Bama will beat Texas A&M with or without bulletin board material
Texas A&M AD Eric Hyman joked with a group of boosters the other day and said the Aggies and the Moon have much in common…”They both control the Tide.” So does this end up on the bulletin board in the Alabama locker room? Maybe but I don't think Alabama needs any extra motivation against the only team to beat them last year…a team that jumped them 20-0 in the first quarter…a game that won the Heisman Trophy for Johnny Football. Do I see Nick Saban standing in front of his team and quoting what Eric Hyman said? No. But I do see him having his team ready to play...perhaps even more so than usual if that's actually possible. Bama beats Texas A&M September 14th...with or without bulletin board material.
Sheridan gives Saban D-minus for back-up QB management
Danny Sheridan says Alabama is the favorite to win the national championship again. Not exactly breaking news but Sheridan says he does have one problem with Coach Nick Saban and that’s that he doesn’t have a back-up QB ready if A.J. McCarron gets hurt. Exactly how many games has Danny Sheridan won? So I'm pretty sure Nick Saban doesn't give a flip what the glorified bookie thinks about his management of back-up quarterbacks. But if Nick Saban gets a D-minus what does Mark Richt and Les Miles get? Bama back-up QBs threw 14 passes last season while the Bulldogs back-ups threw 9 and the Tigers back-up threw two passes. The point is this...every team plays their starter unless he's hurt. Are you going to put your #2 QB into a tight game and risk losing the game just so he can get experience? Of course not.
Florida loses over $800,000 playing in the Sugar Bowl
Most of this came because Florida had to buy-up its allotment of unused tickets. If you watched that beat down by Louisville it seemed the Gators were just as uninterested in the game as were the fans who bought less than 7,000 of the 17,500 tickets allotted to the school. I don't blame the fans...the game meant little to them...I would dare say if you ranked games on the Florida schedule based on fan interest it probably would have been 7th behind FSU, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas A&M. I think we're going to see even more of this when they go to the national playoff. If your the fan of a big-time team that is competing for a spot in the playoff, gets left out, what is your interest level in going to a consolation bowl. I tell you it won't be great.
Recruiting Update: Hand and two big QB commits
Everybody's #1 Da'Shawn Hand has narrowed his list to Michigan, Alabama and Florida. The big surprise is that he cut home state Virginia Tech from his list because the school doesn't have a sports marketing degree. Some think that the Wolverines are his leader and the Woodbridge (VA) DE will use an official visit for the Michigan-Notre Dame game Sept. 7th. Others think Bama is the leader and Tide assistants Lance Thompson and Chris Rumph have recruited him hard. They'd like to get him on campus this summer but so far nothing has been scheduled. Florida is on the list but he's not yet been to Gainesville. Gators became a player when former SC assistant Brad Lawing joined the Florida staff. Lawing had been recruiting him for the Gamecocks, who were also cut from his list when he narrowed from five to three.
247 Sports #1 ranked Pro style QB David Cornwell of Norman North (OK) HS committed to the Crimson Tide this afternoon. Cornwell chose Bama over Auburn, VT and Tennessee. He becomes the 11th Tide commit for the class of 2014
The Georgia Bulldogs also got a big QB commit as well…Stratford (SC) HS's Jacob Park who is 247's #* pro style QB. That’s another big commit for the Dawgs this week along with RB Nick Chubb and CB Malkom Parrish.
Not a good week for Vandy Baseball
It's been a tough week for the Vanderbilt Commodores. Instead of packing their bags for Omaha, they've watched as three key juniors have packed their bags for the pros leaving Vandy with just two returning position starters next season in SS Vince Conde and 3B Xavier Turner. SEC Player of the Year Tony Kemp signed with the Astros as did 1B Conrad Gregor who was taken in the 4th round, a round before Kemp and then today catcher Spencer Navin, an 11th round pick, signed with Dodgers. You can also expect Vandy to lose LHP Kevin Ziomek who was 2nd round pick by the Tigers. Not a surprise these guys signed but then again I'm a little surprised...thought there might be a twinge of "unfinished business" after Vandy was upset by Louisville in the Supers...but apparently not.
Georgia Still looking for Pitching Coach
This is a little bit of a setback for new Georgia Coach Scott Stricklin. Mike Birkbeck had been his pitching coach at Kent State and in fact was named national assistant coach of the year when the Golden Flashes reached the CWS last season. What's surprising (but maybe not considering he's done this before) is that Birkbeck turned down a chance to the Bulldogs pitching coach to remain at Kent in the same capacity. After a head coach, pitching coach is a program's next big investment and now Stricklin will have to find somebody else other than Birkbeck who had been with him all 9 years at Kent.