Jump right in and get your week started.
Evidently, Dee Ford polished his smack talking skills under the watchful eye of Brian VanGorder.
At least he got something out of that season.
Clearing the decks… dig in.
- “We felt like our tight end position was really a little scary with the depth there,” coach Mark Richt said.
- To me, the most interesting aspect of the Michael Sam coming out story is whether the NFL will be able to deal with Sam’s sexual orientation as maturely as Missouri did.
- Rodney Garner complains of overcoming negative recruiting in his success in getting Dontavius Russell to flip from Georgia to Auburn.
- Good story from the Chattanooga paper on how their college football careers played out for 50 area recruits. (h/t Scorpio Jones, III)
- Bill Connelly has his first S&P+ projections for 2014. Georgia is eighth.
- I’m not sure Bret Bielema understands how recruiting rankings work. Either that, or he’s convinced he’s really, really good at finding diamonds in the rough.
- Chalk up another head coach who sees the role technology plays in recruiting these days. Mark Stoops: “I think it’s easier in some ways because of all the social media that you have,” he said.
- Junior, a look back.
… but it’s still pretty amusing.
Five-star linebacker Rashaan Evans — by far the most-watched recruit for both Auburn and Alabama fans on Signing Day — stunned many in his hometown of Auburn by choosing the Crimson Tide. A huge win for Nick Saban and a big blow for the Tigers (who had been considered the favorite until recently), Evans is the No. 15 overall player in the Top 247.
How big a surprise was Evans’ decision? This appeared on Auburn’s site — complete with highlight video — as the state held its breath for Evans’ announcement:
Somewhere out in some trailer park, Harvey Updyke silently pumps his fist.
Auburn is contemplating claiming a national title for its 2004 team.
UPDATE: Bruce Feldman has a point.
What next? Does Utah also get to claim a national title in 2004 since the Utes won a BCS Bowl in a blowout, were undefeated that year and didn’t have players who went on HBO RealSports and said they received extra benefits as some Tiger players from that team later did?
Corch couldn’t have said that any better himself.
If you were a little surprised by how good Auburn’s defense looked for much of the national title game against a very good FSU offense, there could be an explanation. Dameyune Craig, who was on Fisher’s staff last season, may have stolen signs and relayed them to Ellis Johnson.
If you’re skeptical about it, consider what happened afterwards.
Maybe it was the jitters.
Clearing the decks, filling the chafing dishes…
You can take the Plainsman out of the Plains, but you can’t take the Plains out of the Plainsman… or something like that.
Which reminds me – anybody seen Harvey Updyke lately?
Lucky ducks: Auburn, Vegas and the luck factor.
Hey, don’t take my word for it.
Of course, Auburn didn’t actually lose to those teams — you’ve surely seen the all-time great clips by now with Auburn radio man Rod Bramblett yelling over them, but here’s Georgia and Alabama if not — but White marks them as defeats for the power rating calculations because of the extraordinary fortunate involved.
“The bowls are based on wins and losses, but they weren’t supposed to win [those games],” White said. “Two unbelievable plays catapulted them.”
The point, as White or Fuhrman or Avello or anyone in Vegas would note, is not to knock Auburn. It’s just their jobs to discover the true talent level of teams so they can predict future performance as accurately as possible, and that process requires cutting the narrative layers that harden on top of each magnificent victory.
“In the end, winning is the name of the game, but beating Georgia took the hand of God, and beating Alabama also took some luck,” Fuhrman told me. “It makes for a good story.”
Again, I have a hard time remembering the last time anybody outside the fan base talked about a Georgia season like that. Your mileage may vary, of course.
A few things to nosh on while you wait for today’s slate of games: