Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

Haz a crayon alert

Mike Bobo shows up at number nine on Bruce Feldman’s list of offensive coordinators ready for head coaching gigs.

My second favorite thing about the list is that Kurt Roper shows up three slots ahead of Bobo.  I’ll be interested in seeing the conventional wisdom after the season’s over.

The best thing is seeing Bobo on the same list with a MENSA member.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The art of the troll

The impressive thing about Mark Bradley’s reaction piece on the Taylor arrest wasn’t that he trolled Richt for another example of losing control (I guess it was Schultz’ turn for that), but that he trolled us with the idea that at some point Richt’s gonna come to a Saban-esque “don’t have time for this shit” moment.

No coach can be with 120 players 24 hours a day. (Even if he could, that wouldn’t really be imparting discipline, would it? Discipline involves the astute application of free will.) That said, the coach is the guy who brought these players to campus, and he has to live with their choices. Yes, coaches get paid a ton of money, but they’re also the ones whose phones ring in the middle of the night.

I’m reminded of what a big-time basketball coach once told me about being intrigued by coaching in the NBA. I said I thought any successful college coach who would put himself in the position of coaching guys who made more money than he did was crazy. He smiled and said, “Yeah, but when one of those guys gets in trouble, that phone call doesn’t come to you. It goes to the agent.”

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to a master.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Another year, another Richt narrative?

I get that Georgia’s drug policy is less tolerant than most schools.  I also get that Richt strongly supports it, to the point that he’s willing to accept the consequences of being tougher than others. He reiterated that at SEC Media Days, when he said,

“No, we’re not worried about that part of it,” Richt said. “We don’t want our guys to do drugs, okay? I don’t want my son to do drugs. We’ve got policies that are stronger maybe than some when it comes to the punitive part of it. That’s kind of what everybody talks about. Georgia ends up suspending their guys a little bit sooner in the policy, which I’ve got no problems with.”

The same can be said for Richt’s stance on player transfers.

Richt also reiterated his philosophy on granting players the right to transfer wherever they like. He was asked about it in the aftermath of the rash of offseason departures that saw two key players go to Louisville and another to Auburn.

“When guys leave our program, my goal for them is that they continue their career and they continue and realize all their dreams,” Richt said. “Life’s too short. They’re young men that make mistakes. If somewhere along the way you learn from your mistake, you turn it around, finish your career strong, I’m happy for the guy.”

After that, things got a little fuzzy.  First, Nick Saban, who’s dealing with his own rash of player problems, followed Richt with his philosophy, which I suppose was supposed to come off as a justification for some tough love, but instead sounded a little like he was pointing fingers.  (The irony of Saban having a former Georgia player on his roster isn’t lost on me.)

“I want you to know that there’s not one player, not one player, since I’ve been a head coach that I kicked off the team that ever went anywhere and amounted to anything and accomplished anything, playing or academically,” Saban said. “That’s not always the answer. Discipline is not punishment. Punishment is only effective when it can help change somebody’s behavior.

“When you have a family and you have someone in your family who disappoints you, we certainly can’t kick them out of our family. I think we have to try to support them, teach them, get them to do the right things because we love them, we care about them.”

I wasn’t the only one who got that impression, either.

It’s puzzling, because I’m not really sure what Saban wanted to accomplish with his stance, other than to try to state a case for why he feels his players may be entitled to more second chances than players at other programs.  And if that’s all that was about, it’s hard to understand why he felt the need to justify that to the media in the first place.

Needless to say, some in the media took the ball and ran with it in one direction.

Maybe Saban will take a cue from the SEC coach once excoriated for disciplinary problems — Georgia’s Mark Richt.

Richt actually seems harder on crime than ever. The Bulldogs dismissed safeties Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons this offseason.

“Just because we’ve got guys suspended isn’t evidence we have a discipline problem,” Richt said. “It’s evidence that we discipline our players. It’s evidence there’s accountability. … Sometimes when you make part of your discipline playing time, it becomes a very public thing. Some of your dirty laundry gets out there in public. I’m willing to take that risk if the process will help these guys grow into men. If we ignore stuff they do and act like it didn’t happen and sweep it under the rug, let them get away with it or whatever, what are we teaching? We are setting them up for failure down the road.”

And that’s certainly one way of looking at it, although Saban didn’t sound like someone waiting for a cue.

But there was also this strange take from SI’s Andy Staples and Zac Ellis, which took a mash-up of the two themes and actually posed the question whether Richt’s morality is interfering with the success of the program.  (It also glosses over the fact that Richt has no control over where a dismissed player lands, but we’ll leave that for another day.)

The thing is, for all this supposed strictness, all the players cited on that clip received second chances at Georgia.  So where’s the sweet spot supposed to be? It sure beats me, but you can bet Richt won’t hear the last of this if Georgia doesn’t at least get to the SECCG this season.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

I was gonna ask a good question at Hoover, but then I got high.

While I’m sure there will be a myriad of subjects discussed at this week’s SEC Media Days – I learned five years ago there’s no shark in Hoover that can’t be jumped – here’s one subject I’m skeptical we’ll hear much about:

We knew this was coming: you do not lose Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Connor Shaw and James Franklin without some sort of dropoff. But it does create an interesting debate this week: just who is the best QB in the SEC?

Wallace and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott have their supporters. Auburn’s Nick Marshall will likely be first-team All-SEC, based on where his team ended last season and the location of SEC Media Days. Alabama’s Jacob Coker has never participated in a practice at the school, but is the presumed starter. But the answer may be either Missouri’s Maty Mauk or Georgia’s Hutson Mason. Both started games because of injury last season and impressed. It’s their job now, and each one has the skill (and the schedule) to go on a run through the SEC.

I just don’t see much traction for Mason in a preseason conversation like that. Anyway, it’s likely that Marshall’s sucked all the oxygen out of the room this week.  Then again, Clay Travis could always ask Gus Malzahn if Nick Marshall’s the best quarterback in the conference when he’s high.  Maybe I should hold off on my doubts.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Playing the Dangerfield card

I know Hutson Mason shuts out the Intertubes as he prepares for this season, but, damn, if a guy can’t get motivated by being ranked the ninth-best quarterback in the conference in an on-line piece (hardly a unique preseason opinion), behind Jeff Driskel and a couple of programs that haven’t even named a starter yet…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

What’s an SEC championship worth these days?

It’s Scarbinsky, I know, but, still, there’s a certain truth that resonates at the core of this:

Spurrier still clings to his fondness for the old days, as witnessed by his recent comment pointing out that Nick Saban has three national titles at Alabama but only two SEC championships. Only the Ball Coach could make that sound like a bad thing.

No doubt there are some sour grapes involved, too. For all of his Hall of Fame credentials, despite dominating the SEC in the 1990s, Spurrier has won only a single national championship, way back in the Stone Age in 1996.

Gene Chizik can match that, and Urban Meyer won twice as many at Florida between 2006 and 2008.

If you haven’t won at least one national title as an SEC head coach these days – hello, Mark Richt – what have you really accomplished?

I’m among those still in the Spurrier camp, but our numbers are likely to dwindle as the playoffs slowly suck the oxygen out of the room.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

The bell trolls for thee.

I’m pretty sure Carvell is trolling somebody here.  I’m just not quite sure whom.  Are we supposed to be surprised that a wide receiver would turn down an offer from Georgia Tech to take one from Duke?

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting