Daily Archives: June 30, 2009

Opening up an entirely new front

So this is what they invented the interwebs for.

Can’t afford to send your kiddies to camp this summer? Are they always on the computer?

Well … drum roll, please … South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has the answer for you.

Allow me to introduce Steve Spurrier, virtual football camp counselor and Mr. Rogers wannabe. The Ol’ Ball Coach has started his own online football camp for kids at www.campspurrier.com.

Spurrier also promises parents that he’ll teach kids about the importance of living a “healthy, active lifestyle.”

It’s produced by Play Action Online Kids Camps, Inc.,the same company that designed an online football camp for Southern Cal football coach Pete Carroll.

That means kids can create cartoon characters of themselves and explore a virtual world full of games and life lessons from the legendary former Florida coach.

In his first “pep talk” video to promote the camp, Spurrier tells the wee ones, “I’m not only a football coach. I’m a football fan, too, and I love watching football and telling people about it.”

No word on when Junior will have his competing site up, but you’ve got to figure it’s a natural for a guy who started a Twitter feed only because Mark Richt did.  Plus, it’s another key way for the Laner to connect with an important recruiting demographic.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting, The Blogosphere, The Evil Genius

Oh where, oh where did the quarterbacks go? – a follow up

One thing I really like about college football blogging is the feedback.  I tossed out a post yesterday about what appears to me to be a recent dearth of quality quarterbacking in the SEC and that in turn generated this response of Matt Hinton’s at his Dr. Saturday blog.

His basic premise is that, sure, there’s not a lot of depth at the position in the conference right now, but that’s not any different than what we see in every other BCS conference right now, except for the Big XII.  Here’s his breakdown:

I think his point is entirely valid when it comes to his top category (you can see his allocation of quarterbacks to his categories here), but I’m not so convinced about it as you go down the chart.  Even by Matt’s tally, the SEC has more truly bad (“not viable”, in his vernacular) projected starters than the remaining BCS conferences put together.  He seems to acknowledge this when he writes

… If the SEC is at any disadvantage, it’s in the fact that three of last year’s most obviously inept quarterbacks, Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee), Kodi Burns (Auburn) and Mike Hartline (Kentucky), are all scheduled to be back under center this fall. It’s not that other conferences didn’t have their share of terrible quarterbacks, but at least UCLA and Michigan, for example, are going out of their way to get rid of the problem.

But then he tries to soften the blow by adding this:

… It is fair to say that SEC quarterbacks were unusually bad last year — eight regular quarterbacks from four different schools finished with pass efficiency ratings that wouldn’t have qualified for the top-100 nationally — but it’s argue (sic) that’s going to continue in a league that’s sent eight different starters to the NFL since 2005. LSU and Arkansas have made apparent upgrades; Alabama shouldn’t suffer much of a drop off from John Parker Wilson to Greg McElroy; and Vanderbilt is at least trying to move on from last year’s disaster by moving bowl game starter Larry Smith to No. 1, ahead of beleaguered veteran Mackenzi Adams. Even in the cases of Crompton and Burns, who somehow haven’t been supplanted, maybe the new regimes at Tennessee and Auburn will bring some reversal of fate; if nothing else, they can’t possibly be worse.

That’s nice, but who’s to say this isn’t a more accurate assessment of the QB situation at Tennessee?

Position Grades
QB: F / Just horrible.

It’s certainly more succinct.  (By the way, that’s the only failing grade the author of that piece gives to any unit – not just quarterbacks – in the conference.)

Maybe I’ll be more convinced of his argument if some kids step forward in SEC play this season.  Right now, though, it looks like the conference is mired in a slump at that position.

And while we’re on the subject of feedback and the blogosphere, one thing I’m curious about is Matt’s statement that the SEC has sent eight quarterbacks to the NFL since 2005.  I don’t doubt that number, but I do wonder about the context of it in comparison with the other BCS conferences, both in terms of the absolute numbers and also in terms of how many of those players turned into starters.  Anybody care to dig up and share that data?

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UPDATE: Orson jumps in the time machine, sets the dial to 1995 and adds some thoughts here.

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UPDATE #2: Another day, another list.  It’s not the details of the list that are worth mentioning – it’s still the same Tebow-and-Snead-plus-ten arrangement everyone else sees – but rather the analogy used in referring to the great unwashed.

After that, the quality of established signal-callers in the SEC drops off the kind of cliff that Wile E. Coyote made famous.

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Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

Eric Crouch, poster boy for Big XII superiority

Here we go:

Fifteen years after its creation, the Big 12 stands on the brink of fulfilling all the great expectations predicted at its birth.
Back in February 1994, the combination of the Big Eight and many of the top programs from the Southwest Conference seemed like solid football synergy.

Texas. Oklahoma. Nebraska. Texas A&M. Colorado. While the conference has been more than competitive since its inception – producing three outright or shared national champions since it began play in 1996 – its best may be directly ahead.

There’s just one obstacle: the Southeastern Conference.

Doom doom doom doom.

Mack Brown explains why.

“The difference is that the entire league is better,” Brown said. “Everybody talks about the SEC. You can actually lose to anybody in this league. That wasn’t the case 12 years or probably not even four years ago.”

*** Cough *** Iowa State *** cough ***.  Does Chizik’s departure swing the balance that much?

Just kidding.  Here’s the real skinny.

• Three teams – Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State – will probably open next season in the top 10. And excellence hasn’t been limited to a few. Since the conference’s formation, eight of the 12 teams have been ranked in the Associated Press poll’s top five during November.

• The conference featured four of the five vote-getters for the 2008 Heisman Trophy, including winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and runner-up Colt McCoy. Both return this season.

“The offensive firepower and the quarterback capability in the last three years have been tremendous,” Osborne said. “It seemed like every team had a great quarterback and really moved the ball.”

• Seven Big 12 players were selected in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, a high-water mark. That total might just be the beginning.

There are more graphs and charts allegedly supporting this at the article’s end.

Of course, it would make for a stronger argument if Big XII schools would actually, you know, beat SEC schools in head’s up play.

Florida’s 24-14 win gave a factual basis to the perception that the Big 12 wasn’t ready to leapfrog the SEC. Ole Miss’ 47-34 win over Texas Tech in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic also didn’t help the Big 12′s case.

And it’s a shame this pesky little fact gets in the way.

For now, the SEC holds the bragging rights with wins in the last three BCS title games…

But there is Baylor… and Eric Crouch’s 2001 Heisman Trophy.

Look for a lot more of this kind of deep thinking amidst all the hype leading up to Georgia’s opener with Oklahoma State.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Grab a plate and dig in.

  • Finebaum makes a good point about the toothlessness of the Saban contract extension.
  • Urban Meyer Janoris Jenkins can rest easier today, per state attorney Bill Cervone.  Go Gators!
  • Doc Saturday looks at the hype surrounding Georgia’s first opponent this season, Oklahoma State, and throws out a juicy factoid:  “Mike Gundy’s teams are still 1-11 against opponents that finished in the top-20 since 2005, and 0-8 against Oklahoma and Texas.”
  • If you’re looking for a quick preseason preview of the SEC, this one’s not bad at all.  (h/t Saurian Sagacity)
  • Outgoing Pac-10 commish Tom Hansen does a little Q&A with the Sporting News, and has this to say about the playoff debate:

We get playoff proposals around the calendar, with many more coming in the late fall. There just isn’t anything that would be good in our opinion. We would have to go to 16 teams. The political pressure for participation would be even more intense than in the BCS. You’d have to play the games until the championship on campuses, so you’d be playing games at Michigan and Ohio State, weather-wise, in late December or January. Most of the TV time periods that are attractive then are taken by the NFL. There are some (sic) many factors that people never consider.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football, The Blogosphere