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

Coach or not Meyers

August 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

I’m the STAR of the team this year and I will get all the attention ..my shrink says!

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

Tampagator,

Nice to hear that you put Saban ahead of Meyer but based on pure numbers and stats I would still have to put Meyer ahead of Saban. More titles in fewer years, higher winning %, more success at Utah and BG than Saban had at his previous stops. They are 1-1 against each other but based on all the other numbers Meyer has a very clear cut head to head lead using just about any statistical analyses. Besides, as Saban himself puts it he’s just a good coach who happens to be a great recruiter.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

SSI Gator…

I have been going back and forth from Atlanta to Tampa for years. I love it there….but the big adjustment will be not being able to drive to the mountains on the weekends. I need to get a cabin up there for two weeks in the summer to help with the adjustment, I think. At least, in Tampa, I am only 2 hours from THE SWAMP!!! GLORY!!!

Delbert D.

August 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

Anyone heard the rumor that Saban has quietly inquired about the AD job at Georgia? I say it’s far-fetched and pure speculation.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

Who cares if John Brantley called multiple timeouts at the end of the Georgia-Florida game with a lead?

It’s one of thos eunwritten class rules that Brantley broke. He broke the ethical code, and as the QB on the field when it happened, John Brantley will have to personally be held accountable for his decision by Grantham and the georgia defense.

it’s personal, and all Georgia defensive eyes will be aimed for untested, inexperienced John Brantley.

John Brantley’s decision to insult the entire Bulldog nation with the late game timeouts will haunt him on Oct. 30. He will regret being a part of that.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
12:59 pm

Grant,

I can’t speak for Brenda but myself and Tampagator have been using the same handles for at least a couple years now.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
12:59 pm

Tide Rising….

Take a mirror…and Saban and Meyer look very much the same with coaching styles and philosophy…..although I must say Meyer is more personalble in public with his players. Saban is more so in private….but he is a little bit more of a hard a… than Meyer….as far a public imaage. But I would take either one to coach my son…if I have one that was going into college…that was years ago.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Tide Rising/Tampa Gator/Delbert-

Why do you change handles so often?

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Mayo -

Have been living here for years. Just recently retired. Come visit more often. Our local economy needs the money.

randy marsh

August 9th, 2010
1:01 pm

i think the team to beat until proven otherwise is florida in the east. i hope it is my dawgs, but we will see. wether it is the east or west in the sec the fact remains that it is the best……………… tampa gator i think the record before 3 and 17 was 5 and 15 dawgs. they were playing football before 1990. at least we as uga fans are proud of our program the previous 50 years. the tide will turn , maybe not this year but it will. also UT might be getting whats coming after the ncaa decided not to do anything about the t martin stuff. and if it is true, rattin out other schools. but it is sad to see plain drippen run off and leave such a storied program a mess.UT fan or not.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:01 pm

Grant…..

as I posted…..PLEAE LOOK UP THE WORD……”buffoon”…..in the dictionary….or just plain…..”Bore”….if you will.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

Grant,

Same with Delbert D. He’s been using his same handle for at least a couple years now.

Delbert,

Saban as the AD at Georgia? That seems pretty farfetched but I could see that much more realistically than I could see him taking on a whole new coaching job anywhere else. It makes sense and it wouldn’t be hard to see at all since he would so close to his retirement lake house at Lake Burton I think it is. He will burn out as a head coach and if he wants to keep working an AD position would be perfect. And what better AD position then one right near his lake house?

cadawg

August 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

i would agree with tampagator that coach meyer and UF have to get the benefit of the doubt from their own fan base as well as ours: we’ve got to assume that those boys are going to be ready to play this year and every year, and it doesn’t make sense to hide behind irrelevant observations like “gatorade national players of the year don’t win NC’s” and “brantley played at a small high school.” who cares? what matters is what happens on the field, and UF has kicked our butt the last couple of years (and yeah, 17 out of 20 blah blah blah, etc…) because they were more disciplined, more focused, more consistent, and better prepared than we were. if we eliminate turnovers (we’re -8 the last two years, btw) or even force a couple ourselves, we’ll be fine. i think we have a good chance to do that this year, and that’s why i like our chances.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

Grant,

Perhaps someone will take umbrage with UF’s QB during this years GA-FL game but I stand by my point that if you beat someone on the scoreboard you shouldn’t have to worry about it…

Just my .02

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

randy marsh -

“the tide will turn”

Yeah, it sure did. What was it? 31-0 at the half?

Tee Martin

August 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

My car broke down again. Can someone get me a big UT fan who I’ve never met before to wire me some money for car repairs? I checked with the NCAA. Its all good.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
1:13 pm

Grant,

You’ve spent some time being upset about Brantley calling timeouts in the 08 UGA-UF game and you are vowing payback. If you were really mad about it you should have extracted payback in 09 rather than waiting till 2010. Why wait? Don’t get mad. Get even.

17 of 20

August 9th, 2010
1:14 pm

Grant,

John Brantley will only be in the Georgia game for the first half because the Gators will have scored all the points they need by halftime to beat the Bulldogs. Trey Burton will be calling time out’s this year late in the fourth quarter to again send the Bulldogs home as losers.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

Delbert D…..

to answer your question…..probably more breaks between posts (not everyone say “thank goodness” at once)….got to sell a lot of stuff and and then get relocated into the home real near by beloved Caladesi Island (nver been there….you should go….but you have to take a ferry ride if you are not walking down from Clearwater Beach)…..just love those long walks from Clearwater Beach to Caladesi in the mornings…and saying hello to my dolphin friends along the way….and more into long road bike rides as well. And the motor bike rides. And the fishing. And…I hope my wife isn’t reading this…the beautiful ladies on the beach. And the next great book…anyone currently reading one? I haven’t read a really good one since the “Genesis Secret.” Anyway….and most importantly…only a 2-hour drive to….THE SWAMP….on Saturday mornings instead of a plane ride on Friday nights, etc. Just a little more than 3 weeks to kick off…and we should also be settled in Tampa by then. Lots to do soon. But college football is almost here….I just hope not hurricanes as well.

PTC DAWG

August 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

IF UGA wins 9 and doesn’t get run of the field this year in a game or two, that will be HUGE improvement.

I wish no ill will on the UT fans or program.

UF better? Like others have said, that would take 14-0…..time will tell.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
1:18 pm

Lord knows I never want to break one of thos eunwritten rules….

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:24 pm

cadawg…..

finally….an intelligent and relevant Dawg post. I completely agree with you. Turnovers have really hurt Georgia in recent years and a play here or there could have made the scores closer or helped Georgia win a few they lost to Florida. There is not a significant difference in the quality of players the two teams put on the field every year….the major difference has been the coaching of Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. Heck…even Ron Zook did OK against Georgia. Richt needs to step up his coaching…and it appears he has made some very positive assistant coaching changes to help coach up those very talent players he has on the team. I think this year’s game is going down to the wire. I also believe Georgia is highly underrated. I would put them in the top ten except for Murray’s lack of time working in the Georgia system. But he is an excellent QB…..and if he develops quickly in the Georgia system this year….Georgia will be come not only a SEC-East threat….but also a national threat as well. But you aren’t going to lose…..according to Forrest Gump….I mean GRANT…..because of Brantley. If you beat the Gators….it will be because of pre-game coaching and the improved play of your QB. PERIOD. Right now….Richt is holding a second fiddle to Meyer as far as coaching. He has an opportunity this year to move up some as one of the best coaches in the SEC….if Richt can guide his team in wins over, first, South Carolina and Arkansas (neither will be easy tasks for Georgia) and then Florida. Good luck….you will need it….as all successful teams know.

SSIgator

August 9th, 2010
1:25 pm

Tide Rising -

Regarding Grant (and all the other names he posts under) it is called frustration. It is like all the Dawg fans I know here on the island. They all hate being dominated by the Gators of recent, but they know it is out of there hands. At least here we still play golf together, fish or whatever. Yeah, we trade barbs with each other, but poor old Grant sounds like he will kill himself if UGA loses to the Gators again.

