Arkansas v Alabama

Bielema files complaint with SEC over Auburn video

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For whatever reason, Bret Bielema and the Auburn football program simply can’t play nice together.

At the SEC media days over the summer, AU head coach Gus Malzahn labeled Bielema’s criticisms of up-tempo offenses as “a joke,” with the UA coach responding, “I’m not a comedian.”  During summer camp, a former Tiger and current Razorback assistant coach tweeted well-wishes to an injured Hog; Bielema had yet to release the injury information, which did not sit well with the coach.

Monday, the kerfuffle between the coaches/programs bled into the regular season.

Unprompted, al.com said, Bielema brought up during a teleconference Monday an issue he had with the video sent over by Auburn, this Saturday’s opponent.  Essentially, Bielema accused AU of short-sheeting the game film from its win over FAU this past weekend.

Bielema and his staff had watched a television broadcast of the Tigers-Owls game, then watched the game film sent by AU.  It was at that point they noticed what they alleged was creative editing on Auburn’s part.

“There are just some clips that haven’t — shall we say, the TV copy doesn’t match the film copy,” Bielema said Monday. “And it’s something we have kind of been aware of now for the last week and half in getting our preparation. So we can use other film and stuff like that to make sure we are getting the full picture.”

The issue was sufficient enough that a complaint was filed with the SEC; a source told al.com that the conference had no major issue with the video Auburn sent.  Interestingly, however, the paper noted that Bielema may have bent-to-the-point-of-breaking an SEC bylaw that prohibits coaches from discussing with the media any video issues such as the one the head coach raised yesterday.

Despite the formal complaint to the SEC, Bielema is certain (eye roll) that Gus Malzahn will have this glitch corrected moving forward.

I’m sure it’s a glitch,” Bielema said. “I know Gus stands for everything that’s right and (has) great faith in doing things right. So, I’m sure it’s just a glitch that they’ll get to the bottom of.”

(Writer’s note: I’ll give you time to scrub the sarcasm off your screen… waiting… and we’re good.)

The mini-brouhaha is the latest off-field hiccup for Bielema in his first season at the school.  The hiccups have been aplenty on the field as well, with Arkansas having lost five straight games heading into the matchup Saturday with an Auburn team ranked in the Top 10 in Malzahn’s first season as AU’s head coach.

While the Tigers are second in the SEC West behind Alabama, the Razorbacks have lost all four of their conference games — and have lost them by an average of over 32 points per game (44.7-12.5).  Saturday’s game against Auburn will mark Arkansas’ fifth straight game against a ranked SEC team; that’s the first time since UA joined the conference in 1992 that has happened to any team in the league.

South Carolina DB Ali Groves takes medical hardship, will remain on scholarship

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The injury-plagued career of a member of South Carolina’s secondary has officially come to an end.

USC officials confirmed to The State that Ali Groves will not return to the Gamecocks football team. The defensive back has taken a medical hardship waiver, making him ineligible to suit up again for the Gamecocks.

The Georgia native will, though, remain on scholarship. He’s expected to graduate later this year with a degree in business administration.

A three-star member of USC’s 2013 recruiting class, Groves was rated as the No. 47 safety in the country. Groves sustained a right shoulder injury his true freshman season, with the injury lingering over the next couple of seasons as well.

This past spring, Groves, who didn’t play a down for the Gamecocks, was moved from cornerback to safety. Twice in his career, Groves was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

Four-star 2017 QB Kellen Mond, an ex-Baylor commit, verbals to A&M

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 31: Texas A&M Aggies mascot Reveille runs onto the field before a NCAA football game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field on October 31, 2015 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)
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Baylor’s recruiting loss will turn into another football program’s gain.  Again.

On his Twitter account Monday, 2017 quarterback prospect Kellen Mond announced that he has decided to verbally commit to play his college football at Texas A&M.  Mond had been considered the crown jewel of Baylor’s 2017 recruiting class after committing to the Bears in the summer of 2015, but opted to decommit less than a week after Art Briles was dismissed as BU’s head football coach.

Shortly after decommitting from Baylor, Mond announced a new Top 3: Auburn, Ohio State and A&M.  Those schools were listed in his order of preference at that moment, although the Aggies were, obviously, able to make up ground on the other two.

Mond visited College Station earlier this month, and, coupled with the Buckeyes landing a verbal from five-star quarterback Tate Martell — a former A&M commit, incidentally — had seemingly pared his choices down to the Tigers and Aggies.  According to his tweeted announcement, A&M’s “tradition of excellence,” along with the coaching staff, led him to his latest commitment.

Mond, a Texas native who is playing his senior season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is rated as a four-star prospect on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. That recruiting website rates him as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 103 player overall.

Pitt joins trend of stadium-wide beer sales for football games

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Ohio State announced earlier this month that it would be offering cold beers to all of-age fans during football games this fall in The ‘Shoe.  A couple of weeks later, a fellow FBS member to the east has followed suit.

As part of its press release on new fan initiatives for the 2016 season, Pittsburgh announced that beer will be sold stadium-wide throughout Heinz Field this upcoming football season.  Prior to this season, alcohol sales were only permitted to those ticket holders in the club and suite sections of the stadium.

The first opportunity for fans to take advantage of the new policy is the home opener against Villanova Sept. 3.  The ACC opener Oct. 8 against Georgia Tech.

From the press release:

The expansion of this amenity will coincide with the implementation of appropriate safety measures for Pitt game days, ensuring the continuation of a fan and family friendly environment for all. (Such measures are already in place for Steelers home games. Aramark, Heinz Field’s official food and beverage concessionaire, provides comprehensive staff training in the sale of alcohol.) A portion of the funds from beer sales proceeds will be dedicated to drug and alcohol education programs for the overall student body through Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there are now nine Power Five members with a similar beer policy for football games.  One of the nine is West Virginia, with the Post-Gazette writing that athletic director Scott Barnes cited data from WVU “suggesting that beer sales in the stadium could actually cut down on alcohol-related incidents.”

Houston’s Howard Wilson granted medical hardship waiver

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Not surprisingly, one member of Houston’s secondary will get back the time he lost last season.

According to a press release from the Houston sports information department, Howard Wilson has been granted a medical hardship waiver for the 2015 season. Wilson sustained a season-ending torn ACL in the third game of 2015, making the decision to grant the waiver a no-brainer.

The waiver will extend Wilson’s eligibility clock through the 2018 season, and makes him a redshirt sophomore for the upcoming season.

As a true freshman in 2014, Wilson played in all 13 games, starting one of those contests. He had three interceptions that season.

Prior to his injury, he started the first three games of last season. He’s projected to start at one of the corner spots for the Cougars entering summer camp.