Recent Comments
Congrats to Coach Barnes on his recruiting haul. Tennessee will be fun to watch next season. I wish somebody would tell me why people can be semi-vulgar on this forum, and their posts are published, and then I post a piece congratulating the SEC honors students awarded by the NFF, and it gets censored?
Well, at least they have found a new way to cheat the visiting team fans into buying crappy seats at top dollar!
Jerry Stackhouse got the Vanderbilt men's basketball job with no prior college coaching experience and no NBA head coaching experience, and Stephen A said nothing. Stackhouse getting the job should be called, "Elitist Privilege," since he was rich enough to buy Memorial Gym when he was hired. Too bad, Vandy didn't hire his mother-in-law; she is intelligent and competent enough to teach literature at Vandy's level. I am not sure that Stackhouse is competent enough to coach Vandy much past their 3-15 Mendoza Line.
Hooray!!! I am totally excited that College Bowl is coming back to TV. In 1971, I was a member of the Princeton G.E. College Bowl team. At Princeton, College Bowl then was like football in Alabama today. 5 years before, my alma mater had suffered the worst upset in the history of the show, when the all-girls school Agnes Scott beat Princeton. in 1970, we trained with an acting coach, a statistician that broke down the ratio of questions asked, and we even worked on hand-eye coordination to be able to strike the button faster to be ready to win 5 games in a row and retire as champions in 1971. Before making it to the national show, schools had to qualify in regional competition. Georgetown and Johns Hopkins figured to be our main competition, but Bucknell was a sleeper as they had finished 2nd in the region two years earlier. Two weeks before our scheduled trip to NYC to participate, GE College Bowl was cancelled, and we never got to participate. We challenged Agnes Scott to a benefit fundraising competition and even attempted to get original radio host Art Fleming to moderate, but other events and political issues on campus prevented it from happening. FWIW, Vanderbilt won this year's National Quiz Bowl Championship. Good luck to the Dores next year when they compete on TV. What would Peyton say if the black and gold played like 2020 Alabama football?
Pippen may pull out of the draft as his evaluation at this time is a long shot 2nd round pick. He has a lot of holes in his game, namely he cannot guard well, and he tends to penetrate into trouble and make unwarranted mistakes. The NBA has plenty of scoring guards as good or better than him that can play defense and play intelligently enough to avoid falling into traps. Still, he isn't coming back to Vanderbilt under any circumstances short of Jerry Stackhouse leaving Vanderbilt and former assistant and chief recruiter Roger Powell being named head coach. Pippen will become the next Demarre Carroll for Vanderbilt. Carroll left Vanderbilt after two years with little to no NBA hopes as the sixth man on the team. His new coach developed his talent unlike the former coach, and he ended up playing double digit seasons in the NBA. Pippen will transfer to a school where the coach will teach defense and how to be a real point guard, and Pippen will make the Association and play brilliantly. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt basketball will continue to be a bottom-feeder with one or two quality players and a remaining roster fit for the Big South Conference. The administration can build athletic castles to the sky, but if 90+% of the recruits that can get into Baylor or Alabama cannot be admitted to Vanderbilt, it is just slapping lipstick on a pig. The black and gold pig will continue to be slaughtered 15 out of 18 times per year, and it won't stop until Bozo is replaced by a real tactician that can take the lemons on the roster and make lemonade. Vanderbilt needs to become the Army football of college basketball with a gimmick strategy that other teams are not prepared to face. They can then be like Army football--win 70% of their games and occasionally win a tournament game while keeping its academic standards where they are. Just 2 4-stars a year and a coach that can teach fundamentals and correct the same mistakes that happen game after game after game can turn around this program. Alas, I don't see it happening. Chris Jans, Joe Pasternack, Kyle Keller, Travis Ford, or Joe Golding--none of them will be walking through the Memorial Gym door, unless they are coaching the opponent.
Regular students on scholarship for some academic specialty, like theater, physics, or arts, can leave a school and attend another school on scholarship with no penalties, other than maybe having to pay back part of their scholarship money. Coaches have buyouts where they owe a school money for leaving before their contract terms have been satisfied. Also, when a school fires a coach, they pay off his contract. My proposal--Make it a rule that all athletic scholarships are 4 years in length. If a scholarship athlete leaves a school, he should be held accountable to pay back the portion of the scholarship that he did not fulfill on the contract. If a coach wants to dismiss a scholarship player to recruit somebody else, the athletic team must pay off the scholarship in full. A scholarship should be a contract just like any other. That will also open the way to compensate players, re-classifying them as employees of the schools rather than students.
And now, Scottie Pippen, Jr., has officially declared for the draft without hiring an agent. If you are a Vanderbilt fan hoping beyond hope, the news is not in your favor. I have heard from somebody that would know that if Pippen does not end up in the draft, he's going to play one more year of college basketball not wearing black and gold. He could consider USC, UCLA, Gonzaga, and possibly Arkansas among others.
Any chance Arkansas will move all its home games to Bridgestone Arena? I bet three times as many Nashvillians would buy tickets to Arkansas games than Vanderbilt. Muss is incredible, the opposite of Bozo. Vandy fans--you could have had him if you had a real AD. You had a full week before Arkansas's job came open, and Muss wanted the job and they wouldn't even talk to his representative, merely acknowledging that he was a fine coach, but they had a superior candidate in mind. Said candidate needs to be deposited in Lake Superior, because the program has sunk to the bottom of the lake in the SEC.
Nothing to comment on about Mac Jones here, but Laura Rutledge is the Tom Brady of female sports broadcasting. Here's a little inside story about how incredible she really is. When ESPN moved her, and her family, out of the good ole South to Yankee Connecticut, Laura went out and searched for multiple locations where her husband could fish when the rest of the family moved up to that vast wasteland.
Since you published this, Isaac McBride has become the next Vanderbilt player to enter the transfer portal. The word I hear is that Jerry Stackhouse, through his agent, is already trying to get the Atlanta Hawks job even though it isn't officially open. Stackhouse has tried to get out of Nashville last April. I think a lot of the players know he doesn't want to be there, and they want to get out while they can. A couple of the seniors had to transfer due to graduate school admission failure, but one of the seniors is an honors student and left for other reasons. Vanderbilt might only have enough players remaining between the men's and women's team to field one unisex team next year. It worked for football. Maybe, one of the coeds can hit a free throw in a men's game and change the world like Sarah Fuller did.
This would be great if the head coach wasn't trying to take other positions every season. I would not be the least bit surprised if the Hawks job comes open, that Stackhouse won't be lobbying with players he knows on that team to put in a good word for him, like he did last year with New Orleans. Now, that he knows he won't be the head coach at North Carolina probably ever, he will be applying to every NBA job opening. Will these two commits for two years down the road ever end up in black and gold? I'd say it's probably 50-50 that either plays at Vandy, because it is less than 50-50 that Stackhouse is still the head coach in November of 2022.
Calling repeated commitments from 3-star talent to play in the SEC as an upswing is on par with a Major League team signing free agents that hit .240 with minimal power and calling that an upswing. This school has a chance to finally do something right after making mistake after mistake. Stephanie White was a joke of a hire when it came down to Princeton's Courtney Banghart, coming off multiple conference titles with an undefeated regular season, and a WNBA coach that wouldn't even come to Vanderbilt until after the WNBA season concluded, three weeks into Fall practice. If Vanderbilt finally wants to make a home run hire for the first time since Tim Corbin, then they need to throw all the money needed to hire Florida Gulf Coast head coach Karl Smesko, who will bring the program back to where it was under Jim Foster.
There needs to be a 32-team college football league where the players are considered employees of the school and not students. These players can then be paid, and maybe, each NFL team could have one team as their farm team, where they can call players up to the NFL or send them down to the College, thus making these super college teams like the G-League or AAA football teams. Maybe, a second group of 32 teams could be like AA football teams, where players can be called up to the AAA team and send down from the AAA team. Imagine the Green Bay Packers having Wisconsin as their AAA team and Illinois as their AA team. Atlanta could have Georgia as their AAA team and Georgia Tech as their AA team. New Orleans could have LSU as their AAA team and Louisiana-Lafayette as their AA team. The Dolphins could have Florida as their AAA team and Central Florida as their AA team. The Titans could have Tennessee as their AAA team and Memphis as their AA team, etc. Then, the remaining 66 college teams could merge with the top 62 current FCS teams to make a new 128 team amateur league with 16 divisions of 8 teams that lead to a 16-team tournament for the amateur title.
If I were Vanderbilt's AD, I would offer to pay one year of the salary for North Carolina to hire Jerry Stackhouse. UNC won't even seriously consider him, which should tell you where they see his coaching ability. Hubert Davis and Wes Miller will be the two serious UNC-tied candidates for the job. The last time, UNC hired a coach that didn't have prior ties to the school, it was Frank McGuire in the 1950's. You failed to mention that Walker Kessler originally had Vanderbilt as his top choice when Roger Powell was the chief recruiter. When Bryce Drew was fired, Kessler removed Vanderbilt from his list, as did Keon Johnson, Jalen Suggs, and Chet Holmgren. Dumping Stackhouse and hiring Powell as head coach might bring both Kessler and Holmgren to Nashville, but that's as likely as the New York Yankees relocating to Buffalo midway through this season.
Lea may be the best organized, best general manager the program has had in a long time. Unfortunately, he cannot recruit 90% of the players that Alabama and Georgia can recruit. He might bring in an entire class of 3-star recruits, which for Vandy would be an incredible accomplishment, but that class would get any of the other 13 coaches in the SEC fired. If Lea were the new basketball coach, where getting just 3 top players per year is needed, then it would be different. Vandy has proven they can get 3 top 100 players in a recruiting class with Roger Powell and formerly with King Rice.
Coaching Vanderbilt in football is like beginning every season as the manager of the 1962 New York Mets. Vanderbilt football is forever an expansion team in the SEC. No matter how much the school invests in the sport, the coaches still have severe recruiting restrictions. It's simple mathematics. If you have access to 500 bluechip recruits, and I have access to 50 bluechip recruits, who will end up with more bluechip recruits? You will, on average, get ten times as many as me. I can be Vince Lombardi, and you can be Rich Kotite, and your team with 50 blue chips will beat my team of 5 blue chips better than 80% of the time. And, since 1960, when 2-platoon football became the norm, Vanderbilt has won 18% of its SEC games, and just 2 winning SEC records in 60 years! Sewanee did about as well when they were in the SEC, and that's exactly why Vandy should be in the same league as Sewanee now.
I have heard from a well-connected source that Vanderbilt's Scottie Pippen is close to making it official that he won't be coming back to Vanderbilt. His two options at this point are to declare for the draft or play one more year of college ball at a different school where he can play on a team that will play in the national limelight. From what I was told, there's very little chance he'll ever play for Vanderbilt again. Dylan Disu has not committed to returning to Vanderbilt either. His chances of returning to Vandy are higher than Pippen's, but, they are still less than 50-50. You have to wonder about Stackhouse returning. He tried his best to get the New Orleans job last summer, going so far as to lobby two of the players to speak on his behalf. I could see Stackhouse bolting in the middle of Summer and leaving Vanderbilt in the lurch for a last-minute coach.
How best to describe Michael White as a head basketball coach? He's almost as good as Tommy Bartlett but cannot coach tennis like the former Gator coach. Florida had better talent the last few years than their won-loss record. Under Billy Donovan, it was usually the opposite. Billy D didn't lose games the Gators had no business losing. White always finds ways to lose games the Gators have no business losing. White might have coached the 1967 Sequoias to a 10-8 conference record. Bartlett going 14-4 was maybe just one game weaker than the team should have gone.
Vanderbilt fans can sit back and wonder what if, because Muss wanted the Vanderbilt job after Bryce Drew was fired, and a week before the Arkansas job became available. The moron in charge at Vanderbilt already has his hand-picked successor and wasn't interested in any other candidates. He paid 1/4 million to the firm that recommended him as the AD, which was blatantly quid pro quo to rubber stamp the candidate he had already chosen. Then, he gave the candidate a deal that John Calipari would have liked. The bozo they hired instead of the best coach in 21st Century history has finished in last place both years; he has alienated a sizable chunk of the former fanbase; and he has destroyed the incredible recruiting process set up by the great Roger Powell. Powell went to Gonzaga and took Jalen Suggs with him. Suggs was going to come to Vanderbilt along with Walker Kessler, Keon Johnson, and most likely Chet Holmgren. But, as a consolation, the current staff did recruit a fine 2-star guard and an unranked guard. Arkansas will be a top 10 program under Muss, while Vanderbilt will be one of the bottom 10 power league teams under Bozo, the Prude who has told all the former fans to go have carnal relations with themselves.
Just move the SEC Tournament to Omaha this year. It will be the most talented CWS in years.
Vanderbilt has a monopoly on securing 3-star commitments in the SEC. Too bad that doesn't feed the bulldog. Georgia fans would moan if they had to announce signing 3-star talent like it was the next signing of Hershel Walker.
I think the plans are quite nice and will help Vanderbilt get back to where they used to be, closer to second to last place in the SEC than they were last year. There just aren't enough potential fans in the area. The city is exploding in population to the point where it is getting unbearable, but the thousands and thousands of newcomers have no ties to the school. Vanderbilt might attract them by playing USC, UCLA, Houston, Northwestern, and whoever people from NYC root for in college. However, Nashville is basically a pro sports town now, and Vandy is lost in the shuffle. Even having the Alabama of baseball, Vandy draws half of what the AAA Nashville Sounds drew when there was minor league baseball open to all. I wish them all the luck in the world, but Vanderbilt athletics needs to rethink their almost move to D3 a score ago, when their former third-party audit recommended a move to non-scholarship athletics, following former SEC rival Sewanee.
I thought this was a Babylon Bee/The Onion type of story at first. There really is a bass fishing team? I guess they need to make a commitment to fishing and go out and throw a wad of cash at Hannah Barron as fishing coach. They might not catch much bass afterwards, but they will be #1 in catfish noodling, wild hog trapping, She will be the best fishing recruiter the SEC has ever known.
I have to give props to my friend and mentor. Two years ago, when Eric Musselman was hired at Arkansas, he publicly stated that the Razorbacks had just hired the best coach in all of college basketball and best since Dean Smith retired. He then predicted that Arkansas would be competing for a spot in the Final Four within 4 to 5 years and moving into the top 10-15 programs in the nation. If Musselman has the Razorbacks already competing for a spot in the Final Four in year two, where will he be in another two years if he stays in Fayetteville? Additionally, my friend predicted that Nate Oats would make old Alabama fans think that CM Newton and the 1970's have returned to Tuscaloosa. He predicted that Alabama would compete for SEC Championships just like they did from 1973 to 1979. This same friend predicts that the big-time power schools that hire Chris Jans, Joe Pasternack, Travis Ford, and a couple others I cannot recall will also see their fortunes turn around quickly. He also believes that Florida could benefit by about 5 extra wins a year by replacing Mike White with one of these up and coming hotshots. He uses offensive and defensive efficiency ratings as well as recruiting compared to other teams in their current conference.
Billy Donovan was the Steve Spurrier of Gator basketball. Florida now has their Ron Zook of Gator basketball in Michael White. For their sake, maybe their next coach will be the Urban Meyer of Gator basketball. There are some excellent choices out there if they were to make the change this year. Whichever big time team goes after New Mexico State's Chris Jans, they will improve quickly, just like Alabama and Arkansas did. At least Florida didn't do something foolish like hire a pro coach with 0 years college experience, not even a season as the lowest assistant spot, like another SEC school did and has locked up last place in the conference like they have in football.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. But some Vandy fans will be fooled again and again. The number 14 team in talent will be the 14th best team in the SEC, even if the new coaching staff consists of Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Bill Belichick, Paul Brown, and Sid Gillman. Vanderbilt will be lucky to win one conference game in 2021, and it will only happen if the opponent is in dire shape. Wins over some FCS patsy and weak Group of 5 opponent won't be improvement over last year's 0-9. This program belongs in the SEC as much as the 1962 New York Mets belonged in the World Series. At least the Mets had a few real stars.
Alabama won't be able to move to a 1-seed more because the Selection Committee isn't going to wait around for the Illinois game to end. The seeds were complete the moment Houston had enough of a lead over Cincinnati to guarantee victory.
I have friends and other acquaintances that have been part of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, including one that was the chairman in the past. From what I have been told through the years, by this morning, the Committee has already selected all the at-large teams for the field with the bottom teams in jeopardy of being bumped off the bottom row if teams automatically qualify that would not be at-large candidates. As of this morning, there are two potential bubble busters--Georgetown and Oregon State are both one win away from automatic qualification. How teams like Kansas and Virginia are handled is novel to this process. If they must have 7 consecutive days of negative tests, if my math is correct, all their contact-traced players had to be negative yesterday and must test negative for the next 6 days. I haven't heard whether the replacement teams will slide into the seeds of the ousted teams. For instance, if Gonzaga has to opt out, would the #69 team ascend to the overall top seed, or would they slot into the play-in game with everybody else moving up a spot? The logistics would almost force the NCAA to move the replacement into the original slot of the team that couldn't play. How odd if a team like Ole Miss ends up in a very favorable seed because Kansas couldn't play!