AU's Chizik on final day of Media Days - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AU's Chizik on final day of Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Auburn coach Gene Chizik said the quarterback battle is wide open going into preseason camp.

He said the advantage goes to the guys who have had practice repetitions in Gus Malzahn's offense during the spring. That likely means juniors Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle, who emerged ahead of redshirt freshman Barrett Trotter.

Trotter then tore a knee ligament in practice.

Chizik said the status of Trotter - along with other injured players Mike McNeil and Aairon Savage - is still uncertain. He also shed little light on receiver Tim Hawthorne, who hurt an ankle during the summer.

Chizik said receiver Montez Billings will definitely play in the fall, but that they are still working out some issues. Billings missed the spring due to academics, though he graduated in May.

Spurrier: SC staff omitted Tebow from ballot

Steve Spurrier cleared up the biggest mystery swirling around the Southeastern Conference when he said it was South Carolina that left Tim Tebow off the preseason all-SEC ballot.

The Gamecocks coach said Friday at the SEC's media days that the director of football operations filled out the ballot in his stead and voted for Mississippi's Jevan Snead.

The other coaches picked Tebow, Florida's do-everything quarterback and the Heisman Trophy winner two years ago.

Spurrier said he was embarrassed about it and has already apologized to Tebow. He said the SEC has let him amend the ballot to add Tebow.

The former Gators coach, who called Tebow the best football player in the country, said he has never filled out a preseason All-SEC ballot himself.

Miles expects improved LSU team

LSU head coach Les Miles thinks new coordinator John Chavis will have a big impact on the defense. He expects the offense to improve with quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson both having some more experience.

In other words, Miles is expecting much better results than last season's 3-5 Southeastern Conference record.

Miles said Jefferson would start at quarterback if LSU played today.

He liked how his team has prepared in the preseason.

Miles said the program is measured by championships and last season's falloff was "not any fun."

Kiffin: Vols got attention from brash approach

Tennessee's Lane Kiffin figures it was mission accomplished.

The Volunteers' new coach said Friday at Southeastern Conference media days that he figured he had to do something to get attention to his program, even if he didn't always love doing it. Kiffin's outspoken style has drawn plenty of attention and recruits leading up to his first season.

It helped bring a strong recruiting class to campus led by top tailback prospect Bryce Brown even if it rankled some rival coaches and schools.

Kiffin noted a Sports Illustrated article that called Tennessee the most talked-about program in the country in recent months.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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