLORIDA VS VANDERBILT WAS THE WORST GAME OF THE YEAR….AND THEY LOST IT.

 

After Les Miles: Week 4 SEC Rankings

So, Les Miles is gone after one of the worst games on earth, Tennessee’s final over its Florida hoodoo, and Ole Miss beat the living crap out of Georgia.

So here’s our rankings from 1-14 of your SEC teams. If you don’t like it, let us know at @SECblog.

  1. Alabama (4-0): The SEC thanks God for Alabama, because otherwise the conference probably wouldn’t have a team in the play-off. The Crimson Tide is the most complete team in the conference, and maybe the country.
  2. Texas A&M (4-0): A win over Arkansas in JerryWorld wasn’t so much as impressive as the huge goal-line stands. This defense is for real, folks. They could be the SEC’s surprise package this year.
  3. Tennessee (4-0): This team could be scary good…if they could actually play four straight quarters of great football. So far, we’ve seen great halves of football against Virginia Tech and Florida. That’s about it.
  4. Ole Miss (2-2): Beat the living crap out of Georgia, and is so dangerous offensively. All they need is for Chad Kelly not to shoot himself in the foot.
  5. Arkansas (3-1): Got beaten because A&M’s defense was borderline erotic. They need to do better up front, though.
  6. LSU (2-2): Les Miles is gone, and hopefully that will mean that the offense does something actually interesting. The best news of the Les Miles firing, Cam Cameron is gone too.
  7. Florida (3-1): I haven’t seen a Florida team give up like they did in the second half against Tennessee in years. That’s why they are below LSU in the pecking order.
  8. Auburn (2-2): The offense is a disaster. The defense is great.
  9. Georgia (3-1): After the Ole Miss crushing, this Georgia team really will struggle this year. The Bulldogs are lucky that the SEC East is Dawg-doo-doo. Reason why they are below Auburn? Because God help us all when these two play each other this year…
  10. Missouri (3-1): Josh Heupel’s offense may have destroyed two very bad teams, but we think Missouri might also scare the living hell out of LSU on Saturday.
  11. Mississippi State (3-1): Yeah…..This team only beat UMass by 12. Yeah…so…..Mississippi State is weak.
  12. Kentucky (2-2): This is a bad Kentucky team, but it beat South Carolina.
  13. South Carolina (2-2): This is a bad South Carolina team, but it beat Vanderbilt. And lost to Kentucky.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-2): This is a bad Vanderbilt team. A very bad Vanderbilt team.

Quick SEC Preview: The Games To Watch

There are going to be fantastic games this SEC season. Here are the top games to watch between SEC teams or involving SEC teams. Sorry, but Alabama vs USC or LSU vs Wisconsin aren’t going to be up there….

TOP NON-CONFERENCE GAMES

  1. Ole Miss vs Florida State — September 5th – Yep. That’s Monday Night Football. It’s going to be hot, humid, and the chance to see if Ole Miss can spring a surprise. There’s also a bingo to see how much ABC/ESPN say the words: “Sanctions”.
  2. Virginia Tech vs Tennessee — September 10th — Because college football in one of the best NASCAR tracks in front of 160,000 drunk people on the border of Tennessee and Virginia Tech (where Bristol, TN is situated) means just one word: FUN.
  3. Florida vs Florida State — November 26th – Because Florida could trainwreck Florida State’s chances of going to the College Football Play-Off. And maybe – just maybe – stamp their own credentials, too (if they beat Tennessee, Georgia and LSU in SEC play).
  4. Arkansas vs TCU — September 10th – Can Arkansas spring a surprise on a team that’ll be missing Treyvon Boykin?
  5. Clemson at Auburn – September 3rd – Two lightning-quick offenses with Clemson recovering from the loss of a lot of talent to the NFL in what will be an amped-up environment? Yes, we’ll take a bit of that.
  6. UCLA at Texas A&M – September 3rd – Josh Rosen (future NFL first rounder) vs Myles Garrett (Definite future NFL first rounder). We can’t wait. College Station will be noisy.
  7. LSU vs Wisconsin – September 3rd – Because both sides make liver damage seem cool.
  8. Alabama vs USC – September 3rd – It’s low on our list because we don’t think it’ll be an exciting game (Alabama will run riot, probably), but as a match-up of two college football bluebloods….YES! We hate the fact it’s in JerryWorld, though.
  9. UNC vs Georgia – September 3rd – A chance to see Jacob Eason and Kirby Smart’s first game. Don’t screw this one up, Kirby.
  10. Arkansas State vs Auburn – September 10th – Jacksonville State should have beaten Auburn last season. So why not Arkansas State this year?

