Thursday Crimson Tide links

I’ve been trying to find something interesting in the SEC meetings; however, other than the drama between Lane Kiffin and the other coaches, this year seems boring. To be honest, Kiffin has become such a joke, even the Steve Spurrier confrontation was anticlimactic.

SEC considers signing limit
Todd over at Roll Bama Roll examines the possibility of the SEC enacting a voluntary signing cap, or sponsoring NCAA legislation to create a signing cap. This is perhaps the best piece of analysis regarding the proposal, “High school coaches simply aren’t going to feed players to a coach/school that they think will end up hurting said player in the long run. …All in all, it’s probably a good rule in light of Nutt’s hijinks this past signing season, but at the same time I still think it’s an unnecessary one.”

Unnecessary sounds about right for NCAA legislation. At least they aren’t messing with the play clock!

Andre Smith evaluation
What do some people who cover the Bengals think about Andre Smith? According to Bengals.com, “Granted, his fiascos coming out of college indicate 0.0 professionalism. But then again, I remember doing some ridiculous stuff at age 22 that enraged my bosses so I’m not going judge any one on that score.

“But I would advise the Bengals to do what his head coach and offensive line coach did at Alabama: Get all over him and stay on him. Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke so highly of him because Smith did what Saban demanded and Saban didn’t play patty cake with him. Some guys need the tough love and the maintenance. I’ve spent some time with Smith (not enough to make any flowing pronouncements) and found him to be an earnest, pleasant guy who knows what’s going on, so I don’t think he’s a lost cause and I think his rebound to the No. 6 pick show he’s not lazy.”

NOT GUILTY
Alabama signee Nico Johnson won his court case on a charge of misdemeanor harassment, the Bama Beat reports. Johnson released a statement where he said, “I can’t wait to report to the University of Alabama on Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing my new teammates and coaches. ”

Star system has flaws
Ever wondered if teams can influence recruiting rankings? One assistant coach claims it happens. According to South Carolina coach Brad Lawing quoted in The State, “I can take a three-star and make him a four-star, and I can take a four-star and make him a three- or two-star with the contacts I have,” Lawing said. “That’s how ridiculous recruiting on the Internet is. I took Chris Culliver (USC safety) from a three- to a five-star in three weeks. All you’ve got to do is talk to the right people.”

Waiting on a correction
I’m still waiting on the Dothan Eagle to correct or clarify a column posted online by Phil Paramore. The column asserts, “As you will recall, All-SEC center Antoine Caldwell was one of several athletes that were allegedly getting free books via their scholarships, then passing them on to other students at a reduced rate while pocketing the proceeds.”

Unfortunately, no such allegation was supported in the report to the NCAA; in fact, the report said there was no proof that players profited from this activity. Is this new information Paramore is reporting? If so, why is it not identified as such? And why did Paramore fail to explain the basis of this knowledge (ie: from a confidential source, obtained documents, etc.)? It is irresponsible for the newspaper to not clarify, retract or explain the nature of this reckless allegation.

Intel
There is a reason that governments pay people to read foreign newspapers—foreign media outlets provide a host of valuable intelligence that can be gleaned from things as mundane as crop reports and official schedules. While the wealth of information available in reading Auburn media outlets isn’t the same as reading foreign newspapers, you can still learn a few things.

Jay Tate provides a snapshot of Auburn coaches on his blog. Tate writes, “He reminds me of a military officer in many ways: Direct with his words, task oriented, unlikely to kill time with idle pursuits.” The evaluation of Auburn head coach Gene Chizik reinforces my assertions about the coach—his military father heavily influenced his personality.

Also of interest in that portrait of Chizik, his coaching mentor is Mack Brown, Tate writes. I’m shocked. Why not Tommy Tuberville? Ahhh, Tuberville is persona non grata on the Plains right now. I forgot.

Auburn Undercover provides an interview with the new Auburn coach. On tap could be a full-size indoor practice facility—the economy allowing.

Dennis Franchione joins Tuberville as a Internet analyst
Dennis Franchione adds a new job to his resume, he’ll be an analyst for Bustersports.com. Franchione coached at Alabama, left for Texas A&M and then got in trouble with the Aggies for publishing injury information to a private group of subscribers. He did radio color commentary last season for ESPN. In a statement Franchione said, ““I’m looking forward to diving deep into the Big 12 and sharing my experience and opinion with fans of the conference. There’s nothing like football Saturday in the Midwest and I can’t wait to build up Big 12 football excitement each and every show we do.” Franchione joins other former coaches like Tommy Tuberville at Buster Sports.