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  1. Classy Fans. 20C1781C-8C6D-4CF0-BD70-A994CAEAD652.mov
  2. SEC EAST 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings February 16, 2019 These can and will change after spring ball and going into the season, but for now, as a starting point, welcome to your pre-everything early ranking of all the SEC teams. SEC EAST 7. Vanderbilt Commodores Can Ball State transfer QB Riley Neal come in and take over for Kyle Shurmur? If he can’t Mo Hasan will get the look. The winner of the battle gets a fantastic receiving corps to work with – everyone is back – helped by TE Jared Pinkney not taking off for the NFL. The O line takes a hit losing three starters, but RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn is back for what should be a decent ground game. The defensive front three is in decent shape, but three of the four bowl game starters at linebacker are gone. Losing CB Joejuan Williams early to the NFL doesn’t help – only one starter returns to the secondary. Final 2018 Record: 6-7 (3-5) 2018 SEC East Finish: 6 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 14 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Rush & Tackles For Loss Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Secondary 6. Missouri Tigers This changed after the punishment from the NCAA – Mizzou is now banned from going bowling in 2019. If everything was normal, this was probably around the fourth-best team in the East. It’s pushing it to say that Clemson grad transfer Kelly Bryant will be as good as Drew Lock, or possibly and upgrade, but he’ll be … different. Rarely do you find a guy with College Football Playoff credentials ready to step in and go. Dangerous deep threat Emanuel Hall is gone, but Arkansas transfer Jonathan Nance will fill in just fine and Albert Okwuegbunam might just be the nation’s best tight end. Leading rusher Larry Rountree is back, but No. 2 man Damarea Crockett is leaving early for the NFL. Three starters return up front. Five of the top seven tacklers are back, but the interior of the defensive line has to be replaced. The pass rushers and talent are there on the outside, but linebackers Terez Hall and Brandon Lee have to be replaced. It might have been a rough year for the secondary, but three of the four starters return. Final 2018 Record: 8-5 (4-4) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 11 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Defense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Tackle 5. Kentucky Wildcats Of course this is way too low, but the rest of the division is better. What Mark Stoops did with the Cats last year was amazing. Doing anything close to that this year would be miraculous considering what he has to replace. There’s no replacing hybrid defensive star Josh Allen, but he’s not the only one missing. Four of the top five tacklers are gone, almost the entire starting secondary, and the line needs reworking, too. Even so, there’s a decent core to work around, starting with LB Kash Daniel in the middle. Heart-and-soul RB Benny Snell is done, but there’s an interesting young rotation of backs ready to go around QB Terry Wilson. The O line should be fine with a little bit of time, but the receiving corps has to find some new key pieces around Lynn Bowden. Final 2018 Record: 10-3 (5-3) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 12 Biggest Issue To Fix: Passing Offense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Quarterback Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Back 4. Tennessee Volunteers QB Jarrett Guarantano needs to become something special after a promising year – there aren’t a slew of viable other options at the moment. The receiving corps is very deep and very promising with almost everyone who caught a pass last season returning. Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan lead a decent group of running backs behind a line that gets four starters back, only losing OT Drew Richmond to transfer. Nine of the top 12 tacklers return. The defensive front gets gutted, but Pruitt has enough of a rotation that it shouldn’t be too massive an issue after some reworking. Most of the linebackers return – losing Quart’e Sapp early to the NFL – and the secondary gets enough talent back to be a whole lot stronger. Final 2018 Record: 5-7 (2-6) 2018 SEC East Finish: 7 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 9 Biggest Issue To Fix: Total Offense Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Line 3. South Carolina Gamecocks The Gamecocks are an interesting blend of loaded and concerning. Start with the defensive line that gets back everyone and should be a deep, talented killer as the year goes on. Continue with the linebacking corps that welcomes back leading tacklers TJ Brunson and Sherrod Greene, and then … the secondary. It’s going to take some work around emerging young talents Jaycee Horn at one corner spot and RJ Roderick at safety. Getting back JT Ibe for a sixth year is a huge help at safety. Star WR Deebo Samuel is gone for veteran QB Jake Bentley, but Bryan Edwards is a No. 1 guy for a good-looking receiving corps. Everyone of note is back for the ground game, but the O line has to undergo an overhaul. Final 2018 Record: 7-6 (4-4) 2018 SEC East Finish: T4 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 5 Biggest Issue To Fix: Turnover Margin Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Defensive Line Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive Back RELATED SEC 2019 Football Schedule: 5 Things That Matter 2. Florida Gators The expectations are higher now, but there are just enough glaring holes to keep the 2019 season from blowing up – and it starts on the offensive front. Jawaan Taylor is an NFL starter somewhere on a front five next year, and Martez Ivey will have a place in the league, too. Four starters have to be replaced on the line, but leading rusher Lamichal Perine is back along with a terrific-looking receiving corps. Can QB Feleipe Franks step up and be a superstar? If he gets the blocking, maybe. The defense takes a hit losing DE Jachaei Polite, leading tackler Vosean Joseph from the linebacking corps, and S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson early to the NFL, but the return of Jabari Zuniga helps. The secondary should be a killer with Marco Wilson expected to return fine from a torn ACL to join CB CJ Henderson and a great group of safeties. Final 2018 Record: 10-3 (5-3) 2018 SEC East Finish: T2 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 6 Biggest Issue To Fix: Penalties Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Defensive Back Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Tackle 1. Georgia Bulldogs The talent is all across the board, but there might be little margin for error over the first part of the season until the depth develops. It’s all Jake Fromm’s quarterbacking world now, but who will he throw to? Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, and TE Isaac Nauta all left early – this is where Kirby Smart’s great recruiting classes kick in. RB D’Andre Swift should go off behind a line that gets back four starters. The defense still might not have any Roquan Smith-like obvious superstars, but it’s going to be really, really good despite the loss of five of the top ten tacklers. The line will form a killer rotation, the linebackers should rise up with a little time, and despite the loss of CB Deandre Baker, the secondary will be fantastic. Final 2018 Record: 11-3 (7-1) 2018 SEC East Finish: 1 2018 Prespring SEC Conference Ranking: 2 Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Rush & Tackles For Loss Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Offensive Line Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Wide Receiver
  3. SEC media days schedule rolled out Thursday. 7/15 Fla: Mullen LSU: Orgeron Miss: Odom 7/16 Ga: Smart Miss: Luke Ten: Pruitt A&M: Fisher 7/17 Ala: Saban Ark: Morris MSU: Moorhead USC: Muschamp 7/18 Aub: Malzahn Ken: Stoops Vandy: Mason
  4. FeatheredCock

    Who wins the East in 2019?

    Who wins the East in 2019? Is it UGA again? They have one it in the last 2 years. Florida? Tennessee? or perhaps Carolina. I feel Flordia and Georgia will be in the big picture and I fear Tennesse will be right there. Carolina will have to play better much better on the defensive side. Just hope they do not lose any more players Like today with Belk gone. There is a chance he could be back just would not hold my breath though. On Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mizzou will finish out the bottom. Kentucky lost too much and Mizzou has troubles of their own that they have to overcome and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt. Tough to play but lacking in certain important areas.
  5. Ole Miss football has been forced to vacate 33 wins from six seasons as the last part of the NCAA’s investigation into the program. The wins will be vacated due to ineligible players participating in football games, and most ineligible players had some sort of ACT violation. https://wreg.com/2019/02/12/ole-miss-football-forced-to-vacate-33-wins-after-investigation/ Mizzou gets hit, now Ole Miss. One can only hope a certain shithole in the upstate is next.
  6. NCAA hits Missouri football with postseason ban January 31, 2019 CLICK TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE As a result of an NCAA academic violation, Missouri football is banned from the postseason for 2019 and 2020, according to an announcement made Thursday afternoon. The punishment is part of the penalties laid upon the Missouri athletic department after it was found that a Former Missouri tutor completed coursework for 12 student-athletes. “A former University of Missouri, Columbia, tutor violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules when she completed academic work for 12 student-athletes, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel,” the NCAA stated. “Although the tutor said she felt pressure to ensure student-athletes passed courses, according to the committee’s report, the investigation did not support that her colleagues directed her to complete the student-athletes’ work." The football postseason ban is part of the penalty. Other penalties against Missouri include a three-year probation, postseason bans for softball and baseball, a 5 percent scholarship reduction next year and “a vacation of records in which football, baseball and softball student-athletes competed while ineligible.” The penalty comes after Missouri football put forward a strong 8-5 season under coach Barry Odom. It was the second-consecutive bowl appearance for Missouri, which will not be eligible to go for a third next season if the penalties hold. It is tough news for Missouri players, including graduate transfer Kelly Bryant. Bryant left Clemson after losing the job to Trevor Lawrence and selected Missouri and the chance to replace Drew Lockas his transfer destination. Bryant was eligible to transfer without penalty because of his graduation at Clemson. A player is only eligible once to graduate-transfer without penalty.
  7. Bentley on pace to collect more records With a school record 510 passing yards last Saturday night in South Carolina’s 56-35 loss at No. 2 Clemson, Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley got himself into the program’s record books. https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/LongFormArticle/South-Carolina-Football-Gamecocks-quarterback-Jake-Bentley-is-within-reach-of-rewriting-the-programs-record-books-125563107/?utm_source=247Sports Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=181129_103516_South Carolina Gamecocks&utm_content=Link&liveconnect=B9-59-5C-F8-9C-E0-15-9E-F0-7B-5F-1E-D7-67-B8-9D181129_103516SouthCarolinaGamecocks
  8. SEC Rivalry Week Preview - College Football Week 13 - Game Times, TV, Odds November 22, 2018
  9. Five things to know about South Carolina’s opponent November 06, 2018 THE STATE Matt Baker, a Florida beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, took time this week to answer a few of our questions about the No. 19 Gators as they prepare for Saturday’s game with South Carolina. Kickoff is noon from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. ESPN will televise. 1. Florida’s got some quarterback drama heading into this game. Between Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, who gives the Gators the best shot to win and why? Probably Franks. After a loss, the backup quarterback is always the most popular player on the roster, right? But Franks is more talented than Kyle Trask. That’s why he has beaten him for the starting job repeatedly, under two different coaching staffs. The touchdown pass he had against Georgia was a big-time throw. He hasn’t made those kinds of plays consistently, but he’s got the edge in experience and talent. I think he starts Saturday and every game this season (barring injury). 2. Franks is a sophomore. Trask is a sophomore. Freshman Emory Jones was a high-profile recruit. UF’s starting QB in 2019 will be ? Emory Jones. Unless something weird happens, he’ll probably only play against Idaho and in the bowl game to preserve his redshirt. Dan Mullen is taking it slow with him; he doesn’t want to throw him in too early, as UF probably did with Feleipe Franks last year. But from what very little we’ve seen, Jones is a better fit for Mullen’s offense than Franks or Trask. That’s why Mullen recruited him. I don’t think Franks/Trask have done enough to prove they’re the long-term answer UF has been seeking since Tim Tebow left. Jones might be. 3. Which is more like the real Florida: The Gators that started 6-1 or the Gators that have dropped consecutive games by a combined 40 points? What’s the old coaching line, that you’re never as good or as bad as you thought you were? Sorry to use the lame answer, but the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Florida beat a very good LSU team. That is a fact. It’s a thing that happened. But UF also got drubbed at home by a decent Mizzou team. That is also a thing that happened. Here’s what that tells me: When the Gators play well, they can hang with almost every team outside of the Alabama/Clemson echelon. When they play poorly, they can get beat by most decent teams. So that makes them like almost every other team in the country. 4. Recent attendance numbers have suggested some apathy with the program. Is that surprising with Dan Mullen in the fold A little bit. Mullen has done a lot to try to fire up the fan base, dating back to the offseason. His time as an assistant under Urban Meyer means he knows the program and can tell stories of Tebow and Percy Harvin. Fans love that connection. But he has a big hill to climb. UF fans want wins and offense. They’re beaten down from the Muschamp and McElwaindebacles. They’re frustrated that there’s still no long-term quarterback. Let’s not forget, too, that this isn’t just a Florida issue. Attendance has been down nationally. Florida State reduced its capacity a few years ago, to name one other school. It’s bigger than UF, but the Gators’ on-field product has contributed to the problem. 5. After Will Muschamp was fired, Jim McElwain lasted two and a half years at Florida before his tenure came to an unceremonious end. How do Gator fans view Muschamp now? They’re not going to build a statue of him or anything, but they view him better now after the McElwain era. Even when McElwain won the East in his first two years, fans didn’t seem to love him. He wasn’t a right fit, and that became obvious pretty quickly. Muschamp was different. I don’t think it was personal with him — certainly not to the degree that it was with McElwain. With Muschamp, it was business. There are people at UF who still like Muschamp as a human being. He just didn’t win enough. So I think that’s how the fans view him —as a nice enough guy who didn’t win enough games or put up enough points.
  10. Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Florida November 04, 2018 South Carolina (5-3, 4-3 SEC) at Florida (6-3, 4-3) When: Noon, Saturday Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium TV: ESPN Three storylines 1. Will Muschamp’s old team stands in the way of South Carolina becoming bowl eligible for a third consecutive season. It wasn’t long ago when Florida was destined to be a definitive favorite in this game. The Gators were 6-1 and ranked among the nation’s top 10 in mid-October before stumbling to consecutive defeats against Georgia and Missouri by a combined score of 74-34. 2. USC is 2-2 over its last four visits to The Swamp, including a 20-7 loss in 2016. Saturday’s task isn’t overly daunting — Florida is just 3-2 at home this season — but can the Gamecocks pull it off short-handed? Carolina’s thrilling win over Ole Miss came at a cost as several regulars went down with injuries. 3. South Carolina vs. Dan Mullen happens for a fourth time, but first time featuring Mullen in orange and blue. As Mississippi State’s coach from 2009-17, Mullen went 1-2 against the Gamecocks, including a 27-14 win in Starkville in 2016 that served as Muschamp’s second game in charge of USC. Three Florida players to watch 1. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks heard boos from the UF faithful before he was replaced against Missouri. The sophomore, who completed just 10 passes in last year’s loss to USC in Columbia, isn’t certain to appear against the Gamecocks again. Kyle Trask, a redshirt sophomore, went 10 of 18 for 126 yards with a touchdown late in the Missouri loss. “We’ll see how they perform this week,” Mullen said of the QB situation. “If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.” 2. Florida defensive end Jachai Polite is fourth in the SEC with seven sacks. He’s a Bednarik Award semifinalist who’s forced four fumbles this season, most among FBS defensive linemen. South Carolina, as a team, has only forced two fumbles this season. 3. The Gator defensive front is a handful. Not lost in Polite’s shadow is Jabari Zuniga. The 6-foot-4, 257-pound end is 11th in the SEC in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (nine).
  11. A deeper dive into numbers suggests South Carolina can stop Ole Miss November 02, 2018 Ole Miss’ high-scoring offense is going to be nearly impossible for South Carolina to stop, right? Let’s take a closer look at that. The Rebels are third in the SEC in scoring and 21st in the nation in scoring offense with 38.4 points per game, but that’s in all games. Ole Miss scored 47 points against Texas Tech, 76 against Southern Illinois, 38 against Kent State and 70 against Louisiana Monroe. In conference games only, the Rebels are 12th in the SEC and 116th in the nation in scoring offense with 19 points per game. South Carolina has outscored Ole Miss in conference games, averaging 25.2 points in the league, which ranks fifth. It’s worth noting here that the Rebels’ conference opponents have been Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn, so some pretty good defenses. Ole Miss still racks up a ton of yards in SEC games (ranking third with 408.5 per game), it just hasn’t done a good job of turning those into points. All that being said, the Rebels offense still scares South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp. “They play extremely fast,” Muschamp said. “I think they run the ball extremely well. They’ve got RPOs off every run-action that they have, so you’ve really got to do a good job with your eyes and train your eyes to be in the right spots.” Ole Miss has two things that have hurt South Carolina in the past, a quarterback who can make plays with his legs in Jordan Ta’amu, and a group of pass catchers that has to be salivating while watching film of the Gamecocks secondary. The difference in Saturday’s game won’t be on that side of the ball, though. The outcome will be determined when South Carolina has the ball. The Rebels defense is bad, ranking last in the SEC in points allowed (34.6) and yards allowed (497.8). Every conference opponent has scored more than 30 points against Ole Miss. If South Carolina can score more than 30 points, it’s likely to come away from its first trip to Oxford, Miss., in 10 years with a victory. The problem with that equation is the Gamecocks have only scored more than 30 points once since Sept. 22, and they have only done it twice overall in conference play. South Carolina has been slow coming out of the gate, inconsistent in its rushing offense and not consistently explosive in its passing offense. Unless it addresses those issues, a conference win the road will be a tough task.
  12. FeatheredCock

    SEC on CBS

    CBS’s SEC Deal Was A Steal: What Happens Next? CBS’s SEC Deal Was A Steal: What Happens Next? On Saturday CBS Sports will air two top ten SEC games, #6 Georgia at #9 Kentucky at 3:30 et and #1 Alabama at #3 LSU at 8 et, as part of its multi-year agreement to carry the SEC’s top weekly games on CBS. The Alabama at LSU game will probably be the most viewed so far this season and Georgia at Kentucky will continue the SEC’s run of dominating afternoon ratings in college football. Both of these games will continue the trend begun over twenty years ago, in 1996, when CBS snatched up SEC games for the first time. Initially CBS split the telecasts nationwide, carrying the Big East in some east coast markets — frequently Miami or Virginia Tech back then — before going exclusively to the SEC just after the 2000 season. It has been a remarkably successful partnership between CBS and the SEC, but the primary financial value, as I will discuss below, has been almost entirely on CBS’s side. Given that CBS receives the first pick each week of SEC games — for a total of 15 games each season, including one doubleheader weekend like this one coming up where CBS gets the top two picks — as well as the SEC title game, you’d think CBS must pay a ton of money for the exclusive rights to these telecasts, right? You’d be wrong. In fact, CBS pays an average of just $55 million a year, on a contract deal that runs through the 2023 football season. Yes, just $55 million total for 14 regular season SEC games and the SEC title game, a grand total of 15 games. That equates to roughly $3.7 million per league game. That’s insanity. Putting that number into perspective, ESPN will pay over $110 million per Monday Night Football game. And the audiences aren’t that dissimilar. An average Monday Night Football game on ESPN draws about twice what an SEC game in the afternoon draws on CBS. So how did this deal end up happening? And more importantly for most fans, what’s going to happen in 2023 when the SEC on CBS deal expires? Both are fascinating questions to discuss and contemplate. First, the current CBS deal was a product of then-SEC commissioner Mike Slive and his TV negotiator, Chuck Gerber. Both men, who were fantastic individuals, have passed away in recent years, but Slive wanted the SEC on CBS as a branding opportunity. He instructed Gerber to focus less on the money received for the games and more on the branding opportunities for the conference. If CBS, then and often since the nation’s most popular broadcast network, guaranteed to carry the SEC every week to a nationwide audience it would give the conference a prime destination window into homes across the nation. No matter where you lived, you’d be able to see the SEC’s signature game. There is no doubt that Slive was right and that the hundreds of SEC on CBS games have gone a long way towards providing substantial value to the conference’s overall brand. But there’s also no doubt that Slive and other conference officials have bristled at CBS’s unwillingness to recognize the steal of a deal they locked in years ago, particularly when the SEC expanded and added Missouri and Texas A&M. Rather than look at conference expansion as an opportunity to commit long term to the conference — as ESPN did, creating the SEC network and signing a long term deal through 2034 for all the league’s other games — CBS played hardball in negotiations over conference expansion refusing to even increase the payout on a per capita basis to the league as it increased from 12 to 14 members. (The SEC was stunned that CBS, making tens of millions a year on their lucrative TV deal, didn’t agree to pay the conference at a bare minimum, ten million more per year when Texas A&M and Missouri were added to the conference.) Instead CBS, in a decision that will likely loom large as this deal nears completion, refused to do anything except give up its exclusive window for games in the afternoon. (Prior to expansion no other SEC games could air during the 3:30 to 6:30 eastern window for the CBS game of the week). The result? Despite adding the entire state of Texas through the addition of Texas A&M, which has been a boon for national ratings given the increased league interest in the football mad state of Texas, CBS paid no more to the league to carry the broadcasts. As a result of these contentious negotiations in the wake of conference expansion, it’s highly unlikely the SEC will remain on CBS after the 2023 football season. (CBS has previously told Outkick it intends to extend its deal and maintain its partnership with the league, but the chances of that happening, based on everything I’ve been told, are minimal at best). The tension between the SEC and CBS has not abated this season, by the way, either. Recently on the pregame show before the league’s game on CBS, analyst Brian Jones said he believed the SEC’s league office, which is based in Birmingham, might be biased in favor of Alabama and that was why LSU’s Devin White was suspended for targeting and Alabama’s players have not been. Host Adam Zucker said as follows: “And it gets reviewed in Birmingham and you’re saying that you think there is more involved than just pure judgment that it was targeting?” Brian Jones responded: “Well I see flags thrown on certain teams and I see them not thrown on certain teams,” Jones said. “And I’ll leave it at that.” That’s a pretty blockbuster accusation from the league’s TV partner, that the league is conspiring to favor Alabama. The fact that it aired on CBS left SEC officials furious. It’s one thing when fan message boards light up with accusations that a conference favors one team or another, it’s a different level entirely when the league’s own TV partner says it as part of the league’s pregame telecast. Here’s that discussion which was promoted and shared on the main CBS Sports Twitter feed: It all added up to just another reason the CBS and SEC partnership is likely to end sooner rather than later. Honestly, if CBS were smart about its SEC deal, which it hasn’t been so far, it would go straight to the league this week, hat in hand, and offer $200 million a year for a five year extension to 2028. That’s a billion dollars total which it could amortize over the course of the next decade, roughly doubling what it pays the SEC now for the entire package. I don’t think the SEC would say yes to this offer, but going to roughly $130 million a year for the next decade would at least put the contract somewhere in the ballpark of reasonableness.) The problem is, who has the authority for CBS to make a deal like this? No one knows in the wake of the Les Moonves collapse. So who will get the games after 2023? Rest assured, there will be many bidders. Among them: Disney/ESPN, which airs every other SEC game, desperately wants the CBS game of the week to give it total control of all conference match-ups. But would the SEC want one network to control all of its games? That seems unlikely barring a monster offer. Which is why the new Fox network could make sense. What’s Fox’s goal with its network? As much primetime sports as possible. Given that a new Fox will be aligned with Fox News, the WWE, and NASCAR what better fits the network’s heartland strategy than appealing to the 11 SEC states? It’s honestly a no brainer for Fox. This would allow the SEC to continue to take advantage of a major network broadcast partner and it would also give Fox the potential to pair the SEC game of the week with the Big Ten game of the week. This would also give Fox the potential to carry every major league’s title game except the ACC’s. Over the same long weekend Fox could carry the Big Ten, the Big 12, the SEC, and the Pac 12 title games. There’s also the possibility Fox could make a monster offer to the SEC that was conditional on the games airing on FS1. Can you imagine the money FS1 could make if the SEC game of the week was on cable? If Fox is interested why wouldn’t Comcast/NBC also be interested? NBC could pair the SEC game of the week with the Notre Dame game and turn into a significant competitor for college sports overnight. In addition to all of these bidders, it’s unlikely that Turner — the SEC once had a deal with TBS — which is now spending substantial dollars on sports, would allow this property to come up to auction without bidding a substantial amount as well. As if that weren’t enough in five years there may well be interest from Apple — CEO Tim Cook is a rabid Auburn football fan — Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Google and other major tech companies who might view the SEC’s signature product, at a relatively affordable price, as a good way to test the value of sports on their platforms. Moreover, how about this idea, what if the SEC decided to sell the title game to the highest bidder and then decided to put its SEC game of the week on pay-per-view direct to consumer without any commercials at all? How many college football fans would pay $150 a year for the SEC game of the week commercial free? Or how much would an online streaming company like DAZN or another competitor pay to have the SEC game of the week exclusive? This seems like a potentially viable option as well if maximizing revenue is the goal. All of these deals lead to a massive payday, potentially the highest ever struck in college sports history on a per game basis. In the meantime, as Georgia travels to Kentucky and Alabama heads to LSU, just how good of a deal does CBS have for its doubleheader? The best in sports by far. Several years ago the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl cost over $80 million by themselves. If you were a TV executive would you rather have the Rose and Sugar Bowls for $160 million total or the SEC title game? Personally, I’d rather have the SEC title game. Think about this for a minute, the Rose Bowl by itself, a single game, costs $25 million more than the entire SEC on CBS package does. Given that ESPN pays over $200 million per college football playoff game, there’s a strong argument the SEC title game, even pulled off and auctioned separately, could be worth $100 million standing alone. Combine the SEC title game with the SEC game of the week and you’re probably talking about a TV package that would be worth $250 million standing alone on the open market right now. Potentially more, depending on how the NFL rights deal works itself out. This raises a larger question, if the SEC doesn’t want to resign with CBS, and if CBS has blown its chance to extend the SEC for years ahead, both are which I am confident is true, is it possible the deal could end before 2023? Why wouldn’t, for instance, Disney/ESPN, Fox, Turner or NBC try and buy out the remaining years on the SEC’s TV deal with CBS and sign a multi-year extension right now? Would CBS allow that to happen or are they intent on waiting out the final five years of the deal and ending up with no SEC on CBS at all then? Stay tuned, because while the on field drama in top ten match ups featuring Georgia at Kentucky and Alabama at LSU this weekend may be great fun, the off field drama of where the SEC will end up in future years may be even more entertaining.
  13. The matchup that scares South Carolina the most Saturday November 01, 2018 South Carolina’s secondary members have had problems communicating on the field all season. This week, head coach Will Muschamp decided they shouldn’t be communicating off the field at all. The Gamecocks did not make any defensive backs available during their weekly press conference. Maybe Muschamp figured they needed all the time they could get to prepare for Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, which leads the SEC in passing offense at 349.5 yards per game. South Carolina (4-3 overall, 3-3 SEC) takes on the Rebels (5-3, 1-3) at no one Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. It could be a nightmare matchup for the Gamecocks, who are seventh in the SEC in passing defense, allowing 200.3 yards per game through the air. In its last four games, South Carolina has started four different combinations of players in the secondary, and Muschamp indicated this week that the tinkering with the lineup isn’t finished. “We’re not comfortable at all (with the lineup at the position),” he said. “We are trying to find the best combination of guys to be productive for us. That’s kind of where we are right now. There have been too many inconsistencies with where we are.” Injuries to J.T. Ibe (knee) and Nick Harvey (concussion) have exacerbated the Gamecocks’ issues, but even with both of those graduate transfers were healthy the secondary struggled. And now it must face a Rebels team that has one of the best wide receivers in the nation in A.J. Brown and six pass catchers averaging more than 13 yards per catch. South Carolina’s defensive backs “have to rise to the opportunity in front of them,” Muschamp said. The Rebels “have some really good players. From the standpoint of coverage and leveraging the ball and tackling in the second level and third level, we have to continue to improve.” Last week against Tennessee, Muschamp continued to increase the playing time of freshman safety R.J. Roderick and freshman cornerback Israel Mukuamu. Adding that pair to cornerback Jaycee Horn, who has started all season, gives the Gamecocks three true freshmen in the defensive backfield at times. “Anytime young players, when they have the opportunity to play under the lights in front of 80,000 people, you are always going to make improvements,” Muschamp said. “This is a developmental game. Their experience in every game and the game continues to slow down for them. There is no doubt about it, the more snaps you get, the more effective you are going to be. Javon Charleston, all those guys who maybe haven’t played a lot of college football, the more snaps you get, the game continues to slow down for them so it certainly helps.” The Gamecocks will find out how much it has helped Saturday against Ole Miss.
  14. Ole Miss Q&A: Five things to know about South Carolina’s opponent November 01, 2018 THE STATE Parrish Alford, the Ole Miss beat writer for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, took time this week to answer a few of our questions about the Rebels as they prepare for Saturday’s game with South Carolina. Kickoff is set for noon at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. SEC Network will televise. 1. What’s the best way to label Ole Miss’ 5-3 record? Only one win has come over a team with a winning record. Matt Luke right now is pumping the 5-3 mark and the possibility of a big finish. It’s true that Ole Miss at 5-3 exceeds the expectations many had for the Rebels, but how the Rebels have competed in losses to Alabama, LSU and Auburn has been a disappointment to many fans. It’s worth noting that Ole Miss did have a solid November finish when Luke was interim last year going 3-1 in the month. Two of the wins were on the road at Kentucky and against No. 16 Mississippi State. 2. Ole Miss coach Matt Luke had the interim tag removed last November. Eight games into this season, how are Rebel fans taking to this new era? Reviews are mixed. There’s cautious optimism around the record for some, but others would like to have seen a clean break from all people who were on staff during the NCAA investigation. 3. The most dangerous aspect to the Ole Miss offense is ... ? The wide receivers by far. There is talent and depth. However, this group needs to do a better job of winning one-on-one matchups more often against the better defenders in the league. The absence of DK Metcalf right now is a big blow. 4. The Ole Miss defense has struggled so much this season because ... ? There isn’t much talent at linebacker, and the Rebels’ best talent there is young. The secondary, thought to be the strongest position group at the beginning of the season, has been decimated by injuries. 5. It’s been 10 years since USC’s last visit to Ole Miss. What can you tell Gamecock fans about a pre-game visit to The Grove?
  15. Gamecocks will be underdogs as they hit the road for Ole Miss Oct. 28, 2018 South Carolina’s football team will leave Columbia for the first time in a month this Saturdayto take on Ole Miss. The Gamecocks will do it as underdogs. USC opened getting 2 1/2 points to a Rebels team that sits at 5-3, 1-3 in the SEC. It’s likely the last time this season South Carolina won’t be a heavy favorite or underdog. The Gamecocks are coming off their first game of the year in which the favored team didn’t cover. USC is now 3-4 against the spread, failing to cover as more than a touchdown favorite against Tennessee on Saturday. The Rebels are 3-5 against the spread, and have a win against a strong Texas Tech team on their résumé. This will be the teams’ first meeting since the dramatic 2009 game in which “Sandstorm” debuted and the Gamecocks upset the No. 4 team in the country 16-10. Kickoff is set for noon.
  16. Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Ole Miss October 28, 2018 South Carolina (4-3, 3-3 SEC) at Ole Miss (5-3, 1-3) When: Noon Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium TV: SEC Network Three storylines 1. South Carolina hasn’t strung together consecutive wins all season. Breaking that streak this week would be help USC quest to finish above .500 as the Gamecocks still have tough tests with Florida and Clemson ahead. Ole Miss represents a winnable opportunity. Though the Rebels have five victories, only one has come against a team with a winning record (Texas Tech). 2. Can the Gamecocks win a shootout? The Rebels, in their first full season under Coach Matt Luke, have gone over 36 points five times this season. USC’s hit that mark three times. Carolina’s defense will be tasked in this game to try to stop a Rebels offense that’s topped 500 yards five times in eight contests. On the flip side, Jake Bentley and the USC offense faces a Ole Miss defense that’s allowing an SEC-worst 34.6 points per game. 3. This is the first USC-Ole Miss matchup since 2009, and the Gamecocks’ first visit to Oxford since ‘08. The Rebels lead the all-time series, 8-7. After a five-game skid from 1981-2004, Carolina’s taken the last two against Ole Miss. Under Will Muschamp, the Gamecocks are 1-4 against SEC West Division foes, including a 0-2 mark on the road. Three Ole Miss players to watch 1. Aside from Missouri, no team in the SEC goes to the air as much as the Rebels. Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu leads the league in passing yards per game (327.8). Take away an ugly performance against in a 62-7 loss to Alabama on Sept. 15 and Ta’amu, Shea Patterson’s replacement, has produced the following numbers this season: 15 touchdowns, three interceptions, 2,489 yards, 67.5 completion percentage. 2. Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown entered last weekend as the SEC’s leader in receiving yards (805) and catches (60). The 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior is considered one of the top receiver prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft. 3. It’s been a tough season for the Ole Miss defense, but a bright spot comes in end Markel Winters. The senior is seventh in the SEC with four sacks
  17. Five burning questions for South Carolina versus Tennessee October 26, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina (3-3 overall, 2-3 SEC) plays Tennessee (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Here are the top five burning questions headed into that game. Will the night time be the right time? The Gamecocks finally get the home night game they have been hoping for (and lobbying for behind the scenes) all season long. Now, the question is, can they win it? Williams-Brice Stadium earned a reputation as a scary place after dark during South Carolina’s heyday. The Gamecocks were 5-0 in home night games in 2013 season, but South Carolina is just 2-6 in home night games since that time. There’s no question the energy will be high when the game starts, but the Gamecocks will have to play well to keep it that way. We’ve seen the home stadium clear out a couple times before the game was over this season, and South Carolina coaches and players don’t want to see that happen Saturday. Can Gamecocks avoid slow start? South Carolina has been outscored 60-17 in the last three first halves, and the Gamecocks spent part of their off week trying to figure out how to reverse that trend. The Gamecocks scored four first half touchdowns in the season opener against Coastal Carolina. They have totaled five first half touchdowns in the five games since. Getting wide receiver Deebo Samuel involved early could be one solution. Samuel hasn’t scored a first half touchdown this season. Tennessee, which has started similarly slow all season, is a 7.5-point underdog and will gain lots of confidence if it can take a lead into the halftime locker room. Can Jake Bentley reign in his emotions? South Carolina’s junior quarterback said this week he needs to be more even-keeled. Bentley cemented himself as the Gamecocks starting quarterback two years ago in an upset win over the Volunteers. He can steady that status in this game. Bentley has completed 60.5 percent of his passes this season for 1,151 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. No SEC quarterback has thrown interceptions than Bentley, and he believes trying too hard to make a play is one of the reasons for that. Keeping his emotions in check will be especially difficult for Bentley in a night game. Can Muschamp continue beating Vols? South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is 6-0 against Tennessee as a head coach. It hasn’t always been easy. In fact, the last three games have been decided by 10 points total and the average margin of victory is less than a touchdown. Muschamp was asked this week what the secret behind that winning streak is. “We have had more points when the game was over with,” he responded with a laugh. “I don’t know. I really don’t.” Whatever it is, the Gamecocks head coach needs to continue it Saturday. How big a difference will D.J. Wonnum make? The Gamecocks have played the last five games without their most productive defensive lineman. The junior defensive end is now back after rehabbing an ankle injury suffered in the first game of the year. Without Wonnum in the lineup, South Carolina is among the SEC’s worst in rushing defense and sacks. Muschamp believes Wonnum will help in both areas.
  18. Tennessee Q&A: Five things to know about South Carolina’s opponent October 24, 2018 THE STATE Mike Wilson, a Tennessee beat writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel, took time this week to answer a few of our questions about the Volunteers as they prepare for Saturday’s game with South Carolina. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Williams-Brice Stadium. SEC Network will televise. 1. Taking over a program coming off a winless SEC season, Jeremy Pruitt didn’t have a huge bar to hit in Year 1. But two weeks removed from the Auburn win, where are Tennessee fans with Pruitt’s progress? I think the Auburn win is everything for how Pruitt is currently perceived. The Vols weren’t going to beat Alabama and, I believe, most fans knew that going in. But beating Auburn was a level of achievement and positivity for the UT program that hasn’t been seen in a while now. Overall, I think the perception of Pruitt is largely positive for UT fans. Butch Jones is blamed heavily for the current state of the roster and Pruitt certainly has a degree of understanding because of that. The bigger thing to watch is how fans approach him in Year 2, which has a favorable schedule and another year of roster turnover. The level of understanding and acceptance is likely going to go down quickly after this season. 2. Jarrett Guarantano has thrown for more than 200 yards just once this season. He had success against Auburn (see 328 yards), but then struggled before getting hurt against Alabama. How much is the lack of production is on him? How much is just a product of a poor offense? Guarantano has improved a lot since last season despite the fact that his numbers aren’t overwhelming. He’s more in command of the offense. He’s more accurate and has a stronger arm. The lack of production is more an offensive issue. The Vols offensive line has been awful, allowing a huge number of sacks and tackles for loss. The run game has been stagnant for more than a month. So a lot is left on Guarantano, who does have a solid stable of wide receivers at his disposal. He’s done pretty well, in large part, and has taken good care of the football. But he and the UT offense have a long way to go. 3. Bryce Thompson, a Dutch Fork product and former South Carolina commitment, has been a bright spot for the Volunteers this season with a couple interceptions. What’s been a key to his early success? Thompson was an interesting one in preseason practices. Alontae Taylor, another freshman cornerback, drew a lot more of the praise early on. But Thompson was listed as a co-starter Week 1 and has been a steady contributor. What Will Muschamp has seen from former USC commit Bryce Thompson at Tennessee Thompson is a fast, athletic kid in the secondary and that was what jumped out early. But I think the biggest key was the situation he came into. Tennessee graduated all of its top cornerbacks last season and had little experience and depth at the position. He and Taylor have been in the starting lineup consequently. 4. What are Tennessee’s strengths? Honestly, punter Joe Doyle has been a reliable performer. He gets called upon a lot and stepped in well this season. Lately, the play of defensive ends Alexis Johnson and Kyle Phillips has been big. The lack of pass rush was a concern for Jeremy Pruitt early on, but that group has really picked up its play recently. The Vols don’t have many veterans contributing on the roster, but most of them are on the defensive line. 5. What are Tennessee’s weaknesses? The offensive line is a poor unit at this point. Trey Smith is the most talented player in the group, but he’s playing out of position at left tackle. As I mentioned before, the run game has been really bad recently – the Vols haven’t averaged more than 3 yards per carry since Sept. 15 against UTEP. The overall offense has struggled as a result. Tackling also has been an issue, which led to the Vols spending a lot of time on fundamentals during their bye week before facing Auburn.
