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Franklin, Pinkel, Nussmeier… SEC Coaches Keep Getting Tied To Open Washington Job

washington-logoFor the moment, Doug Nussmeier remains Alabama’s offensive coordinator.  But multiple reports are suggesting that Nussmeier is a front-runner for the Washington coaching job, along with Boise State darling Chris Petersen.  If those are the Huskies’ top two candidates, Bama fans can probably say goodbye to Nussmeier.  Petersen flirts but never accepts any school’s offer.  And Nussmeier has reportedly expressed interest in the job.

Nussmeier served as Steve Sarkisian’s offensive coordinator from 2009 through 2011 when Nick Saban came calling.  He replaced Jim McElwain who left Bama to become the head coach at Colorado State.  Nussmeier currently makes $680,000 in Tuscaloosa.

But Alabama’s OC is not the only SEC coach who’s had his name attached to the Washington gig.  Missouri’s Gary Pinkel was mentioned as a potential candidate on Monday.  When asked if he would be interested in the job once held by Don James — Pinkel’s coaching mentor — the feisty coach simply shut things down with a “press conference is over” and left the podium.

Today, however, he told ESPN radio that he would remain at Mizzou.  (Funny to think that Pinkel entered the season on the hot seat with many Tiger fans “tired” of him.)

James Franklin’s name briefly bubbled to the surface but that story has failed to gain traction to date.  Southern Cal didn’t make a run at Franklin though most expected them to.  If Washington doesn’t come knocking on his door, either, it might show that the Vanderbilt rape case is making potential suitors leery of the man who turned Vandy football around.  Attorneys defending one of the accused ex-Commodore players recently requested copies of all the text messages sent between the players and coaches during the period of the cover-up.

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Nick Saban: “Need To Improve The Way We Prepare”

Alabama coach Nick Saban meets the media the Monday after the victory over Colorado State and looks forward to this weekend’s game against Ole Miss.

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Texas A&M Shakes Off Loss To Alabama, Crimson Tide Shake Up Lineup In Win Over Colorado State

postgame-linksTexas A&M 42 – SMU 13. Video Highlights

1. Aggies rebound behind Johnny Manziel’s 244 passing yards and 102 rushing yards.

2. A&M’s “other” receiver – Malcome Kennedy – leads the Aggies with six catches for 83 yards.  Kevin Sumlin: “He’s playing at a really, really high level.”

3. Starting kicker Taylor Bertolet misses consecutive extra points in the first half, replaced with Josh Lambo.

Alabama 31 – Colorado State 6. Video Highlights

4. Alabama’s offense struggles - 17-6 lead at end of third quarter.  Guard Kellen Williams: ”Today was pretty somber.”

5. Colorado State coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain: “We challenged our guys to come in here and go toe-to-toe.”

6. T.J. Yeldon suspended for first quarter, wide receiver Amari Cooper doesn’t play at all (toe injury) and Nick Saban shakes up the lineup in the secondary. Safeties Jarrick Williams and Nick Perry were both on the sideline without pads 

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SEC Gameday Links: Saturday Night Lights 9/21/2013

gameday-linksSMU at Texas A&M

1. Be bitter or get better?  That’s the choice facing the Aggies after the loss to Alabama.

2. Texas A&M needs to see improvement from its defense. Alabama scored two more points than A&M allowed last season in its first four games combined

Colorado State at Alabama

3. With running back T.J. Yeldon reportedly suspended for the first quarter, Nick Saban has made no secret he’s not happy about the discipline of this team.

4. Much of the talk this week hasn’t been about the team but the coach and a certain program in the Lone Star State.  ”Right now, Alabama is a better job, and it’s not close.”

5. As a 40-point favorite you want to start strong and then clear the benches.

Troy at Mississippi State

6. Mississippi State looks for its offense to perform all four quarters – only scored one touchdown in fourth quarter this year.

7. Quarterback Tyler Russell will be a game-time decision for the Bulldogs.

Auburn at LSU

8. Heavy rains in Baton Rouge – expect sloppy conditions tonight.

9. Can Auburn’s defense stop the LSU running attack?

10. With Gus Malzahn at Auburn and coordinator Cam Cameron at LSU, both teams have retooled their offenses.

11. Scott Rabalais; “You can tell LSU has been itching for a real fight.”

Missouri at Indiana

12. “If Mizzou can’t beat the Hoosiers — by far, the Big Ten’s most futile program over the last decade — how is it supposed to compete with the five nationally ranked SEC teams still on the schedule?”

13. The weekend’s highest scoring game?

14. Advantage Tigers?  Indiana has a banged-up offensive line.

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Report: Alabama Running Back T.J. Yeldon Suspended For First Quarter Saturday

Citing a source “close to the situation,” the Anniston Star says Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon will be suspended for the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Colorado State.    The reason?  His unsportsmanlike penalty in the Crimson Tide’s 49-42 win over Texas A&M last week.

The penalty came after a four-yard touchdown run near the end of the second quarter.  After scoring, Yeldon rubbed his fingers together in a money sign and then made a double throat-slashing gesture.

“I want to apologize to everyone for my selfish actions on Saturday,” Yeldon said in a statement released Monday.

Yeldon is the Tide’s leading rusher 224 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries this year. With or without Yeldon, Alabama is a huge favorite against Colorado State.  Here’s our game previews posted earlier this afternoon.

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Las Vegas Sports Book Has Alabama 3-Point Favorite Over Oregon

Sports BookOne survived on the road against a fellow SEC opponent.  The other one destroyed an SEC team on its home turf Saturday.  With Alabama and Oregon undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2, it was only a matter of time before people began talking about a matchup in a national championship game.

Preparing for a potential matchup, the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas has starting taking wagers with the Crimson Tide listed as a 3-point favorite over the Ducks.

Alabama is a heavy favorite Saturday (40 points in some places) against Colorado State.  Oregon is off this week and kicks off its conference schedule against Cal on September 28th.

This news comes on the same day another sports book says Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is now the favorite to win the Heisman.  He’s a (slight) favorite over Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Here’s how the top five candidates breakdown according to Bovada.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon: 9/2

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 5/1

AJ McCarron, Alabama: 13/2

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: 13/2

Jameis Winston, Florida State: 9/1

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is listed at 25-1.

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SEC Odds And Television Listings – 9/16/13

tv-remotesThe Southeastern Conference has released the television listings for this Saturday and the Saturday to follow.  We’ll show you this week’s schedule first, complete with early lines from Las Vegas (or offshore books).


September 21st

Vanderbilt vs UM at Foxboro — 12:00pm ET on ESPNews — Line: Vanderbilt -36 (now -31.5)

North Texas at Georgia — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network — Line: Georgia -36.5 (now -32.5)

Tennessee at Florida — 3:30pm ET on CBS — Line: Florida -15.5 (now 14)

Arkansas at Rutgers — 3:30pm ET on ESPN — Line: None yet (due to QB injuries)

Colorado State at Alabama — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2 — Line: Alabama -36.5 (now 39.5)

SMU at Texas A&M — 7:00pm ET on ESPNU — Line: Texas A&M -26.5 (now -28.5)

Troy at Mississippi State — 7:30pm ET on Fox Sports Net — Line: MSU -13 (now -15)

Auburn at LSU — 7:45pm ET on ESPN — Line: LSU -14 (now -16.5)

Missouri at Indiana — 8:00pm ET on Big Ten Network — Line: Missouri -5.5 (now -6)


September 28th

South Carolina at UCF — 12:00pm ET on ABC/ESPN/ESPNU

South Alabama at Tennessee — 12:21pm ET on SEC Network

LSU at Georgia — 3:30pm ET on CBS

Ole Miss at Alabama — 6:30pm ET on ESPN

Texas A&M at Arkansas — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2/ESPNU

Florida at Kentucky — 7:00pm ET on ESPN2/ESPNU

UAB at Vanderbilt — 7:30pm ET on Fox Sports Net

Arkansas State at Missouri — 7:30pm ET on CSS


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SEC Hoops: Missouri Bounced From NCAA Tourney

basketballsColorado State 84 — Missouri 72

1.  The Rams manhandled the Tigers, never allowing Mizzou to get within three points in the last 36 minutes of basketball.

2.  “The reality is that (Frank) Haith did a nice job of acquiring players to fill a depleted roster, but he did a poor job of turning that talent into a team that played with intelligence and toughness.”

3.  Last night’s lackluster curtain-dropper was a fitting finish to the Tigers’ season.


SEC Hoops today/NCAA Tournament

Ole Miss vs Wisconsin (12:40pm ET) and Florida vs Northwestern State (7:27pm ET)

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WOW Headlines – 3/22/13

Missouri fell 84-72 to Colorado State in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament
In postseason play the SEC is now 1-3 in NCAA and NIT action this year
Three Alabama reserves are no longer on the Crimson Tide football team as Nick Saban whittles his roster down to the 85-man scholarship limit
LSU will hold its first spring scrimmage tomorrow
Georgia QB Aaron Murray reported for spring practice eight pounds lighter than he weighed last season
Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork has been given a raise and a contract extension after his first year on the job
Ole Miss will spend $6 million on architects to design a new 10,000-seat basketball arena to replace the Tad Smith Coliseum
Today’s SEC action in the NCAA Tournament: Ole Miss vs Wisconsin at 12:40pm ET and Florida vs Northwestern State at 7:27pm ET

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More Bids And Better Seeds For The SEC? The League So Far Has Proven The Committee Correct

gfx - honest opinionThe Southeastern Conference has played four postseason games so far.  Kentucky lost at tiny Robert Morris.  Tennessee lost at home to tiny Mercer.  Missouri was about as much challenge to Colorado State last night as a tiny mouse to a big cat.

Half the SEC teams invited into the NCAA Tournament or NIT have been booted in their tourney’s first round.  (Sorry, NCAA, but we’re not going to call what’s really the first round the second just because you’ve stuck four play-in games in front of it.)

Ah, but Alabama knocked off Northeastern at home in its first NIT game.  Hurrah!  That’s the lone positive so far for the SEC.

Like it or not, unless Ole Miss and Florida both go on long, long tourney runs the rest of the nation will have its perception of the SEC — that it’s down — reinforced.  I would throw Alabama onto that list, but upsets make more of an impression on fans’ minds than who actually wins the NIT.  Can you even name last year’s champ?  (Stanford.)

Granted, Kentucky and Tennessee clearly had no interest of playing in a secondary tourney once their NCAA bubbles burst.  Unfortunately for them that point isn’t bolted to the box scores that have now been posted for all-time on hundreds of sports websites.  No one cares why they lost… just that they lost… to Robert Morris and Mercer.

Mizzou, well, it had no excuse.  The Tigers made the dance.  They faced a team from the Mountain West, a league that many of us down South said wasn’t worthy of five bids.  Well, as Charles Barkley said last night, the MWC was better at the top than the SEC this year.  Hell, it was probably better at the bottom, too, but that’s beside the point.  Missouri didn’t even bother to lead for 37 minutes and then choke the game away.  The Tigers looked like the lesser team from first tip to final buzzer.  So much for the SEC deserving one or two of the bids Mountain West teams received.

Amazingly, in our comment boxes have appeared this week suggestions that the NCAA selection committee chose to keep SEC teams out of the tourney because of a Northern bias.  We’ve also seen it proposed that dissing the SEC is a way for the NCAA to send money to other conferences who don’t win in football.  Riiiiiight.

Odd that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva — who was on this year’s committee — would help cover up such an anti-SEC conspiracy.  It’s equally odd that the last time the SEC got only three NCAA bids was in 2009 when league commissioner Mike Slive actually chaired the selection panel.  His response then: “We’ve got to schedule better.”

Clearly Slive must be a double-agent.  Perhaps he’s even a double-naught.  Probably got those Cuban cigars he loves from Castro his own self.

Hey, the SEC was shafted this season because it deserved the shaft.  A fourth SEC team could have gotten into the tourney.  Tennessee’s numbers made it bubble-worthy.  But Tennessee and the SEC didn’t get that fourth bid.  And Tennessee certainly didn’t set out to prove the committee wrong as it yawned its way through an embarrassing home loss in front of 5,000 people and a handful of crickets.

So let’s just stop all the whining and whimpering.  The SEC’s lack of bids doesn’t trace to a Free Masons plot.  It traces to a crummy non-conference schedule trumped only by a crummier non-conference record.

As for the NIT, sorry Arkansas fans, but the SEC’s overall suckitude in 2012-13 and so far in the postseason suggests once more that the Hogs shouldn’t be squealing about their omission from that tourney, either.  You guys finished behind the three SEC squads who’ve already slipped on banana peels.

If SEC fans want the league’s bid odds to improve next year, you better be pulling hard for Ole Miss today at 12:40pm ET (against Wisconsin) and for Florida tonight at 7:27pm ET (against Northwestern State).  So far the perception of a weak SEC has been reinforced in tournament play.  There’s only one way to change that perception going into next season — win some games with America watching.

Rebels and Gators, the SEC banner is in your hands.


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