I joked about Tim James the other day and suggested a tongue-in-cheek strategy to extricate his foot from his mouth.
Reality isn’t that far removed.
… James was asked about the Tide tempest during a news conference in Mobile.
“I have one thing to say about that,” James said in response to my question. He reached beneath the podium and pulled out a red-and-white “Saban Rules” cap, donning it with a flourish.
“Let the record show that I believe Nick Saban is one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coaches in America,” James said. “I support him 100 percent.”
I wasn’t kidding when I posted this header.
Asked what he thinks when his name appears on media lists of coaches supposedly on the hot seat, Richt said with a smile: “I didn’t know it had. Is that true?”
UPDATE: Here’s the fleshed-out response to the question:
“My mind-set has always been, let’s do what I think we need to do to succeed and try not to be influenced by anything other than the people closest to the program,” Richt said. “I’m trying to do things in a way with a lot of integrity and a lot of character and hopefully we’re still winning games and educating young men. I think you can have it all.”
Honestly, that’s even better.
Over the holiday weekend, the FSU blog Tomahawk Nation published the first 2010 college football Conference & Division odds I’ve seen.
You can read them all there, along with last year’s list for comparison, but I thought I’d post the SEC odds for you to check out:
3631 Alabama +100
3632 Arkansas +800
3633 Auburn +500
3634 Florida +250
3635 Georgia +650
3636 Kentucky +3000
3637 LSU +800
3638 Mississippi +3300
3639 Miss State +5000
3640 South Carolina +800
3641 Tennessee +800
3642 Vanderbilt +10000
3651 Florida +125
3652 Georgia +300
3653 Kentucky +1000
3654 South Carolina +300
3655 Tennessee +400
3656 Vanderbilt +2500
3661 Alabama -200
3662 Arkansas +500
3663 Auburn +350
3664 LSU +500
3665 Mississippi +1200
3666 Miss State +1200
Two things jump out at me there – Auburn’s odds to win the SEC being better than Georgia’s and Tennessee getting as much love as South Carolina and Arkansas.
What do y’all see?
Hey, don’t take my word for it – just read what Matt Hinton and Jay Christensen have to say about the Big XII as its spring meetings get ready to start.
Basically, he sees across-the-board improvement for the Hogs this season. He’s got their receiving unit as his #1 group in the country (a good call, IMO).
But there’s one troubling thing he mentions without elaboration:
Arkansas benefitted from +15 TO’s and was -36.3 ypg in SEC play (3rd worst).
If that turnover margin slides, so will Arkansas’ chances to win the SEC West this season.
Oh, and one stat for Georgia fans.
The Hogs are 2-7 in SEC openers.
Lots of dumb stuff to share this morning:
- RichRod gets all Zen-like with some weird fishing analogy.
- I didn’t have to read past this line in Clay Travis’ SEC realignment proposal to know I wouldn’t like it: “the SEC should look forward several decades and create even more value for the premier conference in America, the de facto minor league of the NFL.” Yeah, that’s why I care about college football.
- This comparison might have some legs if, you know, Junior had actually enjoyed a winning season somewhere.
- Vince Dooley says two Texas schools were close to joining the SEC in 1991. Roy Kramer says not really.
- One thing Tennessee doesn’t lack for is fan commitment: “… Tennessee remains the only NCAA Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the same year.”
- If Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country, why do so many folks out there keep asking for the feds to step in and do something about the BCS?
- If there’s a stranger athletic department in the country than Kansas’, I’d like to know about it. (h/t The Wiz of Odds)