Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 31, 2013 and 31 days until Kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHappy Hump Day. We have six fresh college football stories and one month to go, y’all.

Holcombe commits to Tide

Outside linebacker Keith Holcombe committed to the Alabama football team Tuesday, according to Rivals.com and 247 Sports.

Alabama: More holes on secondary than anywhere else

A seasoned, big-play secondary has been one of the strengths of the Alabama football team in recent years.

Alabama football signee won't have to take grayshirt offer

An Alabama football recruit who was asked to take a grayshirt offer after a knee injury got some surprising news on Tuesday.

Alabama listed as heavy favorite to win the SEC

Alabama's reputation with Las Vegas sportsbooks continues to improve as the 2013 season draws closer.

 Jadeveon Clowney Is ‘The Best Football Player in the World,’ Georgia Coach Mark Richt Says

Just how good is Jadeveon Clowney?

Quotable:

The final BCS season offers one last quirky chance for a non-SEC team to get spit into the championship by the unregulated BCS computers. Once the playoff starts, the teams will be picked by a selection committee.

The SEC has owned the BCS era with equal parts passion, talent and made-to-order nonconference scheduling. The SEC even caught a few breaks along the way, right, Michigan and Oklahoma State?

Total domination, though, just isn't enough. SEC coaches after 15 years suddenly don't understand why Notre Dame, one school, has such disproportionate say-so.

"We just started trying to figure out why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners," South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier said at SEC media days. "Nobody had a good answer except that's the way it's always been."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 30, 2013 and 32 days left

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngThe daily serving of six cool, clear and fresh college football stories from around the country.

Talent waiting in the wings on Tide's defensive front

Alabama's vaunted defense will miss a few key pieces, lost to the NFL, but many more return.

Texas QB Brewer transferring to Arizona

Former Texas quarterback Connor Brewer is headed to Arizona.

Former OC implies players inherited from Chizik, Malzahn led to him being 'really bad coach' in '12

Red Meat: Former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler made some remarks regarding the 2012 season during a speaking engagement in Virginia on Monday which won't sit well with Tigers fans.

Athlon's names SEC - not the Big 12 or Pac-12 - as top QB conference

"With three potential All-American signal-callers returning for 2013, the SEC gets the nod as the top quarterback conference."

Five key questions as Tennessee Vols crank up

Butch Jones can go ahead and grab the wireless microphone from storage.

Quotable:

I'll give you 10,000 RBR dollars if you can name me a darker time in Alabama football history. From 2000-2006 Alabama had 52 wins, 17 of which were vacated and had a dismal 34 losses. (Final count of 35-34) Oh yeah, we also went 3-11 against Tennessee and Auburn.

When Curley Hallman took the LSU job, LSU had never had more than two consecutive losing seasons in its entire history. Well, Hallman took that as a challenge and completely rewrote the LSU record book on futility. He inherited a 5-6 team coming off of two straight losing seasons, and he righted the ship.

Right into the iceberg.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 29, 2013 and 33 days until kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngI love Mondays. Don’t you? Oh, well at least we start the week off right, right? Six college football stories from around the country.

Mosley leads experienced group

The Alabama football team's national titles won the last two years used defense as the cornerstone with linebacker play at the core. That should be no different this season.

Questions abound on the Plains

The most question marks on the Auburn defense heading into 2013 come at the linebacker position.

College football's most intriguing coaches

Urban Meyer is trying to hold Ohio State together while Nick Saban hunts for a third straight title at 'Bama.

South Alabama's McCarthy says no word yet from NCAA concerning Woodson's immediate eligibility

Former Alabama wide receiver who transferred to South Alabama hopes to be eligible to play without sitting out a season.

Ricky Williams eager to mold young minds as coach

Williams is set to coach running backs at San Antonio's University of the Incarnate Word.

Quotable:

The fact is, pictures like these make a statement, but what kind of statement is the question. The immediate assumption from haters is that they’re flashing the cash given to them by boosters for going to the school that you hate. But the area in-between a photo and the facts is as gray as can be.

Where the disconnect comes is when adults who live and breathe college athletics make assumptions, draw conclusions, and just in general live and die on the actions of 18-year-old kids. For instance, a forty-something year old white man in upper suburbia with a working knowledge of the light-speed impact of information on the internet has no idea what’s on the mind of a young African-American kid just wanting to show the boys back home he’s living it up, Instagram style. That’s an oversimplification, obviously, but in Dee’s mind, his Instagram wouldn’t reach much more than the boys and girls back home.

Little did he know it has most likely reached Nick Saban himself, along with the rest of the internet. Which is why we probably won’t see any pics from “Day 2.”

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 26, 2013 and 36 days until kickoff

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHappy Friday, football fans! Only five weekends left. Here’s the customary six college football stories to start this one right.

McCarron stars at the top, but Tide inexperienced beyond that

The most stable position on the Alabama football team is also the most visible. Quarterback AJ McCarron is the unquestioned leader and focal point of the offense.

Joey Jones says South Alabama players, staff ready for challenges ahead this season

The 2013 season will mark Jags' first year as full Football Bowl Subdivision member, eligible to win Sun Belt title.

Sooners to extend Stoops’ contract through 2020

For whatever segment of Sooner Nation that has an issue with Bob Stoops‘ being its head coach, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed with the following news.

Texas Tech defensive end Chase Robison transferring to Auburn

The former three-star defensive end moved to linebacker under new coach Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech.

USC AD Haden behind Kiffin '100 percent'

Yes, it’s the dreaded vote of confidence.

Quotable:

Emmert has called for a summit of Division I schools in January and talked to the Indianapolis Star about the changes the commissioners want to see made.

"I didn't take issue with any of the general statements that were made by the commissioners,” Emmert told the Indianapolis Star. “I thought they were helpful and good contributions to the debate.

“There's one thing that virtually everybody in Division I has in common right now, and that is they don't like the governance model. Now, there's not agreement on what the new model should be. But there's very little support for continuing things in the governing process the way they are today.”

As Emmert eluded to in those comments, there's a difference between just deciding changes need to be made and having everybody agree on the changes.

“There's a need to recognize there are Division I schools with $5 million athletic budgets and $155 million athletic budgets, and trying to find a model that fits all of them is the enormous challenge right now."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 25, 2013 and 37 days until Ahhh…

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngWelcome to the Thursday edition of the Morning Six Pack, where we find six cool, fresh college football stories from around the country.

High expectations no burden for star sophomore Yeldon

After losing a talented starter in such a key position, there's no question how the Alabama football team moves forward in the backfield. The Crimson Tide goes with the next man in line: T.J. Yeldon.

Defense, ground game used to rule SEC, but new era has come to pass

It's football the way Bear Bryant would have loved it.

Meyer Talks Discipline; Pac-12 Rivals Talk Tempo

Urban Meyer answered few questions about his talented Ohio State team and its championship aspirations at Big Ten media day.

Once a critic, Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson now sees benefits of uptempo offenses

The Auburn defensive coordinator doesn't see how hurry-up offenses lead to more injuries, but he does believe defenses should have a few seconds to get set before offenses snap the ball.

Receiver Jones to transfer

Texas wide receiver Cayleb Jones, who was suspended after being charged with punching and breaking the jaw of a Longhorns tennis player, will transfer from the program, the school announced Wednesday.

Quotable:

Within a tradition-rich Southeastern Conference where at least three schools -- Alabama, Auburn and LSU -- haven't made a significant uniform change in more than 50 years, just how tightly should fans cling to their proud pasts regarding their favorite team's work clothes?

Does dressing for success in the SEC mean remaining frozen in time? Do unis unite or divide? And what about this post from "Olddogsrule" on a UT message board: "Actually, for any given year, whatever makes the players feel confident and they want to wear. It's their team! Not ours."

Hmmmm.

Lifelong Georgia fan Mike Weaver would debate that.

The general contractor still winces over those Power Ranger outfits the Bulldogs donned in their Georgia Dome loss to Boise State a couple of years ago.

"You know how Southerners are," he said. "We don't want anything to change. I want them to look like they did 50 years ago. And everybody I talk to wants the same thing: They want them to stay traditional."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 24 and 38 days until kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHumping through the middle of the week with six new college football stories from here and yonder.

OL on why he picked Alabama over UGA and Tennessee

One of the state’s top offensive linemen for 2015 is headed to Alabama. Dallas Warmack, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound junior from Mays High School, committed to Alabama over UGA and Tennessee.

Mississippi State hopes to take next step in Dan Mullen's 5th season

The Bulldogs have averaged eight wins over the past three seasons, but they want more in 2013.

Arizona DB charged on multiple drug-related felonies

Well then. According to a City of Tucson news release, Arizona Wildcats safety Patrick Onwuasor has been charged with four felonies, three of which are drug related.

Demetruce McNeal ‘penciled in’ at top of boundary safety depth chart once more

Despite not being listed on the post-spring two-deep depth chart, Demetruce McNeal (12) will begin fall camp as the starter at safety, according to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

Penn State's John Urschel has love for math and football

In his fifth year, the first-team all-Big Ten guard is working on his second master's.

Quotable:

"Look at Division I. There are programs that have $3 million budgets and programs that have $160 million budgets," Bowlsby said. "How do you begin to try and do things that are good for one and also good for the other? Is there a segregation of some sort based upon their tax bracket? Probably. But I don't know how you go about solving problems without getting like-minded people together and coming up with some solutions."

Bowlsby is right. The only way schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Southern Cal and Texas can address their needs is to break away from the Central Michigans and Utah States of the college football world. Every time legislation is proposed that might increase spending, the schools that can't afford it vote it down. And there are a lot more college athletics departments in the red when it comes to sports budgets.

"Why are we where we are?" Bowlsby asked. "It's hard to say. I guess it's the cumulative effect of a long period of time, but I think what we've done essentially is we have tried to accomplish competitive equity through rules and legislative changes, and it's probably not possible to do that. I think we've permitted or even sometimes encouraged institutional social climbing by virtue of their athletics programs, and I think the fact is we've made it too easy to get into Division I and too easy to stay there."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 23, 2013 and 39 days until kickoff

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngWith less that 40 days until kickoff, you can almost smell the tailgates, can’t you? And what to wash all that BBQ down with… Six cold, clear college football stories from around the country.

Translating Nick Saban: Three Plays from the BCS Championship

Nick Saban did the full ESPN car wash today, and ESPN, to their credit, fit in a brief bit of actual football talk as they looked at three plays from the BCS Championship game against Notre Dame.

Brady Hoke Offers Ohio State-Michigan Tickets to 12-Year-Old Who Named His Cancer ‘Michigan’

The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry just got a little friendlier. On Monday, Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke reached out to Grant Reed, the 12-year-old Ohio State fan who named his brain tumor “Michigan”

Three-star UGA signee not cleared by NCAA, won’t play in 2013

For the second time since February’s National Signing Day, Georgia has lost a member of its 2013 class.

Ohio State coach disciplines 4 Buckeyes, including Carlos Hyde, Bradley Roby

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has disciplined four players for legal problems, including suspending leading-scorer Carlos Hyde from all team activities in the wake of an alleged assault against a female over the weekend in Columbus.

Where have we heard this before?

Despite little recognition in preseason awards, the blocking back role has become increasingly important in college football, and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee thinks Prosch has a chance to be the best H-back Gus Malzahn's offense has ever had.

Quotable:

That last season's version of Alabama was still good enough offensively to overcome the defense's relative shortcomings went a long way toward convincing Steele that the 2013 Crimson Tide was a better pick than any other team to claim the final BCS National Championship.

"There were plenty of sophomores in the starting lineup," Steele said Monday in an interview with AL.com. "This year, I expect the starters to be all juniors and seniors.

"Whenever you run a complex defense like Alabama does, that level of experience is always a good thing. Clearly, Alabama has a better defense than last year. Of course, No. 1 in the country (in 2011) and No. 1 in the country last year, but last year's defense actually gave up 66 yards per game more than the 2011 version. I think this one will be stronger."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 22 and 40 days until the promised land

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngOh, Monday. You again? We might as well start the week right, right? Six cold, clear and fresh college football stories from wandering in the desert.

SEC, Alabama dominate top 50 most talented players in college football

Well-respected NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah evaluated the top 50 players in college football, and the SEC dominated the list with 19 players.

Ranking the SEC’s defensive ends for 2013

After a week off position rankings, it’s time to turn our attention to one of the positions the SEC is known for: defensive ends.

Steele: Best win total value bets

Texas, USC, Georgia among top value plays heading into season.

Ole Miss Tries to Keep Climbing

It's become common knowledge around college football that the second year of a coach's tenure is when the rubber really hits the road.

The Value of Bye Weeks

One of the constant refrains we have heard from Tide fans when we talk about schedule inequities is that Alabama once had to play six teams coming off byes.

Quotable:

"I'm glad coach brought (Brown) in," Steen said. "It's going to push Austin and make him work that much harder for a starting job."

Brown is among a deep, yet largely inexperienced, pool of players who are looking to either supplant some of these front-runners or earn valuable roles as the first or second offensive lineman off the bench. Also in this group are veterans such as Chad Lindsay and Kellen Williams and redshirt freshmen Alphonse Taylor, Brandon Greene and Caleb Gulledge.

Because Alabama's starting line remained relatively healthy throughout 2012, it never had to tap into an Alfred McCullough-type reserve for an extensive amount of snaps. Alabama knows it can't bank on that kind of good luck for a second straight year.

"We're really trying to figure that out," Steen said. "I guess we'll wait until the end of camp to see. I know coach Mario said the other day about who's going to be our sixth man or who's going to be our starting line. We don't know that yet."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 19, 2013 and 43 days until Bama football

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngTGIF, and what a great representation the SEC coaches and players made this week. Here’s the customary morning batch of college football stories.

Alabama's AJ McCarron: 'I love 2-5-1,' 'I'm proud to be from Mobile'

"I love 2-5-1. I'm proud to be a part of that city. Proud to be from there."

Cincinnati, Nebraska agree to future home-and-home

In some scheduling news that doesn’t involve whether the SEC will play eight or nine conference games, Nebraska and Cincinnati have agreed to a future home-and-home series.

The lost year: Gus Malzahn, Houston Nutt, Mitch Mustain open up on their days together at Arkansas

Gus Malzahn says he learned a lot about college football during his first and only season at Arkansas, which hired him out of Springdale High (Ark.) in December 2005.

LSU, Georgia aim to knock off Tide off pedestal

While losing to Alabama cost Georgia a shot at a national title, the Bulldogs did gain two things.

SEC media days report: A&M picked to finish 2nd in West

The media picked A&M to finish second behind two-time defending national champion Alabama in the SEC West Division, and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel and offensive left tackle Jake Matthews were members of the SEC preseason first team on offense.

Quotable:

"I know LSU doesn't want to play Florida," Saban said. "But when I was at LSU, the fans loved that game. It's like how our fans love the Tennessee game. There was a time when we couldn't beat [the Volunteers] for seven years in a row. You can't predict it."

Saban said the only way the SEC can ensure its scheduling format is fair is for everyone to play everybody. But with 14 teams in the SEC, it's impossible.

"You have to rotate the schedule," Saban said. "Some years, there are going to be schedules that are easier than others. You can't just say Georgia and Florida because Tennessee has just been just as good as those two traditionally. [Tennessee is] having a lull in their program, and there was a time when Florida had a lull in their program, when they were winning seven games a year. I think everybody is going to go through a lull at some point in time. There's no way to predict it."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 18, 2013 and 44 days until whoopass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngDay three of SEC Media Days and another fresh batch of college football stories from around these parts.

Alabama's Nick Saban looks to accountability of athletes like Aaron Hernandez

The tragic tale that has become the life of disgraced NFL star Aaron Hernandez remains an interesting topic of discussion within the football community.

Johnny Manziel would ‘love’ to play against Jadeveon Clowney

Will it happen? Not unless Texas A&M and South Carolina meet in the SEC championship game. But it’s July, so let’s go there anyway.

Can staunch LSU fans really be this brainless?

Gregg Doyel wants LSU's Les Miles to kick troubled RB Jeremy Hill off the team. LSU fans want to kick around Doyel while defending Hill.

Predicting the 2013 SEC Football Season: Texas A&M Aggies

The eleventh in a series leading up to fall camps brings us to the land of the Twelfth Man.

SEC Media Days notebook: Malzahn, Bielema continue debate over hurry-up offense

Auburn's Nov. 2 game at Arkansas should be entertaining, if the war of words between new Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is any indication.

Quotable:

Nov. 18, 2011, was supposed to be a slow Friday night in Tuscaloosa. Alabama was playing its annual pre-Auburn cupcake team and had lost to LSU two weeks before. But that night Iowa State shocked then-No. 2 Oklahoma State, putting Alabama right back in the national championship picture.

I was at the local Buffalo Wild Wings and the celebration when the Cyclones won in overtime sounded like Alabama had just won the national championship. Strangers hugged and high-fived me. Downtown on The Strip, every bar was blaring Baby Bash’s “Cyclone.”

I walked up to a fraternity house with some friends, where the party was in full swing. Not being in a fraternity usually would be a problem getting in, but not tonight.

“Are you an Iowa State fan?” the man at the door asked.

“Hell yes,” I responded, and he gave me a bear hug and let me in.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 17, 2013 and 45 days until Bama football

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHumpin’ right along with SEC Media Days and another fresh batch of six college football stories.

Alabama's AJ McCarron, others prank South Alabama's Brandon Bridge

Alabama's AJ McCarron, Middle Tennessee State quarterback Logan Kilgore and former Ole Miss backup and QB Country founder David Morris made the most of an opportunity to cut Bridge's nap time short.

The best Jadeveon Clowney quotes from SEC Media Days

Jadeveon Clowney could very well be the face of the upcoming college football season.

Ole Miss Tries to Play the Expectations Game

If you've ever watched rival political campaigns in the run-up to a presidential debate, the strategy is often clear: Dial down your own expectations and ratchet up the opponent's.

Alabama notebook: Florida's Easley riles Tide with no Bear knowledge

Florida senior defensive lineman Dominique Easley started a cyberspace uproar among Alabama football fans Tuesday during the first day of the SEC Media meetings.

Steve Spurrier opines on Notre Dame, player stipends

Spurrier took the podium at SEC media days, and he came with an agenda.

Quotable:

As for the Heisman, Clowney handles the talk with a shrug.

“It’s not really a goal for me,” he said. “The goal is to win the SEC.”

The guy is a highlight waiting to happen. The signature play of his sophomore season at South Carolina was his devastating hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl. Clowney was unblocked and leveled Smith, knocking off his helmet and sending the ball flying.

The play remains a staple of ESPN’s college football coverage.

“You can’t watch ESPN without seeing that play,” Missouri wide receiver L’Damian Washington said.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 16, 2013 and 46 days left until kickoff

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngLet’s kickoff SEC Media Days with a fresh new round of six college football stories from here and there.

SEC Media Days preview

The frenzy begins as the conference kicks off press coverage for the 2013 season.

5 things to know about SEC Media Days

Here are five things to know ahead of the Southeastern Conference's Media Days beginning Tuesday.

Tulsa columnist: 'SEC should not dismiss Big 12 as some lesser league not worthy of comparison'

"No one in the SEC is playing the type of offenses we've seen in the Big 12 in recent years."

Kentucky RB Clemons to miss season

Season nipped in the bud by an Achilles injury.

Do off-field woes mirror SEC's on-field success?

When the Southeastern Conference's football media days get under way this afternoon in Hoover, Ala., it would appear the nation's most powerful football conference is saving its best for last.

Quotable:

"I feel like it's Thursday night again and I'm watching Sharknado," he said on SportsCenter. "You can't take your eyes off the screen. It's a train wreck, but it is very compelling, and it's also very disturbing for many reasons."

But is this a college kid just being a college kid?

"We all were college kids once. I was pretty stupid back then," Finebaum said. "However, I wasn't the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and I didn't have little kids looking up to me. Johnny Manziel has a responsibility, and I think he has blown that responsibility very badly, and the question has become why?

"Whose fault is it? Is it his fault? Of course, you have to take some personal responsibility, even if you're young. But can you blame Kevin Sumlin or the administration at Texas A&M? Johnny Manziel was a problem child before he started becoming the famous football player."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 12, 2013 and FIFTY days until kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngSeven weekends left, y’all. Here’s the TGIF edition of six fresh college football stories with a strong SEC flavor.

Alabama's new 'waterfall room' revealed on the web

A short video appears to have been recorded inside one of the newest features of Alabama's locker room.

Kentucky dismisses Thomas brothers

Khalid Thomas joined his brother Pancho Thomas (pictured, somewhat) earlier this year as a member of the Kentucky football program. Five months later, the brothers will involuntarily exit the program together as well.

Georgia making the right decision not to launch an Aaron Murray Heisman campaign

Georgia has decided against an Aaron Murray Heisman campaign to start the season, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Thursday.

UT officials work to fill Neyland Stadium

As fans wandered through the concourse Thursday afternoon at Neyland Stadium, Tennessee fundraisers hoped they could envision a packed stadium and a winning team — and wanted to buy tickets to be a part of it.

AP: Ohio State's Gordon Gee slow to apologize to Notre Dame, Catholics and SEC

Although university trustees directed Gee in a March 11 letter to begin issuing personal apologies "promptly," he didn't make the first of those apologies until May 20 during a previously scheduled meeting with the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, according to a copy of Gee's calendar obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.

Quotable:

SEC Network commentator Paul Finebaum told ESPN's College Football Live, "I'm sad to say he's trending toward becoming a punch line."

If Manziel's the punch line, what's the set-up? All he's done is follow the greatest season ever by a redshirt freshman with the greatest off-season in history.

Finebaum also has said that Manziel's "had a train wreck of an off-season."

Really? Making some ill-conceived comments on Twitter, taking some online classes, throwing out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game and taking in the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and NBA All-Star Game, among other cool vacation trips, constitutes a train wreck?

Sounds more like a luxury cruise.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 11, 2013 and 51 more dog days

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngSummer drags on, but fortunately we’ll always start the day right with six college football stories from around the country.

SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 20 Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1.

College Recruiting: QB on picking UGA over Alabama, almost committing to Auburn, and new-found fame

Few recruits ever experience a meteoric rise in a short period of time like Jacob Park has enjoyed over the last month.

Worley to Manning QB camp

Justin Worley will continue trying to lock down the job as Tennessee's starting quarterback three weeks from now when the Volunteers begin preseason training camp.

5 questions about Arkansas

Tom Murphy of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette answers five questions about the Razorbacks.

The SEC is dominant because the South cares more about football.

What's clear to me now more than ever isn't just that the South is better at college football. It's that the South cares more than any region of the country about this game and this Saturday ritual of worshiping it.

Quotable:

They can never take a national championship away from you once you've won it. But let's say you're offered a trade in advance: Your team can win the national title at a given point in the next five years, but in return, your team will subsequently suffer through the worst season in program history, fire the title-winning coach, hire his former assistant and start nearly from scratch, as if the program wasn't merely years removed from a championship.

How about it? As with anything else, the answer to the question is relative. New Mexico State takes that trade, obviously. Kansas State does the same, if only to give Bill Snyder one final achievement for his résumé. In the SEC, I'd imagine that Mississippi State, Mississippi, Missouri, Vanderbilt, South Carolina – every team without a title to its name would make that trade.

But what about Auburn?

.Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 10, 2013 and 52 days until kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHumpin’ through the countdown on a Wednesday edition of the Morning Six Pack.

With the first pick in the All-Alabama draft of former and current Tide players, ESPN selects ...

"Drafting AJ McCarron with my first pick wasn't what anyone would call a traditional choice."

Jeremy Hill and the Wheels of Justice

I'm reluctant to weigh in on Jeremy Hill's legal situation because we don't really know anything about it. It's pretty easy to write the internet hard ass column and talk about what a thug he is and why Miles should make an example out of him or why the DA's office should have him strung up by his fingernails.

Four-star OL Roderick Taylor set to choose between Alabama and Ole Miss

The nation's top-ranked offensive guard prospect for the class of 2014, Jackson, Mississippi star Roderick Taylor, has narrowed his choices down to two finalists: Ole Miss and Alabama. Taylor will announce his choice at a ceremony at his high school at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

Former Gators see no quick solution for wide receiver slump

There was a time when former Florida receivers felt their school laid claim to being the leading producer of wideout talent.

Ole Miss won’t be sanctioned for using ineligible player

Don’t worry, Ole Miss fans.  Your team’s huge Egg Bowl win is safely sitting in the history books. A couple of months ago, Ole Miss self-reported the use of an academically ineligible player for six games during the 2012 season.

Quotable:

"I want to make sure that our players, this team goes down as one of the great teams in Florida football history," he said the morning after Tebow and the Gators beat Oklahoma 24-14 in south Florida to win the 2008 national title. "It's one of the greatest groups of young people I've ever been around, and I'm starting to get a little bit of experience behind me now, 20-something years, and that's saying a lot because I've been around some great young guys."

Later in the news conference, Meyer was asked what he had learned about running a program like Florida after stops at Bowling Green and Utah.

"It still comes down to getting guys to go as hard as they can, it all comes down to getting guys to graduate, to live right. At the end of the day you want a bunch of players that are committed to the right thing. And it's not easy to get that. It's not easy. In 20-something years of coaching, on one hand I can hold the amount of teams that I've been around the kids that do it the right way. I'm not talking about a few, I'm talking about the core of your team if you do it the right way, and we've got it here at Florida."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 9, 2013 and 53 days until Bama football

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngAnd… one week until SEC Media Days. We’re gaining on it. Meanwhile… on with the Six Pack.

High Tide could bring Alabama awards: McCarron, Mosley top first watch lists of season

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley top the first college football watch lists released Monday by the Maxwell Football Club.

DawgNation all-time Georgia draft results

ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, DawgNation's David Ching and The State's Josh Kendall have picked their all-time Georgia teams. Here are the results.

LSU running back Jeremy Hill formally charged with simple battery

Arraignment scheduled for Friday.

Pa. won't appeal rejection of suit against NCAA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's general counsel says the administration will not appeal a federal judge's dismissal of a lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State.

Kentucky DB cleared to resume workouts after car accident

Kentucky safety Ashely Lowery is just lucky to be alive after reportedly being thrown 100 feet from his car during a single-car accident in early May.

Quotable:

He's won four BCS championships (2003, '09, '11, '12) over his last eight seasons in the college ranks and turned Alabama, and LSU before it, into a recruiting machine. Saban's teams' dominance in the past two title games against previously undefeated foes LSU and Notre Dame is a testament to his preparation skills, and his program's infrastructure -- relying on an enormous support staff to maximize efficiency -- has become a model for the rest of the sport.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 8, 2013 and… a mere 54 days until kickass

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngOh, yeah. Monday. Well, at least we start the week off right, right? Six college football stories from around SEC Country.

Alabama defensive lineman signee Darius Paige cleared to enroll

The 6-foot-4, 314-pound defensive lineman plans to be on campus Monday.

The SEC’s 10 Biggest Games In 2013

Alabama is favored by many to bring a third championship to Tuscaloosa in as many years, but the competition will be tough in a league that has at least a half dozen teams that could win it all.  Here’s a look at ten matchups that could determine the outcome of the SEC and national title race.

Couple has Texas A&M wedding, which includes jerseys, a ref, stadium cake and more

The officiant of the ceremony was a referee, who threw a flag on a guest who was wearing orange.

Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer getting support from mentors as he looks for landing spot

"He's been misunderstood," Arkansas Baptist College president Fitz Hill tells USA Today. "I have the utmost belief in him as an individual. I can vouch for him, based on what he's done at Arkansas Baptist College."

SEC preseason All-Star teams

We’re approaching all-star week in the MLB, and that means nothing to the majority of SEC football fans other than the classic Homerun Derby and the fact that the football season is continuously creeping closer.

Quotable:

A roster on the university’s Web site lists 121 players, 41 of whom have been arrested, either in college or afterward, and sometimes both. That number included 16 players on that season’s final two-deep roster, nine of whom were starters, as well as a kicker, punter and returner. Several of those players went on to the N.F.L., and one, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, later won the Heisman Trophy playing for Auburn.

After Hernandez’s arrest, Florida declined to comment. Meyer, about to start his second season as coach of Ohio State, initially declined to answer questions about Hernandez, a player who reportedly went to regular Bible study in Meyer’s home.

But Meyer’s wife, Shelley, posted on her Twitter page, “When will we start holding individuals accountable for their own decisions/actions and stop blaming any/everyone else?” She added the hashtag “liveyourliferight.”

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 5, 2013 and 57 days until kickoff

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHere’s hoping you had a blessed and peaceful Independence Day celebration. Restart that heady feeling with six new college football stories from around the country.

Alabama 2013 season preview: Rejuvenated Kentucky rebuilding under Mark Stoops

The Wildcats didn't win a single SEC game in 2012.

Top 50 college football players for 2013

Rating the players according to college (not projected pro) ability.

College football countdown | No. 64: Mississippi State

Mississippi State will need to scratch and claw to get back into the postseason.

Jeff Driskel Signs With Red Sox, Will Continue to Play Football at Florida

When the Red Sox drafted Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball draft, no one seemed more surprised than Driskel.

Nebraska center to study concussions

The University of Nebraska's Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior opens this month in Memorial Stadium's newly expanded east side.

Quotable:

Who will be the movers & shakers in recruiting during July, a month when high school prospects make their last trips to college campuses before shifting focus to their senior season?

Earlier this week, I noticed that five programs --- NC State, Louisville, Rutgers, Texas, and Boston College --- have at least 20 verbal commitments already.  Some programs, however, have less less than 12 commitments.  Those programs include LSU, UGA, Florida, Oklahoma, Auburn, South Carolina, Stanford, and Washington.  Thus, there's plenty of time for movers & shakers. Currently, according to 247Sports, the top 10 team recruiting rankings shape up as follows:

1. Alabama
2. Texas A&M
3. Texas
4. Michigan
5. Miami
6. Ohio State
7. Tennessee
8. Florida State
9. Notre Dame
10. Clemson

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

This is gonna get me on a Homeland Security watchlist, but I don’t care…

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

imagehen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 3, 2013 and 59 days

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngHumpin’ right along on a warmish Independence Day Eve with six cold new college football stories from around the country, with an SEC flavor, of course.

Full recovery expected after UGA DL Toby Johnson undergoes surgery

A transfer from a lower level to Georgia will be sidelined for the next week and a half, Georgia announced Tuesday.

An Alabama commitment and an Auburn recruiting target under review at The Opening

We're talking quarterbacks -- and quarterbacks are being examined and talked about in Oregon, too, where The Opening football camp is ongoing.

Goodell, Meyer to hold safety clinic

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will host a safety clinic next month for about 600 mothers of youth football players.

Former Auburn RB Dyer seeks new chance

Former Auburn and Arkansas State running back Michael Dyer says he would prefer to play college football rather than enter the NFL supplemental draft.

Ole Miss finds no recruiting wrongdoing among emails submitted to compliance office

"Many of those emails repeat similar, unsubstantiated rumors. None of the emails provide first-hand information and none have led to any findings of violations."

Quotable:

"Obviously I'm in the business of working with young men. I tell them all the time as they leave college and head into the working world: The mentors are far more important than the job itself," he said. "The willingness to learn and do whatever it takes, choose great mentors. I know I am a great product, as is Coach Krzyzewski, of great families. Our mentors, our coaches.

"It was an incredible experience for me to be around Coach (Bear) Bryant, to see his passion and dedication. The things I took away from him I still profess today. Football has changed a lot, but coaching football hasn't changed as much as people might think. I would say Mike would agree with that.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 2, 2013 and only SIXTY days left until kickoff!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngThe Dog Days seems shorter and more tolerable when you start them off right. Six fresh college football stories from around the country.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn's contract includes huge bonuses for SEC, BCS success: School also releases assistant football coaches' contracts

Gus Malzahn can be one of the highest paid coaches in college football, but he'll have to earn it.

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick on ACC: 'This will be the best conference in the country'

The ACC has officially welcomed Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the conference Monday.

FAU's new football uniforms will give you wings

The Owls debut a new look.

Mississippi State still aiming for an SEC title

Since Mississippi State became a founding member of the Southeastern Conference in 1933, every Bulldogs football coach has produced at least one winning season except Arthur "Slick" Morton, who struggled in Starkville from 1949 to '51.

Blanding, Brown on why they picked Virginia football

Quin Blanding and Andrew Brown are giving one program a promising 2014 recruiting class.

Quotable:

Looking back at the season, Kingsbury said it was as much the offense the Aggies ran as it was Manziel's abilities.

"It was kind of a perfect storm," he said. "You throw in an offensive line that was probably one of the best in college football in the last 10 years.

"(Manziel) is a phenomenal talent. He would be successful in any system, based on those attributes, but I think our system spreading people out and running that in the SEC, which isn't accustomed to that, really helped."

And his thoughts on Manziel's upcoming season, despite the off-the-field stories this offseason?

"I think he'll be better," Kingsbury said. "Being around this system in Year 2, he'll be even better. It'll be fun to watch."

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Morning Six Pack: July 1, 2013 and a mere 61 days until kickoff

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mU_dQP_7Xg0/UJfDXuVaYCI/AAAAAAAAEaI/2gHVYMX2KT0/s1600/msp.pngOh, Monday… You again? Well, at least we can start things off right with six cool and refreshing college football stories from here and there.

Charles Barkley: Johnny Manziel better player, AJ McCarron better leader, then talks Saban, Malzahn

"I think you guys know I'm a big Nick Saban fan. I respect greatness."

Florida has seen share of five-star flops

As we’ve seen at Florida and other schools, being a five-star recruit does not always translate to a five-star career in college.

Wyoming Reveals Photos of New Field Turf

The University of Wyoming has released photos of their new field turf at War Memorial Stadium. The field’s new features include the image of Wyoming’s Teton Mountains in the end zones, and on the sidelines is the lettering “7220 Feet” to distinguish Jonah Field as the highest NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) stadium in the country.

Realignment 101: Getting to know the new landscape of college sports

Making sense of all the changes that have been made in college sports is tedious. Let us do the work for you.

Did Clemson fan damage famed rock?

Clemson University Police have charged an 18-year-old North Carolina man with vandalizing the school's beloved Howard's Rock and it appears he is a Tigers fan.

Quotable:

Last June, Meyer was full of questions about his first Ohio State team and about his family’s adjustment after moving from Florida. The Buckeyes, of course, went 12-0. His wife, Shelley, and son, Nate, also adapted well.

“I feel much better” this year, Meyer said. “What I really feel better about is, my family is settled. That was a really difficult move for my wife and my son. That means more to me than the football team. They love Columbus and are ready to go, but last year at this time was not very smooth.”

NCAA rules prohibit coaches from having direct involvement in their players’ preparation for the season during the summer. But head strength coach Mickey Marotti keeps Meyer informed.

“About injuries and attitudes, absolutely I keep tabs on it,” Meyer said. “Every coach in America does. You can’t be there, but I’m there [mentally].”

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.