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One Big Question: Tennessee Football 2014

butch-jones-sadTennessee hasn’t won an SEC championship since 1998.  The Volunteers haven’t been to a bowl game since 2010.  They’ve lost six or more games in seven of the last nine seasons.  They haven’t lost fewer than four games in a season since 2004.

It goes without saying that fans of the SEC’s second all-time winningest program are tired of their team’s ongoing rebuilding process.  Phillip Fulmer tried to recover from his first losing season, but once offensive David Cutcliffe left, Fulmer lost more than he won again and was let go in 2008.  Lane Kiffin blew through Knoxville and in a single season managed to pour gasoline on the fire that Fulmer had left.  When UT brass panicked and hired Derek Dooley — a coach who’d gone 4-8 the year before at Louisiana Tech — the nosedive was complete.  Three coaches in three years.  Twice the roster attrition associated with a single coaching change… and then Dooley was the wrong hire on top of everything else.

Enter Butch Jones who’s won over ex-Vol players and most Vol fans.  He’s also won over recruits, landing a top five class for Tennessee in February and ranking #7 in Rivals.com’s current national rankings.  Some are even suggesting that UT might be ready for a step forward in 2014 after a 5-7 record in 2013.  Which brings us to our big question for the Volunteers:

 

How can anyone expect Tennessee to post a better record in 2014?

 

Nothing against Jones or the hotshot signees he’s lured to the foothills of the Smokies, but two things will be working against UT this fall — its roster and its schedule.  Other than, how was the play, Ms. Lincoln?

Looking over the rankings for the Vols’ last five recruiting classes would suggest there’s talent available.  But a more thorough check reveals the attrition connected to constant coaching churn.  Defections, dismissals and dud signees left Tennessee slow and thin in 2013.  After nearly knocking off Georgia and then upsetting South Carolina, the Volunteers were exploited by top five teams Alabama (45-10), Missouri (31-3) and Auburn (55-23).  Five of those six halves of football featured true freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs who was quite literally thrown to the wolves (and elephants and tigers).

It will take more than one very good recruiting class to fix all that’s ailing Tennessee.  Jones has admitted that his true freshman will get plenty of action this fall, suggesting that UT will be the youngest team in the country.  That’s especially true along the offensive and defensive lines.  In the SEC, are there two worse spots to have manned by youth?

The Volunteers are the only FBS team out of 125-plus needing to replace their entire offensive line.  Not one regular starter returns.  No other FBS squad is facing that this year and no other FBS squad faced that last year.  That’s how rare a complete rollover on the O-line is.  Worse, the Vols will also have to replace every single starter on their defensive line as well.  Just mull that over for a few seconds.  Nine linemen.  All new.  In the SEC.

Now to the schedule, where nine of Tennessee’s 12 opponents are coming off bowl bids.  Utah State (Poinsettia Bowl in 2013) will serve as the opener in Knoxville.  Since 2009 the Aggies have come thisclose to knocking off Texas A&M (38-30 in 2009), Oklahoma (31-24 in 2010), Auburn (42-38 in 2011), Wisconsin (16-14 in 2012) and Southern California (17-14 in 2013).  Yeah, they’ll be a breeze for a squad with rookies on both lines.

After Utah State come Arkansas State (GoDaddy Bowl), a road trip to Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl), a road trip to Georgia (Gator Bowl) and a game with Florida.  If all the breaks go against them, it’s not inconceivable that the Volunteers could actually open their season 0-5.  Then come Chattanooga, Ole Miss (Music City Bowl) on the road, Alabama (Sugar Bowl), South Carolina (Capital One Bowl) on the road, Kentucky, Missouri (Cotton Bowl) and Vanderbilt (BBVA Compass Bowl) on the road.

Improvement in 2014?  If Tennessee, boasting a young roster and facing a brutal schedule, can manage to match last season’s 5-7 record, Jones and his staff will have done a very fine job in Knoxville.  A better record should finally come in 2015, but this season has all the makings of another rough one for the Volunteers.

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One Big Question: Arkansas Football 2014

bret-bielema-jen-call-hogsWhen Jeff Long shocked the college football world and announced that he’d hired Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema at Arkansas — from way, way off the radar — Razorback fans woo-pig-sooied into the night.  For good reason.  An interim season under John L. Smith had just gone horribly wrong and Bielema was coming off three consecutive Big Ten championships.  He’d won 10 or more games four times in seven seasons with the Badgers.  He’d gone 40-13 in the four seasons prior to making his shock move to Fayetteville.

Then came the 2013 season.  The Hogs went 3-9, finished on a nine-game losing streak and went 0-8 in conference play.  Suddenly John L. Smith didn’t seem so bad.  But while Bielema’s first rebuilding season shouldn’t be held against him, we do have a question about the new head Hog:

 

Is Bret Bielema a good fit for Arkansas?

 

Hey, here’s the easy answer: Once Bielema starts winning games, yes, he’ll be a perfect fit.  As is the case with every other coach in these here United States.

But if it takes Bielema too long to start winning games, he may have so many fans turn against him that he’ll have to fight to ever really win them back over to his side.  Even if he is winning.  That’s not an Arkansas thing, that’s an everywhere thing.  In an era when every person has a voice — media member, fan, blogger — there’s a lot more see-sawing of public opinion.  Once folks turn, it’s hard to get them to admit they were wrong.  Those who make their minds that “he’s not the guy,” seldom reverse course and state, “I was wrong, he is the guy.”  More often they say, “Well, let’s see how he does next year ’cause I still don’t think he’s the guy.”

Bielema’s system at Wisconsin was built on big offensive linemen, big running backs and a big-time ground game.  The trouble with that kind of offense?  It typically takes a few recruiting classes to get rolling.  Also, the UA roster that Bielema inherited — and the coach has recently admitted this — wasn’t exactly built with a Big Ten style of play in mind.  Last offseason, we pointed out that Bobby Petrino had focused his recruiting efforts on smaller, swifter skill position athletes.  We didn’t expect a 3-9 belly flop in the transition, but it would have been shocking to see Bielema step right in and win with a roster built for Petrino’s system.

Arkansas lined up the nation’s 29th best recruiting class in February (according to Rivals.com), but that was only 11th best in the SEC.  A Petrino or Gus Malzahn or Gary Pinkel could recruit like that and win because their systems rely on smarts, tempo and speed.  Beliema’s system relies on having bigger, better players.  So Arkansas had better recruit bigger, better players than their SEC rivals or else their climb up the ladder could take more time than Hog fans are willing to spend.

Bielema’s personality also leaves us wondering if he’s a fit for the Deep South.  Sure, Nick Saban won’t be pictured on the cover of Southern Living anytime soon, but at least Saban never said — and, oh, how Bielema must regret this — that the Big Ten doesn’t want to be anything like the SEC “in any way, shape or form.”  That statement has caused us and others to look more carefully at some of the coach’s more recent comments and actions.

At SEC Media Days last summer, Arkansas’ coach got downright hot when told of something Malzahn had said.  Bielema blew his top as though Auburn’s coach had insulted him, which he had not.  We at MrSEC.com were left wondering whether or not UA’s new coach could hold up under the glare of the SEC spotlight.  Badger football competed for Wisconsin headlines with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers.  Razorback football competes with absolutely nothing else in the Natural State.  And SEC football competes with nothing else in Dixie.  All the NFL, MLB and NBA teams ’round these parts came into being in the 1960s or later.  Pro sports are popular in the South, but college sports rule.  Thus college coaches live under greater scrutiny.

A couple of months later, before a game at Ole Miss, Bielema commented on the lack of hotel space around Oxford.  He noted that his teams had already dealt with busing into a site the morning of a game, but the way he said it seemed to amplify that “I’m not from around here” vibe Bielema gives off.  “… That’s probably the only thing that jumps out to you with the location of some of these universities and the towns around them.”  The Big Ten is made up of many schools centered in major metropolitan areas.  The SEC features a number of one-horse towns, for lack of a better term.  There was nothing incorrect about Bielema’s statement, but it’s the kind of thing a newbie to an area might say.  And most folks in the South prefer newcomers — carpetbaggers, if you will — keep their views to themselves.

Again, once Bielema begins to win at Arkansas, he’ll be embraced and all our doubts will disappear.  Having to win the hard way, however — by strength and muscle rather than by scheme — could make for a longer rebuild.  And the longer the rebuild at Arkansas, the more we’ll wonder if Bielema is the right man to lead the Razorbacks’ rebuilding project at all.

