Vanderbilt Archives

Is Butch Jones in legal trouble at Tennessee?

Is Butch Jones in a huge amount of trouble at Tennessee?

Well, if the civil charges against him are true in a latest case, then yes.

Apparently, the Volunteers head coach called Drae Bowles – the player who helped a woman after she was allegedly raped by two teammates – and told him he had “betrayed the team”. He later called to recant, but it doesn’t change the fact that he initially did it.

Bowles had already been assaulted by teammate Curt Maggitt as retribution for his brave decision, according to the Tennessean.

This accusation comes just one day after Jones and his fellow UT coaches called a press conference to say how troubling all the accusations about the players were.

BOTTOM LINE: If Butch Jones knew about the rape and then knew about the assaults on Bowles, then he should be fired. 

Two more females sue Tennessee for covering up sexual assault

Two more females are suing Tennessee for covering up sexual assault or brushing it under the carpet.

In the new accusations the females attack Tennessee for allowing WR Von Pearson back on campus after “an internal investigation found that he had assaulted one of the new plaintiffs”.

According to the Tennesseean, they also say that UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek ignored warnings that Volunteer Hall was an unsafe place for females to go (I was going to use the words “rapists’ playground” but decided not to, because it’s not great journalism), and that the school allowed an underclassman with an arrest record to work at the school.

BOTTOM LINE: I’m not so worried about the final charge as I am about the first two. The lawsuits that are coming out against the school are making the place seem worse and worse. The school HAS to close down Volunteer Hall and make the football players go and live and work amongst other students, or simply raze the place to the ground and rebuild it. Sorry, but hard times equal hard measures.

 

SEC Players To Watch In The NFL Combine

Whoa. It’s the NFL Combine already? Wasn’t it just a minute ago we were thinking about Spring Games and Auburn had a ton of hope for Jeremy Johnson, and Alabama was worrying about who their quarterback would be, and Georgia was being talked about as a play-off contender?

Here’s the list of players, per SEC Country….

We’ll add a little bit about (most of) the players so you know a bit more about them…

Alabama
RB Kenyan Drake – There will be a lot of focus on his 40 and speed drills after Drake’s injury in 2014 to see if he’s FULLY returned. Drake’s numbers weren’t great last year due to the dominance of Derrick Henry.
RB Derrick Henry – 2015 Heisman winner. I expect him to kill it on the bench press, although not exactly move heads otherwise. That’s because those scouts who have seen him play will have seen him enough.
G Domenick Jackson – Part of a monster offensive line that helped Derrick Henry to a Heisman. Simple.
CB Cyrus Jones – This will be all about the 40-yard dash for this playmaker. We’re not quite sure about him in coverage, but we love him as a punt returner.
C Ryan Kelly – Intelligent and sure center. He’ll be tested on his bench press skills and will hope to interview well.
DE D.J. Pettway – Lucky enough to be a part of the Nick Saban Second Chance Club, he returned to be quite a leader on the Alabama defense despite the fact that many thought he shouldn’t be on the team at all. I’m still not sure about whether his past will play well with NFL coaches – even if his on-field talent makes him a 3-5 round pick. There may be too many red flags, though.
LB Reggie Ragland – The leader of the defense, winning SEC Defensive Player Of The Year. And it really wasn’t close. Ragland is so good, and the scouts will be just checking out the numbers to see if the projections of a first round are correct.
DT Jarran Reed – Exceptionally talented DT who made it impossible for running backs to have a good day. Smothered Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb, two of college football’s foremost running backs.
DT A’Shawn Robinson – A dominant defensive linesman who was part of an insanely good rushing defense at Alabama. The scouts will be drooling.

Arkansas
QB Brandon Allen – Allen led the SEC in passing efficiency rating, passing yards per attempt, and total yards per play, and threw for 3,550 yards last year. He’s definitely capable. It’ll be interesting in scouting interviews if also explains some inexplicably bad plays he had during the season – especially his red-zone play against Toledo.
RB Alex Collins – 12th all-time in the SEC in rushing yards (3,703) isn’t something to be sniffed at, and Collins’ rushing style could be best compared to Todd Gurley- expect we think Collins has more speed. Can’t wait to see that in the 40.
TE Hunter Henry  – We expect Henry – an All-American and receiver of the John Mackey Award for best tight end in the sport – to shine in the Combine. Has already been compared to Jason Witten. Not a bad comparison.
OT Denver Kirkland – Part of a monster offensive line for Bret Bielma that made the Razorbacks one of the best offenses in the SEC, but scouts are worried about his stiffness. Sounds like he’s needs Viagra.
G Sebastian Tretola – People think he’s a better O-Line option than Kirkland, thanks to his physicality, but like Kirkland, they worry about the fact that he’s too stiff. Did Bret Bielema not teach technique?
RB Jonathan Williams – Could have been one hell of a 1-2 punch for the Razorbacks if he hadn’t been injured before the season started. We will see how he’s recovered for the Combine.

Auburn
RB Peyton Barber – NFL scouts have already said that he’s got no “wow” factor. So he’ll need to find it in interviews and the 40.
OT Shon Coleman – Considering the fact that he overcame leukemia in 2012, it’s a miracle that Coleman’s coming to the Draft. NFL teams might hate him for that very reason, but we hope his bench press and agility numbers make the scouts’ mouth’s drop.
OLB Kris Frost – Yeah – so the scouts might keep on looking at what happened against LSU, and think: “I don’t want a guy like this.” He’s better have good explanations.
CB Jonathan Jones – Part of a horrible Auburn secondary, so we’re not holding out a lot of hope.
WR Ricardo Louis – Seen by many as the luckiest WR in college football after lucky helmet and hand bounces against Georgia and Alabama ended up in his hands, but really he’ll need a great 40 to make people perk up.
LB Cassanova McKinzy – Just read what it says about the LSU game.
WR D’haquille Williams – Yeah. We actually love Duke Williams, but he’s also a petulant pain in the ass. His vertical jump and skills might wow people, but the interviews would be great to be a fly-in-the-wall at.
OT Avery Young – A right tackle who started all his games for the Tigers.

Florida
DT Jonathan Bullard – Excellent tackler and all-SEC player. Should be great in the NFL.
CB Vernon Hargreaves – Can’t wait to see his vertical jump numbers for a player that we think was the best CB in college football for the last two years. All-time 2nd in SEC history in passes defended (27), and was a consensus All-American last year. He’s a freak.
DE Alex McCalister – NFL scouts would like to talk to McCalister about why he was booted from Gainseville for violating team rules probably more than they care about his stats. He did lead the team in sacks, though.
TE Jake McGee – Tremendous catcher who played four years at Virginia and Florida. Had 41 receptions, 381 yards and 4 TDs for the Gators.
LB Antonio Morrison – After his injury in 2014, there will be questions about his athleticism. He was another brilliant defensive player for Florida. 10th on the all-time SEC list for assisted tackles during his career, and had 96 tackles in 2015.
S Keanu Neal – Hard-hitting safety. In just 11 games he had 96 tackles, two sacks and an INT. Athletically excellent. We hope this translates to the Combine.
WR Demarcus Robinson – There’s no question about his speed, but are NFL teams really willing to take a chance on a player who was suspended four times in three seasons? I’m not sure.
RB Kelvin Taylor – Where Taylor excels is finding a hole and flying through it. We can’t wait for him at the Gators.

Georgia
DE Sterling Bailey – Didn’t exactly kick ass last year, so we’ll see if he blows people away at the Combine. He’ll need to.
OLB Leonard Floyd – Length won’t be a problem for Floyd, who’s a giant, but scouts will be worried about his thin frame. Needs to visit McDonald’s a lot.
FB Quayvon Hicks – Knee injury that made him miss Georgia’s bowl win over Penn State will be scrutinized by scouts. He will have to be exceptional at the draft to move himself up the FB draft board
OLB Jordan Jenkins – As Jenkins became the linebacker a lot of offensive co-ordinators wanted to avoid, Jenkins’ numbers fell, but don’t get us wrong- he was still really effective. Good speed numbers could vault him into the first round.
RB Keith Marshall – Questions will be about his speed, although there shouldn’t be anything about his heart after Marshall rebounded continuously from injuries. He might just impress enough to be 4-6 round pick.
DT Chris Mayes – Outside chance of his making the NFL.
WR Malcolm Mitchell – He’s a great wide receiver and was a lynchpin for Georgia’s receiving game in 2015 -even as things were going to the crapper offensively. The key will be his explosiveness and speed – the vertical jump shouldn’t be a problem.
OT John Theus – Seen as being a let-down since his arrival at Georgia, and there are worries about his strength.

Kentucky
LB Josh Forrest – Combine profile noted that Forrest had 9 broken tackles and 22 missed ones in the last two years. Had 93 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two INTs and a forced fumble.
S A.J. Stamps – 67 tackles and 1 INT. Down 10 tackles from 2014’s production of 67 (and 4 INTs). It’s said that he only has “fair” speed – so we’ll have to see his 40 and agility drills.

LSU
G Vadal Alexander – The labels on him are that he’s “slow” and one scout said he wasn’t a great blocker, either. We wait for his speed drills -although we have no doubt about his bench pressing drills. Height’s going to excite people – but we can’t stop thinking about his being a part of a LSU line that really wasn’t that great.
OT Jerald Hawkins – Hawkins has medical issues – he played with a bad foot and ankle  – and it’ll be interesting how great he’ll be at the Combine on speed drills.
OLB Deion Jones – The scouts love the athleticism on Jones, although the biggest questions will be his experience (he only started a year at LSU, which seems to send LBs to the draft every 5 minutes). He could well get drafted in the first two rounds – Mel Kiper’s saying that – and we’re expecting great things at the Combine.
S Jalen Mills – Can’t wait to see him in the agility drills. Also there are questions about whether he should have played on the 2015 team at all after being arrested for second degree battery of a woman in 2014. 
CB Rashard Robinson – That fact that he was booted from LSU a year ago will bring up questions about whether he should be at the Combine at all. He was arrested for breaking into a teammate’s house. 

Ole Miss
OT Fahn Cooper – Part of an offensive line that continued to shine in two straight wins against Alabama.
WR Cody Core – Had 644 yards and 4 TDs. Numbers have been increasing over the last four years.
LB C.J. Johnson – Two interceptions last year, but will be good to see vertical jump times. And speed.
DT Robert Nkemdiche – He’ll post high for all the athletic stuff, but he’d better not show up stoned to the meetings.
WR Laquon Treadwell – One of the best WRs in the NFL who should shine in the vertical jump. Injury worries will be addressed.
OT Laremy Tunsil – One of college football’s best offensive linesmen despite being suspended in 2015.

Mississippi State
OLB Beniquez Brown – 93 tackles, two passes defended, 1 INT, and a two kicks blocked. However, even with all these numbers he’s not seen as being that inspiring to scouts. He will have to impress in all categories.
CB Taveze Calhoun – Had 2 INTs and 8 passes defended. Was meant to be a part of a great cornerback duo with Will Redmond in 2015, but Redmond got injured.
DT Chris Jones – Second team All-American with 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four passes defended. Started all 13 games – so no worries about his durability.
QB Dak Prescott – Mobile quarterback who can make players miss. A leader who brought MSU to relevance in 2014.
CB Will Redmond – Tore his ACL in 2015. Should be interesting to see how he’ll cope with cuts and speed.
WR De’Runnya Wilson – Sure-handed wide receiver, but there will be questions about speed. Can’t wait to see his 40.

Missouri
C Evan Boehm – Four-year starter, and never stopping going on a lousy team last year. About the only bright spark of Missouri’s offense. Won’t go high, but will start.
OLB Kentrell Brothers – Incredible linebacker for the Tigers. Led the SEC and NCAA with 152 tackles and was 2nd in the SEC in solo tackles.
G Connor McGovern – Part of an atrocious offensive line for Missouri in 2015, but he was a three-year starter so you can blame 2015 on OC Josh Henson, who’s now been fired. Scouts like the fact he can play a number of positions.

South Carolina
TE Jerell Adams – Profiled as a player who doesn’t have the “surest hands”. It’s said Adams might make back-up, but we’re still worried about catching drills.
WR Pharoh Cooper – One of the most underrated wide receivers in college football. He’ll be a bargain if he’s picked anywhere outside of the second round. He would have led the SEC in both receptions and yards if his quarterback was competent.
OT Brandon Shell – He’s seen as being “better suited as a back-up”, which means he’ll have to really impress at the Combine for anyone to believe his starting qualities.
RB Brandon Wilds – There are going to be worries about his injury history. And there are better RBs coming into the draft ahead of him.

Tennessee
OLB Curt Maggitt – The biggest worries will be his medical history. He spent more time on the sidelines than he did on the field…. in two out of four seasons he played in just two games.
WR Marquez North – Hopefully a lot of people will see North’s talent in the vertical jump and the 40 – there are worries about his speed, but injury questions will remain all the way through. I would have loved to see North stay for another year, because he’s really good.

Texas A&M
RB Tra Carson – A Texas A&M player who would have shone more if Spavital hadn’t been his offensive co-ordinator. Will need to do special things in the 40 and cone drills to even get thoughts of a drafting.
G Joseph Cheek- Versatility will be the key for Cheek. In interviews he’ll need to emphasize how well he can play at both guard and offensive tackle, and talk up his time with Johnny Manziel. You know, the college Johnny Manziel not the strip club Johnny Manziel.
CB De’Vante Harris – He’s not a great tackler and if we’re honest, he’s not a great defensive player. He’s been either been invited to the NFL Combine because his dad played in the NFL, or that he played in the SEC. We don’t see him being anything special here – unless he blows up the NFL Combine with his vertical leap, broad jump and 40. Then we’ll still come back to his tackling failures.
G Germain Ifedi – From what the scouts say, Ifedi should have stayed an extra year instead of opting for the cash…but they see him as the best A&M offensive linesman with major potential “on the inside”. He will have to impress on bench press skills and the other cool stuff tested for offensive tackles.
P Drew Kaser – First in the SEC all-time in yards per punt (46.2), and will be the best at his position in the Draft.
CB Brandon Williams – Moved from RB to CB and had 37 tackles and 7 passes defended for the Aggies. His vertical jump could be key to see him move up a little, although we’re not expecting miracles.

Vanderbilt
OLB/DE Stephen Weatherly – Vandy’s “D” may not have been great, but Weatherly stood out with 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 39 total tackles. Seen as a DE or LB. Drills will be key to even hearing his name called, though.

 

Will the SEC continue to dominate recruiting in 2016?

For years, it seemed as though the SEC would go 1-14 in recruiting. Like, every year. OK, so there were years when Florida State challenged the might of Alabama (failed), and other schools like Clemson and Notre Dame were pretty exciting, but really, high school football has seen recruits WANT to come and play SEC football, with everyone else picking up the scraps.

And then Florida State won a National Championship in 2014. And then Ohio State won one in 2015. And the SEC looked a little weaker during the 2014 season. Everyone got a little worried.

This year, the recruiting leaderboards are still chock-full of SEC teams, although Ohio State is the No.1 team in the nation so far, thanks to picking up the commitments to three four-star athletes on Monday.

LSU is second on the list, Michigan is third, followed by Florida State and Ole Miss. Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Clemson and Alabama round out the Top 10. That’s 50% of the Top 10 in the SEC, people.

Auburn is in 11th place, Texas A&M is in 19th, Tennessee is 22nd, Arkansas is 25th, South Carolina and Kentucky are 29th and 30th respectively, and Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are 41st and 48th.

You can expect Alabama to make a big run in the last few weeks of the signing process, simply because there isn’t a better person at meeting the family and chatting to recruits than Nick Saban. He’ll do just about anything to get a recruit to play for Alabama, including arcade basketball with vaunted recruit AJ Brown. He’s trying to beat Mississippi State to the signature of Brown – who hails from Starkville.

You’d actually make Saban the favorite because Dan Mullen simply can’t be trusted to try and stay in Starkville – however much he’ll say the opposite to recruits.

Where’s he interviewing next? The Wall St Journal?

4-star WR commits to Texas A&M

Texas A&M picked up a huge commit when four-star Clyde Chriss decided to take his talents to College Station, TX.

6ft, 170lb Chriss, from Warren Easton HS in Louisiana, was rated the 10th-best overall recruit in the state, and the top wide receiver, according to 24-7Sports.com.

He is also ranked as the 39th-best wide receiver in the USA, and 196th-best player overall.

Chriss, who had 821 yards and 9 TDs in 2014, was also offered by Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Miami amongst others.

Chriss will visit College Station on January 22nd.

The player – although he hasn’t been interviewed – does not seem to be worried about the lack of a strong quarterback position as well as a new offensive co-ordinator in Noel Mazzone. Chriss had been heavily recruited by Kevin Sumlin and Jack Spavital, although the latter was fired as of January 3rd after yet another poor offensive performance in the bowl loss to Louisville. This year A&M’s offensive output was awful, if you consider how much talent there is on the field.

 

 

National Championship Game Preview: Will Alabama beat Clemson?

The final day of the college football season is always the most miserable one: Because it’s all ending until September. Sure, we at the SEC Football Blog will be writing copy on recruiting, spring games, ranking coach hires, watching as Will Muschamp goes from hero to zero to hero again after one Spring Game, Nick Saban grumbling his way through the summer, and trying to work out new ways of drinking bourbon all day during Saturdays and still writing comprehensive tweets, but it’s not the same. College Football 2015 is over.

The good news for SEC fans is that Alabama’s in the National Championship Game, and they are playing Clemson. Alabama’s favoured by seven points by Vegas.

It’s OK to be excited at the thought of the kids with Bama bangs yelling “Rammer Jammer!” in exultant victory – or even “SEC! SEC!” as they declare who the best conference is – even if the 9-2 bowl record doesn’t show that. We’ve been kicking ass and taking names this bowl season, and we want Clemson’s.

QUARTERBACK

A lot of people are talking up Deshaun Watson, who was one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in 2015 and was definitely good value in the Heisman Trophy race. He’s better than Alabama’s Jacob Coker. I know that Coker had a great game against Michigan State, but Watson can kill you with both arm and legs. Coker’s a better runner than he’s given credit for, but anyone saying that he’s up there with Watson on the front needs his head seeing to. EDGE: Clemson

RUNNING BACK

Alabama has Derrick Henry. Clemson doesn’t. EDGE (A big one): Alabama.

WIDE RECEIVER

We love Calvin Ridley, who posted up two touchdowns in the semi-final shellacking of Michigan State. But Artavis Scott (Clemson) can cause headaches for secondaries, Charone Peake and Jordan Leggett. Deon Cain would have caused even more headaches, but the idiot failed a drug test.

EDGE: SPLIT 

DEFENSE

No-one runs on Alabama. Many have tried this season, and they have all failed. AShawn Robinson, Reggie Ragland & Co are collective badasses. But give Clemson a little bit of credit – they pretty much shut down a nasty Oklahoma offense and early on in the year quietened Dalvin Cook, who’s very special. Clemson’s star DE Shaq Lawson is praying to be healthy on Saturday, and although Clemson’s pretty deep, it’s going to hurt if Lawson’s hurt.

EDGE: ALABAMA

 

OVERALL PREDICTION: Rammer Jammer. Alabama 28, Clemson 17

 

Who will the SEC’s bowl games?

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year! We know that bowl season is in full swing, but we’ll be honest…..none of the bowls matter until SEC teams play in them. Here’s why: When the SEC does well everyone talks about SEC bias, SEC strength, and SEC godliness, and when SEC teams do badly, people are quick to jump down our butts and tell us how bad we are (and we’re honest — we were poor as hell as last year).

LSU’s going to kick off the SEC bowl season against Texas Tech, and Alabama – we hope  – will end it in the National Championship Game. Simple.

So here are our previews….

THE BIG ONE (College Football Play-Off Semi-Final @ Cotton Bowl, Dec 31): ALABAMA vs MICHIGAN STATE 

It’s interesting. The 2015 incarnation of the college football play-off has three teams who lost against teams they shouldn’t have done. Alabama lost to Ole Miss at home (special teams killed ’em), Michigan State lost to Nebraska (who won because the refs screwed ’em), and Oklahoma lost to Texas (they were awful). Ohio State will argue that they deserved a spot ahead of any of three teams, but Urban Meyer proved to be utterly indecisive both as a coach trying to work out who the best quarterback was (Nick Saban would have encouraged one of the three quarterbacks to transfer), and as a motivator (Ohio State thought they walked on water all season long, and suffered the consequence against Michigan State, only to rebound by actually playing like everyone thought they might by savaging Michigan at The Big House). So anyway, Michigan State and Alabama are in the game, and it looks like a defensive brawl. Both defenses have been rough to run on all season long. Both offenses have good-if-n0t-great quarterbacks in Jake Coker and Connor Cook, and we don’t know about Cook’s shoulder. It’s in rehab. It could ripped off by A*Shawn Robinson & Co if the MSU offensive line doesn’t do its job….and it didn’t exactly look like Mark Dantonio intended against Iowa. Offensively, Alabama’s got the upper hand because they’ve got a running back in Derrick Henry who could start in the NFL tomorrow (Cleveland could do with a good RB, by the way). He’s averaging a gadzillion yards a game and the only way you can put him down in the latter stages of a game is with an elephant gun. If Michigan State bottles up Henry (or downs him with an elephant gun early), then everything’s going to be on Coker to succeed. Which we would consider a better bet than an injured Cook against that Alabama defense. Alabama’s playing in its second home of the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, by the way.

PREDICTION: Alabama 28, Michigan State 14

And the other games (by game order):

TEXAS BOWL (Dec 29) – LSU vs TEXAS TECH

It’s pretty simple: Expect LSU to use Leonard Fournette a lot against Texas Tech’s almost historically-awful run defense, which was third-worst in the whole of college football. If he doesn’t get 400 yards, Les Miles should be fired on the spot and Cam Cameron won’t get back to Baton Rouge. If LSU’s defense plays well against Kliff Kingsbury’s high-powered offense, the seven-point line – LSU is favored – will be one of the best bets of bowl season.

PREDICTION: LSU 41, Texas Tech 30

BIRMINGHAM BOWL (Dec 30) – AUBURN vs MEMPHIS

One of our favorite songs of all time is Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis”. Auburn fans would love to see their team walk over Paxton Lynch and the Memphis Tigers – and it’s easy to see why they might now that Memphis’ coach Justin Fuente has taken his blue suede shoes up to Blacksburg to be Virginia Tech’s coach. However much Fuente will talk about being focussed on this game, his mind will be on Hokieland. But can Auburn stop him? We think it’s still unlikely – although Auburn’s a three-point favorite – unless Gus Malzahn has suddenly found a defense in the close season.

PREDICTION: Memphis 28, Auburn 23

BELK BOWL (Dec 30) – MISSISSIPPI STATE vs NC STATE

NC State really isn’t that good, and we love Dak Prescott. We anticipate Prescott giving a hell of a swansong to the Mississippi State faithful – after the not-so-good swansong against Ole Miss.

PREDICTION: MSU 31, NC State 14

MUSIC CITY BOWL (Dec 30) – TEXAS A&M vs LOUISVILLE

Bobby Petrino’s team had one vaguely good win this season, and that was the comeback-from-the-dead win against Kentucky. Otherwise, it was like watching a drunk frat boy try and convince everybody at the party he was sober, and then falling on his face. Repeatedly. Texas A&M could be accused of being the drunk frat boy too – especially as both their starting quarterbacks have decided to leave the frat house for “other options”, which Aggies fans must be pretty pissed about. The Aggies are going to have changes on their offensive line and at starting quarterback. They’ve also got Christian Kirk, who’s a livewire. On the other end, Louisville’s going to struggle to stop Myles Garrett. Louisville’s favored by 4.5 because of A&M’s QB problem, but we think that’s tough on the Aggies, who we still believe has a very good defense.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M 38, Louisville 20

OUTBACK BOWL (Jan 1) – TENNESSEE vs NORTHWESTERN

Northwestern may have had a great 10-2 year, but the highlight was really made at the start when they stopped Christian McCaffery and Stanford on Game 1. They were considered lucky to have beaten Penn State’s crapshow of an offense, and were beaten soundly by Michigan in what most considered their biggest match-up. Now, they come against a Tennessee side who’s got a ton of momentum after shooting itself in the foot against Florida, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Tennessee’s an eight-point favorite against a stout defense, but can Northwestern really score to keep up with the Vols? We think not.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 28, Northwestern 17

CITRUS BOWL (Jan 1)  – FLORIDA vs MICHIGAN

A lot of Florida fans still have the vomit in their mouths after watching Treon Harris play in the SEC Championship Game. A lot of Michigan fans are still wondering what in the hell happened to them after their team was eviscerated at home to Ohio State. The guy with the weird expression must still be standing in Ann Arbor, crying over the fumbled punt against Michigan State. Or he’s at home, getting prepped for his trip to Florida for the Citrus Bowl, where his team’s a four-point favorite. The reason why it’s four points rather than 10 points is that Vegas loves Florida’s defense, which was exceptional for most of the Alabama game until tiredness took over. Can they get up for Michigan game? We just don’t know. My firm prediction: This will be ugly.

PREDICTION: Michigan 17, Florida 10

SUGAR BOWL (Jan 1) – OLE MISS vs OKLAHOMA STATE

Ole Miss was just a 4th-and-25 from going to the SEC Championship Game, while Oklahoma State was just two good performances from going to the College Football Play-Off (they got spanked in both games). Oh, and Ole Miss has been pretty distracted this week with the news that heralded defensive tackle decided to go professional in weed smoking and skydiving before he decided to professional as a football player. In other words, this sugar ain’t tasting nice for either side. Ole Miss is a seven-point favorite in what should be a very entertaining game.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss 48, Oklahoma State 45

TAXSLAYER BOWL (Jan 2) – GEORGIA vs PENN STATE

If you speak to Georgia and Penn State fans, both fans would have opted for their teams NOT to play in a bowl game at all, put the season to sleep, and start again with new offensive co-ordinators. And for Georgia, a new head coach. There are rumblings amongst the Penn State faithful that James Franklin has been clueless at the helm this season. Both sides came out of 2015 with no banner wins despite having banner match-ups, with Georgia losing decidedly to Florida and Alabama while Penn State played Michigan close but was then thumped by Ohio State and Michigan State. We expect the stadium in Jacksonville to be 3/4 full for this one, that feels more New Year’s hangover than anything else. Georgia’s a 6.5-point favorite.

PREDICTION: Georgia 17, Penn State 10

LIBERTY BOWL (Jan 2) – ARKANSAS vs KANSAS STATE 

I looked at Vegas’ prediction that Arkansas will win by just 13 points, and laughed. Either they haven’t seen Kansas State at all this season, or they think that Bret Bielema will have too much respect for Bill Snyder to put the kind of beating on him that he did to Charlie Strong the year before. The big question: Who does Bret Bielema HAVE any respect for? That’s a slightly more ethereal question than I want to answer at this time of writing, because my biggest question right now is: “Why in the hell has my game prediction for this one gone on for so long?”

PREDICTION: Arkansas 48, Kansas State 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would the last Texas A&M QB to transfer turn out the light?

Texas A&M seems to have a problem with quarterbacks since Johnny Manziel won the Heisman.

This week we’ve found out that quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray have both transferred from the school, amid rumors that they couldn’t get on with Kevin Sumlin and offensive co-ordinator Jake Spavital. Spavital is already in the 12th Man’s spotlight after an uninspiring 2015 season.

So what’s the story of A&M’s awful quarterbacking story since Manziel left?

First of all the anointed Kenny ‘Trill’ Hill decided to transfer to TCU after he started incredibly in 2014 and fell off a cliff. You can probably blame a bit of player arrogance (after he threw for 511 yards and 4 TDs against South Carolina on the Opening Day of 2014 his parents decided to trademark the name ‘Trill’) and a fall-off of confidence. He may well start in 2015 now that Brandon Boykin’s graduated.

That was fine – A&M had Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. The Aggies had beaten Texas to Murray’s signature on National Signing Day. The QB from Allen was – you guessed it – the Gatorade Player Of The Year – after throwing for 4,713 yards and 54 TDs in Allen, TX.

Well, Kyle Allen started the show at Texas A&M, and everybody had a big smile on their face. The defense was playing well, and people were saying the words: “Texas A&M” and “Possible College Football Player/ SEC Champion”.

Then came A&M’s game with Alabama. Allen threw THREE PICK SIXES, and the bandwagon fell off the rails. Murray – who up to then hadn’t played very much (and still went 1:2 in the TD:INT ratio) started against Western Carolina. He was ordinary (he threw for four TDs and five INTs) during his time starting – which was certainly not what the Aggies fans – who had anointed Murray as the saviour of Kyle Field – had expected.

Anyway, what’s going at Texas A&M?

Here’s what we think has happened:

  1. Over-promising: Kevin Sumlin is a master recruiter. We know this. But for us, we think that Kevin Sumlin is also the master of over-promising quarterbacks that they will be future Johnny Manziels, start every game, and will win National Championships. Top recruit Tate Martell should probably watch out.
  2. Over-reaction from Aggies fans/The Media: Kyler Murray had a horrible start as a A&M quarterback and was immediately crucified by the Aggie faithful. They expect proven high school quarterbacks (Hill was brilliant at Southlake Carroll and Murray was equally awesome at Allen) to automatically become exceptional in the SEC. Or not throw six interceptions to the State of Alabama. The media happily jumps on the poor starts, and before you know it, everybody’s unhappy.
  3. Huge pressure on the players….from themselves: Imagine if you’re a former Gatorade Player Of The Year, who has thrown all the touchdowns you can imagine and slept with all of the high school hotties you can also imagine, and you walk into the SEC. You automatically think: ‘I am going to be incredible’. Then it fails. The fans boo you. You hate yourself. You decide you can’t handle the pressure. You blame Kevin Sumlin, Coach Spavital…..everyone but yourself. Because it was the receivers who weren’t running the right routes. It was the offensive line who didn’t block for you. You’re perfect, right? Maybe some other school and staff should see your perfection.
  4. Bad coaching? If you believe Aggies fans, blame Jake Spavital. It’s all his fault. And if things don’t work out, then blame Kevin Sumlin.

How Jacob Eason’s decision effects QB recruiting

After much tweeting, worry, overtweeting, photos, rumors, tears and gnashing of teeth, the news is out there: Jacob Eason, the high school quarterback with the very good arm, is staying with original commitment to Georgia and going to Athens in a couple of weeks’ time.

If you believe what Georgia fans have to say, Eason is the sort of program-changing quarterback that the Bulldogs need not to lose stupid games to Florida, Auburn and South Carolina and dominate college football from hereon in.

So, no pressure, Jacob…

Anyway, there was some worries that Eason might decide to go Florida (he visited Gainesville recently, as well as the University of Washington), which would have given the Gators not only a returning Will Grier (mid-season), but also Class of 2016 commit Feleipe Franks, who’s immense. According to 24-7Sports.com, Franks is the 3rd-best player at this position, the 7th-best player in Florida, and 37th player in the country. He committed to LSU before deciding to go to Florida on November 29th.

Franks was said to be very uneasy about the possibility of Eason coming to The Swamp, but now he’s going to UGA, the 6ft 6 Franks can now make his commitment. You know, if he doesn’t decide to change to another school. Florida State and LSU are said to still be in the hunt.

OK, so what happens to LSU? LSU has an awful quarterback in Brandon Harris, who’s been wildly inconsistent in 2014. LSU doesn’t know if Cam Cameron’s going to return in 2015 (although that looks increasingly likely bearing in mind that the school hasn’t fired him yet), and the school’s SEC West rivals are collecting good QBs like it’s going out of fashion.

According to The Advocate, Harris is expected to battle with Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who played his last game for Purdue on September 27th, 2014. Up to then in the 2014 season, he was wildly inconsistent.

So where does LSU go from here? First of all, LSU’s commit list is STACKED. But unfortunately, no quarterbacks. And if LSU fans are to remain happy with Les Miles, Cam Cameron or the team again in 2016, they had better find themselves a better QB.

 

 

 

Who wins the SEC NOT-Heisman Award?

Congrats to Derrick Henry on winning the 2015 Heisman Award. It was deserved (Note: If the award had been given to Stanford’sChristian McCaffery it would have been deserved too).

So now we were thinking about the SEC NOT-Heisman Award, given out to the Top Five SEC Players who have let us down the most this year.

And here’s ‘The Power 5’ on our list:

Duke Williams (Auburn) 

In 2014 he was something special, catching 45 receptions for 730 yards and 5 TDs in a breakout season. The hops he had was frightening. We all expected him to scare the life out of opposition defenses during 2015 en route to being the best wide receiver in the SEC, and maybe the country. However, that went downhill when Williams contributed just 147 yards receiving in 5 games and seemed to not care. Malzahn finally threw his hands (and visor) in the air and booted him. In a season of poor moves by Gus Malzahn, this might have been the best one.

2. Maty Mauk (Missouri)

Hey, this blog has loved Maty Mauk for a while, but his 2015 season made everyone who watched it very unhappy. Listen, the offensive line and Josh Henson’s horrific offensive playcalling certainly didn’t help, but when he had the time, the ground had more opportunity at catching the ball than his receivers. Mauk went 57-110 (51.8%) for 654 yards, 6 TDs and 4 INTs. Throw into that two suspensions during the season, and that’s a pretty big letdown from a guy who was meant to be the team’s leader.

3. Jeremy Johnson (Auburn)

A lot (negative) has been said about Johnson, and quite rightly so. Going hand-in-hand with Will Muschamp as the leaders for pomp and circumstance at the start of Auburn’s season (we were taken in, dammit!), Nick Marshall’s back-up threw like an inexperienced back-up. His interceptions weren’t ‘unlucky’ interceptions, they were BAD throws, and Malzahn dropped him for Sean White. White was so ineffective that Johnson came back for some snaps against Georgia, Idaho and Alabama, and threw for 3 TDs and 1 INT. He also threw 40% against Alabama, which isn’t surprising. But compared to what we were expecting, Johnson was a huge letdown.

4. Leonard Fournette (LSU)

You probably think it’s strange that we’ve put Leonard Fournette in this, but get this: After LSU rolled in the early part of the season, Fournette was given the Heisman by the media. By the end of the season he wasn’t even invited to New York City – mainly thanks to the fact that he never got more yards than he did against Florida on October 17, when he put up 180. He also had 31 against Alabama, which probably didn’t help either. And although he only had one game without a TD this year, it felt like a let-down. Maybe because we were expecting so much more…

5. Greyson Lambert (Georgia)

With a name like a SAE frat boy, Lambert rolling in from Virginia and immediately got the starting job at UGA. Lambert set a SEC completion record by going 24-25 and throwing for 330 yards and 3 TDs against South Carolina. Everybody was excited. And then against Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia it all fell to pieces. And by the Cocktail Party against Florida, he was dropped.

The Committee would also like to thank poor Offensive Co-Ordinators, who contributed to this award.

 

 

 Page 5 of 51  « First  ... « 3  4  5  6  7 » ...  Last »