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  • SERIOUS FOOTBALL: Pre-Season Polls

    Aug 19, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Serious Football, Southern Football

    The dreaded off-season is almost over.  Cue pre-season polls to let us know the season is coming.

    Alas, let me be clear: pre-season polls are just that, PRE-SEASON.  Any and all of these polls below will fly out the window when the first kickoff sails over the gridiron. With every dropped ball, blocked punt or injured player, these polls change accordingly and they are never the same again.  

    Pre-season polls cause us much elation when our team is mentioned at the top of a list, and utter despair when it sneaks in at the bottom. Or, not at all. Each poll is based on different criteria so we’ve included a few samples for your review. Note: for the first few weeks of regular season play you will hear lots of references to the pre-season polls… but then we get real polls. Which actually matter.  

    Below are a few of the most visited polls. We are particularly fond of the Football Power Index (FPI) by ESPN because it considers strength of schedule. Being in the SEC, we all know that playing the best teams in the country week-in and week-out can wear on players, so we appreciate a poll’s acknowledgement for the season-long grind.  But hey, who asked us?  

    So go ahead and peruse, but don’t memorize. This is all pre-season hype and we are counting down the days until things get real on September 3!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    *More related articles for this week at bottom!

    AP Top 25

    “The AP Top 25 is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks college football’s best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The rankings are set by listing the teams’ point totals from highest to lowest. The mathematical formula is the same as the one used for the AP Pro 32 rankings and the AP Top 25 rankings for men’s and women’s basketball.” Visit here. 

    1)     Ohio State

    2)     Oregon

    3)     TCU

    4)     Alabama

    5)     Michigan State

    6)     Florida State

    7)     Baylor

    8)     Georgia Tech

    9)     Georgia

    10)  UCLA

    11)  Mississippi

    12)  Arizona State

    13)  Wisconsin

    14)  Missouri

    15)  Clemson

    16)  Boise State

    17)  Ole Miss

    18)  Kansas State

    19)  Arizona

    20)  USC

    21)  Utah

    22)  Auburn

    23)  Marshall

    24)  Louisville

    25)  Memphis

    Phil Steel 

    “According to sportswriter Phil Steele, the tendency is for voters to give the most weight to the makeup of returning starters, how teams did in their bowl game and where they ended last season in the rankings.” (Bleacher Report) Phil’s list can be found here. 

    1)     Ohio State

    2)     TCU

    3)     Alabama

    4)     Baylor

    5)     Oregon

    6)     Michigan State

    7)     USC

    8)     Florida

    9)     Auburn

    10)  Georgia

    11)  UCLA Bruins

    12)  Ole Miss

    13)  Notre Dame

    14)  LSU

    15)  Clemson

    16)  Arizona State

    17)  Georgia Tech

    18)  Wisconsin

    19)  Missouri

    20)  Arkansas

    21)  Mississippi State

    22)  Oklahoma

    23)  Boise State

    24)  Tennessee

    25)  Stanford

     Football Power Index: FPI

    “FPI is an estimate of team strength – not a ranking of who will have the highest win total (which is dependent on schedule) and not who is most likely to make the College Football Playoff. Preseason FPI is calculated using three major components for each FBS team: prior years’ offense, defense and special teams efficiencies; returning starters and head coach information; and recruiting rankings.”  For more, visit here

    1)     Ohio State

    2)     Alabama

    3)     TCU

    4)     LSU

    5)     Baylor

    6)     Oregon

    7)     Notre Dame

    8)     Ole Miss

    9)     Georgia

    10)  Arkansas

    11)  Texas A&M

    12)  UCLA

    13)  USC

    14)  Tennessee

    15)  Oklahoma

    16)  Michigan State

    17)  Stanford

    18)  Auburn

    19)  Clemson

    20)  Arizona State

    21)  Florida State

    22)  Mississippi State

    23)  Georgia Tech

    24)  Missouri

    25)  Michigan

    *Other Football Related Articles to Read This Week:

    Our Hero Samantha Ponder Steps Down

    Great Bragging Rights and Tailgate Talk: Last Time Gameday Visited Every SEC Town

    While We’re Talking Pre-Season, Here Are Pre-Season Running Back Rankings

    Is It Ever Too Early To Think About Playoffs? 

    Top 5 Best September Games To Watch

     

  • One Nation, One Flag

    Jul 31, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Ole Miss, Ole Miss Football, SEC, SEC Football, Southern Football

     

    *Photo Credit, CNN “Best College Football Stadiums”

    The South is feeling the heat right about now.  Not only because it averages a scalding 96 degree daily temperature– plus a heat index– but because of the recent violence and controversy surrounding  the Confederate Flag.  It’s a tough time to be a Southerner when one rotten apple has ruined the reputation of the whole bunch. 

    Alas, with a Southerner’s favorite season just around the corner, it’s time to show the country that the South is more—much much more—than a few rotten apples. It’s time to showcase that our goal as a region is to be hospitable, neighborly, respectful and part of our communities.  Let’s go into this highly anticipated football season showing our pride more than ever and to make the Southern connotation positive, once again.  This tailgate season let’s be more hospitable than ever; let’s be respectful to our rivals (doesn’t mean we can’t still hope they lose); let’s lookout for our neighbors; and let’s join in our communities of 14 proud universities of the SEC and show the country what we are really about.

    Happy season, y’all.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

    To read more:

    SEC Coaches Talk About the Confederate Flag At Media Days

    Coach Freeze Encourages Mississippi to Nix the Flag

     

  • It’s Game Time

    Aug 28, 2014 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating

    Game week is here and your Thursday/Saturday schedule should follow accordingly…

    If you want to watch other conferences, you’ll have to go elsewhere for information. Below are all of the times for our beloved SEC kickoffs.  So wake up early for your workout, get ready while watching Game Day, make a tailgate snack and get comfy for a full day of gridiron glory.  It’s baaaaackkkk!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Thursday, August 28:

    6:00pm ET            Texas A&M (No.21) at South Carolina (No.9)

    8:00pm ET            Boise State v. Ole Miss (No. 18)

    9:15pm ET            Temple @ Vanderbilt

     

    Saturday, August 30:

    12:00pm ET            Tennessee-Martin @ Kentucky

    3:30pm ET            West Virginia v. Alabama (No.2)

    3:30pm ET            South Dakota State @ Missouri (No.24)

    4:00pm ET            Arkansas @ Auburn (No.6)

    5:30pm ET            Clemson (No. 16) @ Georgia (No. 12)

    7:00pm ET            Idaho @Florida

    7:30pm ET            Southern Miss @ Mississippi State

    9:00pm ET            Wisconsin (No. 14) v. LSU (No.13)

     

    Sunday, August 31:

    7:00pm ET            Utah State @ Tennessee

  • Week 3 Preview

    Sep 14, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Uncategorized

    Week 3 has arrived with no lack of excitement or anticipation.  A full day of gridiron battles are lined up for Saturday, September 14, and here is what you need to watch for!

    Happy game day,

    Christie Leigh

    Bye-Week: (9) Georgia, (18) Florida, Missouri

    (7) Louisville vs. Kentucky

     The Basics: Another in-state non-conference rivalry game that is bound to cause problems for Kentucky.

    What to Watch For: If you haven’t heard the name Teddy Bridgewater yet this season, you must be sleeping. The Louisville quarterback is getting a ton of national media attention is a said to be one of the frontrunners to win the Heisman this year. In the first two games, Bridgewater has thrown for 752 yards. Even if Kentucky finds a way to stop Bridgewater, Louisville’s offense has numerous other weapons.

    It most likely going to get ugly in a hurry, especially with this rivalry. Kentucky fans are probably starting to wonder if basketball season is ever going to come.  You can watch this game at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN.

    Southern Miss vs. Arkansas

    The Basics: It’s another non-conference opponent for Arkansas but that doesn’t mean you can slack off. The Razorbacks need to use the game to help fine tune the team and get them off to a 3-0 start. They need to use this week to come out strong and finish stronger as conference play draws closer.

    What to Watch For: The Razorback’s running game has seemed to work so far. The team currently leads the SEC an average of more than 300 yards per game thanks to running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. If these two can put up points in a hurry, they could then rest their legs and get a breather before the start of SEC play. Coverage of this game begins at 12:21 PM ET on SEC Network.

    *(1) Alabama vs. (6) Texas A&M

    The Basics: This is not only the game of the week, but could very well be the game of the year. It’s highly likely the winner of this game could find themselves in the SEC championship game come December. Alabama wants revenge while Texas A&M just wants to stop all the talk that Johnny Manziel’s antics are providing distractions. If we had to pick one word to describe this upcoming game, it would be EPIC.

    What to Watch For: Alabama’s offensive line is going to have to prove that their week one struggles were just that. They’ve only played one game so far this year but it wasn’t pretty for the Bama o-line against Virginia Tech. Texas A&M will need to do what they did last year which was capitalizing on hurry-up play and turnovers. They will need to attack Alabama hard and fast if they want to win two in a row against the Tide. The difference between this year and last year is that everyone expects Johnny Manziel to make big plays and beat Alabama yet again. You don’t want to miss this game. You can see it at 3:30 PM ET ON CBS but before that you can catch ESPN’s College GameDay Live from the Texas A&M campus beginning at 9:00 AM ET on ESPN.

    Tennessee vs. (2) Oregon

    The Basics: This one could get ugly in a hurry. Tennessee has put up 97 points against two struggling non-conference opponents. However, this non-conference opponent isn’t someone the Volunteers will be able to take advantage of. Oregon has scored 125 points and 17 touchdowns in the first two weeks.

    What to Watch For: Time of possession will be key. Tennessee will need to hold onto the ball as much as they can if they want to try to stop Oregon. The Ducks can score in a hurry and if they don’t have the ball, that makes that job more difficult. The Volunteers will also need to force turnovers and make sure that they capitalize on them. Tennessee DT Maurice Couch will miss the game on Saturday due to heat exhaustion. That announcement came several hours after Yahoo! Reported five SEC players, including Couch, had reportedly received extra benefits as a player. Coincidence? You be the judge. This game will air at 3:30 PM ET on ABC.

    Mississippi State vs. Auburn

    The Basics: It’s a must win for both teams. That’s because this game could easily be the only win either team gets for the year in the dominating West division. Gus Malzahn’s team has started out the season 2-0 in some time tight games while Dan Mullen’s team is looking to keep on rebounding. This is really anyone’s game.

    What to Watch For: Auburn is continuing to carry out its attack with heavy reliance on the running game. The Tigers are averaging close to 300 yards per game and running plays are getting called more than 70% of the time. Veteran quarterback Tyler Russell is expected to be back for Mississippi State as the starter. Russell and the offense struggled in week one before he had to leave the game due to a concussion. That injury forced Russell to miss week two. Dak Prescott did shine last week along with the offense. If Mississippi State struggles early, we could see Prescott come in. You can catch this game at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2.

    Kent State vs. (8) LSU

    The Basics: Most likely another blowout win for LSU. Good news for LSU fans but not likely to be an exciting and nail-biting game. This game won’t earn the Tigers much respect by beating Kent State, but it will earn them a win. Les Miles will gladly take a 3-0 start to the season.

    What to Watch For: Zach Mettenberger is really starting to shine under the new offensive direction put in place by Cam Cameron. He’s finally living up to the hype that comes with being the starting quarterback for LSU. Even with these changes, a lot of people still seem to be underestimating the Tigers. This should be a dominating performance for LSU but look for Mettenberger to gain some more much needed confidence. You can see this game at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.

    Vanderbilt vs. (13) South Carolina

    The Basics: Could this be the week that James Franklin gets his first win at Vanderbilt against a ranked opponent? Maybe, but it won’t be easy especially with the Commodores on the road. Both teams are 0-1 in conference play. A South Carolina loss could seriously hurt their chances at winning the SEC East.

    What to Watch For: Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t quiet lived up to all the off-season hype he’s received. All of South Carolina’s opponents know he’s out there and are using their game plans to eliminate his opportunities. Clowney says he wants to be used differently to avoid this. However, South Carolina could very easily play into the fact that it’s taking two guys to stop him and build their defense around it. The Gamecocks will need their defense to step up if they want to shut down the Vanderbilt offense’s passing game and the arm of Austyn Carta-Samuels. You can watch this game 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU. 

    (25) Ole Miss vs. Texas

    The Basics: It’s a road game for Ole Miss and it will come in a tough atmosphere. Texas has seen some early season struggles but are looking to rebound by upsetting a Top 25 team. Hugh Freeze has turned the program around but is still searching for a big signature win to add to his resume. A win against Texas could do just that for him and quarterback Bo Wallace.

