Florida’s Meyer rolling the dice with Chris Rainey

Nobody asked me but:

1. Urban Meyer is rolling the dice with Chris Rainey: The Florida wide receiver had his felony stalking charge knocked down to a misdemeanor and will not be prosecuted for this text message threat to a Gainesville woman. I know that Meyer likes this kid and has tried to work with him, but if Rainey is allowed back on the team and something goes wrong, the University is going to be in a very vulnerable position from a liability standpoint. Meyer knows the kid. I don’t.  Local authorities have assessed the situation and don’t believe there is a threat. The woman involved is not pressing charges and issued a public statement saying that she does not believe there is a threat. That’s all well and good.

All I know is that since the Virginia lacrosse case (where a male member of the lacrosse team killed a female member of a team in the same sport by beating her head against a wall), the wisest policy is zero tolerance when it comes to threats towards women.

2.  I was wrong about Mark Ingram and the Heisman Trophy: When Ingram missed the first two games of Alabama’s season with a knee injury, I assumed that he was out of the Heisman Trophy race and would not repeat as the winner. I was wrong. I think Ingram is very much in the Heisman race after his 157-yard day against Arkansas. A lot of national media saw his incredible 54-yard touchdown run early in the game and how he was the most dominant player on the field in the fourth quarter when Alabama stormed back to win 24-20. Saturday he gets another national stage when No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 7 Florida.

3. Playoff PAC is out of line: Playoff PAC is a political action committee that is working towards eliminating the BCS and replacing it with some kind of playoff system. This is America and that is what political action committees are for: advocating and advancing a point of view through the political process. I have no problem with that. But the lawyers who work  (free of charge) for Playoff PAC have been sifting through the tax returns of the four BCS bowls looking for dirt. They think they’ve found some in the compensation packages for some of the bowl executive directors. Playoff PAC has filed a 27-page complaint to the IRS.

These guys want a playoff  and someday that might come to pass. It’s a good argument but they haven’t won it yet. So in order achieve your objective you’re going to sick the IRS on people who deem to be opponents? I’m for a four-team playoff but guys but this is over the line. It’s just a football game.

4.The ACC may be bad, but the Big East is worse: We’ve been beating up the ACC and its 1-9 record against non-conference BCS opponents in the first three weeks of the season. But the Big East is worse at 1-10 against the BCS and 6-13 against all Division I-A opponents. Pittsburgh, which was supposed to be one of the two best teams in that league just got mauled at home by Miami. West Virginia, the other top team, lost at LSU. The lowest ranked team to ever play in a BCS game was 8-3 Pittsburgh, which played and lost to Utah in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl. That team was ranked 21st in the final BCS Standings. The Big East champion of 2010 could be worse.

5. LSU may have the best defense in the SEC: I have to admit that I had my doubts about the LSU defense when it got torched for over 400 yards passing in its opener with North Carolina. But since then John Chavis has whipped his troops into shape. Chavis has moved from  working the game from the sidelines to up in the press box. I don’t know if that is a factor but here are the results going into Saturday’s home game with Tennessee: LSU is first in the SEC in total defense (254.0 ypg), first in rushing defense (74.8 ypg), and second in scoring defense (12.0 ypg). Alabama leads in scoring defense at 9.8 points per game. Chavis told Scott Rabalais of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate that he has been emphasizing speed over size. “For some reason I can coach the ones who run faster,” Chavis said. That speed will come in handy next week when LSU goes to Florida.

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Programming note: Auburn coach Gene Chizik, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, and Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com will join us on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Please check us out at www.790thezone.com.

343 comments Add your comment

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
11:16 am

Bama Chris,

What, you don’t think Clemson would have taken us to OT at BDS?

Laughable isn’t it?

MURPHY

September 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Lets see Blind Homer,

I would have to question the mothers decision on this. I would light his a.. up if I was her dad.

Lets see Blind Homer Tony Barnhart

September 29th, 2010
11:19 am

BAMA dude you will beat Auburn like the red headed step child they are. Hope the gators can keep this weekend respectable.

Auburn Guy

September 29th, 2010
11:21 am

I’m Auburn through and through but I’ve got to say that any comments from any supposed Auburn supporter wishing that Bama’s players break a leg or an arm are completely irresponsible and malicious and downright stupid. I’ve noticed some of you “Auburn” homies getting yourselves all revved up making foolish comments just because we happen to be 4-0. Get a grip. It’s a long season. There are plenty of SEC teams left on the schedule who can humble us very quickly, Georgia being one of them. So, SHUT UP! Be happy we are undefeated but for god’s sake be realistic about things. It could all end tomorrow if Newton goes down so take your meds and calm down. War Eagle.

Lets see Blind Homer Tony Barnhart

September 29th, 2010
11:21 am

MURPHY agreed. Truth is if this wasnt a football player at a major university nothing would have happened in the first place unless he actually threatened her face to face. Kids get pissed off and say stupid things during texts all the time and no one freaks out.

Gtr17

September 29th, 2010
11:22 am

This has been said before throughout these comments, but it is worth saying again. What a blatant attempt to stir the pot. The headline lead me to believe that Urban Meyer had reinstated Chris Rainey, but as of right now, Rainey is still not on the team. How is Urban Meyer “rolling the dice” when he hasn’t even reinstated Rainey yet??? Tony, I would think there would be plenty of other interesting storylines in college football with which to begin your article.

McDawg

September 29th, 2010
11:23 am

LSU could be the dark horse-its all SEC West this year

Larry Libertore

September 29th, 2010
11:23 am

UGA Preseason: John Brantley has not thrown a single interception this year. He is not expected to run the ball that much – they have running backs for that.

As for Chris Rainey, if the woman herself and the police feel his message was not a real threat and his coach thinks he deserves another chance, OK. Football is a rough sport and there are many criminals playing in college and the NFL.

But I just dont’ happen to think Rainey is very good.

I used to respect you Tony but now I see what you are doing. You are trying to take the attention away from your pathetic UGA

September 29th, 2010
11:24 am

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
11:25 am

Are you the real Larry Libertore?

Silver Britches, Red Panties

September 29th, 2010
11:25 am

Tony, do you think Coach Richt has a surprise up his sleeve for this week? Is it possible that Our Beloved Dawgs might unveil a new jersey design?

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
11:26 am

Can someone please explain to me WHERE the Universities of Virginia OR Florida bear any liability exposure for the off campus, criminal acts of amateur students (with no contractual privity) attending their respective campuses ?
I don’t see it.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
11:29 am

Lets see Blind Homer Tony Barnhart

September 29th, 2010
11:19 am
BAMA dude you will beat Auburn like the red headed step child they are. Hope the gators can keep this weekend respectable.

Selling Florida’s talent short I think. This game could turn into a blowout with turnovers, but that could happen on either side. As i said earlier, I like Bama to win because I think Saban as a better game day coach and McElroy, unlike Brantley, has been there before.

I think the overall talent is pretty similar.

Shug

September 29th, 2010
11:30 am

“Meyer knows the kid. I don’t.”

Yes, Meyer knows the kid. He knows he’s a good player who can help the Gators win. That’s all Meyer knows and cares about. UF is a rogue program with absolutely no ethical standards.

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
11:33 am

BAMA dude, partially agree. Difference will be McElroy and inside running game. Like I said, I hope we make it respectable and who knows the best team doesn’t always win. I don’t think Saban is necessarily a better gameday coach, I just think he tolerates nothing but a maximum effort and that what makes him great.

Dershowitz

September 29th, 2010
11:33 am

G8R Grad,
You’re right. There is no exposure per se. If Rainey was to harm his girlfriend, UF’s liability wouldn’t hinge on whether or not he was a member of the football team.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
11:35 am

G8R Grad, there couldn’t be any legal liability that I can see. Kicking the kid off a team or out of school doesn’t make him any less likely to attack the girl. It can, however, cause a coach and/or school to be convicted in the court of public opinion. I could see people getting fired over it under pressure from alumni and others close to the university in that instance.

MURPHY

September 29th, 2010
11:35 am

Shug,

I hate to say it but most coaches are like this.Richt did the same thing

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
11:36 am

shug if you are from auburn, it makes me feel good that you gave a criminal another shot after we kicked him off the team.

WEAGLE!!

September 29th, 2010
11:36 am

Don’t really care for the Gators. If fact, I pretty much hate them. This weekend, however, I’m a GATOR!!

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
11:40 am

ga gator, once Bama was able to snuff out that triple option play early in the SECCG Meyer had nothing else to go to. If you remember, Tebow threw a shuffle pass to Hernandez that went for no gain then kept a few plays later and was slammed to the turf one-one-one by McClain. I think he knows what he knows and that’s it. Meyer can recruit with Saban but he can’t make in-game adjustments with him. Of course, few can.

