Tag:SEC
Posted on: October 12, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:25 pm
 

Offense costing Gators more than wins?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The headlines folllowing LSU's 33-29 win over Florida Saturday were universally in the vein of "Les Miles's brand of crazy deserves its own entry in the DSM-IV," and with good reason, because Miles's brand of crazy does totally deserve his own entry in the DSM-IV.

But the Mad Hatter's endgame theatrics shouldn't have entirely overshadowed the number his defense did on the Gators, who were held to all of 242 total yards, 12 first downs, a miserable 4.0 yards per-play, and just one scoring drive longer than 17 yards. At home. The performance dropped Florida--only a top-3 offense in yards per-play for the past three seasons, when that Tebow kid was around--to an unthinkable 96th in total offense, 81st in yards per-play. The Gator fans baying for offensive coordinator Steve Addazio's blood kind of have a point.

But the bleacher rabble can be ignored. Gator recruits, not so much. And it doesn't sound like they're all that impressed with Addazio's work either:



That's not some run-of-the-mill recruit walking out on the Addazio show there, either; Mike Bellamy is a five-star, top-100 player that by most accounts has been the Gators' No. 1 target at running back for months, even after he committed to Clemson in June. Florida's recruitment of him is probably over. But Bellamy was always leaning elsewhere; what did Florida commitment A.C. Leonard, a four-star tight end out of Jacksonville, think of the performance?
Jacksonville University Christian tight end commit A.C. Leonard was in attendance Saturday, but according to a report from 247sports.com, he came away from Florida’s loss a little down on the Gators.

Leonard now says he’s down to three schools — Miami, Alabama and Florida.

When asked if he still considered himself committed to Florida, Leonard responded “Yeah, I guess.”

That's recruit-speak for "No, I am not actually committed in anything other than name." Your thoughts, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin?

With his size Benjamin could also be considered as a tight end, but Florida is recruiting him strictly as a wide receiver. That’s something Benjamin likes, and after watching how Florida lacked many big plays from the receiving unit, he sees that his services are needed.

What he was unsure of was how Florida’s offense looked. With a traditional passing quarterback, Benjamin expected to see a few more deep plays from the Gators.

“(The offense) was OK, but they didn’t throw the ball like I wanted them to,” he said.

Again, "OK" is recruit code for "horrifying."

This doesn't yet consititute a crisis, by any means -- it was just last February Urban Meyer and Gators were bringing in a class hailed my many recruitniks as the greatest of all-time -- but it's another step towards Florida's problems in attack reaching critical mass... and Meyer finding someone other than Addazio to run his offense.

Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
 

It's time to practice for Chris Rainey

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey hasn't been with the team since his arrest following a threatening text to a woman he used to date.  Rainey has since reached a settlement in the case, but had not returned to practice.

That has changed.

Rainey is back practicing with the Gators though he is yet to be fully reinstated to the team.  According to Urban Meyer, Rainey will have to meet certain conditions -- which the coach wouldn't state -- before he's allowed to play again for the Gators.  He will not be allowed to play for the team's game against Mississippi State this weekend.

“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”

No word on whether Meyer informed Rainey through a text message saying "time to practice."

Rainey also released a statement on Tuesday morning, the first time he's spoken publicly since his arrest.

“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,” said Rainey. “I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.”

The Mississippi State game will be the fifth game Rainey misses thanks to his arrest, and while we can't know for sure when he'll be back, considering that Florida has a bye next week before facing Georgia on October 30, I'd bet that's the game Rainey makes his return.

Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:14 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Alabama OL Fluker likely out for Ole Miss

Posted by Chip Patterson

Less than a week ago, nearly the entire nation was wondering if anyone would be able to topple the seemingly unstoppable Alabama Crimson Tide.  The fantasy ended in a 35-21 loss to South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday, and the charmed life of the Alabama football team has quickly come to a halt.  Whether it be head coach Nick Saban's foul tongue or wide receiver Julio Jones' broken hand, the news out of Tuscaloosa has not great since falling from the top of the mountain.  Jones wasn't the only offensive starter hurt against the Gamecocks, right tackle D.J. Fluker sustained a groin injury in the game and has already been ruled out for this week's matchup with Ole Miss.  

“D.J. Fluker has got a pretty severe groin injury that will probably keep him out at least a week,” Saban told reporters on Monday, “maybe longer, depending on how he responds to treatment ... McCulllough was the guy that went in the game. He’s the guy that has been sort of our swing, third tackle. He’ll move up as a starter.”

The Crimson Tide should find their rhythm again against the Rebels this weekend, regardless of the different health concerns.  Continued struggles would hint the beginnings of a complete unraveling, and this team is simply too good for that.  However, the Tide will need to find a way to overcome these struggles quickly if they plan on defending the SEC Championship on December 4 in Atlanta.  Luckily, they do still hold their own SEC West fate in their hands.  Alabama still has division leaders LSU and Auburn left on the schedule, and if the Tide can win out the worst case scenario would be a three-way tie for first place in the West.  With the first tiebreaker being head-to-head competition, Alabama would get the nod to compete for the SEC Championship.  While the loss to South Carolina may have put a national championship out of reach, they can still find a way to win the conference.  They just can't afford any slip ups along the way.

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 11:52 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 11:57 am
 

South Carolina students should be above the law

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's no question that a 35-21 victory over Alabama last weekend was one of the biggest wins in the history of South Carolina football.  Not only did the Gamecocks knock off the defending champions and top-ranked team in the country, but they solidified themselves as contenders in the SEC.  So it's not exactly surprising that the students at the game wanted to celebrate, and did so by running on to the field.

Once they were there, however, they were met by security and local police who weren't exactly happy to see them.  Which, according to one South Carolina student, Samuel Marx, resulted in some of the worst crimes against humanity in the history of mankind.  Marx was so appalled by what he saw that he did what any true patriot would do.

He wrote a letter to the school's student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock.
The officials will claim they were enforcing the Southeastern Conference's rule, which prohibits fans from storming the field at any athletic event, presumably to ensure the safety of players and fans alike. What took place instead was a gross abuse of authority. From my front row vantage point I witnessed a number of shocking events. The first student I saw successfully make it onto the field was seen just seconds later with blood pouring from his nose and mouth being escorted away by an officer. Another young man jumped the fence right in front me, and when an event staff member tried to simply push him back off the field, a police officer grabbed at him, trying to pull him back onto the field. Many of the officers armed themselves with Tasers and pointed them toward the crowd, and I can't even begin to mention the amount of students I watched get punched at and thrown violently to the ground.

What actually made me sick to my stomach was the manner in the security team celebrated their acts as if they had pulled off a more amazing feat than the football game itself. They taunted students and flexed their muscles, which only made the situation more hostile. When some students decided to voice their opinions - some more diplomatically than others - an officer threatened to kick the students out if they kept "running their mouths." This direct attack on the student body's First Amendment right to free speech took the air out of a once-vibrant student section and blemished a memory that Carolina fans will hold with them for the rest of their lives.
Okay, where do I begin with this?  First of all, let me say that I'm not for police beating the hell out of students for fun.  I just want to make that clear, but at the same time, Marx himself points out that it's illegal for students to rush the field in his very first sentence.  Just because you're happy that the football team won a game doesn't give you the right to break any laws or rules, and if you choose to do so, you're going to have to take responsibility for your actions.

Sometimes that means taking a shot to the face.

What really drives me nuts, or makes me sick to my stomach to borrow some of Marx's words, is his complete ignorance of what "freedom of speech" means.  Listen, you have the freedom to say what you like, but there is a limit to what can be said without consequence.  Saying "Alabama sucks" is perfectly fine, but saying something like "F*** you, pig" to a police officer is not. 

Still, Marx may be a bit ignorant on his rights, and what they mean, but the part of his letter that really gets me is this.
This standoff between hired officials and exited students was one that could have been easily avoided. The University could have chosen to follow suit with the University of Kentucky, which allowed field invasions three times in 2007 and accepted the collective fine of $80,000. If Carolina had allowed for the celebrations to take place, the school would have been hit with another fine after this year's $25,000 penalty for the on-court celebration of the basketball team's defeat of Kentucky. If you consider the fact that it costs one out-of-state, non-scholarship student roughly $160,000 to attend Carolina for four years, I'm pretty sure the school could have handled the minor setback.
Yes, how dare you, South Carolina.  How dare you not be willing to pay a $25,000 fine because some moron wants to run on the field.  We all know that $160,000 you collect from that one out-of-state, non-scholarship student goes straight to your bank account and isn't spent on things like faculty or facilities.  Why, if the students want to burn the entire campus to the ground, you should pay for the gasoline and matches, and then clean it up afterward.  You owe them that for the privilege of having them on your campus, and for them allowing you to teach them and give them an education.

So to summate Mr. Marx's letter, the fact that South Carolina won a football game means that students should not be subjected to any laws, and that the school should be willing to pay for any fines accrued from any of the laws the students shouldn't have to follow and feel like breaking.

While some of the students on the field may not have deserved to be tased or hit, I think I know one student who does.


Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:25 pm
 

UGA: King's arrest could mean time for frosh RB

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE 12:08 ET: Caleb King has been suspended two games by head coach Mark Richt in response to his arrest for failing to appear in court.  It is expected that true freshman Ken Malcome will play, splitting the running back duties with starter Washaun Ealey.   

"I expect all our players to take care of their responsibilities on and off the field," said Richt in a university release. "When players don't do that it damages the reputation of the player, our team, and our university. My goal is for Caleb to learn a lesson and for other players to learn from his experience."

-------------------

With Caleb King's arrest on Monday morning, much of the attention in Georgia has refocused on off-field issues with King being the 11th player arrested from this year's squad.  King was arrested for failure to appear in court after a speeding ticket, certainly not the worst of his Bulldog teammates, but still not the idea result after getting pulled.  Of the other 10 players arrested this season, four have been dismissed and most of the others have resulted in at least a one game suspension.  King's situation is the first traffic related incident, though some sort of punishment is expected.  

Head coach Mark Richt did not address the situation in terms of revealing what kind of punishment would be handed down, though he hinted that a combination of the arrest and Carlton Thomas' injury may result in the first playing time for freshman Ken Malcome.

“There’s a good chance that happens,” Richt said on his radio show Monday evening. “We’re not saying for 100 percent certain he will, but the situation that Caleb has gotten himself into and the fact that [tailback] Carlton Thomas’ hamstring may or may not be ready by the end of the week, it may be that Ken has to play.”

Malcome, a highly touted four-star recruit, has yet to see action for the Bulldogs. The in-state running back was one of the big wins for Richts 2010 class, with Malcome choosing the Bulldogs over Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama, among others.

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 5:04 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 5:11 pm
 

A letter about Nick Saban's use of foul language

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Coach Nick Saban:

I'm writing in regards to your comments made Monday afternoon about your team's performance thus far this year:

"The focus is not on what you need to do to be successful," Saban said. "It's drinking the Kool-Aid, thinking that just because they say it on ESPN, it's so, reading the newspapers all week. Just because you beat Florida 31-6, people start talking about you being the best team in the country. We're not the best team in the country. ...We had the best team in the country last year. We proved it. We proved it over 14 games. This team hasn't proved s***. Excuse my language. That's how I feel about it. I'm really upset that I used bad language. I'm sorry. I'm sure I'll get some letters on that, and should."

Indeed you will, for this is one of those letters.

As a football coach, you are held to high standards of performance and professionalism. You are a role model, not only to your football players and assistant coaches, not only to all Alabama fans, but to all football fans, young and old. You are tasked with upholding that responsibility every time you appear in public, whether that is on or off the field.

As such, your use of language on Monday was distressing and disturbing. That type of amateurish, juvenile use of language cannot be tolerated by any football coach, much less a man of your prominence, and I demand an immediate retraction, apology, and correction.

What every self-respecting adult knows you should have said is as follows:

We proved it over 14 games. This team hasn't proven s***. Excuse my language.

Everything else is completely correct.

Best wishes,
Concerned Grammarian

Posted on: October 11, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Meyer: Gators 'haven't given everything yet'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Florida Gators find themselves in an unusual position, as they've lost two straight games and find themselves looking up at South Carolina in the SEC East.  Quite frustrating for a team that has grown accustomed to winning, and winning often, under Urban Meyer.   Of course, the Gators head coach is frustrated as well, saying during his press conference on Monday that his team hasn't "given everything yet."

"I told the team it was that far [from winning]," Meyer told reporters while holding his thumb and index finger a few inches apart. "Who in this room right now who is devastated could give that much more to find a way to win that game? Obviously there's a bunch of guys who gave everything they had, but there's still a bunch of guys that haven't given everything yet. That's kind of what we have to identify and address and get better.  We've got to find a way to get that."

There's no question that Florida has a lot more talent on its roster than it has displayed so far this season, but Meyer's perceived lack of effort along with injuries have proved problematic.  Not to mention the off the field issues.  There's also the fact that the Gators don't exactly have a quarterback who fits the system they're trying to run in John Brantley.

Which is just my way of saying that while effort might be a problem, I think there's a lot more at work here, starting with the coaching.  As I said last week, until the Gators coaches adjust to what they have instead of trying to force the players to adjust to them, there are going to be problems in Gainesville this season.

Maybe Meyer needs to give a little more.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 11:23 am
 

Caleb King jailed on Monday morning

Postedy by Tom Fornelli

Mark Richt woke up on Sunday morning with a smile on his face.  The sun was brighter, the flowers smelled better and his breakfast was tastier than it had been in months.  He finally had a victory to celebrate and got to spend a day not worrying if his team's latest loss would cost him his job.

He got a whole 24 hours to be happy. 

Then on Monday morning he found out that his running back Caleb King was in jail for failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket.  King was pulled over for doing 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on June 20, and had a court date for the ticket on August 6.  Which, obviously, he didn't show up for and had a warrant issued for his arrest.

"I was hoping that someone would pay his bond up there in Clarke County and we wouldn't even have to pick him up," said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman early Monday morning. "But as of right now, no one has paid it, so I've got a deputy en route to pick him up."

According to a Georgia spokesman, Mark Richt is aware of King's arrest and is "continuing to gather information."  King is the eleventh Georgia football player to be arrested since March, and though speeding isn't exactly a terrible crime, it's not something Richt wants to deal with at the moment either.

King has rushed for 228 yards and a touchdown for Georgia this season.
 
 
 
 
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