Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; August 21

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

Insanity. That is the only way to describe what is going on with cost of attendance stipends.

You want proof? Per, Florida State’s cost of attendance stipend is set at $6,018 and that’s not even the highest figure in the country much less than the state of Florida.

Who’s paying out more money than the Seminoles? We can start with Cincinnati, which desperately wants to leave the American Athletic Conference and hook up with the Big 12. The hope at Cincinnati is the Big 12 might be forced to expand if it really wants to compete with the other members of the Power Five group. So to entice better athletes to the Queen City, Cincinnati has set its cost of attendance figure at $6,082.

The Seminoles budgeted $2 million for stipends for all athletes on scholarship but second place in the state and the entire country belongs to Florida Atlantic at $6,060. Maybe the folks at FAU figure big bucks will lure better players and that will help them fill up their 29,495 capacity stadium, which averaged a fanny in 47.9% of its seats last year. Perhaps they believe they can cover the stipend with a full stadium.

So where are the Florida Gators in all this? Recent examination of the UAA budget showed Florida had increased its stipend to more than $3,800 but that only brings the Gators up to fifth in the state – sixth if nothing changes between now and next year. Behind FAU and FSU are (3) UCF ($4,944), (4) South Florida ($4,100) and (5) Florida ($3,830). Miami, which is a private school, was under no obligation to make its cost of attendance numbers public information. FIU set its cost of attendance at $6,000 but won’t make the stipend possible for its athletes until 2016.

Within the Southeastern Conference, the Gators rank ninth. It must be noted that all SEC schools provide a full cost of attendance stipend to every scholarship athlete. That’s not true of every school offering the stipend in the country.

Final SEC Cost of attendance numbers and number of men’s and women’s scholarship teams.

1. Tennessee (21 teams): $5,666
2. Auburn (19 teams): $5,586
3. Alabama (21 teams): $5,386
4. Mississippi State (16 teams): $5,156
5. Ole Miss (18 teams): $4,890
6. Arkansas (19 teams): $4,500
7. Missouri (18 teams): $4,290
8. South Carolina (19 teams): $4,201
9. Florida (21 teams): $3,830
10. LSU (21 teams): $3,800
11. Georgia (19 teams): $3,746
12. Kentucky (19 teams): $3,598
13. Texas A&M (20 teams): $3,528

(Vanderbilt is a private school that declined to provide information)


Sources with the Philadelphia Eagles tell ESPN’s Dianna Russini that Tim Tebow is closing in on a roster spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. Critical for Tebow will be to avoid major errors the rest of the preseason. The sources tell Russini that head coach Chip Kelly likes Tebow’s running skills, which will make him a potential contributor in short yardage and two-point conversion situations, and the fact that Tebow continues to improve throwing the football. The same source indicates the Eagles are willing to shop backup QB Matt Barkley to clear the spot for Tebow.


Two things stand out when analyzing the last 10 years of UF offense. In 2006, Florida’s national championship team averaged less than 30 points per game. The only two games the Gators went over the 30-point barrier were the SEC Championship Game against Arkansas (38) and the BCS National Championship Game. Second, during the three years Tim Tebow was Florida’s starting quarterback, the Gators averaged 7.0 or more yards per play, which is phenomenal. In Jim McElwain’s last two years at Colorado State, the Rams averaged 6.3 per play in 2013 and 7.1 in 2014.

2005: 28.6 points per game; 373.4 yards (5.3 per play); 146.8 rushing; 226.7 passing
2006: 29.7 points per game; 396.1 yards (6.3 per play); 160 rushing; 236.1 passing
2007: 42.5 points per game; 457.2 yards (7.0 per play); 200.2 rushing; 257 passing
2008: 43.6 points per game; 445.1 yards (7.1 per play); 231.1 rushing; 213.9 passing
2009: 35.9 points per game; 457.9 yards (7.0 per play); 221.8 rushing; 236.1 passing
2010: 29.8 points per game; 350.8 yards (5.2 per play); 166.5 rushing; 184.3 passing
2011: 25.5 points per game; 328.7 yards (5.4 per play); 143 rushing; 185.7 passing
2012: 26.5 points per game; 334.4 yards (5.3 per play); 187.7 rushing; 146.3 passing
2013: 18.8 points per game; 316.7 yards (4.8 per play); 145.8 rushing; 170.9 passing
2014: 30.3 points per game; 367.6 yards (5.2 per play); 187.7 rushing; 179.9 passing


Florida 28, Auburn 6; December 2, 2000

It had been four years since Florida’s last SEC championship so Steve Spurrier didn’t hesitate when Derrick Chambers, Gerard Warren and Mike Pearson lifted him on their shoulders and carried him off the field after the Gators dominated Auburn at the Georgia Dome. This was the sixth and final SEC championship Spurrier earned during his magnificent 12-year run as Florida’s head ball coach. The Gators played in eight of the 10 SEC Championship Games in this era of true dominance. The 2000 SEC Championship Game was a rematch of Florida’s 38-7 win over Auburn at The Swamp seven weeks earlier. And like the first encounter, Auburn had no answers for Rex Grossman. He threw for five touchdown passes the first time and threw for four more the second time around. Grossman hit Reche Caldwell for scoring passes of 10 and 66 yards, Jabar Gaffney for 27 and Brian Haugabrook for 12. When Rex wasn’t carving up the Auburn secondary, Earnest Graham was plowing through holes in the Auburn line for 169 yards. The Florida defense forced four turnovers – two interceptions by Lito Sheppard and two fumbles, both forced by Travis Carroll – and completely stuffed Auburn’s running game. Rudi Johnson, who came into the game with 10 100-yard games including 133 against the Gators in game one, managed only 47 yards on 17 carries.


Alabama: Jacob Coker’s toe injury apparently healed quickly. He has taken the #1 QB reps the last couple of days. Wide receiver Robert Foster sprained an MCL but he’s practicing.

Arkansas: The focus this week has been cleaning up the passing game after a lackluster scrimmage last Saturday and working the kinks out of the 2-minute drill.

Auburn: The battle to replace 4-year starter Reese Dismukes at center is heating up between Austin Golson and Xavier Dampeer. Golson is an Ole Miss transfer while Dampeer backed up Dismukes last year.

Florida: The way Jim McElwain likes to use his tight ends, finding depth behind Jake McGee has become a priority. DeAndre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis both catch the ball well, but can they develop into effective blockers?

Georgia: The injuries are mounting in Athens. Wide receiver Isaiah Hicks’ hamstring is healing much too slowly and fullback Quayvon Hicks is day-to-day with a hamstring pull. Wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley won’t require surgery but it will be a few weeks until he returns. At linebacker, neither Tim Kimbrough (knee) and Reggie Carter are practicing.

Kentucky: Freshman Sihiem King is making a case for a place in the running back rotation. Neither Stanley Williams, JoJo Kemp nor Mikel Horton have King’s breakaway speed or big play ability.

LSU: The Tigers expect safety Jalen Mills (ankle) back in time for the Auburn game on September 19 ... Freshman corner Donte Jackson, who has 4.36 speed, is in the hunt for the kickoff and punt return job.

Mississippi State: There is a better than average chance that Dan Mullen redshirts backup quarterback Damian Williams. If he is redshirted, Williams will have two years of eligibility remaining. Redshirt freshman Nick Fitzgerald will be the backup if Mullen goes through with this plan.

Missouri: While Maty Mauk played well (15-22, 134 yards, 1 TD) in Mizzou’s second scrimmage, the QB who turned heads is true freshman Drew Lock (15-20, 168 yards, 2 TDs). Mauk’s QB rating was 134.45 while Lock’s was 174.33.

