Monthly Archives: February 2012

A play so good, the NCAA retired it.

Per Paul Myerberg, here’s a little wrinkle in the new NCAA kickoff rules that hasn’t gotten much attention:

Coverage units cannot get more than a five-yard head start on kickoffs, but does the same rule apply to kickers?

No. A kicker is allowed to line up behind the 30-yard line, if he so chose. But the N.C.A.A. did say that the kicker must kick the ball — shocking, I know. But this eliminates the little-used onside kick where the kicker rushes towards the ball but pulls up short of the tee while a teammate kicks the ball towards the hands team on the other side of the field.

Like this one.

Bunch of spoilsports, I say.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

The comment that I can’t compare the two sports coming in three… two… one…

Michael Elkon has a post up this morning (more on that in a sec) which links to a Wall Street Journal story about the significant decline in attendance at ACC men’s basketball games.  The WSJ piece contains the most pathetic excuse I’ve ever seen given as an explanation for people not going to a sporting event:

Another broad problem: the younger the sports fan, the less they enjoy being in an arena where their smartphones can’t get a signal. “People don’t like to be out of touch,” said Doug Perlman, founder and CEO of consulting firm Sports Media Advisors and a Duke graduate. “They want to be sharing the experience with their friends.”

I didn’t go to Duke and it may be a case of my generational underwear showing, but I’m having a hard time buying that.  (If that is true, then organized sports might as well prepare themselves for the sweet embrace of death, because that’s your next generation of ticket buyers, folks.)  Anyway, as skeptical as I am about the article’s logic, I’m even more puzzled by an omission that Elkon jumps on.

… this is a pet theory of mine, but I am of the opinion that the NCAA Tournament has damaged college basketball because it has become all-consuming. It is so big and so hyped that there is little reason to pay attention to the regular season unless you have a particular rooting interest. What do I care about who wins a regular season conference title when all the teams are playing for are marginal seed differences in a neutral-site tournament? [Emphasis added.]  If college basketball went back to its roots with a smaller tournament that only had 1-2 teams from the major conferences,** then maybe the NCAA Tournament would be less of a cultural phenomenon (we wouldn’t have to deal with office twits who tout their successful picks that are little more than the result of successful tosses of a coin), but people would care more from the start. The Big Dance is affecting interest in college basketball generally, but the effect would be most pronounced for the ACC as it had the farthest to fall in terms of fan interest. Give people a narrative and ACC basketball will be more interesting.

Let me say as somebody who based his decision on which college to attend in part on ACC basketball that I think Michael’s dead on here.  One of the great sporting experiences of my life was watching Virginia win its only conference title in 1976; I don’t want to say it wasn’t exciting to see the ‘Hoos make the NCAA tournament as a result, but it sure didn’t seem more exciting at the time.  When’s the last time an ACC basketball fan felt like that?

This isn’t some fly-by-night conference we’re talking about here.  This is college basketball’s most storied, most passionate league, historically speaking.  It’s the roundball equivalent of SEC football.  If this bunch is taking a steady hit in fan enthusiasm, that’s something seriously noteworthy.  And, yeah, there’s a lesson to be learned there.  (The WSJ‘s point about the impact conference expansion has had is valid, too, but that’s a subject for another post.)

March Madness is fun as hell, but it’s like inflation in a sense.  As it’s grown, it’s debased the value of the basketball regular season.  So I’ll say it again:  if you’re a D-1 college football fan fully aware that the same greedheads are in charge of deciding its postseason fate, that’s a sobering thought.


UPDATE:  Chris Brown thinks the WSJ’s point about the at-home TV experience has some validity.  (One more reason to worry about the BCS suits doing what they can to please the networks.)


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Envy and jealousy: there’s all kinds of jerks out there.

Andy Staples relates a great Steve Spurrier story in his article about Randy Edsall’s hypocrisy:

… While coaching at Florida in 1999, Spurrier was asked about intra-conference transfers by Mike Bianchi, then a columnist at the Florida Times-Union, at SEC media days. At the time, a debate raged in the league as to whether SEC-to-SEC transfers should have to sit out two years. “It’s a free country, isn’t it?” Spurrier asked, rhetorically. Then he looked at Bianchi. “Hey, Bianchi,” Spurrier said, “you didn’t have to sit out two years when you switched newspapers, did you?”

Using Spurrier mocking Bianchi to make a point about Edsall – that’s like playing with the matryoshka dolls of dickishness.   Nicely done, Mr. Staples.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Friday morning buffet

Grab a plate and do your thing.


UPDATE:  Promises, promises.

ESPN, we’re holding your ass to this, understand?  (h/t Doug)


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Dawgs be Trippin’.

Or, as Mark Richt put it, “All hands on deck.”

Richard Samuel to fullback.  Ray Drew to defensive end.  Malcolm Mitchell “experimenting” with some time at cornerback.  It’s all on the table.

G-Day will be fun to watch, that’s for sure.

I don’t have a problem with the moves, as long as they’re well thought out and justified, as opposed to the “see what happens if we stick him there” approach we’ve seen before.

“We have got to make sure that we take the entire talent base of our football team and get the best players out there in whatever situations that we need them in,” Richt said. “If that means a guy playing both ways or two positions on defense — whatever we’ve got to do to get the best players on the field. We’ve got to take advantage of everybody’s abilities.”

I think what we’re seeing is the Granthamization of Georgia’s approach to utilizing personnel.  We’d better hope that the strength and conditioning program can keep up.


Filed under Georgia Football

Michael Carvell’s head is spinning.

You’ve got to like how the AJ-C‘s recruiting page can go in one day from breathlessly reporting that Alabama stole Tyren Jones right out from under Mark Richt’s nose to the sad story that another in state recruit was told that Georgia isn’t taking any more running backs in its 2013 class because the Dawgs were only taking one (Derrick Henry).

It’s a tough job, keeping those page hits at the AJ-C coming, but somebody’s got to do it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Remember, they have your best interests at heart.

Shorter BCS Commissioners and the Notre Dame Athletics Director:  Fans, as we fight over every last postseason dollar we can get our grubby paws on and figure out who we can screw over in the process, just remember we’re doing all this for you… eh, what’s that?… oh, the student-athletes?… yeah, why not, sure, them too, we guess.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Team speed kills.

If you haven’t read Groo’s summary of where Georgia’s strength and conditioning staff stands, take a minute and do so.  His conclusion is straightforward:

We wish the three members of the staff that are leaving well, but their departure opens up a chance for Tereshinski to add skills and experience that were missing from his program. The athletic admininstration has pledged that they’ll give the program the resources it needs, and this is a big area of need to continue and to build on the gains made in the past year.

It’s also timely.

Sherman Armstrong, a former professional sprinter and the coordinator of V.A.S.T. Sports Performance in Tampa, Fla., confirmed Wednesday night that he has accepted a job as a full-time assistant coach on UGA’s strength staff.

Armstrong told Dawgs247 he plans to start by March 1 and will be filling the spot on Tereshinski’s staff left vacant by Thomas Brown’s recent move to UT-Chattanooga.

“I believe I’m to replace him, but my role is two-fold,” Armstrong said. “My primary role is to help our athletes get faster, loosen their hips up and pretty much improve the team’s overall speed at every position.

“That’s the No. 1 goal. And then to also assist Coach T and the staff in helping our athletes develop strength.”

Armstrong has an impressive list of athletes he’s worked with on speed training, including Aaron Murray.

It’s certainly a different sort of hire than Tereshinski’s made before.  We’ll see how it pays off.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Earn your scholarship, you lazy bum!

Reading Bill King’s post about Georgia adopting a new policy on multi-year scholarships, I see that Steve Spurrier quote that many others subscribe to in arguing that it’s a bad approach to take:

“What if a young man decides he doesn’t want to give much effort or go weightlifting or go to workouts? How do you get rid of him? Everybody has to earn his or her way in life.”

So here’s what I’m wondering – is keeping athletes on a short contractual leash the only way that Steve Spurrier knows how to motivate a football player?  (If so, that might explain his less than stellar NFL career.)  I mean, whatever happened to threatening to take away playing time as a stick (or promising more as a carrot)?  What about simply being an inspirational leader as a coach to get kids to go the extra mile?

If the answer to that is that some kids can’t be reached, surely that’s something Spurrier should have noticed on the recruiting trail in the first place, no?  In any event, is it necessary to have the rule for all 85 student-athletes on scholarship if only a handful are a motivational problem?

Let’s face it.  Spurrier isn’t carping about effort.  He wants to maintain control over roster space when a kid doesn’t pan out to his satisfaction.  And that’s his business, honestly.  But he shouldn’t whine if another coach wants to go about his business differently (as long as it’s within the rules, of course.)  And Spurrier shouldn’t make it sound like it’s the player’s fault when he goes into Mr. Ruthless mode.


UPDATE:  Spurrier has an ally in Paul Johnson.


Filed under The Evil Genius

They had their moments: Georgia 2011 defensive highlights

When they got pressure on the quarterback, they were dynamite.

I think Jarvis Jones just sacked John Brantley again.


Filed under Georgia Football