TOP SEC GAMES

  1. Alabama at LSU — November 5th — This basically decides the SEC West and maybe a spot in the College Football Play-Off. Both seasons are probably going to go into this one unbeaten, which could make it a phenomenal game to watch. Gary Danielson will be at this game, so he’s sure to be annoying.
  2. Alabama at Tennessee – October 15th – Everyone feels that this is Tennessee’s best chance of turning over the Crimson Tide. Especially at Neyland Stadium, where the atmosphere will be cooking and most probably College Gameday will be on campus.
  3. Georgia at Ole Miss – September 24th – You don’t get to see these two play that often (the last time was in 2012), and the scene in Oxford will be awesome. Especially if both teams are unbeaten.
  4. LSU at Florida – October 8th – The biggest test for LSU’s play-off credentials will come in the evil known as The Swamp. It should be fun.
  5. Florida at Tennessee – September 24th – The Gators OWN the Vols, who haven’t beaten them since Philip Fulmer was in charge. This is the chance for UT to break the curse.
  6. Texas A&M vs Arkansas – September 24th – EVERY GAME BETWEEN THESE TWO ARE NUTS.
  7. Alabama vs Ole Miss – September 17th – It couldn’t happen again, could it?
  8. Tennessee vs Georgia – October 1st – UGA will be looking for revenge after last year, and this could be THE SEC East showdown.
  9. Florida vs Georgia – October 29th – This could be the case that the winner goes to Atlanta.
  10. LSU at Texas A&M  – November 24th – We can see the scenario: Les Miles is unbeaten, going into 5-6 Texas A&M and a tidy 14 point favourite. The win? LSU goes to Atlanta, and probably the Play-Off. He loses? The season ends. And….

Who’s on the 2016 SEC Hot Seat? Clue: Les Miles is one

So the SEC season is close to arriving around Labor Day weekend, and we can’t wait. No – we can’t, can’t wait. Instead of giving you the team by team analysis  – as we’ve done for the last few years – we’re going to give you a 1-14 on who’s on the SEC hot seat. If you don’t agree, tweet me on @SECblog. Please. All comments helpful and (maybe) retweeted!

