The Top Ten Athletics Directors You Need to Follow on Twitter
Twitter is great. Never before have you - the fan, the alum, the employee, the coach, the spambot - enjoyed the access to your favorite school's athletics director. With a few pecks at the keyboard, you can share your joys or frustrations in mere seconds. Like one Mississippi State fan did after viewing North Dakota State's season highlight video on our site and wanted to know why his school - an SEC school, in case you forgot - couldn't do the same.
Again, what's not to love about Twitter?
We decided to rank our top 10 Twitter follows among FBS athletics directors.
1. Greg Byrne
Followers (approximate): 15,500
Reason: There are multiple. He is No. 1, after all. There was the time he trolled an Arizona State fan, or the time he announced the hiring of Rich Rodriguez over Twitter, or the time he invited two fans to take part in the Arizona football pre-game, or the time he agreed over Twitter to speak to an LSU sports management class via Skype. If that's not enough, he has Ron Swanson as his avatar.
Update: Thirty-six hours after the fact we received further confirmation that Byrne is indeed a deserving No. 1:
The real D Beebe emailed after being named #1 AD on twit. “Good work GB, but the fake @DanBeebe has over 21K followers. U need 2step it up!”— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) November 22, 2013
2. Scott Stricklin
School: Mississippi State
Reason: Stricklin wrote the book on fan engagement on Twitter.
@CroomDiaries IMO, big board should enhance, not dominate, game experience. We’ve crossed that line. It’ll get fixed— Scott Stricklin (@stricklinMSU) November 17, 2013
3. Jeff Long
Reason: Hard to imagine an AD with a more eventful 18 months than Long. He survived the Bobby Petrino mess, snuck Bret Bielema out of Wisconsin in a giant wheel of cheese (presumably), joined the College Football Playoff selection committee, and still finds time to be a situational comic.
4. Bill Byrne
School: Nebraska, Texas A&M (retired)
Reason: The older of the two Byrne athletics directors, Greg's father is no longer working. But that only gives him more opportunity to throw out hot sports opinions without worrying about the repercussions.
Watched it happen too many times. When tu needs a call, they get it. Clearly a fumble. Call goes for tu.— Bill Byrne (@Bill_Byrne) October 4, 2013
We all new BU was overrated & OU had lots of injuries, but this is hard to watch. I wonder what is on the LHN. Probably a volleyball replay— Bill Byrne (@Bill_Byrne) November 8, 2013
5. Danny White
Reason: One of the hot young names in the business, it's only a matter of time before the son of Duke AD Kevin White changes his handle to something like @OhioStateDannyWhite.
6. Mark Hollis
School: Michigan State
Reason: "Stress relief -- that's the reason I tweet," Hollis said earlier this year. "When you see a bunch of tweets come up from @MSUAD, it's because I'm either stressed about something or I'm extremely bored. I don't use it real well as a means for marketing. I use it more to get things off my chest when they're bothering me. Perhaps somebody in my role shouldn't do it that way, but that's the way I roll. If you know me, that's what I do."
When one of the most creative minds in the business has time to wander, you need to be there.
7. Ross Bjork
School: Ole Miss
Reason: Bjork offers plenty of worthwhile content daily across the Ole Miss athletics spectrum - like here - but his feed really gets good whenever his seven-year-old son gets ahold of Dad's iPad:
8. Kirby Hocutt
School: Texas Tech
Reason: Hocutt announced the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury over Twitter. We only hope the next time the Red Raiders are ready to introduce a head coach that Hocutt remembers to tell his trusty camera man to turn his cell phone sideways.
9. Jay Jacobs
Reason: A former walk-on on the Tigers' offensive line, Jacobs holds two degrees from Auburn and has spent all but one year of his adult life in Auburn. He's as War Eagle as it gets. Which is why we can't tell if he's serious or sarcastic in this tweet, but either way it's just as great.
10. Barry Alvarez
Reason: Technically this is a fake account, although if the top Badger did tweet, we all know he'd have fired off something similar after the Arizona State officiating fiasco.
If those refs are allowed to officiate anything more than a thanksgiving morn football game, then there is no justice. Hang up the stripes.— Barry Alvarez (@BeingAlvarez) September 15, 2013