Grant

August 9th, 2010
1:28 pm

SSI Gator/Mayo/Tampa Gator/Brenda/PTC Dawg-

My, someone sure does change their handle a bunch, wonder why?

Grant

August 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

I like it when the fake handles, all the same person, start ‘talking to each other’, that’s my clue to leave the blog.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:31 pm

PTC Dawg….

That is what is great about the current Florida football program…they are hard at working trying to overcome the failure of a 13-1 and Sugar Bowl win season. Life is tough….but you work hard at it.

For that reason alone….I would not want to be in Urban Meyer’s shoes. How to you improve on 2 NC in 4 years and the disappointment of a 13-1 season…..really the loss to Alabama.

Well….you get busy in the spring and summer and the players get a lot bigger…stronger…and smarter….and believe me…the Gator players have….as I am sure the Bama players have. I know I am not supposed to look forward to it….and I hope the Gator players aren’t….but I am looking forward to heading over to Bama this fall…..they hear they have a great bar-b-Q place there too. Yum! Yum!

Grant2

August 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

Grant-

Great comments, best everr, you’re a genuis!!

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

Grant…..

Before you leave….did you look up the word….”buffoon?” Go read a book while you are gone….you might learn something!

Grant

August 9th, 2010
1:35 pm

thanks TampaGator/Tide Rising/SSI Gator/Mayo/Brenda/PTC Dawg (could they all be the same person–using fake names)

Have a fun time in here talking to yourself for the rest fo the afternoon.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

You know…Grant….the reason we all know you are posting as several different people….and the ones you claim are…are not….is because so many of your posts read the same and have the same level of knowledge and background knowledge association.

Send the AJC a challenge….ask them if our posts are coming from the same person and if you have posted under several different names. They can check that, you know, or maybe YOU DIDN’T KNOW…probably so.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
1:38 pm

Grant= Pat Sulley= 4 million other handle names.

TampaGator

August 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Like Grant (that is a scary thought)…I have to go….some work needs to get done today…if I like it or not. Have a nice rest of the day.

Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

Grant,

I reckon you got us busted. The same bama fan is also a gator fan and what’s this-ptc dawg? I guess I’m the same person being a dawg fan too. That makes a lotta sense.

Anonymous

August 9th, 2010
1:42 pm

Grant:

“I like it when the fake handles, all the same person, start ‘talking to each other’, that’s my clue to leave the blog.”

Threat, or promise?

Lane Kiffin

August 9th, 2010
1:42 pm

I believe every thing Lane Kiffin says.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
1:43 pm

I’m going to give Grant the benefit of the doubt. I think he’s about 10 but no older than 12.

Calling all Gators

August 9th, 2010
1:48 pm

To all gaters – take your yankee arses back to Florida and stay there. Please get out of Ellijay, Blue Ridge, and Atlanta. And stop reading the ajc. Thanks. Citizens for a Clean Georgia

Gatorzone

August 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

Ignore his idiocy, and he will go away…

You guys are taking the bait.

Sick of TampaGator and Tide Rising

August 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

TampaGator and Tide Rising, go somewhere else for awhile.

Citizens for a Clean Georgia

August 9th, 2010
1:53 pm

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
2:02 pm

Calling all Gators

August 9th, 2010
2:03 pm

Rather be a redneck than a D-bag Gater like the cast of Jersey Shore.

Beast from the East

August 9th, 2010
2:04 pm

It appears school got out early today and the “children” have hijacked the blog, once again.

DP

August 9th, 2010
2:11 pm

Sulley = H Back, Greg, Lincoln, Paulie and Grant so far on this blog, at a minimum.

How would Sulley know that Brantley called a couple of timeouts late in the FL-GA game a couple of years ago? The Georgia fans had all vacated the stadium and turned off their TV sets by then. Did he read it in the newspaper?

gadawgs

August 9th, 2010
2:11 pm

Tampa Gator….CMR has averaged 10 wins per during his tenure not 8. As a matter of fact the record for our two beloved institutions in the nine years that CMR has been at UGA is as follows:
UGA 90-27
UF 90-26

Unfortunately, 7 of those 27 losses have come against you guys and until we beat you I am not going to beat my chest like H Back. Yes, you have won two NC to our none over that same time frame. But if you would HONESTLY with no bias look at the two years that we SHOULD have been chosen to play for the National Championship but the football gods intervened you will see that we could very well have two ourselves:

2002 we ended the season at 13-1 (the same exact record your mighty Gators had during both of their title runs).

2007 we ended the regular season at 10-2 (and by the end of the season were the best team in the country. Not me saying it but alot of experts.With our bowl game win we finished 11-2) That same year LSU played for and won the National Championship with guess what the exact same regular season record as us @ 10-2 (they finished 12-2 with victories in the SEC CG and NC) .Even though the 2008 regular season ended with a loss to Arkansas in Little Rock. Despite the loss, LSU would go on to the SEC championship game. LSU won the 2007 SEC title, beating Tennessee 21–14. The night of LSU’s SEC title victory, the teams then ranked number one and two lost allowing LSU to be ranked #2 (even though UGA was ranked #4 at the time but were idle. We not only were denied the chance to play for it all but we dropped in the rankings even though the teams in front of us lost) in the AP, Coaches, Harris, and BCS polls. LSU beat the Buckeyes in the 2008 BCS Championship, 38-24. If UGA would have played OSU we would have won. Not making excuses just stating facts. Sometimes you have to be lucky as well as good to get the chance to play for it all in the first place.

Again, with all of that being said until we show that we can beat you guys consistently you have to be the pick in the East. But times are a changin’ and your run will end sooner than later (they always do).

Beast from the East

August 9th, 2010
2:20 pm

gadawgs,
Stating that “If UGA would have played OSU we would have won” is not “just stating facts”. You cannot have facts based on “ifs”.
I understand the point you are trying to make, but please do not try and pass your opinion on an imaginary game off as a fact. It reduces your argument to less than believable. I think we all know there is some luck involved in getting the opportunity to play in the BCS title game. So far, UGA has not been lucky enough in the years they’ve fielded really strong teams.

Mayo

August 9th, 2010
2:35 pm

@ Beast from the East-

gadawgs was extrapolating just a bit on the OSU game-that-never-occurred, but hey it’s not too much of a stretch. Have you seen OSU’s record against the SEC (including UGA)?

Now I really do have to sign off this time. Good day all.

Blue

August 9th, 2010
2:43 pm

yeah, because coaches say ALL THE TIME; “yeah…I cheated. What of it??”

Beast from the East

August 9th, 2010
2:43 pm

Mayo,
I know OSU hasn’t fared too well against SEC teams recently. But to just “pencil in ” a win is going a bit too far. We never know the outcome until the game is played. That’s why I cringe when Gator fans “assume” UF is just going to walk through UGA every year. I guess they just forget about years like 1997, 2007, etc. I never assume anything when it comes to college football. I’ve seen way too many upsets over the years.

dawgster

August 9th, 2010
2:49 pm

TampaGator, i happen to agree with your posts regarding some of the dawg failures against the gators over the past few years, hopefully we will see different results this year as i believe we have the talent and with some of the coaching moves that were made, we have an opportunity..Our team is very, very good, and i like what i am hearing about the incoming freshman..Yea, the QB position is scary, not only with a RS Freshman that has never taken a snap, lbut also the inexperience behind him…Although i thimk we will be much improve on both sides of the ball, i’m not sure we can take the SEC East yet or not..I will say that the gators need to not disrespect us as we are building a wealth of talent over here and with what we have committed next year so far and what is possibly going to be some big surprises, we will be very competitive…Hopefully the coaching staff will be able to take advantage of this talent..We all have to remember that the SEC schools are not that far apart in overall talent for the most part, and though Coaching is obvisiously a very large part of it, it still takes the players doing it in the game and of course a little luck now and then goes along way…