“It’s the best deal in the country.”

Ohio State’s Gene Smith is all in with Jim Delany’s vision of Big Ten expansion.

“I know that change is hard,” Smith said. “The reality is that the Big Ten needed to change in order to position ourselves for the 21st-century model of intercollegiate athletic competition.”

21st-century model?  What’s that, Gene?

Peel away from the emotional tug of tradition and view the latest expansion by the now 14-member Big Ten through the prism of economics.

That is how Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith sees this season’s addition of Maryland and Rutgers, schools located in Mid-Atlantic states, to the Midwestern-based league.

“From a business point of view, it makes huge sense,” Smith said. “This is a business deal. This is about money. Everybody wants to dodge that; I don’t. It’s about the stability of our conference for the long term.”

Nobody’s dodging that.  Except when they’re fighting player compensation.

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6 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Getting back in a 2003 frame of mind

You’d better get ready for a lot of this as preseason camp opens:

“Here’s to hoping UGA can put a defense on the field vs. Clemson!” former Georgia punter Drew Butler tweeted Saturday after backup linebacker Davin Bellamy was arrested for DUI, which should trigger a two-game suspension. “We need 11 guys..might have to settle for 10 or less at this pace.”

In all, eight players who were on the Georgia roster in January are no longer including safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, dismissed after two suspensions for violating Georgia’s drug policy.

There were three players dismissed, three transfers (Wiggins, linebacker Paris Bostick and receiver Uriah LeMay) and two medical disqualifications (defensive lineman De’Andre Johnson and linebacker Brandon Burrows).

But we should be used to hearing things like that before an opener with Clemson.

That’s great news for the defending Southeastern Conference champions, who were supposed to struggle early on.

They had a new offensive line. They were without injured defensive starters Will Thompson and Kentrell Curry. Eight other Bulldogs were suspended by coach Mark Richt. And that’s not counting the embarrassing Ring-gate episode where several players sold their rings from the school’s first SEC title in 20 years.

Whatever Richt came up with to prepare his team in 2003, let’s hope he bottled some of it.  It’s about time to break it out again.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Gator haterz

Shelley Meyer is tired of those mean message board people.

“Well, what I learned was that Florida fans, there’s a lot of them and people want to brag on their team,” she told the website. “They want to be able to brag on their team. Now, when we first went down there and we were winning and we were winning those national championships, Urban was the best thing ever.”

And now?

“But here is my perception (about Florida fans): I think they feel like they were kind of left at the altar. They feel a betrayal, even though they were so mad at him about how our last season (2010) went. You can’t please them…

“… So, the people who are critical of us, it’s not the people who know us. It’s the people who aren’t even around the program. They just want their team to win, and whoever can get their team to win, that’s who they’re for. And if you can’t do it or if you left them, then they’ll hate you.”

In other words, Gator fans, you shouldn’t take things so personally.  Because you know Coach “Seat 37F” never did.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Urban Meyer Points and Stares

“Everything is about a bowl game and getting back to that.”

Butch Jones, you have a point.

“It’s hard to believe that there isn’t an individual in Tennessee football’s football program right now from a players’ standpoint [that's] participated in a bowl game.”

Just because it’s hard to believe doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it, though.

Make sure you catch the sidebar list of 17 of the 40 high school players Tennessee signed in 2011 and 2012 who left the program before exhausting their eligibility.  (No wonder Al Wilson can’t bring himself to mention SOD by name.)

I miss Mike Hamilton.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“The continuity will be good for Georgia.”

That quote won’t go down in history as being in the same class as Jim Donnan’s infamous  “I’ve been waiting 55 years …” pronouncement, but I don’t think this is exactly what Mark Richt had envisioned for his team when he made that observation.

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Filed under Georgia Football

At least you can’t lobby a computer.

Kevin Scarbinsky wildly overstates the impact of the verbal jabbing going on this offseason about the SEC from the likes of Bob Stoops and Rick Neuheisel, but I won’t say there isn’t a grain of truth at the heart of the point he’s trying to make.

College football’s postseason has always been a subjective thing from a selection standpoint and anything that’s arrived at through a subjective process is something that third parties can try to influence.  Human nature being what it is, if you can try, you’re gonna try.  In the case of the BCS, we saw coaches lobby furiously.  We watched Herbstreit and Danielson go at it at the end of the 2006 regular season.

That was in a situation where computers drove some part of the selection process, at least.  Now that the entire choice of the semi-finals pool is in the hands of human beings, it’s not logical to expect less lobbying of the decision makers.

Will it work?  That’s hard for me to say.  I suppose if there were some enormous crest of public sentiment about a particular team getting in – or, more to Scarbinsky’s fear, a certain conference being denied a second choice – I could see the committee members perhaps being swayed by that.  But the likelihood is that when it comes to public sentiment, there will be all kinds of cross currents swirling about that will undercut a specific position. There will simply be too many agendas in play.  (ESPN loves multiple agendas.)

That’s not to say that I don’t have a concern about lobbying.  But my worry is about the internal kind, the in-the-arena types on the committee pushing the others by using their resumes to advocate a choice.  For some reason, I haven’t found myself assured by Jeff Long’s reverence for transparency.

26 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

You can’t tell the players without a mug shot book.

You know things have gotten pretty sad when they’re posting snark about Georgia’s player arrest situation at 7:45 this morning and the snark is already out of date.

11 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football