Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 7/21
Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus
Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus
Posted Jul 20, 2010

CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations on what's going on this summer in the SEC.

Do you have a comment? E-mail me.

With a little more than a month to go before toe meets leather for the 2010 college football season, Three & Out returns to give you a periodic look at what's going on this summer in the SEC. In today's edition, we take a look at agent-gate, the Vandy coaching situation and the coaches preseason All-SEC team.

Agent-gate seems to be passing through BCS programs like a bad cold these days. It started over the weekend at North Carolina, moved southward to South Carolina and Florida, and now, it has infected Alabama.

The Alabama compliance department is currently investigating if defensive end Marcell Dareus broke NCAA rules by attending an agent-related party in Miami, Fla., earlier this summer. Since the party in question took place after the 2009 season, it's unlikely that Alabama will have to vacate any wins from their 2009 national championship season. However, Dareus' eligibility in 2010 is very much in question.

Dareus is expected to be one of the key players on the rebuilt Alabama defensive line. As a sophomore last season, he led the Crimson Tide with 6.5 sacks. His season was punctuated by being named the defensive MVP of the Tide's BCS National Championship Game win over Texas, after returning a Garrett Gilbert interception 28 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.

The Dareus investigation comes on the heels of the related investigations involving North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin and South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders. Former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey is being investigated in an unrelated agent matter.

Look folks, get used to this. Agents are everywhere in college football, and it's unlikely that agent-gate ends with Alabama. It's a sad reality of college football...but it is the reality. States have sought to crack down on unlicensed agents by passing stricter athlete-agent laws aimed at punishing agents. Other than that, there's not much that can be done to prevent this from happening. Players and agents already know that it's wrong. If the player is near the end of his college career, the only way to punish him is to get the NFL Players Association involved, and there's no way that will happen.

Bobby Johnson shocked the college football world last week by retiring as the head coach of Vanderbilt, leaving the Commodores no choice but to name an interim head coach – which they did by announcing that Robbie Caldwell will take over for the time being. Caldwell has the opportunity to get in the good graces of the Vandy brass by posting a good season in 2010. But hey, it's Vandy, so that's not likely.

So the question remains, who is going to coach Vandy?

I've heard several suggestions, ranging from the old school guys like former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer, to new school guys like Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach. I don't know if any of them would be right for the Vandy job. Vanderbilt simply doesn't offer the opportunity to progress. In the case of those coaches, should they take head coaching gigs, they will be looking for places where they can win big, and Vandy simply doesn't offer that.

One thing is obvious, Vandy needs to find an edge. They can't compete on a week-in, week-out basis in the SEC, so they need to find something that makes them unique.

Look no further than the triple-option.

Last season, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson proved that the triple-option can be successful in the BCS era by winning the ACC Championship in just his second season with the Yellow Jackets. It's time for Vanderbilt to give it a shot too. Any coach in the ACC will tell you, it's difficult to prepare for the triple-option in just one week.

Johnson's successor at Navy, Ken Niumatalolo, would be a nice candidate for the position. After all, it's Vandy. If you're only throwing a 86 mph fastball, you need to develop a changeup. The triple-option is that changeup.

The SEC released the coaches preseason All-SEC team Tuesday morning. There weren't many surprises, although the wide receiver position did catch my attention.

It seems to be a natural reaction to list Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones as a first-teamer ahead of Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams. On the field, I'd give the edge to Adams. He flourished last season in first-year offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's run-based spread attack. Adams had a much better season in 2009, hauling in 60 passes for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns, compared to Jones' 2009 campaign where he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and four touchdowns. You could argue that Jones took over the LSU game, and without him, Alabama's perfect season may not have happened. There's probably some merit to that. But Adams took over some games too, including a 12-catch, 142-yard performance in Auburn's Outback Bowl win over Northwestern.

2010 Preseason All-SEC Coaches Team
First-team Offense
QB -- Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 
RB -- Mark Ingram, Alabama 
RB -- Derrick Locke, Kentucky 
WR -- A.J. Green, Georgia 
WR -- Julio Jones, Alabama 
TE -- D.J. Williams, Arkansas 
OL -- Clint Boling, Georgia 
OL -- Carl Johnson, Florida 
OL -- Barrett Jones, Alabama 
OL -- Lee Ziemba, Auburn 
C -- Mike Pouncey, Florida 

First-team Defense
DL -- Marcell Dareus, Alabama 
DL -- Jerrell Powe, Ole Miss 
DL -- Cliff Matthews, South Carolina 
LB -- Josh Bynes, Auburn 
LB -- Dont'a Hightower, Alabama 
LB -- Chris Marve, Vanderbilt 
LB -- Kelvin Sheppard, LSU 
DB -- Mark Barron, Alabama 
DB -- Patrick Peterson, LSU 
DB -- Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina 
DB -- Janoris Jenkins, Florida 

First-team Special Teams
PK -- Blair Walsh, Georgia 
P -- Drew Butler, Georgia 
RS -- Warren Norman, Vanderbilt 
All-purpose -- Randall Cobb, Kentucky 

Second-team Offense
QB -- Greg McElroy, Alabama 
RB -- Jeff Demps, Florida 
RB -- Trent Richardson, Alabama 
WR -- Darvin Adams, Auburn 
WR -- Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina 
TE -- Luke Stocker, Tennessee 
OL -- James Carpenter, Alabama 
OL -- DeMarcus Love, Arkansas 
OL -- Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State 
OL -- Cordy Glenn, Georgia*
OL -- Joseph Barksdale, LSU*
C -- Ryan Pugh, Auburn 

Second-team Defense
DL -- Pernell McPhee, Mississippi State 
DL -- Drake Nevis, LSU 
DL -- DeQuin Evans, Kentucky*
DL -- Chris Walker, Tennessee*
DL -- Ladi Ajiboye, South Carolina*
LB -- Jerry Franklin, Arkansas 
LB -- A.J. Jones, Florida 
LB -- Craig Stevens, Auburn 
LB -- K.J. Wright, Mississippi State
DB -- Ahmad Black, Florida 
DB -- Chris Culliver, South Carolina 
DB -- Will Hill, Florida 
DB -- Neiko Thorpe, Auburn 

Second-team Special Teams 
PK -- Caleb Sturgis, Florida 
P -- Chas Henry, Florida 
RS -- Brandon Boykin, Georgia 
All-purpose -- Chris Rainey, Florida 
(* - denotes ties)

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee

2010 Offseason Three & Out Archive
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 7, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – June 30, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 8, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 31, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 28, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 24, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 18, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 15, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 2, 2010

Click Here for the off-season blog archive

Click here for the 2009 regular season Three & Out archive

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