Urban Meyer’s got a new BFF.

Shades of “And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. … So we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”

Perhaps the juiciest storyline of Big Ten Media Days on Tuesday was some heat between Penn State and fellow East Division rivals Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan that emerged after a reporter asked both Mark Dantonio and Urban Meyer about supposed negative recruiting allegations Nittany Lions coach James Franklin had made last month in the Reading Eagle.

Meyer’s answer: “Absolutely not. That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that. That’s a pretty strong allegation. I will address that with coach Franklin.”

Oh, I just bet he will.

Friendly advice to Coach Franklin:  you’d best be keeping an eye on Ohio State’s second half timeouts in your game this year.

Also, you might want to warn your AD to STFU about the same.

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Filed under James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The genius, defiant

Lovely Paul Johnson takedown by the AJ-C‘s Steve Hummer here.

“Really?” Johnson leapt. “We’re 5-4 against Clemson and 3-2 against Florida State. What distance is that?”

The questioner regrouped: “As far as postseason success. . .”

“We won the Orange Bowl last year (concluding the 2014 season),” Johnson said preemptively. “They’ve been in the national championship game and they’ll be preseason ranked, but perception is reality, I guess.”

(An asterisk here: Johnson is really 4-4 vs. Clemson, a 2009 ACC Championship Game victory over the Tigers having been vacated due to NCAA sanctions).

A much older scribe, hiding his incredulity successfully, I think, eventually asked Johnson if in his eyes he really thought Tech was on par with the likes of a team just coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff Championship game (Clemson) and another (FSU) just a couple of years removed from winning the thing?

“Probably not right now. Naturally that’s the perception with the year we had last year (finishing 3-9),” he said. Johnson could point to as recently as 2014 when they all did finish the season pretty much on par – FSU ranked fifth, Tech ranked eighth and Clemson ranked 15th.

But, of course, there are deeper differences. A quick comparison between the three programs under their current coaches, just in case there is any residual confusion:

Tech under Johnson: eight seasons, .576 in ACC, .581 overall, three times ranked at season’s end, once in top 10.

Clemson under Dabo Swinney: seven-plus seasons, .766 in ACC, .735 overall, two-time ACC champion, six times ranked at season’s end, twice in the top 10.

FSU under Jimbo Fisher: six seasons, .827 in ACC, .829 overall, three-time ACC champion, six times ranked at season’s end, three times in the top 10.

No, Tech is not the equal of those two. And water is wet and the sun is hot.

But at least Paul Johnson is edgy.  Then again, if him being edgy were all it took for Tech to be successful, they wouldn’t have finished 3-9 last season.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

This CFP aggression will not stand, man.

A Jim Delany – Bill Hancock showdown?  One can only hope.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

Is the ACC Network as valuable as the SEC Network?

Let’s just say ESPN will start finding out real soon.

ACC Network’s first test comes next summer when ESPN starts negotiating a new affiliate deal with Altice, a negotiation that promises to be a tough sell since the cable operator has systems near New York City, which is a long way from ACC member Syracuse and not really part of the conference’s footprint. One of the few cable operators that does not carry SEC Network, Altice has been public about its desire to cut costs.

ESPN could cut individual ACC Network deals, but most programmers and distributors like to wait until their big affiliate deals expire — and ESPN’s biggest ones aren’t up until several years after ACC Network’s planned 2019 launch. ESPN’s affiliate deals with Comcast and Charter expire in 2021; ESPN’s Dish Network deal runs until 2022.

Sources expect ESPN to price the ACC Network similar to SEC Network, which at launch was around $1.30 per subscriber per month in-market and around 25 cents per subscriber per month out-of-market.

Ourand thinks the problem for the network is that the sports programming market has changed in the last couple of years since the SEC signed its deal.  Perhaps the more relevant issue is whether the product itself is as attractive to its potential viewing audience.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Today, in bullshit

Shorter Literal West Virginia President E. Gordon Gee: “We didn’t want to be seen as poachers of other conferences. We wanted to make sure schools would approach us so we’d have clarity on their interest.”

Uh hunh.  Right.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Nothing like making a good impression

You wanna know why South Carolina under Spurrier went in the toilet?

We knew he didn’t care much about recruiting even in the good times, but, sheesh, that’s Paul Johnson-level sad.

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Filed under Recruiting, The Evil Genius

Clear as mud.

Georgia’s starting quarterback situation, that is.

“That can change after day. That can change before day one,” Smart said. “We’re not putting anything in stone so there’s no set or exact number of reps each guy gets. It’s going to be about how each guy is progressing, what they need, what the receivers need, where the quarterbacks need to rotate to. It’s not something that’s going to determine the outcome. That’s going to be determined by how they perform in a scrimmage-like situation.”

Smart said that he got good reports on all three quarterbacks over the summer months, when the players organized most of the on-field workouts without the presence of the coaching staff. Being able to see them in practice next week will be a good gauge in their offseason development, Smart noted.

“We’re going to be able to go out there now and work with them as far as the actual on-the-field workouts,” Smart said. “Hopefully, they’re establishing more mobility by stamina, quickness – all three of them can work on that. We’ve challenged all three of them to be more mobile. That’s the only thing we can tell right now.”

A lot can happen from now through the next few weeks, which will once again make this quarterback competition an interesting one to watch. Lambert will hope to stay the starter, while Ramsey and Eason look to unseat him.

“Obviously, when we get to the week of the first game, we would like to know who that is and we would like the reps to be balanced that way,” Smart said. “But to say that is unjust because I don’t know what’s going to happen until then.”

Jeez.  It’s déjà vu all over again.

Just promise me you won’t give one of them his first start against Florida, okay, Kirby?

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Filed under Georgia Football