College football recruiting has officially arrived into the 21st century, and the Florida Gators can lay claim to being the first school to be caught wrongly using social networking to recruit players.
A rival school of the Gators found that a Florida assistant coach posted to two recruits' walls on Facebook, and turned him in to the SEC. The punishment? The assistant coach purportedly was restricted from contacting recruits for two weeks.
So now that the Florida Gators has been caught, it is my duty to determine which SEC rival threw the school under the NCAA bus. Let's take a look at each school's head coach and determine if they have an axe to grind with Coach Urban Meyer.
Well, we all know that the Georgia Bulldogs hate the Florida Gators, and head coach Mark Richt would like nothing more than to see Urban Meyer disappear permanently.
The Bulldogs have struggled recently, and overall Richt has a losing record against Coach Urban Meyer. Some feel that Richt may be on the hot seat, and another mediocre season could bring the end to his tenure as head coach.
Therefore, the chances that Georgia reported the Gators is quite high. If you can't beat them on the field, then take them down with social networking.
These two guys are not friends especially after the 2007 game when Richt asked his team to show enthusiasm, which led to the team running out to the field after the first Georgia TD.
That was not a smooth move at all for Richt, and they continue to pay for it on an annual basis.
Richt would be better served becoming a "Friend" of R.E.M or The B-52's—two great bands from Athens, Georgia.
How often do you think that the OBC kicks himself for leaving Florida back in 2000?
Let's see—he "retired" from Florida saying that he had been there long enough, and soon thereafter found himself running the Washington Redskins. At the same time, Ron Zook, a coach he once demoted, was doing his best to drive the program Spurrier built right into the ground.
Then Spurrier's job in DC fell apart, as did Zook's, and eventually Spurrier left the NFL, and Zook headed north to the University of Illinois. Some thought Spurrier would return to Florida, but then the Gators turned to Urban Meyer and Spurrier was sitting in Columbia, South Carolina.
Is it possible that Spurrier is seriously bummed that Coach Urban Meyer has won two national championships while he continues to compete in the SEC East?
Don't forget that it was Spurrier who felt Jevon Snead was better than Tim Tebow for the 2009 All-SEC team. He claimed he pencil-whipped the form after an assistant coach filled it out.
This may be the Gamecock's year, so getting his Alma Mater into hot water wouldn't be such a bad thing, right?
Trust me, Spurrier may have heard of Facebook, but is clueless on how to use it.
One would think that first-year coach Derek Dooley has way too much to worry about in house than watching what the Gators are doing on Facebook. His team is thin, and the Volunteer Nation is still trying to get over the Coach Lane Kiffin fiasco.
However, this is the son of former Georgia head coach Vince Dooley, so the hatred for the Florida Gators runs deep. He would never admit it, but it may be bred in his blood to take whatever opportunity to inflict pain on the Gators whenever he can.
If Dooley and his staff is on Facebook, they better be looking for recruits, too. Otherwise, they better focus on developing players not socializing with them.
Is it basketball season yet? What has John Calipari done now?
Wait...we're talking about football.
Coach Joker Phillips will struggle to keep fans interested in football until the college football season starts. He could care less about what Coach Urban Meyer does during the off-season.
However, former Florida Gator coach Charlie Strong is now the head coach of in-state rival Louisville, and Phillips must keep an eye on the Cardinals if he wants to keep his job for any length of time.
One thing is for certain: if Coach Phillips is on Facebook, he should be easy to find with a name like Joker.
Coach Bobby Johnson is struggling to keep his job after the debacle of the 2009 season. It's doubtful that Johnson is looking at the same level of recruits that Florida chases; it's like the class nerd and the kid voted best looking competing for the same girl.
However, Vanderbilt is the Harvard of the SEC, and since the founder of Facebook is a Harvard grad, maybe Vanderbilt teaches their staff the intricacies of Facebook and social networking.
The defending national champions are looking to make a run at a repeat in 2010, and Coach Nick Saban knows that he must travel through the SEC East to get there.
Not only does he get Florida at home in early October, but there is a good chance he'll face the Gators in Atlanta for a third straight time in early December for the SEC Championship.
Would Saban and his staff look for ways to cast a bad light on the Gators?
Yes—in an Alabama minute.
Would Saban leverage Facebook to do so? Impossible—Saban doesn't have any friends nor time to mess around with Facebook.
The Auburn Tigers are fighting back to return to prominence in the SEC, but they know that first they have to conquer their home state of Alabama.
Coach Chizik played college football for the Florida Gators in 1981, and graduated in 1985 with a BA in Education. He received his graduate degree from Clemson.
That is about it for any ties to the Gators. However, he may use Facebook to reconnect to his old Gator buddies. Maybe there is a link between a current assistant coach on the Florida Gators staff.
This could be a distinct possibility. We know that he is not well loved yet in Alabama especially around Auburn. He probably doesn't hang out at the Auburn War Eagle Supper Club very often. He may need Facebook to find some friends.
After the 2009 season, I find it unlikely that Les Miles has the ability to maneuver around Facebook. He couldn't manage the game clock in some games last season.
Does he have assistants that could do the job for him? Perhaps. Would they focus in on the Florida Gators? Unlikely. They have to worry too much about foes in the Western Division.
Is it me, or was Ole Miss rather unimpressive in 2009? Jevon Snead's campaign for a possible Heisman died quietly, and very little was heard from Coach Houston Nutt.
However, don't think for a second that Coach Nutt will stay down and quiet for long. He now must rebuild and is not expected to be a viable threat to compete in the SEC West in 2010.
I wouldn't be surprised if Coach Nutt knows what Facebook is. He may look at high school yearbooks, but Facebook? No.
We all know that Coach Petrino isn't well liked in Atlanta, Georgia, but does he harbor ill-will towards the Florida Gators?
Some feel that Arkansas should have defeated the Florida Gators in 2009 down in The Swamp, but questionable calls prevented Arkansas from winning. Do you think Petrino has an axe to grind and went looking on Facebook for possible transgressions?
I'm not even sure that Arkansas has Internet access yet.
Coach Dan Mullen knew he had a serious hill to climb when he took his first head coaching job in Starkville. His first season was mediocre but respectable.
He and Coach Urban Meyer are buddies—everyone knows that. If two coaches in the SEC are buddies on Facebook, it's these two.