The Southeastern Conference has long been regarded as the premier league in college football. And for good reason.
The league has won seven straight national championships and just had a whopping 63 players selected in the NFL Draft.
As dominant as it may seem, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops doesn’t seem too impressed. During a recent caravan stop, Stoops reportedly called the SEC’s dominance “propaganda” and said the gap between it and the rest of the conferences isn’t as wide as people may think.
Stoops referred to the bottom half of conference as evidence.“Well, it depends on what gap you’re talking about,” Stoops said. “What are the bottom six doing? “So they’ve had the best team in college football,” Stoops said. “They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ‘em haven’t done much at all. I’m just asking you. You tell me.”In a way, Stoops does have a point, as flawed as it seems. The five SEC schools, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Auburn, and Tennessee, who failed to go to a bowl game last year were a combined 19-41. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the Big 12, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State, and Kansas, combined to go 29-35 overall.“It depends on who you want to listen to,” Stoops told the Tulsa World. “Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always the best. “So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you,” he said. “You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?”
Cleveland Browns linebacker Quentin Groves, who the team just signed in March, was arrested last week after getting busted trying to solicit he who believed was a prostitute.
In reality, the prostitute turned out to be an undercover police officer.
From the Scene and Heard:On April 17, according to the police report, Groves arrived at Room 231 of the Homestead Guest Studios. He had responded to an ad and requested “full service” from an officer posing as a prostitute offering sex for hire, according to records. A price was agreed upon during the call before he arrived. His court date is May 10. $195.70 and a box of Magnum condoms were seized as evidence.Groves was one of 14 other men arrested in the three-day operation.
Cleveland inked the Auburn product to a 2-year, $2.8 million contract to help provide depth to its defense.
The 28-year-old appeared in all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012 and recorded career highs in tackles and sacks.
Katherine Webb nearly broke the Internet a few weeks ago when she surfaced during the BCS National Championship game, and she seems to have done it again. The girlfriend of A.J. McCarron did a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated and it is absolutely wonderful. All photos were photographed by Troy Robertson.
Many sports fans knew a few things about Reuben Foster. We knew he was a top linebacker prospect and that he got an Auburn tattoo before decommitting and signing to play with Alabama. But many of us did not know that his father was a fugitive who escaped jail in 1996 after being indicted for shooting him and his mother.
US Marshals said they captured Danny Foster, 41, in Miami. He shot his wife, Inita Barry Paige, in 1996 while she was holding Reuben, who was 18 months old at the time. Danny Foster was indicted in Alabama, fled to California where he was caught and extradited back to Randolph County. He escaped jail and has been a fugitive since Dec. 1996. Foster was found in Florida where he had assumed a new identity, living as Jefferson McClendon.
Paige was shot in the back and suffered a collapsed lung from the shooting.
Foster seemed to be happy about his father’s capture. He wrote the following on his Twitter account:
“Tears pooring!!! Never knew him but ain’t nothin like a real father when you keep asking Foster side where your dad at and they lie about!!!”
“I knew he was out there but his family had to be hiding him!! I ask about you daddy every time we was with your family but they said you was dead”
Five-star recruit Reuben Foster paid a little homage to Nick Saban yesterday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Crimson Tide dressed as his soon-to-be head coach. The future Alabama linebacker showed up for National Signing Day wearing the signature straw hat and an Alabama vest similar to the one that Saban dons at every practice.
If you don’t remember Foster, he’s the recruit that flip-flopped between Alabama and Auburn a bunch of times and got a huge Auburn tattoo on his forearm before finally deciding he wanted to go to Alabama.
Former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis, who just completed his senior season with the Bulldogs, was once a four-star prospect with scholarship offers from most of the blue-blood programs in the SEC: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Auburn and Tennessee, not to mention the Bulldogs, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
Having once been a highly touted recruit himself, Bumphis could give high school seniors a meaningful perspective on the recruiting process and now would be a good time to drop some knowledge, what with national signing day less than 24 hours away.
Cue Bumphis, on his Twitter account, with some words of wisdom for the 18-year-old prospect:
“With NSD near, recruits listen. DON’T go with the money! After its gone ur stuck at a place you probably don’t even like for 3-5 years!”
It’s at this time that I stress the words “former Mississippi State wide receiver,” though I’m sure Bumphis is still within enough distance of Starkville to catch an earful from coach Dan Mullen (among other university leaders).
Bumphis wasn’t talking about his recruitment to Mississippi State, however. Asked on Twitter if he was “speaking from experience,” Bumphis said, “no. Believe it or not I turned it down to go” to Mississippi State.
A follower then wrote to Bumphis, “and those girls that recruited you won’t be there either, they did their job.” Bumphis replied, “lol. Right.”
And in closing, Bumphis had a short message for fans of rival Mississippi:
“Funny. I tweet that and the only people offended are my sweet little rebel followers!! Guilty much??? Possibly. Lol”Mississippi has been one of the surprise teams during this recruiting cycle, following up a 7-6 finish in coach Hugh Freeze’s first season with one of the nation’s top classes. As of midday Tuesday, Rivals.com ranked Mississippi’s class as the 11th-best in the country.
On Wednesday, Freeze and his staff are in play for another pair of five-star prospects, including the nation’s No. 1 recruit, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
The team’s recruiting success has raised eyebrows, which in turn led Freeze to write on his Twitter account, “If you have facts about a violation, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, please don’t slander the young men.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)
Auburn University is planning one final roll of the historic Toomer’s Corner Oaks this spring before the trees are removed. The school has not set a specific date to take down the poisoned oaks.
“The Oaks at Toomer’s Corner have been a part of Auburn tradition for generations,” Debbie Shaw, Auburn University vice president for alumni affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association, said in a statement. “Their removal will in no way diminish the Auburn Spirit, which has grown even stronger during these past two years.”
Harvey Updyke, a lifelong Alabama fan, was charged with poisoning the trees during Auburn’s run to the national championship in the 2010 football season.
Updyke, who has yet to stand trial due to numerous delays, has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to charges that include criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object. The next trial date is set for April 8.
AJ McCarron is once again getting shown up by his model girlfriend. After Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, an Auburn grad, stole the spotlight in the BCS Championship game that saw Alabama convincingly thrash Notre Dame, the Crimson Tide quarterback now has to digest the fact that Webb will have an NFL job before he does.
Webb, who became an Internet star after ESPN’s Brent Musburger made awkward comments about her beauty during the live BCS title game broadcast, sent out a tweet Monday night suggesting she’d have a TV-related role in the Super Bowl.
“So excited to be chosen to cover the Super Bowl XLVII for @InsideEdition in New Orleans!”Webb’s specific job has yet to be revealed, but “Inside Edition” is a thirty-minute syndicated news program that plans to cover the Super Bowl behind-the-scenes.
McCarron’s mother, Dee Dee Bonner had Webb’s back, though.
“proud for you and ignore the jealous folks maybe one day they can host something like the loser convention or something” Bonner tweeted in support.
Outfielder Jai Miller, who had brief stints with three major league clubs, has decided to quit baseball so he can play college football for Alabama, AL.com reports.
Miller, who committed to play football at Stanford out of high school, instead signed with the Florida Marlins after being selected in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He played in more than 1,000 minor league games from 2003 to 2012, hitting .239/.326/.397 with 137 home runs and 125 stolen bases.
But his major league career was limited to 28 games over three seasons with the Marlins, Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s. During his 2011 stint with the A’s, Miller went 3-for-12 with a homer and two RBIs after being called up in September.
He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles before last season, but hit just .196 over 312 at-bats in the minors and never got called up.
The 27-year-old native of Selma, Ala., is expected to start out playing safety for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide squad, AL.com reports.
“I think the desire was there on both sides to get him back into football and see what he’s capable of doing,” Miller’s brother-in-law, Matthew Elliott, told BamaOnline.com. “If the opportunity is there for him to play professional ball, then the best situation for him would be to play for one of the best coaches in the game and that would be coach Saban on the defensive side.”
Miller was heavily recruited as a wide receiver out of high school, landing offers from Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech in addition to Stanford. He also was a top basketball player and was expected to be a combo guard for the Cardinal hoops team.
Clemson wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott tweeted this photo of junior wideout DeAndre Hopkins being baptized after practice. Hopkins had a school-record 13 receptions in Clemson’s 26-19 win over Auburn.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban doesn’t like preseason predictions.
