Will Brown signing change landscape of recruiting?



In the two months that I was away I had a chance to do some traveling and talk to a lot of college football people.  It proved to me once again something that you already know: College football is now a year-round sport. Here are just five questions/topics that were on the minds of the people who run college football:


1. Is the Bryce Brown recruiting saga the sign of a trend? Should/will college football do anything about it? Mr. Brown, a running back from Wichita, was rated as the No. 1 recruit in many circles. The fact that he waited a month after signing day and had an “advisor” raised a lot of red flags. Brown announced yesterday that he was signing with Tennessee. Good for the Vols. The NCAA is investigating the relationship between Brown and his “advisor.” I doubt they will find anything.

But the concern I’m hearing is that these “advisors” will take on the role of agents, not unlike some AAU coaches have become power brokers in the basketball recruiting process. And if you talk to any college basketball coach who will tell you the truth, that is a complete mess.

Andy Staples of SI.com had it right. The football coaches need to get a handle on this thing and drop their resistance to an early signing period.

It would also help if the fans and the media weren’t so obsessive about recruiting. But I don’t hold out a lot of hope for that.


2. Are coaches going to start dropping out of the USA Today poll? Mack Brown of Texas told me he is thinking about it. Obviously, Brown feels like team got a raw deal last season when the BCS standings were used to break the three-way tie among Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech in the Big 12 South. Even though Texas had beaten Oklahoma head to head, the BCS Standings gave the Sooners a slight edge and OU went to the Big 12 championship game and on to the BCS championship game. Oklahoma’s loss to Florida further convinced Texas they should have been in the big game.

In the offseason, Brown brought in several of the people who work on the BCS standings and tried to get some clarification about how it works. He brought in one of the computer poll gurus used in the formula and the staff grilled him for 90 minutes. “We were more confused after we finished than when we started,” Brown said.

Brown is thinking about withdrawing from the coaches’ poll for this fall. “Do you want to remove yourself from a system you do not believe is working, or do you want to stay in it and try to improve it?” Brown said. “You are torn over what is the right thing to do for your team.”


3. Will the Mountain West request get any traction? The Mountain West believes that, given its track record, it is as good as some of the six conferences that get automatic bids to the BCS and thus deserves an automatic bid as well. That is probably true. It is also irrelevant.

 Craig Thompson, the MWC commish, was in Washington, D.C. recently briefing some congressmen who have expressed interest in changing the BCS system. The word I get is that Thompson was nudged into the effort by his presidents, who hope to use some political leverage to get a bigger slice of the BCS financial pie. Also understand that this effort is not about this season and any season in the near future. Everything you hear about the BCS right now is about 2013. That’s when the current contract between the BCS conferences and ESPN will end. Everybody is positioning themselves now for that set of negotiations, which will begin around 2011.

What does this all mean? I’ll say this again even though I know it makes a lot of you furious: There cannot/will not be any kind of a playoff in college football until 2014.


4. Speaking of the BCS: Will FOX Sports televise the final year of its contract? Remember that back in 2007 FOX jumped into the BCS sweepstakes and took it away from ABC by paying $80 million a year. When the contract came up for bid last year, ESPN outbid FOX by putting up $125 million a year for 2010-13. FOX has one more season, 2009, on its current deal to televise the BCS games. But there are some rumblings that FOX could sell those 2009 rights to ESPN if the Worldwide Leader made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.  Because the BCS championship game is being hosted by the Rose Bowl this season, it will be on ABC, of which ESPN is a part.  Stay tuned on this one.


5. Which free agent coach is likely to be working again in 2010? There are a number of them out there who will be sitting out this season and waiting for a call after the next wave of firings. My money is on Tommy Tuberville. The 2008 season was a disaster at Auburn but, as the NCAA basketball committee would say, if you look at the body of work over 10 years, which included a run of six straight wins over Alabama, he must have done something right. Tuberville told me the other day that he may do some studio work for ESPN this fall which will allow him to spend most Friday nights at home in Auburn. “I want to be here to watch my boys play ball,” he said.

Phillip Fulmer has told me that he might get back in if there is an opportunity at a place where there are the resources to win a conference championship.


72 comments Add your comment


March 17th, 2009
9:19 am

I would dearly love to see ESPN/ABC take the Fox BCS broadcast. The coverage is borderline tragic using analysts normally associated with the pro game. I’m assuming that no matter who has it the current format of four games spread out over seven/eight days would never change?


March 17th, 2009
9:21 am

Glad to have you back, Tony.

Knoxville will get what they deserve with this kid, Bryce Brown and his “advisor”. Georgia will have far better results with Marlon Brown and his God fearing Grandmother.

I hope Tubberville and Fulmer both find suitable programs, just not in the SEC. Those 2 can coach. West Opelika and Knoxville didn’t deserve them.

As for Fox, I have not liked the way they televised the BCS games that past few years. ABC/ESPN do a much better job.

If the Mountain West wants an automatic Bid, give them the Big 10’s. Seriously, they are not that strong top to bottom. They have gotten teams in when they had teams worthy of getting in. So, as much as I hate to say it, the system has worked for them. It just doesn’t work for the fans or the players that deserve a legitimate champion.


March 17th, 2009
9:38 am

31-0 at the half?!!!

Valdosta-Mike – I like your idea of giving the B10’s automatic bid to the MTN WEST – very clever.

However, I would like to do away with any and all automatic bids – and give them to the top 10 ranked teams – regardless of conference affiliation.

If you have three Big 12 teams in the top 10 – than all three should play in the BCS.

At any rate, I seriously doubt UGA fans will have to worry about the BCS for years to come. Your program peaked – and Lane Kiffin just might get his first signiture win this fall in Knoxville against a certain mentally and physically soft team . . that wears red and black. If not this year – Tennessee will pass UGA in 2010.



March 17th, 2009
9:43 am

I clicked on AJC “sports” this morning expecting to see a headline “Vols sign nations top prospect” but not a sign of it until I saw this col. One would think, with Atlanta having Vols top Big Orange club outside of Knoxville, there would be at least a hint of the news.

Yeah ValMikey, Brown will give someone “trouble” allright, probably the bulldogs defense! Sore loser!!!


March 17th, 2009
9:52 am

Interesting you say that, Bama Stan. Apparently the idiot senior writers at ESPN disagree with you. Just read an article that lists the top 10 programs that have the best chance to win a National Championship in the next 5 years. Your Tide is #1. My dawgs are #4. We’re far from peaking.



March 17th, 2009
9:54 am

My understanding that Tuberville was essentially run off by Bob Lowder, the defacto president of Auburn. Lowder’s banking empire has crashed, and he will probably not have the money and influence to be dictating Auburn’s academic and athletic policy in the future. Tuberville is a good coach and decent person. I hope that he finds continued success elsewhere. In spite of throwing large amounts of money around, Lowder has been a negative influence on Auburn for over 30 years.

Les W. More

March 17th, 2009
9:58 am

Mutt fans have been whining for weeks about the coverage given the Tennessee Volunteers. They seem to think the ajc.com is just a local rag. Not so. The entire SEC reads the ajc.com (the photos are for Bama fans).

UGA has NFL talent at every position. Quit whining.


March 17th, 2009
9:58 am

Bulldawgs have a good ball club that wants to win!

Atlanta Jackets

March 17th, 2009
10:02 am

Welcome back Tony Toni Toney! LOL!

My sources tell me that if the Tech D struggles this year Tuberville may take the DC position. That would be a smart move to resurrect his career. You can always use a national championship run to thrust you back into the spotlight.

The Robot is running!

Right On Time

March 17th, 2009
10:20 am

If Brown runs for 1500 yards a year, nobody will care how he got there.

Tubbs will be coaching again in 2010. However, I can’t imagine Fulmer in anything but that orange. If he went to KState or Washington we could call him the Great Grape, Grape Ape, etc.

Pleas, Please, PLEASE let Fox drop the BCS. They detract from the most exciting time of the year. You gotta think Herbie will be doing the Rose Bowl this year.

More than even the Fox BCS crew, I wish that bammastan kid would just go away. I don’t mind the 31-0 at the half, it’s the other stuff that is “nails on a chalk board”. He is like the captain of the chess team, math team and physics club sharing insights on the art of picking up women. Not trying to be rude, just the impression I get.


March 17th, 2009
10:21 am

Getting Mr Brown to play for the vols is a feather in the cap of Lane Kiffin, but we will see if the NCAA
will do anything about it! Probably nothing but they will make Bama bend over and kiss their ring and
say I WILL NOT CHEAT,I WILL NOT CHEAT AGAIN!! I hope ESPN get’s the 2010 national title game,FOX is terrible with college football and great with pro football and nascar!! ROLL TIDE GO BAMA!!


March 17th, 2009
10:26 am

Tony I seem to remember that the “big 12″ itself
voted to have any ties for conference champ decided
by BCS standings so Texas complaints should be to
big 12 not to BCS (if my memory is correct). Welcome
back. (


March 17th, 2009
10:29 am

Always great to hear from bamastan. 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.


March 17th, 2009
10:29 am

The BCS does need to be addressed, but congress needs to spend more time correcting their errors in judgement and corruption of both parties that have led to the loss of Americans jobs, plunging retirement accounts, high cost of medical treatment and drugs, etc. rather than worry about the BCS.


March 17th, 2009
10:35 am

Mack should stop crying. OU lost a close game to Texas and Stoops probably should not have gone for that 4th down. The only blowout in the 3 way tie was OU over Tx Tech. OU wins the tie breaker on BCS ranking. But if OU played in the SEC then Texas goes unless Texas Tech stayed close enough to force a BCS tie breaker and thus punishing a better team for clearly winning. The SEC should adopt the Big 12 system.


March 17th, 2009
10:42 am

I am not sure Dawg Fans are begrudging the coverage other teams get, but wanting to hear more about ours too. I for one am glad my coach makes news for starting All Pro dads in college and adopting special needs children versus ripping his shirt off in front of adolescent boys. I also think Alabama has a pretty good team and have no idea why their fans are so insecure about it. Oh wait, nevermind. Utah. Got it.

I do think Fox bungled the coverage, but football coverage in general has been pretty bad recently. Like Collinsworth the “analyst” giving his opinions versus analysis. I for one don’t need the canned storylines and excitement.

We all realize the system needs to be changed and good for the Mountain West. Coaches need to stop participating-they already state they can’t do it well because of the other time commitments. Also not sure how much of a stretch it is to say too very good winning coaches may coach in 2010.


March 17th, 2009
10:44 am


March 17th, 2009
10:58 am

The complete IDIOCY of college football is not having a playoff system. Eventually, there will be a playoff, and everyone will look back at the BCS as the dumbest idea in history. Having the BCS, which is supported by idiot writers like Tony Barnyard, is like having Chan Gailey as a coach…permanently. GET RID OF THE BCS. Establish a 16-team playoff and let college football take its rightful place as the greatesst sport ever. You see what getting rid of Chan Gailey did for Tech.


March 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Bama Stans predictions are funny-I think he is 0 for a 100-UGA is stockpiling great players at a alarming rate.The most important thing is coaching staff also in tact and looks like it will remain that way.Tennesee heading for probation soon worse than Alabama of 2002-so again Alabama Stan is wrong again Tennesee will not pass UGA.Florida is a problem and have only beaten them twice lately but not many teams have beat them either.Gators just happen to be in our side of the division.UGA could be a top 5 team and not even when our side of the division.The last prediction Bama Stan made was a Tide victory in the sugar bowl last year and we all know how that turned out.If that was my teams last game of the season a smart person would lay low and hope time heals and people forget.That was the most embarrasing bowl game for people of the south.Thanks Bama Stan for embarrasing the SEC.


March 17th, 2009
11:32 am

BamaStan, Tide looked really good against Utah. real impressive, sure made SEC look good didn’t they?


March 17th, 2009
11:34 am

Bama stan,

You embarrass other Bama fans I know every time you write something on here. You really need to go another route.

Facts are that Richt knows he underachieved and the expectations were too high. Facts are that he has won over 80 games in 8 years and 2 SEC titles. Facts are that you are not enough of an expert to dispute anything he has done.

The facts are also that Bama embarrassed themselves and the SEC by losing to Utah. You have now opened the floodgates where the smaller conferences want a piece of the big pie. Congratulations.

Leave it up to the winners like UGA to take care of the small-time schools like 56-14 vs Boise State in 2005.


March 17th, 2009
11:38 am

DawgGirl32, make sure you notice that ESPN specifically excluded all schools that had won a National Championship in the past decade (or two, as the case may be…). They weren’t saying Georgia had the 4th best chance to win a championship, just that it had the 4th best chance to move up to the elite group that is already winning championships.

Go Gators!


March 17th, 2009
11:41 am

How many years probation do you think the signing of this kid will eventually cost Tennessee?


March 17th, 2009
11:42 am

The Sugar bowl is no way indicative of how good Alabama is. They had too many distractions and overlooked a VERY good Utah team.


March 17th, 2009
11:42 am

Is Bama Stan an Alabama fan or a TN fan posing as one? Either way, he’s not the brightest tool in the shed. People have been predicting UGA’s demise ever since 2002. First, Mark Richt was another Brad Scott. Then 2002 was a fluke. Then 2003 was supposed to be the end with all those injuries. then 2004 was surely the end with the Davids leaving. 2005 and a 2nd SEC title was just a product of a weak schedule. 2006 was supposedly a “bust” even though UGA was the only team to defeat 3 ranked teams in a row all year long to close the season. 2007 was luck and hype because of the blackout. And 2008 was supposed to be a monumental failure, though UGA finished 13th in an injury plagued year, and 10th in the Coaches’ poll. So Bama Stan, what’s it going to be this year?


