Sunday, September 30, 2012

Breaking News: Ole Miss has a good football coach

image In this space last week, I wrote that Ole Miss would score some points and called the 31-point spread a “sucker bet.” Not a lot of people took Ole Miss seriously, as that program has been a doormat in the SEC West for a very long time.

Here’s a news flash—Hugh Freeze is a very good football coach and prepared his team as best he could. The Rebels still came out on the short end of a 33-14 game in Tuscaloosa, at night, before a prime time national television audience.

Freeze’s team did something that no team has done since Tennessee last year—get a lead on Alabama during regulation play.

He did it using his up-tempo, no-huddle offense and a really smart defensive strategy.

That defensive strategy included loading up the box to take away the run and playing zone coverage deep to take away the long ball. That forced Alabama QB AJ McCarron to think in a hurry and check down to shorter routes. McCarron did that almost flawlessly, but still had a somewhat pedestrian night—he “only” went 22 of 30 for 180 yards, 2 TD’s and no INT’s.

Credit Alabama’s offensive line for a stellar performance. They outweighed and outmanned Ole Miss’ much smaller front seven and gave McCarron all the time he needed to check down to the right route and right receiver. The Tide is likely to struggle to do that against much more athletic defenses. John Chavis of LSU watched the game last night with a piqued interest.

Offensively, the Rebels did something that no one has been able to do against Alabama in what seems like forever—they methodically marched down the field and punched in a touchdown to take a one point lead in the second quarter.

Last week, I warned folks not to be surprised if the game was still competitive after halftime. At 27-14, The score indicated that it was after Ole Miss scored its second and last touchdown of the game. But everyone in the stadium and everyone watching on ESPN knew who was going to win the game. Ole Miss just wasn’t going to have the horses to beat Alabama.

Ole Miss may not be a very good team (good, just not very good), but they have very winnable games coming up against Texas A&M, Auburn, at Arkansas and Vanderbilt, and the Egg Bowl looks to be competitive for a change. Ole Miss also appears to have a very good football coach, and that’s something the Rebels’ haven’t had in a very, very long time.

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Morning Six Pack: September 30, 2012 n’ Bacon really is the breakfast of champions. Chug and chomp on these six college football stories from around the country.

So far, so perfect for Jeremy Shelley

Nobody has connected like Alabama’s Jeremy Shelley this season. He hasn’t missed a kick this year and put together his best game of the year Saturday as the Crimson Tide beat Ole Miss 33-14.

Michigan State upset with Ohio State about game footage

It wouldn’t be a Big Ten story without a little Urban Meyer/Ohio State drama now, would it?

Five reasons this 4-0 start is different

With the win over Kentucky last week, the Florida Gators find themselves right where they were a year ago — 4-0 and getting ready to open a tough October schedule against the nation’s No. 3 team in The Swamp.

Ducks start slow before dismantling Cougars

De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner sandwiched touchdown runs around Avery Patterson's 34-yard interception return for a score, and No. 2 Oregon used a third-quarter scoring blitz to shake Washington State for a 51-26 win.

Tigers' QB ranks as one of the country's worst

Young quarterbacks tend to struggle. It's nothing new. Heck, even referring to a college quarterback as 'young' is redundant. But saying Auburn's Kiehl Frazier is off to a bad start does not begin to encompass the poor play.


The brief seconds of trailing by a single point were a statistical oddity. The fact that Ole Miss had some momentum going was not. Alabama responded to that, forcefully, then seemed to drift again after halftime, raising the question of whether there could be some carryover against better teams coming up after the impending UA open date. Missouri hasn't been great but won on the road at Central Florida on Saturday and may be improving. Tyler Bray looked like he could be a danger to any team - admittedly, including his own - in Tennessee's shootout loss to Georgia. The win over Ole Miss doesn't "prove" how Alabama will respond if it faces road adversity. There is no reason to think the Crimson Tide will panic, but it didn't have time to do so on Saturday night before Jones was in the Ole Miss end zone. Still, Alabama seemed less like a juggernaut than it had for the previous month.

Nick Saban was actually asked, earlier in the week, if he was "worried" that his team hadn't been behind during the season. The question was curious, since that isn't a situation that a coach can control, at least not a coach in his right mind. Coaches always want to be ahead. On the other hand, there does have to be a curiosity factor, even for Saban. You can replicate all kinds of pressure situations in practice, but that is never quite the same thing as actual game action.

Championship seasons usually do require a team to prove its mettle at some point. The 1992 team that was honored Saturday night had to do so in Starkville and again in the SEC Championship Game at Legion Field. Those opponents, Mississippi State and Florida, were much tougher foes than a rebuilding Ole Miss was on Saturday night. The same thing lies ahead for this team, and will require more than Saturday saw.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Alabama commands a premium

Check this out. While perusing the inventory of office equipment yesterday at a local warehouse store, an Alabama fan found this and snapped a pic.


You can get a comfortable, stylish and ergonomic task chair for $78.81.

But if you want to work from the best looking chair in the office, the price is $88.81.

As we noted in this space last March, some folks are quite sensitive when it comes to the inventory on display at local establishments. It looks like Sam’s has found a way to keep enough product moving to maintain a respectable presence.

Lower the price on the stuff people aren’t buying until they buy enough to justify keeping it in stock.

Note: Hit me up in the comments if you took this pic or you know who did. I’d like to give credit.

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Morning Six Pack: September 29, 2012, daily newspaper. I raise my glass in your honor and in the honor of the men and women who worked so hard to make my coffee taste better every day. Here are six college football stories from around the state.

5-star running back Derrick Henry commits to Alabama

Alabama landed its third five-star rated prospect for the Class of 2013 when Yulee, Florida running back Derrick Henry announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide.

