SEC: Archie Manning
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long will have the distinction of being the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Sources said the 13-person panel charged with selecting the four teams that will go on to the playoff following the 2014 regular season will be announced in a Wednesday news conference.
ESPN and The Associated Press have identified the other members of the committee as:
- Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
- Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the former Air Force Academy superintendent
- USC athletic director Pat Haden
- Former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt
- West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck
- Former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning
- Former Nebraska athletic director/coach Tom Osborne
- Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese
- Former USA Today reporter Steve Wieberg
- Former Stanford/Notre Dame/Washington coach Tyrone Willingham
Archie Manning doesn't cotton to the notion that he and his wife Olivia are the heads of the First Family of the Southeastern Conference. For one thing, it's a presumption of self-importance, and Archie wasn't raised to be anything but humble.
"I've always said, in the era that I played, all those years with the Saints, you don't come out with a big ego," Manning said.
For another, Manning is the chair of the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame. To his well-developed sense of propriety, appearing to favor one conference over another is downright unseemly, like belching in church or not throwing the checkdown.
Of course, Manning also understands that to ignore his family's ties to the SEC is to ignore the fusion of history and reality, of myth and memory, of what makes college football a family heirloom. There's a reason that four-year-olds in Manning's home state of Mississippi know the words to "Hotty Toddy."
"I love the conference," Manning said on the phone the other day. "I cherish my time at Ole Miss. I cherish those four years. I've said publicly, and it's true, I've had a lot of wonderful things come my way. But personally, the greatest thing I ever accomplished was when I was named the starting quarterback at Ole Miss. That was my childhood dream, as it was thousands of kids in Mississippi. Every kid I knew wanted to be a quarterback at Ole Miss. They were such heroes in those days, Ole Miss quarterbacks. They were to me."
In the SEC Storied documentary "The Book of Manning," which debuts Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, the story of Archie and Olivia is told -- how they met and fell in love at Ole Miss, the folk hero quarterback and the homecoming queen. The film tells the story of the hero worship that Manning endured until it went away, of how Archie and Olivia settled down and raised three boys in New Orleans as normally as they could, right down to the VHS camera on Archie's shoulder.
To read the rest of the story from Ivan Maisel, click here.
Peyton Manning talks about what it was like growing up with an All-Pro quarterback as a father in "SEC Storied: The Book of Manning", which premieres September 24, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Days removed from generating 334 yards of offense and tossing five touchdowns in the Rebels' 41-24 win over Mississippi State, the sophomore won the C Spire Conerly Trophy, as Mississippi's top college football player in 2012.
Wallace received the trophy during a special awards program in Jackson, Miss., at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. He joined four other Rebels as former winners of the award -- quarterbacks Stewart Patridge (1997) and Eli Manning (2001 and 2003), running back Deuce McAllister (1999) and linebacker Patrick Willis (2006).
“This has been a very strong year in terms of individual and overall performance and leadership among all of the schools who submitted nominees for the award," said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire Wireless. "Our winner is not only a great football player, but an outstanding young man with good character, a strong record of community involvement and a terrific work ethic.”
Under new coach Hugh Freeze, Wallace helped lead the Rebels to a 6-6 record and their first bowl berth since 2009. He also guided Ole Miss to three SEC wins after the Rebels opened the year with 14 straight conference losses.
Wallace passed for 2,843 yards with 19 touchdowns, ran for another 363 yards and eight touchdowns and scored a touchdown on a 25-yard pass. He finished the season sixth in the SEC with a 144.20 quarterback rating this year. His 3,206 total offensive yards made him only the second player in school history to eclipse 3,000 yards in a season behind Manning, who reached that total twice during his Ole Miss career. Wallace’s eight rushing touchdowns are the most by an Ole Miss quarterback since Eli’s father, Archie, in 1969.
Joining Wallace as finalists were Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks, Southern Miss defensive lineman Jamie Collins, Jackson State wide receiver Rico Richardson and Delta State offensive tackle Kendall Hunter.
The six Conerly Trophy victories by Ole Miss are more than any other school. Mississippi State and Southern Miss have each won the award four times.
Talented and equally tough, Wilson proved he could throw the football with anybody in 2011, and led the league with 3,638 passing yards.
