Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I'd known company was coming, I would have tidied things up

Before getting into the meat of today's entry, I want to say hello to anyone who's happened upon the blog this week via the folks at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The AJC website put together a blogroll of "Essential College Football Recruiting Blogs" at their excellent recruiting page and somehow this site wound up on it. At first I was going to let them know that while I write about recruiting related stories occasionally, this blog is a general rundown of whatever's on my mind in any given day and they might not want to list it if hardcore recruiting coverage is what they're going for. Then I saw they'd also listed the brilliant Every Day Should Be Saturday, which is about as far from nuts and bolts recruiting coverage as A-Rod is from your average guy, and dismissed that idea. Anyway, if you're visiting for the first time, welcome. I'm a sports talk show host on 107.5 the Game in Columbia, SC who spent a lot of time on the radio in Gainesville before that. This blog started last May as my way to keep in touch with my listeners when I made the move to Columbia, but along the way has picked up readers in a lot of other states as well. I appreciate the fact anyone chooses to spend some time here, so thanks for dropping by.

The tournament starts today, and it shoud be a fun one. I'm bummed out that I won't be attending a single game of it as a fan or media member for the first time since 1997, but at least there's likely to be plenty of surprises and close calls for me to watch today with friends. Hopefully you didn't go too crazy trying to pick your bracket. A quick story: twenty years ago, I won a pretty big NCAA pool at my high school. That's why I'm in sports radio, because I'm so smart, right? Except I hadn't picked the sheet, a girl named Alison Lewis did it for me as an experiment. She didn't know anything about basketball or even like sports. She picked Michigan, a typically underachieving three seed heading into the tournament with an interim coach, to win it all because one of her parents was from there. Alison took East Tennessee over FSU as a 13 seed because her grandmother lived there. She nailed both picks, and no one else even had Michigan in the Final Four. Both of my well thought out sheets never stood a prayer. Take a few shots but don't go too overboard on upsets and maybe good things will happen for you this year. Here's what I came up with, intentionally taking just ten minutes. Considering Pitt has never beaten a team higher than a six seed in their entire NCAA history, they'll probably go out and lose to Tennessee in round two to kill my sheet off. If you're looking for some last minute help deciphering the bracket, the folks at Accuscore have some interesting analysis on the first round games.

UF has put a plaque with the words of Tim Tebow's speech to the media after the Ole Miss loss on display at the football stadium. I don't think that's a great decision while Tebow is still active as a player. There's only been a tiny bit of jealousy from teammates toward Tebow over his career despite all the accolades he's received, but stuff like this elevates him above his peers in a way that doesn't seem helpful to me. It's generally best to wait until someone's finished with their career before you start honoring them too much. Talk to FSU, who's already put up a statue and a stained glass window of Bobby Bowden as well as named their field after him, about how that can go. Kentucky naming a campus street Hal Mumme Pass didn't turn out so well either. Maybe a year from now this would have been more appropriate, but right now it's a well-intentioned bad idea.

College teams continue to have their pro days as we move closer to the NFL draft, with Florida's players generally getting positive feedback at theirs yesterday. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is not giving good reviews to criticism of his quarterback Graham Harrell's NFL readiness. Leach particularly dislikes those who maintain his quarterbacks are flawed because they haven't been working from under center. Some of this stuff becomes an echo chamber. Remember when everyone in the college football media spent the 2007 preseason wondering if Tim Tebow was capable of passing? It was obvious to anyone who had paid the slightest bit of attention that he could, but nobody seemed willing to go out on a limb and say so. Until a Leach QB excels in the pros, they'll all face this same skepticism.

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