Support Our Advertisers


Entries in SEC (9)


Rest Easy, SEC Fans; Your Conference Will Be OK

Picture Of Terrelle Pryor

One Great Season

Don't look now, but that Ohio State team that can't win on the big stage just won its second straight BCS bowl game.

The Buckeyes held on to beat SEC West runner-up Arkansas in a thrilling Sugar Bowl Tuesday night in New Orleans, 31-26.

OSU, long a target of SEC bloggers and that hurtful-words forum known as Twitter, raced to a 28-7 lead over the high-octane Razorbacks, then held on despite a Helter Skelter finish.

SEC fans will spin it this way: Ohio State almost choked the game away, the Buckeyes suited up a bunch of NCAA violators, they got lucky because Arkansas' receivers kept dropping passes, the Big Ten still sucks.

Click to read more ...


Advice To The Big Ten: Play The SEC

Picture Of Terrance Toliver

One Great Season

Though it's been a while since the Big Ten has been one of the top two conferences in college football, for some reason the hate that comes from the South is directed at the Big Ten more than any other league.

Which is odd because the PAC 10 and Big 12 have been better than the Big Ten during the SEC's current run of dominance the last four or five years.

The league owned by Ohio State during this stretch is really only the fourth-best league in college football.

Click to read more ...


SEC Preview: Alabama Beats Florida ... Twice

One Great Season

Perfect evidence backing the claim that great teams reload — they don't rebuild — can be found in Gainesville and Tuscaloosa, where three of the last four national championship trophies call home.

Florida and Alabama look poised to meet again in the SEC championship game, possibly with yet another BCS title game appearance at stake.

Click to read more ...


Robbie Caldwell Meets SEC Media; Comedy Show Ensues

Robbie Caldwell

One Great Season

Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier and of course, Robbie Caldwell.

Who's Robbie Caldwell, you ask?

The first four coaches named above have won national championships, but new Vanderbilt boss Caldwell has been the highlight at SEC Media Days so far this week in Birmingham, Ala.

Bobby Johnson stepped down surprisingly last week, opening the door for Caldwell, who met the league-wide media at the league's annual summer carnival Thursday. Here are a few gems that you'll surely see on "SportsCenter" tonight:

Click to read more ...


Who Will Win Today's Big Games?

Cincinnati Bearcats

One Great Season

PITTSBURGH -- I haven't had many noon starts on the OGS tour, but I'm not complaining.

After I shoot the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game, I'll hustle back to the hotel for the Florida-Alabama tilt and then of course Texas-Nebraska. Those poor kids from Georgia Tech and Clemson; not many people will be watching that ACC Championship game when it kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.

Here are my picks for today's huge matchups:

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh -- The Bearcats surprised many in the season's first half with a defense that hardly resembled one that was starting 10 new players. But the last few games, UC is giving up big plays and many points, so Dion Lewis and the Panthers will definitely make it interesting. But Cincinnati's offense hasn't missed a beat despite the musical quarterbacks, and I don't even think the noise surrounding Brian Kelly's future will be a problem. Cincinnati wins a shootout, 45-37.

Urban Meyer

Florida vs. Alabama -- Two great teams with great defenses tangle for the right to call themselves SEC champions and play for the national title. I see this one looking a lot like the Florida-LSU game in October. Points and big plays will be at a premium. And in such a game that will probably be close after halftime, would you put your crunch-time money on Tim Tebow or the other guy? Florida ends Alabama's dream season ... again, 16-12.

Texas vs. Nebraska -- Many think Nebraska has a chance here, and while I don't totally disagree, the chance is not a good one. Texas hasn't faced a defense like the one it will face today, but the Huskers have little to be excited about on the other side of the ball. They'll certainly slow the Longhorns down, but not enough to beat them. Colt McCoy and Texas have too much firepower. A slowed-down UT offense is better than most at full power. The Longhorns are focused on one of those shiny BCS invitations, and they'll get it with an impressive win, 31-10.

Georgia Tech vs. Clemson -- Each team suffered a disappointing rivalry loss to an almighty SEC team last week, so tonight's game will tell us who can respond better to adversity. Clemson has C.J. Spiller, who can rejoin the list of Heisman candidates with another stellar performance. But Georgia Tech has its impossible-to-stop rushing attack that gives everyone trouble. I have to think preparing for a difficult team will be slightly easier the second time around for the Tigers, who only lost by a field goal at Georgia Tech in Week Two. Clemson wins, 27-23, in an exciting finish that many will turn to after Texas puts the Big 12 title game out of reach in the second half.


LSU's Les Miles Wishes Tebow Well

One Great Season

BATON ROUGE, La. -- In most cases, a coach of one team heaping praise on the backup quarterback of another team is merely an exercise in gamesmanship.

But at the LSU football weekly media luncheon Monday, you knew coach Les Miles was sincere in his flattery of No. 1 Florida's John Brantley, who would start in Saturday's heavyweight bout at No. 4 LSU if Tim Tebow can't answer the bell.

Below is a quick soundbite from Miles about how comfortable he thinks Florida is at the quarterback position, and in the video clip below that, the coach says he hopes Tiger Stadium will prove to be Death Valley for Florida, as it did the last time the Gators visited in 2007.


The Need For Speed

One Great Season

NEW YORK -- Back when I covered the University of Cincinnati football team for the student newspaper, then-coach Tim Murphy often told me about the need for speed.

And this was in the early 1990s.

I've had this conversation with friends a few times over the years, and I try to describe it as simply as possible: speed grows in the south, and that is why the SEC is on top of the sport right now.

Speed, speed, speed.

Back in 1990, Miami, Florida State and Florida were loaded with it. Non-Florida schools were sending their recruiters to the Sunshine State to try to get a taste. And once folks started to catch up to the Hurricanes, Seminoles and Gators, many teams normally built to grind had transformed themselves into track squads.

As an Ohio State fan, I was well aware of the endless criticism John Cooper faced throughout the decade. But one thing people never gave him credit for was his ability to mine Florida, Texas and California before any other Big Ten coach could. He helped turn his conference into more of a speed league, but his Buckeyes -- as well as a national television audience -- saw how far they still had to go when Florida State's Peter Boulware and company dismantled Ohio State in the 1998 Sugar Bowl.

So here we are a decade later. Plenty of people have speed at the offensive skill positions. But where Florida and the SEC elites remain ahead of their peers is on defense. They're stacked with defensive speed that's seemingly comparable to the speed everyone else has on offense. Until that changes, national championships will continue to run through the south, and the blogosphere will keep laughing at everyone else.


Tim Tebow Non-troversy

By John P. Wise
One Great Season

NEW YORK -- Tim Tebow is a virgin. Steve Spurrier didn't vote for him. In other news, Tebow plays quarterback for the University of Florida, and they seem to have a pretty good football team this year.

Don't be fooled by what you read on the blogs today. There is no controversy coming from SEC Media Days in Birmingham this week. Well, maybe, if you consider Bobby Petrino staying with Arkansas now for going on 19 or 20 months. There's certainly something to be said for that guy's loyalty, eh?

It's time for those who wonder why such a big deal is made out of Tebow to start making a big deal out of Tebow. But for the right reasons.

Tebow has a chance to win a third SEC championship ring, a third national championship ring and perhaps even a second Heisman trophy. Such a trifecta will no doubt be difficult, but it's within reach, and even if he achieves none of the above, he still has a chance to go down as the best college football player ever. Those are the optics through which I'll be viewing the upcoming season.

I don't care if Tim Tebow is sleeping with cheerleaders, sleeping with Bea Arthur or sleeping with nobody. The blogger who asked Tebow if he's preserving his purity until marriage should not have asked it. No way.

+ YOUR THOUGHTS: Is Tebow's virginity relevant?
+ ALSO: SEC Preview

I have a couple of Louisville friends up here this weekend, and they're pretty big college football fans. Hard not to be when the Cardinals have enjoyed great success in recent years. And as savvy observers of the sport, they shared their takes on the Tebow non-troversy:

Pat: "If Tim Tebow is professing his faith to God on TV like he does, then I think questions about his morality become fair game."

Tim: "I think it depends on the venue. If it's a one-on-one, private sit-down interview, then maybe that's OK. But in a packed press room like Thursday, I thought it was inappropriate."

What isn't inappropriate is the guess that LSU fans are already yanking their dirty sheets off their twin beds to paint some degrading messages about Tebow's virginity, as well as the South Carolina poets presumably putting pen to paper in preparation for some obnoxious chants when the Gators visit Columbia in November.

Speaking of South Carolina, head Gamecock Steve Spurrier admitted he was the voter who snubbed Tebow on the league's all-preseason team, giving top honors to Ole Miss' Jevan Snead.

In an overstated mea culpa that was perhaps overdone by ESPN, Spurrier said he quickly signed off on a ballot filled out by an assistant. The coach heaped all-world praise on Tebow, saying he's not just the best quarteback in the league, but the best player in the country.


SEC Preview

By John P. Wise
One Great Season

NEW YORK -- SEC previews must be difficult for newspaper writers bound by spacial limitations because there are so many good teams, players, coaches, games and possibilities to talk about.

So let me cut right through any mystery and jump on the Florida bandwagon. The Gators will win another national championship this year.

If Tim Tebow has a healthy senior year, he'll go down as the best quarterback to ever play college football. And Urban Meyer is the best young coach in the game right now. And I haven't even mentioned Florida's defense, which is fast and mean and physical and overall nasty. I would not want to meet them in a dark alley, or even in a packed church on a Sunday morning.

The SEC is so deep that only Mississippi State is a guarantee not to earn a bowl berth. Kentucky, a joke of a program until the last few years, could very well finish last in the East, but still is a threat to earn a postseason invitation somewhere. That's a testament to the league's top-to-bottom superiority.

I like what Mark Richt has done at Georgia in terms of scheduling. He sought out an away date at Arizona State to open last season, and will kick off at Oklahoma State this year. The Bulldogs should challenge Florida in the East, but probably won't beat them head to head at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on Oct. 31.

Keep an eye this season on Knoxville, where new Vols coach Lane Kiffin made plenty of enemies long before his first game. Things will be just as interesting at South Carolina, where the Gamecocks will only be decent, but you can never sleep on Steve Spurrier. Even Vanderbilt will be a player in the East with 17 starters returning from a team that earned the school's first bowl win in more than 50 years.

And then there's the West, where LSU and Alabama will battle it out once again. Some are picking Ole Miss, led by quarterback Jevan Snead, to surprise, but like North Carolina in the ACC, I'll believe it when I see it. Arkansas returns 18 starters and should be solid on both sides of the ball. Auburn -- remember the Tigers? -- will struggle in new coach Gene Chizik's first season.


South Carolina

Ole Miss
Mississippi State