Anyway, so here we go…

  1. Les Miles (LSU) – After last year when an emotional Les Miles avoided the bullet after his team stopped a three-game losing streak by beating Texas A&M in a thunderous night in Death Valley, a lot is expected for this team. If they finish 9-3 like they did last year and the offense doesn’t show up, then Miles will be shown the door – and they’ll find a pissed-off rich booster to help them do it (the school system has no cash!).
  2. Gus Malzahn (Auburn) – It doesn’t matter that the team’s only a couple of seasons removed from losing one of the best National Championship Games in history, a repeat of last year’s 7-6 season (which included ‘big’ wins over rudderless Memphis, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi State, mighty San Jose State and a squeaker against Jacksonville State) could see the fans wanting change. Of course, I would argue that those in charge made a stupid error hiring DC Kevin Steele, but then again, that’s me.
  3. Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) – The arrival of Johnny Manziel on the SEC scene, beating Alabama on the road, and Texas’ downfall made Texas A&M fans arrogant and forgetful that they’d actually suffered through years and years of middling football in the Big XII. If they continue to suck offensively – despite the excellent weapons they have – and therefore continue to lose to Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU, Sumlin’s going to find his seat warm. Very warm.
  4. Mark Stoops (Kentucky) – Seriously – what has Mark Stoops really brought to Kentucky since he came in, apart from a noisy Commonwealth stadium? This team lost to Vanderbilt, for crying out loud. Kentucky will be fed up sooner and later about the lack of a bowl game and John Calipari will take over as football coach, too. Mark our words.
  5. Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) – If Dan Mullen was married to Mississippi State, we’d be stunned why Mississippi State had hung around with Mullen for so long. Why? Mullen’s courted other teams like crazy, and it’s obvious that he’s unhappy. Oh, and his non-answers to the Jeremy Simmons debacle and has people actively WANTING him to leave Starkville, too. Maybe that will feed through to the upper echelons.
  6. Butch Jones (Tennessee) – If Tennessee chokes with the talent they are bringing back – including the SEC’s best quarterback in Josh Dobbs – then Jones is going to have a lot of explaining to do. Then again, if the allegations against him and the teams he ran are true, then Jones’ seat could be warmer than we think – especially after Baylor.
  7. Will Muschamp (South Carolina) – Will Muschamp’s a known quantity in the SEC as a head coach, and it’s not good. If they have a terrible year, Muschamp could follow Spurrier out the door almost immediately.
  8. Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss) – Yes, there’s a two-game winning streak over Alabama. Yes, it’s very exciting. But the prospect of replacing a ton of NFL talent this year plus NCAA sanctions doesn’t make 2016 a particularly exciting future for Ole Miss – despite the current love for Chad Kelly. Apparently he can do everything….which is absurd. Anyway, if Ole Miss has a poor season, the Rebels fans – who again seem to forget what a joke their program was before he arrived – will be crying out for blood.
  9. Bret Bielema (Arkansas) – He was great on SEC Media Days no doubt. But how often can Razorbacks tolerate the ‘slow start/great finish’ before they start looking for ‘great start/great finish’, plus a win over Texas A&M in Jerryworld?
  10. Kirby Smart (Georgia) – Georgia fans showed us all how stupid and restless they are by getting rid of Mark Richt. So let’s say that Georgia’s defense doesn’t show up this year, they have no offense (quite a real prospect with the lingering injuries to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel), and they lose to Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss, and Georgia Tech. Let’s also say that the Jacob Eason, who’s the new Joe Montana is you talk to one of the bald bikers who paint the Dawg on their heads every day, is as great as the second half of the year of Grayson Lambert’s was. Georgia fans will start talking about blood. And quickly. For a town full of stoners, they sure are critical in Athens.
  11. Jim McElwain (Florida) – If the enragingly awful performance of the Citrus Bowl continues on in the 2016 season, then the Gator chomps may turn to a sea of middle fingers in the general direction of McElwain. The locals in The Swamp are like that.
  12. Greg Odom (Missouri) – If Mizzou’s offense manages to take even more of a step back than it did last year, then Odom could get booted after just a season…..and become defensive co-ordinator again. I still don’t think he really wants to be the head coach – especially following a coach like Gary Pinkel.
  13. Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) – The reason why he’s so low is that Vanderbilt fans are just happy with winning the odd SEC game, remaining competitive, and upholding academic standards. Derek Mason’s taking the team in the right direction, and he’s instantly likeable. And there haven’t been any Franklin-like problems.
  14. Nick Saban (Alabama) – Sometime, Nick Saban will retire, and the God That Replaced The Bear will be mourned in Tuscaloosa. Otherwise, he’s going nowhere so there’s no point in me saying that he’s even on a seat, let alone a hot one.

Alabama: The next RB star will be….?

Derrick Henry’s gone, Kenyan Drake’s gone, and T.J. Yeldon’s but a distant and beautiful memory for Alabama fans. The future for the next hero in Tuscaloosa is almost certain to be one or more of these things (not necessarily in this order):

  1. A Heisman + 2-3,000 yard season
  2. NFL riches
  3. A National Championship
  4. A SEC West title + Championship
  5. Worship from Alabama fans because you beat Auburn and LSU

In a bar last night I was shown a video of would-be replacement sophomore Bo Scarborough weave through multiple Michigan State defenders in the CFB Play-Off semi-final win, and it put a smile on my face to think of yet another exciting running back coming out of Tuscaloosa (via Florida).

Scarbough has been called the rising star of Alabama football, the big future, and the way people are drooling over him as a physical freak and a future Zeus, he may well be. The 6-2, 230lb dreadlocked flurry of speed is going to exhaust SEC West defenses, and I fully expect him to destroy USC’s defensive line when he plays them in JerryWorld on Opening Day. The stats have been strong in opening scrimmages, if you believe what they release in Saban Country (remember, they aren’t going to release anything remotely crappy, are they?)

And if his academics are good enough, could we possibly be talking about a possible trip to New York in 2016? It’s very possible. What’s also possible – and probable – is that Scarborough doesn’t yet have the experience to leave in 2017 for NFL riches. He played 4 games last season and put up 104 yards at an average of just over 5 yards a carry – but most of them was against mighty Charleston Southern (he went for 68).

The other guy will be Damien Harris, who is also in his second year but had a great Spring Game for the Tide. Harris is 3 inches shorter than Scarborough at 5-11 and less muscly at 215lb, and he had a great Spring Game where he had 114 yards rushing on 20 carries. Harris played second fiddle to Henry last year and still played in 12 games, had 46 carries and 157 yards. Harris’ biggest games were against mighty MTSU and THAT Charleston Southern defense, while he was basically ignored in the other games.

And there’s always B.J. Emmons, who’s a four-star freshman listed as the second best running back in the country.

Whatever happens, Alabama fans shouldn’t fear too much is going to fade away despite the departure of Henry and Drake. Plus, it looks like the country’s best offensive linesman is not going to jail after all in Cam Robinson. And knowing the forgiving nature of Tuscaloosa, Robinson won’t miss the first game of the season….

Was Ole Miss 2013 recruiting class worth the money?

If Ole Miss is found out more guilty than imposing losses of double-digit football scholarships between 2015-18 (inclusive), then let’s be honest: This team has certainly been worth the money.

Under Hugh Freeze’s tutelage, which started in 2012 (although 2013 was the first class), Ole Miss brought in one of the greatest recruiting classes ever assembled in Rebs’ history in 2013, including DT Robert Nkemdiche, O-Lineman Laremy Tunsil, WR Laquon Treadwell, and S Tony Conner. 3 out of 4 of those assembled players went in the NFL first round, and Conner’s still in school after suffering injuries.

Saw three players not only go to the NFL, but go in the first. Treadwell grabbed the headlines for the right reasons (coming back from injury etc etc etc), while Tunsil’s gasmask and the thoughts that Nkemdiche might be out of mind were also slightly “unusual”. OK, they weren’t great.

On the field, the recruiting class that Freeze put together:

  • Owns a two-game winning stream over Alabama (the longest current winning streak over Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide).
  • Has beaten Mississippi State in back-to-back Egg Bowls.
  • Has beaten LSU 2 out of the last three games.
  • The only team they never solved in the SEC was Auburn, who has beaten them 2 out of the last 3 years (but not in 2015).
  • Finished with an continually-improving 27-12, The record improved incrementally year-on-year. And in the SEC over the course of that time, they went 14-12. The last Ole Miss coach finished with a winnning SEC record was David Cutcliffe.

And it’s not over yet. But Tunsil, Treadwell and Nkemdiche leaving are going to be massive, massive losses.

But we can say this for certain: Ole Miss definitely got what it paid for.

NCAA bans Satellite Camps

wThe SEC and four other major conferences have voted against the idea of having satellite camps, securing dominance in some of the biggest recruiting lands in the USA.

The SEC, Big XII, Pac-12 and ACC all voted against the idea of the camps, which would see colleges be able to spread their wings to other states than their own in an effort to expand their footprint – like Michigan proposed doing with their satellite camp idea, which was going to host high school players around the states.

The new rule will not allow FBS schools to conduct camps ANYWHERE other than their “school facilities or facilities reguarly used for competition”, according to the Seattle Times.

The SEC wants to ensure the recruiting strongholds of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas are all focused towards them, while the Big XII also wants to make sure Texas will be virtually ‘safe’ from the recruiting attacks of a Michigan or Ohio State, as both schools look south to gain their advantages. The ACC keeps Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida and Virginia to themselves, while the Pac-12 keeps California.

