To start with, I am SOOO glad this season is over for my Vols. I’m glad they didn’t get a bowl bid. That would have just been another embarrassing loss. They haven’t gotten one iota better this season. They’ve steadily regressed each and every week to the point where you can’t beat a Kentucky team that used a Wide Receiver as their Quarterback. A WIDE RECEIVER…..you know he isn’t going to throw, he’s gonna run. But we couldn’t stop him. Roark ran 24 times for 124 yards and our backs ran 24 times for 61 yards. Seriously? Don’t hand me the “young team” excuse. This group has had all season to learn how to tackle and block. There’s no excuse for not being able or wanting to make a block or a tackle. If the players don’t want to make an effort to help the team, send them home and use their scholly for someone who has the desire.

Coach Dooley has several tough decisions to make and I’m honestly surprised there hasn’t been announcements by now about some firings within his staff. In my opinion, Offensive Coordinator Chaney and Offensive Line Coach Heistand both should have already been escorted out of the building this morning. Play calling on the offensive side has been terribad and our running program stunk because our backs didn’t have anybody blocking for them. Michael Palardy, who was ranked the #1 kicker in America when he signed with UT, has been one of the worst kickers ever at the University. I’m not sure what happened to him, but someone there needs to find out why he hasn’t produced anything at all. I think if Dooley doesn’t make vast improvements next season and win at least 8 games, we will be once more looking for a new Head Coach and if he is available at that time, I would love to see John Chavis come home. I like Derek Dooley a lot, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to produce as a leader.

Urban Meyer was announced this morning as the new coach for Ohio State. I’m not shocked. When Tressel was fired, Meyer’s name was mentioned and after giving it some thought, I agreed. Florida faithful are furious with Coach Meyer. Actually, I don’t blame the man. I would have lied to get away from UF too.

Now to the Pros…When I first saw Ndamukong Suh, he was playing for Nebraska and I was totally amazed at this young man and his abilities to toss people out of his way. Now he has been drafted and is playing for the Detroit Lions. I still am amazed of the guy and think he can be one of the best defensive players ever in the NFL. But now his attitude has changed and it will likely cost him a ton of fans, including myself. He stomped the bare arm of an opponent with his spiked cleats, who was on the ground. Dude needs to learn how and where to challenge his anger. His coach, Jim Schwartz, needs to sit him down and make him understand what he can and cannot do, but I think he is waiting for the NFL to determine what punishment he receives. Cowardly on coach’s part. Schwartz should set the precedent and tell Suh he will miss the rest of the regular season and will be on probation throughout next season. If he does something stupid like that again, then he doesn’t need to be in the NFL. I feel confident they will hold a spot for him in Wrestling.

Changing directions, let’s discuss the Lady Vols. This is the “We Back Pat” season after Pat Summitt announced to the world that she was diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia, or the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Sunday, they played the #1 ranked Baylor Bears in Knoxville with their #6 ranking and 38 game home win streak on the floor. While I think Holly Warlick is doing and will do a fine job coaching the girls, you could tell that Pat didn’t have control of this team. Had she been in charge of those girls, Brittney Griner would not have made it through the third quarter. Pat would have put someone on Griner’s hip all night long and would have drove to the basket until she managed to get Griner fouled out or at least force Mulkey to bench her. I’m seeing signs that this team doesn’t have the meanness that Pat coaches into her players. It seems to me that this team is focusing more on their scoring skills than on their defensive skills. Vicki Baugh and Shekinna Stricklen were both playing excellent ball Sunday, but they couldn’t control Griner, and with her size (6’8″, size 18 men’s shoe and 86″ wingspan), you must stop her somehow, some way.

Imho, the biggest story recently has to be the PSU scandal. For those of you who may not be aware, Jerry Sandusky, who was Penn State’s Defensive Coordinator from 1977 until his retirement in 1999, under Legendary Coach Joe Paterno, has been accused of sexually molesting 8 young boys . As of this writing Sandusky has been arrested. Gary Shultz, PSU Vice President for finance and business (which includes oversight of the PSU Police Department) has went back into retirement and  PSU AD Tim Curley has requested to be placed on administrative leave so he can devote time to defend himself. All that is fine and well, because I think our justice system will deal with those who are guilty of committing these acts or attempting to cover them up. My problem is with PSU President Graham Spanier for approving that Sandusky was banned from continuing to bring children to the campus, with no further inquiry into the incident, as well as Head Coach Joe Paterno and his assistant Mike McQueary for reporting the incident to their superior, as they should have, but they did not follow up, nor take it a step further and make sure the police were informed. Why in the world did McQueary not take that child from that shower room, where he saw him being raped, and immediately call the police? JoePa said he “Met his responsibilities” for reporting the incident. I completely disagree Joe. Can you honestly face the child that was being molested in your team’s shower or his parents and tell them that you met your responsibilities? While JoePa, his assistant and everyone else who had knowledge of this or any other incident involving the molestation of children may not have a legal obligation to report these incidents to the Police, they certainly DO have the moral obligation to make it known so these children don’t have to suffer through this kind of BS. Stand up for these children who can’t defend themselves. Joe, if this had been your grandchild being molested, would you be satisfied by telling your superior and then forgetting it? Sad that people are losing their morals. Even sadder that we, as a worldwide community, care so little about our own children that these kind of sick perverts are allowed to continue to hurt these kids after  they have been caught in the act. Show a little class, people. Even though these kids may not be related to you, they are still someone’s child. If someone had knowledge of one of your children or grandchildren being molested or abused, wouldn’t you want them to do everything they could to stop it? I’m very disappointed by the way our so called “Leaders” act. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox for now, but this has been a huge issue for me my entire life. I love children and can’t stand to see them in pain or suffering.

In other news, Missouri has officially become the 14th member of the SEC. Really? Where did this come from? Seriously though, this was the worst kept secret in the history of NCAA Football, but has now been completed and officially announced. Mizzou will join the SEC along with Texas A&M on July 1, 2012. Mizzou will join the Eastern division and A&M will join the West. I think this alignment is only temporary though and the SEC will expand East soon, possibly adding FSU and Va Tech, or I’m hoping North Carolina. The movement East will allow all of the current rivalries to continue and would allow Mizzou to move to the Western division, where they should be anyways. Looking forward to seeing how next season plays out. It should be fun.

Being from Tennessee, I am required to be a Vols and Titans fan and as such, I have a story from each organization.

First off is a rant about the Titan’s Chris Johnson. First of all, let me be clear and state that I disagreed with them paying him 53 million dollars. If he had came to training camp, like everyone else, then I would have been much more receptive to paying him the money. This isn’t about the 53 mill. This is about CJ making demands to be “paid as a top play maker“, then failing to produce results. Against the Indianapolis Colts, who have not won a game this season and has the 2nd worst defense in the NFL, CJ ran 14 times for a grand total of 34 yards. Really? Is this how a “top play maker” plays? He was under contract at the time of his holdout for this season and next season. I think the Titans should have let him sit out both seasons and not paid him and see how much interest there was in him after 2 full seasons of doing nothing. But now since they offered him and the contracts have been signed, let him be a play maker. Give him the ball every play and let him make a play. Let him earn the money. Don’t think for one second that most anyone you know wouldn’t sign an agreement to be paid 53 million dollars and wouldn’t be willing to go out there and give it everything they have each and every snap, even if it means they could be injured because they aren’t as athletic as some of these “play makers” are. CJ has to show us something or shut up. He isn’t or never will be worth what his contract allows. Smart on his part, but looks stupid on the Titan’s office.

Finally, something to smile about. My beloved Vols are going through a very tough season this year, due to youth, lack of skilled backups and mostly , due to injuries. Wide receiver Justin Hunter was the SEC receiving leader and near the top in the Nation as well when he tore his ACL during the UT-Florida game and was lost for the season. Tyler Bray was putting up some awesome numbers until he broke the thumb on his throwing arm against Georgia and would miss at least 4 weeks. This past week, the injury bug again struck the Orange. Kicker Michael Palardy was injured in practice on Thursday, but coaches felt he would be able to go on Saturday. He was not able to go Saturday morning. So backup kicker Chip Rhome was told he would kick and began pre-game warmups, where he promptly pulled a muscle and sidelined his opportunity. With 50 minutes before kickoff and nobody to kick extra points or field goals, Coach Derek Dooley and his assistants got together and decided to call a Frat House at the University and luckily Derrick Brodus was laying on his couch, getting ready to watch the game on tv and wasn’t out partying with friends. So after a policeman takes him to the game and he rushes to stretch, Brodus, with no real expectations for him to do much more than just fill a spot, made all 3 extra points and his only attempt at a field goal and deservedly, got the game ball from Coach Dooley. Grats and cheers to Derrick Brodus.

SEC Alignment Update

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

So it’s been a month since I have bothered posting and it looks like nothing much has been missed thus far. Texas A&M has now been approved to join the SEC and will begin their new conference affiliation on July 2012. Mizzou is still on hold, but there is news today that Mizzou will hold two Board of Curators meetings Thursday, 10/20 and one on Friday, 10/21. The first meeting on Thursday has been scheduled for a long time and will be a general meeting to discuss daily business. The last one on Thursday and the one held on Friday are called “Executive” meetings and will be closed to the public. The Executive meetings are when it is thought that Conference alignment for MU will be discussed and after those meetings, it is expected that Mizzou will announce they are indeed leaving the Big 12 and will put in an application to the SEC. I feel confident in saying that they wouldn’t make this statement unless they had assurances from SEC Commish Mike Slive that they did have enough votes of approval from University Presidents to enable them to join the conference. At this point, I would be completely shocked if by next Monday the Missouri Tigers are not a member of the SEC.

So assuming that they will indeed join the SEC, where do they fit in? If they go to the SEC West when they join, that will force one of the West teams to move to the East to balance out the divisions at seven teams each. Auburn has already volunteered to move to the East to allow this to happen, but they require that the annual Iron Bowl with in-state rival Alabama continue, as it certainly should. However, this move will mean that the annual rivalry between Alabama and Tennessee would be lost and that is causing much discussion and hubbub. The third Saturday in October used to be THE big game in this part of the country with some awesome games played on both sides of the ball throughout the long standing series, but recently my Tennessee team hasn’t been holding up it’s end of this rivalry and since the game has been moved from the third Saturday, the game has lost some of it’s luster. I’m a bit torn as to whether I want this rivalry to continue. I would love to see it continue, if both teams can manage to keep the game competitive. I’m afraid though, that the glory years of Bear Bryant and Johnny Majors are gone and this game will become nothing more than just that…a game.

Another scenario that has been gaining steam recently is for Missouri to join the Eastern division temporarily (2-3 years is the common time frame I am seeing). This is presumably how long it would take for the SEC to add two more teams and become a 16 team Super Conference. You would assume those two teams would come from somewhere along the Eastern end of the US, possibly the ACC or Big East conference. There is also rumored to be a Gentleman’s agreement within the SEC to not add teams from states where there is already representation (sorry Memphis, Clemson, Georgia Tech, or FSU). If this is the case, then I expect West Virginia to be added, even though I think that would be a horrible choice. Va Tech has also been mentioned, but any talk of that has been very muted lately. I would prefer to see North Carolina and Virginia Tech join from the East. But again, I haven’t heard or read anything mentioning those two teams recently.

So now we wait until Friday to see what Mizzou will do. I don’t think Mike Slive will leave the door open for them for much longer. He needs to get someone into that 14th spot so schedules can be drawn up. I’ve read that the schedules for the following year has to be done by December of the current year. No way to draw up a schedule with 13 teams and make it fair to all involved. So it will now be sooner, rather than later that this will be settled.

So if the SEC is to add 4 more teams, which 4 would make the most sense and why?

1. Texas A&M….there has already been an agreement to bring in the Aggies once the threat of litigation is gone. Which would happen when the Big 12 implodes or settles their disagreements and keeps the conference intact, unless TAMU decides to give it one more shot in the dysfunctional 12 or they decide to follow OU west. All of these options are possible at this time because I feel A&M is very impatient and isn’t happy because the SEC isn’t stepping up to fight Baylor in the courts. I still think A&M comes to the SEC.

2. Florida State University….Yes, it’s true that the ACC has increased it’s buyout from 15 to 20 million, but that isn’t much in todays big market NCAA football world. But why would FSU want to leave the ACC? It seems they have a easy road to a BCS game and very possibly the National Championship game in the football-weak ACC. That alone would make you think that FSU wouldn’t have any desire to go anywhere, but then news came out that FSU developed a team to explore realignment options. Why in the world would they want to leave the smooth, paved road to a BCS game? I don’t know the answer to that, but would love to find out. So I will leave FSU on my wishlist for additional SEC members.

3. Missouri….Mizzou adds 2 large TV markets, which is the only reason they are attractive to the SEC and why they were offered membership if and when the Big 12 implodes. They culturally don’t fit in with the SEC and their fans aren’t anywhere near as rabid as SEC fans are. The only benefit I see for adding Mizzou is the St.Louis and Kansas City markets. Missouri has had a crush with the Big 10 and tried last year to get into that conference, but was left on the altar by the Big 10 when they chose Nebraska instead. I think this is the reason Mizzou leaked out the information about the possible agreement with the SEC, to see if they could make the Big 10 think Mizzou is more valuable now that the SEC wants them. But now, since Mizzou has leaked out that the SEC had made an agreement with them, I feel they have burned that bridge with Slive and the SEC will withdraw their offer. That wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they weren’t allowed to join now.

4. West Virginia University….WVU was one of the teams that Mike Slive was authorized to talk to about joining the SEC (the other being Mizzou). WVU applied for membership recently, but it was denied by the SEC. Reasons? Probably because there is only 1.8 million people in the entire state and their academics would immediately make them the worst school, academics-wise, in the SEC. Their fan base is very rabid about football, which fits, but they don’t have much of a TV market value. Also, before they applied to the SEC, they applied and was denied membership into the ACC. And if they ain’t good enough for the ACC, they damn sure ain’t good enough for us.

5. Other schools….This is where the water gets very cloudy as there are currently tons of rumors, but nothing substantial as to which school has the edge to gain membership. Clemson and Georgia Tech have both been rumored to be candidates, but neither school would add much of anything to the conference. Virginia Tech is another rumor. They do bring in the Washington DC TV market, and would be a more cultural fit than some of the other teams mentioned, but I’m not sure they are interested in the SEC. VT is a military school, as is Texas A&M, and we southerners are very proud of our military, so they would be welcomed into the league, but I’ve also read that some of the Virginia politicians want to keep VT and UVA tied together and I don’t think the SEC is interested in having both schools.  A team that really intrigues me the more I think about them is the University of North Carolina. They would bring in the Charlotte TV market and have a pretty good team and fan base, plus they have a really good basketball program, which would be a plus to the SEC. Most people think they wouldn’t leave the ACC because of the basketball rivalry with Duke University, but they could continue to play Duke as an out of conference game. I really like UNC as a member of the SEC.

So the teams I would like to see join the SEC are…Texas A&M, the University of North Carolina, Florida State University and Virginia Tech, if they can be separated from UVA.

We’ll discuss how the teams can be divided within the conference in another post.

Mizzou Invitation

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

SO now the SEC has said that it has NOT invited Mizzou to join the SEC.

The original offer was in the event that “IF” the big 12 implodes, then an offer would be made. So this would mean that indeed an offer has not been made to Mizzou…yet.

But this has me wondering…why would Mizzou want to leak this, because there is no way the SEC made this public.

Did Mizzou spill the beans to let the Big 10 know that they were about to be taken off the market,?

Did they spill it to possibly implicate the SEC further in the TAMU/Baylor lawsuit?

Either way won’t make the SEC office feel the warm and fuzzies towards the Tigers. Maybe the SEC withdraws the offer now and leaves Mizzou to it’s own means. Would suit them right.

NCAA Realignment

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

So Mizzou has an offer on the table in case the Big 12 implodes. I’m for them joining the SEC, but am wondering why this was leaked. I don’t see any reason for it to be leaked by the SEC, but on the other side of the coin, I can see a scenario why Mizzou would leak the info. Maybe they are trying to get the Big 10 to make an offer to them?