I AM SO OUTTA HERE!
To date the following SEC underclassmen have chosen to forgo their remaining eligibility to enter for NFL draft:
- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (WooHoo!)
- Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
- Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
- Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
- Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
- Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
- Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
- Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
- Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
- Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
- Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
- Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina
- Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
- Chris Boyd, WR, Vanderbilt (suspended for the 2013 season)
Others of interest (not a complete list):
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
- Bashaud Breeland, DB, Clemson (who?)
- Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State (Abandon SHIP!)
- Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
- Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida (#2 QB picked?)
- Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado State (too bad for Jim McElwain)
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (#1 overall pick?)
- Marqise Lee, WR, USC
- Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
- DeAnthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
- Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
- Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State (remember this class act from UGA?)
- A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State (remember this class act from Florida?)
A few planning to return to school:
A PASSING FANCY
2013 was "The Year of the Quarterback" in the SEC. So many high-profile signal-callers lit up the highlight reels and many of them will be leaving. The conference will look much different in 2014:
|Arkansas||Brandon Allen||Brandon Allen|
|Auburn||Nick Marshall||Nick Marshall|
|Kentucky||/||Maxwell Smith/Jalen Whitlow|
|LSU||Zach Mettenberger||Anthony Jennings?|
|Miss St||Dak Prescott|
|Ole Miss||Bo Wallace|
|Tennessee||/||Joshua Dobbs/Justin Worley|
|Texas A&M||Johnny Manziel|
THE THREE R'S: RANKIN', RECRUITIN', enROLLIN'
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 is the first day of classes at the Capstone for the spring semester. Incoming freshmen Cameron Robinson, Cameron Sims, David Cornwell, Tony Brown, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Laurence Jones are expected to be enrolled. Juco transfers D.J. Pettway and Jarran Reed are already signed and should be there as well.
"Candlesticks always make a nice gift..." (Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)
RULES ARE MADE TO BE RETINKERED
With all the talk about concussions and the 2010 paralysis of Rutgers player Eric LeGrand still fresh on the everyone's minds, the NCAA took another step towards turning college football into touch football with the creation of the much-maligned targeting penalty.
The intention was to cut down on injuries but it is too vague and open to interpretation. In several instances this season, we saw the penalty called when it clearly was not a foul including this play from Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the Alabama-Texas A&M game.
Thankfully, the play can be reviewed and if the act is deemed to not be targeting as it was in the instance above, the player is allowed to stay in the game. However, the 15-yard personal foul penalty remains - even if the replay clearly shows a clean hit. If Clinton-Dix's ejection had stood, it would've been a big blow for the Crimson Tide in that game.
In some instances, even with an overruled ejection, the 15-yard walk-off still adversely affected the outcome of the game. No more so than in the Georgia-Vanderbilt game. With the Bulldogs up 27-14 in the 4th quarter, a targeting penalty was called on Ramik Wilson on a 4th down incompletion (see below and imagine it at full speed). Wilson was ejected and the 15 yards gave Vandy a first down which led to a touchdown that sparked their comeback.
In the early weeks of the season, referees were handing out targeting ejections like candy on Halloween. But as the season progressed both players and referees seemed to adjust and the calls dropped significantly.
Obviously, the NCAA will look to fine-tune this rule and articulate more clearly what a targeting call should be.
It is the end of an era as the Bowl Championship Series takes its final bow. Over its 16 year life, the BCS has been often criticized (mostly by the Big Ten) but it was a vast improvement over the old bowl & poll systems. Additionally, more times then not, it got it right in the end.
For several decades, it was always every man for himself. Teams would go to bowl games and wait for the newspapers to come out on January 2 to declare the poll winner. This resulted in many split national championships including a pair as recent as 1990 Colorado (11–1–1) & Georgia Tech (11–0–1) and 1991 with Miami (12–0) & Washington (12–0).
The Bowl Alliance (1995-1997) and Bowl Coalition (1992-1994) tried their best to pit #1 versus #2. Yet, the backwards-thinking Big Ten and Pac-10 refused to join in preferring to play the Rose Bowl regardless of rankings.
Finally, the rest of the college football world had to drag the Big Ten into the modern day and the BCS was born.
As you all know, next season will usher in the era of the College Football Playoff which will attempt to match up the top four teams with #1 playing #4, #2 versus #3, and the winners facing off in the Championship Game. This format would've made many Crimson Tide fans happy (and made many others howl like baboons) this season.
However, there is one humongous flaw in the CFP system: the NCAA will have a 13-person committee select the four teams. This is a disaster waiting to happen. At least with the BCS, you had the USA Today Coaches' Poll, Harris Interactive Poll of media, former players and coaches, and the average of six participating computer rankings. This bright idea of a committee means that we are going from hundreds of votes down to just thirteen. It has been quite a while since I took Statistics 310 in Bidgood Hall but it seems to me that the more votes there are, the less chance of favoritism and for margin of error.
(Please don't try to compare the CFP Selection Committee with the NCAA Basketball Committee. It is NOT the same. For the Big Dance, the committee is basically just selecting bubble teams that don't make it very far anyway.)
1999 Florida State
2001 Miami (FL)
2002 Ohio State
2004 USC (Vacated)
2013 Florida State
SEC (9-2): Alabama (3), Florida (2), LSU (2), Auburn, Tennessee
Big 12 (2-5): Oklahoma, Texas
ACC (2-2): Florida State
Big East (1-2): Miami (FL)
Big Ten (1-2): Ohio State
Pac-12 (1-2): Southern Cal
Independent (0-1): none
ALABAMA FINISHES IN THE TOP 10:
|AP Top 25||USA Today Poll|
|1||Florida State||14-0||1||Florida State||14-0|
|3||Michigan State||13-1||3||Michigan State||13-1|
|4||South Carolina||11/2||4||South Carolina||11/2|
|17||Oklahoma State||10/3||17||Oklahoma State||10/3|
|18||Texas A&M||9/4||18||Texas A&M||9/4|
|20||Notre Dame||9/4||20||Arizona State||10/4|