It’s Friday which means that the floor is totally open to you. We can discuss spring football, the NFL Draft, conference expansion, politics, television (I’m still waiting impatiently for Mad Men to start its next season). Just keep it clean. Here are a few topics to get the party started:
The SEC had its end of spring practice conference call yesterday. Here are but a few tidbits that caught my attention:
**–It is well known by now that due to a scheduling quirk, Alabama’s last six SEC opponents in 2010 all have a bye week before they play the Crimson Tide. The SEC is trying to give Alabama some relief but its options are limited if other SEC schools don’t want to move games. And by now most of them don’t.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he was most concerned about the game with Auburn on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. Auburn has an open date on Nov. 20 while Alabama plays Georgia State in Tuscaloosa.
“The thing I’m concerned about is playing Auburn on a short week,” Saban said. “Sometimes a bye is an advantage and sometimes it’s not. It’s not going to be an excuse for us.”
Ironically, the key to getting Alabama some relief may be Bill Curry’s new program at Georgia State. If that game could be moved and Alabama could shift its open date from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20, then Saban would get the relief he seeks.
But here is why moving games at this late date is so hard:
**–Georgia State has an open date on Nov. 13 and might be willing to move its Alabama game at that date.
**–But Alabama has a game with Mississippi State on Nov. 13. Coach Dan Mullen said he might be willing to move that game to his open date, which is Nov. 6. Alabama can’t play that date because it has a game with LSU.
**–Alabama and Mississippi State could move to Oct. 30, Alabama’s old open date. But the Bulldogs have a date with Kentucky.
And so it goes. The process is complicated by the fact that there are only 13 Saturdays between the first Saturday of the season (Sept. 4) and the first Saturday in December. Some years there are 14 Saturdays which provide much more flexibility in scheduling.
**–In case you missed it last week, the Head Ball Coach at South Carolina turned 65 years old and, thanks to a workout regimen that would have younger men gasping for air, Steve Spurrier remains in great shape. “If you look at all the magazines you know that it’s got nothing to do with how old you are but how you take care of yourself,” said Spurrier. “I never thought I would coach until I was 60 but all of a sudden it gets here and you feel as good as you did 20 years ago.”
Spurrier said he is proud that he has never been fired as a college head coach and plans to keep it that way. “Hopefully I can coach another 4-5 years and be able to hang it up on my own.”
**–Florida center Maurkice Pouncey was the No. 18 pick in the NFL Draft by Pittsburgh. His brother, Mike, will take over the center spot this season at Florida. Maurkice Pouncey left school early and was a first-round pick. Mike stayed behind because he wanted to play one more year of college football. It is the first time since about the fifth grade that the two twins have been apart. Expect Mike Pouncey to be a first-round choice in the 2011 NFL Draft. “There is no reason he can’t do the same thing,” said interim head coach Steve Addazio, who is also Florida’s offensive coordinator. “I think Mike is the best offensive lineman in the country.”
Head coach Urban Meyer was not on the conference call and Addazio said he was not certain when Meyer would return to his office.
**–Derek Dooley, the new head coach at Tennessee, said that during his first meeting with the Volunteer players he did not ask for them to trust him. “That is something you have to earn over time,” said Dooley, Tennessee’s third head coach in as many seasons. “Trust is built with the consistency of how we treat them and coach them. It’s our job to get them to trust us, not to demand that they trust us.”
Dooley said he does not expect his father, Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley, to be in Sanford Stadium when Tennessee comes to Georgia on Oct. 9. Vince Dooley told me a couple of weeks ago that he will watch the game from his home in Athens.
“He has a love for Georgia like none other but he also knows that his son will be playing,” said Derek Dooley. “Blood is thicker than water. He may not be wearing orange but at least I hope he’s thinking orange.”
Here are a few other notes before we break for the weekend:
**–Auburn’s Ben Tate and Tennessee’s Montario Hardesty were the No. 5 and No. 6 running backs taken in the NFL Draft. They were the first two running backs from the SEC to be selected. What else do they have in common? They were both coached by Eddie Gran, who was the running backs coach at Auburn in 2008 and the Tennessee running backs coach in 2009. Gran decided to join Jimbo Fisher at Florida State when Lane Kiffin bolted for USC in January. This continues a run of good backs for Gran, who is considered one of the best recruiters in the business. He has coached four first round choices: John Avery (Ole Miss), Duece McAllister (Ole Miss), Carnell Williams (Auburn), and Ronnie Brown (Auburn). He has four second round draft choices: Tate, Hardesty, Kenny Irons (Auburn), Brandon Jacobs (Auburn). Just found that interesting.
**–My 790 The Zone buddies Sandra Golden and Mike Bell are starting a new show at noon on Monday on CSS. “The Sports Gig” is being billed as a sports/infotainment show. It looks like they will the sports equivalent of “Regis and Kelly.” Check them out.
A FINAL PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting Monday and continuing through next Friday, we will do our Spring football wrap-up for 2010. Here is the schedule:
Monday: SEC East
Tuesday: SEC West
Wednesday: ACC Atlantic
Thursday: ACC Coastal
Friday: Post-Spring Top 25
Have a great weekend.
Please follow me on Twitter: