Andy Griffith

Tuesday offseason one-liners


Meandering our way through the offseason minutia, a lone one-liner at a time…

— Television icon Andy Griffith, who passed away today at the age of 86 today, got his start as a standup comedian, and one of the first routines on his path to stardom was centered on the game of college football.

Idaho Statesman: College football playoffs starting to look like BCS 2.0.

— Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones gives a thumbs-up to new playoff format.

— As expected, quarterback Matt Barkley sits at No. 1 on the Orange County Register‘s countdown of the 50 most valuable USC Trojans of 2012.

— Former Alabama player/coach Ray Perkins coaching football for the first time in more than a decade — at the JUCO level.

San Antonio Express-News: Aggies raise flag on new SEC era.

— Wide receiver James Johnson tells the Seattle Times that “you can definitely see a new sense of urgency” around the Washington football program thanks to the new additions to the coaching staff.

Detroit Free Press: To foster continuity, Michigan State football assistants got pay raises.

— Vanderbilt on the verge of joining the growing trend of introducing new football uniforms.

— Pittsburgh has added a kicker to its 2013 recruiting class.  His name?  Chris Blewitt.

Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Three more football signees have arrived in Oxford and are enrolled for Ole Miss’ second summer session.

— A pair of incoming freshman not in tow as Syracuse commences summer program.

— USF head coach Skip Holtz has accepted an invitation to play in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe later this month.

— This really isn’t related to college football, but the headline compels me to mention it anyway: “Dwarf football players prove their skills on a level field at Cowboys Stadium”.

(Photo credit: CBS)

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
Associated Press
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury