First day on the job and no orange? (Todd Van Emst photo)
So, VanGorder’s getting Kirby Smart money at Auburn. (Just wait ’til Todd Grantham’s agent gets wind of that.)
That kind of money will make a man say all kind of crazy things.
“I think Auburn has a lot of great things to present to a young man,” he said. “I look forward to being honest and up front about the opportunity that a young man has here at Auburn and what we think we can do in terms of their development.”
I keed, I keed, Tigers fans. But seriously, this?
It’s been awhile since Brian VanGorder recruited around the SEC, but that doesn’t mean Auburn’s new defensive coordinator is out of touch.
Indeed, says he’ll be wiser when he begins to visit recruits in their homes Friday.
That would definitely be a new leaf turned.
Not really sure any of that matters much. He’s not being paid a bunch more than Roof to be all warm and fuzzy with recruits’ mommas anyway.
Former Ohio State coach John Cooper tries on the ol’ SEC “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” hat for size and likes the way it looks:
“I see some of these teams, the Auburns. I’m told, I don’t know and I haven’t coached in that league, but I’m told that down south the Alabamas and LSUs and some of these teams that have these great players, that maybe the NCAA needs to look into their situation,” Cooper said. “Those teams have been on probation. As you know, Alabama’s certainly one of the most penalized teams in college football, as is the Southeastern Conference. We say the SEC’s the best and they are the best, but they’ve also had more NCAA violations than probably all the other leagues put together the last 10 years.”
Something’s gotta explain that lifetime 2-14 mark against SEC teams, right?
LSU loses a recruit set to sign early to Auburn after telling him that it only had five scholarships available and seven players enrolling early.
And I bet this went over like a lead balloon:
LSU asked Miller’s father to pay for the spring semester, which prompted Miller and his family to explore other options.
At Oklahoma, blood is thicker than inconsistent pass coverage.
But in the world of college football, when one door gets closed by nepotism, another one opens.
While I’m sorry to see Orson Charles leaving, it’s pretty exciting to hear that Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams are staying put in Athens. Assuming Smith, Washington and Commings do the same (and Seth Emerson indicates all three are leaning towards doing so), that’s nine starters returning on a defense that finished the season ranked fifth in the nation in total defense. That ain’t too shabby.
What’s even more encouraging is this quote from Williams:
“I am going to come back,” Williams told DawgNation on Wednesday night. “I want to play with Coach Grantham again and try to be an All-American. That is my goal.”
“I want to play with Coach Grantham again” – when’s the last time you heard a Georgia defensive player talk like that?
I once bemoaned the program for having a crisis of faith, by which I meant “the coaches lack faith in the players to execute and the players lack faith in the coaches’ ability to deploy them efficiently and effectively.” Williams sounds like someone who believes again.
Obviously, they’re not near all the way back yet. And if the just-concluded season told us anything, it’s that the Georgia program still needs to learn how to finish a game. But I do wonder how we’re going to look back on the Grantham hire five years from now.
Gotta hand it to Derek Dooley. The dude can spin with the best of ’em. In response to the news that he might be losing his fifth assistant coach this offseason, he had this to say:
“That’s kind of the nature of our industry,” Dooley said during his press conference last Tuesday. “I’ve said all along that when people are wanting your coaches, despite what a lot of people think, we’re obviously doing something right.”
Something right? Shit, by that measure, SOD should have been coaching on the sideline this past Monday night.
Let’s just say the rest of the world remains somewhat less convinced. It took a two-year guaranteed contract with a $50,000 a year raise to convince Jay Graham to return to the fold as the new running backs coach. There’s no telling what it would have taken if it weren’t Urnge Momma calling him home.
When do the “Honk if you’ve coached for Derek Dooley” bumper stickers show up?
UPDATE #2: In one of life’s little ironies, Kevin Steele’s available.
Given the way the chase for big money has debased our national politics, there’s something truly precious about Arne Duncan’s lecture to the NCAA:
“The narrative for 2012 in college sports is all about the deal, it’s all about the brand. It’s about the big-time college football programs saying ‘Show me the money,’ ” Duncan told an audience of about of 500 NCAA delegates during the keynote luncheon. “Too often, large, successful programs seem to exist in an insular world, a world of their own. Their football and basketball players, sometimes even their coaches, are given license to behave in ways that would be unacceptable elsewhere in higher education or in society at large. Nothing, I mean nothing, does more to erode public faith in intercollegiate sports than the appearance of a double standard.”
Pot, meet kettle.
Then, again, what should we expect from a guy who “praised Emmert for his leadership, his promise of reform and the energy he has brought to the NCAA’s headquarters”? Talk is cheap.
NCAA locks barn door after discovering that horse has escaped into the next county.
Here we go.
- Boise State
- Oklahoma State
- Southern Cal
- Weirdly enough, the only change I could bring myself to make after bowl season was to give Alabama the tiebreaker.
- Tough call for the last spot between Wisconsin and South Carolina, but I just think the Badgers would win that head-to-head match up.
- It’s amazing to see how much the computers like three-loss Oklahoma.
- I wonder how different everyone’s final rankings would look if Boise State had made that field goal in the TCU game.
- Also getting consideration: Michigan State and TCU.
It’s not like we’re unaware of the questionable decision making at Maryland of late – passing on Mike Leach to hire Randy Edsall to replace Ralph Friedgen, watching the program decline precipitously in Edsall’s first year and hiring the baggage-encumbered, über recruiter Mike Locksley as the new offensive coordinator.
Given what Locksley brings to the table, I guess a sort of “in for a penny, in for a pound” approach shouldn’t be overly surprising, but this sure seems like a dumb thing to do anyway:
New Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will receive $500,000 in guaranteed compensation annually and be eligible for bonuses based on the Terrapins’ recruiting rankings…
Locksley will receive $25,000 if Maryland is in the top 40 of the Rivals.com or Scout.com rankings on signing day. He also will receive $20,000 if the Terps rank among the top four teams in the ACC on signing day…
At least they left Tom Lemming off the list.