Sprints Has News on Rich Brooks, Alabama-Texas and Tennessee and Its Guns // 01.05.10

RICH BROOKS RETIREMENT

Rich Brooks retires
I think we can assume that this one's for real, unless there's another Kentucky practice being held tomorrow morning. Ahem.

Brooks is far too modest about what he achieved at Kentucky.

"I have decided that it's time for me to step away and turn this program over," Brooks said. "And hopefully it will be not only competitive but reach the heights I failed to get it to. My biggest regret is not having broken more of the streaks that needed to be broken. We did get quite a few of them, and we did achieve some things."

No, Brooks didn't win the SEC during his time in Lexington and didn't even really come close. But he still did about as good a job as humanly possible at Kentucky given the circumstances when he got there. He might not want to acknowledge it because his goals were more significant, but Brooks did some of the best coaching jobs of the last decade in the SEC.

A job for a Joker
Joker Phillips will be one of the initial tests, along with the much higher profile Jimbo Fisher Era at Florida State, of whether the head coach in waiting idea works.

Intriguing
Here's one thing I found interesting from the reports about Brooks' retirement.

Brooks said that even if Mitch Barnhart had met his contract requests, that he probably would have still made the announcement this morning. Barnhart came close to Brooks’ requests, but did not totally meet them.

Clay also says Joker Phillips is considering some changes in the employment status of certain UK coaches.

At least one assistant is planning to remain
As long as that's okay with Joker, of course.

The players: No B.S. when it came to Brooks
His players obviously admired him, which is key for any coach who's trying to turn around a football program. But seeing the no-nonsense Brooks referred to as "goofy" is a bit of a contrast to perception. The only thing that made him crack up during the press conference? Mentioning his players.

Keenan Burton:

"He helped me fill out the papers, and I remember him telling me, 'I'll help you the best way I can.'" said Burton. "And right then and there I knew I was in the right spot, that every thing that I had done for him, he was willing to do back for me."

CITI BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME THAT HAS TOO MANY NAMES

Getting their priorities in order
Alabama television stations are under siege for even daring to consider offering weather updates during the national championship game. At least two stations have clarified that they will do no such, with one saying the game will not be interrupted "unless there is a major catastrophe or lives are at stake."

Alabama wins!
Because these computer things are always sooooo accurate.

Tide fans might be more concerned about is the idea that Greg McElroy has "an unspecified injury," which could be anything from bruised shoulder to a detached leg, but what stood out to me was the optimistic weather forecast.

Here's how we set the simulation up: neutral site game, with a temperature of 70 degrees and no wind.

If only there were some way to see if those conditions were likely
Or if the forecast were for the conditions at gametime in Pasadena were for a temperature of, say, 53 degrees and winds of, I don't know, 5 mph. If only there were some "National Weather Service" that might be able to provide us with such information.

Was Jones injured?
Julio Jones said his subpar season was caused in part by a knee injury downplayed by Alabama and Jones. It's more plausible in retrospect than while it's going on.

Terrence Cody has been summarized
And it took a Big XII coach to do it.

"What you see a lot of times is guys get on him, and offenses have got him covered up, but nothing happens. They’re just two big guys sitting there like two monsters fighting in the old sci-fi films," said Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis. "And as the ball-carrier gets close, the offensive guy gets discarded and the monster eats your back up."

No word on whether he will get a cameo in Avatar 2.

Burnt Orange Nation analyzes Greg McElroy's season
This is what they conclude.

In regards to the national championsihp game, one of the major questions is which quarterback McElroy really is. The quarterback of the last five games, or the quarterback of the middle four games?

Quality stuff. Especially since I can now cross one more post of the list of what I need to do over the next few days.

And if something should happen to McElroy
Well, Alabama doesn't exactly know who would take his place.

TENNESSEE GUN CRIME(S)

Well, that's really going swimmingly
If you want to get a real sense for all the ways this story is not good for Tennessee, click on the link. Here are the lowlights:

Warrants for Williams, Goins, Smith, and Tatum indicate the players were aware the guns were in the car, with the warrants for Williams and Smith indicating they admitted to being aware of the gun with the serial number filed off being under Smith's seat. The warrant for Goins indicated he was aware of the unaltered gun under the seat in front of him. The warrant for Tatum indicated he was aware of both firearms. ...

There are still questions about where the vehicle itself came from -- it was a rental, but not to any of the players arrested. Coach Bruce Pearl indicated on Saturday that it was his understanding the vehicle had been rented to a player's friend. ...

 Knoxville Police are looking into the history of both weapons and seeing if either is considered to have been involved in any crimes. They have no information to release on that point at this time.

All were taken into custody; the warrant for the driver, Tatum, indicates he was taken into custody due to the likelihood he'd pose a danger to himself or the community. ...

Logos and colors!

This is new?
The Vols will get tough on lawbreaking athletes ... starting now.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said Monday there will be a zero-tolerance level for future gun-and-drug related incidents similar to those committed by players on the Vols' football and basketball teams during the past two months.

Two UT football players were dismissed after an alleged attempted armed robbery involving a pellet gun in November, and four basketball players have been indefinitely suspended after being charged with various misdemeanor drug and weapons offenses after a traffic stop Friday.

"Our tolerance for these type of activities has gone to zero," Hamilton said.

To be clear: The University of Tennessee didn't used to have a zero-tolerance policy for athletes found with drugs and guns.

NFL DRAFT ANNOUNCEMENTS

S Reshad Jones (Georgia)
He says LB Rennie Curran might follow him.

TE Aaron Hernandez (Florida)
According to the Orlando Sentinel, he's already told the team he's gone.

OTHER NEWS

Two more Florida coaches headed to Louisville?
Urban Meyer might need some guys to wear name tags when his leave of absence ends.

That's one explanation for it
Orson/Spencer comes up with some interesting ideas on why Jevan Snead would consider the NFL despite a bad season: There aren't many other good quarterbacks in this year's draft and there might not be much to gain.

Entering the NFL draft too early might be a serious vocational error for Snead, but there is the question of whether he’ll get that training at Ole Miss even with another year under his belt. Houston Nutt’s offenses have turned out little in the way of NFL-ready talent under center, and even accounting for losses on the offensive line Snead seemed to regress this year.

There's also always the Matt Jones example: Become a wide receiver.

Or it could just be not having Utah or Virginia Tech
The Sugar Bowl ratings are up from the last couple of years, presumably because of Tim Tebow's finale.

Buffalo or Jacksonville
A pretty good look at Tebow's chances to be selected in the first 20 picks of the NFL Draft, though I don't see Tebow going to Washington if they hire Mike Shanahan, and Jim Mora would probably quite in Seattle if he's faced with working with Tebow. (Thought that could work out well both for Tebow and the Seahawks.) If Buffalo hires the right coach for Tebow, he could be headed to Upstate New York unless Jacksonville is willing to come up with a good trade.

Looking on the bright side
The South Carolina coaching job has finally turned Steve Spurrier into someone who can find the silver lining in anything.

The Gamecocks lost several underclassmen to the NFL draft last year, and Spurrier said there is a chance a couple could leave this year.

"We're not begging any of them (to stay), I can assure you that," Spurrier said. "Well, we'll beg (defensive end) Cliff Matthews." ...

If there is a positive to the Papajohns.com Bowl, Spurrier said, it might help convince prospects that they would have a good chance for early playing time at USC.

Especially linemen. Just to reiterate: ANY OFFENSIVE LINEMAN LOOKING FOR QUICK PLAYING TIME SHOULD COMMIT TO SOUTH CAROLINA RIGHT NOW. LIMITED TIME OFFER.

A change for the better?
Because allowing officials to remove players from games for a concussion would not be controversial at all.

This will be good for the game
Having covered politics for most of my professional life, I can honestly tell you the only thing that would make the postseason discussion more disconnected from honest debate and more directed toward anger and emotional outbursts, it would be to allow the same people that did that to our national discourse to get involved in college football. If you want that for the sport, go ahead and cheer when this ad comes on television. But when you wonder in a few years how playoff supporters and opponents came to hate each other even more, don't say you weren't warned.

They might want to ask the coach of one of those wronged programs what he thinks
Because the TCU coach isn't sold on a playoff.

"If you're asking Gary Patterson to jump on the bandwagon, my answer is no right now, because you haven't given me the guidelines of what a playoff system would be about."

He's not a BCS fan -- few people are -- and doesn't rule out a playoff entirely. But he seems mindful that there are also problems with a playoff, and those should be addressed instead of having someone just say that the current system is imperfect and therefore must be replaced with a playoff.

Coach Cal already making plenty of friends
Fights, possible threats screamed by the coach to opposing players, other assorted fun.

Farewell to one of the best Gator blogs around
Orange and Blue Hue is checking out.

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