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?”
A report in SportsBusiness Journal paints a dire picture of one of the biggest college football programs, the SEC’s Tennessee Volunteers:
“The Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference.”The team’s debt is a combination of a drop in attendance, poorly timed facility upgrades and the buyouts of coaching contracts, according to the story.
Athletic director Dave Hart is charged with digging the program out of this hole, but he is going to need some help from this football team.
A municipal court judge in Texas muddied the waters of legal ethics by posting on his Facebook account details about a speeding ticket earned in the area of Ennis, Texas, by a “certain unnamed (very) recent Heisman Trophy winner.” That would be Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, of course.
Lee Johnson, a judge in Ennis, went on the social media service and gave out some oh-so-clever details about Manziel. While not mentioning the Aggies’ star by name, Johnson was transparent enough (“recent Heisman Trophy winner,” “college down south”) to allow those following his account to easily connect the dots.
“Too funny. So it seems that a certain unnamed (very) recent Heisman Trophy winner from a certain unnamed ‘college’ down south of here got a gift from the Ennis P.D. while he was speeding on the 287 bypass yesterday. It appears that even though the OU defense couldn’t stop him, the City of Ennis P.D. is a different story altogether. Time to grow up/slow down young ‘un. You got your whole life/career ahead of you. Gig Em indeed.”He then added: “I meant to say ‘allegedly’ speeding, my bad.”
Johnsonis a graduate of Baylor, one of A&M’s former Big 12 rivals which there was a great deal of animosity between the two schools surrounding A&M’s departure for the SEC for the 2012 season.
Tyler Bray gets paid to play quarterback at Tennessee. His words, not mine.
“I’m paid to win football games,” Bray told news reporters Tuesday. Such a statement led to the inevitable follow-up question: Um, what?
“I mean… my education. That’s what the SEC likes to call ‘getting paid,’ ” Bray said.
I must confess: I have never, ever, ever heard any SEC player, coach, official or university administrator call a scholarship “getting paid.” That’s a new one.
Texas A&M shocked the college football world on Saturday when it came way with a road victory against No. 1-ranked Alabama. That caused a Bama fan to lose a bet and was forced to get the score of the game tattooed on his rear-end. The best part of the artwork is the fact that the apostrophe was placed after the “12″ to indicate the year that this game happened. Classic SEC fan.
Well, now it’s Florida vs Georgia week and the rivalry took another step with the UGA student newspaper selling out an advertisement spot to a group of Florida Gators fans. Florida and placed in Georgia’s student newspaper promising a three-touchdown victory. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party ad touches on Georgia’s weak record against ranked teams, ghastly record against Florida (4-18 over the last 22 years) and disappointing defense.
“Give it up! Your bite is weaker than your bark! Try again when your team learns to block and tackle,” said the ad, predicting a three-touchdown victory.
Louisiana Tech’s season-opening football game against Texas A&M scheduled for Thursday night at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., has been postponed because of Hurricane Isaac.
It has been moved to Oct. 13, what had been an open date for both teams.
Texas A&M and first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin now will open Sept. 8 at home against Florida. That also marks the Aggies’ debut in the Southeastern Conference. They also now will not have a week off before facing LSU.
“Our primary concern was for the health and safety of the general public, students and fans of both institutions,” Louisiana Tech athletics director Bruce Van De Velde said of the postponement. “It’s impossible to predict exactly what is going to happen throughout the state, so we also wanted to be conscientious of the possible effects of his storm on residents throughout Louisiana.
“As much as both teams wanted to play, the safety of everyone took precedent over a football game, even one of this magnitude. We simply couldn’t move forward with Thursday’s kickoff in good conscience knowing what this storm may do. We appreciate the cooperation of Mayor (Cedric) Glover and the City of Shreveport and the Independence Bowl as well as Texas A&M University.”
Tech will now open the season Sept. 8 at Houston, and its first home game will be Sept. 15 against Rice.
Earlier Tuesday, a game set for Thursday night in Mobile, Ala., between South Alabama and Texas-San Antonio was postponed until Saturday afternoon.
Back on March 7, we posted the report that LSU women’s soccer star Mo Isom was going to tryout for the kicking spot on the football team. Today we post the news that Isom’s football dream ended.
Isom, bidding to become the first women’s football player in Southeastern Conference history, did not make the LSU team when Les Miles made his final decisions concerning which walk-on players to add to his roster after three days of tryouts.
“I am heartbroken, but my head is held high,” Isom tweeted. “Knowing I gave everything I had is the greatest victory. Unending thanks to my LSU football family.”
Isom, 22, was a standout goalie for the LSU soccer team from 2008 to 2011 and had one year of athletic eligibility remaining. As a freshman she became the first LSU goalie in history to score when she soared one in from 90 yards away against Brigham Young, and it made ESPN’s play of the day list. She has also kicked field goals of more than 50 yards on the LSU practice fields.
The 6-1, Marietta, Ga., native made history again last fall by becoming the first LSU student-athlete to be named homecoming queen.
But she fell short of her goal of becoming the first female kicker at a major college since 2003 to score in a game. That was done by New Mexico’s Katie Hinda, who kicked two extra points against Texas State.
Vanderbilt fourth-year walk-on Marc Panu was awarded a scholarship at a preseason team meeting, which he had no clue was coming his way.
Florida announced assistant Aubrey Hill resigned Friday and that could mean something is brewing regarding the NCAA’s investigation of University of Miami as he was a recent assistant with the Hurricanes and was named in the Yahoo! Sports report that detailed his relationship with Sean Allen, a former equipment manager for the team that was also a friend of former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.
Shapiro, who is in federal prison after pleading guilty to security fraud and money laudering, went public last year about how he provided impermissible benefits to Hurricanes players for several years. Multiple Miami players were suspended for games last season and the school self-imposed a postseason ban after the team finished 6-6.
In the Yahoo story from this July, phone records detailed Allen’s interaction with recruit Teddy Bridgewater in December of 2010. Allen also called Hill at the same time and he testified those calls preceded a meeting between Bridgewater and Miami coaches. That meeting occurred in the days after the school hired coach Al Golden.
Hill then left for Florida a few weeks later. Bridgewater eventually signed with Louisville.
Hill’s departure from Florida right before the start of practice lends credence to the notion that NCAA could finally be close to wrapping up its investigation almost one year after it started.
He will be replaced jointly by offensive coordinator Brent Pease and former graduate assistant Bush Hamdan.
“I have too much love and respect for this program to become a distraction as I deal with some personal issues,” Hill said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have worked with Coach Muschamp, a tremendous staff and great group of players. The future is very bright here and the University of Florida will always have a special place in my heart. Go Gators.”
Between new uniforms and vanity license plates, we already know that Missouri and its fans are excited about jumping from the Big 12 to the SEC. But the good folks at Shryocks Callaway Farms in Columbia, MO, has designed a corn maze dedicated to Missouri’s conference switch.
Nick Saban said one option to address the Penn State tragedy might be a ticket tax on athletic events and giving the proceeds to child abuse funds.
“This is a very, very criminal situation that probably reflects poorly on a lot of folks,” Saban told a small group of reporters before speaking at Southeastern Conference media days. “It’s probably too almost raw to really have a feeling that I can express. I think that what we all should probably be thinking a little bit more about is what do we want to be the outcome of this? Something that’s a win-win type thing, for kids in the future, the people that are there now, the players that are there now.
“Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization. Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”
The Alabama coach didn’t go into details of how a tax would be implemented. He stressed his comments had to do more with philosophy than a real recommendation.
He also said he has faith that Alabama tries to promote the moral obligation that we all have to protect other folks.
“Everybody has a responsibility and obligation to represent their institution that way, and I believe in that.”
Texas and Texas A&M have broken up, but the two are still thinking about each other, and not in a nice way. Take the case of the Longhorn Network, Texas cable TV outlet. It apparently couldn’t resist one last dig at the Aggies, who left the Big 12 for the SEC in part because of the network. In advertising a program about the Aggies, the network dropped this gem.