BULLDAWG BILL

September 29th, 2010
11:40 am

IF MARK INGRAM WINS A SECOND HEISMAN, IN WHICH SUPER WAL-MART WILL IT BE DISPLAYED?

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
11:41 am

Classy Bill. Now go back under your rock.

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
11:46 am

Bama, I think it was because they didnt have anything else to run. Bama won for one reason last year and it was because they had equal talent and wanted it more. I don’t think Saban exactly made good adjustments against Tennessee last year did he? No blocked kicks and who knows what happens.

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
11:50 am

The only theory, and I repeat, THEORY, of a nexus between these students and thier schools is that female athletes are entitled to protection under Title IX and therefore subject to a civil, wrongful death action!
Wow, there’s a stretch!
I KNOW the girl in Gainesville (and I use that term loosley – she’s apparently well into her thirties & makes a hobby of UF football players) isn’t a student athlete and I don’t think the girl at Virginia was either.
Their remedy is a protective order, enforced by the proper authorities.
Even if the universities kicked these boys off their teams and out of school, there’s no legal vehicle that banishes them from remaining in town.
And if they commit a second attack in violation of the protective order – they go to jail.
PERIOD!

From Where I Sit

September 29th, 2010
11:56 am

As a Gator fan, I say do not allow this LOSER to come back as he was given a scholarship and he has just pissed it away! BTW, he probably took it from a White kid who would have never done this crap! Again, all universities should take note and stop giving opportunities to the HOOD! They give ZERO Back to the program etc, but will continue to take i.e. E. Smith!!!!!

Enough Said, as the Gators do not need him and still will win the East without him!

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
12:00 pm

From:

“BTW, he probably took it from a White kid who would have never done this crap!”

Can we leave this kind of racist crap at the door, please?

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

Amen G8R Grad. I guess all fanbases have rednecks.

MURPHY

September 29th, 2010
12:03 pm

GR8

Agree,that has no place in these discussions or any other on this blog

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
12:08 pm

ga gator, that’s the point. Meyer has made gis name in recruiting and for the read option offense. Now that defenses have figured out how to defend his offense, he struggles against teams with athletes that are as good as his. Luckily for him he has put together some monster recruiting classes, but now that Saban’s there who can recruit at the same level while running a better football operation SEC titles will be much tougher to come by. They’ll certainly be tough to come by for the other ten schools in the conference.

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
12:12 pm

Don’t get me wrong, morally and ethically, UF has a dilemma and I believe will do the students, faculty and alumni a great disservice by letting this kid go unpunished somehow, but I don’t profess to know what’s right.
I have to believe that his coach and the administration will, after putting their heads together, come to an appropriate decision.

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

Bamadude:

Two words:

Trey Burton.

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

Weagle:

“Don’t really care for the Gators. If fact, I pretty much hate them. This weekend, however, I’m a GATOR!!”

Thank you for your support.

;o)~

poopdawg

September 29th, 2010
12:24 pm

Ga Gator , Ben Jones texted that dude before the play “time to die.” Should have been no surprise.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
12:25 pm

What about Trey Burton? Good looking football player. Of course, you won’t have Brandon James, Chris Rainey, and possibly Jeff Demps. That group struggled a bit last year and Bama’s offense ran all over the defense. If Florida goes to a 5-2 look I guarantee that Saban will just counter with a five wide set since he likes to go empty anyway. Those crossing routes to Maze and Hanks will be wide open.

Atlanta Gator

September 29th, 2010
12:27 pm

I won’t defend what Rainey did, but I will defend Rainey. What he did was clearly wrong, although I disagree that it merited the felony stalking charge that it originally brought, Gainesville is very sensitive community when it comes to women’s issues, partly because it exhibits some of the typical tendencies of a “liberal college town,” but also because of the collective community memory of Danny Rolling’s gruesome murders of four coeds and one of their boyfriends. Gainesville has a self-percevied “zero-tolerance” for violence against women, but this can lead to well-intended over-reaction, as I believe happened in this case. Couples can have ferocious arguments without it amounting to “stalking,” and, yes, young people can and will say stupid things in the heat of a moment. I’m fairly sure that I said on more than one occasion that I would like to “beat the bejeebers” out of someone when I was Rainey’s age (although, to the best of my recollection and belief, I never said it regarding a woman). Rainey has no history of team discipline problems, no history of violence, and no prior history of problems with women. By all accounts, he’s a good kid who screwed up, and has just received a very serious life lesson about choosing one’s words carefully, and more importantly, making sure that one’s behavior regarding women is above reproach.

Does the kid deserve a verbal spanking from a judge? Yes. Does he deserve another dressing down and a time-out from his coach–a coach who emphasizes “respect for women” as one of the five pillars of team behavior? Absolutely. In the absence of any other issues, does he deserve a second chance after taking his lumps? I think so. I’ll make this hundred dollar bet right now: if reinstated by Meyer, Rainey will not have another run-in with a woman while he is a Gator. Go ahead, take me up on it; I’m good for the c-note. But please be prepared to pay up when Rainey graduates without any more discipline or legal problems.

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
12:28 pm

Bama dude, what adjustments did he make against Tenn? That was my point. Dont get too high and mighty about Saban until he wins multiple SEC Championships. He he wins this year then you can crown him the best ever. The best of my recolection, Meyer hasn’t lost to any Louisiana Monroes even when he had Zooks teams.

Coach O

September 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

@WEAGLE!!

A Barner calling someone a redneck? That’s rich.

@Auburn Guy

Thanks for proving that ALL Auburn fans are not “Barners”. Auburn is a fine institution of higher education with a respectable history in college football.

@Corch Myer

I’ve watched every video that has been linked on this blog and I have yet to see the block in question. I am not denying that it was an illegal block, but why link a video that doesn’t show it?

ga gator

September 29th, 2010
12:30 pm

What is your predicted score bamadude?

Coach O

September 29th, 2010
12:33 pm

@ga gator

He lost big time to Mike Shula.

Then again, the coaches don’t play the game, do they?

G8R GRAD

September 29th, 2010
12:36 pm

HE LIVES!

Atlanta Gator!

Welcome back, sir!

5IML

September 29th, 2010
12:39 pm

ga gator and BAMA dude,

I don’t know if it is that Saban is a better in-game coach than Meyer or the fact that he has more in-game options. Last year (and this year), BAMA runs a multiple formation offense (i.e. Wildcat, Power I, Pistol, Pro Set, Spread). If something isn’t working, they can switch to something else. Last year, that wasn’t the case at Florida. But, in Florida’s defense, the spread has worked 25 out of the last 26 games heading into the SECCG.

Pffft.

September 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

G8R…The unfortunate young woman at UVA was on the Lacrosse team at UVA.

You would think a Mrs. Robinson…that likes to run through Florida Football players would look out for the good of the program. I guess she has seen the light now and refuses to prosecute. I guess dinner with Corch Meyers has that affect on women bringing charges against his players and impound lot owners alike!

Atlanta Gator

September 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

G8R GRAD—-

Been busy trying to feed myself. Times are tough, my friend.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

What adjustments needed to be made against Tennessee? Regardless of the score Alabama dominated that game for three quarters. Ingram lost the only fumble of his career deep in his own territory and UT punched it in to make it 12-10. Otherwise Tennessee never gets in the end zone.

Pffft.

September 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

5IML…Meyer calls better rub it in timeouts.

Paul in RDU

September 29th, 2010
12:42 pm

G8R grad @11:50
Nice bit of slander there – how much of it did you make up. You “KNOW” the woman at UF and you “don’t think that the woman killed at UVA” was a student athlete.
Yeardley Love was a starter on the UVA women’s lacrosse team when she was brutally beaten to death by her boyfriend – a starter in the UVA men’s lacrosse team.
You obviously don’t “KNOW” much.

joe

September 29th, 2010
12:42 pm

“Boneheart should also be helping Saint Richt with disciplining his team and leave Meyer alone.”

LOL! Florida has had more arrests than UGA the last 3 years, and that’s saying a lot. So it looks like Meyer has a bigger problem than Richt as disciplining his players. Richt has also kicked 4 players off. I don’t see Meyer doing the same.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
12:43 pm

I’m not big on predictions but I would expect something in the neighborhood of the SECCG. Maybe a bit closer. Yesterday I said 27-20. just depends on what happens. A turnover here or there can change everything as it did against Arky.

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
12:45 pm

Oh, and Zook was a fine recruiter. he just couldn’t coach. Far cry from the fresh-off-probation roster Saban inherited.