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One Big Question: Georgia Football 2014

jeremy-pruitt-blogAll this week, we at MrSEC.com will be sharing with you the biggest questions we have regarding each SEC football squad as it heads into 2014.  We started with Florida and Mississippi State yesterday.  Three more schools are on the docket today, starting with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Gone from the UGA defense are Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews and Shaq Wiggins.  Paris Bostick left as well.  So is anyone even left in Athens to play on that side of the ball?  If you think that’s our big question, you’re only partially correct:

 

Can new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt build another championship-caliber defense?

 

Hired from Florida State this past January, Pruitt has won a BCS Championship ring in each of the last three years (two with Alabama, one with the Seminoles).  Now he takes over a defense that’s lost Harvey-Clemons and Mathews to rules violations and Bostick and Wiggins to a desire for more playing time.  But the cupboard in Athens is hardly bare.

In February, the Dawgs ranked seventh nationally on signing day (according to Rivals.com).  They were 12th in 2013, 12th in 2012, and 5th in 2011.  Pruitt should inherit some talent with which to work.  He’s also not afraid to play youngsters, using six true freshmen in Florida State’s two-deep during their BCS title run last season.

Georgia struggled on defense in 2013 - 10th in the SEC in scoring defense, 9th in pass defense, 8th in total defense, etc.  Making matters worse was the fact that the Silver Britches forced only 15 turnovers all season.  That was 13th best in the league, just one better than Kentucky.  For comparison, Missouri led the conference with 32 turnovers gained.  The Dawgs also gave up big plays by the bushel, including a back-breaker against Auburn.

Expect the Bulldogs to take a more simplified approach under Pruitt.  His entire coaching career has been spent in the high school and college ranks.  Todd Grantham, now at Louisville with Bobby Petrino, had spent a decade coaching in the NFL before arriving in Athens in 2010.  He expected his college kids — working under a 20-hour rule — to be sharp enough to do a myriad of things, as his professionals had done.  But rather than doing a thousand things well, it seems Pruitt would prefer his players to do fewer things exceptionally well.  This spring, players already remarked that communication had improved in their new system.  Better communication and a faster tempo in practice should pay dividends when UGA faces up-tempo offenses like Auburn’s.

Georgia will open its season by hosting Clemson.  Then comes the SEC East’s new annual “must see” game at South Carolina.  After that, the Bulldogs will face a string of teams rebuilding or featuring new coaches — Troy, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Arkansas.  Florida in Jacksonville will be a question mark as no one knows what to expect from a Gator squad that went 4-8 last season.  Then come Kentucky, Auburn at home, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech.

Obviously, a retooled Georgia offense will have to do its part, too, but if the defense improves, it’s possible the Dawgs could win the SEC East.  Barring upset losses, a split with South Carolina and Auburn might just punch the Dawgs’ ticket to Atlanta.  Hey, that’s no BCS Championship, but a division title would at least keep Pruitt’s streak of championships alive.

 

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SEC Headlines 6/24/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson has high expectations heading into year two at Alabama.

2. Corey Grant brings speed to Auburn’s backfield. Will he win the starting running back job?

3. LSU and Texas A&M will play on ESPN at 6:30 Thanksgiving night.

4. Steve Kragthorpe has a new contract and title at LSU. He’s held multiple positions since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011.

5. Who should serve as the backup to Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott? Michael Bonner takes a look.

6. The Clarion-Ledger is counting down the most important 75 Ole Miss players for the 2014 season. Here is 75-66.

7. LSU running back Leonard Fournette has never played a down of college football but is the SEC’s 21st best player, according to Pat Dooley.

8. Georgia has hired Ronnie Letson as Director of Player Personnel.

9. Safety Corey Moore is the 11th most important player on Georgia’s football team.

10. The University of Kentucky has signed a 15-year, $210 million multimedia rights contract.

11. Here’s a look at Kentucky’s football team from South Carolina’s perspective.

12. Former Vol Peyton Manning was in Knoxville Monday and said he’s a “big Butch Jones fan.”

13. Here are the players Barrett Sallee believes should attend SEC media days next month.

SEC Basketball

14. Texas A&M forward Tavario Miller is competing for a spot on the Bahamas national team.

15. Florida coach Billy Donovan is close to winning another gold medal as he coaches in the FIBA Americas 18-under men’s basketball tournament.

16. Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford is joining Kim Anderson’s staff at Missouri. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman believes it’s a “home run” hire by Anderson.

