Daily Archives: March 30, 2010

Together again. Thanks, ESPN.

Looks like Tuberville and Saban are hooking up in 2012.

Texas Tech appears likely to play Alabama in the Red Raiders’ 2012 football season opener, Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said Monday.

Myers said Dave Brown, a vice president of programming for ESPN, ”brought us together on this.’’

“We’ve agreed to do it,’’ Myers said. “I think Alabama’s agreed to do it. But we haven’t gotten down to signing a contract or anything like that.’’

The deal would be for one game at a neutral site — in this case, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Myers said.

“Coach (Tommy) Tuberville is aware of the game and is in support of playing it,’’ Myers said. “I understand (Crimson Tide coach Nick) Saban is also on board for it. We’re in the talking stages, but we haven’t gotten down to talking contract with it yet.’’

Fear those fingers, ‘Bama fans.
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UPDATE: Not so fast, my friends.
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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Nick Saban Rules, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Kiffin watch: euphemism of the day

That would be “frayed relations”, as in

Sources said it was unlikely Tennessee tailback Bryce Brown would be allowed to transfer to USC because he would need to permission from Tennessee.

Brown, the No. 1-ranked prep player in the nation in 2009 when Kiffin signed him, is attending classes at Tennessee but is not participating in spring drills.

“I’d be shocked if that happened,” a source said, citing the frayed relations over Kiffin’s January departure to USC. … [Emphasis added.]

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Robert Edwards speaks.

The AJ-C has a nice interview with former Georgia star Robert Edwards, who talks about his new job and his old school.

It sounds like a few of his players may be star struck in practice now and then.

“I also have a lot of friends who are going to come by and teach them something … Takeo Spikes, Hines Ward, and my brother Terrence Edwards.”

He’s got a pretty good grasp of where Georgia stands in the early spring, too.

Q. I know you visited Georgia’s practices last week. What are your thoughts on the team?

A. First of all, the facility that they are building is going to be outrageous. I’m kind of jealous I won’t be a student-athlete and able to experience that … But with the coaches, there was a need to change on the defensive side of the ball. They weren’t getting it done the last couple of years, whether it be the coaches fault or the players not playing up to expectations. I think it was a needed change, and the coach from Dallas will be great addition and he will bring the attitude of a pro-style defense. And he will bring the attitude they have to have every week to be successful. On offense, they have the playmakers. They have to establish them a quarterback, but they have a nice trio of running backs that can compliment each other. The have a tight end who is going to be All-Conference, and probably the best wide reciever in the nation. They just have to find someone to get them the ball. I think the O-line has been banged up the last couple of years. They can’t seem to stay healthy. If they stay healthy, then it will be the key to the success of the offense.

I hope he’s as good an evaluator as he was a running back.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Tripp’s time to shine?

If there’s a player on the team whom I’m rooting for this year, it’s Kiante Tripp.  Lost in the shuffle, the subject of a tug of war between the line coaches, Tripp’s a kid who seems not to have let his career to date get him down.  So I was happy to see this quote about him from a teammate:

“Kiante Tripp, he has that big body. He has an NFL-type body. All he needed was an opportunity, and I think he’s taking advantage of this opportunity to really shine.”

Obviously, we all want Grantham’s new scheme to succeed on its general merits.  But if it has the added benefit of resurrecting Tripp, so much the better.  If Trinton Sturdivant is “the Luxury” right now, maybe Tripp will turn out to be “the Bonus”.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Memes just want to be free.

You can’t stop the signal, people.  You can’t even contain it.  SI.com has a nice piece up about Rice transfer Sam McGuffie, who has this to say about his somewhat reckless running style:

“If you run that way your whole life, you’re not going to change that much,” McGuffie said. “It’s like Tim Tebow and how he throws. You’re not going to change it that much, even if you really want to.”

It’s a good thing the kid’s not a Florida beat writer.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

This just in: ESPN is baaaaaad.

If you don’t read anything else today, this piece by Pete Fiutak at College Football News, about the BCS, the voting process and ESPN, is worth your attention.

Not that I agree with everything he writes there, but this admission is fairly staggering.

… Over the past few years when Fox had the big bowls, I’d get a call or five every late September from various higher-ups making sure that CFN (who provides content for FoxSports.com) didn’t go over the top when commenting on the BCS. To be fair and thankful, no one ever told me or anyone else at CFN what we could and couldn’t write or tried to limit what we could say on TV and radio appearances. That was never a problem (outside of not commenting on some of the announcer teams) since we’ve made it a point to not get dragged down in all the “BCS Sucks” rhetoric (again, since the ranting goes nowhere), and there was never any discussion of what we could and couldn’t write and say when it came to the BCS chase and how the rankings were shaping up. Fire on the process and the system … not really. Go nuts on what was happening within the system … fine. It’s extremely doubtful that the ESPNers will get the same leeway and freedom.

Wow.  So none of the higher-ups told him what to write, or what not to write, just not to go “over the top”.  Funny, but to me that sounds like being told what not to write.  Luckily for CFN’s reading public, it just so happened that none of its writers wanted to go over the top.  How convenient for everyone involved.  Fiutak translates that into “leeway and freedom”.  He then goes on to say that the ESPN talking heads won’t be able to meet that lofty standard.  Why?  Well…

Remember, this is a network that ditched Harold Reynolds for giving a woman a hug, Steve Phillips for having a taste for porky chicks, and suspended Tony Kornheiser for being the one to say the empress had on the wrong clothes when he called out Hannah Storm’s Forever 21 ensemble. Do you think for a single, solitary second that the big-wigs are going to allow the college football analysts to say one negative thing about the BCS?

You can see how that follows.

ESPN will stifle debate on the BCS, it’ll be biased in favor of the SEC (can’t wait to hear Herbstreit change his tune on that) because of the new contract there (how come Fiutak doesn’t mention Fox and the Big Ten Network?), the poll voters will rely upon the ESPN commentators to cast their ballots (at least the human ones – Fiutak doesn’t mention the computers) because they’re sheep, unlike the real fans of the game… it’s all so sad.

… It’ll be a shame if Mark May, Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis, and Chris Fowler are muzzled, or have to talk cryptically, under orders to keep the debate and the BCS discussion as vanilla as possible. More importantly, it’ll be unfair to the sport if the ones doing the judging for two-thirds of the BCS rankings aren’t getting the full message and aren’t voting with all the information they should have.

However, I promise to be fair and I hope I’m wrong. Oh yeah, now that Fox doesn’t have the BCS and we’re allowed to thunder away, watch the other CFNers go ballistic with the vitriol. However, I promise to not only give it a chance when the BCS moves networks, but I’ll give the fist bump if and when ESPN does a solid job of being fair and even-handed when it comes to the coverage. But if the network’s recent history is any guide, I’m not holding my breath. Neither should anyone outside of the SEC and the cream of the other BCS league crop. Neither should the fans who know more about the landscape of the sport than the people in the most important voting positions.

Hey, I jumped on board the WWL-is-the-Evil Empire bandwagon a long time ago.  And if you want to take the position that Fiutak’s whole article is a standing proposition for the superiority of an objective qualification format for a football playoff, brother, you won’t get an argument from me.  But to put on airs that Fox and CFN have occupied some rarefied journalistic high ground the past few years that ESPN won’t be able to claim… dude, please, you’re making me laugh.

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UPDATE: Spencer shares a Sporting News tale similar to Fiutak’s.  I can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m not really sure how relevant either matter is here.  Unlike CFN or Sporting News, ESPN is a behemoth in the world of college sports.  I’m not saying the WWL is going to encourage its talking heads to go out of their way to antagonize the BCS suits, but, on the other hand, if they are critical, what would the BCS do about it?  Take its business somewhere else that pays as well?  Where would that be exactly?

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UPDATE #2: I should also mention Matt Hinton’s post on the subject.  He’s of the opinion that ESPN isn’t going to ignore viewer opinion to the extent that Fiutak frets it may.  I tend to agree.  I can’t say for sure what we’ll hear on TV this season on the subject, but seeing as the website hosted this little exercise while it was grabbing the broadcast rights, I don’t think the WWL is too concerned about the debate.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Media Punditry/Foibles