SEC Winter Roundup
Life in the SEC has returned to its normal level of quietness. There are no brash headlines to either engage or to enrage football followers this spring.
By: BE Coleman
The Winter Olympics have closed their doors after helping to alleviate some football withdrawal for the hardcore enthusiast. While I am still irked about the coverage, or lack of coverage given to both the Skeleton and Bobsleigh events, still lingers the feeling of being cheated in March.
After all, just because it is the south, does not mean we don't enjoy seeing humans propelling their bodies at breakneck speeds across ice. We did invent NASCAR, if you forgot that tidbit, but it is time to get back to the staple.
Life in the SEC has returned to its normal level of quietness with the departure of Lane Kiffin at Tennessee in 2010. There are no brash headlines to either engage or to enrage football followers this spring.
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier is free to return to his pedestal as the mouth of the south and Urban Meyer's heart condition has gotten much better after Kiffin headed for the west coast. Funny how those things work out.
One year ago the plethora of news coming out of the SEC was at an all time high for the spring season, it was followed up throughout the 09 playing season as broadcast media repeated, repeated and repeated storylines that pretty much did backfire on them.
The first week of March found more folks talking about the harsh winter that is also not traditional in the southeast than football. With temperatures moving into the 50 degree range find it is high time for the SEC to take their first steps toward the 2010 playing season.
While the news is not as enlightening as it was one year ago, there are some tidbits coming from the conference gridiron. Some of it is not what coaches wanted to see.
Les Miles jumped out quick and hard to make sure his Tigers were the conference's first team on the practice fields. Miles strongly desires to reclaim the Tigers portion of a crowded western division this year for LSU.
Miles has reason for concern; everyone noticed Auburn's signing class that was top five in the nation. The Plains Tigers finished third in the conference when the dust settled on recruiting, is duly noted by all.
Tiger WR Terrence Tolliver who finished 6th in the conference in receiving last season will miss spring work due to a broken hand after getting into a bar fight at Reggie's Bar. Miles says he will not suspend Tolliver, but he will pay a "tremendous price."
The arrest bug visited Georgia over the weekend as well. It certainly was not what a vacationing Mark Richt wanted to hear. The Bulldogs contested battle at quarterback now has one less name this week.
Bulldog freshman QB Zach Mettenberger obviously wanted to get his name into the hat for the Stephen Garcia Drunken Quarterback Award this year. The freshman was arrested at Flip Flops Bar and charged with underage consumption. Police found two fake ID's on him as well. Tsk-Tsk…a freshman with fake ID's.
School policy says that he will miss 10% of the season, at least one game in 2010. It is not the way Richt wanted to start out competition for the team's next leader. Prior to spring practice, Mettenberger told the news media, "I'm starting to mature." Sadly for Richt, his touted freshman did not show that he had.
Richard Samuel will not be in the crowded Georgia backfield in 2010. The Bulldogs coaching staff have decided he is a better fit for the squad on defense at linebacker than on offense, which is a common position to position coaching move.
Spurrier has also decided to make some changes himself with his Gamecock attack. After being riddled with perplexing questions upon putting the entire trio of receivers on the field at once in 09, finds the Mad Visor is doing exactly just that.
Doing so has most likely given Spurrier one of, if not the most lethal attacks from a height advantage point over less than six foot defensive backs. The Gamecocks have moved 6-5 Tori Gurley from WR to the SE slot. The Spurrier plan gives Garcia more passing option's with crossing routes, it also helps open the TE running a drag route.
The quarterback battle at Tennessee will be an interesting one this spring as senior Nick Stephens will have a tough fight from Sophomore Matt Simms.
Simms is ready for practice after returning from off season hand surgery to correct a broken bone last fall, that had occurred playing JUCO ball in California after departing Louisville in 08.
Kentucky's Randy Sanders and Tee Martin have been busy getting their offensive attack ready in Lexington. Sanders breathed life into Kentucky's attack after he moved from Tennessee five years ago.
Adding Martin, who is very familiar with the O-Coordinators gameplan could be the one edge the Cat's badly need. Coming up short in the big games may be answered sooner than later. It is a storyline worth keeping an eye upon for everyone.
The Wildcats program has come a long way the last five years. Martin will also cure any recruiting ills experienced in the past. He also thinks the spread attack is staying in the games playbook for years to come due to its versatility.
Joker Phillips announced an upcoming position change for junior Matt Lentz, who will move from safety to linebacker.
SEC Winter Roundup 3.10.10
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Cutcliffe Reportedly Headed To Tennessee 1.14.10