All That and a Bag of Mail: Sun Wages War on South

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It’s scorching.

It’s always hot in the South but an awful lot of y’all reading this mailbag today will be doing so in cities that have never been hotter in recorded history. Think about how crazy this is for a minute. Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Louisville — which are all top 15 markets for OKTC — could all hit record highs today. How do you think Al Gore reacts to this? Secretly don’t you think he’s rooting for the craziest weather patterns every year? I mean he went all-in on global warming. If he’d just ignored global warming — and if Palm Beach didn’t have butterfly ballots — he’d have been elected President.

So he has to secretly celebrate bad weather. Like when the 1972 Dolphins break out the champagne every year.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is my 20 month old son who came into my office as I was writing this mailbag, picked up the Athlon preseason magazine and said, “I wanna read ’bout football.”

It would warm my heart if it wasn’t already too hot to warm my hot any more.

Godspeed, heat survivors.

On to the mailbag:

@charlietony writes:

Which city is the early favorite to land the national championship game, and who are some other contenders/sleepers?

First, I think the national title game should be bumped up to 2013. If that happened then the Rose Bowl would probably host the title game since it’s already slated to host in 2014. Assuming that doesn’t happen here is my most likely host cities for the first title game. One city won’t get to keep the game, I believe they’ll rotate it like the Super Bowl and I don’t believe any cold weather outdoor stadium will have a chance at the game.

So here’s my roster of cities:

1. Dallas

2. Atlanta

3. Indianapolis

4. New Orleans

5. Houston

6. Detroit

7. Phoenix

8. Miami

9. St. Louis

10. San Franciso (new 49ers stadium)

Wildcard: Los Angeles would be top five if they build a new NFL stadium.

Chris L. (@lsulala) writes:

“Comments on potential beachwear of Saban, Miles, & Chizik at the SEC Beach Fest?”

Saban: Crimson button-down, khakis, loafers, sweater vest.

Miles: white LSU hat, Big Johnson t-shirt, board shorts, no shoes.

Chizik: shirtless, AU leather jacket, jean shorts, wraparound sunglasses.  

@legendofnation writes:

“What brand of sunscreen do you rub on james franklin’s head to keep it from getting a horrible burn?”

Banana Boat Sport Performance SPF 30

Jason writes: 

“Crowell got arrested and was carrying a handgun with sawed off serial numbers. Allegedly. You’ve been to Athens. Why does any student need a gun in Athens? Much less a street gun.”

Buying a gun with a sawed off serial number has to the stupidest purchase that any non-felon can make.

I mean that, what’s dumber? Drugs are illegal so you have to buy them on the street.

Think about this, you can go buy a handgun for $100 at Wal-Mart and it’s completely legal. When you buy a handgun on the street with sawed off serial numbers don’t you just assume it’s been used in a crime? If so, you could actually be buying a murder weapon. 

How stupid is this? 

Having said that, yeah, a student actually needing a gun in Athens is absurd too. What’s Crowell going to do, shoot all the girls trying to sleep with him? Fire away at all the frat guys buying him shots at the bar? There are very few places on Earth safer than a college campus.

Four teammates were also in the car, which makes this pretty similar to the Tennessee basketball arrest that led to Tyler Smith being suspended and eventually kicked out of school. Smith also had a gun with a sawed off serial number. Why did he have the gun? To protect himself from former UT point guard Ramar Smith.


Anyway, guesses on how long Richt will suspend Crowell?

Given Richt’s usual status as a strict disciplinarian, my guess is he’s out for Buffalo. (Not the Bills). 

My real concern here is for the puppy that Crowell had on signing day. Was he in the car? Will Crowell be back from jail in time to put out water for him on a hot day? At least there’s no precedent for English bulldogs having a rough go of it lately in Athens.   

@ratedc87 writes:

“Any plans to see the movie Ted? I think you’d have made a good sidekick to a foul mouthed teddy bear.

Now that I have two kids under the age of five I have to prioritize my movie-going. I’m not willing to risk a bad movie now. Before we had kids we saw everything. Now, I’m not taking a chance on a movie sucking. So I’ll wait for reviews on a movie about a trashtalking teddy bear that I’m afraid might have had all the best moments in the previews.

I would, however, make an excellent sidekick to a foul mouthed teddy bear.

Sobering salary news — Seth MacFarlane, who wrote and directed “Ted,” makes $33 million a year even if this movie bombs. 

Most sobering salary news of all: Judge Judge makes $50 million a year. 

Want to punch Crowell’s puppy?

Dr. Phil makes over $80 million a year.


Now that I’ve ruined your Friday…. 

@tommyboy_615 writes:

What do you think Vanderbilt’s chances of success are this year and can they be a real contender in the SEC?

I think Vandy goes 6-6. But if James Franklin stays at Vandy for the next five years — that’s seven years total — I think they’ll win the SEC East at some point in those five years.


Here’s my breakdown of Vandy’s 2012 schedule:

Definite wins (double digit or more favorites): Presbyterian, UMASS

Definite losses (double digit or more underdogs): at Georgia, South Carolina

Likely wins: at Wake Forest, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss

Toss-ups (a touchdown or less either way): Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, at Northwestern, at Missouri

So I see Vandy with five wins likely, just two games that I think they’ll lose for sure, and five toss-up games where the spread is less than a touchdown.

Can Vandy beat at least one of Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, or South Carolina at home? I think so which is why I have them at 6-6. If the Dores go to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in the program’s history the question will be, can they keep James Franklin? Because he’d be the hottest head coaching candidate in the country.

In fact, if you really want to get people riled up, is there any way Tennessee could hire away Franklin from Vandy after Dooley tanks? Because Franklin would absolutely kill it in recruiting there. And all the UT fans who “hate” James Franklin? They’d immediately fall in love with him.

Vols would be best available job. Lots of big names would bite. Here’s my list in no order:

Charlie Strong, Jon Gruden (just trust me, very good chance of him), Bobby Petrino, James Franklin, and Dana Holgorsen. 

I think Vols have a very real chance at all five.

If that’s the case, and it is, don’t you have to root for Dooley not to get it done this year? Even if he manages to go 8-4 or 7-5 this year is Dooley really going to get it done in 2013 when he goes on the road at Oregon, at Florida, and at Alabama and doesn’t have Tyler Bray, Da’Rick Rogers or Justin Hunter?

We’re just forestalling the inevitable.

I think a lot of Vol fans are going to find themselves where Florida fans were in 2005 when the Zooker went down to Mississippi State and got Croomed. Rooting for this all to end.

@whitneyleigh144 writes:

“Your thoughts on South Carolina AD, Eric Hyman, taking Texas A&M’s AD position?”

Hyman — god, it’s hard to start a sentence with that word — has the best collection of major sports men’s coaches in the SEC. Plus, he hired Gary Patterson at TCU. Which has kind of worked out pretty well for them. So, yeah, I think it’s a great move. If I had to rank the SEC AD’s, I’d go with Jeremy Foley 1, Hyman 2, David Williams at Vandy 3 — he’s the acting AD, and Arkansas’s Jeff Long 4. 

So that’s a huge addition for Texas A&M.   

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions, and started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers.