The visits to NC State and Georgia have likely just gotten a little more difficult, as starting defensive end Clifton Geathers was arrested early Sunday morning on charges of being drunk in public, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Under South Carolina policy, Geathers will be suspended until his case
is resolved. The junior had been named most improved at his position
by Spurrier at the conclusion of spring practice. The Gamecocks will
now likely be without two starters on their defensive line for awhile,
as tackle Ladi Ajiboye is already suspended for the first three games
of the season.
RAZORBACKS GETTING HIT HARD
Every team has suffered some injuries in the early going, but Arkansas
is the SEC team that appears to have taken the worst damage to this
point. Starting cornerback Isaac Madison has been lost for the year to
a torn ACL. Lucas Miller, last year's yardage leader among the wide
receivers, broke his collarbone and will miss 4-6 weeks. Backup tight
end Chris Gragg is also out for the season after dislocating his
ankle. USC transfer running back Broderick Green has also missed
valuable practice time with an illness, which Bobby Petrino expressed
concern about potentially being (irony alert) swine flu.
DID HAMILTON HAVE A PLAN?
A new book chronicles what turned out to be the end of Phillip
Fulmer's reign in Knoxville, and the resulting coaching search that
led to Lane Kiffin getting the Tennessee job. "On Rocky Top" by Clay
Travis reveals some details that raise further questions about the
thought process behind AD Mike Hamilton's choice of the ex-Oakland
head coach to lead the Vols.
Unless there's a specific candidate a school wants before they make a
move, there's generally a theme to coaching searches. A school's AD
wants to hire a certain type of guy, and the candidates he looks at
reflect that. For example, it was clear Mississippi State wanted
someone known for his offensive prowess as Sylvester Croom's successor
and their search led to Dan Mullen's hiring after considering multiple
offensive gurus from successful programs.
According to Travis in an excerpt from the book released last week,
Tennessee's second choice behind Kiffin was Air Force coach Troy Calhoun. It's hard to see why Calhoun and Kiffin would even be on the
same list to start a search, much less the final choices. Kiffin's
appeal was his recruiting prowess and credentials from working under
Pete Carroll at USC. Calhoun played for Air Force, as far from a big
time football factory environment as it gets, and went 17-9 as head
coach there the last two years. Calhoun's style of play doesn't
resemble Kiffin's, and there's nothing in his background before
becoming a head coach that would indicate any special recruiting
The only thing that Calhoun and Kiffin really have in common is that
neither has any experience with the SEC or more than two years
experience as a head coach. Each spent a brief time in the NFL as
well. If ignorance of the SEC and inexperience as a head man were the
things Hamilton was stressing in his search, that's a curious template
to work from. Otherwise, the Calhoun report gives one the distinct
feeling the UT AD didn't have much of a clue what he was looking for
before he selected Kiffin as the Vols new head coach.
THEY DON'T CALL IT $EC FOR NOTHING
Recent figures from the Collegiate Licensing Company make clear just
how fervent SEC fan support is, and how much those fans are willing to
open their wallets to back it up. For the fiscal year running from
July of 2008 through the end of June, the SEC had eight of the top
fifteen programs in sales. Florida is number two, trailing only Texas,
with Georgia, LSU and Alabama all right behind them. Nine SEC schools
sold more merchandise last season than any program from the Pac-10.
SEC Notebook: Bad news for the Ballcoach
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