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No SEC Schools Pull The Double: Bowl Game And NCAA Bid

either_orThe SEC has reputation for being a football-first conference.  A quick check of the numbers shows by: 10 of 14 schools reached gridiron bowl games last season.  Just three of 14 SEC basketball squads made the NCAA Tournament.  And now check out the following list of schools and conferences (courtesy of


Arizona (Pac-12)

Kansas State (Big 12)

UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt)

Louisville (AAC)

Michigan State (Big Ten)

Nebraska (Big Ten)

North Carolina (ACC)

Oklahoma (Big 12)

Pittsburgh (ACC)

San Diego State (Mountain West)

Syracuse (ACC)

UCLA (Pac-12)


That’s a listing of the 13 schools who did reach a bowl in football and the NCAA tourney in basketball.  You’ll notice that the other four power conferences — ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 — all had at least one team with multi-sport success.

The SEC’s three Big Dance participants this year all failed to make hey during the fall.  Florida was a disappointment, Tennessee and Kentucky are rebuilding (still).

The year before, two SEC members succeeded on the court and on the field: Florida and Ole Miss.  Missouri missed out on a bowl though the Tigers did land a tourney bid.  The league put nine teams into bowl games.

Now, as Andy Kennedy correctly suggested last week, a bowl game at 6-6 shouldn’t be viewed that much differently than an NIT bid and vice versa.  But for a league with a football-first rep, there hasn’t been much proof the last two years that SEC schools can succeed in the two major sports at once.  Nineteen bowl bids.  Six NCAA bids.  Only two of those six going to teams who also went bowling.

It hasn’t always been this way in the SEC, of course.  But there sure appears to be a gap between football and basketball now.

Sidenote — With Auburn’s hire of Bruce Pearl, how long before he and Gus Malzahn lead “Up-Tempo U” to a bowl and the NCAAs in the same year?


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Gus Malzahn: “Very Excited About This Class”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn meets the media to discuss National Signing day 2014.

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Auburn Snares OG Smith

PLAYER UPDATEAuburn has landed big-time offensive lineman Braden Smith from the state of Kansas.  He was the #1 high school player in his home state and the 4-star guard ranks #3 at his position nationally, according to

Texas A&M and TCU were also hot on Smith’s trail, but Gus Malzahn and the Tigers bagged him.

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Auburn’s Malzahn Motivated To Get The Tigers Back To The Title Game

gfx-they-said-it4This season there won’t be any worrying about BCS computer scores or pollsters’ votes.  The two teams reaching football’s national championship game will have played their way into the ultimate game by way of a new four-team playoff whose field will be set by a panel of — and this is still up for debate — gridiron experts.

For Auburn, the journey to the first College Football Playoff has already kicked off down on the Plains.  Gus Malzahn has admitted that he’s had a hard time getting over his squad’s last-minute loss to Florida State in this year’s title showdown.  His boss — Auburn AD Jay Jacobs — sees his coach’s frustration… as well as his determination to be one-minute better in the upcoming season:


“He’s having a hard time putting it behind him.  It’s hard to say he’s more resilient now, because of how he was, but he’s got the throttle pressed all the way to the floor, trying to push it through the floor.  He can’t get back there quick enough.”


Malzahn won numerous Coach of the Year honors in guiding Auburn to a 12-2 record just one year removed from Gene Chizik’s 3-9 mark.  This year the Tigers will go from being the hunter to the hunted.  And as we point out so often, there’s not been a repeat SEC champion since 1997-98.  To work his way back into the playoff and then the title game this fall, Malzahn had better have the pedal to the metal.

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SEC Headlines 1/18/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Mississippi State has reportedly given a contract extension to defensive coordinator Geoff Collins who was being courted by Florida State.

2. Ticket prices going up at Mississippi State.

3. Gus Malzahn wins the  Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award -his  sixth national coach of the year award.

4. With new Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt making $850,000 a year, expect offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s contract to be revisited.

5. University of Kentucky receiver DeMarco Robinson arrested early Friday -charged with disorderly conduct.

6. Alabama running back Alvin Kamara will reportedly transfer.

7. Is AJ McCarron’s public image taking a beating?

8. Will Josh Holsey be a cornerback or safety for Auburn this fall?

SEC/College News

9. Division I administrators support the idea of giving the power conferences autonomy on issues such as stipends for athletes.

10. A Mississippi house bill would pay football players for bowl games after they graduate.

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Gus Malzahn On His Team: “Our Players Are Excited About Practicing”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn answers questions from the media following Saturday’s practice.

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SEC Headlines 12/24/2013

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Georgia suspends two defensive backs for the Gator Bowl.  Starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and cornerback Sheldon Dawson will miss the game due to violation of “team regulations.”

2. Georgia reserve quarterback Christian LeMay and former Bulldog safety Shaquille Fluker reportedly transferring to Jacksonville State.

3. Suspended Alabama defensive end LaMichael Fanning will reportedly transfer to Jacksonville State. Made news in 2012 for slamming Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough to the turf.

4. Former LSU running back Jeryl Brazil headed to East Mississippi Community College.

5. Florida coach Will Muschamp interviewed Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper on Monday. Roper began his coaching career at Tennessee.

6. More honors for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn – named on Monday as the Associated Press Coach of the Year.

7. Five former coaches at Tulsa have left and gone on to win national titles at other schools in the last 20 years. Gus Malzahn was Tulsa’s offensive coordinator in 2007.

8. South Carolina running back Mike Davis trying to get healthy for the bowl game.  ”I hope I’ll be 100 percent by the time we get to Florida.”

9. Will he or won’t he?  Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy weighs the pros and cons of leaving school early for the NFL draft.

10. Mike Davis and Missouri’s defense are among the groups with the most to prove in the bowl games.

11. The Liberty Bowl will be the last game at Ole Miss for backup quarterback Barry Brunetti: “With the opportunity I had, I fulfilled it.”

12. One way to gauge interest in bowl games? Look at hotel search data.

13. Some questions and answers about college football’s new playoff format that will start next season.

SEC Basketball

14. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein on coming back after the Christmas break to play Louisville: “It’s the worst scheduling ever. That’s my opinion.”

15. Kentucky has had a heavy reliance on first-year players against Louisville in recent years.

16. When Arkansas returns from Christmas break, Razorbacks will have two more games before beginning conference play.

17. Seth Davis: “ I usually caution against overreacting to one bad game, but Tennessee’s loss at home to N.C. State was as bad as they come.”


18. Mack Brown was forced out at Texas after University of Texas president Bill Powers abruptly withdrew his support.

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Auburn’s Malzahn Starts Collection Of Coach Of The Year Trophies

gus-malzah-trophiesLet the accolades roll in.  First-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is winning honors and awards left and right these days.  First came SEC Coach of the Year honors which were awarded to the coach by a vote of his peers.  Malzahn then picked up the Home Depot Coach of the Year award last week during ESPN’s college football awards show.

Yesterday, the Football Writers Association of America named Malzahn the winner of its Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.  Malzahn is just the third coach in the 57-year history of the award to win in his first year at a new school.  Accepting the award, Auburn’s coach said:


“This is a huge honor, and I’m very humbled to be named the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.  I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Robinson and looked up to him as a coach and as an individual.  I accept this award on behalf of our entire coaching staff and players, which have done an outstanding job this year getting our program turned around.”


So eloquent it almost sounds like a press release, no?

But wait, there’s more.  Malzahn was named today as’s Coach of the Year, too.

At this rate, Auburn’s going to take home every Coach of the Year award, both showcases from “The Price Is Right,” and a home game of “Tic-Tac-Dough.”  Not that he doesn’t deserve all that and more after what he’s done on the Plains this season.


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Franklin, Malzahn, Miles And Muschamp — Who Would Texas Want And Who Would Want Texas?

silhouette-question-markWhen it comes Texas football, — the site covering the Longhorns — has built a reputation for knowing what’s what.  Last week the site reported that Mack Brown was a goner.  Despite a bumpy ride, by week’s end the longtime Texas coach was indeed announcing his retirement.

So when it comes to that school’s wish list of replacements, where better to turn than back to Orangebloods?  (Paywall warning.)  We’ll not get into their whys and hows, but their list of possible Texas coaches includes:


Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Les Miles, LSU

David Shaw, Stanford

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Art Briles, Baylor

Will Muschamp, Florida

Charlie Strong, Louisville

James Franklin, Vanderbilt

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Gary Patterson, TCU

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern


That’s a long list that doesn’t include Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, who many believe would be a top choice (strengthening Texas while hurting a Big 12 rival).

You’ll note that there are four SEC coaches on that list and we’ll tackle each one below.

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Gus Malzahn – SEC Championship Pre-Game Press Conference

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn meets with the media Friday afternoon in Atlanta ahead of Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Missouri.

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