SEC: Legendary Larry Munson passes at 89

Larry Munson (UGA photo)

A sad day for the SEC as the league loses two, one a legend, the other far too young.

Long-time Georgia play-by-play announcer Larry Munson passed away Sunday night from complications associated with pneumonia. Munson was 89. As Mark Bradley nails it in the AJC, “From property being destroyed on St. Simons after Belue-to-Scott to the Knoxville noses broken by the hobnailed boot, the Munson sense of imagery was a gale force unto itself. Nobody else sounded like him. Nobody else would choose the words he chose. The first time I heard Munson doing a Georgia game, I thought I had, by some trick of the ionosphere, tuned into some ham radioman having a nervous breakdown. The more I listened to the great man, the more I realized my first impression wasn’t far wrong, and I mean that in the best possible way.”

I had the pleasure of not only meeting the great man, but being a guest with him in the Georgia booth on Bulldog pre-game shows. He always wanted to talk a little Kentucky basketball, and wondered why UK couldn’t build a consistent winner in football. The late Cawood Ledford is the best play-by-play man I have ever heard, but Munson may have been the most fun. To hear him on a car radio as your driving at night in the deep south, agonizing over the Dawgs’ fortunes, was always highly entertaining. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Larry Munson’s top 10 calls, by David Ching of espn.com.

No sooner had Arkansas whipped Mississippi State on Saturday, then news came Sunday that 19-year-old tight end Garrett Eukman died on Sunday. Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News reports, “The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at Washington Regional Medical Center at 12:10 p.m. after being found “unconscious and unresponsive” in his room at the Northwest Quad residence hall an hour earlier. The exact cause of death was not known, but University of Arkansas Police Department Lt. Matt Mills said there were no suspicious circumstances.”

Tennessee’s basketball team meets Duke today over at Maui. You may not have heard this, but Duke now has the all-time winningest coach in college basketball. Think the fellow’s name is Krzyzewski. Mike, I believe. He’s not taking Tennessee lightly. “They (Tennessee) are hungry and they have something to prove, and whenever somebody takes over a new program, and it’s not a talentless program — they have talent — they want to make their mark,” Coach K said of Cuonzo Martin’s Vols. “So to have an opportunity to come here and get a chance to beat us, if I was in their shoes, I’d look forward to that opportunity. They are gonna fight you for 40 minutes. That’s the kind of program he’ll build there.” It’s a 5:30 p.m. game on ESPN2.

It’s LSU, Alabama and Arkansas as the top three teams in the current BCS standings. Arkansas plays at LSU on Friday. Alabama visits Auburn on Saturday. What if? What if Arkansas upsets LSU and Bama beats Auburn, forcing a three-way tie in the SEC West? Which school goes to the league title game? All three teams would be 7-1 in the league and 11-1 overall. LSU would have lost to Arkansas. Alabama would have lost to LSU. Arkansas would have lost to Alabama. The tiebreaker would be head-to-head between the top two teams in the BCS standings. If Alabama wins, the Tide is not likely to fall out of the top two. So if Arkansas wins, chances are it would be Alabama No. 1 and Arkansas No. 2, with LSU dropping to third. In that case, Alabama goes to Atlanta based on its 38-14 win over Arkansas earlier in the year.

Auburn knows it will be difficult to beat Alabama, even if it is a home game. “This is not a good football team — this is a great football team we’re playing,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Sunday. “It’s hard to compare any of the three, but I would say this is very, very similar in comparison to the first team we played back in 2009 — if not a little better.”

Vandy’s James Franklin is keeping quiet about the officials mishandling the end of Tennessee’s 27-21 overtime win over the Commodores on Saturday night. Tennessee won the game on an interception in overtime. One problem. The linesman blew the play dead, ruling that the interceptor’s knee had touched after the pick. The review showed that the knee did not touch. Another problem. Since the whistle blew, the play was not reviewable. After the game, Franklin said, ““They blew the play dead. But they explained to me again why you can do that and it can still count.”

Alabama's Tony Mitchell. (AP photo)

Alabama basketball won the Puerto Rico Tip Off Tournament, beating Purdue 65-56 in the finals. Trevor Releford led the winners 2ith 20 points and five assists. Tony Mitchell added 14 points and 10 rebounds. JaMychal Green had 14 and eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Ole Miss was blitzed 96-66 by Marquette in the Paradise Jam semifinals in the Virgin Islands. “We knew they would be attacking early and often and we couldn’t stop them early on,” said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy. “For the first time this year, we were going up against superior players on the open floor and we did not respond.”

Current SEC football standings and this week’s schedule.

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