Monthly Archives: August 2007

“Some people…”

In this week’s Mailbag, Stewart Mandel takes a page out of the George Bush debate playbook.

You know how the Prez likes to take that whole straw man approach to justify some grossly unpopular stand or policy he wants to push – “Some people…” W will say, “some people think it’s OK if the Jihadis take over the entire world… but I say that’s wrong and that’s why I’ve got to be allowed to spy on anybody I want to without a court looking over my shoulder…” [Ed. note - It seems it's necessary to point out that this "quote" is presented as a rhetorical device and doesn't represent an actual statement by GWB.  Please see the links in the comments for actual straw man arguments made by the President.  Sheesh.]  Never mind that these “some people” only exist in the mind of his speechwriters, he’s gonna roll with it regardless.

Well in much the same way, here’s what ol’ Stew’s got to say about Georgia’s opening game:

Having heard non-stop for the past eight months how undeniably superior their conference is to all others, it’s time for the Southern powers to back it up. In addition to Cal-Tennessee, the conference hosts two other high-profile matchups in Week 1: Kansas State-Auburn and Oklahoma State-Georgia. After all that bragging, I’m going to be highly disappointed if I don’t see at least three-touchdown margins in both.

Er, um, pardon me, but exactly who has been bragging? Mark Richt? Damon? Matt Stafford? (We know it’s not the offensive linemen – Searels has them under a gag order.) Not that it matters; this is just a convenient excuse for Mandel to write about the Dawgs any way he feels is justified should they win by a margin he finds insufficient.

This is what passes for expertise from college football pundits these days, I suppose…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Jerrell Powe’s desperate race against time

The Jerrell Powe saga continues with the NCAA ruling that Powe can remain in school at Ole Miss,  and receive financial aid for that – but is not eligible to play football this season.

Needless to say, those with a vested interest in seeing Mr. Powe on the field for the Rebs this year are wondering what’s the point in letting him attend but not play:

… in a statement released by Ole Miss, athletic director Pete Boone said the university is appealing because Powe has a better chance of acclimating to college if he is allowed to play.

“We think it’s important for Jerrell to be a part of the team,” Boone said in the release. “In our experience, the support that Jerrell would receive from teammates and coaches would help him succeed in the classroom.”

Now there’s a novel concept.  One wonders if it’s just the case with Powe, or if Pete Boone – another AD channeling Albert Schweitzer – believes it’s a more universal rule of thumb.  I have to think it’s more a case of the latter, because the school doesn’t have any real experience with Powe (what’s he been there, a week?) to base that conclusion on.

But if that’s the case, why would the University of Mississippi ever suspend or expel a kid from the team?  In Boone’s experience, all that would do would be to hurt the kid’s chances to get an education.  Extending the logic further, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the school to insist that all of its at risk students play sports to get that same valuable support?

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

Sunday Morning Quarterback has the last word on this:

Such pure humanitarianism is only possible motivating factor for the university, which has obviously admitted a student whose qualifications – the ones entirely invalidated by the NCAA – are woefully inadequate; according to the Association, Powe’s coursework verges on non-existent, but he apparently will remain at Ole Miss until he finds a way onto the field, come hell or high water, or, I dunno, bad knees. This is the kind of academic environment Steve Spurrier can appreciate.

Man, I hope those knees hold up.  Powe may never get the education he’s after otherwise.

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Filed under Academics? Academics.

Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.

With the first game comes the first tailgate.

With the first tailgate comes the first cold beer of the season.

Which brings me to a brief plug that ESPN’s Pat Forde made in his column for a microbrewed beer called Old Chub. His description of it as “a revelatory Scottish Ale brewed in Lyons, Colo., and, heretically, distributed in cans. But don’t let the aluminum fool you: It’s a fabulously rich ale that would make great tailgate consumption…” is spot on, although I don’t think you have to wait until October to enjoy it.

One other notable point about Old Chub: it’s a high gravity beer, with an alcohol content of 8%.

If you prefer hoppier tasting brews, that’s OK. The same brewery has the answer for that in Dale’s Pale Ale.

I’ll usually bring a six-pack of each to Athens. (No, I don’t drink by myself.) Between the taste and the convenience of cans – don’t be a snob about that – they’re the best tailgaiting beverages I’ve consumed. Highly recommended.

Old Chub, the beer… as opposed to old chub, the beer drinker

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Cajun Steeleoid

The big early matchup for the conference is on September 8, when Virginia Tech travels to LSU. The Hokies will be running into a big streak:

Coming into 2007, LSU has won 18 straight non-conference home games.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Youth is served.

This, from Mark Richt’s press conference today, will open your eyes a little:

The theme of Richt’s first presser of the 2007 season was the enormous amount of youth and inexperience on this year’s squad. Richt estimated that we will see between 18 and 20 freshmen play in the Bulldogs’ season opener Saturday evening (6:45 p.m.) against Oklahoma State. He wasn’t sure but thought that is probably the most he’s fielded since becoming Georgia’s head coach in 2001.

“A lot of it has to do with us redshirting an awful lot of players last year,” Richt said. “But I think there’s at least seven true freshmen that are either going to start or play. It bodes well for the future — I hope.”

Yes, but what about the here and now?

“Does it concern me?,” Richt said. “Yes. But I like the way they’ve practiced… . I feel better now than I did when camp started… . If the pressure doesn’t get to them, then I think they’ll be OK.”

This is when you have to trust the coaches as talent evaluators and teachers, that’s for sure.  Again, I do like this team’s chances if they can get through the first two games successfully.  We just have to hope it’s not too big an “if”…

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Just block, baby.

Ching reports that Ward and Figgins are the top two at tight end now.

I’ve said it before – there’s a primary reason not to redshirt Figgins.  He may be a true freshman, but he’s a polished blocker:

Figgins’ technically sound game has impressed his coaches in preseason practice, particularly his capability as a blocker. It helps his cause that at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, he already looks the part of a college tight end.

“He looked ready physically when camp began and he’s learning,” Richt said. “He’s a very good blocker. He was a great blocker in high school and he’s beginning to really get good at the college level, so that helps him.”

A decision like this indicates that the coaches believe the offensive linemen need help early in the season.  I suspect that’s another reason why Thomas Brown is the #1 tailback right now, as well.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Planting those seeds of doubt

Point: “The biggest wild card in the Georgia vs. Oklahoma State game is the new defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State.”

Counterpoint: “Right now, their defensive coordinator can’t just look at everything we’ve done the past couple of years and say, ‘Well, that’s what they’re going to do,’ ” Richt said. “He can’t be sure how Mike may call the game differently or what new twists Mike and the staff might put in. I don’t think there’s going to be that real, clear-cut confidence that ‘this’ is what Georgia does. I’m not even sure what Georgia does anymore. We’re all going to find out. What I’ve seen in practice has been very good.”

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