Daily Archives: November 2, 2010

Go west, young conference.

The TCU-to-the-Big-East rumors are flying again.  And, really, other than geography, the move is such a win-win for both the school and the conference, it’s hard to see why it shouldn’t happen.  The Big East gets a new TV market and access to Texas recruits; TCU gets a crack at better TV revenue as well as a shot at an AQ berth in the BCS (in a conference which, on paper, it should walk in and be a favorite to win).

As for the distance involved, it would seem to me that it would be smart for the conference to go to twelve teams, assuming it can find four valid participants, and set up divisions that would at least have somewhat compact geographic footprints.

I’m not really sure how things would work on the basketball side, though.  But since it’s football that pays the bills (at least for every school in the conference except Louisville), my guess is that they’ll figure something out if they want to go down that road.

Oh yeah, if this happens, that’ll do it for the Mountain West’s chances to move on up.  Tough luck for Boise State, too.

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Filed under Big East Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

A thin line between love and hate (or lack of interest, at least)

This morning, Tony Barnhart asks:

So instead of its fourth straight win, Georgia absorbs a heartbreaking loss. So I ask you: If Georgia’s Blair Walsh kicks the winning field goal in overtime instead of Florida’s Chas Henry, are we even having this discussion today? If Georgia wins that game is everybody saying that Richt has things back on track and he’s good to go for the future?

… and then has this for an answer.

If the answer to that question is yes, if the line between keeping a coach and letting him go is that fine, then you have to keep him.

I get his point, but I’m not sure it’s that simple.  And in the case of Richt’s immediate supervisor, I hope it’s not that simple.  McGarity’s got two things to be concerned about.  One is focusing on what Richt can do to make the program better and providing whatever reasonable assistance he can to achieve that goal.  On that front, Richt himself indicated on last night’s Bulldog Hotline that McGarity has some ideas to which the coach is receptive.

“So what are we going to do? We are going to go back and make sure everything we’re doing is the very best it can be. I am very encouraged with our new athletics director Mr. McGarity, Greg McGarity. I think he is very intent and excited about looking at every facet of our program and helping me and us make any type of changes that can help us. Of course, him being at Florida for some time certainly gives him the credibility of knowing what the national championship team looks like . . . I am excited about some of the things Mr. McGarity and I have talked about.”

But there’s another factor in the equation McGarity can’t ignore.  Barnhart can talk all he wants about making dispassionate decisions about Richt’s fate, but fan bases by their very nature aren’t dispassionate.  At some point, if apathy sets in, the program starts taking a hit in the pocketbook.  And that’s something McGarity won’t be able to afford to tolerate for very long.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Upon further review, Georgia-Florida edition: I fixate on leaping.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a clip of A.J.’s incredible grab in the fourth quarter.  As stunning as it was live, it’s even better on the telecast (especially the slo-mo replay, because you can see how well Jenkins defended the play).  I stand by my statement from the other day that it might be a better catch than the one-handed TD reception against Colorado.

Anyway, in terms of flying into space to make a play, you’ll have to settle for this clip of Christian Robinson’s tackle of Chris Rainey in the first quarter.  It’s impressive in its own way.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Upon further review, Georgia-Florida edition: Gary Danielson fixates on A.J.

I haven’t undertaken an in-depth look at the replay of the game yet – last night, all I had time to do was skim some of the highlights to see what I had missed from Section 103 – but one thing I’m puzzled about was Gary Danielson’s continued insistence on getting the ball to A.J. Green.  It was apparent from where I was sitting that Florida rolled its pass coverage frequently towards A.J., which had the benefit of opening up the field for Georgia’s other receivers.  It was no coincidence that Orson Charles had by far his best game of the season Saturday.

CBS’ camera coverage wasn’t the world’s greatest, but you can clearly see the attention Green was getting on the 24-yard completion to Charles on the play before he scored.

On the other hand, Danielson did a very nice job breaking down Murray’s best throw of the day, the TD pass to A.J.

I suppose that if you could have counted on Aaron to make that kind of throw every time, then Danielson’s observation would make more sense.  Unfortunately, as the pick in overtime showed, that wasn’t the case.

The pass protection was terrible on that play.  The left side of the line didn’t pick up the stunt and the rush threw Murray’s timing off.  But there wasn’t exactly a lot of space in which to throw the ball to A.J., either.

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Stacked deck

I’m sure there are more than a few of you who don’t really care right now, but Idaho State isn’t your ordinary, bad 1-AA team.  No, they’ve managed to make themselves into something extra special.

… The Football Championship Subdivision team that comes to Georgia for Saturday’s game has scholarship and practice time limitations due to restrictions from its Academic Progress Rate scores, which grade teams on players’ eligibility, retention and graduation.

Idaho State has 56.7 scholarships this season, according to Idaho State assistant athletic director Steve Schaack. FCS (formerly I-AA) schools are allowed 63 scholarships by the NCAA. FBS programs like Georgia are permitted 85.

The Bengals, who won only once in each of the past two seasons, also lost four hours of practice time per week, limiting them to 16 hours of countable time and five days of activity per week.

The scary part – if you’re Georgia, that is – is that for a win to count towards bowl eligibility, the NCAA requires that an opponent maintain a roster with a minimum number of scholarship athletes.  Fortunately, “(t)he 56.7 scholarships are still at the number needed for Georgia to count the win toward bowl eligibility – 90 percent of the total permitted.” If Idaho State had fallen short on numbers, wouldn’t that have been a helluva topper to the season…

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Filed under Georgia Football