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Look for new SEC football schedules next week
by SportsEd

It was widely expected that the complete 2012 SEC football schedule would be under the tree in time for Christmas. Instead, it may be released on Monday, according to the Gainesville Sun. Story here.

The league has been trying to stitch together a “patchwork” 2012 schedule to account for the addition of new members Texas A&M and Missouri. A new schedule rotation for 2013 and beyond will be assembled in the new year.

ESPN blogger Chris Low dropped some hints about the schedule on Thursday.

It had been previously reported that new SEC Western Division member Texas A&M will visit both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in 2012.

The Sun reported that Florida will not host Ole Miss in the fall, as had been called for in the pre-expansion schedule. There are reports the Rebels will play Georgia and Vanderbilt from the SEC Eastern Division.

Little else has been reported about Mississippi State’s 2012 league schedule, other than it will include a visit from Tennessee.

Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Georgia will avoid a 2012 game with Alabama that had been previously in the SEC rotation, and that the Bulldogs’ usual SEC opener with South Carolina will be moved to October.

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Too soon to talk about the Big Dance?
by SportsEd

It’s too early to get excited, but contributor Jerry Palm projects that both Mississippi State and Ole Miss will reach the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Southern Miss, meanwhile, would be the first team to miss the field of 68.

Palm has MSU as a No. 6 seed and Ole Miss as a No. 9 seed in the South Region. The Bulldogs and Rebels couldn’t meet until the regional finals.

Palm sees Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke and Syracuse as the top seeds in the four regions.

In his early crunch of the Ratings Percentage Index numbers, Ole Miss is No. 11 in Palm’s RPI, with Mississippi State No. 67.

Other SEC teams that Palm projects into the field: Alabama (No. 4 seed), Florida (No. 7) and Vanderbilt (No. 11). Both future SEC members make the field - Missouri (No. 3 seed) and Texas A&M (No. 8). 

He has Memphis as a No. 6 seed, Jackson State as a No. 16.

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December 13, 2011
If State beats Baylor in a week or so, Palm might want to move that up to a 3 or 4 seed. There would be no reason to think they would go any less than 11-5 in SEC play.

Palm should also know that Vandy has struggled early... and by that I mean lose close games to ranked opponents... because center Festus Ezeli has been out. He's now back which will take pressure off of Jenkins and Taylor. In another words, they will get back to their preseason ranking and be much higher than an 11 seed.

Quiet Saturday on the coaching front?
by SportsEd

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it will be a quiet weekend after several very crazy days on the college football beat.

That's not to say there won't continue to be a lot of gossip, just not much solid news.

It seems likely that whatever news might crop up this weekend will come after the bowl announcements are made on Sunday, so perhaps the rumor mill will get cranked up again Sunday night and Monday morning.

If the Ole Miss choice is Kirby Smart, the Alabama defensive co-ordinator, it would make sense if that news was delvered early next week. Smart might well remain a part of the Crimson Tide staff for the BCS Championship game, as Dan Mullen did at Florida before settling into his chair at Mississippi State.

If it's not Smart ... well, who knows? The name of Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze continues to crop up from various sources. And, honestly, it's not outrageous to suggest that some other candidate might actually emerge when it's time to pull on the Rebels' cap at an introductory news conference.

I'm not sure you can rule anybody out at this point other than Houston Nutt and Ed Orgeron.

Our Parrish Alford will be at Arkansas State on Saturday for the ed Wolves' regular-season finale against Troy. We'll see what Freeze has to say when the game is over.

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Ole Miss now has lots of company
by SportsEd
Sunday has been a crazy day of college football coach firings, creating more vacancies with more wish lists and more rumor-mongering.

Memphis, UAB, Kansas, Illinois … and that was just before dark on Sunday. I read someplace that perhaps 15 major college schools will replace head coaches before the 2012 season begins. In a couple of cases, those could create other openings. And so on.

So where does that leave Ole Miss?

Well, it leaves the school with a bit of a head start, assuming the last couple of weeks have been well spent. 

There was even a report at one point on Saturday that new coach might be introduced today, or that there might be campus interviews on Monday. Anybody looked at the NFL schedule? Eli Manning and the New York Giants are in New Orleans on Monday night.

A decision is coming, of course. This week? More likely soon after the SEC Championship Game. 

The short list we keep hearing about includes Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora, Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze, Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth, Alabama defensive co-ordinator Kirby Smart and maybe former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

Is that a real list or just the stuff that fills the vacuum in the absence of real news?

Some of those are names you'e now going to hear linked to other jobs. Leach, in particular, might prefer to take his air show to the Pac-12, where pass defenses are more notional than in the SEC.
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