SEC bowl projections: Week 15

December, 7, 2014
Dec 7
11:04
AM ET
Today we finally get to put an end to the speculation, as college football's postseason picture will become clear this afternoon.

We knew the SEC would get one team into the inaugural College Football Playoff when Alabama beat Missouri on Saturday. Nailing down the destinations for the conference's other 11 bowl-eligible teams is much more difficult.

Here are our best guesses in the final hours before we will know for sure:

College Football Playoff semifinal (Allstate Sugar Bowl): Alabama
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Mississippi State
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Missouri
Outback Bowl: Auburn
TaxSlayer Bowl: Texas A&M
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Arkansas
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl: LSU
Belk Bowl: Georgia
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Tennessee
Birmingham Bowl: Florida
Duck Commander Independence Bowl: South Carolina

SEC Power Rankings: Week 15

December, 7, 2014
Dec 7
10:00
AM ET
A lot has changed from our preseason list -- South Carolina at No. 3? Vanderbilt ahead of Arkansas? We'd prefer to forget those. But one thing that is the same as in our initial rankings is Alabama on top. The Crimson Tide relinquished the top spot at times, but when it mattered, Nick Saban's crew stood tall.



Edward Aschoff, David Ching, Sam Khan Jr., Chris Low, Greg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough contributed to these rankings.
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Warren Easton High is headed to the state championship game for the first since 1958 after a 43-36 win against Plaquemine on Friday night. One of the main reasons why is ESPN300 No. 25 Tyron Johnson.

On Friday morning before the huge win last night, the Under Armour All-America Game selection tweeted out his top five.

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With LSU ace recruiter Frank Wilson and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Georgia assistants Mike Bobo and Tony Ball, and Auburn's Dameyune Craig all on hand, Johnson showed his talent with a 60-yard punt return for a score, the game winning touchdown run and four receptions for 50 yards.

Following the huge win for Eagles, the nations No. 2-ranked wide receiver gave thoughts on his Top 5:

Auburn: Auburn is a great school, a great passing offense, Duke (Williams) from Louisiana went there from juco and now will go pro. It would be a good fit for me.

Georgia: Coach [Tony} Ball is out here supporting me tonight. He’s a great coach and knows his stuff.

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The SEC Network's college football analysts take a look back at the top three catches in the SEC from the regular season.
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National recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton offers the latest on ESPN 300 outside linebackers Roquan Smith, Malik Jefferson and Jeffery Holland.
In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and count down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

Nick Chubb, No. 63 in 2014 class

Chubb was one of the most heavily-recruited running backs in the 2014 class out of Northwest Georgia. He selected Georgia over Auburn and South Carolina in June of 2013 in a recruitment that wasn’t close. Chubb was a member of the Bulldogs top-10 2014 class that featured Lorenzo Carter, running back Sony Michel, return man Isaiah McKenzie, tight end Jeb Blazevich, defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard and quarterback Jacob Park, who has a very good chance to be the starter in 2015 or 2016.

Chubb rushed for 2,696 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior at Cedartown, and followed up with over 2,700 yards and 39 scores as a senior. He finished his high school career with nearly 7,000 yards and 102 touchdowns.

Chubb’s freshman season has been nothing short of sensational. He became the go to back after the suspension of Todd Gurley, and hasn’t looked back with seven straight games of 100 yards or more, averaging 163 per game in his last five SEC games. Through 12 games, the SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year has 186 carries for 1,281 yards and 12 touchdowns plus an additional 213 receiving yards and two scores. He’s scored a touchdown in nine consecutive games.

Should Chubb stay healthy, he’s a near lock to be a high NFL draft choice after the 2016 season.

Honorable mention: Max Tuerk, No. 63 in 2012 class, and Curt Maggitt, No. 63 in 2011 class. Tuerk was an impact played for USC on the offensive line, and is now in his third season as a starter. His versatility makes him a potential high round NFL draft choice with starts at left tackle, left guard, right tackle and center. Maggitt has been a productive player when healthy for Tennessee. The high school teammate of NFL first round selection Matt Elam and Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary at Dwyer High made 56 tackles in 11 games as a true freshman and 30 in nine games as sophomore before missing his junior season due to injury. The West Palm Beach native has rebounded in 2014 making 43 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in 12 games this season.
The good news Thursday was that both Florida and Nebraska filled their open coaching positions in a timely manner, but the bad news is we’re less than 60 days until signing day. Plus, what type of recruiter is Nebraska getting?


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Georgia's No. 2-rated class got stronger Thursday with the addition of ESPN 300 prospect Darius Slayton. Continue reading to find out the different paths Slayton could take with the Bulldogs:


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Inside the office: Mark Richt

December, 3, 2014
Dec 3
3:52
PM ET
Take a tour inside Georgia coach Mark Richt's office, where you'll see his "state titles," cherished photos and more.

Click here for the full tour.
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Georgia coach Mark Richt points out himself out in a picture of the quarterbacks at Miami during his playing days that included himself and a number of future NFL superstars.
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Georgia coach Mark Richt shows off an old photo of the talented quarterbacks he had as an assistant at Florida State who were drafted to the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.
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Georgia coach Mark Richt shows off the Steve Penley painting of Jesus Christ that hangs in his office.

ESPN Juco 50: Battle to watch in the SEC 

December, 3, 2014
Dec 3
10:23
AM ET
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The SEC is well represented in the debut of the 2015 ESPN Juco 50. An incredible 18 JC 50 members are committed to SEC schools including nine of the top 15 players. The top two players in the JC 50, both running backs, Jovon Robinson and Alvin Kamara, are committed to Auburn and Tennessee, respectively.


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SEC Freshman Tracker: Week 14

December, 3, 2014
Dec 3
10:00
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The SEC’s true freshmen sent out the regular season with a bang, creating some of the most memorable plays of the entire season in the final weekend.

Here is a recap of how some of the league’s first-year players fared in their final games of the regular season:

DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

What he did: Barnett added to his impressive season totals against Vanderbilt by recording five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in the Volunteers’ 24-17 win.

What it means: Barnett is tied for 13th nationally with 10 sacks and is tied for third with 20.5 TFLs. Not a bad rookie season -- one in which he deserves to become the rare true freshman to earn All-SEC honors as a defensive lineman.

RB Nick Chubb, Georgia

What he did: Chubb had yet another 100-yard game, this time rushing 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 36 yards. On the negative side, he lost a fumble at the goal line, which came back to bite Georgia when rival Georgia Tech rallied to win in overtime.

What it means: Considering how he didn’t become Georgia’s feature back until midseason, Chubb’s 1,281 rushing yards (good for second in the SEC) and 12 touchdowns are all the more impressive. He and fellow freshman Sony Michel both lost costly fumbles inside the Tech 5-yard line, but both backs have been impressive overall.

RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

What he did: Fournette earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his efforts against Texas A&M. The star freshman ran 19 times for 146 yards and scored a highlight-reel touchdown when he ran over A&M safety Howard Matthews. Fournette also returned three kickoffs for 34 yards.

What it means: The touchdown run -- highly reminiscent of a memorable run Georgia legend Herschel Walker made against Tennessee as a freshman -- was one of the plays of the year in the SEC. Fournette has had an up-and-down first season, but he has still posted four 100-yard games and has a respectable 891 rushing yards and eight touchdowns entering bowl season.

video WR Speedy Noil, Texas A&M

What he did: Not to be outdone by his fellow New Orleans native Fournette, Noil also made highlight reels with his leaping 27-yard touchdown catch over LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White. Noil finished with four catches for 46 yards, returned four kickoffs for 50 yards and returned one punt for 1 yard.

What it means: Noil also lost a fumble on a kickoff return, which LSU recovered and turned into a field goal (and a 17-7 lead) just before halftime. The freshman proved once again he is one of the Aggies’ most explosive players, but that was a costly turnover in A&M's 23-17 loss.

video RB Stanley Williams, Kentucky

What he did: Williams concluded an impressive freshman season with 126 rushing yards and touchdowns of 11 and 14 yards on 18 carries against Louisville. He also caught three passes for 13 yards in the Wildcats’ 44-40 loss.

What it means: One of Kentucky’s highlights came midway through the fourth quarter when Williams bulled his way through three Louisville defenders to score the go-ahead touchdown. The defense couldn’t preserve the lead, meaning the Wildcats fell short of bowl eligibility, but Williams still finished the season with 488 rushing yards, 162 receiving yards and an average of 116.1 all-purpose yards per game.

video Other notables:

DB Jamal Adams, LSU: Recorded a team-high eight tackles, one tackle for loss and broke up a pass in LSU’s win over Texas A&M.

OLB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia: Made eight tackles and one tackle for loss against Georgia Tech.

WR Malachi Dupre, LSU: Caught one pass for 41 yards against Texas A&M.

QB Treon Harris, Florida: Completed 13 of 32 passes for 169 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and also ran nine times for 41 yards against Florida State.

DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M: Recorded four tackles against LSU.

DE Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss: Made five tackles and a sack against Mississippi State.

DB Todd Kelly Jr., Tennessee: Intercepted a pass and made one tackle against Vanderbilt.

PK Aaron Medley, Tennessee: Made a 36-yard field goal and all three of his PATs in a win against Vanderbilt.

RB Sony Michel, Georgia: Ran nine times for 49 yards but also lost a key fumble at the goal line in the loss to Georgia Tech.

P J.K. Scott, Alabama: Punted twice against Auburn and averaged 55.5 yards per attempt, including a long of 70.

DB Devin Voorhies, LSU: Forced Noil’s fumbled kickoff return that led to an LSU field goal before halftime against Texas A&M.

DB Quincy Wilson, Florida: Recorded one tackle for a two-yard loss and also intercepted a Jameis Winston pass in the Gators’ loss to Florida State.

PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss: Made a 39-yard field goal, all four of his PATs and punted once for 46 yards in a win against Mississippi State.
It's an absolute shame what is going on at UAB. As of Tuesday, UAB's football program is shutting down after 24 years. Despite a 6-6 season, UAB became just the second school to drop a Football Bowl Subdivision/Division I football program since Pacific in 1995.

While administrators, especially UAB president Ray Watts, give vague answers and sip water during the football program's most important meeting, coaches and players are having to reshape their lives and figure out where to go and what to do now.

As UAB players repeated all day, a family has been ripped to shreds by an administration that had apparently been negligent when it came to trying to help/save UAB's football program. There are so many different things being said, but the truth is that the people directly involved -- players and coaches -- are being left out to dry without any real answers from people who just didn't care enough. If you want an in depth look at the day that was, Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com details the day the UAB football program died a painful death. The raw video in the piece has some choice language in it, but it shows true emotion and perfectly captures what these players, who were clearly at the very bottom of the administration's totem pole, are going through.

It really is a sad case for a school that battled financial issues, the lack of a true investment in the program, and what seems like political issues. Here is the full text of the UAB football report, which the university cited the rising costs of running a competitive football program, including cost of attendance stipends to players.

This excerpt from Solomon's piece is especially concerning:
[Consultant] [Bill] Carr calculated the cumulative net deficit at $25.3 million over the next five years. Without football, Carr predicted a five-year net revenue of $2 million and the difference in operating expenses would be $27.3 million over five years with football.

On top of that, UAB determined it needed an incremental capital investment of $22.2 million in football facilities (outdoor practice field, multisport indoor practice facility and a football administration building) to sustain competitiveness. In other words, UAB argued, it needed to invest about $49 million over the next five years to be competitive in Conference USA.

As part of the strategic plan, UAB asked its coaches months ago what it needed to be competitive. Essentially, those responses then got used against the sports that got cut.

Between 2010 and 2013, UAB reported no annual debt service on athletics facilities. That's virtually unheard of in Division I sports. UAB ranks in the middle of its peers for annual financial operating deficits when factoring in subsidies, yet only UAB has so far decided to cut football.

As Kevin Scarbinsky of AL.com wrote, Watts and his balance sheet killed UAB's football program and left a handful of people wondering what's next.

UAB head coach Bill Clark is "heartbroken" about the school's decision to end the football program. UAB running back and Brimingham native D.J. Vinson says shutting down the football program is like a dagger in the heart, while defensive back Jimmy Jeans says it was "nothing but numbers and political stuff."

Here's to hoping these players and coaches land on their feet sooner rather than later.

Jameis Winston's student conduct hearing

Here are some links to snack on while you wait for that peppermint mocha with extra whipped cream:

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Colorado State Hires Bobo
ESPN College Football writer Mark Schlabach discussed how Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will fit as head coach at Colorado State.
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SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12