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Sprints Thinks Tubby Smith to Auburn is More Realistic than Billy Donovan to St. John's // 03.22.10

Next: 'I have no intention of coaching anywhere other than Minnesota'
Tubby Smith continues to follow the non-denial denial handbook while being mentioned as a potential replacement for Jeff Lebo at Auburn. "I'm not a candidate for any other job." This comes after his cover of the old standby "I'm looking forward to coming back." His athletics director, meanwhile, has "heard the rumors." Too bad for Auburn that they're only one of 21 programs in the nation who have fired coaches this year, the latest being St. John's. Did someone mention St. John's?

Because they're drawing on Notre Dame's obvious success at hiring a Catholic coach from Florida looking at Billy Donovan.

Sources told The Post that Donovan talked to a St. John's supporter late Friday and was intrigued by what he heard. Whether it's enough to lure Billy the Kid away from his $3.5 million job at Florida, where he's won two national titles, remains to be seen.

In case you needed it, Alligator Army reminds you why there is no reason to take this rumor seriously -- aside from the fact that the last time Donovan took another job (in the NBA, no less) he changed his mind.

Some how, he would appreciate half as much salary (but twice the taxes) playing at a Catholic commuter school in Queens in a 16-team superconference without football funding or great facilities. St. John's likes to promote that they play in Madison Square Garden. But they play half their games on-campus in a building that seats as many as UF's Southwest Rec would if you pulled in bleachers. St. John's can barely compete in the Big East, much less a SEC Powerhouse like Florida.


If it doesn't work out, maybe ESPN will hire him
Mississippi State's athletics director is being considered a candidate for the Oregon job. I'll repeat that, because it boggles the mind of anyone who has been following SEC sports in recent years: Another high-profile FBS school is considering hiring the athletics director at Mississippi State.

Byrne, son of former UO athletic director Bill Byrne, has worked as an athletic administrator at Oregon, Oregon State and Kentucky. Reached Friday by telephone, Byrne declined to comment.

So there is a connection. Still -- Mississippi State! (HT: Veazey)

At least he's not lacking in confidence
Chris Rainey on taking over the Percy Harvin role:

"When I saw Percy do it, I was like, ‘I can do that.’ "

That might be the only human being that has ever said those words about anything related to football.

Now we know where he got the idea
Nick Saban received the Bobby Bowden award Sunday -- which was a real cliffhanger, given that the award is based in Birmingham -- and told a story about the coach the award was named after.

"After my father passed away, my mother was having a lot of problems, and coach Bowden called and said if I needed to come home, he'd create a graduate assistant position for me," Saban recalled. "I never, ever forgot that, and I don't think anybody in my family ever forgot it."

It's obvious he never forgot it, as Mike Groh can attest.

This is how you get paid to write about football?
Your humble correspondent has been known to state the obvious like it's something profound, and Marc Weiszer is a good beat reporter. But, still:

The two worst seasons under coach Mark Richt were the two in which the Bulldogs threw the most interceptions and had the most turnovers.

Well, yes. That'll do it.

Obviously our readership is still too small
Your humble correspondent has been much more critical of Mark Richt and never gotten mentioned at a press conference. That said, only Mark Richt would argue with someone and call them a "fine gentleman" at the same time.

That said ...
A.J. Green might be a new punt returner for Georgia.