Archive for July, 2009

Tech-Notre Dame at the Georgia Dome?

South Bend, Ind.—Maria and I had a wonderful weekend here as we took part in the College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. A very impressive group of players, including UCLA’s Troy Aikman, Oklahoma State’s Thurman Thomas, and Florida State’s Ron Simmons (of Warner Robins, Ga.) were enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The coaches included Lou Holtz, who won a national championship at Notre Dame and finished his career at South Carolina, John Cooper, the first coach to take a Pac-10 team (Arizona State) AND a Big Ten team (Ohio State) to the Rose Bowl, and former Georgia head coach Jim Donnan, who went in as a member of the divisional class for his success at Marshall.

 

Here are just a few nuggets from the weekend that might interest you:

 

Georgia Tech and Notre Dame at the Georgia Dome? Gary Stokan, the much traveled president of the Atlanta Sports Council, was here over the weekend talking to Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. The subject? …

Continue reading Tech-Notre Dame at the Georgia Dome? »

So who didn’t vote for Tebow?

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 …

Continue reading So who didn’t vote for Tebow? »

I believe Urban Meyer. Do you?

Media and fans have become justifiably skeptical any time a college football coach says he isn’t interested in a particular job and professes shock and dismay that the media would even enquire about such a thing. The problem is that usually in his denials, the coach always leaves himself a little wiggle room with phrases like:

 “I intend to be here the rest of my career” or

 

 

 “I have the best job in college football”

 or the always crowd-pleasing: “This is the only job I want.”

Urban Meyer did none of that when he returned my phone call on Wednesday. The Florida coach was emphatic:

He is not going to Notre Dame. Ever.

Well, well.

The speculation about the Florida coach and Notre Dame has been on a low burn under the surface for a while. The speculation was natural. There are ties there. He worked for Lou Holtz. His mother loves the place. She named him after a pope.

But that low burn was turned up to a full flame last week with an internet column from …

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NCAA must find another way on Bowden case

 

 

Florence, Ala.—Bobby Bowden has been a college football coach for 55 years. In that time his various football programs have never been hauled before the NCAA for cheating. Sure, some of his players have gotten into trouble with the law and that’s not good.  Yes, there have been various violations that every program goes through. That has happened to a lot of coaches. It comes with the territory.

But everybody involved in college football knows there is a difference between breaking the rules and cheating to gain a competitive advantage. No one has ever said publicly that Bowden bought players or gave them something of value to come to Tallahassee or Morgantown, or Howard College (now Samford) or South Georgia Junior College, where it all started for him.

That is why Bowden is troubled by the possibility that an NCAA Appeals Committee may eventually rule that 14 of his 382 career victories, second only to Penn State’s Joe Paterno at 383, will be “vacated” as …

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Alabama will win the wild, wild SEC West

 

 

This has a chance to be one of the wildest SEC West races in a long, long time. Below is how my five research magazines broke it down followed by my own picks. Give me your projected finish and tell me where I’m wrong.

 

 

SEC WEST

 

Athlon: Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Lindy’s: LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Phil Steele: Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

Sporting News: Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State

The Kickoff: LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State

 

What we learned: The three-way battle among Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss is going to be “Must-See” football this season. Two of the magazines picked Ole Miss to win the division and make its first-ever appearance in the SEC championship game. Two others picked LSU to bounce back from an 8-5 season and make a run to Atlanta. Alabama, the defending division champion, was picked by …

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Can Georgia (anybody) touch Florida in the SEC East?

 

Last week we broke down how five preseason magazines predicted the ACC’s Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. For the next couple of days we’re going to look at the SEC as we prepare for next week’s media days in Birmingham.

Let’s start with the SEC East, where it looks like the Mighty Gators (that’s what Steve Spurrier used to call them when he was mad) of Florida are untouchable. Here are the magazine’s picks followed by my picks.

 

SEC EAST

Athlon: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Kentucky

Lindy’s: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

Phil Steele: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt (tied for 5th), Kentucky (tied for fifth)

Sporting News: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt

The Kickoff: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

What we learned: As expected, Florida was a unanimous pick to win the division. In fact, four of the five …

Continue reading Can Georgia (anybody) touch Florida in the SEC East? »

Can Georgia Tech stay with Va. Tech in ACC Coastal?

 

Before we break for the weekend, let’s take a look at the ACC’s Coastal Division. Virginia Tech, the defending ACC champion, is everybody’s pick. But I just get the sense that it’s going to be tightly contested race that may go deep into November.

Again, I surveyed the five preseason magazines I use for reference tools and then made my own picks.

Have a great weekend. On Monday we will break down the SEC East.

 

ACC COASTAL

Athlon: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Duke

Lindy’s: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Duke

Phil Steele: Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Duke

Sporting News: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Duke

The Kickoff: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke, Virginia

 

What we learned: It was a clean sweep for the top spot for Virginia Tech. And that’s understandable. The Hokies return 15 starters (8 offense, 7 …

Continue reading Can Georgia Tech stay with Va. Tech in ACC Coastal? »

Can Florida State win the ACC Atlantic?

 

All of us are allowed to call an audible from time to time and I called one last night.

I was going through my preseason magazines and breaking down the ACC and SEC predictions as promised. Then I realized it would make sense to go ahead and get my own predictions out there now so that you could compare them to the magazines and then offer up your own. Obviously, we’ll be revisiting all of this stuff after practice starts.

So here is the new lineup:

Today: ACC Atlantic

Friday: ACC Coastal

Monday: SEC East

Tuesday: SEC West

 

For those of you who give me a hard time for not putting enough ACC football on this blog, well, here is your shot. Step up and show me the level of your interest because the next two days are going to be devoted to ACC football.

 

To the SEC boys and girls: Be patient and be nice. Your time is coming on Monday and Tuesday.

Okay, here we go. Here is how the five magazines I use for reference picked the order of finish in the ACC Atlantic:

 

 

ACC …

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What have we learned from the preseason magazines?

 

 

Here is a fun exercise I like to do before going to ACC and SEC Media Days. I take about five preseason magazines, put all of their predictions down on paper and compare them. There is not a lot of heavy lifting involved, but it gives you a mini consensus of what other people thinking.

The five magazines I used this year are:  Athlon, Lindy’s, Phil Steele, The Sporting News, and a new one published by the folks who produce The Kickoff.

Example: Here are the pre-season Top Fives for each magazine:

Athlon: Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, Ohio State

Lindy’s: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech

Phil Steele: Florida, Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Penn State

Sporting News: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Ole Miss

The Kickoff: Florida, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State

What did we learn? That Florida, USC, Texas, and Oklahoma are in everybody’s top four in some combination. Four of the five magazines had different No. 5s: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Ole …

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It’s time to be honest about the BCS

 

Today at 2:30 p.m. a Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled: “The Bowl Championship Series: Is it Fair and in Compliance with Antitrust Law?”

 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah),  you’ll  be shocked to hear, believes that the 12-0 (which later became 13-0) team from Utah was denied the opportunity to play for the national championship by the BCS system, which picks two teams to play for the title after the regular season. In a Sports Illustrated story last week, Hatch called the BCS “biased” and claimed that it “probably” violates antitrust laws.

This is the second time this year representatives of college athletics have been hauled before Congress for a dog and pony show to score cheap political points with the folks back home. Earlier it was Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (sense a trend here?), who called the BCS “communist.”

 

Here is the problem I have with this entire exercise. If you want to have four-team, eight-team or 16-team playoff …

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