Category Archives: Tim Tebow

Hazing claims Rolando McClain's hair

The hazing of 2010 continues in the NFL. Unlike Tim Tebow’s now infamous monk cut, Rolando McClain’s new style isn’t getting the same kind of hype.

Except here.

Courtesy of the Thoughts from the Dark Side blog that follows the Oakland Raiders, here is a look at McClain’s unfortunate new look. I guess $40 million contracts aren’t enough to keep the clippers away.

UPDATED: Coaches pick All-SEC teams (with a twist)

The SEC just released the preseason coaches all-conference teams with a notable difference from last season’s. Unlike in 2009, the league did not specify which players were unanimous selections.

That is interesting considering the witch hunt of last year’s SEC Media Days when Steve Spurrier’s ballot turned out to be the one who did not include Tim Tebow on the first team. There will be no such controversy surrounding this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram. He is one of six Alabama players on the first team — tops in the conference. Florida had 10 overall to Alabama’s nine, but only three Gators made the first team.

Update: The SEC athletic directors voted to keep vote totals from being released this year, according to SEC spokesman Charles Bloom.

And now, the complete listing:

Offense first team
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
RB Derrick Locke, Kentucky
WR A.J. Green, Georgia
WR Julio Jones, Alabama
TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas
OL Clint Boling, Georgia
OL Carl Johnson, Florida
OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
OL Lee Ziemba, Auburn
C Mike Pouncey, Florida

Defense first team
DL Marcell Dareus, Alabama
DL Jerrell Powe, Ole Miss
DL Cliff Matthews, South Carolina
LB Josh Bynes, Auburn
LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
LB Chris Marve, Vanderbilt
LB Kelvin Sheppard, LSU
DB Mark Barron, Alabama
DB Patrick Peterson, LSU
DB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
DB Janoris Jenkins, Florida

Special teams first team
PK Blair Walsh, Georgia
P Drew Butler, Georgia
RS Warren Norman, Vanderbilt
AP Randall Cobb, Kentucky

Offense second team
QB Greg McElroy, Alabama
RB Jeff Demps, Florida
RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
WR Darvin Adams, Auburn
WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
TE Luke Stocker, Tennessee
OL James Carpenter, Alabama
OL DeMarcus Love, Arkansas
OL Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
OL Cordy Glenn, Georgia
OL Joseph Barksdale, LSU
C Ryan Pugh, Auburn

Defense second team
DL Pernell McPhee, Mississippi State
DL Drake Nevis, LSU
DL DeQuin Evans, Kentucky
DL Chris Walker, Tennessee
DL Ladi Ajiboye, South Carolina
LB Jerry Franklin, Arkansas
LB A.J. Jones, Florida
LB Craig Stevens, Auburn
LB K.J. Wright, Mississippi State
DB Ahmad Black, Florida
DB Chris Culliver, South Carolina
DB Will Hill, Florida
DB Neiko Thorpe, Auburn

Special teams second team
PK Caleb Sturgis, Florida
P Chas Henry, Florida
RS Brandon Boykin, Georgia
AP Chris Rainey, Florida

By team
Alabama 9
Arkansas 4
Auburn 6
Florida 10
Georgia 6
Kentucky 3
LSU 4
Ole Miss 1
Mississippi State 3
South Carolina 5
Tennessee 2
Vanderbilt 2

Video: More Heisman coverage

Here are a few videos captured after Mark Ingram won the 2009 Heisman Trophy. First, Tim Tebow takes questions and talks a little about Ingram.

Next, Ingram is introduced to the reporters.

Video: Post-SEC Championship celebration

Here are a few videos I captured on the field after the win. The first was immediately following the game. There were plenty of hugs and smiles. But at the end, Tim Tebow runs by with tears in his eyes.

Tim Tebow the receiver?

Well, not really. The Gator quarterback did some moonlighting as a pass catcher, however, in Friday’s practice inside the Georgia Dome heading into Saturday’s SEC Championship.

Tim Tebow appeared to enjoy his time squaring off with an assistant coach playing the role many assume he would play in the NFL. Check out the two videos captured on my handy point and shoot camera. More to come later.

Ingram a finalist for Walter Camp Award

One of the major awards just released its list of finalists and Mark Ingram is on it. The Walter Camp Award goes to the nation’s best player, sort of a Heisman Lite.

The other finalists are Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Case Keenum and Ndamukong Suh.

The winner will be named Dec. 10 on the 5 p.m. CST SportsCenter.

News and notes on SEC championship week

It’s a soggy late Wednesday morning in Tuscaloosa. Here’s what’s making news:

  • I wrote about ticket scalpers today. So did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s what they had to say.
  • Guess what? SEC coaches think Tim Tebow is good. Read more here and here.
  • Tony Barnhart of CBSsports.com offered this quality retrospective of the Saban era to this point.
  • Check out this interesting look at the SEC Championship’s marquee linebackers, Rolando McClain and Brandon Spikes.
  • Javier Arenas’ hometown paper, The Tampa Tribune, wrote about his quest for NCAA punt return records. Click this to read all about it.
  • Last season’s fourth quarter belly flop taken by Alabama is the subject of much discussion this week. Read this for some of that.

Ingram still Heisman front runner

The week off did not hurt Mark Ingram in the weekly survey of Heisman voters found on HeismanPundit.com.

As seen here, Ingram holds a considerable lead over Florida’s Tim Tebow in spite of spending the weekend in Michigan while the Gator quarterback broke out of his funk against Georgia.

My take: Talking Heisman Trophy this early is stupid and unnecessary. We all know the award is won in the final weeks, not midseason. Way too much attention is focused on it, but that makes me a hypocrite since I’m publicizing it as I continue to type. Ah, the self-admitted contradictions of sports writing.

Ingram still Heisman favorite

Sure, the fumble he coughed up on the final run of Saturday’s game nearly cost Alabama its perfect season, but Mark Ingram is still on top of the Heisman Trophy race. At least according to two of the top prediction site — and he’s pulling away according to one.

On HeismanPundit.com, Ingram had just a two-vote lead over Tim Tebow last week. Now the Tide sophomore is well ahead of second-place Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, 59 points to 26 and taking nine of 13 first-place votes among the actual Heisman voters polled by the site. Tebow is down to fourth. See the full results here.

The other predictor, ESPN.com, still has Ingram first with a one-point lead over second-place Tebow.

This just proves how different perspectives can yield very different results in these in-season projections.

SEC teleconference notes

The highlights from Nick Saban’s SEC teleconference call:

  • Dont’a Hightower had successful knee surgery although Saban didn’t say when it was performance and which ligaments were involved.
  • A reporter from Gainesville asked about Saban’s strategy for pulling players late in blowout wins. Saban recognized the obvious connection between the question and Tim Tebow’s injury and said it wasn’t a bad move having the starting quarterback on the field in a 31-7 game in the third quarter. A touchdown and on-sides kick recovery has Kentucky right back in it.
  • “I don’t think of football as a dangerous game,” Saban said. Injuries happen in football just like they do in any other sport, he added, but the NCAA carefully looks at the rules that keep players safe.
  • The ugly “comparison” question was asked about the SEC West and last season’s Big 12 South. Saban hates that C-word. He didn’t make one, but reiterated his view on the SEC West’s depth.
  • Alabama plays neutral-site games like the Virginia Tech opener in Atlanta to prepare the team for road games. This Saturday’s game with Kentucky is Alabama’s first “true road game.”
  • When talking about the linebacker situation, Saban said Hightower’s versatility makes him especially difficult to replace. Because of that, more than one player will be needed to fill those jobs ranging from inside nickle linebacker to defensive end pass rusher.

MEDIA DAY 3: Lane Kiffin steps to the mic, what will he say?

New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin is easily the most anticipated speaker of the week. Here’s what he said:

  • He started with a few jokes about the Tebow deal and brought his ballot to prove he was not the one who left the Gator off the first-team.
  • SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is seated at the back of the room (keeping an eye of Kiffin?)
  • There are not a lot of great high school players in Tennessee, so he has to recruit out-of-state players to his program.
  • Do I love every single thing I’ve done? No. … But I had to do it.”
  • He’s about “creating interest.”
  • “We had to create national attention immediately.”
  • Because of not being familiar with conference, staff members helped him fill out his SEC ballot.
  • Number of violations “not crazy” and none gave an advantage in recruiting. He assured the violations would be cut down in future.
  • Head coaches “suffer” because they can’t go out recruiting in the spring.
  • “You have to spend money to make money,” he said about paying assistant coaches.
  • He should have known Tebow was not signing with him while an assistant at USC because he had a Florida Gator mail box.
  • “I don’t know how he isn’t” a top-5 draft pick (on Tebow).
  • At SEC spring meetings, Kiffin said Urban Meyer “was very nice to me.”
  • A recruit’s mother recently said another coach called Tennessee “a renegade program.” He didn’t say which coach said that.
  • Kiffin disagrees.
  • After today, Kiffin said he’s not interested in talking about his comments from the off-season. Now, he said, it’s time to talk about football.

(Photo by the Associated Press)

MEDIA DAY 3: Chizik kicks it off final round

The crowd is considerably smaller in the writers’ room to hear Auburn coach Gene Chizik as he opens the final day of the spectacle. (Photo by the AP) The lobby is also relatively empty compared to Thursday’s madness that included Nick Saban and Tim Tebow. Here are some highlights from Chizik’s first go at Media Days:

  • Does he feel pressure to succeed immediately? He says no. They don’t pay attention to external factors. There is some “self-imposed pressure.” The foundation is being built for “long-term” success.
  • On Tebow snub: He wasn’t interested in talking about this, but he did say he voted for the Gator.
  • Has Auburn football stumbled? “I don’t know what public opinion is … I don’t know how the outside world views Auburn football.”
  • Since leaving Auburn several years ago, the SEC has “grown by leaps and bounds.”
  • “Our quarterback situation is going to be an interesting dynamic.”
  • “What gets you attention is when you win. It’s that simple.”
  • “If you look at the comittments, he is the right guy for Auburn”
  • “We’re not trying to impress anybody. We’re trying to recruit for what is best for Auburn.”
  • He was reluctant to talk about incoming players because “we haven’t even had a practice yet.”

MEDIA DAY 2: The eerie calm before the Saban

We are about 35 minutes from the beginning of the second day of fun in Hoover. The crowd in the lobby, from what I’m told, is a little smaller than usual considering Nick Saban and his entourage will be here soon.

There is considerably more buzz among the writers heading into today with Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida (Tim Tebow too) will join Alabama as teams 5-8 to experience SEC Media Days 2009. There were 530 credentials issued Wednesday, according to a announcement just made in the main writers’ room.

So keep it here for the rest of the day for updates as they become available.

I also encourage you to join the discussion and comment on the postings before or after you vote in the poll on the left-hand side of the page.

Good Wednesday morning update

It’s time again to take a look at what is making news in the Alabama athletics universe.

  • The web is loaded with stories about Alabama Football Network founder Bert Bank’s death including the one I wrote. Check out a few more here, here and here. He was a member of that special generation of Americans and will certainly by missed by those who knew him.
  • The College World Series is down to a winner-take-all Game 3 tonight after LSU couldn’t finish off Texas last night in Omaha. The 5-1 Longhorn win means one final game and I wouldn’t recommend missing it.
  • In case you missed it, check out this column I wrote for Wednesday’s paper. Let me know if you agree/disagree in the comment section below.
  • No shocker here: Tim Tebow was selected as the SEC male athlete of the year. There is no denying that guy’s ability.

Rolando McClain ranked among nation's best

Although I’m no fan of these rankings and listings of players and teams in June, this one might be interesting to Alabama fans, especially those from Decatur.

The Sporting News has picked Rolando McClain as the 11th best college football player in the country (see complete list here). If you had to click the link to see Tim Tebow was No. 1, shame on you.

Sporting News writer Matt Hayes had this to say about McClain, a Decatur High product:

11. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. When McClain was a freshman, one AFC scout told me he was the best linebacker in the SEC. That was two years ago.

Julio Jones came in four spots behind McClain at No. 15.

15. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama. Had a brilliant freshman season despite average quarterback play. What happens if/when the Tide gets an athletic quarterback with a strong arm?