Tag:UAB
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Gators' Floyd suspended two games by NCAA

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Florida announced just before kickoff Saturday that defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd had been declared ineligible by the NCAA, their assurance that Floyd's "issue" was "not related to sports agents, University of Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida" suggested that he might return to the lineup sooner rather than later. That suggestion has been proven correct.

The NCAA announced Thursday that Floyd will have his eligiblity reinstated following a two-game suspension and the repayment of $2,700 in benefits to charity. Assuming Floyd makes the payment, he will miss this week's game against UAB but be eligible to return for Florida's Week 3 SEC opener against Tennessee.*

According to the NCAA statement, Floyd was declared ineligible by Florida "for violations of NCAA preferential treatment rules, including receiving $2,500 cash over several months from an individual not associated with the university."

That individual has been reported to be a man named Steve Gordon, president of an organization titled the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation. Involvement with Gordon and his organization has led to eligiblity issues for both Floyd and South Carolina freshman receiver Damiere Byrd. " "We don’t steer players (to specific schools), and the proof is in the pudding," Gordon told Columbia (S.C.) newspaper The State. "All I know is they are punishing Damiere and Sharrif for something they didn’t do."

To some extent, the NCAA seemed to agree, reducing Floyd's suspension from four games to two for "mitigating circumstances." Their statement explains:
In its decision, the reinstatement staff cited the totality of Floyd’s circumstances, including his personal hardship that led to the impermissible benefits being provided to the student-athlete by someone other than a legal guardian or family member.
Even that doesn't sound like it was enough for Florida. Gator AD Jeremy Foley released a statement stating that the Gators were "comfortable" with Floyd's eligiblity status, " yet the NCAA staff interpreted that there were violations."

He described Floyd's upbringing as "an environment where he didn’t have the things most of us take for granted ... In the absence of parents, there were kind people, in no way affiliated with the University of Florida, who were not boosters or sports agents, that helped him along the way."

While Byrd was unlikely to become a major contributor so soon for the Gamecocks, Floyd had reportedly been a terror in Gator practices throughout the offseason and was set to start at either tackle or end. He was named a CBSSports.com preseason All-SEC selection and should give Will Muschamp one more weapon on what already shapes up as one of the SEC's best defensive line.

So if Muschamp walks with just a little more pep in his step today, we won't blame him.

*On CBS, we just think you should know.

Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:21 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 22 Florida 41, FAU 3

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

FLORIDA WON: Nevermind the 8-5 disappointment, the coaching transition, the questions surrounding John Brantley: Florida against a bottom-rung Sun Belt team is still a total mismatch. The Gators scored 24 points over their first four possessions in Will Muschamp's debut, already feeling confident enough at that point to pull Brantley and give true freshman backup Jeff Driskel a series. Brantley finished 22-of-31 for 236 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.

WHY FLORIDA WON: Playing an FAU team that went 2-10 last year and lost its quarterback has a lot to do with it. But the Gators nonetheless went a long way towards dispelling the doubts that a Charlie Weis offense combined with a green offensive line and backs recruited for the Urban Meyer spread wouldn't be able to find a running game. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey combined for 110 first-half yards on the ground on just 14 carries, with three long touchdowns (one a screen reception by Rainey) to boot. For the game, the Gators ran for 197 yards on a healthy 6 yards a pop.

Maybe it's not the offense Demps and Rainey were recruited for, but as long as the line can give them a crease -- and for a week, at least, they did -- they remain as explosive a running back tandem as there is in the SEC, and maybe the country. If Brantley can continue keeping defenses honest (and there will be defenses far, far more difficult to keep honest than the Owls'), the Florida running game could return to something approximating its 2007-2009 heyday.

And oh, the Gator defense--always expected to be the team's strength--performed to expectations, completely stuffing the Owl running game (30 yards on 30 attempts) and holding FAU to 137 yards overall.

WHEN FLORIDA WON: Like so many first-week paycheck games, any honest competitive drama was sucked out of the contest early. But after a second-quarter FAU field goal, we'll say an Owl comeback remained within the furthest realms of mathematical possibility until Rainey returned a blocked punt for a touchdown -- his third, via three different methods -- with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. At 31-3, things were well and truly over.

WHAT FLORIDA WON: A big boost of confidence for an offense that must have needed it after their various 2010 disasters (not to mention a spring game described by nearly all as just this side of unwatchable) and confirmation the hyped defensive line will be a load for future opponents to handle, even without Shariff Floyd. With another likely tune-up against UAB on deck, the Gator machine could find itself positively well-oiled by the time Tennessee visit Sept. 17.

Posted on: January 31, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Big 12, non-AQs lead the way in JUCO signees

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Certainly no team got more attention for going to the junior college well this year than Auburn, who rode their famous pair of JUCO transfers -- Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the country, respectively -- to a perfect record and national title. The Tigers started former JUCOs at linebacker (Eltoro Freeman), cornerback (Demond Washington) and right tackle (Brandon Mosley) as well, as clear an example as you could get as to why major programs aren't going to stop looking at immediate JUCO help anytime soon.

But if a program like Auburn might sign the most influential JUCOs, which ones sign the most, period? That's the question asked and answered by this study by Jon Solomon at the Birmingham News , which tallied up every community college transfer signed in FBS football over the past four recruiting classes (give or take one or two here or there). Solomon found that the three conferences collectively bringing in the most JUCOs were all non-AQ leagues: the WAC at 17.2 signees per team per four years, the Sun Belt at 15.0 per team per four years, and Conference USA at 14.8.

At the BCS level, the Big 12 (13.8 per team per four years) is far and away the leader in JUCO signees, with the Pac-10 coming in runners-up (despite the SEC's JUCO-friendly reputation) at 11.6. (The addition of Utah won't help the future Pac-12's numbers, either; the Utes led the Mountain West in JUCOs with 22 over the four-year period studied.)

Why the Big 12? Though eight of the conference's teams finished in double digits, the runaway leader was -- you guessed it -- Kansas State, the notoriously JUCO-dependent program that lived up to every inch of its reputation by signing an FBS-most 39 junior college players from 2007-2010. Non-AQ teams took the next five slots as Memphis (35), UAB (34), Hawaii (31), Troy (29), and New Mexico State (28) were the only other schoosl to top 28 or more. The closest BCS conference team was Iowa State, with 26.

So does JUCO signing work? On the one hand, the success of teams like Hawaii and Troy -- not to mention Auburn and Oregon, who with 17 JUCOs in the four-year period actually took on seven more than their national title game opponent -- would suggest that taking on the right kind of two-year players can pay handsome dividends. The ongoing struggles of Memphis, UAB, and Bill Snyder's Wildcats -- who have gone just 12-20 in the Big 12 in this span -- would suggest, though, that it's not at all a sure quick-fix.


Posted on: January 24, 2011 2:26 pm
 

The most exciting football is at UAB, the Big Ten

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Auburn Tigers played in a lot of close, exciting games this season. The Tigers win over Oregon in the national championship game was no different than their affairs against Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky, LSU or South Carolina. They had the most dynamic player in college football in Cam Newton as well. All in all, they were a very fun and exciting team to watch.

But were they the most exciting team in all of college football in 2010? I guess that depends on your perspective, but according to one website that ranks teams based on how exciting they are, Auburn wasn't even the most exciting team in the state of Alabama.
It’s actually the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which finished the season with a 4-8 record. Auburn, which won all 14 of its games actually finished second, according to Thuuz.com, a company that sends alerts to fans in real time based on how exciting a game is.
The company averaged the excitement rankings from the games of 92 of the 120 FBS schools and came up with some pretty interesting findings. The excitement meter ranges from 0-100 and doesn’t take into account the records or the fan following.
Yes, that's right, UAB was the most exciting team in college football this season. A 4-8 team. I'm not sure how the website ranks these things, but UAB did play in some close games. The Blazers played in two double-overtime games, played in another two games that were decided by a point and lost two others by five points. The only UAB game I saw this season was against Tennessee, and I'll admit, seeing the Blazers nearly shock the Vols in Neyland Stadium was rather exciting.

The top five teams were UAB, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Michigan and East Carolina.

Of course, teams are one thing. No college football fan is content knowing that just his team is better. He needs to know where is conference ranks. So where did the mighty SEC finish in excitement? It was the fifth most exciting conference in college football. The only thing that could make that fact worse for SEC fans is the next sentence.

The Big Ten was ranked as the most exciting conference in college football.

I know, I know. Just keep in mind the excitement factor isn't based on style of play as much as close games.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 3:25 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 4:06 pm
 

UAB giving Tennessee all it can handle

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Things are a bit rocky on Rocky Top this afternoon as the Tennessee Volunteers currently find themselves in a 23-23 tie against the UAB Blazers at Neyland Stadium.  As bad as that is, it could be a lot worse.

UAB kicker Josh Zaun has missed four field goals on the afternoon.  That's right, four.  If Zaun had only made one of his attempts UAB would currently be leading.  In fact, aside from Zaun's performance, the Blazers have been dominating this game.  The Blazers have outgained the Vols 470-220 and Tennessee's offense has done nothing but punt during the second half.

They are zero for 10 on third down.

There's still eight minutes to go in the game so the outcome is clearly up in the air, but the way that the Vols have played in the second half, don't be surprised at all of the Blazers leave Neyland with a win.

UPDATE : This game has headed to overtime.  Tennessee will have the ball first.

UPDATE: The sixth try is the charm for kicker Josh Zaun as he finally makes a field goal to tie the game at 26-26 and force a second overtime.

FINAL: Tennessee wins 32-29 in double overtime thanks to Matt Simms finding Denarius Moore on the Vols' first play following a UAB field goal.  Upset averted.


Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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