Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Works, that clears that up-style

Question answered. That Tommy Tuberville wound up popping up on ESPN as part of their coverage for one their recent high school All-American games wasn't a surprise, just as it's not a surprise Tubby is going back behind the desk for their Signing Day coverage. He's genial, comfortable in front of the camera, knowledgable, good with a quip, all that good stuff. (Frankly, I'd expect him to be better at it than Fulmer, whose press conferences always seemed substantially more dour. Then again, maybe that's because so many of them seemed to take place at SEC Media Days in the midst of some ridiculous controversy.) There's a reason I think a lot of people expected him to take his million-dollar parachute and float off into TV work for good.

According to the link above, though, that's not the plan:
Tuberville, 54, said he's planning to land a college job prior to the 2010 season. He collected a $5.1 million buyout from Auburn after his December resignation, but the coach said he's beginning to miss the game.

"I'm too young to retire," Tuberville said. "I can't play golf for the rest of my life. I've got to do something and earn a living. Coaching is what I know."
Well, that kind of settles that. The next question is whether he returns as a head man or as one of the automatic best defensive coordinators in the country. I'm hoping it's the latter, at a place far, far away from the SEC, so I wish him the unconditional best-of-luck he deserves.

In the meantime, I guess I'll be tuning into the ESPN hype machine on Signing Day. Here's to hoping I can control the gag reflex.

Hey, I don't know if you've heard, but it's recruiting season. A quick wrap of some of the worthwhile tidbits out there: first off, as you've no doubt heard, Brantley RB-slash-ATH Anthony Gulley committed yesterday afternoon; Brandon Heavens and Harris Gaston will both be visiting Mississippi St.; Greg Reid, who at the very least has continued to say nice things about Auburn, nonetheless seems ticketed to Georgia; and Rivals has a free run-down of some of the big names showing up at Auburn over the weekend. Your time to shine, Clint Moseley.

On the topic of whether all this madness matters or not, Dr. Saturday put together a follow-up on the post cited yesterday, showing that five-stars are more than four times as likely to make All-American as four stars, who are twice as likely to make it as three-stars, who are six times as likely to make it as two stars. If you'd prefer NFL draft status to All-American voting, Athlon finds virtually the same results by that standard as well. Again: this matters. (HT on the Athlon article: Red Solo Cup.)

Oh, one other funny thing:
Previous Auburn commitment Brandon Jacobs is being wooed for another sport: baseball.

Auburn baseball coach John Pawlowski made a recruiting call on behalf of the Tigers baseball program. Imagine his surprise when Jacobs told him he was already committed to Auburn as a football player.
LOLZ. At least we know Auburn's coaches haven't been wasting their time in corporate-style "synergy" meetings.

Coming due. One of the cool things about the Auburn women's hoops explosion is that we're getting to find out about exactly who these players are. Whitney Boddie, for instance, got herself academically ineligible last year but is now almost selfless to a fault:
The senior from Florence missed most of the 2007-08 season because of academic ineligibility, providing a personnel problem that coach Nell Fortner couldn't repair. Freshman Alli Smalley, a shooting guard by trade, struggled to make sense of the Southeastern Conference's savage environment.

Auburn fell flat, finishing the season with a first-round NCAA loss.

"That's all on me. What happened to Alli wasn't fair, what happened to this team wasn't fair and that's my fault," Boddie said. "Getting fed to the wolves like that was tough for Alli. I still tell her how sorry I am. All I can do is focus on school and give everything I have out there on the court."


Boddie loves making other players look good.

That doesn't always work for Fortner. Boddie is averaging 10 points per game, but has attempted only one shot from three-point range this season.

Fortner insists Boddie is a capable shooter.

"Coach is always telling me that I should be shooting more, but (defenses) are playing me so tight," Boddie said. "They don't give me space, so I do other stuff. I'd rather let Alli shoot anyway. She was made to shoot. Good luck stopping her."
Humble, willing to brag on a teammate, really really freaking good ... quite the refreshing change-of-pace, this team.

Around the SEC. No matter what Kevin Scarbinsky says or the rumor mill might suggest, I can't see anyone with John Calipari's monstrous ego coming to Tuscaloosa to coach in the long shadow of Nick Saban. It ain't happening. Which is almost too bad--the mind-blowing pairing of one of basketball's most pompous sleazebags with arguably the most notorious villain in college football would be so perfectly University of Alabama athletics I can't even describe it properly. Of course, I can't actually want that to happen, since Calipari does happen to be a good basketball coach. An unbearably obnoxious basketball coach, sure, but a good unbearably obnoxious basketball coach.

Elsewhere, I don't think anyone at Tennessee's asking my advice, but they need to keep their heads up after last night's LSU loss. LSU, as you may recall, entered this week having played better basketball in SEC competition than any other team in the conference. Losing to the Tigers, even at home, isn't an unforgivable sin. And for that matter, neither are any of the Vols' losses--a list that reads Memphis, Gonzaga (x2), Kentucky, Kansas, Temple. Temple's the only one of those teams that's not going to the Tournament, and that game was on the road. On the good side, Tennessee's beaten top-of-the-Big East Marquette, Georgetown, and a whole fleet of quality mid-majors (at-large possibility Siena most notably). The Vols won't be a protected seed, but the sky's really not falling, either.

Uniwatch, SEC-style. While I'm linking to Rocky Top Talk, this excellent post by Hooper celebrating the no-home-whites decision made by USC and UCLA and mourning the fact that a rule instituted for 1960s TV sets remains on the books got me to thinking: should both Auburn and Alabama wear their colored jerseys for the Iron Bowl? I say: Oh my hell yes they should. We're navy, they're crimson. White really shouldn't enter into it.

Strangely enough, Hooper's post wasn't the only one from the past few days focusing on a uniform-relatd question, as Kyle King's asking whether the Dawgs should put away the black jerseys, or possibly bring back their red pants. Me? I'm hoping they wear the black jerseys with the red pants.

Etc. This situation really is completely stupid ... for those of you wondering what it's like in the alternative universe where ultra-pretentious indie-rock dominates the charts, here's your awesome answer ... and lastly, the JCCW's pouring one out for the Olde Auburn Ale House-as-brewpub, my favorite bar from the grad school years. With Alabama's number of brewpubs now shrinking to two, I can now tell you that there are twice as many brewpubs within 5 minutes of my current apartment as there are in my entire home state. Sigh.


easyedwin said...

Maybe Tubbs can do a better job than T. Bowden. Since I was always at the AU game, I did not watch much talking head TV football "guru" shows.

P. S. Why are our women not #1?

jd said...

Tiger Tail is so delicious. I loved the Ale House. Really chill place.

Alex P in Smyrna G said...

I have to disagree that Tubs' comment about coaching again in 2010 settles anything.

The one thing I will miss the least about him is his tendency to comment-first-then-think-about-it-and-be-forced-to-clarify*-later. He always seemed to say one thing, then do another, and then try to explain it away.

Given, this was usually involving offensive strategy – an area in which, at least according to Franklin, he really didn’t know what was going on – so you could easily put discussions of his career in a whole other category.

But then again, maybe this recent comment is the clarification*. He did say right after the resignation that in discussions with his wife said she'd like for him to be "out of the business" and he agreed. Well either Suzanne is disappointed with this most recent comment, or the severance with AU didn't go down the way Tubs first described.

* By "clarify" I mean "contradict"