Monday, May 31, 2010

Tuesday Links




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Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Virginia Tech Finally Learning Its Lesson In Basketball Scheduling?

Virginia Tech has scheduled a road game at Kansas State next year in hopes of bolstering their out of conference schedule.

A weak non-conference schedule has been cited as a big reason why the Hokies failed to make the NCAA Tournament last year when they finished 10-6 in league play good for fourth place.

"It's a long way to travel, but I figure it's a good opponent," said Greenberg,
"We're trying to put together a competitive schedule.

"I thought we put together a good schedule last year, so what do I know?"
Evidently Seth thought that Campbell, UMBC, and Longwood were enough when the Hokies faced the easiest schedule in the ACC.

The K-state game adds to the non-conference slate that features a home game with likely pre season top 5 Purdue.


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UGA President Adams Calls Out Football As Reason Athletics Are Slipping

AD Damon Evans brought up the disappointing year at the Athletic Association’s Spring Meeting on Thursday

Georgia currently sits 25th in the Director’s Cup Standings and that does not include baseball which certainly will not help. The last time UGA finished outside the top 20 was 1997.

School President Michael Adams was there as well and didn’t do himself any favors by further expounding his [lack of] knowledge college athletics or public relations.

"It's not been our best year on the field, but I hope in some areas we have a
better year next year," university president Michael Adams told the board at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. "I'm not going to single out any sports, but some sports that usually do very well didn't have the kind of banner years that we've come to expect."
Don’t worry Dr. Adams we know who you are talking about.


UGA still finished second in the SEC All-Sports Trophy this year.

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Alabama Offers Georgia’s Top QB Prospect

So says here.

Word is that this kid grew up an FSU fan, but also that he is an even better basketball player. UGA has offered in both sports and Georgia Tech is in the hunt as well.


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

SEC Expansion: 5 Teams Deserving Consideration In Expansion

The SEC Spring Meetings ended Thursday in Destin, Fl and a subject high on the discussion list of school presidents and athletic directors was the possibility of expansion.

The SEC is likely only to expand if the Big 10 goes to 16 teams, but with Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney floating a new rumor every week who know what is going to happen.

If the landscape of the BCS changes dramatically then Commissioner Mike Slive needs to act quickly.

Here are the five most likely options in an SEC expansion scenario.

5. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets were charter members of the SEC in 1933 and continued in the conference until 1963. In 31 seasons, Tech won the conference five times. That total is just one less than current members Ole Miss and Auburn.

The overall sports program has more in common with the SEC having strong football, basketball, and baseball teams while lacking in some of the mid Atlantic sports found in the ACC.

Two of Ga. Tech's most played rivals are in the SEC (Georgia and Auburn) and the Yellow Jackets continued a series with Tennessee also after leaving the conference.

Tech could bring the entire Atlanta market and state of Georgia into the SEC, though both are already dominated by Georgia.

4. Miami
The Hurricanes history in football speaks for itself with five national titles. Miami would bring the growing South Florida television market into the fold as well.

Bringing Miami in would also give the SEC another team in the rich recruiting state of Florida.

One area of concern is the lack of fan and alumni support in down to mediocre times like recently when Miami has drawn half full crowds at home.

3. Florida State
The Seminoles made the jump to the ACC in 1992 and quickly dominated the conference winning the conference title their first nine seasons.

FSU's entry would make the in state rivalry with Florida also a conference game.

Like Miami, Florida State also brings in respectable basketball and football programs. But the 'Noles enjoy a much more vibrant and consistent following than the 'Canes.

2. Texas A&M
The Aggies entry would give the nation's top conference a slice of the biggest football state in the country.

By themselves the Aggies do not bring a whole lot new to the SEC, but if the number one team on the list joins then the state of Texas would make sure A&M comes along.

1. Texas
Adding the Longhorns would mean bringing in arguably the top sports program in the country especially in the three major sports of football, basketball, and baseball.

Texas would also give you a large share of two huge television markets in Dallas and Houston.

Conference expansion is about revenue and that means fans in seats and watching on television. There is no other program that can give you the revenue impact Texas would.

What other teams would you consider adding to the SEC?


Also see: 10 Teams The ACC Should Consider In Expansion


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UGA Basketball Is Turning Heads In Recruiting, Can Georgia Tech Keep Up?

Julian Royal, a top basketball prospect for 2011, is considering UGA, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest among others. The AJC continues the story with quotes from his coach on why these three are leading the pack.

When the AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball (Westlake’s Marcus Thornton) picked UGA last week, Thornton said he hoped it would encourage Georgia’s other elite basketball prospects to consider playing for the Bulldogs.
...
Royal has around 40 major-college offers. Why those three?

“With Georgia, I just think [Mark Fox] has done outstanding work there,” Boyd said. “They got Marcus Thornton, which really turned a lot of heads. That was very impressive. Georgia is an up-and-coming program and a state school.

“Georgia Tech is close to home, in the ACC, and they have sent a lot of guys to the NBA.

“Wake has always been a school highly interested in Julian, even with the coaching change.”

Boyd said that Royal is also taking looks at Alabama, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Virginia. “He has not really made any decision [narrowing down schools yet]. He hasn’t given me a list. But those three — Georgia, Wake and Tech — are the three schools I keep hearing about the most during our conversations.”
I think the length of the comment on UGA and Fox is telling to why more top prospects are considering UGA. He turned heads his first year not necessarily by the number of wins but how big the difference was in competitiveness versus the prior years.

I think this year is extremely critical for Paul Hewitt. He had a major whiff in recruiting this year and is not seen as an up and coming coach anymore after several disappointing seasons of late.

Despite winning just 5 games in the SEC, sometimes it is good to be the new kid on the block and it certainly helped that Fox’s squad beat Georgia Tech last year.

Hewitt never had to worry that much about Georgia when Dennis Felton was in Athens, but it certainly appears now he has an in state battle on his hands. Hewitt needs a win over UGA this year or he could be playing second fiddle for the near future
.

Full piece on Royal in the AJC

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yes, Athletes Do Pay Attention To What You Say About Them (Georgia Tech's Anthony Allen Responds To Heather Dinich)

ESPN's ACC Blogger Heather Dinich is posting video blogs for each teams best/worse case scenario for the upcoming season.

In her Georgia Tech video she said the Yellow Jackets best case scenario did not involve a repeat of an ACC Championship.

Jacket fans should not be surprised as Dinich has never appeared to fully jump on their bandwagon.

Somehow I don't think Paul Johnson cares that much what Dinich thinks and may even like the doubting of ESPN's blogger.

But the best part was B-Back Anthony Allen's response to Dinich.

Don't ever believe an athlete when they say they don't pay attention to the media and what is said about them. They do. And probably 10 times more than a regular fan does now with Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Original GT Best/Worse Case Video


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10 Wins For Georgia? If...

So thinks Mark Schlabach of ESPN IF Georgia can get any thing out of Aaron Murrary and the defense improves [Link].
Why do you have Georgia ranked so low when teams Richt has coached have finished in the top 10, 13 of his 16 seasons? Seen Ealey, AJ, Olson & Murray lately?

Mark Schlabach (1:10 PM)
I've seen all of them. Want to see more out of DL. Where is the pass rush going to come from? If Dogs get anything out of Murray, they're going to win 10 games. Best WR in the country. Two good backs. Senior-laden OL. Best kicker and punter in the SEC. All comes down to defense.
Those are big, but attainable "ifs" IMO.

The schedule is a little bit easier this year too. Arkansas comes to Athens, Tennessee does too, and no Oklahoma State.


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Paul Hewitt's Epic Fail in Recruiting


Just when you didn't think it could get much worse for Georgia Tech Basketball in 2010-2011 this happens.

Missing out another big man recruit and the possible departure of early graduate Brad Sheehan leaves the Yellow Jackets woefully thin in the post. Tech would start the season with just two scholarship players over 6'7" and neither of whom played last season.

It was not like Hewitt did not try to get some big men to come to Tech next year, he just missed out on all of them. First it was Will Yeguette going to Florida, then Marcus Thornton to Georgia, and now John Knox to North Carolina. To add insult another prospect picked Fairfield over Georgia Tech.

You would think a guy who will have a front court player picked in the top 5 of the NBA Draft and another likely in the late first round would not have this much trouble landing another big man.

Is this a sign of things to come? Are top recruits avoiding Hewitt because of the controversy and fan unrest surrounding his recent years in Atlanta?

Unless Hewitt can get much, much, much improved guard play Georgia Tech will be in for a rough season next year. And that may force Athletic Director Dan Radakovich's hand from an already split fan base.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Links

  • One of Atlanta's top prospects James Vaughters cut his list to five schools. One comment I found very interesting was this: "Out of all my final schools, I’d say I’m most comfortable with coach Jim Tressel as far as being there the whole time there." Vaughters is also considering Stanford, Alabama, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
  • Clay Travis of NCAA Fanhouse wants a revote for the 2004 AP final poll if USC is levied with major sanctions.
  • When North Carolina State’s new athletic director walks into the office the first day on the job, there’s going to be some burning questions on the top of the desk.
  • New Virginia head man Mike London talks about pressure. "Pressure to me is having seven kids, pressure to me is when you give your bone marrow to your daughter and whether or not it's going to be a match for her and she's going to either live or die, pressure to me is staring down the barrel of a gun and having it pulled and not go off. That's pressure"
  • ACC Baseball Tournament Pairings: Under the pool-play format, each team will play one game against each of the other three opponents in its division Wednesday-Saturday. The two teams with the best records within their respective division brackets will advance to the title game on Sunday, with the winner earning the ACC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
  • SEC Baseball Tournament bracket set too but it works in double elimination.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

10 Teams The ACC Should Consider Adding In Expansion

If the Big 10's mega conference expansion plan goes through you can expect a ripple effect throughout the rest of the BCS.

The SEC will surely look to expand and keep their edge on the Big 10 and that could very well mean plucking a few teams from their neighbor the ACC.

So where should the ACC go to keep up? Here are 10 schools I think should be high on the ACC's list.

10. Navy
The Midshipmen are a great geographical and academic fit for the ACC. Their football team has beaten several BCS conference teams over the last few years and would relish getting to play teams like Maryland and Virginia every year. However, the Mids lack of basketball prowess could put them out.

9. Cincinnati
The Bearcats have a budding football program and have shown the ability in the past to field a good basketball team. Also, Cincinnati brings a large, secondary TV market with it. UC has also shown the willingness to move jumping to the Big East a few years back.

8. Louisville
The Cardinals would bring the ACC another top notch basketball program. The 'Ville has had recent success in football too winning a BCS bowl in the last five years. Adding the Cardinals would give the ACC the largest TV market in Kentucky.

7. Rutgers
The Scarlett Knights are everyone's new media darling being the closest program to the biggest TV market in the country, New York. And TV money is driving everything in expansion these days.

6. Kentucky
The Wildcats would bring a third dominant basketball program and make the ACC by far the best basketball conference in the nation. Can you imagine Duke and Kentucky or UNC and Kentucky meeting twice per year? For those reasons UK would be higher on the list, but it is unlikely they would leave the SEC money on the table.

5. UConn
The Huskies basketball program would bolster an already talented league and surely vault the ACC over the Big East. UConn's football program has been improving and would give Boston College a natural NE rival.

4. Syracuse
Despite what many say, Syracuse is the team that moves the needle the most in New York. Madison Square Garden is a home away from home for the Orange. Syracuse was on the ACC's original list in '04 and would be at the top again if not for a failing football program.

3. Pitt
The Panthers bring credibility in both major sports playing near the top of the Big East for the last several years. Also, the ACC would gain a foothold in a secondary TV market like Pittsburgh.

2. West Virginia
The Mountaineers have fielded very high quality teams in football and basketball recently and could start up rivalries again with current ACC members Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Virginia. Despite a lack of TV markets within the state, WVU has a large and very rabid fan base up and down the east coast.

1. South Florida
If the ACC loses Miami and Florida State to the SEC, then the conference has to regain a foothold of some kind in the Sunshine State. The up and coming Bulls program would allow the ACC to remain relevant in the best state for recruiting in the Eastern US.

Who would be your top choices for ACC expansion?


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Links: Marcus Thornton Commits To UGA

Football
The Chick Fil A Kickoff Classic is still very interested in having Georgia in the game but don't expect it happening for a few more years

Where to point the finger for the astronomical rise in assistant coaches salaries? Where else but the SEC.


Nick Saban does not expect much sympathy from opponents changing their schedule to give the Tide a break. I doubt he would want it any other way.


The North Carolina schools dominate in basketball, but have fallen short on the gridiron when it comes to winning ACC championships.


The Citrus Bowl wants to get into the opening weekend neutral site business but has already been turned down by Notre Dame and FSU. Why would the Seminoles turn it down is my question?


Will anyone at Maryland actually pull the trigger on the beleaguered Ralph Friedgen

Expansion

Big Ten is learning from expansion history studying the ACC's failures.

The ACC could get a second crack at expansion, but must do it right this time.

Tony Barnhart thinks expansion (which is really consolidation IMO) in college football moves us further away from a playoff. And I agree.


Basketball
One of the last big recruits signed with Georgia on Wednesday. The Bulldogs are shaping up very nicely for next season and could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament.

Marcus Thornton's committment to UGA makes national news

SI.com's latest mock NBA Draft has two Georgia Tech early entries going in the first round. What Paul Hewitt wouldn't give to have one of them back for next season.

Why does everyone hate Duke is pondered by Blue vs Blue (UNC, Duke site)

Baseball
From Old Virginia previews a critical ACC baseball series with Miami this weekend.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making The Case For (And Against) UGA's Mark Richt Being On The Hot Seat


The AJC's Jeff Schultz raises the question today regarding the warmth under the seat of the head coach at the University of Georgia.

The fact that the question is being asked is a far cry from where Mark Richt sat this time two years ago.

Coming off an 11-2 season where the finished #2 in the AP Poll, the Bulldogs were ranked number one in the preseason rankings heading into 2008. But after two seasons of not meeting expectations, some are questioning whether the longest tenured coach in the SEC can get UGA back to the top of the SEC.

I'll attempt to break down the case on both sides.

Why Mark Richt Should Be On The Hot Seat:
  • 8-5 record in 2009
  • 2-7 against Florida in nine seasons including losses of 49-10 and 41-17 the last two seasons
  • Losing 2 of the last 3 to a down Tennessee program including a 45-19 loss last year
  • Three other SEC schools were less tenured coaches have won BCS titles in the Richt era.
  • UGA has not played in the SEC Championship Game since 2005
Why Mark Richt Should Not Be On The Hot Seat:
  • 90 wins in 9 seasons, average of 10 wins per season
  • Two SEC titles in nine seasons when UGA had not won a title in 20 seasons previously
  • 8-1 vs Georgia Tech
  • Georgia has never finished below 3rd in the SEC East
  • He made necessary changes on the defensive staff after last season
It is pretty clear that Richt is under pressure to win this season, but just how much? I think his fate will be determined by how well he does this season in competing for an SEC title and to a lesser extent how he fares against three key opponents: Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia Tech.

So if Richt is on the hot seat what does he need to do to get off it? And if he's safe what could turn the heat up in Athens?

