Randy Smith: Some College Football Tidbits

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

We are knee deep in summer vacation, which is fine and good, but I can’t help thinking about the start of the college football season. Though we are still 12 weeks away from the first kickoff,  every fan, every coach, and every player is excited about what lies ahead. Every team is still unbeaten and as we creep closer to the beginning of the season, the trash-talking gets louder and more obnoxious.

With that in mind, here are a few tidbits from the college football world.

Former USC head coach Pete Carroll, who is now the head coach of the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, stated this week that, had he known the NCAA sanctions against his Trojans were going to be so severe, he would have stayed at Southern Cal and fixed the problem. Those sanctions involved missing two bowl games, having the 2004 BCS Champion ship vacated, as well as all 12 of the Trojans’ wins in 2005. The sanctions stemmed from sports marketers giving money to running back Reggie Bush and his family. Who knew?

Over the winter, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall gathered his receivers together for impromptu throwing workouts in an effort to improve the Tiger’s passing game. In 2013, Auburn threw fewer passes than all but seven other BCS teams, running the football on 71.9 percent of their offensive plays.

Everyone is wondering what Texas A&M will be like without Johnny Football. Well, the overall talent level isn’t going to drop far at all. The Aggies have recruited and signed 29 four- or five-star athletes in the last two seasons, with only four schools signing more. (Alabama, Ohio State, LSU and Notre Dame)

According to Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, the Volunteers’ 2013 schedule was the toughest in college football history. His second season isn’t going to be any easier at all. Oregon and Auburn are not on the schedule this fall, but they’ve been replaced by Oklahoma and Ole Miss. The Vols’ two opening games this year are Utah State and Arkansas State; certainly not a couple of cupcakes.

The SEC’s opening game this fall is a Thursday night contest in Columbia, South Carolina as Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks host Texas A&M. Both teams will have new quarterbacks as Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw are gone. Both teams should be good but the unfortunate thing for the loser is - they will be a game down in the SEC standings before any other team in the league has played a game.

The Alabama at Tennessee game this October took on a bit of suspense when former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffen was hired by Nick Saban as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator. Kiffen, easily the most hated man in Knoxville, should have plenty of police protection at the game on October 25th.

Will the Clemson Tigers be forced to win with defense this fall after losing so much offensive firepower to graduation and the NFL draft? Possibly. According to Athlon Sports, Clemson has the best defensive line in the ACC, with the #2 group of linebackers and the fourth best defensive backs. They could win a few low-scoring games, which is a big change for the last few teams coached by Dabo Swinney. Replacing Sammy Watkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd will be hard to do.

Tennessee has one first team All-SEC performer in linebacker A.J. Johnson, who skipped the NFL to return for his senior season. “Who would want to leave Tennessee early when you’ve got one year left.” His final goal is getting his college degree…….for his mother.  

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com

 


Dan Bailey Still Plodding Along After All These Years

Dan Bailey has been retired from the Tennessee American Water Company for more than 10 years now, so he doesn’t get in a hurry to do anything. He jokes about how slow he runs these days, but he felt better when reminded that if it wasn't for people like him, there would be no overall winners in local races. The 71-year-old Bailey is originally from Ohio where he ... (click for more)

Lookout Rowing Earns Club National Medals

It was a good weekend on the water for Lookout Rowing Club as five boats competed at the Club Nationals Regatta in Oak Ridge, with four in the finals and two earning silver medals. Men’s Lt Weight Double : A pair of local high school coaches - David Hall (Chattanooga Junior Rowing) and Anders Swanson (GPS) - combined talents and rowed to a silver medal ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)