John L. Smith always believed real estate development was the safest investment of all, saying “you may not make money, but you won’t lose money.”
The Arkansas coach has had to rethink that philosophy in recent years after several of his land deals went bust in Kentucky. Smith told The Associated Press that he is making plans to declare bankruptcy, perhaps during the upcoming season.
“There have been some sleepless nights trying to get this resolved,” Smith said. “There comes a point in time where you say `Enough is enough,’ and I want it cleaned up and whatever we have to do, we have to do.”
Smith, also a former coach at Michigan State and Louisville, was hired in April to replace Bobby Petrino, who was fired after revelations that he had hired his mistress to a position in the football department and given her $20,000 in gifts. Smith was an Arkansas assistant for three seasons under Petrino before leaving in December to become the coach at his alma mater, Weber State.
Following Petrino’s firing, Smith approached Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long about the job as was later signed to a 10-month, $850,000 contract. Long said Smith was up front about his financial problems during the hiring process, and he was comfortable the issues wouldn’t affect Smith’s ability to coach the Razorbacks.
“Certainly, initially, I had concerns, but as he explained the situation to me, it clearly became a bad investment,” Long said. “There’s a large differentiation for me between what we had just gone through and someone who had made a bad financial decision and put himself in a financial difficulty. But at the same there, there was nothing inappropriate other than he had engaged in a risky financial deal.”
Smith said his land investments began through acquaintances while he was the coach at Louisville from 1998-2002, starting with one subdivision development and evolving from there. As the real estate market began to slow several years ago, Smith said, he and his partners faced a difficult time maintaining their investments.
“It just got big,” Smith said, who described his stake as being in the “multi-millions.”
“It was a situation where we all made a little and said, `Well, that’s good. Let’s see if we can make a little more,’” he said. “At that point, the bank was willing to give away money. We got in over our head with land, and then the bubble burst and all this land value dropped and we couldn’t sustain it.”
Smith wasn’t sure exactly how much money he owed to creditors, including some of his former partners, but he has started preparing to declare bankruptcy now. He wasn’t 100 percent certain he’ll have to declare, but said “that’s where I am proceeding to get my plate cleaned up.”
Texas A&M created one of the oddest welcome to the SEC videos ever and it comes off more like a begging than a hello. They should have really axed this on the drawing table.
Lawrence Knox wants to help Texas A&M Aggies transition from the Big 12 to the SEC with a little swag. So Knox has came up with some rhymes and called it Aggie Swag.
Do you have that Aggie Swag?
Texas A&M has always gotten the rap of not being the brightest school in the great state of Texas. Trying to shake that reputation this shirt by Aggieland Outfitters did it no justice. See the shirt was printed up to help celebrate its move to the SEC but someone on staff made the mistake and added North Carolina as a SEC state.
Unfortunately North Carolina is ACC territory.
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.
Morlan “Mo” Isom is not your typical homecoming queen nor your normal LSU soccer star. Isom is dead set on becoming a kicker on the LSU football team.
Isom, a star goalkeeper on the LSU soccer team from 2008-11, became the first female student-athlete to be named LSU’s homecoming queen last fall. Now she wants to be LSU’s first female football player. She went through a walk-on tryout with other prospective kickers Tuesday during the Tigers spring drills.
“People’s first presumption about this is that it’s a media stunt or some attempt for attention and glory,” Isom said. “That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. I feel it was a goal God placed in my heart. It’s just something I want to do.”
If she makes the LSU team, Isom will become the first female kicker at a major college since 2003 when Katie Hinda kicked two extra points for New Mexico against Texas State, becoming the first female to score in a major college game.
Isom, who is six feet tall, kicked a 51-yard field goal on the LSU practice field while working on her own with LSU kickers Brad Wing and Drew Alleman last August and has even scored a goal on the pitch 90 yards out.
Isom, who has a year of eligibility remaining in athletics at LSU according to the NCAA rule giving student-athletes five years to play four, began training as a kicker for football in January of 2011.
Head football coach Les Miles says he has no objections in playing her “If she gave us an opportunity and an advantage, and I mean add an advantage, then certainly we would consider that. The good thing about it is she’s an athlete. She’s been through team before. She understands the commitment. I would have much less reservation with her than I would any number of other people that frankly didn’t know what they were getting into. But the real interesting thing is it has to be an advantage obtained.”
Miles said he will likely not make any final decisions about adding walk-on kickers until August when preseason practices begin. LSU has two kickers and a punter on scholarship.
Last night Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC with a 41-24 bowl win over the North Carolina Tar Heels. The trophy they were presented though had one slight problem, it was broken. The top piece was broken off after Mizzou’s mascot, Truman the Tiger, let it slip through his hands. When asked if he broke the trophy, Truman threw his hands in the air like he just didn’t care and then covered his eyes.
Former NFL wide receiver Willie Gault and more known to fans as the second Chicago Bear to step up and sing solo in the team’s famous rendition of “The Super Bowl Shuffle” during their championship season of 1985 is now being accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a corrupt business venture. The SEC website says the following about Gault’s actions as CEO of Heart Tronics, which sells a heart-monitoring device called the Fidelity 100.
“The SEC alleges that Heart Tronics installed former professional football player Willie Gault as a figurehead co-CEO along with former Hollywood executive J. Rowland Perkins in order to generate publicity for the company and foster investor confidence. Meanwhile behind the scenes, California-based attorney Mitchell J. Stein was controlling most of the company’s business activities, hiring promoters to tout Heart Tronics stock on the Internet, and reaping nearly $8 million from secret trades that he orchestrated unbeknownst to investors.”
The SEC complaint says Heart Tronics repeatedly announced sales orders in the millions that weren’t true. The complaint also alleges that Gault and Perkins “defrauded an individual investor into making a substantial investment” that the two diverted for personal use.
Besides playing for the Bears and Los Angeles Raiders from 1983-93, Gault also had several world-class accomplishments as a sprinter and hurdler in track. And in 1988 he was an alternate on the U.S. bobsled team for the Winter Olympics.
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to the Texas A&M University Aggies for failing to show up after halftime for the second week in a row. The Aggies once again carried a lead into the second half this time against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Jerry’s World, a week after blowing a 17-point halftime lead at home to Oklahoma State. Texas A&M scored five touchdowns in the first half but only was able to manage a field goal afterwards. It also marked the seven straight game the Aggies have dropped to SEC teams dating back to 1995.
The Aggies have been outscored 52-12 in the second half over the past two weeks as their defense has surrendered nearly 600 yards of total offense after halftime.
Dan Beebe is out as commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, according to multiple reports. An official announcement is expected later today according to The Kansas City Star. Beebe is negotiating a settlement with the conference.
“He’s working on his exit package right now,” a source who spoke directly with Beebe told The Star.
Chuck Neinas, who was commissioner when the conference still the Big 8, is a candidate to succeed Beebe. Neinas was the assistant executive director of the NCAA from 1961-1971 and Big 8 commissioner from 1971-1980. He currently runs Neinas Sports Services, a consulting firm that works with college coaches and administrators.
Beebe’s departure seemed imminent after Oklahoma president David Boren called for “reforms” in the conference as a condition of the Sooners remaining in the league. One of the reforms reportedly was Beebe’s removal or resignation.
The Big 12 has been on the verge of collapse since losing Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-12 last year. Also, Texas A&M is poised to jump to the Southeastern Conference, which would leave the league with just nine schools.
The Big 12 named Beebe commissioner last November after joining the conference in 2003 as associate commissioner. He previously was commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and worked in the NCAA’s enforcement division.
The Rice University Owls opened their college football season on the road against the University of Texas Longhorns. However at halftime their band spelled SEC with the ‘S’ being a $. Depends on who you ask as to which way the intended shot fired was directed. Was it aimed at the Longhorns for breaking up the Big 12 and their dealings with ESPN or was it their state rival the Texas A&M Aggies for leaving to the SEC?
Which way do you see the slight?