Monthly Archives: January 2011

Too much barbeque

Andy Staples makes a compelling case for the argument that the roots of college football dominance can be found south of the Mason-Dixon Line, where the best defensive linemen grow up.  He has some guidance for coaches out west and up north:

… So what’s a coach from a less fertile area to do? First, he should develop a taste for barbecue. The best is found in the states that produce elite defensive linemen.

Come to think of it, that’s good culinary advice no matter what line of work you’re in.
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25 Comments

Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

You’ve got your pet peeves, I’ve got mine.

I respect the position of those who vehemently object to the practice of oversigning, even if I’m not as worked up about it as they are.

That’s not to say that there aren’t aspects to the present day recruiting scene that don’t offend the bejeezus out of me.  For one such current signing practice which really chaps my ass, turn north, my friends, to that fine academic institution in Knoxville, Tennessee for the story of one of its basketball signees who’s having a spot of trouble qualifying.

“I’m going to Brittain Academy in Charlotte,” Jones said, before discussing his reason for leaving Oak Ridge. “It was academic. … I talked to the coaches and we decided I should go somewhere I could get better grades. It’s not because of behavior or basketball-wise. I need to be able to better understand my work, and I can do that at Brittain Academy.”

The website for Brittain Academy touts a high school diploma program that allows those who register to graduate in 30 days or less. The program consists of one test, and those who fail can retest at no cost. The record time for completion of the program, according to the website, is 7 hours.

That sounds just like Choate.  And if you’re wondering how UT feels about the young man’s choice, fear not.  The Vols are down with it.

… Jones said that Tennessee is aware of his situation and supportive.

“I’ve been talking to them all week,” Jones said. “They told me it was a great choice because the way it was looking, it didn’t look good. But they said I’m making a good choice. … It just dawned on me. What am I playing basketball for if I’m not going to be cleared? I had to make a decision.”

SEC Dean’s List, here we come.

13 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Recruiting

Flaunt it, baby, flaunt it.

Texas will be paying its football coaching staff nearly $9 million this season.

20 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Thinking Dream(y) thoughts

In the wake of the buzz following Ray Drew’s announcement yesterday, Matt Hinton had a question for us.

On one level, I see his point.  It’s not like the 2011 class will be the first highly rated one that Richt has reeled in.  But context matters here.  Richt found himself selling a product that appeared a little torn and frayed around the edges after last season – and doing so in the face of aggressive competition which had the last two national championship trophies to waive at many of the same recruits whom Georgia targeted.

Call the Dream Team concept a marketing gimmick, if you’d like.  But if you do so, don’t forget to admit that it’s worked admirably.  And it’s done that on a number of levels.  It’s given the staff focus on the recruiting trail.  It’s given the in-state kids a theme to rally around.  It’s excited the fan base.  It’s also created the impression that maybe, just maybe, Richt isn’t ready to be buried in Athens just yet.

In the short run, that last factor is as important as anything, if you’re Richt.  The program needs to wash the taste of that 6-7 season out of its mouth, and quickly.  Positive momentum is a priority, and at this time of year there’s no more obvious way to generate that than with a flashy recruiting class.

Richt’s done a good job of managing it, too.  Compare the attitude directed towards the program from a month ago after Dickson and Bray signed with verballed to ‘Bama and Auburn to the electricity Georgia has now.  I can’t remember Georgia under Richt ever closing out a recruiting season the way 2011 appears to be playing out.  And I don’t think that’s happenstance.  So kudos to Richt – and let’s hope this is just a good first step on the road to SEC relevancy this season.

Someone else whom I suspect deserves some kudos for assembling this class is Todd Grantham.  The Dream Team concept has its roots in Grantham’s observation made early on in Athens that he believed he could field a national championship caliber defense without having to travel too far to assemble the talent.

And while he hasn’t had the high profile on the recruiting trail that Bobo’s (deservedly) had – although he’s been front and center on Jenkins like nobody’s business – it’s clear from comments like this from Drew (from an earlier version of Chip Towers’ post about his commitment)…

“I will be playing the same position that Justin Houston played this year. While it is the 3-4, the majority of the time it’s a 4-3 look where the outside linebacker plays on end with his hand on the ground and gets after the quarterback. That’s the way it is 60 to 70 percent of the time.”

… that Grantham’s been in the ear of these kids and they’ve been receptive to what he has to say.  He sounds like a coach who knows where he wants to go with this class.  It’ll be interesting to see how good a judge of talent he turns out to be in the next year or two.

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UPDATE: More Dream Team stuff from Seth Emerson here.

45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Two oversigning questions…

that illustrate my ambivalence about the practice:

First, here’s one from the LSU blog And The Valley Shook.

… Because if the SEC was truly abusive and the players were being taken advantage of: kids would stop signing with SEC schools.  The elephant in the room is: why aren’t these kids flocking to the Big Ten, with its more restrictive rules on oversigning?  High school recruits hold almost all the power during their recruitment period, so why are they going to the schools which are being so publicly derided as being hostile to their interests?

Now, before you tell me I’m being naïve about what these kids understand, perhaps you ought to start by explaining your own naiveté about the level of negative recruiting that goes on chasing in this day and age.

That being said, it’s the practice of how slots open up for these kids that may not pass the smell test.  And Year2 hits on a good point about one such method.

… There are other ways of doing investigation. Take, for example, the Wall Street Journal‘s inspection of the use of medical hardships and how Alabama gives out more of them than any other program. I know that rebuttals to that piece have come from all over the Alabama blogosphere, many of which came to the conclusion that the medical hardship scholarships were fair and justified.

If that’s true, then why not investigate what it is about Alabama’s program that causes more players to become medically unfit to play football than most programs? Or is it just that Alabama’s standards are different? Are the coaches and doctors there more in tune with medical research into when to sit a player down for good? Or are the coaches just more willing to give out medical hardships than other coaches?

I don’t have all the answers to this, which is why I hesitate to issue a blanket condemnation.  I’d sure like to know more, though.

28 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Big number to live up to

Via David Pollack’s Twitter feed, here’s a pic of the newest #47 to don the red and black:

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

What’s the opposite of a hot seat meme?

Montana has taken notice of Georgia’s 2011 commitment list.

56 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Friday morning buffet

Something to tide you over until the Ray Drew announcement -

51 Comments

Filed under Big East Football, Gators, Gators..., General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, The Blogosphere, The NCAA

A Georgia football performance which makes Michael Adams happy.

This should raise a few eyebrows.

… If you do the math, Georgia is only putting 25.8% of their football revenue back into the program. Meanwhile, the 2009 National Champion, Alabama, was putting 43.3% back into their program, and the 2010 National Champion, Auburn, invested 42.2 percent. Is there perhaps a correlation between this and results on the field? Georgia went 7-5 in 2009 and just 6-6 in 2010. Comparing Georgia to Texas, who is the only school with bigger profits from football, the two are spending at about the same rate, with Texas putting 26.7% back into their program.  However, Texas is spending $25,112,331 to Georgia’s $18,308,654.

I’ll also note that Georgia is second in the SEC in terms of overall athletic department profit at $11.7 million. Alabama, who posted the highest profits for its athletic department, is an outlier with a $44 million profit (more to come on that in a later post). Ole Miss presented a balanced sheet, so they show no profit in the athletic department.  However, the other 10 schools posted an average profit of $5.4 million, putting Georgia’s athletic department at more than twice the average profit.

About that correlation question – it’s hard to say without knowing what that extra spending is going into, so it would be interesting to see a school-by-school breakdown.  But, yeah, it’s hard not to have a nagging feeling that making money has occupied a higher priority for the people running the athletic department (or, more accurately, the person to whom those people answer to) than spending the money to allow the program to succeed at its highest level.

Especially when it’s the continuation of a trend.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

The most disturbing thing you’ll read today about Georgia’s recruiting.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting a bullish Tom Lemming:

“If they get those guys they will finish somewhere like third, fourth or fifth, maybe higher,” said Lemming, who has Drew and Rome No. 1 at their respective positions and Crowell number four. “Alabama, who is already No. 1, is going to be tough to beat, especially if they end up getting Jadeveon Clowney. Texas already has a great class, even though they recently lost their best player to Auburn. Florida State and LSU have good classes. Then there’s USC, who was supposed to be limited with 15 scholarships but is loading up because of their NCAA appeal. But Georgia’s going to be in that mix.”

The Bulldogs’ class currently ranks No. 8 by Scout.com, No. 9 by Rivals and 11 by ESPNU/Scouts Inc.

“A lot of it has to do with Mark Richt,” Lemming said. “He probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a great recruiter. And it’s Georgia itself. It’s the state school. I’ve been driving through there for 32 years and kids grow up wanting to be Bulldogs, no matter what the situation is.”

49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Tom Lemming Is A Feminine Hygene Product