Monthly Archives: May 2007

Roll ‘dem bones

You really have to start wondering if this kid will ever take a meaningful snap at LSU.

Of course, he’s just suffering through an indefinite suspension, while, as the article notes, Miles recently dismissed three kids “who never saw game action”, so I’d say the coach is keeping his powder dry.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

Inside the mind of Dienhart

Can someone figure out why these two Big East non-conference schedules

  • Louisville: Murray State; Middle Tennessee; at Kentucky; at N.C. State; Utah
  • West Virginia: Western Michigan; at Marshall; at Maryland; East Carolina; Mississippi State

are superior to this one…

  • Pitt: Eastern Michigan; Grambling; at Michigan State; at Virginia; Navy

I sure can’t.

And this has nothing to do with Dienhart, but does Syracuse have the weirdest non-conference schedule in the country, or what?  The Orangemen play three games at home against BCS schools and a road game at Miami of Ohio.

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Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Illinois football – it’s not a pain in the butt.

I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose between listening to Bruce Weber talk about his colonoscopy or hearing the Zooker deliver such pearls as

“We’re going to get backed into a corner, and we’re going to have to stand up and say, ‘By golly, we’re tired of this.’ And when we do it, we’ll all know we’re off to the races…”

well, by golly, I’d probably just stay home and watch Law & Order reruns.

“Perhaps worst has passed”.  Now that’s a ringing endorsement.   So is this:

In an ideal world, Marjorie Enoch would come back for the Meet ‘N Greet Tour next spring and make this proclamation: “I want you to know Coach Zook is an excellent coach.”

Five or six victories is all it will take.

I’d say the Zooker’s found a home.

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Filed under The Adventures of Zook

Sure, he can lift a keg. But can he carry a team?

Rival’s Olin Buchanan has a piece up about struggling with a true freshman quarterback. (Cool trivia: name the only college team that’s won a MNC starting a true freshman QB.)

There’s a lot in his article about Matthew Stafford and what he (and the Dawgs) went through last year.

… No quarterback on Georgia’s 2006 roster had significant playing experience, so the Bulldogs did not have the luxury of redshirting Stafford. Despite the ups-and-downs of his inaugural year, Stafford is glad he received on-the-job training.

“Personally, I was better served to go out and play,” Stafford said. “I learned by trial and error. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Richt sees improvement:

“He is really good,” Richt said of Stafford during spring drills. “Even last year he understood things, but he did not understand the speed of the game, the speed of the athletes, when to sling that sucker out of bounds and how to manage the bad plays.

Associated Press

“Those little fundamental things are what gets you beat, but I think he understands it pretty well now.”

Stafford senses a difference, too.

“I think the hardest part is to come in as a freshman and lead the team off the bat,” Stafford said. “It’s tough to step in and play well enough to gain respect. Once you do, it’s a great feeling when the team is behind you. After the Auburn game everybody realized we can play well together.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

Those were the days, my friend.

**Sniff**. It’s always touching when a former player embraces the tradition of his alma mater.

Some cling to tradition

There’s no debating the issue for former Hurricanes receiver Lamar Thomas, who played for national championship teams at UM in 1989 and ’91.

If the Hurricanes leave the Orange Bowl, Thomas said it will be more evidence that college football is trading its traditional roots for the bottom line.

“When I think of UM football, I think of only one place and that’s the Orange Bowl,” said Thomas, who ranks second in UM history with 144 receptions and 23 touchdown catches. “It’s going to be very weird calling (Dolphin Stadium) home. When they leave the Orange Bowl, well, that’s going to be a sad day.”

And, let’s not forget, Thomas is a big believer in another tradition of the “U” – thuggery:

I am moved.

Some appropriate musical accompaniment for Thomas’ wistful memories here:

“We’d fight and never lose.” Indeed.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under General Idiocy

Him likey; him no likey.

Looks like Nick Saban is returning to the scene of the crime, so to speak. He’s recruiting in South Florida.

So far, it sounds like the results are mixed.

Four months after his criticized departure from the Dolphins, Alabama coach Nick Saban received a celebrity-type reception at one school when he returned here for a recruiting trip last week. ”The faculty was excited,” Fort Lauderdale Dillard coach Keith Franklin said. Security guards and administrators requested pictures with Saban, and he obliged. ‘They said, `We love you here at Dillard,’ ” Franklin said.

Miami Northwestern defensive tackle Marcus Fortson and Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna linebacker Jordan Futch — two of the top junior prospects in South Florida — spoke with Saban and said he left a good impression. ”Good guy,” Futch said.

Saban also approached Northwestern offensive lineman Brandon Washington, a UM oral commitment. ‘He asked me if my heart was in Miami. I said, `No,’ ” Washington said, adding there’s a good chance he will sign with UM but wants to take other visits. Washington said the way Saban left the Dolphins ”bothered me” and ”was on my mind,” and he might not consider Alabama.

But Saban’s request to visit Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas was denied by coach George Smith, who noted it was nothing personal. After Mike Shula was fired, Smith sent a letter to Alabama’s athletic director and president stating Bama’s coaches weren’t welcome on his campus because of how Shula’s dismissal ”was handled.” Saban, who recruited South Florida well as Louisiana State’s coach, didn’t have a Dade or Broward player in his first Bama signing class.

Glad to hear it’s “nothing personal”. But I am curious. Why in the hell would a high school coach care about the way a college let a head coach go if it wasn’t personal?

Geez. It’s not like he called the guy a “coonass”.

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UPDATE: When I read the quotes from the recruits, I wondered about this myself.

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UPDATE #2:  A little more on Coach Smith here.

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Filed under Recruiting, Whoa, oh, Alabama

I’ll take obvious answers for $200, Alex.

I asked a few days ago why college football needs an early signing day.

The answer:  because more college coaches want one.

Many college coaches, maybe the majority, are pondering the implementation of an early signing period. Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, which sets the annual recruiting calendar, said the idea has “a little more air under its sails than in the past. . . . It’s more compelling than it’s ever been.”

So much so that an AFCA task force has been established “to take a look at every aspect of it,” Teaff said. During their respective conferences’ spring meetings, Division I-A coaches likely will discuss the merits of an early signing day and report back to Teaff’s group.

“In the past, the (idea of an) early signing date has fallen along lines of those who have and those who are still trying to get,” Teaff said. “But it’s definitely being looked at very seriously and is up for discussion. By the end of May, we’ll know whether to move forward.”

…If many coaches agree there should be a signing period to accommodate the growing number of early commitments, there is disagreement as to when it should be.

This thing’s far enough along for it to be in the “when not if” stage.  We might as well call it a done deal.  All for the good of the kids, of course…

For some related thoughts, check out this post at dawgsonline.com.

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Filed under Recruiting

At least they didn’t add any more bowl games this year.

Fanblogs.com has this season’s bowl schedule posted in its entirety.

The broadcast breakdown is as follows:

  • NFL Network (2)
  • CBS (2)
  • Fox (5)
  • ESPN/ABC (23)

As noted in the comments, the truly crappy part of the schedule is the insertion of two minor bowl games in the week leading up to the BCS title game.  (Thanks, ESPN!)  Although there is a place deep inside of me that yearns for Notre Dame to make an appearance in the International Bowl.  Toronto, Canada.  10 AM.  A MAC opponent.

And the Irish would probably still lose.

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Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., College Football, ESPN Is The Devil

More scheduling stuff

In the interest of fairness, here’s a piece from the Orlando Sentinel that’s worth quoting as it bears on ’07 conference football schedules:

Eight of the 120 Division I-A teams have eight home games this season — and half of those (Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Vanderbilt) are in the Southeastern Conference. The others: Arizona State, Michigan, Rutgers and Stanford. Seven of the eight play no non-conference road games; Rutgers has one of its five non-conference games on the road. [Emphasis added.]

Eight home games is certainly fan friendly, but it implies a lesser caliber of opposition to fill the slate, so I’d say the gap between the SEC and the Big XII is smaller than I’d pitched the other day. Still, I don’t think there is a school in the SEC with a $90 ticket.

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UPDATE: Dang! Somehow I missed Dienhart’s take on the Big XII ’07 non-conference schedules. I don’t want to bore anyone with the details, but for a little taste of his analysis…

Here’s a school he describes as having a “decent” schedule – Baylor: at TCU; Rice; Texas State; at Buffalo.

And here’s a school he describes as having a “shameful” one – Texas Tech: at SMU; UTEP; at Rice; Northwestern State.

Now that’s some major league hairsplitting.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

If you’re going to Raleigh, don’t forget your raincoat.

The game day experience on the campus of NC State must be truly special.

Start with this.

Then, read this. Bonus points for the headline.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under ACC Football, The Body Is A Temple