Daily Archives: June 18, 2007

Chip Towers: Dawg fans, don’t take it personally.

My oh my… the AJ-C’s Chip Towers asks the big question at his blog today:   is his newspaper biased against UGA?  (Never fear, Chip absolves his employer.)

Chip expresses shock and dismay that any rational person could believe otherwise, and then proceeds to set up a red and black straw man that he can knock down:

This really surprises me. It seems as though the UGA fans, our at least those most fervent ones that subscribe to this paid site, believe it’s the job of a newspaper or news organization to be a booster of the school and/or its athletics department. By contrast, they believe we make it our full-time job to discredit the school. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Gee, thanks for the reassurance.  Can we get back to reality now?

Look, the problem with the AJ-C isn’t that it’s biased towards or against a particular school’s athletic program.  It’s that it’s biased towards sensationalism.  The paper has a target audience it wants to reach (thousands of fervent supporters) and has found that the best way to do so is to stir ‘em up.

Here are some recent examples:

And this is how Towers describes his paper’s mission in reporting:

A great deal of what we do at newspapers has to do with watchdog reporting, which very simply means that business is being done in a righteous way without abusing powers bestowed upon it by the public.

I am a loss to see how this pomposity explains any of the above linked articles that his paper published.  Exactly what does asking whether Stafford should be suspended for being photographed holding a keg over his head have to do with making sure that “business is being done in a righteous way”?

Nothing, of course.  But it does get us to read the AJ-C.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Gator bait

Also from ArtofTroy comes this breakdown of the BCS title game. If you’re a Gator fan who likes analysis, this is your wet dream, pal.

For the rest of us mortals, it’s still pretty interesting. For the “Gang of Six” folks, it’s somewhat heretical, I suppose.

More impressive than the Florida offense was the defensive effort and the complete shut down of the Ohio State attack. For the game Ohio State only netted 82 yards on a measely (sic) 37 plays.

Here is a main play summary of what Florida did on offense. Despite all the motion and spread type formations they did the bulk of their damage on very basic football plays. Just 4 different play types accounted for 55% of the snaps in the game and 69% of the yards gained. So much for fancy play calling winning games. Florida won this game with defense and simple consistent execution on offense. [Emphasis added.]

Check out his USC vs. Florida comparison at the end. He thinks it would have been a pretty even match up. In part, that’s due to the “s” word:

… In hindsight I am sure that USC would have presented many of the same match up problems for Ohio State that Florida did with its overall team speed.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Today’s factoid…

comes courtesy of ArtofTroy’s USC Trojan Football Analysis.

Of the top ten active coaches in Division I college football ranked by winning percentage, four are in the SEC East.

Tough crowd…

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Filed under SEC Football

Get your ass to class.

Well, Georgia may not be on equal footing with the rest of its SEC brethren when it comes to alcohol policies, but, by God, the rest of the conference has caught up when it comes to class attendance.

“You go to class to prepare for your tests, which is like going to practice to prepare for a game,” [Georgia Athletic Director Damon] Evans said. “If you miss practice, coaches probably aren’t going to play you. We should put the same emphasis on class time. If you don’t go to class and you still play, we’re sending a mixed message.”

Beginning Aug. 1, each SEC athletics department must have a class attendance policy that provides a “reasonable means” for supervision and enforcement. Each school can decide its own policies, but penalties must include suspension from competition.

The rule, created from meetings of SEC faculty representatives, had been put off the past two years. Several schools, including Alabama and Auburn, have not had a department policy and allow each coach to establish rules.

Fox, meet henhouse:

Last fall, Alabama football coach Mike Shula would not discuss his policy and penalties. Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he had no set number of classes a player can miss before triggering penalties, which he said include early-morning workouts and suspensions.

Some whining is to be expected.  After all, we live in the Bush era of mythical accountability:

SEC schools without department policies argue the decision should be an institutional matter whether to have a uniform policy or let individual coaches decide. They also say monitoring classes will pose challenges.

“Are you going to hire three more people to make sure your 600 students are in every class?” said Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone. “Is it just going to be football and basketball, or any sport? Most schools probably have professors that don’t take records or won’t supply them. It’s just such a loose area.”

There are also questions about how to measure different standards and penalties.

“If you miss one class at Ole Miss and are suspended for half a game or a game, but you’re at Georgia and it takes three classes before they suspend somebody, how does that measure?” Boone said.

Hmm… if it’s that much trouble for an athletic department to keep track of whether kids are attending class, how have the coaches been doing it?

My favorite part is the conclusion.  Why does Boone recognize the importance of establishing a policy?

The importance of attending class and tutor sessions is not lost on Boone, who receives correspondence when football players skip academic assignments.

“What I’ve noticed is the handful of folks missing the classes are the same ones busting assignments on Saturday,” Boone said. “They’re not as dedicated as they need to be in the classroom or on the practice field.”

That’s right – it’ll make ‘em better football players!  So much for the academic mission…

By the way,  the new rule provides no enforcement authority for the SEC.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football

Media matters

Cable TV and the Internet and college football. What could be more wholesome?

  • Whew! This first item is complicated. The SEC is pondering the establishment of a cable network patterned after the proposed network the Big 10 is in the process of establishing. Got that? There’s a good summary, with tons of links, about whether SEC TV is a good idea in this post at Dawg Sports. Before getting too excited, though, take a look at this New York Times article about the pitched battle brewing over the Big 10’s network and the cable systems that are being asked to carry it. The bottom line question: are there enough subscribers willing to pay for the extra coverage? The cable folks are skeptical (or cynical, if you think it’s just a negotiating ploy). Maybe there’s more demand for a product like this in the Southeast.
  • It’s hard to picture Columbia, South Carolina as “ground zero” for an Internet business operation targeted as illegal by the Federal Trade Commission, but there’s a major scandal developing over a lawsuit filed by the FTC alleging that an online franchise music operation called BurnLounge is nothing more than an illegal pyramid scheme. What’s noteworthy about BurnLounge is that there are a number of well-known college football names linked as investors, including Bob Stoops, Danny Ford and Steve Spurrier, Jr. There’s enough star power here for this to remain interesting for a while.  One thing’s for sure – it’s not a good thing to see your name in an article where comparisons are being made with Tank Black.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

Who needs an early signing day?

Good Lord – USC already has two commitments for the class of 2009.

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UPDATE:  Scout.com’s Miller Safrit seems something similar coming up in Georgia’s future.

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Filed under Recruiting

Make it an even 11

Tom Dienhart’s got a piece up today about the inferiority of the Big XII in which he suggests that defections of some of its member schools may be just around the corner.

Of course, it’s as skillfully written and edited as you might expect:

… How about the Longhorns or Huskers joining the Big Ten to make it an even 11?

Two whoppers in one sentence. How do the folks at TSN not know that there are already eleven teams in the Big 10?

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UPDATE: Dienhart gets some more love at fanblogs.com.

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UPDATE #2:  Woo hoo!  Somebody’s finally on the ball at TSN and corrected “11” to “12”.  Too bad there’s a record.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles