Daily Archives: June 4, 2010

Freak of nature

I’ll keep saying it:  I think Cornelius Washington is going to explode this season in the new scheme.

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UPDATE: It doesn’t look like Aaron Murray is much slower than Logan Gray.

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UPDATE #2: David’s got the complete spring combine numbers here.  To put Washington’s 40 time in perspective, A.J. Green was timed at 4.37.  Even if you don’t buy 40 times on their face (and I don’t), comparatively speaking, that Washington is roughly a tenth of a second faster than Green is otherworldly.

Not only that – check out the 225-pound bench press rep numbers.  Washington finished tied for first in his group and tied for sixth overall.  Dude is scary.  I can’t wait to see what that translates into on the field this fall, especially if Houston gets the early attention from opposing offenses.

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UPDATE #3: Paul points out the likelihood that these numbers are exaggerated on an absolute scale, something that I don’t doubt for a second.  But it still doesn’t change the fact that Washington ran a faster forty than Georgia’s most dynamic playmaker.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The Saban Rule still rules.

I had to read this twice to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

… So the SEC in 2008 passed a rule forbidding head coaches from evaluating players off campus during the spring. It was designed as an airtight way to ensure all bumps are created equal.

Bumps became extinct.

Saban has been calling for change ever since. His time as an NFL assistant and head coach trained him to always seek ways to improve his program’s position.

He believes first-hand evaluation of players enhances recruiting efficiency. And he’s not about to let the SEC remove that tool without a fight.

His goal at the SEC spring meetings this week was to forge a compromise. Saban, who chaired the coaches’ committee meeting, suggested that head coaches be granted full access to players during the spring.

Bumps would become permissible. So would extended, in-person conversations. It would become a standard evaluation period, free of all scrutiny and interpretation.

So in Nick Saban’s world, total capitulation equals compromise.

I realize that any ‘Bama fan reading this is probably thinking “what’s your point, dude?”, but I find Saban’s approach here kinda ballsy, considering that he’s trying to win over fellow coaches and conference officials who voted for the Rule to his side, not boot licking sycophants like Paul Finebaum.

It didn’t work, by the way.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

More from the annals of intelligent university leadership, South Carolina edition

Enter another school president fretting over assistant coaches’ rising salaries.

… South Carolina president Harris Pastides said he is concerned about the cost of doing business in the SEC, particularly when it comes to paying assistant football coaches.

“Even with the ESPN contract, I cannot continue to look our faculty and my staff in the eye — we’ve had no raises for quite a few years now — and say they are some subsidiary organization,” Pastides said Thursday at the SEC spring meetings.

Yeah, but, wait a minute, sir… didn’t your school just make its defensive coordinator one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the country?  Is that the problem?

… Pastides stressed he and the board had no misgivings about rewarding the 58-year-old Johnson, whose defenses ranked in the top four in the SEC and top 15 nationally his first two seasons at USC.

But Pastides said several board members were concerned about the direction of assistant salaries in general. Four SEC defensive coordinators received new contracts this offseason worth at least $600,000. A fifth — former USC and current Mississippi defensive chief Tyrone Nix — will make $500,000 this year.

In other words, his guy is worth every penny South Carolina is shelling out.  It’s all the other SEC schools which are overpaying their assistant coaches.  The bastards!

And besides… they’re so close in Columbia, how can he begrudge the money?

… As for the Gamecocks, Pastides figures the money will be well spent if Steve Spurrier can take USC to its first SEC championship.

“Steve has slowly advanced the program, and I like to think we’re on the perch now. It used to be the upper echelon of the league in football was way up there, and how do we get there?” Pastides said. “We’re not there yet. Whether that’s one, two or three years away, the answer that they gave me was that coach Johnson was a key ingredient.”

I keep wondering how people like this wind up occupying the positions they do.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, It's Just Bidness

Conference expansion and the postseason: what are they getting us into?

Spencer Hall hits on something that I’m surprised isn’t getting more attention in the wake of the Pac-10’s attack of the Big XII Empire:  whither goest the BCS?

PROVISIONALS: IF this even happened and everyone somehow agreed to leave and form this superconference, the Division B of this proposed Megazord conference would be an imposing, barren reflection of man’s desert soul, the No Country for Old Men Division: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Arizona, and Arizona State. An imposing, harsh, and majestic stretch of land that is, sirs and madams, and one where the BCS in its current form goes to die, since current conference tie-ins under realignment–already hopelessly screwed in existing expansion scenarios–are nasty doublefucked under this.

Is the Rose Bowl going to be happy with, say, Texas Tech as the Pac-10 representative one day?  What happens to the Big XII’s AQ slot?  Are USC, Texas and Oklahoma going to be able to live with the current prohibition against sending more than two schools from one conference to the BCS?

Me, I’m thinking this just pushes things more towards that four mega-conference, sixty-four school college football division that I think would be best… except what happens if the other surviving power conferences don’t expand equally?

Lots of questions and few answers now, although the mid-majors look to be totally cut out when the dust settles.  Which means the PlayoffPAC guys are missing the big picture with this whine.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

The Big XII, where the expansion smoke may mean there’s fire

I’ve tried to stay out of the conference expansion frenzy as best I can, because it’s been little more than rank speculation about which school goes where, but as it looks like we may have our first realignment story with some real legs to it, I guess I’ll break my silence and comment.

In case you missed it, a Texas site affiliated with Rivals came out with a blockbuster story yesterday about the Pac-10 being on the verge of offering to take in six Big XII schools – Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado – to create a big time sixteen-school conference that would dominate TV markets west of the Mississippi.  When I first read about it, I brushed the story off, mainly because it was loaded with info from unnamed sources, but Matt Hinton’s due diligence about the bona fides of the web site made me sit up and pay a little more attention to the report.

Today, I wake up to find that not only are none of the key players in the matter denying the report in response to direct questions about it…

Then, in a prepared statement released just a short time ago, Scott had another chance to at least attempt to jam the toothpaste back in the tube.  Instead of jamming, he ended up shooting even more Crest all over the bathroom mirror.
“We are aware of a story filed today by an Orangebloods.com columnist, speculating about possible expansion plans for the Pac-10 Conference. While many interesting scenarios have been suggested in numerous news reports, around the country, we remain focused on a thorough evaluation process that examines all of the options for increasing the value of the Conference for our member institutions, our student athletes and our fans. We have not developed any definitive plans. We have not extended any invitations for expansion and we do not anticipate any such decisions in the near term.”

… but the Colorado AD indicated that he was expecting such an invitation imminently.

… Reports that the Pacific-10 Conference would target six Big 12 teams started surfacing early Thursday afternoon. Later, Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said that he believed his school would be invited to join the Pac-10, along with Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

“The longer that we were together in Kansas City, it appeared that the rumor of speculation did have some validity,” Bohn told the Boulder Daily Camera.

I doubt it’s much fun being Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe this morning.

So if this is the real deal, what’s it likely to mean?

  • First of all, I can’t say I’m surprised about the target.  I’ve thought all along that the Big East and the Big XII were toast if significant realignment occurred.  If anything like this deal goes down, the Big XII is vaporized.
  • Texas is still the key.  It’s not going anywhere unless it’s convinced it’s squeezing the best deal for itself that it can get.  If the $20 million figure for the new TV deal is correct (and you’d better believe that’s already been vetted to some extent), that’s a significant bump over what Texas receives now, but that’s not the same thing as saying that it’s the best the Longhorns can do going forward.
  • It sucks to be Kansas right now, doesn’t it?
  • If this goes through, it’s hard to see where the SEC expands, if it’s so inclined.  Texas and Oklahoma will be off the table and the ACC’s new TV contract gives its members the financial stability that’s missing from the Big XII now.  The ACC will be a hunter and not one of the hunted.  None of the leftovers from either the Big XII or the Big East (assuming the Big Ten and ACC step in and cannibalize it) are financially attractive.  It’s hard to see any school out there that the SEC could realistically add that would improve the conference’s bottom line and I don’t see Slive bringing new schools into the conference without that.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, Pac-12 Football

Friday morning buffet

Something to nibble on as the working week draws to a close:

  • Matt Hayes thinks 2010 Arkansas smells a lot like 2009 Ole Miss.
  • After reading this, I can certainly understand why a lot of Georgia Tech fans don’t think Heather Dinich has a clue.  “Efficient” isn’t the same as “balanced”.  And, hell yes, recruiting will make winning a national title at Georgia Tech a tall order.
  • What does Christian LeMay have to bring to the table to get that coveted fifth star?
  • Chris Low has Washaun Ealey as his twenty-third best player in the SEC.
  • The NCAA’s postponing its announcement on Southern Cal because it failed to get the school an advance copy of the report on time.  Way to look in charge, fellas.
  • Here’s a story about Jalen Fields, who will go down as the first commitment and (he hopes) last arrival of Georgia’s 2010 class.
  • The good news for Georgia’s athletic department is that there’s still a cutoff for football season tickets.  The bad news is that the non-renewals rose significantly.  The school blames that on a disappointing season and the economic downturn, but I wonder if concern about the trend is at least somewhat behind the call for less night games this season.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, The NCAA