But he wasn't so impressed by one school hiring a former SEC head coach and he was critical of several other notable hires around the nation.
Spurrier was the best hire because
he's proven himself. Look for him to average over eight wins per season in
The next-best hire is Meyer, who could win the SEC and have the Gators in the top 10 his first season.
Miles is a B hire at best. He was
Oregeron is a C hire. He is an outstanding recruiter, but he has a checkered past.
Hayes likes the hire of Charlie Weis at Notre Dame over
Meyer wants to eliminate what he calls the ``human element'' from football. He doesn't mean emotion or personality. He means getting rid of pettiness and jealousy from all areas of the team because that can ruin a program.
He meets with every spouse of every coach on the team because, he said, on both college and NFL teams that is where some of the petty stuff begins.
He wants his players to treat women with respect and to avoid drugs and stealing.
``I understand we're recruiting in areas where drugs are like Pop-Tart,'' he said.
Meyer believes coaches are responsible for every aspect of their player's lives.
A coach once said to him: ``I'm not a baby sitter.''
Meyer's response: ``The hell you're not. Coaches are responsible for everything.''
Meyer is bringing to
SEC supervisor of football officials Bobby Gaston said that based on review of tapes from SEC games in 2004, only seven calls would have been overturned if instant replay had been used.
That's an inordinately low number, considering the Big Ten altered 21 calls.
Surely Gaston was just talking about tape he watched, not tape of all SEC games.
Besides an attempt to get calls right, Gaston said there is another positive to implementing instant replay: Fan reaction.
Gaston said Big Ten officials claim ``when there's a controversial call and the fans realize that it's being reviewed, an atmosphere comes over the stadium of, `Well, at least they're looking at it again,''' Gaston said. ``The Big Ten officials said that in itself was the biggest benefit … that fans feel you're making every attempt to get it right.''
Gaston did caution that few judgment calls are reviewable.
``I'm not sure that everybody totally understands that,'' Gaston said.
Gaston said instant replay should not cause games to be delayed significantly. He said televised Big Ten games averaged 3 hours, 15 minutes while SEC games on TV averaged 3:12.
Bulldogs starting offensive tackle Richard Burch was suspended after being arrested for the sale of marijuana.
His return depends upon his remorse.
Take, for example, starting center Chris McNeil. He was suspended after wrecking his truck after a night of drinking. McNeil got counseling, met regularly with Croom and headed in the right direction. He was reinstated but returned as the third-team center.
``He hadn't done anything (wrong before) but he made a mistake,'' Croom said. ``When you make a mistake, we suspended you. It was up to him how he handled it.''
Croom has faced other disciplinary decisions. In the spring of 2004, star running back Nick Turner, who previously was arrested for passing five counterfeit $100 bills at a local nightclub, missed appointments, practice and finally a meeting with Croom. Turner was dismissed.
Cornerback Eric Fuller was suspended for six games for violating team rules, then dismissed when he broke another one.
Receiver Antonio Hargro had several lesser penalties before being dismissed for violating team and university rules.
``I can tell when a guy is genuinely sorry for his mistake and when a guy is doing lip service,'' Croom said.
Dan Reeves, a former
``I'd like to talk to them,'' said
Reeves, 61. ``Tell them to give me a call. As an alum, I think a lot of
Reeves, former coach of the Falcons, Broncos and Giants, does not have his degree. He joined the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 1965.
``That's always been something I regretted,'' Reeves said.
He said the only time not having
degree became an issue was when he interviewed for the
``When you recruit players, you
want them to graduate,'' Reeves said. ``So I told (
The career of
``I just want to play football and avoid
going to the real world for a little bit,'' the
Rathe transferred to
Counting his time at
If the NCAA ruling stands, the Gamecocks could enter spring practice with three quarterbacks, one a walk-on. Syvelle Newton, the starter at the end of last season, is suspended following his petty larceny arrest last week.
``I've seen it a million times and I'm going to get it,'' said O'Neal, the highest paid NBA player at $29.5 million this year. ``And I'm gonna get it for the same price he paid for it.''
That might be tricky. Saban paid $1.72 million in July 2001 and is asking $3.25 for the four-bedroom house with a swimming pool and guest house.
O'Neal recently paid about $18
million for a
O'Neal still owns a $6.25 million
The SEC is used to getting six or seven teams into the NCAA tournament field.
That won't happen this season.
In fact, if you picked today, the
SEC would have three teams in the field of 65:
Surely, one of those five teams will make a run and challenge for an NCAA berth.
But when you consider that the SEC is the sixth-rated conference in the RPI, at this time, it's hard to imagine more than four league teams making it to the Big Dance.
In the past, an 8-8 SEC record could get you into the NCAA field. No this year. It will take at least 9-7, perhaps even 10-6, depending on your non-conference exploits.
It's worth noting that since the SEC went to a 16-game schedule in 1991-92, all 10 teams that went 10-6 made the Big Dance. Of the 16 that went 9-7, 10 were invited. Of the 16 that went 8-8, eight were invited.
Three 8-8 teams last year got a
Street & Smith magazine embarked on a near impossible task: selecting the top 100 greatest men's basketball programs in history.
The 14-point criteria included NCAA and NIT success, conference success, all-time won-loss record, NCAA infractions, NBA first-round picks and mascot ferocity.
No. 1 –
No other SEC team was higher than
50th. LSU was No. 50, followed by 54