Relax UT fans: Kiffin said he did nothing wrong

It was was busy weekend with training camp in full swing. So what did we learn?

1. Relax Tennessee fans. Kiffin said he did nothing wrong:  Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton acknowledged at the end of last week that the school may receive a letter of inquiry from the NCAA. My experience is when the school says a letter is coming, it’s probably already in the mail. Tennessee has already self-reported six minor recruiting violations by Kiffin and his staff. NCAA investigators looked into actions by the school’s recruiting hostess program when Kiffin was head coach for 14 unforgettable months. Kiffin left for USC last Janaury but he is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving.

We now know that NCAA investigators were on campus last spring talking to Tennessee  coaches who were part of Kiffin’s staff but remained in Knoxville when he bolted for the West Coast.

“I have great confidence in what we did there, that we didn’t do anything wrong,” Kiffin told reporters over the weekend. “Just because they’re looking into something doesn’t mean we did anything wrong.”

Well, if I’m a Tennessee fan I know I feel a lot better.

2.  SEC West,  ACC Coastal the best: I said in a speech last week that the two top divisions in college football this season would be the SEC West and the ACC Coastal. The first USA Today Coaches Poll proves that out. Four teams in the SEC West (No. 1 Alabama, No. 16 LSU, No. 19 Arkansas, and No. 23 Auburn) were ranked as were four teams in the ACC Coastal (No. 7 Virginia Tech, No. 13 Miami, No. 17 Georgia Tech, No. 18 North Carolina). The round robin in those two divisions will be appointment football this season.

For those of you who are keeping score at home (and I know you are) the SEC had six total teams ranked (No. 3 Florida and No. 21 Georgia From the East) while the ACC had five (Florida State of the Atlantic Division was No. 20)

3. Give Nick Saban credit. He’s consistent: When I met with Alabama coach Nick Saban back in the spring, he made the case to me that Alabama probably shouldn’t be considered the nation’s No. 1 team in the preseason. He made a very logical argument based on the number of starters he would have to replace on defense (9) and the fact that his special teams were simply decimated and he would likely have true freshmen at both kicking spots.

When the coaches poll came out Friday Alabama received 55 of 59 first place votes. One of the four coaches who did not vote Alabama at No. 1 was Saban.

Note: I’m putting the finishing touches on my preseason Top 25. We will release it over five days–five teams a day–starting on Monday, Aug. 16. The top five will be released on Friday, August. 20.

4. Is “grayshirting” fair to the kids? Kevin Scarbinsky wrote a thoughtful piece on the practice of  “grayshirting” players. It’s the practice of signing more than the allotted 25 players with the knowledge that it is a numbers game. If you sign 28 (which is the SEC limit) and all 28 qualify academically, three guys are going to get left without a scholarship. Those three have to pay their own way to school in the fall with the promise that a scholarship will await them in January.

Kevin believes that is not fair to the players and their families who sign in good faith. The counter argument is this is just part of doing business at this level of college football.

Seems to me that if the school is transparent and as long as everybody understands the risks involved up front, then the process is acceptable. If the player and his family are genuinely surprised when he doesn’t get a scholarship in August, then there is a problem. Read Kevin’s story and tell me what you think:

 http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/08/scarbinsky_late_grayshirts_a_b.html

5.  Be careful with that “we’re a better team” argument: I know what Florida’s Chris Rainey was trying to say when he told Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun that the Gators would be better off this season without all those “prima donnas” from 2009.

http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20100805/COLUMNISTS/100809707/1044?Title=Rainey-Gators-better-off-without-prima-donnas-

The point young Mr. Rainey was attempting to make was that this team does not have as many high-profile and NFL ready players as last season’s team, which lost quarterback Tim Tebow and five NFL draft choices from the defense. Because so many “name” players are gone this team has to bond in order to be better than the sum of its parts. I get that.

But also know that this was the argument that Georgia made in 2009 after quarterback Matt Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, and running back Knowshon Moreno, the No. 12 pick in the draft, were gone.

Bonding and working together are very important in college football. But you can carry that argument to the extreme. There is no substitute for talent. It’s hard to have a good team without good players. It’s REALLY hard to have a great team without great players.

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341 comments Add your comment

Ms. Correctness

August 9th, 2010
11:37 am

Anyone who uses “your” in place of “you’re” is a moron. Anyone who misspells “moron” went to ‘Bama. Anyone who uses “dude” in a sentence(without quotation marks) is an immature dweeb.

gcs

August 9th, 2010
11:39 am

Kevin Scarbinsky is making uneducated assumptions. His article is not worth reading.

.

Brenda R.

August 9th, 2010
11:40 am

If Lane Kiffin is such a crappy coach, how was he able to wax UGA last year? That doesn’t seem to say too much for Mark Richt. If I am not mistaken, he kept UT close against the Gators and didn’t he almost beat Bama? He didn’t have 10 years to build a program like Richt yet it would appear he outperformed him.

Any explanation on that?

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
11:41 am

Agree with “Reality.” Erk Russell said for years that Florida was potentially the best job in the country–for the right man. Weather, gawdy-talent-galore Florida, large fan base, SEC status, state flagship school. The fact that they don’t have more titles (especially none prior to the ’90s) speaks volumes. Never should get spanked like they did against ‘Bama in the title game.
Right now, ‘Bama has Nick Saban. If/when he leaves, they will return to a program like they were under Dubose.

zeeeee Nachos aka the "Living Legend"

August 9th, 2010
11:42 am

Auburn Man… that is an oxymoron!

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
11:45 am

Brenda, UT merely had to show up against UGA last season. They didn’t even get off the bus. Auburn made LK and UT look silly just one week before. Also, did you watch UT vs UCLA? Totally the coach’s fault in blowing that game. UT had it on ice.
Played tight with ‘Bama but the UF game wasn’t that close. Tebow fumbled on UT’s 5 yard line and UT recovered. Otherwise the Gators would have gone up by 3 touchdowns. Watch a replay of UT vs Ole Miss… He was also totally owned by Va Tech in the bowl game.

He sucks.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
11:46 am

It’s okay because Saban says so

August 9th, 2010
11:24 am
“Delusional Tide Fans- you were 3 players over this year, not 2. 2 decided to grayshirt and 1 decided to transfer. Tide fans have serious issues with math when it comes to recruits and national championships.”

Why yes! It is ok cause Saban says so. Allow me to help you out with your math. 3 players over? One player who was competing for a starting job transferred by mutual decision due to breaking team rules-academic or behavioral most likely. That leaves 2 who grayshirted one of whom was still not fully recovered from a foot injury suffered in his senior year of high school. That really leaves 1 player who had to grayshirt besides the one who grayshirted partly out of injury. Big freaking deal! Worry about your own team and your own goings on rather than what Saban is doing. Bottom line is that we have 85 players on scholly just like you and everyone else.

Dr. Phil

August 9th, 2010
11:48 am

After viewing this video, I am speechless. It only needs Adams dancing in it like Lex Luthor or The Joker. http://www.urlesque.com/2010/08/06/party-in-the-uga-orientation-vid-captures-the-essence-of-awkwa/?sms_ss=email

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
11:54 am

Also to Brenda R.,

I agree with you on one thing: losing so big to UT did NOT say much about Mark Richt. I’m not a coach but I watched the game and after a couple of plays I knew UT’s QB was going to roll right with the play-action pass. Something Willie Martinez apparently never saw. The ‘Dawgs were scorched with that play all day long. Guess that’s an example of why Richt eventually canned one of his best friends (Martinez) and hired a new DC. Time will tell. Now if UT sails into Athens and does it again this year the future won’t say much for Richt either…

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
11:55 am

But then Willie and company did have one swan song: stuffing ‘Tech on their big night.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
11:59 am

“Right now, ‘Bama has Nick Saban. If/when he leaves, they will return to a program like they were under Dubose.”

Mayo, even under Debose we won an sec title. Maybe we could return to a program like under Debose. Or maybe we return to a program like under Stallings, or Bear, or Wallace Wade, Or Frank Thomas all guys who have won national titles at Bama. In the meantime one can always hope and wait for Saban to retire. Or you can trot out the ole nonsense about how he’s leaving after the season-come to say it they’ve been saying that for 3-4 years now.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
11:59 am

To “Ms. Correctness,”
While I agree with you in spirit, if you have spent time reading these posts in the past, you should know that pointing out diction and punctuation is an exercise in futility.

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
12:08 pm

Tide Rising -

It is always the same. If you can’t beat the other team, hope that their coach leaves like Saban and Meyer or that their players do as well.

Lane Kiffin

August 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

Not surprised that barnhardt once again sides with saban on yet another issue that the guy has been called out for (and rightfully so). bammer treats kids like numbers and cattle, and somehow barnhardt can justify it because the almighty is the one doing it. Tony you have lost all credibility with me and many other hard core college f’ball fans over the last two years because you sold your soul to this guy and bammer. You used to be the best.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:14 pm

Tide Rising,

I never said that there was anything wrong with SEC titles…that should be every team’s #1 goal–nor did I say Dubose was a bad era (I could have said ‘Bama would return to Shula-type #s…); but only if–and when Saban leaves…(he WILL at some point of course). By the way, I don’t recall ever trotting out any “nonsense” for the past 3-4 years. Those who have said so may well be basing their statements on “hope” (no matter to me how long he stays); however they do have a modicum of truth on their side. Saban has a track record of bolting after a short tenture.
Personally, I think he’s in Tuscaloosa for a while. How’s that for nonsense?