A satellite camp by Michigan – and ones following up by an Ohio State would have hurt their strongholds – regardless of what the teams would have said.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said at a press conference: “”I’m really not even thinking that it has that much value. What would be a more interesting question for you to research — and I can’t answer this — the teams that have done them, what value does it serve? How many players did they get? They had some players commit to them and some of those players decommitted, and I know they even wanted to drop some of those players when they found out they could get better players.”

He added: “”If everybody has a satellite camp, every player will have 62 camps to go to,” he said. “I don’t know how that works. The way it is right now if a player is interested and comes to your camp, he gets to see your campus, he gets to meet players, gets to work with your coaches a little bit more because he’s in your camp at your place. I think there’s a lot of value.”

Of course, you’d argue that if Michigan and Ohio State – and other B1G schools like Penn State and Maryland DID set up satellite camps – someone like Saban – would grudgingly get involved with an arms race….and probably win it. So would 13 other SEC schools, who have more money than any other conferences.

There has been the argument that the people who lose out on the satellite battle are the players – according to two Alabama high schools (Bob Jones and Prattville) that would have hosted Michigan camps. “Well, obviously it’s disappointing for us,” said Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose. “Because I thought it was a great opportunity for kids in north Alabama to get some exposure in front of the Michigan coaching staff. Maybe get an opportunity to earn a scholarship.” One of Bob Jones’ most famous recent alumnus is Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, who’s almost certainly going to be a Top 10 pick in this year’s NFL draft. Prattville had 13 players on Division 1-A rosters in 2015.

Tennessee news: What do we make of it?

Saddening news came out of Knoxville last night that former Tennesssee wide receiver Drae Bowles was assaulted by fellow players after he helped “the woman who accused linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive back Mike Williams of rape in November 2014,” the Knoxville News-Sentinel has reported.

In November 14 2014 former UT linebacker AJ Johnson and defensive back Mike Williams raped a woman during a party at a football players’ house, in which alcohol and marijuana were used. And then comes the Bowles incident.

According to the lawsuit the victim “received a message from Plaintiff Doe V who was witnessing (at that moment) several football players “jumping” Drae Bowles, a member of the football team that had actually taken Plaintiff Doe IV to the hospital the night of her assault and who had supported her decision to report the incident to the authorities.

The lawsuit added that the victim – a varsity UT sportswoman – had informed head coach Butch Jones and Jon Gilbert (the executive senior associate AD) and Mike Ward – the senior associate AD for administration and sports programs – and even provided the identities of the players, but was told only “we’ll look into it.” The victim added that she “became aware of a second assault on Drae Bowles in the team facility by the same football players“.

Williams said in a police interview that he was told by Geraldo Orta, a former safety (more about him later) “had told Williams that the football team had “a hit” out on Drae Bowles“. “In his interviews with police, UT football player Geraldo Orta stated that he felt Bowles had betrayed the team and that where he (Orta) came from, people got shot for doing what Bowles did. These facts are set forth in the Knoxville Police Department Incident Report,” the suit continues, adding: “During the interview Orta also admitted having approached Drae Bowles in Smokey’s Cafe (the athletic dining facility), getting “in his face” and saying “some threatening things.

UT DE Curt Maggittconfronted Drae Bowles in the team locker room before the team was instructed by Head Coach Butch Jones not to talk to him and before Bowles was “given time away from the team.

The school went ahead and told everybody that they loved AJ Johnson – probably not a wise move in hindsight, bearing in mind both Johnson and Williams now stand trial for rape.

In the lawsuit was filed by FIVE UT female students – who were not named – who said that the university was indifferent to charges by them of sexual assault from football players and other athletes – included four rapes.

These are the rapes in date order, according to the lawsuit:

— Another player in a lawsuit was former UT basketball Yemi Makanjuola, who in 2013, allegedly forced himself onto student nurse on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after the victim said that she rejected his “sexual advances”. And despite a disciplinary hearing and court order, Makanjuola continued to play for the basketball team. “Upon information and belief, the purpose of requesting a disciplinary hearing was to allow Makanjuola to continue to play basketball throughout the remainder of the season and to allow UT to effectuate his transfer to another school, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where UT’s Head of Basketball Operations, Houston Fancher, had accepted a coaching job,” the lawsuit said. And despite there being a protective order, Makanjuola tried to contact the victim five months later, causing her PTSD and to fail her nurses’ exams.

