Friday, December 5, 2008
As soon as my show wraps up this afternoon, I'll be headed to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. I'm really looking forward to this one, much more so than when I spent last year at the ACC title game in Jacksonville for ESPN Radio. I've talked to half a dozen connected people on the Percy Harvin injury and gotten a different answer every time. What we do know for sure is that he hasn't practiced. I suspect Harvin will at least attempt to play in the game, and we'll all find out together just how much he's able to do. If he's anywhere close to himself, Florida will win. Without Harvin, the blend changes a bit. I still think UF is the better of the two teams, although Alabama has a half dozen guys with first round pick potential. To me, Bama quarterback John Parker Wilson is the key to this game. If he plays as most anticipate he will, there will be some opportunities for Florida to make plays against the Tide passing game. If they do, the Gators will win. No one has put Wilson in position to have to throw in meaningful time late all year. UF has to make that happen.
Here's a stunner. The two schools playing in the ACC title game can't sell their tickets to Tampa any better than they did Jacksonville. Who could have guessed? Part of the ACC's problem is that they haven't had a special, elite team in the conference this decade. Boston College winning multiple division titles to play in Florida wasn't supposed to happen. They're a private school with a small fanbase that's over a thousand miles away. Preseason top ten team Clemson, FSU, Miami or a hot Georgia Tech would have all been winners for the ACC this year. Instead they get a rematch of a game no one wanted to see in 2007, with the teams playing for the fourth time in two years. Good luck with that.
Somehow I missed the newsflash earlier this week that USF quarterback Matt Grothe will return for his senior season rather than putting his name into the NFL draft. Exactly what posessed Grothe to think he had any business looking at doing that was not made clear. Grothe's next "revelation" could be something along the lines of "I will obey the laws of gravity."
The thing that floored me about the arrest of Dee Morley yesterday in Knoxville on what supposedly was a warrant mixup is that they let him back into school in the first place. Morley went to a bogus "diploma mill" high school, then failed out of Tennessee. Now we know that while out of school, he shook down a guy for 35 dollars in Miami and was charged and convicted of strong arm robbery. School officials knew about the arrest but let Morley back in anyway. Everyone wants to win, but not all schools are re-admitting a violent felon who cheats in class. Tennessee alums should be hanging their heads in shame.
According to multiple reports, USC ofensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is Tyrone Willingham's replacement as Washington head coach. No Carroll proteges have done anything outside that program, Lane Kiffin included at this point. Sarkisian is the guy who was smart enough to turn Al Davis down before he grabbed Kiffin. He's had a lot more to do with USC's success than Kiffin did. It's interesting that none of the jobs in college football which have been filled so far have grabbed a head coach from somewhere else. The usual domino effect isn't happening this year. Have a great weekend - see you back here Monday.