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:14 pm

SSIgator,

It wouldn’t surprise me if at the end of the season people are saying Saban goes to the Cowboys and Meyer goes to the Steelers. I would agree that its rather pathetic.

bruce mac

August 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

Tampa Gator, Richt averages 10 wins a season. Now who needs to get real?

Justin

August 9th, 2010
12:17 pm

Don’y yall see? Dooley’s a victim of Kiffen? Dooley isn’t responsible for Tenneessee’s losing record this year? Feel sorry for him yet? Buy his excuses yet?

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

“SSIgator”

Not quite (always the same). Tide Rising miscontrued my comments regarding Saban’s tenure. I for one couldn’t care less how long he (or anyone at any other school) stays. ‘Bama being good is good for the SEC.

Drake

August 9th, 2010
12:20 pm

Geez, anybody with sense knows Richt’s a top 5 coach when it comes to the only thing that matters, consistently winning football games. Agree, Saban and Meyer got lucky inherting other coach’s players, Meyer got lucky with Strong, Saban got lucky inherting other coach’s players–Saban can’t win a National Championship with his own recruits.

Pawlie

August 9th, 2010
12:23 pm

Actually Tony, no, Saban is NOT consistent. Saban’s past record indicates he’s the most up and down coach in the nation, wins less than 7 games a season 50% of his seasons. Rarely follows a top 10 years with another, like once is his entire life. Look what happened the year after Saban won his Natl Champ at LSU?

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:26 pm

“Right now, ‘Bama has Nick Saban. If/when he leaves, they will return to a program like they were under Dubose.”

Mayo,

There’s not a lot to misconstrue about a statement like that. Incidentally you may be right. We may revert back to a program like under Debose-or like under Stallings. Who really knows?

All programs ebb and flow and we certainly will not dominate or be on top forever. No one will. Too much balance, too many good teams. Programs like OU, Texas, and Ohio state were dormant for 10+ years from the late 80s throughout the 90s and are now top 10 fixtures. Likewise Michigan and ND are going through a down cycle but will eventually be back.

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
12:26 pm

TampaGator -

Retirement takes a little while to adjust to, but once you get in the groove it sure beats having to go to work every day. Trust me, you will enjoy it.

TJ

August 9th, 2010
12:27 pm

Let me preface what I’m about to say by saying all of the teams that Im calling out had great seasons last year…

I disagree with coaches poll completely… there’s no way the ACC is worthy of having 6 ranked teams. Georgia Tech won’t beat Kansas or Georgia, UNC will get embarrassed by LSU, and plays a candy cane schedule. Why are these teams ranked in the Top 25.

By the same token, Arkansas is rated way above where they’ll finish. We all know where Houston Nutt’s teams finish when expectations are high….

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:30 pm

Me thinks Mark Richt addressed his achilles heel (Willie M.). When VanGorder was at UGA, they were more consistent and had fewer “nailbiter” games–and much less blowouts like the travesty in Knoxville last year. Won a couple of conference championships too.

This year should set up well with his O-line and returners on defense. BUT not only does UF present him with the usual challenge this year; South Carolina is a solid (serious) conference/div threat for the first time since Spurrier went there.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:31 pm

Pawlie,

You’re right about Saban’s record but you’re also comparing apples and oranges. His overall record includes stops at very hard to win places like Toledo and Mich state-perennial little brother in Michigan and in the big 10 in general. But if you look at his record in the sec at LSU and Bama he is 75% (36 of 48)at LSU and 31-8 at Bama which is 80%. So in SEC only stints he is .775 with 3 sec titles and 2 bcs titles in 8 seasons. That’s pretty good and better than everybody in the league except Meyer.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

John Brantley was the QB that called the extra timeouts at the end of the 2008 Georgia-Florida game.

This guy was incredibly rude and disrespectful to Georgia.

The Georgia defense will PERSONALLY make Brantley pay for that.

It’s personal, and untested inexperienced Johnnie Brantley will regret calling those timeouts.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

Tide Rising,

Your quote: “Or you can trot out the ole nonsense about how he’s leaving after the season-come to say it they’ve been saying that for 3-4 years now.”

If by “you” you mean me, you misconstrued. “If/when he leaves” isn’t in the same company as the naysayers who “have said this for 3-4 years, etc.

Nevertheless, I said what I said. I’m not getting into a pissing contest.

Pawlie

August 9th, 2010
12:34 pm

Anyone know what record Saban had the season after he won a National Championship at LSU?

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

Grant -

Meyer called time, not Brantley. Moron.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:37 pm

Wrong, Johnnie Brantley was the QB on the field, smiling all the way.

It was a disrespectful thing to do, and he will reap the consequences.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:38 pm

TJ….update your lack of SEC knowledge….Huston Nett is now the head coach at Ole Miss, not Arkansas. That woul be the nortorious for Atlanta Falcons coach currently at Arkansas….Patrino….but not to be mistaken for the current head basketball coach at Louisville….that other Pa…..something…Pe….something.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:38 pm

That would be Houston Nutt, of course. Typing not so good today.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

You just don’t go and call timeouts and diss a team like Unetested Inexperienced Johnnie Brantley did.

He will be hoping for a timeout after Georgia finishes with him on Oct. 30.

Fast Eddie

August 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

Almost every school in the SEC (with the exception of Vandy) obviously has very good talent every year but some schools always appear to have superior talent, i.e., UA, UF, UGA, and LSU. Three of those 4 schools nave won MNC’s during this decade. I just can’t seem to remember the only one without a MNC in that group!

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:40 pm

Saban went 9-3 at LSU, 6-2 SEC, finished 2nd in West, after winning the previous year at LSU. No, he does not follow a good year with another good year too often.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:41 pm

Pawlie,

He went 9-3 the year after winning the title at LSU. So what? You’re not going to sustain an incredibly high level of performance after every single great year. That’s just common sense. Its the same reason why Meyer went 9-4 after winning his first title in 06 and its the same reason why Richt lost 3 games in 2003 after winning his first sec title in 2002 and he went 9-4 in 06 after winning the sec in 2005. But while Meyer also went 9-4 after winning one of his 2 titles he also went 13-1 after winning the other one. So what is your point?

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:42 pm

Grant….(otherwise known as about 500 other post names)…..

Running on the field to celebrate in the end zone (AFTER FINALLY SCORING A TD ON FLORIDA….WOW) was a little bit more disrespectful don’t you think???….and Georgia “DID” pay the consequences for it last year (BIG TIME)….and Florida did it on the field and with time outs….not on summer time blogs and not right up in Georgia players faces.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:44 pm

Grant,

Saban just won 2 back to back 12 win seasons. Who else has done that in the sec? Urban Meyer and that’s it.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

Grant….I sure hope you come back on here as a recognizable post….after the game in Jax this year……but certainly not as any name that can be directly associated with you…..by the way…..I am TAMPAGATOR and have been for years. And I will be back on here after the Georgia-Florida game….as TAMPAGATOR….win or lose. But if your players go after Brantley….your coach will again give the Gator team reason to stomp on you in future years.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

Brantley will pay for calling the timeouts against Georgia in 2008. it was a punk thing to do.

Brantley will be paid back heavily for each timeout. It’s personal. it was rude, he disrespected the Dogs. He will pay for his decision.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

@ SSIgator:

I’m assuming you retired to St Simons Island (”SSI”)? If so, that’s my (planned) retirement destination as well. Already a 2nd home.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:47 pm

The Dogs will not forget what Brantley did to them in 2008. He disrespected the whole Bulldog nation by calling those timouts with a big lead. He will reap what he has sown.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

Tide Rising…..

Lou Saban is currently the best coach in the SEC. Relax. Urban Meyer is a very, very close second….and that positioning will probably go back and forth for several years to come no matter what these people think….yeah….Saban is going to leave Alabama for Michigan next year. These are the same people who were on here posting that Urban Meyer had already agreed to coach Notre Dame last year. They are real experts (NOT) on coaching changes. Who in there right mind would leave Alabama for Michigan or Florida for Notre Dame. Both are career step downs and the coaches that would do that would lose professional respectibility. Saban is Bama for a long time. Meyer…same at Florida….now that he had learned to delegate….and he has.

Tdawg

August 9th, 2010
12:51 pm

Saban is right. No national title this year. No SEC title either. Heck not even a SEC west title.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:52 pm

Grant……

(or whoever you post as next)…..look up the word….I hate to post it but you made me do it….”buffoon”…..in the dictionary.

LOL

August 9th, 2010
12:53 pm

Tampagator, keep responding to him and you may just need to look that word up yourself.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

Grant,

Who cares if a UF player was rude?? It’s the job of those dressed in Red & Black to take away the reason(s) for such “treatment.” That’s the game today: taunting, pointing, etc. Wish it weren’t but “thems the facts.” ALL teams have moments in which individuals (or several) do things they shouldn’t.

As for the reference to UGA rushing onto the field (I for one didn’t care for that move) it WAS due to the players taking the coach’s directions over the top to “go celebrate.” I think Richt meant for the offense to celebrate and get excited and maybe be called for it–not the whole team rush the field. At least that’s what he said at one time. In any case: they paid for it later.

Delbert D.

August 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

TampaGator – Enjoy your last 2 days, and then pursue a carefree life of leisure. Not gonna leave the blogs, are you?

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

TampaGator/Brend/Tide Rising-

thanks for the kind words, your jr. high insults give away your fake names.