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2010 January | The Sports Report Girl - Part 2

Kiffin’s Departure Equals Disappointment All Around

January 14, 2010 by Dion Rabouin  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

For USC fans, this is about the best news you could hope for. Kiffin is a great recruiter, a pretty good coach and he’ll still have his dad around to make him look 10x better as a coach. The fallout from this, though, is that he’s going to lose any chance of recruiting big time athletes everywhere in the South. People in the South value trustworthiness and perceived authenticity. Not that USC was ever doing huge business below the Mason Dixon line, but that was what made Pete Carroll such an amazing coach – he could pull great players from everywhere in the country. Kiffin has alienated an entire (and very important) piece of the recruiting puzzle.

For UT fans, this is about the worst that could have happened. Your coach – who you never really liked anyway, but at least was putting the program back on the right track – has left and any big-name commitments he had gotten are up in the air, at best. Tommy Tubberville’s already taken another job and so has every other relevant assistant out there. You’ve now hired your wide receivers coach, who, by the way is named Kippy, as the head coach and he stands a legitimate chance of being your coach for next season. Best case scenario: You load up your out-of-conference schedule with powder puffs (again) next season and pray for a bowl game. Prepare for at least three more years of mediocrity – at best.

For SEC fans this means more down years for the SEC East, once one of the best divisions in all of college sports. The division is going to start looking eerily similar to the Big XII North circa 2002-now.

For me, the saddest part is that I was really looking forward to the Meyer-Kiffin rivalry being the new Spurrier-Bowden – one great coach against one obviously superior head coach, duking it out at big games every year, with National Championship implications on the line. I mean, not only does Urban now not have a foil, but who is Kiffin gonna beef with? Something tells me Steve Sarkisian isn’t going to provide that kind of riveting drama. The best thing about the whole rivalry was that Kiffin and Meyer genuinely hated each other. Meyer hated Kiffin because Kiffin was a loudmouthed, pompous, flippant, trash-talking, impudent jackass and Kiffin hated Meyer because Meyer was an obviously superior head coach. See, I’ve started hating him already.

The good news for Gator fans is that we get to watch Florida get stomped on by SEC West opponents in the SEC championship game for years to come. Yay!

Lane Kiffin to USC..? Duh!

January 13, 2010 by SRG  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

Can you believe it? People are still up in arms.

A day after the news broke that Lane Kiffin was indeed leaving the University of Tennessee to become the head football coach at USC, public opinion on the subject was running rampant.

And I’m not just talking about Tennessee fans, or even college football fans, but sports fans in general were weighing in on the blogs and talk radio shows to voice their disdain for Lane Kiffin.

Granted, the way in which he departed was certain to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths… not unlike when you reach into the fridge and take a swig of expired milk straight from the carton. No amount of rinsing and gargling can make that sour taste go away. Only time can do that.

And time is something the University of Tennessee has very little of in the wake of the carpet-bagger’s departure. Signing day is only three weeks away, and in order for the Volunteers to be able to salvage this year’s recruiting class, they in turn must do what was done to them… namely, poach a coach from a lesser program, leaving that school high and dry with even less time until signing day.

Should be interesting to see how everything shakes out over the coming days. But one thing I found very funny was the shot of Urban Meyer at the Florida Basketball game last night. Immediately following Lane’s impromptu news conference, the camera panned to Meyer in the midst of receiving a text message on his phone. By his reaction, I can only assume it had something to do with the exit of his Knoxville nemesis.

Kansas Got Beat On Saturday…

That’s not really news, Texas is number one now and everyone knows what happened. What is news is why Kansas got beat. The previously-top-ranked Jayhawks got beaten (soundly) by a team missing four of its top eight scorers and probably its best player, because they don’t understand the concept of a sweet spot. This wouldn’t have happened if the Jayhawks or their coach had bothered to watch a few episodes of “Full House”?

On one episode of “Full House,” one that Kansas coach Bill Self obviously missed, Uncle Jesse plays in a basketball tournament. Of course Uncle Jesse is terrible, until – and this is key – he finds his “sweet spot.” Once he’s got his sweet spot, Uncle Jesse can’t miss. If you’ve seen this episode, you’ll remember that Kareem Abdul Jabar played the ref in the tournament and Uncle Jesse famously complained to him that the defense was “standing on my sweet spot.” This is also key.

The Kansas Jayhawks are obviously a better more talented team than the Tennessee Volunteers. We all know that. When you are more talented than your opposition the only way they can beat you is if you play lazy defense and allow them to get shots from wherever they want. This can be especially detrimental if you let someone like, oh, let’s say Renaldo Woodridge, who averages 4.8 points per game, shoot from the exact same spot on the floor three times. It hurts even more if he makes all three of them. It hurts that much more if he does it on three consecutive possessions.

Once Kansas coach Bill Self finally told his defense to stand on Woodridge’s sweet spot, he scored a total of two total points the rest of the game.

The dagger for the Jayhawks was letting Skylar McBee, a white, 190-pound freshman, walk-on from Rutledge, Tenn., get to his sweet spot and splash a three to ice the game. I don’t have a scouting report on McBee, but if I see that the Volunteers have a white, 190-pound, freshman, walk-on in the game, call me crazy, but I’m going to defend the three-point shot.

I know Bill Self probably didn’t have a whole lot of film on McBee, Woodridge or any of the other volunteers playing for Bruce Pearl that day (get it?) but he’d been watching the team’s play all day. If you can’t figure out the sweet spots of a team full of walk ons and back-ups, then I’m sorry, but you don’t deserve to be the head coach of a major basketball program.

Mike Leach… An American Football Tragedy!

January 12, 2010 by SRG  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

Adam James may well be the poor character kid Mike Leach portrayed in his recent statements with the press… but it still doesn’t justify locking him up in a closet or shed. And for that lapse in judgement, Mike Leach’s coaching career in college is almost certainly over.
At least with respect to any programs that actually matter.

Looks Like The Joke’s On Gilbert Arenas!

January 6, 2010 by SRG  
Filed under Basketball, NBA Basketball, SRG's Blog

Hey everyone, nothing to worry about as Gilbert Arenas and Javarus Crittenton were only joking around… well, at least Arenas was. And the guns weren’t even loaded, so really, there’s nothing to worry about.
Right?
Someone wanna tell David Stern that?
Or maybe he did himself with that “Guns Up” salute before last night’s game.
Way to go, Gilbert! Way to go!

The Sweet Science… Mayweather/Pacquiao Mediation Continues

January 6, 2010 by SRG  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

The principle parties from Top Rank and Golden Boy spent nine hours on Tuesday at the mediator’s table. No deal was struck, but it looks like they aren’t giving up just yet.

Six Things I Learned Watching The Fiesta Bowl

January 5, 2010 by Dion Rabouin  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

I’ve watched both TCU and Boise State play live once this year before the Fiesta Bowl. Here’s what I learned about the two teams and schools after watching Monday’s game.

1. Boise State had a great team this year.
I’ve been refusing to accept this conclusion all year and Monday night made it impossible to live in denial any more. After the Fiesta Bowl, I have to admit that Boise is probably the fourth best team in the nation – maybe even third. They physically manhandled Oregon this year and Oregon physically destroyed USC. I thought it was a fluke until last night.

2. Andy Dalton and Jerry Hughes aren’t that good.
Not only did Hughes, who I had considered one of the best defensive ends in the nation, not get a sack, he didn’t even get a QB pressure in the game. Given my first point, it’s understandable that he didn’t dominate the Boise St. O-line, but great players play great in big games and OK players disappear; Hughes disappeared.

As for Dalton, I thought he was one of the most underrated players in the country, but he proved me completely wrong. Not only did he throw three picks, including the game-ender, but he went 25-44 passing, and of his 25 completions, I think maybe five were on-target. If he wasn’t putting balls in the dirt, he was sailing passes and getting his receivers killed. Like I said about Hughes, great players play great in big games.

3. TCU has the lamest football gang sign ever.
Sure, hand gestures like the “hook ‘em horns” and “gator chomp” may be obnoxious, but at least they look cool. TCU’s little horned frog gang sign looked more like someone butchering Little Bunny Foo Foo than a school emblem.

4. The hot girls at TCU don’t travel.
I used to live in Fort Worth, Texas, about two miles from the TCU campus, and I know the kind of “talent” they have at that school. So either the camera men at the Fiesta Bowl were purposely avoiding the eye candy or the hot sorority girls at Texas Christian couldn’t get daddy to finance a trip to Glendale.

5. Boise State has the nerdiest students and alumni of any football school in the country.
Did you watch the game? I wanted to wedgie the entire student section and rob them for their lunch money.

6. The cheerleaders at TCU take football very, very seriously.
I have never, ever, not once in almost 20 years of watching football, seen a cheerleader cry after a loss. Never. At the end of the game they cut to one of TCU’s cheerleaders and she was sobbing like Tim Tebow. Wait, I made myself feel bad with that one. Seriously, though, the cheerleader was crying! Maybe her boyfriend is on the team and she knew he was going to hit her because they lost.

Did I go too far with that one?

Redskins Fire Jim Zorn, Return His Balls

January 5, 2010 by SRG  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

Months after suffering a public emasculation, Jim Zorn was fired on what is commonly known around the NFL as Black Monday. And through no one would have blamed him if her weren’t, Zorn remained a good soldier to the very end.
Poor guy…

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