Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; June 11

A few thoughts to jump start your Thursday morning...

Perhaps taking his cue from former Florida State and current New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who is currently engaged in a war of words with Seattle’s Richard Sherman, 5-star prospect Levonta Taylor, the #2-rated corner in the recruiting class of 2016 by and an FSU commitment, showed that he, also, has a tongue that starts running long before the brain goes in gear. Wednesday, Taylor took to the Twitterverse to assail Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, regarded by nearly every NFL and college football expert as the best cover corner in the country.

With two tweets Taylor proclaimed he’s a superior talent to Hargreaves. The first said, “I’m better” and the second said, “Vern is real but I’m on a higher level than he was in high school. I can’t speak on college yet. I have another year of high school left!”

How would Levonta Taylor know he’s better at this stage than VHIII was as a high school senior? Taylor was in the ninth grade when VHIII was rated the best cover corner in the country and since then all he’s done is make All-SEC twice and All-America as a sophomore. And that is against SEC competition. Enough said.

Until he’s actually done something at the collegiate level, Taylor needs to figure out that verse from Proverbs 17:28: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent and discerning if they hold their tongues.”


1. Missouri: Gary Pinkel has won the last two SEC East championships. Nearly every preseason magazine has the Tigers #3 or #4 in the SEC East, which is where they’ve had them the last two years. When does everyone figure out this guy really can coach?

2. UCF: George O’Leary has a good thing going at UCF where his coaching staff does one of the best jobs in all of college football in player development. The Knights not only survive but thrive with two and three-star recruits. Their defense ranked #5 nationally last year and O’Leary has the next Blake Bortles coming up through the system in QB Justin Holman.

3. Arizona: The Wildcats are poised to go on a run like the one Rich Rodriguez got going at West Virginia before he made the mistake of taking on the Michigan job. RichRod has his system in place and a roster filled with players recruited specifically for his version of the spread offense. They beat Oregon in Eugene last year.


1. Georgia: Georgia is loaded. Georgia is always loaded. Georgia will also lose games it shouldn’t and at the end of the year everyone will talk about how they were really better than their 10-3 record if only … if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their butts every time they jump.

2. Stanford: The Cardinal went 8-5 last year when David Shaw was going through the last of the stud recruits left behind by Jim Harbaugh. Things will get worse now that Shaw is coaching his own guys. This will be 6-8 win team at best.

3. Wisconsin: Other than Alabama in the opener, the only thing softer than Wisconsin’s schedule is the Charmin. The Badgers are going to win 10 games but when they get to the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State it will look a lot like last year when they took a 59-0 hosing at the hands of the Buckeyes.


Greyson Lambert’s transfer to Georgia has already claimed its first victim. Redshirt freshman Jacob Park, rated by as the #8 quarterback in the country when he signed with Georgia in 2014, has elected to transfer out. There will be no shortage of transfer options for Park, who might elect to go the junior college route this fall, which will allow him to sign with any school in any conference in January. Park is a real talent.

It will be spun that Lambert will be just one of the boys in the battle to claim the starting job at Georgia when August camp opens, but considering the many options he had when he elected to transfer from Virginia, it’s safe to assume he was told he would be fast tracked to the starting job. Lambert has two seasons of eligibility remaining so his presence will probably have little effect on Jacob Eason, the nation’s #2 quarterback (by who committed to Georgia last summer. Eason could come in and compete for the starting job as a true freshman or take a redshirt.

Lambert’s presence could affect third year sophomore Brice Ramsey or fourth-year junior Faton Bauta, however. Yes, Mark Richt and the Georgia staff will try to sell them on the “you’re one injury away from the starting job” theory, which might work for this season, but if Ramsey and Bauta are thinking long term, they both have to realize they are on a fast track to burial on the depth chart.

Georgia could very well go from an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position to scrambling for backup help if either Ramsey and/or Bauta decide to opt out.


Athlon Sports has come out with its rankings of all 129 Division I college football teams. The top two are Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, but unlike Sporting News, Athlon has Saban at #1 and Meyer at #2. Athlon has 11 of the SEC’s 14 coaches in its top 27. The second best coach in the SEC in the Athlon rankings is Gus Malzahn, who Sporting News ranked sixth best in the league.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
3. Art Briles, Baylor
4. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
5. Billy Snyder, Kansas State
6. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
7. Gary Patterson, TCU
8. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
9. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
10. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Here are the rest of the SEC coaches and their national rank:
11. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
16. Mark Richt, Georgia
17. Gary Pinkel, Missouri
19. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
20. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
24. Les Miles, LSU
25. Butch Jones, Tennessee
26. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
27. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
54. Jim McElwain, Florida
73. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
107. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt


On the final day of the Major League Baseball Draft, three more Gators from the current roster and four more recruits were taken. Taken on day three from the Florida roster were pitchers Bobby Poyner (14th round, Boston Red Sox), Michael Vinson (24th round, Detroit Tigers) and Aaron Rhodes (28th round, Los Angeles Angels). Among the recruits who were drafted were shortstop John India (26th round, Milwaukee Brewers), outfielder Daniel Reyes (39th round, Boston Red Sox), shortstop Deacon Liput (39th round, New York Yankees) and pitcher Hunter Bowling (39th round, San Francisco Giants).


When the NFL suspended Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson for domestic violence issues, the league was accused by some of not acting decisively or swiftly enough even though all three were suspended and had their rather high priced livelihood taken away. So where is the outcry from women over Hope Solo, the very talented by troubled goalkeeper for the United States women’s national team that is now playing in the Women’s World Cup? Solo was arrested a year ago for repeatedly slamming the head of her 17-year-old nephew into cement and when taken to jail, threatened police officers and berated those trying to book her into jail. Solo was intoxicated and according to witnesses, was clearly the instigator. She’s tried to spin it to the media that she was the victim and even though charges against her were dropped by her half-sister and nephew, the investigation continues by Seattle police.

That she is playing in the Women’s World Cup is disturbing to ESPN’s Keith Olberman who says: “If Hope Solo was a player in the NFL, she would be under suspension. Right now. Today. How sad is that? Even the National Football League would have acted by now.”

Kammi Mattoli of The Sporting News writes:

“I should preface this by saying I don’t give one single damn about soccer – I’d much prefer to get four root canals in one sitting than watch 90 minutes of the friendly game or whatever it’s called.

“But I do care about women’s representation in sports as well as the way the public and media address instances of domestic violence, so here we are.

“Let me not mince words here: the fact that Hope Solo, even one year removed from her arrest on two counts of domestic violence, gets to wear a jersey on behalf of the United States of America and represent the women in her sport is an absolute disgrace.

“And what’s even more disgraceful is that few seem to care.”

David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel writes:

“Excuse No. 2: People should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

“What about Ray McDonald? He was accused of domestic violence but never even charged, yet everybody from Steve Young to Nancy Pelosi criticized the 49ers for playing him.

“We’re still waiting for the House Minority League to weigh in on Solo.”

Later in his column, Whitley writes:

“Which brings us to Excuse No. 5: She’ll help us win!

“That’s enough for the Dallas Cowboys, but isn’t it embarrassing to hold yourself to the same ethical standard as Jerry Jones? And isn’t it sexist to hold Solo to a lower standard than your average NFL troublemaker?”


Cardale Jones says he still considers himself the third string quarterback at Ohio State behind Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. Bet the ranch that Jones will be the starter on day one … James Franklin took over Penn State when it was still under NCAA sanctions, but he says Penn State wasn’t nearly the mess Vanderbilt was … Johnny Manziel, who did a stint in rehab in the offseason is seriously trying to get a grip on life. He’s moved one of his former high school coaches in with him to keep him on the straight and narrow path … Although there was a lot of sentiment for Murray State to hire John Pelphrey throughout the state of Kentucky, the replacement for Steve Prohm is former MSU assistant Matt McMahon. McMahon worked for Prohm but took a job as an assistant at Louisiana Tech when Mike White took the Florida job and brought his entire staff with him ... All-SEC guard Stefan Moody of Ole Miss will be out three months after a stress fracture in his leg that required surgery to repair … Louisville has given Rick Pitino a new 11-year contract that probably puts his salary above $8 million a year …


Who are your picks for the college football team that gets too little respect and the one that gets more than it deserves?


If you’re in or near Atlanta on July 19 or planning to attend the Leaf Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina in August, then make it a point to catch The Main Squeeze live. This is an up and coming band fronted by Corey Frye whose vocals are just off the charts. Today’s music is a live performance recorded at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton last year.

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