Thursday, April 26, 2007

WWP.DD? or Philip Jurick Commits to UT

Rivals has confirmed that 6'10" center Philip Jurick out of Chattanooga has committed to Tennessee for the 2008 class. According to Rivals, his rebounding is already outstanding, which is something Tennessee has drastically needed under Bruce Pearl. His shooting and post moves need work, but he has a year before he even arrives in Knoxville, so he should improve.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa

Can we hook Philip up with some Proactiv or something? Yowza! No offense to the kid, but they have products out there that can help you with that. Just ask P. Diddy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta reported last night that some Florida football players were involved in a situation at a party on Saturday night.

"Five UF football players were involved in a confrontation at a weekend party, according to a Gainesville Police Department report.

The players, identified on the scene as scholarship football athletes by a UF student, were involved in a robbery at a party at Cabana Beach Apartments on Saturday."

Sounds pretty routine for Gators, I guess, but I think it gets a little better.

"On Saturday, a UF student was taking kegs out of his truck when the men approached him. One 6-foot-4, 280-pound man attempted to steal his keg, cutting his neck in the process, according to the report. The cut was 5 to 6 inches long, the report states, and it appeared to be the result of a fingernail or ring."

The result of a fingernail or ring? While it most likely was accidental, I still enjoy imagining some giant coke nail scratching the guy on the neck. Ah, the innerworkings of the imagination.

My absolute favorite part of the event was this:

"The other four players on the scene restrained the attacker, who then broke away and assaulted the student again, slamming him into his truck, according to the report.

After the second attack, the players forced the attacker into a red Ford Taurus and began to leave the scene, the report states.

While the car was still moving, the attacker again tried to run at the victim, but was stopped by his teammates, who likely prevented a third attack, according to the report."

The attacker is awesome! He's one of those guys who uses the ol' dramatic "hold me back" bit, which is amazingly cool. For some reason, as I tried to mentally picture the encounter, I imagined the Gator attacker to be Michael Bolton, but the one from Office Space ... like at the end of the scene where they destroy the copier.

P.S. I can't wait for the Fulmer Cup points for this one.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lofton Staying Put!'s Andy Katz just reported that Chris Lofton will not declare for the NBA Draft and will return to Tennessee for his senior season. Rejoice, o' Vol brethren, for Money will be at the Summitt this winter. The article also said:

"Tennessee junior guard Chris Lofton was evaluated by the NBA's draft advisory committee as a middle second-round pick and as a result he won't declare for the NBA draft."

Lofton's decision now makes Tennessee not only the SEC favorite, in my mind, but also a legitimate Final Four team, and I'm sure Coach Pearl agrees. Lofton will primarily play the 2, but will occasionally play the 1 to accomplish two things: spell Ramar Smith and improve draft stock.

Yes, we get one last year of this:

Breaking Alabama News

Apparently, Alabama had a record spring game attendance of 92,138 on Saturday, with some to spare. According to reports, they actually had to close the gates because more people wanted to see A SPRING SCRIMMAGE. Good for them, I guess. They have something to be excited about, like they did in 1997, 2001, and twice in 2003. Good for them.

In other news, there were also 92,138 teeth in attendance at Alabama's spring game.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ranking SEC Coaches Isn't Hard Part Deux

So, last week I tore apart TSN's Tom Dienhart's attempt at ranking the current SEC coaches. Specifically, I think Dienhart thought too much about the topic and outsmarted himself. I got through the first half of the coaches, and now I'm giving you the extremely exciting stuff: the bottom six.

7. Houston Nutt - 0 SEC Titles in 9 SEC seasons
My brain actually hurt a little bit during the process of trying to decide whether to put Nutt at 7 and Miles at 8, or vice versa. Why did I put Nutt over Miles? One reason: longevity. Of course, this longevity could very well come to an end in January of 2008, but for now, it helps Houston Nutt. Tons of writers and fans want to put Nutt higher than this, but what exactly has he done? Of the 9 years he's coached Arkansas, he had a winning record in 6 of them, but only a winning SEC record in THREE SEASONS. He's taken the Razorbacks to 2 SEC title games, but hasn't won one, and lost the two visits by an average of 19 points. Nutt has done well at a program that has little to no recruiting lake, but let's not make Houston Nutt more than what he really is: a mediocre SEC coach.

8. Les Miles - 0 SEC Titles in 2 SEC seasons
Miles is a very tough guy to rank. Tons and tons of fans talk about how clueless he is, and I'm not sure I "get it." He doesn't sound like the most intelligent coach ever, but he's 22-4 in his two seasons at LSU. And before you mumble to yourself, "With Saban's players," you're right! But look at the three recruiting classes he's had: 22nd in 2005 during the Saban transfer, 7th in 2006, and 4th in 2007. It's not like Les Miles is an awful recruiter. He's at the top of the SEC! Another thing you hear is, "It will catch up with him." It? What's "it"? 2007 and 2008 will give us a pretty good idea if Les Miles deserves higher than 8th in the SEC. He's only lost 1 game at home, he motivates his players, and he recruits very well. He has nowhere to go but up.

9. Rich Brooks - 0 SEC Titles in 4 SEC seasons
Kentucky's 8-5 2006 season catapults Brooks up a couple slots. Yes, it's all about achievement, not some idea that we can all tell who's a good Xs and Os guy. Brooks accomplished nothing at Kentucky in his first 3 seasons, but did a fantastic job in 2006. The Cats have the best QB in the conference, one of the most versatile backs in the country, and a good WR in Keenan Burton. Will they struggle in 2007 after a +2 CGVR and horrible performance on the defensive side of the ball? Probably. But taking Kentucky to an 8-5 record and a bowl win, followed by a 6-6ish type season is an excellent job in Lexington.

10. Bobby Johnson - 0 SEC Titles in 5 SEC seasons
Johnson is consistently the most overrated coach in the SEC. Johnson-lovers (zing!) always talk about the academic standards, the terrible history, yadda yadda yadda. Well, guess what? He is no better than his predecessors. Bobby Johnson has led Vanderbilt to a 15-43 record in his 5 seasons. Former Vandy coach Woody Widenhofer led Vandy to a 15-40 record from 1997-2001, the 5 seasons prior to Johnson. Want more? From 1992-1996, the era before Widenhofer, Vanderbilt went 18-37! "Oh, but Johnson is doing more with less." I call shenanigans! SHENANIGANS! He's done LESS WITH MORE. He had a top 15 draft pick in Jay Cutler and still couldn't muster a record better than those who came before him. Consider the myth busted.

11. Ed Orgeron - 0 SEC Titles in 2 SEC seasons
He's been called the "Poor Man's Ron Zook" by some, and the Angry Cajun by others. I'll admit, I love Coach O. I love his enthusiasm, I love his recruiting prowess, and I love his Hummer TV ad. His recruiting classes have ranked 30th, 16th, and 26th, which is nothing short of a miracle in Oxford. However, he needs to win some games, and he knows it. 2007 will be integral to his tenure at Ole Miss. He's only beaten 4 Division 1 schools, but in 2006, he had some moral victories, barely losing to Auburn and Georgia. Ole Miss will need to turn those close losses into wins, and with a boatload of returning players, they have the opportunity to move up.

12. Sylvester Croom - 0 SEC Titles in 3 SEC seasons
Sometimes a nice guy gets put into an impossible, horrible situation. That's Croom's life right now. He's won 3 games every season at Mississippi State, with a nice win over Florida in 2004. His teams just aren't staying very close to the upper tier teams. You'll find a 3 point loss every year on the schedule, but they can't seem to get past 3 wins. Croom went 2-6 in the SEC in 2004, 1-7 in 2005, and 1-7 in 2006. He loses a ton off a good defense, too, so don't expect anything more than 3 wins in 2007.

There - SEC coach rankings made easy. Feedback is appreciated, even from you, Tom Dienhart.

Tyler Smith Headed to Tennessee

On Friday, the Tennessean confirmed that Hawkeye star Tyler Smith, from Giles County, Tennessee, was granted a release from Iowa. Here are some excerpts from that Tennessean article:

"Former Giles County High star Tyler Smith has been granted a release from Iowa and plans to transfer, possibly to Tennessee.

Iowa athletic department officials issued a statement today saying that Smith was transferring to be closer to his father, Billy, who’s battling cancer.

Tyler Smith, a 6-7 forward, has told several people close to him that he has a strong interest in Tennessee and hopes to win a hardship appeal from the NCAA that would allow him to play right away next season without having to sit out a year. The institution that Smith transfers to would have to file that appeal."

"Smith was a third-team, All-Big Ten selection last season for the Hawkeyes. He started 29 of 31 games, leading the team in rebounding (4.9) and steals (45) while ranking second in scoring (14.9) and assists (111). He also was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and will have three years of eligibility remaining."

Tyler Smith was originally recruited by former Volunteer coach Buzz Peterson, but when Bruce Pearl was hired, the recruitment fell through. Coach Pearl asked Tyler and his father, Billy, for a meeting, and then he would release Tyler from his LOI. However, Billy Smith would not allow the meeting to happen, so Tyler had to sit out a year before starting his career at Iowa this past season.

Is there a risk in all of this? Absolutely, but let's look at it logically. Tyler Smith's father is seriously ill right now with cancer, and Tyler Smith has had two years of maturity under his belt. Coach Pearl has never been one to put his team in a bad place just to land a good player. From what I can tell, Coach Pearl and Tyler Smith are both dedicated to making this happen, and on the court, Tyler Smith will take Tennessee to the next level.

Before I go further, let me explain that most reports are coming out that Smith was granted a release and that Smith wants to come to Tennessee. From my sources, Coach Pearl will accept Smith into the program, and the only hurdle will be the medical hardship, which Smith will win. So, what am I saying? I'm saying Tyler Smith will be a Tennessee Volunteer in 2007.

Imagine the possibilities on the court. Of course, recruit Brian Williams, senior Jordan Howell, Josh Tabb, and J.P. Prince are going to have to work very, very hard to find quality minutes. Look at the potential depth:

1 - Ramar Smith
2 - Chris Lofton
3 - Jujuan Smith
4 - Tyler Smith
5 - Wayne Chism
Bench - Duke Crews
Bench - Ryan Childress
Bench - Cameron Tatum
Bench - Josh Tabb
Bench - J.P. Prince
Bench - Jordan Howell
Bench - Brian Williams

I know Coach Pearl wants to go 10 deep, but 11 or 12 deep? Is that even possible? I'll have to ask him how he plans on making 12 guys happy. One thing is for sure: Tyler Smith will start and he'll have a huge impact. He averaged 14.9 points per game, and if you look a little deeper, it wasn't just against the weaker opponents. Against NCAA tournament teams and SEC teams, Smith averaged 14 points. Combine that output with Tennessee's high octane offense, and Tennessee could lead the nation in scoring. A Final Four is a legitimate goal for this team. To wrap this up, here's a short video of exactly what Tyler Smith will bring to Rocky Top:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

No Mo' Textin'??!?!111 WTFOMFG >:(

The Associated Press reported that text messages will be a banned form of communication between coaches and recruits by Division I football.

"The NCAA Division I management council has recommended a ban on allelectronically transmitted correspondence, including text messages, between coaches and recruits. E-mails and faxes would be exempt from the new rule but would be limited by current NCAA guidelines."

I can understand the thinking behind the decision. First, these students can't control how many text messages they receive, thus they have no control over who they communicate with. Second, because they can't control how many texts they receive, their phone bill is out of their control. Standard text messaging rates are 10 cents, so start adding. However, typically, unlimited text messaging packages are around $10. STILL, I understand the need for a ban. I'm just going to miss the great texts from coaches that I've seen in the past.

"Hey coonass, I don't have time for this shit, but get your coonass on my campus, we'll pay you when you get here. TTYL"

"I heard you signed with LSU..,why? I won't suspend you, I swear! OMG, I can't believe this. :'("

"Mmmm, coooooooooooooooookies. Do you like cookies 2? We have cookies at Tennessee, and we don't give a damn about the HOLE STATE of Alabama. Mmmmmmmm, chocolate chiippppps. :-O"


"RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! NEED MEAT! Do you like meat? I like to kill my prey and then YELL AT THEM! THAT'S WHAT WE DO AT LSU! >:#"

"Yeah right."

Gosh, I'm going to miss those days.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tennessee Signee Ineligible

As of this writing, Tennessee's JUCO signee, S Nevin McKenzie from Athens Valley Trinity Community College in Texas, has been ruled ineligible due to a recruiting violation during an official visit. Here are some details from
"The recruiting violation involved food and lodging for the recruit's sister Jan. 10-12, according to UT's report, which was obtained through an open-record's request by the News Sentinel. UT became aware of the violation when the SEC notified the school that it had received a report regarding impermissible expenses.

UT reported that it covered those travel expenses for McKenzie's sister, Keisha, because assistant coach Trooper Taylor thought she was the recruit's legal guardian.

In UT's defense, it wrote that McKenzie's sister told Taylor she had acted as Nevin's legal guardian for the past few years when his mother was in prison. She said she had listed her brother as a dependent on her federal tax returns, the report stated. However, when asked if she had been appointed as his legal guardian by a court or state agency, she said she had not, according to UT's report.

UT stated that McKenzie's sister will be required to pay the $188.17 for two nights lodging and three meals to a charity of her choice."

McKenzie is expected to battle for a starting position at safety, and a lot of diehards already have him pencilled in as a starter. He hits people like a mack truck, has perfect size (6'2", 210) and can blaze (4.4 speed).

It sounds like he will be reinstated when his sister pays the $188.17 to charity, so I'm not too terribly worried about McKenzie staying ineligible. If this does end up going the wrong route, then Jarod Parrish (who had 4 scrimmage interceptions this spring) would become the favorite to be the starter on September 1st in Berkeley.
"Yo! Please let dis boy play, son! I'm the next Deon Grant, hustla!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Steve Spurrier is Tougher than R. Lee Ermey

Steve Spurrier is such a hardass. I mean, really, how do these players stand to play for such a tough-nosed, relentless, disciplinarian? You remember his days at Florida - he was the Alcatraz of college football punishment. Now, he's at it again. From the Associated Press:

"South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia had his suspension for being arrested twice lifted by coach Steve Spurrier."


"The freshman was arrested Feb. 17 and charged with drunkenness and failure to stop for a police officer. He was suspended after the incident but then reinstated. He was arrested a second time March 3 on charges of malicious injury to personal property after a professor reported that Garcia had used a key to scratch the man's car."
I'm wetting my pants just looking at you ...
Uh, Stephen? Holding a necklace?

So, Garcia missed all of two months for two crimes. It must be something in the Gainesville water. Once you drink it, you never have a spine ever again. First Spurrier, then Meyer, and now Spurrier again. I wonder if the Ol' Ball Coach called Stephen's mom and told her to come to the principal's office because Stephen was a bad boy and didn't play well with others. "Two laps!" screamed Spurrier. Classy McClasserson.

This guy? Or ...

... this guy? Make your choice.

Monday, April 16, 2007

For Virginia Tech

Clear the way,

so that team from Tech

Can roll to Victory!

No foe can stand the test,

So fight your best,

and we will do the rest.

Strength and speed keep you in the lead;

You'll never go astray.

Our banner high shall ever fly

For victory is ours today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ranking SEC Coaches Isn't Hard

On Tuesday, a column (if you can really call it that) at The Sporting News website created a controversy amongst message boarders, and soon, bloggers. Tom Dienhart, a so-called "expert," made this list. Honestly, I'm not really sure where to begin, as it's the single most inaccurate ranking of SEC coaches I've ever seen (and there have been a lot). Is it really that hard to create an accurate, understandable list? Is it really that hard to not look like an idiot after creating such a list? Dienhart was either stoned or is completely devoid of college football knowledge.

A list like this does have some room for discussion, as the acheivements of a lot of these coaches are similiar. What do you need to take into consideration when creating such a list? You need to look at wins/losses, conference titles, national titles (as a bonus, if you will), recruiting, hurdles, longevity, and when two coaches are close in these areas, you look at their head to head record. It really isn't that hard to mess up. The entire body of work needs to be discussed, with some weight on recent achievement. So, here is my list, which I can promise you is more accurate and more agreeable than Dienhart's list:

1. Steve Spurrier - 6 SEC Titles, 1 National Title in 14 SEC seasons
Spurrier has more SEC titles than Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, and Phil Fulmer combined. The lone argument one can make is that Spurrier hasn't had an undefeated season. Guess what? Of the coaches in the SEC right now, only Phil Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville have one. Spurrier brought Florida to where it is now, and Urban Meyer wouldn't have his national title without the foundation Spurrier laid 10 years ago. Spurrier is Florida football, and all those who follow can thank him for the opportunity.

2. Nick Saban - 2 SEC Titles, 1 National Title in 5 SEC seasons
The Liar is a great coach. Imagine if he stayed put in Baton Rouge after the 2004 season - another SEC Title and quite possibly a 2006 National Title run. However, that's hypothetical. The Liar transformed a struggling program into a national power that someone like Les Miles can keep strong. Remember, The Liar took over a 3-8 LSU team in 2000 and won the SEC in 2001. His legend will continue to grow as he takes Alabama to the SEC West crown this season.

3. Urban Meyer - 1 SEC Title, 1 National Title in 2 SEC seasons
Meyer could be #3 or #4, depending on how you weight different parts of the equation. He has less SEC Titles than Richt, but that National Title is what pushes him ahead. Meyer hasn't lost in Gainesville since arriving on campus, but you have to remember a couple things: 1. These weren't his players, and 2. This wasn't his system. Ron Zook left an incredibly stocked cupboard for Meyer to take advantage of. I'm still uncertain if the full-blown spread option will work in the SEC, thus, we need to experience 100% Urbanball before we can move him up. Florida will finish 2nd or 3rd in the SEC East next season, so wait until 2008 before you move him up or down.

4. Mark Richt - 2 SEC Titles in 6 SEC seasons
Richt is another coach on the list who could I shuffle around. 3rd, 4th, or 5th is a reasonable range for him. The 2 SEC Titles put him right there with Saban and Fulmer, and he restored a stagnant Georgia program. Some Dawg fans have mentioned his game management as a weakness, especially in 2006. However, he had a QB shuffle, nay, a QB hoedown all year long, so again, 2008 will speak volumes on his abilities. Could Fulmer be here? Absolutely, except Richt has won 4 of 6 over CPF.

5. Phil Fulmer - 2 SEC Titles, 1 National Title in 14 SEC seasons
Fulmer is the most widely ranked coach. Dienhart had Fulmer at #8, which is ludicrous, and some UT fans have him as #1, which is also ridiculous. Fulmer is easily no worse than 5th in the SEC, and no better than 3rd. He has a combined record of 7-16 against the 4 coaches above him, and hasn't won anything tangible since 1998. A lot of writers put a whole hell of a lot of weight into the last 4-5 seasons, thus Fulmer slides. When you rank the coaches, though, the entire body of work in the SEC does matter, so you can't forget those titles. If Fulmer and Co. somehow manage to win the SEC in 2007, you can guarantee that the sportswriters catapult him into the top 3.

6. Tommy Tuberville - 1 SEC Title in 12 SEC seasons
Ears is consistently the most overrated coach in the conference. His lone SEC Title was in one of the worst SEC seasons in memory. His Tigers are 21-3 in the last 3 SEC seasons, but they were 23-17 with him from 1999-2003. Fans and writers alike act as if Ears has multiple SEC crowns, but in reality he has 1 lousy trophy to hang his hat on. 2007 won't help his cause, either.

Either Friday or Saturday, I will post the bottom six of this list, and also, I will bust the myth that Bobby Johnson is somehow a good coach.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Let's Make a Plea Deal!

I'm a little late in posting this, but Florida is at it again. No no no, not winning titles, but breaking laws. OL Ronnie Wilson was arrested for shooting a semiautomatic rifle into the air. A semiautomatic rifle. Semiautomatic. Rifle. Imagine the thought process leading up to that purchase.

"Hmmm, what dis boy needs? I needs me a safety precaution - you knows, now that I's playin for day Gaytahs. Hows about a rifle? Naws, an OOZI!"

Apparently, TAZ isn't the brightest of young men. This is in direct contrast from his reported Rivals intelligence meters: 3.5 GPA and 960 SAT. Which is it? I think the former, because who in their right mind would wear a hat like that? Ronnie Wilson, that's who.

With this latest arrest, Florida leaps to 3rd in the latest update of the Fulmer Cup at Every Day Should be Saturday. And before anyone starts throwing out cliched remarks like "Those in glass houses shouldn't spit into the wind," because I'm a Tennessee alum, think about this: if the school whose coach inspired the cup isn't in the chase, is it still that coach's cup? Chew on that.

As for punishment from Urban Meyer? Nothing yet. However, you can be sure it will be severe and timely. Probably one of the following:

Stiff penalties coming. Wilson's reason for shooting the gun into the air? He said he wanted to intimidate the guy he was arguing with. Right. Intimidate him. Because being 6'4" and 300+ pounds isn't intimidating enough - he needed to shoot an AUTOMATIC RIFLE to startle the guy.

The Fulmer Cup should be renamed the Meyer Cup.