Around the SEC notebook: 7/27/12

Each Friday, combs the Internet for the most intriguing headlines and stories from across the Southeastern Conference, so our members don’t have to do the same in an effort to keep up with what’s going on at the other 13 schools in the league.

In this week’s Around the SEC Notebook, we learn that the Razorbacks are pushing Heisman candidates, the Volunteers starting quarterback got in a little trouble with the law and Spurrier makes another smart remark about Ole Miss.

Be sure to check back with Gator Country each Friday for more Around the SEC Notebooks.


The Southeastern Conference is known as one of the tougher, if not the toughest conference in collegiate football. With superior football comes superior coaching and Nick Saban, coach of the Crimson Tide, is a class-A example of that. In Glenn Guilbeau’s column, he ranks all 14 SEC coaches; there might be some variation the third to fourteenth coach in his rankings but to him the clear No. 1 is Saban . There is no one really close that can reach out and even touch Saban at this moment, even LSU coach Les Miles. Saban has one three BCS National Championships with two different teams in nine seasons. He has one two with Alabama in the last three years. Saban is currently an impressive 32-8 in SEC play.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS: Pushing Heisman talks for Wilson, Davis

Quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Kniles Davis are being placed into an opportunity that many individual athletes dream of, the opportunity of winning a Heisman trophy . Wilson and Davis have everything going for them: they are in a top five college football program, in the toughest division, and are getting the necessary television coverage for people to be aware of the situation. Wilson ended last year with throwing 3,638 yards along with 24 touchdown passes to lead the Razorbacks to an 11-2 season. Against Texas A&M, the Razorbacks had a 52-48 comeback victory which included a 510-yard passing performance by ilson. Davis led the SEC in rushing yards with 1,322 in his sophomore season. Last year, he had an ankle injury that proved to impede him from ever stepping on the field.

AUBURN TIGERS: DB not allowed to return

Many media outlets, including NBC Sports, are reporting that Jonathan Rose and Auburn have decided to move in”> two different directions . Coach Gene Chizik originally sent Rose home for over the summer because of “personal reasons.” On Tuesday though, Chizik informed Rose’s high school coach that Rose will not be participating on the team anymore from this point forward. In 2011, the four-star recruit was rated the No. 7 safety in the country and the No. 5 in Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 185 pound Rose played in nine games last year and recorded two tackles.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS: Richt knows what he need and what he can get

While speaking Monday on “UGA Day,” coach Mark Richt talked about some of the penalties handed down to Penn State. With all of these sanctions against PSU, Richt talked about how some of the players on the team might want to transfer and how some of those players are players that”> Richt and his staff would be interested in pursuing . “A lot of colleges around the country certainly will be interested in some of those players,” Richt said, “and we’re one of those teams.” At the moment, the Bulldogs are well under the limit of 85 scholarships per school and Richt wants to change that. Some players of interest were Deion Barnes and Khan Fortt, who took an official visit to Athens, Richt is also looking beyond the actual roster to some of Penn State’s current commitments like Garrett Sickels and Adam Breneman.

KENTUCKY WILDCATS: Calipari interested in Harrison twins

Normally when a coach recruits players individually, but coach John Calipari might be trying to recruit a”> package deal in Aaron and Andrew Harrison. These two brothers are ranked in the top five, arguably, for the 2013 class. Andrew is the point guard and Aaron is the shooting guard. To Glenn Logan, they have become unquestionably the best guard tandem at the high school basketball level. They both have great size, coming in at 6’5”, and are strong, physical guards which is what Calipari always looks for in his guards.

LSU TIGERS: Potent run game will be the plan

After praising the new starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger about what he will bring to the passing game, coach Les Miles makes it clear that the team will rely heavily on a–ncaaf.html”> powerful running game to put them over the top along with a stingy defense, The problem is that a strategy like this one sounds exactly like last year’s plan. The team did win 13 games but it lost the most important one because of a lack of offense. Miles got to take the right approach for the situation next season. ‘’It doesn’t matter what offense we run, if we hand it off 60 times a game or throw it 60,’’ Mettenberger said. ‘’We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win and hopefully the coaches have enough trust in me to put the ball in my hands and let me throw it around.’’

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS: Bulldogs have to face UNC in Maui tip-off”> Mississippi State will be participating in the 29th edition of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. For the Bulldogs, they will begin the tournament with playing the University of North Carolina, which is a three-time champion of the tournament. The winner of the MSU-UNC game will face the winner of the Butler-Marquette game. This will be a match up that the Bulldogs will have to train for to even come close to winning. The championship game is on Nov. 21.

MISSOURI TIGERS: Pinkel has confidence in starting QB

Regarding the football team, the media has had many questions directed towards coach Gary Pinkel about the possible performance of his team on the field. While talking about play on the field, quarterback is one of those positions that tend to come up.  Even though this will be James Franklin’s first year in the SEC, Pinkel is confident that Franklin will be. In fact, Pinkel believes Franklin has starter potential to move on to professional level. “I think potential in our last three quarterbacks are playing in the NFL right now,” Pinkel said, “I think he’s in line. He’s that kind of a potential player.”

OLE MISS REBELS: Spurrier makes another crack

After being invited to ESPN headquarters and appearing on many platforms, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier was asked about the Penn State players who are free to leave. Spurrier acknowledged that his roster was full, but the Rebel’s “”> need some ballplayers .” This has been the second time in two weeks that Spurrier took a shot at Ole Miss’s football program. He is making a historic Ole Miss program sound like a joke. The problem is that the Rebels are picked to finish last this year in the SEC West and are considered the bottom feeder. Former coach Houston Nutt left the program in pieces before he was fired and now Hugh Freeze has a rebuilding project to begin.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS: Coach’s pupil going for gold

South Carolina track coach Curtis Frye had little doubt where former Gamecock hurdler Jason Richardson belongs. “I plucked him,” said Frye. “You hear people talk about recruits who are a five-star? He was a seven. It was a matter of trying not to mess it up.” In his years at South Carolina, Richardson was the former NCAA champion in the 110 meter hurdles (2008). Now, he enters the Olympics in London as the defending world champion and a major contender for this year’s gold. Richardson’s best time is 12.98, and he strives to set a world record. “I would love to run a world record and come home with the gold for America,” Richardson said. “I’m going to shoot for the planets and if that doesn’t work, I’ll fall amongst the moon. If that doesn’t work, I’ll fall amongst the stars. If that doesn’t work, I’ll fall on my face. But whatever it takes, I want to go out there and do my best. To make the (medalist) podium would be a blessing.”

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS: Bray linked to vandalism

Starting quarterback Tyler Bray was”> linked to two separate car vandalism incidents at Knoxville apartment complex, but neither victim has pressed charges. The first one was when he dented the roof a lady’s car. He called her and offered his apologies along with giving her money for the damage. The second incident Bray and a friend got caught throwing beer bottles at parked cars. “He’s our quarterback, and he’s the face of our offense,” coach Derek Dooley said in Hoover. “He needs to understand what it’s like to stand in front of all these cameras and be accountable to you guys just like he’s accountable to the team. I think it’s helped him. I’ve seen a lot of growth in Tyler,” Dooley said. “[I’m] proud of him. But he’s still got a lot of work to do.”

TEXAS A&M AGGIES: Larson’s dream comes true

Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson always”> dreamt about going to the Olympics as a kid, but not exactly how it worked out now. She was committed to gymnastics and make a future out of that but her parents gave her the harsh reality that she was too tall. That is why Larson came late on to the whole swimming picture; she didn’t even get recruited out of high school. Now though, Larson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic trials. She will be competing for U.S. National Team in the Olympics.

VANDERBILT COMMODORES: Defense primed for strong year

The Southeastern Conference is known for its tough, stingy defenses, but Vanderbilt might not be the first or the 10th defense you would think of … that changed. Nine out of 12 of Vanderbilt’s letter winners are returning to a defense that had one of the tremendous turn around in a single season. The unit produced”> across-the-board improvements last season , soaring from 95th to 18th in total defense, 99th to 25th in rush defense, 92nd to 29th in scoring defense, and 89th to sixth in total interceptions. The Commodores now will have the experience and expertise needed to make a splash in this conference.

Follow Gator Country Reporter Max Mattern on Twitter at @MaxMattern.