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When It Comes To SEC Basketball Jobs, Who’s Better And Who’s Best?

Who's_Better,_Who's_BestMick Cronin.  Ben Howland.  Chris Mack, Tim Miles, Archie Miller and Richard Pitino.  For kicks throw in Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart, too.

With the Tennessee and Missouri jobs now open, you can expect to see many of the same names on the Vols’ and Tigers’ lists of coaching candidates.  From our list above, expect Howland to push for both UT and MU, though there’s a reason he’s been passed over by Cal, Marquette, Boston College, Wake Forest, Tulsa, and everyone else he’s contacted this year.  (The reason is likely this.)  On the other side of the coin, Marshall and Smart aren’t likely to being going anywhere at all this offseason (but never say never).

That means Mike Alden and Dave Hart will be probably end up chasing those other guys.  Aware of that fact, Cronin, Mack, Miles, Miller and Pitino will be able to drive up their salary demands accordingly.  Two jobs in the same league open?  It’s called “leverage” and coaching candidates will have it.

But which school has the better basketball program?  Which school is the bigger draw?

Below we present you with our ranking of all 14 SEC jobs as if they were open right now.  We based our selections on facility size (fan support), stability (recent coaching turnover), and overall tradition (titles and tourneys).  We’re not just throwing out names from the top of our heads here.

 

Coaches would kill for…

1.  Kentucky

All-time:  53 NCAA tourneys, 16 Final Fours, 8 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 3 head coaches

Arena capacity:  23,000

Upside:  Limitless

UK is clearly the top job in the SEC and it’s in a group of just four or five schools that could make a legitimate claim to being the best gig in the country.  We believe it probably is tops in America, but schools like North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana are all terrific.

 

2.  Florida

All-time:  17 NCAA tourneys, 5 Final Fours, 2 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 1 head coach

Arena capacity:  11,548

Upside:  Limitless

Billy Donovan has turned Florida into a national power.  Now, whoever replaces him will have to survive in a legend’s shadow.  But the UF athletic department has been incredibly stable, the recruiting base is large, and most of the heat in Gainesville gets directed toward the football coach.  If Donovan left today, Jeremy Foley could have a new coach by suppertime.

 

Coaches would be interested in…

3.  Arkansas

All-time:  29 NCAA tourneys, 6 Final Fours, 1 national title

Last 15 years:  0 Conference titles, 4 head coaches

Arena capacity:  19,200

Upside:  Strong

Arkansas eeks into the three-slot based mainly on what’s happened there in the past, just not in the recent past.  The arena is top-notch and the recruiting base includes Memphis (if a coach can tap into it).  When the Hogs are rolling, a good case can be made that UA becomes a basketball school.  It’s also hard to ignore a place with six Final Fours and a national crown.  There’s plenty of upside in Fayetteville and Jeff Long has shown that he’ll spend whatever cash the Razorbacks’ biggest boosters will give him.

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SEC Headlines 4/18/2014

headlines-friCoaching Searches

1. With Cuonzo Martin and Frank Haith gone, are there legitimate questions about the work environment for a black coach in the SEC?

2. Richard Pitino on the short list at Tennessee?  One source says it’s not happening. Minnesota A.D. says Pitino is “not interested” in Tennessee job. Some other names to watch at Tennessee.

3. Who will replace Frank Haith at Missouri?  Here’s a wish list and some more realistic options.

4. Bernie Miklasz: Mike Alden can’t blow it…again.

5. Who gets mentioned in every coaching search?  Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart.

SEC Football

6. Former Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel says he’s headed to TCU.

7. Four Georgia players were arrested on the eve of spring practice at Georgia. Coach Mark Richt may not make their punishment public.

8. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on quarterback Hutson Mason’s spring: “I thought Hutson had an outstanding spring, really stepped up in the leadership department.”

9. Florida coach Will Muschamp’s message to fans:  ”I think the future is bright,”

10. Here’s a breakdown of Alabama’s offense and defense heading into Saturday’s spring game.

11. Expect Auburn to expand the playbook this fall. Coach Gus Malzahn: “Last year, we were a very, very simplified version.”

12. Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson has a knee injury.

13. Missouri’s spring game will be an opportunity to evaluate who best can replace wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham as a deep threat.

14. Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk: “Everybody is picking us to be down at the bottom of the SEC East again. That’s just motivation for us.”

15. Speaking of Green-Beckham, Kevin Scarbinsky says “you can’t spell second chance without S-E-C.”

16. Five questions answered about Tennessee’s spring.

17. Someone spray-painted an orange tiger paw on the field near the South end zone of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium.

18. Suspended Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche has regained the right to work out with the team.

19. The Peach is back. Atlanta bowl game will be called Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

20. Nick Saban hosts Peyton Manning.  What were they talking about?

SEC Basketball

21. Kentucky lost the national championship but still dominates the sport.

22. Backup forward Tim Dixon will transfer from Georgia.

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Potential Good News For College Hoops: NBA Pushing To Increase Age Limit

scaleThe one-and-done rule in today’s college game is a by-product of the National Basketball Association.  When the wave of high school players entering the league directly from high school started to produce more misses than hits, the league slapped an age limit on draft-eligible players.  The limit was a small one, meaning kids would now to college for a year… and then jump to the pros.

But that could be changing.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is advancing the idea of changing the age limit from one year after high school graduation to three.  Such a requirement be near identical to the current NFL rule.

Whenever this issue has come up in the past the biggest obstacle has been the NBA Players Association (college coaches and NBA franchises are in favor of a such a move).  But according to Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com, the league may be willing to give the union something it’s been wanting — a better paying Developmental League — in exchange for the increased age limit.

If the Players Association will acquiesce on the age requirement, it would vastly improve the collegiate game.  Imagine stars spending three years on a campus instead of one.  Consider the growth in chemistry players would enjoy if they played together for three years instead of one.  Think of the improved play we would see as experienced veterans replaced raw freshmen as the key cogs on many teams.

That would be good, good and good.

The biggest change on the collegiate level would come in the SEC at John Calipari’s Kentucky Kindergarten.  UK has proven that bringing in a fresh batch of newbies every season can work.  But, for example, how much better would the 2011-12 Wildcats have become over time if Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Marquis Teague could have played together for another year or two?  Instead of one national crown, that group might have gone back-to-back or better.

An increased NBA age limit would be wonderful news for the college game.  Rosters would have to be rebuilt with less frequency, making the game much less transient.  Players would actually get three years worth of coaching, teaching.  And Kentucky fans wouldn’t have to learn the names of an entirely new team every season.

Cross your fingers, folks, and hope as we do that the NBA’s commish can push this one through.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Florida Lands D.C. Standout Lewis

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxFlorida received a commitment Thursday from cornerback Marcus Lewis from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C.

Playing for Gators coach Will Muschamp was an important factor in Lewis’ decision.

“I liked the hands-on recruiting by coach Muschamp and (secondary) coach (Travaris Robinson),” Lewis told Rivals. “I can come in there and play early. They don’t have a lot of defensive backs.

“A few left after last year and Vernon (Hargreaves III) could be gone soon, too. They are constantly putting defensive backs in the pros and they need some more so my ability to come in and step on the field is tremendous.”

Lewis, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 8 cornerback by Rivals, is looking forward to playing alongside Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor. The Washington, D.C., native arrived on campus in Gainesville in January.

“It did play a small role,” Lewis said of Tabor’s presence at Florida. “We’re from the same area and we’re friends. It definitely played a part.”

Lewis, who previously committed to Virginia Tech and also considered Clemson and Miami, is Florida’s sixth commitment for the class of 2015. He’s the highest-rated prospect committed to the Gators, according to Rivals.

Florida hopes the commitment of Lewis will create some momentum with its recruiting on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback Kareem Ali Jr. told Rivals he’s strongly considering the Gators and credited Tabor for helping sell the idea of playing for Muschamp.

“(Tabor) told me it’s real there and the coaches treat it like it’s the NFL and the coaches are hard on you to motivate you and they move fast,” Ali Jr. said. “He said they had a bad season last year, but they are on the come up with a young team and a good coach and are going to bring it back up this year.”

Ali Jr. said he plans to make his college decision in January.

“I just want to get everything off my shoulders,” he said. “I am just going to take visits and find what the best fit for me is.”

 

Missouri lands Georgia receiver

Missouri received a commitment this week from wide receiver Daniel Imatorbhebhe from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga.

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Report: Missouri’s Haith In Play For Tulsa Job

The coaching carousel seems to have gotten a late start in the SEC.  Well past the Final Four and the usual hiring time, one SEC job is already open and a new report suggests another one could be on the verge of opening soon.

Just days after Cuonzo Martin made a surprising move from Tennessee to California, Missouri’s Frank Haith is being mentioned in connection with another job.  And unlike Martin’s move, it wouldn’t be from one major conference school to another:

 

parrish tweet

 

 

According to Parrish, Haith is a “serious candidate” for the Tulsa job Danny Manning recently left for Wake Forest’s.  One source said, “Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri.”

Should Haith escape Columbia for Tulsa, we may soon see which SEC gig is most attractive to coaches — Missouri or Tennessee.

Update: Source tells ESPN.com that Haith has agreed to become the next coach at Tulsa.

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SEC Schools Have Averaged 3 Changes In Power Positions Over The Past Decade

gfx-by-the-numbersThe University of Tennessee is currently searching for it’s third new basketball coach since 2005.  The Vols have also had to hire three new football coaches in that span.  We believe such turnover suggests to outsiders that there’s some serious dysfunction that exists inside the walls at Tennessee.  And we stated yesterday that Vol AD Dave Hart will likely have to answer questions about all of UT’s changes when discussing his hoops job with candidates.

Our observations didn’t sit too well with a few folks who let us know about it via email.  The general gist was this: Every SEC school has turnover.

We decided to take a look and see just how much turnover should be considered normal.

We tallied the number of football coaches, basketball coaches and athletic directors for each athletic department from 2005 to now.  While we list them below, we did not count interim hires as changes (because a full-time hire could have been made instead).  We also did not count retirees who were allowed to walk away after lengthy careers (though they are listed below, as well).  We were simply looking for changes necessitated by firings, force-outs and unexpected departures.

Below is our look at stability in the power positions across the SEC:

 

Alabama 2005-2014

Football:  Mike Shula, Nick Saban

Basketball:  Mark Gottfried, Anthony Grant

AD:  Mal Moore (died), Bill Battle

Total:  3 changes… We count this as 2 changes as Moore left office due to illness shortly before his death.

 

Arkansas 2005-2014

Football:  Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith (Interim), Bret Bielema

Basketball:  Stan Heath, John Pelphrey, Mike Anderson

AD:  Frank Broyles (retired), Jeff Long

Total:  6 changes… We count this as 4 as Broyles retired and Smith was hired purely as an interim.

 

Auburn 2005-2014

Football:  Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn

Basketball:  Jeff Lebo, Tony Barbee, Bruce Pearl

AD:  Jay Jacobs

Total:  4 changes

 

Florida 2005-2014

Football:  Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp

Basketball:  Billy Donovan

AD:  Jeremy Foley

Total:  1 change

 

Georgia 2005-2014

Football:  Mark Richt

Basketball:  Dennis Felton, Mark Fox

AD:  Damon Evans, Greg McGarity

Total:  2 changes

 

Kentucky 2005-2014

Football:  Rich Brooks (retired), Joker Phillips, Mark Stoops

Basketball:  Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie, John Calipari

AD:  Mitch Barnhart

Total:  4 changes… We count 3 as Rich Brooks actually retired from coaching.

 

LSU 2005-2014

Football:  Les Miles

Basketball:  John Brady, Trent Johnson, Johnny Jones

AD:  Skip Bertman, Joe Alleva

Total:  3 changes

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SEC Headlines 4/17/2014

headlines-thursdaySEC Football

1. More player arrests at Texas A&M.  Senior defensive end Gavin Stansbury arrested on assault charges, two other players arrested for failing to appear in court.

2. Could former Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel be headed to TCU?

3. Threatening message cancels classes at Auburn Wednesday.

4. Auburn A.D. Jay Jacob’s letter to fans regarding ESPN and Saturday’s spring game: “When their cameras pan the stadium, I want their viewers to see a packed house…”

5. Alabama wide receiver Chris Black’s role is evolving under new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

6. Missouri’s departing receivers caught 195 passes last season.  Those returning caught 72.

7. Missouri spent more than a half-million of its own money to go the Cotton Bowl.  Received more than $1.3 million from the SEC to attend.

8. Expect Vanderbilt’s new 3-4 defense to showcase its linebackers.

9. Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin on defensive end Dante Fowler Jr: “He’s been great all spring. He’s stepped up as a leader as well.”

10. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema calls the defensive secondary the most improved unit of the team.

11. LSU makes a home-and-home series with Syracuse official.  Will start in 2015.

12. Plenty of primetime television opportunities for SEC teams on college football’s opening weekend.

SEC/NFL

13. Former South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton reportedly arrested for dispute with his sister.

14. Quarterback Aaron Murray on his performance at Georgia’s pro day: “I think I’ve shown everyone they don’t have to worry about my injury.”

SEC Basketball

15. Will fan criticism directed at Cuonzo Martin make it harder to attract a new coach at Tennessee?  A.D. Dave Hart: ”I think this is an extremely attractive job.”

16. ESPN’s Jay Bilas: ”It’s in a great league, and they’ve won there.”

17. How much is Tennessee willing to spend?  ”Hart and Tennessee were willing to pay Martin in the range of $1.8 million, and the Vols likely would have to go above the $2 million threshold to attract more proven coaches.”

18. Martin appeared on a Knoxville radio station this morning: “Really, no hard feelings at all…because Tennessee gave me a platform and I’m certainly grateful for it.”

19. Missouri guard Jabari Brown and coach Frank Haith release statements confirming Brown’s decision to go pro.

20. College of Charleston assistant coach  Amir Abdur-Rahim  will join Billy Kennedy’s staff at Texas A&M.

21. Lexington mayor on the lack of state funding for Rupp Arena renovation: “It’s a setback.”

Extras

22. Florida State responds to a New York Times story involving allegations surrounding quarterback Jameis Winston.

23. Dan Wetzel on a religious complain filed against Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney:  ”If Swinney is, at the very least, walking a Constitutional line, then he sure isn’t the only one.”

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Slive: “I Live In Tomorrow” As Decision Over Scheduling Looms

the-future-signIn a speech at the University of Massachusetts’ Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management last night, Mike Slive described where his focus must be stay:

 

“Today doesn’t exist for me.  I live in tomorrow.  That’s my job.  Today is the job of 35 other people (on the SEC’s staff).  I am the trustee of a sacred public trust, and if you live in the South, you know exactly what I mean.”

 

ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel points out that Slive also stated last night that the SEC will decide at next month’s spring meetings whether or not the league will switch from an eight-game football schedule to a nine-game conference schedule (beginning in 2016).

Slive’s views on today/tomorrow are shared by any good executive, any good leader.  During the recent conference expansion craze, for example, Slive had to consider how additions to the league would look in 20 years or 50 years, not just in the now.  The same goes for everything else the man does.  What are the long-term ramifications of his league’s actions?

At MrSEC.com, we’ve stated on many occasions that we believe the league should move to a nine-game  conference slate.  Such a move would protect the league’s oldest rivalries (Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia, Mississippi/Vanderbilt).  And when it comes to protecting “a sacred public trust,” there is nothing more important than the traditions built over the past 81 years.

A nine-game schedule would also allow SEC schools to see teams from the opposite division more often.  Call us crazy, but if you’re in a conference you should probably see everyone else as often as you can.

But switching to a nine-game schedule would also aid the league moving into the future.

We suspect that the new College Football Playoff selection committee will do it’s best to pick teams from four different conferences when it comes selecting who’ll compete for the national crown.  Strength of schedule will be a important factor in that process.  The Big Ten has announced nine-game schedules beginning in 2016.  The Pac-12 is going with nine-games as is the Big 12.  ACC commissioner John Swofford said in February that there is “considerable support” for a move to nine games in his league as well.  If the SEC doesn’t move to nine, it will be the only major conference playing eight league games… which means SEC teams will likely play one more cupcake than teams in other conferences will.  If the selection panel is looking for reasons to keep a second SEC team out of its playoff, you can bet the cupcake issue would loom large.

Nick Saban is just about the only SEC football coach to date to publicly push for a nine-game schedule.  Most other coaches want to avoid anything that might make getting to six wins and a bowl game more difficult.  But if Slive’s job is to think about the future, he needs to convince a few more coaches, ADs and presidents that a move to nine games is most likely the wisest step.

Unfortunately, we don’t believe that will happen.

That means come 2016 and 2017, the SEC will be at a disadvantage in the new playoff landscape that was created immediately after the BCS featured an SEC versus SEC title game.  The playoff now exists to prevent such SEC dominance.  A decision to become the only eight-game league in the Big Five conferences would only aid those who are looking to “spread the wealth” among all the leagues.

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SEC Headlines 3/16/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Two SEC quarterbacks are on the move.  Jalen Whitlow is leaving Kentucky and Coach Mark Stoops says he’s “disappointed,” wanted him to consider moving to wide receiver. Started 15 games in two seasons at Kentucky.

2. Matt Joeckel departing from Texas A&M. Joeckel has already graduated and will be immediately eligible at an FBS program. Aggies down to sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen.

3. With Dorial Green-Beckham’s dismissal, Missouri has lost three receivers 6-4 or taller.  They’re being replaced by receivers all 6-3 or shorter.

4. Florida coach Will Muschamp likes his wide receiving talent: “I think we’re as deep as we’ve been at wide receiver…”

5. Georgia’s focus this summer – getting players leaner. “This league is a lot of no-huddle. We can’t be 330 pounds out there.”

6. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt wants leadership from his upperclassmen: “We need more out of them,”

7. LSU’s opener in Houston against Wisconsin will kick off in prime time.

8. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris will spend the month of May with former LSU quarterback Craig Nall and quarterback guru George Whitfield.

9. Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson on injuries this spring: “We had probably about a dozen guys that either missed all of spring practice or a great portion of spring practice…”

10. The left tackle battle at Alabama is a two-man race between third-year sophomore Brandon Greene and freshman Cam Robinson.

11. Kevin Scarbinsky defines the Bowden Triangle: “It’s the place where the best high school and junior college prospects come to play and the rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision’s dreams of a national championship go to die.”

12. Many thought Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was on the hot seat last season but A.D. Scott Stricklin says that wasn’t the case.“What people on the outside seemed to perceive wasn’t really the case.”

SEC/NFL

13. Former South Carolina players Kelcy Quarles and Victor Hampton are expected to be drafted next month.  They’re also reportedly wanted for questioning for their roles in a New York City nightclub fight.

14. Johnny Manziel will work out for the Cleveland Browns this weekend.

15. Missouri’s Max Copeland was a guard in college – wants to be a fullback in the NFL. Lost 50 pounds.  ”I would work until I puked and then keep working.”

16. 23 NFL teams at Georgia’s pro day.

Cuonzo Martin and Tennessee

17. David Climer on Cuonzo Martin’s departure from Tennessee: “While Martin was never fully embraced at UT, he never fully embraced UT, either.”

18. Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart: “There were a lot of distractions, you know what they were, you reported on them.”

19. “Hart and the rest of the UT administration should never again treat a coach the way they allowed Martin to be treated.” 

20. MrSEC: Martin was never embraced in Knoxville for one reason — he wasn’t Pearl.  

21. Martin on his new job at Cal:  ”It’s a place I could spend the rest of my life.”

SEC Basketball

22. Slate: Bill O’Reilly’s Racially Coded Interview With Kentucky Coach John Calipari

23. Rupp Arena renovation plans up in the air after legislature fails to vote on $80 million in proposed state aid.

24. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla on Missouri’s Jabari Brown – projected as a second-round pick: “I think he’s going to play in the NBA someday, but there’s a difference between playing in the NBA and becoming a true NBA player — a guy who stays in the league for 10 or 12 years.”

Extras

25. Unlimited meals and snacks on the way for college athletes.

26. The New York Times on the Jameis Winston case – “there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or by the university.”

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Martin’s Departure Has Tennessee Chasing Its Tail Again

dog-chasing-tailHere they go again.

In Knoxville today, the private planes are being warmed up for yet another coaching search (assuming the boosters allow Tennessee’s AD to use them).  Cuonzo Martin’s surprise decision to go to California with an aching in his heart creates the umpteenth coaching vacancy at UT in the past decade.  Here’s the school’s scorecard in case you haven’t been able to keep track of all the major comings and goings in the Volunteers’ men’s athletic department:

 

* Basketball coach Buzz Peterson — fired March 2005

* Baseball coach Rod Delmonico — fired June 2007

* Football coach Phillip Fulmer — fired November 2008

* Football coach Lane Kiffin — left January 2010

* Basketball coach Bruce Pearl — fired over NCAA violations March 2011

* Baseball coach Todd Raleigh — fired May 2011

* Athletic Director Mike Hamilton — resigned June 2011

* Football coach Derek Dooley — fired November 2012

 

Now I don’t know about you, but that makes Tennessee’s athletic department look rather dysfunctional to most unaffiliated observers.  For example, here’s some of the national reaction that average fans — and coaches — are seeing across the country today:

 

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com:  ”Can you imagine?  You sign two five-star prospects in a span of three recruiting classes, win more games each year than the year before, mold a roster into a team that will soon make the Sweet 16, and, still, literally tens of thousands of your own fans have taken time out of their day to sign a petition requesting that you be replaced by the man you replaced three years earlier.”

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:  ”There is something in the water, or the soil — or, most likely, the people — at the University of Tennessee that has turned the athletic department into a transient, turmoil-ridden place.  Basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s departure Tuesday is just the latest huh? moment for a school that has been buffeted by them in recent years.”

Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com:  ”In a lot of places (Martin’s results) would merit a raise, a contract extension and a heap of praise.  At Tennessee, it got Martin a heap of nothing.  Impatient fans and lukewarm administrators never really gave Martin a chance — Indiana fans, with a bit more basketball dog in the fight, gave Tom Cream a longer leash.  And now the Vols got what they stopped wanting and exactly what they deserved.”

 

The first response to the national media from many Vol fans will be one big “who cares?” and a string of “yeah, buts.”  But no school’s boosters and fans really want the sporting world to view their athletic department as some sort of sad joke.  And unfortunately for the faithful on Rocky Top that is exactly how Tennessee is being viewed today.

Martin was never embraced in Knoxville for one reason — he wasn’t Pearl.  As soon as the NCAA came down on Pearl he became to some UT fans their own “Lost Cause” hero, a combination of generals Albert Sydney Johnston and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  ”Why we’d have never succumbed to Yankee tyranny had our beloved leader in gray not been taken from us so grievously!”

Martin got better each year in three at Missouri State.  He got better each year in three at Tennessee, too.  He wound up three points shy of the Elite Eight last month.  But he still wasn’t Pearl on or off the court.  So the anti-Martin crowd simply changed their battle cry as the Vols advanced in the tournament — “Yes, but we underachieved in the regular season.”  So when a team lives up to preseason expectations at tourney time the regular season becomes the problem?  Kentucky fans are bonkers about hoops, but I don’t see anyone running John Calipari away for following the very same path Martin went down last season — disappointing regular season, expectations basically met in the postseason.

The greatest irony is that Martin was the only guy to do any real winning on Rocky Top in years.  Pearl won an SEC basketball title in 2008.  That is the only championship for Tennessee in a major men’s sport in 15 years.  Vol baseball last took home the SEC trophy in 1995.  Vol football hasn’t been crowned league champ since 1998.

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