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February 16, 2011
Here is this week's "Three And Out,' a weekly feature that will provide a quick but opinionated take from Tom Dienhart on three hot topics.
1. Yeah, OK, coach. Former Florida coach Urban Meyer's recent comments on an Indianapolis radio station were dubious. He said college football "is out of control with that stuff right now ... the off-the-field, the agent issues, the violation issues and all the garbage that is out there right now." But Meyer did his part to sully the sport. Has he already forgotten about all the arrests of Florida football players during his six-year run in Gainesville? Yes, every program is going to have players run afoul of the law, but Florida's program teemed with off-field issues. Maybe some of those guys never should have been recruited to begin with. But they were because they could help the Gators win. And winning trumps good behavior every time, no matter what any coach tells you.
2. Raising the bar in Columbia. This time last year, many wondered if Steve Spurrier ever was going to get South Carolina over the hump. He entered 2010 with a 35-28 record in six seasons, with a resume full of "Who Cares?" bowl trips. But Spurrier finally engineered a breakthrough last fall, leading the Gamecocks to their first SEC East title and a league championship appearance. Earlier this week, the good times continued to roll for Spurrier, who signed the nation's No. 1 recruit in DE Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney joins a loaded roster for the budding SEC East power, as Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are foundering.
3. Hot times in Blacksburg. The ACC schedules were released this week, and Virginia Tech's sets up for a potential run to perfection. Yes, the Hokies have some holes to fill, especially on an offense that lost QB Tyrod Taylor and TBs Darren Evans and Ryan Williams. But those losses should be eased by a schedule that should see Virginia Tech favored in every game. Look at the road games: East Carolina, Marshall, Wake Forest, Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia. Boston College, Clemson, Miami and North Carolina have to travel to Blacksburg. Bottom line: Thanks to this sponge-cake schedule, Virginia Tech may be a dark-horse national title contender.