As the Manti Te'o story continues to straighten out of the Griswold Christmas lights knot it worked itself into, we should probably go ahead and clear the air on some things that don't exist in the SEC. This will help reduce confusion, shock, dismay, and a Twitter gridlock when these things come to a more public light. Some of these include, but are not limted to:
1. Ole Miss' 2003 SEC Western Division championship
2. Dan Mullen's championships
3. Todd Grantham laughter
4. Family of squirrels under Les Miles' hat
5. LSU's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator
6. Florida's wide receivers
7. Doug Nussmeier
8. Hugh Freeze retweet robot
9. Steve Spurrier three-putt
10. "Great decision, Tyler Bray"
11. Bert Bielema
12. People who care about Kentucky football
13. One South Carolina starting quarterback
14. Bowl appearances by Missouri while in the SEC
15. Will Muschamp gaze of fondness
16. Vacant NCAA satellite office at Auburn
17. Matching sternum tattoos for AJ McCarron and his ladyfriend
18. Nick Saban and THREE Little Debbie cakes
20. Johnny Manziel being boring
21. Lack of conspiracy theories
22. Poor people
23. Nick Saban wink
25. Enough money
On a more serious note (BORING), read this by the great @celebrityhottub. It's a good reminder of what a terrible idea it is to label someone as one thing or another. In case you forgot, we're all MILDLY COMPLICATED and have many more flaws, big and small, than everyone assumes we do.
Fifteen Florida players have been arrested or cited since Will Muchamp took over as the program’s head football coach in 2011. You would think that by now we would be used to various Gators getting locked up like it’s nothing. And truthfully, we sort of are. But nothing could have prepared us for the crime that landed Jessamen Dunker in cuffs this past Wednesday.
According to ESPN, the Florida offensive lineman was apprehended yesterday morning for allegedly stealing a motor scooter. Yes, you read that correctly – a motor scooter.
Dunker was stopped by police shortly before 10 a.m. for getting too close to a University of Florida maintenance vehicle. During what is being described a routine stop, the officer present noticed that the scooter didn’t have a license plate. Shortly thereafter it was determined that said scooter was stolen.
"He was observed by one of our police officers riding on a scooter that did not have a tag attached to the scooter," major Brad Barber told 247Sports (via USA Today). "Traffic stop was initiated, and during that stop it was determined that he was driving on a license that had been suspended. He was aware of that. The scooter, in fact, was stolen."
Dunker was booked in Alachua County Jail on third-degree grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license charges.
When ESPN reached out to see if Muschamp had any comment on this embarrassing incident, spokesperson Steve McClain insisted that the coach was busy with something more pressing.
"He is on the road recruiting and will address it when he returns," McClain said.
Dunker redshirted in 2012 but was supposedly in the running to be Florida’s starting left guard next year.
By all accounts, he does not have a fake dead girlfriend.
There are currently no shortage of college football All-Star games available to graduating seniors who hope to show off their skills in front of professional football scouts. The most respected game is the Senior Bowl, followed by the East-West Shrine Game. Others include the NFLPA Game, Casino del Sol College All-Star Game and the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic.
The vast majority of All-Star games are held in January, prior to college Pro Days and the annual NFL Scouting Combine. However, a new event has arrived, which will take place on March 15, 2013 at Braly Stadium on the University of North Alabama Campus in Florence, Alabama. It has been named the ProGrass International Scout Bowl.
The ProGrass International Scout Bowl says that it will take the top 70 prospects from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe that did not make it to the NFL or CFL and give them a “2nd chance” to show they have what it takes to play professional football. The odd part about that claim is that the NFL Draft does not occur until April 25. Thus, unless the new Bowl game will not be admitting any draft eligible prospects, the criteria does not make 100% sense.
The organizers of the ProGrass International Scout Bowl have stated that each participating team will be coached by a staff comprised of former NFL and NCAA Division 1 coaching legends and that it will be nationally televised to give each prospect top exposure.
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This article originally appeared on the Sports Agent Blog.
Auburn was one of two SEC teams in 2012 that failed to win a conference game. The Tigers went from winning the National Championship to winning just three games over the span of only two years. Because of that, Gene Chizik was dismissed and the Tigers are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again as they bring in former OC Gus Malzhan to try and right the ship.
Malzahn has filled out the staff with some SEC experience in Ellis Johnson (DC), Rodney Garner and Rhett Lashlee (OC). The staff will have their work cut out for them as they search for a quarterback and try to piece this team back together after a 2012 that was rough on and off the field.
Scott Loeffler's one year run as OC was a failure as Chizik tried to move the team from a spread offense to a more pro-style but no quarterback stepped up to take the reigns. QBs Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace will return but I would bet on JUCO commitment Nick Marshall to be the guy that is given the ball in 2013. Marshall is a dual-threat QB that originally signed with Georgia out of High School (as a DB) but was kicked off the team due to some pretty serious issues. Comparisons to Cam Newton are tough to live up to but there are a lot of similarities and Malzahn will look for Marshall to have a big impact and his success will make or break this team this fall.
Ellis Johnson had a miserable year as head coach for Southern Miss (failed to win a game) but he was always a solid DC for South Carolina. The good news for Ellis is that he has talent on defense but they will lose their leading tackler (Darren Bates) and their best player (Corey Lemioner). The defense needs to get tougher as they folded down the stretch the past two years in some key games.
Auburn will definitely be better this coming season than they were in 2012 but I wouldn't look for a complete turnaround. Auburn fans should consider getting back to a bowl game a success and if Nick Marshall takes off they could be looking at more.
Get more college football analysis over at College Football Zealots.
Manti Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend was in fact fake, this much we know for certain. Both Notre Dame and Te’o himself have confirmed that there is no Lennay Kekua, and that she never died of leukemia.
“On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia,” the school said in a statement.
Te’o offered something along the same lines: “This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.”
What is left to figure out now is whether or not Te’o was actually the victim of a hoax, or a guy who found an emotional weapon he could utilize en route to national fame.
In his statement, the Notre Dame linebacker put a particular emphasis on the fact that he met Kekua online. That is sort of bizarre given the fact that, in a story published by the South Bend Tribune last October, someone painted a very different picture regarding how the pair met. The author, Eric Hansen, wrote this: “Lennay Kekua was a Stanford student and Cardinal football fan when the two exchanged glances, handshakes and phone numbers that fateful weekend three seasons ago."
That doesn’t sound like a couple that met online. Later in the same story, Hansen obtained this quote from Manti Te’o’s father:
"They started out as just friends," Brian Te'o said. "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple.
That also doesn’t sound like a couple whose relationship was confined to the internet.
Now, it’s true that Manti Te’o himself was never actually quoted saying any of that stuff, but presumably he can read. You would think that after that story come out, a story his family contributed to, if something about it were wrong, he could set the record straight.
Maybe Te’o was the victim of a hoax like he says he was, but based on everything we know right now, it sure doesn’t seem like that’s the case.
Manti Te’o became the first college football linebacker in recent memory to have a legitimate shot at winning the Heisman for two reasons. One, he was the star and clear leader of the best non-SEC defense around. Two, he had an inspirational and heart wrenching story that moved everyone and anyone who heard it.
Te’o’s popularity reached its peak this past September when he absolutely destroyed Michigan State in a 20-3 Notre Dame victory. While his stats from that outing (12 tackles, fumble recovery) were impressive, what really captivated people was that he did what he did shortly after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend. Te’o’s ability to persevere and overcome the hardships that came his way turned him into an instant icon.
Unfortunately, it was all built on a lie. According to a stunning Deadspin exposé, while Te’o’s grandmother really did die prior to the Michigan State game, the entire story about him losing his girlfriend was all just an elaborate hoax that the Notre Dame Heisman finalist may or may not have been in on.
Shortly after the Deadspin piece went public, Notre Dame released this hastily prepared statement:
On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.
University Spokesman | Assistant Vice President
The idea that Te’o was an unwitting victim of a hoax is unlikely, but feasible. What is a bit unclear, though, is why Notre Dame waited until now to make available information they obtained at the end of December.
Mind you, this is a school that has something of a history when it comes to sweeping troubling PR problems under the rug.
Stay tuned, the truth will likely come out over the next few days.
Update: A statement from the man of the hour...
"This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.
"To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.
"It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.
"I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.
"In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.
"Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft."
A friend and I were driving around town last week listening to the local broadcast of the Outback Bowl. Even though I live in Tampa and he was just visiting, he and I determined that bowl game, which featured neither of our alma maters, was not worth the price of admission. Sure, we missed the nastiest hit of the decade but we made up for it by watching it repeatedly on SportsCenter afterwards.
After South Carolina scored a fourth-quarter touchdown, giving them a five point lead, Michigan got the ball back with limited time to score. When it appeared Michigan might make one last push downfield, one of the two broadcasters said, on live radio, that all the Wolverines needed, was to get into field goal range. Keep in mind, they were down by five. Field goals count for three. The other announcer quickly corrected him.
A similar thing happened this Sunday during the Patriots-Texans game. Even though Houston was getting surgically incised by New England for most of the game, the Texans still had a chance to put some points on the board late. Coach-turned-analyst Brian Billick said, again, on live television, that the Texans could still get into field goal range, as if three points would matter at that point. Houston was down by 13. They needed two touchdowns, not a field goal.
I’m not suggesting that being a play-by-play guy is an easy job but as fans, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that our announcers have a firm grasp of simple mathematics. Paying attention to the game also helps. I can’t imagine how many beer-soaked football fans, watching in their living rooms around the country, looked at each other dumbfounded, asking what the hell Billick was talking about and wondering whether they could do his job better themselves.
Brent Musburger fawning over a quarterback’s girlfriend, or Jon Gruden never saying a bad word about anyone, is a far cry from a former Super Bowl winning coach blissfully unaware that a field goal does a losing team no good when they’re down by 13 with time expiring.
Perhaps it’s time for the major networks to buy their high-paid announcers pocket calculators so they can properly inform their viewers what teams need to do to steal a victory… or maybe we should just turn down the volume knob once and for all.
A few weeks ago Johnny Manziel raised some eyebrows when he showed up to a Dallas Mavericks game and somehow finagled himself courtside seats. After TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr openly wondered how this year’s Heisman winner, a college kid, obtained such an expensive view, Manziel took to Twitter and offered a very simple explanation.
“Bought myself a little birthday present tonight stop hating”
Fantastic. It was a one-time thing. Just a birthday present Manziel got for himself; no big deal.
On Tuesday night Manziel and his girlfriend Sarah Savage took in a Los Angeles Clippers versus Houston Rockets game. Because all we are working with is a picture here, it is impossible to say with certainty whether or not these seats were courtside. Even if they weren’t, based on the wires behind them and the banner on the left, it doesn’t look like he was sitting in the nosebleeds.
Manziel comes from a very well off family. It could be that when he says he bought himself great seats to a basketball game for his birthday, he actually means his family bought them. Or maybe his family gave him the money that he now calls his own. Or maybe his girlfriend bought yesterday’s seats.
Him getting cool stuff isn’t the problem here.
The problem is that Manziel and every other successful college athlete has to pretend as though they are just regular kids who get no special perks just because the NCAA is comprised of a bunch of unrealistic, greedy jokers. Kids out of Ohio State who traded memorabilia for tattoos got their entire collegiate careers wrecked, but Manziel gets priority seating at pricey basketball games and nobody bats an eye because he comes from a rich family. This situation speaks for itself.
The solution isn’t to restrict what Manziel can or can’t do; it’s loosening the ridiculous grip that the NCAA has on all of the other college athletes out there who can't fall back on a "I come from a rich family" excuse.
Celebrating success usually sucks up most of everyone's attention, but it's about time celebrating spectacular failure got its fair share of recognition. If you read during the football season, you know about the always exciting race for the Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure, presented in its radiant glory here:
For those of you who don't know, this award goes to the quarterback who throws the most interceptions in the regular season. Bo Wallace's name has yet to be engraved as this year's winner, but that's because the trophy guy only works when I frantically remember that the trophy needs to be updated a few days before the season starts. And yes, that's three winners from Ole Miss in four years. But what else should you expect from a school that, since 2004, has seen its quarterbacks throw 141 interceptions (15.7 a season; 139 TDs in that stretch).
Anyway, enough big picture talk that's just gonna get me angry. Let's celebrate those who were truly awful on at least one Saturday in 2012. These are in no ranked order, except for the ones with Kiehl Frazier. Those were the worst.
Clemson 26, Auburn 19
Kiehl Frazier: 11-27, 194 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Since it was the first game of the season, most everyone assumed Frazier's overthrows and underthrows and nowherenearthrows were the result of nerves and playing in a new offense that wasn't suited to his skills (most of which are still trying to be identified).
Mississippi State 28, Auburn 10
Kiehl Frazier: 13-22, 125 yards, 0 TD, 3 INTs, 2 fumbles
A week later, we had much more conclusive evidence that Frazier just wasn't very good and NEITHER WAS AUBURN.
Alabama 52, Arkansas 0
Brandon Allen: 10-18, 68 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
Pressed into duty after Tyler Wilson was injured in the loss to Louisiana-Monroe (JOY OF ALL JOYS), Allen proved that he wasn't quite ready to be even bad against one of the country's best defenses.
Florida 38, Kentucky 0
Morgan Newton: 7-21, 48 yards, 0 TD, 3 INTs
Also coming off the bench, Newton cast serious doubt on whether he could hit the ocean while on a boat in the middle of it.
LSU 12, Auburn 10
Kiehl Frazier: 13-22, 97 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
If Frazier had not been drifting between grossly horrible and pretty horrible, Auburn very well could have beaten LSU, who, behind a standard Zach Mettenberger suckfest, did its best to do nothing.
South Carolina 38, Kentucky 17
Jalen Whitlow: 12-23, 114 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
Everyone lost when Auburn decided to put Kiehl Frazier on the shelf because the battle between him and the Kentucky quarterbacks for the worst numbers would have been something special.
Vanderbilt 19, Missouri 15
Corbin Berkstresser: 9-30, 189 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
85 of those yards came on one touchdown pass, which otherwise puts Berkstresser at 8-29, 104 yards. Either way, his attempts/completions looks like part of an Allen Iverson box score back in the day.
Florida 14, LSU 6
Zach Mettenberger: 11-25, 158 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Even after looking through the box score for this game, I can't really remember much from it. So, your mind really can block things out that were exceptionally excruciating to watch. #SCIENCE #NAPS
Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14
Jalen Whitlow: 10-21, 73 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Whenever you can confuse Jalen Whitlow like that, you've got to believe in an 8-0 start.
South Carolina 35, Georgia 7
Aaron Murray: 11-31, 109 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
At least Clowney didn't do this to Aaron Murray:
Alabama 42, Missouri 10
Corbin Berkstresser: 12-29, 126 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
To be fair, it was raining really hard and it wasn't even the worst Missouri quarterback performance.
Arkansas 49, Kentucky 7
Jalen Whitlow: 2-10, 83 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Though shortened by bad weather, 2-10 through just over two quarters of play was still pretty special. If only the weather wasn't so surly, we could have seen special greatness. DAMN YOU, WEATHER.
LSU 23, South Carolina 21
Zach Mettenberger: 12-25, 148 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Though not bad by Mettenberger standards, it holds up against some of the other performances on this list. And, of course, LSU still won with it.
Florida 44, South Carolina 11
Dylan Thompson: 8-20, 83 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Connor Shaw: 9-20, 72 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Our first appearance of two quarterbacks from the same team in the SAME game. Fantastically, it wouldn't be the last.
Alabama 44, Tennessee 13
Tyler Bray: 13-27, 184 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
My favorite part of watching Tyler Bray play was recognizing the exact moment when his give-a-shit got turned off. Window the size of a quarter 30-yards down the field? GONNA TRY AND SQUEEZE IT IN.
Missouri 33, Kentucky 10
Jalen Whitlow: 9-18, 76 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Corbin Berkstresser: 10-18, 71 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
This had to have been the worst game of the season, right? Did anyone who watched this game actually survive? Or was it like when the Nazis opened the Ark of the Covenant in Raider of the Lost Ark and everyone vanished after a horribly painful death?
Florida 14, Missouri 6
James Franklin: 24-51, 0 TD, 4 INT
There it is! The worst performance by a Missouri quarterback for the year.
Vanderbilt 40, Kentucky 0
Patrick Towles: 8-23, 93 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Jalen Whitlow: 5-12, 66 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
And our second appearance of two quarterbacks from the same team in the same game. Man, Kentucky was so, so, so bad this year.
Vanderbilt 41, Tennessee 18
Tyler Bray: 11-29, 103 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Not sure the give-a-shit was ever turned for this game. The next week, he threw 4 TDs against Kentucky (but who didn't!), which is a shame, because Bray's last game should have involved at least six interceptions with four touchdowns.
Alabama 49, Auburn 0
Jonathan Wallace: 5-14, 71 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Kiehl Frazier's understudy learned from the best.
Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20
Tyler Russell: 12-28, 106 yards, 2 TD, 4 INTs
Many a young man has fallen victim bright lights of Jacksonville at 11 in the morning.
Recruiting is all about the people. Which, as former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt once said, makes college football coaches "in the people heppin' business."
Sadly, Houston Nutt is not gainfully employed as a head football coach, though he continues to receive large checks from Ole Miss (SEXTON'D). But, as a career coach, Nutt will never be able to get through people heppin' season without doing some heppin' of his own, regardless if it's connected to recruiting.
Since he's got a lot of free time on his hands and a steady income (WHAT WERE YOU DOING, PETE BOONE?), he's been finding ways to hep' the people out there who need some heppin'. And what a public servant he's become. I see a future in politics or anything else in which you don't have to be very good at your job to keep it.
A few of the ways he's been there for the people:
Career Fair Volunteer
Here he's able to stay in touch with the young people and explain what companies are all about. This one here is about space and NASA. Big time projects. Satellites and shuttles. All the space stuff. Hey, here's a frisbee. It's orange. Good luck out there.
Rain Gauge Reader For Local Weather Station
Whenever it rains, Nutt goes out to the backyard, checks his rain gauge, and calls it in to the meteorologist. Other than seeing his name on the news at noon, he's most proud of his Storm Team 12 windbreaker.
Enricky Davis Fan Club President
Still working on drumming up some members, but he's passed out a lot of flyers, so the membership situation could be changing soon.
Fill-In Judge For Judge Joe Brown
No, he's not a real judge, but there are a lot of folks out there who, once they get that dispute over $101.27 worth of party balloons straightened out, can get on the right track to getting their lives in order.
Teacher Of How To Sneak Up On Other People
Sometimes, people need to be scared for fun. Shocked. Surprised. Whatever you want to call it. Birthdays. Welcome home. Some great moments in life, birthdays. Special times.
After his out-of-nowhere 5th-place finish at the National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner, North Carolina, many would-be hollerers have sought the services of this great natural talent. Nutt doesn't charge his students anything because PETE BOONE.
Substitute Calculus Teacher
While he doesn't really care for the math all that much, he's got a bunch of sweaters in his closet that he's been meaning to wear for the past 10-15 years.