Daily Archives: March 11, 2010

Getting pissy in Lubbock

The motion by the Pirate’s attorney to subpoena certain records related to Tommy Tuberville draws the ire of Texas Tech’s lawyers.

“We are extremely disappointed that Coach Leach and his attorneys have chosen to invade the privacy of Coach Tuberville and his family through the issuance of a needless subpoena to the Frenship ISD,” wrote Dicky Grigg, an Austin-based attorney for Tech. “The subpoena issued by Coach Leach’s attorneys is clearly so broad that it could encompass homework assignments, grades, and even medical information about Coach Tuberville’s children.”

Grigg goes on to write that Leach, through the nature of the request, is fueling a “ridiculous conspiracy theory” that Tech had begun courting Tuberville before firing him.

That’s the spirit!  A little more bad blood and maybe you guys can drag this sucker into court after all.

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Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

“But the NFL doesn’t care at all.”

Hey, I’m not the one saying this.

“Playing quarterback in college, you can get away with being an athlete sort of like what Florida did with Tebow. My father loved Tebow, but was amazed by how four months ago he was the best player ever and now he has such a low grade as a quarterback that some teams are saying they wouldn’t even draft him as a quarterback.”

That’s Russell Shepard, who just moved to wide receiver at LSU.

Soon after the Tigers opened spring practice last week, Shepard got a call from his dad.

“He just said, ‘Son, I believe you made the best decision of your life, just looking at the whole Tebow thing,’ ” Shepard recounted. “I know it’s the right decision.”

And the meme goes on…

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Dabo Swinney, I like the cut of your jib.

T. Kyle wants to see Clemson on Georgia’s 2013 schedule.  Clemson’s coach has something more immediate in mind:

Head football coach Dabo Swinney has an idea to liven up spring practice — have Clemson play an exhibition game against another team.

“Let’s go play Georgia,” Swinney said. “Don’t you think that could generate some good money with all the Clemson fans and Georgia fans? Let’s split the gate down the middle.”

Swinney noted at the high school and NFL levels teams play other teams in exhibition games. So Clemson’s coach figures why not at the college level?

“You get tired of going against each other,” Swinney said.

Of course Swinney’s exhibition game would still resemble a spring game.

Quarterbacks would be off limits, there would be red-zone situational work, and the coaches would agree beforehand when to play the first team and when to play the second- and third-string players.

And Swinney wouldn’t want to play anyone on the upcoming schedule.

“You don’t want to spend spring game-planning for another team,” Swinney said, “we are not going to max blitz. The NFL does it all the time, practicing against each other. Plus, I think you would generate a lot of revenue and that’s the opportunity I see in this.”

Oh, yeah!  And it looks like Clemson could use the money.  Make it so, Damon.

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UPDATE: I came across this 1975 article.  There’s nothing new under the sun, as they say, especially in tough economic times.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Spring practice punditry: why bother?

Most pre-spring practice punditry drives me up the wall.  Here’s what College Football News had to say yesterday about the biggest challenges Alabama, Florida and Georgia face going into the 2010 season:

Why to be grouchy: Yeah, the defense should reload in a hurry with so much talent coming in from the last few recruiting hauls, but it might take a little while before everything jells after losing almost everyone up front and corner Javier Arenas and FS Justin Woodall. Considering Penn State, at Arkansas, Florida, at South Carolina, Ole Miss, at Tennessee, and as LSU form the bulk of the first two-thirds of the season, it’s asking a lot to get through unscathed.

The number one thing to work on is: Find Julio Jones. He might not have always been 100%, and it’s hard to not keep handing the ball off when the running game is so devastating, but the most talented player on the team might be No. 8 and his talents are going to waste. Here’s a player who might be a top ten draft pick next year and could be the first receiver off the board, and he only had one 100-yard game last season and finished with a mere 43 catches for 596 yards and four scores. A receiver of his caliber should have doubled those numbers … at least.

Why to be grouchy: And the head coach is … ? Meyer is supposed to be the main man, and he’s going to be roaming the sidelines after his health issues and the subsequent meltdown, but what happens if/when there another episode and scare? The future of the program is bright because of the talent coming in from the latest recruiting class, but the ball could drop at anytime on Meyer’s health and the team’s season could be up in the air in a hurry.

The number one thing to work on is: Keeping John Brantley upright. As good as the Florida line has been over the last few seasons, it struggled at times in pass protection last season. Part of the reason the line got tagged with 30 sacks allowed is because of Tebow’s style and running, but the protection wasn’t always up to national title snuff. Brantley will need time to work and the less he’s pressured early on, the better.

Why to be grouchy: There are a ton of question marks on both sides of the ball. The defensive front loses mega-strong tackles Jeff Owens, Kade Weston, and Geno Atkins, and not having LB Rennie Curran and SS Reshad Jones around to clean up all the messes will hurt. The schedule really is favorable enough to have a monster season, but Georgia has to be ready to rock right away with three road games in cour weeks at South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Colorado wrapped around a home date with Arkansas.

The number one thing to work on is: Turnover margin. Only Tulane and Miami University were worse in turnover margin. The Dawgs weren’t all that bad when it came to giving the ball away, although 28 turnovers are still too many, but the defense didn’t pick up the slack with a pathetic 12 takeaways and a nation-low two recovered fumbles. This year’s team isn’t going to be good enough to not own the turnover game.

See that mention of Georgia’s losses on the defensive front?  Keep that in mind when you read what CFN has to say today about the ten units needing work heading into spring practice.  Checking in at number six:  the Alabama linebacking corps.  Following at number five:  Florida’s linebacking corps.  And no mention at all of Georgia’s defensive line.

Now I certainly recognize that these are two different articles by two different authors, so I don’t expect some sort of lockstep approach here.  But when one of the pieces starts out like this,

Every school in America must deal with graduations, transfers, and early entries to some degree. A handful of programs, however, are reeling at the prospect of rebuilding from the ground up, cobbling together new units that have been ravaged by departures…

Everyone loses players, but when an entire unit takes a beating, it’s up to the staff and the holdovers to limit the damage and make a smooth landing. An inability to do so in the offseason could linger when the games count in the fall…

is it too much to expect a certain amount of editorial consistency?  If Fiutak is right about Georgia’s losses (and I think he is) and Cirminiello’s premise is valid, what is it about the situation on the defensive line – where the top three tackles have graduated, the top two defensive ends have moved to outside linebacker, the defensive end coach was let go and the scheme is changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 – that doesn’t merit attention in comparison to the Alabama and Florida defensive units that do?

Don’t get me wrong here.  This isn’t a complaint about a school being left out of a list (hell, that’s a backhanded compliment, if you think about it).  It’s the why it’s left off that gets me.

8 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

“But, dammit, where does this end?”

There’s a lot to unpack from this USA Today article about the rapid increase in college football coordinator salaries.

First, what Lane Kiffin (or maybe more accurately Mike Hamilton) hath wrought:

… With many contracts being negotiated or finalized, nearly a dozen schools in the NCAA‘s 120-school Football Bowl Subdivision have made deals under which they will be spending at least 38% more on their offensive or defensive coordinator in 2010 than they did in 2009.

We’re familiar with one of the accused.

In 2009, two football assistants made more than $650,000: Kiffin ($1.2 million) and Muschamp ($900,000).

This year, assuming Kiffin did not take a massive pay cut from USC, six will be making at least $700,000.

Georgia has agreed to pay former Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham $750,000 to be its defensive coordinator; that’s 130% more than it paid Willie Martinez, who was fired.

National champion Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, spurned an offer from Georgia before Grantham’s hiring and received a 108% raise to $750,000.

LSU’s John Chavis and South Carolina’s Ellis Johnson are making $700,000.

That’s right – half of the names on that list can thank Damon Evans and Mark Richt for their good fortune.  I’m sorry, what was that you were saying about not making an effort to improve things in Athens?

Then there’s the keeping-up-with-the-Jones effort at Clemmins.

… Clemson increased the guaranteed compensation for its 10-man football coaching staff by more than 56%, from $2.6 million last season to $4.055 million.

In filings to the NCAA, Clemson’s athletic department reported annual budget deficits in 2008 and ’09.

Imagine how much the bump would have been if the Tigers had managed to beat Georgia Tech.

Toss in a little petulance on the academic side (actually, as things go, this is fairly reasonable sounding)…

Bill Surver, a biology professor and president-elect of Clemson’s faculty senate, said he spent time with Steele during a football team road trip on which several faculty members were invited. Surver also said he understands that when it comes to comparing general university spending and athletics spending “you’re dealing with separate budgets.”

Steele’s salary increase of $200,000, to $575,000, nevertheless makes him wince.

“I like Steele a lot,” Surver said. “He’s a nice guy. I hear good things about him from the players. The players seem to interact with him well. But, dammit, where does this end?”

Clemson’s AD has the answer to that one:  “The problem is if you’ve got a very successful, highly popular coach, you’ve got a problem with the people that support that program.”

In other words, at schools like Clemson, it stops when you max out the credit card.

4 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Will the elite ACC team please step forward? Not so fast, Georgia Tech.

Shorter Andy Staples:  nice offense you got there, Coach Johnson.

1 Comment

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The proof is in the pudding.

This is a hubristic observation:

… Some think the Big 12 could make up some of the difference with higher penetration from a more loyal fan base. Officials at Nebraska, for instance, think its market penetration would be higher than any school in the Big Ten or SEC.

Do they now.  So how come they aren’t getting paid like a Florida or an Ohio State already?  My guess is that Stewart Mandel’s buddies from Montana are as aware of the Nebraska brand as they are of the other two schools, so either the Cornhusker brain trust is more inept than its peers in wringing value out of that, or they’re talking out of their asses.

I’m picking the latter.  ESPN isn’t known for leaving broadcast revenue on the table.  Good luck with that whole Big XII Network thing, guys.

3 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness