Daily Archives: July 27, 2009

Joe Cox: ginger, rested and ready.

An item from Chris Low’s 20-point inspection post regarding SEC Media Days:

Georgia fifth-year senior quarterback Joe Cox looks, sounds and acts like a guy determined to take advantage of his one and only shot to lead the Bulldogs’ offense. There’s a leadership quality about him that’s unmistakable.



Filed under Georgia Football


In following Paul’s direction here, I clicked over to the ESPN site and found to my enormous disappointment that there’s no place to cast a vote for Reggie Ball as Georgia Tech’s best player ever.   What’s the fun in that?


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

The Pied Piper of Gainesville

You have to give Urban Meyer credit.  Since becoming a head coach he’s run the same offensive scheme at three different schools, one that’s never yielded a running back who’s gained a thousand yards in a season, yet he’s still able to make a credible sales pitch to newly minted commit Mack Brown that next year will be different.

… He said the biggest thing that clinched Florida for him was sitting down for a film session with Meyer and Addazio. “They were breaking down the film and showing me how they were going to use me next year. They’re going to use more pro-style and I-formation style and find different ways to get me the ball. When you play for them they put the ball in their playmakers’ hands.”

Whose film did they use to show Brown the pro-style stuff?


Filed under Recruiting, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Monday morning buffet

Moving on from Hoover –

  • That’s exactly what Mark Richt did, speaking to the Lake Country Bulldog Club Thurday night.  There are some specific comments in the story about the defensive backfield and the tight ends worth checking out.
  • HeismanPundit really doesn’t think much of Junior.  Or his accent.
  • The BCS has handled the slings and arrows of antitrust threats so far.  The NCAA hasn’t fared nearly as well.
  • Gosh, what a shocker – athletic departments across the country are spending beyond their means.  How do you fix the problem?  Well, you could behave more responsibly.  Or you could try this route: “Unless we want it to be six or eight programs that just compete amongst themselves, it is our responsibility to somehow regulate that economic model,” said Sandy Barbour, athletic director at the University of California-Berkeley. We’ve got to do it for the children, Sandy!
  • Tommy Tuberville’s life after Auburn.
  • No all-ACC coaches preseason vote?  Hell, what’s the media supposed to get worked up about at ACC Media Days? (h/t The Wiz)
  • Link to an A.P. article at your own risk, bloggers.


Filed under ACC Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

… and some days the bear eats you.

While Lane Kiffin was the big winner last week at SEC Media Days, it’s pretty obvious that the coach who came off the worst was Steve Spurrier.

Junior was the bigger story going in to Friday, but the OBC managed to upstage him by revealing himself to be at the center of Tebowgate.  Instead of reaffirming his reputation as the sharp guy with the smart barb, Spurrier made himself into the head coach who appeared to be uninterested in detail, ready to blame subordinates for something that was clearly his fault and a lightning rod for aspersions being cast against the entire coaching fraternity.

And then there was the amount of time Spurrier spent apologizing/groveling (the losing sleep comment was particularly pathetic)  to Tebow and the Florida fans and the praise he sent Urban Meyer’s way.  I mean, does anybody think that the typical Gamecock fan wants to hear his head coach say something like this?

… I pull for Florida when they’re not playing us. If we don’t win the SEC, I hope Florida does it. Urban has been the best coach in the country the last three years. Simple as that. We all know that. I admire everything that they do. They do it the right way. Their players play clean. They do it the right way. I give ’em credit for everything that they’ve accomplished. I admire what they’ve done.

Compare that to this tepid assessment he gives his own program.

Q. How tough is it to move up in the SEC East, given Florida, Georgia, Tennessee? Given South Carolina’s history of lack of championships, are you confident you can win a championship, an SEC championship?

COACH SPURRIER: I think Steve Fink, our sports information guy, said we’re picked fourth in the Eastern Division for the seventh year in a row. That’s where we are, we’re fourth until we prove we can do better.

Again, we haven’t turned it around big time yet. We’re trying to get there. So we’re encouraged by a lot of things that have happened since the Bowl game. Since the Bowl game, a lot of encouraging events have happened. We’re looking forward to see how it plays out this season.

Q. You were actually picked third in the East.

COACH SPURRIER: We were? Somebody told me fourth. Where is Steve Fink (smiling)? Oh, prior to this year. My bad.

Seven years prior to this year we were picked fourth. Now we’re third. Okay, thanks for correcting me. I didn’t know that.

Not a good week, in other words.  I imagine that Spurrier looks at Gene Chizik’s relative anonymity as a safe haven right now.

But it’s the hint that there’s a lack of interest that’s going to plague him going forward.  Most of the assessments of the program for this season read like reruns.  Then you read the articles like this one by Ron Morris, which is supposed to sound like your typical “new direction” puff piece, but wind up reinforcing your impressions of the same, tired stuff.

“We just couldn’t put a team together,” Spurrier said. “It just hasn’t happened. The coaching staff, the whole thing. I haven’t done a great job. I don’t know about a lousy job. Twenty-eight wins are still tied for the most (at USC in four seasons), but it’s not anything super. We’re just a little above mediocre right now.”

While Spurrier’s 28 wins rank seventh-best among USC’s all-time coaches, his 22 losses are within five of his total over 12 seasons at Florida. Those numbers are part of the reason Spurrier has come to recognize that winning at USC is much more of a challenge than he faced at either of his previous two college coaching stops.

Spurrier used to poke fun at coaches who claimed they needed five years to rebuild a program. That was before he coached at USC, where it is not a matter of rebuilding, it is about construction.

“We haven’t put the team together that is capable of contending for a championship,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. It’s always disappointing when you lose, but that’s just the way it is.”

Does that sound like the kind of talk you expect to hear from a guy whose heart is really into it?  It doesn’t sound like a calling for Spurrier any more; it sounds like a job.  Having your ego fight drudgery isn’t fun.  And you have to wonder if the day is coming when he simply wakes up and says, “ah, screw it.”

I don’t feel particularly sorry for him or the folks who hired him.  But I do wonder how cringe worthy a moment it’ll be at the presser announcing his retirement when somebody asks him, “Coach, can anyone win in Columbia?”


Filed under The Evil Genius

Kiffin watch: if you talk fast, maybe nobody pays attention to what you’re saying.

Besides Clay Travis, nobody was a bigger winner at SEC Media Days than Junior.  No overt gaffs, no recruiting violations, a good quip or two…

New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin visited Tebow when he was Southern Cal’s national recruiter, but he knew early on his chances were slim.

“He had a Florida Gators mailbox right there as you pulled into his farm,” Kiffin said. “I should have known we weren’t getting him at that point.”

… and suddenly the press isn’t so harsh.  In fact, while we don’t know if he coaches like Pete Carroll, it seems that you can close your eyes and he sounds like Carroll.

But for those who’ve seen Pete Carroll press conferences, Kiffin talks in much the same choppy manner that his old boss does.  It’s as if he’s so excited that he’s trying to get as many points out as quickly as he can.  Carroll gives off that same vibe.

Mmmm… dreamy.

But it’s still the same old contents in a new package.

“Do I love every single thing that I’ve done for my seven months? No, I haven’t loved having to do it,” Kiffin said. “But it needed to be done to get to where we wanted to be.”

What a trooper!

He’s sticking with that it’s-all-part-of-the-plan shtick.  Except when he isn’t, of course.

As David Ching points out, it’s still the same old Laner.

… The first-year Tennessee head coach insists that the commotion he has created since his hiring in November was worth it since it pushed his new Volunteers program into the national spotlight. That it’s OK to publicly blast fellow SEC coaches, criticize a recruit’s grandmother when the recruit signs with another school, gain attention for a spate of minor recruiting violations – “we probably weren’t as educated as some other schools on the rules,” Kiffin explained Friday, “we” being the collection of mercenaries and ex-NFL assistants who now comprise his 10-man staff – simply because it generates media attention.

Oh, and that whole “he’s got your backs, kids” thing Junior’s got the troops buying into?  Well, maybe there’s a little backtracking to do in the face of the Mighty Gators.

… I have great respect for Florida, what they’ve done there. I would think Florida is not worried one bit about us. We’re 5 7, they’re the powerful Gators. We’re just trying to play in the same conference as them.

That’s certainly a, um, different song than the one he was singing at the start.

When Tennessee linebacker Rico McCoy heard Lane Kiffin say he wanted to sing “Rocky Top” after beating Florida this fall, he was a little intrigued.

But after offseason workouts began and spring practice started with a bang, McCoy has a simple message for his new coach: Say whatever you want.

“I was like, ‘Oooh, coach is talking trash,’ ” McCoy said. “But after we started the workouts, I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, coach.’ I know we’re going to be in the best shape, and we’re going to have the best coaching. Say whatever you want. We’re going to play ball. I feel like we ought to be able to beat anybody.”

You may want to check on that again, Rico.  Your coach wants to be liked now.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Media Punditry/Foibles