Monthly Archives: April 2009

“Nobody dodges BCS teams quite like the Big 12.”

For those of you who can’t understand how Pac-10 teams generally put up credible SOS numbers each year, the Wiz has some information to share.

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UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Ted Miller thinks the admiration for its OOC schedule and five bucks will get the Pac-10 an iced latte at Starbucks, and urges the conference to dump the round robin schedule (h/t EDSBS).  I still think the conference championship game is the more likely route, but I get his point.  (Of course, it might have helped if the conference hadn’t been skunked by the Mountain West last season.)

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6 Comments

Filed under College Football

Lost opportunities

Is it just me, or does it seem like we’ve entered the golden age of negative recruiting possibilities in the SEC?

Oversigning at Alabama.  The gypsy at Arkansas.  New head coaches who were bad head coaches at their last stops.  You could go on and on.

And now this.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he knows why Captain Munnerlyn and Emanuel Cook fared so poorly in last weekend’s NFL draft.

They were lied to.

Munnerlyn, drafted in the seventh round by the Carolina Panthers, and Cook, not drafted at all, were convinced by agents, family members or other people they trusted that they would be selected fairly high and earn seven-figure signing bonuses, Spurrier said.

But does he think they regret their decisions to forego their senior seasons? Not a chance.

“Nah, they all get misled,” Spurrier said Tuesday night to a small group of reporters before the start of the Charlotte Metro Region Gamecock Club meeting at Nation Ford High School. “They all think they’re going to be first-rounders.”

Spurrier shrugged off comments by former offensive linemen Jamon Meredith that his tumble from the second to the fifth round may have been attributable in part to unflattering comments made by the South Carolina coaching staff to NFL scouts…

So the OBC is trashing his former players and the former players are complaining that the coach is trashing them.  And Spurrier doesn’t care.  My friends, this is Phil Fulmer’s wet dream.  You’ve got to feel for the guy being out of a job right now, don’t you?

6 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The Evil Genius, The Glass is Half Fulmer

Thursday morning buffet

Caffeine… I need caffeine.

  • We love football in the South, example #43296:  “The average spring game attendance in the SEC was 37,936. Georgia drew 42,458, one of five schools that set spring game records.”
  • Jamar Hornsby remains in legal limbo and Houston Nutt doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • Ah, hell. (h/t MGoBlog)
  • If this turns out to be a reasonable approximation of where the preseason polls start every school out, it looks like Georgia will have an immediate chance to move up in the polls pretty dramatically this year.
  • John Swofford may get a chance to go mano a mano with Joe Barton.  Given that Barton thinks he won this exchange, if I were Swofford, I’d be prepared for the “where did football come from?” question.
  • For a group of people who are supposed to be educated and wise, university administrators sure sound dumb sometimes.

6 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The Blogosphere, The NCAA

It is better to have hobnailed and won, then never to have hobnailed at all.

Welcome home, Verron Haynes.

I heard him interviewed on one of the local sports radio shows yesterday afternoon and it was fun to hear him talk about how life has blessed him.  After all, he’s a guy who started a handful of games in college, none in the pros, yet claims a Super Bowl ring and a starring role in one of the iconic moments of the Georgia football program.

Not too shabby in my book.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A second neutral site game? Makes no sense.

Paul and Kyle have already taken this prospect down a few notches…

Georgia has talked about playing a regular-season game at the Georgia Dome in 2010, but Richt downplayed the chances of a deal being struck.

“It’s really more of a pipedream than anything anybody should get excited about,” Richt said after he spoke to the crowd at the St. Mary on The Hill gymnasium.

… but there’s something else about this that makes me curious.  The AB-H reports that the subject was addressed by Richt after a question from an audience member about what Georgia could do in response to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban scheduling games in Atlanta.

Is Richt really so concerned about Saban that he’d drop a home game as a defensive measure to blunt the impact of ‘Bama playing in the Dome?  The article doesn’t make that clear, but if that’s the reasoning behind trying to schedule such a game, well, that’s just wrong.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

Even at the AJ-C, nature abhors a vacuum.

Give Jeff Schultz credit.  Terence Moore is gone, so somebody’s got to step up at the AJ-C sports page and carry on with teh stupid.  Schultz contributed this beaut yesterday.

… Now, I know there’s not always a correlation between NFL prospects and the success of a college team. But it seems to me there’s strength in numbers. And in this case, the numbers say Boise State coach Chris Peterson … might have done a better coaching job than anybody last season.

Schultz reaches that conclusion based on Boise State winning twelve games with a team that didn’t have a single player drafted by the NFL.

You know, he might be on to something here – if every college team were comprised solely of draft-eligible players.  If for no reason other than personal enlightenment, Mr. Schultz might want to investigate an obscure group of collegiate players sometimes referred to as “freshman and sophomores”.  Should he dig deeply enough, he’ll discover that Boise State’s star quarterback is one of them.  Believe it or not, the NCAA allows these kids to play.

And there’s this team in Gainesville, Florida that plays football.  Even Schultz has probably heard of it.  What he may be interested in learning is that its best offensive player and its best defensive player elected to come back for their senior seasons – even though they both would have been selected had they made themselves available in the NFL draft.   So the fact that the national champions only had three players selected in the draft doesn’t mean nearly as much as Schultz would like it to, does it?

Look, no knock on Chris Peterson here.  He’s a fine coach whose record benefits from playing a relatively weak schedule every year.  But Schultz’ metric on coaching greatness – strength in numbers, as he calls it – is essentially meaningless.

Besides, isn’t part of a college head coach’s job attracting talent to his program?  Aren’t guys like Carroll or Richt doing their jobs well in getting the kids on campus in the first place?

8 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Somebody needs a hug.

Seriously, how does a fan base get to be this bitter and obsessed about a rival program?

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Message to NCAA: you can’t beat Twitter, you can only hope to contain it.

Birds do it.  Even this guy does it now.

The Zooker contemplates how much can be said in 140 characters. (Photo courtesy Seth Perlman/AP)

The Zooker contemplates how much can be said in 140 characters. (Photo courtesy Seth Perlman/AP)

Tweets, that is.

… New accounts on Twitter, a burgeoning social networking service, have been started by Illinois coach Ron Zook, USC’s Pete Carroll, Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis and Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin, to name a few.

It might not be the same as texting a recruit directly, but Zook is clear about why he was willing to start on Twitter.

“The whole reason obviously had to do with recruiting, period,” he said. “I guess others have been able to follow us. It’s amazing what (students) have now and how they communicate, and guys are able to see what we’re doing.”

Why?  Because for some inane reason some of us care.

… At least 18 Division I head coaches have Twitter accounts, and their audiences grow daily. Carroll has more than 12,000 following his posts, while Georgia’s Mark Richt, Washington’s Steve Sarkisian, Weis and Kiffin all have more than 2,000 followers.

I’m not sure where ultimately the envelope pushing on this vis-à-vis NCAA enforcement will come from, but rest assured, it’ll happen. Just ask the Zooker.

… But as the legion of followers continues to grow among the first generation of users, Zook figures more coaches will give it a shot.

“I would imagine so,” he said, “until the NCAA tries to regulate it.”

5 Comments

Filed under Science Marches Onward, The NCAA

Is the Pac-10 structurally flawed?

Tom Dienhart posted something about Southern Cal that made me think (yes, there’s a first time for everything, it seems).  Take a look at this chart he compiled:

Most draft picks since 2005
USC: 43
Ohio State: 30
Oklahoma: 29
LSU: 28
Georgia: 28
Florida State: 26
Texas: 25
Virginia Tech: 24
Miami: 23
Virginia: 22
Auburn: 22
California: 21
Wisconsin: 21
Michigan: 21
Louisville: 21
Florida: 20

Yep, that’s right – in the past five years, the Trojans have had almost fifty percent more players drafted into the NFL than the next team on the list.  That’s one helluva spread.

But USC hasn’t won a national title in that time.  In fact, the program has only played in one BCS title game in the last five years.

As Dienhart points out, that’s because the Trojans have gotten into a bad habit of losing a game or two a season to a clearly inferior conference opponent.

… In 2006, losses at Oregon State and UCLA were USC’s undoing. In 2007, USC was dumped at home by 41-point underdog Stanford in the greatest upset in college football history; the Trojans also lost at Oregon. Last year, the Trojans were stunned at Oregon State when Beavers true freshman tailback Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two TDs against a USC defense that had eight players drafted over the weekend.

Does Pete Carroll deserve some criticism for what seems like a now annual practice of having his team crap the bed like that?  Absolutely.  However, one other thing that comes to mind with this is how small the margin for error is for Southern Cal.  Don’t forget that last year’s team finished with the same number of losses as the national champion Gators; the same can be said for the ’07 Trojans.  Yet neither squad was seriously in the mix to play in the BCS title game either season, even though many thought that by year’s end, the 2007 edition was playing the best football in the country and the 2008 team was by far the best defensive team in the nation.

Nor was it a matter of schedule strength.  Sagarin ranks Southern Cal’s strength of schedule at 29th for 2007 and 16th for 2008 – not the best, but certainly more than credible, especially given the fact that Ohio State played in the title game two seasons ago with the 53rd-ranked SOS.

What I do think is a problem for the Trojans is the conference they play in.  Even with the yearly slip ups, they still wind up dominating the Pac-10, having won seven conference titles in a row now.  There’s no other team that has emerged in that time period as a credible, consistent rival that the public can measure USC against.

Also, there’s no conference championship game for Southern Cal to play in.  Don’t get me wrong – I actually think the Pac-10’s round robin format is the ideal way to structure a conference’s football season.  But if you look at the recent trend of which schools play in the BCS title game, it’s apparent that not having a conference championship game leaves the Trojans at a disadvantage when it comes to the postseason.

The BCS title game is eleven years old now.  During that time, a school from a conference with a championship game has played for the MNC in all but two of the games.  There hasn’t been a BCS title game without a team that won a conference championship game since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

I can think of several factors for that.  A conference championship is a high profile game, so it gives the poll voters one more chance to see a team win against very good competition.  As was the case with LSU in 2007, it can provide an opportunity for redemption for a team that suffered its share of regular season disappointments.  It provides a strength of schedule boost to the winner that the computers absorb in their calculations for the BCS rankings.  And, as USC learned to its chagrin in 2003, sometimes there’s not as much of a downside to a conference title loss in the minds of the voters and computers as there is in a regular season defeat.

I’m not a huge fan of conference title games.  Like I said, I think a round robin schedule is a far superior means for determining a conference champion.  But given the extra revenue such a game generates as well as the impact it has on the postseason order, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see the new Pac-10 commissioner take a look at going that way.

41 Comments

Filed under College Football, Pac-12 Football

Tuesday morning buffet

You know the drill.

  • See ‘ya, Terence Moore. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.
  • You know, this is one badass ride.  I can understand why they’d want tinted windows.
  • No waiver for Richt to attend Chris Burnette’s graduation, evidently because the kid isn’t the class valedictorian.  I’ll never get the NCAA, I swear.
  • The SEC East race is over before it even starts, according to these guys.
  • Rich Brooks doesn’t go for that Twitter crap.
  • Two days ago, the spin was that Stafford won’t succeed in the NFL because he gets too angry.  Yesterday, it’s because he won’t get angry enough.  I’m so confused.
  • College faculty reps may not reach a consensus on a D-1 postseason format, but they know they don’t want ESPN making the kids play into February.
  • Junior responds to B. J. Coleman’s allegations by forcefully saying a bunch of mush.  At least he didn’t blame the kid’s grandmother.

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UPDATE: Make sure you read Mr. Hinnen’s spot on obituary for Moore’s column.  Good stuff.

7 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, The NCAA