Friday, February 23, 2007

Final whistle

No doubt many of you may already have figured this out, but I've decided to no longer update the OVC Football Blog.

It has been nearly a year since this idea was hatched. Blogging the 2006 season was fun, but a bit exhausting. I've decided that the 30 minutes to an hour each morning I spent composing my daily posts could be better spent.

Thanks to all of you who made regular visits, provided me with tips and links and encouraged my work. You made the time I spent with it worthwhile.

Of course, I'll still be following OVC Football faithfully as long as my JSU Gamecocks are playing in the league. 2007 looks to be a banner year, with strong teams returning and a number of rebuilding projects beginning to mature. Who'll win the crown this year? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thanks again, faithful readers.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year

Greetings, OVC fans. Sorry for the long hiatus, but I needed a bit of a break after my first season of following the league's football action. Throw in the holiday festivities, and things were a bit busy here around OVC Football Blog headquarters.

Now that 2007 is here, I'll be checking in regularly on off-season moves and whetting your appetite for the upcoming season.

Here's a quick look at some of the recent news from around the OVC:

Jacksonville State is beefing up at quarterback, adding junior college tranfer Cedric Johnson, of Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.). At 5-foot-10, Johnson stands just a bit taller than the Gamecocks' 2006 starter Matt Hardin, and weighs in at 190 pounds, according to The Anniston (Ala.) Star (sorry, subscribers only). Johnson led Copiah-Lincoln to a 9-3 season in 2006, according to a release from JSU. He's an Americus, Ga., native, and The Star says he chose JSU over Georgia Southern.

Murray State also added three players in time to take spring practice with the Racers, according to a release from the school. Bruce McCurdy signed with the Naval Academy but did not enroll; he passed for 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior sesason with Brentwood (Tenn.) High. Wade Peters and Nico Yantko both come to MSU after signing with UT-Martin during Racers coach Matt Griffin's tenure there. Peters started one game as a free safety at Martin in 2005, and spent 2006 at North Central Missouri Community College without plaiying football. Yantko went to Iwoa Central Community College after leaving Martin. He played quarterback in high school.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Jack's coming back

Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe has signed a new, five-year contract to remain with the Gamecocks, according to today's Anniston Star (sorry, subscribers only).

The story says Crowe will earn a base salary of $150,000, with incentives for academic and athletic performance, including bonuses for winning conference and national titles. Crowe is 43-34 at JSU, and is coming off four straight winning seasons. After winning OVC titles in 2003 & '04, the Gamecocks finished 6-5 each of the last two years. Not everyone over at is happy about this.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Brown's back in town

Tennessee Tech did indeed make it official yesterday, announcing Cookeville native Watson Brown as the new head football coach. There's an exhaustive release on the move up at TTU's official site. There's audio of Brown's statements and of Tech athletics director Mark Wilson.

The release details Brown's entire athletic experience, from his time at Cookeville High School all the way up to his most recent job with UAB. They could have headlined the release "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Watson Brown's Career But Were Afraid to Ask."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New coach #2 - instant rivalry?

The Birmingham (Ala.) News today reports that Watson Brown is leaving UAB to become the new head coach at Tennessee Tech. The (Nasvhille) Tennessean, meanwhile reports that Brown is the lead candidates for the job among three others. The news says TTU will make an announcement today at the Golden Eagles' basketball doubleheader.

The OVC had two head coaching vacancies, and both were filled by UAB guys; Samford hired the Blazers' running backs coach (and former offensive coordinator), Pat Sullivan, last weekend. What's really interesting about that is part of the reason Sullivan left UAB may have been that he didn't want to deal with Brown (The News' Kevin Scarbinsky says they don't get along), who was rumored to be moving into the AD spot at UAB. Now, he'll be coaching his Bulldogs against Brown's Golden Eagles squad every year. Brown at least will be spared a return to Birmingham in 2007, as Samford makes the drive to Cookeville.

Well, two of our post-season storylines have played out. Now we'll have to see what Samford and Tennessee State decide about possible moves to other conferences.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Spoo's back

Bob Spoo is back in charge of the Eeastern Illinois football program, according to the (Charleston, Ill.) Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. Still no word on the surgery and recovery that kept him sidelined for the entire 2006 season, but hey, that's his business and not ours, I guess.

Spoo made his return official Friday, in sort of an awkward way, announcing that former Panthers quarterback Mike Donato will not return. Donato, the starter for the Panthers' 2005 OVC championship season, was dismissed. No other details were provided.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday news - It's all Samford

The Birmingham (Ala.) News today reports on Pat Sullivan's hiring as head coach at Samford. The paper says the UAB assistant was offered the top job with the Blazers, but elected to head across town to Samford instead. That's a pretty big deal. If Samford was willing to outspend UAB to get a coach, it could be a sign of bigger things to come in that program (and a signal, perhaps, to the Southern Conference? We'll see).

In a column in The News, Kevin Scarbinsky says Samford scored a touchdown in luring Sullivan away from UAB, a troubled program where back-room politics apparently dominated the coaching search (like they don't everywhere else, but if Scarbinsky's right this looks like a particularly messy case).