He’s back for a second season as the Hogs’ starting quarterback, and the expectations for him and the team are as lofty as ever. One of the things that best prepared Wilson for what he was getting into last season was his experience at the Manning Passing Academy.
He makes a return trip to Thibodaux, La., beginning Thursday, along with some of the other top college quarterbacks in the country, and will value his time with the First Family of Quarterbacks even more the second time around.
“It’s the little things you pick up that mean the most,” Wilson said. “When Peyton or Eli or Archie walk into the room, it’s the way they carry themselves. It’s their mannerisms. The room just stands still.
“They exude leadership, and that’s what you’ve got to have if you’re going to be a great quarterback.”
Leadership will be more important than ever this season for Wilson, who has already shown this past spring and summer, during the most trying of circumstances, that he can be a rock for his teammates.
Wilson was one of the players who stood up and sternly reminded everybody in the locker room that nothing had changed, including their goals, after Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long delivered the sobering news to the team that Bobby Petrino had been fired as head coach.
More importantly, Wilson went out and practiced with that same purpose, led with that same purpose, and attacked the summer conditioning program with that same purpose.
He wasn’t the only one. Running back Knile Davis and linebacker Tenarius Wright are two other veterans who’ve been exemplary leaders for the Hogs.
But the quarterback is the leader of your team. And when he’s one of your best leaders, and also one of your best players, that’s when you typically have something special.
“That’s one of the things you notice right away about Peyton and Eli. They just have that presence about them,” Wilson said. “Some people call it a swagger. Some people call it the “it” factor. Whatever it is, they have it.
“You just want to be around people like that, and if it rubs off on me, that in itself is definitely worth the trip.”
Wilson said the camaraderie he establishes with the other quarterbacks at the camp serving as counselors also comes in handy. He and former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden still keep in touch after hitting it off last year.
Among the quarterbacks scheduled to attend this year are USC’s Matt Barkley, Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Florida State’s EJ Manuel, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace and Tennessee’s Tyler Bray.
“I like seeing all the different personalities,” Wilson said. “Some guys are more laid back in how they attack the game, and some are real technical in their approach. I find it fascinating that the game can be played both ways.”
Now that he knows what to expect, Wilson feels like he will get even more out of this year’s experience.
“You make sure you soak up everything you can, and you also make as many connections as you can,” Wilson said. “The most important thing, though, is spending time around Eli, Peyton and Archie, and realizing that the reason they’re so successful is because of the kind of people they are.
“That’s something you carry into every huddle, every meeting and every workout.”
- Archie Manning makes a plea to Ole Miss fans: We need to unite.
- Georgia expects offensive guard Kolton Houston to have his eligibility restored.
- Back from suspension, South Carolina's Byron Jerideau is working his way back into the starting lineup at defensive tackle.
- LSU's draft prospects show their stuff at pro day.
- Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is banking on his defense to create more turnovers in 2012.
- Florida running back Mack Brown is getting good reviews this spring.
- Auburn is hoping its receivers can stay healthy next season.
- Some notes from Auburn's first day of spring practice.
- Bill Parcells and Lou Holtz are speaking at Nick Saban's annual coaching clinic.
- Running back Johnny Jefferson decommits from Texas A&M after taking visits to Baylor and TCU.
- Sophomore Lucas Vincent should bolster Missouri's thin defensive line.
- Michael Dyer is on the verge of more leaps in the Auburn record book.
- Despite an unproductive season, South Carolina is eyeing a 10-win season.
- Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell insists he's not playing favorites.
- Kentucky freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith continues his crash course against Georgia.
- It's been a painful season in more ways than one for Tennessee senior running back Tauren Poole.
- Ole Miss has a "long list" of candidates for its head coaching job.
- A healthy, red-hot Dennis Johnson returns to Little Rock for the Hogs.
- For Vanderbilt's James Franklin, the results speak for themselves, writes David Climer of the Tennessean.
- Georgia's Cordy Glenn hasn't talked much off the field, but he's come through loud and clear on the field.
- Taking a look at Florida's nonconference opponents through the 2016 season.
- No stone will be left unturned by Archie Manning and Ole Miss' coaching-search committee when trying to find the Rebels' new coach.
