Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

You get what you pay for? Maybe.

Here’s a question for you.

Chip Towers reports that Josh Brooks’ salary as Georgia’s new AD is $700,000 in his first year.  Apparently, it’s a one-year deal, although Towers says it’s expected Brooks will eventually sign a multi-year contract.  Towers also adds this:

He was chosen over “dozens” of candidates, who were vetted by the search firm owned by former Ole Miss AD Todd Turner, Collegiate Sports Association.

Meanwhile, at Tennessee, in a more heralded hire, Danny White has received a considerably greater commitment from his school.

Danny White agreed to a rolling five-year deal to be Tennessee’s athletics director, according to the Memorandum of Understanding obtained by Knox News on Friday.

Chancellor Donde Plowman introduced White on Friday. He was hired Thursday. The MOU was signed by Plowman and White on Wednesday and is to be formalized with a contract within 60 days.

The MOU states that White’s contract will automatically extend for one year at the end of a contract year, so that the contract will always have five years remaining.

White will earn $1.8 million initially, making him the Southeastern Conference’s highest-paid athletics director in terms of recurring annual pay and fourth highest-paid public school AD in the nation, according to data compiled in summer 2020 for AthleticDirectorU by attorneys Robert Lattinville and Roger Denny. USA TODAY Sports procured the contracts for the data in partnership with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and assisted in the analysis.

Now, there’s no denying the two athletic departments face considerably different circumstances and, accordingly, it’s not unreasonable to think Tennessee had to pay top dollar.  Putting out dumpster fires doesn’t come cheaply.

But here’s my question for you:  there’s little question that Danny White has had a more successful track record hiring/firing coaches than did Greg McGarity (Brooks is a blank slate in that regard, so it’s unfair to make that comparison).  Let’s say, though, for the sake of argument, and with the awareness of the institutional priorities at B-M, that Georgia’s record in that regard continues at roughly the same level going forward.  If you were in a position to choose, how much more would you be willing to pay an athletic director who was better at identifying coaching talent than what we’ve been used to, assuming all else being equal?

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

And… a pony

I have no clue how accurate any of this is.

But the leap from #1 to #6, especially considering the steps in between, is quintessential Vol.  Hilarious, in other words.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Don’t bogart that popcorn, my friend.

From the standpoint of entertainment value, I’m sad to say this is probably an accurate assessment of Pruitt v. Tennessee.

With about four times the money at stake for Pruitt, Lyons isn’t going to cave easily.

Neither, it appears, is Tennessee. Not after Monday’s press conference, during which Chancellor Donde Plowman lamented the seriousness of the NCAA violations on Pruitt’s watch.

This could get ugly – even uglier than it already appears to be.

That’s why I’d expect a settlement at some point.

Legal disputes between a famous coach and a famous institution seldom make it to a courtroom. Neither side benefits from dirty laundry being aired in a public trial.

Neither side?  Pffft.  Will no one think of the fans from other programs?

One complicating factor is that Pruitt appears to face a serious handicap.

College sports, actually, is rife with examples of universities backing coaches through all kinds of scandals. Those coaches are usually winning, though.

Pruitt was not.

Having said that, the facts do appear to be on the university’s side.

Lyons’ statement questioned the existence of evidence to prove Pruitt could have prevented the alleged violations, but it didn’t dispute that they happened. The language in Pruitt’s contract is clear that NCAA infractions by his staff would allow UT to fire him for cause.

Well, you know what they say when the facts aren’t on your side.  The thing is, Tennessee probably doesn’t want to hear that table being pounded.  More accurately, Tennessee doesn’t want the rest of us hearing that table being pounded.  As Estes wrote, “The optics of having to try this case in court could be horrendous.”

Shit, man, that’s what we’re counting on!

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, See You In Court

Urnge top tier

Supposedly, this is where Danny White has set his sights on replacing Jeremy Pruitt:

Multiple college football sources confirmed to FootballScoop Saturday that Fleck, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and SMU head coach Sonny Dykes are among those coaches being vetted for the Tennessee job. At least one of those coaches and his agent have reached out to gauge interest of assistant coaches around the country in a potential opportunity to join a staff on Rocky Top.

Color me a little underwhelmed.  First of all, considering the situation, I marvel that UT would consider hiring another assistant coach.  Sure, Elliott is widely respected, but so was Chad Morris and look how that turned out.  Speaking of Morris, Tennessee wants to look at his successor at SMU?  Fine by me.  As for Fleck, he’s a quirky dude who, as the linked article notes, has never remained at one program longer than four years.  I’m not exactly sure the Tennessee football program can be turned around that quickly.

All in all, I wonder if the situation in Knoxville is so dire this group is the best White can summon, or if he’s juking everyone out while he’s chasing someone better under the radar.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“… a roster that looks far more like cellar-dweller than contender.”

Inject this shit directly into my veins.

It’s difficult to wholly capture the disaster that is this week for Tennessee football, so let’s narrow the focus to the roster. No matter who is hired as Tennessee’s full-time head coach – Kevin Steele, hired only on Jan. 12, is serving in the interim role – the roster is in shambles. Tennessee entered the 2020 season ranked 15th nationally in the 247Sports Team Talent Composite rankings, the same place it did when the program hired Pruitt. Whoever takes over the job will inherit nothing close to that.

With a quintet of five-stars on the roster, Tennessee ranked fifth nationally in total five-stars for the 2020 season. That distinction is about to end.

Trey Smith is headed to the NFL Draft. Wanya Morris, who opted to leave on Jan. 13, has transferred to Oklahoma. Senior Aubrey Solomon has yet to announce his 2021 plans. If he leaves, only Cade Mays and Darnell Wright would remain on the roster as five-stars, and I wouldn’t consider Wright a lock to remain in Knoxville.

The best-case scenario for Tennessee is a trio of five-stars. The worst is one, which would slot the Vols behind a program like South Carolina.

Real issues arise with the four-star group. The Vols started the 2020 season with 31 four-star players. Transfers and NFL departures have almost cut that number by a third. The Vols are down to just 23 four-star players on their roster – only one of which actually went to the NFL or graduated.

It should be said that Tennessee is set to add eight four-star prospects in the 2021 class. But even that demands perspective as Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU bring in at least 15 such players. The top-tier SEC programs will be playing in another stratosphere come next season.

The raw talent numbers are bad. The on-field impact might be worse.

By that, he means (1) the Vols lose two of their three leading tacklers; (2) their three leaders in tackles for loss; (3) more than 50% of their 2020 interceptions; (4) 70% of their 2020 passing yardage; and (5) Gray’s team-leading 772 rushing yards and Ty Chandler’s 456 yards and four touchdowns.

You hate to see it.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

The serpent that eats its own tail

It all comes ’round again:

Screenshot_2021-01-22 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗼 on Twitter

Now, do I think this could happen?  Honestly, and to my great disappointment, no, I don’t think Danny White is that stupid.

But in a world where the football gods have been capricious, to say the least, and Clay Travis exists, I can’t say the chances are zero.  You know what they say about hope being the best of things…

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

In the bigs

After I heard the news about Fulmer resigning (yeah, yeah), you know, in the back of my head I wondered if these two were destined for each other.

At least Danny won’t get jerked around on scheduling anymore.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE:

While I’m talking about that voice in the back of my head, Leipold is one guy I would not like to see UT hire.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

All is well in Knoxville.

Shot.

Chaser.

If the University of Tennessee football team had transfer portal problems before Jeremy Pruitt was fired, it has a mass exodus on its hands now.

Linebacker Henry To’o To’o, running back Eric Gray, linebacker Quavaris Crouch and offensive lineman Jahmir Johnson entered the transfer portal Wednesday night.

Tennessee fired Pruitt for cause Monday, citing an investigation that revealed sweeping recruiting violations within the football program. Chancellor Donde Plowman called the investigation’s findings “stunning” based on the amount of violations and number of people involved.

Inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, who recruited Crouch, Johnson and To’o To’o, and outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton also were fired for cause.

Barely 48 hours later, the four players — all of whom started for Tennessee in 2020 — entered the portal in a 27-minute span.

Make it a double.

If I were a Vol fan, I’d be getting shitfaced, too.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

About Dan Patrick

I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest clip, where he provides some specific allegations about what got Jeremy Pruitt in trouble and doubles down on Georgia (no specifics, though), but if you haven’t, here ’tis:

“Sloppy” is his big word here.  The Vols were sloppy.  Georgia was sloppy.

Well, as much as I have enjoyed watching the debacle in Knoxville unfold, even I can’t buy Mickey D bags o’ cash.  That’s so far beyond sloppy that were it true, UT should have fired Pruitt just for being galactically moronic.  (Before you go there, I said “galactically”.)

And as for Georgia, the school has already taken the unprecedented step of denying Patrick’s claim publicly.  Beyond that, though, of all the criticisms we could lay at the feet of Kirby Smart, sloppiness ain’t one of them.  Let’s just say that without getting into sausage making details, I’ve love to know how Dan’s source came by his information.  I’m guessing it’s not exactly first hand.  In other words, there’s never a bad time to cast aspersions on the recruiting trail, and if you can stir a little unwanted shit in another direction, it’s almost a bonus.

That being said, I have to admit I would enjoy it immensely if UT were to hire Jason Witten as its next head coach.  I can never get enough of watching the Urnge inmates run the asylum.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Back to the well again

Really, it’s Tennessee, so why should I be surprised?

The search firm Tennessee used to aid in the hiring of former football coach Derek Dooley, former men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and former baseball coach Dave Serrano has been retained to assist in filling UT’s athletics director vacancy.

UT on Saturday agreed to a letter of understanding with Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search, which will charge the university $120,000 for its assistance in the athletics director search.

Parker’s done a bang up job for UT.

The coaching hires Tennessee made with Parker’s help ended in underwhelming fashion.

Dooley was fired after three seasons. Martin departed for California after three seasons with the Vols, highlighted by a Sweet 16 appearance. Serrano resigned in 2017 after a compiling a 157-160 record in six seasons.

Tennessee has used Parker in at least 10 hires for leadership positions, including its search that produced Davenport’s 2016 hiring – she was fired in 2018 – and the hiring of Davenport’s predecessor, Jimmy Cheek, as well as the 2011 hiring of athletics director Dave Hart, who retired in 2017.

You know the old saying about insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?  Sometimes, that’s just stupidity.  I’ll leave you to judge which is the case here.

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