Daily Archives: December 15, 2010

Name that caption: Steve Spurrier, slave to fashion

This is a deeply disturbing photo that begs for your commentary.

Get to it in the comments section after your eyesight recovers.

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On drill finishing

One other interesting quote from Richt at today’s presser came in response to a question about the changes with the strength and conditioning coaches.

… Like something I mentioned before, and by no means am I saying it’s just the strength area that we need to improve on when it comes to winning the fourth quarter and finishing, because coaching has to do with a lot of things. I’m sure that will be a big emphasis in our program is to make sure we truly finish the drill. We say finish the drill but are we really doing it? Did we do it this year? We did not.

Interesting, because instead of the usual offseason smoke up our derrieres we tend to hear about leadership and getting after it, here we have Richt acknowledging a problem.  Now whether the steps he’s taken are the right ones to correct the problem is a big unknown at this point, but one thing’s certain.  You can’t fix something if you don’t first acknowledge it’s broken.  I’m just hoping that it’s this year’s version of directional kicking.

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The Murray mystery

It’s something I’ll chew on in the offseason, but Richt hits on the big puzzle of the 2010 edition of Georgia:

Statistically, Richt believes that Aaron Murray has had a better freshman season than David Greene or Matt Stafford. Given that Murray was the team’s big question mark entering 2010, Richt admitted he “never would’ve dreamed” they’d still be 6-6.

“If we’d have known he’d be as efficient as he was, and like you say, turnovers got in the right direction in a positive way, our penalty situation was much improved, to think that you would be 6-6, I would say no,” Richt said.

The stats tell a strange story, true.  But there’s another part to this.  “If we’d have known he’d be as efficient as he was”, how different would the playcalling have been during the 1-4 start?

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UPDATE: Gentry Estes posted a complete transcript of Richt’s presser.  As a big David Greene fan, I can’t help but like this comparison:

“Aaron Murray and David Greene are very similar in their approach to the game. I’d say that’s the thing they are most similar. When Coach (Mike) Bobo and I started meeting with our quarterbacks 10 years ago when David was in the room with the others, he just was very proficient at listening, at writing down all the information, and then you could see him go through the progressions that you teach him. You could see him going exactly the way you say to progress. You could just tell he was creating some very good habits. That was one of the greatest emphasis we had this fall was for these young quarterbacks to create a lot of great habits that would serve them well for their entire careers at Georgia, not just this season. Habits of just the QB-center exchange, the ball-handling, you remember how David was such a good ball-handler and he would do a great job faking the ball. I think Aaron has taken that very seriously. Just your footwork in the pocket, knowing when to move up in the pocket and as you move up in the pocket to keep your focus downfield. Just not feeling like you have to throw the ball into coverage all the time or make some type of fantastic play, just learning to throw the ball away is OK. Very few turnovers Aaron has had this year, and David didn’t have a lot of turnovers either. Just the approach to the game I think is the thing that is the most similar about them. I think another thing is they had the respect of their teammates at a very young age, which is very good to have. I think both of them have that. They have a little bit different style, a little different stature. Sorry David, but Murray is a little more athletic than David was, but David has the 6-4 height advantage and that type of thing. Just great guys, guys that you as a coach have a lot of confidence to allow them to be the leader of your team.”

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Post-Muschamp presser thoughts

Here are a few things bouncing around in my head after Gator Nation met its new head coach last night:

