Maty Mauk

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Missouri dismisses QB Maty Mauk

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It is strike three for Missouri quartreback Maty Mauk. Mauk has been dismissed by the Missouri Tigers football program by new head coach Barry Odom. The dismissal comes just days after the school indefinitely suspended Mauk after a video of the quarterback surfaced online in which he was believed to be doing drugs.

“I met with Maty Mauk this morning and informed him of my decision to permanently dismiss him from the football program,” a statement from Odom said. “When I met with Maty back in December, I wanted to give him an opportunity for a fresh start, but I also made it very clear what our expectations would be moving forward. After gathering information and speaking with a number of individuals this week, it is clear Maty has failed to live up to those expectations by violating team rules in recent weeks.”

Odom did reference the red flag video that went viral earlier in the week, but suggested he believes the footage captured on social media was from “a long time ago.” Odom said regardless of when the video was recorded, Mauk still managed to fall short of the bar set at Missouri moving forward.

“We believe it is in his best interest to focus on his personal life and his academic career at this time,” Odom said. “We remain committed to helping him work through the challenges and earn his degree. Our hope is that he will grow from this time and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Mauk had been suspended twice during the 2015 season, so this latest sequence of events could be best summarized as Mauk’s strike three with the program. Given Mauk’s previous violations of team rules under Gary Pinkel, it was clear Odom needed to stand firm with his decision here to establish order within the program under his guidance.

Mauk’s Missouri career now ends with 42 touchdown passes, 4,373 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Mauk can still land on his feet with another college football program in the fall and he still has a year of eligibility remaining. With Mauk no longer in the picture in Columbia though, it would appear Drew Lock will be the frontrunner to be Missouri’s quarterback in 2016. The freshman played in 12 games last season, completing just 49 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards and four touchdowns with eight interceptions. Marvin Zanders will also be in the running starting this spring following the recent news of Eddie Printz pursuing a graduate transfer out of Missouri this season.

After three games without a TD, Missouri reinstates QB Maty Mauk

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The Missouri Tigers have scored 12 points in their last three games, all losses to Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Help is now on the way, with quarterback Maty Mauk being reinstated by the program.

Mauk was suspended by Missouri in early October prior to the game against Florida. The reasons for the indefinite suspension have never been confirmed by head coach Gary Pinkel. The only explanation to date has been Mauk violated team rules. The St. Louis Dispatch reports Mauk has already rejoined his teammates during Missouri’s bye week, although it has not been confirmed if he will play against Mississippi State on Thursday, November 5.

Freshman Drew Lock filled in for Mauk the past three games, with no touchdowns to show for it and a completion percentage below 42 percent. Mauk has not had a good year either, completing just 51.8 percent of his pass attempts with six touchdowns to four interceptions. Still, having the experienced junior may help reverse the offensive trends in time to save the season on some degree.

Missouri is currently 4-4, two wins shy of becoming bowl-eligible. Missouri still has games to play against BYU (in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium), Tennessee and at Arkansas after facing Mississippi State next week. With little margin for error to get two more wins, having Mauk back in charge of the offense as quickly as possible will give the Tigers a chance to get back to the postseason for the 11th time under Pinkel. The two-time defending SEC East champs are not heading back to Atlanta this season for the SEC Championship Game, but the postseason is still in sight for Missouri.

FCS-to-Ducks transfer one of 30 QBs on Unitas Award watch list

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Even as one high-profile FCS transfer has yet to be officially added to his new Power Five program’s roster, he’s still highly thought of by at least one major award.

Tuesday, the fine folks at the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award released its preseason watch list, with the annual award given to the best college senior or fourth-year junior quarterback recognizing 30 players who meet the qualifications.  And, again, those qualifications are that they are, one, a quarterback and, two, are a college senior or fourth-year junior.

Included in that group of 30 is Vernon Adams, one of the most decorated players in the Football Championship Series who announced in February of this year that he would be transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon for his final season of collegiate eligibility.  In early July it was reported that Adams had been admitted to UO and ruled eligible to enroll in classes at the university.  However, Adams will likely miss at least the first three days of the Ducks’ summer camp that begins Aug. 10 as he cleans up one final class that will allow him formal admission and his inclusion on his new squad’s roster.

There’s also one current FCS quarterback in the group: North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz.

In addition to Adams and Wentz, 2014 Unitas finalists Cody Kessler of USC and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State are included in the initial watch list.   Last year’s winner was the man Adams will attempt to replace, Marcus Mariota.

Below is the complete list of preseason Unitas Award watch listers.  And, again, those eligible are college senior or fourth-year junior quarterbacks.

Vernon Adams, Oregon
Brandon Allen, Arkansas
Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska
Mike Bercovici, Arizona State
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Blake Frohnapfel, UMass
Everett Golson, Florida State
Taysom Hill, BYU
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Driphus Jackson, Rice
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Chuckie Keeton, Utah State
Cody Kessler, USC
Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
Fredi Knighten, Arkansas State
Joe Licata, Buffalo
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Maty Mauk, Missouri
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech
Chad Voytik, Pittsburgh
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah

SEC release list of player attendees for Media Days

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Back in June, the SEC released the dates and times the 14 coaches will appear for the conference’s Media Days this month.  Five days ahead of the start of the SEC Media Days July 13, the league has released the list of players who will travel to Alabama with their respective head coaches.

As has been the standard for years, each of the 14 teams will send three players to represent the schools, for a total of 42.  Not surprisingly, given the lack of returning talent at the position, there will be just five quarterbacks in attendance: Arkansas’ Brandon Allen, Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, Missouri’s Maty Mauk and Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia , Kentucky and Mississippi State are sending all-senior contingents, while South Carolina will be represented by nothing but juniors.  38 of the 42 players are either juniors or seniors, the lone exceptions being sophomores Brandon Powell (Florida, wide receiver), Leonard Fournette (LSU, running back), Nigel Bowden (Vanderbilt, linebacker) and Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt, running back).

The Gamecocks are the only team to bring one of their kickers (placekicker Elliott Fry), while Texas A&M is bringing three linemen (two offensive, one defensive).  All three Razorback players come from the offensive side of the ball.

Below is the complete list of SEC player attendees:

Alabama
*Reggie Ragland, Sr., LB
Kenyan Drake, Sr., RB
Ryan Kelly, Sr., OL

Arkansas
*Jonathan Williams, Sr., RB
Brandon Allen, Sr., QB
Keon Hatcher, Sr., WR

Auburn
*Jeremy Johnson, Jr., QB
Jonathan Jones, Sr., DB
Kris Frost, Sr., LB

Florida
*Jonathan Bullard, Sr., DE
Brandon Powell, So., WR
Vernon Hargreaves III, Jr., DB

Georgia
*Malcolm Mitchell, Sr., WR
John Theus, Sr., OT
Jordan Jenkins, Sr., OLB

Kentucky
*Melvin Lewis, Sr., NG
Jordan Swindle, Sr., OT
A.J. Stamps, Sr., S

LSU
*Leonard Fournette, So., RB
Vadal Alexander, Sr., OT
Kendell Beckwith, Jr., LB

Ole Miss
*Evan Engram, Jr., TE
Mike Hilton, Sr., DB
C.J. Johnson, Sr., LB

Mississippi State
*Dak Prescott, Sr., QB
Taveze Calhoun, Sr., DB
Ryan Brown, Sr., DE

Missouri
*Kenya Dennis, Sr., DB
Maty Mauk, Jr., QB
Evan Boehm, Sr., C

South Carolina
*Elliott Fry, Jr., PK
Pharoh Cooper, Jr., WR
Skai Moore, Jr., LB

Tennessee
*Joshua Dobbs, Jr., QB
Curt Maggitt, Sr., LB/DL
Cameron Sutton, Jr., DB

Texas A&M
*Mike Matthews, Sr., C
Germain Ifedi, Jr., OT
Julien Obioha, Sr., DL

Vanderbilt
*Ralph Webb, So., RB
Nigel Bowden, So., LB
Spencer Pulley, Sr., C

* ‘Beyond The Field: Stories of the SEC’ Representative

2015: A Look Ahead

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What’s that you say?  It’s barely stopped raining confetti following  and we’re already talking about a 2015 season that won’t start for another eight months or so?

You’re damn right I am.  And you know why?  ’Cause that’s how I roll.  Or something.

After a one-year sabbatical because of health-related issues — Urban Meyer is my muse — “A Look Ahead” is back, replete with numerous predictions that will, for the most part, prove to be criminally wrong as I’m the resident Nostradumbass.  In the “A Look Ahead” for the 2013 season, my early Top Five was Alabama, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Oregon and Stanford.  Two of those teams finished in the final BCS Top Five (Tide, No. 3; Cardinal, No. 5), although the Buckeyes were just outside at No. 7.  The other two were 10th (Ducks) and 21st (Aggies), so, in actuality, the year before last wasn’t all that bad compared to 2012. (my gawd, USC, unranked at season’s end, No. 1?)

Or 2011. (Oklahoma, which finished 14th, topping the Top Five?)

Or 2010. (Not a single team finished inside the final Top Five, and two — Texas and Iowa — weren’t even ranked at season’s end) (I had had Iowa ranked No. 5?!?!?) [/facepalm]

In other words, enjoy this for what it is: for entertainment purposes only, meaning all y’all can entertain yourselves making fun of me in the comments section.

FOUR COMPELLING STORYLINES

1. BUCKEYES’ QB CONUNDRUM
They say if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have any; what happens when you have three?

There’s no road map for Ohio State in this situation as it’s unprecedented: three quarterbacks who have shown that they are very capable of playing at a very high level and winning football games for the Buckeyes.  Braxton Miller, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year knocked out for the season with a shoulder injury.  J.T. Barrett, 11-1 as a starter and in the thick of the Heisman discussion when a serious leg injury knocked him out of the regular-season finale.  Cardale Jones, who’s first three starts included wins in the Big Ten championship game, the Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal and the CFP title game.  All three of those players could be back in 2015.  Barring a transfer, which direction will they go at the most important position on the field?  Barrett showed that, in his first season as a starter, that he was already a much better passer than Miller and nearly as big of a threat on the ground.  Jones, though, showed that he might be a better overall option for OSU’s passing game as he can stretch the field and is extremely effective in getting yards on the ground as well.

The best guess is that Miller, already the subject of significant speculation, decides to transfer out at some point between now and spring practice, which he likely won’t be able to participate in any way as he’s not expected to be healthy enough quite yet.  Regardless of how it ultimately plays out, it’s one helluva dilemma for Urban Meyer and his offensive coaching staff to have.

2. SEC TITLE DROUGHT
For nearly a decade, chants of “S-E-C!!! S-E-C!!! S-E-C!!!” would rain down at season’s end.  The past two years, however, it’s been S-E-C ya when it comes to titles.

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