Posts Tagged ‘SEC’

Tennessee’s inept AD quits. Will Radakovich get a Vol call?

From left: Dan Radakovich, hoops coach Brian Gregory and SID Dean Buchan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Dan Radakovich, Brian Gregory and Tech SID Dean Buchan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Mike Hamilton hired Lane Kiffin to coach Tennessee football. Mike Hamilton hired Bruce Pearl to coach Tennessee basketball.

In a not-so-shocking development, Mike Hamilton announced today he is resigning as Tennessee’s athletic director.

Tennessee is about to appear before the NCAA committee on infractions, which is what happens when you hire Lane Kiffin to coach football and Bruce Pearl to coach basketball. (Tennessee baseball is also under scrutiny, too.)

Hamilton said today he wanted the Vols to be able to plead their case to the NCAA with a “clean slate,” which seemed an odd choice of words. But the football coach, the basketball coach, the baseball coach and the AD who presided over this mischief-making are all gone or going, which might mitigate things a bit. (And Tennessee always gets away with everything. Right, Bama fans?)

A couple of thoughts: Derek Dooley’s job, which was never …

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Mallett and drugs: Scrutiny for an SEC QB who’s NOT Cam

Ryan Mallett looked pretty good that Saturday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Ryan Mallett looked pretty good that Saturday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

As noted, Cam Newton faced some tricky questions at the NFL combine over the weekend. He did not, however, face any regarding drugs. Those were posed to Ryan Mallett, the quarterback from Arkansas.

Since Mallett declared himself draft-eligible, word had circulated that NFL clubs were concerned about “character issues.” Last week Tony Softli, a former pro scout and executive, posted on the 101ESPN St. Louis Web site that those issues involve the possibility of drug use, and apparently not just casual use. Wrote Softli:

Character and drug use issues are starting to rear their ugly head. Heavy rumors of drug use and possible addiction kept him from coming out for the 2010 draft. A lot of people are comparing Mallett to Ryan Leaf. I think Ryan was a better football player, with a cannon for an arm but the immaturity was just too much to overcome. A hair [follicle] test might tell all 32 …

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UPDATE: There has been an arrest in Auburn’s tree poisoning

Toomer's Corner in happier times. (AP photo)

Here we see Toomer's Corner at a happier, healthier time. (AP photo)

UPDATE: An arrest has been made in this case, according to Birmingham TV station WBRC. The man charged with criminal mischief is a 62-year-old resident of Dadeville, Ala.

Some nut poisoned the ancient oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. Even if you’re indifferent toward Auburn — heck, even if you can’t abide Auburn  — this should make you ill. Because this isn’t a harmless little joke. There’s monetary harm in vandalism. More to the point, there’s psychic harm in knowing the game that stirs Southern passions could spawn an act as vile as this.

Georgia fans were incensed in 2008 when Tech players broke off a few sprigs of hedge after winning at Sanford Stadium. (Georgia fans were likewise incensed when Bo Jackson and his Auburn teammates did the same in 1983.) Imagine the Bulldog outrage if those hallowed hedges hadn’t just been pruned but eradicated.

On Jan. 27, an anonymous caller to Paul Finebaum’s Birmingham …

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Live from the SEC title game, now a place for Gamecocks

If I knew the South Carolina fight song, I'd sing a few bars. (Photo by M. Bradley)

If I knew words to the South Carolina fight song, I'd sing it now. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Not that I have anything against Auburn fans — like I always say, Auburn fans are the best in the world! — but I begin today’s live proceedings with a special shout-out to the folks in garnet and black.

South Carolina, you are here.

I didn’t think your team could make it. Lee Corso didn’t think your team could make it. I’m sure there were times — probably in 2007 and 2008 when he was losing to Vandy — when Steve Spurrier didn’t think his team could make it. But here I sit in Ye Olde Dome, and there it is down below: “Carolina” painted in one end zone. (If you don’t believe, photographic evidence is supplied above.)

Auburn has been here before — three times, winning once. Arkansas has made it twice. Mississippi State has even graced this game, but until today the SEC East has always been represented by Florida, Tennessee or Georgia. (Most often the former, as I’m guessing you’re aware.) …

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A few short words about Rennie Curran, little bitty Bulldog

On his list of the 25 best players in college football, Matt Hayes of Sporting News Today places three Florida Gators (you-know-who is No. 1), three Oklahoma Sooners, two Oklahoma State Cowboys and a Yellow Jacket (Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer is 13th) — but no Bulldogs. And I know what you’re saying. “Where’s A.J. Green?”

Well, the dauntless Georgia receiver missed the cut. (Alabama’s Julio Jones made it, though. He’s No. 15.) Green isn’t even included in Hayes’ 10-man batch of honorable mentions. And that shouldn’t bother anybody. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, et cetera …

But — you knew a “but” was coming, didn’t you? — I have a hard time believing there are 25 (or 35) better players than one particular Bulldog. And I don’t mean A.J. Green, though he’s really good, too.

I mean Rennie Curran.

He’s a little bitty linebacker — OK, so he’s listed as 5-foot-11 — who doesn’t look like much until he starts making every tackle, and then you start thinking, “How is this little …

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No way Georgia can lose four games? Sure about that?

I understand the process. I get paid to give an opinion, and you’re welcome — encouraged, even — to respond. Usually you tend to agree if I say something nice about a team you like and disagree if I don’t. I grasp that part. But here’s something I don’t get:

The widespread assertion that there’s no way — no way! — Georgia can lose four regular-season games this fall.

I picked Georgia to lose four games. I didn’t do it for shock value. I did it because I looked at the composition of the 2009 Bulldogs and their schedule. You might view well the team more highly, and that’s your prerogative. But to say I’m absolutely crazy — and one or two of you did — for daring to suggest as much made me think, “Am I really so nuts?”

So I thought some more, and here’s what I decided: Not nuts, at least not on this topic.

The day after writing my little forecast, I picked up the Sporting News college yearbook at Borders. I noted that the magazine — the best of its kind, in my longstanding …

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