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We are well aware that most of the SEC spring games have already been played. And we’ll admit that we missed them. Truth be told, we were busy watching the Masters and enjoying a day at Keenelandin Lexington, KY watching the Spring Meet of horses get ready for the Kentucky Derby. So we really aren’t all that upset.
This weekend, however, it’s a little slower and since we have already started planning our 2013 Gridiron Belles Tour, we thought we should schedule our Saturday around kickoffs… finally!
So here is what is left of spring games. Give yourself the gift of early football, mix your favorite game day drink, make your favorite pre-touchdown snacks and enjoy watching the game knowing your team is going to win.
Arkansas 3pm ET
Auburn 2pm ET
Mississippi State 2pm ET
Missouri 2pm ET
Tennessee 2pm ET
“Xs and Os”
When it comes to football, the Southeastern Conference dominates the competition – including National Signing Day. High school students from around the country finalized their college football destinations last week. On February 6, all fourteen SEC schools replenished their troops by finalizing their 2013 classes.
The Alabama Crimson Tide was able to roll again and come out on top of the recruiting race. Who wouldn’t want to go play for a school whose selling point is winning three out of the last four BCS national championship games? Even a player who verbally committed to playing for Auburn and has an Auburn tattoo made the switch. The defending national champs signed a total of 26 players, 14 of which ranked in the ESPN 150.
Coming in with the second best recruiting class is the Florida Gators. Former head coach Urban Meyer created a very high recruiting standard in Gainesville that Will Muschamp is continuing to carry on after landing a top five recruiting class for the second consecutive year. The Gators signed a total of 30 players, 11 of which are ranked in the ESPN 150 – including the top cornerback and top running back in the nation.
The biggest surprise on signing day may have been Ole Miss. Coach Hugh Freeze was able to land a top-five recruiting class in just his second year with the program. The Rebels were able to land two of the top five players in the country – including DE Robert Nkemdiche, the number one overall prospect. Ole Miss was also able to sign the top offensive tackle and wide receiver in the county. We’re sure name dropping Leigh Anne Tuohy didn’t hurt with recruiting either.
LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia all landed top ten recruiting classes this year as well. Les Miles pulled the fourth best class in the SEC and seventh overall in the country – signing a total of 27 players. Texas A&M, who is heading into year two in the SEC, came in fifth in the conference but eighth overall. The Aggies signed 32 players who will get their chance to play with the first ever freshman to the win the Hesiman Trophy: Johnny Manziel. Being able to play at least two years with Johnny Football sounds like a good deal to us. Defending SEC east champion Georgia fell a little short this year. Last year, the Bulldogs signed a top five class but only managed to come in tenth overall this season. The class of 32 still gave Georgia the sixth best class in the SEC, signing five players ranked in the ESPN 150.
Auburn and South Carolina were the only other two SEC schools to finish in the Top 20. Auburn is the second biggest surprise, behind Ole Miss. The Tigers fired coach Gene Chizik for finishing 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC but new head coach Guz Malzahn was able to pull together a recruiting class ranked eleventh in the nation. The class of 24 comes in ranked seventh in the SEC – including five-star recruit and the second best defensive end in the county Carl Lawson. South Carolina pulled in a class of recruits ranked 17th in the country but only eighth in the SEC. Of the 22 players signed four ranked in the ESPN 300.
Vanderbilt and Mississippi State both pulled Top 25 recruiting classes – coming in ninth and tenth in SEC standings. James Franklin signed 27 new players to his team while Dan Mullen signed 23. Tennessee signed 21 new players to finish with a class ranked No. 29 nationally.
The signing process might have taken longer than expected for Arkansas after ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins’ mother would not sign his letter of intent paperwork. 24 hours after intending to sign the letter and with some help from his father, Collins was finally able to sign it. The addition of Collins puts the Razorbacks class at No. 31 in the nation and eleventh in the SEC. Behind Arkansas, comes Kentucky ranked at No. 36 and Missouri ranked at No. 38. These two teams really needed to step up their recruiting game if they wanted to produce better results than last year.
Unlike the NFL, there is no incentive for finishing last. You don’t get the first pick of players the next year, you actually have to work even harder. The SEC has proven they can win and who doesn’t like to win? It appears to us that if you win on signing day, there is a good chance you’re going to win during the season. Only 28.5 weeks until college football season…but who’s really counting?
Signing Day: One Step Closer to Kick-Off was written by Gridiron Belles and SouthernLeague Magazine intern, Ashley Colley.
Once upon a time in a land far far away… boy meets girl, and they lived happily ever after.
Not so fast.
Once upon two or so months ago, in the SEC, BAMA gent meets Auburn belle, and they lived happily apart on game days.
First contact, BAMA gent comments on a kayaking Auburn-clad belle: “Tip her over… Roll Tide!”
Second date options from BAMA gent: “Do you want to grab casual drinks? A fancy dinner? Or re-watch the 2011 National Title game?”
Fast forward two months, BAMA gent’s stipulations when making Thanksgiving weekend plans: “I’m free all weekend except Saturday at 3:30 p.m. And I have to watch it with BAMA people. And no, I won’t kiss you goodbye while you’re wearing orange.”
So the debate continues over the sanity of dating a staunch fan of the other team.
While I proudly wore navy and orange during the Iron Bowl and even forwent smooches from my Tide-obsessed date, I started to wonder about the SEC championship. Do I pack my houndstooth and wave a crimson shaker in the Dome? (After all, I do think Alabama has a better chance of winning the national title and I’d love nothing more than the SEC to exhaust the number 7 while bragging…) If his team loses does that mean everyone has to suffer his agony? I’ve been losing all season, maybe I could help him cope…?
And so goes the story of a heavy-hearted gridiron belle. Where are the Xs and Os for my next play? Only time will tell in the never-ending dilemma of gridiron-romance.
“Xs and Os”
I was most definitely born without the green thumb. In fact I don’t even have a green pinky. So I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of plants that I absolutely cannot kill; cacti and flowers that are already dead.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve forgone the traditional attempt of arranging a live bouquet for the feast and have started working on a new type of display of “survivors.” Here is my inspiration!
Written by Gridiron Belles intern, Brittany Frederic, of Ole Miss.
We found some tailgating inspiration while visiting the Bluegrass State– yes, they play football AND basketball there. Deanna Talwalkar, a Kentucky native, has figured out how to add a personal touch to all of her tailgating spreads and a hint of Southern to each Saturday in Dixie. Thankfully, she agreed to share some of her Mirabelle Creation secrets with us!
When did you start tailgating “professionally?”
Although I have been tailgating since I was a coed, I didn’t start tailgating “professionally” until last year. My first tailgating party was featured on Amy Atlas Events during the 2011 football season. I had set out to create a slightly more feminine, glamorous tailgating party. The party included lots of beautiful desserts and a chandelier that could be hung from a tailgating tent.
What’s your party planning secret?
Stick to what you do best. Party planning can be stress-free if you plan to enlist help with the certain tasks. For example, if you are planning a birthday dinner party for a friend, highlight your own strengths. If you happen to be a a fantastic cook, but don’t like to bake, then make a fantastic dinner for the party. Consider hiring a professional or asking your baking-loving friend to help!
What’s your background? How did you start “making parties?”
I am a former lawyer and practiced law for several years before having children. While planning my daughter’s first birthday, I found that most of the party decorations were geared toward some type of cartoon character. I wanted to create a more personalized look, so I handcrafted all of the party decor. I continued to plan parties for friends and family and eventually, I decided that I could turn my passion into a business.
What’s your goal for each tailgate/event?
I alway like to incorporate a few of my guests’ favorite treats. For me, parties are about celebrating loved ones. So, including my guests’ favorite items ensures that everyone would feel welcomed and special.
So, we have to ask, are you a bigger football or tailgating fan?
Tailgating, of course! Although I love football, the tailgating scene is my favorite spot! I love simply walking around to see all the great food and decorations that people bring to celebrate their team.
Learn more about Mirabelle Creations by visiting www.mirabellecreations.blogspot.com
Being a hostess requires opening your home and letting the ones you care about be a part of your life. Making them comfortable and letting them know they are welcome are all requirements of the job. And unfortunately as fall grows closer and football games require cardigans and boots, houses begin to close their screen doors and turn off the porch ceiling fans. Therefore as the seasons change so does the meaning of the words “come sit a spell.”
Sitting a spell now requires a hot toddy instead of cold sweet tea and a warm fire instead of a paper fan. Fall weather essentials require quite a familiarity of the cozy feeling one receives from cuddling under a thick knit blanket. And as being a hostess most certainly changes from season to season, here are some favorite fall tidbits to make a guest feel a little more comfortable.
Learning to make Banana bread (the Paula Dean way)
Covering the couches with something soft and squishy
Game day chili
Lighting candles that smell of coffee and magnolia trees
Making a flawless hot toddy
Wreathes made from oak leaves and pomegranates
Pumpkin spice lattes steaming from a mug
A small fire filling the house with warmth
Urns filled with chrysanthemums, late dahlias and sunflowers
Team colored blankets during the game
A watch party menu filled with warm soup, crusty bread, and lots of pumpkin
Written by Gridiron Belles intern, Brittany Fredrick, of Ole Miss
Gridiron Belles has a busy weekend ahead, join us where you can!
The 2012 Gridiron Belles Tailgate Tour is well on its way . After a first time experience in College Station last weekend, we are now headed east to Carolina for some top-ranked football, and of course, tailgating!
Gridiron Belles Weekend of Events:
Thursday: Swoozies event in Greenville, SC 6pm. We’ll be serving Mint Juleps (our favorite!) and having some giveaways.
Friday: Pink Sorbet Signing in Columbia, SC 12-5pm. Pink Sorbet is a Lilly Pulitzer via store, so come on in for a game day dress, get a book signed and enjoy a Friday afternoon in Columbia!
Saturday: Gridiron Belles is going to be with SoLeague and Olly Oxen as they tailgate from 12- kickoff before the UGA v USC game! Look for the SoLeague and Olly Oxen flags flying in the Fairgrounds lot!
Don’t forget to tell us where you’ll be this weekend and send in your Belles of the game photos to info@GridironBelles.com!
Xs and Os,
The thickest accent you’ve ever heard. A family split between Auburn and Alabama. A mama that answer’s to Hon. The ability to make crowd pleasing dips. An unwavering love for gents with BAMA bangs. And then, isn’t life funny, she marries a Yankee.
What is one supposed to do when she finds herself head over heels in love with someone who lacks roots below the Mason Dixon Line? Marry him of course! And then decorate the house, post-marriage, to incorporate everyone’s heritage– Ohio State Buckeye loyalty and all.
Below is what one of the South’s greatest belles made for her and her new husband’s home. And isn’t that sweet as pie?
The queen of hosting, Emily Post, once said, “If you know any one who is beguiling and amusing, you will, if you are wise, do everything you can to make him prefer your house and your table to any other; for where he/she is, the successful party is also.” This is not only true for being a hostess of the home, but can guarantee that wherever your tailgate location, you’ll be the most popular around!
We are sharing some of the tailgating tips that have helped us learn the Do’s and Don’ts of having a fabulous time preparing to cheer on your collegiate team.
- Do invite all of your friends—tailgates are not the time to be exclusive. The more the merrier—especially on game day!
- Don’t block the road for other cars or pedestrians. Keep those clear for everyone else trying to tailgate and enjoy the game.
- Do have a great play list of songs. You want it to include some 90’s jams, a few slow dance songs, crowd pump-up songs, and a lot of songs people know all the words to (Visit SoLeagueMag for their game day playlist)!
- Don’t bother other tailgaters around you. Keeping your games of cornhole, football tossing, and chair set-ups within your allotted space will allow everyone to have a great time.
- Do plan food. The worst tailgates are the ones where the food has run out. Plan on feeding your crowd, plus any unexpected guests that they might have!
- Don’t intimidate other team fans. The occasional jest is OK, but stick to cheering FOR your team!
- Do remember that the goal is to make it to the game. Tailgates are a great pre-game tradition, especially in the South. But you also want to be able to cheer your team on once the game starts. Remember there would be no tailgate without a game!
- Don’t make your tailgate hard to find. If you’re inviting new tailgaters or people unfamiliar with the area, give them directions that are straightforward and easy to understand.
- Do get there early enough to park, get the grill going and catch up. Traffic is tough on game days!
10. Don’t forget your tailgate essentials. Pop-up tents, tables, cutlery, sound systems, chairs and your spread are all things you’d
hate to forget at home!
Add these to your existing list for game days and you’ll be hosting a national championship tailgate in no time!
Post was written by SouthernLeague and Gridiron Belles guest writer, Katie Rudder, of LetsBePreppy.com