17. Here’s an update on where some SEC players are projected to go in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

O’Bannon v. NCAA

18. The NCAA filed testimony from Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell on Monday.

19. Charles Pierce explains why he doesn’t believe the case is going well for the NCAA.

20. Southern California will give out four-year scholarships instead of one in the future, the school announced Monday.

Extra

21. Vanderbilt held off Virginia 9-8 in Game 1 of the College World Series finals. Vandy needs one more win to claim the national title.

22. Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings has served as a color analyst for the team’s baseball games in Omaha.

23. Athlon Sports released its 2014 preseason All-America team.

24. Urban Meyer discussed the importance of culture on a football team.

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One Big Question: Mississippi State Football 2014

hi-res-187750830-dak-prescott-of-the-mississippi-state-bulldogs-looks-to_crop_exactDan Mullen has led Mississippi State to a bowl game in four consecutive years.  That’s a first for the MSU program.  Still, the Bulldogs haven’t exactly leapt into the upper echelon of the Southeastern Conference.  Mullen’s first five teams have finished 5-7, 9-4, 7-6, 8-5 and 7-6 with the aid of some cupcake scheduling.  They’ve also gone just 16-24 in SEC play.  In addition, of MSU’s 11 losses that last two years, only one was by fewer than 10 points (a four-point loss at eventual SEC champ Auburn last season).

State will hang its hopes for improvement on two things in the year ahead —  a weak non-conference schedule (Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama and UT-Martin) and quarterback Dak Prescott.  Football is a team sport, sure, but a special quarterback can still make an average team good and a good team great.  Look no further than the impact of recent dual-threat stars Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel.

Prescott is being talked about as one of the SEC’s best signal-callers heading into 2014.  But our one big question for Mississippi State?

 

How far can Dak Prescott really carry the Bulldogs’ football team?

 

The junior-to-be from Haughton, Louisiana has shown on occasion that he can be special.  Last year he finished fifth in the SEC in total offense behind Manziel, Aaron Murray (Georgia), Bo Wallace (Ole Miss) and James Franklin (Missouri).  Splitting time with Tyler Russell, Prescott averaged 75.3 yards rushing per game.  That was the SEC’s 10th best average on the season and second only to Auburn’s Nick Marshall for quarterbacks.

Throwing the ball, Prescott needs some work.  He finished 11th in the league in passer rating and ninth in yards (though part of that can be chalked up to Mullen’s run-first offense).  His TD-to-INT ratio was a lackluster 10-7.

To date, however, Prescott has not caved under the pressure of having to carry the Dogs on his back at times.  He was MSU’s leading passer, leading rusher, and leading scorer (finishing fifth overall in the SEC in that category).  His passing will need to improve if he’s to lead State to an improved record this fall.  To that end, Mullen hired former Utah quarterback Brian Johnson — MVP of the Utes’ 2009 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama — to coach Prescott up.  Johnson had similar skills to Prescott and played in the same offense.  Now he’ll need to make sure Prescott can improve upon his 58.4 completion percentage of a year ago (which was just 11th best in the SEC).

If Mullen and Johnson can turn Prescott from a running quarterback with an arm into a passing quarterback who can use his legs to extend plays, the Bulldogs could surprise this fall.  Their four non-con games are all winnable.  Kentucky and Vanderbilt are their East Division crossover opponents.  Arkansas is still in rebuilding mode.  If Prescott lives up to some of the hype that’s currently building around him, State could be looking at seven wins with the potential to pull an additional upset or two.

So again we ask, how far can Prescott really carry the Bulldogs?

 

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One Big Question: Florida Football 2014

will-muschamp-staringAll this week, we’re going to be posting “One Big Question” for each SEC football program heading into the 2014 season.  We’ll mix ‘em up a bit it’s not just an alphabetical order list.  Expect two today, three on Tuesday, three on Wednesday, three more on Thursday, and then three more on Friday.  Short, simple and to the point.

We start today with Florida.  This time a year ago the Gators were looking to build off of an 11-2 season.  But then Brent Pease’s offense went belly-up.  An unbelievable rash of injuries on both side of the ball made matters worse.  UF finished on a seven-game losing streak — let that one roll around in your head for a minute — that included a home field loss to then-FCS-level Georgia Southern, 26-20.

So our big question for Florida in 2014?

 

Can the Gators find enough offense to save Will Muschamp’s job in 2014?

