10 interesting quotes from college football media this week

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday July 14, 2017

- Paul Finebaum on Alabama vs. FSU: “Here’s a problem for Alabama, and why they’re under so much pressure. They’re coming into this game with a loss to an ACC team. If Alabama loses, I don’t think you’re going to be hearing that they could meet again. You’re going to be hearing, what is wrong with Alabama? They’ve lost two consecutive game to ACC schools, and the media will blow this thing up like a mushroom cloud.”

- SEC Network’s Booger McFarland: “I think Tennessee is going to be abysmal. I think the people at Tennessee are going to have to make a decision at end of year.”

- Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples: “The thing Tennessee fans don’t appreciate, because they have a much higher view of their program than they probably should at this point, they see themselves as a perennial top-10 program. Look, the 90s are over. Phillip Fulmer is not walking through that door. When Butch Jones took over, that roster was a mess. He had so much work to do. He dug them out, and now they have a legitimate SEC roster. Now, they haven’t taken the next step. It’s reasonable to ask them to take the next step in an SEC East that is meh. … The South Carolina and Vandy losses were inexplicable.”

- SEC Network’s Greg McElroy on Tennessee: “Too many questions for me to assume they can contend with Florida and Georgia. Just so many departures. … The defense has to be better. They were awful against the run, 11th in the league at 220 yards per game, three yards per carry before contact. That’s insane. They have to be better along the front. But Butch Jones, no reason he should be on the hot seat. They’re 15-4 in their last 19 SEC games. That’s bested only by Alabama. This program has had a remarkable turnaround.”

- SiriusXM’s Braden Gall: “I think everyone in the SEC should take 9-3 until Nick Saban retires. If you’re 8-4, 9-3, just accept it, until he retires. Then we can find out how good these coaches are.”

- Tony Barnhart on SEC quarterbacks: “If you don’t have a quarterback in this league, the way the game is played now, you are in a hole for every game. Ask Les Miles. You’ve got to have a quarterback and clear offensive philosophy. The running backs are extremely important, but if you start the day without a quarterback, you’re really behind."

- SiriusXM’s Rick Neuheisel on Ed Orgeron: “He got the job, they won their bowl game, he’s off and running in recruiting. He’s kind of (tried to) put a fence around Louisiana, literally and figuratively. There’s no reason to think everything isn’t going well for LSU. Certainly he’s focused. When we’ll find out if he has the chops to really do this job is when the season rolls around, he’s got to make the 4th-and-1 decisions, manage the clock, do the things that go into game management as a head coach. If he does that, I think he can be the head coach at LSU for a long time. … I’m pulling for him. I think it’s a good story.”

- Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman on FSU safety Derwin James and the Heisman: “If they beat Alabama, he’s going to have people saying, ‘This is the most outstanding football player in the country.’ He’s going to have to have a huge role in that game. Then, if he has a game where FSU wins 24-14 against Wake Forest and he has two tackles, it’s hard for Heisman voters to validate that without numbers, because quarterbacks are throwing for 400 yards.”

- SEC Network’s Marcus Spears: “Last year at South Carolina proved to people that Will Muschamp can coach. Coming into the season, it was dire. No one knew who this team would be. For this team to get six wins after all the things that transpired at Florida, that Muschamp had lost it, he exceed expectations, and that takes you into a second year feeling good.”

- Paul Finebaum on Muschamp: “I think about him a couple years ago at Florida compared to here. This is a new coach. He’s reenergized, he’s learned from his mistakes. South Carolina won’t be contention for the SEC title, but they’re moving up, and he will have this program in great shape. He was natural and calm. … He’s been given a second chance, and he’s making the most of it. He wasn’t ready to go to Florida. He is ready for this job.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.