Clips 2014

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  1. 1. Clips 2014 Links (followed by the copies of the stories) Columns Hooey: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec-football/idea-sec-bias-bunch- hooey/ Kiffin: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/kiffin-gets-trophy- wanted-tennessee-return-cigar/ Autographs: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec-football/allowing-student- athletes-sell-autographs-bad-idea/ LSU: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/another-alabama-lsu- game-ages-tide-wins-20-13-ot/ Hunger: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/hunger-key- alabamas-resurrection-season/ Game SEC: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/2014-sec- championship-will-remembered-one-alabamas-best/ Opener: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/alabama- quarterback-sims-night-remember-first-start/ LSU: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/sims-drive-put-tide- path-national-semifinal/ Feature/breaking Roberts retiring: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/iron-bowl- final-home-broadcast-alabama-legend/ Project: Reclaiming the Crown Part I: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/alabama-reclaiming- the-crown-attitude/ Part II: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/alabama- reclaiming-the-crown-coaching-staff/ Part III: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/reclaiming-the- crown-talent/ Part IV: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/reclaiming-the- crown-defense-still-wins-championships/ Part V: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/reclaiming-the- crown-history-is-on-the-crimson-tides-side/ Season wrap: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/crimson-tide- team-went-far/ Explanatory
  2. 2. How we got here: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec-football/money- control-took-long-college-football-playoff/ Most controversial champions: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec- football/10-controversial-champions-college-football-history/ Column (5) 1. Idea of SEC bias a bunch of hooey Oct 29 Before you read any more of this, know that the answer is Watch the games. Thats the only thing that has to be mentioned regarding this whole idea of SEC bias. Theyre two words that really shouldnt go together, like cigars and marathon running, Alabama and Auburn, shag carpeting and, well, anything. For whatever reason the notion of SEC bias in college football has recently been gaining steam, as the rest of the country is obviously getting sick of seeing the conference dominate the sport. The league has consistently been at the top of the recruiting rankings, won seven of the last eight national championships and routinely has the most players selected in the National Football League draft. Five different SEC teams won a national title during the BCS era while the Big 12s last championship was in 2005. The Pac-12s only title of the BCS era was vacated. The Big Tens last crystal football was in 2002. Conference records in BCS title games Conference Record Win Pct. SEC 9-2 .818 Big 122-5 .286 ACC 2-2 .500 Big East 1-2 .333 Big Ten 1-2 .333 Pac-12 1-2* .333 Independent 0-1 .000 *USC vacated its win in the 2005 Orange Bowl.
  3. 3. The gap between the SEC and everyone else was already vast, but this season in particular seems to have been just a little too much for some people to take. After Alabama and LSU played for the crystal football at the end of the 2011 season, they believed a playoff would make a repeat of that more difficult. Instead, the initial rankings were dominated by the SEC West with: 1. Mississippi State, 3. Auburn, 4. Ole Miss, and 6. Alabama, with No. 11 Georgia in the East. It wont end that way, of course, as the teams will knock each other off, but the reaction outside of the region was everything from outcry to lashing out. This is what we call denial, by people who have obviously not been doing what was mentioned in the first line of this article, or paying attention to the leagues recent dominance. So they mistakenly contend that the polls are biased even though the voters equally represent the various regions of the country. They argue that the playoff selection committee is also biased even though Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is the only one on it from the SEC after former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning took a leave of absence for a medical condition. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher even fanned the flames a little during a recent interview with WABM-TV in Birmingham, Ala., when he blamed all of the negative attention the Seminoles have been receiving on One, ESPN has money in the SEC, and two, we were so dominant last year. Right, nobody jumped on Johnny Manziel last season when he did idiotic things, and ESPN made Jameis Winston steal those crab legs from a local grocery store (and everything else ). I guess he also forgot that ESPN has a 15-year, $3.6 billion deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference, which helps pay for his lucrative salary. Additionally, ESPN and Fox have a $3 billion deal with the Pac-12, and a $2.6 billion contract with the Big 12. Its even paying the Big Ten $1 billion through 2016-17, and had the broadcast rights to 33 of last years 35 bowl games. It also is in partnership with Texas for The Longhorn Network, but funny you dont hear anyone claiming UT bias. No one points out that CBS has the rights to the biggest SEC game of the week, or that the Mississippi schools are probably the last ones in the league that ESPN wants to see in the payoff due to neither school being part of a major television market.
  4. 4. No disrespect intended to Ole Miss or Mississippi State, which are having remarkable seasons and have earned everything theyve accomplished so far, but if either makes the title game the ratings wouldnt be nearly as good as say Notre Dame vs. Ohio State. Theres a lot more money to be made in the Midwest. Rather, heres an example of bias in the sport: If you go to the website for the College Football Hall of Fame and do a search for Notre Dame inductees, 49 names come up. If you do the same for Alabama, which has won the most national championships during the poll era, you get 20. Deal with it, they're the best, ESPN announcer Brent Musberger recently said of the SEC, and College GameDay host Chris Fowler called claims of ESPN's SEC bias "stupid, uninformed stuff." Ill throw in another word, insulting. 2. Kiffin gets trophy he wanted in Tennessee return, a cigar October 26 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. They waited for over an hour just to get a glimpse. Many of the onlookers wore University of Alabama colors while some sported the bright orange of Tennessee, which dictated whether they cheered or booed. Mostly though, like those in neutral colors, they wanted to see what might happen. There were only a few yards between where the buses would stop and the visitors entrance at Neyland Stadium, but more than 1,000 people still crammed themselves into the places where nothing could block their view except for the dozens of police and reporters on hand. Only Lane Kiffin's return to Knoxville turned out to be not much of anything which seemed to be just fine with everyone involved. The only drama in this edition of the Third Saturday in October occurred when those waiting Crimson Tide fans thought for a brief moment that they were getting spit on from above, just to find out that they were only being hit by condensation. Granted, there will always be some lingering bad feelings, like the sign flying overhead reading: Go Vols. Beat Lane Kiffin, and despite statements to the contrary some extra precautions were taken including more than 25 police officers representing four different law divisions there to welcome Alabamas
  5. 5. buses. Two officers escorted Nick Saban to the locker room, but seven surrounded Kiffin with his California-type sunglasses, lavender shirt and purple tie. That was it. Too much has happened to the Volunteers since Kiffin left in January 2010. Theres been too many losing seasons (all of them), and too many problems with players. Butch Jones essentially had to start from scratch when arriving, and while Tennessee is again on the rise, it still has a ways to go. I dont think it affected any of us, Saban said after the 34-20 victory. I really dont. Lanes done a really good job for us all year, the players like him, respond well to him. Hes really a good coach, and I think a lot of people in Tennessee are pissed off at him is because they know hes a good coach and they were upset when he left. I get that. Tennessee fans were definitely reminded on Alabamas first offensive play. Senior quarterback Blake Sims ran a play-action, bootlegged out to the right and with the linebacker biting junior wide receiver Amari Cooper was left open on the crossing route. The result was an 80-yard touchdown with Kiffin running alongside down the sideline. He said that he almost beat me to the touchdown, Cooper said. I didnt see it myself, Sims said. I was too busy running myself, I was so excited. It was a big game for me because I played against my high school teammate, A.J. Johnson. Alabama scored touchdowns on three of its next four drives for a 27-0 lead, and while Tennessee did come back and sort of make a game of it Cooper ended up setting the Crimson Tide record for receiving yards in a game with 224. It wasnt a perfect welcome back, and Alabama lost fumbles on its last two possessions, but it would do. Sort of like Kiffins exit. On his way off the field, Kiffin stopped to give a 7-year-old girl his visor, which turned into a bit of a tug-of-war when those surrounding him didnt quite realize the offensive coordinators intent. It caused one fan to throw something from the stands, but the only real negative consequence was the frightened girl shedding tears from the commotion. The former head coach was later one of the last to emerge from the smoke-filled locker room -- per rivalry tradition -- and into the hallway where a security guard