    What to Watch For: The Longhorns will be most likely be without two key players: Starting quarterback David Ash is not expected to play after dealing with injuries to his head and shoulder, running back/wide receiver Daje Johnson has a left ankle injury. If that’s not enough, Texas is also dealing with coaching changes just two weeks into the season. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was let go following the 40-21loss last Saturday. Revamping the defense is a week won’t be an easy task but it could cause some problems for Ole Miss who might not expect some of the changes coming their way. However, the Rebels are averaging close to 240 yards per game. Look for them to attack early, especially against the struggling Longhorn defense. This game can be seen at 8:00 PM ET on Longhorn Network

    Weekly Previews are written by Ashley Colley, a true Gridiron Belle

  • Week 2 Preview

    Sep 6, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Uncategorized

    Goooo DAWGS! Sic’em!

    Happy Football Friday!

    Here is what to look for this weekend on the Gridiron…Study up… kick-off is just around the corner!

    Bye-Week: (1) Alabama

    (12) Florida vs. Miami (FL)

    The Basics: Week two of SEC action kicks off with a non-conference rivalry game that should be a nail bitter. The two teams will meet on the field for the first time since 2008 when the Gators grabbed a 26-3 win. However, Miami holds a 28-26 series lead. The good news is the Gators will get back suspended players–– linebacker Antonio Morrison, cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and defensive tackle Darious Cummings. Running back Matt Jones is also expected to return after being sidelined due to illness.

    What to Watch For: Florida’s defense dominated the first game of the season and won’t have time to relax this week. Stopping Miami’s running game will be key to picking up the win, especially when it comes to containing running back Duke Johnson. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN.

    Miami (Ohio) vs. Kentucky

    The Basics: Kentucky is hoping week two can prove to be more successful than week one. The Wildcats fell short against in-state rival Western Kentucky and will look to obtain the first win of the season against Miami (Ohio). The two will meet for the first time since 2009 when Kentucky grabbed a 42-0 win.

    What to Watch For: Kentucky has named sophomore quarterback Max Smith as the starter for this week’s game. Smith replaced sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow in the fourth quarter of last week’s game and proved he was able to produce. Smith will need to help the offense come out strong so the Wildcats don’t find themselves having to play catch-up for the second week in a row. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on FSN.

    Western Kentucky vs. Tennessee

    The Basics: Tennessee had a dominating performance last week after shutting out Austin Peay in Butch Jones’ debut, but don’t think this week’s non-conference opponent isn’t going to put up a fight. Western Kentucky knows what it takes to compete against SEC teams with former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino now in charge. This will only be the second meeting between the two schools. The teams first met in 2009 when Tennessee grabbed a 63-7 win.

    What to Watch For: A pair of running backs will most likely be the key for both teams in this game. Tennessee will be depending on Rajion Neals’ versatility to help them outscore Western Kentucky. They will need him to keep producing after rushing for 141 yards and one touchdown in week one. On-the-other hand, the Volunteers will need to stop Western Kentucky’s running back Antonio Andrews who scored one touchdown and rushed for 99 yards in week one against Kentucky. Last season he rushed for 1,684 yards and scored 14 TDs. You can watch the game starting at 12:21 PM ET on SEC Network.

    Alcorn State vs. Mississippi State

    The Basics: Mississippi State’s season is off to a rough start and the hits keep on coming. The Bulldogs will be without starting quarterback Tyler Russell, who suffered a concussion during the week game vs. Oklahoma State. They will also be without experienced defensive back Jay Hughes, who is out the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Mississippi State has been bitten by the injury bug but will need to prove they can overcome it against Alcorn State.

    What to Watch For: The Bulldog offense struggled last week and will need to show that is was just a fluke. New quarterback Dak Prescott will get his first career start in place of injured Russell, but Prescott’s lack of experience could present some problems. Watch for him to rely on his own run game to help his team get going though. Mississippi State really needs to pick up the win or they could start the season 0-3 with next week’s Auburn game looming in the distance. You can see this game at 3:30 PM ET on CSS.

    Toledo vs. Missouri

    The Basics: Some might call it the Gary Pinkel Bowl. That’s because the Missouri coach got his heading coaching career started in 1991 in Toledo; this week’s opponent for the Tigers. Pinkel spent 10 years in Toledo after taking over for current Alabama head coach Nick Saban who left to pursue a career as a coach in the NFL. This is the first time the two teams will face-off on the field.

    What to Watch For: Missouri’s offense showed some positive signs of growth after putting up some serious numbers in week one to lead the SEC in rushing, passing, total offense and scoring. Mizzou’s defense got off to a slow start but stopped the opponent from scoring in the second, third or fourth quarters. The Tigers will need both aspects of their game to come out strong. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU.

    *(6) South Carolina vs. (11) Georgia

    The Basics: This is our pick for SEC Game of the Week. That’s because this game could potentially be one of the most important games in the SEC this year. This match-up and blooming rivalry could have great impact on the SEC East standings and could determine who heads to the SEC Championship game in December. South Carolina has won the last three meetings between the two schools but Georgia has been crowned the SEC East champions the past two seasons.

    What to Watch For: South Carolina picked up a dominating win against non-conference rival North Carolina while Georgia fell short against Clemson. The Bulldogs are still seeking win number one of the season. Georgia’s offense will need to do a better job of protecting quarterback Aaron Murray who was sacked four times last week, especially from a defense lined with the likes of Jadeveon Clowney. Look for both teams to turn to their running game and use it to eat up the time of possession. Coverage begins at 4:30 PM ET on ESPN.

    UAB vs. (9) LSU

    The Basics: This is one of those games where the SEC is bound to pick up a win in dominating fashion against a non-conference opponent. LSU is already a 34-point favorite to win against UAB, who finished 2012 with a 3-9 record.

    What to Watch For: The LSU offense is under new direction and started off with a strong start against a good TCU defense. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger gave a solid performance to start the year off, throwing for 251 yards and one touchdown. Mettenberger also had help from his running backs Alfred Blue, Kenny Hill and Terrence Magee. There is still no word on if LSU running back Jeremy Hill, who was suspended during the offseason for his arrest for simple battery, will play this week or not. You can watch this game starting at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.

    Sam Houston State vs. (7) Texas A&M

    The Basics: If I had to predict one game that could be an upset, I’d pick this one. FCS teams put up a fight in week one and with all the controversy still swirling around College Station, this game has a perfect setup for an upset. Linebacker Steven Jenkins, defensive end Gavin Stansbury and cornerback De’Vante Harris were all suspended prior to the start of last week’s game and will remain benched this week. Cornerback Deshazor Everett will have to sit out the first half of the game for the second week in the row. Last week Everett was serving a suspension put in place by Coach Sumlin but he will now miss the start after being ejected due to the targeting penalty.

    What to Watch For: Johnny Manziel will need to keep himself in check both on and off the field, especially with a depleted defense. The Sam Houston State offense is coming off a season where they were second in scoring in the FCS and put up 74 points in their season opener this year. Many teams have overlooked FCS teams in the past and have found themselves on the losing end (ask Kansas State). This game can be seen starting at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    Samford vs. Arkansas

    The Basics: Winning at home is key, especially for Coach Bret Bielema. He currently holds a 48-5 record for career home games and is looking to keep the win total growing at Arkansas. The game will be played at War Memorial Stadium this week, the secondary home stadium for the Razorbacks. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

    What to Watch For: Samford will be coming into this week’s game with high hopes. Last week, they picked up a win over FBS program Georgia State, 31-21. The Bulldogs will try to pick up another road win and prove that the FCS can compete with the big ole SEC. If Arkansas can come out strong and shut down Samford’s offense like they did against Louisiana Lafayette last week, they’ll find themselves off to a better start than last year. Game coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    SE Missouri State vs. Ole Miss

    The Basics: Ole Miss is coming off a dramatic win to open up the season and conference play. It proved that the Rebels are really here to play and come back and win when they need to. This week is going to be a little less nerve-racking for Ole Miss fans but should still be exciting with the possibility of lots of scoring. SEMO has an all-time record vs. SEC opponents of 0-4 and has been outscored by them 147-10.

    What to Watch For: Ole Miss fans haven’t forgotten about the gut wrenching loss to Jacksonville State from 2010. Even though SEMO is another FCS team, I don’t think Rebel fans will have to worry about reliving that nightmare this week. I expect Ole Miss to come out strong in the beginning. This is important because if they are able to do this, that could give some significant rest time to key starters including quarterback Bo Wallace. You can see this match-up beginning at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    Arkansas State vs. Auburn

    The Basics: Emotions are bound to be running high as new head coach Gus Malzahn and his new team faces-off against his former Arkansas State team. The good news and the bad news is, Malzahn knows exactly the kind of talent he left behind. Auburn is going to have to work for the win and it’s not going to be an easy task. Tiger fans could be in for another nail bitter of a game.

    What to Watch For: Nick Marshall’s SEC debut was less than ideal. He and the Auburn offense’s passing game struggled but a trio of receivers helped them get the job done. Watch for Auburn to rely on the likes of Corey Grant and Tre Mason throughout the game, especially if Marshall struggles early on. The Auburn defense is also going to have a tough job of stopping the Arkansas State running game including David Oku. Oku rushed for 1,061 yards and 16 touchdowns while the Arkansas State program was under the command of Malzahn. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM ET on FSN.

    Austin Peay vs. Vanderbilt

    The Basics: Vanderbilt almost had the first win of the year in the bag, but let it all slip away. Look for the Commodores to come out looking for blood even if it is against Austin Peay, a team who got shut out against Tennessee. The game could get ugly in a hurry for Governors but Vanderbilt fans should be able to breathe a sigh of relief as this game should be breeze.

    What to Watch For: James Franklin does not like to lose. Falling to a team like Ole Miss last week is a respectable loss in the eyes of most of the college football world but it’s a different story if they pick up a loss to Austin Peay. James Franklin will do everything he can to make they win. The best way he can do that is by using Jordan Matthews. It’s likely he will only see the first part of the game but if he can come out strong, Commodore fans will be happy. You can watch this game at 7:30 PM ET on CSS.

    Week 2 Preview written by Ashley Colley

  • Order the 2nd Edition of Gridiron Belles

    Sep 4, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Atlanta, Auburn v Georgia, BCS Championship Game, Football weddings, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Heisman Trophy, Lilly Pulitzer and Gridiron Belles, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Southern Women, Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    My dearest Gridiron Belle:

    Football season has arrived and with impeccable timing, we just launched our highly-anticipated campaign for the 2nd edition of Gridiron Belles! ( You can go ahead and back the project here.)

    With an overdue welcome to Mizzou and TX A&M to the SEC, I needed to add their chapters and some photos of their tailgates and traditions.  While I was at it––to keep it a second edition and  not an entirely new book–– I went ahead and added new belle photos, quotes, outfit suggestions and updated some unique tailgate ideas among other things. (It’s easy to pre-order, here, now)

    So here is how this works:  This kickstarter campaign is the only way for you to get a copy of the new book. If this isn’t a success, no one gets a copy, so be sure to spread the word.   We recommend telling all of your sorority sisters, bridesmaids, boyfriends, friends you tailgate with and gridiron-loving family members. Heck, go ahead and order a few for yourself so you have hostess gifts on stand-by.  Either way, y’all asked for more books, so here they are! You’ll be the first to have a copy of the fall’s must-reads and I guarantee you’ll understand the game of football when you’re finished reading! 

    Thanks in advance for your support; can’t wait to see you at the next tailgate!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Go ahead, order!

     

     

     

     

  • Gridiron Week 1 Recap

    Sep 3, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    And so it begins!

    There is a lot to pay attention to each weekend of the season.  Obviously, we don’t want you to miss a thing as true Gridiron Belles keep up with their team and those in their team’s division and conference.  So read on.  This is the recap for opening weekend… it’s already heating up!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    North Carolina vs. (6) South Carolina (27-10)

    The 2013 season kicked off with a classic non-conference battle between the Carolinas. The two teams hadn’t faced each other on the field since 2007. South Carolina got off to a fast start by scoring 17 points in first quarter, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Connor Shaw to sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland. Junior quarterback Dylan Thompson also got some playing time after Coach Steve Spurrier said he was going to use the dual QB system this year. Thompson’s only pass of the game led to a 29-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Kane Whitehurst. Sophomore running back Mike Davis showed his speed abilities, after dodging a couple of defenders, by running the ball into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown. The Gamecocks beat the rival Tarheels by a final score of 27-10.

    All-American junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s performance on the field wasn’t as dominant as all of the pre-season hype led up for it to be after he only grabbed three tables, but give it time. Clowney said he wasn’t very thrilled with his performance but says the hot temperature and a stomach virus from earlier in the week played some factor. Coach Spurrier says the team is going to spend a lot more time on conditioning this week before facing Georgia.

    Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt (39-35)

    The first SEC battle of the year was everything we could have wanted in a conference matchup. Ole Miss took control of the game early, scoring the only points of the first quarter to give the Rebels a 10-0 lead. The second quarter though belonged to Vanderbilt. The Commodores scored two touchdowns in just under a minute and a half to regain the lead.

    Ole Miss’s Barry Brunetti and Vanderbilt’s Wesley Tate each scored 3-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter, but Ole Miss was able to pull the game within 3 points thanks to junior quarterback Bo Wallace. Wallace ran the ball in for a 3-yard touchdown and then connected with freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell for a two-point conversion. Wallace then scored the first points of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Rebels a 32-28 lead. With 1:30 left in the game, Vanderbilt’s Carta-Samuels connected with sophomore tight end Steven Scheu for a 34-yard touchdown and took a 35-32 lead. 27 seconds later on the second possession of the drive for Ole Miss, senior running back Jeff Scott scored a 75-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 39-35 lead. The make-or-break moment of the game came with :33 left in the game and Vanderbilt sitting at 3rd and 4, Carta-Samuels pass bounces off the hands of Jordan Matthews and into the hands of Ole Miss junior defensive back Cody Prewitt for the interception. The Rebels hung-on to earn their first conference win of the season, 39-35. Both teams will face their first non-conference opponent of the season this week. Ole Miss hosts SE Missouri State while Vanderbilt gets a visit from Austin Peay,

    Toledo vs. (10) Florida (24-6)

    The Florida Gators didn’t let the suspension of five players stop them from starting the season off with a win. Junior running back Mack Brown and junior quarterback Jeff Driskel helped lead the team to a 24-6 win over Toledo. Brown lead the team in rushing, caring the ball 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. The number of carries Brown got in the first game of 2013 equaled the total amount he had during all of 2012. Driskel went 17-of-22 for 152 yards and one touchdown. The Florida offense had a total of 414 yards of offense with 262 coming on the ground. The Gators also showed some early signs of being as good as the fifth ranked defense from last year by only allowing Toledo to score 6 points in the game. Next up for Florida is non-conference foe Miami.

    Rice vs. (7) Texas A&M (52-31)

    After a whirlwind of an off-season, sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel found himself on the bench for the majority of the first game. Manziel served a first-half suspension from NCAA but found himself back on the bench after being yanked by Coach Kevin Sumlin after picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the fourth quarter. After the game Sumlin said the behavior of Manziel was not OK and the penalty was “foolish.”  Manziel wasn’t the only Aggie player who spent the majority of his time on the bench. Junior cornerback Deshazor Everett was also serving a half-game suspension for a misdemeanor assault charge and entered the game in the second half. However, in the fourth quarter he was ejected from the game for targeting. Everett will now have to spend the first half of the Aggies’ second game on the bench under the NCAA’s new targeting rule. If that wasn’t enough drama, just before kickoff the Aggies announced four players had been suspended for the first two games for violating team rules.

    With all the suspensions, Texas A&M started off slow. Rice held a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter but the Aggies started to click in the second.  At halftime, the Aggies lead Rice 28-21. To start the second half, Manziel rushed for 19 yards but the team ended up being forced to kick a field-goal after Manziel was sacked to end the drive. Even though Manziel only played for roughly a quarter and a half, he went 6-of-8 on the day for 94 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. If Manziel can manage to keep his nose clean this week, he will be able to start his first game of the 2013 season vs. Sam Houston State.

    Mississippi State vs. (13) Oklahoma State (21-3)

    The first game of the season can often times mean slow starts. That was certainly the case for the Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State game in Houston, Texas. The Bulldogs held a 3-0 lead until late in the second quarter. At halftime, the Cowboys only had a 7-3 lead. Mississippi State starting senior quarterback Tyler Russell left the game in the third quarter. Coach Dan Mullen said Russell was OK but they didn’t want to take any chances with head or neck injuries. Mullen would not specify what type of injury Russell suffered. He finished the day 10-of-16 for 133 yards before being replaced by backup sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott. Oklahoma State scored single touchdowns in the third and the fourth quarters to grab a 21-3 win.

    Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Arkansas (34-14)

    The Bret Bielema era at Arkansas started off with a 34-14 win, with big help from sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen. Allen went 15-of-22 for 230 passing yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to senior wide receiver Javontee Herndon. Sophomore Jonathan Williams rushed for 151 yards and one touchdown while Alex Collins rushed for 131 yards. The Razorbacks had 292 rushing yards during Bielema’s first game, which totaled 125 yards better than the 2012 team’s season high of 167 yards. Up next for Arkansas is Samford.

    (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (35-10)

    The Alabama Crimson Tide is looking to become three-peat BCS Champions this year, but they still have a lot of work to do. The final score of 35-10 might not show it, but the offense had a discouraging performance in the first game of the 2013 season. Three of the touchdowns scored by Alabama weren’t from the offense; two were from special teams and one from defense. Junior wide receiver Christion Jones started the game off with a 72-yard punt return touchdown and then scored a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter. In the second quarter, junior defensive back Vinnie Sunseri intercepted Virginia Tech senior quarterback Logan Thomas for a 38-yard touchdown return. The only offensive touchdowns came from a 2-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon in the first and a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jones from senior quarterback AJ McCarron late in the fourth quarter. 

    Coach Nick Saban didn’t hide his displeasure in the start of the season from the offense. Last year, the team averaged 445.5 offensive yards per game but only grabbed 206 yards vs. Virginia Tech. The Crimson Tide’s first-bye week of the season falls at week two this year. The team will have two weeks to prepare for their next game when they will  face Johnny Manziel and the Aggies in College Station, a game where the offense, defense and special teams will all need to be on the same page.

    Austin Peay vs. Tennessee (45-0)

    Some might say that Butch Jones’ debut at Tennessee couldn’t have gone any better. The team scored 45 points and held the opponent to 0. However, if you asked him, I’m sure he could still find a few things the Volunteers could improve on. Senior running back Rajion Neal and junior quarterback Justin Worley helped Tennessee get off and running. Neal rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries while Worley went 11-of-13 for 104 passing yards and three touchdowns. The two sat out the second half of the game after the team scored a touchdown on each of their six-possessions from the first half. Jones didn’t just make an impact on the field either; he made an impact in the attendance. On Saturday, the official attendance was at 97,169 while in 2012 the largest crowd at 87,921. The 45-0 win also marked the 800th victory in Tennessee football history. The bar has been set high for the first game and the Volunteers could have their hands full vs. their next opponent of Western Kentucky.

    Washington State vs. Auburn (31-24)

    Gus Malzahn barely escaped his first game as a head coach with a win. Junior quarterback Nick Marshall went 10-of-19 for 99 passing yards on the night but had zero touchdowns in his starting debut. Junior running back duo Tre Mason and Corey Grant came up big for Auburn. Mason cored an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before scoring a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second. Grant finished the day with 146 rushing yards on 9 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run. Senior kicker Cody Parkey also played a huge role in Auburn’s win, scoring 11 points for the Tigers. Next up for Malzahn and his team? The Arkansas State Red Wolves.

    Murray State vs. Missouri (58-14)

    After a disappointing season filled with lots of injuries, the Missouri Tigers are looking for redemption for year two in the SEC. Starting senior quarterback James Franklin, who missed multiple games for shoulder, knee and head injuries, was 26-of-38 with 318 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Junior running back Henry Josey made his return to the field since suffering a knee injury in 2011 that required two knee surgeries and sidelined him during the 2012 season. Josey carried the ball 13 times for 113 yards and a 68-yard touchdown. Sophomore running back Russell Hansbrough added 104 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries. Mizzou held Murray State to only 14 points, which all came in the first quarter. The Tigers pick up a game one win, 58-14.

    Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky (35-26)

    Mark Stoops was the only first year SEC coach to start the year out with a loss and it came at the hands of former SEC coach Bobby Petrino. For the second year in a row, Kentucky fell short of beating in-state rival Western Kentucky, 35-26. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow started the game for the Wildcats and went 10-of-15 for 78 yards but was pulled by Stoops in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith entered the game and led the team to a 30-yard field goal and a 34-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Demarco Robinson, but it was too little too late. Smith went 8-of-13 on the day for 125 yards and the one touchdown. Expect Smith to most likely start for Kentucky in the next game against Miami (Ohio).

    (5) Georgia vs. (8) Clemson (38-35)

    The game of the week for the college football world certainly lived up to its hype as many chose Georgia as the front-runner to de-throne Alabama of the SEC Championship. The game went neck-and-neck. Georgia’s running game proved to be the most effective against Clemson.  Sophomore running back Todd Gurley lead the Georgia team in rushing, totaling 154 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Keith Marshall added 43 yards and one touchdown. When it came to the passing game, Clemson proved to have the advantage. Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray was selected by SEC coaches to the all-SEC preseason first team, but struggled during the game. Murray was 20-of-29 on the night, passing for 323 yards. However, he didn’t throw any touchdowns and was intercepted once in the game. On the other hand, Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd had a stellar night. Boyd was only 18-of-30 for the game but threw for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns and led his team to 38-35 victory. The two teams will open up the season against each other next year, this time in Athens. 

    Georgia won’t have long to lick their wounds because next up for the Bulldogs are the South Carolina Gamecocks. The winner of this week’s game could very easily determine who heads to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game in December. There is a little bit of hope for Georgia fans. Two years ago, the Bulldogs started the season off 0-2 but ended up advancing to the SEC title game.

    (12) LSU vs. (20) TCU (37-27)

    Making changes to teams can be hard, especially when you bring in a new offensive coordinator. For LSU, bringing in Cam Cameron proved to be well worth the changes – even if it did take some time to get settled in. Things started out slow for both teams with the only points in the first quarter coming from field goals. LSU senior fullback J.C. Copeland got the first touchdown of but TCU quickly answered, returning the kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown. The Tigers were able to make a field goal as time expired in the first half and took a 16-10 lead to the locker room. The second half was a different story for LSU. They scored four touchdowns and held TCU to only 10 more points, securing a 37-27 win. In the first game of the season, the LSU offense picked up 448 yards. Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s 251 passing yards equalled almost as much as TCU’s combined total of 259 yards. Next up for LSU, the UAB Blazers.

    Weekly Recaps are written by Mizzou’s finest Gridiron Belle, Ashley Colley

  • Who You Need to Know Before Kickoff

    Aug 28, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC football writers, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football, Uncategorized

     

    What was highly anticipated has finally arrived. Football season is here! 

    In case you had a life in the off-season, we’ve compiled a quick list of who all Gridiron Belles need to know before kickoff.  You’ll receive extra points for knowing about other teams, but at a bare minimum, know the head coach and key players of your team. And of course, which opponent you will be beating this kick-off weekend!

    Happy season, y’all!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Alabama

    Head Coach: Nick Saban

    • 7th season at Alabama, 18th season overall

    Key Players:

    • Senior QB AJ McCarron: 25-2 record as a starter; 2012 BCS Title Game Offensive MVP
    • Sophomore WR Amari Cooper: set school freshman records for 1,000 receiving yards on 59 carries and 11 TDs in                  2012; battling foot injury and is probable for first game
    • Senior LB C.J. Mosley: 211 career tackles, 14 pass breakups and 5 interceptions; 2012 Butkus Award finalist                                    for nations’ top college linebacker

    First Opponent: Virginia Tech

    • Game at neutral site at Georgia Dome
    • Saturday, August 31 in Atlanta, GA at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

    Arkansas

    Head Coach: Bret Bielema

    • 1st season at Arkansas

    Key Players:

    • Sophomore QB Brandon Allen: 1-0 record as a starter; 21-of-49 for 186 yards and 1 TD in 2012
    • Senior WR Javontee Herndon: 304 receiving yards on 21 carries  and 3 TDs in 2012
    • Senior DL Chris Smith: career stats include 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups and                            one forced fumble; named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Louisiana-Lafayette

    • First matchup since November 16, 2002; Arkansas won 24-17 in Fayetteville
    • Saturday, August 31 in Fayetteville, AR at 4:00 p.m. ET on FSN

    Auburn

    Head Coach: Gus Malzahn

    •  1st season at Auburn, 2nd season overall

    Key Players:

    • Junior QB Nick Marshall: JUCO transfer from Garden City Community College who passed for 3,142 yards,                                   18 TDs while rushing for 1,095 yards and 19 TDs in 2012; played 13 games for Georgia at corner in 2011
    • Junior RB Tre Mason: lead the team in rushing with 1,002 yards in 2012; named Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC                       Second Team Offense for 2013
    • Senior DE Dee Ford: recorded 30 tackles, 6 sacks and 1 pass defended in 2012; battling knee injury and is out for                        first game, no timetable on his return

    First Opponent: Washington State

    • First matchup since September 2, 2006; Auburn won 40-14 in Auburn, AL
    • Saturday, August 31 in Auburn, AL at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU

     Florida

    Head Coach: Will Muschamp

    • 3rd season at Florida and overall

    Key Players:

    • Junior QB Jeff Driskel: threw for 1,646 yards with 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 2012; had emergency             appendectomy in July but is expected to play in first game
    • Redshirt Junior WR Quentin Dunbar: recorded 383 receiving yards on 36 carries and 4 touchdowns in 2012
    • Senior DL Dominique Easley: has recorded 67 career tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one blocked punt                                                                               and one fumble recovery; named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Toledo

    • First meeting between the two schools
    • Saturday, August 31 at 12:21 p.m. ET on SEC Network

    Georgia

    Head Coach: Mark Richt

    • 13th season at Georgia and overall

    Key Players:

    • Senior QB Aaron Murray: completed 249-of-388 passes for 3,893 passing yards and 36 TDs in 2013; named                                     to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Offense for 2013
    • Sophomore RB Todd Gurley: rushed for 1,385 yards and scored 17 TDs in 2012; became second true freshman                                      in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards
    • Sophomore LB Jordan Jenkins: recorded 31 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble                    recovery in 2012; named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Second Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Clemson

    • First matchup since August 30, 2003; Georgia won 30-0 in Clemson, SC
    • Saturday, August 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC; ESPN College GameDay will be on location

     Kentucky

    Head Coach: Mark Stoops

    •  1st year at Kentucky and overall

    Key Players:

    • Sophomore QB Jalen Whitlow: went 87-of-161 for 801 yards and 3 TDs while also rushing for 206 yards                                           and 3 TDs in 2012
    • Senior RB Raymond Sanders: career stats including 1,078 rushing yards for 8 TDs and 238 receiving yards                                     on 39 carries with one touchdown
    • Senior LB Avery Williamson: recorded 135 tackles, four pass breakups and one interception in 2012; named                                        to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Third Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Western Kentucky

    • Last game on September 15, 2012 in Lexington; Kentucky lost 31-32 in OT
    • Saturday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPNews

    LSU

    Head Coach: Les Miles

    • 9th season at LSU, 13th season overall

    Key Players:

    • QB Zach Mettenberger: went 215-of-363 for 2,701 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions                                            in 2012; originally went to Georgia but transferred to Butler Community College in 2010 before going to LSU
    • Senior RB Alfred Blue: career stats include 910 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns; tore ACL on September 15, 2012                                 (week three) against Idaho and didn’t for the rest of the 2012 season
    • Senior DB Craig Loston: recorded 55 tackles, three interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and one pass breakup in 2012;                    named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: TCU

    • Game at neutral site at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX
    • Last game was in 1968; LSU won 10-7 in Baton Rouge
    • Saturday, August 31 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

    Ole Miss

    Head Coach: Hugh Freeze

    • 2nd season at Ole Miss, 4th season overall

    Key Players:

    • QB Bo Wallace: went 235-of-368 for 2,994 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2012
    • Junior WR Donte Moncrief: recorded 979 receiving yards on 66 carries for 10 touchdowns in 2012;
    • Sophomore LB Denzel Nkemdiche: recorded 82 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 interceptions in 2012; earned                                         Freshman All-American honors and named to SEC All-Freshman team in 2012; named to Coaches                                                       Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Vanderbilt*

    • Last game was on November 10, 2012 in Oxford; Ole Miss lost 26-27
    • Thursday, August 29 at 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN

     Mississippi State

    Head Coach: Dan Mullen

    • 5th season at Mississippi State and overall

    Key Players:

    • Senior QB Tyler Russell: went 231-of-394 for 2,897 passing yards and 24 touchdowns in 2012; is                                                       the school’s all time leader in passing efficiency and needs one passing touchdown in 2013 to break school record
    • Senior RB LaDarius Perkins: has 3,463 career all-purpose yards including 2,012 rushing yards and 20                               touchdowns; named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Second Team Offense and Third Team Specialist for 2013
    • Sophomore LB Benardrick McKinney: recorded 102 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass breakups and one                                fumble recovery; earned Freshman All-American honors and named to SEC All-Freshman team in 2012

    First Opponent: Oklahoma State

    • Game at neutral site at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX
    • Last meeting in September 18, 1999; Mississippi State won 29-11 in Starksville, MS
    • Saturday, August 31 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2

    Missouri

    Head Coach: Gary Pinkel

    • 13th season at Missouri, 23rd season overall

    Key Players:

    • Senior QB James Franklin: recorded 1,562 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012; battled multiple                                        health issues last season including a sprained knee and a concussion
    • Sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham: recorded 395 receiving yards on 28 receptions for five touchdowns;                             named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Third Team Offense for 2013
    • Senior S E.J. Gaines: has 169 career tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumbles recovered; named                                 to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Third Team Offense for 2013; battling a knee injury but is listed as probable for                                  the first game

    First Opponent: Murray State

    • Last meeting on September 2, 2006; Missouri won 47-7 in Columbia, MO
    • Saturday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m. ET on PPV

    South Carolina

    Head Coach: Steve Spurrier

    • 9th season at South Carolina, 32nd season overall

    Key Players

    • Senior QB Connor Shaw: 17-3 record as a starter
    • Junior WR Bruce Ellington: recorded 600 receiving yards on 40 catches and 7 TDs in 2012; battling                                        hamstring injury and questionable for first game
    • Junior DE Jadeveon Clowney: named SEC Defensive Player of the Year after setting single season school                                   record for sacks at 13 and  23.5 tackles for loss; battling shoulder injury and probably for first game

    First Opponent: North Carolina Tarheels

    • Non-conference rival
    • First game vs. UNC since October 13, 2007; South Carolina won 21-15 in Chapel Hill, NC
    • Thursday, August 29 in Columbia, SC at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN

    Tennessee

    Head Coach: Butch Jones

    • 1st season at Tennessee, 7th season overall

    Key Players:

    • Junior QB Justin Worley: 48-of-87 for 607 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions as a starter in 2011
    • Senior RB Rajion Neal: has 1,039 career rushing yards for 7 touchdowns plus 518 receiving yards for 5 touchdowns
    • Junior LB A.J. Johnson: recorded 138 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries in 2012;                                          named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Austin Peay

    • First meeting between the two schools
    • Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m. ET on PPV

    Texas A&M

    Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin

    • 2nd season at Texas A&M, 6th season overall

    Key Players

    • Sophomore QB Johnny Manziel: went 295-of-434 for 3,706 receiving yards with 26 touchdowns and                                                  9 interceptions, rushed 201 times for 1,410 yards with 21 touchdowns; won the Heisman Trophy in 2012,                                            first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy; lots of off-the-field issues and is facing a possible suspension                                 after allegedly signing autographs for money, is questionable for the first game
    • Sophomore WR Mike Evans: recorded 1,105 receiving yards on 82 catches for five touchdowns; named to                                        SEC All-Freshman team in 2012, selected to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Second Team Offense for 2013
    • Junior DB Deshazor Everett: recorded 56 tackles, 9 pass breakups and intercepted 2 passes, including                                           one from Alabama QB AJ McCarron, in 2012

    First Opponent: Rice

    • Last game on November 9, 1995; Texas A&M won 17-10 in Houston, TX
    • Saturday, August 31 at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

     Vanderbilt

    Head Coach: James Franklin

    • 3rd season at Vanderbilt and overall

    Key Players

    • Redshirt Senior QB Austyn Carta-Samuels: went 14-of-25 for 298 yards and one touchdown in 2012;                                   transferred from Wyoming following the 2010 season
    • Senior WR Jordan Matthews: recorded 1,323 receiving yards on 94 carries for 8 touchdowns in 2012;                                        named to Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Offense for 2013
    • Senior CB Andre Hal: recorded 48 tackles, 14 pass breakups and two interceptions in 2012; named to                                        Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC First Team Defense for 2013

    First Opponent: Ole Miss*

    • Last game was on November 10, 2012; Vanderbilt won 27-26 in Oxford, MS

    Thursday, August 29 at 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN

     Written by Ashley Colley

  • Season is upon us. Finally.

    Aug 14, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Swoozies, Tailgating

    It’s time.

    Season is upon us. Finally.  If you haven’t started stocking up on your game day needs, there is no time like the present.

    SEC tailgates are not just thrown together at the last minute.  Southern tailgates practically gave Pinterest their beginning material and have been providing quality content ever since.

    Depending on the day, we can DIY with the best of them.  But we also understand that knowing where to purchase the best pre-made/assembled items is an equally valuable skill to have.  So … we are breaking down your tailgate in a series of must-have options. Some will be for purchase, some will be for creating. A true Gridiron Belle is skilled at both.

    We’ve started here with napkins, towels, and cups to add some flare to your table. Thankfully, there is a store called Swoozies that has mastered the art of tailgating décor, so most of our favorites for this week have come from their tailgate section. We think you’ll like them as much as we do!

    We think football interrupts just about every relationship… details about these gems of napkins here!

    Everyone’s emerald city is different.  Click your ruby red slippers, pick up these napkins and follow your yellow brick road to the next tailgate!

    For the more environmentally friendly fan, try these recycled cocktail napkins in your team’s logo for a rustic-chic look. 

    Decorate the bar or just put this hand towel out for show.  This keeps your team spirit classy and functional.

    Option number two for functional class. Can’t go wrong with a football-clad tea towel!

     

    If you’re trying to elevate the elegance of your plastic cups, just add a stem! Be sure to order enough for all of your guests!

    You’re easy to please, football, TV, and beer. Is there anything better on Saturdays in the fall? Nope. 

    Happy Tailgate Prepping!

    “Xs and Os,”

    Christie Leigh

  • Christmas in July: SEC Media Days

    Jul 15, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, SEC Media Days, Southern Belles, Southern Football

    Maybe the big guy with the white beard from the North Pole comes in December, but us SouthernLeaguers and SEC fans know, the medium-sized guy with white hair from the south who comes in July (SEC Commissioner, Mike Slive) is a taaaad bit more important.

    So here is the interview schedule for the 2013 SEC Media Days being held in Birmingham.  We will pass ZERO judgement if you “work from home” this week just to watch all of the happenings live. We will also be getting daily updates from our staff in the  building. This is the kick off to college football, merry Christmas!

     

    Tuesday, July 16:

    Approx 1:00-6:00pm

    Florida

    Coach Will Muschamp

    Junior, QB, Jeff Driskel

    Senior, DL, Dominique Easley

    Senior, OL, Jon Halapio

     

    Missouri

    Coach Gary Pinkel

    Senior, QB, James Franklin

    Senior, WR, L’Damian Washington

    Senior, LB, Andrew Wilson

     

    Ole Miss

    Coach Hugh Freeze

    Junior, WR, Donte Moncrief

    Senior, LB, Mike Marry

    Junior, QB, Bo Wallace

     

    South Carolina

    Coach Steve Spurrier

    Junior, DE, Jadeveon Clowney

    Junior, WR/KR, Bruce Ellington

    Senior, QB, Connor Shaw

     

    Wednesday, July 17

    Session I Approx: 8:30am- 2:00pm

    Texas A&M

    Coach Kevin Sumlin

    Senior, DB, Toney Hurd, Jr.

    Sophomore, QB, Johnny Manziel

    Senior, OT, Jake Matthews

     

    Kentucky

    Coach Mark Stoops

    Senior, DT, Donte Rumph

    Senior, RB, Raymond Sanders

    Senior, LB, Avery Williamson

     

    Mississippi State

    Coach Dan Mullen

    Junior, DL, Kaleb Eulls

    Sophomore, LB, Benardrick McKinney

    Senior, QB, Tyler Russell

     

    Tennessee

    Coach Butch Jones

    Junior, OL, Antonio Richardson

    Senior, OL, Ja’Wuan James

    Senior, DL, Jacques Smith

     

    Wednesday, July 17 Session II

    Approx: 2:15-5:00pm

    Auburn

    Coach Gus Malzahn

    Senior, CB, Chris Davis

    Senior, DE, Dee Ford

    Senior, FB, Jay Prosch

     

     

    Arkansas

    Coach Bret Bielema

    Senior, DE, Chris Smith

    Senior, C, Travis Swanson

    Senior, FB, Kiero Small

     

    Thursday, July 17

    Approx 8:30am- 2:00pm

    LSU

    Coach Les Miles

    Junior, WR, Jarvis Landry

    Senior, S, Craig Loston

    Senior, QB, Zach Mettenberger

     

    Georgia

    Coach Mark Richt

    Senior, TE, Arthur Lynch

    Senior, QB, Aaron Murray

    Senior, DE, Garrison Smith

     

    Alabama

    Coach Nick Saban

    Senior, QB, AJ McCarron

    Senior, LB, C.J. Mosley

    Senior, OL, Anthony Steen

     

    Vanderbilt

    Coach James Franklin

    Senior, CB, Andre Hal

    Senior, OT, Wesley Johnson

    Senior, WR, Jordan Matthews

     
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