Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sun Belt Insider New Home

Hello and thanks for visiting us, I am proud to announce that I now have a new home for all your attention. Please take a minute to join us there now and in the future at I look forward to see you over there, and continue our great friendship as I continue to bring you the best in Sun Belt Conference happenings.

New Website:

See You There!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring Meeting Ends: Sun Belt to remain at 11 and future bowl tie-ins possible

Sun Belt get's a little tough on school departures and looking to move forward!

Sun Belt Conference held its Annual Spring Meeting this week in Destin, Florida, Commissioner Karl Benson and company went through a normal meeting with very little getting accomplish in my view. Conference Athletic Directors, Coaches and Presidents all participated in the annual meeting including new conference members Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, New Mexico State, Idaho, Texas State, Georgia State and UT-Arlington. Here are some of the items that were on the agenda, discussed and came with a decision.

In basketball the conference will play 20 games and the basketball tournament will feature the standard No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7 and so on format for women, but a double-bye format for men.

The conference tournaments will move from Hot Springs, Ark., to New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA, and the tournament formats will remain the same with the top eight teams in the league advancing to the tournament. There is no divisional play - and the tournament beginning with a No. 1 seed vs. No. 8 seed, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 first round. It will remain that way on the women's side for 2014.

In football the Sun Belt Conference has decided to play a eight conference game schedule beginning in 2014, with 11 playing members on the rooster if the conference decides against adding a 12th program for now.

The Sun Belt Conference also has released it new official logo and branding on Sunday for the conference beginning July 1st. The new logo will be represented by each of the 11 programs of the Sun Belt Conference, which I think is a great logo. It could have been better but it certainly will work. The new logo is located at the left of this post.

We also have learned that the Sun Belt Conference has extended its TV contract with Cox Sports and Comcast Sports Southeast for one year. Sun Belt Network will air seven high-definition football broadcasts as part of a minimum of 39 broadcasts that the network will air. We should expect to see more programming on ESPN 3 as usual and where I live we will be excluded from watching because we don’t have these networks and we are in the South Alabama media market. UMM!

We all want to know about who the Sun Belt Conference will add as a 12th team and if so when. According to today’s press conference with Commissioner Karl Benson and Conference President Jack Hawkins, the league will remain at 11 members for now. “There is no urgency to add another program, per Benson.” So we will not see a 12th team for now, maybe and again maybe in the future but no guarantee.  “There was and will continue to be ongoing discussion about national realignment and the membership options for the Sun Belt,” said Benson. “However, for the time being we are moving the conference forward with our membership as is. The most important thing to come out of the meeting regarding membership was that our institutions are committed to taking the Sun Belt to the next level. With our recent additions and the strength of our current members, the pieces are already in place for us to take the next step as a stronger conference.”

The Sun Belt Conference also updated its by-laws in regards to program departures. Sun Belt teams no longer allowed early departures a program must give at least 12 months’ notice of departure. According to Benson the Commissioner, the league also changed it exit fee but did not release any info on how much that would be. The 12 month early departure notice is non-negotiable.

Commissioner Benson also stated at the press conference that the $12 million dollars coming from the new College Playoff System will offset the loss of not having a conference title game.
In case you may already have heard the rumors, the Sun Belt Conference may add an additional bowl game in 2014 is still possible. The new bowl game is possible and could be played in Little Rock, AR. This would give the SBC three bowls –tie ins, at least the Commissioner is confident in this matter.

Now, that all of this is over for now at least this season, we move on and wait to see what the conference do to be proactive and not reactive. Commissioner Benson is the leader of the Sun Belt Conference along with the Conference President and neither has seemed to be in a proactive mode, except looking to remain a FBS but not a proactive conference that is looking to go to another level. In many ways some may argue they have and is, and I might agree to some. But there is a debate on how and when.

In my opinion, I would have never passed up the opportunity of adding a 12th team to the league and I’m pretty sure many of you are agreeing with me right now. A 12th team would add so much value to the league in creating a conference championship game in football. Also would have helped the league continue a two divisional play in all other sports such as basketball and football. It would have added additional revenue to the league in a championship standpoint for football. As we all know football is where the money is.

The fans was looking and hoping for this creation with the Sun Belt Conference. Oh, but no one in the conference leadership is telling us the fans or media on why they decided against adding a program such as Liberty. Thought I forgot-NO! They rejected Liberty saying they don’t fit the Sun Belt Conference. We as fans still want answers on that…and on why? I have a few but I would rather wait and let them tell you since they lead and I follow if they ever decide to do so.

Other news and decision from the Sun Belt Conference Meeting:

There was some changes and new appointments made in the conference leadership panel. You would be surprised at this – LOL.

According to the SBC website, The Sun Belt Conference also made appointments to significant leadership positions at the meeting. There were several key positions that had terms expire or were vacated, filling these positions are:

  • Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Board of Managers - Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy Chancellor
  • Bowl Championship Series (BCS) AD Advisory Group – Terry Mohajir, Arkansas State Athletic Director
  • Sun Belt Conference President – Dr. Nick J. Bruno, Louisiana-Monroe President
  • Sun Belt Conference Vice President – Dr. Denise M. Trauth, Texas State President
  • Sun Belt Conference Treasurer – Dr. Joel E. Anderson, UALR Chancellor
  • Sun Belt Conference Chair of Athletic Directors – Scott Farmer, Louisiana-Lafayette Athletic Director
  • Sun Belt Conference Chair of Faculty Representatives – Fred Green, Troy Faculty Representative

Did you see who is appointed to the Chair of Athletic Directors? – LOL Louisiana Lafayette AD Scott Farmer. Scott Farmer is an AD in the Sun Belt that has acknowledged on several occasions that he would like to take his programs to another conference if possible. Basically he wants out of the Sun Belt Conference. And then you have Dr. Nick J. Bruno appointed as the new Conference President – LOL I dare comment on that one, only if you knew. What a joke SBC?

The Sun Belt Conference developed a formula to distribute $600,000 in net revenue that was produced from the Sun Belt Conference’s four bowl games in 2012. The revenue will be distributed to the six football playing members eligible for end of year revenue distribution – Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky. Basically each program will receive an estimated $100,000 in revenue from the bowl revenue.

BRANDING & NEW LOGO: The Sun Belt Conference having unveiled a new logo and branding campaign, the league has committed $50,000 to each institution to help implement the new logo for the upcoming academic year.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The following sites were selected to host Sun Belt Conference Championships for 2013-14:

Women’s Golf – Steelwood Country Club, Loxley, Ala.
Men’s Golf – Grand Bear Golf Course, Saucier, Miss.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis – City Park Tennis Center, New Orleans, La.

The following sites were selected to host Sun Belt Conference Championships for 2014-15:

Cross Country – South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.
Soccer – South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.
Volleyball – Texas State, San Marcos, Texas
Outdoor Track and Field – Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafayette, La.
Softball – Texas State, San Marcos, Texas
Baseball – Troy, Troy, Ala.

Don’t anyone ever get wrong on this, I love the Sun Belt Conference and I am a big fan of the conference. I just want the conference to be a better conference for its fan and become the best conference in the new group of five. I would love to see this conference offer its members more in revenue and its fans a football championship game. It would help recruiting and add additional revenue to the league.

That is it for now on Spring Meetings for the Sun Belt Conference, if anything else develops I will be sure to inform you. Moving on now I will be releasing my Pre-Season Insider – All Sun Belt Team next month, along with my player watch list plus much more stay tuned.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wilson Van Hooser reportly transferring to Troy from Tulane

Wilson Van Hooser

According to the Troy Messenger Wilson Van Hooser is likey to join the Troy Trojans maybe this week. According the Troy Messenger in Troy, the Baton Rouge Advocate first reported that Van Hooser would be transferring.

Van Hooser is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and is looking to transfer back home to be closer to his mom. Tulane coaches has reached out to both Troy and Auburn.

Van Hooser said he need to make a big decision. In 2011 Hooser caught 36 passes for 487 yards and four scores.

South Alabama gets a Wide Receiver transfer from Alabama

WR Danny Woodson

After signing and playing briefly with the top SEC school, Alabama wide receiver Danny Woodson will transfer to South Alabama.

After being suspended for team rules, the Mobile native and former four star Leflore High School standout is returning home to play for South Alabama Jaguars. The Jaguars coach Joey Jones has confirmed the move during Sun Belt spring meetings. He red shirted his freshman season in 2011 and must sit out a year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Woodson has signed a grant-in-aid with South Alabama and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when he becomes eligible to play.

Woodson 6’1, 195 lbs is the son of Danny Woodson Sr., who played quarterback at Alabama from 1990-91. Fresh out of High School Woodson was recruited by Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas Tech.

We wish him well at South Alabama and welcome back home to Mobile, Alabama. 

Sun Belt Conference Spring Meeting Convenes

The Sun Belt Conference is convening their annual spring meeting in Destin, FL full of participation and excitement by current and future members.
As the meetings convene all members are present along with newly added members in South Alabama, UL-Monroe, UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Troy, UALR, UT-Arlington, Georgia State, Texas State and recently added members New Mexico State, Idaho, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. All members are expected to discuss a wide range of items during this annual meeting in Destin.

Here are some of the important items up for discussion by our league Presidents, Athletic Directors and Coaches. Many items may not get settle during this meeting, but it will put the members in a lead on where they would like to go.

At the top of the list of items will be conference membership and discussions on whether to add another school to the conference after Western Kentucky decided to leave for CUSA so the league can get to 12 football-playing teams and create two divisions and a football championship game beginning in 2014 or 2015.

Conference Commissioner Karl Benson has made it known to the media that ideally we'd like to get back to the 12 but it's not critical that we do so. We want to make sure that if we add a school that it is the right school and has the right characteristics and is the right match for the Sun Belt. Who could that possibly be? There are rumors that several schools could be considered in James Madison, Liberty, MO State, Youngstown State, Lamar, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State.  Many have placed JMU and Liberty at the top of the list, but I am not so sure about that, because the league has sent out several requests for possible membership into the league to several schools and has since been rejected. This is an interesting discussion among league members and the Commissioner, we should just continue to wait and see what happens over the next couple of days.
Other items up for discussion are the number of conference games to be played in football and basketball, Revenue opportunities and TV contracts will also be discussed, as will a variety of other items.  With all of these items up for discussion during this meeting, there is no doubt that the Sun Belt is looking to move forward and become a better competitive conference.

In football the conference will discuss and determine whether they will play eight or nine conference games beginning in 2014 and in basketball they will discuss whether they will play 16, 18 or 20 games.
The conference has important items on their agenda, items that needs to be addressed and acted upon. Two of the most important are the conference adding another member, revenue and TV contracts. Surely the conference and its member needs more revenue and deserve more revenue to competitive.
The conference will hold its media day on Wednesday at the conclusion of its Annual Spring Meeting in Destin, FL. I will continue to bring you update information as it becomes available. STAY TUNED!

SBC New Logo – Together We Wise

The spring meetings are in full swing for the Sun Belt Conference in Destin, FL, and they began the meetings in the Sun Shine State with bright colors. The Sun Belt Conference unveiled their new logo that will represent a new Sun Belt.

Sun Belt Conference New Logo 
Beginning June 1, 2013 the SBC will have a new logo as they welcome several new teams to the conference and will be made up of nearly a new look of members after the 2013 season. Georgia State, Texas State, Texas-Arlington will join in all sports on July 1st, and South Alabama football program will add their new fledging football program to the Sun Belt Conference as a full member. Sun Belt Conference will welcome New Mexico State, Georgia Southern, Idaho and Appalachian State in 2014. 

"The unveiling of our new logo comes after months of review of how we wanted to express the 'new' Sun Belt Conference," Commissioner Karl Benson said in a press release. "It is a very exciting chance for us to display the opportunity and optimism that exists in the Sun Belt Conference as we move forward."
The Sun Belt Conference is now empowered by a new brand identity that capitalizes on 4 key principles (AMBITIOUS, AUTHENTIC, LOYAL, and ADVENTUROUS). In addition, a new identity will represent the reinvigoration of the Sun Belt Conference brand through several points of uniqueness:

1. The chosen identity highlights the sun as a powerful and iconic expression for the conference that suggests unity, strength, promise and ambition. 

2. The individual parts of the icon combine to create a unified whole and represent strength in togetherness; a foundational value at the core of the Sun Belt Conference brand. 

3. The band of blue across the diameter of the icon symbolizes the Sun “Belt” region, while dually creating the feeling of a sun breaking the horizon at the dawn of a new day.

The Sun Belt Conference as unveil their new motto: "Together We Rise" 

We all are hoping for a brighter future in the Sun Belt Conference as we move forward. As the spring meetings continue through media day Wednesday, I will continue to keep you informed and bring you all the updates. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two Players Leave Cajuns Football Program

Ragin’ Cajuns football seniors Bradley Brown and Jalen Fields have left the program and intend to transfer to another school, head coach Mark Hudspeth announced Thursday.

“I would like to thank both Bradley and Jalen for the contributions that they have made to the Ragin’ Cajuns football program and we wish them well,” Hudspeth said.

Brown, a 5-10, 180-pound wide receiver from Baton Rouge, La., caught 15 passes for 187 yards as a reserve in 2012. He joined the program in 2011 after two seasons at Northwestern State and redshirted.

Fields, a 6-5, 280-pound senior defensive lineman from Dalton, Ga., played in eight games as a reserve on the defensive line in 2012, making nine tackles. Prior to joining

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sun Belt Conference Bowl Changes

On this past week we learned that the New Orleans R & L Carriers Bowl will be played on December 21, 2013 at 8:00pm CST at the New Orleans Mercedes – Benz Superdome. We also learned that the Bowl in Mobile, Alabama has changed its name slightly. The bowl is now the GoDaddy Bowl and it will be played on Jan. 5, 2014 a Sunday in Mobile, Alabama at Ladd Pebbles Stadium.

The New Orleans Bowl pits teams from Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA and the GoDaddy Bowl pits teams from the Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference. 

Sun Belt Conference meetings to begin Sunday; Conference Realignment may be the focus

James Madison, Liberty, Missouri State, Jacksonville St, Lamar and Sam Houston State are still possible candidates for Sun Belt expansion! 

The conference that lost 4 members and will be losing one more next summer, will be meeting during the Annual spring meeting beginning Sunday in Destin, Florida. The meeting will last thru Wednesday and is expected be centered on conference expansion.

We all know that Florida International, Florida Atlantic, North Texas and Middle Tennessee have all left the Sun Belt Conference for Conference USA for the upcoming season. Not only the four have exited the Sun Belt, but Western Kentucky joins them in a brand new home in CUSA as well. They said they were looking for a better conference with more exposure and revenue. Maybe CUSA offers that to them and others.

Well I want to give my input on all of this conference realignment and the positions that the Sun Belt Conference has already taken and should consider on this issue. After the departure of the Sun Belt four, they went out and search and added four additional members. Two of those four additions are FCS powerhouses (Appalachian State & Georgia Southern) that will certainly add to the Sun Belt profile and membership, and two of the programs are former members of the conference (New Mexico State & Idaho) that will be independents this season only after being without a conference when the WAC decided to abandon football. The same conference that commissioner Karl Benson formerly headed before coming to the Sun Belt Conference.

Now that Western Kentucky is leaving and joining the other Sun Belt teams in CUSA, the Sun Belt Conference is looking to find a replacement to get back to their ultimate and dream goal of 12 all sports teams. The SBC has a big task in finding that right fit to fill that open spot to get to 12 football members to stage a conference football championship game as they head into the new Football Championship Playoffs as a FBS member. The question is who will that 12th team be and how soon will they be added?

Let’s forget geographic footprint now that the Sun Belt Conference has went outside of that to add new programs early this year in New Mexico State and Idaho way out west, and you have Appalachian State up in North Carolina. But there are several other programs that could be considered for expansion to get to that magic number of 12 that is not in the footprint that the Sun Belt Conference wishes to remain in.  Missouri State, Liberty and James Madison are all outside of the geographic footprint and remain possible candidates.
Over the past couple of days and weeks all I been hearing is programs rejecting the Sun Belt Conference offers and conversations on becoming a member of the Sun Belt Conference. And then I learn that there are programs inside the conference that are rejecting programs that can possibly be a benefit for the Sun Belt Conference and help improve the conference profile.

Rejecting a program over resources, finances and religion shouldn’t be the answer to growth and expansion consideration. Why would you do that when you are about to bottom out as the WAC did and you have the same commissioner that lead the WAC now leading the Sun Belt? When will the bold leadership come forth and put politics aside for name sake? Don’t start to assume so early and accuse me of saying that our Commissioner has poor leadership skills and abilities. I believe he can get the job done, if he get the conference AD’s and presidents on board of this changing idea of conference realignment. All this conference shuffling is real and programs are looking for what’s best for them and if you don’t provide that, they will leave you.

James Madison (JMU) has been long rumor to be a possible replacement for Western Kentucky, but JMU has decided to go with a consultant to see whether a move to the FBS is reasonable and if so what conference is the best possible fit for their programs. But we all know that Old Dominion, who has just been added to CUSA, is lobbying for JMU to be a part of CUSA, Old Dominion and JMU are long time rivals and want that to continue. So if JMU are waiting on CUSA move to get to 16 teams that possible would be added, why would the Sun Belt Conference wait on JMU? 

There are other programs out there that could be seriously considered and added to the Sun Belt Conference so that the conference can move forward and continue to work to become the best of the group of five. Prolonging the matter of adding another program is prolonging progress. Several years ago many doubted that many of the current Sun Belt Conference members would be where they are today winning games, participating in bowl games and defeating BCS teams but they did it and now they are received by other conferences. The same will happen when you add other programs. Just have to prove the nay sayers wrong.

Liberty has made it known over the last couple of years that they are FBS ready and they are ready to make the move up. Liberty has been in talks with the Sun Belt Conference lately but no one really knows the outcome, besides we find out that several programs in the Sun Belt Conference is possibly rejecting Liberty. Why, your guess is better than mind right now? Some indications are that SBC members are rejecting Liberty because of resources and finances. How silly could that be, when you have a conference that rank last in conference revenue? Liberty is a program that has what the SBC needs, and should be glad to consider them as a new member. Liberty does bring finances, a renovated football stadium and a TV network. Something Sun Belt programs barely offer.

The Sun Belt Conference only pays out roughly $40,000 in revenue to its current members. Really! And you wonder why programs are leaving to go get approx $1 million or more in another conference. What can $40,000 do for a FBS program in this day? LOL! Then you only have two bowl tie-ins, and have three or four teams being bowl eligible for the post season, where do you send them when you don’t have any contractual bowls? Commissioner Benson says they are working to add at least one more bowl possibly two in 2014. It’s going to take more than that; the Sun Belt Conference is going to have to increase their conference profile, revenue and TV contract. Members are looking for more exposure and more money as a FBS member, that’s the benefit of being a FBS member right? How can you attract new members and star athletes if your conference is not attractive? Teams are looking for better than ESPN3 and CSS, LOL.  Why not go out a get more television contracts with other networks such as the new FOX Sports Network, CBS Network and or NBC Sports Networks. Those networks are carried over several distributors, where I live in the North Mobile area, we can’t even see CSS programming but we have a Sun Belt Conference team. - LOL.  ESPN and Comcast is not the only sports network around anymore. The revenue is out there, just have to go and get it.

Missouri State is another program that could be consider and believed to wanting in a FBS conference, even Jacksonville State, Lamar and Sam Houston State.

The wise move that the Sun Belt Conference could make at this time is to add two more programs it want hurt much more than help. It would put the conference in a position to overcome all this conference realignment and settle the dust among the group of five just in case the dust come dusting up again in the near future. What I mean is, if CUSA decides to go to 16 teams and add one from the SBC and add JMU, the Sun Belt Conference will be in a position to still have 12 members. Why? Because they has one extra member that will help balance the conference if the dust come dusting up again.  Liberty and Missouri State would be the two that I would go after or even Lamar or Sam Houston State to get a stronger presence in Texas.

Waiting on the chickens will cause you to starve; you have to go get them so you can eat. We will wait to possibly Tuesday to see if anything happens with his issue as the Sun Belt Conference meet in Destin, FL. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

South Alabama RB Demetre Baker wants transfer papers

University of South Alabama Athletics Director has confirmed Demetre Baker release. 

A surprise to me and a surprise too many others, that a star running back that transferred to South Alabama from the University of Georgia name Demetre Baker wants his transfer papers now, so he can transfer away from South Alabama.

RB Demetre Baker 
Just as when South Alabama Jaguars enter into the Football Bowl Subdivision as a full fledge member, and looking for a winning season on the FBS level find themselves losing a quality player.  In my interview with Demetre Baker on today, he claims the school coaches refuse to talk to him and explain what he did wrong to get voted off the team. Baker has been allegedly voted off the South Alabama Jaguars team by his fellow senior team mates for being late for team meetings. It’s not confirmed on how many meetings Baker missed.

This news comes as a surprise when I first learned about it over social media. It surprises many that all this has been keep a secret by the University and school officials.  Demetre Baker commented on his (Facebook) social media page that “All he wants is his transfer papers!” Baker has helped the South Alabama Jaguars when they didn’t have any help in the key running back position. Now he can’t get an answer from any of the coaches or staff at South Alabama. 

Demetre Baker has been cut from the team for about three weeks now; Baker says he been cut after being voted off by fellow team mates for being late for team meetings, says he did participate in spring drills and practices after being classified as ineligible after failing two classes in the fall.  Not only has he been cut from the team, Baker says he has been banned some offices and campus facilities.

"Mr. Baker is entitled to his own opinion and through a press on Monday, Mr. Baker has been released from the team. We handle each athlete according to the NCAA guidelines, said Dr. Erdmann". 

I asked Baker did he apologize for his team violation of missing team meetings. Baker replied “Yes I did, and they seem to not listen or take into consideration my apology.” Baker future explained to me that he believes that decision to cut him from the team was a personal decision and discrimination toward him.  Baker wants to remain with the team and help the team get to where they would like to go and be champions. However, Baker claims that he is not getting any cooperation from school officials, coaches and staff. Baker insists that if he can’t get honest answers, then all he wants is his papers to transfer with his scholarship.

Baker agrees that’s he has committed some mistakes, but not any that is major to where he embarrassed his team or school or deserves to be voted off the team. Baker also claims that a blogger published some lies about him and his thoughts about the team, which Baker claims is not true. Baker says he believes that may also have played a part in all of this confusion.

After talking with Baker about his dismissal from the team; your Insider found out some more surprisely news. Baker claims that South Alabama current football team may not meet NCAA (APR) requirements. Demetre claims that South Alabama is having a bad spring semester right now and it’s not funny. Baker said the current team is currently failing their classes. Baker said South Alabama can’t bring any new recruits and freshmen to the school if they don’t meet their APR.  After speaking with Dr. Erdmann on Thursday, May 2, 2013, Mr. Erdmann failed to confirm or deny that that program will or will not meet their APR requirements. "We will not know the current APR for about another 5 to 6 months, said Erdmann." 

After revealing this news, I asked Baker does this play into the 4-star recruit Blanchard that is also a running back and signed with South Alabama in February coming to South in the fall. He said sure, he believes that the coaches got rid of him so they can have a scholarship to give to Blanchard. 

Baker wants his release papers, but claims the school will not give them to him. Baker said that he will try again and also meet with other school officials before taking the matter to the NCAA. Baker said he loves his team, and there is nothing that he has against his school, Baker wants to play for the Jaguars if they allow him to do so. Demetre Baker said if not, he is ready to move on. Before coming to South Alabama, Baker says he had offers from Arkansas State, Texas A&M, North Alabama and a few others. According to Dr. Erdmann the AD at South Alabama says that Mr. Baker release will be issued once a request has been received in writing

Stay tune for more on this matter, Baker will be live this week for a interview on my show “The Edge” where we will get more in dept about his transfer and dismissal from South Alabama football program. You will be surprise on what else he has to say and what is or may have happen with the team mates and program.

This is not the first report of some sort of happening of this nature at South Alabama. Several people that wish to remain anonymous believe the school to be racist toward African Americans. What do you think of this? Let us know and for your thoughts are important. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Future SBC member New Mexico State to play at LSU in 2014

It looks like the Aggies are have updated their 2014 schedule and are headed to play in the big Tiger Stadium in the fall of 2014.

New Mexico State will travel to face LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Sept. 27, 2014. The Aggies and the Tigers have played each other before and it wasn’t a friendly matchup between the two. In 1996 the Tigers beat the New Mexico State Aggies 63-7. The Aggies are ready for a re-match just as the new College Football Playoffs come into play.

Although an official announcement has yet to be made, the game is listed on NMSU’s official website and reportly have a signed contract.

New Mexico State currently has other games scheduled for 2014 to include Cal Poly, New Mexico, at Rice, and at UTEP. One of those games has to be canceled to round out a 12 game schedule, once the Aggies join the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2014. Playing a big name school as LSU in 2014 could help Aggies in recruiting some talented players that want to play on a team that will be playing against an SEC team. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Trent Miles directs his first Spring Game at Georgia State

Georgia State fans got their first glimpse of the Panther football team under first-year head coach Trent Miles at the annual Blue-White Spring Scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the Georgia Dome. The Spring Game was attended by more than 1,800 fans, featured plenty of interaction and fun for Panther fans.

Georgia State held their first Spring Game as a FBS transitional member as they prepare to enter the Sun Belt Conference on July 1st.

With a roster full of injuries and lack of depth, the team ran through a controlled scrimmage of approximately 50 plays featuring, plus special teams and one over time series. The scrimmage featured first team versus first team, and second team versus second team.

“Although you didn’t see a lot of scoring, we wanted to use this as another opportunity to get better and work on specific situations,” said Miles. “Our kids played hard, and that’s what we’re looking for as we teach them to become a physical, aggressive football team. We finished the scrimmage with no injuries today and that is also a good thing for a coach."

“Our goal this spring was to be able to evaluate our players as we install our schemes and establish our expectation level,” Miles continued.

All quarterbacks Ben McLane, Clay Chastain and Ronnie Bell all saw action in Saturday spring game in the Dome.

Chastain, the sophomore transfer from Georgia Military College, started slowly but finished his day by throwing a 32-yard touchdown pass to Desi Banks. He finished 4-for-9 for 82 yards. McLane, a sophomore who started nine games last fall, was 4-for-7 for 25 yards, directing an 11-play scoring drive that ended with a 35-yard field goal by Wil Lutz. Bell was 4-for-6 for 49 yards.

One of the standouts on offense was sophomore wide receiver Avery Sweeting, who has made an impression with top returnees Albert Wilson and Danny Williams injured this spring. Sweeting caught two passes and was used on kickoff returns in the special teams periods.

On defense, one of the big plays was turned in by sophomore defensive tackle Joe Lockley, who grabbed an interception on a ball that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Nermin Delic. The play was very similar to one that Lockley made last fall at Tennessee, when he came up with an interception off a tip.

“Joe played hard. He does some really good things, so we’ve got to keep him out there,” Miles said of Lockley, who has battled various injuries.

Linebacker Joseph Peterson, linebacker Allen McKay, defensive lineman Nate Paxton and safety Robert Smith recorded sacks, and defensive lineman Terry Hollingshed added a tackle for loss.

Lutz, the sophomore placekicker, nailed field goals of 35 and 40 yards during the live scrimmage session. He also made five of seven during the field goal drill.

This will be the biggest test for the Panthers this fall as they transitions to the FBS and Sun Belt Conference a step up from where they came. Playing tougher schedule this fall will require them to only get better this offseason, in order to avoid a repeat of last season. 

Tojans completes there Spring Game with a White Team 22-14 victory

A team that seen two losing seasons and was expected to bounce back last season, is looking to do this year as they look to have improved this spring. Troy is looking to reclaim their identity as champions when they take to the field this fall. The Trojans ran through approximately 80 plays with the defense and offense splitting into two teams to showcase what they have to offer and been working on during this offseason.

Head Coach Larry Blakeney
Four quarterbacks threw for touchdowns and the defense saw multiple highlight plays as the white squad defeated the cardinal, 22-14, on Saturday in Troy.

“We got a little over 80 snaps which was our goal,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. Coach also said that he is expected to bring in more talent when other players who signed with the Trojans come in June and add to the team.

Senior quarterback Corey Robinson finished the day 11-of-15 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown, while senior Deon Anthony finished 7-of-10 for 124 yards and a score, to go along with 29 yards rushing on five carries. Dallas Tidwell went 7-of-7 for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Eric Thomas led the group of receivers on the day with 81 yards on six catches, while K.D. Edenfield finished with 48 yards on five receptions and a touchdown. Chandler Worthy hauled in three receptions for 90 yards and a score, while Bryan Holmes finished with just one catch, a 69-yard touchdown grab.

The Trojans may not have gotten all they wanted in the spring, but there is still time and a chance to get more improved this summer and fall.  I believe that the Trojans have the weapons; they just have to put them in place. 

WKU Explosive Offensive Performance gets a 42-3 Win in Annual Spring Game

It was an explosive day in Bowling Green that resulted in a showcase of talent, as new Head coach Bobby Petrino watch his new team prepare for what could be their championship year in football and second bowl appearance in FBS history.

Behind 509 total yards of offense, including 314 yards passing from junior quarterback Brandon Doughty, the WKU Red Team took down the White Team 42-3 in front of an estimated 6,500 fans at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium on Saturday in the annual Spring Game.

The Red Team, comprised of the first team-offense and the first-team defense, accounted for a total of 357 yards through the air, while churning out 152 yards rushing on 27 carries, averaging more than five yards per rush, while limiting the White Team to 159 yards of total offense.

Western Kentucky wide receivers Willie McNeal and tight end Mitchell Henry proved to be lethal for the Red Team, as the duo combined for 209 yards receiving on 13 catches and five touchdown grabs. McNeal has a good day as he hauled in seven catches for 115 yards and three scores, while Henry had 94 yards receiving on six catches and two touchdowns. Henry was one of three total tight ends to catch multiple passes on Saturday, as his Red Team counterpart Tyler Higbee caught three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown, while White Team tight end Tim Gorski had three catches for 36 yards.

Head coach Petrino has put together a staff to assist him getting this explosion to happen with the Hilltoppers. Looking into the fall and to who will lead the team to their victories was something to watch on yesterday.

All eyes were on the three WKU quarterbacks on Saturday, as Doughty led the Red Team, while James Mauro played primarily on the White Team and Damarcus Smith split reps with both the Red and the White team. Doughty finished his day 23-of-35 for 314 yards and five touchdowns, with three of the touchdown passes going to Willie McNeal. Mauro threw for 107 yards on 8-of-18 passing, while Smith totaled 83 yards passing on 6-of-16 passing with one touchdown.

Not only did the offense score and perform well, the defense rocked along to be impressive to. "I thought defensively we did a nice job," WKU head coach Bobby Petrino said.

We will wait and see who Coach Bobby Petrino name as starting quarterback this fall, as expected if nothing happens I expect him to name Brandon Doughty as starting quarterback.  

Broadway Shines As Red Team Win 30-23 Spring Game Victory

ULL QB Terrance Broadway 

UL-Lafayette held their Annual Spring game on yesterday and what an explosion. Head Coach Mark Hudspeth and company are looking to take their team to another bowl in 2013 and be very competitive in the Sun Belt Conference, after having to rebuild his team.

QB Terrance Broadway threw for 107 yards and a touchdown and Torrey Pierce ran for a touchdown as the Ragin’ Red team defeated the Cajun White squad, 30-23, in the annual Red vs. White spring game at Cajun Field on Saturday.

The score without audience participation had the Red team winning, 17-13.

The loss spoiled a strong performance by White quarterback Brooks Haack, who completed 15-of-19 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

“This was the most physical scrimmage of the entire spring,” head coach Mark Hudspeth said.  “Both teams came ready to play and turned in strong performances.

“This caps off a pretty good spring of work for the guys.  We still have some work to do to be ready for Arkansas, but definitely made some progress this spring.”

Utilizing a scoring system that enabled the Cajun fans to help their favorite side, the Red team opened the scrimmage with a 6-4 lead, points awarded to them based on the winning teams in a Greek Flag Football tournament held earlier in the day.

The Red didn’t need long to put their own points on the board.

After forcing the White team to punt following their opening series, Broadway led the Red team on a seven-play 56-yard drive that culminated with Torrey Pierce running it in from two yards.  Hunter Stover added the extra point to give the Red squad a 13-4 lead.

Broadway keyed the drive by completing a nine-yard pass to Darryl Surgent, a 13-yard toss to Pierce and an 18-yard pass to Jamal Robinson that gave the Red a first-and-goal at the two.

Neither team would score until midway through the second quarter when freshman D’Shaie Landor completed a 20-yard pass to Larry Pettis that set up a 20-yard field goal by Stover with 2:13 left in the half that extended the Red lead to 16-4.

It could have been worse for the White team.  With the Red getting a first-and-goal at the six following the Pettis catch, the defense stiffened, denying Pierce a trip to the end zone on three straight carries to force the field goal.

Haack got the White team on the board when he led them on a seven-play, 70-yard drive.  Haack showed his athleticism on the scoring play when he eluded the defensive pressure long enough to find Ricky Johnson open along the back on the end zone for a two-yard touchdown that made it a 16-11 game with 37 seconds left in the half.

The Red team benefited again from its fans as Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity edged the UL cheerleaders to win the halftime “Don’t Let Go of The Rope Tug of War” contest, which gave the Red team seven points and the White squad six to make it a 23-17 game.

The Red scored on its opening possession of the third quarter when Robinson made an acrobatic catch on a Broadway pass in the back left corner of the end zone.  Stephen Brauchele added the extra point to push the lead to 30-13 with 6:10 left in the quarter.

Robinson led the Red team with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.

The Red defense halted a White comeback, denying the squad despite having a first-and-goal at the 6.  Christian Hill started the stand by tackling Effrem Reed for a one-yard loss.  Two plays later, freshman Jared Johnson, who made five catches for 84 yards, appeared to have a six-yard touchdown catch only to have it called back because of offensive pass interference.

Facing a fourth-and-long from the 21, Jalen Nixon overthrew Johnson in the end zone to turn the ball back over to the Red team.

The White team closed the scoring when Haacks engineered a 69-yard scoring drive in the final 2:30, throwing a six-yard scoring pass to Pace on the final play of the game.  Pace led all receivers with nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

All four quarterbacks were effective in the game.  Landor was six-for-eight for 59 yards in relief of Broadway while Nixon replaced Haack and completed five of his six pitches for 51 yards.

“I thought we saw some good things from all four of our quarterbacks,” Hudspeth said.  “We didn’t let Terrance (Broadway) do a lot but all three of the freshmen made some plays.”

Justin Anderson and Christian Sager led the Red team with six tackles each while Zach DeGrange added five stops.  Nick Barnfield had the only turnover, intercepting a pass from Lance Pace on an attempted throw back to Haack.

Andrew Hebert led the White team with nine tackles.  Boris Anyama added five stops, including two TFL for six yards.

At halftime of the game, Hudspeth presented the spring awards to the Cajuns.  Wide receiver James Butler was named the offensive most improved player with cornerback Jevante Watson being tabbed as the defensive most improved player.

In addition, three awards were given to players for being the most improved player during off-season conditioning, taking into account improved work ethic, strength improvement and attitude. Wide receiver Jared Johnson received the honor for the skill position, punter Daniel Cadona was the big skill honoree with freshman Blain Winston being tabbed among the big men (or linemen).

With the spring practice period now complete, the Cajuns will focus on final exams which are on the horizon for spring semester.  Conditioning will continue through the summer leading up to preseason camp opening in early August.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Panthers Spring Game in the Dome

If you are a Georgia State fans you are invited to get your first look at the 2013 football team under head coach Trent Miles on Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome and admission is free.

Georgia State will offer a pregame community event in conjunction with Team Tiger and a postgame autograph session on the field with the entire team and coaching staff. Fans will be invited on the field to participate in a team photo immediately after the scrimmage, and free schedule posters will be distributed.

The scrimmage represents the 15th and final session of spring practice for Miles and the Panthers as they prepare for the program’s move to the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference beginning July 1st, 2013.

The team will go through position drills, group work and special teams’ drills, followed by a controlled scrimmage session with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense, and the second-team offense battling the second-team defense. Quarterbacks Ben McLane, Clay Chastain and Ronnie Bell will rotate with the units.

The team will go through warm-ups beginning at 12:20 p.m., return to the locker room and then take the field at 1 p.m. Special teams sessions and position drills will alternate with controlled scrimmage sessions.

It’s T-Day in Troy

If a Trojans fans want to see what Troy is offering in 2013, then today is the day to come out and see. At 11:00am at Veterans Memorial Stadium Troy will take the field to showcase what they have learned in the spring and what to expect this fall.

It's hard to say what the defense is made of at this point since there were a lot of holes to fill during the spring. The secondary has injuries but not of concern.

Troy has seen a losing season for the past two years and they are trying to find their light somewhere to bounce back to where they were on the top of the Sun Belt Conference. The Trojans have some signees that will come in this fall that will also make a impact on the team. 

Cajuns Ready For Today's Red & White Spring Game

The Ragin' Cajuns wants to continue a winning season!

The rehearsals are all complete, the Ragin’ Cajuns football team has been split up and both teams are ready for Saturday afternoon’s Red vs. White spring game.

The game will be the final practice of the spring season for the Cajuns, who are coming off of back-to-back nine win seasons and New Orleans Bowl titles.

During Friday afternoon’s practice, the 14th of 15 spring practices and the final session before the spring game, the Cajuns did their final prep for the spring game.

The squad was split in two for the second half of the practice, with one team practicing outside and the other in the Moncla Indoor facility.  The time allowed the teams to install some special plays and formations for the spring game.

Head coach Mark Hudspeth, who is coaching neither team on Saturday, was thrilled with the practice.

“Our guys brought the spirit and energy today,” Hudspeth said.  “They were excited about being getting ready to compete against each other in front of a large crowd and it showed in their effort.”

With the end of spring practice less than 24 hours away, Hudspeth outlined what he expected on Saturday.

“I want our guys to go out on the field and do all of the things that we worked on the last five weeks.  Our hard work needs to carry over to the spring game so I expect them to practice their fundamentals, work hard and I would like to see our playmakers, especially our young playmakers, step up,” Hudspeth added.

Hudspeth has taken a different approach towards dividing the team into the two units this year.  Last year, the players had a draft to set the teams.  This year, Hudspeth has stocked the Red team with the majority of the first team offense while most of the first team defense is on the White squad.

To finish off the teams, the White squad features the second team offense while the second team defense is on the Red team.

Terrance Broadway, the MVP of the New Orleans Bowl last season, will quarterback the Red team and will wear the blue jersey on Saturday as the only player on the field who can’t be hit by the defense.

Redshirt freshman D’Shaie Landor will backup Broadway on the Red team while both Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon will quarterback the White squad.

Hudspeth noted following the practice that Nixon will take on an additional role.  Besides seeing time as the backup quarterback, he will also take reps in the back field.

“Injuries have limited our depth in the backfield for Saturday so we are going to go ahead and let Jalen take some snaps at running back,” Hudspeth said.

“This is something we thought about more and more as spring practice progressed.  When it looked like Jalen was going to be our fourth string quarterback, we talked about other ways to get an athlete with his talent on the field so we thought we’d try him in the backfield.  He’s 6-2, 230 pounds and I can only imagine the kind of one-two punch we’d have with him and Alonzo Harris (6-1, 22) running,” Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth reminded fans to get to campus early on Saturday and use the north end of the Cajun Field parking lot.

“Come early and tailgate and then enjoy the game,” Hudspeth said.  “After the game we’d like our fans to come on down on the field for autographs and pictures.

“Saturday should be a great day,” Hudspeth added.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Texas State Maroon wins Spring Game

Texas State

The Maroon’s Bobcats took at 28-14 victory over the Gold kicked off a new chapter for Texas State in front of 4,608 fans at Bobcat Stadium. Yes indeed a new chapter, as the Bobcats move into a new era this fall with great expectations.

The Maroon team was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan

Moore and sophomore running back Chris Nutall (63 yards and a touchdown on seven carries), scored all 28 of its points in the second half and could have produced more but there was two red-zone turnovers. Moore hit on five of his seven passes for 107 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown to junior tight end Kris Patterson, and ran for 43 yards and a TD on 11 carries.

Texas State head coach and assistants are looking to eliminate some mistakes to help them win games. The Bobcats seen a lot of mistakes in last season games, which they do not want to repeat. Saturday game at Bobcats Stadium was all about business.

Arndt, who hit on 12 of 18 passes for 151 yards, did his part to stay in the QB equation. He threw scoring passes of 22 and 11 yards to junior wide receiver Ben Ijah and ran three times for 19 yards.

The defense came out to perform well in the Annual Spring Football Game in San Marcos.

The Gold defense was spurred by freshman linebacker Stephen Smith’s six tackles (including two for a loss) and junior cornerback Craig Mager’s interception. The Maroon defense got a big time performance from junior linebacker Michael Orakpo (the brother of former Texas stalwart and current Washington Redskins player Brian Orakpo), senior safety Aaron Matthews and senior defensive end Jamie Clavell-Head.

“We looked a lot more like a football team than we did in the spring game last season – that’s for sure,” Texas State coach Dennis Franchione said.