Daily Archives: August 23, 2007

You can’t make this stuff up, Gamecock edition.

There is something so delightfully wacky about South Carolina fans – who really do deserve better than the miserable hand they’ve been dealt over the past two decades or so, at least – and the way they’ll hunt for a glimmer of that silver lining in the darkest of clouds.

Today’s example arises from the suspension of starting QB Blake Mitchell from the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette because he’s not going to class.   I can only imagine the OBC’s irritation over a senior with Mitchell’s track record pulling something like this.

But maybe it’s just that I’ve got the wrong kind of imagination.  Here’s the question posted by someone at one of the Gamecock boards in response to the news:

Do you think it’s an excuse to not show the full 1st string in a cupcake game and break loose in the UGA game?

Yeah – that’s it.  Because, like, Georgia’s never seen Blake Mitchell play in a college game before.  Seriously, who else thinks like this?

Besides, I’ve already explained why the Dawgs have nothing to fear from Blake this season.

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Filed under General Idiocy

It beats the ol’ airplane bottle.

Pocket Shot condemns … the irresponsible consumption of alcohol. Please drink responsibly.”

Like this:

They’re $2 a pop.

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Filed under Science Marches Onward

Sauce for the goose

It looks like there’s more than one institute of higher learning in the state of Alabama dealing with recruits and questionable transcripts.

Counselors at Hoover High School this spring sent a second, different transcript for a football player to the University of Alabama after the university called to say the player was unexpectedly ineligible, according to the high school’s former principal.

The second transcript contained a grade change that was “an honest mistake” and that made the player eligible, said Richard Bishop, who has sued the school system over his dismissal as principal.

The player is Josh Chapman, a highly recruited freshman defensive tackle at Alabama, The Birmingham News has learned.

There’s nothing like lawsuits and “honest mistakes”.  And here’s the story behind the mistake:

Hoover High math teacher Forrest Quattlebaum said in June that a final grade for a senior football player in his class was changed from a B to an A without his consent.

According to Bishop, Alabama’s compliance office informed Hoover’s guidance department of a concern regarding a player’s first transcript shortly after Memorial Day. Bishop said Alabama told the guidance department that the player was “so many hundredths of a point” shy of being eligible and that there had to be a problem, because Alabama had thought the student’s eligibility wasn’t an issue.

Bishop said Hoover counselors Cindy Bond and Marley Stephens assumed there had been a mistake due to a rounding error with the computer system. Bond and Stephens had been checking grades that were not correctly rounded up and reported 36 such problems, Bishop said.

Gosh, it’s good to have helpful guidance counselors!  Too bad these clowns can’t add:

Bond and Stephens recalculated and mistakenly averaged the player’s final math grade of an 89, which is a B, with his first-semester grade of a 90 and came up with a final grade of 89.5, according to Bishop. A grade of 89.5 can be rounded up to 90, which is an A.

Bond, a college and career specialist, and Stephens declined to comment, saying they have been honest with school officials and Pointer in recounting what happened.

Quattlebaum said he was not notified of the grade change until June 12 – 13 days after the change was made. Assistant Principal Carol Martin and Peer Helping Coordinator Terri Borie informed Quattlebaum of the change in a casual conversation outside of school, he said.

Bishop said the counselors, Bond and Stephens, had been calling other teachers while verifying grades, but he was uncertain why they didn’t notify Quattlebaum. “I would say just an oversight,” Bishop said.

At which point, no word on whether Bishop pulled out a brochure containing information on bridges he had for sale.

The upshot?  “Oops, our bad”:

Bishop said he and Hoover Superintendent Andy Craig agreed not to formally correct the second transcript, which was sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse for review of eligibility, because the grade-change error was strictly Hoover’s.

Craig said he didn’t want to discuss an individual case, but “if an error was made on a grade/transcript in favor of the student, as a general rule, I don’t think we would punish the student for a mistake that we made.”

Evidently at Hoover, fixing mistakes to reflect the accurate truth is construed as punishment.  They’ve certainly got some issues to deal with there.   So much for character building.

Maybe Tommy Bowden starts recruiting Hoover hard.   Looks like they know how to do bidness with college coaches there.

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Filed under Academics? Academics.

Nothing personal, dude.

David Ching has a good story he tells in today’s Columbus Ledger-Enquirer about the recruitment of Eric Zeier (the quarterback, not the color commentator):

… When Richt was a Florida State assistant in the early 1990s, the Seminole coaching staff made a serious push to lure Zeier to Tallahassee to play quarterback.

In fact, Richt thought he had convinced Zeier to play for Florida State, only to discover too late that Georgia offensive coordinator Wayne McDuffie brought the then-Marietta High star to Athens and had him enroll in January so he could participate in spring practice.

“I recruited him real hard. We thought we had him, really,” Richt recalled. “We thought we really had him at Florida State and then when Wayne McDuffie came from the Falcons, he basically told him he was gonna put in a lot of Florida State’s system because he knew it — he came from Florida State — and then also he felt like he had a shot to play as a true freshman at Georgia.

“Plus they were very wise, they got him enrolled at the midyear. He was enrolled in school before we even found out we lost him,” Richt continued. “I thought we were in the lead and then the next day I read he was in school. I was like, ‘I don’t think we’re gonna get him now.’”

From potential recruit to commenting publicly on the job performance of the guy who chased you unsuccessfully.  Life sure does have its little wrinkles.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Gator Steeleoid

Auburn vs. Florida: Florida’s last two losses in the series were when they were ranked #1 and #2, including last year’s lone loss. UF has won 8 of the last 10 in the series, but only one of the last three.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Another preseason poll observation

Pretty much anyone who follows college football on the Internet – someone needs to ask Mandel if they have broadband in Montana – is aware that the initial preseason BlogPoll is out.

While I’m not a fan of preseason polls, I can’t help but admire the way in which BP voters go about their business. It’s an open process where the participants invite feedback about their initial impressions. There’s a transparency about it all that’s refreshing (compared to what’s described here, especially so) . And in the course of that we get treated to copious amounts of analysis, post-analysis analysis, intuition, self-recrimination, defiance (I like his style, though) and the occasional bout of delusional thinking.

But for all that, in the end what we didn’t get was a different #1 and #2 from what the coaches and the AP polls came up with. Which is a little amusing, but more significantly is a reminder as to what’s flawed about preseason polls.

If you look at the talent and the statistics it generated, LSU was probably the best team in college football last year: for starters, four 2007 first round NFL draft picks, including two of the top six; first in the SEC in eleven (!) team statistical categories, including total offense, total defense, scoring offense and scoring defense.

Nationally, the Tigers were third in total defense, eleventh in total offense, ninth in scoring offense and fourth in scoring defense. No other school in the country came close to matching that (for comparison, MNC Florida was 6th, 19th, 23rd and 6th, respectively, in those categories). All of that accomplished in the conference that even noted SEC-hater HeismanPundit acknowledged was the strongest in the country last year. Quite impressive.

Yet LSU, with two losses, didn’t even get to the SEC championship game, let alone the BCS title game. And here they are now, back near the top of the preseason heap. Sure, they’re very talented and they’ll contend to win the SEC. So what? Is there something about LSU’s situation this year that’s different from 2006? If not, why are they at #2 in all of the preseason polls?

Mainly because they look so good on paper. It’s guesswork. Voters don’t have any real world outcomes to hang their virtual hats on as to any (probably valid) misgivings they may have about the ability of Les Miles to lead LSU to the promised land, so they leave LSU up high, almost by default.

Don’t get me wrong. Maybe this is the year that LSU gets over the hump and doesn’t lose any 7-3 games. But why not wait until October, and we’re five or six games into the season’s schedule, to see what the Tigers have really got going for themselves? LSU’s schedule through October 6 – Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, Tulane and Florida – should give both us fans and the voters that impact the BCS a pretty good idea of its mettle by then.

Patience is a virtue.

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Filed under College Football, The Blogosphere