Daily Archives: June 13, 2008

Uncle Verne speaks.

Here’s a brief interview with Verne Lundquist during the week prior to the Georgia-Auburn game.  It’s worth listening to just for the comment about Urban Meyer.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“I’m mad at y’all; he’s not.”

Remember this moment of unpleasantness at the Georgia-Oklahoma State game?

It’s odd for the parents of an opponent’s star player (Bowman is Oklahoma State’s All-Big 12 wide receiver) to be so welcomed in an SEC stadium, but college recruiting makes strange bedfellows. Georgia invited the Bowman’s because they are recruiting their son, and Adarius’ younger brother, Michael to play football in Athens, Tara Bowman said.

Michael Bowman plays at Ridgeland in Rossville, a suburb of Chattanooga, Tenn., where Adarius played his high school football.

However, things went sour early when Tara and Terrance Bowman showed up decked out from head to toe in Oklahoma State orange-and-black. That didn’t sit well with the Bulldogs’ recruiting officials, Tara Bowman said.

“What should they expect?” she asked. “Our son’s out there.”

The Bowmans were asked to change their shirts or leave and chose to leave, Tara Bowman said…

There was lots of anguish on message boards and blogs about it, too. So the upshot? Where does Mr. Bowman want to go to school and play ball?

You guessed it.

Sometimes we fans fret too much about this stuff.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Just say no.

There continues to be a lot of media attention being played to rising costs facing D-1 football programs.  Maybe you think that’s coincidental, but it seems awfully well orchestrated to me.

The latest entry comes by way of Yahoo! Sports, where Jason Peters lets us in on a little known secret:  head coaching salaries have been going up!  A lot!  And many college programs are spending more than they take in!

I know you’re shocked, Captain Reynaud.

There is some highly amusing hypocrisy, courtesy of Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, who broke the $3 million barrier with Bob Stoops’ contract, and has this to say about negotiating coaching salaries:

“I’ll admit there are some decisions that lead us all to scratch our head,” he said. “… Sometimes it’s like it almost becomes ego driven just to be saying that we may have the highest-paid coach.

“The highest-paid coach? Fine, great. Nobody’s getting extra points (because) you have the highest-paid coach.”

And there’s the guilt trip laid on Damon Evans.

… No conference has impacted the marketplace more than the Southeastern Conference, bastion of powerful football programs and very rich football coaches. Georgia’s Mark Richt is one of five football coaches in the SEC who make more than $2 million a year, and Georgia’s athletic director, Damon Evans, said he feels scrutiny from those who see the SEC as responsible for the rising salaries.

But Evans also pointed out that Georgia enjoyed robust ticket sales last season despite an economic slowdown. That ticket revenue, coupled with the money Georgia makes from TV contracts and the Bowl Championship Series, enables Georgia to pay Richt about $1 million more than the national average.

“And in order to stay competitive you almost have to do that,” Evans said. “But people are no doubt pointing fingers at us…”

People?  What people?  The ones that can’t afford to keep up.  Evans sees the pressure point.

“I do believe that we’ve got to take a look at it and we’ve got to see, ‘Where are we headed in the future? Are we going to continue to create a system of the haves and the have-nots? Are we going to separate ourselves even more?’ Because you know the majority of institutions aren’t making money, aren’t breaking even, don’t have the means to do what some of the others can do.”

The NCAA doesn’t have an anti-trust exemption, so its members can’t collude on limiting coaching salaries, but even if schools could, there’s always the NFL there to drive numbers up for the elite coaches.  In the end, there aren’t any magic bullets – a school must either find the money to pay for everything, or cut athletic costs.

Again, it may soon be time to ask whether every school playing D-1 football really needs to be doing that.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

CFN’s early look at Arizona State

The overview starts here.

Of most interest to me is what they have to say about QB Rudy Carpenter. CFN likes him, but it’s qualified.

… Noticeably more confident and comfortable (and a little too cocky at times), he helped lead the Sun Devils to 10 wins, despite getting pressured relentlessly and sacked more than any quarterback in the country. Of course, he could help the situation by moving a little better in the pocket and making faster reads. At 6-2 and 202 pounds, he may not have a cannon, but he can make all the throws when there’s time to survey the field. A fiery competitor who’ll play through pain, his intensity can be both a blessing and a curse for the offense.

Strength: Carpenter. USC aside, no Pac-10 program has a more stable situation at quarterback than Arizona State. If Carpenter can tighten up the little things in his game and get an extra tick or two to throw, he’ll challenge for First Team All-Pac-10 honors.
Weakness: Consistency. Even after three years as the starter, Carpenter isn’t a finished product. He’s still prone to forcing passes or putting them up for grabs and needs to know when to dial down the intensity a notch or two.

Add to that this summary about the ASU offensive line (which was none too great on pass protection last year)…

Watch Out For… Arizona State to use more screens and simplified schemes to keep Carpenter on his feet. The offense will have to get creative to compensate for the rebuilt line, which will also mean quicker drops and forcing Carpenter to release the ball with a greater sense of urgency.
Strength: The guards. Fanaika and Lauvao are a couple of formidable building blocks who are experienced and capable of creating for running room for the Sun Devils’ stable of backs.
Weakness: The tackles. Potentially the weakest link on the team, Arizona State has had problems protecting the passer over the past few seasons. Now, it’ll try to improve with two new starters, one who played on the other side of the ball as a freshman. Watch your back, Rudy.
Outlook: The Sun Devils have tinkered with their offense in the offseason in an effort to reduce the number of hits Carpenter takes. That’s a sign the coaching staff has no confidence putting the offensive line in a conventional setting. The guards will be fine, but Pollak’s departure from the pivot will be felt, and the tackles will be liabilities against the league’s better pass rushers.

… and it seems fairly obvious what Georgia needs to do to be able to slow ASU down on offense.

Three factoids of note from ASU’s 2007 season:

  • 3-0 in games decided by four points or less
  • Sacks: Opponents 55 for 382 yards – Arizona State 29 for 214 yards
  • First quarter scoring: Opponents 128 – Arizona State 50


UPDATE: Last season’s starting tight end won’t return for 2008, according to this story. (h/t The Wizard of Odds)


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football