“All these predictions that you all make, they hijack the game,” Saban said Sunday before even taking a question in a 17-minute meeting with news media. “All anybody worries about in college football is the BCS, who’s going to be in the final game. We have a lot of great games, for our fans, for our players, great competitive venues.
“Michigan is going to be a great game. The Arkansas game, Tennessee game, LSU, Auburn. I could go through every game on our schedule and say how exciting a game this is going to be.”
Saban is a voter in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. The preseason poll that came out Friday predicts the Tide at No. 2 in the country behind Southeastern Conference West Division rival LSU.
Investigators were searching Sunday for a gunman who killed three people including two former Auburn University football players and wounded three others at a pool party near campus after several men got in a fight over a woman, authorities and witnesses said.
One of the wounded was shot in the head and critically hurt. Another was a current player, Eric Mack.
Desmonte Leonard opened fire at the Saturday night party at an apartment complex near the university, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said. Federal marshals and police were searching for Leonard, who faces three counts of capital murder.
Slain were Edward Christian, who had not been playing because of a back injury, and Ladarious Phillips, who had previously quit playing football. The other person killed was 20-year-old Demario Pitts.
Officials also said Xavier Moss and John Robertson were wounded. Robertson had been shot in the head and was in critical condition; Moss was released from the hospital.
Dawson said he did not know why the party was being held or what sparked the fight.
Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friend, Pitts. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.
Vines said he punched one of the men, while Pitts hit both of the men over the head with a bottle. Either one or both of the two men then started shooting, he said. He said Pitts was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never met the men he was arguing with.
“It’s like I lost a lung,” Vines said of losing his friend. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive this.”
Mack, the wounded player, is a junior offensive lineman from St. Matthews, S.C. He played in five games last season. Coach Gene Chizik said Mack was expected to make a full recovery.
Christian is an offensive lineman who was out last season while dealing with a back injury. Phillips was a backup fullback who in April had decided to give up football.
Pedaling past tornado-tossed homes and broken trees, Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson and about 100 bicyclists started a five-day, 300-mile bike trek across north Alabama on Tuesday to raise money for storm relief in the state.
The ride – dubbed “Bo Bikes Bama” – will pass through some of the communities hit hardest by more than 60 twisters that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and killed about 250 people last April 27. It coincides with a week of observances of the anniversary of the devastating onslaught.
The ride will include several celebrities, including former Major League Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr, seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, and downhill skier Picabo Street.
“They say there’s a couple of areas we’re gonna pass through that look somebody took a weed whacker and just took out a hundred yards or so,” said Griffey, who has never seen tornado destruction up close.
A crowd of about 200 people cheered “Go Bo, Go,” as the ride began in tiny Henagar, located in northeast Alabama’s DeKalb County, where more than 30 people were killed. Before going to the starting line, Jackson met privately with 11-year-old Bryce Ferguson, whose parents and little sister Emma were among the dead.
“Everybody asks me why I decided to do this ride. It’s because of people like Bryce,” Jackson said. “He lost everything, but he is standing tall. He is going on with his life, and he’s got people in his life that care about him and are loving him.”
Jackson rode a specially made bike painted orange and blue, the colors of his alma mater, Auburn University. It also bears the name of every person who died in the twisters.
The storms left a path of destruction that, all put together, stretched 1,000 miles long and 20 miles wide. The ride ends Saturday in Tuscaloosa, where more than 50 deaths were blamed on a tornado.
Riders got a glimpse of the way twisters hop-scotched across the state a year ago, passing from unaffected neighborhoods into zones that looked like logging crews had cut down every tree and left bare, scarred dirt.
Jackson, who grew up near Birmingham in Bessemer but now lives in Illinois, said he hopes to raise $1 million for the governor’s relief fund and increase awareness about the continuing problems caused by the twisters. Gov. Robert Bentley said the state still has some $140 million in unmet needs.
Organizers will auction off five different bicycles Jackson plans to ride during the event, and individuals can ride along for a donation of $200.
Federal authorities are investigating suspended Auburn point guard Varez Ward for alleged point shaving involving in at least two games this season, Yahoo Sports reported Thursday.
The report cited anonymous sources and said the FBI began an investigation in late February centering on losses to Alabama on Feb. 7 and Arkansas on Jan. 25.
NCAA officials say they are “very concerned” by the allegations and have been in contact with the school and federal investigators since the issue arose last month.
“The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles – the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport,” the NCAA said in a written statement Thursday. “As allegations of point shaving, if proven, are also potential federal crimes, the NCAA will defer action until any process with the FBI has concluded.”
Ward and guard Chris Denson were both suspended before a Feb. 25 game against Arkansas, but Denson returned for the next game. Denson was questioned and cleared of involvement in point shaving, the report said.
“Auburn officials were made aware of a rumor regarding an allegation two weeks ago and immediately reported it to the FBI, the NCAA and the SEC,” Auburn said in a statement Thursday. “Because of the nature of the allegation, Auburn is not in a position to make any further comment on the situation.”
The report said a player reported concerns to an assistant coach in late February.
Auburn coach Tony Barbee has said only that Ward and Denson violated team rules, and he declined to address any allegations specifically after Thursday night’s loss to Mississippi in the opening round of the SEC tournament.
“Obviously our university released a statement which I totally support and stand behind, and obviously because of the nature of the allegations and the story, and because of the statement, I won’t be able to elaborate or answer any questions or make any further comment,” Barbee said.
Ward didn’t play in the final three games of the regular season or travel with the team to New Orleans for the Southeastern Conference tournament, where the Tigers lost their first round game, 68-54 to Mississippi on Thursday night.
Denson played 32 minutes and scored 11 points against the Rebels, but declined to speak with reporters after the game. His teammates also deferred comments to their coach.
Yahoo Sports reported that other Auburn players were questioned about whether Ward tried to get them to participate in the alleged point shaving.
Ward, a Texas transfer, has averaged 9.0 points a game and leads the Tigers in assists.
Ward scored three points and had six turnovers in the 68-50 loss to Alabama, playing 17 minutes. Vegas Insider said Alabama was favored by five points.
Ward lasted only 19 seconds after coming off the bench in the 56-53 defeat against Arkansas before crumpling to the floor. Barbee later said Ward took a knee to the right leg he had injured early in his sophomore season with the Longhorns, when he ruptured his quadriceps tendon on a dunk during pregame warm-ups. Auburn still covered the 9 1/2-point spread.
Cassanova McKinzy might have made the best decision of his early life by deciding to sign his football letter of intent with Auburn over Clemson University, not because they play in the SEC or have perhaps a better team but for the closeness of Chick-Fil-A. The four-star 6’2″ linebacker from Birmingham, signed with Auburn because there was a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on campus.
“Kinda the environment. Plus they had no Chick-Fil-A on campus. You had to go like 15 minutes off campus to go to like a real restaurant. Their cafe was kinda small, and the facilities are far away from the dorms and classes. That’s a big reason why I chose Auburn. You gotta go far to go out and to go out to eat and stuff,” he said.
I totally understand.
The game had number one versus number two plus one 50-50 kicker but all that couldn’t help ESPN’s BCS title game Monday drew a 13.8 overnight rating the lowest rating in the BCS system’s 14-year history.
That 13.8 translates to 13.8% of households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights. The previous record low was a 14.3 for Miami-Nebraska at the 2002 Rose Bowl. Last night’s game was down 14% from last year’s Auburn-Oregon title game on ESPN and down 24% from Alabama-Texas on Fox in 2010.
The new low isn’t surprising. Alabama’s 21-0 win was less-than-suspenseful, both schools are from relatively sparsely-populated states and from the same conference. The schools had already played earlier this season in an overtime game where neither team scored a touchdown. CBS coverage of that game drew an 11.9 overnight
The attorney representing Toomer’s Corner tree poisoner, Harvey Updyke, wants to quit after his client was interviewed on a national sports talk radio show. Toomer’s Corner is where Auburn fans go to celebrate and throw toilet paper on historic oak trees after the team wins football games.
“I just don’t feel I am the person anymore,” attorney Glennon Threatt said. He’s been representing Updyke for free.
Threatt filed a motion to withdraw as counsel because Updyke, a rabid Alabama Crimson Tide fan, didn’t listen to him and called the nationally syndicated Paul Finebaum Radio Show last month to apologize for “all the hate and for all the harm I have done.”
He stopped short of actually admitting he poisoned the trees.
“He needs somebody he will trust and he needs somebody he will listen to,” Threatt said.
Last May, Updyke was indicted on two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, two counts of desecrating a venerated object and two counts of unlawful damage and vandalism in connection with the poisoning of the oak trees near Auburn University. He’s out of jail on bond and living with relatives in Louisiana.
A judge will decide if Threatt can actually quit the case.
Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton was the runaway winner for the Heisman Trophy after winning both the SEC and BCS championships and was even selected first overall in the NFL Draft. However when it came to the SEC male athlete of the year Newton was trumped by University of Tennessee Volunteers tennis player John-Patrick Smith.
The conference’s athletic directors made Smith, a four-time tennis All-American at Tennessee, their choice for the award. Smith is the first University of Tennessee winner since Peyton Manning in 1998. Alabama gymnast Kayla Hoffman was the SEC female athlete of the year.
Smith finished his season ranked 10th in the country. He was only the second player to be named All-American in singles and doubles every year of his career. Southern Cal’s Rick Leach did it from 1984-1987.
Could this be an obvious message from SEC voters that they know that Auburn cheated their way to success or could it just be a special occiasion where they are recognizing a career long achievement rather than just one year?
Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake took to Twitter to show off their national championship rings they received. One ring is for winning the SEC, the other is for winning the BCS National Championship, and the third is for winning the NCAA championship. Apparently due to NCAA rules each ring only ranges in the worth department of $500 and lack the real diamonds rings found on the professionals.
An Alabama grand jury has indicted Harvey Updyke, an Alabama fan accused of poisoning Auburn’s Toomer’s Oaks on multiple charges including criminal mischief and desecration of a venerated object. Updyke will be arraigned May 26, and has a tentative trial date of June 20.
Updyke, who admitted on national talk radio to poisoning the oak trees at famed Toomer’s Corner on the Auburn University campus, was indicted on two counts of first-degree criminal mischief (a felony charge), two counts of desecrating a venerated object (misdemeanor), two counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility (felony).
Updyke will not face federal charges.
The NFL Draft is this Thursday and Cam Newton is sure to hear his name called within the first five picks with perhaps his being the first overall. That still hasn’t stopped an Alabama alumni member in offering the former Auburn quarterback a million dollars to take a four question lie detector test. Here are the four questions from the website (www.camnewtonliedetector.com)
- Prior to signing with Auburn, were you aware your father was “shopping” you to Mississippi State or any other school?
- Did you tell Dan or Meghan Mullen that you signed with Auburn because of the money because you truly believed Auburn had paid for your commitment?
- Did anyone on the Auburn coaching staff/athletic department instruct you how to answer questions from the NCAA by lying or avoiding the truth?
- Did you or your family ever receive any impermissible benefits from Auburn?
The NCAA acknowledged that Cecil Newton shopped his son to schools yet they didn’t hold Cam or Auburn accountable.
Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the trees at Toomer’s Corner near Auburn’s campus, appeared on the Paul Finebaum radio show one day after he says he was attacked at a gas station. It was Updyke’s first public comments on the incident that has sparked anger from fans of the Tigers, Crimson Tide and college football.
At the end of the interview, Updyke signed off saying “Roll Damn Tide.”
Alleged Toomer’s Corner oak tree poisoner Harvey Almon Updyke has been able to find a lawyer that will help defend him but hasn’t found anyone to protect his personal well being. The crazed Crimson Tide fan who poisoned the oak trees that sit across his rival school Auburn, was attacked at a gas station around 2:45 pm, approximately fifteen minutes after his court date. According to Updyke’s attorney he was brought to the emergency room and treated for a head injury after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing over the poisoning of the iconic oak trees.
Updyke is said that he could not identify or describe assailants, and gas station did not have surveillance in parking lot where he was jumped from behind.
During his meeting of ESPN analyst Jon Gruden’s quarterback camp, the former coach put Cam Newton on the spot and asked him to call an audible and the results were not pretty. Simplistic? Last time we heard about an NFL quarterback needing an NFL playbook simplified for him we were introduced to former number one overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell.