Archive for October, 2012

South is king of college football

We take college football seriously in the South. (AJC photo: Brant Sanderlin)

We take college football seriously in the South. (AJC photo: Brant Sanderlin)

For many Southerners, this news will elicit a three-word response ending in the word “Sherlock.”

A survey released Monday by the online travel agency Expedia found that the South is the most passionate region for college football — but only slightly.

The survey found that 63 percent of people in the South watch college football, slightly more than the Midwest, where 62 percent say they watch.

The South and Midwest were far ahead of other regions: In the West, 51 percent said they watch college football and in the Northeast the number was 47 percent.

Nationally, 70 percent of men follow the sport, versus 43 percent of women.

The survey also found:

  • 77 percent of U.S. adults have attended a college football game in their life. Of that group, 14 percent traveled overnight to go to a game in the 2011-2012 season.
  • Bowl games are still a big deal. Among fans who have traveled to attend a regular …

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Mettenberger says Clowney threatened him before game

It appears South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s gift of gab is rubbing off on his players — perhaps in a way that even Spurrier wouldn’t endorse.

According to news accounts, Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and another player threatened LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger before Saturday night’s game in Baton Rouge.

From the Shreveport News:

“We’re coming for you, 8,” a South Carolina player told Mettenberger, who wears No. 8.

“You’re not going to make it through the game,” South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said.

“The little guy didn’t have his jersey on, but he was a player – probably a defensive back,” Mettenberger said.

The incident provided added incentive for LSU’s offensive line, which held the Gamecocks to one sack and Clowney, the SEC leader, to none.

“The player was Clowney and a defensive back. They were right out here when I went out to do warm-ups,” Mettenberger said while in the LSU locker room, just a few feet from the field. “They definitely …

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Alabama, Florida rank 1-2 in first BCS standings

The SEC, which claimed college football’s past six national championships and accounted for both teams in last season’s title game, picked up right where it left off in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

SEC teams Alabama and Florida, both 6-0, were ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in this season’s first BCS standings, released Sunday night.

Defending national champion Alabama’s No. 1 perch was no surprise, but Florida’s vaulting of Oregon — also 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in the major human polls — raised some eyebrows. A No. 1 ranking in computer polls allowed the Gators to surpass the Ducks by a thin margin.

Oregon was No. 3 in the BCS standings, followed by two other unbeaten teams: No. 4 Kansas State and No. 5 Notre Dame.

The SEC placed four teams in the top seven and six in the top 12. Joining Alabama and Florida in the top dozen were No. 6 LSU (the highest-rated once-beaten team), No. 7 South Carolina, No. 11 Georgia and No. 12 Mississippi State. A …

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Ex-Brave McLouth has home run, great catch

Former Brave Nate McLouth had a home run, double, and a great catch that he turned into a double play Thursday night for the Orioles in the American League Division Series against the Yankees.

McLouth homered off Phil Hughes in the top of the fifth, then he ran down Jayson Nix’s drive in the bottom of the inning. After making the catch, he threw the ball in to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who relayed the ball to first to retire Yankees baserunner Russell Martin for a double play.

McLouth also walked in one of his plate appearances. He hit just .228 in his last season with the Braves in 2011.

Yankees fans react as Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth catches a ball hit by Yankees' Jayson Nix during the fifth inning.

Yankees fans react as Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth catches a ball hit by Yankees’ Jayson Nix during the fifth inning.

Another ex-Brave, Adam LaRoche hit a home run for the Nationals in a 2-1 win over the Cardinals in the NLDS. LaRoche, who had 33 homers in the regular season, has two homers in the series.

Other former Braves active in Thursday’s games:

– Rafael Soriano pitched …

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NFF: ‘All systems are go’ for College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta

Architect's rendering of proposed College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta

Artist's rendering of proposed College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta (Courtesy/Atlanta Hall Management)

The National Football Foundation, which three years ago decided to move its College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta, received reassurance this week that the long-delayed attraction will be built here.

“I think it’s fair to say that all systems are go,” Steve Hatchell, National Football Foundation president and CEO, said.

Hatchell offered that assessment in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the NFF board, at a meeting Wednesday in Dallas, heard an update from the Atlanta group spearheading the Hall of Fame project.

“We were happy with what we heard,” Hatchell said. “… We’ve been after this since 2009 and our guys were very anxious to be able to say, ‘Things are really going to happen.’ And that was the report we got.”

John Stephenson, interim CEO of Atlanta Hall Management, the non-profit entity formed to build and manage the …

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Clemson coach spars with Spurrier

His critics might say Steve Spurrier’s aging, but he’s not maturing. But South Carolina’s head ball coach is feeling his oats with his team undefeated and ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Faced with the daunting task of playing LSU in Baton Rouge this week, Spurrier decided he needed to lighten the mood by starting a verbal joust with his in-state rival, making note of the fact that LSU’s and Clemson’s stadiums are both named Death Valley.

“Most of our guys have never been to Death Valley,” Spurrier told reporters. “(LSU’s stadium) is the Death Valley, isn’t it? Or is there another one? There’s two of them. That’s right. There’s two Death Valleys.”

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney tried to clear things up, according to the Post & Courier of Charleston.

“I can see where he might have a little confusion. Our guys have never been to USC. California is a long way from here. I can see where there would be a little confusion, got two Death Valleys, two USCs, but only one real …

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Ref’s mistake wins $725K for bettor

Not everyone was angry with the NFL’s replacement referees.

A Canadian man is $725,000 richer, thanks to the blown call at the end of the Seahawks-Packers game last month.

Gino DiFelice of Ontario placed a $5 bet in a Canadian lottery game in which players pick the results of every NFL game for the weekend, including the Monday night game, USA Today reports. According to the newspaper:

He was 14-for-14 entering the Monday night game and had picked the Seahawks to upset the Packers. When Golden Tate was erroneously awarded a touchdown on Russell Wilson’s Hail Mary pass, DiFelice had his perfect entry.

If the replacements had ruled M.D. Jennings intercepted the pass, DiFelice would have tied for the weekly victory with five other players and would have split the pot. His solo victory ended up giving him the third-biggest haul in the lottery’s history.

“When the play was under review I couldn’t believe what was happening,” he said. “When the call was made, I went nuts. I ripped …

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Tiger Woods apologizes for Ryder Cup loss

Tiger Woods apologized to his U.S. Ryder Cup teammates after his disappointing performance in the U.S.-Europe match last month, according to numerous media reports.

The European team rallied from a 10-6 deficit on the final day to beat the U.S. 14 ½-13 ½. On the first two days, Woods and teammate Steve Stricker lost all three of their matches.

According to, Woods apologized to rookie players Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley.

Tim Rosaforte of the Golf Channel, quoting Snedeker, said, “Tiger got all the rookies in a room, closed the door and personally apologized to everyone for not doing more, for not getting the points he needed to get to get a U.S. victory. For people who don’t think Woods really cares, whenever that turn or that pivot occurred in his career, it has fully turned.”

On Monday, Woods explained why he apologized:

“Steve Stricker and I were sent out to win points and we didn’t do it. It has been difficult, there is no …

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Former Bulldogs weigh in on S.C. blowout

Former Georgia Bulldogs had plenty to say on Twitter about UGA’s blowout loss to South Carolina Saturday night.

Some, like most fans on message boards, were angry over the Dogs’ effort in the 35-7 pasting. Others simply urged fans to keep supporting the team.

Here’s a sampling:

Former UGA and Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis: “I don’t care what anybody says, when you’re the #5 team in the nation, you DON’t give a performance like this, period!!”

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle George Foster: “I’ve never been this ticked about a game I didn’t play in. I never thought I’d see a UGA team not show up for 4 whole quarters.”

Chicago Bears defensive back Tim Jennings: South Carolina is a tough place to play in!! Not to forget that they just tougher than us right now also

Former center Ben Jones, now with the Houston Texans: I bleed red and black no matter what happened tonight. The dawgs will bounce back.

Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent: When my Dawgs hurt….I hurt!!! I …

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Home of UGA QB Murray, linebacker ‘egged and rolled’

A house shared by Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and senior linebacker Christian Robinson was “egged and rolled” Saturday, Robinson said on his Twitter account.

According to an Associated Press story, Robinson believes the vandalism was a result of the Bulldogs’ 35-7 loss to South Carolina Saturday night. “Seems that people turn on you when you’re not perfect,” Robinson said on his Twitter account. “Thought we were in this together.”

Here’s more from the AP story:

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he hadn’t heard of the players’ home being hit with eggs and littered with toilet paper until he was asked about the incident on his weekly teleconference Sunday afternoon.

“Sometimes that comes with the territory,” he said. “You’re a public figure and people get upset about things. It’s sad something like that would happen but it’s not shocking people get criticism or something like that happened to them when they’re in the type position those guys are in, especially the …

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