Five — or more — questions for SEC Media Days

first_imgNick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are looking to become the first team to win consecutive SEC titles since Tennessee did it in 1997 and 1998.Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are looking to become the first team to win consecutive SEC titles since Tennessee did it in 1997 and 1998.The greatest preseason college football spectacle is on the horizon.Next week, the SEC Media Days will once again descend upon Hoover for four days of talking football and fans missing work to see their favorite coach and player at the Wynfrey Hotel.A friendly FYI. When Auburn and Alabama show up, the lobby can get a little crowded.Media comes from near and far for media days. You never know what one will ask, but here are five questions — or more — that should be fired out to the SEC’s finest.Is the SEC national reign over?After the conference won seven consecutive national titles, its teams have come up short the last two seasons. Florida State ended the run by edging underdog Auburn in the last title game of the BCS era and Ohio State knocked out top-seeded Alabama in the semifinals of the first College Football Playoff.The Buckeyes are favorites to repeat as national champions. While the SEC may have as many as nine teams ranked in the AP preseason Top 25 with the Crimson Tide and Tigers near the top of that poll, TCU, Oregon, Baylor, USC, Michigan State, Clemson and Georgia Tech are viable playoff contenders, too.So does the SEC have one team that can battle through the toughest league from top to bottom, win the conference title game and two playoff games to win a national title?Can Alabama win back-to-back SEC crowns with a new starting quarterback?Blake Sims did alright in replacing AJ McCarron as he was the X-factor in Alabama’s SEC championship season. Having Biletnikoff Award-winner Amari Cooper certainly helped the cause, but Sims did his part in helping Alabama have a record-setting season under first-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.Florida State transfer Jacob Coker was expected to replace McCarron, but Sims won the job — and 12 games as a starter. Now entering his fifth and final year of college, Coker should start this season.The last team to win consecutive league titles was Tennessee in 1997 and 1998. The Volunteers replaced a senior — Peyton Manning — with Tee Martin and not only won the SEC again, but beat Florida State to capture a national championship. Can Coker duplicate what Martin did back in 1998?Is the SEC West overrated?It was considered the toughest division in college football, but bowl season proved otherwise.Only Arkansas and Texas A&M won their bowl games, but Texas and WVU finished with a combined 13-13 record. On the flipside, Ohio State stunned Alabama, TCU battered Ole Miss by 39 points and Georgia Tech ran for a ridiculous 452 yards in its 49-34 victory over Mississippi State.Auburn and LSU lost by three points each to Wisconsin and Notre Dame, respectively, but the SEC West came up short in a big way in the postseason.In retrospect, those teams built their resumes by beating each other. Mississippi State got props for winning at LSU and rocking Auburn at home. Mississippi had its biggest win against then-No. 1 Alabama at home. Then the Tide took down the top-ranked and unbeaten Bulldogs in November in Tuscaloosa.The SEC West has had a team in the national title game or now the College Football Playoff in each of the last six seasons, but not having a team in the playoff this season will only fuel the overrated talk.Is this Georgia’s year to win the SEC?The Bulldogs were five yards away from putting an end to Alabama’s back-to-back national title run. Had Georgia won the SEC title game, it would have roasted the Irish nearly as bad as Alabama did in Miami.Georgia finished 12-2 and appeared poised to win it all in 2013, but have lost eight games the last two years. However, the Bulldogs are once again favorites to reach the conference championship game mainly because of Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Chubb. Replacing an injured Todd Gurley, Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns last season as a freshman.Mark Richt is a good coach, but has Georgia played to its full potential under him? The numbers say the Bulldogs haven’t, but will that change this season?Are Arkansas and Tennessee for real?For teams that won just seven games last season, Tennessee and Arkansas are getting a bunch of preseason love. The Razorbacks are looking more and more like the smash mouth teams Bret Bielema built in Wisconsin and Tennessee has had consecutive top five recruiting classes under Butch Jones.Is that enough to seriously challenge the Alabamas, Auburns and Georgias of the SEC world? Don’t think so, but if Arkansas and Tennessee live up to expectations, they could very well be undefeated when they meet Oct. 3 in Knoxville. Wouldn’t that be something?Bonus questions. Is Jeremy Johnson the SEC’s best QB and is Steve Spurrier done at South Carolina?He’s only thrown for 828 yards in his two years at Auburn, but the 6-foot, 5-inch, 240-pound Johnson looks more like an NFL prospect than any other SEC starting quarterback. Plus he has the nation’s top receiver — D’haquille Williams — at his disposal and plays in one of the nation’s best offenses.Dak Prescott is probably the top returning starter because of how he took command at Mississippi State. He’s a dual threat and a leader. Maty Mauk is solid at Missouri, but neither he nor Prescott has the tools like Johnson. He lacks the experience, but Johnson has shown when given a chance, he can flat out ball.As for Spurrier, this just feels like an ideal time for him to bow out. This has nothing to do with his age, either. The 70-year-old coach knows he’s at a program that hasn’t had a history of winning championships, but the Gamecocks played way below his standards in going 7-6 last season.South Carolina gave up an average of 40 points in their six losses.Spurrier is under contract through the 2018 season. The contract calls for him to serve as a special assistant to the university president and athletic director when he’s done coaching. If South Carolina plays just .500 this season, that special assistant gig will begin to look more appealing to Spurrier.Go Mobile, Montgomery! Download our apps herelast_img read more

RVP hat trick fires United, Arsenal sink Liverpool

first_imgRickie Lambert had headed Southampton into the lead from Jason Puncheon’s 16th minute cross, but van Persie equalised seven minutes later with a fine strike after Nathaniel Clyne slipped while trying to reach Antonio Valencia’s cross.Southampton, who are bottom of the table after losing their first three matches back in the top-flight after a seven-year absence, regained the lead 10 minutes after half-time when midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin directed a diving header past United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.Van Persie won a penalty when Jos Hooiveld fouled him in the 69th minute, but Kelvin Davis saved the Dutchman’s chipped spot-kick.Determined to make amends for that blunder, van Persie bagged the 87th minute equaliser with a close-range finish before heading the winner from Nani’s corner in stoppage-time. Earlier on Sunday, Arsenal had ended their goal drought in emphatic fashion as Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla inspired an impressive 2-0 win at Liverpool.Arsene Wenger’s side had drawn a blank in their first two Premier League matches as they struggled to adapt to life without van Persie.But the Gunners, held to goalless draws by Sunderland and Stoke, were back on target at Anfield thanks to two of Wenger’s pre-season signings.Germany striker Podolski netted his first goal for the club in the first half to end Arsenal’s barren run of 211 scoreless minutes.Then Spanish midfielder Cazorla bagged his first Gunners goal in the second half with a low shot that Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina should have saved.That was more than enough to clinch Arsenal’s first win of the season and leave struggling Liverpool with just one point from their first three matches.After Liverpool missed out on long-term transfer target Clint Dempsey and failed to make any other signings on deadline day, this lacklustre display was a painful end to a dispiriting week for Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.“The sharpness gets better from game to game. Overall we looked solid,” Wenger said. “We missed opportunities on the counter-attack at the start of the game but we had a convincing team performance.”Rodgers added: “I am disappointed with the scoreline and the goals we conceded.“We have things to work on, needing to keep the ball better and Arsenal did that well in the final period.“Giving the ball away has nothing to do with the style of play. There is a long way to go.”In the day’s other game Aston Villa earned their first point under new boss Paul Lambert with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle.Villa had lost the first two matches of Lambert’s reign, but they took the lead at St James’s Park through Ciaran Clark’s 22nd minute header.French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa salvaged a draw for Newcastle with a brilliant strike in the 59th minute.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, England 3rd August – Robin van Persie hit a dramatic hat-trick as Manchester United fought back to win 3-2 at Southampton in Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1,000th league game in charge, while Arsenal piled on the misery for struggling Liverpool with a 2-0 victory at Anfield on Sunday.Van Persie looked like ruining Ferguson’s landmark celebrations when he missed a penalty with United trailing 2-1 midway through the second half at St Mary’s.But the Dutch forward showed why Ferguson splashed out £24 million to sign him from Arsenal last month with two clinical finishes in the final three minutes to snatch the points from Southampton’s grasp.last_img read more

Changes Coming to Third-Party Stroller/Mobility Aid Rentals

first_imgShare This!Okay, readers — want the good news or the bad news first?The good news is that you still can have strollers and mobility aids (such as wheelchairs and ECVs) brought to your resort by a third-party vendor of your choice.The bad news is that it will be less convenient to do so, thanks to some new rules going into effect on October 1, 2019.As being reported by several local vendors, Disney has now changed their policy such that third-party vendors for items like strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs can no longer be dropped off at bell services prior to your arrival, and they cannot be left by you at bell services to be picked up by the vendor at the end of your trip.What this means is that you’ll need to contact your third-party vendor to arrange for a time to personally accept delivery and pickup of your item.As of right now (3 PM on Friday, September 27), third-party grocery vendors are stating that they have asked if this impacts their deliveries and have been told that it does not — that grocery orders will still be accepted at bell services. That said, this is certainly an ever-evolving situation. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open to let you know of any additional changes to Disney’s policies.Update: 5:00 PM, 9/27/19Some companies have issued statements with different information, so if you have a rental coming up, the best thing to do is contact the company.From Kingdom Strollers:Disney has changed their policy for service providers starting October 1st. All orders PLACED after October 1st will need to meet with a representative for the delivery and return pick up of their rented item.Orders placed before October 1st will still be allowed to be delivered and picked up through the resorts luggage desks.So any order for Oct, Nov, Dec, etc that was placed before Oct 1st will continue to go through the luggage desks. Any future orders placed after Oct 1st will need to meet with us for delivery and pick up.From Orlando Stroller Rental:Walt Disney World has changed their policy for their stroller rental vendors. If you placed your reservation prior to November 2nd for travel before OR after November 2nd, your stroller will be waiting for you in your Walt Disney World Resort’s luggage room. You may also return your stroller to the luggage room on your last day without meeting us. No change is needed.Starting in October, we are very excited to say that our customers will be able to pick up and return their strollers to and from the Orlando International Airport. The pick up and return counter will be on level B1 of the airport which is the same level as Disney’s Magical Express. Therefore, customers will have a few options where we can best meet their stroller needs. They will be able to choose:•Orlando International Airport (MCO) more details soon•Orlando Stroller Rentals store, located at 3232 Rolling Oaks Blvd in Kissimmee just minutes away from Animal Kingdom•Delivery to and pick up from your Walt Disney World Resort’s luggage room. (Then starting November 2 any new orders placed for future travel will need to be a meet and greet at your hotel if you do not select one of the first two options) From Buena Vista Scooter and Stroller Rentals:As many of you may have heard, through the rumor mill, there have been some developments, over the past few days, regarding the “preferred provider” program @ Walt Disney world.We can confirm that the rumors are in fact correct.Disney HAS eliminated the preferred provider program, which means Buena Vista will eventually be converting to a “meet and Greet” operation.However, ALL reservations that are placed prior to October 1st will be grandfathered in and will not be effected by these changes. If you are in need of a rental and DO NOT want to be affected, it is very important that you book before 10/1, regardless of when your rental is set to begin.last_img read more

Growing Sports Foundation Trust

first_imgOur organisation trains unemployed people passionate about sports to teach sport. We then give opportunity to Volunteer / become paid coaches in our Community Sports Programmes.We need financial assistance to pay our Volunteers/Coaches some form of remuneration – and need for Volunteers to come forward and be trained as sports coaches.Contact person: Michelle WhiteheadTelephone: 083 274 8682Address: 17 Breda Street, Gardens,Cape Town, 8001E-mail: [email protected]last_img

Callejon to join Hamsik in China?

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: Napoli forward Jose Callejon could reunite with Marek Hamsik and Rafa Benitez at Chinese club Dalian Yifang in January, it is claimed. The Spaniard has been a virtual ever-present at the San Paolo since his move to Napoli from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013. However, his contract expires at the end of the season and President Aurelio De Laurentiis has already made it clear that he will not match the winger’s salary demands.  Now, Il Mattino reports the 32-year-old might follow in Hamsik’s footsteps and join Dalian this winter – providing they come up with a similar bid. If no deal is agreed in January, Callejon could still be on his way once the season concludes in May. Dalian are also managed by Benitez, who was in charge of Napoli between 2013 and 2015.last_img read more

Small Business Website: Are You Spending Too Much On Yours?

first_img Spending like a “big” company:  This often occurs when small business owners How much you should spend on your website is important, but it’s also important to decide Are you content with a static, brochure-ware site are you looking to do more? you should spend it (i.e. on what attributes). for?   As you might guess, I’m not a fan of either extreme. potential clients will be more likely to select you?  What features can you add to your website that will increase the service you can give your existing clients – and hence increase your retention?  Do you need a blog?  How about an email newsletter subscription service?  Chances are, any combination of these things is best where more likely to help you improve and grow your business than a website designed as if you were in the fashion industry (nothing against the fashion industry, they just value different things). Are you looking to impress existing clients, potential new clients or friends and family? When talking to many of my friends and colleagues that are running small businesses, the issue of website design investment often comes up (this is particularly true for new businesses that are just getting started). Originally published Sep 25, 2006 2:23:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 used to spend it is equally important.  Will it make you money? ?  I think the answer is:  it depends on your clients and your business.  The wrong answer is to spend most of this money on a flashy design that’s going to win the web designer local recognition and “street cred” (i.e. they build their portfolio).  Chances are, your clients and prospective clients are not going to be impressed with the snazziness of the website.  That cool Flash intro video that took up half the design budget will likely not help your business a whole lot.  Instead, you will likely be better off investing in the message (vs. the medium).  What can you convey on your website that will make it more likely that the Here are questions I’d ask yourself when trying to make a decision: how do you allocate this money  Are you doing commerce on the web or otherwise making direct sales?  (If so, it will dramatically impact what you should spend and where). Deciding how much you should spend on your website is important.  Deciding to work for a big company and have big company contacts.  Another contributing factor to this is that small businesses that are trying to “look” big by investing big dollars in website design. Do you care if the local design firm is not going to put your website in their portfolio? how Who is the website much not In my experience, too many small business owners either spend too little on their website (and hence miss an important opportunity to leverage the Internet) or they spend too much in the wrong places.  In a future article, I’ll look more deeply at some of the tactical aspects of what to do (and not to do) when creating a small business website. Who is the website for?   Here are the two ends of the spectrum: What functionality is appropriate?  Spending almost nothing:  This is where you get a friend or family member that is an “expert” on website creation (here, expert is often described as someone that knows more than you do). Here’s an example:  Lets say you are the partner in a small professional services firm (consulting, legal, etc.).  Lets also say that you decide to allocate $2,000 on getting a “professional” website up.  You want to convey the right image and be on equal footing with the “big firms”.  In fact, you may have even worked for one of these big firms earlier in your career and decided to go independent.  Now, I’m not going to argue that $2,000 is too much to spend (we’ll assume that this is the “right” amount for discussion purposes).  The important thing is Important point:  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

SEO: 301 Redirects Don’t Pass Existing Social Shares

first_imgWhenever you consider a Passes Social Shares?   Google+  value of social sharing For the other sites besides Twitter, none of the social sharing factors carried over at all and we didn’t notice this same phenomenon with them. Sharing addresses on the Performable blog or other parts of their site didn’t impact the sharing totals for HubSpot at all. It looks like Facebook and Google+ aren’t counting the redirects and final URLs in the same way that Twitter does as a result, or the results would have matched theirs. In summary: , particularly factors that show up in search engines or other formats, like the number of tweets or Likes a page has gotten. That led us to the weekend, and I checked the statistics on Monday. Something interesting had happened over the weekend though: As people occasionally tweeted the old URLs from the now-redirected, those tweets counted towards the total tweets for the relevant page on Topics: It’s also worth mentioning that while Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn don’t read the redirect when deciding where to send people, they also often don’t properly realize that they are being redirected as part of the new URL. For example, if you try to share today on Google+, you end up with a very strange looking preview with the Performable logo and a page on, as below: Reads Redirects? After we did all the redirect work on Thursday afternoon, we checked right afterwards for the social sharing stats for each of the pages for Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that any of the shares passed through to the new pages. All of the new pages on the HubSpot domain showed having no social shares at all, and the old pages still showed their old data. Don’t let something like this stop you from making important changes to your website or re-architecting how things are laid out, but if you need help we have a Putting a redirect on an old page and then pointing it to a new one didn’t move those shares through. This was somewhat a surprise to us – Since anyone who clicked on that old share or tweet still came through to the new site, we had hoped the share might come through too. Originally published Aug 10, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016  Twitter  One of the factors that can be easily overlooked on this front is the website redesign or changing the layout of your website, there are a number of extremely important questions that you should ask yourself. For example, you should think carefully about where you are going to move your key resources or pages, what impact the shift might have on them, and how to make sure that you’re easily able to get found. No  LinkedIn last_img read more

7 Ways to Optimize Content for Social Sharing

first_img Social Media Engagement Originally published Sep 14, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media can be a very valuable tool for promoting content. While it’s a good idea to make sure you’re spreading it to your direct network of fans and followers on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, the true value that social media provides is its ability to spread content beyond your direct network of social media connections. By making it easy for others to share your content to their personal networks as well, you’ll be significantly extending the reach of your content.So what can you do to help move this process along? While you can’t directly influence whether someone decides to share your content, there are several things you can do to indirectly encourage and make it simple for them. Here are some great tips…How to Make Your Content More Social Media Share-Friendly1. Magnetize your article titles. By “magnetize,” we mean it’s important to make the article titles and headlines of the content you share in social media really stand out and pull people into your content. Boring titles be gone! Be sure the headlines you use are eye-catching, interesting, and clearly indicate what the content will be about.2. Keep your article titles brief. Certain social media sites — like Twitter — limit the number of characters that can be used in a post or update. When people share an article, they often like to include some of their own commentary with it. Keep in mind that the post will also need to leave room for a shortened URL to the content itself. Don’t take up that precious social media real estate with a long title. Keep it brief so your sharers can add some of their own insight, too.3. Add enticing meta descriptions. When you share a post on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, they automatically pull in a description of the post. Most sites generate this description from the URL’s meta description. While meta descriptions no longer mean very much for search engine optimization, they are very helpful for social media optimization. Be sure each blog post, web page, and landing page you create includes an enticing meta description to motivate social media users to check out your content.4. Add an attention-grabbing image. Similarly, when posting content to social media sites, most sites will also pull in an image to show. Make sure your social media shares are more visually pleasing by making it a habit to add photos and images to all your content.5. Include hashtags or Twitter usernames in titles (when appropriate). Sometimes you want to give your content some extra visibility. Maybe it’s an important news announcement or your talking about a particular person or event. When appropriate, consider including the event’s hashtag or the person’s @username directly within the title. Then when people share your content, it will automatically show up in the hashtag’s stream or the @username’s mentions, which will give it added visibility and encourage even more sharing.6. Add social sharing buttons. According to a recent study from BrightEdge Technologies, websites that include social sharing buttons generate 7x more mentions than those that don’t. Adding social sharing buttons for sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ is a great way to encourage your site visitors to share your content in social media, so add these buttons to every landing page, web page, blog article, and other piece of content you create. Don’t miss out on this juicy piece of low-hanging fruit.7. Make sure your content is high in quality. At the very least, the content you’re hoping will spread in social media needs to be good. You can try every one of the tricks we just mentioned, but if your content is no good at its very core, none of it is going to matter. Focus most of your energy on creating high quality content, and usually, the shares will follow.What other tips would you suggest to make your content social media share-friendly?Image Credit: carlos_mayalast_img read more