College Football Musings – Preseason 2

The summer of discontent is almost over. Most schools begin classes this week and most teams are getting set for their openers on September 4. Still the college football world is never at a loss for news and this week was no exception. Let's check it out in this week's musings.

What did Bryce say? ---- I hate the phrase about wanting to be a fly on the wall, but I would love to have had a listening device in the room when NCAA officials spoke with former Vols running back Bryce Brown about Lane Kiffin. Neither guy is at Tennessee any more, but the powers that operate intercollegiate athletics are obviously interested in the recruiting practices employed by Kiffin, Ed Orgeron et al during their abbreviated stay in Rocky Top.

Spurrier and his QBs ---- It's no secret that Steve Spurrier has been less than thrilled with incumbent starter Stephen Garcia. That displeasure took on a new life when Spurrier announced that freshman Conner Shaw would definitely play in South Carolina's season opener against Southern Miss. Shaw has out-performed Garcia in all scrimmages, including this past weekend when his stats line (13-20, 135, 2/-) was clearly better than Garcia's (7-14, 76 1/-). If Garcia needs advice on how to handle it he can call Doug Johnson…. Or Terry Dean….. Or Jesse Palmer…..Or…

Joker has QB issues too ---- First year Kentucky coach Joker Phillips is having trouble deciding which QB should run his team this fall. Fifth year senior Mike Hartley (79-133, 802, 6/7) and sophomore Morgan Newton (75-135, 706, 6/3) handled the job last year but neither distinguished himself.  those two are still being pressed by freshman Ryan Mossakowski. Kentucky opens at Louisville and Charley Strong on September fourth and then has two gimmes (Western Kentucky, Akron) before visiting The Swamp September 28.

Beamer coaching ‘til he's 70 ---- Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has signed a contract extension that will take him through the 2016 season. Beamer will turn 70 in October of that season and I can't help but wonder if Steve Spurrier, Mack Brown and Dennis Erickson will still be coaching. Hell, I wonder if Joe Paterno might be. Beamer is the second winningest active coach with 229 wins, 189 of which have come during his 23 seasons in Blacksburg.

Conference realignment continues ---- It took about five hours from the time that Brigham Young let word leak it was close to becoming a football independent for Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson to spring into action. Thompson raided the Western Athletic Conference for Nevada and Fresno State making that league incredibly weak. As a result BYU's plan to join the WAC for other sports has gone by the wayside. Look for the Cougars to decide to stay in the much stronger MWC….. until a better offer comes along.

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