Tue Dec 21 07:56am EST
Making the morning rounds.
• We're, um, honored? Pro Football Weekly released its annual All-America team based on NFL projections, and it confirmed what Georgia fans suspected about this fall's 6-6 trudge to the Independence Bowl: Five Bulldogs – receiver A.J. Green, guards Cordy Glenn and Clint Boling, linebacker Justin Houston and punter Drew Butler – were tabbed for PFW's first team, more than any other school even placed on the "Honorable Mention" list. (Alabama had four; Auburn, Oklahoma State and Stanford all placed three.) But only one of Georgia's five speciments (Houston) was voted to an actual All-America team for his performance this year. [Dawgs 247]
• If you can't trust me, who can you trust? Shockingly, Nick Saban and pro agents offer vastly different advice to Alabama underclassmen considering whether to leave school early in the face of a labor row that threatens the 2011 NFL season. Saban: "With the labor situation and the strike [potentially] coming up, it could really affect how much a guy could develop this year if there is no minicamp, there is no training camp. It will be much more difficult for guys to learn the system and make an impact." Anonymous agent: "I tell them, 'You need to get into the system as quickly as possible. You'll need to get to that second contract as soon as you can.'" As always, prudence and profit crash head-on, but I don't detect any self-motivation on either side, do you? [ESPN]
• If you want a job done right… BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, who fired his defensive coordinator at midseason and took over the defense himself on the heels of a four-game losing streak, has reportedly dismissed his entire offensive staff in the wake of a 52-24 beatdown of UTEP in Saturday's New Mexico Bowl. If true, the purge would include offensive coordinator Robert Anae, a former Mike Leach protégé who presided over attacks that led the Mountain West in total offense four years in a row – all 10-win, top-25 campaigns – coming into this season, which happened to feature a true freshman quarterback who capped a late surge with a monster afternoon in the bowl game.
For its part, BYU issued a statement that called the Deseret News' report of a wholesale reckoning "inaccurate," and said Mendenhall is only considering "a restructuring of the offensive staff" that "includes possible changes in assignments and personnel." But the News held fast to an anonymous source who told the paper that coaches had been "told to seek employment elsewhere" during the ongoing "evaluation." [Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune]
• Not so fast, me mateys. Maryland beat writer Jeff Barker cautioned fans to hold off on tricornered hats and the grog in the wake of Ralph Friedgen's official departure Monday afternoon: Mike Leach hasn't been hired yet, and it's not a foregone conclusion that he will be. Athletic director Kevin Anderson admitted Leach was on his list of candidates, but wouldn't call him a leader: "I know a lot of people who just went through the coaching search, and they sat down [with Leach] and they talked to him," Anderson said. "And these are people in my business that I have a high regard for. At the end of the day, they didn't hire him. But you know what? I need to know [more]." [Baltimore Sun]
• Wow, going down in the most spectacular flameout in the history of the sport really pays! Most presidents, humanitarians and other luminaries only need one memoir to chronicle decades in the public sphere. Former Washington State quarterback, Heisman finalist and epic NFL bust Ryan Leaf is going to get a trilogy, courtesy of Pullman, Wash.-based Crimson Oak Publishing, which has signed Leaf to a three-book deal about "his life, football career and addiction to painkillers." Again, just to be clear, Ryan Leaf is going to publish three books before you publish any. That is all. [Associated Press]
Quickly… Missouri sack leader Brad Madison broke his finger in a practice "scuffle," but plans to play in the Insight Bowl. … South Florida receiver A.J. Love was granted a sixth year of eligibility after tearing his ACL in spring practice. … Frank Spaziani signs a two-year extension. … Kevin Wilson hires co-defensive coordinators at Indiana, and Jerry Kill is rounding out his staff at Minnesota with some familiar faces. … The mother of Miami running back Mike James was killed in a car accident. … You won't see Colorado in white-on-white uniforms anymore, as long as Jon Embree is the coach. … Fifth-year Ohio State walk-on Scott Sika is going to make a hell of an employee. … And the Baltimore Sun goes behind the scenes of Ralph Friedgen's departure from Maryland. How many times do you think the word "integrity" actually came up when the university was negotiating Friedgen's $2 million exit fee?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.