It’s only 93 days until the start of the college football season (17 games on Thursday, Sept. 2). That’s practically next week! So here are a few Memorial Day weekend appetizers, if you’re not already stuffed from those three slabs of ribs you just “Hoovered.”
Here’s another edition of, Three and Out:
1. Derek Dooley will pay for Fulmer and Kiffin’s sins
Great piece by in the Knoxville News Sentinel about why Tennessee fans should have low expectations in the short term under coach Derek Dooley.
The story examines just how poorly recruiting went for former coaches Phil Fulmer and Lane Kiffin in recent years, leaving the Volunteers with relatively little talent.
Two of Fulmer’s most highly rated final classes were shaken by departures. Five players from the 2006 class left the program, didn’t qualify academically or were dismissed. Four have been lost from the 2008 class. From those two classes, UT lost four offensive linemen, a glaring weakness for 2010.
UT’s 2007 class is another matter entirely. It was highly ranked, but has since been one of the most disappointing signing classes in recent memory. The 32-member class was ranked fourth and third in the nation by Scout and Rivals, respectively. However, 17 of those signees didn’t complete their eligibility. They either never made it to campus because of academic issues, were dismissed after they arrived or left the program.
When Kiffin bolted for Southern Cal after one one season, he left his own grease spot, according to the story.
Kiffin’s talent-first approach may also have caused UT’s former staff to overlook character issues with two highly touted players. The Vols were forced to dismiss receiver Nu’Keese Richardson and defensive back Mike Edwards after the two were charged with attempted robbery.
Then there’s the attrition that one would expect from two coaching changes in little more than a year. All that has resulted in 30 UT signees failing to complete their eligibility. Then, there are 19 one-time UT commitments who went elsewhere after a coaching change was announced.
Do you agree Tennessee is doomed?
2. Mark Richt: Hot seat debate, part 27
Two weeks ago, we went down this road of whether Georgia coach Mark Richt is on the hot seat in the 2010 season. It was clear (and not surprising) that fans are firmly entrenched on both sides of the issue.
Well, it seems athletic director Damon Evans’ comments the other day in Tim Tucker’s blog about the perceived slide of Georgia’s athletic programs have sparked new debate.
ESPN.com’s “Insider” edition (requires subscription) took the comments as a direct indictment of Richt.
While this statement encompasses several teams, the most important among them is obviously football, which had its worst season of the Mark Richt era last year.
While Evans made a point of saying that he has no intention of replacing any of the teams’ coaches, his comments serve as a not-so-subtle hint that Richt needs to get his team playing better.
At the very least, his statement certainly doesn’t do anything to quell the rumors that Richt is starting the season on the hot seat.
That might be overstatement. My position always has been that it will take a bad season in 2010 for Richt to be on the hot seat in 2011. The fact the Bulldogs have changed defensive coordinators and have an easier schedule this season (no Alabama or LSU and easier non-conference games) should play in Richt’s favor.
Still, ESPN Insider couldn’t resist jumping a few steps ahead:
A tough schedule could spell an 8-4 season or worse. That might mean an opportunity for a guy like Georgia alum and current Alabama [defensive coordinator] Kirby Smart to get his shot as an SEC head man.
Fair or unfair?
3. Anthony Allen fires back for Georgia Tech
You might’ve heard about this already. Here are the videos, just in case. Georgia Tech running back Anthony Allen put together an entertaining video blog rebutting ESPN’s ACC writer, Heather Dinich, who had done a video blog outlining why the Jackets will struggle to repeat as ACC champions this season.
I can’t say yet who’s right. But Allen might have a future in the broadcast booth.
Here’s Heather Dinich’s original video blog
Here’s Anthony Allen’s rebuttal
Debate No. 3: Who will be right?
Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend, folks.