|July 22, 2009||On the road again||no comments|
|July 21, 2009||WCBI remains affiliate for 11:30 SEC game||3 comments|
|July 21, 2009||Remembering Media Days: 2004||no comments|
|July 21, 2009||Terrico White turned heads with Team USA||2 comments|
|July 21, 2009||Today's print edition column||no comments|
|July 20, 2009||Rebels will begin with a luxury many don't have||2 comments|
|July 20, 2009||Good news on Hardy's injured foot||3 comments|
|July 20, 2009||Media Days food for thought||3 comments|
|July 20, 2009||Recruiting cash - who's throwing it around?||no comments|
|July 02, 2009||On Vacation II||7 comments|
Traveling to Birmingham this morning. Looks like we'll catch up with that band of storms a little east of Hamilton. Check back here for Media Days updates. It all gets started at 12:30.
When ESPN took over the majority of SEC football coverage the immediate question became the 11:30 regional syndication game. Today the league announced the "SEC Network," which I'm sure ESPN is providing to affiliates at a hefty price. It is good to know, however, that WCBI remains an affiliate and that this market will be taken care of.
Not all the old affiliates in the former Raycom sports package are still around.
Dave Neal will call the 11:30 game, the only holdover from the old Raycom team. He will be joined by analyst Andre Ware, a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Houston, and sideline reporter Cara Capuano, who comes to the SEC after working in the Pacific Northwest.
Longtime SEC announcer Dave Neal will call the weekly SEC Network game on Saturdays, along with analyst Andre Ware and reporter Cara Capuano.
In keeping with the theme of previous Media Days, here's a David Cutcliffe excerpt from 2004, which turned out to be his final season as Ole Miss coach.
Cutcliffe expected to hear many questions on how to replace Eli Manning. He did but would have heard more of those had he not just had two players arrested on gun charges in Memphis.
RB Jamal Pittman was charged with felony reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest, while LB Ken Bournes was charged with misdemeanor unlawfujl possession of a weapon. The players were suspended at the time from "football related" activities. Pittman eventually rejoined the team. Bournes did not.
At Media Days Cutcliffe said, "It's tragic to see young people make bad decisions. As a football team how you handle adversity dictates how successful you can be. We'll handle it the best we can and move forward."
Added offensive lineman Marcus Johnson: "Of course it's a distraction, but all you can do is let legal issues be taken care of by legal people. I was surprised to hear about them, but I'm not going to get into that. It's a big distraction.
Cutliffe was fired after a 4-7 season, one year after a 10-3 Cotton Bowl-winning campaign in which he was named SEC coach of the year.
That 2004 team was 3-5 in the SEC and was pretty competitive in most conference games thought it was beaten badly at Arkansas.
In other news ...
Fast forward to 2009. Here's a quick read from Knoxville. New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin didn't win friends in Gainesville earlier with his recruiting comments against Gators coach Urban Meyer. Maybe he's making up for that with his assessment of QB Tim Tebow's NFL potential.
Good read on Terrico White here from ESPN.com. The coaches of the Team USA U-19 team rave about White. It certainly isn't surprising that he would get in that group and make the splash that he did. The athleticism they describe is what Ole Miss fans became accustomed to from mid-season on.
White also indicates here that his return for his sophomore season, while it was the correct decision, wasn't a slam dunk.
Team USA didn't use him at point guard but instead played him at the 2 and 3. I didn't sound like he had any trouble transitioning off the point, a position he learned on the fly after Chris Warren's injury last year. That's good news for White and Ole Miss, because he won't be playing the point this year.
Ole Miss has gotten a lot of love in the off-season. The Rebels are a trendy top 10 pick for a lot of folks. I would imagine Ole Miss will get some first place votes to win the West and some for the overall title when the league media poll is released on Friday.
I don't think league media will pick Ole Miss to win the West. One reason for that will be the overwhelming number of Alabama media in attendance. That's not to say that all media is biased, but when you know a whole lot about one school versus what you know about another that can affect your vote in either direction.
One reason for the expectations around the Rebels right now is quarterback Jevan Snead. He's a junior, but if he has the type of season many believe he will, this will likely be his last year in Oxford. Experienced quarterback play is a benefit the Rebels have that many in the conference do not as August camp comes into view.
Defensive end Greg Hardy is expected to be ready for the beginnning of fall practice, the school announced in a release a few minutes ago.
"After looking at the CT scan, Dr. (Bob) Anderson felt much better about the condition of Greg's foot," Ole Miss trainer Tim Mullins said in the release. "The prognosis is good for his recovery, and no surgery is needed."
Mullins said Hardy would remain in a protective boot for the next two weeks.
Hardy had a stress fracture in his foot a year ago, had surgery in the off-season and reinjured the foot in a car wreck near Pontotoc on July 11.
Some Media Days notes. FS Kendrick Lewis has replaced DE Greg Hardy on the attendee roster.
Given Hardy's interest in the cameras he probably considers this the greatest tragedy of his car wreck. ...
In apparent cost-saving measure, C-USA has restructed its media days to include coaches only. No players. Players are made available by video conference. The SEC has not changed its format ...
The writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the conference will release its list of guesses on Friday, the final day. Ole Miss has never been projected first in the Western Division by this group. That may or may not happen this year.
Twice - in 1993 and in 2000 - the Rebels were picked second in the division.
In 2007 the Rebels were picked fifth in the West. Here's how Ed Orgeron assessed at Media Days what turned out to be his last Ole Miss team. "Looking at our schedule, I think we'll be competitive in each game, upset a couple of people and go to a bowl game."
Ed is back in Oxford as a Tennessee assistant when the Vols visit on Nov. 14.
Who's throwing it around within the rules of course. These rankings come Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register and take a look at the recruiting budges for 11 SEC schools in football, basketball and baseball over the last three years.
Vanderbilt, a private institution, is not bound by the open records law and chose not to open its records.
Gentry sent the link along in an email on Sunday with the opinion that it might make for good reading in a slow time.
It's a good post to christen what we see as the beginning of football season ... the week of SEC Media Days.
I'll be out for the next two weeks and will return to the blog on Monday, July 20. It's straight ahead to Media Days later that week.