SEC Football by the Numbers: Week 5 -- Alabama's three-touchdown dominance

A collection of stats and facts, streaks and feats to keep in mind as the SEC's football teams enter their fifth Saturday of play for the 2012 season.

Miles College QB David Thomas talks passing game, Benedict

Miles College's offense is flying high heading into its Southern Intercollegiate Conference tilt with Benedict Saturday. Now, check out Miles quarterback David Thomas, the man who orchestrate's the SIAC's top offense.

No. 1 Alabama vs. Ole Miss: View from the other side

Ole Miss beat reporter Hugh Kellenberger answers five burning questions and offers a prediction.

Hot Corner: Time to bench Kiehl Frazier

Among the many issues with this season's Auburn team has been the inconsistent (and often downright bad) play of quarterback Kiehl Frazier. And now the Tigers have burned the redshirt year of freshman Jonathan Wallace.


The "Student-Athletes' Right to Know Act" recently went into effect in California and Connecticut, requiring those states to post specific information concerning athletic scholarships on their athletic department websites.

Bank on this happening: The California Pac-12 schools that once opposed the legislation their governor signed will now use it as a recruiting tool.

"I can guarantee that savvy coaches at these schools are going to use this to recruit," Huma said. "No other school in the country has laws protecting them and that's important to parents because they know how vital this can be. Some other coaches are going to want to prove their schools do the same thing. If they don't, they might be at a disadvantage in recruiting."

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Auburn player arrested—Quan Bray

Fox affiliates are announcing that Auburn player Quan Bray was arrested in Georgia overnight.

Twitter - fox6alancollins- Looks like Auburn should not ... 2012-09-28 11-55-27


Rumors started late last night, resulting from a report from someone who did a “ride along” with University of West Georgia Campus police. At least one of the charges mentioned was minor in possession of alcohol.

In both Alabama and Georgia, “minor in possession” is a misdemeanor and the defendant is typically arrested and booked at the local lockup.

A sophomore, Bray played in all 13 games in 2011 and has played all four in 2012.

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Yeah, the comment system did kinda suck, so here’s DISQUS

Ok, Rogue Elephant (and others). You got your wish.

The default commenting system on this site was a hindrance to discussion. The Blogger platform developers have been promising a new commenting model for the last year or so and I had been waiting for it to be implemented before deciding what to do.

Along the way, I’ve gotten a bunch of emails, tweets and chatroom comments asking for a better way to provide feedback and engage in discussion over posts here.

I looked at several options, ranging from Javascript widgets to embedded Flash chat to third party hosting.

DISQUS seems to have the best balance between ease of use, moderation and features. It also allows you to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and several other services.

Over the next day or so, the existing blog comments will be imported into the DISQUS system so if you can’t find your existing comments, be patient.

There is a higher likelihood of spambots getting through the DISQUS filters that the old Blogger system. The old system used a difficult Captcha code sequence that virtually eliminated spam. DISQUS is pretty good, but not that good.

It’s a fair tradeoff. I’ll have to moderate more, but if that’s what it takes to foster discussion, so be it.

Give it a try. Feedback is welcome.

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Morning Six Pack: September 28, 2012 Game Day Eve! Get your tail(gate) in order and check out these six college football stories from around the country.

LOL Stanford

Washington struggled for most of the night on offense, but played great defense and the offense came through with some huge plays in the second half to knock off eighth-ranked Stanford 17-13.

McCarron grows into one of the nation’s best

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has compiled some impressive statistics this season.

Stoops says No. 16 Sooners aren't slipping

If the signs seem to show Oklahoma falling from the ranks of the national elite, Bob Stoops isn't buying it.

Two starting Wolfpack linemen out for Miami game

Sitting at 3-1 on the season, North Carolina State will be down an additional starting offensive lineman as it opens ACC play Saturday.

Ranking The Red Wolves: Shoring Up Special Teams A Must Against Hilltoppers

There has been little margin of error in recent meetings between Western Kentucky and Arkansas State. Only nine points separate the two schools in their previous three meetings.


In the long run, Dye’s support won’t count for all that much. As admirable as Auburn’s effort against LSU was, the loss dropped Chizik’s record against the Tigers to 1-3. It’ll take a massive upset for him to avoid falling to 1-3 against Georgia and Alabama, too, and not even Dye may be able to save him this year if he falls to 1-3 against Arkansas.

But, by speaking up for Chizik, isn’t Dye doing what family members are supposed to do? As Chizik’s strongest supporter from the start outside of AD Jay Jacobs, isn’t it more important than ever for Dye to stand by his man?

I know some Auburn people would prefer that Dye be seen and not heard in public and not be seen or heard at all in the athletic department, but that’s another debate for another day.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

ESPN tool Stephen A. Smith says you are RACIST for criticizing Cam Newton

image Ace has a much deeper analysis of this idiot’s comments. Go check it out.

At issue is the cartoon seen at right, which appeared in the Charlotte Observer after Panthers QB Cam Newton’s interception machine game against the Giants.

Steve Smith—veteran receiver and team captain—took Newton to task not for his performance, but for his demeanor on the bench.

As Ace notes, this is not the first time teammates have been irked by Newton’s behavior during bad outings. Last season he covered his head with a towel and sat on the bench, frowning refusing to even acknowledge his teammates efforts on the field.

After the season he admitted that he “hadn’t been a good teammate.”

So what is ESPN tool Stephen A. Smith so upset about?

Ace explains:

Actually, he doesn't think it's racism. He's certain of it. He feels it in his bones. And he's angry at white people who attempt to "define" racism for African-Americans. See, only African-Americans can define racism, and they are (or at least one is) defining racism as a Hello Kitty t-shirt cartoon about a black quarterback who has previously been yelled at for mopery by his teammates and has just been taken to task about it by his veteran team-captain black all-time-all-star receiver.

It becomes racism the moment a White Person notices, especially in the South (which is 75% of Steven A. Smith's argument).

Steve Smith (the receiver) can notice that Newton is relapsing into his bad old sulky mopery ways, but you're not allowed to. Because agreeing with Steve Smith, who is black, would be racist, if you're White.

He's permitted to comment, you are not. He has that right based on skin color; your skin color, on the other hand, strips you of that right.

Who's the racist here, again?

If you can stomach Smith’s diatribe, here’s the video.

“It reeks of something a little more than football.”

Indeed it does, Smith. It reeks of hypocrisy and elitism among certain members of the black community who cheerfully employ a shameless double standard. If you can take it, wait until you get to the part where he disparages southerners.

He’s obviously never been to Charlotte, NC. It’s one of the most liberal and cosmopolitan metro areas in the Old South. We’ve come a long way in this part of the world. All the racists are up north. In places like Bristol, CT.

Here’s a smackdown of reality for you, Mr. Smith. The truth is not racist. Facts are not racist. The stats are not racist and neither is the scoreboard. Telling the truth by citing facts, relating the stats and pointing to the scoreboard doesn’t make anyone racist.

And mocking someone for not performing up to the standards expected of an overall top draft pick doesn’t, either.

UPDATE: Is it racist to point out that Stephen A. Smith found an article about him in The Onion, then went on a Twitter rant thinking it was real?

Stephen A. Smith Thought An Article About Him In The Onion Was Real 2012-09-27 15-15-15

UDATE II: Brilliant and insightful Comment from ColorofGrey in the comment section. Please read.

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It looks like Gus Malzahn made the smart move…

According to

My Team Is Better Than Your Team   The Transitive Property of College Football

Pretty cool website. There are ways of showing that almost any team is better than almost any other team, but the logic to get there is somewhat pretzel-ish.

The transitive property is a logical way of "proving" one team is better than the other by using the logic that if A is greater than B and B is greater than C, A must be greater than C.

It sometimes works out that way. But many times it doesn't. Otherwise, why play the games?

Yes, it’s lunchtime on a slow news day.

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Police officer who ticketed Dabo Swinney speaks out

Police officer who ticketed Dabo Swinney speaks out
Published on USATODAY NCAAF | shared via feedly
A former Pickens, S.C., police officer who ticketed Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney in a speeding case said that he was unjustly fired and that he told the police chief that he was going to post comments on the Internet.
Michael McClatchy, a corporal with the Pickens police until Sept. 17, told that the mayor of Pickens tried to contact him during the traffic stop, but that he refused to speak with him because he was in the middle of an investigation.
McClatchy said he posted his comments because he had seen several inaccurate accounts of the incident.
Link to the latest on this mini-scandal.

The officer allegedly posted his account on a 247Sports board. A local blog picked up the post and published a story based on it. Said post was later removed by the 247Sports moderators.

Short story: Swinney got nabbed with a traffic ticket and didn't like it. Officer issuing the ticket was dismissed from his post and believes he was targeted for ticketing the celebrity coach.

For the first time since 2008, Ole Miss comes to Tuscaloosa not sucking

image It’s been a while. Not since the 2008 game has Ole Miss come into Tuscaloosa with a decent football team. The last time Ole Miss beat Alabama was 2003, when Eli Manning led the Rebels to a 43-28 shredding of a sanctions-depleted Crimson Tide.

There have been some competitive meetings since then. From 2006 through 2008, the three games were decided by a total of 10 points. In the three games since the margins of victory were 19, 13 and 45 points.

Gone is Houston Nutt. In is Hugh Freeze who has a respectable 13-4 record in two seasons as a big boy football coach. The 3-1 Rebels only loss was a blowout at home at the hands of Texas.

Alabama is a 31-point favorite to make it eight straight wins against Ole Miss. That has “sucker bet” written all over it. Let’s be realistic—Ole Miss hasn’t won against Alabama in this state since 1988. Its first ever win against Alabama as a visitor was 1976 and all seven of their other wins were as the home team. When Alabama takes care of business against teams from Mississippi, the Tide rolls.

That said, the up-tempo offense Freeze has installed in Oxford is potent and speedy. In the weekly coaches’ teleconference yesterday, Tide coach Nick Saban heaped praise on Freeze and the Rebels’ team.

"I think that there's a lot of positives about what [Freeze] has done in terms of what he's implemented and what he's done and how their kids have responded to it."

“Their hurry-up offense is something that really gets defense out of their comfort zone,” Saban said. “We’re working hard to get a picture of that [in practice] and get a look on that.”

Ole Miss is good, but not very good. They will score some points Saturday night.

This is the Southeastern Conference. Anything is possible. Just look at the LSU win over Auburn last week, when a three TD favorite eked out a two-point win. Don’t be surprised if Ole Miss is still in the game in the third quarter. When teams believe in their coach and what he’s doing, strange things happen.

And for the first time since 2008, Ole Miss doesn’t suck.

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Morning Six Pack: September 27, 2012, crisp, cool and refreshing. The morning air and a six pack of college football stories from around the country.

Sam Robey: Stepping Out of the Shadows

He was a national champion, an All-American, one of the top selections in the professional draft and enjoyed eight years playing professionally. There are many Gator Greats that fit this description. If one was to describe this person to redshirt senior offensive lineman Sam Robey, he would think of one person: his father, Rick Robey.

Osborne retiring as Nebraska AD

Tom Osborne, who put together one of the most successful coaching runs in college football history before serving in Congress and taking the reins as athletic director five years ago, is retiring.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace is running hot and cold

The junior college transfer leads the SEC's top-ranked rushing attack in rushing attempts and also has connected on four passes of at least 50 yards in the Ole Miss Rebels' first four games this season.

Memphis’ leading rusher leaves team, likely won’t return this season

Now that’s the way to (not) dig yourself out of a winless hole to start the season. Memphis head coach Justin Fuente announced Tuesday that running back Jerrell Rhodes is no longer with the team…

West Virginia Gears Up for Big 12 Scoring Spree

West Virginia is ready to start a new era, with what is primed to be a classic Big 12 scoring spree


That brings us back to that ultimate absurdity: In a down year the Big Ten's biggest hope for a national championship rests with a team that can't play for one.

The hits just keep on coming. Aside from the SEC, there is perhaps no other conference that takes as much pride in its history, tradition and style of football. And despite what you read and hear, it is a situation that cannot be explained away as "cyclical."

The Big Ten hasn't won a national championship since 2002 or played for one since 2008. There are rational human beings asking a suddenly rational question: What conference is better, the Big Ten or the ACC?

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Alabama apparel and gear are best sellers... In Chattanooga

Mark Wiedmer: Are Vols and Dogs merely being calm before the storm?
Published on Times Free Press stories: Column... | shared via feedly
Sanford Stadium will be filled with nearly 93,000 fans for Saturday's 3:30 kickoff on CBS. They'll come early, the winners will tailgate late and Highway 316 connecting Athens to I-85 north of Atlanta will likely remain a languid lava ribbon of red taillights until close to midnight.

Nor have the fan shops in Hamilton Mall experienced quite the apathy seen around town on Wednesday.

"Alabama's been our best seller," said Sports Stop manager Don Gilman. "Bama fans seem to be loyal whether they're 6-6, 5-7 or national champs. Either way, they still buy.

One would expect Alabama gear and apparel to be a top seller coming off of its second national championship in three years, undefeated and currently ranked No. 1 in both major polls. One would surely expect it to be the hottest brand going in the Heart of Dixie.

But in Chattanooga? A town that's only about 115 miles from Knoxville and 175 miles from Athens?

We don't call it the Bama Nation for nothing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Charles Barkley: “I got screwed four times” on the MNF bet

Charles Barkley "Got Screwed Four Times" On His Monday Night Football Bet
Published on Sports Radio Interviews | shared via feedly

"I don't think I've ever been this mad in my entire life. I got robbed [Monday] night. I'm just angry. I love to gamble, I can live with winning and losing, but I don't ever want to get jobbed like I did [Monday] night. I'm going to give you a quick synopsis. Everybody is going crazy over the catch, but I got screwed on the roughing the passer, I got screwed on the pass interference, I got screwed on the interception and I found out today that they actually have a real official in the replay booth who could've overruled that? I got screwed four times and that makes it even worse."

"It was a fluke game because the line was three and when Cedric Benson fumbled I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' There was a a lot of emotion going on. They didn't get the first down and they're only going to kick a field goal and be up two so I'm screwed. Then they went for the challenge and got the first down and I'm like, 'Whew, I might get a lucky break here.' Then they didn't get the first down, Cedric Benson fumbled the ball and I'm like, 'They might take a safety and then it becomes a push.' I was all over the place. Then I jump up and down when they get the interception on the roughing the passer so my emotions were obviously all over the place. I love to gamble, I'm always going to gamble, but I just don't like to get screwed like that."

Mash here for the podcast

Arkansas AD Long still supports Smith and team

Arkansas AD Jeff Long 'Stedfastly' Supports Arkansas Coaches, Razorback Players
Published on Blog - | shared via feedly
Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long spoke Wednesday at the Northwest Arkansas TD Club and addressed the state of the football program.

Arkansas enters Saturday’s game at Texas A&M 1-3 overall after opening the season in the Top 10.  Long said he continues to support the current staff and players.

“I remain steadfastly behind this group of young men and this coaching staff,” Long said.
Long added: "Supporting this team is best for the short term and the long term" and Long said he will fulfill his commitment to the staff and players he made in April.
Grab the original here. Check that site later for more updates.

According to some of the folks I follow on Twitter, a member of the audience asked Long if he thought Smith had been an embarrassment to the program. Long declined to answer that question.

While this is known as the dreaded "kiss of death" in AD-coach relationships, everyone knew Smith had almost no chance of shedding the interim tag and returning under a long term contract. He'd have to be 3-1 and looking competitive.

Sadly, the team is nowhere near that level of play or confidence. It's going to be a long season for the Hawg Nation.

Pat Dye: Chizik worth more than "Ten Sabans"

Montgomery QB Club: Chizik worth more than '10 Sabans,' Auburn's Pat Dye says
Published on Advertiser - Barn | shared via feedly
Legendary former Auburn football coach Pat Dye urged the crowd of more than 100 at the Montgomery Quarterback Club on Tuesday night to support the current head coach, Gene Chizik, and the players during the Tigers’ tough 1-3 start.
“Don’t question the guy we got leading the program,” said Dye, who reminded the crowd of Chizik’s part in three undefeated teams, including Auburn’s 2004 and 2010 squads. “I wouldn’t swap him for 10 (Alabama coach Nick) Sabans.
Saban is the best coach in the country — I’ll grant him that. But he ain’t a better man than Gene Chizik.”
Yep. He really said it.

Nobody doubts that Gene Chizik is a good man. Maybe Nick Saban ain't a better man. But this much is true--Saban is a better man than Pat Dye.


Because Nick Saban would sooner die than say such things about anyone else associated with college football. He was seen a few times in last night's premier of Storied, the Sylvester Croom documentary about the former Alabama football player who was hired and then summarily dumped by Mississippi State. Saban went out of his way to praise Croom as a man and as a coach.

