Ohio State’s jersey ‘coincidence’

In his basketball notebook a couple of weeks back, Jerry Tipton wrote about the issue of schools selling jerseys with numbers that often correlate to the most recognizable players on the team. The players themselves receive no money from the sales. The story included UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart saying, “I think there are very few iconic players anymore … Our coaches have sort of been our icons, if you will.”

Jay Bilas, a longtime critic of the practice, tweeted out a link to a story Tuesday from The Lantern in which Ohio State will sell only jerseys with two numbers this season. The Buckeyes will limit sales to No. 1 and No. 15. The school said past sales show that No. 1 is the most popular jersey number. And No. 15 is being sold because this is the 2015 season.

Ohio State said any other inference is just a “coincidence” according to the article.

Rick Van Brimmer, assistant vice president for Affinity Trademark Management, said that it is merely a coincidence that two team standouts in redshirt senior quarterback/H-back Braxton Miller (1) and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) sport the two number choices that are represented.

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BBL: Mumme Bowl II comes to Tuscaloosa


Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

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SEC: South Carolina picks a quarterback


SEC links for Wednesday:

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For offense, UL-Lafayette prep is more about UK prep


UK’s classes start Wednesday so technically Tuesday was the final day of “training camp” for Kentucky football. Installation of the offensive and defensive game plans for the Sept. 5 opener against UL-Lafayette will start on Wednesday and Thursday. On the offensive side of the football, however, there won’t be much change.

An “Air Raid” staple is that coaches are concerned more with their own scheme and execution than what the defense might do with its scheme and execution. Shannon Dawson is no different. When asked what he wanted his offense to know about the first opponent, Kentucky’s offensive coordinator said he wasn’t as concerned about what the Ragin’ Cajuns might do.

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SEC football 2015 previews: Missouri


Missouri is next up on our SEC football previews:

Record last season: The Tigers won their second consecutive SEC East title, finishing 7-1 in the league and 11-3 overall. Georgia gave the Tigers their only conference loss with a convincing 34-0 blanking in Athens. Mizzou rebounded to win their next six games, the last five by 10 points or less. After being thumped 42-13 by Alabama in the conference championship game, Missouri beat Minnesota 33-17 in the Citrus Bowl behind 157 rushing yards in just 12 carries from Marcus Murphy.

Head coach: There might not be a more underrated coach in all 50 states than Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. In 14 years at Mizzou, Pinkel is 186-103-3. After a 73-37-3 record at Toledo, he methodically constructed a program at Missouri that won 10 or bmore games in three of the school’s past five years in the Big 12. After an injury-riddled 5-7 debut season in the SEC, Missouri is 23-5 overall and 14-2 in the SEC over the past two seasons. Pinkel, 63, was a teammate of Nick Saban at Kent State under Don James. Pinkel followed James to Washington as tight ends coach. He spent two years at Bowling Green as an assistant before returning to Washington to coach the wide receivers and be offensive coordinator. Toledo gave him his first head coaching job in 1991.

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BBL: Linebacker continues to be a concern


Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Landon Young makes Rivals 100 list, reports Ben Roberts of Next Cats. The Lafayette offensive tackle has committed to Kentucky for 2016. If his ranking holds, Young would be Kentucky’s first Rivals 100 signee since Micah Johnson in 2003.

Kentucky is fast running out of linebackers, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader. “Jason Hatcher’s listed backup on the depth chart, redshirt freshman Kobie Walker, is expected to miss the first couple of games while recovering from ankle surgery in the offseason.”

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SEC: Auburn focuses in on Louisville


SEC links for Tuesday:

Auburn turns its attention to Louisville, reports Brandon Marcello of AL.com. The two teams open the season on Sept. 5 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. “They attack you,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of the Cardinals. “They were great on interceptions, turnovers, and they were great on sacking the quarterback. They put a lot of pressure on offenses.”

Justin Scott-Wesley’s career could be over, reports Seth Emerson of the AJC. The Georgia receiver injured his knee in practice on August 17. He tweeted Monday night: “When one door closes, another opens! That’s how God works! Blessed for the opportunity to learn and teach! #CoachMeCoach.”

Jeremy Pruitt is concerned about Georgia’s game experience, writes Jason Butt of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “We’re very inexperienced, first of all,” said Georgia’s second-year defensive coordinator. “You’ve got (linebackers) Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd, that’s the two guys that have played a lot of football. (Defensive back Dominick) Sanders started every game last year. Besides those three guys, there’s a couple of guys that have started some games here, but other than that, there’s not a whole lot of experience.”

Texas A&M used Twitter to announce its starting quarterback, reports Aubrey Bloom of the Bryan/College Station Eagle. Kyle Allen, a sophomore, will start the season opener against Arizona State at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

Dan Mullen is happy with his team’s health, reports the Clarion-Ledger. The Mississippi State coach is pleased the Bulldogs have completed two scrimmages without significant injuries. State opens at Southern Miss on Sept. 5.

Josh Malone progresses from setbacks, reports Patrick Brown of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Nagging injuries characterized the five-star wide receiver’s freshman year in 2014. He’s hoping to bounce back this campaign.

Bret Bielema says Arkansas will still share the load, reports Harry King of the Arkansas News. With running back Jonathan Williams lost for the season to a broken foot, expectations say Alex Collins will receive more carries. Not so, said the Arkansas coach. Look for Kody Walker to step into the breach.

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More off-the-court problems for Indiana


Just when Indiana fans thought things were settling down concerning the off-the-court exploits of their men’s basketball team, news comes that current Hoosier players Thomas Bryant and Emmitt Holt were cited over the weekend for illegal alcohol possession.

WTHR.com is reporting that state excise police gave citations at 12:50 a.m. Friday to the two players. There has been no comment or statement yet from IU.

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Texas A&M names Kyle Allen starting quarterback

A week after Kentucky named Patrick Towles as its starting quarterback, another SEC team named its starting quarterback for the opening weekend of play.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin announced Monday that sophomore Kyle Allen will start the Aggies’ season-opening game Sept. 5 against No. 15 Arizona State at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Allen beat out highly recruited true freshman Kyler Murray for the position. Allen started the last five games last year, leading the Aggies to a 3-2 record. In those starts, Allen completed 95 of 154 passes for 1,058 yards, with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Allen completed 22 of 35 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in Texas A&M’s 45-37 win over West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator, Shannon Dawson, was the OC for West Virginia in that game.

Murray, a dual-threat quarterback out of Allen, Texas, was rated the fifth-best prospect nationally at his position by Rivals for the class of 2015. He was rated the ninth-best prospect in the state of Texas and the 71st-best prospect overall in the country. He is the son of former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray.

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Western Kentucky adds Ben Hansbrough to staff

Western Kentucky announced Monday that it has added two Kentucky natives to its basketball roster and has named former Mississippi State and Notre Dame player Ben Hansbrough coordinator of player development.

Keifer Dalton of Albany and Dylan Sanford of Owensboro have joined the team for 2015-16. Dalton averaged 17.8 points per game as a senior at Clinton County High School. He was also the school’s career leader in assists with 602. Sanford played at Owensboro High School, where he averaged nine points a game and shot 42 percent for the state champions.

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