Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Technical Difficulties

Due to Technical Difficulties the SEC West Preview for today will be published tomorrow as well as a second column.


Enjoy this video of a cute kitten.

Morning Links for July 31st

Good morning! Here are some links to get your morning going as well as a link to yesterday's column.

Yesterday, I continued on with my preseason countdown with #5 Oregon.

1) Silas Redd looks to be leaning towards a transfer to USC according to ESPN's Joe Schad.

2) The first transfer from Penn State was safety Tim Buckley who went to N.C. State.

3) The second ranked running back in the nation according to ESPN Greg Bryant, has decommitted from Oklahoma. Bryant has recently taken visits to Auburn and South Carolina and still has Oklahoma listed as one of his schools.

4) Penn State has planted trees at the Joe Paterno statue site.

5) Tony Barnhart talks about five things he's learned about the SEC this year.

6) Gregg Doyel wrote a great piece on the blind devotion of many Penn State fans to Joe Paterno despite all that has come out.

7) Ohio State freshman running back Bri'onte Dunn has been charged with marijuana possession and looks to be suspended.

8) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS schools with #18 Oklahoma State.

9) Chris Nee breaks down the breakout performers from the 7-on-7 Gridiron Kings camp this past weekend.

10) Texas reports to camp on Sunday and the quarterback controversy will be heating up.

11) The Sporting News conducted a survey of the top 102 recruits of 2013 on what it was like to be recruited by a big time college football program.

12) Charles Goldberg has 5 burning questions for Auburn as they enter camp.

13) Missouri's James Franklin's health is among the big questions for Missouri as they enter camp tomorrow.

14) Don Kausler, Jr. looks at 5 questions for Alabama as they enter fall camp tomorrow.

15) Pat Dooley takes a look at the new rules that go into effect for the 2012 college football season .

16) Georgia also reports this week and for wide receiver Tavarres King, it can't get here fast enough.

17) CBS Sports announced their preseason All-Americans and Alabama has 3 offensive linemen on the first team offense and LSU has 3 players on the first team defense.

18) In Dennis Dodd's latest column, he says that the 2012 season features lots of rebirths in college football and gives his preseason  Top 25.

Monday, July 30, 2012

#5 Oregon

The Oregon Ducks have won three consecutive Pac 10/12 titles and look to go for a fourth this year. Chip Kelly has taken this team to the next level and has consistently improved on their record each year going 10-3 in 2009, 12-1 in 2010, and going 12-2 in 2011. He has taken Oregon to two Rose Bowls and one BCS Title game. He has potential to be the greatest coach in Oregon history if he can finally win the BCS title there. The Ducks did lose their leading rusher in LaMichael James and starting quarterback Darron Thomas inexplicably left early for the NFL Draft. Thomas was not drafted and now the Ducks are going to start an inexperienced quarterback. Expectations are still high in Eugene though as Chip Kelly has made the Ducks a perennial contender not only in the Pac 12 but on the national scene too.

The Oregon Ducks return 5 starters on an offense that ranked 4th in total offense, 5th in rushing offense, and 68th in passing offense. Right now, the quarterback battle is between junior Bryan Bennett and sophomore Marcus Mariota. Mariota looks to have the edge heading into fall camp even though he did not get any playing time last year. Bennett played some last year and threw for 369 yards and 6 touchdowns on 25 of 46 passing. Bennett also ran for 200 yards on 23 attempts. But during the Spring Game, Mariota's Mighty Oregon squad thrashed the Bennett Fighting Oregon squad 41-14. Luckily the Ducks have running backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas returning. Barner ran for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns last year while also adding 17 receptions for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns. Thomas ran for 595 yards and 7 touchdowns while also being the second leading receiver with 46 receptions for 605 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Ducks return only one starting wide receiver, Josh Huff. Huff had 31 receptions for 430 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide receivers Devon Blackmon and Rahsaan Vaughn will be in the other two slots. Blackomn is a redshirt freshman and Vaughn only had 14 receptions for 184 yards and 1 touchdown. The tight end position will probably be Colt Lyeria. Colt had 7 receptions for 147 yards last year and no touchdowns. The offensive line returns center Hroniss Grasu, left guard Carson York, and left tackle Nick Cody. The right side of the line will be new and have Ryan Clanton at right guard and Jake Fisher at right tackle. This offense should be able to keep up the pace that Kelly enjoys and shouldn't sturgle too much in their first three games as they gel.

The Ducks return 6 starters on a defense that ranks 67th in total defense, 54th in rushing defense, and 88th in passing defense. Part of the reason their numbers are so bad is because they are out on the field more than other defenses. Oregon was dead last in the FBS in time of possession. The Oregon front four return 3 starters with defensive tackles Ricky Heimuli and Taylor Hart, and defensive end Dion Jordan. Heimuli had 22 tackles and 0.5 a tackle for loss while Hart had 44 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Jordan had 42 tackles, a team leading 13 tackles for loss, and a team leading 7.5 sacks. True freshman Arik Armstead looks to be the other defensive end heading into fall camp. The linebacking corps returns only one starter in the Will linebacker Michael Clay. Clay was the second leading tackler for Oregon with 102 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions with 1 returned for a touchdown. Kiko Alonso will be at the Mike and Boseko Lokombo will be at the Sam. Alonso had 46 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks last year while Lokombo had 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns. The secondary returns 2 starters with Terrnace Mitchell at one corner and free safety John Boyett. Mitchell had 45 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions while Boyett had led the team with 108 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 a sack, and 1 interception. The other corner back will be Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and the rover Avery Patterson. Ekpre-Olomu had 34 tackles, 0.5 a tackle for a loss, and 8 passes broken up while Patterson had 55 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 5 passes broken up. This defense will need too shore up against the pass to improve from last year.

The Oregon schedule boils down to one key stretch from mid-October to mid-November. The Ducks start off the year with three straight non-conference games at home with Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech. The Ducks then host Arizona before heading to a neutral site game with Washington State. The Ducks then host Washington the following week before taking a bye. A Thursday night game at Arizona State precedes the Ducks home game against Colorado. The big showdown at USC comes after Colorado and it should determine who hosts the Pac 12 Championship Game November 30th. After a tough USC game, the Ducks head to Cal before coming home for Stanford. The last game of the season is the Civil War at Oregon State. I think the Ducks will play the next Friday in the Pac 12 Championship Game. I'm not sure when but I know the Ducks will split with USC. I think they'll end up 12-1 but I don't know if they'll be Pac 12 Champs and having a shot at the BCS or if they'll be headed to the Rose Bowl as an alternate. All in all, I think the Ducks will have another great season and be in the mix for the BCS title.

Morning Links for July 30th

Good morning! Here are some links to get you going as we enter the last week without any form of football games until February.

1) Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden reportedly visited LSU this weekend.

2) Penn State's President Rodney Erickson says that they are hoping to settle the pending lawsuits quickly.

3) Arkansas State has dismissed transfer running back Michael Dyer from the team for a violation of team rules.

4) Penn State recruits met with Bill O'Brien and reaffirmed their commitment to Penn State.

5) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS teams with #20 Utah and #19 Nebraska.

6) Iowa running back De'Andre Johnson has been suspended from the team for his run-ins with the police.

7) Nebraska Cornhuskers' head coach Bo Pelini has banned twitter for his players too.

8) Fox Sports was busy this weekend and listed several teams in their preseason countdown. They had #10 Wisconsin, #9 FSU, #8 Georgia, #7 South Carolina, #6 USC, #5 Texas, #4 Alabama.

9) Michigan State's new quarterback Andrew Maxwell looks to write his own legacy as a Spartan.

10) Dan Wolken looks at Lane Kiffin and his hypocrisy of recruiting players from Penn State.

11) Steve Eubanks wonders how Missouri will adjust to life in the SEC after they appeared clueless at Media Days.

12) Arkansas' Alonzo Highsmith looks to leave his own mark on football starting with this year.

13) The Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 tournament went down this weekend at Disney World and a lot of talent was on display for colleges.

14) Matt Barkley is continuing the long line of USC Heisman candidates this year.

15) Kevin Scarbinsky says that Les Miles will bounce back this year after suffering his worst defeat of his career.

16) Jon Solomon celebrates the seventh year of big time college football scheduling 12 games by unveiling its true purpose.

17) Charles Goldberg breaks down Auburn's wide receivers and tight ends for this upcoming season.

18) The Gainesville Sun Sports staff breaks down the Gators' wide receivers as well.

19) Jim Kleinpeter has two entries for LSU with the 5 freshmen that could make an immediate impact and the 5 questions for LSU entering fall camp.

20) David Climer says that Tennessee cannot afford for Tyler Bray to continue on with his antics.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week in Review for the Week of July 29th

Good Sunday afternoon folks! Here is the week in review for The David Sears Experience.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Morning Links for July 28th

Good morning! Here are the links to get your morning started!

Yesterday, I made an appearance on the Jacob Bunn Show and we previewed the Pac 12.

1) The ESPN Insider has 20 teams that could win the BCS.

2) The ESPN crew has your Day 2 wrap up of Big Ten Media Days right here.

3) Last night, the Joe Paterno statue was reportedly moved from Beaver Stadium to an undisclosed location.

4) Franco Harris and two other former Penn State players wrote an email to major publications criticizing the Freeh Report.

5) A source in the Freeh Report is reportedly upset with the way the NCAA used the Freeh Report.

6) Despite contacting Penn state to recruit players, Georgia has said they won't pursue the players any more.

7) Mitch Sherman wonders what the rush is for college coaches to offer middle schoolers.

8) Dennis Dodd says that for their sake and the sake of the Big Ten, Michigan better beat Alabama.

9) Tony Barnhart wrote a piece where he interviewed the AD of Georgia Greg McGarity about the lessons learned from the Penn State scandal.

10) Nebraska has unveiled an alternate uniform for their Wisconsin game. It's very red and black.

11) Jim Delany says that the NCAA and Big Ten had the moral authority to punish Penn State the way they did.

12) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS teams with #21 Ohio State.

13) Bill O'Brien says Penn State my change their uniforms as soon as this season.

14) USC defensive end Devon Kennard has torn a pectoral muscle and may miss the entire 2012 season.

15) It was announced yesterday that Wisconsin running back Montee Ball actually pronounces his name Mon-tay Ball. Andy Staples writes how a name can truly make a difference.

16) Fox Sports continues their preseason countdown with #11 Ohio State.

17) Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti says that he only knows of two or three players that are looking to transfer.

18) Scout previews Alabama for the 2012 season and sees them doing very well.

19) Former Alabama player Tim Castille is now a graduate assistant for the Crimson Tide.

20) My dark horse school for the SEC East is Vanderbilt and they'll have the renovations done to their stadium done before the season starts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Appearance on the Jacob Bunn Show for July 27th

Here is my appearance on the Jacob Bunn Show today.

Morning Links for July 27th

Good Morning! Here are the links to get your morning going and a link to yesterday's column.

Yesterday, I took a look at the Penn State players that are transferring and staying.


Sports agent Ralph Cindrich accused Nick Saban of running the NCAA. He also accused the NCAA of being out to get Penn State and that Nick Saban had committed many illegal acts.

1) Big Ten Media Days are going on and the ESPN Big Ten blog is your coverage source.

2) Since the Big Ten has the Legends Division with 6 eligible teams and the Leaders Division with only 4 eligible teams for the Big Ten Championship Game, they may go to a selection committee for the second participant.

3) The Sandusky shower abuse victim from 2001 has announced he is going to sue Penn State.

4) Dennis Dodd takes a look at the awkward situation of Big Ten Media Days where schools like Illinois can pick up players from Penn State.

5) Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema says that he will not be pursuing Penn State players and other schools should follow his lead.

6) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS schools with #22 TCU.

7) Mike Huguenin also says that Texas will need to regain their toughness if they are to regain their swagger.

8) John L.Smith has said that the 3 arrested Arkansas players will not be back on the team this year.

9) Derek Dooley made a joke about quarterback Tyler Bray's beer throwing incident.

10) Notre Dames' gloves this year will feature their motto.

11) Andy Staples weighs in on the picking up of Penn State players by other Big Ten schools.

12) Michigan is losing corner back Terrence Talbot. He's leaving after going from a starter under Rich Rodriguez to a backup under Brady Hoke.

13) Stewart Mandel says that the Pac 12 has the most diverse range of offenses in the nation.

14) The Fox Sports staff continues their preseason countdown with #12 Michigan.

15) Zac Jackson takes a look at Urban Meyer and his first year at Ohio State.

16) Jacob Bunn previews the Georgia Bulldogs this year and sees the Bulldogs dream of an SEC Championship as nothing more than that.

17) New Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease talked about his plans for his this season at a Florida alumni function.

18) Vernon Hargreaves, III committed to Florida on Thursday. He is #4 ranked player on the ESPNU 150.

19) Georgia coaches call Malcom Mitchell their best corner despite the fact he's yet to play a down at the position in college.

20) Auburn has supposedly offered Penn State linebacker Khairi Fort. This would immensely help the Tigers in their linebacking corps.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Penn State Players Should Not Be Judged

Right now the players of Penn State have a very difficult choice to make. Should I stay at Penn State and not play for anything but pride and the school? Or should I transfer to another university where I can escape the microscope I'm going to be under for the entire season and have a shot at postseason glory?

I know a lot of fans, me included, would like to believe these players are loyal to the school first and nothing can break that loyalty. But they're not. Most of these young men are there because they were given a scholarship to a Big Ten school that could possibly play for conference championships and national titles. They were there because of a supposedly great man that would help them get to the next level of football. There may be some players that grew up Penn State fans, but I guarantee you most of them are there because the scholarship was right and they felt that they could play there quicker than any other university.

Today's players are a complex creature. Most of them want to make it to the NFL where they can be paid millions of dollars and take care of their families for the rest of their lives. They are looking for a university that will provide them with a quick path to playing time and a lot of television exposure. To most of these men, the education is secondary to their sport. The days of playing for good old State U are but a distant memory.

That's why the Penn State players that choose to leave should not be judged. They were sold a false goods. They never knew that a horrendous scandal was hiding in plain sight while they worked their butts off to make it to the next level. Part of making it to the next level is playing in a big game such as a conference championship game, marquee bowl game, or even the national title game. The current players there will not see any sort of postseason for the rest of their careers at Penn State. If you had no loyalty to the school would you stay?

If you go on twitter and type in @MomentofSilas25 you will see fans supporting Redd, begging him to come to their university, and even insulting him. This is part of the problem that President Emmert was talking about when implied that people are making football a too important part of the college experience. A lot of people take Silas Redd leaving way to seriously and will go after him anonymously on the internet because it makes them feel like a big person. It's sad.

Silas Redd in all likelihood is going to be at USC by the end of the month. I have no problem with this. He is a great tailback that should excel under Lane Kiffin's offense. He'll be on national television every week while USC plays and could even mount a Heisman campaign if he and Matt Barkley put up big numbers. There is also the argument that a winter at USC beats the hell out of a winter State College, Pennsylvania. But that is secondary to him. He is likely playing his last college season and will need to make as big an impact as possible on his draft status to get a bigger contract. He knows the shelf life of an NFL running back is short and that he needs to make hay while the sun is still shining. It's sad that he won't do this at Penn State but they let him down.

For the players that stay at Penn State, they will face a tough row to hoe. They will face questions for several years about the impact of four men and their inaction. Some of the future Penn State players will go to the school and play at a university that will be scraping by for money as the lawsuits mount. It is not going to be a pleasant experience. But they will be building character and great resolve. They will start their own legacy at Penn State under Bill O'Brien. It will be a time in Penn State football history where they have to suffer. I doubt Penn State will win more than 8 games a season while they are there.  But they will have a united fan base and a great number of people supporting them because of the sacrifice they made to stay at Penn State instead of going elsewhere. And that is something special.

The players face two roads right now and both are the right path. It is ridiculously difficult for any of us to imagine what it is like to go through such turmoil. The only things I can compare it too are when Mark Price was fired in May of 2003 and the firing of Bobby Petrino by Arkansas this past April. For the players that leave, know that they may not have wanted to deal with the repercussions of the men that were supposed to lead them and teach them. For the players that stay, applaud them for their loyalty and dedication to the idea of Penn State. Both are right for the right reasons. 

Morning Links for July 26th

Good morning! Here are some links to get your day going as well as a link to my column from yesterday!

Make sure you follow me on twitter for all the latest on sports throughout the day.

Yesterday, I started my conference previews with the ACC.

1) Mark Schlabach does another piece on Bill O'Brien and the challenges he faces for the next few years.

2) Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin has decided to stay at Penn State.

3) Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was not charged with vandalism after offering to pay for the damages done to care while he was drunk.

4) Tony Barnhart thinks that the NCAA took the wrong route to the right decision with Penn State.

5) Gregg Doyel is impressed with the Penn State players that are staying despite never getting to play in a postseason for the rest of their careers.

6) Bill O'Brien has received a four-year extension through 2020 as a result of the NCAA sanctions.

7) Wisconsin will now be replacing 4 offensive linemen heading into fall camp since Casey Dehn is leaving the team.

8) Idaho and New Mexico State are looking to find a conference home after the Mountain West has told them no.

9) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS schools with #24 Boise State and #23 Georgia Tech.

10) Penn State faced the death penalty if they had fought the NCAA's punishment according to Jeff Eisenberg.

11) Arkansas is promoting Knile Davis and Tyler Wislon hard for a Heisman trophy.

12) Conference USA wrapped up their media days and the only thing that stays the same in C-USA is massive amount of turnover.

13) Andy Staples writes that if a Penn State player chooses to stay or transfer, there is no bad decision.

14) Joey Harrington and Eddie George will join Erin Andrews on the Fox College Football pregame show.

15) Jesse Temple looks at 12 questions for the Big Ten.

16) is breaking down the positions for Alabama and Auburn. Here is the link to Alabama's wide receivers and tight ends breakdown and here is the link to Auburn's defensive backs.

17) The esteemed Pat Dooley thinks that Florida's season will come down to the play of their quarterbacks.

18) Les Miles is looking forward to the new season and wants to put that disappointing 2011 season behind him.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conference Previews: ACC

The ACC has not had a BCS Champion since Florida State back in 1999 and they haven't had a BCS Championship Game appearance since Florida State in 2000. The bright side for the though was two ACC appeared in BCS bowls (Virginia Tech in the Sugar, Clemson in the Orange) for the first time in conference history last year. The downside was that both teams lost (Virginia Tech lost to Michigan 23-20 in OT and Clemson lost to West Virginia 70-33). The ACC is 2-13 in BCS Bowls since the beginning of the BCS. This conference is in need of a serious image overhaul and it looks like this year can do it for the ACC with several strong title contenders in Florida State, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. So here for you are some things to look out for this year in the ACC.

Rising Star of the ACC: The rising star of the ACC is Sammy Watkins. He was voted by the media as the preseason player of the year and has a great upside this year after he serves whatever disciplinary measures head coach Dabo Swinney gives Sammy for his marijuana arrest.

Fading Star of the ACC: The fading star of the ACC is E.J. Manuel. Manuel came in with a lot of fanfare and helped salvage the last season for Bobby Bowden. He always seems to get an injury at the most inopportune time. He has yet to reach the full potential that many people saw in him and unless he leads FSU to an ACC title, he'll only have one more year to prove his worth.

Best Conference Game of the ACC: There is a tie for the best conference game of the year in the ACC. The first game of the year is when Clemson goes to Florida State on September 22nd. This game should determine the Atlantic Division. The other game of the year would also include Florida State when they go to Virginia Tech on Thursday, November 8th. This will probably be a preview of the ACC Championship Game December 1st.

Best Non-Conference Game of the ACC: The best non-conference game of the year for the ACC is when Clemson opens up the season with Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic. These teams played a great game last year and there may be some bad blood between the two after Dabo Swinney did his best professional wrestler impersonation. This game will go a long way in determining both schools fate for the season.

Surprise Team of the ACC: The surprise team of the ACC is N.C. State. This team has 7 returning starters on offense and 6 returning starters on defense. Their schedule sets up favorably with a non-conference schedule that features two BCS schools with losing records (Tennessee and UCONN), a first year FBS school (South Alabama), and an FCS school (The Citadel). Their ACC schedule has only two true tough road games with trips to North Carolina and Clemson. Their home games feature FSU, Virginia, Wake Forest, and Boston College. They should be able to be a contender for the Atlantic Division and be the surprise team this year.

Dark Horse Conference Champion: My pick for the dark horse conference champion is Virgina. Mike London has steadily progressed at Virginia with his first year record being 4-8 and his second year record of 8-5. This team has the potential to pull some upsets and only have three tough conference games this year (at Georgia Tech September 15th, at N.C. State on November 3rd, and at Virginia Tech on November 24th). If they can build on their success from last year, they'll be in Charlotte. 

Predicted Conference Championship Game: I think that in the end it will be FSU playing Virginia Tech in Charlotte for the title. I like FSU to win the game and go on to the Orange Bowl. 

Morning Links for July 25th

Good morning! Here are some links to get your morning started as well as a link to my column from yesterday.

I previewed the Georgia Bulldogs yesterday and expect big things from the Bulldogs.

1) Ivan Maisel takes a look at Bill O'Brien and his commitment to Penn State for the next few years.

2) State Farm has dropped their sponsorship of Penn State Football and many other sponsors are considering dropping too.

3) Derek Dooley has said Tennessee contacted several Penn State football players to try and get them to transfer.

4) FSU has been selected as the preseason favorite for the ACC title.

5) The ACC has several elite quarterbacks from a common(wealth) state who will impact the ACC Title race.

6) The Pac 12 media voted USC the champion over Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship Game.

7) The Mountain West media voted Boise State their champion.

8) Eric Adelson writes a stirring piece about Joe Paterno's inaction and the barrier protecting him now.

9) Pat Forde says that scandal is still around in big time college athletics.

10) Matt Barkley's loyalty to USC during their probation can serve as an example for Penn State players and fans.

11) The former TCU players who were implicated in a drug sting are getting probation.

12) Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was suspended for stealing a laptop. Clark and starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint are both probably going to miss the Alabama game.

13) Former Miami head coach Randy Shannon looks to be headed to TCU as their new linebackers coach.

14) Steve Spurrier took another shot at Ole Miss yesterday while doing the ESPN car wash.

15) Arkansas has sold out the Alabama and LSU games for this year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SEC East Preview and Preseason Countdown #6 Georgia

The Georgia Bulldogs have very high expectations going into this season. Though running back Isaiah Crowell has been kicked off the team, there are a lot of returning starters. Some fans are expecting another SEC East title as well as a BCS Title game appearance while other fans are weary of the high expectations. Mark Richt has led his Georgia Bulldogs to three Sugar Bowl appearances in 2002, 2005, and 2007 but has no other appearance in a BCS tied in bowl. Richt's teams tend to do better when the expectations are lowered for the Bulldogs but this season has a lot of promise for the Bulldogs.

The Georgia offense returns 6 offensive starters on a unit that was ranked 39th in total offense, 49th in rushing offense, and 48th in passing offense. Aaron Murray is one of the two best quarterbacks in the conference and has a 16-11 career record at Georgia. Last year, Murray threw for 3,149 yards on 238 of 403 throws, 35 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Murray also rushed for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns. With Isaiah Crowell dismissed from the team, Ken Malcome is in line to be the starting running back for Georgia this year. Malcome ran for 174 yards on 42 attepmts in 6 games last year for an average of 4.1 yards a carry. He did not score a touchdown last year but will see his workload increase significantly until true freshman Keith Marshall gets his college legs. The other running back who will be in the mix is Brandon Harton who rushed for 247 yards on 53 carries in 5 games last year for an average of 4.7 yards a carry and 1 touchdown. The receiving corps has three returning starters in Michael Bennet, Tavarres King, and Marlon Brown. King was the leading receiver for Georgia with 47 receptions for 705 yards and 8 touchdowns while Bennet had 32 receptions for 320 yards and 5 touchdowns. Brown had 15 receptions for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns. The offensive line returns 2 starters though Kenarious Gates is moving from guard to left tackle. Right guard Chris Burnette is the other returning starter on the offensive line. Sophomore David Andrews looks to be the starting center with junior Dallas Lee at left guard, and Kolton Houston at right tackle. This offense last year averaged 32 points a game last year and should be able to do the same if their running game stays somewhat consistent. This offense has potential to be on of the best in the SEC and the nation.

The Georgia defense returns 9 starters on a unit that ranked 5th in total defense, 11th in rushing defense, and 10th in passing defense. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham did a great job of turnign this defense around. The defensive line returns all three starters in defensive ends Abry Jones and Cornelius Washington and nose guard John Jenkins. Abry Jones had 48 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 4 sacks while Washington had 17 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks. Jenkins had 28 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. This unit did a great job of applying pressure to the quarterback and winning the battle for the line of scrimmage. The linebacking corps returns three of the four starters with inside linebackers Michael Gilliard and Alec Ogletree and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Jarvis Jones was the second leading tackler on the team with 70 as well as registering a team leading 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. Gilliard was the teams third leading tackler with 65 and registered 7 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. Ogletree only played in 8 games last year due to a broken foot he suffered against Boise State but registered 52 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks.The other outside linebacker will be Chase Vasser who registered 16 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 12 games last year. The secondary returns three of four starters as well with corner back Sanders Commings, strong safety Shawn Williams, and free safety Bacarri Rambo. Commings recorded 55 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 interception last year while Williams was the leading tackler for Georgia last year with 72 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions. Rambo led the team in interceptions last year with 8 including 1 for a touchdown as well as recording 55 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. During the offseason, it was reported that Ogletree and Rambo failed a drug test and will miss two to four games to start the season. This defense should be a very strong unit again and should be one of the top five in the nation.

The schedule this year for the Georgia Bulldogs is very favorable. They open up the season hosting Buffalo before heading to Columbia, Missouri to play the Tigers. That game can go a long way in determining the SEC East. After playing Missouri, the Bulldogs return home to face Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee before heading to the other Columbia to play South Carolina. A bye week follows that monumental game before playing two away games in Kentucky and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Ole Miss comes to Athens the next week before the Bulldogs head to Auburn. They then finish up the year playing back to back triple option teams in Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech at home. While the Bulldogs do have a rough start without Ogletree and Rambo, I think they finish the season 11-1 with their lone loss coming to South Carolina. They should win the East and if they can win the SEC Championship Game, they'll be in contention for the BCS Championship Game.

Be sure to check out my other SEC East Previews of South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Missouri,  Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Morning Links for July 24th

Good morning folks! It was a busy day yesterday as Penn State got hammered by the NCAA. Here is my column on that. There are lot of links today as i give you multiple opinions on the ruling plus some other football news.

1) In case you weren't aware, here are the sanctions handed down to Penn State.

2) Gene Wojciechowski calls the Penn State ruling a fate worse than death.

3) The financial impact on Penn State may not be actually known for years.

4) Dennis Dodd says the move made by Mark Emmert secures his legacy as a positive force in college athletics.

5) According to Bruce Feldman, it's about to be open season on Penn State players since they can transfer without penalty.

6) The Eye on College Football blog looks at Penn State as an undead program.

7) Tony Barnhart spoke with Bobby Bowden and the new king of big time college football takes no joy in his new record.

8)  Gregg Doyel agrees with the NCAA and says the punishment fits the crime.

9)  Dan Wetzel says that Penn State will wish they had taken the death penalty instead of these sanctions.

10) Pat Forde had a one-on-one sit down with NCAA Mark Emmert.

11) Jeff Eisenberg says that Joe Paterno's legacy was further damaged by the NCAA sanctions.

12) Penn State Head Coach Bill O'Brien has said that he's going to stay at Penn State despite the sanctions.

13) Thayer Evans does not think that the NCAA did enough in punishing Penn State.

14) A.J. Perez compares the SMU penalties to Penn State's.

15) Jason Whitlock was shocked that the NCAA did the right thing in punishing Penn State.

16) Andy Staples wonders what the Penn State players will do now that they're faced with the difficult choice of staying or going.

17) Stewart Mandel thinks that the NCAA and Mark Emmert overstepped their boundaries.

18) Michael Rosenberg believes Mark Emmert legitimized the importance of athletics over academics by stripping Penn State of victories.

19) ACC Media Days were overshadowed yesterday by the Penn State announcement but ESPN was there for media's predictions for conference champ.

20) Asianti Woulard was the MVP of the Elite 11 camp and impressed a lot of people.

21) Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been suspended indefinitely by Brady Hoke after being charged with a DUI.

22) EA Sports is giving up their exclusive rights to the NCAA Football franchise for 5 years

23) Mike Huguenin continues his countdown of all 124 FBS schools with #25 Florida and Fox Sports continues their's with #14 Louisville and #13 Utah.

24) Mike Huguenin also takes a look at TCU and says that they're used to playing big games so they shouldn't have too much trouble in the Big XII.

25) Oklahoma is looking to get Bob Stoops that elusive second BCS title.

26) Buffalo Wild Wings is taking over as the title sponsor for the Bowl.

27) Michigan has revealed the special uniforms they will be wearing for the Alabama game.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The NCAA Did the Right Thing

The NCAA absolutely did the right thing in punishing Penn State the way they did. Penn State was hit with a loss of 10 scholarships per year and a max of 65 scholarships for the next four years as well as a four year postseason ban and a $60 million dollar fine. The biggest blow to the Penn State was the vacation of all football wins from 1998 through 2011. This knocks Joe Paterno from Division I's all time winningest coach to 8th all time in Division I-A. It erases the one thing that Joe Paterno strived for in a lasting legacy as the winningest major college football coach.

The punishment was more than just and fair. The entire university structure was compromised for the advancement of the football program. The well being of at least 13 young boys was compromised by men who should have been there to protect them. These men are all out of power now and have lost their influence at Penn State. This was a textbook example of lack of institutional control. Something had to be done to show that this type of corruption would not be tolerated by the NCAA. That something was to cripple the program as much as possible without giving it the death penalty.

This was an unprecedented situation in the history of the NCAA. The only thing that is somewhat relatable is how high up the corruption went up at SMU but that was for improper benefits. This was to protect a football program and a man whose soul goal was to break the all-time record for wins in Division I football. He used this coverup for an improper benefit for him and the Penn State football program. The coverup allowed the entire football program to benefit for 14 years by getting more wins for Paterno and more prestige for the program. Meanwhile a man continued to molest young boys on school property and was caught at least one other time by Penn State staff. Joe Paterno had such great power that even the janitors feared turning in Jerry Sandusky because they thought Joe Paterno would fire them.

This punishment will affect many people who had absolutely nothing to do with the coverup. Major coverups always tend to have massive amounts of collateral damage. Enron, Healthsouth, and other corporate scandals all impacted the employees whose bosses put profits before people. Joe Paterno, Presidetn Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, and school vice president Gary Schultz all put Jerry Sandusky and the image of Penn State before the welfare of young boys. Their unfortunate actions hurt the entire Penn State faculty and student body.

The fans of Penn State are going to endure the roughest years seen by any football program since SMU. But the fans are responsible for this environment of deification of Joe Paterno. They made him an all-powerful person whose judgement and decisions were never questioned. They will have to suffer these hard times much like the citizens of Germany had to suffer the aftermath of their duly elected officials after 1945. It will be very difficult for Penn State to recover from this and they may never truly recover from this blow. The fans of Penn State will be unable to wear any Penn State paraphernalia without others thinking about the Sandusky scandal.

The current and future Penn State players are going to be miserable because of the actions of those four men. They will never know the joy of playing in a bowl game and never get a chance to be a Big Ten champion. They will probably play before a half full stadium and a student body that does not care for a losing football team. Does this seem unfair? No because they can choose to stay at Penn State or leave. Those 13 victims had no choice about being molested.

I think the thing that most people seem to forget are the victims. As horrible as these punishments are for Penn State, they will never bring back the innocence lost by the 13 victims. Four men put the well being of these young men at risk because they cared more about winning football games. These four men thought more of themselves and protecting a child molester than doing the right thing by turning him in. They violated not only university policies but federal ones as well. And they did so all in the name of football.

Will the NCAA ever hand down a punishment this swiftly and quickly without launching a full investigation again? Probably not. I don't think this is a dangerous precedent being set. This was a very unique circumstance and quick, harsh action needed to be done. The NCAA did the right thing in going after the university that fostered this type of environment. Many people will be affected for the next 20 years at least. The NCAA has shown that their true purpose is to be a place where academics are superior to athletics. The NCAA took an action that shows they are no longer going to allow coaches to act as benevolent despots in their respective universities. The NCAA did the right thing.

Morning Links for July 23rd

Good morning!  Here are some links to get your morning started.

1) Penn State was hammered with a whopping $60 million dollar fine and other penalties for the Sandusky Scandal.

2) Joe Paterno's statue was removed yesterday and taken to a secure location.

3) Adam Rittenberg says that Penn State had to remove the statue.

4) The Big Ten may levy their own punishment against Penn State after the NCAA finishes with them.

5) Dennis Dodd says that Penn State won't be hit with the death penalty but will wish they would have been.

6) Dan Wetzel says Mark Emmert's swift justice will usher in a new era in NCAA enforcement.

7) Pat McMannamon's piece on the removal of Joe Paterno's statue talks about how the it may be gone but the scars remain.

8) Andy Staples worries that Mark Emmert's ruling is setting a dangerous precedent.

9) ACC Commissioner John Swofford says that the league is focused on the 14 teams they have right now.

10) Miami's Head Coach Al Golden says that his staff did not break any recruiting rules in response to new allegations. Here is Charles Robinson's piece on Miami that prompted the reaction.

11) Bruce Feldman had another mailbag and in it answers who Arkansas is considering for their next head coach.

12) Terrelle Pryor's mentor died over the weekend. Ted Sarniak, III was one of the key figures in the Ohio State Tattoogate Scandal.

13) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason countdown of all 124 FBS teams with #27 N.C. State and #26 Louisville. He also has a good column on the way special teams coaches are adjusting to the new kickoff rules.

14) Fox Sports continues their preseason countdown with #15 Virginia Tech.

15) Lars Anderson reflects on his time at the SEC Media Days.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Week in Review July 16th through July 22nd

Good afternoon! I will be have the latest on the Penn State ruling from the NCAA tomorrow and a column up tomorrow afternoon. Follow my twitter account for all the latest that comes down. Here are links to the columns and appearances I wrote for this week:

1) I continued the Preseason Countdown with #7 West Virginia on Tuesday.

2) I continued previewing the SEC East with pieces on Florida, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina.

3) I also had an appearance on the Bunn Sports Show this week where we previewed the Big XII.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SEC East Preview: South Carolina

The Old Ball Coach has his Gamecocks coming off the schools first ever 11 win season. South Carolina has high expectations this year and look to get South Carolina that elusive SEC Championship. A new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward takes over for the departing Ellis Johnson. His defense put on a clinic against Nebraska and will look to make an impact in the SEC. Connor Shaw will be at the helm for the entire season and not have to look over his shoulder. The Gamecocks have a lot going for them and if the chips fall the right way, they could end up in Miami.

The Gamecocks offense returns 7 starters on an offense that finished the season ranked 74th in total offense, 25th in rushing offense, and 95th in passing offense. Connor Shaw will be back as the starting quarterback after throwing for 1,448 yards on 123 of 188 passes. Shaw had 6 interceptions and 14 touchdowns as well as running for 525 yards and 8 touchdowns. He will throw for over 2,000 yards this year since he will receive all the snaps at quarterback. Marcus Lattimore will be coming off of ACL surgery and look to show that he is back to his pre-ACL tear self. In 6 and a half games, Lattimore ran for 818 yards on 163 attempts and 10 touchdowns. If he is unable to return to his pre-tear status, Brandon Wilds will step in. Wilds ended up rushing for 486 yards on 107 carries and touchdowns. All-SEC wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey is gone and returning starter Ace Sanders looks to be the big play threat for the Gamecocks. Sanders had 29 catches for 383 yards and 2 touchdowns. D.L. Moore and DeAngleo Smith look to fill in at the other two wide receiver positions. Moore had 8 receptions for 52 yards and 1 touchdown while Smith had 3 receptions for 22 yards. Tight end Justice Cunningham returns at starter after having an decent year with 18 catches for 142 yards and 1 touchdown. The offensive line returns three starters in center T.J. Johnson, left guard A.J. Cann, and and right tackle Mike Matulis. Redshirt freshman Brandon Shell looks to be the starting left tackle and Ronald Patrick looks to be the right guard. The Gamecocks will want to pound the ball with Lattimore and Wilds to set up their passing game. If Shaw can throw for over 2,500 yards and Lattimore rushes for over 1,000, it will have been a very successful offensive year for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina returns 6 starters on a defense that finished the season ranked 3rd in total defense, 45th in rushing defense, and 2nd in passing defense. Lorenzo Ward's defense held the Nebraska rushing attack to 137 yards rushing on 46 attempts. He will need to continue to develop his rushing defense if South Carolina is going to have success in the SEC this year. The defensive line returns two starters with Devin Taylor at once defensive end and Kelcy Quarles at defensive tackle. Taylor had 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, and 1 interception returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Quarles had 28 tackles and 2 tackles for loss last year. Byron Jerideau will be at the other defensive tackle and much hyped Jadeveon Clowney looks to be the starter at the other defensive end position. Jerideau had 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks while Clowney had 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks. Clowney looks to put up monster numbers this year and is on many watch lists for best lineman and best defensive player. The linebacking corps for South Carolina returns 1 starter with Mike linebacker Shaq Wilson. Wilson was a force to be reckoned with for the Gamecocks with 52 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. Damario Jeffrey will be at the Will linebacker and had 14 tackles and .5 a tackle for loss last year. The secondary has 5 positions in it with two corner backs, two safeties, and a hybrid position called the Spur. Only 2 players are returning starters in the secondary with Spur DeVonte Holloman and free safety D.J. Swearinger. Holloman had 51 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 1 interception while Swearinger had had 80 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 3 interceptions. South Carolina will be breaking in two new starting corner backs with Akeem Auguste and Victor Hampton, Auguste played in one game last year and had 4 tackles while Hampton played in 10 games last year and had 14 tackles and 1 interception. The strong safety for the Gamecocks will be Brison Williams who had 11 tackles last year in 8 games played. This unit will need to improve against the run dramatically in the ground and pound SEC. If they can continue to play great pass defense and improve that running defense, this team will go very far.

South Carolina's schedule this year has several difficult games along the way. The opener against Vanderbilt will be tough road test for the Gamecocks. After that, they play three straight home games against ECU, UAB, and Missouri. A trip to Kentucky precedes the game that should decide the SEC East when Georgia comes to visit. After the Georgia game, South Carolina goes to LSU and to Florida. They finish this rough stretch by hosting Tennessee at home before their bye week. Arkansas comes to South Carolina after the bye before a cupcake game against Wofford. The big rivalry game at Clemson finishes up the season for South Carolina. I really like this South Carolina team and if they didn't catch LSU in the rotation this year, I would say they could win the East. I think that South Carolina finishes the season with a 10-2 record with losses to LSU and Arkansas. If they didn't have to play LSU, they would win the SEC East easily. All in all, South Carolina should repeat and have another 11 win season after the bowl game.

Make sure you check out my other SEC East preview columns with Vanderbilt, Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Morning Links for July 21st

Good morning everybody! I hope you're having a great weekend. Here are some links to get you going as well as a link to my appearance on the Bunn Sports Show yesterday.

1) Ivan Maisel looks back at SEC Media Days.

2) The decision about the Joe Paterno statue is supposedly going to be made by Penn State's President in the next 72 hours.

3) New allegations against Miami say that Al Golden's staff broke recruiting rules adding their NCAA woes.

4) Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany will not be granted the power by the league to fire coaches.

5) Baylor regents approved a $250 million on campus stadium that will hopefully be ready by 2014.

6) Brett McMurphy says that the bar is set very high for the Georgia Bulldogs this year and they are dreaming big.

7) Colorado State commit Zach Golditch was injured at the theater shooting in Aurora Friday morning.

8) Mike Huguenin continues his preseason rankings of all 124 FBS programs with #28 Washington.

9) North Carolina is vacating the records of receiver Hakeem Nicks from 2008 but did not give a reason why.

10) Michael Dyer is happy at Arkansas State despite the NCAA ruling on his eligibility.

11) Lars Anderson looks at the theater of the absurd that is SEC Media Days and gives a power rankings for the Media Days.

12) Jim Harris ranks the coaches from SEC Media Days based on performance.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Appearance on the Bunn Sports Show for July 20th

Here is my appearance on the Bunn Sports Show for today.

Morning Links for July 20th

Good Morning! SEC Media Days has wrapped up and now we're getting other conferences doing their media days as well. Football season is 41 days away! Here are links to SEC Media Days coverage as well as my column from yesterday previewing Vanderbilt.

1) Chris Low and Ivan Maisel wrap up Day 3 of SEC Media Days here.

2) Here is ESPN's wrap up of the SEC Media Days with links to a lot of stories.

3) Dennis Dodd writes about Nick Saban and the golden standard for college coaches right now.

4) Tony Barnhart agrees with Nick Saban that the SEC needs a 9 game schedule.

5) Malcom Mitchell will split time between offense and defense for Georgia this fall.

6) Steve Eubanks talks about Nick Saban's demand of excellence from his players.

7)  Jarvis Jones looks to lead the Dawgs this year to greater glory.

8) Zach Dillard looks at Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and his impact on the Vols this year.

9) Mark Richt had a good time at Media Days and wants to make sure the Dawgs finish better this year than last.

10) Derek Dooley didn't pull any punches yesterday and was very honest with his reflections on his Tennessee program.

11) Nick Saban proposes that Penn State add a tax to their ticket prices to benefit the victims of Jerry Sandusky.

12) Andy Staples likes Nick Saban's approach to Penn State and wishes more people would focus on the desired outcome than punishment.

13) Duron Carter looks to be leaving Alabama.

14) The city of Grambling wants the NCAA to vacate the wins of Joe Paterno to make Eddie Robinson the all-time winningest coach again.

15) Gregg Doyel wants Penn State to go ahead and take down the Joe Paterno statue.

16) A board of trustees member has stepped down at Penn State and is the first to do so.

17) Pat Forde thinks it is time for universities to seize control of their athletic departments.

18) The Big Ten may give Jim Delany the power to fire coaches if a new proposal goes through.

19) Mike Huguenin continues his countdown with #29 Notre Dame and Fox Sports has #18 Arkansas#17 Boise State, and #16 Michigan State.

20) The Big XII media preseason player of the year is West Virginia's Geno Smith who narrowly beat out Landry Jones of Oklahoma.