If I’m a Bama fan, I’m about to explode

We are now just 10 days away from when, as the great Al Ciraldo used to say: “Toe Meets Leather.” So what did we learn over the weekend?

If I’m an Alabama fan, I’m about to explode: There have been rumors all summer that something was going on with Alabama football players Julio Jones and running back Mark Ingram.  Now we know what because of the reporting by Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News. The NCAA is looking into a fishing trip that the sophomores took with a 56-year-old man who, the school claims and the man claims, has absolutely no connection with the University of Alabama.  Alabama claims that Jones had a previous relationship with the man from his days of growing up in Foley, Ala. So when he and Ingram were invited on the trip, Jones accepted an offer from a friend.

If there is no Alabama connection with the man in question, then why is it a story?

 It’s a story because Alabama has had to spend four months looking into it. It’s a story because Alabama is currently appealing an NCAA ruling that it must vacate 21 wins because players improperly received textbooks. It’s a story because Alabama has received its third NCAA sanction in a little more than a decade. So anything that could even be remotely construed as a possible violation, Alabama is going to get to the bottom of it first and, by definition, it is a story.

But when you talk to Alabama fans, this is the real story: They want to know why their name keeps routinely coming up in the NCAA rinse cycle while the investigation into the football program at Southern California has now been going on for roughly 37 years. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration. Actually it was April of 2006 when it was first reported that the NCAA was investigating allegations that running back Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, and his family had received all kinds of benefits that would violate NCAA rules. It just seems like it’s been 37 years that the Reggie Bush investigation has been going on. When is the thing going to get resolved?


South Carolina needs a curfew: Joe Person of the The State newspaper reports that junior defensive end Clifton Geathers, projected to be a starter, was arrested at 3:10 a.m. Sunday and charged with resisting arrest and public drunkenness.

In an unrelated matter, campus police were called to a dorm at 4:30 a.m. Sunday when freshman running back Jarvis Giles was having a “misunderstanding” with a female student.

3:10 a.m.?

4:30 a.m.?

Are you serious? Ten days before the first game at N.C. State?

Now we know why Steve Spurrier is frustrated. He’s got guys who aren’t serious about winning.

Do you actually have to tell a college football player that he shouldn’t be out at 4:30 in the morning when the first game is less than two weeks away?


Tebow doesn’t need the practice: I was with some friends on Saturday when my Blackberry caught on fire. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, favored to lead Florida to its third national championship in four years, was held out of contact drills during practice on Saturday.

My goodness.

I heard from some Gator friends who sounded breathless with worry. I talked to some fans of other SEC schools who began their sentence with “I hope it’s not true but…..”

Everybody needs to relax. Urban Meyer learned in 2007, the season that Tebow won the Heisman Trophy but really got beat up in the process, that he has to be proactive in keeping his quarterback as fresh as possible. This will not be the last heavy practice he’ll miss. I think we can safely say that he knows the offense. He does need to save the wear and tear on his body. It’s a long season.


Your national champion will come from the following teams: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Southern California. I’ve looked at every college football preseason poll out there, from the AP media poll (which was released on Saturday) to Better Homes and Gardens. Every one of them has the same four teams in some kind of order: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Southern California. There is a gap between those four teams and the rest of Division I-A and so I believe your BCS championship game in Pasadena will come from that group.

But I was reminded again this weekend of how tough it is to go wire-to-wire at No. 1. It’s only happened 10 times since the AP Poll was created in 1934. I thought Miami was a lock in 2002 when the Hurricanes ran the table but lost in the BCS championship to Ohio State. I thought USC was a double-platinum dead bolt lock in 2005 with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. But Vince Young and Texas had other ideas.

Can a team outside of those four make it to the big game? To me, that’s the No. 1 story line of the 2009 season. Who would your pick be?


Beware of Marques Ivory: Georgia Tech fans may have smiled a little bit when they learned that Ryan Perrilloux, the starting quarterback at Jacksonville State, has been suspended for the opening game with the Yellow Jackets on Sept. 5. Perrilloux, who was kicked off the LSU team before the 2008 season, violated team rules. Understand that part of the deal Perrilloux made with head coach Jack Crowe to come to Jax State was that if he violated specific rules, there would be no margin for error. But it looks to be a one-game suspension.

So the quarterback for the Gamecocks will be sophomore Marques Ivory, who will be getting his first career start as a college player. It should be noted that Ivory, a healthy 6-1, 235, never lost a high school game as a starter for Conrad Nix at Northside of Warner Robins.  He had a string of 30 straight wins with two state championships.

 Please follow me on Twitter:


207 comments Add your comment

Tide Rising

August 24th, 2009
3:24 pm

Bama haters,

Either you guys are just plain stupid or you’re just blinded by hatred, resentment, and envious of the resurgence of the Alabama program. Which is it? Alabama already thoroughly investigated and determined there is not even a violation. And even if there was a violation it would be a secondary violation at best. What is it about this that you morons don’t understand? Is it remotely possibly for some of you to be any stupider or more ignorant of the facts surrounding this mega non-issue? You guys are reallllllly reaching if you think this is a violation.

There is nothing there on the fishing trip. The guy has absolutely zero connection to the university of Alabama. For Pete’s sake he and his whole family are fans of a rival SEC school! Are some of mindless fools ignorant of this obvious fact?

The guy is a sick, disabled man in a wheelchair who got to be friends with Julio over the years because Julio worked during the summers at Zeke’s landing marina. Julio would frequently help him get into boats due to his wheelchair status and the man naturally took a liking to Julio. They went on a short party boat cruise to do some fishing. Unlike chartered trips a part boat is usually a nominal $40-$100 depending on how long you’re going out.

Even if this man paid for the trip so what? Can a friend who has been a friend for years not pay for a small excursion that’s less than $100. Can a family friend no longer buy you dinner,lunch, or a Christmas gift or a drink at a bar? Would that also then be a violation? Because if this is a violation there then that means there must be hundreds of violations going on every year at multiple schools. If a fellow student, say a girfriend, buys you an Ipod for Christmas is that a violation? After all she would be a booster since she has a direct connection to the university and has season tickets. Can’t some of you idiots see how moronic this is and what kind of a path it can lead down?

I just can’t believe just how dumb or willfully ignorant some of you guys are. Its astounding.


August 24th, 2009
3:29 pm

It’s called Karma. The Tide won it’s first significant game in a decade and they think that they are back in the Bear era.

Bottom line though: Who care…..


August 24th, 2009
3:30 pm

OK, OK…We lost to Tech last season. It may have only been by three points, but when you’re supposed to win and you lose, even by three, you lose. Kinda like that W. Va/Sugar Bowl, people think back on that as a tremendous loss…but it too was only by three, but it was a loss. Have fun Tech, we’ll see you around Thanksgiving.

Not quite sure what the deal is with the Les Miles poster here – if he/she is criticizing Georgia, et. al., because we got some kids arrested for underage drinking and the like, I can assure you that all my coonass relatives and friends never even heard of a law against drinking at any age. Shoot, they even have dog-fighting for fun and profit taught in the schools…or think it should be. And don’t know what point you were making about Ted Davis, Chick Graning, Tech and Alabama, but Ted Davis played for Tech and kicked a Georgia player in the head…Darwin Holt, of Alabama, elbowed Chick Graning (Tech), broke his jaw and ended his career. Bobby Dodd dismissed Davis from the team, Darwin Holt had songs written about him.

And the reason the NCAA won’t leave Alabama alone is the same reason that Al Capone was sent to jail for income tax evasion, rather than all that other stuff – they could prove it.


August 24th, 2009
3:32 pm

The lesson here is to make sure you don’t give the NCAA any reason to set up shop on your campus. And I think it’s fair to say that Bama has given the NCAA PLENTY of reasons to be there in recent years, don’t you?

Got 12?

August 24th, 2009
3:33 pm

News Flash: I’m a Bama grad, and I plan to go fishing this evening. Now, go report that to the NCAA!


August 24th, 2009
3:34 pm

Got 12:
It just brings more attention to something that needs no more attention.

Arrests: I personally feel like Smith should be kicked off the team end of story. It is the 1st arrest to about 15 for Bama in the same period. so I don’t know if you were purposely trying to deceive our fellow bloggers or just didn’t know yourself.

Green eyed monster

August 24th, 2009
3:35 pm


Do I detect a little envy going on there? Yup. I think I do.

Jan Kemp

August 24th, 2009
3:42 pm

Georgia getting on ANYBODY about cheating! That’s a laugh!

Tide Rising

August 24th, 2009
3:43 pm


I think you are in a state of delusion if you think that Eric Smith’s arrest is the 1st for Auburn while Bama has had 15. The Courtney Upshaw arrest was the 1st Bama player arrested in roughly a year so you might want to check your facts there. If we have one player arrested per year compared to programs that have had 25 or 30 arrested over the last 4 then I’m happy. When Saban took over he had a fairly undisciplined bunch from Shula and I think he had something like 7 players arrested in a year and maybe 11 or 12 over 2 years. Pretty much all of those guys were either run off, graduated, etc.

Before Upshaw was arrested can anyone actually remember the last time a Bama player was arrested? Probably 1 to 1 1/2 years ago with Jimmy Johns.

I would be willing to put up Alabama players arrests over the past year against anyone in the sec and that includes Vandy. The facts speak for themselves.


August 24th, 2009
3:47 pm

Got 12 can I go ? ..no wait I cant my Dad went to Bama..”they” will think we are plotting to take over the world….and if Tide Rising is correct and J.Jones used to work at Zeke’s they problaly would let him go for nothing as a former employee not as a football player..they are pretty good folks there.


August 24th, 2009
3:48 pm

When you start your post with “morons, stupid, envious, ignorant,and dumb” most of your readers are not going to side with you.

Since you are more intelligent than anyone here then maybe you should address the NCAA. Back up and remember, this would not be an issue if it were not for the PAST INFRACTIONS. When are YOU going to realize THAT?

Tide Rising

August 24th, 2009
3:52 pm


I am correct about Julio working at Zeke’s over the summers. That’s how this man and Julio got to be friends. Tony left a lot out. All he had to do was look at the Mobile or Alabama papers in general for 5 minutes and realize that this is just a big to do about nothing.

And yes. I didn’t even think about the angle of Zeke’s letting him go as a former employee but I’m guessing that this guy probably just paid the fee for Julio and Mark and nobody thought anything about it because Julio and he had been friends for so long. This is a non event but is only a story because of Bama’s recent history with the NCAA. For Pete’s sake who else could manage to get on probation over textbooks of all things? Are you kidding? Textbooks.


August 24th, 2009
3:55 pm

you know Alabama’s arrest record far better than I so I will not argue exact numbers. I still think Smith needs to be removed from the Tigers until further notice. If Saban is as disciplined as you say then he should do the same thing.

Tide Rising

August 24th, 2009
4:15 pm


It seems you just have high standards of behavior. Nothing wrong with that.

But from what I understand of Eric Smith’s arrest it was minor. It was just disorderly conduct. That could almost happen to anybody and if it was me I would cut the kid a break. I wouldn’t want to see him removed from the team for something I’ve seen numerous people charged with just for being a little roudy.

As for the Bama players arrest once again you have to look at the circumstances. His nutty girlfriend saw him talking to a girl and she went up and slapped the fool out of him. She assaulted him. He then grabbed her by the back of her head and she turned around and he held her away from him because she was trying to punch or slap him again.

A campus cop happened to be making his rounds, witnessed the whole thing, and arrested both. It should be noted that the next day the girl’s father sympathized with the player. The father stated that it was all his daughter’s fault, the she can be very aggressive, and he actually felt sorry for the player that this happened. This is from her father of all people.

He’s being punished internally but he’s not going to be punished hard. This was nothing more than a lover’s quarrel where a campus cop just happened to be coming by and witnessed it. And clearly from all the evidence she was the aggressor having slapped him silly.


August 24th, 2009
4:22 pm

Alabama’s been cheating for years, and always gets off with a minor slap on the wrist. They should shut down their program for a few years with all the stuff they’ve been doing.

[...] Alabama, which got him wondering — along with every obsessed Tider on the Web — about a certain imbalance in these matters: But when you talk to Alabama fans, this is the real story: They want to know why [...]

Tide Rising

August 24th, 2009
4:34 pm

Auburn Tigers,

Don’t know what planet you live on but the Alabama probation from 2002-2007 was the 2nd worst ever handed down with a postseason ban and loss of 21 scholarships.

Also, your comment that we should be shut down is absurd given Auburn’s dubious history with the NCAA. How quickly you forget from your glass house. Auburn is tied for 3rd with several other schools for the most major NCAA infractions cases with 6 major cases having been brought against them. Bama has now had 3 major infractions cases.

Given the fact that you have had twice as many major infractions cases with the NCAA perhaps it is you that should be shut down for a few years.

Hal Bennett

August 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

Mr. Barnhart, I personally think that you are the best football writer in the country, no contest, and I say that in all sincerity. Now, it was Brent Musberger, I think, who may have first used the word “explode” to describe a play in a football game. Since then, if one were blind, and inclined not to understand the principle of a figure of speech, he might have imagined many horrible scenes of athletes exploding all over football fields for at least ten or fifteen years. “Explode” seems to be a word used by sportswriters when they can think of nothing good to say about football. Now you have used the word, apparently when you could think of nothing REAL to say about this incident. I know Julio, I know his uncle Sam Jones, I know Zeke’s, and I know that there is in ALL likelihood absolutely nothing to this story. Somehow I wish the story itself would EXPLODE — and that you sportswriters might lose that word from your lexicons.

Denver Dog

August 24th, 2009
4:46 pm

Hey Techies, a sign of a real upset is when you barely beat a team better than you, then get blown out by a team worse than you. Or have cheating ACC refs help you beat national powes like Gardner Webb. You are a bunch of losers from the Al Quaeda Jacket to the Jacket pervert professor. Bring it on in Grunt Field later this year, bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope the building doesn’t fall down.

[...] Alabama, which got him wondering — along with every obsessed Tider on the Web — about a certain imbalance in these matters: But when you talk to Alabama fans, this is the real story: They want to know why [...]

Buzz Belle

August 24th, 2009
5:01 pm

Les Miles & Denver Dog – Still hurts that bad? You almost tied our record of 8 wins in a row, but, your short. Bring your best game to the Flats in November and get ready to leave before the game ends like you did last year. Last year was a warm up, this year we are not holding back! THWG!


August 24th, 2009
5:15 pm

Tide Rising thanks for the info..your right if Bama didn’t have so much “baggage” this is a non issue…sorta like Ga.Tech..and Buzz Belle just make sure all 15,000 Tech fans are in the Joke at Coke Nov 28th…cause Hell’s coming and he’s wearing Red and Black! GATA!


August 24th, 2009
5:35 pm

It cracks me up to see all the comments about The Bear cheating at Bama. The truth is he didn’t have to cheat. For you young whippersnappers, in his heyday, Bear could have, legally, 70+ or so players on full scholarship. He would routinely give a scholarship to a kid just to keep him from playing for an opponent. Once he started winning with his brand of coaching, he then had an “in” with any young player who wanted to play for a national championship…it was self-perpetuating. For those who don’t know a lot about the history at Bama, I encourage you to do a little research. None of us Bama fans are happy about the Mike Dubose, Mike Price, and Mike Shula era “stuff”, but for an observer to just “off the cuff” talk about Bear cheating is just displaying ignorance or jealousy.


August 24th, 2009
5:45 pm

Bama will get it good from NCAA,, Tenn will make sure it happens.


August 24th, 2009
5:56 pm

Lets see now the vols play Fla., Ga., Bama and Ole Miss who are ranked. They will beat two of these four teams. It’s not going to be Fla, so who get it,, Ga. Ole Miss or Bama?


August 24th, 2009
6:48 pm

What does a fly and a Bammer fan have in common? They both like to live off a dead Bear.


August 24th, 2009
6:53 pm

Bama ship is sinking and sinking fast. Next thing you know Nick Satin will be going to Penn St. taking Joe P. spot. I love it. War Eagle Bammers!!!!!!!!!

Denver Dog

August 24th, 2009
7:23 pm

If there is nothing to it guys, why is it at the NCAA, why is it being defended, and why are you guys blaming other people and schools. The NCAA rules are stupid, but it is because people like Ford, Pell, and Sheriil (all Bama lineage) all abused them.

Here is a clue for you all, every school has something fishy (no pun inteneded) going on every day. The point is to stop it once you get caught. Once you find out about it, you turn it in, and face the music, not make excuses. Look, we had the Harricks, there wasn’t much denying going on there except by the Harricks. Tech had the grades and drugs selling scandals. Do you really think Dark Visor left UF (the cushest job in the country) because he wanted to coach pro ball? Did he go to South Carolina becuase that was the best job around? Do you think Donnan left because of his coaching and that is why he is still not coaching. Turbeville? FUlmer? Think about it,

So, is bad luck following Bama now, or is it something more? Time will tell, time wil tell.


August 24th, 2009
7:24 pm

It’s really sad that in just two years of Saban and one Iron Bowl loss, Auburn has returned to the hope-against-hope days. There only hopes to beat Bama are NCAA sanctions and Saban leaving to accept the head coaching job at the United Nations (or wherever).

Simply pathetic.

V26 is funny!

August 24th, 2009
7:34 pm


Yeah, when Roy Kramer was SEC Commish he really looked out for & protected Bama.

You are the reason I like to read this blog! Keep ‘em coming!

Dial m for moron

August 24th, 2009
8:01 pm

If the SEC is so overrated, how do you explain the championships? How do you explain the wins? How does one year of 6-6 vs. the ACC make it overrated? Try answering these instead of spewing worthless catch phrases.

Setting the record straight

August 24th, 2009
9:28 pm

Denver dog,

Sorry but your post just seems silly and completely devoid of rational thought.Let me help you.

First of all, regarding the Julio Jones deal. Bama discovered this non issue because it kept popping up on Auburn posting sites. Even if there is nothing to it the school self reported it, investigated and arrived at the conclusion that there is nothing to it. Not even a secondary violation was committed. But given Bama’s recent history with the NCAA its only logical to go the extra mile and file a report and give it to the NCAA telling them “There is no violation here and here are the reasons why there is no violation” End of story.

You need some perspective in your thinking. As proof that everything Bama is cheating you offer up these 3 coaches like Danny Ford whose programs got into trouble with the NCAA. How convenient of you to forget that Bear had something like 45-50 former players go on to be head coaches and the overwhelming number of them ran clean programs. But of course you only want to talk about these 3. Hmmmm!

Are you insinuating that Spurrier, Fulmer, Tubberville, and Donnan all left because of NCAA trouble or because of some sort of scandal? Thats just plain dumb. Donnan, Fulmer, and Tubbs all got forced out because of poor seasons. Its just that simple. They didn’t win enough. Spurrier left to try his hand at the pros. Where you get this idea that they all left because of NCAA trouble or some sort of scandal is just beyond the realm of reality.


August 24th, 2009
10:04 pm

alabama is getting what was what coming to them


August 24th, 2009
10:15 pm

Good call on the top MrCF, but the dark horse outside the fold would be Ohio St… Can’t stand the Big 101/2, but if they get past USC, which is a real possibility this year, there’s no stopping them. Personally, I’m pulling for Georgia Southern. Go Eagles!

Gen Neyland

August 24th, 2009
10:29 pm

Tennessee lost WR Gerald Jones for 4-6 weeks due to a high ankle sprain. Ask Harvin how those injuries affect your game. Also, there may be a tidbit here about Kiffin naming Crompton starting QB. Don’t be fooled into believing that’s anything but game 1. As CLK tutored under Carroll at USC West, all positions were under competion week to week. Also, SR center Josh McNeil has aching knees. Look for Cody Sullins to get a bunch of reps this week into next…
UGA- How’s Walsh doing this camp..? Who’s your punter..?

Mister NFL

August 24th, 2009
10:33 pm

I know guys who played in college and the pros in the 70’s & 80’s and they tell me late night party stories that went well into 3 and 4 a.m. But back then, it’s good ole fun, now it’s too much media making judgmental hypocritical mountains out of nothing molehills.


August 24th, 2009
10:37 pm


Sorry but there aint nothing bad coming to Bama regarding Julio Jones cause no rule was broken. Somehow folks like you keep missing that. Keep hoping though buddy.

Where's Lowder

August 24th, 2009
10:55 pm

Bobby Lowder’s hiding from the FBI after his bank failed, and auburn’s in trouble too. Bobby doesn’t have much time to run things over at the cow college right now. Maybe auburn students can take up a collection for his legal fees. Tide Rules! Bama wins 12 in 2009!!!

Braves Fan

August 24th, 2009
11:28 pm

Bama has been cheating since the Bear days, he had so much power the NCAA didn’t think about investigating, now every other year I have to read about this and that with Alabma. It is part of the culture there and it is a shame. Florida is the dominant team now and they don’t have to cheat like Bama.

King Nick Saban

August 24th, 2009
11:58 pm

acually, the SEC championship game is usually better than the nat’l championship game. Bama runs the table this year and takes the first of three consecutive nat’l titles. that will make; count ‘em 15 !

Gator Mike

August 25th, 2009
12:35 am

It is great to see everyone fired up and ready for the season. Additionally, it is super reading about the passion everyone has for their team. This should be an exciting season, and there will be some big surprises once again. God Bless America.
Go Gators

Denver Dog

August 25th, 2009
1:00 am

Record Straight, or shoudl it be “not exactly”. Alot of Bama players became coaches, and successful ones, without cheating. Name one.

Coaches do have issues that never come up. I submitt that these coaches, have other marks against them. I can’t prove it, but I just think about the Auburn Scandal, The Quincy Carter thing, even look at O’leary, he lied on NCAA documents. I believe there is more to this than just they quit coaching.

Yeah Ford Pell Sheriil, Dubose, Shula, all had something in common didn’t they? So maybe you need to get your facts straight too! You should call your self “not exactly>”

Chris F

August 25th, 2009
4:31 am

Denver Dog, You and about 3 other people on here need me to come to your house and punch you in the face. You are stupid enough to believe that Bama breaks more rules and has more violations than everyone else. Get freakin’ real!!! Every single team in the NCAA does shady stuff, it’s part of the game and always will be. It should be obvious that the NCAA and the BCS are both a load of crap and should get the death penalty. You wreak of jealousy you piece of crap human being. I should beat you within an inch of your life and then throw you off lookout mountain to finish the job.

Secondly Mal Moore is the problem that Alabama has. He is behind almost every infraction because he puts unrealistic goals and expectations on the coaches and team. He is a piece of garbage and should have been fired long ago.

I love the fact the everyone hates Bama! You ALWAYS hate what you ENVY! Bama is coming back to the top where they belong and you don’t like it.

Sorry for the Rant but I am sick of stupid people!


August 25th, 2009
6:55 am

Chris F… How is your glass house today?

[...] At the AJC, Tony Barnhart says, “If I’m a Bama fan, I’m about to explode.” [...]


August 25th, 2009
10:29 am

Denver Dog – what about Mike Reilly? He played at Bama.

Roll Tide_ATL

August 25th, 2009
11:01 am

Wow… I’m just hoping that most of the comments here were posted by children.


August 25th, 2009
11:18 am

It cracks me up how many dawg fans hate bama, of course, they did have you down 31-0 at half time last year – that “black out” worked to perfection! If all you folks hate Saban so much, then do what we did, beat him on the field, but I don’t think you can.


August 25th, 2009
12:01 pm



August 25th, 2009
12:21 pm

TWO BIGGEST “PLAYERS” to be missed in the SEC are going to be Fulmer and Tubberville. Tommy had class and was a good coach. Phil had 150+ wins and that is hard to replace.