- DeQuan Menzie's play says it all for Alabama's talented young cornerback.
- Vanderbilt is preparing as if Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray will start.
- Kentucky is still clinging to bowl hopes as the Wildcats prepare for Georgia.
- Mississippi State continues with its quarterback shuffle.
- LSU can't afford to slip up against Ole Miss.
- There is a dinner offer for "anywhere in the world" for Kentucky coach Joker Phillips if his Wildcats beat Georgia Saturday.
- A contract extension is likely for Georgia coach Mark Richt, but one for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is unknown right now.
- T'Sharvan Bell's injury forces Auburn to make adjustments in its secondary.
- Tennessee players choose not to relive the Arkansas game on film.
There have been seven over the past 10 years, which doesn't include Arkansas' Matt Jones, who was drafted as a receiver in the first round in 2005:
- 2010 – Florida’s Tim Tebow, 25th pick
- 2009 – Georgia’s Matthew Stafford, 1st pick
- 2007 – LSU’s JaMarcus Russell, 1st pick
- 2006 – Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler, 11th pick
- 2005 – Auburn’s Jason Campbell, 25th pick
- 2004 – Ole Miss’ Eli Manning, 1st pick
- 2003 – Florida’s Rex Grossman, 23rd pick
If you go back to the 1998 draft, there have been five SEC quarterbacks taken with the No. 1 overall pick. Kentucky's Tim Couch was drafted with the top pick in 1999 and Tennessee's Peyton Manning in 1998.
Going back to the 1971 draft and Ole Miss' Archie Manning, there have been eight SEC quarterbacks drafted with one of the top three picks:
- 2009 – Georgia’s Matthew Stafford, 1st pick
- 2007 – LSU’s JaMarcus Russell, 1st pick
- 2004 – Ole Miss’ Eli Manning, 1st pick
- 1999 – Kentucky’s Tim Couch, 1st pick
- 1998 – Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, 1st pick
- 1994 – Tennessee’s Heath Shuler, 3rd pick
- 1973 – LSU’s Bert Jones, 2nd pick
- 1971 – Ole Miss’ Archie Manning, 2nd pick
McElroy was also a counselor a year ago at the popular camp, which is run by SEC legend Archie Manning and his two famous quarterback sons, Peyton and Eli.
Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett was also originally scheduled to be there, but had to pull out because he’s still recovering from the broken bone in his foot, according to Archie Manning.
While McElroy might have been a bit of an unknown last year at the camp, he won’t be this year.
Not after leading Alabama to a 14-0 record and BCS national championship in his first year as a starter.
But even last year, Archie Manning said it was pretty obvious with the way McElroy carried himself at the camp that he had the right stuff to effectively lead the Crimson Tide. McElroy reached the final round of the accuracy competition along with former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson.
“Greg just had a great presence about him,” Archie Manning said. “I think we all had a good feeling about him coming out of that week that he was going to be fine. You never know for sure, but there was certainly a presence about him.
“And even though he didn’t have any on-the-field experience, he’d been there. They had a good team around him with a great running game, so they didn’t throw him to the wolves and didn’t have a lot of third-and-12s. He’s smart and carried himself well throughout the season.”
The college quarterbacks working the camp will arrive next Thursday and work out with Peyton and Eli Manning that first day. Then on the final day of the camp, they will participate in skills competitions.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
OXFORD, Miss. -- I was able to keep it under the posted 18 mph speed limit Saturday morning on the Ole Miss campus as I made my way to the Rebels' 150,000-square foot indoor practice facility.
Built in 2004, it's the nicest and most complete indoor practice facility that I've seen in the SEC. Everything the football program needs -- from the coaches' offices, to the locker room, to the weight room, to the training room, to the players' lounge -- is right there.
There's also a short tunnel from the facility leading to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which really makes it convenient on game days.
But back to the speed limit on campus. It's safe to say that the Manning name is pretty revered around here and no coincidence that the 18 mph speed limit matches the No. 18 jersey number that Archie Manning wore during a legendary career at Ole Miss.
It's just one of the many things that make this place unique along with The Square downtown, The Grove (Why couldn't it be a game day?), City Grocery and the sprawling fraternity houses that take you back in time.
