Daily Archives: January 13, 2010

Did Mark Richt forget to renew his AJ-C subscription?

Because I’m hard-pressed to come up with another reason for the increasing Adam Krohn-like hostility emanating from the pages of that august publication.  Seriously, it’s getting that irrational – and in the case of Mark Bradley, maybe even disingenuous.

Start with this Jeff Schultz piece.  Schultz faults Richt for failing to haul in a high profile guy as his new defensive coordinator, but not for failing.  For looking stupid.

Richt made a conscious decision to go after Bud Foster, John Chavis and Kirby Smart — three of the highest profile defensive coordinators in the nation, none of whom were lacking in job security, none of whom were upset about their current situation, none of whom were looking to leave.

There’s nothing wrong with shooting high. There is something wrong when you’re made to look foolish by three consecutive candidates who play the game publicly but ultimately leverage job offers to get themselves raises at their existing schools.

Once you cut through the business side of things and the emotional tugs and whatever special place Athens may hold in the hearts and minds of some of the world’s defensive coordinators, it really comes down to this: Foster, Chavis and Smart weren’t going any place.

Richt should have known that. Any humiliation the school or the football program has suffered is on him.

Now hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.  And in his defense, Schultz isn’t expressing a degree of frustration that’s any greater than what you can find on just about any Georgia message board or blog these days.  But with all due respect to Schultz, and knowing a little bit about how the process works, it’s a bullshit rationale.

If Schultz or anybody else thinks that Mark Richt sat around and said to himself, “hmm… these guys sure are good coaches.  I’ll keep making offers blindly until one accepts”, I’ve got news for them – that isn’t how it works.  No head coach with any sense approaches a high-profile candidate until he’s received legitimate feedback from that direction that his interest will be reciprocated.  And if you’ll notice, none of the three candidates mentioned blew Mark Richt’s inquiries off.  So, the question is, should Mark Richt have known that he was going to get played by all three men?  Schultz indicates that, yes, Richt should have known – but I’d find his reasoning far more convincing if he’d have advanced it before any of the three turned Richt down.

But like I said, that’s fairly mild stuff compared to Bradley, who’s outdone himself with this post today.  Talking about the state of the SEC East in the wake of Kiffin’s departure, the ironies abound.  Here’s what he says about Georgia:

With so much in motion, the moment seems ripe for a stable program to make a bold move upward in 2010. That program would not seem to be Georgia.

Having searched for six weeks, the Bulldogs don’t have a defensive coordinator or a defensive staff. They’ll enter next season with a new quarterback, the result of having left Aaron Murray to redshirt. (A wise choice in most years, but not necessarily in the worst season under this head coach.) Worse still, there’s a growing feeling across the South that Mark Richt is a year away from feeling the big heat…

Short of landing Bill Belichick, it will be nigh-impossible for Georgia to emerge from this protracted search with a coordinator who will satisfy the majority of Dog-lovers. And it does seem troubling that three men who worked in the South and have coached against Georgia — Bud Foster of Virginia Tech, John Chavis of LSU and Alabama’s Kirby Smart, who’s a Bulldog born and bred — saw greater opportunity in the current positions than anything awaiting them in Athens…

In a great exercise of circular reasoning, Bradley cites this post at MrSEC.com in support of his argument.

From MrSEC.com, usually a clearinghouse of conference links, came this post-Kirby-Smart post from John Pennington, its headline reading: “Smart Stays; Richt In Trouble.” Pennington’s argument isn’t that Richt should be in trouble but that, having been spurned three times now by coordinating candidates, he’s being perceived as “inept.”

Gee, Mark, you know who Pennington blames for that perception?  You.

… Let me make this very clear — Richt is in trouble at Georgia.  In fact, I believe his days are running out.

I said last summer that I believed he and Les Miles would occupy the hottest seats in the SEC after the 2009 season.  I was emailed to death by UGA fans who said they wouldn’t turn on their head coach.

Well, they’re turning.  And there’s no question that Richt and Miles sit in the SEC’s hottest chairs going forward.

Here’s how things work: First the media goes, then the fans follow.  It’s already clear that many writers across the state of Georgia are anti-Richt at this point.

He was first attacked for not having the guts to whack his buddy Willie Martinez.  But then he did fire him.  So was there praise for Richt?  No, just the message that he’d better hire a top-name replacement and he’d better do it quickly.  Well, he hasn’t.  And now he’s being attacked for that.

But is it Richt’s fault that he couldn’t lure in the three men to whom he offered the position?

Virginia Tech supposedly matched UGA’s offer to Foster.  So why would he leave one job for the other?

LSU reportedly matched Georgia’s offer to Chavis.  So why would he leave one job for the other?

Now Alabama is set to match the Dawgs’ offer to Smart.  Again, what reason would the coach have of making a lateral move?

The money for each man was about the same to stay in their current positions.  And the Georgia position is the exact same as the ones they currently hold.  So what’s the draw?  Nice Georgia weather?  Getting to coach in front of a nervous, jittery fanbase?

Richt’s mistake was going after the best.  He should have gone after someone from a smaller school or someone who is not currently a coordinator.  Had he done that, it would have been near impossible for someone like — let’s say — Manny Diaz of MTSU to turn him down.  Quick hire, done and done.

Of course, had he done that Georgia fans and media would have squawked that Richt hadn’t pursued the best of the best, etc.  Writers such as Mr. Bradley would have asked, “How could he not kick the tires on a Georgia alum like Smart?”  UGA would have been called cheap, too, unwilling to spend big bucks for a top assistant.  [Emphasis added.]

Speaking of the SEC East, Bradley’s high on South Carolina now.  Why?  Glad you asked…

It has a head coach, which puts it ahead of Tennessee and perhaps Florida, and he has a national championship in his portfolio. It has a defensive coordinator, which puts it ahead of Georgia, and Ellis Johnson is a fine one…

You know what other local school doesn’t have a defensive coordinator right now?  Bradley does, but he sure doesn’t seem too bothered about it.

No major news was forthcoming at Paul Johnson’s season-ending media session this morning. He didn’t introduce a new defensive coordinator, but he seemed to suggest that it won’t be long now.

As ever,  the session was steeped in entertainment value. (PJ, as you know, cannot say, “Good morning,” without applying the arch PJ twist.) Some snippets:

On Georgia Tech’s search for a coordinator: “It’s going good. We’re going to have one sometime. I just want to make sure it’s the right fit … I’ve got some scenarios in play; it’s just a question of what I decide to do and then finalizing it.”

Ha, ha!  That Paul Johnson’s such a card!  Scenarios in play and all – the guy’s got it all together.  It’s amazing that his “season ending media session” is this sparsely attended.

Lots of open real estate there... (photo by M. Bradley)

Can anyone imagine a similar Georgia meeting with Mark Richt offering that, um, easy a choice for seating?  And can you say “double standard”?  I thought you could.

What really gets me here is that we’ve just seen the kind of hire that Schultz and Bradley would seem to favor, at least by default – Lane Kiffin at Southern Cal.  Sure, it was outrageously expensive and, sure, Kiffin wasn’t on USC’s A-list, but, hey, it’s done.  Quickly, even.  But does anyone really expect either of these two writers to seriously suggest that as a template for Richt and Evans?  Of course not – because neither wants to get laughed out of the room.

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52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Elsewhere in Behaving Badly Land

If you haven’t had the time to check out some of the allegations about the James family in Mike Leach’s lawsuit, I’m here to help.

In another instance of outside factors in the petition, [TTU's] investigator — Tech attorney Charlotte Bingham — doubted the investigation would yield any real problems for Leach. Citing Leach’s account, Dobrowski said Bingham made a recommendation to the Tech Board of Regents to “call the James family up and tell them not to call anymore.”

But several days later, according to the documents, Bingham left a voicemail with one of Leach’s assistants advising him, “to the effect, ‘This thing is heating up. There are outside forces affecting this situation that I cannot control.’ ”

Dobrowski said he has a copy of the voicemail, but did not explain the “to the effect” clause in the court documents. Calls placed by The A-J to Bingham’s office on Tuesday afternoon were referred to the university’s spokesperson.

Adam James’ character — and the allegedly unwelcome influence of his father — is also brought into question in the lawsuit.

The documents refer to a September incident in which coaches reportedly told James he would be made third string for his attitude. Furious, according to the documents, James screamed profanities and stormed out of the office, slamming and breaking a door on his way out.

Then, according to the lawsuit, James’ father called an assistant coach and left a message saying, “You don’t know what you’re doing. Adam James is the best player at the wide receiver position … If you’ve got the b—- to call me back, and I don’t think you do, call me back.”

In dad’s defense, at least nobody’s alleged that he locked the coach in an electrical closet.  I can’t wait for ESPN to grill Craig James on these allega… oh, never mind.

3 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Mike Leach. Yar!

Kiffin watch: dispatches from an ass

Make sure you check out Junior’s new Twitter feed.  So far, it’s a combination of self-pity (“Its not easy being Lane Kiffin.”), delusion (“14 Months I gave my all for Tennessee, I left it better than when I got there.”) and life lessons (“lets all be adults here.”)

Plus, he’s renamed his kid “Troy”.

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UPDATE: Looks like Schlabach and I may have been suckered.  Although Junior did make that “better than when I got here” comment last night.

9 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

This is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.

Holy Mother of Crap.

Kiffin, who spent just one season at Tennessee, agreed to a five-year deal worth $4 million per season…

A head coach with a career losing record gets a $20 million deal?  Just how many total dumbasses are employed as athletic directors at D-1 schools these days, anyway?

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UPDATE: Best one liner on the hire so far, via Bruce Feldman’s Twitter feed -

Talked to a college coach last night: “Lane? Who was next on their list Jackie Sherrill??”

15 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Wednesday morning buffet

I was gonna start with some mealy-mouthed observation about other things going on in the college football world besides the debacle in Urnge Country, but screw that – if you guys want ice cream for breakfast, ice cream you’ll get.

12 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, Mike Leach. Yar!, Nick Saban Rules, The Blogosphere

Kiffin watch: what’s worse than schadenfreude?

Holy cow, what did you expect, Vol Nation?  You hired a preening, self-promoting mercenary who never tried to hide what he was and now you want to act all betrayed about it?  The Tennessee job had stepping stone written all over it; the only surprise here was how quickly Junior’s dream job came open.  And if you folks don’t think the Laner was lobbying Mike Garrett for the position five seconds after he heard it came open (probably direct from Pete Carroll’s lips), you’re even more delusional than most of us already believed you to be.

You can get some of the night’s flavor here, but basically -

  • to call the farewell press conference perfunctory would be to do a disservice to the word “perfunctory”;  Junior spoke for a minute (he told the media he only wanted 30 seconds of it taped, but they ignored him) and wouldn’t take any questions;
  • the campus reaction was, um, unfriendly – UT students did their best impression of a Morgantown, WV crowd by burning a mattress;
  • there are something like 8-10 early enrollees whose college choice is in limbo, as the first day of class is today (attending would lock them into Tennessee);
  • Coach O reportedly tampered with Tennessee’s recruits on the way out the door; and
  • Mike Hamilton’s shopping list is both creative and likely to be quite expensive.  (I really hope he’s dumb enough to hire Jon Gruden, who’s both overrated and someone who’s never had to recruit.  I’d fear the hire of Cutcliffe, but I think his lack of recruiting prowess probably scotches his chances.)

The absolute best thing about it all is Urban Meyer’s reaction to the news.  Talk about the cat that swallowed the canary.  That probably shaved three months off his recovery time.

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UPDATE: Coach O defines “shameless”.

Consider this scene: While Lane Kiffin attempted to tell the Tennessee players that he was no longer going to be their coach in a meeting that nearly got out of hand, Kiffin’s recruiting coordinator, Ed Orgeron, was calling some of those same players — mid-term freshmen who’d yet to enroll — and trying to convince them not to enroll and instead follow Kiffin and Orgeron to Southern California.

The punchline?

Afterward, Orgeron’s Tennessee-issued cell phone was turned off.

37 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Final Mumme Poll, 2009-10 season

Rank Team Votes (#1 – top five)
1 Alabama 111 (107 – 111)
2 Florida 111 (0 – 107)
3 Texas 111 (0 – 101)
4 Ohio State 111 (0 – 47)
5 Boise State 110 (4 – 102)
6 TCU 108
7 Iowa 106
8 Penn State 102
9 Cincinnati 98
10 Oregon 90
11 Virginia Tech 87
12 BYU 55
13 Nebraska 46
14 Georgia Tech 28
15 Pittsburgh 17
16 LSU 12
17 Wisconsin 6
18 Mississippi 4
18 Utah 4
20 Central Michigan 3
20 Georgia 3
22 Miami 2
23 Auburn 1
23 Clemson 1
23 Idaho 1
23 Oklahoma 1
23 Southern Cal 1
23 Stanford 1
23 Texas Tech 1

COMMENTS

  • What happened to everybody?  We lost almost 50% of the voters from the last regular season ballot.  Was the postseason that boring?
  • The obvious surprise was Boise State getting four first place votes, yet finishing fifth in the overall results because one voter left the Broncos off his/her ballot entirely.
  • Bias watch:  yes, all three of Georgia’s votes came from Georgia-affiliated voters.
  • I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the ballot with the fewest number of voters also resulted in the vote with the most schools in ties.  That’s something I’ll explore in a later post.

I want to chew on what we got out of the Mumme Poll for a while, but there are several things I want to discuss about it in the offseason.  In the meantime, let me have your initial thoughts about what you saw this season.  And again, thanks to everyone who participated.

3 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll

A (rare) point of etiquette

As regular readers of this blog know, I’m pretty laissez faire when it comes to commenting.  I’m a big believer in freedom of speech and I’m generally not one for censoring.  (In almost 28,000 comments, I’ve deleted less than a handful, all for excessive obscenity.  Yes, that’s possible.)  I may not agree with what you’ve got to contribute, I may even find it worthy of mockery, but I can honestly say that I respect the right of everyone who chooses to comment here to post what he or she would like.

Sad to say, it turns out there’s a limit.

I don’t know if you’ve caught this, but recently Georgia Sports Blog’s Paul Westerdawg has been plagued by an imposter who’s been posting at other websites using Paul’s moniker.  The posts haven’t been flattering and are clearly being made in an attempt to embarrass Paul.  He’s understandably upset about it.

In the meantime, it’s been brought to my attention and I’ve been able to verify that we’ve had an imposter posting here at GTP.  I’m not happy that it’s happened and it’s going to require me to take some steps to prevent its recurrence that merit an explanation from me to you.

First off, let me make clear what I’m talking about here.  GTP is a blog whose author posts pseudonymously; most of the commenters here do as well.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I’ve also got a number of commenters who use someone else’s name to make a specific rhetorical point.  I don’t have a problem with that either.  I think we all know that Mark Richt doesn’t post comments at my blog and that when someone comments using his name it’s a (hopefully) clever attempt to communicate.  (Admittedly, if Mark Richt himself ever did post a comment here, I’d have to warn everyone about that, to avoid future confusion.)

Anyway, that’s not what’s going on in this case.  What I’ve had to deal with is someone posting comments under another commenter’s moniker in order to make that person look foolish.  That’s not a case of free speech; that’s just someone behaving badly.  And worse, dragging me into it.

So here’s the deal.  I’m not interested in an explanation for it.  And I don’t want an apology, either.  Quite simply, I don’t want to be involved on any level in someone’s virtual pissing match.  Going forward, though, if you think you’ve been victimized by an imposter, please e-mail me and lay out your case.  If I can verify it, here’s what will happen:

  1. The offending comment will be taken down and the moniker and IP address associated with the comment will be flagged so that further commenting under those will be blocked.  (Those steps have already been taken with regard to the matter at hand, by the way.)
  2. If the behavior continues, either by posting comments under the blocked moniker/IP address or at a new IP address and the offending party also comments here under his or her legitimate moniker/IP address, I’ll block it all and make a public posting about it as well.  That commenter will become persona non grata at GTP.

If necessary, I’ll go to a registration setup for GTP commenters.  WordPress also allows for moderator approval of comments before they can appear, which is something I’d prefer to avoid since I’m a lazy sod, but it’s something I’ll resort to if I feel I have no choice.

Obviously this sucks and I’m sorry I’ve had to go all drama queeny on you about it all.  Bottom line – please don’t make me screw up a good thing.  I honestly think that the comments I get here are one of the best things about the blog and judging from the growth in traffic at the site (up 50% in 2009, GTP crossed the 3,000,000-hit threshold a few days ago), it looks like a lot of you agree about that.  I’d much rather leave well enough alone, if I can.

Thanks for listening.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast…

11 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff