Tag:SEC
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:21 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 4:56 pm
 

Muschamp gets one year contract extension

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Will Muschamp's first season at Florida wasn't as good as Gators fans had become accustomed to under Urban Meyer, but the Gators did finish the season with a 7-6 mark and a victory over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. It may not have been a great season, but apparently the school saw enough to warrant giving Muschamp an extension on his contract.

The Sporting News originally reported the extension, and the school has since confirmed that it has tacked on an additional year to the five-year deal he signed last year. The sixth year doesn't include a raise on the $2.75 million salary Muschamp agreed to in his original deal, but it does mean he's going to be in Gainesville through the 2016 season.

“We’re building something long-term here,” Muschamp told The Sporting News. “We have an incredible amount of support from our administration. On a scale of 1-10, we’re an 11 right now as far as excitement about where we’re headed.” 

Maybe now that Muschamp has the added year of security with the Gators he'll ponder buying Urban Meyer's old house. It's on the market and comes Florida-loaded.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:35 pm
 

VIDEO: Brett McMurphy talks playoff system

Posted by Chip Patterson

CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy and Dennis Dodd have been reporting from the BCS meetings this week in Dallas, as many of the decision-makers in college football debate the best postseason format for the sport.

The 11 conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, two BCS officials and a BCS attorney have begun discussing the possibility of a plus-one format to determine the BCS National Champion. The current BCS contract ends after the 2013-14 season, allowing for a new format beginning with the 2014 regular season.

On Friday, Brett McMurphy joined Tim Brando to discuss the momentum behind the BCS plus-one format.



For more from Brett on the BCS meetings, check out his blog, McMurphy's Law.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:33 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 12:39 pm
 

NCAA approves new kickoff rules, other changes

Posted by Chip Patterson

The NCAA announced on Friday the approval of rules changes in college football, including moving the kick off from the 30-yard line to the 35.

While the ball will be kicked from the 35, players on the kicking team can't line up for the play behind the 30-yard line. According to the NCAA, this is intended to limit the running start kicking teams used to have during the play.

Also, touchbacks on free kicks (kickoffs and punts after a safety) will be moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20. Touchbacks on all other plays will remain at the 20-yard line. According to the Football Rules Committee, this change is meant to encourage more touchbacks from the receiving team.

These changes are a result from examining NCAA data that showed injuries occur more often on kickoffs than in any other phase of the game. By encouraging touchbacks they will limit the amount of times the play is used, especially as higher scoring (see: Big 12) has resulted in more kickoffs.

Another rule change announced Friday could end up affecting games, possibly even more so than the kickoff rules. According to the NCAA, if a player loses his helmet on the play - facemasks and fouls don't count - he must sit out the next play.

Here is the wording from the NCAA release:

Another new rule that goes into effect next season is if a player loses his helmet (other than as the result of a foul by the opponent, such as a facemask), it will be treated like an injury. The player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play.

Current injury timeout rules guard against using this rule to gain an advantage from stopping the clock. Additionally, if a player loses his helmet, he must not continue to participate in the play, in order to protect him from injury.

If a quarterback or running back loses his helmet late in the fourth quarter of a close game, you can bet coaches will be screaming for flags. Sometimes helmets just pop off, and there could be cases where there is no threat of injury. Regardless, that player must sit out the next play.

Two more adjustments announced on Friday:

The rules panel also approved new wording in the football rules book regarding blocking below the waist. Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions (for example, straight-ahead blocks).

There will also be a new rule prohibiting players from leaping over blockers in an attempt to block a punt. Receiving-team players trying to jump over a shield-blocking scheme has become popular for teams in punt formation. Receiving-team players try to defeat this scheme by rushing into the backfield to block a punt. In some cases, these players are contacted and end up flipping in the air and landing on their head or shoulders.
 
At the core, all of these changes are meant with the intent of improving player safety. As more medical research reveals dangerous aspects of the sport, changes such as these will be necessary to keep football thriving.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:59 am
 

Are these the new Mizzou uniforms?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Simply moving to the SEC isn't enough for Missouri football. Much like when you get a new job, or you're going on a date with a new beau, you find some new clothes to wear. And that's exactly what Missouri seems to be doing.

The school plans on debuting some new jerseys on April 14th, but before it does anything official, it's teasing the fan base a bit. Missouri posted a video of former Missouri wide receiver and current Philadelphia Eagle Jeremy Maclin getting a look at the new jerseys. Well, one Mizzou fan went through the video frame by frame and took as many screengrabs as he could to try and piece things together.

Judging by one of the photos -- a photo that is intentionally left blurry by the school -- it seems that yellow jerseys are definitely in play for the Tigers next season, as well as a new helmet.





If all that isn't enough, how about some tiger stripes?



Again, while there's nothing here that gives a definitive look at what the jerseys are going to look like, if you look at all the different photos available in the video, you can get a pretty good idea of what Missouri will be wearing during its first season in the SEC.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:08 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:10 pm
 

30 BCS schools vote against scholarship proposal

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The new NCAA legislation allowing schools to offer multiple-year scholarships to athletes only narrowly survived its recent override vote, with only two of the 330 votes cast needing to have swung the other way to have nixed the legislation, despite the support of NCAA president Mark Emmert. The overwhelming majority of support for the override came -- as expected -- from non-BCS or mid-major schools worried over the potential increase in costs.

But a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education shows that a healthy portion of BCS conference schools also voted for the override. According to this NCAA document obtained by the Chronicle, 30 different current and future BCS members supported the override, including the entire Big 12. The Big 12 was also the only BCS conference that exercised its institutional vote in favor of the override.

The Big Ten was the conference most solidly in opposition to the override, with only Wisconsin voting in favor. Among the other high-profile programs voting against multiple-year scholarships were Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. After the Big 12, the conference with the most votes in favor of the overrides was the ACC, with five. (The Big East did have six override votes if future members Boise State, Navy and San Diego State are included.)

As for that 30 vote tally, the opinion here is that that's only slightly fewer than 30 too many. It's one thing for cash-strapped mid-majors or even BCS schools on a notably tight budget -- say, Rutgers or Colorado, both of whom supported to override -- to oppose a measure they would struggle to afford, giving more cash-flush schools an instant recruiting advantage. It's another for programs like the Longhorns, Bayou Bengals, Volunteers and Sooners -- all of whom the Chronicle names as four of the 10 wealthiest athletics departments in the country -- to attempt to vote it down when they have the kinds of budgets that will barely flinch under the new scholarship burden. The motivation in Austin, Baton Rouge, Knoxville and Norman isn't that they can't hand out four-year scholarships, it's that they simply don't want to. 

Of course, the legislation doesn't mean any school -- BCS, mid-major, or otherwise -- is required to offer multiple-year scholarships. But since that might put the schools that don't at a recruiting disadvantage against schools that do, the Texases (and USCs, and Alabamas) have tried to prevent anyone from offering them.

In short: because these schools don't want to promise their athletes a full four-year college education, they've decided the athletes at other schools shouldn't have the benefit of that promise, either. 

A full BCS conference-by-conference breakdown of votes in favor of the override:

ACC: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia

Big East: Boise State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Navy, Rutgers, San Diego State

Big 12: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU, Texas, West Virginia

Big Ten: Wisconsin

Pac-12: Arizona, Cal, Colorado, USC

SEC: Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 3:12 pm
 

Garcia hoping "honesty" helps him to shot in NFL

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Stephen Garcia is hopeful for a shot with the NFL despite his mistake-plagued, alcohol-hampered past. And part of earning that shot may be accepting that the responsibility for that past falls entirely on himself.

"I've learned how immature I really was," Garcia told Scout.com NFL reporter Aaron Wilson in a lengthy, detailed interview. "I just didn't know exactly how important everything was until after I made all of those mistakes. I was trying to be like every other college kid, but you can't do that as a starting quarterback for an SEC team. Looking back, it sucks. I have nobody to blame but myself."

A native of Lutz, Florida, Garcia recently played in the "Battle of Florida" all-star game and said he spoke to scouts from multiple NFL teams there, including one from the Atlanta Falcons. Garcia said he was as up front as possible with the scout about his time at South Carolina.

"I went down the list and he said he appreciated the honesty," Garcia said. "He told me to stay on that track, and I will. I just wish I had changed earlier. I didn't fully understand until it was too late. I'm doing everything I can to do things the right way."

Garcia's trying to impress the pros with more than his candor, though. He said he's been working out with former Arena League quarterback John Kaleo in preparation for the Gamecocks' pro day, sharpening his mechanics and improving his accuracy.

But Garcia still faces an uphill battle to be drafted -- CBSSports.com's draft ratings call him the No. 26 QB in his class, and expect him to have to sign as a free agent -- and any prospect who admits he will have to "prove that I'm not an alcoholic" isn't going to be one teams will beat down the doors to take a flyer on.

"It's kind of stressful because I don't know where the hell I'm going to be," Garcia said. "Hopefully, I'm playing in the NFL in the fall. Nothing's guaranteed. It's a waiting game. Nobody likes waiting around, but it is what it is. My head is clear. I'm more focused, and I'm ready to take on this next step in my life."

That step may or may not prove to be the step Garcia wants it to be. But if the remorse and maturation he expresses throughout the interview is genuine, that might be a bigger step than a chance at professional football would be anyway.

For more of Garcia's comments -- on Steve Spurrier, fatherhood, his insistence that he doesn't have "a drinking problem" -- read the full Taylor interview. It's well worth your time. 

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:17 pm
 

Mizzou increases ticket prices for SEC move

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The biggest change for Missouri's athletics programs and its football team can be summed simply: they're moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. But there's a ton of other smaller changes that go along with that big change, and Tiger fans and boosters are going to feel several of them in the wallet.

That's the takeaway from this open letter from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden to "Tiger Nation" addressing the "5 basic areas on which we see those challenges" arising in the SEC. Among those are "Facilities," "Operational Costs," and other areas which will require an increase in the athletic budget.

Towards that end, Alden announced that the Tigers would implement "an increase in ticket prices in football across the board," faculty and students excepted. Those prices will fall in the "middle of the pack" for the SEC.

Missouri will also add seating to their south end zone -- including moving the band into the "southeast corner of the student section" -- and increasing the level of "minimum donations" to the Tiger Scholarship Fund. Season ticket holders grandfathered in from before required donations will also now have to make some level of donation to keep those tickets, beginning in 2013.

In short: SEC membership doesn't come with a free bumper sticker, but if it did, it would be "Expensive but worth it."

The financial effort might be the most immediate fallout from the SEC decision, but Alden's letter also announced several more:

  • The Tigers will debut their "re-branding" of their Nike-produced uniforms, which will "focus much more on our [Tiger] logo than the 'block M.'" We are both excited and afraid.
  • Faurot Field will undergo some major changes, including a new artificial turf surface (at a cost of $1.5 million) and a shift from "Missouri" to "Mizzou" in each end zone. And of course, the SEC logo will adorn the field as well.
  • Tickets allotted for visiting fans will be increased from approximately 3,800 to 6,000, because, well, to put it simply, Georgia is going to want more than 3,800 tickets.
HT: TeamSpeedKills.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:02 pm
 

VIDEO: Barnhart on Arkansas-LSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

From a national perspective, the big news to come out of Arkansas's final 2012 schedule was the home-and-home series with Rutgers, the first time an SEC team has ever agreed to visit the Piscataway, N.J. school. But closer to home, the key development was the Razorbacks moving their annual "Battle for the Boot" rivalry game against LSU from its traditional home at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium to their on-campus stadium on Fayetteville.

In this video, CBS Sports' Tony Barnhart visits the Tim Brando Show to discuss the twin reasons -- more seating, and better recruiting --that "the LSU-Arkansas game will never go back to Little Rock," despite the near-20 years' worth of tradition there between the Hogs and Tigers:

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com