Ole Miss: Rod Taylor’s injured shoulder is responding very well to treatment. The training and medical staffs are optimistic that he is going to recover and play sometime this season … Washington wide receiver transfer Damore’ea Stringfellow continues to impress as the likely starter opposite Laquon Treadwell.

South Carolina: The lights have apparently come on for defensive end Darius Lewis, a part-time starter the past two seasons. He’s getting rave reviews from Steve Spurrier this week for his ability to pressure the QB.

Tennessee: The Vols took two days off from practice to allow their walking wounded to rest and heal. Wide receiver Jason Croom was back to practice Thursday along with guard Jashon Robertson. Also returning to practice were running backs Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamary and John Kelly and O-linemen Brett Kendrick and Jack Jones.

Texas A&M: Kyle Allen remains the solid #1 quarterback, but true freshman Kyler Murray continues to make his presence known with his ability to turn a potentially bad play into a big gainer with both his feet and his arm.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores sustained their second big hit to the offense in less than a week when starting left tackle Andrew Jelks suffered a season-ending knee injury.


Isaac Humphries (7-0, 240, Sydney, Australia/LaPorte, IN La Lumiere School), who had Florida high on his recruiting list when Billy Donovan was the coach, has reclassified to 2015. He’s the second foreign player to reclassify to play at Kentucky. Earlier in the year, Jamal Murray (6-5, 180, Toronto, Ontario Athlete Institute Basketball Academy) moved his recruiting up a year to sign with the Wildcats, whose six-man class will probably move past Duke for the #1 spot when re-ranks … Kobie Eubanks (6-5, 210, Delray Beach, FL Elev-8 Academy), who also spent some time in the past on the Florida recruiting radar, was not cleared by the NCAA in time for the start of the academic year. Eubanks, who was Alabama’s highest ranked recruit, says he will play somewhere, that he will have a qualifying ACT score and approval any day now … Jacorey Williams, one of three Arkansas players implicated in a counterfeit money scheme, has been dismissed from the program. Anton Beard and Dustin Thomas are still officially with the team. Beard is facing nine counts of first degree forgery and Thomas is facing two. It’s not expected that either will play for the Razorbacks, who are likely to start the year without six of their seven leading scorers from last year’s team … Danuel House, who led Texas A&M with 14.8 points per game last year, will not play during the Aggies trip to Italy and Greece due to a knee injury … LSU is 3-1 on its Australian tour. Stud recruit Ben Simmons has easily been the best player on the court in every game.


Tiger Woods shot a 6-under 64 at the first round of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro. It sounds really good, but Sedgefield is not exactly a challenge of a course. The cut line is probably going to be -3 or possibly even -4. Tiger’s 64 would have been far more impressive in either a major or on a challenging course.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles is in the fourth year of his rookie contract that pays $919,625 a year. With an eye on the future beyond football, Broyles still drives the 2005 Chevy Trailblazer he drove in college at Oklahoma and budgets $60,000 a year to live on. A responsible NFL player … what a concept.

SMU basketball coach Larry Brown is opposed to the switch to a 30-second shot clock. “All the 30-second clock does is help the team with the best players,” Brown told

Former NBA commissioner David Stern is contemplating dabbling in politics. He’s being urged by friends to run for mayor of New York City.

Former Ohio State All-American running back Maurice Clarett, who spent almost four years in prison, was a motivational speaker at Florida State Wednesday evening, urging the Seminoles to develop themselves for life beyond football.

Now that Norwood Teague has resigned in disgrace, more claims of sexual harassment are pouring in against the former University of Minnesota athletic director.


With two weeks until the Gators kick off their 2015 season, what are your greatest concerns and which concerns have been at least slightly eased from the practice reports you’ve read?


Back in 1987, BB King put together a show in Los Angeles that will go down as one of the greatest collections of blues talent ever assembled for one night on one stage. Among others, it featured Etta James, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Phil Collins, Albert King, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight. This extraordinary video concludes “Nothing but the Blues Week.”

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