UPDATE: Mr. Gunther shoots and scores.
Let me share one more amusing note on recruiting that I came across today.
Perhaps you remember TE recruit Brian Vogler’s tale of crunk regarding the happenings on Tennessee’s Junior Day. Something about coaches’ shirts coming off ring a bell? It’s an event Vol fans have pumped up as an example of the energy and good times that Junior and Coach O are bringing back to Knoxville. After all, everybody knows one of the most certain ways to attract top recruits to a program is to get them all excited about shirtless coaches.
Well, Vogler committed today.
Tight end Brian Vogler (Columbus, Ga./Brookstone) has committed to Alabama over Oklahoma. He made his announcement during a noon press conference at his high school.
“My decision came down to Alabama and Oklahoma and I am committing to the Alabama Crimson Tide,” Vogler said in a prepared statement.
No doubt it’s all part of the plan.
I blogged before that Boise State was looking at taking on some big money road games to ameliorate its financial situation and applauded the school for making that move, both to shore up its bank account and also its strength of schedule. In my humble opinion, it’s one of several options the best of the mid-major schools should be exploring to raise their value in the eyes of the BCS grand poobahs.
So I welcome this reported development.
Broncos-Hokies in D.C.? Boise State said it was looking to toughen up its schedule with more profitable road games, and it wasn’t kidding: A Richmond, Va., television station reports Boise will open 2010 in a made-for-TV opener against Virginia Tech, possibly at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., where the Hokies last opened up against eventual mythical champion Southern Cal in 2004.
The Doc’s right when he says this is the kind of thing BSU has to do if it wants to be considered a serious candidate for a BCS title game. BYU’s schedule, Tulsa’s schedule and now this – maybe these schools are getting the message. If they are, it’s good for college football all around.
I’m not big on doing recruiting posts here, for a variety of reasons, but there’s something striking about the 2010 classes being assembled at Georgia and elsewhere that’s worth a comment.
With T. J. Stripling’s commitment today, Georgia has eighteen verbals in the upcoming class, which is currently ranked second nationally by Scout. Seven of those eighteen are from the state of Florida. That’s a significant portion in my book.
Interestingly, if you look at those Scout national recruiting rankings, Florida currently stands seventh, but more importantly, Miami ranks a mediocre (by Da U’s standards, anyway) twenty first (with an average recruit ranking of less than three stars, for what that’s worth) and FSU brings up the rear of that group at number twenty six (one step ahead of Georgia Tech, for some context). Now I know it’s a long way to February, and I know about FSU’s reputation for bringing home the recruiting bacon in the last few days, but still, that’s a pretty flaccid showing.
As I’ve noted before, what Miami and FSU do in recruiting matters to us in a very selfish way – the more they grab, the more Urban Meyer has to work to make up for that. And Florida having to work harder for its recruits can’t be anything other than a positive for Georgia. As has been said in a far better way than I ever could,
Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful. As with Alabama, a healthy Miami helps Georgia; in Da U’s case, it’s because the ‘Canes recruit against the Gators in the Sunshine State’s hottest hotbeads for high school talent, although they don’t play the Gators that often…
So what can you do if you’re Mark Richt and you’re aware that your alma mater and your coaching home for better than a decade aren’t holding up their end of the deal? Well, maybe, just maybe, you decide to step things up and take matters into your own hands.
Now I have no idea if any of that’s really the case here. However, note that Georgia got two five star kids and one four star kid out of the Sunshine State in the last class. So if there’s a trend, it’s accelerating. Maybe it won’t last, or maybe the talent in state for the 2011 class is great enough to cut back on how many kids they sign from Florida at that point. Who knows? All I can say is that from where I sit right now, I’m damned happy about the results, both for who’s coming to Athens and also for diluting the remaining talent pool in Florida, no matter how the coaches have gotten there.
God knows I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’d been ignoring Junior of late, but it’s been relatively quiet in Knoxville. (Besides, everybody in the media is hoping that the Laner’s been saving his best material for SEC Media Days.)
