Commissioner Mike Slive told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday that coaches who violate the conferences’ ethics rules against criticizing officials in public will face a fine or suspension instead of receiving public reprimands when they first act up.
“It became clear to me after last week that I was no longer interested in reprimands and the conference athletic directors and university presidents unanimously agreed,” said Slive, in his eighth season as the head of the SEC.
Well, I’m not an SEC coach and, frankly, Bobby Petrino, Lane Kiffin, and Dan Mullen are my least favorite coaches in the league, but when a quarter of your league’s coaches think your referees are incompetent or worse—with commentators on television openly suggesting the refs are making calls to help Bama and Florida keep their national rankings—the problem isn’t the coaches’ airing of grievances, however whiny they may sound.
Instead Slive needs to get together with the other BCS-conference commissioners and assemble a new plan for refereeing big-time college football. With the BCS and regular-season television money that the conferences are raking in, the least the conferences could do is work together to produce a competent, national pool of refs to assign to regular season and bowl games, rather than the motley hodge-podge of officials that are used now.
And ESPN remains on the case today, with columnist Pat Forde brazenly calling for coaches to fill out their own ballots or Let Someone Else Vote rather than spend their valuable time doing things that are more useful to society. We all know that voters in the other college football polls are devoted full-time scholars of the game, watching all 60 minutes of all 120 (and counting!) I-A (sorry, FBS) teams in action every week before painstakingly filling out their ballots without consulting anyone else or, heaven forbid, just recycling their ballots from the previous week with a few “bumps” based on watching the 5–10 minutes of highlights from an entire day that ESPN chooses to show on College Football Final between Lou Holtz’s bouts of senility and live shots of the GameDay crew in a pitch-dark stadium parking lot surrounded by drunk, screaming teenagers. And if the college coaches can’t uphold these fine traditions, well dammit, let’s find someone who can.
Tim Tebow was not a “unanimous” selection, where “unanimous” is defined as getting 11 votes (see #1).
Jevan Snead got a vote. Presumably from Urban Meyer, who couldn’t vote for Tebow.
Nobody else apparently received any votes.
Left unclear: can coaches abstain or cast a tied vote?
Also left unclear: is this supposed to be based on past performance or expected performance in 2009? Tebow clearly has the longer track record than Snead, but I have a mild feeling that Snead will be a more effective quarterback than Tebow in 2009.
So, we’re now two games into the Houston Nutt era at Ole Miss and the record stands… exactly the same (1–1) as it did after two games of the Ed Orgeron era.
The similarities, though, seem to end there: instead of barely edging Memphis and losing by eight to Vandy the Rebels thumped the Tigers (admittedly, at home, and admittedly a Tiger team that this weekend just got beat by Rice, of all teams) and came within an arguably bogus pass interference call of a road victory against what appears to be the best team in the ACC this year (admittedly, not saying much considering the sorry state of the contemporary ACC), with the team missing two of the team’s key defensive starters for most of both contests (Peria Jerry played limited time against Wake, while Greg Hardy remains out).
I don’t know that Jevan Snead is going to make anyone in Oxford forget Eli Manning (call me back when Snead goes 28–28 in his first 28 pass attempts in a game), but he’s already helped me wash away the memory of the likes of Micheal Spurlock and Ethan Flatt. And, for better or worse Nutt has brought back the high drama of Rebel offensive playcalling in a way not seen since the traitorous Riverboat Gambler was roaming the sidelines at Vaught-Hemingway.
Is this the year the Rebels get back to a bowl for the first time since the Second Coming of Manning? The schedule looks favorable, although I only see one likely road win for the Rebels at this point (at sputtering Arkansas). But with Jerry back and Hardy on the mend, the Rebels will be tough to beat at home and might even be able to steal a second win on the road to move up beyond the Poulan Weed-Eater bowl-of-last-resort level.
* Yes, I know the Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl no longer exists, but it’s fun to type and represents the sort of crappy bowl game, usually held in Shreveport, the Rebels regularly attend.
Who could hate this outcome more than a Michigan fan? Not only does their archrival tOSU play for a national title, but now there’s no way Les Miles backs out of his commitment to stay at LSU instead of going to coach the Wolverines. At least my loyalties will be less conflicted than a Michigander’s: go Buckeyes!
Houston Nutt will be the next coach at Ole Miss. I figured there’d be a much longer process to fill the job; maybe I was projecting from my experiences onto others’. Now hopefully Nutt can get things back on the right track, we don’t lose many recruits and the kids who can go to the NFL stay, and we can go from there.
This leaves the pesky question of who will take the Ole Miss job. Exquisitely timed as always, Ole Miss has fired a coach just in time to compete against Texas A&M, Michigan, Nebraska, and god knows what other larger, more monied programs will fire their coaches in the next ten minutes–not to mention the vacancies gaping after the guys who fill those positions leave their current positions.
Rick Cleveland 1, Ed Orgeron 0. I guess Boone and Khayat think they can turn things around faster with someone else running the show; I’m not that convinced, but maybe they’ve got an ace up their sleeves.
To me, the quasi-obvious candidate is Mike DuBose, who’s quietly turned around the Millsaps football program in what many people have perceived as a stepping-stone job back to I-A. If Mike Price had seen more consistent success at UTEP, he might be on the board as well.
Even after missing two games, Hardy still leads the Southeastern Conference in tackles for a loss per game and sacks.
That may say more about the general suckitude of SEC defenses this year than Greg Hardy’s talent, but following in the footsteps of a legend like Patrick Willis as a freshman is hardly a small feat either.
The SEC is pretty wacky this year to begin with, considering the consensus best team in the league, LSU, keeps squeaking by teams it has no apparent business beating based on the team’s on-field performance. (At least the paper tigers in other conferences which have flirted with the top of the rankings have been exposed, from Boston College to South Florida.) And I don’t even pretend to comprehend what’s going on in Lexington and (gasp) Starkville.
This is the second time I’ve seen Trinity beat Millsaps at home in the waning minutes of the game… although the first time back in 2004 was a tad more conventional than Saturday’s example:
Update: Timothy Sandefur asks, “is this how [football]’s really supposed to be played?” Well, no, but when you’ve only got two seconds left on the game clock, reverting to rugby is about the only option available other than the hail mary.
Perhaps I’m just too practically-minded, but I’m not at all sure what good would come from firing Ed Orgeron as the Ole Miss coach after three seasons, two of them with David Cutcliffe’s players and hastily-grabbed JuCo guys. After getting oh-so-close to beating Florida and Alabama, and hanging in for three quarters against Georgia, I’m hardly surprised that the Rebels’ collection of first-year starters and walk-ons couldn’t hold it together against a Heisman candidate on a good team that was desperate for a win to save their coach’s job—a team that regularly beat the Rebels under Tubby and Cutcliffe too, mind you.
Now, if Dickie Scruggs has a suitcase full of cash that he’s willing to hand over to Bobby Petrino, and Petrino’s willing to take it to come in and spend the next 2–3 years at the bottom of the SEC, that’s one thing, but realistically I don’t see who’s out there who’s going to do a better job than Orgeron. If the issue is play-calling on Saturday, toss Werner and/or get a full-time defensive coordinator to make the calls. But replacing Orgeron with some other coach plucked from obscurity, or one of the “hot” coaches from a lower-tier conference like C-USA or the Big Least, who likely won’t even have Orgeron’s recruiting chops, is just a recipe for more of the same.
I found out last night that the faculty party I was planning to attend tonight was cancelled due to a family illness, so today I was left with the choice of whether to use my ticket to see Tulane play Houston or stay home tonight to listen to Ole Miss play Vanderbilt on XM. Then I found out the game is on pay-per-view… but apparently there’s no way for me to order it, since Cox’s sales office is closed after 5 on Saturday, the website only lets you sign up for a season subscription, Cox doesn’t give me access to ESPN360, and the stupid cable box Cox gave me doesn’t show it as a pay-per-view event.
So I’ll be listening on XM 232 instead, and Cox just blew its chance to sell me the game (or upsell me to the GamePlan season package).
You know, if someone had told me earlier in the week that Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis would run for 226 yards and Seth Adams would pass for 305 today, I’d probably have been happy. But zero execution in the red zone and missed conversions = a loss to Missouri. I’d have consoled myself with a Mississippi State loss to Tulane, but no such luck, despite the game being tied at 17 at the half. What’s even worse is I was sitting next to a kid, so I couldn’t even shout profanities at the State fans or the referees.
So instead I consoled myself by seeing Superbad. That did the trick.
Instead of sleeping I emptied the office, mailed all the books I’m taking (I left a few desk copies, primarily intro and con law books, and some old college textbooks), and brought the rest of the junk home. Hopefully SLU doesn’t come after me for the monitor that I bought and paid for years ago (when 19” LCD monitors weren’t exactly cheap) but they stuck an inventory sticker on anyway.
Next project: start packing books, CDs, and DVDs around the apartment. Not sure how much I’ll get done before I leave for State College on Wednesday morning, but I figure I ought to at least give it a try. I also have to make time for some NCAA Football 08 on Tuesday after I go and pick it up (All Pro Football 2K8 also looks tempting, but that will probably have to wait until after the move).
The NCAA has killed rule 3–2-5-e in college football, to the delight of gridiron fans everywhere, while recommending new rules changes that should both speed up the game and satisfy fans without reducing plays. A particular highlight is the NCAA following the NFL‘s lead by moving kickoffs back five yards to the 30, which should lead to more kickoff returns.
Signifying Nothing formerly featured the stylings of Brock
Sides, a left-leaning philosopher turned network administrator
currently residing in Memphis,
Tennessee who now blogs at Battlepanda, and Robert
Prather, a libertarian-leaning conservative economist and
occasional contributor at OTB.