Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; July 31

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

Pete Prisco and a bunch of other NFL writers will almost certainly continue to downplay Tim Tebow’s chances of making the Philadelphia Eagles roster this fall but at least one teammate says we should expect to be surprised at what Tebow is about to do.

“Tim Tebow is going to shock a lot of people because he is going to make the team and I think he will play a lot,” says defensive end Brandon Graham.

Sam Bradford, acquired in a trade during the offseason, and Mark Sanchez, who started Philliy’s last nine games last year after Nick Foles went down, are expected to battle for the #1 quarterback job. Tebow is thought to be battling with Matt Barkley, who has spent the last two seasons as the Eagles #3 QB for the third and final spot on the roster.

Tebow spent the offseason working with former Major League pitcher Tom House, a throwing guru sought by both pitchers and quarterbacks, to refine his awkward throwing motion. Reports are that the ball comes out of his hand faster and more accurately but these are not throws made with a 300-pound defensive end breathing down his neck. From the standpoint of running the ball, Tebow is vastly superior to Bradford, Sanchez or Barkley, so it’s entirely possible that Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly is thinking to add a running quarterback dimension to his spread offense.

This will obviously be the final shot at making it as an NFL quarterback for Tebow, Florida’s third and most recent Heisman Trophy quarterback. If he truly has worked out the kinks in his throwing motion and can make the reads out of Kelly’s shotgun attack, it’s entirely possible that Tebow will be soaring – or at least carrying a clipboard – with Eagles in the fall.


1. Ohio State
2. TCU
3. Alabama
4. Baylor
5. Oregon
6. Michigan State
7. Auburn
8. Florida State
9. Georgia
10. Southern Cal
11. Notre Dame
12 Clemson
13. LSU
14. UCLA
15. Ole Miss
16. Arizona State
17. Georgia Tech
18. Wisconsin
19. Oklahoma
20. Arkansas
21. Stanford
22. Arizona
23. Missouri
24. Boise State
25. Arkansas


Florida 35, Florida State 24; November 25, 1995

The Gators led at the half, 28-6, when Danny Wuerffel connected with Chris Doering in the northwest corner of the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. But Florida’s cheers turned into a collective groan early in the third quarter when Warrick Dunn scored on a 3-yard run and Danny Kannell threw a 2-point conversion to E.G. Green to cap a 74-yard drive that cut Florida’s lead to 28-14. Nervous Gator fans and celebrating Seminoles had the exact same thought – here we go again! Since this game was just 364 days removed from the Choke at Doak, Seminoles had visions of another miracle comeback dancing in their heads while Gator fans felt the collective thud of a rock hitting the bottom of their stomachs. This time, Florida had an answer, however. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Wuerffel got Ike Hilliard locked on a safety on a deep slant for a 74-yard touchdown pass that gave the Gators a 35-14 lead. FSU scored 10 fourth quarter points but an Anthone Lott intercepted a pass with 6:04 left and Lawrence Wright got one in the end zone on the final play of the game. Wuerffel, who was sacked six times in the game, threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns while Hilliard had six catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns and Doering had seven for 124 and one TD. The Gators as the Gators finished with the first perfect (11-0) regular season in school history. The next week, UF knocked off Arkansas, 34-3, in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta to punch their ticket to a national championship game against Nebraska.


Won-Lost records

1. Alabama 103-16-1
2. LSU 76-38-3
3. Georgia 75-38-2
4. Tennessee 75-39-3
5. Auburn 72-38-2
6. Ole Miss 58-52
7. Florida 58-53-3
8. Kentucky 49-60-2
9. Vanderbilt 37-71-3
10. 36-73-2

Not in the SEC in the 1970s:

Arkansas 79-31-5
Texas A&M 65-49
Missouri 59-55
South Carolina 56-55-2

Best 5 coaches

1. Bear Bryant, Alabama (103-16-1)
2. Vince Dooley, Georgia (75-38-2)
3. Charlie McClendon, LSU (76-38-3)
4. Bill Battle, Tennessee (59-22-2)
5. Shug Jordan, Auburn (47-19-3)

Best 10 players

1. John Hannah, Alabama
2. Wes Chandler, Florida
3. Pat Sullivan, Auburn
4. Bert Jones, LSU
5. Woodrow Lowe, Alabama
6. Terry Beasley, Auburn
7. Jackie Walker, Tennessee
8. Warren Capone, LSU
9. Art Still, Kentucky
10. Dwight Stephenson, Alabama


Okay, see if you buy this story. is reporting that the student who called the police because of an alleged break-in that involved LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings, defensive end Marquedius Bain and corner Dwayne Thomas, is asking East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney Hillar Moore to drop the charges. Jennings, Bain and Thomas claimed they broke into the apartment to retrieve a few things that had been stolen from Jennings. The student is now saying that there was never a break-in and that he actually invited the three to come into his apartment.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

This could probably be translated as “LSU desperately needs Anthony Jennings this year if they hope to have a really good football season and those nice boosters were so kind to hand me all those $100 dollar bills.”


1. Paul Dietzel, LSU to Army 1961: After a three-year rebuild of LSU, Dietzel was 35-7-1 with a national championship (1958) and two SEC titles in his final four years in Baton Rouge. After a 10-1 record with a final ranking of #4 in 1961, Dietzel was convinced by the folks at Army that he could restore the Cadets to the glory years of the 1940s under Col. Red Blaik. Dietzel worked for Blaik twice (1948 and again 1953-54, both times as O-line coach) but in four years as Army’s head coach the best he could do was 7-3. LSU folks are convinced to this day that the Tigers would have challenged Alabama for national championships throughout the 1960s had Dietzel stayed put in Baton Rouge.

2. Dr. Stephen C. O’Connell ousts Ray Graves, 1969: The deal to hire Douglas Adair Dickey was done in August of 1969 before the season even began. Dr. O’Connell told Graves that the 1969 season would be his last as head coach but he could stay on as athletic director. O’Connell then pulled off what he thought was a coup by hiring Dickey. Florida went 9-1-1 that year and though UT won the SEC, the Gators beat the Vols in the Gator Bowl just days after it was revealed that Graves was gone and Dickey would be coming to Gainesville. Dickey never won an SEC and went 58-43-2 as head coach. Dickey was fired after a 4-7 season in 1978. Graves ended his career 70-31-2 with the most successful decade in Florida football history.

3. Doug Dickey leaves Tennessee for Florida, 1969: It was homecoming for Dickey, who graduated from PK Yonge and played football for UF under Bob Woodruff, but it was a disastrous hire. Dickey should have never left Tennessee, where he was 46-15-4 in six years as head coach with two SEC championships. When he left UT for Gainesville, Dickey had beaten Alabama three straight years.

4. Ole Miss fires David Cutcliffe, 2004: Cutcliffe’s only losing season at Ole Miss was 2004, the year after Eli Manning graduated. The Rebels went 4-7 that year but lost two games in overtime and two other games by seven or fewer points. Athletic director Pete Boone demanded Cutcliffe make wholesale changes to his coaching staff and when Cutcliffe refused, Boone fired him. Boone hired Ed Orgeron, who had never been a head coach or even a coordinator. The Rebels slumped to a 10-25 record the next three years. Cutcliffe was 44-29 in his six full seasons on the job at Ole Miss.

5. Alabama hires Mike Price, 2002: Price, who was 83-78 as head coach at Washington State, was a shocker of a hire to replace the fired Mike Dubose in December of 2002. Price never coached a game at Alabama after it was reported he unloaded his wallet at a sleazy Pensacola strip club and that a stripper named Destiny ordered $1,000 room service and charged it to the University of Alabama while Price was out playing golf.


Washington State coach Mike Leach, other than Steve Spurrier college football’s best quote weighed in on Deflate-Gate. Speaking to’s Mark Schlabach, Leach said:

“It’s kind of disturbing if you think about it. With everything that’s going on, we’re worried about how much air goes into a football when everybody uses their own all. It’s not like it’s a forged football.

“We waste a lot of time with that and then we worry about the Kardashians. How can it be that we laugh about England’s obsession with the royal family? At lest the royal family has college degrees and military service.”


That was affirmed by Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, Thursday. Hancock doesn’t think Notre Dame should have to join a conference to participate in the playoff even though the Irish only play a 12-game schedule while the conference champions of four of the five power conferences play 13 games because of a league championship game. Even though a growing number of coaches say in all fairness, Notre Dame should have to play a conference schedule Hancock says it’s not going to happen.

Speaking to, Hancock said, “The fact is, it’s not going to change. The conferences have reasons for scheduling and deciding their champions the way they do. It’s important to each one of them. Frankly, in the committee room, it wasn’t a factor. The committee has the luxury of looking at the full body of work from an entire season – 12 or 13 games – for each team irrespective of what conference they’re in. Having been in the committee room, I can tell you, it’s just not a factor.”

Translation: Notre Dame plays by its own rules and we’re not going to do anything to force them to change.


Ohio State’s season opener at Virginia Tech was already being circled as a potential upset even before the Buckeyes suspended All-America defensive end and three others for the season opener for “violating department of athletics policy.” ESPN’s Joe Schad reports that the issues involve “marijuana and academics.” One of the suspended players is slot receiver Jalin Marshall, whose position on the field is expected to be taken by Braxton Miller. Miller will be personally coached up by Urban Meyer. Marshall might not see the field again during meaningful time.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who went into Thursday’s game with Kansas City seven games behind the New York Yankees, pulled off their second blockbuster trade of the week when they landed lefty David Price from the Detroit Tigers. The Troy Tulowitzki trade has already paid a big dividend. Tulowitzki homered and hit two doubles in his first appearance in a Jays’ uniform on Wednesday. Price brings a 9-4 record with a 2.53 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 146 innings.

Running back Jordan Stevenson, who met NCAA qualification standards but was denied admission at Wisconsin, signed with Nebraska Thursday. He was heavily recruited by Alabama.

William “The Refrigerator” Perry is auctioning off his 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl ring. Bids start at $16,000 and expectations are that the ring could fetch as much as $1 million. The ring is a size 25. If a normal size person wins the auction he could probably use the ring as an ankle bracelet.


Do you think Brandon Graham’s assessment about Tim Tebow is real or just Graham being a good teammate and saying something nice about another teammate?


Thursday, lunch was wrapped around a business discussion at the beautiful Timuquana Country Club, where you have an unobstructed view of the Jacksonville skyline some seven miles across the St. John’s River. What a view. Road tripping on the way back to Gainesville, the music was ZZ Top. The little band from Texas cranks up a 35-city tour on August 12 with Blackberry Smoke opening on most of the dates. If you’re in the Asheville, North Carolina area on August 16, they’ll play the Biltmore Estate. Two days later they’ll play Wolftrap up in the DC area.

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