Daily Archives: August 15, 2011

“What do you need to win?”

Dean Legge compares Georgia’s last two athletic directors’ management priorities.  I found this part telling:

… When Georgia lost to LSU on a questionable unsportsmanlike penalty in 2009 freedom of information requests confirmed that Evans didn’t complain about the call to the SEC in any formal way. McGarity wrote the conference to complain and called the SEC out in the press for what he thought was unacceptable officiating in the Auburn football game and Tennessee basketball game – a move that no doubt let coaches, players, donors and fans know he was serious about being an advocate for the Bulldogs.

One day soon we may need to reorder the Bulldog calendar around a seminal moment.  How does Before Red Panties (BRP) and After Red Panties (ARP) work for you?

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Lots of people say stupid things when you bring up the 3-4.”

Fortunately, Shakin The Southland’s DrB isn’t one of them.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

It’ll be a successful preseason for Georgia if…

Let’s skip past the obvious, like injury avoidance and having enough functioning bodies at the running back position.  Here are three keys I see to feeling good heading into the Dome in nineteen (!) days:

  1. Stability on the offensive line.  They’ve settled on a starting five.  Early reviews from the coaches have been positive.  Even more encouraging, two freshmen have been identified as being contributors from a depth standpoint.  One difference between Searels and Friend I’ve noticed, besides their blocking scheme philosophies, is that Friend seems less wedded to cross-training on the line than his predecessor was (tempered by depth considerations, that is).  Given that they’re lining up new faces at four of the five positions on the line, that’s a good thing.  If things stay set, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Establishing a rotation at wide receiver.  It’s as worrisome as the situation at running back, if you ask me.  The good news is that the pool of reliable options doesn’t have to be that deep starting out, given the stockpile of talent at tight end.  The bad news is that aside from Tavarres King, it’s hard to see where the rest of the rotation is coming from.  You sense the coaches are crossing their fingers that Marlon Brown’s time has finally come (“Marlon Brown would probably be the No. 1 guy. I’ve just been really, really pleased with how he’s played. He’s making a ton of catches over the middle, outside.”), but I doubt they’re ready to bet the ranch on that.  Malcolm Mitchell has wowed everyone with his athleticism and speed, but he’s also showed in practice and in scrimmage that he’s still a freshman learning how to play the position in college.  They really need to come out of the next two weeks with at least three receivers that Aaron Murray can rely on.  I’m not positive they will.
  3. Defensive personnel and the learning curve.  We don’t know yet if Todd Grantham is the second coming of Brian VanGorder, but say this for the man, he knows what type of players he wants in his defense.  He demonstrated that in how active he was in the recruiting process for this year’s Dream Team class, and he’s showed it in the personnel moves he made after last season, from the obvious (Tyson to end) to the startling (Ogletree to inside linebacker).  Now comes the challenge of making the pegs fit the holes better than some did last year.  And there are little indications here and there that things are coming together reasonably well.  In that regard, Branden Smith, who many thought might be a bigger contributor on offense than on defense this year, may be the canary in the coal mine.  Grantham had similar praise for Ogletree.  It all still flows from having a real presence at the nose, but the more players who are comfortable in their roles, the faster and better Grantham’s defense is going to play.

Add your thoughts on what you want to see in the comments.

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UPDATE:  Maybe I should have said something about scooter avoidance.

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UPDATE #2:  Hey, at least no charges were filed.  That’s a positive development, right?  Right?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Monday morning buffet

The Beatles are here to remind you that September 1st isn’t far away.

Dig in:

  • Rivals doesn’t think this year’s Georgia squad is as good as the Virginia Tech team that lost to James Madison last year.  Ouchy ouch.
  • Is Caleb King worth a second-round draft pick?  This guy thinks so.
  • The NCAA tests the principle that hell hath no fury as a booster scorned.  Good luck with that, Miami.
  • As my dad would put it, Gordon Gee has a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain.
  • Andy Staples makes a great case about why Texas A&M wants to switch conferences.  But he’s not as convincing when it comes to why the SEC needs TAMU.
  • Gary Danielson describes Florida’s last season as a “train wreck”.
  • I’ll take Matt Hinton’s SEC forecast in a heartbeat.
  • The University of North Dakota sure has a unique problem.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The NCAA

Where, oh where, is college football’s Bud Selig?

I thought that Frank Deford was the only person capable of writing a column dumb enough to piss me off, but I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong.

Pete Thamel, I was wrong.  Really, really wrong.

No one is in charge.

For all the billions of dollars, millions of fans and boundless passion that surround college football, that has always been its glaring and bizarre flaw. No one is looking out for the greater good of the game. No one is guiding the sport toward long-term prosperity and short-term sensibility. No one is building consensus and channeling all of the ratings, financial success and popularity toward an outcome that is positive for everyone in the sport.

And with the conference plate tectonics poised to shift with Texas A&M’s possible move to the Southeastern Conference, the college sports world finds itself, yet again, panicking about a major paradigm change.

Imagine if the Kansas City Chiefs could cause upheaval in the N.F.L. or the Baltimore Orioles could force a major realignment in Major League Baseball…

Argh.  How ’bout this one?  Imagine if college football shut down half its regular season, its postseason and its national title game because a bunch of rich people couldn’t get their collective heads out of their asses long enough to look out for the greater good of the game.  That, my friends, was the 1994 baseball “season”.

Fortunately, those commissioner-led jokers were bailed out by the fans.  Just like the NFL is after its latest lockout, and just like the NBA will be after its current shutdown is settled.  It’s what we do.  Call it battered fan syndrome, if you like.  In any event, from a damage standpoint, the waltz that Texas A&M and the SEC are now dancing pales in comparison to shuttering a sporting season.

… And once again, it is painfully obvious that no one is looking out for what is best for all of college sports. And for all of college football’s success and prosperity, that has many people wondering whether the sport is really headed in the right direction.

Thamel doesn’t say what the right direction is, but I gather for starters the gist of it would be that a real boss of the sport would prevent TAMU from leaving the Big 12 and stop Mike Slive from expanding his conference.  From where I sit, that would mean Thamel’s ruler of college ball would be looking at an antitrust suit or two (something Bud Selig conveniently never has to worry about, by the way) right off the bat.  Considering the criticism which gets lobbed at the sport because of the BCS, how ironic is that?

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UPDATE:  On the other hand, Tony Barnhart thinks Thamel is on to something with this.

10 Comments

Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles