Tag:Florida
Posted on: July 19, 2010 4:24 pm
 

Agent sleaze emerges from under rocks

Thirty-eight states have agent laws on the books, and yet the hits keep on coming.

Florida is the latest on the NCAA investigative list after ESPN.com reported Monday that former offensive line star Maurkice Pouncey may have taken $100,000 from an agent. Coming so quickly after the sleaze at USC, we now have a full-on trend.

In the last week there have been allegations of improper agent dealings at North Carolina and South Carolina. It sounds like someone or some people is dumping on someone else. That's usually how these things start.  "Marketer" Lloyd Lake said last week on HBO that the Reggie Bush never would have come to light had not Bush paid him. Bush allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits from Lake. Look where that landed USC.

With the Florida news, this is beginning to look like an all-out turf war with rival agents dropping dimes on each other. Check out this site for names that are surfacing.

 There's now a Southern sampler platter of Tar Heels, Gamecocks and Gators on the NCAA menu. Obviously, Florida stands to have its Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati vacated. The stakes could be higher (meaning: worse) for North Carolina if defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little are involved with improper dealings with agents. South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders' name has come for the same reason in Columbia.

My question:  With more than three-quarters of the states having enacted corrupt agents' laws, why are these slime balls still working their deals?  This site details the penalties for improper agent dealings in the state of Florida.

Posted on: July 7, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Preseason mags' top 25

We love the polls. College football polls to be specific. Preseason college football polls to be exact.

There is the annual cry to get rid of them. Hogwash. First, the Associated Press isn't going to disappoint its subscribers by scrapping one of its most popular offerings of the year. Second, there would be no preseason magazines without preseason top 25s.

And last time I checked, the magazines aren't going away either. We need them. We want them. The likes of Athlon and Lindy's are selling better than ever. There are regional editions. Sure, some of them outdated by the time they hit the stands. (USC No. 3, Athlon? Really?) That's OK. The sport is year-round now. It's not going to stop for a printing press.

The mags' arrival officially stirs the juices. Suddenly, it's OK to break down the Sun Belt, predict the WAC. Argue about the SEC East. That's why this blog is devoted to one of my annual obsessions -- a combined poll from all the preseason magazines.

I combined five polls, from The Sporting News, Phil Steele, Lindy's, Athlon. Yahoo Sports and CBSSports.com. Our official preseason poll won't come out until late August. For this purpose, then, I'm using my post-spring top 25.

A few notes, rules and notifications:

*Each school was assigned a number in descending order. Twenty-five points for a No. 1 ranking, 24 for No. 2, etc.

*Schools are then ranked from highest-point total to lowest.

*I also included an average poll rank, mostly because not all the schools were named in all five polls. Example: Oregon State finished No. 25 because it got 11 points from being ranked No. 15 in The Sporting News.  The likes of Cincinnati (eight points) and Utah (five) were ranked in two polls but finished with fewer total points than Oregon State.

*Thirty seven schools received votes.

*Alabama was not a consensus No. 1. Phil Steele made some waves by picking Oklahoma No. 1.

The annual compilation:

1. Alabama: Duh. Haven't lost an SEC regular-season game since 2007. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest, No. 3 (148 points, Avg. rank between No. 1 and No. 2)

2. Ohio State: The Big Ten is back. Ohio State never left. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. 3. (142 points. Avg. rank between No. 2 and No. 3)

3. Boise State: Should be a consensus top five pick with major polls debut next month. Highest rank, No. 2. Lowest rank, No. No. 6. (136 points. Average rank between No. 3 and No. 4)

4. Florida: Fastest team in the country, again. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 7. (123 points. Avg. rank between No. 5 and No. 6)

5. TCU: Nation's best defense the past two seasons. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 11. (113 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

6. Nebraska: Fitting that these two are tied. They hate each other. Highest rank, No. 5. Lowest rank, No. 11 (112 points. Average rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

7. Oregon: Most talent in the Pac-10. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 15 (111 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

8. Texas: Adding physicality to offense. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. No. 11 (110 points. Avg. rank between No. 7 and No. 8)

9. Oklahoma: Rebuilding into Big 12 and national power again. Highest rank, No. 1. Lowest rank, No. 12. (106 points. Avg. rank between No. 8 and No. 9)

10. Virginia Tech: Class of the ACC until further notice. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 13. (94 points. Avg. rank between No. 10 and No. 11)

11. (tie) USC: Two-year bowl ban begins. Does the dynasty continue? Highest rank, No. 3. Lowest rank, No. 16. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

Iowa: Sexy dark horse pick in the Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 8. Lowest rank, No. 14. (90 points. Avg. rank No. 11)

13. Wisconsin: Fresh from pounding Miami. Factor in Big Ten. Highest rank, No. 6. Lowest rank, No. 23. (82 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

14. Miami: Starting to look like Canes of old. Highest rank, No. 4. Lowest rank, No. 14. (79 points. Avg. rank between No. 12 and No. 13)

15. Florida State: New coach, healthy quarterback. Great prospects. Highest rank, No. 14. Lowest rank, No. 20. (60 points, Avg. rank No. 16)

16. Arkansas: Petrino starting to work his magic with Ryan Mallett. Highest rank, No. 16. Lowest rank, No. 21. (50 points, Avg. rank between No. 17 and No. 18)

17. North Carolina: Nation's best defense? Highest rank, No. 12. Lowest rank, No. 24. (48 points. Avg. rank No. 18)

18. Pittsburgh: Coming first 10 win season since 1981. Highest rank, No. 14. Not ranked by Steele. (45 points. Avg. rank No. 17)

19. LSU: Les Miles on the hot seat? Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Steele. (35 points. Avg. rank No. 19)

20. Georgia Tech:
Defending ACC champs seem to have gotten better. Highest rank, No. 13. Not ranked by Steele, Yahoo and Athlon. (30 points. Avg. rank No. 16)

21. Auburn: Chizik not ready to cede state to Alabama. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by Lindy's and Yahoo. (29 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

22. Penn State: JoePa going for No. 400. Highest rank, No. 18. Not ranked by Sporting News. (27 points. Avg. rank No.  20 and No. 21)

23. Georgia: New AD could be the least of Dawgs' problems. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com and Sporting News. (24 points. Avg. rank No. 20)

24. West Virginia: Noel Devine could carry 'Neers to a BCS bowl. Highest rank, No. 19. Not ranked by Athlon and Yahoo. (16 points. Avg. rank No. 22)

25. Oregon State: Mike Riley always has Beavers in contention. Highest rank, No. 15. Not ranked by CBSSports.com, Steele, Lindy's and Athlon. (15 points. Avg. rank between No. 18 and No. 19)

Other teams receiving votes: Notre Dame, Connecticut, Missouri, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Utah, Houston, Clemson, Arizona, Stanford, Washington, Navy.

Notes: To no one's surprise the SEC led all conferences with six teams in the top 25 (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Georgia) ... To everyone's surprise, the ACC was second with five teams (Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech) ... The Big 12 had three of the top 10 (Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska) ... The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each had three teams in the top 15 ... Every national champion since 1999 is represented in the top 25 ... Six states had multiple teams in the poll. Florida led all states with three (Miami, Florida, Florida State).

 

Posted on: April 28, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:20 pm
 

How expansion could be stalled

Let's say the Big Ten doesn't have all the leverage in expansion.

Let's say the conference has been warned. Warned beyond Mike Slive's cryptic threat last week in Phoenix.

Let's say that if the Big Ten gets too big, too quick it could be met with a crippling retaliatory strike from the SEC. Let's say that strike could vault the SEC past the Big Ten in the current revenue pecking order.

That's what this is all about in the first place -- the Big Ten pumping $22 million per year to its teams and keeping the SEC in second place ($17 million per team). If the Big Ten senses that it could lose its position in the marketplace then expansion could be off, or extremely limited.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that Notre Dame is out of play for the Big Ten. The question I've asked from the beginning still exists: What combination of teams bring at least $22 million a year to the table for the Big Ten? I can't think of a combo although the Chicago Tribune quoted a league source a while ago saying, "We can all get richer if we get the right team or teams."

Richer, maybe, but not richer than the SEC?

What that source didn't point out was the SEC may be able to call and raise the Big Ten in this high stakes game of Hold 'Em. Make that Texas Hold 'Em. If the SEC can potentially out-earn the Big Ten that tells me that Texas may be in play for the SEC. If not the Longhorns then certainly Miami and Florida State. Maybe Miami, Florida State and Texas.

Look at this way: If the SEC can get Miami, Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M that potentially brings the South Florida and state of Texas markets into the league. The SEC would own the South even more than it does now. It would reach from Texas to the Deep South to South Florida. Think a league that contained the Gators, Noles and Canes be any good?

According to industry sources, most television contracts in these cases can be re-opened and renegotiated in cases of such radical membership change.

 Would such a move be enough to pass whatever expansion package the Big Ten can put together? Let's say the Big Ten has been warned. Facing that kind of uncertainty, the league might back off. Call it mutual disarmament.
 

Posted on: April 4, 2010 8:07 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2010 8:10 pm
 

Coach K talks about Urban Meyer

INDIANAPOLIS  -- Mike Krzyzewski spoke Sunday at the Final Four about the advice he gave Urban Meyer last year. I linked to a story Saturday that revealed Meyer had spoken to Krzyzewski about their shared health-related issues.  Coach K said Sunday he called Meyer at the suggestion of Duke AD Kevin White shortly after the Florida coach resigned for a day in late December.

Both coaches are brothers in stress. Krzyzewski took time off in 1995 after a bad back flared up. We're still not sure what Meyer did to address stress issues that had him in deteriorating health in December. He resigned Dec. 27, only to come back the next day. Somewhere between then and now Meyer allegedly took some sort of leave of absence.

"The main thing we talked [about] is that he wasn't the only guy who, you know, that kind of stuff can happen to," Krzyzewski said. "I think it happens to a lot of people, whether you're in sports or business, and you haven't done anything wrong by feeling that way.

"The main thing I told him was not to make decisions while you're feeling that way, to feel better and then make decisions, whatever that means."

Krzyzewski said Meyer came to Duke to get a physical about a month after they talked.

"I didn't call him to tell him about press relations about a month ago, he showed me he may have his vigor back. [That] showed me he's back quicker than I thought he would ever be back."

Krzyzewski actually did call Meyer again after his rant at the Orlando Sentinel reporter.

"I said, 'You shouldn't do that,' Krzyzewski continued. "The good thing about it, he has a great athletic director, people around him. They wouldn't allow him to make that decision [resign]. In other words, they're not going to accept that at that time because they shouldn't."

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Duke, Florida
 
Posted on: April 3, 2010 10:46 am
 

Urban Meyer meets with Coach K

A couple of tidbits out of Gainesville:

Urban Meyer met with Mike Krzyzewski at some point during the offseason to get advice on how to handle his health issues. Coach K took time off in 1999 and 2002 for hip surgery. If Duke wins tonight, I intend to ask K here in Indianapolis about his meeting with The Urbanator. Stay tuned to this space for an update.

Also, running back Jeff Demps ran a 10.11 100 meters on Friday during the Florida Relays. That's the fastest time in the world this year. We need to see more of that breakaway speed on the football field. In his first two seasons, Demps has averaged six carries per game. That should change with a certain Mr. Tebow no longer carrying the ball.

Speaking of quarterback, Meyer said he plans to play two of them in the fall. That's sort of a revelation with everyone assuming the John Brantley era was set to begin. Meyer basically said that redshirt freshman Jordan Reed will be in on third-down short yardage situations. The 6-foot-3 Reed is a converted quarterback who had been working at tight end in the spring. Now there are reports Reed has been working in the Wildcat and throwing some passes as well. And Meyer loves him.

"I think we do (plan to play two quarterbacks) because we have to," Meyer told Florida Today. "On third down and three I know what we want to do and Johnny's (Brantley) probably not going to do it just because he's not that kind of player. Everybody said we just ran Tim because he was a great player. That's partially true ... Jordan Reed has proven he can do it."
   

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Duke, Florida
 
Posted on: February 15, 2010 10:46 am
 

More off-field troubles at Florida

Redshirt freshman Gary Brown becomes the 27th arrest/citing/incident report of the Urban Meyer era.

This one is especially troubling because it allegedly involves slapping a woman.

It's a great time to be taking a leave of absence.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida
 
Posted on: February 5, 2010 5:04 pm
 

Background on David Sills

Steve Clarkson called USC coach Lane Kiffin recently.

“You’re laying down on the job,” said the quarterback guru who is a subject in Friday’s column about David Sills.

Clarkson had just found out that Florida coach Urban Meyer had faxed an offer to Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei quarterback Matt Wittek, the next big thing out of Southern California. The teasing, Clarkson knew, would get Kiffin’s attention. 

“I asked him an opinion,” Clarkson said. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t biased.”

Clarkson directed the Trojans’ coach to YouTube to see film of Sills, the 13-year-old who committed to USC on Thursday.

After watching the video, Clarkson recalls Kiffin saying, “What would he think if I offered him a scholarship right now? I want him to know this is a valid offer.”

Even Kiffin didn’t know that Sills, of Bear, Delaware, had been a lifelong USC fan. Clarkson described the kid as being “overcome”. Kiffin invited Sills out for USC camps in the future.

Then the media machine (me included) went wild.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, USC
 
Posted on: February 3, 2010 3:20 pm
 

Signing day notes

Before we begin, the recruiting “get” of the day goes to CBSSports.com’s J. Darin Darst. He was able to find Alabama’s “fax cam.”

If you didn’t believe it before, recruiting is officially out of control.

Winners

Tennessee: Never mind Derek Dooley’s closing job. The recruiting class just became that much better. A Boise television station reported Tuesday night and ESPN said Wednesday that Boise defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is headed to Tennessee.

Wilcox is one of the young up and comers. He was a short timer at Boise after his unit shut down Oregon and TCU on national television. The 33-year-old has coordinated the Broncos D for the last four seasons. Boise led the WAC in scoring defense and total defense in each of those four seasons.

The Oregon grad also worked at Cal before for three years as linebackers coach before coming to Boise for the second time in 2006.

Urban Meyer: A life-changing health problem. Rival recruiters running him into the ground. A revamped coaching staff. It is amazing that Florida has still been able to assemble the nation’s No. 1 class.

Auburn: Formal apologies to Gene Chizik who was largely derided in this space after his hiring from Iowa State. Chizik won eight in his first season, almost beat Alabama, and then actually beat the Crimson Tide – in recruiting. Auburn was listed above Bama in the top five midway through Wednesday.  Chizik and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn are fired up about national juco player of the year and former Gator quarterback Cameron Newton.

Texas: Let’s stow any speculation that Mack Brown is retiring anytime soon. This class showed that he still has the hunger to chase championships.  Texas finished with what was largely considered to be the nation’s No. 2 class. Most notable – West Chester, Ohio linebacker Jordan Hicks and Plano, Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat.

Missouri: Finished with what is believed to be its highest ranked class ever (top 20). Gary Pinkel continues to aggressively recruit Texas and lock up the best players in Missouri. The Tigers aren’t going away as an annual bowl team and factor in the Big 12 North. The Big Ten has to be happy.

Notre Dame: A respectable top 15 class that’s a good sign for Brian Kelly in 2011 when he has a whole year to recruit. Kelly completed revamped the coaching staff and didn’t get blown out of the water.

Cal: Jeff Tedford continues to solidify his spot as second-best coach in Bear’s history. (Hard to argue with Pappy Waldorf.) Tedford recruited aggressively landing a top 15 class with prospects from seven states. Typical of the far flung recruiting philosophy was getting five-star defensive back Keenan Allen to drop Alabama and come all the way from Greensboro, NC

Non-winners (Can’t bring myself to say ‘losers’ when no one knows how these kids will turn out):

Miami: The locals are grumbling about the lack of five-star recruits (none) and abundance of two and three-star prospects (19). Howard Schnellenberger might not approve. Nine players came from outside the “State of Miami”, including prospects from Buffalo, NY; New Berlin, NY and Evanston, Ill.

Kansas: Turner Gill got a late start, completely changed the coaching staff and had a hard time luring top recruits. Potosi, Mo. running back Brandon Bourbon should ease the pain.

Indiana: Rivals.com’s lowest ranked BCS conference school (No. 90). Let’s hope rankings mean little. Bill Lynch (7-17 the past two seasons) still deserves a chance to get the Hoosiers turned around.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks are one of the “it” teams in the SEC for 2010. Maybe. A class ranked in the 50s might have impressed in Fayetteville but not elsewhere.
 
Ed Orgeron: Coach O’s reported poaching of Tennessee recruits on his way out the door to USC didn’t get the proper attention. “It’s been done before,” Tom Lemming said. “It’s not illegal, it’s unethical.” Maybe it should be illegal.

 
Best names:

MarKeith Ambles, USC.  Scoured from Twitter: Keith Ambles didn’t want to name his son after himself, so naturally he added a “Mar”

Emmanuel Beavers, San Diego State. How did he get away from Oregon State?

Furious Bradley, Southern Miss. Let’s hope he’s fast too.

Shaban Dika, Iowa State

Steele Divitto, Boston College

Pep Konokalafi, Hawaii

Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati. Please, God, make this be a nickname. Can’t imagine a parent who would name their child “Munchie.”

Shaquille Richardson, UCLA. And you thought there was only one.

 Another cautionary recruiting tale: It was announced this week that Miami linebacker Arthur Brown is leaving the program. The one-time five-star prospect made 17 tackles in two seasons. Speculation is that Brown and his brother Bryce, a tailback at Tennessee, could transfer to Kansas State.

 Good to know that top defensive end J.R. Ferguson has his head screwed on straight. His nickname is “Ego” (dad is actually Ego Sr.). Friends and family wear clothing labeled “Team Ego.” Let’s hope that LSU, his college choice, feeds his ego.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com