Daily Archives: November 17, 2011

Don’t hate them because their division isn’t pretty.

Matt Hinton crunches the numbers to find that if Georgia wins on Saturday it will have faced a conference slate that amassed the lowest winning percentage of any group that played a SECCG participant.  In fact, if Alabama beats Auburn, “Georgia will be the first team ever to reach the SEC Championship Game without beating a single opponent ranked in the final regular season polls to get there.”

Matt’s right to go and say so what, but it’s worth adding that it’s not like Georgia squeaked by this season.  A win on Saturday means the Dawgs went 7-1 in conference play.  That’s nothing to sneer at.  The schedule may be weak, but there’s not much more you can do about it than to win as many of the games as you can.

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37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Who needs excellence when you can sell another round of playoff tickets?

This is what bracket creep sounds like.

… The league will also add a second wild card playoff team by 2013, if not next year, for 10 playoff teams overall. This one doesn’t really seem that extreme. At four teams per league, baseball is the stingiest with its playoff exclusivity, compared with six teams per conference in the NFL and eight per in the NBA and NHL. With the season so long at so many games, most teams and their fans are out of the race by June. Mad leaps into the playoffs like we saw from the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays this September rarely happen. A second wild card spot would give at least two more fan bases reason to keep tuning in, and ESPN’s Dave Schoenfeld argues the team with the best record rarely wins in October anyway.

But they settle it on the field, so that makes it all right.

93 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

It just keeps getting worse.

It’s not just that nobody at Penn State told the police about what Mike McQueary saw in the showers, they didn’t even notify the school’s attorney.

… McQueary, who by then had been elevated from graduate assistant to an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, laid out for investigators what happened next. It took a week and half, a time lapse that investigators find deeply troubling, for Curley and Schultz to call him to a meeting. McQueary told investigators, and later the grand jury, that he had explained to the two men in graphic detail what he had witnessed.

Curley and Schultz gave different accounts to the grand jury of what transpired in that meeting. Curley said McQueary saw “inappropriate conduct” that he termed “horsing around” between Sandusky and the child, and Schultz said he had “the impression that Sandusky might have inappropriately grabbed the young boy’s genitals while wrestling.”

In either event, no one notified the police. And once again, before deciding what to do, no one consulted the university’s lawyer, according to Courtney, Penn State’s general counsel…

They thought they could keep a lid on it, and with good reason.

…Those young men were not eager to tell their stories, the two people with knowledge of the case said. The young men were not convinced that the attorney general’s office had the will to go after a case that could rewrite the storied history of the university’s football program.  And they asked: If the case went forward, who would believe them over a revered figure like Jerry Sandusky?

What’s left to find out is who Sandusky’s enablers are.

“This was not the secret that they are trying to make out now,” one person involved in the inquiry said. “I know there were a number of college coaches that had heard the rumors. If all these people knew about it, how could Sandusky’s superiors not know?”

50 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment

It’s a wise child that knows its father.

Bacarri Rambo deserves some credit for honesty here:

… Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other assistants were let go. Grantham was brought in with two other assistants, and only defensive line coach Rodney Garner remained.

Players said this week that the change itself helped, because the previous defensive staff had been under such fire it was becoming a distraction. But Grantham also brought an intensity that was needed, according to safety Bacarri Rambo.

“That’s what we really had been missing on the defensive side of the ball,” said Rambo, who leads the SEC in interceptions this season. “I know sometimes we should not be coach-oriented to get us motivated. But sometimes it takes that, and he gets us so fired up and has us out there ready to play. … We’re playing relentless; everybody’s having fun. We’re playing with a swagger and confidence that we didn’t play with the previous years.”  [Emphasis added.]

I wonder who recognized that first – the players, or Coach Richt?

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Stop it, you’re making them blush!

In reaction to last week’s rout of Auburn, Chris Low moves Aaron Murray into the second spot for SEC Offensive Player of the Year and calls Jarvis Jones “the SEC’s pre-eminent big-play defender”.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

‘That’s not a 5-5 team.’

After years of listening to Georgia fans try to console themselves with talk like “Georgia’s the best four-loss team in the country”, it sure is a pleasure watching Charlie Weis apply lipstick to Florida’s pig of a season.

40 Comments

Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat...

Sometimes coaching genius isn’t enough.

Kevin Scarbinsky notes Auburn’s remarkable statistical decline this season from 2010:

This team has given up 52 more points than it’s scored this season. This team is on pace to give up more points than the 2009 defense, the worst in school history. This team has scored an astounding 335 fewer points than last year when the offense set the school scoring record.

Unless I’m missing something there, that means Chizik and Roof are in the process of presiding over the two worst defensive scoring seasons in Auburn’s history.  (And it’s not like 2010 was any great shakes either.)  Ouch.

40 Comments

Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

So how good a year has Richt had?

Mark Richt was asked a good question at his Tuesday presser:

On if Georgia can win the SEC Eastern Division, if it would be as satisfying as the other three SEC Eastern Division titles the Bulldogs have won under Richt…

“In 2002, that was pretty special and miraculous winning that Auburn game. The thing I remember most about 2005 has got to be D.J. Shockley and how he persevered. That was a special year without question. Of course, I skipped the one [overall SEC Championship] we lost. I don’t know why. I don’t even remember that year. Let’s try to win this week.”

He’s being overly modest there.  I’m still of the belief that 2003 stands as the best coaching job of his career.  Sure, the defense was stellar and special teams were good.  But that offense… no running game to speak of, wide receiver injuries all season and an offensive line that yielded a nightmarish 47 sacks left the two quarterbacks to get the crap beaten out of them all season.  Yeah, the Dawgs were soundly defeated in the SECCG, but people tend to forget that they had a legitimate shot at the upset in Baton Rouge had Billy Bennett been on his game that day.  Had they pulled it off, that season would have wound up very differently.

Anyway, that led me to wonder how this season would rank as a coaching accomplishment if Georgia ran the regular season table and finished 10-2 going into the SECCG.  This year’s team is more talented on offense than was the 2003 group, but it’s had a whole different bunch of demons to exorcise.  Coaching the first SEC team to start a season 0-2 and make it to the championship game is a noteworthy achievement.

The other part of what’s gone on is that Richt’s remade so much of the program in a very compressed amount of time.  You can certainly argue that he had little choice in that, but still, I can’t think of many recent examples at other programs of an extensive overhaul like Georgia’s that succeeded.

I’m not ready to put the final stamp on things, of course.  Georgia first has to get back to Atlanta before any final evaluation can be made.  But it’s food for thought.  What say you guys?

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

He may be an ass, but at least he can be a gracious one.

Say what you will about Steve Spurrier, but he hasn’t made excuses about the schedule costing his team a shot at the SECCG.  Instead, he’s given the devil his due.

“You have to give Georgia credit,” Spurrier said. “They outplayed us the night we beat them, but we took advantage of a bunch of mistakes they made. They are playing a lot better now. They are a good team. We had our chances and that’s too bad because getting back to Atlanta would have been another really special accomplishment for our school.”

I’ll be gracious in response.  Considering the injury to Lattimore, the complete implosion of Garcia and Jeffery’s off-year, the OBC’s done a helluva coaching job this season getting that bunch to 6-2 in the conference.

Darn shame it doesn’t look like it was quite enough.

41 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius