1. THE BLAME GAME
Alabama coach Nick Saban always has an ax to grind. Saban has railed against no-huddle offenses (before Lane Kiffin added it to his playbook), satellite camps and now the NFL draft schedule. Saban said his team’s chemistry for its CFP semifinal loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl was hurt by the NFL’s Dec. 15 deadline to declare for the draft. Saban sells his ability to get recruits to the NFL as much as anyone. You can’t have it both ways, Nick.
2. BIELEMA: DON’T BE ANTI-SOCIAL
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema wants talented players, but ones he can trust. A player’s Twitter page can be a nonstarter. He said he’s decided not to recruit players because of a Twitter handle or picture that he didn’t like. “You recruit your own problems,” he said. “Just because you’re a great player doesn’t mean Arkansas is going to recruit you. I’m never going to waver on that.” You have to figure that approach plays well in Fayetteville.
3. MIZZOU’S TRY FOR A TRIPLE PLAY
Missouri center Evan Boehm said he and some teammates were watching ESPN at lunch recently when a voice from the TV referred to the Tigers as a Cinderella team. “We were kind of like, ‘Cinderella team?’ I mean, we went 12-2 and 11-3. We kind of got confused.” With 13 returning starters, including quarterback Maty Mauk, no one should confuse Mizzou for anything but a legitimate contender to win a third straight SEC East title.
4. UK’S DATA TRENDING UP
Race horses are judged by their speed index. Kentucky OT Jordan Swindle (“Swindiesel” to his friends) says judge his team the same way. “Two years ago we had five people run 19 mph. Last week we had 33 people run 19 mph. That’s a huge improvement for our team.” Apparently, 19 mph is the point football players jump to light speed. A running start didn’t help last year: Kentucky finished 0-6 after a 5-1 start, beginning with a 41-3 loss at LSU.