Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

Moving up from momma’s basement

It’s nice to see that Stewart Mandel’s attitude about bloggers has evolved from this

But I’m afraid you give me far too much credit in terms of my clout in the realm of cyberspace. Have you read some of the bloggers out there? Here’s a little sampling from the first few pages of a Google search involving my name: “SI’s Stewart Mandel: I get paid to write 2+2=4″ (, “Stewart Mandel is an idiot and I hope UGA bites him in the rear end” ( and “Stewart Mandel needs a long vacation” ( I’m guessing you’d have a better chance getting these guys to actually shave and shower on consecutive days than participate in any idea that originated from me.

… to leading off with a quote from MGoBlog’s Brian Cook in today’s piece.

Either that, or he’s confirmed that Cook showers and shaves every day.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere

Wednesday morning buffet

The buffet line never ends.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, PAWWWLLL!!!, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, The NCAA, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ, Whoa, oh, Alabama

A wizard, a true star

Jeebus, it looks like ESPN is all in with Jacob Coker.

Every year, it seems, a quarterback comes out of the shadows in the SEC to have a huge year. Cam Newton did it in 2010, Johnny Manziel in 2012 and Marshall last season. Coker could be that guy in 2014 after transferring in from Florida State. His former coach, Jimbo Fisher, says Coker will be the most talented quarterback Nick Saban has had at Alabama.

Hubba hubba.

And of course, this goes without saying.  (Haney’s at least got enough of a sense of shame to ask why, “For a dude who has never taken a meaningful snap, we sure talk a lot about Jacob Coker?”, although he chalks the question up to his readers, not the guys at ESPN.  Still.)

I don’t know if I’d book Coker a trip to New York quite yet, but he’s shaping up as my early leader to be the subject of this year’s Verne crush.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

“You could see it coming from miles away.”

Chip Towers’ obituary for Tray Matthews’ Georgia career is… well, different.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Matthews is a bad kid. In my brief experiences with him over the last year, I found him to be very upbeat and gregarious and fairly forthright when it came to post-practice and postgame exchanges with media. But he had an other side off the field that became evident, one that I’ve seen way too many times over the many years I’ve covered college football.

He was a goof-off, a cut-up, a “knucklehead,” coaches call them. That’s not to say dumb. He just always seemed to be more interested in having a good time and enjoying the social side of college life than he did about the football and academic element of Division I college athletics. And it was always getting him into trouble, from dancing down the hallways of the team hotel after midnight before games to girlfriend drama to classroom misbehavior.

So few inside the program were surprised when Matthews was told to hit the bricks…

I don’t know about you, but the question that jumps to my mind is, if Matthews hadn’t been dumb enough to be involved in Checkgate, is the rest of the behavior Towers described enough to earn a player the boot from Mark Richt?

I will say Towers deserves bonus points for referring to Todd Grantham as Petrino’s “defensive henchman”.  So there’s that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The best quarterback in the SEC

Chris Low’s analysis of Alabama’s quarterback situation sounds guarded.

Jacob Coker hasn’t played a down for Alabama. For that matter, he hasn’t participated in the first official practice with the Crimson Tide. But already he’s the heir apparent to AJ McCarron, and the Tide are counting on him coming in and being their quarterback in 2014. He played behind Jameis Winston at Florida State last season and is extremely gifted. If Coker takes a little longer to develop, Alabama will likely turn to senior Blake Sims, who still needs to prove that he can beat teams throwing the ball.

That turns out to be the fifth best positional resume in the conference.  Better than South Carolina, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee, all of which sport quarterbacks who have actually started for their schools.

It’s amazing how much deference the media has given Coker, as slight as his experience is.  And McCarron aside, how many great quarterbacks has Saban turned out?

Coker must be extremely gifted, alright.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

How many times can a guy jump the shark, anyway?

Fresh off using George O’Leary as a foil to compare the Big Five autonomy move to Civil War succession, Mike Bianchi is now trolling the SEC by suggesting it kick out its two Mississippi members and replace them with UCF and USF.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

“I think some of these schools have forgotten where they came from.”

Okay, I know it’s a target rich environment, but put Mike Bianchi and George O’Leary together on the subject of autonomy and what do you get?  Gold, Jerry.  Gold.

George O’Leary is starting to wonder if the Southeastern Conference is being governed by league commissioner Mike Slive or Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

O’Leary, the blunt, straightforward coach of the UCF Knights, compares the SEC’s recent threat to break away from the rest of major college football and start its own division, to the Confederacy’s decision to break away from the United States and risk the sovereign unity of college football.

“They sound like the South during the Civil War,” O’Leary said of the SEC and the other saber-rattlers in the so-called Power 5 conferences. “If they don’t get their way, they’re going to secede and start their own country. . . . I think college football is in real trouble.”

Does that make Mark Emmert college football’s Abraham Lincoln?


Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles

Rodney Dangerfield is wearing orange and blue.

Damn it, Robbie Andreu is puzzled.

After being around other members of the media way too much last week at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, I walked away with the distinct feeling that those who cover SEC football think the Gators are basically going to be no factor in the conference race this season.

I’m not really sure why preseason opinions of Florida seem so low. Maybe the other hacks can’t get that Georgia Southern stain off their minds, or maybe they’ve forgotten all those crippling injuries that helped wreck UF’s season in 2013, and the fact most of those guys will be back in 2014, including starting quarterback Jeff Driskel (who really seems to get no respect from the media around the SEC).

That Georgia Southern loss?  Well, yeah.  Blame injuries as much as you want for that disappointing season – well, except for the loss to equally crippled Georgia – but the Gators still should have had enough in the tank to beat a 1-AA team in the Swamp.

Gotta admit “the other hacks” is a nice touch, though.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles

Wednesday morning buffet

Some things to take your mind off… well, you know what.


Filed under Big Ten Football, College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The Blogosphere

Gurley, Gurley, Gurley

This ESPN thought piece is by and large pretty worthless, especially Gene Wojciechowski’s part (a selection committee cam?  Ugh…), but you gotta love this bit from Mark Schlabach:

Running backs seem to be largely an afterthought in the NFL draft nowadays, but it’s still one of the most important positions in college football. Gurley, the Bulldogs’ sensational junior star, is the kind of running back who can carry a team on his shoulders. When Gurley is healthy, he might be the most valuable player in the sport. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, he was banged up too much last season, missing long stretches with groin and ankle injuries. Gurley still managed to run for 989 yards with 10 touchdowns last season, after gaining 1,385 yards with 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 2012. Gurley is too good to be sitting on the sideline. If he stays healthy, he might become a Heisman Trophy finalist and a potential top-10 NFL draft pick.

I just hope everyone’s writing about Gurley’s production as positively during and after this season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles