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BARNEStorming: Coaches, Condredge, Unis and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

BARNEStorming: Coaches, Condredge, Unis and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

OXFORD, Miss. — Tennessee coach Josh Heupel played his college football at Oklahoma, while Lane Kiffin spent his playing career at the group of five’s Fresno State. These two head coaches share an interesting recent history. Each took his current job after serving as a group of five coach in the state of Florida.

Kiffin came to Oxford from Florida Atlantic, while Heupel made his way to Tennessee from UCF.

The Sunshine State’s non-big three schools have produced its share of coaches and players.

Besides Heupel, UCF has also sent Scott Frost to Nebraska. South Florida was where Oregon hired Willie Taggert before he moved on to Florida State and Charlie Strong was in Tampa before taking over at Texas.

Florida International has had Mario Cristobal, who went to Oregon, and Ron Turner who was the head coach at Illinois.

With the projected job vacancies after the season, perhaps Butch Davis (FIU), Taggert (FAU), Jeff Scott (USF) or Gus Malzahn (UCF) might find themselves on a few athletic directors’ short lists.

CONDREDGE: Each time I think about Tennessee football, I think about my favorite all-time Vol. Sorry Peyton, it is Condredge Holloway.

Holloway was the SEC’s first African-American starting quarterback in 1972. He and three other Vol trailblazers (Lester McClain, Jackie Walker, and Tee Martin) were recently honored with a statue at Neyland Stadium.

I was just in elementary school when he was giving SEC teams fits as a Tennessee quarterback. For me, it was fun watching No. 7 in orange run around the Neyland Stadium turf.

Holloway played Ole Miss three times in his career and he went 2-1. The odd thing is he played the Rebels in three different locations and none of them was Oxford.

In 1972, the Vols beat Ole Miss 17-0 in Knoxville. The next year the Rebels got revenge, 28-18, in Jackson. But in 1975, Holloway got the last laugh in Memphis, 29-17.

UCONN, or UCANNOT: Last week, UMass beat UConn 27-13 in a someone-has-to-win game. Neither team is any good, but it was news the Minutemen’s losing streak ended while UConn’s is alive and well.

The Huskies last won a game Oct. 26, 2019, when they beat of all teams – UMass.

All told, UConn has not won a game in 719 days. That is also one year, 11 months, two weeks and four days. Whichever way it is calculated, that is a long, long time between wins.

Granted, the entire 2020 UConn season was wiped away due to the pandemic – including an October meeting with Ole Miss in Oxford – but the Huskies have lost to the likes of Fresno State, Holy Cross and Temple since their last win.

I got to thinking, what have I done in that time span? Hmmm. Well, in those 719 days, I have received at least 719 emails detailing how I can refinance my student loans, get a new extended warranty for my car and buy real estate with no money down. I have lost nine pairs of reading glasses. My youngest niece became the assistant principal at my old high school (good Lord, I think a new crop of gray hair just grew into my scalp.) I have had that recurring dream that I am a student at Ole Miss standing outside the Lyceum, and I cannot remember my class schedule too many times. I have gone through two cell phones and three laptops, but I still have the same pair of flip flops, priorities you know. And I discovered my sister’s husband’s great nephew is a professional singer and he is not bad; check out Anderson East sometime, you will like him.

I may have time to add to this list as UConn hosts Yale this weekend for homecoming. The Huskies should be able to beat a team of brainiacs, but who knows? At least in November UConn plays at Clemson. With the way things have been going for Dabo this year, stranger things have happened.

UNIS: At Monday’s press conference, receiver Braylon Sanders was asked what his favorite Ole Miss uniform combination is to wear on the field. I am not sure of Sanders’ answer because I was too busy being baffled not only by the question, but by my own inability to answer it.

My freshman year, Ole Miss still wore navy blue helmets with the Colonel Rebel logo on the sides. The first game of my sophomore year, my friends and I were confused as we sat in the Liberty Bowl awaiting the Memphis State game when a team came out for warm-ups in powder blue helmets.

My friends and I had to put down our smuggled-in flasks of Old Charter or some other cheap libation to ensure we saw the words, “Ole Miss” on the helmets. The Rebs lost that night 27-17 and I am not sure if that had anything to do with it, but I have never been a fan of the powder blues.

I guess my favorite would still be the navy-blue helmet with red jerseys and gray britches. Then again, I am old, so I still like black cleats.

UPSET OF THE WEEK: After successfully picking an upset in week one, I have not picked one correctly since, but I have missed them all by seven or fewer points.

This week, not a single game stands out as upset material.

To keep an Ole Miss flavor to things, I will take former Rebel assistant Tom Allen’s Indiana Hoosiers to top No. 10 Michigan State. It is about time Indiana knocked off a ranked team.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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