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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday that one possible way of determining which teams advance to the four-team playoff in 2014 is a conference champion model that would be capped by the team's national ranking. Delany, who met with CBSSports.com and other reporters on Wednesday in Chicago, said one proposal being considered is the conference champion only model, but that the conference champion would have to be ranked among the top six teams in the country to qualify. If a conference champion was among the top six in the rankings, it would automatically qualify for the four-team playoff. The top four ranked conference champions among the top six would qualify and if less than four conference champions were among the top six teams then the remaining spots would be filled by the highest ranked non-conference champions or an independent (Notre Dame, BYU, Army or Navy).
Below is a breakdown of the top talent producers in the SEC over the last three years. Included are the teams’ overall record, SEC record, total number of draft choices, first-round draft choices and total number of players taken in the top three rounds. The teams are listed in order of their total draft choices:
Alabama: 36-4, 20-4 SEC, 20 draft choices, 10 first-rounders, 14 in top three rounds
He left Alabama to coach at Tennessee -- "I lost my mind, lost my way," he laughed -- for three years, mostly for the allure of working with former Vols' defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Said Thompson, "He belongs in the Smithsonian Institute as a defensive football coach when he dies." His three previous terms "uniquely qualifies me" with a perspective on Alabama and on Saban. "People ask me, 'Why did you go back to Alabama?'" Thompson said. "I tell them this. Places in and of themselves aren't special. But the people, the history, the legacy is special." As for Saban, "The number one thing about Nick is he is the most focused individual in the world. He ignores all external stimuli. ... It's the ability to focus on what's important, what's going to get you to where you want to go." Saban "has incredible judgment in how he uses his time, in how we evaluated our players. He exercises impeccable judgment," Thompson said.
I hope football didn't do this. Did the game Junior Seau loved help take his life? We don't know. We don't know why one of the greatest linebackers of his generation shot himself in the chest Wednesday and died at 43, leaving behind four children. It's entirely possible his demons came from other external factors. Maybe they were always there. We don't know. But given everything we've learned in the past few years about the brain damage caused by repeated head trauma, the immediate reaction is to point the finger at football. That's the biggest problem the sport has right now. Not bounties. Not performance-enhancing drugs. It's the mounting evidence that repeated shots to the head could be slowly killing football players. Even if it had nothing to do with Seau's death, football has lost the benefit of the doubt. Every time a far-too-young ex-player dies after suffering some sort of mental distress, football will be the prime suspect.
McElroy's status with the Jets was cast in doubt twice during the offseason. First, his comments about the team's locker room discord didn't exactly go over well. Then, when the Jets traded for Tebow, he was the fourth man on the totem pole behind Sanchez, Tebow and Drew Stanton. Stanton, though, was the odd man out. He asked for a trade and received it. He's now with the Indianapolis Colts while McElroy remains teamed up with the quarterback he faced in back-to-back SEC title games. McElroy was a backup to John Parker Wilson when Florida won in 2008. In 2009, as a starter, McElroy helped lead Alabama to a 32-13 romp. "He's brought it up more than I have," McElroy said with a laugh.
A judge has thrown out a federal lawsuit by a committee of tribal members trying to save the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname, an issue that has been debated on several fronts since the NCAA in 2005 declared the moniker hostile and abusive. The suit was filed against the NCAA by several members of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe and one member of the Standing Rock Sioux. It asked for at least $10 million and a reversal of the NCAA policy banning the use of American Indian imagery in post-season competition. The NCAA filed a motion in December to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the tribes lacked standing to bring it and their claims that the tribes' civil and religious rights were violated are not supported by facts. A federal judge ruled late Tuesday in favor of the governing body of college athletics.
Arkansas and Texas A&M will move its football series to campus sites for 2012 and 2013 before targeting a return to Cowboys Stadium beginning in the 2014 season. Texas A&M will host Arkansas at Kyle Field on Sept. 29, 2012 while the Razorbacks will host the Aggies at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sept., 28, 2013.
Former Alabama football All America linebacker DeMeco Ryans, now with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, will speak Saturday at 1 p.m. during the Rallyluia 2012 youth event at Madison Academy. Ryans, a Bessemer native, played for the Houston Texans for six years until he was traded in March to Philadelphia. He is the Texans' all-time defensive leader with 637 tackles while also making eight sacks, forcing six fumbles, recovering eight fumbles and grabbing two pass interceptions. He was also the team's captain.
In an extraordinarily deep class at wide receiver in the state of Texas in 2013, West Mesquite's Eldridge Massington is drawing notice, and his stock may be on the rise faster than any other player in the Lone Star State regardless of position. A consensus four-star recruit by all the services, the 6-3, 200-pound Massington's position rankings have yet to catch up with his impressive offer list. According to multiple reports, the latest offer is from Alabama, his 24th offer. Head coach Nick Saban called Massington on Wednesday morning to extend the invitation to play in Tuscaloosa. The success of previous Crimson Tide receivers has caught Massington's attention
University of Georgia President Michael Adams will announce Thursday that he will step down effective June 30, 2013, two people briefed on Adams' decision told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adams, who has led the state's flagship college for 16 years, will be 65 by the time he retires.
Thanks to a case document from courthousenews.com, [former Miami head coach Randy] Shannon is seeking damages [in a lawsuit] from the [University of Miami] in the form of unpaid compensation dictated by his employment contract. Additionally, and according to the document, UM is attempting to recover "amounts overpaid" to Shannon in his Guarantee Agreement. You can read the entire document HERE, but the long and short of it is Shannon claims Miami improperly prorate payments due to him. He is pursuing litigation on three counts: breach of contract — guarantee, declaratory relief and breach of contract — additional compensation for bowl appearance (Sun Bowl).
"I know Junior — I know the man," Neal said. "People think, ‘These guys are grown men playing a kid’s game, getting a king’s ransom.’ They don’t understand sometimes the pressure. You’ve got to realize, you walk out on the field, there’s thousands of people watching you in the stands. There’s millions of people watching you at home. And you’re revered as a gladiator. And even if you’re still doing things after football, after your career, there’s no stage like that football field." "When you’re out, it’s not the crash that kills you, it’s the sudden stop," Neal said. "The first year was tough. You watch the game that you’ve been part of for so long . . . and it’s gone. . . . You’ve been put on a pedestal, and it’s taken from you, your time has expired — your shelf life. And people don’t understand."