Anyway, here are three items, none of them earth shattering in nature, but all entertaining. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty apt description of Kiffin himself.
First, is it reasonable for us to expect that somebody’s ass is going to be canned over this little mistake (h/t The Wiz of Odds)?
The Phillip Fulmer Era isn’t over, at least according to one page of Tennessee’s 2009 football media guide that was released Tuesday.
In the year-by-year, all-time scores section, Fulmer’s era on page 172 lists him as coach: 1992-Present.
Next, Mike Hamilton continues to show the savvy management skills, the ability to know the mind of his football coach, that’s made him one of the best paid ADs in the business.
Said Lane Kiffin on the December afternoon he was introduced as Tennessee’s new football coach eight months ago: “Everything’s in place. We don’t need another building. We don’t need another weight room. We’ve got enough here to win.”
Said UT athletic director Mike Hamilton on Tuesday: “Over the past four months (Lane) has started telling us what we need, especially in the weight room. It’s nothing we haven’t talked about in the past — we’ve known there was a need there — but he is starting to ask for things.”
Good luck keeping up with that, pal. Hamilton goes on to praise his prize hire for, among other things, being a “throwback”.
“As I’ve gotten to know Lane,” Hamilton said, “he’s really kind of a throwback. He likes to recruit, break down film, scheme the opponent. He’s a lot more like the football coaches of the past than you might think.”
Hmm… makes you wonder what all those newfangled coaches are doing out there to earn a paycheck. Especially the guys like Saban and Meyer that are lined up to whip Junior’s ass this season.
Besides, he’s not as hard bitten as you might think. When it comes to his quarterbacks, he’s quite tender and caring.
… Kiffin said his quarterbacks, particularly senior Jonathan Crompton, have suffered through “bad relationships” with UT fans.
The Volunteers ranked near the bottom nationally in most major offensive statistical rankings last season, and much of the fans’ frustration was directed at the quarterbacks.
“I can see in Jonathan with what has happened before, and around here — I don’t know if this is a good comparison — it’s like a bad relationship,” Kiffin said. “He’s hurt, and so you can tell when things go bad a little bit with him that he kind of freezes up a little bit, because he’s been beat up for so long here. That’s very obvious for me to see, so I’ve worked very hard at getting him out of that by conversations and to understand we’re not worried about what happened before…”
You see, Vol fans, it’s not Crompton, it’s you. Maybe Junior needs to get everybody booked on Oprah to work things out. Catharsis can be helpful, you know.
Lots of goodies to sample today…
Every time TCU head coach Gary Patterson opens his mouth about the BCS, I grow more impressed with the man. Take what he said yesterday at the Mountain West media day event:
“I think there’s two different topics: There’s the money aspects of it and then there’s defining a national champion. And for me, I think it just makes common sense to know that if there’s 50 teams out there that are nonqualifying there’s at least one team that’s good that could get into those five or six ballgames. And that’s my point about it. I think we’ve proven throughout the four years that we’ve been doing this. Utah and Boise State. Hawaii didn’t get it done, but we’re 3-1 when they’ve given us opportunities to be apart of that game. And I don’t see how they have to give that much away for the betterment of the game.
“If the true reason we went to the BCS was to find a national champion then I think that you should take everybody involved. And that’s not talking badly about anybody, that’s not saying that we’re better than anybody, that’s not saying anything. I’m just saying that you can’t say that out of the other 50-some football teams… The odds would be in our favor that one of those teams every year is good enough to play on that level and we’ve proven that three out of four times when we’ve gotten the opportunity to do that.”
Sure, sure, the devil’s in the details, but I honestly don’t know of anyone on the pro-playoffs side of the debate who grasps the distinction between the money part versus the competition part better than Patterson does. If anyone on that side bothers to grasp it at all, that is.
If and when the day comes and the powers-that-be huddle together to remake the D-1 postseason, I hope he’s given a chance to provide input. College football deserves as much rationality as it can get.
On a related front, did anyone notice that the MWC extended its commissioner’s contract to 2012, or a year before the BCS deal expires? Sounds like he’s being given a little message there…