I’m trying to figure out the best place for Kermit Whitfield to land. Tennessee comes to mind as a natural resting spot, but I’m not sure he’s willing to wait behind the Vols’ current receiving corps.
At least somebody’s got a sense of humor about it, though.
Salter playfully declined comment when asked to speculate why there were no submission for Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik.
Richard Pryor once famously joked that “cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.” In the SEC, the proof of that is in coaching salaries.
… When Saban took over at Alabama in 2007, he was one of four college football coaches pulling down more than $3 million per season, joining then Florida coach Urban Meyer, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Texas’ Mack Brown as the highest paid coaches in the game.
Fast forward to 2011 and five SEC coaches — Saban, LSU’s Les Miles, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Auburn’s Gene Chizik and Florida’s Will Muschamp — eclipsed the $3 million mark.
That’s not five in all of college football. That’s five in the SEC alone.
Four other league coaches — Georgia’s Mark Richt, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, now ex-Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen — earned more than $2.5 million in 2011.
While big ticket coaches dominate headlines, most striking, to me, at least, are the salaries of some of the league’s sub-.500 coaches.
At Tennessee, Derek Dooley has a base salary of $2.1 million per season. Meanwhile, Joker Phillips is clocking $1.7 million per at basketball-crazed Kentucky.
Both enter their third seasons on the job with identical 11-14 records.
By my count, every coach in the SEC West earned north of two and a half million dollars last season. It was a good division, but it wasn’t that good.
At least Georgia will find out if it has anyone who can fill the left tackle slot on the offensive line before the season starts.
Tennessee missing a bowl for the second time in four years? No big deal. In fact, Derek Dooley needed the time he would have otherwise spent in preparation for the game to do better things.
But much of the work came in December. While the Vols’ season-ending loss to Kentucky kept them out of a bowl game, it also gave Dooley some time to set the framework for an offseason that would lead into his all-important third season in charge of the program.
“All of that time in December where you’d have spent some energy on bowl prep,” Dooley said, “[we] put a lot of time into sort of redefining our offseason and taking a hard look at some of the things we need to do differently going into next season.”
Maybe if the Vols finish 6-6 this year, SOD will turn down a bowl invite so he can divert that energy into more useful pursuits. Like preparing his resume.
Judging from this, though, he’s not using any of that energy to deal with certain players not following directions.
Dooley declined to go into Da’Rick Rogers’ reported absence from a portion of the offseason program. The receiver from Calhoun was absent for more than a week of morning workouts after an incident of insubordination to the strength and conditioning staff, according to reports and two sources inside the football program.
“I’m not going to go into all the individuals,” Dooley said. “We had a lot of guys that missed a workout or two for different reasons, whether it’s academics, whether it’s discipline, whether it’s injury. We had a ton of that. It’s managing 100 guys, and every day’s a challenge. I just don’t want to go into and revisit our last eight weeks.”
You get the feeling that if things get off to a rough start this season, the wheels could come off SOD’s wagon very quickly.
In opining about where college football needs to go with the BCS, the man who helped invent it raises the Analogy That Shall Not Be Named.
“There is a danger in this of going too far, and you can see that to a degree through basketball,” Kramer said. “We’ve left college basketball as a one-month sport, because people are only interested in March. They’re not interested in college basketball in December or January, because people view those games as preliminary games. You have to be careful, because college football is different.
“College football is the backbone of college athletic programs, and you’ve got to make the regular season significant and keep it significant. So whatever structure you come up with, you cannot overlook the regular season and the importance of what that is to all of our programs.”
Now he’s not saying that from a fan’s perspective. Keeping the regular season significant for Kramer is merely a means to an end, which is keeping the regular season highly profitable. (Not that I’m going to complain if our interests coincide.)
One thing to consider, though. Since it’s apparent that some of the motivation behind the recent plus-0ne chatter is a knee-jerk response to a dip in attendance and viewership numbers with the bowls, how do you think college football’s grand poobahs will react to this news?
The New York Times traces the evolution of Tim Tebow from college quarterback with mechanics problems to Tim Tebow, college quarterback with mechanics problems that his head coach (despite public utterances to the contrary) didn’t really care about.
“I don’t know if there’s ever been anybody in a team sport that’s dominated as much as Tim, and yet everyone would go, ‘Can he play at the next level?’ ” said Gary Danielson, a longtime college football analyst for CBS Sports and a former quarterback.
Skepticism abounded two years ago for the same reasons it does now: his throwing mechanics, which are about as awkward as a seventh-grade dance. He adjusted his motion at least twice at Florida, once more with a team of quarterback gurus before the draft and again with the Denver Broncos, who, unconvinced of his long-term viability, sent him to the Jets, who almost certainly have their own thoughts on the matter. The subject is bound to come up Monday, when Tebow, almost surely the N.F.L.’s most famous backup, is introduced at a news conference at team headquarters in Florham Park, N.J.
“If there’s something that needs improving, he just works relentlessly at it,” said Temple Coach Steve Addazio, who was Florida’s offensive coordinator when Tebow was a senior. “He’s just wired that way.”
Addazio has saved the evaluation he wrote more than six years ago of Tebow, then a junior playing for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. On it, he wrote this sentence: “We want this guy on our team.” Tebow fit perfectly into the Gators’ dynamic spread offense, a system devised to win games — which he did — but that did not necessarily prepare him for the N.F.L.
The point here isn’t that Florida had the wrong approach with Tebow. It didn’t. It wasn’t Meyer’s responsibility to prepare Tebow for the NFL; it was his responsibility to best deploy his talented quarterback to win as many games as possible.
But what’s interesting is to compare what Mullen was asked to do with his star quarterback and compare that to Loeffler’s marching instructions. Mullen had a concern that Tebow’s mechanics were potentially harmful in a physical sense and sought to mitigate the problem. Loeffler was brought in with all sorts of PR hype but behind the scenes was instructed not to muck up a good thing. How did that work out? About as you’d expect.
It was never about getting Tebow ready for the pros. It was about shielding Corch from criticism on the recruiting trail that his system wasn’t conducive to producing quarterbacks who could prosper on the next level. With Tebow at least, the jury is still very much out on that. It’ll be interesting to hear if anyone tries to use that against Meyer in recruiting now.
UPDATE: This hilarious Charles Pierce skewering of the lastest embarrassment from Ross Douthat begs the question of why God doesn’t go ahead and fix Tebow’s mechanics.