Sorry, forgot Les Miles (LSU) and Charlie McClendon (LSU). Could also make a case for Paul Dietzel (LSU)
I agree, Spurrier's tenure at UF was a key component in helping bring the SEC out of the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust era of college football. I don't discount his importance as a coach in the history of the league but to tag him as the most important coach in SEC history is a bit too much. Most schools in the SEC have had at least one coach who has raised the bar in the league at some point, some more than others. The best of them (in my opinion) being Paul "Bear" Bryant (AL), General Bob Neyland (UT), Johnny Vaught (OM), Vince Dooley (UGA), Ralph "Shug" Jordan (AU), Nick Saban (AL), Phillip Fulmer (UT), Pat Dye (AU), Frank Thomas (AL), Wallace Wade (AL), Wally Butts (UGA), Urban Meyer (UF), Bobby Dodd (Ga. Tech) and yes, Steve Spurrier (UF).
Definitely, while also keeping himself in the conversation.
Sounds to me like vintage Spurrier. By taking a shot at Saban he is keeping himself and his program in the news. He knows this is a dead time for college football news and anything that can even remotely be considered controversial will make the sports talk and blog rounds. For all the improvement at USC he still has not won a Southeastern Conference Championship. So why not take a pot shot at the man on top and his program? Why not attempt to claim he has done more with less than Saban has with more? However, those three crystal footballs in the Alabama Football Complex window kind of makes Spurrier's comments ring a little hollow. Seems he didn't always win a SEC or National title with the blue chip recruits he had at Florida either.
Yes playing college football is a sacrifice. Your body takes a pounding. Oh wait, you are a quarterback, so you don't get pounded all that much, unless you are playing LSU or Auburn. You labor in anonymity. Oh wait. You are a quarterback, not a lineman, everyone gives you get all the attention and adoration. You get blamed by Bama fans for loses. Oh wait, few Tide fans blamed you for loses. You have remained an idol to the Tide Nation. Heck, people name their kids A.J. It was awful being forced to labor with no compensation. Oh wait, you got a first class free education. You were the coaches pet. Fans adore you. You now have endorsements available. Your name is known coast-to-coast. It's terrible being alone. Oh wait. You have a beautiful fiancée and a supportive family. But what is up with the reality TV wedding? How horrible it was to slide so far in the draft. Oh wait. You still got drafted. That is more than most college players can say. You have every opportunity to earn more money in a year than most people do in a lifetime playing a game. So now you were injured most of your time at Alabama. Sounds like a convenient excuse for some embarrassing losses at the end of last season. Quit whining A.J. and get on with your life. Stay off of Twitter A.J. and people will quit thinking less of you. Quit hanging around with Johnny Football, he seems to have been a bad influence on you. You did seem to become a little more cocky this past season. There are weaknesses in your game (not looking off primary receiver, lack of consistency on the long ball, etc.) you need to work on. A.J., I've enjoyed watching you over the years and until recently had great respect for you. You worked hard in your years at Alabama but you have also been rewarded for all the hard work and yes sacrifices you've made. The world is a harsh place and in the NFL you are protected like you were in college. Grow up and act like the man we all know you are capable of being. You have a chance in your life that few people get and most would want. Make the best of it and don't be like Johnny Football. People like to see him play but don't much like who he is publically.
As was stated in the story' some guys who are tremendous assistant coaches and coordinators just can't transfer that success to being a head coach. Typically that is because there is so much more to being an head coach than Xs and Os. I would tend to believe Nick Saban understands that and knows more about Kiffin's abilities than the average fan. Does anyone seriously think Saban would seriously endanger his program if he didn't think Kiffin could do the job? Afterall, it wasn't the offense that was the problem at USC. Then again, Lane may land all these great jobs because he has a smokin' wife, lol.
There was no doubt the SEC haters would be out in force after AU and UA lost BCS games and the SEC run of national championships was broken. So to them the SEC is going away now and that powerhouse, the ACC, will dominate. FSU is a very good team and deserved to win. Clemson can, at times, be a very good team. Notre Dame, next year's quasi ACC member, can at times be a good team. However, don't look for the ACC to go on a seven year run of national titles.
Auburn wasn't 'The Team of Destiny' after all but they proved they deserved to be in Pasadena. They also proved that FSU is not the greatest team of all time as some pundits slavishly have tabbed them. That was fear and confusion everyone saw in Winston's eyes in the first half. The main reason FSU joined the ACC was they knew it would be an easier road to travel each season than the SEC. (The additions to the ACC next year, including Notre Dame, will make things a bit more interesting). The ACC is improving but it is nowhere near the tough, every Saturday test of the SEC. And remember, this was supposed to be a down year for the Southeastern Conference where the teams at the top were rebuilding from so many early player defections to the NFL.
