Tag:SEC
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:12 pm
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Kiffin blames youth for conflict with Meyer

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Urban Meyer isn't making a lot of friends in his new digs in the Big Ten, which makes it all the more ironic that he's on better terms than ever with his old SEC archenemy, Lane Kiffin.

Meyer told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd recently that he and Kiffin "have conversations" and that each has apologized to the other over their conduct while at Florida and Tennessee, respectively. Those conversations were confirmed by Kiffin in a Tuesday interview with the Atlanta Jornal-Constitutionin which Kiffin blamed his behavior -- including smack talk aimed in Meyer's direction over the recruitment of Nu'Keese Richardson -- on the impetuousness of youth (emphasis added):

“Yeah, I’m glad Urban and I are where we are in our relationship. When you’re young, you make some mistakes. We’ve moved forward from that. Who would’ve guessed we are back at battling each other for recruits even though we’re a long ways away? I have tremendous respect for what Urban Meyer does.”

We'll take this opportunity to remind readers that Kiffin made his remarks about Richardson ("I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him") three whole years ago, when Kiffin was a mere 33 years of age--far from the grizzled, world-weary 36-year old he is now. 

But snark aside, even if Kiffin isn't actually that much older than he was during his Volunteer tenure, his relationship with Meyer seems to show that he has gotten more mature. Which is not to say he's lost any of his talent for clever remarks in front of a microphone, saying of the Vols' notorious loss to Kentucky (and his reputation among Vol fans),  "I’m sure somebody somewhere blamed me for that."

A Lane Kiffin with all of his old coaching acumen and overall shrewdness, but without the petty childish distractions and torrent of secondary violations? Maybe that doesn't have a lot to do with USC's likely preseason No. 2 ranking ... but it's sure not hurting, either.

Kiffin's Trojans will start spring practice March 6. See when your team starts their camp or plays their spring game with our handy database of spring dates 

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:36 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Urban Meyer's Gainesville home is for sale



Posted by Tom Fornelli

You there, with the $1.7 million just burning a hole in your pocket. Yes, you. Stop sitting around not spending that money! Aren't you tired of living where you live right now? Wouldn't you rather live in lovely Gainesville, Florida?

I mean, Gainesville is a great place to live. It's got humidity, tropical storms, palmetto bugs the size of your head, the Butterfly Rainforest and a Chipotle.

It even has a bat house, which is a house full of bats. Who doesn't want to hang out in a house full of bats? Nerds, that's who.

Gainesville also has the house of former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer. An abode that is currently on the market and can be yours for the low, low price of $1.7 million.

Casa de Urban comes equipped with 6 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, a 3-car garage and an indoor pool all on nearly 2 acres of land. It also has a lot of Gator-centric decor.

And it can all be yours! 

I mean, just look at these photos. Who can say no to this?

 





So what are you waiting for? Buy this thing while you still can. Just get in touch with Todd Shealy and it can all be yours. Tell him Eye On College Football sent you. It won't get you a discount or anything, but it's the right thing to do.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:08 pm
 

Arkansas, A&M to meet on campus next two years



Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In something of a surprise, the Arkansas-Texas A&M series will continue to be played as a neutral-site contest at Arlington's Cowboys Stadium--but only after a two-year on-campus hiatus.

The Razorbacks and Aggies had previously agreed to a 10-year nonconference series to be played at Jerry Jones' space palace, and after three meetings still had seven contests left on the contract. But with A&M joining the SEC and turning the series into an annual conference rivalry game, the Aggies were reportedly less excited about keeping the game off campus. But A&M athletic director Bill Byrne nonetheless announced Saturday that the 2012 meeting would be played at the Aggies' Kyle Field, with the 2013 matchup moving to Arkansas and the game returning to Cowboys Stadium in 2014.

The arrangement would appear to represent a compromise, with one Aggie official having said in December that A&M would "never" want to play the Razorbacks in Arlington again, thanks to an SEC regulation that prevents teams from hosting recruits at off-campus sites. But with Arkansas preferring to maintain an annual recruiting foothold in the Lone Star State, Bobby Petrino made no secret of his desire to keep the game at the neutral site.  

With a full three years still between Saturday's announcement and the two teams' return to Arlington -- and the issues that led to the move on campus for 2012 and 2013 not going way -- it's possible that some other hurdle might be thrown in the way of continuing the series at Cowboys Stadium. But for now, it looks like those remaining seven games will be played as originally planned.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:56 am
 

PHOTOS: Mardi Gras float mocks LSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you're an LSU fan, which is worse: losing the national title in a 21-0 humiliation at the hands of an Alabama team that's already probably your most hated rival, or showing up at a Friday night Mardi Gras parade for some good-natured fun and frivolity ... only to have a float roll by dedicated to rubbing that loss in your purple-and-gold face?

That was the dilemma posed by the brilliantly named "Le Krewe d'Etat" Friday, where they rolled past parade-goers in a float dedicated to the Tide's victory over the Tigers, complete with larger-than-life Bobby Hebert at the prow of the float and representations of Les Miles, Jarrett Lee and others surrounding the float. Photos of the float surfaced at the site MardiGrasParadeSchedule.comand they do not disappoint:





We'll be honest: losing the game was worse. But for LSU diehards in attendance Friday, this probably stung quite a bit all the same.

HT: Throw the Flag. More photos there.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:25 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 6:26 pm
 

Bill O'Brien finalizes first staff at Penn State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

New Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien has finalized his coaching staff for the 2012 season with the hire of Charlie Fisher as quarterbacks coach. Fisher joins the Nittany Lions after one season at Miami of Ohio as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“With the hiring of Charlie Fisher as quarterbacks coach, we have completed the Penn State football coaching staff,” O’Brien said in a release. “This is a staff made up of men who care about the mission of Penn State University and being successful on and off the field.  It is also a staff of winners, with five staff members that have been a part of national championship teams as assistant coaches.  This is a staff that has won many games; some while being a part of the same staff, and is a staff comprised of former head coaches, coordinators and tremendous recruiting experience.”

Fisher spent nine years on the Vanderbilt staff, the last five as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. While with the Commodores, he was helped with the development of quarterback Jay Cutler and coached the SEC's all-time receptions leader, wide receiver Earl Bennett. Fisher also had coaching stops at N.C. State, Temple and Eastern Kentucky.

Wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, running backs coach Charles London, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter, tight ends coach John Strollo, defensive coordinator Ted Roof, secondary coach John Butler, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden round out the Nittany Lions staff.

Penn State will start spring practice on March 26. The annual Blue-White spring game will be Saturday, April 21 in Beaver Stadium.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Arrested Gator TE A.C. Leonard suspended

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The latest Florida Gator to be arrested has also become the latest Gator to be suspended.

Rising sophomore tight end A.C. Leonard was suspended indefinitely by Florida head coach Will Muschamp Thursday, following Leonard's Wednesday evening arrest on charges of simple domestic battery.

"This behavior will not will be tolerated and A.C. has been suspended from team activities at this time," Muschamp said in a statement. "I certainly don't condone this type of behavior - it is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program."

That may be the case, but it's only fair to say that arrests of one kind or another are precisely what many other people expect from the University of Florida football program--Leonard's was the 10th arrest of a Gator since Muschamp's hire 14 months ago. And the details of this one are uglier than most: according to the account given to police by Leonard's girlfriend, Leonard knocked her over with a two-handed shove, attempted to drag her out of their apartment by her hair, did pull her out by grabbing both feet, then locked the door. She reportedly suffered abrasions on both arms.

Leonard was jailed overnight Wednesday and released on his own recognizance Thursday. A blue-chip prospect in Muschamp's inaugural 2011 recruiting class, he caught eight passes for 99 yards his freshman season.

In Muschamp's defense, of the nine Gators arrested during his tenure (former corner Janoris Jenkins was arrested twice in early 2011 before being dismissed), eight of them were either signed or recruited by his predecessor Urban Meyer, Leonard included. But it was also Muschamp who vowed when he was hired that the Gators would adhere to a higher standard of behavior he dubbed the "Florida Way"; as of yet, those words seem to have fallen on deaf ears where his roster is concerned.

And judging by this picture of an (as of yet officially) unidentified Florida player riding his scooter inside the Gator football complex, tweeted early Friday morning by safety Matt Elam, those ears haven't gone un-deaf yet:

Photo HT: Throw the Flag.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:23 pm
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC is richer than it's ever been--but is it rich enough?

The Birmingham News reported Friday that according to the league's tax documents, the SEC distributed a conference record $19.5 million to each of its member schools for the 2010-2011 season, an increase of $1.2 million on both its 2009-2010 payout and its initial 2011 estimates. Thanks to the new(ish) CBS Sports/ESPN television contracts fueling the increase, those revenues also represent a whopping $6.5 million per-school bump -- a 50 percent increase -- over the league's distribution numbers just two seasons before. 

That's the great news for the SEC. The less-great news is that those figures still leave them a bit behind the Joneses Mike Slive is looking to keep up with in the Big Ten and Pac-12; the Sports Business Journal recently estimated those conferences' per-member distributions* at "close to $21 million," with the growth from their respective networks expected to push those numbers even higher in the coming years. The SEC, meanwhile, is locked into its current contracts until 2023, with TV revenue only increasing 3 percent in the second year of the league's new deals. 

That those revenues will be divided 14 ways rather than 12 following the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri would be another headache for Slive if those additions didn't also open up the possibility for a renegotiation of those television contracts. The ACC's ongoing expansion-triggered renegotiation is expected to net the league an additional $1 to $2 million per team per year--hardly chump change, but likely not the sort of numbers that would keep the SEC even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 come 2017 or '18, much less the tail end of its current contract (which could also be extended as part of the renegotiation).

Make no mistake: the SEC is currently swimming in money, will continue to swim in money, and has the kind of advantages that have nothing to do with money -- overwhelming fan interest, proximity to recruiting hotbeds, a firmly cemented reputation as college football's gold standard -- that will keep it at or near the top of the college football heap. Slive is hardly in crisis management mode. But "or near" may not be good enough for the SEC after its recent run, and a potential $4 or $5 million gap per-school between the league and its Midwestern/West Coast "rivals" -- sustained over a period of years -- could (or would?) eventually even (or even tilt) the playing field. 

Times are no doubt very, very good for the SEC both on the field and in its checkbook. But the upcoming negotiations between the league and its TV partners will likely play a huge role in whether future times are as very good or not.

*The SBJ also estimated the SEC's distribution figure at only $17 million, which could be either a good sign or a bad one from an SEC perspective; if that figure was simply wrong while the Big Ten's and Pac-12's was accurate, then the gap isn't as wide as believed. But if the SBJ was simply being conservative across the board and the B1G's/P12's numbers are also underestimated, it would mean those leagues' networks and TV deals have established a substantial financial edge even before they really get rolling.    

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:49 am
 

Rutgers, Arkansas agree to 2012-13 home-and-home

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Two round scheduling holes -- one in the Big East, one in the SEC -- each found a round peg Friday as Rutgers and Arkansas officially agreed to play a home-and-home series starting this fall in Fayetteville.

Thanks to the latest round of conference realignment, both programs found themselves with gaps to fill in their 2012 slate--Rutgers needing a replacement for Big 12 defector West Virginia, and Arkansas one for Texas A&M, thanks to their nonconference series with the Aggies becoming a conference matchup instead. 

The agreement has been rumored for weeks, but became official with statements issued by both sides Friday morning. The 2012 meeting will be held at Arkansas's regular home stadium in Fayetteville on Sept. 22, 2012, with the return game set for Sept. 21, 2013. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools and the first time any SEC program has made the trip to Piscataway.

“It is a constant priority to secure marquee scheduling opportunities for our football program and our fans,” Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said. “This home-and-home series with Arkansas clearly illustrates another enhancement of that strategy ... This agreement further enhances our future non-conference game schedule which includes Penn State, Miami and UCLA.

“We are pleased to add a quality non-conference opponent like Rutgers to our 2012 football schedule,” Razorback athletic director Jeff Long said. “The additions of Texas A&M and Missouri and the delay in the release of the conference schedule posed some specific scheduling challenges for the 2012 season. We know that many other events around the state are contingent on the Razorback football schedule and we appreciate the patience of our fans as we worked through this process.”

The agreement completes Arkansas's 2012 schedule, while Rutgers still needs one additional conference opponent. With a rumored in-season rematch with Syracuse off the table, the Scarlet Knights -- like the rest of the Big East -- are no doubt hoping fervently that Boise State will swoop in to rescue the league schedule.

Arkansas also announced that it would be playing Ole Miss in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium and LSU in Fayetteville. With Arkansas traditionally hosting LSU in Little Rock, the latter game will mark the Bayou Bengals' first visit to the Arkansas campus since the Hogs' inaugural SEC season in 1992.

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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