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Sprints Is Trying Get Back to Football After the Urban Meyer Chaos // 12.29.09


You mean they're playing a football game this week?
Florida tries to get ready for a game after a distraction, something they've done almost 13 times this season. At least they're getting good at it.

"It will be good to get back to normal, becoming more routine," Tebow said. "But honestly, the last few days have been really good practices, really focused. There were a lot of things happening off the field that was really messing with peoples' minds and thoughts. At the same time, practices have been going really well and this team has executed really well. The focus has been pretty sharp. ... When everything is happening around you like that, you just kind of want to circle the wagons and get focused on the team and go out there and play."

If there is a football team in the country that's prepared to deal with this, it's the 2009 Florida Gators. The question is whether it's too much even for them to overcome.

You don't say
Maurkice Pouncey has a great deal of respect for interim head coach Steve Addazio. So much so that he ended up speaking about him in a way Florida folks usually reserve for Tim Tebow.

"Addazio’s one of the greatest coaches in history," Pouncey said. ...

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said Addazio -- Vitamin A, the team calls him -- got a 3-to-4-minute standing ovation at the Gainesville Regional Airport on Sunday when Meyer introduced him as interim coach. "It was one of the loudest rounds of ovation I’ve ever been a part of in my entire life," Tebow said. "You could see coach Addazio getting emotional. The team has so much respect for him."

No kidding.

This is a less ringing endorsement
Of course, this had to be discussed sooner or later.

Addazio said he is preparing for all scenarios with this interim title, including the possibility of being the Gators’ head coach Sept. 4 when they open the season against Miami (Ohio).

When asked if he would feel comfortable with Addazio as his head coach next year, Foley said, "we’ll talk about that if that happens."

At least he didn't run out of the room saying, "NAH NAH NAH I CAN'T HEAR YOU."

Now the power struggle begins
It's easy to jump on this and say "this is what happens when you have a head coach taking a leave of absence," and it might not be true. But there's a reason it's easy to say that. In any case, Chuck Heater apparently wants to be more involved in the coordinating of the defense. He's not saying he wants to be defensive coordinator, he's just saying.

"I'm interested in having a leadership role, whatever it might be," Heater said. "I don't have to be a title or anything. I just want to be in a good room with a good exchange of ideas and good guys and that's what we've had since I've been here."

It doesn't have to be a title, but if he were to get a title, one with the initials "D" and "C" might be nice.

The answer to the recruiting issue: Promise them wins in Heaven
Dan McCarney on how to sell a program without a head coach -- or with two head coaches -- or with a head coach and an interim head coach -- to recruits.

When you go 22 wins in a row in this lifetime or the next, we know what we're doing.

Well, we all knew there would be college football in Heaven. But guaranteeing a win might be a bit much after all the good things I've heard about St. Peter's team.

Spurrier on Meyer: Three or four months
Steve Spurrier doesn't believe Urban Meyer needs much time off.

"I don't think he'll need the whole year off. I think (in) three or four months, he may be ready to get back."

One wonders if that's the coach or the Florida fan talking.

The Coachbot laughs at your 'human frailty'
Nick Saban has probably had to answer more questions about a coach not named Mack Brown than he would care to this week.

"I can work here and take the stress here or I can retire and go home and work for Terry and take the stress there," Saban said. "So far, I'm trying to keep my day job, because I would be working just as hard at home.

"That's kind of my motivation. I don't really feel like I have an out right now, so I'm willing to hang in there."

Admit it: If Lane Kiffin had said the same thing, Florida fans would be calling for the Gators to score 70 next year. Because that worked so well this year.

It's more diplomatic than what he said about Southern Cal
It seems a little ridiculous to say you're happy to have Meyer back, since he never really left and still might leave, but this is still a nice sentiment from Les Miles.

"I’m glad to have Urban back. Certainly we would’ve missed him, and we’ll look forward to competing against him."

How likely that is to actually be true, I don't know.


Nothing to see here folks
The official explanations for a meeting between Bob Stoops and the Alabama coaches in the middle of a bowl season are hard to believe.

Sounds like he's headed for the NFL
Eric Berry has made a decision about the draft, and all you have to do is read between the lines. Kiffin:

"This is about Eric and Eric's family, and so I told Eric from my perspective that he's done everything that he can do. If he wants to go, this is the time to go."


"I really just wanted to make sure there was no stone unturned. I sat down with coach Kiffin and talked about it, sat down with my family, talked with some of my close teammates and friends about the whole situation. I wanted to make sure I weighed out every possible scenario and situation that could happen."

As a fan of another SEC East team, I think it is high time for the safety to go into the draft. Best of luck to him in the NFL.

Not even close
Tennessee recruit Chaz Green weighs in on the Vols' recent run-ins with the NCAA.

"They're just new to the process, the NFL guys," the 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman from Tampa (Fla.) Catholic said Monday, referring to UT's coaches. "There are a lot of rules they need to catch up on that they're not sure about. That's really the main problem. They're just trying to understand the rules of college football."

 Which would be easier to believe if (a) Lane Kiffin hadn't boasted about how well he did on the recruiting test and (b) there were some sort of ethically gray area about the worst-case scenario of using female hostesses to try to attract male recruits to come to Knoxville.

Hope he doesn't believe in jinxes
This is generally the kind of story you want to keep under wraps until after the game -- just to be safe -- but Tennessee's Montario Hardesty hasn't fumbled this season.

"I’ve been able to get through the regular season without a fumble and I’m just keep working to keep that streak going through the bowl game."

Now all ESPN needs to do is put that on the screen and the streak will be over.

Black Shoe Diaries makes a solid point about what we should take away from the Indianapolis Colts' loss Sunday.

And this is a kind of warning shot to large scale playoff proponents.  The NFL takes 12 teams to the playoffs, and you've got one of the top dogs in the league tanking games for the sake of health.

And those who might say that a team wouldn't possibly take a week off against a rival just to increase their chances of winning the national championship -- really? Because I'd easily take a title in exchange for a loss to Clemson.