SEC Pigskin Picks 10-29: “Halloween Hi-jinks” UT-Kentucky, UGA-Florida

Coach Billy Jack reveals he is a master at winning Halloween contests. You will not believe who he dressed up as once! Chely, meanwhile, tackles childhood obesity as only she can by pledging to give away healthy treats. Featured games, Tennessee-Kentucky and Georgia-Florida.

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.

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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.

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

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.


The Year of the Snake

I’m not much for cultural things. Dang, I have a hard enough trouble being a football coach, teacher and part-time bouncer at the Beaver Dam Roadside Tavern. But I was watching the TV news just now (since football is over), and I learned that this is Chinese New Year, and it’s the Year of the Snake.

First of all, happy Chinese New Year. I really need to go down to the buffet there in town and give a couple of high fives. Maybe I’ll do that later.

Second of all, this gives me a great time to introduce something new I thought up: “Coach’s Front Seven”. That’s a clever title, ain’t it. From time to time I’ll give you a top 7 list of things. Today, I want to bring you Coach’s Front Seven: Year of the Snake Edition.

The top 7 Snakes in the order that I think of them:

7. Lane Kiffin. The kid’s a loser and a slacker. Those of you who know me know I’m just a fan of SEC football fan in general. But if I were a Tennessee fan, I would make him No. 1.

6. Lance Armstrong

5. Manti Te’o. Yes, he and Lance have been done to death, but we have to include them.

4. Bobby Petrino. Me, Chely Sizemore and Professor Sinclair rode ol’ Bobby pretty hard this year on @secpigskin picks, but he deserved every joke we cracked. And Arkansas fans have as much right to hate him and Vol fans have to hate little Lane.

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3. The Federal government. Work together, Slackers. That’s why we sent you there.

2. The actors on that commercial. They need to run bleachers until they can act. (Everything can’t be sports related.)

1. Jerry Sandusky. Slacker and Snake of the Century, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Until next time, Give me 20 Slackers,
Coach Billy Jack Hoover

Vandy Coach James Franklin: too big for his britches

The first thing I did was look to see if Vanderbilt plays Alabama this fall. They do not; and that’s a good thing for the Commodores.

It’s a good thing because Vandy Coach James Franklin referred to Nick Saban as “Nicky Satan” during a visit to a high school in Georgia. He probably got lots of back slaps down there. Georgia isn’t too fond of the Rolling Tide right now after the SECCG. I just think it’s a total Slacker move for a coach to do that.

This is pretty ironic for James, though. Remember how mad he got when Derek Dooley’s anti-Vandy lockerroom speech hit youtube? After the 2010 Vandy game, Dooley said that UT always beats the hell out of Vandy. That’s pretty much true; and it was said in a victorious locker room. Still, James was livid, and he stayed bent out of shape about it long enough to talk to every reporter in Nashville.

So now that the shoe is on the other foot, we’ll see how the Tide responds when they play Vandy again. I’ll guarantee you this, you won’t hear a big reaction from Saban’s mouth. But you probably won’t see his walk-on 3rd string QB playing in the 4th quarter the next time the Tide plays the ‘Dores.

Until next time, Give me 20, Slackers
Coach Billy Jack
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