  • “I suffered some temporary insanity.” I’m sure that won’t sit well with plenty of Georgia fans, but really, who cares?  It’s in the nature of coaching introductions to toss out some red meat for the faithful and that’s all Will did.  What’s more interesting to me is how enthused the reception was.  Meyer certainly wasn’t as wired as Muschamp appeared to be, but it sounds like they’ve lapped it up in Gainesville.  Perhaps a sign that a wee bit of Meyer fatigue might have begun to set in?
  • Corch Meyers, here’s your new office. Maybe there’s no fatigue with Jeremy Foley, who wants Meyer to stick around and perform unspecified duties for the athletic department.  Gregg Doyel is freaking out over this and while I don’t share his concerns (duh), I can’t say that he doesn’t make a few good points about the potential for this to create some friction down the road if Muschamp doesn’t knock ‘em as dead on the field as he did at yesterday’s presser.
  • Are we really sure Jeremy Foley is a genius? Aside from Doyel’s points about whether Foley is perhaps being too clever by half keeping Meyer around, there’s this quote about the hire – Foley called Muschamp a “perfect fit.” He was just what Foley was looking for in a “relentless recruiter.” – that sounded eerily similar to what I would have thought was rattling around Foley’s brain when he hired the Zooker.  Maybe I’m reading too much into that, but, boy, wouldn’t it be great to find out that the real brains of the operation departed for Athens a few months ago?
  • Say goodbye to the Gang of Six. When I think of what’s made Florida football excel over the past two decades, what comes to mind are cutting edge offenses.  Spurrier singlehandedly dragged SEC offenses and defenses into a new era with the Fun ‘n’ Gun and Meyer’s success with his version of the spread option has had a dramatic effect on the conference, particularly in the last two seasons.  Muschamp is saying farewell to all of that and intends to run a pro-style offense with a coordinator who has some NFL experience.  To me, it sounds like he’s ditching the finesse approach that’s marked Florida football to adopt a more Saban-like philosophy.  Given his access to talent, I can’t question the move, but it’s a little strange to see the Gators abandon something that’s been in the program’s DNA for so long.
  • John Brantley. So much for the player formerly known as the second-best quarterback in the SEC, folks.  Although his uncertainty about his future at Florida does raise the question of how smooth the transition on offense is going to be next season.  Georgia fans can tell you something about learning curves and personnel mismatches which stem from a radical change of scheme, Coach.

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UPDATE: It’s never a good sign when you come out of the gate referring to yourself in the third person.

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Say anything.

In the annals of below the belt recruiting in the SEC, this has to rank right near the top:

Raven said rival schools had repeatedly made him aware of a 2009 Ku Klux Klan demonstration on the Ole Miss campus, one that was met by a student-led, multi-racial, non-violent protest of the Klan’s presence. The implication from rival recruiters was racism was a problem at Ole Miss.

Somehow, I doubt things were left on an implied level.

Stay classy, you guys.

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Won’t get fooled again.

Mark Emmert continues to flail around in the wake of the NCAA’s ruling on Camgate.  Now we’re told that the NCAA “could” put emergency legislation in place at its January convention to prevent the situation from recurring.

Nevermind that it’s hard to see how Emmert’s group comes to grip with the extenuating circumstances – “There was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with that or the student-athlete had anything to do with that, and under the rules that exist today, he could play ball.” – any better than it did to begin with, or that it sounds like they’re going to get bogged down in minutiae – “Who is an agent and who is a third party and how do you define that?”  “Is it a registered agent? A financial adviser? A counselor, an uncle, an AAU coach? Who is representing you?” – what’s really telling here is his ultimate justification for the ruling.

… The new NCAA chief said the backlash against the organization’s decision to clear Newton to play would have been worse if he were prevented from competing based on the evidence against him. At the same time, he acknowledged it’s a complex legal and ethical issue.

“I was not surprised by the volume or the vitriolic nature, but had we made a different decision, I do think it would have been worse,” Emmert said.

In other words, he was more concerned about incurring Mike Slive’s wrath than anything else.  And that Slive is satisfied with the decision is proof that the NCAA made the right call.

After all, let’s not forget that at this point, the ruling has been questioned by several other BCS conference commissioners and that while Emmert thinks he’s been unfairly subjected to vitriol (nice word, by the way) because his critics lack the knowledge of the facts that he commands – “The reason the backlash didn’t surprise me is that the face of the case seemed straight forward but we had to deal with the reality of the facts that were known.” – this is a crisis that’s largely one of the NCAA’s own making.  His organization chose to interpret “the rules that exist today” the way it did and Emmert evidently hasn’t felt it necessary to share the information gathered through the NCAA’s investigation with any commissioner besides Slive.

Yeah, this is gonna work out swell next month.

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