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Tag:SEC
Posted on: December 23, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Report: 2012 SEC schedule "expected" Monday

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The long wait to see exactly how the SEC has corralled its new 14-team monster of a league into its 2012 football schedule -- and on short notice, no less -- should be almost over.

According to a report Friday from Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun, the finished 2012 SEC schedule "is expected to be released Monday." The SEC's official Twitter feed confirmed Thursday that the schedule is in its "final stages" but would not be made public until after Christmas.

But to believe the sources who have spoken to Dooley, the process has already gone past those "final stages" to "completed." Among the impacts of the last-minute addition of Missouri to the SEC East, Dooley reports, is that Florida won't receive the returned home game from their cross-divisional rotation trip to Auburn this past season--nor will they get their new, expected rotated-in matchup against Ole Miss. Instead, the Gators will face only two West opponents (Texas A&M and annual cross-division rival LSU) while adding Missouri to their East slate.

Assuming that information is correct, it will put to bed once and for all the notion -- advanced in November by no less than South Carolina president Harris Pastides -- that the SEC is moving to a nine-game conference schedule for 2012. The SEC moved quickly to quash that suggestion at the time, and Mike Slive told the Birmingham News Thursday that he "[doesn't] sense any interest" in moving beyond the current eight-game arrangement.

But neither that statement nor the eight-game 2012 slate rules out a nine-game schedule in the league's future. Slive also confirmed that the 2012 schedule is intended as a one-year stopgap before the 2013 slate establishes the SEC's future divisional rotations, and pointedly added "Who knows what the future holds?" when asked about the possibility of nine games.

So some of the nagging questions about the new look SEC will (very likely) be answered on Monday. Some, though, are going to linger on for a good deal longer than that.
Posted on: December 23, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Slive: plus-one will be "in mind" in BCS meetings

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In 2008, SEC commissioner Mike Slive attempted to float a plus-one "playoff" proposal to revamp the BCS's method of determining a national champion. But even with the ACC's John Swofford also backing the idea and Slive wielding as much influence as anyone in college football, the proposal never got off the ground.

Ironically, that failure has done nothing but help Slive's league since then; buoyed (in part) by the conference's ever-growing reputation as the closest on-field product the college game has to the NFL, the SEC has won five straight national titles and will add a sixth when LSU faces off against Alabama on Jan. 9--a spot the Tide won in the polls over Big 12 champion Oklahoma State despite finishing second in the Tide's own division behind the Bayou Bengals.

So with the curent system playing to his teams' advantage like that, has Slive tempered his support for the plus-one? Judging from this interview with the Birmingham News, it doesn't sound like it:
"For the last six years, looking at it from our own prism, we were better off without it ... If I knew that for six more years it was going to work this way then I wouldn't be for the plus-one. But I think the law of averages catches up over time.

"Knowing that any team in our league with one or two losses is one of the top two teams in the country, then I'd have to think very hard about the plus-one absent other kinds of changes. There may be other changes that are laid out on the table that need to be clearly thought out. But we'll go to the table with the plus-one very much in mind." 
Slive added that he would be "interested" to discover if conferences other than his own (and Swofford's) would support the plus-one if re-introduced. The Big 12 appears to be on board in the wake of the Oklahoma State snub, and while Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has not committed himself one way or another, his league's athletic directors have both voted in favor of one potential four-team playoff format and called the plus-one "inevitable." The Big Ten and Jim Delany may be the only holdouts, meaning that if Slive is still entirely behind the 2008 proposal (or something similar), there may be no stopping it when the BCS convenes in 2012.

Slive declined to discuss the likelihood of the dissolution of the BCS's automatic-qualifying status for conference champions, or other changes to the BCS selection process.

"There are lots of different ways to think about it and to overemphasize any one issue would be premature," he said.
Posted on: December 23, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 12:23 pm
 

LSU is #1 in Afghanistan too



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Turns out that SEC football, particularly LSU's brand, isn't just popular in the United States. That billboard pictured above that wants you to know who's number one can be found in Afghanistan.

Now, odds are the message was spray-painted on the billboard by an American soldier currently in Afghanistan, but I'm going to pretend that it was done by an 11-year old child in the country who has never seen a single college football game in his life. It's just that the magic of Les Miles is so great that it transcends all borders, religion, and politics.

Oh, and the 11-year old kid that I like to pretend spray-painted it? Yeah, he's a Harris Poll voter too. They let everybody vote in that thing.

Hat tip: Kegs 'n Eggs 
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Texas is the most valuable football program

Posted by Tom Fornelli

They may have only won a total of 12 games in the last two seasons, but that lack of success hasn't done much to change the bottom line for the Texas Longhorns. Forbes has released its list of the most valuable college football programs in the country and, to no surprise, Texas is once again at the top of the list.

Forbes estimates that the program is worth $129 million.
Texas’ total value is driven largely by a football profit of $71 million last season, up from $65 million in 2009. Texas football generated $96 million in revenue, $36 million of which came from ticket sales. Another $30 million was comprised of contributions tied to amenity seating like club seats and luxury suites. The Longhorns also benefited from $10 million worth of sponsorship deals, with Coca-Cola, Nike and PepsiCo’s Gatorade giving a combined $2 million last year.
What is somewhat surprising, however, is that number doesn't even include the revenue from the school's new Longhorn Network. No, those numbers won't be included until next year, so I'm going to go out on a limb right now and predict that Texas will once again be considered the most valuable football program at the end of 2012 as well.

Yeah, that's right. I said it. I'm putting myself out there.

Here's the top ten schools listed with their estimated value.

1. Texas ($129 million)
2. Notre Dame ($112 million)
3. Penn State ($100 million)
4. LSU ($96 million)
5. Michigan ($94 million)
6. Alabama ($93 million)
7. Georgia ($90 million)
8. Arkansas ($89 million)
9. Auburn ($88 million)
10. Oklahoma ($87 million)
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Richt payments to coaches are secondary violation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mark Richt has the reputation of being one of the nicer head coaches in college football, and he clearly cares about the assistant coaches who work under him. But to ask the NCAA, he maybe cares a little too much, and could stand to be a little less nice.

That's the verdict from the NCAA's review of a "lengthy internal investigation conducted" by Georgia and reported Tuesday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to documents obtained the AJC, over the course of nearly two years Richt made out-of-pocket payments to three assistants totaling more than $25,000. The payments were ruled a secondary violation by the NCAA.

Neither Richt nor the assistants will suffer any major punishment; each coach received a letter of admonishment from the university and will undergo further rules training. The payments were included as part of a larger report of secondary violations submitted by the school, including a minor incident of impressible contact with a recruit by defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

“The report stands on its own,” athletic director Greg McGarity told the AJC in declining comment. “There’s nothing to add. We’re moving forward.”

According to the report, Richt asked former athletic director Damon Evans for raises for both former recruiting assistant Charlie Cantor and former linebackers coach John Jancek. Evans declined, citing a university-wide pay freeze and furloughs, but Richt began writing Cantor a monthly personal check for $834; he wrote Jancek a check in the summer of 2009 for $10,000. When former Bulldog assistant and current director of player development John Eason was moved from the coaching staff to an administrative position, Richt paid him the $6,150 he stood to lose in lost salary.

Richt also provided several other payments to assistants and program employees which had already been approved by the athletic department and were therefore not considered violations; for instance, when former assistant Dave Johnson left the Bulldogs just short of receiving a $15,000 five-year "longevity bonus" and the administration declined to pay it, Richt did.

It's easy to see why the NCAA might frown on under-the-table payments like Richt's, since in a different situation they might amount to secret salaries or competition bonuses that aren't on the school's books. But it's equally easy to see why the punishment was so light when Richt's motives legitimately don't seem any more calculating than to do what he feels is right by his assistants.
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:27 am
 

Southern Miss hires So. Car. DC Ellis Johnson

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After losing head coach Larry Fedora to the North Carolina job, Southern Miss needed to find a new face to head its football program. It has apparently found that new head coach in South Carolina defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Ellis Johnson.

Johnson, who is three days away from his 60th birthday, has reportedly accepted an offer from USM after interviewing with school president Martha Saunders on Monday night, according to the Clarion-Ledger, and is expected to accept the job as early as Tuesday. Johnson has a brief history with Southern Miss, as he was the defensive coordinator there in 1988 and 1989. 

The South Carolina defense ranked in the Top 15 nationally in total defense in three of Johnson's four years in Columbia, and this year was the Gamecocks' best of the four. South Carolina ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense this season, and fourth nationally (behind three other SEC teams, of course).

Prior to his time at South Carolina, Johnson spent time at various teams in the SEC and elsewhere in the southeastern U.S, including a four-year stint as Alabama's defensive coordinator from 1997 to 2000. Johnson was the head coach at the Citadel, his alma mater, from 2001-03; he managed a 12-22 record there before taking a job as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator in 2004.

No announcements of an impending hire have been made by Southern Miss, and no reports have surface about any contract terms that Johnson may have agreed to, but the "two sources with direct knowledge of the search" at USM that the Clarion-Ledger cited have indicated that the hire is a done deal.

CBSSports.com will provide more informaton when it becomes available.



Check out all the latest updates on this and every other FBS coaching search from this year at CBSSports.com's Coaching Carousel.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 6:52 pm
 

Independence Bowl Key Matchup



Posted by Chip Patterson


A look at the key matchup that could decide the Independence Bowl

James Franklin, QB, Missouri vs. North Carolina's defensive front

Ever since Missouri lost running back Henry Josey to a season-ending knee injury, most of the offensive success has been based around what sophomore quarterback James Franklin can create. De'Vion Moore has seen an increased workload at running back and Kendial Lawrence has added three strong performances since the Big 12's leading rusher saw his season ended by the "one in a million" injury.

The good news for Missouri is that Franklin has stepped up in Josey's absence, leading the Tigers to three straight wins to close the regular season. Because of Franklin's rushing ability, the Tigers' offense has not become one-dimensional after the loss of their leading rusher. However, North Carolina's defensive front presents one of Franklin's toughest challenges on the season.

The Tar Heels' front seven is anchored by Quinton Coples, Tydreke Powell, and linebacker Zach Brown. All three received All-ACC honors or mention, and all three are seniors who have earned the interest of NFL scouts. North Carolina ranks No. 2 in the ACC and 14th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 106.2 yards per game. They were one of the only teams to hold both Miami's Lamar Miller and Virginia Tech's David Wilson under 100 yards rushing this season, and have only allowed nine rushing touchdowns on the year.

But despite the impressive statistics, the defense has suffered lapses at times this season and struggled to get off the field when they needed a big stop. There will likely several occasions in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport where Missouri needs to convert a third down and it will be Franklin against the Tar Heels. Containing the Tigers' star quarterback is the only way North Carolina can hope to give Gio Bernard, Bryn Renner and the Tar Heels' offense a chance to find a rhythm against Missouri's stout D.

Check out all the latest updates on Missouri and North Carolina right up until kickoff at the Independence Bowl Pregame

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Independence Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

MISSOURI WILL WIN IF: They can limit turnovers on offense and prevent the big play on defense. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin's performance in the regular season finale against Kansas showed both the best and worst of Missouri's offense sans Henry Josey (knee). The worst came early in the game, with Franklin tossing three interceptions in the first 18 minutes of play and the Tigers' offense only producing one scoring drive - which resulted in a field goal. The best came in the second half, with Franklin wearing down the Kansas defense and taking advantage of their weaknesses by creating big plays on the way to a 24-10 win.

North Carolina is much stronger than Kansas, and three first half interceptions may not be something the Tigers can expect to bounce back from in the Independence Bowl. As long as Franklin is smart with the ball and avoids turnovers, he can keep taking his shots through the air and on the ground until he eventually hits the big play. Defensively the Tigers are much better than their numbers suggest, especially when you consider the competition. Still, even the best defense can be broken down by someone like North Carolina wide receivers Dwight Jones, Erik Highsmith, or Jheranie Boyd. Running back Gio Bernard will likely see a heavy load on the ground as well, and the Tigers must keep the shifty freshman from breaking outside and hitting the sidelines.

NORTH CAROLINA WILL WIN IF: The front seven can contain and pressure Missouri quarterback James Franklin. Ever since Henry Josey's season-ending knee injury, much of Missouri's offense has been based around Franklin creating plays. Luckily for the Tigers the sophomore signal caller not only can extend the play with his legs, but take off and make defenders miss in the open field. In the first game without Josey - the Big 12's leading rusher at the time of his injury - Franklin rushed for a career high 152 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries while still adding 172 yards and two touchdowns through the air. North Carolina's front seven is filled with NFL-caliber talent. However, there have been several games this season where it seems the defensive line and linebackers have not lived up to that NFL-caliber hype. With the nationally televised bowl game, it would be in the best interest of these pro prospects to delver their best performance of the season in this game. If Quinton Coples, Tydreke Powell, Zach Brown, and the rest of the front seven are able to contain and frustrate James Franklin, they will benefit their own draft stock and give the Tar Heels a much better chance to win their second-straight bowl game. A win-win scenario for the NFL-hopefuls.

X-FACTOR: Who Wants It More? Missouri certainly enters the game with a momentum advantage, winning four of their final five games while North Carolina lost four of their last six. Missouri picked up the invite after being over by the bowls with a Big 12 tie-in, not a surprise considering the Tigers' upcoming departure for the SEC. It will be the last game for interim head coach Everett Withers, who has already confirmed he's not staying with the Tar Heels "in any capacity" under new head coach Larry Fedora. So with Missouri in between conferences and North Carolina in between coaches, the team that can find the motivation for the moment will have an advantage on Dec. 26 in Shreveport.

That kind of advantage will likely be necessary in a bowl game that has been decided by seven points or less five of the last six years, with Georgia's 44-20 win against Texas A&M in 2009 being the only exception. Regardless of the expectations heading into the game, that matchup has always been close in recent years. Maybe it is the mystic atmosphere of Shreveport, or Independence Stadium - where the game has been played every year since the bowl's creation in 1976 - but advantages in X's and O's seem to matter much less in this game. For either team to get win No. 8 in 2011, they will need an extra dose of "Want" on Dec. 26.

Check out all the latest updates on Missouri and North Carolina right up until kickoff at the Independence Bowl Pregame

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com