I’ve made an executive decision. Each week until we take a break in June we will celebrate “Fearless Friday.” That’s when you’re free, despite whatever your humble servant writes on that particular day, to sound off on any topic. It doesn’t have to be about football. It can be about politics, the economy (such as it is), movies, etc.
All I ask is that you keep it clean because from time to time my momma, a very smart lady, decides to take a walk on the wild side and read this blog.
So as we celebrate the first Fearless Friday in May, here are some nuggets for you to ponder:
What’s all the fuss about the Auburn limo? I saw the photos of Auburn’s stretch limo that it will use during spring recruiting. It’s big, it’s white, and it’s got Auburn stickers and flags. They used a Cadillac on Monday and a Hummer on Tuesday.
Now my first reaction was: “Now that’s a little over the top.”
But I’m an old guy. Auburn’s not recruiting me. The guys that they are recruiting are 17 and 18 years old and they are thinking: “Man, that’s pretty cool.”
The Auburn limo did what it was designed to do. It got attention. Some of it was good and some bad. But unless it violates the rules, what the adults think really doesn’t matter.
You have to be creative in recruiting because today’s teenager is not easily impressed. When Arkansas was recruiting Ahmad “Batman” Carroll, Razorback coach Houston Nutt got a replica of the Batmobile and drove it to Carroll’s hotel. The Hogs got Carroll.
I promise you there will be a lot more limos out there on the recruiting trail. Anything that gives a school even a slight edge or a perceived edge will be copied immediately. Expect an NCAA rule to follow.
Is there a logical reason why the NCAA would deny Mark Richt the chance to attend the graduation of a recruit? Unfortunately, there is. At first glance, it looks like another one of those silly NCAA rules that makes absolutely no sense. Richt had promised recruit Chris Burnette that he would attend his high school graduation if Burnette was named valedictorian. Burnette was barely edged out for the honor but was still going to speak at graduation. Richt thought about going but the NCAA indicated that a waiver to the rule would be unlikely if Burnette was not the valedictorian.
Bottom line: The NCAA has such a rule because if it did not exist, coaches would have to promise to attend the graduation of every recruit. And those who did attend graduation would use it as a weapon in recruiting against those who did not attend. I hate these kinds of rules but they become necessary because people twist the existing rules to gain a competitive advantage. The NCAA comes off looking like the bad guy when they are really trying to save coaches from their own excesses.
If Burnette had been valedictorian, I believe Richt would have asked for a waiver and it would have been granted.
More proof that in the South, college football is not a game. It’s a way of life. An average of 37,936 fans attended the 12 spring games in the SEC.
Let me repeat that. The average attendance for SPRING games in the SEC was almost 38,000. And if you throw out Vanderbilt’s spring scrimmage, which really wasn’t set up as a game and drew only 1,000, then the average for the other 11 games was 41, 293.
That spring game attendance was a higher per-game average than 63 of the 119 Division I-A schools had during the REGULAR SEASON in 2008.
Prediction: Some coaches are going to start catching heat because they don’t draw enough to the SPRING game. I’m serious.
Swine flu or no swine flu, there will be BCS hearings: ACC Commissioner John Swofford, the current coordinator of the BCS, is among the college officials who are being hauled up the nation’s capital today for Congressional hearings on in the “fairness” of the BCS.
Politicians like Representative Joe Barton of Texas and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who represent areas of the country who feel they were treated unfairly by the BCS, will get some face time today for the folks back home.
Whether or not you like the BCS, you have to admit this is a colossal waste of time and resources. I’ll admit that it does bring pressure to bear, even if the BCS has the law on its side, which it does. I’ll stick to my prediction: After the BCS contract with ESPN runs out after the 2013 season, we will have a four-team playoff.
Congrats to the new Hall of Fame class: I was privileged to serve on the Honors Court, the committee that picks the new class for the College Football Hall of Fame, for six years. So I know how excited the new members of the HOF are today. It is something very special when a former player gets that phone call and learns he will be enshrined with the greatest to ever play the game. The ACC and SEC are well represented in this year’s class: FB Ed Dyas (Auburn, 1958-60); LB Woodrow Lowe (Alabama, 1972-75); DE Pat Swilling (Georgia Tech, 1982-85), and QB Gino Torretta, the 1992 Heisman Trophy winner (Miami, 1989-92).
This class will be inducted during the banquet in New York in December.
Have a great weekend. See you Monday.