  19. Vols coach on coming to USC: ‘It’s a hard place to win ... especially at night’ October 22, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina on Saturday will host a night game for only the fourth time in the Will Muschamp era. Williams-Brice Stadium under the lights can produce a special scene, but the setup hasn’t led to a ton of recent Gamecock success. Since winning all five home night games in 2013, USC is 2-6 since in home contests that kick off past 6 p.m. The Gamecocks are 1-2 at night under Muschamp, including last season’s losses to Kentucky and Clemson. Yet the likely spectacle of it all — 80,000 juiced-up fans from a day-long tailgate — is still enough to keep opponents on guard. Tennessee (3-4, 1-3 SEC) is coming to Williams-Brice this weekend for a 7:30 p.m. clash with the Gamecocks (3-3, 2-3). “We’ve got a tremendous challenge this week and I think it’s a great opportunity for us,” Volunteers coach Jeremy Pruitt said Monday during a news conference in Knoxville. “It’s a hard place to win, in Columbia, especially at night. So it’s a tremendous challenge for our team moving forward.” USC’s only home night win under Muschamp came against the Vols in 2016. That 24-21 victory was part of Jake Bentley’s first start against an SEC team. Bentley, now a junior who’s coming off a roller coaster performance in a loss to Texas A&M, was a topic of conversation Monday during Pruitt’s media session. Some highlights from what the first-year UT coach had to say: ▪ “We recruited (Bentley),” said the former Alabama defensive coordinator who also coached at Hoover High School. “His dad, Bobby, used to be the head coach at Byrnes, so I’ve known him for many years. He used to bring his team down to Hoover High School and we had 7-on-7 there. “Jake, he’s a coach’s son. He understands what they’re trying to get done. He’s tough, he can get the ball out of his hand, makes all the throws.” Bentley has completed 30-of-54 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions in his career against Tennessee. “Very unique situation that he leaves — really, he could have played his senior year of high school — he leaves and goes to South Carolina and ends up being the (starting) quarterback. Says a lot about him. So we’ll have to find ways to affect him Saturday. Because if you let him sit there in the pocket, he can deliver to some really good players.” ▪ Pruitt on South Carolina: “They’re gonna be very well-coached. They’ll be hard-nosed, they always are. They are throwing the football a little more, probably, than they have in the past. I know Bryan McClendon and Dan Werner being there, they’re spread now. They got a good quarterback, good wide receivers, they’re balanced. “But for really for us, we gotta fix us. I’ve kind of said it every week. That’s the thing. Our goal is to be at our best, play at our best and prepare to do that.” USC has won five of its last eight games against UT. ▪ Pruitt on Tennessee’s quarterback situation after starter Jarrett Guarantano left the Alabama game with injury: “I think Jarrett’s going to be fine. He took a pretty good shot. He took a couple of good shots. So he’s a tough guy and I expect him to be out there.” Guarantano completed 11 of 18 passes for 133 yards in last season’s 15-9 loss to the Gamecocks.
  20. Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Texas A&M Oct. 08, 2018 Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1 SEC) at South Carolina (3-2, 2-2) When: 3:30 p.m. Where: Williams-Brice Stadium TV: SEC Network Rankings: Texas A&M re-entered both the coaches poll and the AP poll at No. 22. South Carolina received votes in both. Three storylines ▪ Do the Gamecocks have a quarterback controversy on their hands? Junior starter Jake Bentley missed this past Saturday’s game against Missouri with a knee sprain, and senior Michael Scarnecchia excelled in his place, throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-35 passing, with no interceptions. Bentley, meanwhile, wasn’t excellent when he was playing — 232 yards per game with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Coach Will Muschamp hasn’t tipped his hand either way. ▪ Was the Missouri win for real? Saturday’s victory over Mizzou was desperately needed for South Carolina’s confidence (and bowl hopes). But it came in truly bizarre fashion — last-minute field goals, drenching rain, lightning delays, lots of penalties, technical difficulties with headsets and so on. And so while the Gamecocks are obviously happy to have the win, it’s difficult to decide what lessons to take from it. Texas A&M may provide more clarity. ▪ Texas A&M is still looking for its first road win in the Jimbo Fisher era. Not to mention, Fisher and Muschamp have history. Both are members of the Nick Saban coaching tree, and they squared off every year back when Fisher coached Florida State and Muschamp led Florida. Fisher came out ahead in those four matchups, 3-1, but Muschamp is more settled in his current job amd will have home field advantage. Three Texas A&M players to watch ▪ Junior running back Trayveon Williams leads the SEC in rushing yards and is second in the conference in touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound back possess both impressive speed and a tough running style that could spell trouble given how both Missouri and Kentucky were able to impose their will at times along the line of scrimmage against USC. ▪ Junior tight end Jace Sternberger has a nose for the end zone — he has five touchdowns in six games for A&M. The 250-pounder also leads the Aggies in receiving yards and will likely be a matchup nightmare for a Gamecocks secondary that has struggled to find stability at the safety position. ▪ Senior defensive back Donovan Wilson has already twice been ejected for targeting this season, yet he is still one of the Aggies top tacklers, has one of A&M’s two interceptions on the year and can terrorize teams behind the line of scrimmage and in the open field. Were it not for an injury last season, he would likely be in the NFL right now. As it is, he is a volatile, explosive player who could hurt Carolina, or his own team.
  21. Gamecocks freshman, kicker named the best in the SEC for Week 6 Oct. 08, 2018 Michael Scarnecchia got to play the role of hero for South Carolina football in a 37-35 win on Saturday, but two other Gamecocks took home some honors. Gamecocks defensive back Jaycee Horn was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday, while kicker Parker White was named co-Special Teams Player of the Week. Against the Tigers, he had four pass break-ups and three tackles, at least one that prevented a long gain from becoming a touchdown. White went 3-for-3 on field goals, including the 33-yard game-winner with 2 seconds left. Horn, the son of NFL Pro Bowler Joe Horn, came to USC as a four-star prospect, one of the top players in the Gamecocks’ 2018 recruiting class. He was the No. 209 player in the country. This season, he’s been USC’s top nickel corner and had plenty of work outside. He’s likely at worst the team’s second-best defensive back. He has 19 tackles, two for loss, one sack and five pass break-ups on the season. White came through a rough 2017 season, his first as a starter, but has been mostly consistent through five games this season.
  22. South Carolina only a slight underdog vs Texas A&M despite QB questions Oct. 08, 2018 South Carolina football’s quarterback questions prevented the line from being released on Sunday. It dropped Monday, and USC won’t be an underdog by much against a seemingly good Texas A&M team. Coming off a tight win against Missouri, the Gamecocks are getting two points against the Aggies. That’s near what the line was against the Tigers after the news Michael Scarnecchia would start for Jake Bentley came out. South Carolina has never beaten A&M in four tries, though the past three have been competitive. Jimbo Fisher’s first Aggies squad has faced some tough competition on the way to a 4-2 record. They lost by two to Clemson, covered in a loss to Alabama and just topped a previously-undefeated Kentucky team in overtime. The Texas A&M defense is ahead of its offense, and while neither unit has been great, both have been solid. The Aggies are 5-1 against the spread this year, the lone blemish a close win against Arkansas. South Carolina is 3-2, covering in every win.
  23. South Carolina-Kentucky opens as a pick’em, but line starts shifting wildly Sept. 24, 2018 South Carolina’s opponent Saturday, Kentucky, is coming off a big win and just broke into the rankings for the first time since 2017. Despite that, the game opened as a pick’em with no favorite. And then a funny thing happened. In the minutes after the game was considered dead even, the line started to move. According to VegasInsider, South Carolina moved to being a two-point favorite within 10 minutes of it coming out. That meany money coming in on the Gamecocks’ side of things, but then things changed. Within minutes, the consensus line fell back below two, and by 7 p.m., it was back to a pick’em. USC was favored by 2 1/2 against Vanderbilt and covered with a 37-14 win. USC is 2-1 against the spread this year. Kickoff on Saturday is 7:30 p.m. at Kroger Field and will be broadcast on SEC Network.
  24. What Will Muschamp and Gamecocks learned watching Vanderbilt play Notre Dame Sept. 19, 2018 South Carolina’s football players found themselves doing something unexpected on Saturday – watching football. The Gamecocks were supposed to be playing football, but Hurricane Florence prompted the cancellation of their game with Marshall. That left South Carolina players to watch instead of play, and center Donell Stanley took in Vanderbilt’s game against No. 8 Notre Dame with interest. Stanley and guard Sadarius Hutcherson watched the game together, scouting the Commodores all the time. The Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) play Vanderbilt (2-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn. “I definitely watched that game,” Stanley said. “Vandy plays hard. They always play hard. I figure they should have won that game. They outplayed Notre Dame I thought. We are just focused on us and what we have to do to win this game.” The Commodores opened the season with easy wins over Middle Tennessee State and Nevada, and Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp has pushed the notion on his team that Vanderbilt should be 3-0 now instead of 2-1. “He says he thinks they should have won that (Notre Dame) game,” running back Rico Dowdle said. Like Stanley, Muschamp watched the game live, a rare thing for football coaches used to scouting their opponents in video cut ups shot from the end zones rather than the live action shot from the sidelines. Watching a game live gives coaches a better feel of “the flow of the game,” Muschamp said. “Right now offensively with tempo and different things, what is the flow of the game? How is the game being administered?” he said. “You get a good feel that they play extremely hard. Sometimes you see that on the TV copy as opposed to the coaches’ copy that we see.” Muschamp watched the game with wife Carol and sons Jackson and Whit, he said. “We watched a lot of ball,” he said. “I got nervous before every game and we weren’t even playing.”
  25. Vanderbilt sees chance to ‘get into a street fight’ with South Carolina Sept. 19, 2018 Most college football coaches show up to their weekly news conference in a team-themed polo or, if they want to class it up a bit, a button-down shirt and blazer. Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason met with reporters in Nashville on Tuesday in attire reflective of none of the above. He actually looked more car mechanic than college football coach. His black shirt showed no Vandy logos. The only visible design was a nameplate on his right chest. It read “Derek.” “I’m sure you’re wondering why I have this shirt on,” Mason said. “But it’s Tuesday, it’s a work day. It’s about being blue collar, man. So we step into a meeting at 5:55 and we start talking exactly about what it is. This game’s going to be a street fight.” This “game” of course is against South Carolina. The Commodores (2-1) and Gamecocks (1-1) are scheduled for a 4 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. While USC is coming off an unexpected bye, Vandy spent last Saturday going toe-to-toe at eighth-ranked Notre Dame. The 22-17 loss was encouraging, sure, but now the ‘Dores begin SEC play. Hence Mason’s Tuesday outfit. “Some of you guys don’t know who Kimbo Slice is,” he said, referring to the late MMA star. “Hopefully you do. This isn’t a sanctioned fight. This a street fight. This is the SEC. It’s time to put on the hard hat, (grab) the lunch pail and get to work. “They’re going to be a tough football team when they come in here and we have to be just as tough, just as physical in this ballgame.” The Commodores started last season 3-0 before dropping their first seven SEC games. They haven’t beat USC in their last nine tries, including last year’s 34-27 result in Columbia. “(Against) South Carolina, we haven’t won since Bobby Johnson was here,” Mason said. “And I give him a lot of credit because he did it twice in his tenure. We’ve lost nine straight, OK? That’s gotta change at some point in time. Why not this week? “We got a football team. They got one too. Like I said, we got a chance to get into a street fight, so let’s go.” How does one quantify a “street fight” type game? By both teams pounding one another at the line of scrimmage? Both USC and Vandy rank in the bottom third of the SEC in rushing offense and defense. “We’re going to have to run the ball well,” Mason said. “We’re going to have to play well. Situational football is not going to escape us.” Mason, like Carolina’s Will Muschamp, comes from a defensive background. “We know who South Carolina is,” said the former Stanford defensive coordinator. “South Carolina plays a physical style of ball. That’s Coach Muschamp. That’s his mentality, that’s what it looks like. We are a physical team as well. We just have to be more consistent in what we do. “This is going to be a street fight because it’s an SEC game. I don’t see SEC games not being physical. This isn’t one of those sanctioned fights that’s out there. This is a straight street fight. This is a backyard, no gloves, you throw a punch, I throw a punch, you hit me, I hit you, for four quarters, 60 minutes, every play.” Vandy players seem sold on Mason’s message. “Everything he says is the law, it’s what we go by,” said Commodore receiver Kalija Lipscomb. “It’s going to be a blue collar week, it’s a street fight week. We’re going to pick up same chains and bats and go in the back alley and swing.”

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