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Sprints Hopes It Never Gets Put on the Hot Seat // 10.15.09

Georgiapocalypse gets worse. It's starting to grow mighty dark in Athens, and while I currently agree with the consensus that Mark Richt isn't going to get axed this season, even the players recognize things are going downhill fast.

Linebacker Rennie Curran, the SEC's top tackler, thinks the players need to focus on self-criticism rather than external criticism.

"We're our own biggest critics, so we need to tune out what everybody else is saying and focus on what we know we need to do," he said. "Everybody else is going by what they see on Saturday and on the TV screen."

How dare they judge players based on the football game!

Meanwhile, the tell-tale signs of a program in trouble are beginning to emerge.

Players-only meeting? Check.

"We told them we have to turn around this season," [Jeff] Owens said. "We all know what we’re looking at right now. We’re 3-3, but we can just go up and progress. The main purpose was to get everybody on one accord and get this thing turned around."

Inconsistent punishment? Check.

When you're a starting linebacker at Georgia ...

A bench warrant was issued for linebacker Rennie Curran Oct. 7 after the junior failed to appear in court in Franklin County for a speeding ticket issued on July 4, according to a clerk in Franklin County Probate Court.

Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday night that he won’t suspend Curran.

"He’s supposed to pay a fine tomorrow and be done with it," Richt said. "It should be done before practice."

When you're a backup cornerback at Georgia ...

Richt suspended backup cornerback Vance Cuff for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt after University of Georgia police arrested Cuff Tuesday on charges he was driving a motorized scooter on a sidewalk with a suspended license. ...

"He used poor judgment first in the route he took and also for being on the scooter at all with a suspended license," Richt said.

Hunt for uncomfortable historic parallels? Check, as illustrated by a Dr. Saturday piece that warns that the same problems could be coming soon to a high-profile SEC program near you.

Of course it won't cost Richt his job this season; that would be ridiculous. The coordinators come first, beginning with much-maligned defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, and possibly continuing with offensive coordinator (and former UGA quarterback) Mike Bobo if necessary. ...

But make no mistake: On the heels of Fulmer and Tuberville, the fact that this discussion even exists for a coach as wildly successful as Richt is as good an indicator as any that we'll be having it at some point about every coach at one of the league's heavier hitters for many, many years into the future, without exception.

Except your wildly successful coach, of course. You and your program love him forever and would never even dream of getting rid of him. As long as he's winning 10 games a season.

Lane Kiffin impersonated on teleconference

"They’ve done an unbelievable job with back-to-back national recruiting titles. They’re playing unbelievable. They’re so well coached. I would think they’re the best-coached team in the conference," Kiffin said Wednesday about the Crimson Tide while speaking on the SEC coaches teleconference.

Who are you and what have you done with Tennessee's head coach?

BCS guru: Florida will be No. 1 this weekend
Assuming they win, of course.

Q: Will the Florida Gators be No. 1 when the first standings are released Sunday, and will it be close with Alabama?

A: I don’t think it’s going to be very close. Right now Florida is not only a really solid No. 1 in both polls but they’re also the No. 1 team in most computers. I expect there to be a pretty sizable gap in terms of BCS when it comes out. The fact they play Arkansas they’re not going to suffer any real damage.

Because it's not like Alabama is undefeated against a tougher schedule or anything.

'Now do you see why I have so much trouble with your language?'
"Scuttlebutt" is that Morgan Newton will start at quarterback for Kentucky this weekend against Auburn.

The other concussed Florida Gator
CB Moses Jenkins is still questionable according to the St. Pete Times.

Will they get the chance?
NFL players would apparently like to play for Urban Meyer.

TSN, for a story in this week's magazine, found that Florida's Urban Meyer was tops among SEC coaches (and second overall) with eight votes. Other SEC coaches who received votes were Tennessee's Lane Kiffin, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Saban (two votes each).

I still think the idea of Meyer going to the NFL is absurd, though the most credible one I've heard has been taking Tim Tebow to Jacksonville, which isn't that far from Gainesville. But this could add fuel to the fire if the Gators continue their march toward another college football championship.

Maybe it would work for Crompton
Mitch Mustain said working on his punting helped make him a better quarterback. But don't worry; he hasn't lost his mercenary side.

The junior, who started eight games for Arkansas in 2006, said it was a "huge boost" in morale to be No. 2 instead of No. 3. "One play away is not a huge margin," he said of being the backup. "Two plays is pretty big. That's extremely rare for two quarterbacks to go down in the same game."

That's the Mitch Mustain we knew in the SEC: Team first.

A new term for academic fraud
The NCAA is temporarily following the law by allowing Florida State to release some of the transcripts from its academic fraud case with this gem from President T.K. Wetherell.

"We don't really believe they cheated," Wetherell said. "They got inappropriate help."

If you're wondering where he got his word-bending skills, Wetherell used to be a state politician.