— In April 2013 accuses former UT running back Marlin Lane and safety Geraldo Orta, as well as Izauea Lanier of a rape that happened in Vol Hall, that houses the student athletes. Apparently UT let the players know that they were going to be interviewed: “During the investigation, UT football players were interviewed but only after they had already been made aware of the allegations by UT and had conversations with their teammates.” It adds: “Upon information and belief, these conversations and prior actions by UT allowed the players to “get their stories straight.” In this case, there was consensual sex with Orta, but was raped by Lane, who joined in without consent. “No disciplinary action was taken at all against the football players except a nominal “suspension” on April 13, 2013, when UT football player Marlin Lane was suspended from the football team for what was stated by Head Coach Butch Jones as “disciplinary reasons,” the lawsuit says. “The purely facial “suspension” only consisted of Lane missing four practices and a scrimmage before he was fully reinstated to the team less than two months later at which time Head Coach Butch Jones described him as a “success story,” and Lane has since been promoted to a member of the Vols’ 13-man player staff of team leaders,” it adds.

— In April 2014 there was another rape by an unnamed UT football player, after the victim came back from a frat party. “Plaintiff  informed UTK investigators that when she woke up the morning after the assault, she found a strap had been ripped off her top and the button ripped off her shorts and photographs were taken of the torn clothes,” the lawsuit says. At the time, the player tried to attack the victim by filing two complaints about her accusation, including the “theft” of a sweater. “The completely baseless and retaliatory reports filed by Mr. Doe I were premised inpart on Plaintiff’s actions in leaving the dorm the following morning wearing a sweatshirt, actions she were forced to take because her clothes had been torn off during the sexual assault“. There was a UT investigation, but it found that “as with other UT investigations, Plaintiff’s account was completely discounted and, based on the “collective” (and virtually identical) accounts of Mr. Doe I’s teammates and a time-lapsed video from an unspecified time after the assault (that arguably shows Ms. Doe II tripping while trying to walk, UT determined that, by a preponderance of the evidence, she could not have been incapacitated and, further, that the sexual encounter was consensual“.

— In September 2014 running back Treyvon Paulk was accused of punching a woman in the mouth. He was later suspended and then summarily dismissed from the team. What’s interesting about the Paulk story is that despite being suspended from team activities, Paulk still practiced with the team and participating in team events.

— In February 2015 cornerback Riyadh Jones – now at Georgia Southern – was accused of rape by “Plaintiff VI”. And although the case is now closed after she decided not to prosecute Jones, it seems that the victim was threatened – via her roommate. The lawsuit says: “Plaintiff’s roommate was repeatedly called by Riyahd Jones’s roommates (also football players) who were threatening/pleading (through roommate) for Plaintiff to drop the allegations.” She notes that one of the players trying to “mitigate” the damage was running back Deanthonie Summerhill (a UT running back who was living with Riyahd Jones), who has since left the school.

“Given the preceding events at UT, these players should have been educated extensively (and on multiple occasions) regarding the impropriety of attempts to contact a victim of an alleged sexual assault,” the lawsuit adds.

The lawsuit accuses the school of violating Title IX and being indifferent to all of the charges, and also adds that the school provided alcohol to recruits and underage students in an effort to show them a “good time”, and acted “with deliberate indifference to known sexual assaults so as to create a hostile sexual environment“.

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There is so much frightening when reading through the actual lawsuit. Firstly, the assaults themselves. Anyone who’s not sickened reading about the assaults probably needs to go and see somebody. Secondly, the University of Tennessee itself: It basically covered up every single one of the assaults. Unlike other programs like Georgia, UT let Jones and Paulk stay on campus, as well as AJ Johnson and Mike Williams. Mark Richt would have thrown them out. And the bit about the players getting their stories together before being interviewed? Are you ****ing kidding me? If this is true, we hope that this makes not only institutional change within the SEC, but in college football. And we hope that UT pays the victims a huge amount of money and bans itself from a bowl or two. Or three. Or four. Or five.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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