Monthly Archives: April 2012
On Tuesday, University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long announced the hiring of John L. Smith as the head coach for the 2012 Arkansas Razorbacks. Smith, a longtime mentor of, and most recently an assistant for, shamed former coach Bobby Petrino, comes to the job after a scant few weeks as the head man at FCS Weber State. In announcing the hire, Long cited the desire to maintain continuity in the program, which is a fancy way of saying he wants to maximize next year’s championship potential for the talented players currently on campus.
We’ve been critical of Long previously in this space, but without weighing in on the right-or-wrong of the past fire and the current hire, we must acknowledge the genius of what he has done. Long has artfully and successfully shifted the blame in the entire fiasco away from himself and his lax management of Razorbacks Athletics program and pinned it all on Petrino. And now that he has fired Petrino, he wants Petrino’s program to continue, so he somehow managed to keep a reasonable fascimile of Petrino at the helm.
Pretty slick trick, isn’t it? Fire Petrino, but still have Petrino’s Hologram running the team?
Let’s review what we know about the Arkansas Athletic Department under Jeff Long:
- Hired a coach with a documented history of questionable business ethics, and then acted shocked to discover those business scruples bled into the coach’s personal behavior.
- Allowed the head coach to run up impressive phone charges while sexting for months on the company account. Presumably no one inside Razorback athletics reviewed the bills for this public university?
- Failed to manage the hiring of department employees. In fact, was so uninvolved in the process that this same head coach was able to hijack the system and elevate one candidate above a myriad of other applicants.
- Allowed university funds (totally $20,000.00 by some accounts) to be used to help fund this new employee’s wedding or engagement party (or something, this part gets murky in the public reports)
- Allowed a press conference where the coach created false impressions and withheld important information from players, fans, and employees of the university.
- Released the details of an incident involving the head coach without waiting for all relevant information to be collected (little things like police accident reports, for example).
Doesn’t really paint a flattering picture of the state of the Razorback Athletic Program and AD Long’s management prowess, does it?
Nevertheless, the AD took to the podium at his presser a couple of weeks back, and without a hint of self-reflection or acceptance of blame, forcefully condemned the coach he chose to employ. And now, within a fortnight of the bitter firing, he announces the hiring of Petrino’s longtime confidante.
We may not have Bobby Petrino running the show for the Hogs anymore, but we have the closest thing to him that Jeff Long could get.
From multiple (and slightly credible) sources, the University of Arkansas is set to announce its new (and potentially only interim) head coach later today. Its John L. Smith, who preceded Bobby Petrino at Louisville before bolting to Michigan State under somewhat controversial circumstances. Petrino then bolted Louisville for the NFL, then bolted the NFL for Arkansas, and then got caught bolting a young assis . . . he he he this is a family blog, right?
John L. Smith, not to be confused with the myriad other John Smith’s out there, was recently hired as the head coach at Weber State, which he is now bolting without ever coaching a game.
In other words, Razorbacks: Situation Normal.
— AP_Top25 (@AP_Top25) April 23, 2012
A very uneven effort from the TRC-U crowd, but the archived podcast is here if you’d like to listen. We discuss:
- Spring practice observations
- Frank Martin observations (hint: he’s good)
- This Week in Dabo
- Our magical baseball team
And we get our first unsolicited caller EVER! Many thanks to Zach from Glory Road – A Gamecocks All Fan Site for calling in. Check his site out on Facebook and show him some love.
Have a good week Gamecock Nation.
TRC Unleashed – Episode 22 will air live tonight at 6 p.m. Buck, Gman and Tbone will discuss, among other things:
- The takeaways from Spring Practice
- Thoughts on the Bobby Petrino scandal and what it means to Arkansas
- Frank Martin’s recent recruiting haul
- Kenny Miles trolling Death Valley and other Gamecock smack talk
- This week in Dabo
Join us live, or check out the archives. We promise you’ll enjoy it.*
*We break promises all the time, but we promise we’ll at least try hard.
Kenny Miles created a significant stir among the Cheetos finger-stained, bonus-room dwelling, 7th-year junior, CTU fan set this week when he posted the above photo on his twitter feed. The picture, which purports to show the Gamecock running back inside of the Copycat Imitation Death Valley (as most know, the real one is in Baton Rouge, the real REAL one is in California) flashing three fingers in an apparent reference to the three consecutive victories South Carolina now enjoys over the hapless Tigers.
As we have often mentioned in this space, the acrimony between the fanbases of our State Flagship University and its junior neighbor is often overblown and based on senseless misunderstandings. We have, as always, determined that the best path forward is to patiently explain occurrences such as these to our CTU
friends annoying unemployed brother-in-laws in hopes of diffusing the situation. We also find that such discussions are best conducted in simple sentences and with the aid of primary-colored visual aids, but I digress . . .
Our point is this: Calm down, Tigers. We realize that your steady diet of Mountain Dew and pork rinds has you a little wired at present, and the fact that your university is apparently no longer able to defeat the State Flagship School in ANY SPORT WHATSOEVER may be exacerbating your condition. Regardless, we would like to offer some further commentary on the photo that might serve to place it in proper context. And if in doing so we bring a little peace between the school in the premier collegiate athletic conference and the school that’s – ahem – NOT in a premier collegiate athletic conference, then all the better.
So here you are, context and explanation of the Kenny Miles, Faux Death Valley, three finger salute:
- He’s not actually making a reference to the three consecutive football wins. Instead, Miles is flashing his jersey number, but wise discretion prohibited the photographer from showing the other hand and #31’s method of conveying the other digit.
- The three fingers could also represent the number of Clemson locals that said “Hey buddy, that green thing hangin off your collar is the smallest bib I’ve ever seen!”
- The photo is not actually taken in Clemson, SC. Since the Gamecocks now completely own the Tigers, this stadium is kept inside the weight room in Williams Brice Stadium.
- Speaking of weight rooms, here’s a little known fact: Tiger Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Batson thinks “weight rooms” are the little places with plastic chairs where he lingers before seeing his chiropractor.
- If you look closely, you can see that the photo was taken just prior to the last Tiger home football game. CTU Sports Information Director Tim Bourret reported attendance as “83,001.”
- Miles is a secret Mountineer fan, and went to the stadium because he heard the best place to find West Virginia players was in the Clemson endzone.
- You see Tillman Hall in the background? It was named after former Senator “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman. If you get a minute, Google ‘Pitchfork Ben Tillman’ and then tell why they would name a building after that clown. Yeah, I don’t get it, either.
- For reasons that underscore the inadequacies of Clemson men, all Clemson women cry bitterly when they see that large towering cylindrical structure in the middle of campus.
- You see the scoreboard ad for Fatz? That’s not a reference to the local restaurant chain, instead its referring to Assistant AD, Brad Scott. And yes, that’s how they think it’s spelled.
- Miles IS holding up his fingers to represent the number three, but only as he delivered the punchline to the following joke:
You know how to make Clemson Cookies? Easy, just put some dough in an orange bowl and beat it for this many hours.”
- OR, Miles is holding up the three fingers because that was CTU Honor Graduate C.J. Spiller’s Wonderlic score.
- OR, Miles is holding up the three fingers because that’s how many years Dabo Sweeney slept in his mom’s bed during college. Really sweet story, btw.
There you go, Fanboys. Hope this helps.
Surely you have seen Chris Low’s ESPN.com interview with Steve Spurrier by now. It is classic, smug, winning Spurrier, dropping unintentional yet intentional truth bombs on rival coaches, backhanding SEC programs, and subtly reminding everyone that he is one of the great figures in the history of college football. It is a Spurrier we only saw glimpses of in his first few years at South Carolina, but with an SEC East title and historic 11-win season under his belt, he is back to his spry, zinger-slinging self.
My only problem with Low’s interview was it came out of the gates with lightning speed – “you could always count on (Georgia) having two or three key players suspended” and “(Saban) has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama” – but kind of sputtered from there. You have to think there was a lot more substance to the interview, and maybe Low is pacing himself? Or maybe he had a maximum word count for the story?
I thought about what it would be like to come across Low’s notebook and find the “lost notes” from his interview with the HBC. If I did I think it might look a little something like this:
On starting next season at Vanderbilt:
“Yeah Coach Franklin has got a nice little thing going up there. They’ve never won much, kinda like us before a couple years ago. Honestly don’t expect to see them playing in the Georgia Dome any time soon, even in the Peach Bowl. But don’t get me wrong, we could go screw around up there and not pitch and catch like we’re supposed to and wind up losing to them…it’s happened before. But you gotta win those, I mean it is Vanderbilt. If you can’t beat those guys..well, you know, it’s hard to compete for championships.”
On the Dabo Swinney “rant”:
“That was something wasn’t it? He was angry, I get that. Heck I might’ve done the same thing if I was him, but probably not the week after losing my third one in a row. Strange timing. I would’ve probably waited until March or something when people maybe forgot about those last two games they lost. What’d they give up? 70? Man, I thought we did something pretty good until I saw West Virginia beat them. We got a lot a work to do.”
On Swinney’s idea to scrimmage other schools in the Spring:
“Nah I don’t particularly like the idea, would get too competitive probably and feelings would get hurt. But the way we got their number right now playing them twice a year might not be a bad thing. Might want to schedule them every week I guess.”
On his long-standing rivalry with Tennessee:
“Yeah, people ask me when I might retire. I might just retire right after we lose to Tennessee again…nah, you know, I can’t wait that long.”
On losing to Auburn twice in 2010:
“You ever seen a shooting star Chris? That’s kinda how I think of Auburn. One big, expensive shooting star that came and went. Oh well, at least they got that one, I’m sure they’re proud of that. Got ‘em a t-shirt and all.”
On his boss, Eric Hyman:
“All that stuff with Eric is overblown. Eric is a good dude. Wouldn’t cross the street to speak to him, but that’s not the kind of relationship we have anyway. The kind where we speak.”
On Bubba Watson winning the Masters:
“Yeah ol’ Bubba put it on them didn’t he? Good fella seems like, hear he went to Georgia. You know one of my Florida teams was the first visiting team to score half a hundred in Sanford Stadium. Sure would like to do that again. Almost did it last year. What was the question again?”
On the South Carolina passing attack:
“Well, we got Connor doing some good things. He’s probably about the best we’ve had since I’ve been here I guess. Well, Blake was decent, just had ADD or something. But we still don’t really know how to throw and catch. If we have to run the ball, you know, direct snap and stuff, 50 times a game, that’s what we’ll do. It is what it is.”
On Lorenzo Ward taking over as defensive coordinator:
“I encouraged Ellis to take that Southern Miss job, he deserved it. We’re excited to have Coach Ward take over and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him because he’s gonna get the ball back to me immediately…one way or another.”
More on Nick Saban:
“Nick hasn’t proven anything to me yet. He needs to go someplace like Kentucky and win. On second thought, Kentucky might be a bad example. I’m not sure I could win at Kentucky. But anyway.”
On Bobby Petrino:
“Yeah looks like Bob has a little problem keeping his franks and beans to himself. Got to have integrity in this game. If you don’t have integrity I got no use for you. Cute lady he was with though, I can see how she made him think. Maybe we might have a chance to beat ‘em this year, I don’t know. Beautiful day though.”