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Now is time to provide sports brags

By Staff
Jan. 7, 2002
Mulling over many Monday morning musings while wondering whatever happened to Manny Mota …
If there has ever been a great athletic accomplishment that you have wanted to brag about, well now is your chance.
And if there is a brother, sister, child, parent or friend that has done something worth noting, you have the opportunity to make sure everyone else knows about it.
The Meridian Star is collecting "Best Brags" for its upcoming Profile editions and readers are encouraged to contribute and to let us know about that special athlete in your family or neighborhood.
Those wishing to submit a "Best Brag" can do so by e-mailing it to abishop@themeridianstar.com or dropping it off to The Meridian Star sports department this week. It would be good to include a photo of the subject of the brag. Those submitting the items are asked to include their name and phone number so they can be reached for more information.
Don't forget, this special section is for the readers, so we would like for you to contribute.
How many tourney teams can SEC have in March?
Surely it won't happen, but it is possible that all 12 of the men's Southeastern Conference basketball teams could be playing postseason tournament ball in march.
While all of them certainly won't make it to the NCAA Tournament, the NIT could pick up the rest.
The longest shot to make the field is currently Tennessee, but the Vols proved they could play tough especially at home when they beat Ole Miss 82-76 in Knoxville on Sunday. That put the Vols at 6-6 overall on the season and 1-0 in SEC East.
Florida (12-1), Georgia (12-2) and Kentucky (9-3) should all make the "Big Dance," from the SEC East, while Mississippi State (14-1), Alabama (12-2) and Ole Miss (11-3) appear to be prime contenders in the West. South Carolina, Vanderbilt and LSU all 10-4 will likely be bubble teams and you can't count out Arkansas at 9-4. Auburn is 8-4 and without a total collapse in the SEC, could squirm its way into an NIT bid.
The SEC action continues hot and heavy this week as Mississippi State visits Arkansas on Tuesday, and on Wednesday Florida visits Tennessee, Georgia travels to Kentucky, Alabama hosts Vanderbilt and Ole Miss hosts Auburn.
Florida won't have far to Stoop(s) to find coach
While curveballs are as common in the college football coaching arena as they are in Major League Baseball, it is likely that the next head football coach at the University of Florida will be a common name.
University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops, who once served as defensive coordinator under University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier, is the top candidate to replace his old boss.
Stoops lead the Sooners to the National Championship in 2000, and was the defensive coordinator at UF when the Gators won the title in 1996. He is a close personal friend of Spurrier's and still owns a home in Crescent Beach, Fla. and to top it off, Spurrier's son is an assistant o Stoops' staff at Oklahoma.
Spurrier shocked the sports world when he resigned on Friday after winning 122 games in 12 seasons at the Gainesville, Fla. school.
Even though Stoops signed a $2 million per season contract extension with the Sooners over the summer, it appears that he may be headed back to the Sunshine State.
Sources inside the University of Florida football program say the Gators have dangled a $3 million per year contract in front of Stoops, almost a million more than Spurrier was pulling down as the head man.
An announcement is expected soon, perhaps even before you have a chance to read this column.
Winning nothing new for Canes
The University of Miami has won five National Championships in football under the direction of four different coaches.
The first came in 1983 with Howard Schnellenberger at the helm. Jimmy Johnson led the Hurricanes to the title in 1987 and the Dennis Erickson led squad claimed championships in 1989 and 1991. Larry Coker became the fourth head man to win a title when his club won the crown this season.
And it is not just football that Miami has some success in.
From May of 2001 through the Rose Bowl the University of Miami's football, men's basketball and baseball teams took 43 straight victories combined.
The football team went 12-0, the basketball squad jumped out to a 14-0 start and the baseball team won its last 17 games in 2001 on the way to winning the NCAA title.
Now that is a sports program that knows how to dominate.