- 11:19 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
My Five Burning Questions for the first SEC Saturday of the 2014 season:
1. How long before Nick Marshall comes into the game against Arkansas? Auburn coach Gus Malzahn made official what we already knew during his news conference this week. Sophomore Jeremy Johnson will start at quarterback against Arkansas while last year’s starter, Nick Marshall, sits (marijuana citation). But Malzahn also made it clear that Marshall would play in the game. So how long does Marshall sit?
Bet it’s longer than another Auburn quarterback, Jeff Burger. In 1987 Burger accepted a plane ride from a friend in violation of NCAA rules [More]
- 8:30 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
We are one day away from the first SEC game of the college football season. And when the games begin, we finally start to get some of our questions answered. Here are five position groups I’m really wondering about as Thursday night’s game between South Carolina and Texas A&M approaches:
1. The Georgia secondary: Jeremy Pruitt, Georgia’s new defensive coordinator, didn’t make a secret of the fact that he was not particularly enamored of the secondary he inherited. He made it clear in my meeting with him that some very young, but talented players, would have to grow up in a [More]
- 8:07 pm Sunday, August 24th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Once Dan Magill was in your life, he was in your life forever.
Greg McGarity was 10 years old when he started working for Coach Magill at the University of Georgia tennis courts in 1964.
“He would give us free tennis lessons in the summer and we would work for him doing every job you could name,” said McGarity, who would later play for Magill. “That evolved into a lot of different jobs over the years. He taught us the value of hard work and the value of relationships. You had to work at both of them seven days a week.”
Today, some [More]
- 9:07 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
There is no good time for an injury in college football. But if you care about the game, it breaks your heart to see what happened to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller, a senior, injured his right shoulder on a routine throw during practice on Monday. He had a MRI on Tuesday after which he was pronounced out for the season. Miller said he plans to take a redshirt year and return for his senior season in 2015.
Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the preseason Associated Press poll. With Miller, the reigning two-time Big Ten offensive player of [More]
- 2:43 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
The Associated Press preseason media poll was released Sunday. Now I know many of you don’t put a whole lot of stock in human polls. And with the arrival of the first College Football Playoff and its selection committee, the traditional polls simply don’t mean as much as they did during the BCS era (1998-2013).
But what the preseason polls can do is give us a place to start the conversation, knowing fully that where we start and where we end up could likely be the difference between night and day.
Still, it gives us a metric for today’s topic: Which SEC [More]
- 4:38 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
These facts are not in dispute:
• On Friday, April 11, sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was kicked off the Missouri football team. In the school’s announcement of the decision, director of athletics Mike Alden said this: “We have a high standard of conduct for our student athletes. … We are also responsible to the community at large and the ideas and values of the University of Missouri.”
• Just five days before he was asked to leave, Green-Beckham was involved in an incident, outlined by an 18-page police report, where he forced his way into an apartment occupied by his girlfriend [More]
- 3:14 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
A year ago the SEC was as deep as I’ve ever seen it in really good quarterbacks. A quick rundown of the guys who are gone: Aaron Murray (Georgia), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Connor Shaw (South Carolina), Zack Mettenberger (LSU), AJ McCarron (Alabama), James Franklin (Missouri), Austyn Carta-Samuels (Vanderbilt).
There are some proven quarterbacks returning (Nick Marshall, Auburn; Bo Wallace, Ole Miss; Dak Prescott, Mississippi State) and some seniors who have not started but are finally going to get their turn (Dylan Thompson, South Carolina; Hutson Mason, Georgia).
On Thursday senior Justin Worley was named the starter at Tennessee over Joshua Dobbs [More]
- 4:26 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Last week my good friend Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com got folks all worked up with a survey of coaches from the 65 teams in the Power Five conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 plus Independent Notre Dame).
The survey revealed that 30 of the 65 coaches (43 percent) liked the idea of the Power Five conferences playing all of their games within the Power Five. That means no games against the other FBS conferences (American, Mountain West, MAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA) and none against the FCS (formerly Division I-AA).
Alabama coach Nick Saban told McMurphy that keeping all of [More]
- 2:57 pm Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
I’m not big on hyperbole so just trust me on this:
Last week’s NCAA vote to give the Big Five Conferences more autonomy followed by a landmark ruling in the Ed O’Bannon case represent the two biggest changes in college athletics that we have seen in 30 years. Not since the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that the individual schools, not the NCAA, owned football television rights, have we had a moment this big that will literally change how college athletics goes about its business.
That 1984 decision begat mega-million dollar television packages for conferences (like the SEC) which begat conference championship [More]
- 3:27 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Hoover, Ala. — When Nick Saban says that his 2013 Alabama team lost its identity along the way, here is what he means.
Alabama’s defense in the national championship seasons of 2011 and 2012 led the nation in yards per rush at 2.43.
The 2013 team, by contrast, gave up 3.32 yards per rush, thanks in no small part to the 296 yards allowed in the historic loss to Auburn.
That difference may not seem like a lot, but on such things are championships won — or lost.
And, after being ranked No. 1 every single day of the regular season, the 2013 Crimson [More]