Georgia Bulldogs: David Williams

When the 14 athletic directors in the Southeastern Conference met Sunday night to vote on future scheduling, there were some opposed to the current format and the cross-division rivalries, but collectively they agreed that maintaining rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee or Auburn-Georgia were too important for those fan bases and for the league in general.

“The priority for me was to make sure that we kept the Auburn-Georgia rivalry,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said. “There’s so much tradition and history there.”

The rivalry, better known as the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, began back in 1892. There have been a total of 117 games played between the two with Auburn holding a 55-54-8 edge after last year’s dramatic victory over the Bulldogs.

“Our history and heritage that we’ve had with not only the South’s oldest rivalry but also the relationship we’ve had,” Jacobs said. “Coach [Vince] Dooley played here and coached there; Pat Dye played there and coached here; Rodney Garner, and it just goes on and on and on.

We share all the revenue and expenses yet we cannot have a balanced, fair, equitable schedule. LSU has played Florida and Georgia 19 times since 2000, and Bama has played them eight times. Is that fair?

-- LSU athletic director Joe Alleva
“And the proximity, it’s right here geographically next to us. It’s just a great rivalry for our fans, and it was the No. 1 priority for me to make sure that we kept that.”

The Alabama-Tennessee rivalry is no different. It began back in 1901 and has been a staple for the league ever since. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers will play on the third Saturday in October, and both sides were vocal about continuing that tradition.

“Chancellor [Jimmy] Cheek and I have strongly and consistently advocated that this rivalry be preserved regardless of any other outcomes resulting from conversations about football scheduling,” Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement Sunday.

The other five cross-division rivalries have received mixed reviews. LSU athletic director Joe Alleva didn’t hide his feelings about having to play Florida every year as he told the Baton Rouge Advocate that he was disappointed in the leaders of the SEC and how they disregarded the competitive advantage that permanent partners award to certain schools.

“We share all the revenue and expenses yet we cannot have a balanced, fair, equitable schedule,” Alleva said. “LSU has played Florida and Georgia 19 times since 2000, and Bama has played them eight times. Is that fair?”

Meanwhile, pitting Arkansas and Missouri against each other seems to make sense and could create a new rivalry between the two schools that border each other.

The decision also kept the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt rivalry intact. No, it’s not the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and it’s not played on the third Saturday of every October, but the Rebels and Commodores have played 87 times and haven’t missed a meeting since 1969.

“When people thought of rivalries, they obviously thought of Tennessee and Alabama, and Georgia and Auburn,” Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said. “But we’ve played Ole Miss 87 times, and people don’t realize that. It maybe doesn’t rise to the level of rivalries like those others, but think of the last two games. Both games -- the one down at Oxford that we won and the one that they won up here last year -- were decided in the last minute.

“It’s close enough that their fan base can get up here, and our fan base can get down there. So it is a rivalry, and I think that we see each other as sort of a rivalry.”

Are the cross-division rivalries fair for the SEC? Probably not. Fans want to see matchups like Auburn-Florida or Alabama-Georgia more often. Players want the chance to play every team in the other division at least once during their four years in school.

However, the athletic directors voted and maintaining some of those traditional rivalries was more important.

SEC lunchtime links

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
12:00
PM ET
Spring football has come to a close in the SEC with two teams -- Arkansas and Kentucky -- hosting their spring games over the weekend. Today's lunch links include recaps of each, as well as plenty of talk about the SEC's scheduling announcement.

SEC's lunchtime links

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
12:00
PM ET
LSU and Ole Miss will hold their spring games on Saturday, with six more teams set to play their games next Saturday. As spring practice winds to a close at many of the schools around the conference, let's take a look at some of today's headlines.

SEC lunchtime links

January, 17, 2014
Jan 17
12:00
PM ET
The coaching revolving door continues to spin as a big recruiting weekend arrives across the country -- including the SEC. Let's take a quick spin around the league.

Alabama responds to a report involving a disassociated booster's display featuring supposedly game-used and autographed game apparel of current and former Crimson Tide football players.

A number of key prospects will visit Columbia for South Carolina's big recruiting weekend.

It's a big recruiting weekend at LSU, as well, with megaprospects Malachi Dupre and Lorenzo Carter among the Tigers' expected visitors.

What do you know? Alabama and Auburn will host some key targets this weekend, as well.

Every SEC program except Missouri and Georgia has had to replace more than 30 coaches since 2001, the year Gary Pinkel and Mark Richt took over those respective programs.

Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons' suspension will stretch into the first three games of the 2014 season according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said Thursday night that the interview process is not complete as he searches for James Franklin's replacement as head football coach.

Coleman Hutzler is entrusted with improving Florida's uncharacteristically inconsistent special teams units.

Not surprisingly, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are loading up on in-state prospects in this recruiting class -- but this does not appear to be as deep a year for talent in the state as usual.

Chuck Carlton and Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News discuss whether the Houston Texans should take Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told reporters Thursday that a chance to compete for championships weighed into his decision to leave the SEC for the same job at Louisville.
Now that the pens have been put to paper, the classes have been announced and most of your attention has turned to the 2014 recruiting season, it's time to take a look at how each school in the SEC did when it came to immediately filling needs.

We're checking out what all 14 teams did to fill holes, and we're looking at which holes still remain. We'll start with the SEC East:

FLORIDA

Needs filled: LB, OL, DB, WR, DT -- The Gators had one of the most complete classes out there, finishing second in the ESPN class rankings. Florida landed the top cornerback prospect (No. 3 nationally) in Vernon Hargreaves III, defensive tackles Caleb Brantley and Jay-nard Bostwick, linebackers Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin, and safeties Keanu Neal and Marcell Harris. The Gators also added five wide receivers, including ESPN 150 members Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood.

Holes remaining: DE -- Will Muschamp seemed thrilled with his class, but he probably would have liked to get a least one more defensive end. The Gators missed on a few, including Tashawn Bower, who almost picked the Gators before signing with LSU. Four-stars Jordan Sherit and Antonio Riles were the only defensive ends in this class.

GEORGIA

Needs filled: ILB, S -- The Bulldogs had to replace a few bodies at middle linebacker, and did so by signing four. The star of the group is four-star ESPN 300 member Johnny O'Neal, who is the No. 5 inside linebacker in the county. Tim Kimbrough and Ryne Rankin, both ESPN 300 members, also signed with the Dawgs. Georgia also signed five safeties, including two junior college standouts. The top safety in this class is ESPN 150 member Tray Matthews.

Holes remaining: Elite OT, elite RB, elite DT -- Mark Richt was pleased with his 32-man signing class, but he knows it could have been better if a few elite players had signed with Georgia. The Dawgs barely missed on top offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), No. 4 running back Alvin Kamara (Alabama) and No. 2 defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Auburn).

(Read full post)

Notebook: Summer recruiting recap 

August, 7, 2012
8/07/12
3:36
PM ET
While the summer months are considered downtime, the Georgia Bulldogs have continued their torrid recruiting pace this summer, picking up several commitments from prospects in several states. With the ability and, arguably, the dire need to bring in more than 30 signees for the 2013 class, the Bulldogs have been aggressive with offers. That has paid off with a group that already dwarfs that of the freshman class now on campus. As football season approaches, DawgNation takes a look back at the goings on and decisions made in the past few months, along with a look ahead at what to keep an eye on this fall.

[+] EnlargeParis Bostick
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comTampa, Fla., safety Paris Bostick was slated to announce his decision this summer, and still might. The Bulldogs are considered a favorite to earn his commitment.
Commitments piling up
As school let out across the country, prospects seemingly lined up to make their commitments known to the Bulldogs. ESPN 300 wide receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) committed to Georgia on June 1. The 6-foot-2, 197-pound wideout picked the Bulldogs over Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Ohio State, among others. Two days later, another ESPN 300 receiver secured a spot, as Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) verbally committed. The 6-foot, 162-pound four-star prospect is considered one of the top deep threats in the always-loaded Sunshine State. Less than a week later the Bulldogs picked up their top outside linebacker target, Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta). It was a rare in-state battle for the 6-foot-4, 235-pound four-star, although SEC rival Tennessee continues its pursuit.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Three Programs Vie For Top SEC East Class
National recruiting analyst Craig Haubert breaks down the college football recruiting class race atop the SEC East. Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina currently lead the way.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 8/28
Saturday, 8/30
Sunday, 8/31