Daily Archives: August 16, 2012

Not that SEC

John Pennington asks exactly the same question that popped into my mind when I learned that Jim Donnan had been charged:

All of this took place since Donnan’s dismissal from Georgia, but — but — what if it hadn’t?  What if the head coach of at Georgia had helped bilk $80 million dollars from investors across the country by lending his name and recruiting efforts to a Ponzi scheme?  And, now, let’s just suppose that people at the school knew of the coach’s actions.  Would Mark Emmert and the NCAA punish Georgia for covering up such an enormous crime?

I bet there are some widows and orphans among the victims.  All of which is to say, how you like me now, Emmert fans?

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55 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

I am from Venus; extended playoff proponents are from Mars.

Brilliant observation from Joe Posnanski today, in his post comparing the methods of determining champions by Major League Baseball and Premier League soccer:

… Maybe we as Americans — in large numbers — don’t watch sports to know “who is the best team.” Maybe we watch sports for the chance of surprise, for the potential drama, for reliable thrills. Over time, four playoff teams in baseball became eight. And this year, eight playoff teams become 10 with the addition of the second wildcard.

I’m not saying this is wrong … I don’t think it’s wrong. I think this is unquestionably what most people in America want. Still, there’s no question that the second wildcard — where now TWO teams that do not win their division are included in the playoffs — would be utterly antithetical to the way people in England watch sport. In England, they stick to their playoff-less system no matter how many boring championship endings they get. Here in America, we saw a flaw in our playoff system — a complicated flaw that seemed to cut the motivation for teams to win as many games as they could — and we have tried to fix it by adding more playoffs.

Seriously, doesn’t that get to the heart of the playoff debate for college football?  On average, there aren’t that many schools that end the regular season with legitimate national title claims.  Yet the next round of expansion, should it happen, will commit college football to a postseason format containing more teams than would ordinarily meet that standard.  If you’re a “settle the best team on the field” kind of person, then a larger field detracts from your goal.  But if you’re a surprise/drama advocate – go, Cindy, go! – then expansion to eight schools or more is hardly a bug.

I get it.  I don’t think bracket junkies are wrong.  I simply disagree with their priorities.  I’d just like to have the same courtesies extended in my direction sometimes.

24 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Suddenly, it dawns on Larry Scott.

Five years of public Coaches Poll ballots and the Pac-12 commissioner finally admits to what even Tony Barnhart was willing to say at the time – what a stupid way to run a railroad.

“I think it’s an unfair position to put the coaches in, to supposedly vote objectively when they’ve got a very natural conflict of interest, No. 1, and, No. 2, I think most coaches are focused on their own games — let alone breaking down tape afterwards and all that,” Scott said in an interview with 710-ESPN’s Mason and Ireland Show on Wednesday. “So to expect that coaches could have a good, balanced, well-researched perspective on who the best teams are in any given week is a fallacy.”

Well, duh.

Now, while I think his defense of Kiffin is weak – Junior bagged his role as a voter because he got his shameless ass called out by USA Today, not out of some sense of principle – I’m not arguing with Scott’s conclusion:  “I don’t think any coaches should be in that position, and they won’t be, starting in 2014.”

Of course, that’s not to say that the selection committee won’t be plagued with similar complaints about objectivity, but it’s hard to say it could do any worse.  I can’t help but wonder, though, what the Larry Scotts of the world would have to say about the Coaches Poll today if there weren’t a new postseason format in place yet.

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Filed under The Coaches Poll Is Stupid.

Gosh! Gurley gush!

Sounds like some of Todd Gurley’s teammates are getting all hubba-hubba over the true freshman.

“Special,” senior safety Shawn Williams said. “When I’m standing on the sideline and watching, all I can say is, ‘Wow!’ I don’t want to say too much, but when I saw that [number] 3 running down through there today, I was like, ‘that’s going to be a Trent Richardson right there.’ That’s what I can say. Big and fast, that’s all I can see.”

Said wide receiver Chris Conley, who had a pretty good day himself with 4 catches for 114 yards and a score: “I’m seeing a lot of great things out of Todd. He’s definitely maturing fast. He’s definitely picking up the plays very fast. He’s finding the running lanes, he’s got great vision and he’s actually got a lot of speed for a guy who’s that big. He has a knack for staying on his feet when he gets hit and he’ll just keep moving. It gets me very excited whenever you see a running back who can create plays like that when there’s really nothing there.”

Trent Richardson?  Makes me wonder what Shawn Williams is like when he does say too much.

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Scrimmage talk: you know you’re pretty good looking, for an 8-win team.

Mark Richt wasn’t asking for much from yesterday’s scrimmage.  Just domination.

“I want the No. 1 units to dominate, I hope,” coach Mark Richt said. “I want to see guys on the No. 2 unit making plays that would make us believe they’re ready to play SEC football. I hope we have a healthy day. That’s big.”

Well, he got the healthy part.  The rest?  Not so much.

Mark Richt is famous for his laid-back demeanor, or lack of fire, as many would put it. So by praising only faintly, it served as a severe admonishment for his Georgia football team.

The occasion was the second preseason scrimmage Wednesday at Sanford Stadium. The event was closed to the media, but the tone in the head coach’s voice indicated his disapproval.

“Like I told the team, I thought we looked like a pretty good team. But you know, pretty good’s about 8-4,” Richt said. “Maybe 9-3 if you’re lucky. But we’d like to do better than 8-4. And that’s about how we played (Wednesday).”

Georgia enters the season as the favorite to win the SEC East and ranked No. 6 in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll. The good news for the team is it has 16 days until its opener against unheralded Buffalo to get any issues sorted out.

Following last week’s scrimmage, Richt was upbeat. This time, not so much.

“I saw some good things,” he said. “But I saw a lot of bad things.”

Sounds like we’re witnessing the emergence of a new Richt persona:  Bummed Richt.

I knew something was up yesterday when I was checking my Twitter feed after the scrimmage – Richt must have revised the fumble count to the media four or five times.  He was pissed.  And judging by this comment from his third-year starting quarterback, I can’t say I blame him.

“I didn’t really have two hands on the ball in the pocket. The guy swiped it away from me, and I’ve gotta be more careful,” said Murray, who has had a couple of costly fumbles in his two years as a starter, most notably during last year’s South Carolina game. “There’s big bodies are flying around, and I’ve gotta have two hands on the ball to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Anytime you want to start paying attention to that, Aaron, be my guest.  (And don’t forget this was a scrimmage.  The quarterbacks weren’t being tackled.)

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UPDATE:  Here’s the video clip of Richt’s meeting with the media after the scrimmage.  Dial it up to the 5:35 mark and listen.

55 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football