- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock explained two weeks ago how Butch Jones told him he had turned down Colorado to stay with the Bearcats, only to see Tennessee lure Jones away later that day. Jones told me Wednesday how gut-wrenching it was. Babcock asked him point-blank if he was going to Colorado or Tennessee. Jones assured Babcock he had turned down Colorado and that he hadn’t talked to the Vols. “Whit’s face dropped,” Jones said. “‘Butch,’ Whit said, ‘(Tennessee athletic director) Dave Hart just called.’ Trace (Armstrong), my agent, didn’t know about it. I didn’t know about it.”
2. In the end, Jeremy Pruitt took the bird in the hand. The Alabama secondary coach could have waited a year to see if defensive coordinator Kirby Smart got a head-coaching gig. Instead, Pruitt accepted an offer from Jimbo Fisher to become Florida State’s defensive coordinator. Pruitt knows it’s a gamble to leave the Nick Saban Coaching Academy. A year ago, Derek Dooley lured away Sal Sunseri to be defensive coordinator at Tennessee. After Dooley got fired, Fisher hired Sunseri to work for his young friend Pruitt.
3. As one of the leading mockers of athletic directors who buy opponents for home games, I have to admit it’s refreshing to see one of those games used for something more. If Wisconsin hadn’t brought in Utah State this past September, then athletic director Barry Alvarez might not understand how good a coach Gary Andersen is. The Aggies nearly upset the Badgers, losing 16-14, and now Alvarez has picked Andersen to replace Bret Bielema. Andersen becomes the third WAC coach to move to an AQ school this month.
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