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Fan Sound Off: Texas A&M fans liking what they see but wary of Alabama next week

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Texas A&M got the job done for a fourth consecutive week Saturday at home against South Carolina. The Aggies rallied from 10 points down and scored the final 17 points of the game for a 24-17 victory.

Kellen Mond threw for 159 yards and ran for 95, while Keith Ford added 70 on the ground and 2 touchdowns and Trayeon Williams ran for 56 and a score.

All comments are taken from Texas A&M Aggies – SEC Country. You can join the conversation here.

Editor’s note: All comments are taken verbatim and only edited for spelling. 

Wade Dane: Not bad especially considering how many true freshman are on the field for the Aggies offense, defense and special teams. This is the best defense against the run we have seen in a while. The future looks brighter with all these true freshmen playing regardless how the rest of the year goes.

Joel Santamaria: Whoop!!!! Let’s hope this team can keep Alabama’s slaughter to a minimum.

Troy Baxter: Front 4 was on point this week. 7 sacks is great against anyone.

James Blackwell: This team is learning to win.

Gerry Heck: Next week is the real test. Just FIGHT for 4 quarters that’s all I hope for.

Rodney Nemer: Gig em! Need to run Keith Ford more in short yardage/red zone opps!

David Ward: Good win with bama coming in next weekend

Jeff Kuykendall: Any win in SEC play is a good win.

Barry Tims: Ford is a freight train, and defense heavily improved and answered.

Chaz Goodwin: Wasn’t the prettiest, but so much fight way to get the W. GiG Em Aggies!!!

Martha Clark Weynand: GIG ‘EM AGGIES! They really had me worried for a while!

Carol Gary Clark: Kirk as decoy … well OK, but cripes we need him!

The post Fan Sound Off: Texas A&M fans liking what they see but wary of Alabama next week appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 5)

Texas A&M-Aggies-power-poll

Texas A&M has done a nice job turning things around after blowing a huge lead in the season-opening loss to UCLA.

The Aggies have won four games in a row after rallying in the second half to beat South Carolina on Saturday night in College Station, Texas. At 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, the Aggies have momentum — and what better time to have it with top-ranked Alabama coming to town this Saturday?

With its fourth consecutive win, Texas A&M moved up three places to No. 5 in the Week 5 SEC Country Power Poll. The 27 voters placed them behind No. 1 Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and Florida.

Imagine what it might look like if Texas A&M hadn’t squandered a 44-10 lead against UCLA in the season opener only to lose, 45-44? The Aggies would be 5-0 and the game against Alabama this Saturday would look more intriguing than it does.

Quarterback Kellen Mond has completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 808 yards with 6 TDs and 2 interceptions, and he continues looking more comfortable as the starting quarterback after being thrust into action against UCLA. He also has 252 rushing yards (4.9 per carry) with a touchdown.

The Aggies’ next four games are against SEC competition, extending a streak of six consecutive games against conference opponents. They play Alabama at 7:15 p.m. ET at Kyle Field on Saturday. Following that date with the top-ranked Crimson Tide, Texas A&M travels to Gainesville to play Florida on Oct. 14. After an off week, the Aggies get Mississippi State (Oct. 28) and Auburn (Nov. 4) at Kyle Field.

Alabama received all 27 first-place votes this week, as it has every week this season, after dismantling Ole Miss, 66-3, on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 5 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 351 27 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 322 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 298 0 3 2 4
4 Florida (4 – 7) 265 0 4 4 5
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 223 0 8 4 13
6 Kentucky (7 – 6) 200 0 7 4 12
7 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 191 0 5 4 9
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 135 0 11 7 13
9 Arkansas (4 – 8) 128 0 12 3 13
10 LSU (9 – 4) 115 0 6 7 13
11 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 93 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 81 0 10 6 13
13 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 49 0 13 7 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 6 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Kyle Tucker (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 5) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 5)

mississippi state-nick fitzgerald-2018 season

After reaching a high of No. 3 in the SEC Country Power Poll several weeks ago, Mississippi State is out of the top 5 following a 49-10 pounding at Auburn on Saturday night, the Bulldogs’ second straight loss.

Auburn jumped on Mississippi State (3-2, 1-2 SEC) early and didn’t let up with a balanced offense that put up near-identical numbers in passing (267) and rushing (244). The Bulldogs didn’t do themselves any favors with 10 penalties, including seven false starts that seemed to always come on third-and-short.

“I don’t think it’s time to panic. I don’t think we need to press,” Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald said after the game. “I don’t think we need to be frustrated. We just need to come out and focus on ourselves. When practicing, we really need to focus on a lot of individual drills, work on some techniques so they know what will get them through game weeks, and get some younger guys some reps.”

The Bulldogs fell two spots to No. 7 in the latest SEC Country Power Poll, released Sunday. The 27 voters placed the Bulldogs as high as fourth and as low as ninth. The top 5 is comprised of Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M. As they have every week this season, the Crimson Tide received every first-place vote.

Mississippi State gets a week off to figure out things after being outscored a combined 80-13 against Auburn and Georgia the last two games. When the Bulldogs return to action Oct. 14, they’ll do so at home against BYU before returning to SEC play on Oct. 21 against Kentucky.

“The big plays really hurt today on the defensive side of the ball,” coach Dan Mullen said after the game. “There were some missed opportunities on the offensive side. Last week I don’t think we played well. I’m anxious to see the film this week to see if we played better than last week, but just missed some plays. If that’s the case then we’ll take a look and try to get that fixed. If we played worse than that’ll just be disappointing that we didn’t get better.”

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 5 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 351 27 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 322 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 298 0 3 2 4
4 Florida (4 – 7) 265 0 4 4 5
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 223 0 8 4 13
6 Kentucky (7 – 6) 200 0 7 4 12
7 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 191 0 5 4 9
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 135 0 11 7 13
9 Arkansas (4 – 8) 128 0 12 3 13
10 LSU (9 – 4) 115 0 6 7 13
11 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 93 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 81 0 10 6 13
13 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 49 0 13 7 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 6 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Kyle Tucker (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 5) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 7)

Mississippi State Bulldogs-football-BYU

Nick Fitzgerald threw for 2 touchdown passes and ran for 2 more as Mississippi State returned after its bye week and a pair of lopsided losses to handle BYU at home, 35-10.

The victory was a nice bounce-back after the Bulldogs began the season 3-0 before being upended in back-to-back games against Georgia and Auburn by a combined 67 points.

“Overall, I like the performance our guys came out with despite coming off a bye week and the early kickoff,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said after the win. “BYU is a team we talked about being very physical on both lines of scrimmage. I thought we came out and played hard on defense. We made plays; holding them to 10 points. We were able to control the line of scrimmage on offense and wear them down.”

It was an all-around performance Saturday in Starkville. The Bulldogs piled up 546 yards of offense — 306 rushing and 240 passing — while they allowed just 8 first downs and 176 yards on defense. Aeris Williams ran for 114 yards and had a 5-yard TD run, while Keith Mixon had 69 receiving yards and Donald Gray hauled in 4 passes for 41 yards and a 9-yard touchdown.

BYU was held to seven possessions of 3 plays or fewer and nine that totaled 4 plays or fewer.

The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 SEC) improved one spot in the SEC Country Power Poll this week. The 25 voters moved them up to No. 6 this week, replacing Florida, which fell to No. 8 after losing to Texas A&M.

Alabama retained the top spot with all 25 first-place votes and was followed by Georgia. Auburn remained third despite losing at LSU, Texas A&M is fourth and LSU sits one spot ahead of Mississippi State.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 7 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 300 0 2 2 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 255 0 3 3 5
4 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 253 0 4 3 7
5 LSU (9 – 4) 231 0 5 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 179 0 7 4 12
7 Kentucky (7 – 6) 165 0 8 6 9
8 Florida (4 – 7) 161 0 6 6 9
9 South Carolina (9 – 4) 151 0 9 6 10
10 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 77 0 13 9 13
11 Tennessee (4 – 8) 67 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 65 0 12 9 13
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 32 0 11 10 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 14 0 14 10 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 7) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 8)

Christian Kirk-Texas A&M Aggies-Belk Bowl

After four consecutive weeks of tooth-and-nail SEC games, Texas A&M got a rest this week before jumping back into conference play Saturday.

Last week, the Aggies won at Florida, 19-17, one week after giving No. 1 Alabama its toughest game of the season in a 27-19 setback. Texas A&M previously beat South Carolina, 24-17, and outlasted Arkansas in overtime, 50-43.

After climbing to fourth in the SEC Country Power Poll rankings last week, the Aggies held on to that spot barely as LSU closed the gap. The two are now tied at No. 4. With its 40-24 win against Ole Miss, LSU pulled even with the Aggies sitting out this week. The 25 SEC Country Power Poll voters had A&M voted as high as third and no lower than seventh.

RELATED: How about an apology for Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin?

The top three teams remained the same with Alabama occupying No. 1 as it has all season, followed by Georgia and Auburn.

The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 in SEC) are led by freshman quarterback Kellen Mond. Mond was throw to the fire in the Week 1 loss at UCLA when starting QB Nick Starkel went down with an injury. The freshman is completing 53.6 percent of his passes for 1,225 yards, 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He’s also run the ball 80 times for 318 yards and 3 TDs.

Trayveon Williams leads A&M in rushing with 440 yards (4.8 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns) and Keith Ford (343 yards, 4.5 yards per carry) is the team leader with 7 rushing scores.

Dynamic receiver/kicker returner Christian Kirk has been Mond’s favorite target. He has 29 receptions for 360 yards and a team-best 5 touchdown receptions. Kirk also averages 26.9 yards on kickoff returns and has a 100-yard return for a TD this season. As a punt returner, Kirk averages 11.4 yards per return on 5 returns.

Texas A&M plays Mississippi State on Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, and then gets Auburn at home on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 8 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 299 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 263 0 3 2 5
4 LSU (9 – 4) 232 0 5 3 7
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 232 0 4 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 215 0 6 4 9
7 Florida (4 – 7) 174 0 8 5 8
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 142 0 9 6 10
9 Kentucky (7 – 6) 140 0 7 7 9
10 Tennessee (4 – 8) 76 0 11 10 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 72 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 51 0 12 8 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 47 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 7 0 14 12 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 8) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 8)

Mississippi-State-Nick-Fitzgerald-quarterback-Kentucky-SEC-Player of the Week

Nick Fitzgerald was on his game Saturday against Kentucky in Starkville.

The Mississippi State quarterback ran for 115 yards with touchdown runs of 3 and 40 yards, and he threw for 155 yards and a 10-yard TD toss as the Bulldogs routed the Wildcats, 45-7. On the season, Fitzgerald has 569 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns and is completing 56.9 percent of his passes for 1,169 yards, 11 TDs and 7 interceptions.

“I thought he did a really good job. He made some great plays. I think he missed a couple,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said of Fitzgerald after the game. “I told him it was one of those six-to-12 inch days. He had great reads, great checks, got us into the right plays. He managed the game.

“On a couple of throws we were about six to 12 inches off. In fact, you could take that ball and move it about six to 12 inches in a different direction and he probably would’ve had a couple more touchdown passes. I think that is the consistency and performance that he continues to improve on, but I was pleased with his decision and play making all day.”

The Bulldogs improved to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC after the win. They remained No. 6 in the Week 8 SEC Country Power Poll. The 25 voters awarded Mississippi State 215 total votes — LSU and Texas A&M tied for fourth place just in front of the Bulldogs with 232 votes.

The top 5: Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, LSU and A&M.

Mississippi State has a chance to move up next Saturday when it travels to College Station, Texas, to take on Texas A&M (Saturday, Oct. 28, 7:15 p.m. ET). The two teams have split their past four meetings. The Bulldogs won last season in Starkville, 35-28, and the Aggies won at Kyle Field in 2015, 30-17. This is just the 11th meeting between the two, and A&M has won the only two games in College Station.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 8 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 299 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 263 0 3 2 5
4 LSU (9 – 4) 232 0 5 3 7
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 232 0 4 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 215 0 6 4 9
7 Florida (4 – 7) 174 0 8 5 8
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 142 0 9 6 10
9 Kentucky (7 – 6) 140 0 7 7 9
10 Tennessee (4 – 8) 76 0 11 10 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 72 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 51 0 12 8 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 47 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 7 0 14 12 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 8) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 9)

Kevin Sumlin-Texas A&M football

Texas A&M fell behind by 21 points and never threatened Saturday night at home against Mississippi State.

The result was a disappointing 35-14 loss that put an abrupt halt to a run of 5 wins in 6 games with the lone loss being an 8-point setback to top-ranked Alabama.

SEC Country Power Poll voters didn’t ding the Aggies too much — they dropped from fifth to sixth this week — but where the voters hurt Texas A&M most was in the gap between the Aggies and No. 5 Mississippi State. There is a clear separation between the top 5 teams and the rest.

Texas A&M was voted as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 8.

Things went poorly from the start Saturday against Mississippi State. The Aggies were outrushed 228-96 and outgained in total offense 369 to 285. Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond struggled the most he has since the season opener against UCLA when he was thrust into action. He completed 8-of-26 passes against MSU for 56 yards and 2 interceptions. Nick Starkel relieved him and threw for 133 yards with a TD pass and an interception.

This week doesn’t get easier. Auburn (6-2) visits College Station. The Tigers moved up from 19th to 16th in this week’s AP Top 25. Auburn sits at No. 3 in the SEC Country Power Poll, behind No. 2 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama. LSU and Mississippi State round out the top 5.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 9 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 334 22 1 1 2
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 316 4 2 1 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 280 0 3 3 4
4 LSU (9 – 4) 250 0 4 3 6
5 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 247 0 6 4 6
6 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 198 0 5 5 8
7 South Carolina (9 – 4) 175 0 8 5 9
8 Kentucky (7 – 6) 162 0 9 6 10
9 Florida (4 – 7) 127 0 7 7 11
10 Arkansas (4 – 8) 98 0 12 7 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 63 0 11 10 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 54 0 10 10 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 38 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 24 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 9) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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South Carolina target to decide this week; 2019 recruiting board looking good

South Carolina Gamecocks-Keveon Mullins-South Carolina recruiting

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

#SpursUp watch

Four-star wide receiver/safety and 2019 prospect Keveon Mullins is planning to announce his commitment later this week. The South Carolina Gamecocks and Memphis Tigers are believed to be his finalists.

The 247Sports composite ranks the 6-foot-3, 210-pound athlete as the No. 258 overall prospect and No. 17 athlete for 2019.

Mullins visited South Carolina for the Will Muschamp Football Camp on June 12.

Keep climbing

The Gamecocks’ top-15 2019 recruiting haul could impress even more with pledges from major targets such as Mullins, 5-star athlete Quavaris Crouch, 5-star defensive tackle Travon Walker and others.

“South Carolina is also in the mix for defensive tackle Travon Walker, who took an official visit earlier in June. Walker (Thomaston, Ga.) is cousins with current Gamecocks D.J. and Dylan Wonnum, but there are some heavy hitters in the rest of his lead group, namely Alabama, Clemson and Georgia,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan writes.

Getting defensive

The Gamecocks are pursuing several top defensive back prospects for 2019, including 4-star cornerbacks Chris Steele and Jaydon Hill, 4-star junior college cornerback D.J. Daniel, 3-star cornerbacks Cameron Smith and John Dixon and 3-star athlete Jammie Robinson.

“Steele is set to reveal his commitment in July, and Southern Cal is the perceived favorite,” McGranahan writes. “Daniel, Smith and Robinson are believed to be deciding between South Carolina and Georgia. Hill is also considering Tennessee and Mississippi State. Penn State is the primary competitor for Dixon.”

South Carolina does not currently have any defensive backs committed for 2019.

In the trenches

The Gamecocks may not have any pledges in the defensive backfield for 2019, but they have plenty of incoming talent and depth along the defensive line.

“Five defensive linemen are also on board: [Zacch] Pickens, 4-star end Joseph Anderson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 3-star junior college end Devontae Davis (Georgia Military College), 3-star end Rodricus Fitten (Atlanta) and 3-star junior college tackle Jahkeem Green (Highland Community College),” McGranahan writes.

Pickens is South Carolina’s highest-rated commit, ranked as the No. 19 overall prospect and No. 1 strongside defensive end for 2019.

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Strong words

Former Gamecocks standout and Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger likes what sees from Muschamp and his staff.

“I know Coach Muschamp is doing a great job getting those guys NFL ready and that’s what we’re trying to get back to, DBU,” the Greenwood, S.C., native told The Big Spur’s John Del Bianco.

During his time in Columbia (2009-12), Swearinger posted 244 tackles and 6 interceptions, including 3 returns for touchdowns (2 interception, 1 fumble). The second-team All-SEC safety (2012) was picked No. 57 overall by the Houston Texans in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Countdown

South Carolina football is less than 10 weeks away.

To celebrate the 70-day mark, Twitter user @GamecockSplash flashed back to Ace Sanders’ electric punt return touchdown against Georgia in 2012.

The Gamecocks open the 2018 campaign on Sept. 1 against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Craving more Chicken & Waffles? Get your fix with previous versions here.

The post South Carolina target to decide this week; 2019 recruiting board looking good appeared first on SEC Country.

Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 10)

Mississippi State-football-podcast-taxslayer bowl

Nick Fitzgerald scored touchdowns on 8- and 10-yard runs in the third quarter, and that proved to be what put Mississippi State over the top Saturday in its 34-23 win against a UMass team that proved much tougher than expected.

“With college football being how it is today, if you don’t bring your A-game, there’s a chance you’re going to put yourself at jeopardy,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “I don’t think for the whole game today that we brought our A-game.”

But it was enough to convince voters in this week’s SEC Country Power Poll to lift the Bulldogs over LSU. Mississippi State (7-2) is No. 4 this week, nudging its way ahead of LSU (6-3), which lost to Alabama, 24-10, on Saturday.

This week, the Bulldogs get their chance to prove how they stack up with the league’s elite when they host Alabama in Starkville. Mississippi State’s first two run-ins with top teams in the league didn’t turn out well — a 31-3 loss at Georgia and 49-10 loss at Auburn — but the Bulldogs do own a 37-7 win against LSU.

Alabama is No. 1 in the SEC Country Power Poll — as it has been since the first week of the season. Georgia is second, followed by Auburn and LSU is fifth.

After playing Alabama this Saturday, Mississippi State plays at Arkansas on Saturday, Nov. 11, and finishes the regular season against rival Ole Miss on Thursday, Nov. 23, in the Egg Bowl.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 10 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 295 19 1 1 2
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 280 4 2 1 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 253 0 3 3 3
4 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 221 0 5 4 6
5 LSU (9 – 4) 214 0 4 4 6
6 South Carolina (9 – 4) 177 0 7 5 8
7 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 163 0 6 6 8
8 Kentucky (7 – 6) 130 0 8 6 11
9 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 102 0 11 8 14
10 Missouri (7 – 6) 81 0 14 8 13
11 Florida (4 – 7) 58 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 48 0 12 9 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 36 0 13 8 14
14 Arkansas (4 – 8) 35 0 10 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
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Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

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Guide to 2018 SEC Baseball Tournament: 10 players well worth checking out this week

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HOOVER, Ala. — The 2018 SEC Baseball Tournament is upon us, and the field features plenty of great teams along with multiple top individual talents. Six SEC players are projected by various outlets to be taken in the first round of the MLB draft.

Here are 10 players you should know about:

Casey Mize, Auburn, RHP

Draft projection: No. 1 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Casey Mize is a rare talent as a pitcher who can overpower hitters with strikeout stuff while still being incredibly accurate with his full arsenal — he has 133 strikeouts and just 10 walks this season. Opponents are batting a paltry .189 against him this year, and he’s been well below a 3.00 ERA the last two seasons combined. He’s as much of a sure thing as MLB teams can get out of a college pitcher. — Auburn beat writer Justin Ferguson

Brady Singer, Florida, RHP

Draft projection: No. 3 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Brady Singer entered this season with the highest of expectations, projected by Baseball America last winter to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. If that pressure weighed on him at all, it didn’t show. Singer earned SEC Pitcher of the Year honors, cruising through the regular season with a 10-1 record, conference-best 2.25 ERA and 92 strikeouts with 18 walks in 88 innings. (He missed his last start with a hamstring injury and his status is day to day this week). — Florida beat writer Ryan Young

Jonathan India, Florida, 3B

Draft projections: No. 8 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Jonathan India was not projected as a first-round draft pick when this season started, but he sure is now — slotted inside the top-10 overall picks of most mock drafts. The SEC Player of the Year leads the conference with a .506 on-base percentage and .730 slugging percentage while ranking third with a .365 batting average and tied for third with 16 home runs. — Young

Ryan Rolison, Ole Miss, LHP

Draft projections: No. 11 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Left-handed starters who can get up to 94 mph and have maybe the nastiest breaking ball in college baseball are going to go high. Not coincidentally, Ryan Rolison meets that exact definition. Figure middle of the first round, maybe the last of the first round for him. — Arkansas beat writer Eric Bolin

Jackson Kowar, Florida, RHP

Draft projections: No. 19 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Jackson Kowar is coming off his worst start of the season (6 earned runs in 5⅔ innings at Mississippi State), but overall he’s 9-3 with a 3.01 ERA, 84 strikeouts and 35 walks in 86⅔ innings. Kowar sealed his Gators legacy by closing out the 2017 College World Series clincher as a reliever, and he is now 24-4 overall in his collegiate career. — Young

Blaine Knight, Arkansas, RHP

Draft projections: No. 28 overall (Sporting News)

What SEC Country says: Blaine Knight’s command is borderline excellent, and his stuff is only just below that. Knight is tall, skinny and fundamental. It’s hard to see his pro career coming up as a “miss.” It’s also somewhat hard to see him as an All-Star. If he finally manages to put on weight, build his stamina for the long haul and maybe add just a bit more to his offspeed repertoire, he may get there. Either way, no one worries about him in the pros. — Bolin

Sean Hjelle, Kentucky, RHP

Draft projections: No. 28 overall (Draftsite.com)

What SEC Country says: Some of Sean Hjelle’s potential as a first-rounder comes from projection. As of this moment, he isn’t one of the 30 best players in the draft. But at 6-foot-10 — and not gawky — with a fastball that’s only about 93 right now, upside is massive — pardon the pun — with him. — Bolin

Zach Watson, LSU, OF

Draft projections: No. 49 overall (Draftsite.com)

What SEC Country says: Though he hasn’t lived up to his preseason All-America billing or the 5 home runs he swatted in postseason play last season, Zach Watson solidified his status as a five-tool outfield prospect in 2018. He comes into the SEC Tournament hitting .316 with 5 home runs, 14 doubles, 13 stolen bases and an OPS of .867 and, thanks to his effortless speed and range in the outfield, earned a nod on the SEC All-Defensive team with an errorless season in center field. — LSU beat writer Nick Suss

Isaiah Cambell, Arkansas, RHP

Draft projections: No. 52 overall (Draftsite.com)

What SEC Country says: Like Hjelle, teams are intrigued with Isaiah Campbell for the upside. He’s a hoss — thickly built and throws hard. But elbow surgery kept him out of all of 2017 and in ’18, he’s only gone beyond 5⅔ innings once. Still, from a sheer stuff perspective, he certainly belongs on this list. He could go sandwich round if a team is willing to take a chance, but he’s more likely third round or so, although it’s hard to say how much the arm issues have scared teams away. — Bolin

Konnor Pilkington, Mississippi State, LHP

Draft projections: No. 58 overall (Draftsite.com)

What SEC Country says: Built like a major-leaguer right now, Konnor Pilkington has the tools to make it there. He throws four pitches at fringe or better, including two at plus. And at 6-3 and 225 pounds, there are little doubts about his durability and stamina. Only drawback is there aren’t any “outstanding” qualities in his craft. — Bolin

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