This is the live feed for SEC Media Days.
The Tigers and the Aggies have heard all about how physical the SEC is, how much speed it has, how athletic even its biggest players are. They've seen it on film. But they aren't backing down from anybody. "We can compete with any of them," Missouri receiver T.J. Moe said. "We have the athletes to do it." After a reporter joked that even the cornerbacks are 260 pounds in the SEC, Moe quipped: "They've also got prettier girls, the air's fresher and the toilet paper's thicker."
Tackle • Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama Recruitniks will recall Kouandjio as the indecisive blue-chip who produced the most dramatic moment of Signing Day 2011 by publicly committing to Auburn, then flipping to Alabama for good a few days later. Since then, though, he's right on schedule, overcoming a season-ending knee injury last October to assume the starting spot at left tackle in spring practice; as a result, his presence there freed up All-American Barrett Jones to fill the only vacancy from last year's front five, at center. If Kouandjio is even halfway to fulfilling the hype, 'Bama has the most formidable line in the country.
Kelvin Sigler, the former Blount High coach who recently joined Alabama's coaching staff as an offensive analyst, was one of the 17 injured during an early morning shooting at a Temerson Square bar. Sigler, a former Alabama defensive back, was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
There aren't many secrets when it comes to Alabama. The defending BCS champs play a punishingly physical style with elite defense, have NFL players up and down the roster, and are exceptionally well-coached. If there's any reason for optimism for Michigan, it's that the Crimson Tide will be playing their first game after replacing a number of outstanding starters, including running back Trent Richardson, linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw, and safety Mark Barron.
4. South Alabama: QB AJ McCarron, Jr., Alabama The Jaguars may have been left out of EA Sports' NCAA Football 13 video game, but they won't be left out here. They take a hometown hero to serve as a foundation. But McCarron before Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson? Has the world gone mad? Far from it. USA coach Joey Jones, a former star receiver at Alabama, knows how to send donations into overdrive and put butts in the seats. By taking a Mobile native who helped Alabama to a national title in 2011, Jones has guaranteed a sellout at every home game. (Plus, Jones knows former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain will take McCarron at No. 15. If there were imaginary trades in the imaginary college draft, Jones would trade down into the low teens. Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed again.)
Yes, college football is more popular than it has ever been. And with the four-team playoff getting ready to start after the 2014 regular season, college football is going to generate an incredible amount of money in the future. Our Dennis Dodd reports that the four-team playoff and the bowl structure that surrounds it could generate as much as $600 million per year. It's staggering. But what good is it, Slive rightly wondered, if college athletics is unbelievably successful but loses its soul? What good is it to be wildly successful but totally lose the sport's moral compass?
Steve Spurrier made his 20th appearance at the event, and he was as smart and funny as ever. That's what makes him the landslide winner of the SEC Media Days Lifetime Achievement Award. Or would if such an award existed. Spurrier may be a media darling because of his candor, but as a major college football coach, he's as out of touch with how the other half lives as most of the rest of his colleagues that live on private islands of fame, fortune, power and privilege.
"It used to be you played ten (regular season) games," Stallings said. "Now it’s 13 or 14 (total) and they want to expand that. The pros only play 16." Stallings’ short-time remedy for a problem that seems to be spiraling out of control is old school. "You want to win the (national) title, win all your games," Stallings said. "I’ve been opposed from day one about playoffs. The season is long enough already."
Sept. 27, 1958. Paul "Bear" Bryant came home. He lost his first game, to LSU, but went on to win six national titles. Bryant changed football, and football changed Alabama, for better or worse. What started as a diversion Alabamians craved grew into a way of life and an economic engine. Not just for Alabama, but for rival Auburn.
Police say when 24-year-old Adam Carine allegedly went to a Taunton pawn shop to sell two University of Alabama Sun Bowl rings, he boasted to the store owner that his brother played football at the college. Already charged with attempting to break into a house in Norton, Carine now faces charges of receiving stolen property filed by Mansfield police who say they linked Carine to the rings reported stolen July 7 from a housebreak on Essex Street.