SEC football review: Tennessee last four years

Our continuing SEC football review focuses today on Tennessee, with a look at the Volunteers’ game-by-game record over the past four years.

The 2010 season was the first for head coach Derek Dooley, son of Vince, who came to Knoxville from Louisiana Tech. The Vols struggled through the midpoint of the season, losing their first five conference games. Dooley coaxed a strong finish, however, as Tennessee finished the regular season with four straight wins overall before losing to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.

Alas, the Vols made no improvement in 2011, finishing 5-7 overall and 1-7 in the league. The one conference win was a 27-21 overtime victory at home against Vanderbilt. The next week, UT lost to Kentucky for the first time in a quarter-century, losing 10-7 to Matt Roark and the Wildcats.

Dooley wasn’t able to climb out of the hole the next season, as Tennessee finished 5-7 overall again with another 1-7 SEC record. The one league win came over Kentucky, 37-17, when Dooley had already been pushed out the door.

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SEC football review: South Carolina last four years

Our SEC football review continues today with a game-by-game look at South Carolina over the past four years.

Steve Spurrier started his breakthrough in Columbia with his 2010 team, which won the SEC East with a 5-3 record. The Gamecocks were blown out by Auburn, 56-17, in the conference championship game, then lost 26-17 to Florida State in the Chic-fil-A Bowl, but they finished 9-5.

Since then, Carolina has put together three consecutive seasons of 11-2 overall records and 6-2 conference records. In 2011, South Carolina lost 16-13 to Auburn and 44-28 at Bobby Petrino and Arkansas. In 2012, South Carolina lost back-to-back road games to LSU (23-21) and Florida (44-11).

Last year, Spurrier’s squad lost 41-30 at Georgia, then later was upset 23-21 at Tennessee. That loss cost the Gamecocks the division title. South Carolina won at Missouri 27-24 in overtime, but that was Mizzou’s only conference loss.

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SEC football review: Missouri last two years

Our SEC football review has been stretching back to the past four years for each member school, but there is a problem where Missouri is concerned. The Tigers have been in the league for only two years.

The Tigers got a rough greeting to the league in 2012, going 2-6 in the SEC and 5-7 overall. Injuries crippled Gary Pinkel’s club that year. Missouri’s only two SEC wins were over Kentucky and Tennessee, in overtime.

Last season, the Tigers surprised everyone by winning the SEC East and playing in the SEC Championship game. Mizzou was 7-1 in the league. The lone loss was 27-24 in overtime to South Carolina. Missouri won at Vanderbilt, at Georgia, at Kentucky and Ole Miss. It beat Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M in Columbia.

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SEC football review: Mississippi State last four years

Mississippi State is the subject of our SEC football review Monday, with a look at the Bulldogs’ game-by-game results over the past four years.

Dan Mullen’s team went 9-4 with a stunning 52-14 win over Michigan in the Gator Bowl that season. State went 4-4 in the SEC, highlighted by a 24-12 win over Georgia and a 10-7 win at Florida.

State hasn’t been able to quite take the next step, however. The Bulldogs slipped back to 7-6 in 2011, which included a 2-6 SEC record. They improve to 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the league in 2012. But after a 7-0 start that year, Mullen’s squad lost five of its last six games, including a 41-24 loss at arch-rival Ole Miss.

Last year, State surged at season’s end to secure a bowl bid and a winning season. The Bulldogs were 4-6 overall and 1-5 in the league after a 20-7 loss to Alabama, but won 24-17 at Arkansas, 17-10 against Ole Miss, then whipped Rice 44-7 in the Liberty Bowl.

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BBL: John Calipari returns to find a happy sight

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

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SEC: Leonard Fournette, Lane Kiffin and QB searches

SEC Links for Sunday:

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Report: Kentucky will play South Florida in 2015

Jeff Goodman of ESPN is reporting that Kentucky will play South Florida as part of a Hall of Fame doubleheader in Miami early in the 2015-16 season.

South Florida’s head coach Orlando Antigua was an assistant under John Calipari at Kentucky until taking the USF job in March.

The doubleheader will be played in the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 27, 2015, reports Goodman. Memphis and Ohio State would play in the other game, which will be held separately from the UK-South Florida game.

Calipari has said in the past that he doesn’t like playing friends or former assistants, but it’s a great chance to help out Antigua, who is trying to turn around the Bulls after replacing Stan Heath.

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Time Warner not on SEC Network bandwagon yet


With Friday’s news that cable giant Comcast has reached an agreement to carry the SEC Network, Time-Warner is left as one of the few large carriers that has not signed on with the conference’s new television network.

Neither DirecTV satellite service nor Time Warner has reached a deal with ESPN to carry the SEC Network. DirecTV has 20 million customers. Time Warner has 11 million customers, including most of Kentucky. Time Warner is the major cable provider in both Lexington and Louisville.

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LeBron James’ son and AAU team tour UK

The Miami City Ballers, which includes LeBron James, Jr., son of LeBron James, is in town for an AAU basketball tournament at Kentucky Basketball Academy this weekend.

The team’s coach has been posting pictures on his Instagram account of the team touring UK, including the Craft Center and John Calipari’s office.

Word is LeBron is either in town or will be soon to watch his son play, but James will be staying out of the limelight.

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SEC football review: Ole Miss last four years

Our SEC football review continues Friday with Ole Miss and a look at what the Rebels have done game by game over the past four years.

In 2010, Houston Nutt was starting his slide as the Mississippi coach, going 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the SEC. That was followed by a 2-10 year, including a winless conference season that saw the former Murray State and Arkansas coach get his pink slip.

Enter Hugh Freeze, former head coach at Arkansas State. Freeze immediately gave the Rebels a boost, guiding Ole Miss to a 7-6 record in 2012, includnig a 41-20 win over Auburn, a 30-27 win at Arkansas and a 41-24 victory over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.

Better recruiting lifted the Rebels’ expectations in 2013, perhaps prematurely. After a 3-0 start, Ole Miss dropped three straight games, including a tough 41-38 loss to Texas A&M. The Rebels rebounded to win four straight, but they lost 24-10 to Missouri and then 17-10 to rival Mississippi State to end the regular season. Ole Miss did beat Georgia Tech 25-17 in the Music City Bowl.

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