Daily Archives: April 4, 2012

Jim Delany wants you to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

This is what Jim Delany means by “settling it on the field”, sports fans:

… The plans range from a long-discussed “plus one” format — after the bowls play out, selecting two teams to meet for the national championship — to a heretofore undisclosed four-team playoff proposal that could expand the semifinals to preserve an annual Big Ten-vs.-Pacific-12 matchup in the Rose Bowl.

In the latter plan, the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues’ teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.

They could change the name of the postseason from “BCS” to “Preservation of the Big Ten’s Relevance in the Postseason” Series, if they need to make the point of this nonsense any clearer.  And don’t you love this spin?

… The “four team plus” concept could be a means of selling the Pac-12 and long-resistant Big Ten on stepping into the playoff waters. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, in particular, has expressed concern that a modest, four-team plan would whet appetites and inevitably lead to a larger-scale playoff down the road.

Yes, morons, Jim Delany is insisting that you have to sell him on a plus-one at this point.

The biggest joke of all here is that somehow Delany thinks if he gets this through, he’ll still be able to hold the line on limited playoffs.  There’s no way something this convoluted won’t lead to further playoff expansion after a few years of everyone bitching about the problems it creates.

Playoff fans are such suckers.

By the way, how can you tell when Bill Hancock is spinning?

“The underlying theme of all this,” Hancock said, “is to protect the regular season. That keeps coming up and keeps coming up and keeps coming up. We have the best regular season in sports, and we don’t want to mess with it.”

When his lips move, of course.

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13 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

So what exactly is the staff nutritionist doing these days?

I’m sorta figuring out what she isn’t doing.

“I always had a problem eating candy,” said Mitchell, who moved to cornerback this spring after catching 45 passes for 665 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman last fall.

Mitchell said that since he was a kid, his diet has mainly consisted of fruit-flavored candy, preferably Starburst jelly beans, and Sprite — a catastrophic combination of sugar and carbonation.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pounder is used to consuming at least five bags of jelly beans and who knows how much Sprite a week. That’s approximately 1,160 grams of sugar and 6,000 unnecessary calories from jelly beans alone.

“I know that’s going to have to change,” Mitchell said with a laugh.

Holy Moth… scratch that.  Gee whiz, imagine what Mitchell could be like on a sensible diet.

This is really part and parcel of that same mentality that gets players suspended for blowing drug tests.  You can lecture these kids until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately, it’s up to them to absorb the advice.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

What a friend he has in Johnson.

Roll with me here for a minute.  I’m beginning to think that the biggest beneficiary of Paul Johnson’s recruiting track record in this state isn’t Mark Richt… but James Franklin.  Take a look at this:

Last Friday, we pointed out that the Commodores had already gathered four commitments for the class of 2013.  Another player has jumped onboard since then.  According to Rivals.com, Vandy currently has two 4-star commits and three 4-star commits in line.  Four come from Georgia, one from Florida.  [Emphasis added.]

Think about it.  Tech runs a quirky offense under a head coach who, whatever else you might think about him, doesn’t exactly possess a dynamic personality.  Add that to Tech’s academics (which are more accurately about curriculum) and the inability to find a suitable replacement for Giff Smith on the recruiting front and you get a program with certain vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited by somebody else.

From Franklin’s perspective, it’s an ideal situation.  Vanderbilt fishes in the same academic waters as Tech.  Nashville isn’t as big a city as Atlanta, but it’s big enough.  Vandy’s offense falls far more inside the norm than does Tech’s.  Franklin’s pettiness with other coaches aside, it’s not much of a stretch to see how his personality might appeal to recruits more than Johnson’s does.

If Franklin’s thought all that through – and I’m guessing he has – you have to be impressed with his calculations.  Best of all for him, he’s established a beachhead in Georgia that may prove tough from which to move him unless Johnson figures out a way to step up his game here.  What we don’t know is whether that will have any long-term implications for Mark Richt.  I hope not.  Saban and Smart are already big enough pains in that department.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Recruiting

Hello, old friend. You’ve been missed.

Maybe it’s the suspensions.  Maybe it’s the angst over the offensive line.  I’m not certain.  But I know I haven’t been doing my usual job about spring practice in one particular way.  And it’s that special way that says spring practice is really here.

So, without any further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you… the triumphant return of happy talk!

You know you’ve craved it.  It’s part of what makes Georgia football Georgia football.

Let’s start with the guy whom I most want to see step his game up to the next level, Cornelius Washington.  This spring, he’s been playing with his hand in the dirt.  And he’s turning heads.

“This offseason workouts, he’s working on his flexibility and you can see the difference,” inside linebacker Christian Robinson said. “He’s changing direction better. He looks a little better, too. Now he has his hand in the dirt a little bit more. I can expect him to have that speed advantage on people. I’m looking forward to seeing him play.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt singled out Washington last week as a player who has been a difference maker in the first half of spring practices.

“One guy in particular that’s just been showing up every day in my opinion is Cornelius Washington,” Richt said. “Just really physical at the point and pretty dominant against the run. Certainly doing a good job rushing the passer as well as always, but really seeing a lot of good things from him.”

And Washington’s got the back at-cha going with his defensive teammates, which is nice.

“I’ve had some pretty good practices and I’ve shown some potential at this new position, but, man, the defense overall has been kicking behind,” Washington said. “And that’s what we’re used to, we’re used to kicking butt. We’re going to go out and do that every day in practice and keep the tradition going of a hard-nosed defense that gets the job done.”

You know you want to dismiss that, Mr. Trying To Be Cynical.  But you can’t, at least not completely.  Plus, we’re just getting started.

The guy who’s really dishing out the smiles is Tavarres King.  He sounds like the happiest player on the team these days.  This first bit of praise is classic.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Marlon Brown continues to draw raves from teammates and coaches during practice.

The latest to bestow praise was fellow receiver Tavarres King, who was asked after Tuesday’s practice which teammate had impressed him the most.

“Really, somebody that I love and somebody that gets better every camp and every spring is Marlon Brown,” King said. “That guy gets so much better every time he steps on the football field. He wants to be the best, he wants to be the best at his craft. When I see him do things out there it pushes me. And vice versa. We tell each other if we’re doing something wrong or something right. He’s really come a long way as a receiver. I’m extremely proud of him, I’ve watched him grow and it’s amazing.”

It was then pointed out to King that we have heard this often about Brown. Great practices, great springs, great preseasons, but it hasn’t quite come together in the season. What makes this time different?

“It’s mentally. I just feel like he’s a completely different person,” King said. “He’s just attacking defenses, he’s not indecisive. He’s very deliberate with what he’s going to do. He just makes a decision and goes with it. He’s such a big guy that when he makes a decision and goes with it, it’s hard for him to be stopped. So I think that he’s got that in his head now, that he’s a big fella and he can play receiver.”

Well, that’s worked at Georgia Tech.

Brown isn’t the only one who’s caught King’s eye.

… King was also asked which young guy has impressed him the most. The answer was freshman tailback Keith Marshall.

“He’s smart man. I think that goes a long way, playing his position and playing in this league,” King said. “If you’re smart and you can pick up on the playbook and pick up on what defenses are trying to do, it enables you to be a great player. And I think he’ll be a very important piece in this offense.”

I really do love this stuff.

Finally, from Aaron Murray, there’s this.

More praise for teammates: Quarterback Aaron Murray was talking up safety Shawn Williams.

“If you had to name I think the best player on the defense, you’ve gotta bring him into that category,” Murray said. “Because he’s a special player right now. He’s having a heck of a spring so far.”

Admittedly, Williams is a badass, so I’m gonna have to cut Aaron a little slack here.  There’s no rule that says some happy talk can’t be true.

I hope you feel better now.  I know I do.  Let me know if you crave more.

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UPDATE:  Jarvis Jones speaks.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Drug policy and wishful thinking

Groo ponders Michael Elkon’s “unilateral disarmament” post about Georgia’s drug policy and takes it back to its roots… which is to say, Michael Adams and public opinion.

I only want to make one point in response, and it’s not to say whether the policy is good, bad or indifferent.  But it seems to me that this fact is significant:

In fact, some of the first student-athletes facing serious discipline for drug or alcohol-related incidents ran afoul not of any football team policy but mandatory University policies (see: Akeem Hebron).

This has never been Mark Richt’s shot to call (outside of calibrating whether 10% of the season means one or two games).  It’s a top down deal.  He’s little more than the faithful soldier following orders.  Expecting him to take a forceful stab at changing the policy is naïve.  That simply isn’t how things roll at Georgia.

And I think you can put dreams of a uniform SEC policy in the same boat.  This is obviously something which matters to Michael Adams.  How realistic is it to expect him to agree to water down what he’s implemented?  About as realistic as it is to expect Nick Saban or Will Muschamp – Florida’s drug policy rules are a complete joke – to agree for their schools to move much in Adams’ direction.

So you might as well live with it, Dawgnation.  Mark Richt is.

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UPDATE:  Michael goes through Groo’s post and concludes, like I do, that Georgia’s drug policy is more about Michael Adams than it is about Richt and McGarity.  That being said, I’m not sure I buy his conclusion, at least not in its entirety.

… As a result, UGA can select from better qualified students, a trend that will only increase as college tuition rises and the advantages of sending kids to in-state schools increases. Thus, UGA should be going in a different direction as compared to most of the conference. UGA should be aspiring to become like UVA and UNC: an academically prestigious school that doesn’t need to rely on the football team or the nightlife as its calling cards. That puts Georgia in a different place than the rest of the conference, save for Vandy and Florida (and I suppose now Missouri). The strict drug policy is one vestige of that difference and it might not be a bad thing. In retrospect, my initial post suffered from the flaw of just viewing UGA through a football prism without accounting for the fact that there is more going on there. Michael Adams would like for me to think differently.

As an explanation for Michael Adams’ thought process behind the implementation of the policy, that makes some sense.  The problem, though, is that, if accurate, Adams’ assumptions don’t jibe with reality.

For example, Florida is an academic peer of Georgia, yet its substance abuse policy is the polar opposite of our school’s.  I haven’t noticed that’s had a dramatic impact on Florida’s academic prestige.  (Regarding how it’s impacted the football team’s performance I’ll leave for you to decide.)  As for the academic elites and the nightlife, well, I’m a proud UVa alum and the idea that students up there didn’t party as hard because of the school’s academic reputation would come as a big surprise to most people I knew there.  Nor did I notice a step up in class in that department when I left Charlottesville for Athens.  (Although I suppose it’s possible that’s changed in the thirty years since I’ve been a student.)

I’m left with the conclusion that Georgia is stuck with a policy which can be categorized as an overreaction by (in this case) a well-meaning school president.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World, SEC Football

He’s just trying to class up the joint.

David Stern has the best rationalization ever for screwing 18-year old kids out of the opportunity to ply their skills in the open market:

… While Stern says the NBA “would love to add a year,” he’s pleased that the age limit, instituted in 2005, has kept NBA scouts out of high school gyms.

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to give the shoe salesmen any company.

25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness