For some reason, Paul Johnson got a bonus three times the size of Mark Richt’s for losing a shitty bowl game.
Monthly Archives: January 2011
Check out the numbers Jon Solomon compiled in his report.
Only the Big East and the Big Ten had no schools which averaged signing 25 players or more per year in their 2006-10 signing classes.
… According to SI.com, 25 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams averaged more than 25 signees a year between 2006 and 2010. That includes eight SEC teams: Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU and South Carolina.
Troy leads the nation with 32.8 signees per year. Half of the Big 12’s soon-to-be 10 members average more than 25. So does half of Conference USA, including UAB, which averages 25.8.
It’s tough to make that competitive advantage argument when so many schools are oversigning. And how many of them really care about taking advantage of student-athletes with the practice? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
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.
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.
Texas will be paying its football coaching staff nearly $9 million this season.
In the wake of the buzz following Ray Drew’s announcement yesterday, Matt Hinton had a question for us.
Georgia fans: Do you feel the 'Dream Team' is shaping up as a special class? Rankings say par for the course for UGA but unusual hype.—
Matt Hinton (@DrSaturday) January 29, 2011
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 wa
ive 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.
UPDATE: More Dream Team stuff from Seth Emerson here.