Daily Archives: August 14, 2008

Ben Mauk to NCAA: You’re not the boss of me!

Mauk has sued the NCAA over its refusal to grant him a sixth year of eligibility.  Best of all, he’s gotten a sympathetic judge to issue a restraining order prohibiting the NCAA from stopping him from practicing with Cincinnati.  Hey, if the judge refuses to hold a hearing on this until next January, Mauk is home free.

If that works, maybe Herschel could sue to get his last year of eligibility back.



Filed under The NCAA

Take that, Big Ten.

Holy mother of crap.

In an unprecedented deal between a national network and a college athletic conference, the SEC and CBS on Thursday announced that they have agreed to a 15-year contract extension to televise that league’s football and men’s basketball games. Financial details of the deal were not released.

Barnhart isn’t using the word “unprecedented” lightly.  As he notes,

This 15-year deal is believed to be the longest in the history of college sports.

That’s longer than CBS’ March Madness deal!  Needless to say, I can’t wait to see the numbers on this baby.  And at least we don’t have to worry about Fox mucking up SEC broadcasts for a while.


UPDATE: Will Collier doesn’t see this as a good development.  I’m not sure I agree with his pessimism totally.  Certainly some of what he bitches about would be inevitable regardless of whom the SEC cut a broadcast deal with; it’s part of the territory.


UPDATE #2: Groo finds grounds for celebration.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

You complete me.


Alabama now has only 82 players on scholarship, according to a report from Rivals. According to the report, Alabama football player Sam Burnthall, a junior defensive back, has left the team. This leaves Alabama with 82 players on scholarship. The NCAA limit is 85. Those scholarships could be given to walkon players, or saved for use in the future.

… explains this.

… Within the last month, Jackson said LSU and Alabama have let him know a scholarship is available if he changes his mind, but he said he is Georgia-bound.

Recruiting math – it’s fun!


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

When nicknames go bad

It started with this post over at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash about Auburn’s “Spread Eagle” (ugh) vs. Tennessee’s “Clawfense” (which sounds clever only if you’re a UT fan):  dueling offensive nicknames!

Well, they’ve upped the ante considerably over at Third Saturday in Blogtober, with this post christening several of the offenses in the SEC with nicknames.  It’s funny.  It’s funny enough that I laughed at the reference to Georgia’s offense being run out of the “DU-I formation”.  Take a look and offer your own suggestions.


Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

Another know thy opponent moment: Arizona State

The Quad looks at #16 Arizona State.

The first thing that jumps out at you is Dennis Erickson’s resume.

… A.S.U. marks Erickson’s third Pac-10 coaching stop, following two years at Washington State (1987-88 ) and four years at Oregon State (1999-2002). A coaching vagabond, Erickson has been a head coach for nine different teams, seven on the college level and two separate N.F.L. stops. In the college ranks, in addition to W.S.U. and Oregon State he has spent at least one year at Idaho (1982-85, 2006), Wyoming (1986), Miami (1989-1994) and now A.S.U. (2007-present); as a pro head coach, Erickson spent four years with the Seattle Seahawks (1995-98 ) and two with the 49ers (2003-4).

Compared to that, Bobby Petrino’s career is but a pale imitation.  Bouncing around or not, the thing we shouldn’t forget is that Erickson can coach on the college level.  He’s got two national title rings and is the only coach who’s ever been named the Pac-10 coach of the year at three different schools.

As for his charges, that’s more of a mixed bag.  There are certainly good to great skill position players on offense, some good defensive linemen and a couple of secondary players of note.  But that offensive line, oh boy.

Even in a best case, The Quad doesn’t see the Sun Devils taking the Dawgs this year.

Comments Off on Another know thy opponent moment: Arizona State

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Alert the media! Mandel promises “serious thought” about Georgia.

Stewart Mandel’s friends from Montana called, and they want Georgia’s preseason #1 status back.  Or something like that.

… Georgia is still a prime national-title contender, but I no longer consider the Dawgs the favorite. Either Ohio State or Oklahoma will move to No. 1 when I release my initial power rankings Aug. 26. I’ll have to give it some serious thought.

What’s caused the pullback?  Trinton Sturdivant’s knee, baby.

… Besides quarterback, there is arguably no more important position on a football team than that of the guy protecting the QB’s blind side. In Georgia’s case in particular, I would argue that only QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno were more irreplaceable.

Keep in mind that while we love him, Sturdivant wasn’t on the horizon for the SEC coaches when they selected their preseason all-SEC teams.  He didn’t even make third team.  Yet now, according to Mandel, his injury “towers over the others in terms of potential national implications”.  Whoa, mama.


UPDATE: Will Mandel factor this into his power ratings?


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The conference of the quarterback

While I think that Jeremy Crabtree overstates things when he writes that the SEC “always has been a hotbed for the top passers” – this season being a good example of that not being a likely case – there’s no question that this is impressive:

When Frisco (Texas) Centennial four-star quarterback Ryan Mossakowski committed to Kentucky late last week, it gave the conference commitments from five of the top 10 pro-style passers in the nation.

Along with Mossakowski at No. 5, No. 4 Aaron Murray is heading to Georgia, No. 6 A.J. McCarron is heading to Alabama, No. 9 Zach Mettenberger is heading to Georgia and No. 10 Josh Nunes is a Tennessee commitment. Digging even deeper, Mississippi State commit Tyler Russell ranks as the No. 13 pro-style passer and LSU pledge Chris Garrett is No. 15.

Among dual-threat quarterbacks, the conference has commitments from the No. 1, No. 11 and No. 12 players at the position. The headliner is LSU commitment Russell Shepard, the nation’s top dual-threat player and No. 4 prospect overall.

Should be good times ahead…


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

The three faces of Nick

There’s Nick Saban, detail wonk on the recruiting trail:

“We have a scale 1-5 for let’s say linebacker, 6′3″ may be a one, 6′2″ a two, and you go right down the scale, also you have a weight criteria that is on the same scale and then you have a speed criteria that is on the same scale,” Saban said. “So, if we had a 5′11″ linebacker for example and the number one scale was 240 and the running speed was 4.6 and he was 5′11″, 240, 4.6, he is a 5-1-1, which is 7 divided by 3. Because he overcomes his size with great speed and has the weight, he ends up being a guy that is a potential prospect, as long as you go to the position criteria and he ranks very highly, because he has to overcome a deficiency.”


Then, there’s Nick Saban, the most powerful coach… not just in the SEC… not just in college football… but the most powerful coach in sports, per Forbes.

… But in Tuscaloosa, which was desperate to return to national football prominence, Saban, 56, was a savior, welcomed with an open wallet. Saban, with his agent, James E. Sexton II, negotiated an eight-year, $32 million contract that was, at the time, the highest salary ever paid to a college coach. It remains among the highest and is bigger than all but a handful of NFL coaching salaries. His deal includes, among other perks, 25 hours of private use of a university airplane, two cars and a country club membership, extras that make his annual compensation closer to $5 million a year, estimates Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist. He can leave the school at any time without financial penalty, a rarity in big-time college coaching contracts.

What’s more, he was given total control of the football program: recruiting, coaching, business administration and public relations. There are coaches at other universities who have similar salaries, like Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California. But no coach, including those in the professional leagues, can match Saban’s combination of money, control and influence. Saban, now entering his second year as the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is the most powerful coach in sports.

But there’s a softer side to Saban, as well.  From p. 183 of The Blind Side, this story of his visit to Michael Oher’s home:

Then [Saban] looked around, as if soaking in every last detail of the Olde English and Country French furnishings, and said, “What a lovely home.  I just love those window treatments.”  I just love those window treatments. He didn’t say, “I just love the way you put together the Windsor valances with the draw drapes,” but he might as well have…

LMAO.  Of course, he checked out of LSU three weeks later, but the memory lingered, I’m sure.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules