Also not helping: local talk radio shows. With SEC Media Days now firmly in the rearview mirror and actual games still more than a month away (and with most of the conference in the information lockdown stage), our local radio stations — particularly WJOX — are scraping the bottom of the barrel for conversation topics.
To be fair, shows like "The Opening Drive" typically scrape the bottom of the barrel — occasionally I'll get so bored with what's on the satellite radio that I'll turn on to hear what's being discussed locally, only to hear Tony Kurre taking up air-time with topics like "who would you rather nail?" or "which party should we go to?" That show's a waste of four hours masquerading as a legitimate show, much like the new "Harry Potter" movie (in this case, the afternoon programming qualifies as "The Deathly Hallows").
But news is so slow at the moment that even Finebaum is tapped for ideas. Yesterday I flipped him on for a few minutes — much like with Bill O'Reilly, I think it's important to find out WHAT they're discussing and then change the channel as quickly as possible — and heard a legitimate, no sniggering discussion about ... erectile dysfunction. I'm not kidding. Not even remotely.
(It is possible someone at Finebaum is punking the audience.)
Please, football season: come quickly. Please.
Anyway, in the hopes of passing the time until that happens, here are some links from around the world:
— Clearly, the biggest news out of Tuscaloosa this week is Alabama's appeal against the NCAA ruling from earlier this summer. Pete's review is copious and you'll need to make sure you have a few minutes before you attempt to read it all in detail. Here's the summary:
One would be foolish to assume they can predict what any branch of the NCAA will do at any given time, but after reading the appeal, it wouldn't be at all surprising to me if the vacated wins were reinstated.Cecil Hurt echoes Pete's sentiments in his column. But he also reminds us that the NCAA doesn't always care about reason. So it remains to be seen what happens.
As it stands, however, the COI's report is rife with the kind deficiencies that simply beg to be overturned on appeal.
— In stuff related to actual football, Smart Football has an eye-opening excerpt from Nick Saban's press conference at Media Days. The subject? Tim Tebow and Florida's offense.
— Speaking of those two, Finebaum (hey, it's something related to football this time!) offered a rebuttal to Mike Bianchi's intentionally inflammatory column about Urban Meyer as the new Bear.
For the record, I hate wasting too much energy on rebuttals. Entire blogs now devote themselves to rebutting arguments made in other blogs/news Web sites. And because it's extraordinarily obvious that Bianchi wrote the column JUST for the sake of getting the goat of Alabama fans (reasoned and otherwise), to waste any more breath on rebutting this column would be a waste of your time and mine. Having said that, allow me two points:
• For the last time, Alabama fans don't worship the ghost of Paul Bryant. He was the greatest coach of all-time, no doubt about it. He brought prestige and national acclaim to a place that otherwise would have very little. We love him and respect him for all of that. That's all. Stop beating this horse — it's been dead for too long.— Speaking of Spurrier, Scarbo wrote him off in his column for this week.
• Urban Meyer can't be the second coming of Bryant because Steve Spurrier already was. Remember Spurrier? The coach at the same university where Meyer is now? Yeah, he coached there a decade ... won just about every championship in sight (read this blog for more details!) and already took this title. Sorry, Urban. You can be the Next Steve Spurrier if you want, though.
I'll be honest: I'm torn on this one. Like most people who lived through the 1990s, I'm terrified of Steve Spurrier. Simply having him on the sidelines makes South Carolina a frightening game, week-in and week-out.
But should it be? Let's be honest: Spurrier hasn't looked much like an offensive genius since November 2001, when his Gators got drilled in Gainesville by a Tennessee team that wanted it more. He wasn't a pro coach and proved it in two years in D.C., and his offenses at South Carolina have been hit-or-miss at best (mostly miss). Part of me wonders if we're not treating him the way most of us treated Mike Tyson in the twilight of his career: everyone still considered him a world-class boxer, even though the last time he'd actually fought at that level was more than a decade ago.
Spurrier has a chance to prove himself this fall. So we'll see, I guess.
—Some AU-related stuff: Gribble says the Teagles are looking for a vocal leader (I nominate Chris Todd!); the folks at Iowa St. talked Chizik vs. Rhoads this week; and Evan Woodberry has excerpts from his new AU football book up at al.com. Cool stuff, really.
— A few personnel actions: OHS' Corey Grant committed to 'Bama last week (very cool for the O and for 'Bama), and a pair of players on the roster are preparing to transfer.
— The concept of the "made for TV neutral site showdown in the regular season" is making a comeback: Boise State and Va. Tech are negotiating one in D.C., Army wants to play several games at Yankee Stadium, nearly every team in the Southwest has a game scheduled at the new Cowboy Stadium, LSU and UNC will play in Atlanta to open 2010 ... and now Illinois and Northwestern are talking about a game at Wrigley Field.
— Speaking of that kind of stuff, it seems the Big 10 and PAC-10 have finally backed off their territorial claim to the Rose Bowl. Tony Barhart tells you they had no choice.
— A few other random notes: Bobby Bowden ponders a world in which Tommy took the Arkansas job; and the T-News profiles the Tennessee Eric Berries.
— Finally, Awful Announcing reviews ESPN's experiment with announcers in camera wells. No surprise: the answer is "neutral." No kidding! Do you think one day that TV execs will realize that nobody cares who the announcers are? That really all we want is to watch entertaining games between talented competitors? Maybe?