Okay, it’s Friday which means you get to talk about anything on your mind, even if it’s not about football. But as I’ve said in the past, keep it clean. My momma reads this blog.
I’ll get the discussion started.
So who didn’t vote for Tebow? The SEC released its coaches All-SEC team yesterday and, not surprisingly, Florida had 16 players on the three-deep offense and defense. Florida had eight players on the first team while Alabama had six and LSU had three. Georgia receiver A.J. Green and linebacker Rennie Curran were the two Bulldogs on the first team.
There were only three unanimous choices on the first team: LSU offensive lineman Ciron Black, Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, and Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players so a unanimous pick got 11 of the 12 votes.
Notice anyone missing? Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner who led Florida to the 2008 national championship, was on the first team but was not a unanimous pick. Jevan Snead of Ole Miss is the only other quarterback who could really be considered at the All-SEC level but his coach, Houston Nutt, wasn’t allowed to vote for him. Interesting.
Tommy Bowden will give it one year: I got a chance to spend a good chunk of time with former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden on Tuesday. Bowden told the assembled media in Florence, Ala., where brother Terry is now the head coach at North Alabama, that reports that he offered to resign last October weren’t exactly accurate. Bowden says that athletics director Terry Don Phillips made it clear to him in a Monday morning meeting on Oct. 13, after a loss to Wake Forest put the Tigers at 3-3, that he would not be retained. “I went to work that morning fully anticipating coaching that day and night,” said Bowden, who never had a losing season as a head coach. “I had been a head coach for 12 years and we had always turned it around.” But when it became clear to Bowden that he did not have the support, he agreed to discuss a settlement.
Bowden, who turned 55 on July 10, said public speaking will take up most of his time this fall. For the first time in 33 years he will not be coaching.
“I’ll wait and see what happens,” he said. “If the phone starts ringing in November, I’ll have a decision to make. But I do know this. If I don’t get back in next year (2010) I probably won’t do it.”
Tommy Bowden has sold his house in Clemson and has moved his family to Panama City, Fla.
What does Tennessee do at WR? The No. 1 player Tennessee cannot afford to lose is safety Eric Berry. But after that, wide receiver would be to be the worst position to have injuries for the Vols. That’s why I wonder what happens in Knoxville now that senior Austin Rogers and junior Danarius Moore are hurt. Rogers is probably going to miss the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. He had played a lot of football (76 career catches) and when a coaching transition is going on, you need veteran players to help stabilize things. Moore, who suffered a broken bone in his left foot, is said to be out 8 to 12 weeks after surgery. But my experience is that foot injuries are tough to bounce back from for receivers, who have to plant a foot and cut. Moore caught only 11 passes last season but he is the closest thing Tennessee has to a deep threat.
Sure, the injuries open the door for incoming freshmen like Nu’Keese Richardson but that is always risky.
What does really this mean? It means that Tennessee, who was going to run the ball a lot anyway to protect the quarterback position, will run it even more.
Ole Miss dodged a bullet—a big bullet. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come for Ole Miss, which is getting a lot of love in the preseason as the possible winner of the SEC West. Its best defensive player, end Greg Hardy, and its most versatile offensive player, running back Dexter McCluster, were involved in a car accident last weekend. The car in which Hardy and McCluster were riding was struck by another car that turned in front of them, according to published reports. The players’ car caught on fire but Hardy and McCluster escaped without serious injury.
“It could have been a lot worse,” coach Houston Nutt said in media reports. No kidding.
Hardy’s status for preseason practice has not been determined. He has had two surgeries to repair a broken bone in his foot which slowed him last season. It will be sometime next week before he is evaluated.
Congrats to Coach Donnan: Jim Donnan certainly had his critics when he was the head coach at Georgia (1996-2000). But the fact remains that Donnan won 40 games in five years and recruited the talent that set the stage for Georgia’s 2002 SEC championship team. For his work at Marshall (1990-95), where he won 64 games in five seasons plus a Division I-AA national championship, Donnan will be one of two coaches at the divisional level to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame Saturday night in South Bend, Ind. Well deserved. Now we have to see about getting Georgia Southern’s icon, the late Erk Russell, into the Hall of Fame as well.
Rathbun, Archer to work FS South games: This week FS South announced an agreement to televise seven SEC football games this fall. What you may have missed was that veteran play-by-play man Bob Rathbun and former Falcons quarterback Dave Archer will be handling the broadcast duties. You probably know Rathbun best for his work with the Hawks, but the guy is a pro who has done everything. It’s good to see Archer get an opportunity to continue working SEC football. He worked with Dave Neal on the old Lincoln-Financial 12:30 p.m. SEC package but ESPN has taken over all those rights. Neal landed with ESPN, where he will work a regional package with former Heisman Trophy winner Ande Ware.
Personal note: I will be in South Bend this weekend with Jim Donnan, Lou Holtz, and all of the other players and coaches who will be enshrined Saturday night into the College Football Hall of Fame. Part of that banquet is the presentation of the Bert McGrane Award, which represents the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Hall of Fame. I was honored and humbled to be chosen, which means my name will be on the same display at the College Football Hall of Fame with Furman Bisher. Not bad for a little country boy from Union Point, Ga. I’m only there because I have a wife and a family who have supported me and wonderful people like you who have been willing to read what I write over the years. I thank you for that.
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