Tag:SEC
Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:02 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 6:05 pm
 

VIDEO: Les Miles slams Gunner Kiel

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When asked about recruits that head to other programs, many college football coaches will say they only want to talk about the players that did sign. But Les Miles has never been one not to speak on any topic he's been asked about, and so at Wednesday night's "Bayou Bash" recruiting celebration, Miles said exactly what he thought of five-star LSU-commitment-turned-Notre Dame signee Gunner Kiel

"We needed a quarterback in this class. There was a young man from Indiana that thought about coming to the Bayou State," Miles said in reference to Kiel, "[but] he did not necessarily have the chest and the ability to lead a program. So you know."

Miles's emphatic delivery of his statement -- complete with "chest" hand gestures -- helped drive home his negative opinion on Kiel. Via the YouTube channel of the LSU student paper, the Daily Reveille, here's the video:
 


Miles goes on to praise new LSU quarterback signee Jeremy Liggins, who committed to the Tigers over his hometown Ole Miss Rebels in downtown Oxford.

It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Miles going out of his way to slam a 17-or-18-year-old recruit in the sort of terms you'd hear from the lowest of sports talk-radio callers falls far, far below the standard of class we'd expect from one of the nation's most visible coaches. It's not just that Miles' willingness to sling mud at a teenager makes him seem childish and petty; it's that the swipe seems to be motivated by a need to pander to the worst instincts of the worst part* of his Tiger fanbase. 

There's little doubt Miles hasn't gotten to where he is by being a saint, and we don't blame him for being frustrated by Kiel's decision. But by sounding more like a common dweller on an LSU message board than the man who heads up the entire LSU football program, Miles has let that frustration boil over into a decision he should apologize for at the first opportunity.

*Link contains R-rated language. Video HT: CFT. 

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:26 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 2:33 pm
 

2012 National Signing Day Tracker (2 p.m. ET)

Posted by Eye On College Football

For all up-to-the-minute updates and analysis throughout National Signing Day, head on over to Signing Day Central and the Eye On Recruiting. If you are just tuning in, here is what you may have missed.


No. 1 overall prospect Dorial Green-Beckham committed to Missouri


Offensive tackle Andrus Peat (No. 8 overall prospect) will be heading to Stanford

Nelson Agholor will join a dynamic group of athletes at USC


Former Cal and Washington commit Jordan Payton flipped again to UCLA


Linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons selected Georgia over Florida


Top defensive tackle prospect Eddie Goldman will join Mario Edwards at Florida State


After being "100 percent" set on Florida State, defensive end Dante Fowler flipped his commitment to Florida

Linebacker Reggie Northrup (Jacksonville, Fla.) switched his commitment from Miami to Florida State

Top 100 linebacker Kwon Alexander (Oxford, Ala.) picked LSU over Auburn


Top ranked wide receiver Deontay Greenberry flipped his commitment from Notre Dame to Houston


Standout offensive tackle Kyle Dodson flipped from Wisconsin to Ohio State


Alexander's high school teammate, cornerback Trae Elston, will head to Ole Miss 


Korren Kirven
signed with Alabama over in-state favorite Virginia Tech

Mirmar (Fla.) standout cornerback Tracy Howard will play for the hometown Miami Hurricanes


RB Justin Taylor turns down Alabama grayshirt, signs with Kentucky


MaxPreps' No. 6 athlete Joel Caleb will likely play wide receiver for Virginia Tech


Florida DE Leonard Williams chooses USC over several SEC schools


Defensive back Corey Thompson flips commitment from Texas A&M to LSU


Auburn signs Top 100 WR JaQuay Williams, OL Will Adams



Don't forget to also check the MaxPreps' Team Recruiting Rankings page to see how the teams stack up as the players put pen to paper on Signing Day. You can also sort the committed recruits by conference and check out Tom Lemming's Top 100 Recruits for the class of 2011. More Recruiting Coverage
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:37 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 3:45 pm
 

SEC commemorates sixth national title with shirt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, remember when the SEC used the cover of its 2011 media guide to oh-so-subtly remind the rest of college football which conference had won the previous five national titles? Now that that number has been bumped up one more notch, they're letting the fans officially get in on the fun--not that SEC fans have ever needed the encouragement.

That encouragement nonetheless arrived Tuesday with the appearance of this t-shirt in the SEC's official Internet store:

 

On the one hand, we'd wonder why Alabama fans would wear a t-shirt that also commemorates Auburn's 2010 title, LSU fans one reminding them of their crushing loss to the Tide this past January as well as their 2007 championship, Georgia fans one that reflects a pair of Florida titles, etc. And it's pretty much impossible to wear this as a fan of, say, Kentucky and not be accused of coattail-riding, isn't it?

On the other, these are SEC fans we're talking about, and you never know when you might wind up planning a trip to Columbus, Austin, or Eugene. So: expect them to sell like hot cakes.

You can pick up your own in the CBSSports.com Shop

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:42 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For all their explosive Mathieuan brilliance, LSU failed to finish the 2011 season ranked No. 1. But Phil Steele does have a small bit of good news for the Tigers: the numbers guru says that's where LSU will start the 2012 season.

For the fourth straight offseason, the preview magazine maven has projected the preseason AP top 10 based on returning starters, bowl performance, and other factors. Despite their BCS championship game pratfall, Steele expects the Tigers to open 2012 as the AP No. 1, one slot ahead of much-hyped USC.

Steele's assessment:

Last year LSU was picked 2nd in the SEC West behind Alabama and would go on to have arguably the best regular season in school history going 13-0 winning the SEC Championship and would beat EIGHT Top 25 teams! While the National Title loss to Alabama still stings, many of the Tigers’ star players return for 2012 including Heisman candidate DB Tyrann Mathieu along with their top 3 rec’s and their top 4 rushers. Throw in QB Zach Mettenberger who Miles said last year was his best pure passing QB and a home game vs Alabama and the Tigers will be the favorites to win the National Title! 

Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma round out the projected top five, with Nos. 6-10 going to Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Arkansas and West Virginia, respectively.

Based on Steele's track record, Les Miles should go ahead and start preparing his team to wear that familiar top-ranked bullseye, at least for its opening week matchup against North Texas. All three teams pegged by Steele to earn the AP's preseason No. 1 nod have gone to do so, including Oklahoma last year. Steele has also correctly predicted 9 of 10 teams all three years of the exercise and 13 of 15 total teams in the top five. 

Which means it's not just Miles that can go ahead and start worrying about managing expectations--assuming Steele is correct (or even close to it), the Bulldogs, Wolverines and Mountaineers will all be graced with a substantially higher preseason ranking than any of those programs has faced in years. And though that's not always a recipe for disaster (look at what Oklahoma State accomplished this past season), an appearance in Steele's projected top 10 proved to be a terrible omen for other supposed up-and-comers like 2009 Ole Miss, 2010 Iowa and 2011 Texas A&M.

So we're guessing Mark Richt, Brady Hoke and Dana Holgorsen -- not to mention Jimbo Fisher and his perennially overrated Seminoles -- are all hoping that this once, Steele isn't quite as accurate as he's promised to be.

Steele also recently released a comprehensive look at the entire FBS's projected returning starters for 2012; you can read the Eye on CFB's breakdown of those numbers here.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 3:48 pm
 

South Carolina's Jeep Hunter fired

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The staff turnover at South Carolina continues.

Safeties coach Jeep Hunter was fired on Friday morning. Hunter learned of the news while in an airport waiting to return from a recruiting trip. According to Hunter, he received a phone call from Steve Spurrier to inform him of the news.

"I just got a phone call from (Spurrier) saying he wanted to go in a different direction," Hunter told The State.

Hunter spent three seasons as an assistant at South Carolina. The 2011 season was his first year on the defensive side of the ball, as he spent the previous two seasons coaching tight ends and was an assistant special teams coordinator.

Hunter is the fifth assistant to leave the South Carolina program this year. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, running backs coach Jay Graham, special teams coach John Butler, and strength coach Craig Fitzgerald have all left the program in recent weeks. All but Fitzgerald have been replaced.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:01 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 9:01 am
 

Ole Miss juco QB cited for underage drinking

Posted by Chip Patterson

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace has only been on campus a couple of weeks, but the early enrollee from head coach Hugh Freeze's 2012 class has found a way to make headlines. Wallace was cited Thursday for underage possession of alcohol, according to Oxford Police.

Wallace signed with Ole Miss and enrolled earlier this month after a breakout 2011 season for East Mississippi Community College. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound quarterback set single-season NJCAA records for passing yards (4,604) and touchdowns (53), and was named the the junior college national player of the year.  

In a statement, head coach Hugh Freeze told The Clarion-Ledger he was aware of the citation and the matter would be handled internally. Wallace was issued the post-arrest citation for MIP at 10:15 p.m. Thursday at Rooster's Blues House on the Square.

With a new head coach and no starting quarterback named, Wallace is expected to compete for the first-string quarterback position this spring. He will be able to compete immediately, and has three years of eligibility left for the Rebels.

For updates on the rest of the Ole Miss 2012 recruiting class, check out the SEC Signing Day Overview at the Eye On Recruiting.

(Image Credit: MaxPreps.com)

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Auburn's Gogue approves plan for Toomer's Corner

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn president Dr. Jay Gogue has approved a committee recommendation that will keep Tiger fans rolling the famed Toomer's Corner despite the impending loss of the site's poisoned oak trees--but that doesn't mean some big changes aren't coming to the Corner all the same. 

With the current oaks unlikely to survive beyond this fall, the school's Committee to Determine the Future of Rolling Toomer’s Corner presented a two-part plan to Gogue: one, that the trees would be permanently replaced by one or more similar-sized specimens (likely a different species of oak), and two, that a second committee would be assigned to determine a temporary solution for rolling the corner during the three-to-five year period before the new oaks were ready. Gogue signed off on the plan this week.

“Dr. Gogue did approve the recommendation of the committee and we’re moving forward this week,” said Auburn Communications Director Mike Clardy. “We’re not going to wait to spring to start planning."

The good news for Tiger fans is that the replacement process and temporary solutions won't be put into practice until 2013 at the earliest. The oaks are expected to be in good enough shape to withstand rollings during the 2012 football season, with the same safeguards established during the 2011 campaign -- such as removing the toilet paper by hand -- still in place.

“Live oak wood is hard,” said AU horticulture professor and Toomer's Task Force member Dr. Gary Keever this week. “If you want to roll them, fine.” 

But while there remains a chance the oaks could pull through and render the recommendations and planning moot -- Clardy says the "next step" is to reassess their health -- Keever warned fans not to get their hopes up.

“I would not bet they’d be alive next fall,” he said in Tuesday's committee meeting.

And once the current oaks have died, that's where the changes start. While decisions on exactly what species of tree will serve as replacements are still in the distant future, what's certain is that they will not also be live oaks; the coastal species prefers wetter soil than found in Auburn and would be highly difficult to grow to the current oaks' size at all, much less in the given timeframe. Keever will recommend that overcup oaks be used instead.

As for that temporary solution, it's still too early for many specifics. ("There’s not a tremendous rush," Clardy said, since the oaks would last through 2012.) But the final recommendation is likely to be something man-made, potentially a system of wires.

That's not likely to sit too well with Auburn fans accustomed to the oaks' organic presence (for lack of a better term) at the Corner. Alleged poisoner Harvey Updyke is already public enemy Number 1 among the Tiger faithful; three-to-five years of rolling wires followed by the introduction of a different species of oak isn't going to do a thing to change that.

Reporting by the War Eagle Reader.

For daily real-time updates on Auburn football, follow our Tiger CBSSports.com RapidReports by Jay Tate here.  

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:12 pm
 

LSU TE Peterson questions BCS play-calling

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As historically dominant as Alabama's defense was in 2011, the consensus among LSU fans -- or anyone who watched the BCS national title game, really -- has been that the Crimson Tide got plenty of help in New Orleans from a Tiger offensive braintrust that didn't do their own team any favors. But as now ex-Tiger tight end DeAngelo Peterson has made clear with his comments at the Senior Bowl, it's not just the fans that feel that way.

"The game plan we were working on before the game, I don't think we used it," he told reporters after Senior Bowl practices Tuesday. "I don't think we used it ... I felt we were going to run all the plays we'd been practicing, but they really were calling none of it. I just think the playmakers on offense, they didn't really have a chance to make any plays. That's the big thing that bothers me. We didn't have the opportunity."

Peterson added that he wasn't alone in being frustrated.

"The play-calling bothered the whole offense," he said. "They were doing stuff that we never did all year. The game plan was to spread the ball out, get the ball to me, get the ball to Rueben (Randle), let Russell (Shepard) run the ball every now and then, give the ball to our running backs. In that game, Russell played like two plays, Rueben had like one ball, I had one ball ... I feel like if they had went to the game plan and given the playmakers the ball, they would have done something with the ball."

Peterson felt free to speak his mind during the season as well. But he isn't the first departed LSU senior to publicly question the offensive coaching during the Tigers' BCS meltdown. Quarterback Jarrett Lee said at his own all-star game appearance he "could have been given ... an opportunity to come in and get something going, you know, give them, Alabama, something else to worry about." In the game's immediate aftermath, guard Will Blackwell described the choice between Lee and starter Jordan Jefferson as a "pick-your-poison kind of deal" before saying the coaches "picked the wrong one."

The good news for Les Miles is that to-date, the Tigers still on LSU's roster haven't expressed such doubts in the media, sparing Miles the awkwardness of potential suspensions or other punishments. (Shepard might be viewed as the exception after temporarily declaring for the Draft on Twitter, but now that he's safely back in the fold, that teapot-tempest already appears over.) The bad news is that even if they haven't expressed those doubts publicly, the agreement between the LSU seniors suggests that silence doesn't mean those doubts aren't there. It doesn't help Miles that the seniors have a point: weapons like Randle and Shepard should have gotten the ball more often, Lee should have seen at least a series or two, the play-calling was completely unimaginative.

It's bad enough to lose a national title game that ruins what could have been one of the all-time great seasons in college football. But if the Tigers continue to struggle offensively in 2012 -- with Steve Kragthorpe and Greg Studrawa retained to run the offense for a second year -- and those quiet doubts are allowed to fester, the fallout from that fateful night in the Superdome could make that terrible defeat that much more terrible.

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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