Jeff Schultz's Article
Dr. Saturday of Rivals chimes in on the subject

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Wednesday Links: Visual Proof of Why UNC Basketball Does So Well in Recruiting

North Carolina Basketball Summer "Workouts" in pictures. I did not know that workouts involved babes and boats and beer and...

Listen up Bobby Petrino, if you wanna win the SEC you need a top notch defense according to the stats Chris Low dug up.


Lane Kiffin on leaving Tennessee: 'Just bidness'.

Dr. Saturday of Rivals/Yahoo profiles Georgia Tech's new B-Back Anthony Allen.

Alabama basketball transfer John Knox is seriously considering two schools both in need of a big man.

ESPN's Heather Dinich answers fans questions about the upcoming football season and yes she manages to squeeze in a CJ Spiller reference.

The winners and losers of the ACC's new TV deal

Why Will Muschamp may not be the most interesting man (assistant coach) in the world anymore.

Phil Steele's Preseason Magazine is almost out.

Conference? We don't need no stinkin' conference says Texas AD

All of sudden Kadeem Jack is a hot commodity in basketball recruiting circles. And those circles two blue blood programs.


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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Links: Marcus Thornton Update, Georgia Tech to the SEC?, Aaron Murray YouTube

Nike rewards Alabama’s National Title handsomely

ESPN outbids Fox for another college football gig

Virginia tries out their version of HBO's Hard Knocks

Mark Richt urges concerned UGA fans to watch high school tape of Aaron Murray

Why an ACC rule could take Marcus Thornton out of the picture for Georgia Tech

Tony Barnhart asks if Georgia Tech would move back to the SEC

Chris Low breaks what players will unexpectedly not be returning to SEC squads this year

Why Georgia Tech’s staff is loaded this fall

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Links: ACC Coaches Want To Speak With Iowa DC, Tyrod Taylor, Lane Kiffin and More

ESPN's Chris Low does an SEC mailbag

ESPN's Page 2 ranks the livability of cities based on their sports

Why FSU's Jimbo Fisher is not worried about where expansion may or may not take them

Iowa DC Norm Parker's phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from ACC coaches

Shakin the Southland has an excellent write up on the Cover 2 Defense

Dr. Saturday takes an in depth look at VT QB Tyrod Taylor

AJC Recruiting Updates: UGA picks up two big time commitments

Clemson fans are not happy the way this baseball season has gone

A Sea of Blue takes a look at how Kentucky is rebuilding for 2010-2011

What Lane Kiffin told Tennessee recruits last year about his tenure in Knoxville

MGoBlog takes an in depth look at just how valuable returning starters are

Tiger's neighbor launches tell all PPV website (link to story, not website)

NCAA Football '11 EA Sports improvements to the QB position

Tony Barnhart thinks Will Muschamp might actually listen this off season despite having the coach in waiting at Texas

And Sammy Sosa's skin is back to normal, but still not speaking English


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Friday, May 14, 2010

According To His Mom, Derek Dooley Is In For A Rough Season At Tennessee


When you want to find out the inside scoop on someone where do you go? To their mother of course.

Barbara Dooley, mother of new Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, has been a guest on the Paul Finebaum Show for some time now, but her relevance is peaking with her son Derek taking over at Tennessee.

It isn’t everyday you get an SEC coach’s mom on the radio and much less one that spills the beans on the state of the program.

Derek’s mom made no bones about how bad the situation in Knoxville is and how tough this season and maybe future seasons are going to be.

Now I am not considering Barbara Dooley an expert on football, but I think I am taking a reasonable guess she has talked to the head man at UT about how the job is going and it was not a pleasant conversation.

Looking at the returning roster you probably could have determined that the Volunteers may be hard pressed to improve on last year’s 7-6 record, but Mrs. Dooley paints a much uglier picture for the future.

“He probably going to have two really good recruiting classes to build up what is not there” said Barbara. Their avg coaches stay 15 years, they are not a school which just fires coaches which is good news for Derek, she went on to say.

The Vols will have a new starting QB, five new offensive lineman, a new running back, and a new defensive coordinator. Throw in the usual SEC schedule on top of a game with Oregon and it will be a rough first year at the very least.

Despite a tough schedule and lack of talent, the Vol faithful are still hungry for a return to prominence after watching the program slide at the end of Phil Fulmer’s tenure. Also, during that time two of UT’s biggest rivals, Florida and Alabama, have won national championships.

Ultimately, Dooley’s long term success at Tennessee will come down to his ability to recruit, especially in the state Georgia where he was born and watched his father coach the Bulldogs to six SEC titles. The Vols are off to a good start with their first two commitments for 2011 coming from the Peach State

"This is a critical area for our program," Dooley said at a recent Big Orange Caravan event in Atlanta. "Atlanta is three hours from Knoxville. When I was on the other side, when Tennessee won, they had a lot of great players from Georgia.”

Dooley is shaking hands and kissing babies on the rubber chicken circuit trying to win over a fan base still shaken by the Lane Kiffin exit.

But just how long will Tennessee give Dooley to turn the program around in the ultra competitive SEC?

Entire Interview

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ACC Baseball Weekend Preview: Georgia Tech-Miami Highlights Action

We are starting to wind down the baseball regular season and jockeying for conference tournament and NCAA tournament seeding is in full gear.

The Coastal Division lead is on the line when #11 Miami travels to Atlanta to face #7 Georgia Tech for a three game series.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, May 14 (7 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP (6-3, 3.05 ERA, 90 K’s)
Miami – Chris Hernandez, Jr., LHP (7-2, 3.04 ERA, 76 K’s)

Saturday, May 15 (7 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Mark Pope, So., RHP (7-0, 3.73 ERA, 59 K’s)
Miami – Jason Santana, Sr., RHP (5-2, 4.83 ERA, 60 K’s)

Sunday, May 16 (1 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, So., LHP (8-2, 3.75 ERA, 82 K’s)
Miami – David Gutierrez, Sr., RHP (5-0, 3.86 ERA, 39 K’s)

Prediction: Miami 2-1

The College Baseball Blog has previews and predictions for this series and the rest of the ACC. And you can check out their lastest Regional Projections here.

Rest of the ACC action this weekend:
#21 North Carolina at #2 Virginia
NC State at #8 Florida State
Duke at #16 Virginia Tech
#19 Clemson at Wake Forest



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Friday Links: Calipari's Worth, Logan Gray Makes A Decision, ACC Meetings Wrap Up

A Sea of Blue asks if John Calipari is worth it

Gobbler Country Continues Its ACC Stats
Review: 2009 ACC Offensive Loss Rates

Logan Gray
sticking with Georgia...at WR

AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball
discusses UGA recruiting trip

At least one blogger is
cheering Randy Shannon's new contract

Former Ga. Tech bball player D'Andre Bell's
courage only stronger

Arkansas is
this year's Ole Miss

Spurrier sticks to
script: praises Shaw, challenges Garcia

NCAA '11 Video Game: New Pregame
Entrances!

Atlanta is No. 2 on Forbes'
miserable sports cities' list

AJC Daily Recruiting
Update: How Logan's Gray's decision changes UGA's recruiting targets

ACC not paying attention to the Big Ten expansion
rumors..or so they say

ACC signs
point to new TV deal with ESPN

Arkansas athletic director doesn't
sound like he wants to move to Big 12

ACC football coaches not in favor of
proposed NCAA rule that would toughen academic standards for players

Tony Barnhart: UGA’s Richt, LSU’s Miles, in completely different
situations

Terrelle Pryor
ready to lead Ohio State to national title

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Matchups Would You Like To See Open The College Football Season In Atlanta?

The Atlanta Sports Council's Gary Stokan is getting ready to kick off the 2010 college football season again with the marquee matchup on opening weekend - LSU vs North Carolina.

In its third year, this kick off classic has matched the ACC vs SEC with Alabama playing and winning in both games. Those opening wins against Clemson and Virginia Tech helped propel the Tide to undefeated regular seasons in 2008 and 2009.

There is talk that Alabama may be playing in a game against Miami in 2012. Nick Saban loves to play the opener against a quality opponent and especially in Atlanta where he has established a second recruiting ground to his home state.

But Stokan has much bigger plans than just one game that weekend. In an interview on Atlanta's 790TheZone radio station, he said the Council is entertaining the idea of having multiples games that weekend going from Thursday through Saturday's marquee matchup.

Two teams noticeably absent the first two years were Georgia and Georgia Tech. Stokan would love to get the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets to move their season ending rivalry to the first weekend of the season saying that a loss to one another could sour a potential conference championship game the following week.

The two rivals tried to work a deal out for 2011, but UGA did not want to move the game at Boddy Dodd to the Georgia Dome and then play at Tech the following year like the Yellow Jackets had requested.

Stokan would also love to have Clemson and South Carolina knock heads on Labor Day instead of Thanksgiving. New FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher likes that idea for the Florida-Florida State rivalry, but the Gators are not as keen on it.

But the Atlanta Sports Council is not just limited to ACC vs SEC games. The Council has talked with teams like UCLA, Michigan, and Notre Dame as well

Currently, the only other game scheduled to open the season is Tennessee and NC State in 2012.

With Atlanta being such a fertile recruiting ground, I am sure the game will not have much trouble filling up.

I personally would love to see old rivalries and possibly start some new ones to open the season. Alabama-Notre Dame, Alabama-USC, Michigan-Georgia, Georgia Tech-Auburn, Florida-Miami, Clemson-Auburn, Georgia Tech-Tennessee are just a few.

What games would you like to see to start the season in Atlanta?

Entire Gary Stokan Interview



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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ACC/Big 10 Challenge Matchups Set: ACC Looks To Get Back To Winning Ways

The ACC/Big 10 Challenge pairings are set with the ACC hoping to reclaim the title after losing it for the first time in 11 years.

The marquee matchup is defending national champion Duke hosting fellow Final Four mate Michigan State. The Blue Devils lost for the first time in the challenge last year at Wisconsin. The Spartans have the best record in the Big 10 at 5-5.

North Carolina goes on the road to face Illinois, a team with a very good incoming class. The Tar Heels will rely heavily on their talented class as well and look to be much deeper this coming year than they were last year.

Likely preseason top five Purdue travels to face Virginia Tech, a team that could be ranked in the top 25 with the return of Malcolm Delaney.

The ACC must be banking a lot on NC State's incoming class as the Wolfpack have to travel to Madison to face Wisconsin. This looks like a potential mismatch to me.

Two other intriguing games are Ohio State at FSU and Georgia Tech at Northwestern. The Yellow Jackets looks to have the advantage but their road woes could haunt them against an experienced Wildcat team.

My gut feeling in May for these games is that the ACC goes 6-5 with UNC, FSU, Wake Forest (vIowa), Duke, Boston College (vIndiana), and Maryland (aPenn State) all victorious.

Monday, November 29th
Virginia @ Minnesota

Tuesday, November 30th
North Carolina @ Illinois
Ohio State @ Florida State
Michigan @ Clemson
Georgia Tech @ Northwestern
Iowa @ Wake Forest

Wednesday, December 1st
Michigan State @ Duke
Purdue @ Virginia Tech
North Carolina State @ Wisconsin
Indiana @ Boston College
Maryland @ Penn State

More history on the ACC/Big 10 Challenge

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Wednesday Links: Two SEC Coaches On The Hot Seat, And More Expansion Fodder

Finebaum: Les Miles, Mark Richt are headed for falls

Big 10’s imminent expansion means its time for the SEC to attack

Back to the future: Ex-SEC commissioners discuss expansion

Three Things We Do and Don't Know About Vanderbilt

An interview with ACC Commissioner John Swofford: talk of TV deals and expansion

College Football Expansion: ACC says it will be ready, Big Ten speculation goes on

ESPN’s Tuesday ACC Mail Blog

2009 ACC Defensive Turnover Rates

2010 ACC Returning Offensive Percentages

Miami doesn't seem to have any interest in leaving.the ACC

College Football Expansion: Big Ten commish Delany e-mails conference officials and more

Alabama Transfer Justin Knox Another Possible Solution to UNC's Big Man Shortage

Georgia Tech going hard after quarterback Vad Lee (AJC Daily Recruiting Update)


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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Links: Cocktail Party, Les Miles' Clocks, And A New Orange Bowl Sponsor?

Georgia-Florida Series Still Working on a New Contract

Les Miles Makes LSU’s Top 10 Sports Moments From The Past Year And Not For Good Reasons

Herschel Walker Likes Derek Dooley More Than Lane Kiffin

The Reese’s Orange Bowl? It Could Happen

Gobbler Country Breaks Down ACC Touchdown Rates And There Is A Surprise At The Top


ACC Spring Meetings Update: TV Contract, Expansion Are Hot Topics

Clemson Is Hoping Football Can Bring Them Into The Black

BC Interruption Takes A Stab At The ACC’s Next TV Contract

Rocky Top Talk Continues Their Class of 2009 Review

Tony Barnhart Tells Us Why Arkansas Will Not Leave The SEC ($$)

AJC’s Daily Recruiting Update


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Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Links: Derek Dooley, More Calipari Rumors, And A Preseason Top 25

New Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley Does The Rubber Chicken Circuit And Has Some Good One Liners

Good News For Virginia Tech, Bad News For The Rest of The ACC: Malcolm Delaney Returns to Blacksburg

Miss any ACC Baseball action this weekend? The College Baseball Blog has your covered

Same for the SEC here

Coach Calipari Rumors Continue And Cat Fans Love It

The Battle for Mr. Georgia Basketball Continues to Heat Up With Texas’ Impressing Marcus Thornton

A Sea of Blue Weighs In On the Calipari Saga

Tony Barnhart’s Pre season Top 25

The ACC Spring Meetings start today and ACC needs an expansion plan–right now according to Barnhart


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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Links: Ga. Tech's Option, Gator/Tide Dominance, And Of Course Expansion Talk

Georgia Tech ready to prove triple-option doubters wrong yet again

North Carolina needs more than all-world D to win ACC

Football king in South, even in spring when you can wear next to the nothing to glorified scrimmages

College Football expansion: Talk of Pac-10, Big 12 TV alliance could play a role

Which team will challenge Gator-Tide duopoly?

SEC Chat With ESPN's Mark Schlabach

Mississippi State spring wrap

Pitt should consider ACC

Best of the spring in the ACC

Who will be next the N.C. State athletics director?

Tudor's Take: Fowler's legacy up to Lowe, O'Brien

Should Clemson's Kyle Parker play football or baseball?

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

JaMarcus Russell: What The Experts Told Us About The Former LSU QB Leading Up To The NFL Draft

SI Photos has a great slideshow up with quotes from the major draftniks. Most were very high on Russell sighting his physical tools as some of the best they have ever seen.

My favorite quote was from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
"JaMarcus Russell is going to immediately energize that fanbase, that football team -- on the practice field, in that locker room. Three years from now you could be looking at a guy that's certainly one of the elite top five quarterbacks in this league. ...You're talking about a 2-3 year period once he's under center. Look out because the skill level that he has is certainly John Elway-like."
Brady Quinn was also debated as the top QB in that draft. So far neither has done much of anything.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday's SEC Football, ACC Football, And Calipari Watch Links

Calipari Interested in Chicago Bulls Job?

And before he comes out and says he wants to stay at Kentucky…he said the same at Memphis days before taking the Kentucky job

Upon this news of possibly leaving, Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart is said to be working on a new contract for Cal.

3 big questions for LSU football in 2010

The New Dynasties in the SEC

Auburn Football Post-spring Wrapup

Arkansas will not leave the SEC. And here's why

UGA No. 10 in spring game attendance and Barbara Dooley visits with son in Atlanta

Did the ACC kill the Orange Bowl Ratings Caused FedEx to fly the coop?


Next Wolfpack A.D. will face a tough but promising turnaround

Tony Barnhart picks North Carolina to win the Coastal Division

And Barnhart picks FSU to win the Atlantic

AJC's Mr. Georgia Basketball narrows down choices to four


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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Real Story Behind Zach Mettenberger's Dismissal and Other Links

Former University of Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery stemming from a March 7 incident in a bar in Remerton, Ga., near Valdosta.

Former Greater Atlanta Christian High School standout T-Bob Hebert has been suspended from the LSU football team following a DWI arrest, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting.

Here is a word to the wise. If you’re around Alabama coach Nick Saban, don’t say anything about the Crimson Tide “defending” their national championship in 2010. “You can’t defend a championship because it is not the same team that won a year ago,” he said.

ACC v. SEC Money Numbers

Even without Tebow, Gators will win the SEC East again

Don't get overly worked up by rumors last week that it's a "done deal" that Missouri will leave the Big 12 and join the Big Ten. It's not a done deal, or even close.

The Patriots' fate in 2010 won't rest on Brandon Spikes' ability to beat Usain Bolt in a foot race, which is a good thing for all involved.

Saban, 2 other players vividly recall Kent State shootings

Arkansas Spring Wrap

Some rumors are flying around that Alabama and the U may play in the near future.

Rodriguez Was First In Line With Ultimatum To Notre Dame

Hope Can Drive a Man Insane: A Prospectus on the 2010 LSU Offense

NCAA Football ’11 Video Game: Real Assignment AI


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Georgia Tech Assistant Leaves, Will Paul Hewitt Make The Correct Hire?

Paul Hewitt has a critical decision to make

Georgia Tech basketball has a shakeup on the coaching staff, but it might not be the one some fans want. Assistant John O’Connor is leaving Tech to take the head job at Division II Holy Family after spending six seasons on Paul Hewitt’s staff.

The Yellow Jackets got back to the NCAA Tournament this year after a two year drought, but many still felt the season was a disappointment with such a talented squad. Two likely first round picks graced the roster this season, yet Tech only managed seven wins in the ACC. Hewitt’s ACC record of 67-93 in ten seasons is a sore spot for many Jacket fans.

But it was not always this way in Atlanta. In Hewitt’s first five seasons, he was 96-66 with a 39-41 conference record. Tech made it all the way to the national championship game in 2004.

After the 2004 season, assistant Dean Keener left the staff to take the head job at James Madison.

In 2005, Tech made it back to the NCAA Tournament and fell in the second round to eventual Final Four participant Louisville. After that season, another assistant Cliff Warren left to become head coach at Jacksonville. Warren had been on Hewitt’s staff for the past eight seasons, including his previous gig at Siena.

The Yellow Jackets performance took a downward turn after the 2005 season. Since Warren left, Tech is just 80-76 and even worse 28-52 in the ACC.

Hewitt has recruited very well the last five years having two players drafted in the first round and several others make NBA squads. This year the Jackets will likely have two first round picks.

Many Tech fans point to the lack of X’s and O’s and poor guard play as a reason for the poor records as of late. And the poor records started at the same time as Keener and Warren left.

The struggles over the past few seasons have caused a divide in the fan base as to what Hewitt's future should be. The former ACC Coach of the Year has a buyout north of $7 million. Still, the athletic director may be forced to make a change if the divide grows even further with another poor year.

This past season, the Georgia Tech head coach made multiple mentions of how the guard play on the team needed to improve. Also, the Jackets had issues with executing a simple inbound play.

The hope in Atlanta is that Hewitt will hire a coach who can coach guards and scheme at an ACC level and not just a recruiter. His recruiting prowess is already well demonstrated by the amount of players in the NBA.

The opening being so recent, no candidates have come to the forefront. Keener is out of coaching world and it is unclear if he has been approached by Hewitt or if he would even be interested.

With the opening, Hewitt has a chance to make a significant hire who can take the Yellow Jackets still talented roster back to the NCAA Tournament and back near the top of the ACC.

Will Paul Hewitt make that hire?


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Morning Links

FedEx is endings its 21 year sponsorship with the Orange Bowl. Not terribly surprising considering the lack of national appeal the matchup has had the last few seasons.

Denard Robinson is the favorite for the Michigan starting job. Some are saying he may be better than Pat White at this stage. He needs to be to save Rich Rodriguez’s job.

Heather Dinich’s post spring ACC power rankings. Don’t worry, she’ll be wrong as usual

Chris Low does the same for the SEC. Not sure about his accuracy level.

Q&A with Christian LeMay, one of the top ranked QBs. He is not going to sit for three year. You hear that Aaron Murray.

Kentucky’s basketball teams had the worst GPA on campus. Surprised? Danny Jett debates academics for future pros.

Sign of the times: Virginia’s new head coach Mike London commits secondary violation by posting on a recruit’s Facebook wall. Private messages are allowed just not wall posts.

Missouri and four other’s to the Big 10 according to South Bend TV station.

Alabama and Florida’s success puts CBS atop the college football TV ratings

Here is one I have not heard before…Kentucky to the Big 10?

NCAA’s new recruiting rule shuts down Auburn’s Tiger Prowl. I am sure teams will come up with something new to circumvent the NCAA.

Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach leaving for D-II job. The next hire will be critical for Paul Hewitt’s long term success.


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Monday, May 3, 2010

First Look At Draft Picks In Their New NFL Uniforms

SI Photos has a slideshow up from this weekend's NFL mini camps with pictures of the top draft picks in their new NFL uniforms, including Joe Haden, Rolando McClain, Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Dan Williams, and of course Tim Tebow.

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Sidney Lowe: The Most Interesting Recruiter In The ACC

Sidney Lowe has a secret he wants to tell you. He can recruit really, really well.

NC State has signed three recruits in 2010 all five stars, including power forward CJ Leslie who inked with the Wolfpack last week.

Lowe's recruiting haul is quite remarkable considering in four seasons in Raleigh he has yet to lead State to a NCAA Tournament.

In fact, Lowe's ACC record is just 20-44 and he has never finished higher than ninth in the league. Overall, Lowe is 71-62 and NC State's run to the second round of the NIT this year was the highest post season finish yet.

But Lowe can likely offer early playing time next year considering the level of talent he has coming back. The Wolfpack's best player Tracy Smith has declared for the NBA Draft, but still may return to Raleigh.

However, the pressure will be on Lowe, who played on State's 1983 National Championship team, to produce with the talented freshman.

If Athletic Director Lee Fowler leaves NC State as recent rumors have been suggesting, Lowe will have a new boss that did not hire him and may not have the patience to incur more losses.

With these three blue chip recruits, can Lowe finally show improvement and get NC State over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament?


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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chat With The College Baseball Blog 8PM

Here. Chat starts at 8PM.

Also, check out their updated NCAA Regional Projections here.


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ACC, SEC Schools Battle It Out For Georgia's Mr. Basketball


As basketball recruiting for 2010 winds down, most of the top prospects have made their college choices for next season.

One top recruit still unsigned is Marcus Thornton, the state of Georgia's Mr. Basketball.

The former Clemson signee opened his recruitment back up after Oliver Purnell left for Depaul and has met with coaches from Alabama, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and the new man in Tiger Town Brad Brownell.

Thornton visited Tuscaloosa this weekend meeting with head coach Anthony Grant as well as Tide football coach Nick Saban. The Atlanta product said he liked the visit, but did not name a leader yet. He plans to still visit Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, and Georgia Tech in the coming weeks.

The Tide likely have an uphill battle in signing Thornton with two in state schools and John Calipari vying for his services.

Thornton could still go back with Clemson. If he signed with the Tigers solely for Oliver Purnell, then why wouldn't he try to follow him to Depaul?

Kentucky and Calipari's appeal is widespread as seen by another top recruiting class already signed in Lexington. But did the Wildcats get into the mix too late mostly ignoring Thornton for other recruits early on?

Thornton has been very tight lipped about who his favorite is and specifics on what coaches have been telling him.

Georgia's Mark Fox and Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt have both made in home visits with Thornton and his family and will likely see the forward on their campuses soon.

Both programs could use a player like Thornton; Fox to build upon a good core of players returning to get to the NCAA Tournament; and Hewitt to rebuild his front court after two early departures and get back to the Tournament again this season.

My guess is that Thornton trims his list to Clemson, Georgia, and Georgia Tech in the coming weeks.

Where do you think Marcus Thornton ends up?


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Dan Mullen And "That School Up North"

Dan Mullen has sights beyond the Egg Bowl for the Bulldogs in 2010

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was on the Paul Finebaum Radio Show last week and talked with Paul for almost an hour about Miss State's program, Urban Meyer's situation, and the SEC in general. He even took some calls from listeners which is very unusual for a coach to do.

But the highlight of the interview was clearly the call from a listener asking Mullen on his use of the phrase "the school up north" referring to in state rival Ole Miss. The clearly agitated caller asked the Bulldog head coach if those words were just a shtick.

Mullen's response is somewhat tongue in cheek, but it reinforces the stance he has had since he took over in Starkville. The first year head coach was not shy about proclaiming how important the Egg Bowl was. He delivered in year one with a 41-27 win over "the school up north".

Miss State tried to stick it to the people in Oxford again this Spring with their spring game attendance of 34,127.

Mullen has not been shy about his expectations for this season either. He wants to win the West although he is aware of how difficult his road schedule is. Making a bowl game in year two is clearly on the radar.

“I would be disappointed in the season if we don’t make a bowl game, even though I know our expectations are higher than that,” Mullen said.

The rivalries are what makes SEC football fans so passionate and even one under the national radar like the Egg Bowl are 365 days a year as the Rebel fan and Miss State on a Thursday afternoon in April.

Beginning of interview [starts about 9:30]

Ole Miss fan vs Mullen

Dan Mullen to the State faithful after the 2009 Egg Bowl win


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