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Blog ... The SEC Weekly Digest 7-27-08

College Football News
Posted Jul 28, 2008


A wild and wacky week kicked off SEC Football 2008.

By: BE Coleman

A week intended as the start of SEC Football was blighted by a misplaced subpoena that was a mystery on Thursday. The scenario should be forgotten, but wont due to the handling of the non-issue that has became an issue.

Either way, it lit a fire under Phil Fulmer and that may be a very good thing overall when it is all said and done - blanketing the outlook in 2008.

Unity and team spirit were at the core of the fundamental approach in how it was all handled later in the day when the mystery was solved after copies of the subpoena were passed to media wire services earlier in the day.

Vols fans were reassured there will be no lingering effects as there had been in 2004. Certainly, brought it's own specialty to the picnic. Either way that it is looked back upon, will certainly be remembered as the mystery subpoena.

One thing was for sure, the fan base in Big Orange Country rose to it's feet after Fulmer's Nashville appearance at an alum planned function, may have been yet another good thing.

While this issue in Tennessee has been resolved, up in Lexington Kentucky things are much worse heading into a new week.

Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Wildcats Coach Rich Brooks has discovered his leading quarterback had been arrested not once but twice this summer that includes one being drug related.

While Brooks was in Hoover, Alabama touting his quarterbacks in Curtis Pulley and Mark Hartline it was discovered that Pulley had been arrested twice.

Pulley was was charged last month in Louisville on a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. Last week during the SEC Media Days appearance by Brooks, Pulley was arrested for driving on a suspended - revoked license and for having expired plates and no registration papers.

As Brooks was saying this, "The battle is between Mark Hartline and Curtis Pulley," for the quarterback position. A police officer was reading Pulley his Miranda rights in Harding County, KY.

Court documents indicate Pulley was placed on diversion for his marijuana charge, usually means the charge can be removed from the record if the defendant doesn't violate the terms. Pulley has now violated those terms.

Arkansas Player Was Only Smoking

Bobby Petrino has his fifth player discipline issue to deal with in Fayetteville. WR Marques Wade was charged with DUI after he nearly hit a police officer with his car.

Fayetteville police state that Wade was stopped after speeding through a parking lot and nearly slide his vehicle into a police officer. Wade denied drinking and told police he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

Police said Wade's breathalyser test showed an alcohol content of 0.11. The state's recognized legal limit is only 0.08. While Wade had a blood alcohol level 0.03 times greater.

The sophomore is scheduled to appear in court in mid August. Wade was released from the Washington County jail Sunday morning after posting an $880 bond. He is the fifth player to be arrested for Petrino since January.

Conference O-Coordinators

There are eleven new coaching faces entering the revolving doors inside the Southeastern Conference in 2008. Topping the priority lists are Tony Franklin at Auburn and Dave Clawson of Tennessee and Jim McElwain at Alabama and Paul Petrino at Arkansas.

Clawson replaces David Cutcliffe who bolted at the chance to become a head coach again - in a lesser league. Cutcliffe coached at Tennessee during one of it's best runs during the 1990's.

Clawson's goal is to work toward transforming the Big Orange's offense back into the juggernaut it was during the 90's. Clawson has to rework a playbook that is dated back to 1983 when Walt Harris manned the controls.

The Vols offense is a mixture of Harris and Cutcliffe that will now see Clawson adding his west coast flavor into it. Last season saw the Volunteers run a no huddle attack.

This season Clawson will run a revolving front line on offense. Essentially the Big Orange will swap weak and strong side from play to play. The teams new dimension up front should be something to watch.

Franklin will bring his version of a spread offense to the plains in Auburn. The basic run and attack mode of the Tigers has taken a hit without the players required to make it happen the last two seasons.

Not unlike Clawson, Franklin is known for getting the most out of his players during a season. Tuberville had a trial run during the Chick-Fila Bowl (the former Peach Bowl) as the Tigers slipped by Clemson in OT 23-20 with his O-C hire and hopeful star quarterback Kodi Burns.

Franklin plans on using the no huddle this year said Tuberville last week at the SEC Media Days, who hopes he can put the program five years ahead of other conference schools in the new operand mode.

Tide Lineman Don't Want To Think - Just Block

Jim McElwain takes over as the O-C at Alabama with a team that had rushed for 1,940 yards on 490 attempts - but passed 472 times for 2,919 yards with play calling balance.

McElwain inherits a pass successful program in Tuscaloosa behind the arm of John Parker Wilson. Coach Nick Saban wants to see the Crimson Tide to have a greater number balance on offense rushing the football and avoid being one dimensional.

The end result saw Alabama moving the chains by relying on Wilson's arm in down yardage situations. The bottom line statistic saw the Tide's 3rd down conversion rate at 10th out of the 12 teams.

The Crimson Tide attempted 198 3rd downs and only converted 75 of them for a 37.9% mark.

"McElwain, the system that he's brought, is more friendly, easier to learn, than what we've had here in the past," says O-Lineman Antoine Caldwell. "It's a faster system where don't have to think as much and the younger guys."

The Tide finished up 2007 at 7th in total offense and 8th rushing the football.

Petrino Brothers Pokey Piglets

Paul Petrino takes over for his brother - Bobby's program in Arkansas as the O-C of the former named Hog Wild Offense.

Arkansas is a team riding a decisive fence heading into 08. There is plenty of hardware for the brothers to make the Razorbacks a legitimate bowl team.

The arrests of five players are concerning with preseason camps due to open next week. Petrino's team headlines have transformed themselves to "little piglets in the pokey" than the possibility that is actually there ready to play.

After finishing 2007 at eleventh of twelve teams in passing offense is where brother Paul will work his magic with Casey Dick. Last season Dick passed for 1,618 yards in an offense that rushed the football a staggering 625 times for 3,725 yards.

Not Forgotten D-Coordinators

Franklin joins Paul Rhoads at D-C for Auburn while LSU seeks to replace the duly noted and departed Bo Pelini with Doug Mallory and Bradley Peveto.

Mississippi State brings in Charlie Harbison as D-C, while in state rival Ole Miss headed by Houston Nutt has Kent Harris as O-C and the regarded Tyrone Nix as D-Coordinator.

Carolina's Steve Spurrier hopes his new D-C will alleviate woes that doomed his team in 07 after reaching number 6 in the BCS last season. The Gamer's had an injury bug last season that compounded the problems. -n-


Older Stories:
Blog...Fulmer Says “It’s All Crap!" , 7-25-2008
Blog ... Fulmer Mystery Subpoena Solved, 7-24-2008
Blog... LSU – Calm Before The Storm, 7-23-2008
Blog...Tebow Mania Begins Now, 7-23-2008
Blog...Mississippi State Uprising?, 7-23-2008
SEC Coaches Tap Seven Players, 7-21-2008
Blog - The SEC Weekly Digest, 7-12-2008
Who Is In Charge Of The Zoo?, 7-10-2008
SEC Running Backs Are Running Strong, 7-1-2008
Blog ... Tennessee Top 10 Program Wins, 6-22-2008
Nine Conference Games Makes BCS Sense, 6-10-2008