For Todd Grantham, the stakes this offseason are huge. The good thing is that he’s aware of it.
… Grantham has been focused on the Yellow Jackets, putting his players through four days of contact work to get them prepared for the cutback blocking Tech employs in its triple option. After Saturday night, he expects to hit the recruiting trail and hit it hard.
“I’m convinced more than ever that we can have the kind of defense here that you want to have,” he said. “I do think we’ve got to address some areas in both recruiting and development.”
You get the feeling that while the next few months may lack the overt drama of last winter, they may be even more important for Mark Richt’s future in Athens.
According to this piece, it’s quite simple, really.
… No, this new Leach lawsuit isn’t about ESPN. Or Spaeth.
It’s about Craig James.
With one goal in mind.
… If trained lawyer Leach is correct, his latest legal action may soon devastate Craig James’ professional life the way Leach’s coaching career was effectively crashed by the ESPN announcer.
If that’s all Leach achieves with his lawsuits, he still will have gained the satisfaction of performing a national service. Turnabout is fair play, even for a pirate.
If this isn’t a fitting metaphor for Texas’ wretched season, I don’t know what is.
… Texas A&M punted the ball back to Texas with about 10 seconds left and Ken Wood had to pick the snap off the ground to get it away. Texas tried to block it and freshman returner Adrian Phillips let the ball bounce on the ground.
That let the final seconds run out. The mistake was a fitting end to Texas’ miserable season and several players threw up their hands in frustration…
If Georgia wins tomorrow, the Dawgs will finish 6-6 and begin preparing to play in a bowl game, both accomplishments the Longhorns, with all that money and all those top five recruiting classes, will miss in 2010. After the Colorado loss, who could have foreseen that?
The problem I have with this Wall Street Journal attack piece on Nick Saban is the premise:
… The three players said they believe Mr. Saban falsely portrayed the circumstances of their departures to protect the image of his program. Mr. Saban had previously come under scrutiny by the media for offering scholarships to more incoming recruits than the school could accommodate under NCAA scholarship limits. This relatively common practice, which is known as “oversigning” is not prohibited by the NCAA. It allows a coach to improve his roster by giving him a larger pool of talent to choose from. But it also eventually forces the coach to get rid of a few scholarship players he no longer wants—which can put him at risk of scaring away future recruits.
If Mr. Saban had said the players decided to transfer because they didn’t believe they would have a chance to play at Alabama, the players said, it would have provided ammunition for rival coaches competing for the same recruits. But if the players were seen as disciplinary cases, they said, Mr. Saban’s recruiting methods wouldn’t be viewed as the problem. Mr. Saban, Mr. Preyear said, “was just making himself look good for the media, and making us look bad.”
Again, is there anybody familiar with SEC football who isn’t familiar with Saban’s modus operandi at this point? Top recruits aren’t being scared away from Alabama, despite all the attention paid to oversigning in every Tide class. Nick Saban isn’t paid to care about what the media thinks about him; he’s paid to get talent in the door and win games. He’s succeeding at that impressively.
Also, it doesn’t exactly help make your case when it’s disclosed about the four players who were dismissed for violating teams rules that two had earlier disciplinary problems resulting in suspensions and a third isn’t currently playing because of academic issues (at Alabama State, which I didn’t know was even possible).
I don’t doubt that some opposing programs try to use this stuff on the recruiting trail and for them this article will likely add another arrow to the quiver. But it doesn’t seem to slow the ‘Bama staff down terribly. Besides, it sounds like Saban has his own materials to waive around.
… Mr. Lawrence said he thought about calling Mr. Saban and asking for an explanation but decided instead to write a letter thanking the coach for recruiting him—in case he might need Mr. Saban to call coaches on his behalf in the future…
Such is how life often works.
A few things to tide you over until you sit down at the big meal:
- Brophy links to a Wall Street Journal piece about a new QB rating system designed to better account for running stats. It’s drawn up for the NFL, but it would seem to be even more useful for college football.
- Dan Mullen wants to party, 40’s style.
- Tech fans can’t even work up good statistical hate this year. All they’ve got left is measuring how bad this year’s bunch stacks up with other mediocre teams Tech’s dragged to Athens in previous seasons.
- Scarbinsky thinks that a one-loss Auburn team should have nothing to fear about the BCS title game. Guess he’s been chatting with Gordon Gee.
- If Aaron Murray is really in that clip, I can’t find him. And I’d hope he’d have better taste in the first place.
- This is the perfect meld of Tech nerdiness and football fandom.
- Texas Tech’s lawyer now admits that Leach’s actions didn’t harm Adam James? Sounds like it’s settlement time – on Leach’s terms.
- More Camgate reaction. When you’ve lost the pointy-headed, liberal, alt-weekly academic types, you’ve pretty much lost everybody outside of the fan base.
- We all bitch about the ones that got away from Athens, but it happens at other schools, too.
I bet A.J. has enjoyed film study these past two weeks.
… Tech likes to give receivers a fairly big cushion at the line of scrimmage so that they make sure that they can’t get behind them for big gains. The Jackets have allowed 31 pass plays of at least 20 yards this season…
I am grateful we live in a country that inspires over the top commentary like Joe’s.
And I say that even though I think Gordon Gee is an asshat.
This is so on.
I wonder how many of the WWL’s talking heads wind up being deposed.
The coaches are having the players go through a full contact practice today in preparing for the Tech game. The man behind the plan appears to be the defensive coordinator.
… it appears defensive coordinator Todd Grantham may have had a say in the Bulldogs’ physical practice plan this week.
“You can do drills for (cut-blocking), but they’ve got to get out there and play,” Grantham said. “They don’t really like doing it right now that way, but that’s the way we do it, because that’s what is going to happen on Saturday. You’ve got to learn to bring your feet with you, and you’ve got to learn to get away from the guy and accelerate down the line. We’re going to do those things, and the best way to do it is live. So that’s what we’re doing right now.”
Me likee this. A lot.
The Ohio State president has news for Boise State and TCU: you’re not worthy.
“Well, I don’t know enough about the Xs and Os of college football,” said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. “I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. [Emphasis added.] So I think until a university runs through that gauntlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to (be) in the big ballgame.”
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Ohio State has faced off against the likes of Marshall, Ohio and Eastern Michigan this season. Sagarin shows the Buckeyes strength of schedule to be closer to Boise and TCU than to schools like Stanford, Alabama, LSU and Missouri (CBS, too), so who’s Gee kidding here? We’re talking about a matter of degree, that’s all. Unfortunately, it’s a mid-major’s fate to play in a mid-major conference. Gee’s standard would essentially lock those schools out of the title game, no matter how much they dominated their schedule. But schools like Ohio State aren’t lining up to give the Broncos a shot at home-and-homes to bring BSU’s schedule to a level that Gee would approve, either. They can’t win.
Let me hear him say the same thing about a Big East contender and maybe I’ll give his self-serving argument more credence.
UPDATE: You ever wonder what somebody sputtering on Twitter sounds like?