During the height of the meltdown at Penn State last November, Saban again went out of his way to praise the once-legendary Joe Paterno even as others were trashing him and his legacy.

Could you ever imagine Saban comparing two men and proclaiming that one is even a little better than the other?

Yeah. Me either.

Morning Six Pack: September 26, 2012 and football are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Same with these six college football stories from around the country.

Pick 6: Resetting the Heisman Trophy Race

Matt Barkley has slipped back into the pack and Montee Ball has fallen off the board completely. Landry Jones? You can probably take him off the list, too. Same with Tyler Wilson.

College has logo mix-up on football field

Tiny school penalizes its school logo five yards, paints it on the 45-yard line.


Texas A&M Announces Kyle Field Renovation

The Texas A&M Aggies moved to a new college football neighborhood and the current digs just won’t do.

Wesley Tate speaks cautiously about Golden's controversial TD

Tate heard it from both sides Tuesday as he made his way to classes around Vanderbilt.

USC DB hospitalized with breathing issue

Defensive back Brian Baucham remains hospitalized because of an unspecified breathing issue that occurred after the fifth-year senior played in Saturday's game against California, a person close to the situation said Monday.


Notre Dame-Michigan, a rivalry that seemed as perennial as Santa Claus, instead will go the way of Texas-Texas A&M, Missouri-Kansas and other rivalries sacrificed to mammon. It is one more piece of wreckage on the side of the road to realignment.

It may provide solace to realize that 20 years ago, the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry carried the same sort of prestige that Notre Dame and Michigan carry today. Times change, and time heals. Dumping Michigan surely is a decision that no one at Notre Dame wanted to make. But make it Notre Dame did. College football will live on.

Just don't confuse the passage of time with progress. The disappearance of the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry doesn't make college football better. The fairy tale that Michigan and Notre Dame told us has been traded for another tale, in which a boy named Jack trades the family cow for a sack of magic ACC beans.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The fans are being robbed

imageLast night’s Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Seahawks should have ended on either the pass interference call or the interception. But upon further review, the replacement officials filling in for the locked out regular crew robbed the Packers and awarded the win to Golden Tate and the Seahawks.

They also robbed me and everyone else watching the game last night.

I joked this morning on Twitter: “I think the only thing that will solve this replacement ref problem is a US Navy SEAL Team.”

I don’t think the SEALs should go after the replacement officials. God bless’em, they’re doing the best they can in a situation that’s clearly over their heads.

The target is Roger Goodell and his merry band of team owners.

Not only did the officials miss a blatant offensive pass interference call, they ruled that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate came down with possession of the football on the last second, fourth down Hail Mary pass.

The replay—with the damning frame shown at right—clearly proved that Packers’ defensive back MD Jennings had intercepted the pass and was down by contact. Game over.

Goodell and the NFL owners know that this situation is untenable. It cannot continue any further. Reports indicate that the league and the officials are only about $3 million apart on a settlement of their labor dispute. In a league that rakes in billions in media and licensing revenues, a paltry seven figure sum seems silly, doesn’t it?

The integrity of the game is at stake. If fans can’t trust that the games will be officiated competently and correctly, then the NFL becomes as big of a joke as professional wrestling.

Parity is an important factor in professional football. There is actually very little difference between most teams in the NFL. Games are often decided by a small handful of critical plays. While bad calls are always part of any game played and officiated by humans, the epidemic of WTF moments in the first three weeks of the season are having too big of an impact. The outcomes of the games can’t be trusted.

As SEC fans, we’re somewhat accustomed to the occasional atrocity. See the botched interception call during last season’s LSU at Alabama game as a prime example. That play was very similar to last night’s atrocity. Were the same guys calling the Packers Seahawks game?

No, but the robbery is just as bad.

And until this foolishness comes to an end, we need to stop watching and stop going to the games. I won’t be ripped off any more.

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Morning Six Pack: September 25, 2012 beer and replacement refs. They both leave you asking… “WTF?” But not these six college football stories from around the country.

LSU's Miles looks for improvement in passing game

An anemic passing attack during LSU's first four games under first-year starter Zach Mettenberger has yet to discourage Les Miles.

Wisconsin's Bielema 'not overly concerned' Ball must sit

Wisconsin must prepare for a trip to Nebraska with Montee Ball's status up in the air.

Figuring value in the head-scratching world of college football

Many big earners - and one big spender - aren't pulling their weight this college football season.

Gundy won't rule out Lunt vs. Texas

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy believes injured quarterback Wes Lunt could return to practice by the end of this week, although he is still uncertain whether he'll be able to play Saturday night against No. 12 Texas.

John L Smith: Nice Guy, Not Right Fit for Arkansas

Someone needs to step in and do the right thing, whether that is University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long or John L Smith, himself; the time has come to end Smith’s tenure as head coach of the Hogs.


"I wanted to just see what the responses and the reaction was going to be from a team that had been in disarray, offensively and defensively."

"We're all disappointed in not winning. It wasn't a moral victory or anything. But there wasn't an Auburn person that wasn't proud of the effort on the field Saturday night. Defensively, I thought we played as hard as any football team I've seen at Auburn in a long time."

"The losing doesn't bother me as bad as just not playing hard like we should have been in some previous games. The defense might have been confused and young but it still didn't look like the Auburn teams of the past that were good defensive football teams. We did look like it Saturday night. It was one of the most amazing transitions I've seen. From where we were defensively (before Saturday) to where we were Saturday night, I don't think I've ever seen a team make that much change that fast."

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Arkansas Coach John L Smith: “It’s a state of Alabama program…”

Freudian slip, perhaps?

The herp de derp comes about 0:32 in.

Also, in response to a question from a member of the audience about where he thought former Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino would wind up next year, Smith took a "guess" and said Auburn.

I’m with about 99% of other sane folks who think that whether Gene Chizik’s job is safe in 2013 or not (I’m pretty confident that it is), there’s no way Auburn stoops that low. Petrino will get another chance somewhere.

But the Auburn nest has already been soiled by JetGate.

Helmet tap to @Scog for the video embed.

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Rest in Peace, Paul Davis


Veteran local newspaper publisher and journalist Paul Davis passed away Sunday night after a short illness.

Davis, 74, was owner/publisher of the Auburn Bulletin and Tuskegee News from 1983 until 1998, and worked as a veteran columnist for the Opelika-Auburn News through 2009. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the Alabama Press Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Davis was an old-school investigative journalist who exposed neglect and abuse of mentally handicapped patients in Alabama hospitals. He also uncovered shady practices among the Auburn University Board of Trustees.

He never shied away from any story and didn’t really care how powerful the subjects of his columns and stories.thought they were.

Rest in Peace, Paul.

You Snooze, They Win

You Snooze, They Win
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If college football possessed its own Rip Van Winkle, this weekend couldn't represent a better time for him to wake up.

Washington Irving's most famous literary creation (with apologies to Ichabod Crane, who might have benefited from today's ban on helmet-to-helmet hits) snoozed for 20 years, plum missing the Revolutionary War. If Rip's modern equivalent had dozed off around 1992 only to awaken today, at least he'd find the current college football landscape pleasingly familiar.

That's right: Florida State and Notre Dame are back. The only thing that might comfort our Rip more is confirmation that he still owned his stock in that woefully underperforming tech company, Apple.
Grab the rest here.

It is a good thing when college football's traditional powers are at the top of the game. Children play joyfully. Babies rest comfortably in their mothers' arms. The trains run on time and God rests more comfortably on His throne.

Morning Six Pack: September 24, 2012 always go better with something to wash it down. Like, these six college football stories from around the country.

Spurrier doesn't take media questions

Call it the Head Ball Coach media blackout.

Unbeaten Notre Dame leads with defense

Notre Dame is 4-0 for the first time in 10 years behind a defense that's ranked fourth in the nation at just nine points allowed per game.

Crimson Tide awaits upcoming tests

Alabama players are early in the fall semester, and their big tests won't come until later. In class and on the field. Surprisingly, the Crimson Tide hasn't been pushed in the first one-third of the regular season as anticipated.

AU looks to build on close loss to LSU

There were signs of improvement all around for Auburn despite the 12-10 loss to then No. 2 LSU Saturday night.

Reassessing the AQ conferences after a wild Week 4

Four weeks in, conference favorites, Heisman hopefuls and national title contenders are no longer what they used to be.


This is a team that acutely is taking its cue from coach Nick Saban, who repeatedly says a good team “never arrives.” He would have approved of Bell’s assessment.

“We just need to keep grinding,” Bell said. “I feel like we’re playing good, but we still can get better.

“We don’t need to take our foot off the pedal. If we want to be great, we need to play like we’re great and continue practicing like we’re great.”

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Morning Six Pack: September 23, 2012 Sunday and another great morning for a fresh six pack of these college football stories from around the country.

Go figure: The weird, wacky and wow from the weekend

The stuff that makes college football great is the stuff that makes you say, “what the…”

Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace debuts role as Auburn's Wildcat

Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace burned his redshirt as a running option against LSU on Saturday.

Tide hunts for bigger trophy than Florida Atlantic

Can anybody beat Alabama?

4-0 start not as impressive as it seems

Sure, Irish are a shiny 4-0. But are they really back?

Kiffin explains media dust-ups to Pac-12 leader

USC coach Lane Kiffin called Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on Friday to explain his actions this week with the media, Scott said Saturday.


For a moment, it seemed the Seminoles' dreams of ACC and national titles would die Saturday. After Clemson tailback Andre Ellington caught a pass from receiver Sammy Watkins -- who had caught a backward pass from quarterback Tajh Boyd -- for a 52-yard touchdown pass, Florida State looked as if it might fold. The cavalcade of cupcakes had done the Seminoles no favors in preparing for the Tigers. "They looked slow as hell on film. They didn't look like they were running," Rhodes said of Clemson's receivers. "When they were on the field, they were running. Especially Sammy."

But Florida State struck back on its next play from scrimmage. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin took a shovel pass and shot toward the left sideline. Sixty-four yards later, Florida State had a first down at the Clemson 11-yard line. Thompson, who broke his back in a loss at Wake Forest last year and almost gave up football during a brutal rehab, scored on a nine-yard run. He would finish with 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

On the ensuing kickoff, Watkins blazed down the middle of the field and looked ready to break free when Florida State freshman cornerback Ronald Darby snagged him by the ankles and dragged him to the ground. The touchdown-saving tackle wound up conserving four points when Clemson had to settle for a 50-yard field goal and a 31-21 lead.

Florida State scored the next 28 points.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Morning Six Pack: September 22, 2012 is GAME DAY and the first day of Autumn. Go see if you can stand a beer on its end, and check out these six college football stories from around the country.

What are you waiting for?

Win $100 in credit towards a ticket purchase just by following or liking these guys. ;)

Big Ten Teams Struggle Against B.C.S. Foes

The college football season is young, but Big Ten teams have already put themselves in a 4-8 rut against teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences or Notre Dame.

Cupcake Wars: The Virile Wave, Burrowing Owls and a Familiar Face

Cupcakes. Everybody plays them. But we don't want to give anybody credit for doing so. That's why we're lumping them all into one small post and giving you a fun fact about any bad midmajors or FCS teams playing SEC teams.

LSU sophomore Elliott Porter calls his career first start a 'dream come true'

Elliott Porter's role last week against Idaho was symbolic of where the Tigers' offensive line stands after three weeks.

Others will Talk, Alabama will just continue to win college football games

Jim Croce once sang “you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the ol’ lone ranger, and you don’t mess around with Jim.”


Jeff Whitaker didn’t flinch.

Etched in his mind almost a year later,Auburn’s junior defensive tackle remembers the details. “Physical, physical, hard-mouth football” is how he described LSU and what happened last season in Baton Rouge.

It didn’t sit well with Whitaker or his teammates. So, asked what he thinks about when it comes to LSU’s football program, Whitaker didn’t hesitate.

“Last year comes up to mind,” Whitaker said. “The score – 45 points.”

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Announcing the Southern Fried Sports Network



12:00 PM, September 21, 2012

IBCR Media, LLC is pleased to announce the launch of a new website,, home of the Southern Fried Sports Network. The site went live at 12:00 noon, Friday, September 21, 2012.

The network has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page, allowing social media users to interact with the website and the network users and contributors.

The launch promotion includes a random drawing for a $100 credit on event tickets from IBCR Media sponsor Details are provided at Southern Fried Sports Network. The promotion ends October 31, 2012.

IBCR Media is a growing electronic media concern and owns both and

Please forward all media inquiries About Southern Fried Sports to SFSN @ Ibleedcrimsonred .com (get rid of the spaces).

Morning Six Pack: September 21, 2012 is the last day of Summer. Go try to stand a beer on its end and enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Saban gives insight on recruiting philosophy

In response to a general question about his recruiting philosophy, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said on his weekly radio show Thursday night, 'We don't negative recruit.' However, Saban hinted that others do.

Gators Seek to Maintain Momentum versus Kentucky

They ran over to the stands behind their bench and celebrated with the fans that made the trip. Many of the fans took keepsake photos of the celebratory gathering late Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The players high-fived one another, basking in a second consecutive SEC road win. Florida coach Will Muschamp raced over and joined the party, firing up fans even more with a series of emphatic Gator Chomps.

FSU to honor scholarship of concussed commit

After suffering his fifth concussion, Florida State commitment Richy Klepal has decided to stop playing football.

The best college football town is...

Madison, Wis., according to a poll of more than 50,000 USA TODAY readers.

No. 24 Boise State holds off BYU 7-6

Mike Atkinson has often talked with his Boise State teammates about that rare moment of glory for a nose tackle: The elusive pick six.


A wild and crazy and capacity crowd may not be enough to help spring what would be the upset of the young season in college football, but consider the alternative.

Fans vote with their feet and their voice. If there are empty seats, if the air is filled with disenchantment the first time and every time Kiehl Frazier throws to the wrong jersey, Mike Blakeley puts the ball on the ground and Kenny Hilliard runs through a futile attempt at a tackle, it'’ll make a powerful statement.

In a lot of ways, this game, more than most, is a referendum on where Chizik and Auburn stand in his fourth season.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eight year old channels his inner Trent Richardson, takes it to the house

Pretty incredible here, folks. This young man makes Trent Richardson proud as he shrugs off about 3,428 tackles en route to the end zone. Watch how the defensive line gets good penetration in the backfield, but this kid’s not going down easy.

Helmet tap to KegsNEggs.

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These are getting fun: The Dark Hog Rises Video!

We can only hope that the 2012 college football season will have lots more of these Dark Knight Trailer parodies. Here's the Arkansas version, y'all.

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Morning Six Pack: September 20, 2012 morning air is cool, crisp and refreshing. Just like these six college football stories from around the country.

Tennessee really should keep praying

The university is still formulating its response to a cease-and-desist letter sent last week by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but the administration does not believe there is anything wrong with the long-standing tradition of a pre-kickoff invocation.

Swinney travels long road to restore Clemson to prominence

Dabo won't waver in his quest to deliver a national championship to the Tigers.

Jayhawks RB Sims back from three-game suspension

An underwhelming win against South Dakota State, a fourth-quarter meltdown against Rice and a closer-than-expected loss to No. 17 TCU have left Kansas looking for a spark.

Why Does Razorback Coach John L. Smith Want Us ALL To SMILE!!? He Explains

Arkansas Coach John L. Smith opened his Monday press conference by yelling at media to "SMILE!" So what led to the "SMILE!" rant? Smith decided to explain Wednesday night on his coach's radio show.


He gets animated as he explains one of the first things he did upon arrival, another important part of Arizona's football culture that needed changing:



Realistic Man wonders why no team has tried to block a punt against Florida because it seems like Christy is still taking a long time to get it off.

Rah-rah Boy sees the cup as half-full. Realistic Man thinks it could use some more water.

There is some truth in what they both believe. This is a talented but flawed team. If the Gators can win Saturday and go 4-0 in September, it's different from the previous 4-0 starts. But the real meat of the schedule is still ahead.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The ever unselfish AJ McCarron credits teammates

McCarron credits teammates for passing efficiency | The Crimson White
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Passing Efficiency Credit to the Offense
University of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron said Tuesday he does not pay attention to statistics when it comes to football. His passing efficiency at 196 and third best in the nation is great for him but a greater testament to his teammates, he said.

"I think that's an example of how great my offensive line is and the wonderful job they've been doing giving me time," the junior said. "I think it really reflects my receivers. It shows what kind of catches and how hard they've been working to get those kinds of stats."

McCarron credited the design of various plays for the number of receivers who caught passes during last week's game against the University of Arkansas. The quarterback said his ability to throw to a large number of receivers speaks to the talent of the receiving core and the chemistry the players have with each other.
Get the rest at Crimson White.

Video: The Dark Chiz Rises (cackle)

For your viewing pleasure, ladies and gentlemen.

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Morning Six Pack: September 19, 2012 Wednesday aka, MACtion day! Enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Offensive woes for Auburn

Auburn's offense has sputtered against Clemson, imploded at Mississippi State and stalled versus Louisiana-Monroe.

How's the hand, AJ McCarron, and how about those bow ties?

The Alabama quarterback says his hand is fine. And the bow ties? "I like doing different things," he says.

Wisconsin keeps showing up on coaches poll, makes preseason polls look even more ridiculous

Wisconsin is not having a good September. The Badgers almost lost to Northern Iowa at home, did lose (and were nearly shut out) at Oregon State and then held on for a two-point win Saturday when Utah State missed a 37-yard field goal in the final minute.

Barkley agrees with Kiffin about critique of play

USC quarterback Matt Barkley said Tuesday he is glad his head coach publicly critiqued his play from the Trojans' upset loss at Stanford on Saturday.

Carlos Hyde likely out for Buckeyes’ game vs. UAB, too

After starting at running back the first two games this season, Carlos Hyde missed Saturday’s win over Cal due to injury. As it turns out, that’ll (probably) be the case this Saturday as well.


Second-half disappearing acts are nothing new on Derek Dooley’s watch. His three UT teams have played 11 ranked opponents, and the Vols have been outscored after halftime in those games by a combined 249-59.

Certainly, much of that can be blamed on a talent disparity in Dooley’s first two seasons. But in terms of ability and depth, the Vols seemed pretty evenly matched with Florida. And that’s what makes the Gators’ domination in the final one and a half quarters so unsettling.

For all the good things first-year defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri has done at UT, his unit appeared unprepared when the Gators switched gears. UT’s defense had no answers.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Bandit Ref: A Tribute to Auburn’s Historic Win Over ULM (chortle)

My friend the Bandit Ref has a stirring tribute to Auburn’s upset of the mighty Louisiana Monroe Warhawks.

This… is… GOLD.

Extra point: If you haven’t seen it yet, check out his visual critique of the replacement referees in the NFL.

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Morning Six Pack: September 18, 2012 you believe we’re already headed into Week 4 of college football season? It goes too fast. So do these six college football stories from around the country.

How to Beat 'Bama: Hit, Think, Pray

They say no team is unbeatable. They apparently haven't seen Alabama play recently.

Tulane's Walker to be moved, continue therapy

Tulane officials say seriously injured football player Devon Walker will be moved to a new facility within the next two days as he continues therapy for his fractured spine.

No. 6 Sooners get first big test in No. 15 K-State

After getting nudged down the rankings in the first three weeks of the season, the Sooners (2-0) emerge from an off week to play No. 15 Kansas State (3-0) on Saturday night in Norman.

Noles defense looks to slow down Tigers' Watkins 

Watkins blew past Florida State defenders last year in just his fourth game as a collegiate player. He caught seven passes for 141 yards and two long touchdowns in the Tigers' 35-30 win over the Seminoles on their way to the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

UCLA loses freshman CB Adams for rest of year

UCLA freshman cornerback Ishmael Adams will have shoulder surgery Friday and is out for the rest of the season, coach Jim Mora said.


Just the same, Chizik is still searching for the kind of any-given-Saturday magic that Tuberville hasn’'t lost. A year ago, Texas Tech lost its last five games. The game before that, the unranked Red Raiders beat No. 3 Oklahoma 41-38 in Norman, no less, to end OU’'s 39-game home winning streak.

LSU comes to Auburn sporting a No. 2 ranking and the nation’'s longest regular-season winning streak at 16 games. The visiting Tigers are favored by an astounding 18 ½ points.

Can Auburn bring back the magic Saturday night? The only way to answer that question is with a question. Can Auburn bring back Tuberville for a command performance for one night only?

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Hog and Vol fans: Forget Bobby Petrino

image Dave Hart of Tennessee and Jeff Long of Arkansas are both men of integrity and high professional standards. As such, neither is likely to hire Bobby Petrino to replace your currently embattled head coach.

I’ve seen and heard speculation that both programs have “reached out” to the former Razorback coach and could be in talks to have him come in and rescue their programs. It’s not happening and that’s all so much wishful thinking from impatient fans with active imaginations.

One program, perhaps both, will be in the head coach market at season’s end.

Derek Dooley isn’t a “dead man walking” yet because despite Saturday night’s disappointing loss to the Florida Gators, Tennessee does appear to be an improved team. After two straight embarrassments at Arkansas, John L Smith is certain to take his $800,000 paycheck with him to US Bankruptcy Court.

But Bobby Petrino ain’t walking through that door.

Or, back through that door in the case of the Razorbacks.

To put it bluntly, there isn’t a program that’s had Petrino as its head coach would be willing to take him back. Not Louisville. Not Atlanta and certainly not Arkansas. What should have been a legitimate run at a conference and possibly national titles was totaled along with the Harley-Davidson Petrino dubbed “Hawg Wild” on April Fools Day, 2012.

Arkansas’ 1-2 start isn’t John L Smith’s fault. It’s the fault of a man who put himself before his family, his employer and his team. You don’t want him back and neither does your athletic director.

Tennessee’s previous athletic director might have stooped that low. After all, he’s the same guy who hired Bruce Pearl and Lane Kiffin. But Dave Hart is no Mike Hamilton. Winning is important to Hart, but not at any cost and certainly not with the risks associated with hiring men of known character problems.

Bobby Petrino has a brilliant offensive mind. He is a good football coach who knows how to recruit and develop very good quarterbacks. Somebody somewhere will give him another chance. They’ll roll the dice and sign him up. He will invariably win some football games and then leave his Good Samaritan program holding a bucket of warm spit. He’s done that everywhere he’s been.

Jeff Long has already held that bucket. Dave Hart doesn’t ever want to.

So, Bobby Petrino will coach someplace else next year.

Bank it.

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