 

Pease is now the receivers coach at Washington.  Filling his shoes is new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.  The ex-David Cutcliffe assistant walks into a must-win situation in Gainesville.  But how much as the longtime quarterback guru rubbed off on his protege.  Cutcliffe has built solid offenses at Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Duke.  Roper has been on hand at all of those stops.  Whether he’s ready to implement — quickly — what he’s learned remains to be seen.

Roper inherits a mess.  Last season the Gators ranked dead last in the SEC in scoring offense (18.8 points per game), 13th in rushing offense, 12th in passing offense, and 14th in total offense.  Ugh.

Florida returns quarterback Jeff Driskel is back after suffering a broken leg in the Gators’ third game last year.  He’s committed to play in Urban Meyer’s offense.  But Meyer left and Driskel first learned Charlie Weis’ system.  Then came Pease.  Now comes Roper and another new playbook to learn.  Roper doesn’t believe that will be an issue as he faced a similar situation with Duke’s Thad Lewis, a QB who’d already shuffled through two other coordinators’ systems before Roper got hold of him.  And had success with him.

We believe Driskel is talented enough to be successful in the SEC if he’s got talent around him.  And for the first time in several seasons it appears as though the Gators will have some weaponry on offense.  One could argue that not since the days of Tim Tebow has Florida turned its hotshot recruits into consistent playmakers at the running back and receiver position.

That said, it’s tough to bring in a new coordinator, implement a new system and have enough success in Year One to save a head coach’s job.  Yes, it can happen, but the odds are long.  We suspect Florida will rebound from its 2013 4-8 debacle.  There are plenty of blue-chippers still on the UF roster.  But would an eight-win season, for example, be enough to save Muschamp’s job?

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8 SEC Players Listed In NBA Mock Draft

nba_logoOn Thursday, the National Basketball Association will hold its draft.  Just two rounds long, the league’s 30 teams will be looking for impact talent in the first round and developmental prospects in the second.  Teams don’t even have to provide guaranteed contracts to second-round selections, though some do.

In addition to SEC seniors who are draft eligible, six underclassmen decided to leave school early.  Those hopefuls include Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson of Missouri, Johnny O’Bryant of LSU, Julius Randle and James Young of Kentucky, and Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes.

So with the draft now just three days away, which ex-SEC stars can you expect to see picked on Thursday night?  For a good guess we turn to DraftExpress.com, a site that’s become the go-to link for NBA Draft coverage.  Updated on Friday, their latest mock draft lists the following ex-SEC’ers as future selections:

 

7th pick, 1st Round — Julius Randle, Kentucky to the Los Angeles Lakers

17th pick, 1st Round — James Young, Kentucky to the Boston Celtics

26th pick, 1st Round — Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee to the Miami Heat

28th pick, 1st Round — Jordan Clarkson, Missouri to the Los Angeles Clippers

42nd pick, 2nd Round — Patric Young, Florida to the Houston Rockets

44th pick, 2nd Round — Johnny O’Bryant, LSU to the Minnesota Timberwolves

46th pick, 2nd Round — Jabari Brown, Missouri to the Washington Wizards

58th pick, 2nd Round — Jordan McRae, Tennessee to the San Antonio Spurs

 

All six of the SEC’s early entrants are slotted into the draft by the gurus at DraftExpress.  Only two seniors — Patric Young and Jordan McRae — are viewed as probable NBA picks and their tabbed for the second round (with McRae going very late).

 

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SEC Headlines 6/23/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1. Former Alabama fullback Le’Ron McClain says he hopes to see Jalston Fowler playing plenty of fullback this season.

2. LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette will be an important person for Alabama fans to watch this season.

3. Steve Spurrier on coaches working 13+ hour days in the offseason: “I don’t know what they do. They say they are working.”

4. Defensive tackle Gabe Wright will plan an important role for Auburn this season.

5. LSU appears to be shifting to a focus on finding dual-threat quarterbacks to run its offense.

6. Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil is the 22nd-best player in the SEC heading into 2014.

7. Receiver Isaiah McKenzie is just a freshman but he’s already one of Georgia’s most important players.

SEC Basketball

8. LSU will launch an “Unleash the Madness” season-ticket promotion for the upcoming season.

 

9. Transfer Cameron Biedscheid is hoping to be cleared to play immediately this season at Missouri.

SEC/NBA Draft

10. Johnny O’Bryant has been busy showing off an improved game to get ready for Thursday’s draft.

11. A car crash interrupted the draft plan of former Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, who’s expected to be selected on Thursday.

Extra

12. Beer sales at college sporting events continues to be considered by athletic directors.

13. Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin has a genetic condition that will keep him from playing in the NBA.

14. Here are different angles of Silvestre Varela’s goal for Portugal in the 95th minute yesterday.

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SEC Headlines 6/22/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Football

1. Eligible in 2015, former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara will play for Tennessee after a one-year JUCO stint. Four-star recruit out of high school “tremendous addition for Butch Jones.”

2. Former Georgia safety Tray Matthews has arrived at Auburn.

3. Iron Bowl final second gets a license plate tribute.

4. Reports of Alabama playing at Cincinnati in 2015?  Not going to happen.

5. Missouri put all of its football players through a new $100,000 motion lab in recent weeks and built a database of the ways in which its players move.

6. LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins ranked as the 23rd best player in the SEC.

SEC Basketball

6. Missouri freshman guard Namon Wright has gone from an environment with no weight room to lifting four days a week at Mizzou.

7. Previewing Kentucky’s trip to the Bahamas in August.

8. Former Tennessee player Quinton Chievous. now at Hampton,  felt miscast as a power forward with the Vols.

SEC/NCAA

9. Some interesting tidbits we’ve learned from Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA.

10. Is Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany a doomsday prepper?

Extra

11. Ironman Chattanooga sponsored by….Little Debbie?

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Top MrSEC Clicks For The Week

 

 

SEC Headlines 6/21/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC/NCAA

1. LSU A.D. Joe Alleva responds to reports linking him to the athletic director’s opening at Penn State.  “My work at LSU is nowhere near done. I’ve got a lot more to do.”

2. South Carolina A.D. Ray Tanner gets a raise and an extension.

3. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany takes the stand in the Ed’O Bannon case against the NCAA.

SEC Football

4. Florida tight end Colin Thompson is transferring. Former four-star recruit considered one of the nation’s top tight ends coming out of high school.

5. Marijuana charge against Kentucky defensive end Jason Hatcher is dismissed.

6. Making the case for South Carolina as a top 10 team in 2014. A key game on the schedule will be when Missouri comes to town.

7. Missouri defensive end Markus Golden ranked here as the 24th best player in the conference.

8. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has the chance to become just the second coach in school history to have back-to-back 10-win seasons.

 9. LSU special teams coordinator and defensive assistant Bradley Dale Peveto has a base salary of $350,000 this year.

10, Did you know?  The 1984 movie about Bear Bryant called “The Bear” starring Gary Busey still sells a few hundred DVDs each year.

11. Now that he’s transferring to Auburn, what happens to Tray Matthews Georgia tattoo?

SEC Basketball

12, Nearly a million people attended Kentucky basketball games last season - by far more than any other team in the country.

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SEC Headlines 6/20/2014

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Ole Miss lands transfer wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow.  Left Washington after being charged for involvement in misdemeanor assault crimes.

2. Kentucky had discussions to leave the SEC back in the 1990′s.  Considered bolting for the ACC.

3. By SEC standards, are the pickings slim at quarterback in the conference this year?

4. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on new quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson:  “The fact that he was recruited by me and played a year for me, he knows my expectations, which are pretty high.”

5. Is this the best team Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has had in Oxford?

6. One view of Tennessee in 2014: “It may not be pretty, but it may also be the most entertaining Tennessee football we’ve seen in a while…”

7. Thanks to help from the SEC, South Carolina made a nearly $200,000 profit on the Capital One Bowl.

8. Does Texas A&M have the best special teams in the SEC?

9. Four Alabama assistants make the top 10 of ESPN’s national recruiter rankings.

10. Alabama’s schedule features just five FBS opponents with winning records in 2013 - all of them from the SEC West.

11. Georgia players spend time at a military style boot-camp. Will it help leadership emerge on defense?

12. With Jordan Matthews gone, can Jordan Cunningham step up at wide receiver for Vanderbilt?

13. Missouri will eventually expand the south end zone at Faurot Field but it “is going to be predicated on ticket sales.” 

SEC/NCAA

14. Would you care less about college football and basketball if the players were paid something more than a scholarship?  That’s the argument the NCAA is making in the Ed O’Bannon case.

15. Tennessee basketball and Missouri football recognized for sportsmanship by the SEC.

SEC Basketball

16. Former Tennessee player Quinton Chievous is transferring to Hampton.

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