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 Oregon and Auburn are not on the schedule this fall, but they’ve been replaced by Oklahoma and Ole Miss.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

 



Covenant's Moore Named USA South Player Of The Week

Covenant volleyball senior outside hitter Ginny Moore has been named the USA South Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 24, announced the conference on Monday afternoon. It is the fourth time in her career that Moore has earned the honor. It is also the first time this season that a Covenant volleyball player has garnered a weekly honor from the conference. A ... (click for more)

UTC Golfers 10th After 36 Holes At Shoal Creek Invitational

The Chattanooga Mocs are 10th after 36 holes at the Shoal Creek Invitational. The squad shot 1-over 289 over the first 18 today before posting 297 in the afternoon.   The trio of Lake Johnson, Etienne Brault and Will Porter led the early effort carding even-par 72s. Luke Long added a 73 to the team total with Phillip Hickam’s 75 serving as the drop score.   Long ... (click for more)

State Finds Photos Of Guns Used In Lookout Valley Murders On Morse's Phone, But Defense Says It Got Evidence Too Late

Prosecutors said Monday that there were six photos on the phone of Derek Morse of guns tied to the murder of three people at a Lookout Valley trailer park. However, defense attorney Dan Ripper said the phone should have been checked out years ago - not on the eve of the trial. He said he got the photos last Monday - the day before jury selection began. Prosecutor Lance ... (click for more)

Opportunity Zone Begins Effort To Transform 12 Low-Performing County Schools

The Hamilton County Department of Education announced the new Opportunity Zone team that officials said "will ensure every student is post-secondary ready." The schools in this zone are: Brainerd High, The Howard School, East Lake Middle Academy, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, Barger Academy of Fine Arts, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills ... (click for more)

Titans Hide In The Locker Room

This Sunday, as has been widely reported, the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks both chose to remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem at Nissan Stadium.  Besides the fact that the NFL game operations manual has a rule regarding player behavior during the playing of the National Anthem which requires them to stand at attention ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - ‘Let’s Talk Real Life’

In mid-November of 2015, the Missouri football team very unwisely went on strike. A black student had refused to eat until a list of racially-based demands were met. Some on the football team were sympathetic and it quickly morphed into the biggest catastrophe in the annals of higher education. The university would lose hundreds of millions, athletic donations dropped 72 percent, ... (click for more)