Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

When you say “Jim Bob Cooter”, you’ve said it all.

With Mike Bajakian’s departure, Tennessee is looking for a replacement at offensive coordinator.

… Various levels of homecoming fantasy – Peyton Manning, Tee Martin, Jim Bob Cooter – may dominate early fan conversation, but if the Vols do go outside the existing family, it seems more likely than not it will be to a name you weren’t really familiar with before hot boards started showing up today.

That may not be the most Vol thing ever, but UT fans yearning for the return of Jim Bob Cooter has to be up in the top three, at least.

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Friday morning buffet

It’s a chilly, rainy morning… you got something better to do?

  • Patrick Garbin looks at Georgia’s offensive line recruiting efforts.  As you can guess, he doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
  • There’s so much rivalry in this lawsuit story, it’s hilarious.
  • Bulldog Illustrated reports that mat drills are no more.
  • The next lawsuit frontier is breachedO’Bannon attorney sues NCAA and North Carolina over the academic scandal.
  • “We’ll get all the information from him and decide what to do…” Looks like Nick Saban’s got a bookend for Jonathan Taylor.
  • And Hugh Freeze has more forgivin’ to do, too.
  • ESPN asks a bunch of recruits at the Under Armour All-American Game how much facilities matter in their choice of school, and gets a consensus that it’s not much, because all the big schools have good ones.  Sounds like a good argument for keeping up, and not running ahead of the pack.
  • Butch Jones has issues with roster management.
  • On the bright side for Tennessee, with offensive coordinator Tim Bajakian leaving for Tampa Bay, the Vols will actually get paid something for a coach’s departure from Knoxville.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NCAA

“Outside of his success as a sports agent, Jimmy’s just a good person.”

Despite this

Consider that Tennessee is in its current rebuilding position largely because Sexton clients — Fulmer, Kiffin and Dooley — have all failed to some extent. Hamilton estimates that during those coaching transitions, from Fulmer to Kiffin to Dooley, and now to Butch Jones, the Vols lost 10-12 players to attrition each time.

“That’s gutting a program in the SEC,” Hamilton said.

The Kiffin exit, you’ll recall, was tabloid messy, with Kiffin lasting all of one season in Knoxville before bolting for USC in a move that sent the entire state of Tennessee into an uproar that still hasn’t ended.

Hamilton eventually hired Dooley, at approximately $2 million per year, to replace Kiffin. Three years later, Dooley was gone, too. Tennessee’s program, on Hamilton’s watch, has been set back considerably by missteps that Sexton had a significant role in facilitating.

… Mike Hamilton doesn’t have a harsh buzz about Jimmy Sexton.  Quite the contrary.

Hard feelings?

Hardly. In fact, Hamilton, who first met Sexton 23 years ago as Tennessee’s assistant AD for development, remains close friends with Sexton — who even took the initiative to stage a fundraiser for one of Hamilton’s pet non-profit projects in Hamilton’s home.

“Beautiful evening,” Hamilton said of the Sexton-produced fundraiser.

That explains a lot about both Hamilton and Sexton.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban's agent

Friday morning buffet

Outside, it’s cold.  Inside, the buffet is warm.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Emerging bowl season meme number two

Tennessee finished 3-5 in conference play this season, with a negative net scoring margin.  The Vols made their bowl eligibility bones in their last game of the season, beating a Vanderbilt squad that regressed more than any other team in the SEC.  They finished beating soundly an Iowa team yesterday that clearly had little interest in playing.  Considering what UT has accomplished in the past four seasons, it was a good year.

But evidently I’m not giving Tennessee enough credit.

There’s no doubt that Tennessee went through some growing pains this year, nowhere more so than during a stretch of the season where the Vols went almost two months between victories against FBS competition. And no one is going to mistake Iowa in a January 2 bowl game for Alabama in Tuscaloosa in October. But after winning three of its last four games — all against SEC opponents — Tennessee was already getting some buzz as a possible contender in what is expected to be another wide-open SEC East race. On Friday, the Vols gave everyone watching plenty of reasons to believe that they can deliver.

Those four opponents were South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt.  Murderers’ Row it wasn’t.

Look, no question that Butch Jones has recruited well.  (Thanks for repeating that tidbit ad nauseam, Rod Gilmore.) Two things about that.  First, he’s had to.  The cupboard SOD left him was threadbare, to say the least. Second, it’s the SEC.  Every coach recruits well in the SEC, or at least every coach does if he wants to stay employed.  And, true, I doubt any team will be universally anointed as the division winner in this offseason.

But, geez, there are at least a few SEC East teams that will have a leg up on the Vols going into 2015.  Tennessee had one player make the coaches All-SEC teams – Derek Barnett (he’s a good one) made second team.  Every other team expected to be in the divisional mix next season did better than that.  And while I realize that some of those names are moving on, the point is that, unlike Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina haven’t suffered serious drop offs in recruiting in recent seasons.

None of which is to say Tennessee won’t be improved in 2015.  UT should be if for no other reason than there is more talent on the roster.  The schedule is slightly better in that Oklahoma is a home game, too.  But I think I’ll wait another year to see if they’re all the way back.

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Friday morning buffet

The Idaho Famous Potato Bowl mascot is here to welcome you to today’s buffet.

  • Bowl season kicks off with five games tomorrow.
  • Pay that man his money.”  Somebody will.
  • Wins cost more in the SEC.
  • Georgia still has about 2,600 tickets remaining from its allotment of 8,500 that it received from the Belk Bowl.  Feel the excitement!
  • Tennessee discipline, same as it ever was (and ever different from Georgia’s).
  • Hal Mumme reflects on another branch of his coaching tree being named the new OC at Kentucky… which somehow leads to a Beavis and Butthead reference.  And why not?
  • Andy Staples speaks the troof about those abominable weekly CFP selection committee shows:  “Since ESPN pays about half a billion dollars a year to televise all aspects of the playoff, it expects a return on its enormous investment. The weekly rankings offer a better return, which is why they likely will stay unless the group of commissioners has significant objections.”  No objection is significant enough to outweigh those checks being cashed.
  • ‘Bama fan base, don’t ever change.
  • Non-football, but if you haven’t seen The Colbert Report finale, do yourself a favor and do so right now.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Crime and Punishment, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Thursday morning buffet

Lots of stuff to sample today.

  • Mark Bradley scores an interview with Greg McGarity and it comes out about as you’d expect, as McGarity fences well with Bradley’s questioning.  But it’s interesting to me that McGarity believes he won’t have a tough time pulling the trigger on Richt’s Georgia career, if things come to that, because he’s “had to do it five times already with very popular sports here — gymnastics, baseball, soccer”.  Yes, your flagship athletic program is just like those others.
  • And in another AD interview, Jeremy Foley describes the breaking point for the decision to fire Will Muschamp:  “There was a lot of negativity that was going to be hard to overcome, especially in recruiting. This business is hard when a big ball starts rolling downhill and you have to catch it and roll it back up the hill.”  That one I buy.
  • A federal judge rejected the NCAA’s preliminary settlement in the concussion case, in part over concerns about the adequacy of the settlement amount.  Cue the PR response:  “NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association is reviewing the decision.”  Hey, at least there was a response.
  • You’ve probably heard that Leonard Floyd won’t play in the Belk Bowl because he’s had shoulder surgery.  Check out Richt’s comment“We wanted to give [Floyd] the maximum amount of time to be prepared for his senior year…”  Think they care about that if Georgia were in the CFP semis?
  • Feel free to insert the usual “Mark Richt has lost control” snark here.
  • This will come as a blow to Georgia fans yearning for Gary Patterson.  The man was already making in excess of $4 million a year and TCU just gave him an extension with a presumed bump to that amount.  Care to count how high you’d have to go to make him consider a move to Athens?  (Assuming a Georgia Way discount, of course.)
  • Bill Connelly explores the predictive value of second-order wins.
  • Speaking of Bill, he estimates that he’s written something on the order of one and one-half million words this year.  I am in awe, sir.
  • Here’s an article on Bobo’s job interview at CSU, from the Colorado side.  One point of interest: The fact Florida, considered to be a deep-pocketed athletic department with considerable cash reserves, balked at paying McElwain’s $7.5 million buyout could have a chilling effect on upwardly mobile coaching prospects not willing to commit to making Colorado State their final stop.”  Does that mean Bobo’s interest is an attempt to leverage more money out of Butts-Mehre, or does he offer to take a discount on his proposed CSU salary to get a manageable buyout amount?  (Bonus question:  which do you think Butts-Mehre would prefer?)

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Stats Geek!, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA