Daily Archives: January 5, 2009

He’s not going anywhere.

Rodney Garner decides he prefers Athens over Knoxville.

“Certainly I’m flattered and am sincerely appreciative of the interest shown by Tennessee,” said Garner.  “But in the final analysis the positives at Georgia were the determining factors.  My heart is coaching on the defensive side of the ball.  I enjoy working with Coach Richt and the rest of the staff and our family loves being a part of the Athens community.  And we have some really good defensive linemen returning next year along with some outstanding newcomers.  Our family felt that we wanted to continue with the goals we had set when Coach Richt came in December of 2000 of helping build the Georgia program.”

If you listen carefully, that’s the sound of coaches’ salary dominoes clicking in the background.


UPDATE: Elsewhere in the SEC, the insanity continues, as Auburn has just hired Trooper Taylor away from Okie State.  Taylor was making the same amount at OSU as Curtis Luper, so I presume that means the Tigers will pay their running backs coach and their wide receivers coach $400K per year each.

I guess this makes Trooper Taylor an inspiration to all those kids across the land who wear their baseball caps backwards.

And Mike Gundy has to replace almost half of his staff at this point (remember, he lost his DC to Toledo as the new head coach there).


UPDATE #2: Further adventures in whoredom.  Chip Towers has some entertaining quotes from Garner about the situation, but this one is awesome:

Rodney mulled the offer [ed.:  to be an assistant coach on offense] before telling UT he’d decided his heart was on the defensive side of the ball. He said the Vols countered by offering him the D-line position. Ed Orgeron, who had already been named recruiting coordinator and D-line coach, was going to coach LBs instead.

Rodney said it was never about the money or titles. He said the lure was to work alongside UT defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. “That was a major attraction, wanting to just be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge I could from a great defensive coordinator.”

Two things strike me here.  First, if the lure was to have the opportunity to work with Monte Kiffin, why was Garner entertaining an offer to go back to UT to be on the offensive side of the ball in the first place?  Second, all this talk about what a great d-line coach Orgeron is – that just gets tossed over the side by the Vol staff at the first opportunity.  If there’s any question at this point about what Orgeron is being paid for, that should answer it loudly.

Oh, and snide comment time – is Rodney insinuating that he’s already soaked up everything he can from Willie Martinez, or that WM isn’t a great defensive coordinator?

One lesson to take from this (and the Searels’ decision to stay, for that matter) is that none of us should underestimate the respect and loyalty that Richt engenders from his staff.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football

At least he didn’t mention Garner.

So what do you make of this quote from newly minted (and highly sought after) Georgia commit Branden Smith?

“I am set with Georgia and I am excited about going there. I feel very comfortable with my decision, my mom is happy about it, and I am happy about everything. Coach Richt would have to leave to make me think about another school. If Coach [Willie] Martinez left, then I would talk to Coach Richt about it, but it would be all about Coach Richt. I know he is going to be there, so I am too.” [Emphasis added.]

Who do you suppose put that little bug in his head?  And do you think he asked Richt about that directly?


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Shut up, dude.

Yeah, we all know that the GPOOE™ gets more than a little tiresome with his seemingly endless ability to take offense at slights thrown his way, but it’s who he is and how he’s wired – and he makes it work.

So why on earth would you want to go on record saying something like this?

“Yup. I think our quarterbacks are better,” Franks said. “Just the way they conduct themselves and how they play on the field. I just think, playing against those guys, it’s a lot harder to prepare for those guys than it is for Tebow.”

Franks said devising a game plan for a quarterback who is going to throw the ball 40 or more times a game is more difficult than getting ready for someone like Tebow, who likely will throw the ball far less.

What do you figure the over/under is on how many times the talking heads on Fox bring this up?  Or that Tebow does?  Ecch.

There’s a reason coaches like Stacey Searels don’t let their charges speak to the media.


Filed under General Idiocy, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Stewart Mandel makes my head hurt again.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what makes Stewart Mandel happy.

Just a few days after writing this tedious paean to the bowl system, in which he tells us that “You’ll have to forgive me if I’m in no hurry to see the Fiesta Bowl turn into the ‘NCAA Southwest Regional.'”, he turns right around in this piece where he notes that the TV ratings in several of the BCS games have been sagging since the advent of the fifth game and observes that the way to fix that is – you guessed it – “Obviously, the one certain way to increase interest in such games would be the inception of a playoff.”

Now I watch this stuff anyway, so I’m not the one to ask, but seriously, how many of you out there that didn’t watch the Orange Bowl this year would tune in if they slapped a “playoff” label on it?  And why?

Mandel’s solution to the problem is a non-starter.

… As I’ve written before, it’s time for the BCS to think about revising its selection process in order to create more compelling matchups. Between the various conference partnerships, automatic berths and selection order, there’s almost no flexibility when it comes to which teams the bowls can select.

If USC wants to leave Pasadena for a change — in the case of this season, maybe for the chance to play No. 3 Texas in the Fiesta Bowl — it should have that right. Similarly, there are a whole bunch of rabid, SEC fan bases chomping at the bit for access to the Rose Bowl. I know the folks in Pasadena are wed to their Big Ten-Pac-10 tradition, but how many more USC-Big Ten blowouts can they expect us to stomach?

Sounds great on the surface, but he’s really robbing Peter to pay Paul here.  Sure, you could have tarted up the Rose Bowl the last two years by having SEC teams travel to play USC, but what would that have left the Sugar Bowl with?

The real problem is that the ACC and the Big East haven’t consistently generated top tier teams in the past few years.  (The Big Ten hasn’t been too hot in that area lately, either, especially in terms of depth.)  That’s not the same thing as saying the conferences aren’t competitive or that they’re bad overall, but it’s clear that their best aren’t at the same level year in and year out as the elite teams in other conferences.  That’s how you wind up with an Orange Bowl with two teams not in the top 10 facing off against each other.  That may suck, but there’s no way the BCS conferences are going to give up automatic bids for their champs.

But wait – there’s more!  Mandel does note that ESPN is doing quite well with the rest of its bowl package…

At the same time BCS ratings have been sagging, eight of the 10 highest-rated bowl games in ESPN history have taken place just since 2005, including this year’s Champs Sports and Alamo (Northwestern-Missouri) bowls…

but that’s because of people like me.

… there’s always going to be a segment of diehard football fans who tune in to those early games. The key to racking up what used to be far larger audiences for the BCS bowls is to draw in more casual fans — the type for whom New Year’s Day football has been a longstanding tradition.

That’s another area where the BCS, and bowls in general, have erred. By spreading out the traditional New Year’s games farther and farther each year (this year there were more games played on Dec. 31 than Jan. 1), the original appeal of these games has become irrelevant.

Whether you agree with that or not (and I do to some extent agree that spreading the games out has reduced viewership), whose fault is that?  Not the bowls, Mandel, but Fox TV.  The bowls are just doing Fox’s bidding.  That’s what happens when you take The Man’s money.  From the bowls’ standpoint, it’s a small price to pay.  And after all, ESPN did just outbid Fox significantly for those broadcast rights, so somebody with a checkbook must think the BCS is doing something right.

In Mandel’s world, though, declining TV ratings are “a BCS problem, not a TV problem”.  Some problem, but what do I know?  I watched the Orange Bowl.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Here’s a case where talk isn’t cheap.

Boston College tells its current head coach that he’ll be fired if he interviews for NY Jets HC job.

In a way, that’s kind of refreshing, but if this occurred at an SEC school, they’d just throw more money at him.


Filed under It's Just Bidness