Friday, November 30, 2012

Report: Jon Gruden is just not that into Tennessee.

The Jon Gruden saga may finally be over. Sadly for Tennessee fans, it does not end with Chucky arriving in Knoxville riding in a chariot of fire, ready to lead the Vols to the Promised Land of the Georgia Dome. Reports now claim the rumored contract offer from Tennessee never existed, and Gruden turned down the school's advances to become its next head football coach.

"Overnight, it was reported by the Chattanooga Times Press that Gruden had a lucrative offer, but the holdup between the two parties was the salaries of the assistant coaches.

However, according to Jimmy Hyams of WNML radio in Knoxville, Gruden is out as a candidate, and there was no offer ever made, and no face-to-face interview was conducted. He told Tennessee, ‘thanks, but no thanks’. He basically used the propaganda at Tennessee as leverage for NFL jobs."

 Tennessee fans will be spending the rest of the weekend sweeping their shattered dreams of Gruden coaching the Vols. After all of this, the Tennessee coaching search is going to resemble the "Lowered Expectations" skits from the old MAD TV series on FOX.

(via Saturday Down South)

SEC news & notes: Jon Gruden, Johnny Manziel, the SEC championship game, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

No Price Too High?
Will Shelton looks at what the market value for Tennessee head coaching job target Jon Gruden might be. (Rocky Top Talk)

The Back-Up Plan.
Miami head football coach Al Golden may be in Tennessee's sights if attempts to lure Jon Gruden to Knoxville fail. (Gamedayr)

I don't understand how the last card is played, but somehow the vital connection is made.
Drew Champlin looks at the connections between Georgia defense coordinator Todd Grantham, and UGA graduate offensive line coach Will Friend to Alabama head football coach Nick Saban as the Dawgs prepare to meet the Crimson Tide in the SEC championship game. (

Efficiency matters. 
Andrew Gribble sees efficiency as being the key to success for  Alabama starting quarterback A.J. McCarron to Georgia starting QB Aaron Murray. (

Extreme Makeover, Dome Edition.
Atlanta television station WSB looks the transformation of the Georgia Dome from site of Thursday night's Atlanta Falcons' win over the New Orleans Saints to the site of Saturday's SEC championship game. (

Talk of the Town. looks at recent comments about Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel from Joe Namath, Doug Flutie, Dan Rather, and others.

Trademark of the Beast.
Daniel Jang looks at Texas A&M and the family of Johnny Manziel's quest to trademark "Johnny Football." (International Property Brief)

Johnny Media Blitz. 
Robert Cessna looks at the busy media schedule for Johnny Manziel not that the cone of silence around him has been lifted. (The Bryan-College Station Eagle)

There's a possibility, but no chance.
Seth Emerson makes the Heisman Trophy case for Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. (The Macon Telegraph)

Let the buyer beware.
Mike Herdon warns Auburn that it needs to make sure it knows what it's getting if it decides to hire disgraced former Arkansas HC Bobby Petrino. (

Anti-climatic moment of the year. 
Troubled former LSU tailback Tyrann Mathieu announces his plans to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. (The New Orleans Times-Picayune)

We will survive. We will survive. We will get by. 
Arkansas Expats provides a handy guide on how Arkansas fans can survive the current search for the Razorbacks' next HC.


Georgia high school junior Krenwick Sanders commits to Georgia's 2014 recruiting class. (The Athens Banner-Herald)

West Coast news: Pac-12 title game, BYU, and...Johnny Manzilel?

Unquiet on the Western Front

The Final Countdown.
Bill Connelly previews the Pac-12 championship game between Stanford and UCLA. (Pacific Takes)

It's crazy what you could've had.
Paul Buker ponders what Oregon would have been like if quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel had decided to sign with the Ducks instead of Texas A&M. (The Oregonian)

Sing Along With Mitch. 
Dave Southorn profiles Boise State wide recriver Mitch Burroughs. (The Idaho Press-Tribune)

Where Do We Go From Here?
Brad Rock looks at what BYU needs to do to close the Riley Nelson era at the QB position. (The Deseret News)

Good Days and Bad Days.
Michael Preston looks at the good and bad about Washington State's offseason. (CougCenter)

I've got a little list, I've got a little list.
Jack Follman lists the ten best Pac-12 coaches of the past decade. Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham make the list even though Utah didn't join the Pac-12 until last season. Just write it off as Orwellian revisionist history and go on. (Pacific Takes)


You've Got Mayle.
California JUCO WR Vince Mayle commits to Washington State's 2013 recruiting class. (CougCenter)

Manti T'eo taking one day at a time.

Notre Dame lanebacker Manti T'eo has a lot of things to look forward to in the near future. There's awards week, where T'eo is expected to be Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's biggest competition for the Heisman Trophy. Then there's  The BCS title game against either Alabama or Georgia on Jan 7, 2013. Beyond that is the 2013 NFL Draft and the possibility of a long and successful pro football career.

For the moment, though, T'eo is more focused on the here and now of his last days in South Bend.

"My attention has just been on taking advantage of every day," Te'o said Thursday, at a news conference to announce him as the winner of the ARA Sportsmanship Award.

"All I've been thinking about is the time I have left here at school with my peers, with my classmates. I'll be gone all next week, so today was my last day of school. It was hard for me to know it's come to an end. A beautiful end. I haven't been really thinking about going to New York."
That's a healthy philosophy for a college football sensation, especially with a bright future not quite written in stone.

(via The Chicago Tribune)

Monte Kiffin is an ex-USC defensive coordinator.

Monte Kiffin  is resigning his from his job as USC defensive coordinator. The father of Trojan head football coach Lane Kiffin made his announcement on Thursday, after the end of a disappointing season. Translation: Monte's falling on the sword to take heat off of Lane.

''I wanted to make this announcement now so that our players who are preparing for the bowl game and our recruits who will be visiting campus are aware,'' Monte Kiffin said in a statement. ''The chance to work for my son, Lane, was unique and memorable, but we always treated each other professionally on a coach-to-coach basis. Although things didn't always go as well as we would have liked this year from a defensive and win-loss standpoint ... I see great things ahead for the USC football program.''

Kiffin says he plans to return to coaching the NFL. His son will continue to underachieve at USC.

(via AP/Yahoo! Sports)

The Jon Gruden to Tennessee meme just won't die.

The Jon Gruden to Tennessee saga might be over just yet. The Chattanooga Times-Free Press claimed on Thursday night the the school has given Gruden an offer to become the new head football coach of the Volunteers.

"Sources confirmed that while details are still being negotiated, the university's offer is very lucrative and there is no firm deadline on a decision.

Gruden's decision likely will hinge on the money the school is willing to pay for his potential staff, the sources say.

"Right now, the money is there for him [Gruden], but they aren't as close as he would like for his assistants," one source said. "It could happen as soon as this weekend or go into next week, but he's pretty firm where he is and has already spoken with the guys he wants to be on the staff with him."
According to a different source, "He's told them they aren't close enough on money for the staff. He's very interested, but if they don't come up with what they need for the assistants, he's told them he's out."

Newspaper sources should ordinarily be taken more serious than internet or local radio. With this story however, all sources seem to involve voices in heads, so be warned.

(via The Chattanooga Times-Free Press)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Could Duke and North Carolina bolt to the SEC?

Will the shockwaves of Maryland's defection to the Big Ten eventually hit the SEC? That's what Matt Hayes of The Sporting News is suggesting, as he brings up the possibility of Duke and North Carolina, two of the ACC core teams,  joining the SEC.

The whole scenario revolves around Maryland managing to avoid a $50 million buyout to leave the ACC. If the Terrapins managed to do so, it could lead to Florida State and Clemson's long-speculated departure to the Big 12.  This in turn could lead to Duke and UNC looking for the greener pastures of the SEC.

“We’d be absolutely foolish to not watch Maryland,” one FSU official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Sporting News. “If or when they get out of (the $50 million buyout), everything changes. It’s almost like free agency.”

If that’s true, Maryland is the Curt Flood of college football. And it could lead to the one remaining mega move still out there: Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12.

If that happens, the two crown jewels of the ACC become available. Duke and North Carolina, which an ACC source said have been chased by the SEC for “the last three years,” will choose between the Big Ten and the SEC."
The additions of Duke and UNC to the SEC might not mean much on the football side, but it could radically alter things on the basketball side. Imagine a conference with Kentucky, Florida, Duke, and UNC facing each other on the hardwood every winter. Overnight, the SEC, where basketball is seen as an afterthought, would become a true powerhouse in college basketball. 

Adding Duke and North Carolina to the SEC would transform the conference from what is already a monster in football into a two-headed, two-sport juggernaut.

Bobby Petrino to Colorado rumors are apparently not true.

"The voices in your head don't count as reliable sources" coaching rumor of the day has cented around reports that Colorado was interested in hiring disgraced ex-Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino.

Too bad it's doesn't seem to be true.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

(HT @BarrettSallee)

SEC news & notes: Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, Jon Gruden, and more.

Christmas in Dahlonega, GA.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

 Businessmen, they drink my wine.
Forbes looks at the economic impact Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel could have on the school. You know, all that money the school can make off him while he can't actually profit from his fame?

Johnny Manziel will win the Heisman Trophy.
Because Pat Dooley said so. (The Gainesville Sun)

Heisman dark horse?
And the Valley Shook makes the case for Alabama center Barrett Jones to win the Heisman Trophy.

And the nominees are...
Manziel, A.J. McCarron (Alabama), and Aaron Murray (Georgia) are the three  finalists from the SEC for the Manning Award for best QB in the country. (

Show us your papers! 
According to Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, Bulldog starting QB Aaron Murray has "two big papers due this week" in addition to preparing for the SEC championship game. (

Be My Frenemy.
Roger Clarkson looks at former UGA teammates Mike Bobo and Kirby Smart, who will face off against each other in the respective roles of Bulldog offensive coordinator, and Alabama defensive coordinator in the SEC championship game. (The Athens Banner-Herald)

Do you come from the land Down Under.
Andrew Gribble profiles Alabama nose guard and Australia native Jesse Williams. (

Lowered Expectations.
Evan Woodberry looks at the state of the search for Tennessee's next HC the day after Jon Gruden deep-sixed the rumors of a deal for him to come to Knoxville. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

Let's make the best of the situation. 
Arkansas Expats tries to stay cheerful in the wake of the Les Miles debacle.

Where Are You Going?
For Whom the Cowbell Tolls looks at the state of Mississippi State football after its loss to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.

Did Louisville HC Charlie Strong interview for Auburn job?

Did Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong interview for the vacant HC job at Auburn? Strong denied contact with the school, but Charles Goldberg of claims otherwise.

"The conversation took place in the last two days with someone representing Auburn, has learned, according to someone familiar with the process. The conversation may have been by telephone. 

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated tweeted he talked to Strong, who said he had not interviewed with Auburn. "

The dueling accounts sound like a classic he said-they said moment. With's report coming on the same day is was announced that Louisville would be joining the ACC in 2014, Strong's denial has the sound of a HC not wanting to rain on his school's big day.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Les Miles staying at LSU, gets seven-year contract extention.

Arkansas fans can start sweeping their shattered dreams of Les Miles becoming the Razorbacks' head football coach off the floor. Miles has signed an seven-year extension with LSU. He also gets an raise, the amount of which was not announced. Arkansas had offered The Mad Hatter a five-year, $27.5 million dollar deal to defect to Fayetteville. It looks like Razorback supporters are going to have to lower their expectations.

(via ESPN)

SEC news & notes: Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

Why Can't I Be You?
Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel says he's "amused" at people who wear Scooby-Doo costumes to Aggie football games during his first press conference. (Good Bull Hunting)

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
Skip Bayless criticizes the media lovefest over Johnny Manziel completely oblivious to the irony of his criticizing someone about manlove. (Awful Announcing)

Is This It?
Jon Cooper wonders if Georgia starting QB Aaron Murray will be able to win the SEC championship against Alabama this weekend? (Saturday Down South)

The lowest of the low?
ESPN's SEC Blog looks at three of the least memorable SEC seasons, including Alabama's 2000 season and Tennessee's 2005 season.

That's So Raven.
Georgia nose guard John Jenkins gets compared to former Alabama nose tackle and current Baltimore Raven Terrence Cody. (

On the leash?
Matthew Osborne claims Auburn's recent history with keeping HC's on a short leash could hurt the school's search to find Gene Chizik's replacement. (Southern Pigskin)

Jon Gruden denies report of Tennessee deal.

Clutch the pearls! It seems the story about Tennessee offering Jon Gruden a stake in the Cleveland Browns to coach the Vols may have been somewhat untrue. Gruden himself went on Mike and Mike Wendsday morning to deny the already implausible story.

"Appearing on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show on Wednesday morning, former NFL coach Jon Gruden shot down a report out of Memphis that he had an offer in-hand to become the next football coach at the University of Tennessee.

Memphis TV station WREG-3's Glenn Carver announced on their newscast Tuesday night that the former Tampa Bay coach had a deal and that an announcement on his hiring could be made as soon as Wednesday.

"I'm just trying to focus on keeping the job I have," Gruden told the ESPN hosts."

The part about Gruden being offered a stake in the Browns also has gone throught the ringer a bit.

"One of the provisions claimed by the report to be a part of that deal was that Gruden would receive a small ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns from owner Jimmy Haslam III, a Tennessee alumnus.

That particular claim, however, drew instant attention on a number of websites, as Gruden is still receiving buyout payments from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and as such might be prohibited from agreeing to a stake in the Browns until those payments end in mid-December.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that in order to strike that deal the Haslam family would first have to "gift" the ownership stake in the Browns to the University of Tennessee, who would then, in turn, give it to Gruden as part of his contract."

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

(via The Knoxville News Sentinel)

Big Ten news & notes.

Big Tentacles

Bowled over.
Off Tackle Empire's latest predictions has Notre Dame vs. Alabama for the BCS title, and Nebraska vs. Stanford for the Rose Bowl. The rest is noise.

Statisfaction guaranteed.
Andrew Coppens  looks at the stats for the Big Ten championship showdown between Nebraska and Wisconsin. (Delany's Dozen)

Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman will not be fired. 
Because Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said so. (The Chicago Tribune)

For the Michigan fan who as everything. 
A demolition company is selling lockers it removed from the Michigan lockerroom during renovations for between $800-$1500. (MGoBlog)

Louisville to the ACC?

The ACC could have a new member by the end of the day. Conference presidents will reportedly vote on inviting Louisville into the conference to replace Maryland, which defected to the Big Ten. UConn and Cincinnati are reportedly also up for consideration.

"North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Tuesday that the league's presidents would consider Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati for membership. The ACC is seeking a team to replace Maryland, which will leave for the Big Ten in 2014. 

Sources said there is a sense among league presidents that the ACC will vote to add only one member because the remaining two Big East schools have no other options and the ACC could get them later on if the ACC lost any other schools."

Louisville is a more natural fit for the ACC, given it's proximity to the heart of the conference. It would also straighten the conference on both the football and basketball sides.

(via ESPN)

Arkansas in the hunt for Les Miles?

Would the Mad Hatter be mad enough to defect from LSU to Arkansas? The New Orleans Times-Picayune claims that Arkansas has made LSU head football coach Les Miles an offer the scool hopes that he can't refuse, one that's worth $27.5 million dollars over five years.

"They made a serious offer," the source said "(Athletic Director) Joe (Alleva) is meeting with his (Miles') agent and the discussion is ongoing."

Miles has a connection with Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long when the worked together at Michigan. He also worked from 1998-2000 as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Arkansas alum Jerry Jones, which might explain how the Razorbacks could afford a huge offer.

(via The New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Is Tennessee using the Cleveland Browns to lurn Jon Gruden to Knoxville?

Just when you think you've heard the most insane story ever when it comes to hiring a college football coach, something comes along to blow that one out of the water. In this case, it's a story where the University of Tennessee may be ready to make an offer to Jon Gruden to come to Knoxville by offering him something big. Ownership in the Cleveland Browns.

No, really.

"Knoxville, TN-News Channel 3 has learned former NFL coach Jon Gruden has a contract offer in hand from the University of Tennessee and a decision could be made as early as Wednesday. Part of the offer is Gruden getting a piece of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, who were recently bought by Jim Haslam, one of UT’s biggest boosters who played on the Vols’ national championship teams in the early fifties..."

The only holdup is reportedly some technicalities where Gruden is apparently owed money by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which would be a roadblock from him owning the Browns due to the NFL's byzantine ownership rules.

This one definitely falls into "the voices in your head don't count as relaible sources" until further notice.

(via WREG)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SEC news: Johnny Manziel, Tennessee, T.J. Yeldon & Todd Gurley, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before.
Texas A&M dtarting quarterback Johnny Manziel named SEC Freshman of the Week once again. (Just Wilt Til Next Season)

That Don't Impress Me Much.
Deadspin's Tom Ley was underwhelmed by Manziel's first teleconference after Texas A&M removed the cone of silence over him. This being Deadspin, he was probably disapointed that Manziel didn't talk like Scooby-Doo.

The Usual Suspects.
A list of candidates for the vacant Tennessee head coaching job, featuring all those names you've hears 1,000 times before. (The Knoxville News-Sentinel)

We were merely freshman.
Chip Towers compares freshman tailbacks T.J. Yeldon of Alabama, and Todd Gurley of Georgia. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

I Feel Fined. 
Ole Miss is fined $5,000 by the SEC for the post-game rushing of the field after the Rebel's win over Mississippi State. (AP/Yahoo! Sports)


Mind-boggling award nomination of the day.
Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is a Broyles Award finalist, which is given to " to the nation’s top assistant coach."

(The Athens Banner-Herald)

Mark Stoops named new Kentucky head football coach.

Mark Stoops. Photo via SB*Nation

Kentucky has found its man to replace former head football coach Joker Phillips, and it's Mark Stoops. Stoops is currently the defensive coordinator of Florida State. Stoops is the brother of Oklahoma HC Bob Stoops.

"The university announced Tuesday that Stoops will replace Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky. 

The 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced here at a news conference on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Saturday."

Wildcat faithful may be disappointed in not getting a new coach with a higher profile. On the other hand, the most notable former FSU coach in the SEC just happens to be Mark Richt. Maybe Kentucky will see lightning strike twice.

(via AP/ The Gainesville Sun)

Big Ten news: Notre Dame, Kirk Ferentz, Devin Gardner, and more.

Big Tentacles

Love to Hate You.
Roger Groves looks at the reasons why people hate Notre Dame. The article's pro-Notre Dame slant is reason enough to hate them. (Forbes)

Fearless Leader goes to Columbus.
Spencer Hall gives his view of the Michigan-Ohio State game. (Every Day Should Be Saturday)

And the nominees are...
Ted Glover looks at who will be named Big Ten coach of the year. Hint: It won't be recently fired Purdue head football head football coach Danny Hope. (Off Tackle Empire)

Wait 'till next year.
A Lion Eye looks at Illinois depth chart for the 2013 season.

Iowa HC Kirk Ferentz on the Hot Seat?
Iowa HC Kirk Ferentz on the hot seat. (The Quad City Times)

Cheaper to keep him?
Kirk Ferentz's buyout would be around $18 million if he was fired by Iowa. (Black Heart Gold Pants)

One more year?
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner may get a fifth year of elligibility due to a medical redshirt in 2010. (The Detroit Free Press)


Indiana. Indiana high school senior defensive tackle Darius Latham commits to Indiana's 2013 recruiting class. . (The Crimson Quarry)

Six possible expansion targets for the Big 12.

In the wake of the Big Ten's nabbing of Maryland and Rutgers, the other big conferences are facing the notion of having to expand to keep up with the Joneses. While that might be the worst reason to expand, a conference like the Big 12 finds itself undersized even the additions this season of West Virginia and TCU. Luckily for the Big 12, there are still some good schools out there that would make good fits with the wild and wooly conference.

1. BYU
BYU may need to join a conference or come up with some kind of Notre Dame-style plan where it's aligned with a conference in football, but retains its football independence. Of the major conferences, the Bog 12 makes the most logical landing place for the Cougars.

2. SMU
 The events chronicled in Pony Express that led to the school earning the NCAA's  death penalty are almost a generation old. SMU has been in the college football wilderness long enough.

3. Houston
The only other old Southwest Conference school that isn't in either the Big 12 or the SEC. An absolute good fit for the conference, and one that provides a good anchor into one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.

4. Louisville
I know, Louisville is way too obvious. But West Virginia's old Big East buddy would make the conference's eastward expansion look a bit less awkward.

5. Georiga Tech
Because every list needs a "WTF?" pick, right? Seriously though, GT would give the Big 12 a strong footprint inside traditional SEC territory. The Yellow Jackets would benefit from having powerhouses like Texas and Oklahoma coming into Atlanta every few years to compete with Georgia's palette of SEC teams in Athens. The disadvantage comes with Tech losing those basketball games with Duke and North Carolina. But it's been years since the GT basketball program has been able to seriously complete with the Carolina schools anyhow.  

6. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech feels more like a Big 12 school than an ACC school. Maybe that's because it's seems to share more characteristics of a West Virginia than it does any of the North Carolina schools. Besides, the move to the ACC never quite worked out as planned for the Hokies. Maybe flipping over to the Big 12 would work better.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Johnny Manziel finally speaks to the media.

Johnny Manziel speaking to the media via teleconference. Via The Dallas Morning News.

Texas A&M finally took the muzzle off of its starting quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel today. Aggie head football coach Kevin Sumlin had kept Manziel away from media all season due to his policy of not letting freshman speak to the media. The school lifted the cone of silence around Manziel on Monday with an one hour teleconference with the media today.

"This season has been incredibly surreal and beyond my wildest imagination," said Manziel, who's accounted for 43 touchdowns and broke Cam Newton's SEC record for total offense in a season with 4,600 yards.

"But it's a true testament to how this team has grown each and every week, because without those guys, my individual success wouldn't mean anything."

The first question involved that ubiquitous "Johnny Football" name, which Manziel thinks is "funny."

Manziel on the being a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

"It's something you dream about, sitting there creating all these video games when you're a kid and putting up crazy numbers," Manziel said. "It's something you can only sit back and dream about. It's the biggest award in college football."

On his family's relationship with Texas A&M's only Heisman winner, John Davis Crow.

"My dad goes down and talks to him every game a little bit," Manziel said. "I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him that much. But if I am fortunate enough to win the Heisman Trophy, bringing it back to Aggieland would be an incredible honor and something I would never forget."

On the cone of silence surrounding Manziel and other freshman during the season.

 “Coach Sumlin knows what’s best for me and the whole team.”

(via The Dallas Morning News, ESPN)

SEC news and notes: Johnny Manziel, Auburn, Tennessee, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

Yet more praise for Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel. (The Houston Chronicle)

And the nominees are...
Jay G. Tate looks at the coaches in the running to replace Gene Chizik as head football coach of Auburn. (

Aggies to Cap One Bowl?
The Capital One Bowl may be interested in Texas A&M as the bowl's SEC representative. (The Houston Chronicle)

Kick Him When He's Down.
Stephen Hargis accuses former Tennessee HC Derek Dooley of failing to "build a working relationship with high school coaches" in and around the "tri-state" area of "southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama." (The Chattanooga Times-Free Press)


Alabama. Crimson Tide wide receiver will miss 5-6 weeks to a broken leg sufferen in the Alabama win over Auburn. (College Football Talk)


Georgia. Mississippi JUCO safety Kennar Johnson commits to Georgia's 2013 recruiting class. (The Athens Banner-Herald)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Danny Hope is an ex-Purdue head football coach.

Purdue head football coach Danny Hope has been fired. Apparently going 6-6 and winning the last three games of the Boilermakers' season weren't good enough to keep his job.

"There is no question that our football program has seen considerable growth under Danny's leadership, particularly in the areas of academics, player development and recruiting,” (Purdue athletic announcer Morgan) Burke said in a statement. “I applaud him for his passion about Purdue University and the young men he coaches. He and his staff have devoted their lives to improving the program, but as I told him earlier this afternoon, those efforts did not equate to the consistent on-field success that both of us expected."

Hope went 22-27 in four seasons with Purdue.

(via CBS Sports)

Gene Chizik is an ex-Auburn coach.

Gene Chizik is officially an ex-Auburn head football coach. CBS Sports is reporting that the school let go of the HC that only two years ago led it to a BCS title only two years ago.

"The Tigers finished the season 3-9 after getting hammered by arch-rival Alabama Saturday, 49-0. The loss dropped Auburn to 0-8 in SEC play. The team was ranked No. 25 in the preseason.

In four seasons at Auburn, Chizik was 33-19. Only once in his four years did the Tigers finish in the Top 25. In 2010, when they won the title by going 14-0 behind Heisman winner Cam Newton."

Chizik becomes the fourth SEC HC to be fired this season, the others being Kentucky's Joker Phillips, and Tennessee's Derek Dooley, and Arkansas' John L. Smith.

(via CBS Sports)

Gene Chizik out at Auburn?

Is the downward spiral known as the Gene Chizik era at Auburn over? Joe Schad tweeted that there will be a team meeting with Auburn players where they will learn Chizik's fate.

This news is still somewhere between a fact and "the voices in your head don't count as reliable sources." But this story is developing.

(via @schadjoe)

Tom O'Brien is an ex-NC State Wolfpack coach.

North Carolina State has decided that head football coach Tom O'Brien's services are no longer needed. The school announced Sunday afternoon that  O'Brien had been fired after six seasons.

Even though O'Brien coached the Wolfpack to a 7-5 record this season, the team was hampered with inconsistent play. That was very evident with the team's performance in ACC play.

"For every big win over Florida State this season, or a top 10 Clemson team in 2011, O'Brien's N.C. State teams had a propensity to drop an ACC game it should have won, like the Virginia game this year and the Boston College game last year." 

NC State athletic director Debbie Yow is apparently looking at Vanderbilt HC James Franklin to replace O'Brien.

(via The Charlotte News & Observer)

Read more here:

Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame, Gene Chizik, Lane Kiffin, and more.

Welcome to the Fallout

Sealing the deal?
Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel made his closing arguments for winning the Heisman Trophy in the Aggies' 59-29 win over Missouri. (The Bryan-CollegeStation Eagle)

Raising Johnny Football. 
Tim Rohan looks at Johnny Manziel's parents, and how they raised their son, the current leader in the race for the Heisman Trophy. (The New York Times)

Out of the Wilderness.
Notre Dame clinches a spot in the BCS title game with a 22-13 victory over USC. It's the Fighting Irish's first shot at a BCS title. (Dr. Saturday)

Stir of Echoes.
The potential of a Notre Dame vs. Alabama BCS title game gives Don Kausler Jr. reason to look  back at previous meetings between the Irish and the Crimson Tide. Notre Dame leads the series 5-1. (

The spoiler?
Barrett Sallee looks at Georgia's chances of beating Alabama in the SEC championship game next Saturday in Atlanta. (The Bleacher Report)

Auburn HC Gene Chizik on the Hot Seat?
Auburn HC Gene Chizik on the Hot Seat. (

Games Without Frontiers.
USC head football coach Lane Kiffin's play calling ability is compared to playing a video game, and not in a good way. (Conquest Chronicles)

The Bedlam Boys.
Oklahoma overcomes Oklahoma State 51-48 with the aid of receivers Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders. (The Oklahoman)

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Ohio State's 12-0 regular season record under first-year HC Urban Meyer should serve as a warning fro next season when the Buckeyes are out from under the NCAA banhammer. Because Dan Wetzel said so. (Yahoo! Sports)

Wait 'til next year.
Iowa'a 2013 preseason begins on Tuesday morning as the Hawkeyes begin trying to recover from a disastrous 4-8 season. (The Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Did Nada Surf invent "Johnny Football?"

The mystery of who came up with the phrase "Johnny Football" may have been answered. And no, it had nothing to do with Johnny Manziel. After much research (okay, memory, YouTube search, and checking out, It looks like the origin has been found. 

Clue one: The song "Popular," by Nada Surf.

 "And if you see Johnny football hero in the hall
Tell him he played a great game
Tell him you like his article in the newspaper"

The song was  inspired by actress Gloria Winters' book Penny's Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity. So the "Johnny Football" (or at least "Johnny Football Player") probably originated there, as most of the lyrics come directly from that book.

(Song copyright Nada Surf)

Bill O'Brien has a potty mouth live on ESPN

Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien was a little emotional after the Nittany Lions ended its first season under the NCAA banhammer with an overtime victory over Wisconsin. Emotional enough he dropped some language that the administration at Penn St. probably wishes he hadn't. Especially given the circumstances of the school's banhammering in the first place.

Yep, there's going to be some Freudian analysis over this one. Along with a fine or two for O'Brien.

(via SB*Nation)

John L. Smith is an ex-Arkansas coach.

The Annus Hawgriblis for Arkansas is almost over. The school's athletic director, Jeff Long, has officially announced that John L. Smith will not be retained for next season.

"I have great respect for coach Smith and I thank him for the sincere commitment he has shown our program," said Long in a statement. "He made a difficult decision in uncertain times to return from his alma mater to guide the young men in our football program and I will always be grateful for his efforts."

Smith was hired to replace Bobby Petrino in April, and signed a ten-month contract. Smith had been hired to coach at Weber State, his alma mater, in December of 2011 but left the program without ever coaching a game to coach at Arkansas."

Now the fun begins with speculation with who Arkansas hires for next season. 

(via CBS Sports)

Johnny Maziel gives the new Red Dawn the thumbs down.

Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel managed to find time between studying for classes, practicing for today's regular-season finale against Missouri, and working oh his Heisman Trophy speech (just in case, y'know) to take in the remake of the Eighties' classic Red Dawn. Sadly, it seems Johnny Cinema wasn't too impressed by it.

Translation for Hollywood:  If you remake an Eighties classic, and replace the Soviets invading America with North Korea because you're all a bunch of flaming wussies not wanting to make Red China the bad guys, don't expect Johnny America to like it. much less anybody else.

(via @JManziel2. HT: SB*Nation)

Game Day Goulash: Notre Dame-USC, Auburn-Alabama, and more.

Game Day Goulash

Staying Alive.
LSU keeps its hopes for both the SEC title and the BCS title by beating Arkansas 20-13. Now Alabama has to do is lose to Auburn. Don't hold your breath. (ESPN)

Huskers pierce Hawkeyes.
Nebraska tramples Iowa 13-7 on its way to solidifying the Big Ten Legends Division title. (The Omaha World-Herald)

Let's start a riot.
West Virginia beats Iowa State 31-24 in a game unofficially nicknamed the "Riot Bowl" by Wide Right & Natty Lite. (The Des Moines Register)

Rivalry games are a dish best served cold.
Michigan fought the cold weather while practicing in Ohio Stadium of Friday for today's Michigan-Ohio State game. (The Detroit Free Press)

The Last Best Hope.
Possibly the only thing keeping Notre Dame from a spot in the BCS title game is USC and its HC Lane Kiffin. Be afraid. Be very afraid. (The Los Angeles Times)

I Am the Relegation.
Team Speed Kills compares today's Kentucky-Tennessee game to a English Premier League soccer match between two teams trying to avoid regulation to a to a lower division.

Keep your eye on the sparrow War Eagle. 
Roll 'Bama Roll warns Alabama to focus on beating Aubrun, and not looking ahead to the SEC championship game against Georgia.

There's a possibility, but no chance.
Auburn looks to upset Alabama in the Iron Bowl. (The Opelika-Auburn News)

It Wasn't Me.
Alabama starting quarterback A.J. McCarron tweets to fans warning them that items they see claiming to have his autograph floating around the secondary market on them are fake, and that he didn't sign them. (

UGA visits the North Avenue Trade School. 
T. Kyle King previews Georgia-Georgia Tech in this year's edition of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate. (Dawg Sports)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Urban Meyer has a potty mouth, cusses at Ohio St. prep rally.

Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer was speaking at a prep rally tonight. After a Tebow-esque "I'd like to make sure we all give credit to where credit's due" moment of silence, Meyer said a not-Tebow approved word in telling the crowd "Let's beat the $#!t out of Michigan!"

Want proof? Here's the video.

Stay classy, Urban Meyer.
(via Eleven Warriors)

Game Day Goulash. TCU-Texas, Johnny Manziel, Auburn-Alabama, and more.

Game Day Goulash

Plague of Frogs.
TCU defeats Texas in their first Big 12 in-conference game 20-13. (ESPN)

The End of Silence? 
Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin says the school will "have a plan" for making starting quarterback Johnny Manziel finally available to the media. Manziel has been unavailable for interviews due to Sumlin's policy of not letting freshmen available to the media. (CBS Sports)

The Downward Spiral?
The number of turnovers made by Alabama has been declining since the first eight weeks of the season, including zero in the past three weeks. (

Everything on the line? 
Iowa may have to defeat Nebraska in order to keep the game on Black Friday. Because Mile Hlas said so. (The Cedar Rapids Gazette)

The high cost of winning.
The prices for Texas A&M home games at Kyle Field on the secondary market have been going up since The Aggies defeated then-no. 1 Alabama on Nov. 10. (Good Bull Hunting)

The difficult we do immedietly, the impossible takes a little longer. 
Chadd Scott tries to make sense of Maryland leaving the ACC for the Big Ten. (ChuckOliver.Net)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Johnny Manziel goes 16-Bit in retro video.

Texas A&M is slowly learning how to pimp starting quarterback Johnny Manziel. In fact, the school decided to to play on comparisons to Manziel's on-the-field skills to those supposed-to-be-impossible moves gamers can pull off in video games. Here's what the Aggies came up with.

Johnny 16-bit Football. Well, at least we can say Texas A&M has entered the late 20th century. Now if we can only do something about those male cheerleaders. Yell Leaders.

(via @AggieAthletics)

Thanksgiving news & notes: Johnny Manziel and more.

Game Day Goulash

Dance of the Mock Heisman Polls.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is in the lead of many mock Heisman Trophy polls. (The Bryan-College Station Eagle)

Least. Shocking. News. Ever. This week.
ESPN gets the rights to the post-BCS college football playoffs system. (AP/Yahoo! Sports)

The SEC is a Ponzi  scheme.
Because Gregg Doyel said so. (CBS Sports)

Ready to Start?
Florida announces that quarterback Jeff Driskel will start in Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP/Yahoo! Sports)

Auburn-Alabama item of the day. 
Mike Herdon looks at how the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn effects recruiting in the state of America. (

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Auburn being investigated by NCAA for recruiting violations.

The NCAA is reportedly investigating Auburn in regards to possible recruiting violations. So says Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. And before you ask, this has nothing to do with Cam Newton. Two of head football coach Gene Chizik's assistants are prominent in the investigation.

"According to multiple sources, NCAA investigators have spent weeks looking into potential improprieties involving Auburn recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school's athletic interests and third parties. Assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper have been scrutinized by the NCAA, sources said. Taylor is the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, while Luper coaches running backs and is the recruiting coordinator." 

Forde later goes into specifics about one case involving  a player found later to be academically ineligible. 

"Sources told Yahoo! Sports in September that the NCAA has been investigating the recruitment of 2012 Auburn signee Jovon Robinson, whose Memphis Wooddale High School academic transcript was found to be forged and was subsequently declared ineligible in August to play this year at the school. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported in August that a guidance counselor at Wooddale admitted creating a fraudulent transcript and resigned."

The investigation may well end up being the nail in the coffin for  Chizik's career at Auburn.

(via Yahoo! Sports)

SEC notes: A.J. McCarron, Derek Dooley firing fallout, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

There's a possibility, but no chance. 
Pat Dooley looks at Florida's chances at playing for the BCS title. And stop giggling. (The Gainesville Sun)

Dig Your Own Hole.
The Tennessee athletic department is suspending $6 million in financial contributions to the school's academic scholarships and programs in order to deal with budget issues surrounding the firing of former head football coach Derek Dooley and the search for a new HC. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

Where's Dave Ramsey when you need him?
David Climer blasts the Tennessee athletic department for buying out Dooley's contract with money it didn't have. (The Tennessean)

Early Christmas present of the day. 
Alabama starting quarterback A.J. McCarron gave the football from his 21st touchdown pass of the season (a new school single-season record) to his parents. (


I'm the Sunsphere, baby. With you I'll share my throne.
Knoxville 1982 World's Fair leftover landmark the Sunsphere gives its opinion of Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley's firing. (Every Day Should Be Saturday)

Best SEC games of Week 13: Hate Week.

It's the final week of the regular season. That means it's time for those ever-popular annual instate rivalry games, along with a notable out-of-state rivalry games as well.

All games are on Nov. 24 unless otherwise noted. SEC schools are emboldened.

1. Georgia Tech @ Georgia (12 noon, ET. ESPN). The SEC East champs play host to the ACC Coastal division champs, which would be a bigger deal it GT hadn't backed it's way into it via Miami's post-season ban. Still, the Yellow Jackets have a better chance of ending the Dawgs' hopes for a BCS title game appearance than Auburn does with Alabama. Add to this the chance of this being Georgia QB Aaron Murray's last regular season CFB game, and you have the must-see SEC game of the week.

2. Auburn @ Alabama (3:30 pm ET. CBS). The only thing Auburn has left to play for this season is ending Alabama's dreams of repeating as BCS champs. The chance of the Tigers actually doing that may be slim, but probabilities and odds get thrown out the window in games like this.

3. Florida @ Florida State (3:30 pm ET. ABC) Florida's BCS bowl chances depend on  winning against FSU, then hoping the loser of the Alabama-Georgia SEC championship title game drops behind them in the final standings of the season.

4. South Carolina @ Clemson (7:00 pm ET ESPN) Clemson still has an outside chance at a BCS bowl. This should end being an interesting game.

5. Missouri @ Texas A&M (7:00 pm ET ESPN2) Together again for the first time SEC members. Mizzou could make this an interesting game. Aggie starting QB Johnny Manziel is guaranteed to do so.

6. Mississippi State @ Ole Miss. (7:00 pm ET. ESPNU) Mississippi State defends the Egg Bowl trophy against Ole Miss.

7. Kentucky @ Tennessee. (12:21 pm ET. SEC Network). This would've been the Dead Man Walking Bowl if fired Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley was coaching along with equally fired Kentucky HC Joker Phillips. As it is notably for possibly being Vols QB Tyler Bray's last college game.

8. LSU @ Arkansas (Nov 23 2:30 pm ET. CBS) Because you need a reason to stay away from the malls on Black Friday.

9. Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest (3:30 pm ESPNU). Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest. Nuff Said.

Will Tyler Bray return for his senior season at Tennessee?

Tennessee star quarterback Tyler Bray was evasive on Tuesday on whether or not he'll return to scholl for his senior season, or leave school early to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

"We play Kentucky on Saturday," Bray said to the first of three questions that tried to get a read on his future. "That's all I'm worried about."

Could Tennessee's new coach affect his NFL plans?

"We've got Kentucky," Bray said. "That's all I'm going to say."

The final decision may depend on who Tennessee finds to replace fired head football coach Derek Dooley. Bray might find it hard not to stay if the school somehow manages to nab Jon Gruden as its next HC. 

(via The Knoxville News Sentinel)

Georgia QB Aaron Murray still undecided about entering 2013 NFL Draft, or staying in school.

We're gonna miss photos of Aaron Murray like this if he goes pro.

The end of the college football season is quickly approaching. With it comes the dealing with juniors debating whether or not to stay in school for another year, or announce that they're entering the NFL Draft. One such case is Georgia starting quarterback Aaron Murray, who claims he hasn't decided yet whether he'll be back between the Hedges in 2013.

“I’ve had friends and everyone ask that,” Murray said Tuesday. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m not worried about that until after the season and then I’ll sit down with my family and make the best decision for myself and my future. I’m having too much fun right now. This season has been awesome. We still have so much ahead of us and so much excitement that I really don’t even have time to think about anything else. I’m just living in the moment.”

Murray already has an bachelor's degree in psychology, and has been working on his doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology.

(via The Athens Banner-Herald)

Alabama center Barrett Jones caught celebrtating Kansas State & Oregon losses on video.

To say that Alabama fans went crazy after the losses of Kansas State and Oregon revived the Tides hopes for returning to the BCS title game is an understatement. This video shows fans from across the Crimson Tide nation seeing the revival of the title dreams shattered by Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, cheering wildly and...say is that Alabama center Barrett Jones giving out a big loud "Whohoohoo!" at the 1:43 mark on The Strip in Tuscaloosa?

Why yes, it is.

As for how Jones got there, he explained after Tuesday practice.

"OK, so here’s what happened. The true story. I’ll be dead honest," Jones said. "I live right beside there. Like I live within a quarter of a mile. So after it happened, everyone was just like running around the streets and everyone started running to The Strip.

 "So I was like, I mean, I’m in college, I gotta at least see what it looks like. So I just walked down there and looked around and all of the sudden there was just a mob of people and the next thing I knew, people were recognizing me and I was getting mobbed and I started high-fiving people.

"I was probably down there for 5 minutes total and I ended up on every video. It was pretty crazy."

At least the next time Jones will be celebrating losses, it will be those of Auburn and Georgia, which the Tide will actually be responsible for.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Big 12 news & notes: Mack Brown, Iowa State, and more.

Dancing in the Ruins

In Memory Yet Green.
Mark C. Moore gives his thoughts on Baylor's upset win over Kansas State. (Out Daily Bears)

End of an era?
Barking Carnival ponders whether the end of the "CEO coach" is upon us as personified by Texas head football coach Mack Brown.

This is for the questions that don't have any answers.
Iowa State won't announce whether Steele Jantz or Sam Richardson will be starting quarterback for this Saturday's game against West Virginia will be until Friday. (The Des Moines Register)

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.
Oklahoma has to depend on Texas defeating Kansas State to become Big 12 champion. (The Oklahoman)


Kansas. California junior college linebacker Samson Faifilli and New York juco wide receiver Mark Thomas commit to Kansas' 2013 recruiting class. (The Lawrence Journal-World)

Johnny Manziel honored, post-Dooley Tennessee, Georgia, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew

Eight is Enough.
The SEC names Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel freshman of the week for the eighth time this season. (The Bryan-College Station Eagle)

Taking a stance?
Manziel leads Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o in USA Today's latest survey of 37 Heisman Trophy voters.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
The financially-strapped  University of Tennessee athletics department hasn't quite figured out how it's going to pay for the buyout on recently-fired head football coach Derek Dooley's contract. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

What about the kids?
Brad Shepard looks at how Dooley's firing will effect Tennessee recruiting. (Rocky Top Talk)

Last Chance for a Thousand Years. 
Georgia seniors discuss the importance of going winning their last rivalry game with Georgia Tech this Saturday. The Dawgs have beaten the Yellow Jackets for the past there seasons. (The Athens Banner-Herald)

There's no possibility and no chance.
No. 4 Florida will not compete for a shot at the BCS at the. Because Sam McCorkle said so. (Our Two Bits)

Stay classy, Ole Miss.
Ole Miss fans have gotten their grubby little hands on Mississippi State QB Tyler Wilson's cell phone number. Hilarity does not ensue. (The Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

Harvey Updyke claims that he did not set Toomer's Corner Oaks on fire.

Toomer's Corner Oaks on fire. Photo via Auburn Plainsman

Harvey Updyke, he man who poisoned the oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn had denied any connection to the latest incident involving the landmark. The toliet paper hanging from the trees after Auburn's victory over Alabama A&M caught fire early on Sunday morning. On Monday, college football gadfly Paul Finebaum tweeted that Updyke denied responsibility for the incident.

At least Updyke is getting the help he needs. Fire department spokesmen say the fire was probably not set intentionally.

(via @finebaum, The Auburn Plainsman)

Does Nick Saban enjoy Iron Bowl week?

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban's press conference this week included one of those simple little questions that Saban responds with an answer several times more complex. The query this time around? Whether or Saban enjoys the Iron Bowl week lead up to the annual rivalry game against Auburn?

 "I enjoy coaching, I enjoy the challenges. I enjoy working with the players, trying to prepare them. I look forward to the opportunity we've created for ourselves. It's what great competitors, or people who like to compete, really enjoy doing. That's what you work for, to have an opportunity to win a division, win a big rivalry game, whatever the emphasis might be. That's what we work for. That's what's fun. From a coach's perspective, we need to be positive and energetic about the fact that we have this opportunity. We can't as coaches get all uptight and expect the players not to get all uptight. We need to approach this in a positive way. We need to coach and teach them to have the best opportunity they can to be successful in the game, and do that in a positive way. We need to focus on what they might create for themselves, not what they might lose. That's going to be the approach we take. It's always the approach we take. Hopefully our players will respond to it the right way."

Notice that Saban never with anything that can definitively be considered as a "yes." Nor does Saban use the terms "Iron Bowl" or "Auburn." That's coachspeak at it's finest. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Are Boise St, BYU, and San Diego State looking to return to Mountain West?

Are Boise State, BYU, and San Diego State ready to crawl back to the Mountain West conference? That's what ESPN is reporting. Blame changes in the BCS and the Big East's continued instability in the possible move.

"These talks originated after last week's decision in Denver by the BCS commissioners awarded an automatic access bowl berth to the highest rated champion to the "Group of Five" conferences. That decision, in essence, put the Mountain West on equal footing as far as playoff access with the Big East starting in 2014.

Sources said Monday those talks are expected to bring on greater significance after Maryland announced it was leaving the ACC for the Big Ten. ESPN reported Rutgers will announce it's leaving the Big East on Tuesday so the Big East will lose Rutgers and then potentially either UConn or Louisville to the ACC."

The "Group of Five" refers to the Big East, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt conferences which do not have a  tie-in to one of the BCS bowls.

(via ESPN)