March 17th, 2009
12:01 pm

Do you think BamaStan and Roswell Ed are brothers? That is a insult to BamaStan, but really
Stan lay off the dawg fans because I am fan of the crimson tide and dawgs also and 31-0 was
funny in the beginning, but it is getting old buddy!! GO BAMA ROLL TIDE

Knoxville Dawg

March 17th, 2009
12:04 pm

It is being reported in Knoxville that Georgia’s football program had 17 minor infractions. Is this true??


March 17th, 2009
12:06 pm

Tony there are no virgins pole dancing at the stripe joint, and any 18 year old kid having to deal with a Saban or most of these high paid college coaches need a couple of advisors. Wall Street looks like choirboys compared to these pirates, but very much like Wall Street and sausage we might not like the way it is made but we like the product. Reporters tickle me, the success of college football depends on these back alley deal makers and the success of the reporter depends on the success of the sport, it is how the sport evolved, yet like total gentleman at a dog fight they act above it all. I think the sooner we cut the crap about this being for the good of the kid or the school and tell it like it is a Las Vegas type operation, so take the gloves off, the better the sport is going to be. The public either accepts the transparency or makes changes to the game like putting these coaches back in the money bracket their character indicates they belong. Dick Vital does the same in basketball. He makes bums like Knight look like saints. These guys would kill their grandmothers for a win and think this whole thing is about them. Most of these head coaches couldn’t even play the game themselves which explains the mental illness of winning at all cost. I think that is the source of the hate many have in Spurrier, he did play at a level he is asking his players to play and he points out the fraud of other participates that have hoodwinked the public. I think it makes the reporters be more honest, takes the control out of their hands to be the critic and makes the expert the actual doctor and not the nurse. Has there ever been a reporter that has ever become a coach that is going to be next. What’s the difference between a bench warmer and a reporter both are in the same observation post?


March 17th, 2009
12:20 pm

I love how contracts between teams, coaches and players can be tossed out the window in the blink of an eye, yet the BCS contract is more solid than The Great Wall of China.


March 17th, 2009
12:44 pm

I’m so sick of the 4-letter. Go to hell ESPN

Tony Barnhart

March 17th, 2009
12:49 pm

To Longtime SEC fan:

Mack Brown has two issues he is dealing with. The Big 12 did indeed make its own rule about using the BCS to break three-way ties. The SEC, however, has an additional clause that if two of the three times are ranked close to together (like 2 and 3) and the other is a distant third (like 9), the head to head matchup becomes the final tiebreaker. Had the SEC’s rule be in effect, Texas would have gone to the Big 12 championship game. So Oklahoma got in fair and square based on the rules. But don’t be surprised if the rule changes in the Big 12 and they adopt the SEC model.

The other issue Brown has is simply with the numbers crunching and how his team could finish behind Oklahoma with the same record, a head to head win, and a loss on the road (to Texas Tech) with one second left. The answer is that Oklahoma’s non-conference schedule included TCU and Cincinnati, which were No. 11 and No. 13 in the BCS standings of Nov. 30, which decided the queston.


March 17th, 2009
1:16 pm

As I understand the Mac Brown’s issues last season, his objections need to be focused on the *Big 12’s* rules using the BCS to resolve an intra-divisional tie, not the BCS itself.

Ole Dawg

March 17th, 2009
1:28 pm

Hey “Bama Stain” ….. Talk about a soft football team.. where was your team during its bowl game this year. Bama’s going down in 09′ and you’ll be crying and pointing fingers at everybody….with no proven quarterback and running back, loss of key players in both lines, two coaches leaving,plus rumor has it that Jolio Jones is flunking out, I see Bama losing at least 4 games….you’ll be looking up at LSU and Ole Miss……and wishing you had as much talent stocked up as Georgia does. Go back to your trailer….

Atlanta Jackets

March 17th, 2009
1:31 pm

Meanwhile, Coach Curry is quietly building a powerhouse in downtown. No one talks about it but its coming. One day soon, Georgia State will start stealing recruits from the mutts (not Tech as we recruit a higher level of student). No one wants to admit it!


March 17th, 2009
1:55 pm

I wonder how much longer Dog fans will put up with underperforming CMR. SEC championships are great but last year was to be the year, and it was a flop. The big MO is shifting north.


March 17th, 2009
2:09 pm

Mark, UGA fans were excited and hopeful. But as a long time fan the schedule, green OL, and injuries did not setup for a title run. In a playoff I would take the ‘07 team to win it all. I didn’t expect UGA to finish #1 last year and know many fans the feel the same way. IMO the team UGA is fielding this year has a better chance.


March 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

When has Curry ever built a powerhouse?


March 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

Give Bama Stan a break. Georgia beat Alabama something like 4 times in a row before last season. We ripped their hearts out in Tuscaloosa in OT two years ago. Also broke their hearts with a late field goal in ‘02. We’ve had a much better decade so far. You know all of that stuck in Bama Stan’s craw. So now he’s getting a little revenge. Let him. After all, they did have us down 31-0 at half – if our team isn’t going to show up for a game (sort of like Bama not showing up for Utah), can’t blame another team’s fans for giving us grief about it.
Besides, next time Georgia beats Bama, guess who will disappear from this board?


March 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

Mark – Interesting comment about Clemson. I have VaTech penciled in as ACC Champs.

Exley DAWG

March 17th, 2009
2:13 pm

Your the best Tony.

My only comment to your article is that I hope politicians do not attempt to get involved in the BCS. This includes Obama.
Stay out of sports! Its the fans game and you people need to pay your taxes like me and stop being so corrupt.


March 17th, 2009
2:25 pm

Otto, I think the University of Tennessee’s 07 team would disagree with you.


March 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

I beleive Tuberville will end up back in Miami after Shannon doesn’t meet the expectations of having two good recruiting classes.


March 17th, 2009
2:34 pm

Gatorzone I’m sure they would. You can’t deny UGA would be hot going into a playoff if they had one as many people want. I have no complaints and would cast a vote to keep the BCS system the same even with that thought.


March 17th, 2009
2:35 pm

The preseason #1 was largely off the ‘07 finish not what people knowing the school expected.

Atlanta Jackets

March 17th, 2009
2:44 pm

Hey Mutts, the Robot just scored AGAIN! LOL!

On a serious note, I think that the recruitment of Bryce Brown is insane. The kid delayed signing just so he could miss spring practices. Like the vet that holds out in training camp because he doesn’t want to join 2 a days (a great MTV show!). Bryce held out to avoid getting sweaty. Pathetic.


March 17th, 2009
2:48 pm

All you mutts getting on Bama Stan are sore losers. You gomers don’t even know where Utah is. Did ya’ll blackout or something.


March 17th, 2009
2:55 pm

Tony, you know those rap artist/advisers will be the new thing for college football. Too bad Jabari Davis didn’t have one to guide his career. I have always said that you can’t complain about polls, rankings etc if you lose a game. So shut up Mack. It was your conference rules that dictated the stay home. Mack, really just shut up.
Just give the Mtn West Notre Dame’s spot in the BCS they never use it anymore. Just keep congress out of the BCS. There are enougn bozos involved. Besides congress is busy giving money away to worthless causes, AIG. I could start a TV station tomorrow and do a better job of hosting the BCS than FoxSports. I almost had to turn the TV off during those games. The announcing was horrendous. Everybody keeps saying that Tuberville needs to resurrect his career. He was a very good coach when Lowder fired him. He still is and will end up probably at an ACC school.


March 17th, 2009
2:59 pm

Zoo, good post. I concur on the Mack Brown situation. They Barely beat Ohio State. Auburn will be sorry for letting Tubbs go.


March 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

Regarding the coaches, I wonder if Tuberville won’t end up at Texas A&M if Mike Sherman has another disastrous season? I also wonder if Tuberville still has the fire in his belly? It sure looked like the game had left him behind the last couple of years at Auburn. Same with Fulmer. Did these gentlemen lose their appetite for recruiting?

With regard to UGA, Coach Richt is a lucky man this off-season. Under normal conditions, fans would be roasting him and his staff for last year’s disappointing performance. And while to some degree they have, it’s been muted?

Why? A gift from the gods, that’s why. Other schools tried to raid UGA’s coaching staff. Nothing like an outside threat to make everyone circle the wagons and give thanks for what they have. So instead of looking for change or progress, UGA fans are delirious that the status quo has been maintained.

Kinda funny, isn’t it?


March 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

Zoo I agree too. Tubbs will be back I firmly believe he wanted to be fired from Auburn after Franklin did not workout and the season went downhill. It would not surprise me in the least if shows up in the ACC or at Arkansas. I disagree that Auburn will be sorry for letting him go. Auburn should be sorry for pressuring for the firing of Borges.