Agreed James. It is amazing how quickly some fans (especially those from competing teams) are willing to throw away the life of a kid because they make a mistake. So many of the athletes in college football and other sports come from backgrounds most of us can't imagine. Often they live in an environment where only the strong survive. Single parent families, being raised by relatives, living in gang infested neighborhoods where you hear gunshots virtually every night and plenty of bullying are apart of many of the players daily lives. Sports is often the only escape some of these kids see. I don't think Nick Saban or a judge would grant Pettway the ability to come back and finish school, get a degree and play college football if they did not see mitigating factors that tell them this kid learned from his mistake. The police report from the incident says Pettway was not directly involved in the robbery but was waiting in the backseat of a car. There was even some question if he even knew what was going down. I'm far from some liberal softy on crime but I am a father and I have worked with kids. Our goal as a society should be to work to help them succeed in life, not throw them away and forget them because they made one mistake. Take off your school colors for a moment and think not as a fan but as a parent. Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is a strength. The same type second chance has been granted to plenty of other non-athlete kids and many have made the most of it and turned their lives around. Maybe you haven't been involved in a crime but I am sure you have had to be forgiven many times in your life as all of us have. After-all each of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Coaches, celebrities, politicians and other high profile people commonly deny any interest in a job opening or acceptance until it happens. High profile job openings, possible job overtures and hot seat situations in sports (college and pro) are fodder for speculation, rumor and innuendo. What is not often understood by the public, or the media, is it is actually high stakes gamesmanship. Unlike the average person who can have contact with or from a potential new employer in virtual secrecy; public figures have to conduct personal business in a 24 hour news cycle with a voracious appetite for anything controversial, speculative or sensational. The University of Texas coaching position, with Saban’s signing of a new Alabama contract, has now placed a half-dozen or so coaches in the same precarious fishbowl the Crimson Tide coach lived in the last month. Every time he denied interest in pushing aside his longtime friend Mack Brown at UT, the blogosphere would blow up with another angle on the story. To call Nick Saban a liar because of the way he handled his eventual departure from Miami reveals more about the name caller than Saban. Admittedly, Saban did not handle that chapter of his career well. Although he reportedly turned down then Bama Athletic Director Mal Moore’s job offer several times, Moore did not give up. He kept channels open with Saban agent Jimmy Sexton. I take Saban at his word that he had no intentions of leaving Miami but Moore eventually made it impossible for him to say ‘no’ any longer. When a coach still has a team to coach and games to play, most will not take the risk of losing their current team by confirming they are considering another job. That is where agents like Sexton earn their money. They do the actual contact and negotiations while leaving the coach plausible deniability. It may just be semantics but it is how the game is played. The fact that Saban denied he was leaving in his usual confrontational style exacerbated the name calling when he did accept employment at UA. How many times has a coach vehemently denied stories of their imminent departure from dear ole State U only to see them popup elsewhere a few days or weeks later? Obviously the process had been going on in the background for at least a few days. (By the way, employers do the same thing. There is nothing scarier to a coach than the dreaded, “Coach has our complete confidence” statement from an athletic director or team owner. Often than means put a moving van on standby.) Typically, the average Joe employee who is talking to a different employer about another job will not tell their current employer until they see they have the new job in hand. Often then the employee will inform their current boss about the new job ‘offer’ to see if they will match the money and/or improve working conditions. It is not wise to tip your hand too early. High profile jobs are no different, except they are played out in the media. And the media these days are more than a newspaper or broadcast station. Add social media, bloggers and Tweets to the mix and anything goes. Anybody can make any claim, quote fictitious sources and just plain fabricate a story and it explodes around the nation and world. To the disappointment of SEC West fans other than Alabama, continuance of the Saban era in Tuscaloosa means the Crimson Tide will not be backing off its success on the on the field and in recruiting. As for his legacy, to the younger generation Saban is just as great or greater than the 'the Bear' because they never knew Bryant. Just like Bryant's legacy was bigger than that of Frank Thomas and Wallace Wade (who both earned multiple titles at Bama). And you are right Kevin. Next season's Iron Bowl should be fun.
I know Verne can say unequivocally he is one of the nicest and friendliest people you want to meet, so was Keith Jackson. Both are from an era when the play-by-play and color commentator were there to guide the fan through the game (almost like a conversation), give it some context and help viewers/listeners understand what happened and why. Today broadcasters in the booth have become as much the story as the game. They are now celebrities, personalities whose opinion matters most. Many of today's booth crews seem to live to find fault. Others fall in love with a certain player and he is all they can talk about and praise. You would never know there are 10 other players on the field with him. Part of the problem, as I see it, is today's cult of personality and the computer game and fantasy football mentality of fans. Players have to do things to call attention to themselves. The gamer has to have action. The fantasy addict has to have numbers. These phenomena have led to grandstanding and all the clutter on your TV screen. Players pound their chest and do other things to gain attention. Visually the lower third of the TV screen is often covered by graphics that sometimes even cover up the play. Special effects with stats and information rapidly fly in and out of the picture. (No wonder so many people have Attention Deficit). I say all this to point out CBS is more of a minimalist broadcast. All of the things I mentioned are there but to me its not as intrusive as on other networks. So this leaves Verne, Gary and Tracey Wolfson as the faces and voices of the broadcast. I agree Verne and Gary do seem to at times favor one team over another but I think it varies from game to game. Verne is a bit long-in-the-tooth now and gets confused easily, sometimes not even sure where he is. Gary comes off as a bit of a know-it-all. Tracey is, I believe, the best of the sideline reporters. She actually knows something about the sport. I vote to keep them. After all, complaining about them is a tradition in the SEC.
It is a shame some fans have such an inferiority complex that they have to trash other schools more than they support theirs. But every team has its sore losers, hot heads and just plain jerks. Most team's fans are like Bryan, good sports. Go Blue!
The list is Miss. State ranked 13th in the top 25 at the time not 13th in graduation rate. Remember, the Bulldogs were undefeated until they played Bama.
Comment on 5 interesting stats from the SEC’s week 11
52....Number of yards allowed by Alabama versus LSU in the second half -9.....LSU offensive number in the fourth quarter. 38....Most points scored by Alabama on LSU since 1947 17:43...Time of possession for Alabama vs LSU in second half 7,997... The new career passing yardage record set by Bama QB A.J. McCarron Saturday night. Surpasses John Parker Wilson's 7,924
Jon, I think your ranking is pretty close to correct. However, I would place A.J. McCarron above Connor Shaw. A lot of people discount McCarron because he isn't as flashy and charismatic as some other QBs. But to paraphrase Al Davis, all McCarron does is "win baby". Also, contrary to some thoughts, TAMU is not the only quality team Alabama has played. As the season is progressing it is becoming obvious that Virginia Tech's defense is excellent. Bud Foster's "D" will be tested in the next few weeks but it is one of the better ones in the country.
Comment on 11 biggest takeaways from the SEC’s week 7
Consider the source when quoting Tim Brando. Timmy B likes to provoke controversy because it gets him attention. He learned that from Finebaum. Saying that, given a set of specific circumstances, any team can beat another if the favorite plays down to their opponent and the underdog plays up.
Comment on SEC Power Rankings: The Big 5
Ranked wins should be what an opponent was ranked when a team played them not where they are in the weeks after. Old Miss was ranked when Alabama played them.
Comment on 9 biggest takeaways from the SEC’s week 6
I give Mizzou great credit and respect. They saw the Big 12 was doing nothing for them and determined joining the SEC was the place to be. It took a year for them to understand what they need to do to be competitive. To their credit they are doing that by upgrading facilities, stronger recruiting and have stepped up their play. Geographically the Tigers are not a neat fit in the league but I believe over the next few years we will see them be a quality opponent in more sports than basketball and softball. I'm a Bama fan but I like Missouri.
Franklin fits the Hollywood mold. The media in LA will love having a coach again that actually has a personality.
Comment on Recognizing the worst penalty of the weekend
Dangerous high hits and helmet-to-helmet contact have to be controlled. I commend the NCAA for trying to do this (even if it was only CYA driven). But in its ever inept way, the NCAA has once again created more problems than it has solved. I have seen nine targeting calls made by officials (in person and on TV). All but 1 of them were not targeting as defined by the rules. TV replay proved them not to be targeting. On the other call the review was inconclusive and the officials call on the field stood. I understand the officials have a difficult job trying to keep up with the speed of the game and most of the time do a good job. too often we see a play on TV and criticize the officials for not making the right call but forget we saw the play in super slow motion replay from various angles. They saw it one time at full speed. I think the officials are erring on the side of caution and are throwing the flag on anything that looks near to targeting and are depending on the booth review to clean it up. However, an inclusive booth review does not mean the player actually targeted, only that the video was not conclusive enough to overturn the call on the field. There are so many variables to targeting such as the offensive player lowering his head, incidental contact, defensive player being shoved into the offensive player, defensive player going for the ball, the official's view of the play and other factors that must be consider. However, nothing about the rule is more stupid than retaining the 15 yard penalty when the call is proven to NOT be an offense as defined by the rules. The NCAA should not wait until after the season to address a situation than can unfairly impact the outcome of a game. If they want to keep the 15 yard walk off then call it a high hit but don't overturn the on-field ruling and then still assess the penalty yardage. That is like telling someone it was proven that they did not commit the crime they were charged with but because they were arrested they are going to get a prison sentence anyway.