Posts Tagged ‘Nick Saban’

Petrino tries to solicit recruits with billboard — in Yuma, Ariz.

Arkansas football billboard (blurry image via ArkansasSports360.com).

Arkansas billboard is 1,406 miles from campus (image via ArkansasSports360).

Last week we learned to what extent Georgia coach Mark Richt went to land Isaiah Crowell in recruiting (lining up other players in a formation, leaving vacant the running back position for Crowell’s on-campus visit). Now we know how far Bobby Petrino will go.

No. He didn’t offer $10,000 for their soul.

But here’s an interesting item via SportsByBrooks and ArkansasSports360. Arkansas athletics/football/Petrino/Beelzebub leased a 10-foot-by-36-foot billboard in Yuma, Ariz., which according to Mapquest is 1,406 miles from Fayetteville, Ark.

The billboard on Interstate 8 reads: “Arkansas Football. Visit ThisIsArkansasFootball.com.”

The cost:  $1,704.

Petrino’s objective was to land prospect Aaron Douglas, an offensive tackle from Arizona Western Junior College. He failed. Douglas decided to go to Alabama instead. Score one for Nick Saban.  (Not sure if the $1,704 therefore qualifies as a business loss …

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Georgia recruiting: Waiting on Isaiah Crowell (and normalcy)

The future of mankind tilts one way or the other, depending on if Isaiah Crowell plays for Georgia or Alabama. Or so it seems. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Georgia is a slight betting favorite (unofficial odds) to land running back Isaiah Crowell over Alabama. (Jason Getz)

In the interest of full disclosure, two weeks ago I set up a search column on Twitter via  my Tweetdeck to keep up on Internet rumors about where a certain high school football player might go to college. And I had I known almost 30 years ago that I would ever type that string of words, I would’ve told my father, “Yes, pops. I would love to sell insurance.”

Thursday is my favorite day of the year. That’s because it’s the day after national letter of intent day, when the creepiness of grown adults — OK, some not so grown — consumed with where 18-year-olds go to school moves back into the shadows.

I get why recruiting has grown to ridunkulous proportions. Our obsession with college football has mushroomed. It follows that the feeder system into college football has blown up with it. Technology like Twitter and Facebook just makes it easier to lurk. When it’s

"Why won't he take my calls? I'm Nick Saban!"

Continue reading Georgia recruiting: Waiting on Isaiah Crowell (and normalcy) »

NCAA has lost sight of mission, needs to end ‘oversigning’

Nobody questions Nick Saban's ability to recruit and coach but he's notorious for "oversigning."

Nobody questions Nick Saban's ability to recruit and coach but he's notorious for "oversigning."

Grant Teaff calls this a “complicated issue.” I guess that’s the problem with the concept of amateur athletics. Dollars complicate the issue.

Dollars tell college football officials it’s fine to start games at 9 p.m and play for the national title on Jan. 10 (37 days after the regular season). It’s OK to preach academics in one news conference and approve 12-game schedules in another.

Apparently, it’s also OK for a coach to extend 20-something scholarship offers to players when the numbers scream he only has room for 12 – just as long as he can make the math work out by bed check in July (wink wink, nudge nudge).

This “complicated issue” is called oversigning. It occurs when a college football program extends more scholarship offers than it has room for. The NCAA allows teams to enroll up to 25 scholarship players per year and have 85 at one time. Obviously, with …

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A word about ‘oversigning’ (and revisiting Saban’s dance)

The numbers show Nick Saban has learned creative ways to say goodbye to some players.

The numbers show Alabama coach Nick Saban has learned creative ways to say goodbye to some players. (AP photo)

It’s the home stretch of recruiting season, which generally isn’t my favorite time of the year, partly because I find the whole concept of obsessing over where an 18-year-old goes to school as, I dunno, a little creepy.

But here’s one of my biggest issues with recruiting: The practice of “oversigning.” It’s exactly what the term says. NCAA rules mandate a football program can’t give out more than 25 scholarships in one class and have more than 85 scholarship athletes on the roster at one time. Often, the math doesn’t work.

A team may have only 18 spots open but it gives out 25 scholarships. This is “oversigning.” It’s a gray area in the rulebook. Coaches get away with it by rationalizing than some players don’t qualify. So the players are stashed at prep schools or junior colleges, while others are convinced to take medical scholarships. Others are pressured into …

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Falcons win, Dogs win and Fox is playing human ‘Frogger’

chalk

Hello, and welcome back to the world of football, or as Tucker Carlson likes to call it, “Nothing But A League of Thugs and Degenerates and Serial Killers Who Should All Should All Be Thrown Into a Vat Of Face-Melting Acid, Like When Jack Napier Turned Into The Joker On Batman. Except For The Short White Kickers, I Like Those Guys.”

If you missed it, Carlson — fighting for relevancy in the growing mutant world of psychotic political commentators — called for the execution of Michael Vick this week for crimes against past Labradors, never mind the 23 months he already spent in prison and the loss of 27 gazillion dollars. I think it pretty much confirms Vick is not on Carlson’s Fantasy League team.

Personally, I believe Carlson should be sentenced to one game of human “Frogger.” That’s the other unbelievably true story this week: a Clemson man (not Dabo Swinney) thought it would be

For final standings, start in upper-left and go clockwise.

For final NFC South standings, start in upper-left and go clockwise.

fun to mimic the video game …

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Kirby Smart would be taking risk following Muschamp

It doesn't make sense for Kirby Smart to make lateral move from Alabama to Florida.

It doesn't make sense for Kirby Smart to make lateral move from Alabama to Florida.

If we are to believe reports,  Kirby Smart is considering leaving as the highly paid defensive coordinator at Alabama to become the highly paid defensive coordinator at Florida, thereby forming “Team Bulldog” in Gainesville with Will Muschamp.

I’ll ask the same question now that I did a year ago at this time when Bulldogs coach Mark Richt tried to lure Smart back to Athens: Why would Smart do it?

Smart is a terrific coach. I know some believe he gets too much credit for Alabama’s defense because he works for Nick Saban. But if he wasn’t highly regarded, he wouldn’t be on Saban’s staff and Alabama wouldn’t have bumped up his contract to $750,000 a year to keep him when Richt phoned.

But Smart’s next move should be as a head coach. He’ll get offers, as soon as next season. We all know there will be some tenuous heading coaching situations going into next season.

If Saban, who has a reputation …

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Gruden to Miami would be manna for starving ACC

Jon Gruden would instantly become the biggest personality in the ACC at Miami.

If Miami hires Jon Gruden, he would instantly become the biggest personality in the ACC.

Let me start by saying I’m just not convinced Jon Gruden will take the University of Miami coaching job. He probably can have any vacant NFL job he wants and the thought of  him hitting the recruiting trail and begging some 18-year-old kid to come to his school just doesn’t register.

But you know what? Every ACC school should help pay Gruden’s salary to get him to Coral Gables.

John Swofford, the conference commissioner, should throw in a log cabin.

Butch Davis should loan him his personal tutor.

The SEC championship is this week. Everybody cares. The ACC championship is this week. Nobody cares.

Do you know why? Coaches.

Yes, the SEC is the annual college football behemoth and the conference title game has been the gateway for the BCS champion in the last four years (Auburn could make it five). But one of the major reasons the conference garners so much attention during the season — and …

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Mark Richt will be back next season — and he deserves to be

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eighth. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eight. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – It’s probably best that we start with the latest indication of Mark Richt’s future employment.

“Mark’s going to be our coach in 2011,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “I haven’t seen anything in 11 games that would lead me to any other decision. I’d be stunned.”

The thinking is, it’s always best to end such declarations with even the smallest of escape routes. Because if for some reason Georgia were to lose to Tech 42-10 Saturday, finish the season 5-7, not go to a bowl game and later that evening 17 players find themselves in handcuffs for whatever reason – well, let’s just say you want the escape route.

But Richt will be back. And he should be back.

Let’s be clear about something. There are significant problems at Georgia. There are problems that may not go away under Richt.

The team has …

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LIVE: Georgia State ready to shock Alabama! (Go with it)

Wow. It's even bigger than Campbell's stadium.

Wow. It's even bigger than Campbell's stadium.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Bill Curry has returned to Alabama. Let’s see if they’re any nicer to him now than when he left in 1989.

In a rare (and possibly first) match-up between a first-year program and a defending national champion, Georgia State faces Alabama tonight at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game is being broadcast on sorta-national TV (more on that in a minute).

This will conclude the Panthers’ inaugural season, and the hope is that

I can't believe so many fans are waiting for the Panthers.

I can't believe so many fans are waiting for the Panthers.

they get something out of the experience more than just a quick tour of Tuscaloosa and a $400,000 payoff. All of their limbs would be a good start.

Earlier in the week I spoke to somebody at the Caesars Palace Sportsbook who said the property was not going to offer wagering on the game. But, if it did, the point spread probably would have opened at 42½ points.

Turns out that may have been an understatement.

I heard this guy is really good. Still looking for Jenny.

I heard this guy is really good. …

Continue reading LIVE: Georgia State ready to shock Alabama! (Go with it) »

Weekend Predictions: Falcons, SEC and Eva, oh my

board 002

Before getting to this week’s big game between the NFL’s unstoppable Monster Zero, the Falcons, and — well, some lesser beings — we have two important updates from the sports world:

1. Tony Parker: Dude. Really? You cheated on Eva Longoria? I thought point guards were supposed to be smart. Are you sure you weren’t drafted by Billy Knight?

2. SEC: Dudes. Really? You’re not even issuing, like, a letter of reprimand to Auburn assault weapon Nick Fairley? Were you drafted by Billy Knight, too? Or could it be that you were concerned any punishment of Fairley would indirectly hurt Auburn, which hurts the SEC, which slows the cha-chinging, because the Tigers might win the SEC and the BCS and that means more millions for the conference and Mike Slive and generations of Slives, and, you know, it’s really hard to get good caviar in Birmingham — they have to get it flown in.

Something tells me she has been to her last Spurs game.

Something tells me she's been to her last Spurs game.

By the way, Eva Longoria didn’t go to Auburn. She went to …

Continue reading Weekend Predictions: Falcons, SEC and Eva, oh my »