You want to get deals done, son, you go to the golf course. And who are the best dealmakers in the country? That's right, college football coaches. So this week's Chick-Fil-A Challenge at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, pitting ACC and SEC coaches against one another in heated golf battle -- well, as heated as golf gets -- is going to be all about the wheeling and the dealing. (College football, golf AND Chick-Fil-A? Heaven on earth, I tell you.)
So who's playing? Each coach gets a celebrity partner connected with his school and it shakes out like this:
• Alabama: Nick Saban and Steve Sloan
• Clemson: Dabo Swinney and Dwight Clark
• Florida State: Jimbo Fisher and Terrell Buckley
• Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson and Jon Barry
• Maryland: Ralph Friedgen and Stan Gelbaugh
• Mississippi: Houston Nutt and Wesley Walls
• North Carolina: Butch Davis and Natrone Means
• N.C. State: Tom O'Brien and Sidney Lowe
• South Carolina: Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe
• Vanderbilt: Bobby Johnson and Will Perdue
• Virginia Tech: Frank Beamer and Dell Curry
• Wake Forest: Jim Grobe and Billy Packer
That's a big-name bunch. They'll be playing for a $120,000 scholarship prize, with a total purse of $400,000. Who'll win? To find out, we asked the two best college football analysts we know -- not just the two who would return our email on short notice -- Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday and Matt Hinton of Yahoo! Sports' own Dr. Saturday. Here's their take on a victor:
"Spurrier, I think," Hall said. "Saban doesn't have time for that [nonsense]."
"Well, Spurrier certainly makes the most time for it," Hinton added, "and once took an on-course [um ... let's say 'toilet break'] during a round at Augusta, if I'm not mistaken." (He's not.) Hinton also noted that in the future, we need to keep an eye out for Tennessee's Derek Dooley: "I don't know if he can play, but he'll do everything else right and leave the course with a sale."
"It's a shame," Hall said, "the best golfer in the conference was [former Ole Miss/Auburn coach Tommy] Tuberville, who I believe had a golf scholly to Central Arkansas. He's actually quite good. In the ACC, I'm pretty sure they're all around par. ZING!"
Zing, indeed. Spurrier and Sharpe have owned this event the past two years, while in the inaugural 2007 tournament, Beamer and Curry took the crown.
The event runs through Thursday. It'll be telecast on tape-delay on ESPN later this summer, where it'll certainly outperform any golf tournament short of a major on a Sunday. Dammit.