SEC Football: Never Print “National Champs” T-shirts in July coach billy jack hooverThings rarely go the way we expect them to go in life. This is especially true in the fanatical world of SEC football. Sometimes, our entrepreneurial spirit overcomes our common sense. And when that happens, well, we always pass the savings on to you. So check out these deep, deep discounts on SEC school merchandise:

  • Georgia Bulldogs 2013 National Champs shirts (Buy 1 and get a Gurley for Heisman shirt free!)
  • Florida Gators Music City Bowl travel packages, includes $5 off of the Country Music Hall of Fame admission
  • For sale: domain name. Contact Gene Chizik
  • We’re Back! T-shirts in a variety of colors: orange and white, blue and white, & red and blue
  • Johnny Foosball misprinted T-shirts. Actually, these are selling pretty well right now
  • For Sale: Heisman voters mailing list. Please call Ole Miss Athletic Department
  • Hey Mizzou, Welcome to the SEC shirts available in Nashville, Athens, Gainesville, Knoxville, Lexington, Oxford and College Station (Yes, Missouri will beat A&M. Listen to SEC Pigskin Picks here to see who else will lose.)
  • Shirts with Les Miles’ picture on them. (This has nothing to do with LSU’s season. I’m just saying that putting Les Miles’ picture on a shirt would be a really dumb thing to do.)

But this isn’t just a regional problem. If you’re out in Eugene, Oregon, pick me up one of those Move Over SEC shirts. I hear they’re a dime a dozen.

Til next time, Give Me 20, Slackers
Coach Billy Jack

Who hates you, baby? Loathing the SEC schools

Don’t tell me we’re not passionate about football down here in SEC country. I did a google search with the following question for each SEC team:

“Why do people hate (name of school) football?”

The results were fairly interesting:

1. Florida 78,600,000. I’m not sure if this makes Florida the winner or the loser of the contest. I suspect that depends on whether you’re responsible for one of the 78.6 million hits. MVP: Steve Spurrier, Miss Congeniality Urban Meyer.

Miley Cyrus, 32,700,000 (I just tossed that one in there for perspective.)

2. Mississippi State 28,600,000. Ha! You got beat by a girl!

3. Kentucky 17,900,000. What’s remarkable here is that “Why do people hate Kentucky basketball?” only got 1.16 million hits. Congrats, ‘Cats on finishing second in the East.

4. Georgia 11,200,000. The ‘Dawgs have earned plenty of enemies over the years. “LINDSAY SCOTT, LINDSAY SCOTT, LINDSAY SCOTT!” (No, ‘Dawgs, it won’t make you feel any better about Saturday night, but it’s fun to listen to Munson just the same.)

5. South Carolina. 7,050,000. MVP: Steve Spurrier.

6. Missouri 5,590,000. Must be some Big 12 hold-over.

7. Arkansas 4,590,000. MVP: Bobby Petrino

8. Auburn 2,880,000. Apparently, Georgia fans broke their computers Saturday night instead of ranting on them.

9. Texas A&M 2,830,000. Incidentally, “Why people hate Johnny Manziel?” got 298,000.” And “Why people hate Johnny Football?” got 23,500,000. You see kids, you can’t be bigger than your team, but your marketing brand can be.

10. LSU 2,590,000. Buy us a praline, we’ll keep our mouth shut.

11. Alabama 2,310,000. Incidentally, “Why people hate Nick Saban?” just got 53,000. Compare that to Phil Fulmer, 1.2 million; Phil Collins, 247,000; Phil Dunphy, 13 million; Punxsutawney Phil, 486,000. So Nick, if you want to play with the big boys, I guess you need to change your name to Phil.

Brief digression: How can 13 million people hate Phil Dunphy?

12. Tennessee 1,710,000. Comp us a night at the Days Inn in Gatlinburg, we’ll keep our mouth shut.

13. Ole Miss 1,150,000. Hugh Freeze looks so much like Mr. Freeze (google it), we’re afraid to hate him.

14. Vanderbilt 996,000. Incidentally, before James Franklin, it was only 258.


Updating the Marion County, Tennessee, big, big mess coach billy jack hooverUPDATE: We’re not a news source here at, but since I wrote about the Marion County, Tennessee, school vandal scandal when it first broke, I feel obligated to bring you up to speed on this crazy story. It started with Marion County HS assistant coach Michael Schmitt’s arrest for allegedly vandalizing his own team’s field house  before a rivalry game to motivate his team. That’s what my original blog, below, talked about.

Within the past 2 days, another assistant coach, Joe Dan Gudger, was also arrested and charged with vandalizing the Marion County Warriors’ field house and being in illegal possession of alcohol on school property. (I’m not sure the old “I was drunk” defense will work, but at least he can give it a try.) . And a third assistant, Tim Starkey, was fired for allegedly breaking into another school’s field house and stealing a playbook.

The following day, head coach Mac McCurry resigned to avoid being fired, according to news reports.

And you want to know how it all fell apart? Text messages. Freaking texts obtained by the cops between Starkey and Schmitt in which they implicate themselves, Gudger and McCurry.

See the texts here on

In the original blog, I took Schmitt’s side for being a master motivator. Sure it was 90% tongue-in-cheek, but I did think he was creative. Now, with the smoke (hopefully) cleared, it’s just a big mess created by by what called “the worst coaching staff ever.”

ORIGINAL POST: I once heard of a coach who rammed his fist through the locker room wall to motivate his team. Broke it in 3 places. He never played the violin again.

Image via, credit Doug Strickland

Image via, credit Doug Strickland

That’s pretty neat trick. But if the Marion County, Tenn., Sheriff’s case against coach Michael Schmitt holds up, this will make that look like a broken fingernail.

In the early morning hours before the Marion County vs. South Pittsburg rivalry football game a couple of weeks ago, vandals defaced Marion County’s field house and adjacent buildings with orange and black spray paint — South Pittsburg’s school colors. In a photo from The Chattanooga Times Free Press web site, the graffiti included “SP” and “(seven) and counting” in reference to South Pittsburg’s 7 straight victories over Marion County.

Listen to this week’s episode of SEC Pigskin Picks here

Now, however in a crazy turn of events, Schmitt — a Marion County assistant coach — has been arrested for doing it. According to the newspaper, “Officers involved in the investigation believe the vandalism was an attempt to inspire the Marion County football team before its game against county rival South Pittsburg.” The paper also mentioned that the Sheriff’s department would not confirm or deny whether other Marion County coaches are suspected of being involved.

The paper quoted the Marion County Schools Superintendent as saying whether Schmitt keeps his job depends on whether he is found guilty of the charges.


Do you want a run-of-the-mill coach or a motivational mastermind on your staff? Give me Coach Schmitt any day. If you did it, you’d better own it. Write a book. Hit the speaker’s circuit. This is pure sports motivation gold. Coach Schmitt, I want you in my fox hole.

Who won the game? South Pittsburg. Is anybody going to remember that 25 years from now?

Just ask the coach who broke his arm.

The 3-day NBA Offseason

 The NBA Offseason;
Shorter Than a Bad Cold

Don’t get me wrong. I love basketball. Even played a little back in the day. That was where I learned the character-building effect that running bleachers has on a young man. But I don’t love the NBA. Can’t watch it. It’s more predictable than professional wrestling and just about as real in my opinion. Nobody plays defense, and there always seems to be some scandal bigger than the game. But every year someone finally, mercifully wins the title. And then dang if the next season doesn’t start three days later. Where’s the anticipation? No team in any sport needs to play five thousand games a season. Lots of things last longer than the NBA offseason. Here is a top-ten list:

nba off-season

Mr. Clement C. Moore, ladies and gentlemen. Arthur of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” — the world’s longest poem.

    • A moderate to severe cold. And remember, cold and flu season is upon us, so wash your hands.
    • “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” You know, the poem. ‘Twas the night before Christmas. Since I am a professional educator, here’s a history lesson. Clement Clarke Moore wrote it in 1823. He also proved his kids didn’t have Attention Deficit Disorder.
    • Season II of “Basketball Wives.” Apparently there is a show called “Basketball Wives.” Who watches this stuff?
    • The blessing before last year’s Thanksgiving meal at my house. After about 20 minutes of Uncle Ralph’s sermonette, I just couldn’t help it. I gave in, opened one eye and there was that plump, moist turkey, the steaming dressing, the rich gravy. But I couldn’t dig in because Ralph apparently was trying to pray away that McGriddle he must’ve had on the way over. By the time he finished, the mashed potatoes were rock hard and Green Bay-Detroit was at the half.
    • The expiration date on milk. What they do to milk nowadays that makes it last a month?
    • Crushed ice in a Styrofoam cup. It lasts forever.
    • Waiting on a pizza delivery. I’m flashing the porch light. I’m waving my arms. But the delivery slacker still goes to the neighbor’s house.
    • “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. You probably know I don’t like this kind of music much. (Give me Willie or Waylon.) But the kids seemed to like it. Came out in 1979 when I had only been teaching a dozen years. Incidentally, it peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. Went to #1 in Canada. Explain that.
nba off-season

She’s getting 18 PPG and 7 boards.

  • The NBA playoffs. It seems that way, doesn’t it. Read this in your announcer voice: Yes sports fans, 72 teams made it to the NBA playoffs this year, including a custodial crew, a superfluity of nuns and the remaining cast members from “Gilligan’s Island.” Look up superfluity if you don’t believe me.
  • And the Number One thing lasting longer than the NBA off-season: this blog. I’m out. Maybe I’ll give it a chance this season; who knows? Jordan still plays, right?

’til next time, give me 20, slackers.
Coach Billy Jack Hoover


Steve Spurrier Drunk? So What

Steve Spurrier is Still
Crazy After All These Years

Some say Steve Spurrier was a little schnockered on his weekly TV show following the Gamecocks’ win on Oct. 5 over Central Florida. Watch this snippet, and draw your own conclusion:

When he was asked by a reporter if he was impaired on the show, the Head Ball Coach said, “I hope not.”

And here’s what he had to say when asked if he had been drinking after the game:

“Whether or not I have a few beers after every game for the past 29 years I don’t think I need to get into all that. Most coaches that I know we probably do have a few beers after ballgames after building up all week and so forth.”

Is that classic Steve Spurrier or what?

The Head Ball Coach is a legend, and he’s a rock star at the same time. Not a lot of people fit into that category. And part of the reason he is in the position he’s in is because of his candor (or call it what you will, depending on how much he has beaten your team). Nobody really cares — or should care — if he threw back a few after the game. He probably should film the show first, but I digress.

Come on. Have you ever been to Orlando for the day with a bunch of kids? I know plenty of adults who need to take the edge off following a trip to the “happiest place on earth” — which is a relative term to say the least.

Steve would make a terrible politician, wouldn’t he.

Reporter: “Congressman Spurrier, have you ever accepted bribe money from the tobacco lobby?”

Steve: “Whether or not I did that for the past 29 years, I don’t think I need to get into that.”

That’s exactly what he would say, and dang it, I kind of appreciate that. We could learn a lot from Steve Spurrier. If you do it, own it. And convert 4th and 15 against who doesn’t like it. We need more terrible politicians like that.

Until next time,
Give me 20, slackers!
Coach Billy Jack Hoover

4 SEC coaches separated at birth

SEC football is what makes life worth living for most of us. And recently, some of you slackers have gotten so serious about it that it’s not fun anymore. If your team doesn’t win the National Championship, you’re ready to tar and feather the head guy and go after another coach (who hasn’t won a NC where ever he is either, most likely.)

So today, let’s have a little fun. You don’t have to tell your twitter buddies (who also think you should fire your coach) that you read it. Just make sure to erase it from your browser history.

I’ve always thought that Nick Saban looks like Papa John. Of course, Nick has a few years on Papa, but I still stand by the comparison. So Papa says, “Better ingredients, better pizza. Papa John’s.” I submit that Nick could say “Better recruits, better team, Coach Nick’s.” Has a ring to it. Don’t you think? Their shirts even match, almost.

Do you think Butch Jones tells his Tennessee players to “FALL IN!” the way Sgt. Carter used to do it on the Gomer Pyle show? I’m sure he does not, but that doesn’t mean that he cannot look like the late Vince Sutton, who played Pyle’s crotchety superior. Maybe Jones could make Vol quarterback Justin Worley put a bucket over his head and sit on a stool until he figures out how to hit open receivers. If you’re too young to remember Gomer Pyle, you missed some funny television. (Tyler Bray went pro a year early for a reason, Vol fans. Shazam! Butch would’ve killed him.)

Mark Richt and Rob Lowe. I’ll admit this is a stretch. In my mind I imagined a photo of “Risky Business”-era Rob alongside Richt both with their cool-breeze Ray Bans on. But all Rob’s Ray Ban pictures are from years ago, and Mark just doesn’t have the hair to pull it off.

Finally, I couldn’t resist comparing Hugh Freeze to Mr. Freeze, just on name alone. Freeze is the coolest last name on the planet. But when I ran across these pictures of Hugh and the Batman villain, they actually do favor a bit, except that Mr. Freeze is gray. I don’t have anything real funny to say about this. I think it speaks for itself. Aight, slackers, you’ve had your fun for the day, now go out there and tweet ’til your team fires that bum of a coach of yours.

Georgia vs. LSU: not that big of a deal

Hogwash! Blasphemy! Treason, even! I can hear the Dawgs barking and the Tigers growling.

What do you mean, it’s not that big of a deal? Here you’ve got two top 10 teams with Championship implications on the line. What do you mean?

Let’s examine what’s on the line for Georgia. The Clemson loss knocked the Dawgs out of the NC hunt in week 1. Since that’s not happening, the goal is the SEC Championship. Okay Dawg fans, you’re already mad at me for my NC observation, so let’s just go on and say LSU invades Athens and takes care of business. That gives Georiga their only conference loss. The next three games are at Tennessee, home against Missouri and at Vanderbilt. Georgians have a better chance of getting a share of the Tennessee River than the Dawgs have at losing to either the Vols or Dores. And, Missouri at home will be a double-digit margin.

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Georgia’s only remaining test is at home against Florida. And even that will be an open-book test. Did you watch the Florida-Tennessee game? Florida is not through losing. I will go out on a limb right here and predict Georgia beats Florida worse than it beats Vandy. The match-ups are clearly in Georgia’s favor against the Gators. Then they finish up with Auburn and Kentucky. W and W. And boom, the ticket is punched to the SECCG, even with a loss to LSU. Maybe that guy who cried on the radio call-in show after the Clemson game can take some consolation in this.

The Tigers, on the other hand, come in with a perfect record, meaning they’re still in the hunt to play for the big crystal football. Well, maybe. Even an undefeated SEC team (besides current No. 1 Alabama) would still need two and maybe 3 of the current teams ranked ahead of them to stumble. Have you looked at the remaining schedules for Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson and Stanford? Probably not happening.

So, let’s say the Mad Hatter goes to Athens and runs out of tricks. There’s no reason to throw yourselves to the alligators, Tiger fans. Neither Texas A&M nor Alabama have great defenses, and Mettenberger is engineering more than 43 points a game. You’re going to get either ‘Bama or A&M, maybe both. Here’s the deal: you were the odd-man-out in the west before the season began. Beating Alabama and A&M is what gets you to Atlanta in December. It doesn’t really matter if the ride home from Athens is a long one, if you don’t TCB in the West, you’re out anyway.

But you won’t catch me saying that to an LSU fan late Saturday night.

Until next time, give me 20, slackers.
Coach Billy Jack Hoover

5 things I can’t believe after 3 weeks

  1. Missouri is the only unbeaten team (2-0) in the SEC East. Yes, they’ve played two slacker games while everybody else has actually broken a sweat. But, Missouri’s conference schedule is one that could play nicely in their favor as we move toward December. Georgia on the road is their toughest remaining game. But I won’t get ahead of myself. Let’s see what coach Gary Pinkel does on the road against Indiana Saturday.
  2. Nobody can figure out how to slow down Johnny Football. His most slippery move, of course, came before the season even started by making the NCAA whiff in the wake of the autograph scandal. Somebody called him Johnny Cash on twitter, and that was pretty funny, but I digress. Anyway, even though the Aggies fell to Alabama, Manziel still manufactured 628 yards of offense. If Saban can’t stop him, who can?
  3. Alabama has problems on defense. Virginia Tech moved the ball against the Tide in week 1, and we’ve already given Manziel enough ink. Of course, Saban has plenty of time to tinker and tweak (I almost typed twerk.)before their next test, which doesn’t happen until Nov. 6 against LSU.
  4. Auburn is 3-0. Of course all three of their games have come against schools with “State” after their name (Sorry Mississippi State). But still, nobody had the Tigers picked to be perfect after 25% of the season was in the books.
  5. Mississippi State is bad with their only win coming against Alcorn State. They will even it up after beating Troy on Saturday, but that just makes the game against LSU and the Mad Hatter that much closer. Mississippi State fans, go on and book that New Year’s Eve package. It’s not going to conflict with football.


Breaking down The Clowney Effect

Don’t be afraid. I promise not to make any bad puns using Jadeveon Clowney’s name. Of course that may or may not be because I can’t think of one that I haven’t already heard, but I digress. Instead, I’m going to get all original and coin a brand new phrase called the Clowney Effect.

Simply put, the Clowney Effect is when you have one of something when you really need two. For instance:


Clacker toy. Or should I say Slacker Toy?

  • Clackers (Are you old enough to remember clackers? Worst toy ever. Slacker toy.)
  • Shoes
  • Properly inflated bicycle tires
  • All-American linebackers

Consider this. Against Georgia, Clowney was on the field for 78 percent of the Gamecocks’ defensive plays. Yet, when he was in the game, Georgia averaged 8.3 yards per play, compared to 2.8 yards when he was on the sideline. Moreover, when he was on the field, the Bulldogs had 17 plays of more than 10 yards. When he was on the bench, they had two.

After the game, a frustrated Clowney exhibited shades of the Manziel Effect (running of the mouth) when he told reporters he had asked to be moved around where Georgia couldn’t continually run away from him. I’m sorry No. 7, your teammates on the other side have to keep that from happening. And on Saturday, they let you down.

So listen to me, young quarterbacks and aspiring coaches. When you see Jadeveon Clowney lined up on one side, you run the play to the other side every single time – every single stinking time. As in, “Hey defense, we’re going this-a-way, and Clowney can’t catch us on a motorcycle.” It makes coaching sound easy doesn’t it?

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a 4-wheel-drive truck at running back either. And that is what you call the Gurley Effect and not too many teams have that.

What we Learned in Week 1

What we learned from Week 1 in the 2013 college football season.

  1. Georgia lost their biggest playmaker for the season in Malcolm Mitchell when he reinjured his knee air bumping with Todd Gurley after a Bulldog touchdown. That’s incredible bad luck for Mark Richt’s team who put themselves precariously behind the 8-ball already after losing to Clemson. At least for a while, we don’t have to worry about the Bulldogs doing much celebrating on defense after giving up 38 to Clemson. Which leads us to…
  2. Steve Spurrier surely cannot wait for Saturday to invade Athens to turn up the heat on Mark Richt’s seat. Odds makers are calling this one a virtual toss-up. And for sure it’s the marquee game of the week if not the year. Listen to SEC Pigskin Picks this week to get our prediction for the winner. Of course, it’ll be a slam dunk. Which leads us to…
  3. Basketball is right around the corner, which is a good thing if you’re a Kentucky fan. Last year the Cats could only muster 2 wins. Their 2013 campaign opener proved they probably won’t outpace that this year with a loss to Wild Man Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky team. Which leads us to…
  4. Give Butch Jones’ Tennessee Vols an A for effort in their shutout of outmanned Austin Peay. But the playmakers in Knoxville are few. True, games are won up front, and the Vols have that covered on both sides, but big names at the skilled positions are yet to emerge. You won’t hear it publically, but anything less than a 3-touchdown win over WKU Saturday will be a sad statement on the 2013 Vols. Which leads us to…
  5. Johnny Football. ‘Nuff said, right? He has drawn the ire of every college football talking head on TV as well as fans across the nation. And he’s even alienated some of his own faithful after a horribly childish and ill-conceived performance on Saturday. Besides his “show me the money” and “air autographing” gestures after Aggie TDs, he snubbed Kevin Sumlin after  the coach benched him for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sumlin later called the penalty “foolish.” We say Sumlin is foolish if he doesn’t take care of the Manziel Problem immediately. On Saturday, we’ll either see two fools or zero. Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner