Daily Archives: February 3, 2010

Different strokes

After reading what Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz have to say about the recruiting classes for Georgia and Georgia Tech, I’m confused.

Bradley says I’m supposed to be worried about the fact that Rivals isn’t particularly impressed with the 2010 group coming to Athens.

When you get used to a school lighting up the recruiting board, it’s significant when it doesn’t. It’s significant when Georgia doesn’t land a single 5-star recruit. (That last happened in 2007.) It’s significant when an Auburn program in Year 2 under Gene Chizik lands 13 spots ahead of Georgia in Year 10 under Richt.

Schultz, however, says all that star stuff is overrated.

This is not to diminish the need for great athletes. But a college program makes the players, not the other way around.

Okay, now that I’ve removed my tongue from my cheek, let’s get past the silliness to make a few points about today’s developments and the AJ-C bloggers.

  1. It would have been nice for Bradley to acknowledge that the change at defensive coordinator that he championed had an effect on Georgia’s class.  Would it have been better for Martinez to stay and for one or two of the kids who retracted their verbals not to have done so?  I think we know what Bradley’s post would have read like if that were the case today.
  2. Something to keep in mind as you ponder the recruiting rankings:  Georgia signed the smallest class in the conference, by far.  (No other SEC school signed less than 21; Auburn signed 30.)
  3. David Hale gives us something else to factor in:  Richt says Richard Samuel will move to linebacker. Says he was “anxious to make that move.”
  4. Schultz makes a good point about Tech’s recruiting rankings – Johnson’s system is going to preclude signing certain types of top shelf talent on offense, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not doing an effective job putting a class together.
  5. That being said, that won’t explain Tech’s shortcomings in attracting defensive talent to the Flats.  You can knock Chan Gailey all you want (and, believe me, I do), but one thing he did an excellent job at was finding defensive talent.  It remains to be seen how that plays out, especially with Giff Smith’s departure.

If there’s a bottom line here, it’s that I can’t say I’m particularly surprised that Georgia’s incoming class doesn’t match the level of some of its predecessors, at least on paper.  A disappointing two-year run for the program, an unfair “hot seat” meme that no doubt made the rounds and a historic change to the defensive staff all contributed to that.  But as Paul notes, it’s not like a bunch of stiffs are coming to Athens this year.  Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in the departures so much that you lose sight of what kids like Jakar Hamilton will (hopefully) bring to the table.

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UPDATE: Additional food for thought, via Hale:

1:41 PM — Garner: “We could have gone out and signed other guys if we wanted to meet that number and fill a quota.” Instead wanted players that would fit Grantham’s scheme.

1:42 PM — Richt on Grantham & Lakatos: “They really understand what they want and what they’re looking for, and they’re great evaluators.”

1:44 PM — Richt: “Timing of the hire, taking as long as it did, it did put a strain on these guys who had committed.”

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UPDATE #2: Bradley addresses my first point.

… We cannot know how good Da’Rick Rogers will (or will not) be at Tennessee, but we can know this: Georgia was never going to play for another SEC title with Willie Martinez coaching its defense. If firing Martinez and two assistants made for what recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner called “some difficulties,” that’s a trade-off worth making if in fact Todd Grantham, Martinez’s successor, is as clever as advertised.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

They don’t call it Madness for nothing.

In a blog post that’s filled with all sorts of illogical non sequiturs, Dennis Dodd tosses this notion out:

Meanwhile, March Madness is perceived as the best, fairest way to decide a national champion.

Really?  By whom, pray tell?

Look, we all love the tournament, but to suggest that a six-round, single-elimination tourney is the fairest of the fair is silly.  Hell, the nickname’s a clear indication that what’s most attractive about it is the Cinderella factor.

If the true goal of a postseason is to find the best team in a given sport, single-elimination isn’t the optimum approach.

… Before this NBA season, Paine ran similar simulations, using the actual NBA season structure, and found that the best team has about a 48% chance of winning the title. So his latest results suggest that the NBA’s structure more than doubles the chances of the best team winning compared to an NFL-like season. An earlier study by Pro Football Reference’s Doug Drinen suggested the best NFL team wins about 24% of the time. So enjoy the Super Bowl, but don’t assume the winner is the NFL’s best team. Nor is the NBA champ, necessarily, but the chances are far higher.

Believe it or not, I’m not bringing this up to suggest that it’s the BCS that’s the superior format.  It’s to remind everyone that, as Ed Gunther has so eloquently put it, “… in the end, it all boils down to whether or not you want your champion to be the best (even if that’s disputable) or if you want them to be undisputable (even if they’re not the best).”

Oh, and the money, of course.  In the end, that’s what the postseason is really about, at least for the folks running it.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Wednesday morning buffet

It’s Da’Rick Rogers-free!

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Recruiting, The Blogosphere, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The birth of a new blog series

With the announcement that Tennessee is poised to hire Boise State’s Justin Wilcox as its new defensive coordinator, that pretty much squares the circle.  With one or two exceptions (the dude at Army and VanGorder), every other name we saw tossed out during Mark Richt’s period of wandering in the desert after canning Martinez has either stayed at his program and gotten a raise, or gone to a higher profile program… and gotten a raise.

Look for me to track the performances of the various defensive coordinators this fall, primarily to see if they’re able to step up their defenses from the levels of 2009.  I just need a catchy name for the series.  “Pilgrims’ Progress”?  “Kirby’s Smarts”?  “Giving Us The Willies”?  I’m open to suggestions here, folks.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, GTP Stuff