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.

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207 comments Add your comment

m

August 24th, 2009
7:59 am

Utah already exploded the “myth” that they or the sec are worth a damne. Lil ole Utah kicked their sorry arses and showed that the sec is the most overhyped and overrated conference of all time.

The lil ole acc plays 7 games against the sec this year. Their is no doubt that the acc will win a majority of them.

Jacked Jacket

August 24th, 2009
8:00 am

BobbyGodd

August 24th, 2009
8:14 am

ARe you kidding me…You actually seem to suggest that a first year QB out of Warner Robbins can lead Jack. St. to a win over GT.

NO WAY! Tech’s defense will shut this team down and most Tech fans are upset that the starter is out since this would atleast make the first half interesting.

m is a DA

August 24th, 2009
8:23 am

m

Tell us more about the “dedundant” UGA internet handles.

Yeah, you really went to college. What a DA

Lila

August 24th, 2009
8:31 am

I hope it is Florida.

The Price is Right

August 24th, 2009
8:33 am

Last year was the year to hold my breath a little about Jacksonville State with a brand new, unproven offense in place. Football teams consist of more than a quarterback.

JB

August 24th, 2009
8:36 am

SO, what exactly is the issue with said fisshing trip? Was it expensive and paid for by this guy?

The bigger travesty might be their schedule. N Texas? FL Intl? UTC? Sheeesh!

HBTD!!!

FB

August 24th, 2009
8:39 am

Tony:
Since the NCAA has changed the rule requiring the visiting team to wear white and now allowing the home team to decide what uniform the visiting team will wear, aAre you hearing anything about whether schools will allow visiting teams to wear their home uniforms? It would be great to see UCLA in the powder blue jersey in Knoxville or the Vols in orange in Tuscaloosa.

Where have you gone jim Bob Cooter ?

August 24th, 2009
8:41 am

Tony -

1) Bama. The Tide has not earned back the trust that was squandered in the Albert means/Rogue Boosters unpleasantness of the early 2000’s. Bammer fans have to take the good with the bad and part of the bad is the ethical shortcuts that former staffs took to win on the field.Darn right , they are under more intense scrutiny ,it comes with the territory. I personally believe that they have a coach that will recruit and win with integrity now , and everything will be fine in the long pull. But what happened ,hppened and the CFB powers that be seem to be following the old maxim ,”trust , but verify”…

2) USC. It’ s sad to watch SOS in his declining years preside over a program that has no pride and very little tradition. He’s done a good job , but the culture in Columbia seems immune to constructive change.The ‘Ol Ball Coach should just leave the roosters to their mediocrity.They don’t deserve him.

3) Tebow will be fine. Meyer is doing the right thing. The season is had enough when you have to face a bevy of NFL- ready linebackers in the SEC every week. Why get hurt now

4) The national championship senario is always rigged against deserving etams that are not high profile enough. How is this year any different ?

5) J- Ville State will give GT a good quarter and a half. Then they turn into a pumpkin again.

Dawg Turd

August 24th, 2009
8:44 am

If any Bama fans are going to explode, you should go outside of your trailer first. That way the trailer won’t be damaged and you can leave it to the next generation of little redneck Bama fans.

Seriously?

August 24th, 2009
8:45 am

Jeez, this kid sounds like that ginger in athens, NEVER lost a highschool game! LMAO! Gonna be fun to watch the mutts heave COX under the bus after they learn why he is a career back up.

Spike

August 24th, 2009
8:48 am

Where is Roswell Ed?

Gen Neyland

August 24th, 2009
8:48 am

Dang that Fulmer…He just won’t leave the Red Elephants alone. Hey Phil, it was just a fishing trip..!

collegedude

August 24th, 2009
8:50 am

More than just Alabama fans should be ticked off at the treatment USC gets from the NCAA. The NC2A is hoping that people will eventually forget about all of the illegal activities that have been reported and verified at USC, and they hope that all of the non-reported violations will never be found so that they will not have to do anything to their cash cow program. About 2 years after Pete Carroll leaves, and USC turns in a 4-7 season, you’ll see the NCAA come crashing down on them with loss of scholarships, forfeiture of wins, and maybe a couple of seasons with no bowl game.

Al

August 24th, 2009
8:52 am

Players are repeatedly arrested at the same schools (Fla, FSU, UGA, UT, BAMA, Ohio St) because there is a culture of impunity perpetuated by the leadership. If these players knew they would sit for one year it wouldn’t be a problem. If the problem persist, you’re recruiting kids to stupid for teammates to depend upon.

[...] As per university policy, Geathers is suspended until his case is resolved.Tony Barnhart of the AJC covers the following topics in his latest blog:1.  Alabama fans are tired of the NCAA snooping around Tuscaloosa while seemingly ignoring the [...]

JB

August 24th, 2009
8:57 am

There IS a double standard at the NCAA…………………USC ought to be in big trouble. Everyone knows Bush got his due AND his family………NCAA whistling Dixie for some reason…………They watch the SEC teams like a hawk……………..Thia ain’t right. GO DAWGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JB

August 24th, 2009
8:58 am

should be :” that ain’t right “

Gator Growl

August 24th, 2009
8:58 am

Word out of Gainesville this morning is that the kryptonite was found (no doubt planted by a Miami fan) and Tebow is fine. Should be a 100% this week at practice. Also, with all the rumors that Auburn fans seem to churn up out there on Bama, you know they’re just hoping something sticks. Of course, the Tide doesn’t do itself any favors either. But don’t worry Bammers, Tennessee seems to be the new NCAA target. I doubt USCw, the NCAA golden child, will ever be touched.

richtfan

August 24th, 2009
9:00 am

skating by? who is skating by other than maybe USC? BAMA should have gone on the death penalty after the Albert Means situation, but the NCAA didn’t have the guts to do it because of their team history. Bama people need to think back. They’ve had 2 major issues (Stallings and then DuBose) in the last 17 years. That is uncommon. Maybe if they’d keep their nose clean this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

ecogator

August 24th, 2009
9:01 am

The SEC went 6 and 2 in their bowl games last year and won the NC for the third year in a row. You actually believe that the SEC is overrated? Wow.

SmokeyStoker

August 24th, 2009
9:05 am

I heard from a reliable source that Cox has a shoulder injury that is being swept under the carpet. They said it may cost him the start against Okie State. Anyone else heard this?

Max Sizemore

August 24th, 2009
9:06 am

Hey Tony, get serious. If you are 20 years old and there’s nooky involved, time is of no consequence.

UT96

August 24th, 2009
9:09 am

JB, I agree. Good Post. I’ll take it one step further. Why is the NCAA not looking into WorldWideWes, Nike, and that scumbag John Calipari?

m

August 24th, 2009
9:09 am

Tony..it is just your foolish arrogance that makes you think you can pick out the national champion teams. We don’t have a national champion anyway since the BSbcs only hand picks a fake champion.

The preseason polls are 100% BS…no matter who is ranked where.

Big time?? Not

August 24th, 2009
9:11 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

Mike

August 24th, 2009
9:11 am

“Your national champion will come from the following teams: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Southern California”

God bless college football, where it’s championship game is decided before a game is played. I wonder if the Arizona Cardinals would have fit into the media’s plans last year.

If say, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, or Ohio State go undefeated, tdo they not deserve to play in the title game?

UT96

August 24th, 2009
9:11 am

GatorGrowl, you may be right but you hate Kiffin all you want but he’s running a clean program at UT so the NCAA won’t find a thing-ever.

TonyLovesHimSomeSabanandMeyer

August 24th, 2009
9:14 am

Okay. If I understand this correctly, despite Alabama’s history of cheating and improper benefits, because it looks like Southern Cal will avoid any legitimate NCAA punishment, Alabama is a victim? No, Tony, the only victims here are those schools that try to compete fairly against the two.

WBK

August 24th, 2009
9:17 am

So it is the same “O” same “O”! Oklahoma & Southern California for the national championship. Yep they can beat those teams out west and in the pacific conference. I am just discusted that Ohio State is not there. I thought those three always get a bye to the national championship. Yep the BCS still sux! Paper warriors!

Charles Brannon

August 24th, 2009
9:17 am

University of Mississippi

dawes

August 24th, 2009
9:18 am

if any think that georgia tech is going have abetter than georgia bulldogs need brain surgeon only god can your glow up and quit asking like ababy

Got 12 but none in quite a long long time ....

August 24th, 2009
9:18 am

Where there is smoke there is fire….bama has been cheating ever since Bear took over….Tusaloosa is the probation capial of the United States….so Tony get your head out of Nick’s apeture and smell the real world.

Wartiger

August 24th, 2009
9:20 am

From Payroll Tide to Criminal Tide…what is the difference….cheaters cheat!!

Gen Neyland

August 24th, 2009
9:25 am

Al : Are you pulling a Bundy on us..? How about a short list of players arrested, crimes committed and the programs they come from..? To keep it simple and current, just stick to SEC programs from JAN 01 2009 to date. I’ll check back and thanks in advance.

Les Miles

August 24th, 2009
9:26 am

Seriously?

August 24th, 2009
8:45 am

Jeez, this kid sounds like that ginger in athens, NEVER lost a highschool game! LMAO! Gonna be fun to watch the mutts heave COX under the bus after they learn why he is a career back up

The why is called Matthew Stafford Dumbazz. You know. The NFL’s #1 draft pick.

Miles

August 24th, 2009
9:26 am

Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas should be in the mix for the National Championship. However, if USC goes with a true freshman at quaterback, are they really good enough to make a run at the National Championship?

Jason

August 24th, 2009
9:30 am

Alabama is always in the news with the NCAA because they keep doing underhanded things, where there is smoke there is fire

Tony give me a break, why even waste your time talking about a back up QB from Jax State? Get real Tech will have no problems with Jax State even if Teabag Teabow was the QB.

Les Miles

August 24th, 2009
9:31 am

Al

August 24th, 2009
8:52 am

Players are repeatedly arrested at the same schools (Fla, FSU, UGA, UT, BAMA, Ohio St) because there is a culture of impunity perpetuated by the leadership. If these players knew they would sit for one year it wouldn’t be a problem. If the problem persist, you’re recruiting kids to stupid for teammates to depend upon.

Enlighten us Al. Just how many UGA players were arrested this off season. Why don’t we talk about the thugs at Tech that get felony drug trafficking convictions, to include the coaching staff? And then there’s the rapist. How many ineligible players will you cheaters try to play this year. GT is the cesspool of the ACC and you want to talk about somebody else?

no excuses

August 24th, 2009
9:32 am

“Lil ole Utah”??? Let’s see… “Lil ole Utah” just went undefeated and ended up ranked #2 in the BCS poll behind Florida!!! As a Bama fan, I hate losing. Period. But somehow I sleep better knowing our only losses came by hands of the #1 and #2 teams in the country. I have no doubt “Lil ole Utah” would have wiped the floor with the rest of the SEC (except Florida, of course) last year. Our problem last year was depth, and Saban is quickly ensuring that will never happen again.

Mikey

August 24th, 2009
9:33 am

Smokey- Cox has shoulder injury?
care to divulge your sources?

WBK

August 24th, 2009
9:34 am

Miles:
They get a bye into the national championship because of the Rose Bowl. You know the inconsequential bowl!

Les Miles

August 24th, 2009
9:40 am

And by the way Al. GT is probably the only school in NCAA history to START a drug trafficker. And before you again show how stupid you are, yes a judge said GT had to let him back on the team, but no judge can force a coach to start him. This may be the single most glaring example of a lack of integrity ever witnessed in the history of NCAA history. It beats out Bobby Ross starting those two thugs the Saturday after they beat the hell out of a 100 lb girl in the notorious “pizza brawl”. Then you have the biggest POS in college football, George O’Leary claiming that one of his starting wide receivers that got arrested with pot in HIS jacket was innocent because “he said it wasn’t his pot”. Yeah buddy. You hypocrites at GT have one of the most sordid recent histories of any school. And if you want to go back further, let’s talk about Ted Davis kicking Chick Graning in the jaw during a GT/Alabama game. You guys are classic hypocrites…not to mention just plain stupid.

SECRules

August 24th, 2009
9:41 am

The ACC champion will be lucky to finish in the top 20, with that weak conference. The SEC may finish the season with 5 teams in the top 10, with florida easily winning the BCS title. The ACC better hope that they have 1 team in the top 25 at year end.

LMAO!

August 24th, 2009
9:42 am

How many ineligibles was it Al. 11, 17? Help us out here.

Les Miles

August 24th, 2009
9:44 am

Say again Al. Did you say something about that shining example of a colege athletic staff member Joe Hamilton?

Divot

August 24th, 2009
9:45 am

Hey “M” …see Bama lose one bowl game and it makes the SEC the most over-hyped conference ever. Go ahead and continue to ignore facts such as National Championships from the early days of the BCS from the early 90’s through today and the fact that the SEC usually has a winning record EVERY year in the bowls against top-notch competition. One year recently…the SEC wiped out OK, NEB, ND, Michigan and some ACC victim in the GA Dome all in the same day or two! Isn’t the Chick-Fil-A Bowl like the ACC #2 Seed vs. SEC #4 and the SEC ususaly wins?

Otto

August 24th, 2009
9:47 am

richtfan. Ohio St has had plenty of brushes and has consistantly recruited near the highest number of secondary violations. Troy Smith was suspended a couple of games for taking money. However, OU kicks Bomar off the team for a bogus job and the NCAA wants to take wins away. Ohio St. goes on with Troy to win the national title and nothing is said. The USC thing keeps dragging out with no real news. The NCAA plays favorites.

UT96, Every program has dirt to be dug up, players that have accepted trivial gifts and alums that have done things that could be deemed wrong by the NCAA to think otherwise is naive. If the program was lily white clean there would be no secondary violation reported but as we all know everyone reports them. UT reported quite a few violations and went for players other schools backed off of for fear of the NCAA.

Ohio St beats USC early. USC has to replace to much of the defense and the QB is young. Texas beats OU. OU’s OL is young. If both teams can win out then they play for the title. UF gets beat by someone out of nowhere. History is against UF going wire to wire but if any team can do it, it is UF this year.

AtlantaTruth

August 24th, 2009
9:47 am

Smokey’s just trying to stir the pot. Joe Cox is fine….no problem with his shoulder….but I hear that Smokey’s got the mange.

JDennis

August 24th, 2009
9:47 am

Hey Tony, what time do you think all the Bulldog players who’ve been arrested in the past 5 years were out?

Not that it matters, because neither you or anyone else is very eager to report it.