The only thing they're missing is championship football, at least over the last 40 years, but that could be changing this season. The Rebels, who haven't won an SEC title since 1963, were picked No. 10 in the preseason coaches' poll and are one of the favorites in the Western Division.
"Our seniors did a good job of getting us to this point last year," junior defensive tackle Jerrell Powe said. "Now it's time to take it from where they left off and get this thing to another level."
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Mentioning Ole Miss and SEC championships in the same sentence is akin to bringing up plaid suits when you're discussing high fashion.
Ole Miss last won an SEC title in 1963, and plaid suits haven't been in fashion since ... maybe never.
"There's a lot of hype, a lot of enthusiasm at every Rebel Club we go to, a lot of expectations," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. "It comes back to players and coaches doing their part."
It also comes back to handling those expectations.
After 40-plus years of being mostly an afterthought in the SEC race, Ole Miss enters the 2009 season with the kind of hope and anticipation surrounding the program that hasn't been seen since the Mannings were the toast of Oxford.
Archie Manning led the Rebels to a Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas capping the 1969 season and then back to the Gator Bowl following the 1970 season.
Nearly 35 years later, Eli Manning guided the Rebels to a share of the SEC's Western Division crown in 2003 and a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.
And this coming season?
Well, the Rebels will likely start the year ranked in the top 10 and are being picked by many to win the Western Division.
"Nobody ever won a championship by talking about it," said Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, whose defense tied with Florida State last season to lead the country with 112 tackles for loss. "This is a different year with different challenges. We'll see how it all comes together."
The Rebels would seem to have all the pieces in place to make a serious run. Their defensive line is one of the deepest in college football, and junior quarterback Jevan Snead already has the NFL scouts drooling. He also has a versatile cast of playmakers surrounding him, including Dexter McCluster.
If Snead plays the way he did to end the season, when he threw 16 touchdown passes and only three interceptions during the Rebels' six-game winning streak, this is a team that will be favored in just about every game it plays.
The schedule also works in their favor. They get both Alabama and LSU at home, and Florida drops off the schedule next season. The nonconference slate is ridiculously easy, and the toughest SEC road date is probably South Carolina on a Thursday night (Sept. 24) in Columbia.
If the Rebels are 4-0 heading into that Alabama game on Oct. 10, look out. Three of their first four games are on the road. But starting with Alabama, six of their next seven are at home.
Sounds like the Grove is in for some drama-soaked Saturday afternoons this fall.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
The Eastern Division was hard enough. Now, onto the Western Division.
I could have picked 10 or 12 for Alabama. Maybe the Crimson Tide should have two Mount Rushmores.
Anyway, here goes and thanks again for all your help. I'm sure there will be no second-guessing, right?
Bear Bryant: Bryant is revered as much today in Alabama as he was when he was winning six national championships.
Lee Roy Jordan: Bryant referred to Jordan as the "finest player he ever coached."
Joe Namath: Broadway Joe was called the "greatest athlete I ever coached" by Bryant.
Ozzie Newsome: The quintessential tight end, Newsome was one of the most complete players to play for Bryant.
Just missed the cut: Cornelius Bennett, John Hannah, Don Hutson, Ken Stabler, Derrick Thomas, Frank Thomas.
Lance Alworth: The first athlete at Arkansas to letter in three different sports in the same year.
Frank Broyles: An iconic figure in the state, Broyles spent 50 years at Arkansas as either head football coach or athletic director.
Darren McFadden: Two-time Doak Walker Award winner is one of the SEC's best backs of the last quarter century.
Billy Ray Smith Jr.: Followed in his father's footsteps and became a two-time All-America defensive end in 1981-82.
Just missed the cut: Gary Anderson, Brandon Burlsworth, Dan Hampton, Ken Hatfield, Lou Holtz.
Pat Dye: As coach, he won 99 games and four SEC titles. As athletic director, he brought the Alabama game to Auburn.
Bo Jackson: The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner remains the greatest all-around athlete the SEC has ever seen.
Ralph "Shug" Jordan: Auburn's stadium bears his name. He won 176 games in 25 years, including the 1957 national championship.
Pat Sullivan: Two-time SEC Player of the Year who became Auburn's first Heisman Trophy winner in 1971.
Just missed the cut: Terry Beasley, Tucker Frederickson, Tracy Rocker, Tommy Tuberville, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.
Billy Cannon: A true SEC legend and LSU's greatest player, Cannon won the Heisman Trophy in 1959.
Tommy Casanova: Played offense, defense and returned kicks and was a three-time All-American from 1969-71.
Glenn Dorsey: The most decorated defender in LSU history, Dorsey led the Tigers to the 2007 national championship.
Charles McClendon: LSU's winningest coach with 137 wins and 13 bowl appearances from 1962-79.
Just missed the cut: Paul Dietzel, Kevin Faulk, Dalton Hilliard, Bert Jones, Nick Saban.
Johnie Cooks: The Bulldogs' greatest defender and a force on some of their best teams. The No. 2 pick in the 1982 NFL draft.
D.D. Lewis: A member of the College Hall of Fame, Lewis was a two-time All-SEC linebacker in 1966-67.
Jackie Sherrill: The winningest coach in Mississippi State history, Sherrill took the Bulldogs to the SEC title game in 1998.
Jackie Parker: An All-America quarterback in 1953 and a two-time SEC Most Valuable Player.
Just missed the cut: John Bond, Jack Cristal, Sylvester Croom, Eric Moulds, Tom "Shorty" McWilliams.
Archie Manning: The very definition of an icon. The speed limit on Ole Miss' campus is 18 mph to commemorate his jersey number.
Eli Manning: The youngest Manning followed his dad to Ole Miss and became the most prolific passer in school history.
Chucky Mullins: Ole Miss players pass his monument before every game, and many touch his head on the way to the field.
John Vaught: In 24 years as Ole Miss' coach, he made the Rebels a fixture in the national polls and won six SEC titles.
Just missed the cut: Charlie Conerly, Jake Gibbs, Frank "Bruiser" Kinard, Barney Poole, Patrick Willis.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
As successful as Tim Tebow has been in college football, he's not naïve.
The record-setting Florida quarterback understands he's still very much an enigma when it comes to his pro stock. Some analysts have projected that he might have to play H-back in the NFL.
Tebow isn't ready to go down that road. He's settling in for another year at Florida. But his answer on whether or not he'll be able to adjust to the NFL game at quarterback is a familiar one to Florida fans.
"Whatever happens, I'll work harder than anybody in the country to succeed at it," he said. "Whoever takes a shot on me, I'll give it my whole heart."
Archie Manning, whom the Manning Award is named for along with sons Peyton and Eli, said Tebow is one of the "best football players" he's ever seen.
"He has developed so much as a player, as a quarterback and as a passer," Archie Manning said. "I'm sure he'll admit that there's been greater passers and there's been greater runners. But when you talk about just an overall football player and the ability to lead his team and will his team to wins, I just don't think I've seen anyone do it any better."
Manning also thinks Tebow has what it takes to adapt to the NFL game.
"He probably suffers a little bit because their system at Florida is different than what a lot of pro football teams do and different than what a Southern Cal or a Georgia does," Manning said. "It's not that he's bad at some of those things. They just haven't seen him do a lot of things professional quarterbacks are asked to do.
"But I don't have any question that he will be able to make those adjustments and do what he's asked to do in pro football."
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Florida's Tim Tebow has been named this year's winner of the Manning Award, which honors the country's best quarterback taking into account how that player performed in the bowl game.
The award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, was created in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning and is the only award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
Tebow passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 109 yards in leading Florida to a 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game. Texas' Colt McCoy finished second in the voting this year.
Tebow is the fifth winner of the Manning Award, which began following the 2004 regular season. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and last year Boston College's Matt Ryan collected the honor.
Leinart was selected No. 10 in the 2006 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals; the same year that Young went third overall to the Tennessee Titans. In 2007, Russell was the No. 1 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders, while last year saw Ryan go No. 3 to the Atlanta Falcons.
Later on Thursday afternoon, Tebow and Archie Manning are scheduled to talk with reporters on a teleconference. So check back, and I'll have some of Tebow's thoughts on where he and the Gators go from here.