Paul Finebaum and Travis Haney look back at Week 5 of the College Football season and takes calls from fans.
Paul Finebaum talks about the weekend in college football, USC’s decision to fire Lane Kiffin and more with the Sporting News’ Matt Hayes.
During ESPN’s telecast of the Ole Miss-Alabama game, Todd Blackledge pointed out the potential benefit that Kirby Smart acquired through Alabama assistant director of player personnel Tyler Siskey, a former assistant under Hugh Freeze at Arkansas State and Ole Miss.
Siskey stood in the Alabama coaches’ booth with binoculars looking at Ole Miss personnel, signals, and formations.
Blackledge said during the fourth quarter, “Alabama has really been locked in to what Ole Miss is doing offensively. They haven’t been fooled by much of anything. Again, I go back to Tyler Siskey being on the Alabama staff. He spent those years with Hugh Freeze. Even though he wasn’t coaching on the field, he was very involved this week in helping to prepare the Alabama defense.”
The situation has irritated a portion of the Ole Miss fan base, who find it morally pathetic of Siskey to take advantage of his knowledge of Ole Miss signals.
To start, it’s important to know that Ole Miss’ offensive staff foresaw this issue all off-season and thus changed signals and line of scrimmage terminology since Siskey departed the staff last March.
Having coached the wide receivers at Arkansas State under Freeze, Siskey, like every other college coach in the country would do, undoubtedly used his knowledge of Freeze’s formation, pass protection, and play-calling tendencies to help prepare the Alabama staff.
But did he do anything wrong on game day? No.
From experience, I can tell you the in-game impact couldn’t have been anything more than minute.
Having worked for David Cutcliffe for five years at Ole Miss, I was in a similar situation as Siskey in 2006. On that particular day, I was coaching for the University of Memphis and Cutcliffe was back coordinating the offense at Tennessee. I basically told our defensive backs coach at Memphis through the headset the exact play Tennessee was fixing to run at least 50% of the plays in the first half after seeing the formation. To say the least, it didn’t help one darn bit.
But a coach highly suspecting a particular play upon seeing the formation doesn’t help a defense unless the players can do something with that knowledge. Perhaps at the absolute most, Kirby Smart was able to check defenses a few times based on Siskey’s prediction of a particular scheme. In reality, that sounds good, but it just doesn’t happen like one may think. Siskey wasn’t even wearing headsets, which means he would needed to relay the information to someone in the box with headset who then communicate with Smart. Folks, that didn’t happen. In addition, what Siskey may have done is something any other coach that is willing to relentlessly prepare for an opponent is capable of doing.
I once coached in a game where our staff not only had all of the defensive signals of the opponent, but we also had the defensive playbook. And we still couldn’t move the ball.
If Siskey was able to take advantage of any Ole Miss signals, which is hard to imagine, then that blame would go on the Ole Miss staff 100%.
The bottom line is there is no reason to think poorly about Siskey and think how (but you don’t know) he may have helped the Alabama staff.
Was it advantageous to Nick Saban to have him on staff. Sure, no doubt. But did Siskey do anything wrong? No.
Could Hugh Freeze have hired one of Alabama’s quality control assistants right after Saban hired Siskey? He could have. Was it necessary? No.
Are Ole Miss fans making too big of a deal out of this situation? Yes.
The combination of players, a lack of execution, and what Hugh Freeze described as a lack of answers against the Alabama defensive schematics (which included unusually wide alignments by defensive ends / OLB’s), decided that game on Saturday night.
Less than 24 hours after ESPN’s Paul Finebaum called Lane Kiffin “the Miley Cyrus of college football”, Kiffin was out as head football coach at the University of Southern California.
Finebaum appeared on ESPN’s College GameDay Saturday morning and blasted Kiffin on national TV. There is no doubt that USC movers and shakers were in the audience.
“In some respects, Lane Kiffin is the Miley Cyrus of College Football. He has very little talent, but we simply can’t keep our eyes off of him.”
He went on to predict that Kiffin would be fired soon and enforced a common public perception that the USC coach often appears childish.
“I think Kiffin will be gone at the end of the season. For the sake of SC fans, I hope this time around the school will hire an adult to be its next head coach.”
Finebaum has a reputation for his relentless pursuit of under-performing college football coaches. According to an old show introduction, The Paul Finebaum Show is where MOST college football coaches are fired.
Old Paul Finebaum Show Opening
So, it came as no surprise that Finebaum had Kiffin “in his cross hairs”, but did we expect the radio host’s prediction would come true by the end of the weekend?
The USC Trojans fired coach Lane Kiffin this morning – hours after loosing to the Arizona State Sun Devils 62-41 .
A statement on the USC website indicated that Trojans athletic director, Pat Haden, broke the news to Kiffin.
A source told ESPN’s Joe Schad that Trojans assistant head coach Ed Orgeron will be named interim coach. Orgeron is also USC’s recruiting coordinator and defensive-line coach.
Paul Finebaum welcomes Georgia coach Mark Richt and ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach to the show from Athens, GA.
Paul Finebaum and ESPN’s Darren Rovell discuss EA Sports’ settlement with college athletes. ESPN’s Holly Rowe joins the show to preview Ole Miss-Alabama.
Paul Finebaum, Pete Thamel (Sports Illustrated) and ESPN’s Lee Fitting discuss the upcoming college football weekend and take calls from listeners.
College Football News’ Russ Mitchell joins Paul Finebaum to preview the weekend’s action and more.
From ApNews.com by Ralph D. Russo.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NCAA is now on its own in the legal battle over whether athletes should share in the money made from the use of their likenesses.
Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company have settled all lawsuits brought against the companies by former and current college athletes over the unauthorized use of the players’ images and likenesses in video games and other merchandise.
The NCAA is not part of the settlements, which includes the O’Bannon case. Brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, that lawsuit was asking for the NCAA, EA and CLC to share billions of dollars in revenues – including those made from massive television rights deals – with college athletes.
The settlement was submitted for approval to the U.S. District Court in Northern California and the terms were confidential.
“We learned of this notional settlement today,” said Donald Remy, chief legal officer for the NCAA. “We have asked for, but have not yet received, the terms so we cannot comment further.”
Remy told USA Today in a story posted earlier that the NCAA was prepared to take the O’Bannon case and others like it to the Supreme Court.
The other cases settled were brought by former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart, former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller and former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston.
“Today’s settlement is a game-changer because, for the first time, student-athletes suiting up to play this weekend are going to be paid for the use of their likenesses,” said Houston-based attorney Eugene Egdorf in a statement. Egdorf represents Hart, who sued EA Sports in 2009.
“We view this as the first step toward our ultimate goal of making sure all student-athletes can claim their fair share of the billions of dollars generated each year by college sports,” Egdorf said.
Seattle-based lawyer Steve Berman, who is the lead attorney on the Keller case, said that the settlement will allow attorneys to focus on claims against the NCAA.
|By Finebaum Fan.
Every college student looks forward to the day he completes his collegiate studies. Today was that day for American InterContinental University student, Clifton Channell, who completed his studies in the field of graphic design.
But, that’s not all he completed today. Clifton has been working on one last project – a caricature of ESPN radio host and Southeastern Conference football guru, Paul Finebaum.
Why Finebaum you ask? Well, here’s the story…
You may recall a recently-played football contest between The University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M University Aggies. You remember – the one billed as “The Game of the Century”.
The on-field and off-field exploits of Aggie quarterback, Johnny Manziel, were widely publicized prior to the game. Manziel received extensive media coverage for an NCAA investigation into allegations he received payment for signing autographs.
Opinions of his exuberant style of play were voiced throughout the country. The attention Manziel received prompted CBS to assign a dedicated camera which followed Manziel’s every move during the game. The camera came to be known as the “Johnny Cam”.
As a class project, Channell decided to design a caricature of the Aggies’ Heisman-winning quarterback incorporating the Manziel autograph and the CBS camera.
Paul Finebaum was one of the most prominent and opinionated figures speaking out on the events involving Manziel.
Upon completion of his artwork, Channell alerted Finebaum to his creation via Twitter.
Keep in mind that I never knew of Clifton Channell until this point.
While browsing Twitter, i noticed the #johnnycam caricature. I thought the idea and the artwork were great and commended Channell on his accomplishment. I had once heard Finebaum (on air) mention jokingly that he needed a new caricature for his radio studio’s logo and my two thoughts collided.
I patiently waited and a few days later I finally got a little teaser.
Ahhh, very cool. Time for some “Larry the Cable Guy” type encouragement!
“Hmmm”, I wondered to myself, “Could this be it?”
Finally, all my “hard work” of typing a half dozen “tweets” had come to fruition!
Anyway, this post is my attempt to live up to my promise to “make sure he sees it”. So Mr. Finebaum, as Carl Spackler said in “Caddyshack”, “Hey, Lama! Hey! How about a little something, you know – for the effort?.”
No need for “total consciousness”, just a little acknowledging tweet to @ChannellDesign would be nice! In return, here’s a new Twitter Logo to replace the “clown head” you found in College Station. I just don’t want him to say, “Hey, he’s gonna stiff me.”
And, LOOK, he’s a listener!
Now, i would never dream of taking advantage of someone’s good nature and obviously gifted talents. And, I certainly don’t expect any agent’s or finder’s fee for my “discovery” of Channell.
But hey, I wouldn’t turn down any either!
Clifton Channell will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.
Congratulations Clifton. Thanks for “The Finebaum”.
And, for goodness sake, someone GIVE THE MAN A JOB!
|Clifton Channell’s Story From His Website
Ever since I first laid my little hands on that fat pencil they give you in Kindergarten, I have been in love with creating things. Although my technique and skill level have changed since those days of tablet paper and fat pencils, my passion and love for creating things has remained.
If someone had told me 25 years ago that I could actually color for a living, I would probably be a millionaire. Well, maybe not a millionaire, because crayons and supplies are expensive, and I like to have the best tools for the job. Unfortunately, none of my teachers gave me such advice; instead they told me that I needed to stop doodling on my papers and actually pay attention in class or I would never get a job.
To make a long story short, mainly because I would rather be creating something rather than writing this, I decided to go back to school and pursue a degree in coloring Graphic Design. The difference between these teachers and the ones who took my big pencils and crayons away is that my current teachers gave me Adobe software and challenged me to think visually.
For three long years I studied and colored day in and day out to earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. I now get the opportunity to do what I love every day, and the kicker is that I actually get paid to do it. So, for all my teachers back at Flatwoods Elementary, it looks like you were wrong. And to all the kids out there with their fat pencils and tablet paper, don’t let anyone tell you that coloring is not a job.
|A Few More Examples|
Paul Finebaum and Dawgs247.com writer Gentry Estes discuss Georgia’s preparations for the LSU game.
Paul Finebaum chats with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and “60 Minutes” correspondent Armen Keteyian about Week 5’s games and the biggest college football stories.
Paul Finebaum and “The State” writer Bob Gillespie talk about the University of South Carolina and the loaded slate of SEC games this weekend.
Paul Finebaum takes calls from listeners who want to talk about the biggest games on the college football schedule this weekend.
When No. 2 Alabama (6-0) plays Ole Miss (2-3) on Saturday evening, the nation will not lift its head unless there’s an upset. It will be one of 26 college football games that ESPN will televise Saturday, one of 11 it will show under the lights. We take that for granted these days. It is news when a game is not televised.
Once upon a time, in 1968, 11 years before ESPN was born, a regular-season college football game had never been televised in network prime time. ABC experimented with a late-season game between Alabama and Miami. A year later, it remained a novelty. If you want to know when the modern history of the sport began, go back 42 seasons to an early October night. A genius named Roone Arledge had the idea to show Alabama play Mississippi, and the game turned out to be one of the greatest in the history of the Southeastern Conference.
The game may have had that impact because it was televised. But it definitely had that impact because of a skinny junior quarterback who became a folk hero in the manner that Southerners have mastered throughout this nation’s history — in a losing cause.
On Oct. 4, 1969, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning completed 33-of-52 passes for 436 yards and two touchdowns. He ran 15 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns. He gave the first indication that the program that coach Paul (Bear) Bryant had built at Alabama had begun to slide (the Tide would finish the season 6-5).
To put Manning’s performance in perspective, no player had ever thrown for as many as 300 yards and rushed for 100 in a major-college game. Manning did all of that, and yet the No. 20 Rebels lost to the No. 15 Crimson Tide, 33-32.
“We couldn’t rush Archie. We couldn’t contain him, either,” said Alabama athletic director Mal Moore. He was a defensive assistant that night.
“I don’t tell people I was the secondary coach,” Moore said. “I have to be asked. You probably knew. You just wanted to see if I owned up to it.”
So many elements of what made the night great are gone. Bryant hasn’t prowled the Alabama sideline in nearly 30 years. John Vaught, like Bryant a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, last coached the Rebels in 1973. Legion Field is a shell of its once towering self. The façade that read “Football Capital of the South” has been carted off, the upper deck with it. Manning is better known as the father of a pair of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.
Among fans of a certain age, however, Manning is remembered for that performance.
“I always say that I don’t think that Legion Field held but about 70,000, but I know I’ve had 400-500,000 people tell me they were there,” Manning said. “The years go by and people have a poorer memory. ‘Was that you and Joe Namath?’ ‘I remember I watched every minute of that game with you and Kenny Stabler when y’all beat Alabama.’ It wasn’t Kenny and we didn’t beat them.”
The Alabama quarterback that night, Scott Hunter, may have had his greatest night as a collegian, too. Hunter was 22-of-29 for 300 yards.
“I just loved that kind of game,” said Hunter, who went on to play in the NFL and is now a stockbroker in Mobile. “You look up and you’re six points behind every time you get the ball. You got to go out there and keep throwing and keep making it happen. It was Archie’s kind of game, too. He didn’t do a single thing wrong that night.”
How the game came to be televised had a little to do with the structure of college football and a little to do with the structure of Major League Baseball. In 1969, the national pastime expanded to four six-team divisions and instituted postseason playoffs to determine the American and National League champions. The playoffs were to begin on the afternoon Saturday, Oct. 4 (postseason baseball wouldn’t be played at night for two more years).
Arledge, the executive director of ABC Sports, is best known as the father of Monday Night Football. Before that first, however, came his answer to the baseball playoffs. He saved the weekly college football telecast until Saturday night to show it in prime time. Though only three networks existed at the time, Arledge persuaded ABC to give the slot to the sports division. That wasn’t hard. ABC had only four of the top 30 shows in the preceding season.
In those days, ABC televised a dozen or so games a season, and set most of the schedule by April 1. Arledge contacted Bryant and Vaught in the early part of the year and sold them on the idea. Arledge sent a technical crew to Legion Field, where Alabama played its biggest games, to perform a site survey.
When the crew returned, Arledge called Bryant. ESPN analyst Beano Cook, then the ABC publicist for college football, happened to be in Arledge’s office as he spoke to Bryant. Cooke recalled the conversation as follows:
“Coach,” Arledge said, “we’re not going to be able to do the night game because the candlepower of the lights is not strong enough. Do you think you could do something about it?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Bryant replied. “I’ll talk to the mayor. If he won’t do it, he won’t be re-elected.”
“Bryant talked to somebody,” Cook said. “We sent somebody to check the lights again. They were good enough. We did the game.”
For the record, Birmingham returned Mayor George C. Siebels Jr. to office in 1971.
Arledge had another problem. His network televised “The Lawrence Welk Show” at 8:30 p.m. every Saturday night. Welk served up an hour of wholesome orchestral music. In the 1966 and 1967 television seasons, the show finished second among all of ABC’s shows in the Nielsen ratings. It had slipped in 1968 but Welk still had enough power in the marketplace that his contract gave him the right to his time slot. When ABC asked Welk to waive that right so that it could televise a college football game, Welk said no. The telecast began at 9:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. at Legion Field.
“Today, they come on the air, say hello and kick off,” Hunter said. “Back then, they trotted everybody out on the field. They went to head shots of the starting lineup (the players would line up step in front of a camera to be introduced, and move on) and then they would play the national anthem. All of that took 15 or 20 minutes.”
The viewers knew the two head coaches well. Vaught, who became the head coach at Ole Miss in 1947, had the longest tenure of any SEC head coach. Bryant had won three national championships at Alabama in the 1960s. He and Vaught had great respect for each other as coaches and competitors. They loved beating each other dating to Bryant’s years at Kentucky (1946-53). Going into the 1969 game, they had battled each other to a draw: 5-5-1.
Off the field, they had battled, too. Bryant loved the deception of the tackle-eligible pass and used it with great effect, especially against the Rebels. Vaught considered the play a blight on the game. He began campaigning against the tackle-eligible in the late 1950s. Vaught joined the NCAA Football Rules Committee in 1966 and still couldn’t get the play outlawed.
Finally, in 1968, when the committee moved to adjourn, Vaught stood up from the table, lodged a chair under the doorknob of the meeting room and said, “We are not leaving this meeting until we do something about that damn tackle-eligible pass.” And so the committee did.
Vaught wanted to beat Bryant so badly that the previous week, against SEC ne’er-do-well Kentucky, he refused to allow Manning to show any of the eighth-ranked Rebels’ high-powered passing attack. With the offense in shackles, Ole Miss lost 10-9.
“Kentucky was the only bad coaching job I ever experienced with Coach Vaught,” Manning said. “We tried to save everything for Alabama.”
There would be no shackles on either offense in Legion Field, even as they started slowly. The Crimson Tide led at halftime, 14-7. In the second half, the scoring never stopped. Legend has it that Bryant fired defensive coordinator Ken Donahue three times that night. He may have, though Donahue coached for Bryant until he retired in 1982.
“Fortunately, I was in the press box,” Moore said. “He would have [fired] me, too.”
Manning’s favorite receiver, Floyd Franks, caught 13 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. Manning drove the Rebels to touchdowns on four second-half possessions. They led 20-14, and Hunter and the Tide retook the lead.
Ole Miss led 26-21 in the fourth quarter, and Hunter brought back the Tide again. Manning and the Rebels went ahead 32-27, and Hunter had one more chance. He drove Alabama to the Ole Miss 14, fourth-and-goal, with just under 4:00 to play. The Tide called timeout. Hunter went to the sideline.
In the official history of Alabama football, published by the university in 2000, Hunter wrote, “Coach Bryant, trying for the umpteenth time to light a well-soaked cigarette, yelled at Coach [Jimmy] Sharpe for a play. Sharpe yelled through his headset mike at coach Steve Sloan in the press box for a play; everybody was yelling but nobody was coming up with anything …”
The referee came over and told Hunter that play must resume. He turned to run back to the huddle.
“I heard Coach Bryant yell, ‘Run the best thing you got!'” Hunter said this week, “which I now know was the best answer.”
Wide receiver George Ranager ran a comeback pattern in the middle of the field. Ranager, a junior, came from Meridian, Miss. In the 1967 Mississippi High School All-Star Game, Manning threw four touchdown passes for the North team. His top receiver had been Ranager.
Ranager caught Hunter’s pass at the 3 and spun to the inside as the defensive back grabbed at his legs. Ranager stumbled and kept his balance long enough to fall into the end zone. The Tide regained the lead for good.
ABC play-by-play announcer Chris Schenkel called it “the most exciting game I’ve ever seen in 20 years of broadcasting.” The game embarrassed both coaches, who had been known for defenses that would clothesline their mothers to prevent a first down. Langston Rogers, the longtime sports information director at Ole Miss, been a confidant of Vaught for many years before the coach died in 2006 at age 96.
“Coach Vaught told me that on the field after the game, Coach Bryant said to him, ‘That was the worst goddamn game I’ve ever seen,'” Rogers said. “He said, ‘You’re right, Bear.'”
The offenses combined to set one NCAA and nine SEC records. One of the latter still stands. To this day, 42 years later, no SEC player has surpassed Manning’s 540 yards of total offense. LSU quarterback Rohan Davey equaled it in 2001.
“It really was fun,” Manning said. “We just kind of had our way. We kept making plays in different ways — some of them drawn up, some of them scrambles. We had a lot of yards to lose a game.”