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Don’t Expect The Spurrier/Swinney Barbs To Stop Flying

spurrier-swinneySteve Spurrier takes an awful lot of shots at Clemson.  Hell, Spurrier takes shots at just about everybody when he’s winning, but the cross-state Tigers have become his favorite target in recent years.  A five-game winning streak over your rival will put a little added wind in your sails, after all.

Though he’s been on the short end of the USC/CU rivalry, Tiger coach Dabo Swinney fires his own share of barbs back towards Columbia.  Both coaches popped off after their schools’ bowl wins this year.  First, Spurrier said winning the Capital One Bowl was almost as good as winning the state championship.  Swinney then collected his squad’s Orange Bowl trophy and said it was great to be the first school from the Palmetto State to win a BCS bowl.

Spurrier had a little more fun at Clemson’s expense on Saturday when he reminded fans at a Carolina basketball game — as if they needed reminding — that the Gamcocks had won five in a row against the Tigers.  Afterward, the Ol’ Ball Coach was asked why he throws so many barbs toward Clemson.  His take:

 

“I don’t think we throw much.  I think y’all (in the press) blow that up.  Obviously, our fans love beating Clemson.  The old-time Gamecock fans suffered for years and years, as we all know.  So they’re enjoying it.  They should enjoy it.  They’ve been on the short (end of the) stick most of the time.  I’m talking to our people.  I’m not talking just to talk.  It’s for our people.  It’s not for the other school’s people.

When Dabo talks, it’s for his people.  It doesn’t bother me.  I can assure you.  That’s what we do in the offseason.  We have to talk a little bit.  I’m talking to the Gamecocks.  The other people shouldn’t listen to me.”

 

Sounds good.  But here’s the rub for any Carolina fan nodding in agreement — That means you can’t complain or get angry over anything Swinney says about USC.  Think you can just ignore the Tiger coach’s barbs?  If not, then Spurrier’s “I’m just talking to my people” defense doesn’t carry much weight.

Also, Spurrier’s been known to pay attention to what other coaches are saying about him.

Is it all fun and games?  Sure.  But Spurrier and his fans should know full well that barbs of any kind will most certainly be heard by rival coaches and rival fans.  And here’s guessing Spurrier enjoys the heck out of that fact, too.

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The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of This Year’s SEC Bowl Slate

04-the-good-the-bad-and-the-uglyTen SEC squads are heading to bowl games this holiday season.  That’s one more from a season ago, two more from the 2011 season (when the league consisted of just 12 schools).  Both Missouri and Texas A&M are going bowling this year, so you could easily say that they’re the reason the league has 10 teams in bowls and will have 10 hauls of bowl cash to split evenly among the league and its members (there are 15 slices to the SEC revenue pie).

For those who hate having the SEC’s games all bunched together and overlapping, you’re out of luck.  The league knows that most fans watch bowl games on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and they partner with bowls accordingly.  They also know that by “roadblocking” across the dial on New Year’s Day afternoon, it’s almost impossible to evade Mike Slive’s league.  That’s not fun for fans who’d like to see all of the SEC games, but it is smart marketing.

Below we give you a quick take — with a cinematic theme — on each of the SEC’s 10 bowl games.

So here come the good, the bad and the ugly…

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Nashville, TN

Dec. 30th, 3:15pm ET

Ole Miss (7-5) vs Georgia Tech (7-5)

The Good:  Take your pick — Hugh Freeze’s high-speed offense versus Paul Johnson’s old school triple-option… or the fact that these teams used to be conference rivals.  We’ll go with the latter because it’s a better story.  Before the days of schedule rotation, the Rebels and Yellow Jackets were both in the SEC but seldom faced one another.  In fact, Tech won their two SEC meetings in 1956 and in the 1953 Sugar Bowl.  The last meeting between the schools was a 1971 Peach Bowl win by Ole Miss.  Matchups we rarely see are a good thing.

The Bad:  This one will likely be trumped by the Alamo Bowl (Oregon versus Texas).  Here’s betting Mississippi and Tech fans will both be tired of hearing Mack Brown promos by the time the Music City Bowl broadcast ends.

The Ugly:  If the Rebels can hold up against the Johnson’s triple-option, there could be an ugly mismatch in the passing game.  Ole Miss ranked #3 in the SEC this season in passing offense.  Georgia Tech’s pass defense finished at #13 in the 14-team ACC.  In their last game out, the Rambling Wreck lived up to its name by allowing first-time Georgia starter Hutson Mason to complete 22-of-36 passes for 299 yards and two scores.  If Bo Wallace improves over his Egg Bowl performance, the Rebels should have the aerial weaponry to swat the Yellow Jackets.

 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Memphis, TN

Dec. 31st, 4:00pm ET

Mississippi State (6-6) vs Rice (10-3)

The Good:  Mississippi State is going bowling for the fourth straight season.  We all know there are more bowls now than ever before (and the number will jump to 39 bowls next year), but this is history for a State program that’s traditionally been an SEC cellar-dweller.  Kudos on another round of holiday football.

The Bad:  When folks look at the SEC’s bowl record at year’s end, few make note of the fact that lesser-seeded SEC teams are often facing higher-seeded teams from other leagues.  MSU was arguably the 9th or 10th best team in the SEC this season.  Rice is the champion of Conference USA.

The Ugly:  In a perfect example of how the bowl has worked since its inception, a 6-6 MSU team was tabbed for this Memphis trip over an 8-4 Vanderbilt team because… Cowbell-totin’ State fans helped break the Liberty Bowl’s attendance record back in 2007.  Said it before; will say it again: Bowls are about tourism.  Period.

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Atlanta, GA

Dec. 31st, 8:00pm ET

#21 Texas A&M (8-4) vs #24 Duke (10-3)

The Good:  In its perfect New Year’s Eve timeslot, the Chick-fil-A Bowl usually draws in plenty of viewers.  That’s good news for A&M and even better news for a Duke program that’s trying to establish itself.  The last collegiate performance by Johnny Manziel should have viewers tuning in, too.

The Bad:  Plug your ears, Vandy fans… No one ever wants to play a service academy of a high-academic school in a bowl game.  If you beat Duke, Northwestern or Vanderbilt, so what?  And if you lose to them, you never hear the end of it.  Sorry, but those are the facts and Texas A&M fans would have probably preferred to play a Virginia Tech or Miami from the ACC.

The Ugly:  Defense.  Duke ranked 12th in the ACC in total defense.  A&M ranked 14th in the SEC.  A month after Auburn and Missouri burned up the rug in the Georgia Dome, the Aggies and Blue Devils might trade points with equal vigor.

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SEC Bowl Goals Should Include More Variety

gfx - honest opinionWith conferences eagerly working to line up and lock in partnerships with bowls for the 2014-19 cycle, the slate of games for 2013 — the last year of the current cycle — was released by the Football Bowl Association yesterday.

The dates and times for the SEC’s games are as follows (all times Eastern):

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Nashville, TN

Monday, 12/30, 3:15pm

SEC versus ACC

 

AdvoCare V100 Bowl

Shreveport, LA

Tuesday, 12/31, 12:30pm

SEC versus ACC

 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Memphis, TN

Tuesday, 12/31, 4:00pm

SEC versus Conference USA or AAC (old Big East)

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, 12/31, 8:00pm

SEC versus ACC

 

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

Jacksonville, FL

Wednesday, 1/1, 12:00pm

SEC versus Big Ten

 

Capital One Bowl

Orlando, FL

Wednesday, 1/1, 1:00pm

SEC versus Big Ten

 

Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL

Wednesday, 1/1, 1:00pm

SEC versus Big Ten

 

Allstate Sugar Bowl

New Orleans, LA

Thursday, 1/2, 8:30pm

SEC versus BCS qualifier

 

AT&T Cotton Bowl

Arlington, TX

Friday, 1/3, 7:30pm

SEC versus Big XII

 

BBVA Compass Bowl

Birmingham, AL

Saturday, 1/4, 1:00pm

SEC versus AAC (old Big East)

 

Ten bowl partners.  Three games against the ACC.  Three games against the Big Ten.  Not a single game outside the SEC footprint.

Our take?

 

Quit Boring Everyone!

 

For the love of all that’s holy, is there no way to shake things up a bit?  (Of course there is and we’ve talked about it before… but it’s not going to happen.)

Earlier this week, SI.com’s Stewart Mandel tried to piece together what the next cycle of bowl games might bring us.  His SEC projections were: Sugar, Capital One, Outback, Gator, Belk (in Charlotte), Music City, Meineke Car Care of Texas (in Houston) and then possibly the Liberty, AdvoCare v100, or the-bowl-soon-to-be-known-as-the-bowl-previously-known-as-the-BBVA Compass Bowl.  The SEC will also have an occasional path to the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens.

That’s two new games on a regular basis.  The Belk Bowl is at least technically outside the SEC’s borders, though not by much.  Unfortunately, it will likely feature yet another SEC/ACC clash.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas will probably be another matchup against the Big XII.  It would be played indoors at Reliant Stadium.

As for the carry-over games, the Sugar will match the SEC against the Big XII when not part of the College Football Playoff.  The Capital One will still be an SEC/Big Ten game.  Ditto the Outback Bowl.  The ACC and Big Ten will flip-flop sending teams to the Gator and Music City bowls to face the SEC.

Yawn.

Sorry, but that’s still pretty blah.  There’s not a single matchup with the Pac-12.  And unlike the Big Ten’s national bowl lineup — which will stretch from Yankee Stadium to Florida to San Diego — the SEC continues to stick within its own region come the holidays.

We get that shorter travel makes things easier on SEC fans, but couldn’t one long-distance bowl be added to the schedule?

It looks now like the ACC will be facing the Big Ten in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.  Aren’t there some SEC fans out there who would have liked to see the SEC and Big Ten trade in the Gator Bowl for a cold-weather date in the house that replaced the House that Ruth Built?

And while Juarez, Mexico has gone from tourist destination to crime capital, fans staying on the US side of the border in El Paso might have enjoyed seeing an SEC squad face a Pac-12 team once a year.  Instead, the ACC will keep its slot against the Pac-12 in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The SEC knows how to make money and it knows how to win bowl games.  If only the league knew how to excite its fans come bowl season.  The same ol’ same ol’ just doesn’t get the job done.

 

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WOW Headlines – 12/26/12

South Carolina RB Shon Carson is back from a wrist injury and will play in the Outback Bowl versus Michigan
Georgia is arriving in Orlando today for next week’s Capital One Bowl versus Nebraska
LSU is arriving in Atlanta today for next week’s Chick-fil-A Bowl versus Clemson
Florida expects to lose money on its Sugar Bowl trip this year
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on playing in Nashville’s Music City Bowl: “The only bad bowl is the one you’re not playing in.”
Auburn has hired cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith from Mississippi State
Follow the SEC all year long at MrSEC.com

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SEC Bowl Game Odds Update 12/16/12 Update

Wondering what the lines are for the SEC’s bowl games this holiday season?  Here’s an updated look and, yes, the Vegas bookmakers know full well that betters will be plunking down big cash on SEC teams based on their reputation.  That’s why every single team from Mike Slive’s league opened as a favorite:

 

Music City Bowl in Nashville – Monday, Dec. 31st

Vanderbilt vs NC State

Opened:  VU -5

Current:  VU -7 (moved up a half-point this week)

 

Chik-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta – Monday, Dec. 31st

LSU vs Clemson

Opened:  LSU -3

Current:  LSU -4 (no change this week)

 

Gator Bowl in Jacksonville – New Year’s Day

Mississippi State vs Northwestern

Opened:  MSU -2

Current:  MSU -2 (no change this week)

 

Outback Bowl in Tampa – New Year’s Day

South Carolina vs Michigan

Opened:  USC -4.5

Current:  USC -5 (no change this week)

 

Capital One Bowl in Orlando – New Year’s Day

Georgia vs Nebraska

Opened:  UGA -8.5

Current:  UGA -10 (no change this week)

 

Sugar Bowl in New Orleans – Wednesday, Jan. 2nd

Florida vs Louisville

Opened:  UF -15

Current:  UF -13.5 (moved down a half-point)

 

Cotton Bowl in Arlington – Friday, Jan. 4th

Texas A&M vs Oklahoma

Opened:  A&M -3

Current:  A&M -4.5 (no change this week)

 

BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham – Saturday, Jan. 5th

Ole Miss vs Pittsburgh

Opened:  UM -2

Current:  UM -3.5 (no change this week)

 

BCS Championship Game – Monday, Jan. 7th

Alabama vs Notre Dame

Opened:  UA -9.5

Current:  UA -10 (moved up a half-point)

 

Nine bowl games – still nine SEC favorites, three of them double-digits. The first SEC bowl games kickoff two weeks from Monday.

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SEC Headlines 12/13/2012

Coaching News

1. Mark Richt surprised other schools haven’t contacted Georgia about his assistants.  “Can you believe that? I think our coaches are worthy of that, and I think our coaches have been obviously courted, but no one has called me.”

2. With offensive coordinator Jim Chaney going to Arkansas, what’s the next move at Missouri?

3. New Kentucky tight end coach Vince Marrow has known head coach Mark Stoops since middle school.

4. Does new UK defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh open up a pipeline to some JUCO recruits?

5. Gus Malzahn – from high school coach to SEC head coach in seven seasons.

6. Do Kevin Sumlin and his staff need a raise at Texas A&M?

7. Cincinnati disputes reports that new coach Tommy Tuberville ditched Texas Tech recruits.

Bowl Game News

8. Capital One Bowl wanted Texas A&M.  But two bowl search-committee members reportedly say SEC forced them to take Georgia.

9. Gator Bowl will allow Mississipi State fans to bring cowbells to the game .

10. The Music City Bowl will pit brother vs. brother.

11. LSU is headed to the Chik-fil-A Bowl – in discussions about a future Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game.

NFL Draft Prospects

12. Reaction to Marcus Lattimore’s decision to forego senior season at South Carolina and enter NFL draft.

13. How does Lattimore’s injury compare to the one suffered by Willis McGahee? “Even with Willis McGahee, it’s difficult to compare. The same knee dislocation can mean many different definitions.”

14. After the Capital One Bowl game, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will make a decision about whether or not to enter the NFL draft.

15. Junior linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree at Georgia are expected by teammates to enter draft – projected as first-round picks.

16. Vanderbilt’s defense will face a top-notch NFL prospect in the Music City Bowl – North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon.

17. AJ McCarron’s father on son’s decision to stay at Alabama.  “He’s smart enough to know that everything coach Saban’s told him to do so far has worked out pretty well for him.”

SEC Business/Academics

18. Arkansas football turned a profit of nearly $40 million in fiscal year 2011-2012.

19, $300 season tickets being offered at Tennessee - no donation required. Budget deficits in the athletic department won’t be financed any longer by the state or the academic side.

20, Nine of the top 11 TV markets for ESPN’s college football are in SEC country.  Birmingham No. 1 for 12 straight years.

21. When it comes to minority graduation rates, Vanderbilt leads the SEC.

SEC/College News

22. Aaron Murray admits he’s not over the SEC Championship game. ”I can’t sleep at night.” Mark Richt defends decision not to spike the ball at the end of the game.

23. Recovering from ankle surgery, Georgia defensive end Abry Jones may play in the bowl game.

24. Mark Bradley: “At worst, Georgia is the nation’s third-best team.”

25. Mississippi State backup tailback Nick Griffin tore his ACL in practice Saturday –  will have surgery today.

26. Auburn offensive lineman Christian Westerman is reportedly transferring to Arizona State.

27. LSU is getting healthy – several players expected back for bowl game.

28. He’s made his mark on defense and special teams - look for Florida to incorporate Loucheiz Purifoy more often into the offense.

29. Ole Miss begins full-scale practice on Monday.  A look back at what worked – and what didn’t – in Hugh Freeze’s first year.

30. Texas A&M students welcome back Johnny Manziel Wednesday night.   Video of the celebration.

31. The social media buzz over Manziel’s girlfriend.

32. The SEC is the national champion – a computer simulation run 50,000 times is the proof. Most common outcome in 16-team playoff? Alabama over Oregon.

Expansion/Realignment

33. Decision from seven Catholic non-football Big East schools expected soon.  ”Would be an upset” if they stayed. New York Post says they’re leaving. A 12-team basketball league?

34. Boise State holds the key to the future of the Big East?  Dennis Dodd: “CBSSports.com has learned that there was interest from a rights-holder in televising Boise State’s home games only, similar to Notre Dame.”

SEC Basketball

35. Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News ranks the 35 greatest NCAA tournament moments. No. 1 on the list – the 1963 Mississippi State basketball team and the Game of Change.

36. Alabama junior center Carl Engstrom had surgery Tuesday to repair torn ligaments.  He’s out for the rest of the season.

37. What’s going on at Tennessee with Jeronne Maymon’s surgically repaired right knee?  Maymon’s father: “It’s not his knee. His knee is fine. He’s trying to get back in shape.”

38. If the sluggish start at Kentucky sounds familiar, it’s because it does.  Think Florida basketball six years ago.

39. Florida in a top-10 showdown Saturday.  The 7-0 Gators face 7-0 Arizona.

40.  Missouri has added a series against Arizona starting in 2015.

41. LSU making progress on Anthony Hickey’s suspension. Looks to be traveling with team.

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SEC Headlines 12/2/2012

Coaching News & Rumors

1. Names linked to Auburn search: Gus Malzahn, Jimbo Fisher, Gary Patterson, Kirby Smart, Chris Peterson.  Introduction of new coach could come early in the week. All of those names except Patterson were on the winning side Saturday.

2. Auburn’s search committee – the four names at Auburn that matter most.

3. Names linked to Arkansas search:  Gary Patterson,  Mike Gundy, Art Briles,  Chris Petersen,  Kirby Smart, Bo Pelini. One week ago today, A.D. Jeff Long said Arkansas would have its new coach in 10-14 days.

4. Names linked to Tennesssee search: Mike Gundy, Charlie Strong, Jimbo Fisher, Al Golden. Search moves to New York City.

5. New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops left the field last night for the final time as Florida State’s defensive coordinator.  “Thank you, coach!”

6. Stoops lands in Lexington today. Deciding on a starting quarterback will be at the top of the agenda.

7. Pat Dooley: “I was a little puzzled by the hiring of Mark Stoops at Kentucky.”

8. North Carolina State has its new coach.  Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren accepted the position Saturday.

Bowl Projections

9. High level Georgia source: Bulldogs headed to Cotton Bowl or Capital One Bowl.

10. Late word Saturday was that Capital One wanted Texas A&M.  Cotton Bowl to decide between Georgia and LSU. Are Tigers the favorite?

11. This Louisiana writer agrees- Cotton for LSU. This Louisiana writer didn’t get the memo – he says Chik-Fil-A for the Tigers.

12. SI’s Stewart Mandel’s complete bowl projections has Vanderbilt slotted for the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. Jerry Palm has the Commodores in the Gator Bowl.

13. Why Mississippi State could be headed to Music City Bowl.

14. Alabama fans know where they are headed: “I respect the heck out of Notre Dame.”

15. Jeremy Fowler: “These two are meant for each other, and even SEC elitists should acknowledge it.”

SEC/College News

16. The Internet troublemaker known as the ampersand - and why it has Texas A&M officials worried about the Heisman vote.

17. Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief and the Internet sensation known as “Feed Moncrief.”

18. One writer’s players of the year and other informal postseason honors for the Florida Gators.

19. Some stadium renovations at Missouri may be completed a year earlier than planned.

20. One man’s AP Top 25 ballot.  Here’s another one.

21. Man falls 4o-feet at ACC Championship game. Transported to hospital with “life-threatening injuries.” 

 SEC Basketball

22. Baylor 64 – Kentucky 55. Baylor snaps UK’s 55-game home winning streak. John Calipari now 54-1 at Rupp.

23. Cincinnati 58 – Alabama 56.  Tide lose game on a buzzer-beater.

24.  Missouri 72 – Applachian State 56. Laurence Bowers matches his career-high with 23 points as Tigers move to 6-1.  An insufficient punishment for coach Frank Haith?

25. Ole Miss 80 – Rutgers 67.  Murphy Holloway and Reggie Buckner post double-doubles as Rebels move to 6-0.

26. Providence 73- Mississippi State 63. State now 0-5 in games away from Humphrey Coliseum.

27. Villanova 62 – Vanderbilt 52. Commodores now 2-4, worst start since the 1988-89 season.

28. Texas A&M 70 – Houston 59. Aggies go to 6-1 behind 26 points from Elston Turner.

29. South Carolina plays Clemson today.  Fifth-year senior LaShay Page is a steady influence for the Gamecocks.

30. LSU is hitting its free-throws when it matters most.

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SEC Bowl Schedule In Detail

Yesterday we noted that the Football Bowl Association had finalized its 2012-13 schedule of postseason games.  We provided you with a link to the master list as well.

But a few of you asked for an SEC-only breakdown of the games, so below are the contests that feature SEC tie-ins (including the BCS Championship Game which has basically become an additional SEC bowl).

We include day, date and time as well as broadcast network and the opponent’s conference affiliation.  Print it, save it, post it on the fridge:

 

Friday 12/28, 2:00pm ET on ESPN — AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

SEC vs ACC

 

Monday 12/31, 12:00pm ET on ESPN — Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

SEC vs ACC

 

Monday 12/31, 3:30pm ET on ESPN — AutoZone Liberty Bowl

SEC vs C-USA

 

Monday 12/31, 7:30pm ET on ESPN — Chick-fil-A Bowl

SEC vs ACC

 

Tuesday 1/1, 12:00pm ET on ESPN2 — TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

SEC vs Big Ten

 

Tuesday 1/1, 1:00pm ET either ESPN or ABC — Capital One Bowl

SEC vs Big Ten

 

Tuesday 1/1, 1:00pm ET either ESPN or ABC — Outback Bowl

SEC vs Big Ten

 

Tuesday 1/1, 8:30pm ET on ESPN — Allstate Sugar Bowl

SEC vs BCS Foe

 

Friday 1/4, 8:00pm ET on Fox — AT&T Cotton Bowl

SEC vs Big 12

 

Saturday 1/5, 1:00pm ET on ESPN — BBVA Compass Bowl

SEC vs Big East

 

Monday 1/7, 8:30pm ET on ESPN — Discover BCS National Championship Game

SEC? vs SEC? (Hey, it happened last year.)

 

Thoughts:

* As a new bowl day dawns in 2014, here’s hoping the SEC can dump a game against the ACC and pick up a game with the Pac-12.  All the SEC’s existing bowl tie-ins go bye-bye in two more years.  So movement/change is possible/likely.

* The SEC and Big 12 will launch the “Champions” Bowl in 2014 either as a stand-alone event or as a re-branded, rebuilt Sugar or Cotton Bowl.  When the playoff was first rubber-stamped, most believed that a merger was in the offing, probably with Jerry Jones’ Cowboys Stadium-based Cotton Bowl.  Since then, however, it’s looking increasingly like the conferences will indeed create the game on their own and bid it out to a different city each year.  Stay tuned.

* If the SEC and Big 12 want to partner up on another bowl game, St. Louis makes a heckuva lot of sense and there’s no question that city’s sports commission wants in on the bowl action.  If not the Big 12, then The Gateway to the West would serve as a good meeting ground for the SEC versus Pac-12 game we suggested above.

* The rationale behind the SEC and Big Ten scheduling three games opposite each other on New Year’s Day is obvious.  It’s called “roadblocking” in the television industry and it creates the impression that both leagues own New Year’s Day.  No matter where you flip from noon to 3pm ET, you’re probably going to see SEC and Big Ten teams.  But that doesn’t make it any better for the fans of those leagues who have to decide which game to watch, while missing out on two others.

* Here’s hoping the trend of non-BCS bowls being played between New Year’s Day and the BCS title game — I’m looking at you AT&T Cotton and BBVA Compass — will die out with the new playoff.  That’s probably not likely to happen, but here’s hoping.

 

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Spurrier Rips Offense For Poor Practice

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Steve Spurrier just complained about his team’s offense, especially its passing game.  Spring or fall, the Ol’ Ball Coach never lets up on his throwers and catchers.  Connor Shaw, welcome to Stephen Garcia’s world. 

Following practice yesterday in Columbia, Spurrier spilled his disgruntled guts:


“We had a sorry practice for the offensive guys.  They looked pretty pitiful, pretty sad, couldn’t block anybody.  As (linebacker) Damario Jeffery said, the defense whooped up.  They whooped offensive butt out here in shorts today.  Hopefully, we can get a little bit better on offense, but it was sad watching our guys try to play today.  Maybe we’re practicing too many quarterbacks.  They all looked pretty average.  But anyway, it was sort of sad watching (the) offense attempt to play today…

I’m thinking about closing practices so you people don’t have to watch us try to throw and catch.  I think we hit one out of 20 (in the passing skeleton drill with no pass rush).  It was ugly.  It was ugly.  But anyway, I guess that’s why you practice.  We’ve got to start throwing and catching better and see if we can look like a better passing team.  I see why coaches lose practice now.  They don’t want people to see how bad they are, I guess.  But we were lousy throwing today and hopefully we’ll get a little bit better as we go.”


When quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed and tailback Marcus Lattimore was shelved by injury mid-2011, the Gamecocks had to refinagle their offense to better utilize Shaw’s spread-option talents.  Over the final eight games of the season including a Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska, Shaw was able to rush for 485 yards and 8 touchdowns. 

However, Spurrier pulled back the reins on Shaw the passer allowing him to attempt just 18, 25, 12, 18, 20 and 17 passes over the Cocks’ final six games… very Spurrier-like numbers.  Call it the un-Fun-n’-Gun, but it worked as USC went 5-1 over that stretch (losing only the game in which Shaw put up 25 passes).

Carolina and Shaw will need to be better in the pass game in 2012 if they’re to contend for the SEC title.

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A Party Promotion Could Land USC’s Clowney, Whitlock In Deep “Doo Doo”

A Rock Hill, South Carolina business might have landed Gamecock stars Jadeveon Clowney and CC Whitlock in hot water with the NCAA.  Club Cascade is using photos of both players to promote its “Christmas X-Mas Eve Explosion.”  That’s a no-no.

The poster — photo at left, click the headline to enlarge — reads as follows:


“#TEAMCASCADE PRESENT

CAROLINA Christmas
X-MAS EVE Explosion
12.24.11

HOSTED BY CAROLINA GAMECOCKS OWN
CEE CEE WHITLOCK
& JADEVEON ‘DOO DOO’ CLOWNEY”


Etc, etc.

Wait.  What?

Jadeveon “Doo Doo” Clowney?  Good luck living that one down, Doo Doo.

As you probably know, it is a secondary violation for an athlete’s name or photo to be used to promote a business.  The State reports that Carolina compliance officials are “looking into” the poster.

Most likely, South Carolina compliance officials will tell “Cee Cee” and “Doo Doo” to avoid the party and they’ll then send a cease and desist letter to Club Cascade in the hopes of keeping Clowney and Whitlock eligible for the Capital One Bowl.

Whitlock is a senior defensive back.  Clowney was the SEC’s Freshman of the Year from his defensive end spot and he also made several freshman All-American teams.

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