Preview of Ole Miss and LSU in SEC West Football Division 2011 (SEC Preview Part 6) jh9

 

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Is the person in charge of LSU’s schedule Les Miles? Do you think anyone in their right mind would take on Oregon, Northwestern and West Virginia in their non-conference schedule and then play 8 possibly 9 SEC teams? Harry King thinks the schedule is crazy tough too. The injuries may rack up pretty good with a back breaking schedule like that. Northwestern is very good and I don’t even have to discuss the talent the other two teams have. IF ANYONE IN THE COUNTRY COULD PULL IT OFF IT WOULD BE LSU!

I look for LSU to win the SEC West if they beat Alabama. I give them about a 40% chance of pulling it off.

Ole Miss has lots of young players and Houston Nutt has been doing a great job of recruiting. That means that the rebels have lots of young players like Tennessee does. Both of those teams are probably a year away from making it to the top 25. I was told today by an Ole Miss grad that they need a quarterback and a secondary.  We will see what happens.

Below is a preview from Rivals:

Spotlight on: LSU

The Tigers have a teed-up opportunity to rise in the polls and climb into prime position for a national championship run, meeting Oregon at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Sept. 3. The Ducks didn’t have the power to match blows with 2010 SEC champion Auburn in January’s national championship game. However, Oregon’s exhausting style of spread offense and speed on defense brings an extensive set of challenges for the Tigers. LSU needs stability at quarterback, which didn’t happen last season, to be in the title hunt.

Tigers to know:

LB Ryan Baker

A typical light but lightning fast Tigers’ linebacker. Baker covers a ton of ground and no one questions his toughness—he played with his mouth wired shut (broken jaw) for the first month of last season.

CB Morris Claiborne

A second-team All-SEC pick in 2010 and former track sprinter, Claiborne was picked on readily by opponents who wanted to avoid All-American Patrick Peterson last season. Without Peterson, Claiborne steps into the lead CB role.

LB Stefoin Francois

Converted safety was a star at strong-side linebacker last season. A bit wiry at 215, but has the speed and quickness to shadow most skill players in the SEC—which is really saying something.

QB Jordan Jefferson

The winningest active quarterback in the SEC (20-7), he’s a maligned three-year starter for good reason. Jefferson had only four TD passes in 2010. Coach Les Miles believes Steve Kragthorpe, former head coach atLouisville, can right Jefferson quickly.

CB Tyrann Mathieu

He’s short (5-8) but not small and has a nose for the ball.

TE Deangelo Peterson

Unless a thinned-out receiving corps requires he go back to wide receiver, Peterson should be a security blanket underneath for Jefferson in an offense that relies on production from the tight end position.

WR Rueben Randle

At 6-4, 207, he’s a mismatch for most defensive backs. Five of his 42 career catches were TDs. Led the team with 525 receiving yards last season.

RB Spencer Ware

Introduced to the college football world by going over 100 yards on just 10 carries in the Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M. Now he steps in for Stevan Ridley, a surprise entry in the 2011 NFL Draft. Ware looked unstoppable in spring practice.

Mississippi

Returning Starters: 14, kicker, punter

Strengths: In theory, the Rebels should be more consistent on offense this year with the return of nine starters. Brandon Bolden is one of the most versatile running backs in the conference, rushing for 976 yards, catching 32 passes and accounting for 17 touchdowns last year. With all five offensive linemen back, Bolden figures to be a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011. Damien Jackson is the marquee name on defense after notching 68 tackles from his safety position a year ago.

Weaknesses: If Ole Miss is to bounce back from a bad season, new QB Nathan Stanley will have to be more than an adequate replacement for Jeremiah Masoli. While Masoli had a decent year after transferring from Oregon, his numbers translated to very little because the defense couldn’t stop a soul, even with two good run-stuffing tackles in Ted Laurant and Jerrell Powe. If a defense which returns only five starters can’t improve from poor to average, coach Houston Nutt’s fourth season in Oxford could be his last.

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TUOHY’S TRIUMPH:EXCLUSIVE!

Leigh Anne Tuohy shares her story with SheKnows in a deeply personal interview that gets to the heart behind the heart-filled Sandra Bullock instant classic, The Blind Side.

Tuohy famously took in a homeless teenager in Memphis, Tennessee who would find his calling and become a football superstar. What led this wife of an entrepreneur who owned over 80 fast food restaurants to spearhead an effort to make Michael Oher a home that could not have been further from where he grew up?

The Tuohy family in San Diego for gameday against the Chargers

How that path was paved is not completely told on screen in The Blind Side directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie). Tuohy sat with SheKnows at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills after a long day of interviews with the film’s cast. Stay tuned for our exclusive video interviews with stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw!

After sitting amongst the hugest stars in the film and music business, the playing field leveler was Leigh Anne Tuohy. Equal parts firecracker, strong Southern woman, inspiration, motherly to all (including yours truly!), pragmatic and one-hundred percent what made what The Guess Who so perfectly called the iconic American Woman.

Leigh Anne, husband Sean and their two children, Sean Jr (SJ) and Collins, did not simply adopt Michael Oher, the engulfed him in familial love that has changed lives exponentially. With The Blind Side’s arrival on November 20 in theaters everywhere, look for the inspiration to explode.

TUOHY TRIUMPH AND TRAVAILS

SheKnows: Hello Leigh Anne, it is such a pleasure to sit with you after witnessing your stirring story. I think the film is a strong statement for women. How do you think your story speaks to women?

Leigh Anne Tuohy: Southern women are strong natured anyway. It’s kind of a characteristic. Maybe, a characteristic flaw (laughs). I’m very strong willed. I think at this point in our society and in our country right now, everybody’s got to be strong willed. I think women have to wear a lot of different hats. Not only do you have to be the mother the nuturerer, but also the wife and the housekeeper and now, so many have to and want to have a career. So, you have to wear a lot of hats. I’m not a big women’s liberation person — not at all — but I do think right now, women have to contribute to all facets.

SheKnows: I wondered what you thought of hearing Sandra Bullock was going to play you?

Leigh Anne Tuohy: I was thrilled. There were names and names and names that were thrown out over a year-and-a-half. It’s all about timing. It was a rollercoaster. Finally, they said it was going to be Sandra Bullock. I thought, “yeah, I’m sure it’s going to be somebody else.” Three weeks later they called and said she signed on. I was pleasantly surprised. I fell in love with her. She did a great job.

SheKnows: For some, Virginia isn’t quite “the South,” any issues with a Washington, DC suburb of Arlington, Virginia-native tackling Tennessee?

Leigh Anne Tuohy: (Laughs) I think Virginia’s South!

Sandra Bullock makes her point in Warner Bros' The Blind Side

SheKnows: I’m sure Sandra does too. You had kindred spirits heading in to telling this story. One theme that arose for me from The Blind Side is how you did not really change Michael’s life, he changed yours. How can you quantify in a way that your life would be different without him in it?

A FAMILY FINDS ITSELF

Leigh Anne Tuohy: If Michael had not come into our lives it would have been extremely different. With all that being said, we have a different view of life now. We view everybody different than we did. We realized that there’s a need out there that we didn’t really know about. We were living in our own little cocoon. You tend to realize that there is a lot going on out there that you’re not aware of and it brought so much to light. Even relationship aspect-wise, it all brought us closer together. We had that common bond. We went through trenches that a lot of other families don’t go through.

Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw as Leigh Ann and Sean Tuohy

SheKnows: Indeed…

Leigh Anne Tuohy: We came out of this as a stronger family. I’m thankful. I also think that we are so much aware of all people now and feelings and their needs. You don’t know what the guy next to you has going on. He’s got mud on his shoes or a tattoo. We’re so quick to judge. We are so, so quick to judge. You don’t know the worth of that person or what they could contribute to society. We tend to put labels on people. There’s a lot of things that we’ve come through so much, I think, the better.

SheKnows: You’re talking people judging a book by the cover, I know they show in the film, when you first meet Michael where it’s cold and raining and he’s wearing shorts and a T-Shirt in November. What was that moment really like?

Leigh Anne Tuohy: John Lee (Hancock, director) took some liberties with that, but the scene really happened. It was the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the kids had just gotten out of school and we had been over my mom’s dicing nad getting ready to cook for Thanksgiving. We were coming back home and Michael was walking and he had on shorts and it was…it’s almost become an urban legend (laughs). It was a blizzard (laughs). It was chilly, it was like 40 degrees. I just commented that he looked like a fish out of water for an African-American kid to be where he was at that moment in our neighborhood. You just don’t see African-American kids walking around the neighborhood at 9:30 pm at night in shorts. I said, “who is that?” SJ (her son) said, that’s a new guy at our school. I thought, “what he’s doing out here?” SJ told me he plays basketball. But, school was closed. Sean (her husband) wondered if maybe he had gone to shoot some hoops. I said, “turn around the car.”

FATE BLIND-SIDED LEIGH ANN

SheKnows: You were compelled?

Leigh Anne Tuohy: It was obvious after we turned around and chatted a few minutes that he had no mission, no plan. We thought he was going to the gym because it was warm. Sean said that the gym is not open, let us take you home. He wouldn’t let us take him home, but he let us take him to a bus station about six or seven miles away. So, we drove him that night to the bus stop. Then, he went back home. Flash forward a couple weeks and that was the first time he spent the night on our coach. When I pulled over, it was a seed that was planted. I immediately knew after the conversation. I come to find out, none of that was really the truth. It snowballed. I went in on Monday after Thanksgiving and asked about Michael and who was this kid. Why doesn’t he have long pants on in November? Where does he live? Where are his parents? I didn’t get any of the answers I wanted yet. I just took it from there.

SheKnows: In the film, and also in real life, it seems that adopting Michael really happened naturally.

Leigh Anne Tuohy: It did. It really did.

SheKnows: There was a natural Michael coming into the family that felt effortless. When Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw and the kids are gathered around the table and ask Michael if he’d like to be part of the family, it felt truly as if that moment was incredibly organic.

Leigh Anne Tuohy: It was, there was never an agenda. There was never a moment. That was so authentic. It just happened. People find it so hard to believe. We have crazy lives. My husband has a very successful business and he tries to run 80-plus fast food stores, and yet he broadcast (play by play) for Memphis’ NBA team, I’m trying to get here yesterday, he could less, but he needs five suits out because they’re leaving for a week of road games. He needs his suits. That’s what was important right then. That’s how we operate. Whatever the need is at that moment, we take care of it. You throw in a daughter that is a level-nine gymnast and a state champion pole-vaulter and we drive two days a week to Arkansas because that’s where the Olympic guys are, and then you throw in Michael playing three sports and constantly needing everything to get through those sports and then you have Sean, Jr (laughs) who’s just along for the ride and always helping out. Our lives are always crazy. It was like, to Michael, if you want to jump in this frying pan, let’s go!

TIM MCGRAW AS HUSBAND

SheKnows: Lastly, your husband in the film is portrayed by Tim McGraw. Tell me your girlfriends in Memphis were not so excited for you!

Leigh Anne Tuohy: Isn’t that fun (laughs)?

Tim McGraw stars in The Blind Side

SheKnows: That has to be a blast.

Leigh Anne Tuohy: He did a good job as Sean. He’s cocky and a little arrogant. He’s a smart ass and I think Tim nailed all three of those beautifully. My husband’s personal assistant is a huge Tim McGraw fan, so she was in heaven getting to hang out with him. That was a big feather throughout this whole thing is getting to hang out with Tim McGraw.

The Blind Side Movie Trailer

Uploaded by  on Aug 24, 2009

This November, you’ll get a hard-hitting football movie featuring no less than Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates and Tim McGraw. It’s called The Blind Side, and it might be the Rudy of the new millenium.

When a high school student, operating under the perfect storm of being poor, wildly undereducated and badly out of shape, gets recruited by a major football program that grooms him into the exact opposite, his life will change forever. But will it change it for the better? Check out the trailer.

November is the perfect time of year for this kind of movie to hit because it so clearly wants to go for an Oscar run. But at the same time, it should prove accessible to anyone who watches it. Dust off your thesauruses–you’ll need synonyms for “heart-warming” because EVERYONE’S going to call it that. But do you want your heart warmed? Or does this one leave you cold? Hit the comments section and tell us what you think. Thanks for watching!

The Blind Side Cast: Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickens, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Rhoda Griffis, Ray McKinnon, Lily Collins

The Blind Side movie trailer courtesy 20th Century Fox. The Blind Side open in US theaters November 20th, 2009. The Blind Side is directed by John Lee Hancock

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