Monthly Archives: December 2011

Something you don’t hear every day.

Some James Franklin vs. The World bravado on the recruiting trail:

“We’re in a position right now that we’re probably going to turn down some great players that in the last 10 years Vanderbilt would have begged for these kids to come,” Franklin said. “We’re just in a position where we’re running out of scholarships and that’s the position you want to be in every single year that at the end you’ve still got enough options out there that are very, very attractive. And that’s the position we’re in right now.”

Who knew that playing the occasional horse’s ass after a couple of games would have such a big payoff?

Look out, World.

20 Comments

Filed under James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Recruiting

Kneel before SOD.

Sigh.  Derek Dooley is doing his damnedest to force me to come up with a new Lexicon entry.  If you’re a kid with a family hardship who wants to leave Knoxville to be closer to home, you’re going to have to accept a few limitations.

Meet the Dooley Doctrine, as set forth by UT flack Jimmy Stanton:

“We’re not denying him a release to be near his family, get a good education and play Division I football at the same time, but we do have a policy of not releasing players to schools we either play or recruit against,” Stanton said Thursday.  [Emphasis added.]

Well, Tennessee recruits nationally… does that come off as bad as it sounds for the player?  Not according to Stanton.

“Where he’s from, there are several good D-I schools nearby that would be good options to play football, get a good education and keep him near his family.”

Funny how it turns out all those good D-I schools happen to be in the MAC.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as an expansion of the 8-hour drive rule SOD had previously set in the case of Aaron Douglas, or if it’s merely a refinement.  Maybe it reflects the uniqueness of each situation in Dooley’s mind:  in Douglas’ case, it was about getting him away from home, while Arnett seeks to get closer to home.

Or maybe SOD is just a prick on general principles because he can be.

And make no mistake about it, he can really jam Arnett up here even if the NCAA grants the kid hardship status.

… If Arnett qualifies for an NCAA hardship waiver, he would be able to play immediately at wherever he landed. Hang-ups with his National Letter of Intent, though, could put that in jeopardy.

Because Arnett signed a National Letter of Intent in February, he is subject to eligibility ramifications if he does not complete a full year at UT. It could, perhaps, be in his best interest to go through spring semester and spring football at UT before signing elsewhere.

“The basic penalty may preclude you from representing the second college until you have completed two academic years in residence at the latter institution and you may lose two seasons of competition in all sports,” according to a National Letter of Intent cheat sheet from the NCAA’s official website.

The situation has gotten pathetic enough for Arnett to post a picture of his ailing dad with tubes running out of his chest in an attempt to gain public sympathy.  He’s also released a letter to the media.  I doubt any of it will make a difference.  Derek Dooley has a principle to maintain, which seems to be making players who no longer wish to be in his program grovel on their way out the door.

One thing you have to admire about the UT program – they never have required their coaches to win any PR battles up there.

39 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Hello, I must be going.

Is there any career path on the planet that has a shorter shelf life than being one of Tommy Tuberville’s coordinators?

7 Comments

Filed under Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Name that caption: gettin’ down in Tampa

This certainly beats wearing a sombrero, standing next to some chubby Mexican dude:

(UGA photo by Steven Colquitt)

Have at it in the comments.

36 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

No doubt this will come as a crushing blow to Mark Richt’s ego.

The latest “I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true” rumor about who’s taking the Penn State job has to be read to be believed.

70 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

A cynic looks at the new Big Ten/Pac-12 partnership.

First off, let me say that a bunch of power conference schools getting together to announce a plan that would increase the number of games they play against their peers is something to congratulate.  Nah, make that celebrate.  Unequivocably.  From a fan’s perspective, the fewer regular season games we have to watch against Directional Cupcake A&M, the better.  And for the two conferences involved, it’s brilliant marketing – “the benefits of conference expansion without adding members”, whatever the hell that means – that peeled some of the attention away from the SEC’s 2012 scheduling announcement.

But to read the immediate reaction of the punditerati, you’d think Larry Scott and Jim Delany had announced they’d found a cure for the common cold.  You’ll have to pardon me if I don’t join the wankfest.  Allow me to make a few points from my perspective.

  1. The devil’s in the details.  This sucker doesn’t kick in until 2017.  Skipping past the obvious point that nobody knows what the landscape of college football will look like in six seasons (hell, who knows what it’ll look like in six months?) such that it might render the deal irrelevant, you’ve got issues about which schools will play which schools and where the games will be played to work out.  As Michael Elkon noted, the concept of drawing Wisconsin away from the friendly confines of Camp Randall to play a non-conference opponent with a pulse on the road is certainly novel (Mike Leach in the past has been just as guilty of this scheduling mindset, so a Wazzou-Wisky matchup might be poetic justice).  And just ask the SEC how easy it is to arrange a schedule to accommodate new partners.  Bottom line:  they’ll need every bit of the six years to get ready.
  2. Say goodbye to the nine-game conference schedule.  Let’s get real here.  There’s always going to be a need for cupcakes in college football.  In the context of a twelve-team conference, an eight-game conference schedule is a decent balance and a nine-game conference schedule is basically a luxury.  Delany’s already indicated that the Big Ten won’t adopt a nine-game schedule.  My bet is that the Pac-12 follows suit.  Here’s a big tell:  the conferences kept Notre Dame, which plays five games against member schools, apprised of the developments.  In the end, this is really an admission that neither of these conferences has any immediate plans to expand beyond their current configurations.  But if that changes, all bets are off.
  3. The 800-pound gorilla in the room.  That talk about playing chess vs. playing checkers makes for some nice chest-thumping, but to some extent what’s going on here is in reaction to the SEC.  Start of the season kickoff event at a neutral site?  Sounds familiar.  Even the basic concept of regular matchups with OOC schools from the same conference isn’t an alien one – just ask Florida, Georgia and South Carolina how each has ended their respective seasons for the last couple of decades.  I don’t want to say there’s never nothing new under the sun, but these aren’t exactly virgin concepts either.
  4. At the end of the day, Jim Delany is still Jim Delany.  Funny how the same people lionizing Delany for coming up with this were predicting two weeks ago his eventual capitulation on the playoff front because of his supposed isolation from the other conference commissioners’ evolving position on the plus-one.  Hard to see how he and Scott are BFFs on this while rabid rivals on the other.  The reality is that all of this is of one piece for Delany.  It’s about maximizing the value of the most important asset the Big Ten owns, regular season football programming.  And Delany has Scott marching in lockstep with him on that front.  Any change to the postseason will be made in light of doing no harm to their golden goose.
  5. Tough shit, little guys.  Speaking of Jim Delany still being Jim Delany, is there any doubt the man enjoys sticking it to the mid-majors when the opportunity presents itself?  And make no mistake about it, this move hurts every mid-major and FCS program that offers itself up as a sacrificial lamb for a big check.  Two conferences just reduced demand by a total of 24 games a year.  Don’t think that won’t have an impact on what the small fry will be able to command.
  6. Your move, SEC.  If this is a move primarily about creating more broadcast product – and it seems safe to assume that it is – I suspect that this will hasten the inevitable for Mike Slive and his cohorts to move to a nine-game conference schedule.  (Greg McGarity is already making “you never say never” mouth noises about that.)  That’s a decision which makes a great deal of sense for a fourteen-team conference simply on the merits of balancing the schedules more fairly (think Georgia would be getting off as easy if the SEC required schools to play nine conference games in 2012?);  the added revenue from the networks makes it a virtual no-brainer.  And with a 2017 timetable in play, that should alleviate problems (cancellation penalties, you cheap bastards) the ADs have with the move.

22 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

The season grows closer to an end, but the buffet remains stocked.

  • Steve Spurrier is philosophical about the 2012 SEC schedules.
  • In three months, Ken Malcome goes from walking away from the program to first string tailback.
  • Any ideas on where John Jenkins was “abiding by the curfew” in Tampa?
  • Urban Meyer isn’t a distraction for the Gators.  Yeah, right.
  • Mike Bianchi, Gator troll“If the Gators don’t win, they finish with a losing record for the first time since 1979 when Charley Pell’s first UF team went 0-10-1.  It’s never good when you are the first coach in more than three decades to have a losing record. Not only that but it would be yet another blow to UF’s ego if the Gators were to lose to Ohio State, the program Meyer essentially ditched them for.”
  • I’m quite content with Tennessee saving money like this.
  • NationalChamps.net has Georgia fifth in its 2012 Early Bird Preview.
  • Donna Shalala talking about schools needing to reassess their relationships with power coaches is comedy gold, Jerry.

15 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football