College Weekly Report
by Brent Beaird
LINDY’S 2009 SOUTHEASTERN EDITION is on the stands. Here are some highlights:
LINDY’S COVER:Tim Tebow
LINDY’S ARTICLES: Heisman watch, Coaches-in-Waiting, and All-Decade Team
LINDY’S TOP 12 NON-CONFERENCE GAMES:
-USC at Ohio State, Sept. 12
-Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, Sept. 5
-Georgia at Oklahoma State, Sept. 5
-Oklahoma at Miami, Oct. 3
-Oregon at Boise State, Sept. 5
-USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 17
-FSU at Florida, Nov. 28
-Georgia at Georgia Tech, Nov. 28
-Nebraska at Virginia Tech, Sept. 19
-USF at FSU, Sept. 26
-UCLA at Tennessee, Nov. 12
-Army vs. Navy, Dec. 12
LINDY’S BCS MATCHUPS:
-BCS National Title game-Thursday, Jan. 7 in the Rose Bowl -Florida vs. Texas
-Rose Bowl, Friday, Jan. -USC vs. Ohio State
-Orange Bowl, Tuesday, Tuesday, Jan. 5 -Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
-Sugar Bowl, Friday, Jan. 1 -LSU vs. Penn State
-Fiesta Bowl, Monday, Jan. 4-Oklahoma vs. Boise State
LINDY’S TOP 25:
5. Virginia Tech
8. Ohio State
9. Ole Miss
10. Oklahoma State
11. Penn State
13. Boise State
16. Georgia Tech
19. North Carolina
20. West Virginia
24. Michigan State
Others of interest:
36 South Carolina
37 Notre Dame
LINDY’S SEC PREDICTIONS:
SEC East—Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky and Vandy
SEC West-LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn and Miss State
SEC FOOTBALL NOTES
FLORIDA: Strength & conditioning coach Mickey Marotti said there are players on the team who need to bulk up. Tailback Chris Rainey, who weighs 175 pounds, is a member of the breakfast/lunch club developed to help players gain weight. Marotti said Rainey is struggling to gain weight because he doesn’t like food. Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham has gone from 205- to- 255 during his career. Linebacker William Green is up to 235 pounds. He added that the player on the team with the most brute strength is defensive end Troy Epps. Marotti said defensive end Carlos Dunlap has “crazy strength”. He also praised freshman linebacker Jon Bostic (6-2, 235).
The Gators have won the SEC All-Sports Trophy for the 19th time in 22 years. Georgia finished second. Florida won titles in six sports. The Gators won the overall men’s, women’s and all-sports categories. Jeff Demps pulled both hamstrings recently in the SEC Outdoor Track Championships. He also had surgery recently on his midsection. Gator commitment Ian Silberman has gained 10-15 pounds and is up to 265 pounds. He is also playing some defensive end along with offensive line.
Coach Urban Meyer said he is not going to Notre Dame after South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier made his comments last week on Paul Finebaum’s show that the rumor still exists that the Gator coach would go to Notre Dame after another big season. Meyer said, “I don’t know what (Spurrier) was getting at. Here is a quote for you-I am not going to Notre Dame. There’s got to be something else going on in sports. Isn’t there a car race going on?” Spurrier said he called Meyer on Friday to say that there was nothing to his comments. Spurrier made the point that all he was talking about was after several years at Florida that Meyer might want to do something else.
ALABAMA: The Virginia Tech game will be shown on ABC at 8 p.m. Linebacker Prince Hall is transferring to Central Washington. Kellen Williams (6-3, 295), a lineman signee from Snellville, Ga., tore his ACL in a charity basketball game so he will have to redshirt this season. He was projected to be a backup center. Craig Sanders (6-4, 230), a four-star defensive end from Aritron, Ala., has committed to the Tide over Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee among others. He is Alabama’s 12th verbal commitment. Alabama officials are expecting to hear a verdict from the NCAA on its textbook investigation soon.
TENNESSEE: After being on the job for only five months, Vol head strength & conditioning coach Mark Smith has resigned. Smith was Florida’s S & C coach from 1998-2001. Former Miami quarterback Robert Marve is transferring to Purdue instead of walking on at Tennessee. J. C. Copeland (6-2, 240), a four-star defensive end from Lagrange, Ga., committed to Tennessee on Tuesday. Ole Miss and Auburn also offered him. Copeland is the fourth verbal commitment for the Vols. Tennessee officials had to report a secondary violation when one of Coach Lane Kiffin’s new assistants on the first day on the job sent a message on Twitter welcoming Copeland to the fold. The problem is NCAA rules prohibit coaches are athletic department employees from saying anything publically about unsigned prospects.
GEORGIA: The Georgia Athletic Association board of directors approved funds Thursday that will expand the Butts-Mehre athletic complex by 53,000 square feet. Among the features of the new addition will be a multi-purpose building that can be used as an indoor practice facility.
Bulldog linebackers are moving closer to the line of scrimmage to help with the pass rush. Darryl Gamble and Marcus Washington played several snaps at the defensive end position during the spring game. Three more freshmen—cornerback Jordan Love (No. 1 rated cornerback in Virginia), receiver Marlon Brown and defensive end Montez Robinson—have qualified. Kwame Geathers, Washaun Ealey, Derrick Lott, Shawn Williams and Brandon Bogotay have yet to qualify. Orson Charles, a four-star tight end signee from Tampa Plant, has qualified. He is expected to play immediately due to the lack of depth at receiver.
The Georgia vs. Florida game continues to be debated in the news. The AJC had another article Sunday. Jacksonville’s current contract runs through 2010. Georgia is 3-16 in the game since 1990. Athletic director Damon Evans said he will factor in the feelings of the coaching staff, fans, tradition, and finances. Evans said Georgia has had minor discussions with Jacksonville beyond 2010 and no negotiations with the Georgia Sports Council, which wants the game in the Georgia Dome one year out of four.
In his Tuesday blog, AJC columnist Tony Barnhart said he believes the game will never leave Jacksonville. He went on to say that if Georgia wants to win more game then they have to sign better players who play better not change the venue. Vince Dooley was 17-7-1 against Florida and Gator fans wanted to move the game back to Gainesville.
Bulldog officials are still filling out the 2010 schedule. They have added Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6) last season. The other 2010 games are at Colorado, and home against Georgia Tech. They are looking for another game to fill in 2010. In 2011, the Bulldogs have games against Louisville, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State and at Georgia Tech.
AUBURN: Senior receiver Montez Billings still has some academic issues to consider. Senior tight end Gabe McKenzie is back on the team after missing spring practice with undisclosed health issues. Tiger officials released the terms of Coach Gene Chizik’s contract-$1.9 million per year over the next five years. He is working under a “letter of agreement” until he signs the formal contract. Former Tiger coach Tommy Tuberville was scheduled to make nearly $3 million this season. Reggie Taylor (5-10, 170), a four-star signee cornerback signee is headed to a junior college in Mississippi. DeAngelo Benton, a four-star receiver signee from Bastrop, La., enrolls in summer school this week. Benton originally signed with LSU before heading to Hargrave Military Academy for some academic work. Benton will have five years to play four.
LSU: Tiger officials are trying to add games in 2010 and 2011 with Northwestern State and McNeese State to help cut some of the costs. Coach Les Miles may be forced into a furlough meaning he would be forced to take a week or two off without pay to prevent further cuts. Miles told Tigerbait.com that he is uncertain about the tailback position. Even though Charles Scott rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, Miles said that doesn’t guarantee him being the starter. Miles said he wants backs Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy to show improvement this summer. He added that tailback Stevan Ridley is way ahead of schedule in rehabbing his knee after surgery. Sophomore linebacker Shomari Clemons has left the team. He appeared in six games last season. Clemons spent most of the spring recovering from an injury. The jerseys of Tommy Casanova, Ben McDonald and Rudy Macklin have been retired. Only Pete Maravich, Shaquille O’Neal, Bob Pettit, Billy Cannon and Skip Bertman have been previously retired.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Coach Dan Mullen said Monday in a booster meeting, “We don’t need to make national headlines to recruit. Taking our budget, instead of buying fancy limos, we’re gonna maybe get more sneakers for our players. I want more gear and stuff for our players instead of having coaches drive around in style all the time. I’m more into getting stuff for the players than getting stuff for our coaches.” He is calling Ole Miss the team up north. “The team up north? We call them the team up north. I don’t like to cuss by using the word that you just used.” (Birmingham News)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Three Gamecock players have returned to the team: Defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye, offensive lineman Heath Batchelor and cornerback C. C. Whitlock. Spurrier also admitted that after quarterback Stephen Garcia’s second suspension that he talked to him about possibly moving back to the Tampa area. He also said prized recruit Alshon Jeffrey still has some work to do in order to qualify. Gamecock coaches have raved about freshmen Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman, two defensive backs, and tailback Jarvis Giles. All three posted a 3.0 grade point average I the spring.
ARKANSAS: Hog coach Bobby Petrino has told quarterback Ryan Mallett to behave during the offseason and reminded him that backup Tyler Wilson is going to play early in the second quarter. He is concerned that Mallet will dwell on a poor read or throw.
KENTUCKY: Tom Leach, the voice of Kentucky radio, is writing a book on how football coach Rich Brooks was nearly fired in 2006, but rebounded to win three straight bowl games.
OLE MISS: Former Rebel quarterback Archie Manning turned 60- years- old Tuesday.
ACC MEDIA GUIDES: The ACC will not be giving out media guides this year in order to cut costs. All media guides will be available online.
FSU: School officials submitted an appeal of the academic fraud case sanctions on April 23. The infractions committee asked for and was granted an extra week to consider the appeal. They will have to answer by June 2.
Bobby Bowden told a booster club in Miami that the NCAA is unfair about nullifying some of his wins. Bowden said the NCAA may be mad at FSU because they didn’t change their nickname of Seminoles. He also expects to coach the 2010 season. Coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher spoke to the Orlando Seminole Booster Club Monday night. He is not sure when receiver Taiwan Easterling will return from a ruptured Achilles. Fisher said Christian Ponder has more potential that former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Fisher was the offensive coordinator at LSU. Furthermore, Fisher said Ponder had two cracked ribs, torn cartilage between the ribs, and played the bowl game with a torn abdominal muscle. He also said with Drew Weatherford gone that Ponder has taken over the leadership of the team. Fisher said the win over Wisconsin gave the team a lot of momentum. He added that Kendall Smith is the most athletic linebacker that FSU has had in a long time. The NCAA has refused to give receiver Corey Surrency another year of eligibility (the announcement of the appeal being denied was Tuesday). He also said offensive lineman Will Furlong will likely not return to the team due to various injuries.
MIAMI: ESPN tried to arrange a Miami vs. Missouri series in 2011 and 2012, but Tiger officials said no. Missouri officials inked a series with Rutgers in 2018 and 2019 and they are closing on a deal with Penn State in 2016 and 17. Cane coaches are concerned about a lack of depth at safety behind Randy Phillips and Vaughn Telemaque. Quarterback Jacory Harris said his shoulder is 100%. He has been working out with former NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
BOSTON COLLEGE: Linebacker Mark Herzlich starts chemo treatments this week for a rare form of cancer. The good news is the disease has not spread from his leg.
NOTRE DAME: The Irish SID department has left out any of Charlie Weis’ losing seasons in the media guide. The 2007 losing season has been left out of his bio, but the stats of the losing season are elsewhere in the media guide.
KENTUCKY: John Wall (6-4, 184), the No. 1 recruit according to Rivals.com, has signed with Kentucky. Wall, a five-star guard from Raleigh, N.C., joins DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, John Hood, Darnell Dodson and Eric Bledsoe as the top class in the nation. According to various reports, Bledsoe has qualified. It is unclear if Wall and Cousins have qualified academically. Wall is expected to receive his standardized test scores next week. He said his decision came down to Miami or Kentucky. Wall said he plans on staying at Kentucky two or three years.
Coach John Calipari has suggested having Midnight Madness at Commonwealth Stadium instead of Rupp Arena. However, there are many problems such weather or dealing with the crown on the field and needing a level basketball court.
OLE MISS: Nick Williams, a 6-4 shooting guard, is transferring from Indiana to Ole Miss. He started 29 games last season averaging eight points and four rebounds per game. He was the 6A player of the year at LeFlore High in Mobile, Ala.
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR MYCLAYSUN IN ORANGE PARK, FLA. HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM, SAMSPORTSLINE.COM AND GATOR BAIT MAGAZINE. HE CAN BE HEARD ON SPORTS RADIO 1010 XL.
E-MAIL BRENT AT firstname.lastname@example.org