Daily Archives: July 28, 2009

Knowshon Moreno’s final legacy?

I presume most of you have seen the write ups of last night’s meeting of the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club in the AJ-C and AB-H.  The quote of Mark Richt’s that seems to have gotten the most attention is this one:

“We have declared that every skill guy we have, not counting quarterbacks, will play,” Bulldogs coach Mark Richt told an audience of about 1,000 at the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club Monday night at the Cobb Galleria.

That means freshman tailback Washaun Ealey will be thrown into the mix even with four other tailbacks on scholarship.

“This year it’s like ‘We’re going to play them,’ ” Richt said. “Get them ready for special teams. Get them ready for scrimmage downs.”

And Richt went on after the meeting to let the reporters know that he’s defining “skill guy” broadly.

… Richt said in an interview after the event, that he’s including defensive backs and linebackers as well – that would include defensive backs Branden Smith, Jordan Love and Shawn Williams and linebackers Mike Gilliard and Chase Vasser.

“When you talk about special teams, you want your runners, your hitters,” Richt said. “You’re trying to decide whether these guys play or not play. We’re starting out saying ‘Hey, let’s play these guys. Let’s get them on special teams and teach them what to do.’ They’ll help us on special teams, and they’ll also be growing as players at their positions, too.

“Sometimes you’re two weeks in and you’re like ‘They’re not ready, they’re not ready.’ Two more weeks, he probably is ready. Two more weeks after that, he may be your starter.”

Now I’m not quite sure I take the man literally on this.  As David Hale pointed out, does Richt really plan on deploying upwards of twelve linebackers this season?  Unlikely.  But I do think he’s reached the point where he’s serious about committing to playing true freshmen far more than he used to.

… Georgia coach Mark Richt says redshirting the players has preserved the team’s future. “The assistant coaches were wanting to let some of these guys play and allow them to work on special teams and get reps and that kind of thing,” Richt said. “I tried to look at the big picture and see if we could hold off from doing it. There are certainly guys that could be helping us right now, there is no doubt.”

I think some of that may be due to the way other coaches, like Urban Meyer, recruit and sell their programs.

“We’ve taken a new attitude. Every freshman, in my opinion, will play next year. Obviously, that won’t happen, but we’re taking that approach. It used to be more, ‘We’d like to save this guy.’ I’ve learned my lesson, and that’s over. Everybody’s playing. We’re going to let you go play and we’ll worry about your fourth year down the road. If it’s in the best interest of the young player, we’ll hold him and redshirt him, but we’re going to play him.”

And I think some of it stems from redshirting Moreno.  I know that Richt has at times kidded about the subject and has at times felt that it might have helped shield Moreno a little bit, but still, you’ve got to wonder how the 2007 season would have played out (in particular, how the South Carolina game that year would have played out) if Moreno had seen the field and made his bones in 2006.

Of course, we’ve heard some of this before, too.  So a degree of skepticism is warranted here.  But I think a change is coming.



Filed under Georgia Football

It’s just another way to pay for the limo.

Following in Bama’s footsteps, Auburn decides it’s a nifty idea to charge people to tailgate on taxpayer-supported property.

As I wrote before, enjoy the air while it’s free, boys.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for?

The Orlando Sentinel has a handy post up listing total athletic department revenues at all D-1 football schools here.  You won’t find any real surprises there.  In fact, this summary in the post is spot on:

As the figures indicate, the athletic departments with the highest revenue typically are from schools that have filled 80,000- to 100,000-seat football stadiums on autumn Saturdays and come from conferences that receive an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid.

That’s how you get Utah with its 80th-ranked, almost $27 million in revenues asking for more fairness in the postseason.

The Sentinel’s got more money stuff here.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“Who would care?”

Larry Munson’s autobiography comes out next month (h/t Bulldogs Blog).

I expect we’ll find out that Munson is pleasantly surprised by the answer to the question in the post header.


Filed under Georgia Football

The secret to comedy is timing.

Evidently Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald opened up his talk at Big Ten Media Days by affirming that he voted for Tebow.

Now that’s funny.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Throwing down the gauntlet

Oklahoma State linebacker Andre Sexton thinks Georgia has something to learn about Big XII football – and his team’s defense – this year.

“People were bashing our defense and saying we’re not any good,” he said. “It’s not that we’re not any good. We’re just playing against the top talent week in and week out. If an SEC team played in our conference for a year, they’d see. They’d totally respect it. It’s something that’s hard to understand unless you’re in the middle of it.”

Obviously, we don’t know about this year, but the stats tell a somewhat different story about last season.

At least the OSU beat writer’s got your back, Andre.  He’s predicting the Cowboys will roll in the opener. (h/t Bulldogs Blog)


Filed under Big 12 Football, Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football

Beware of commissioners bearing gifts.

Here’s a little story that popped up out of the blue (the BCS coordinator was saying earlier in the day that the BCS would remain the same “by and large” for the next five years) late yesterday.

Starting with the 2010 season and running through the 2013 season, the first time the Rose Bowl loses one of its conference champions and a team from one of the non-automatic qualifying leagues earns a BCS bid, the Rose Bowl must take that team.

The first question that springs to mind is why?

“Under certain circumstances, they can play their way into the Rose Bowl, which hasn’t been true in the past,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Monday at Big Ten media day. “That’s additional access. Standards have been, I think, lightened to access the BCS.”

Pardon my French, but that’s utter bullshit, which, considering the source, shouldn’t exactly be a surprise.  Sure, there’s more access to the Rose Bowl for the mid-majors, but not the BCS overall, as the eligibility rules aren’t being changed.

Maybe there’s a little more money at stake, since the Rose is the best paying of all the bowls, but in the vast scheme of things, I don’t think it would result in a significant additional distribution to the non-BCS conferences.

So what we’re left with as possible explanations for the change are either a fairly empty gesture for public consumption… or giving the prisoner enough rope to hang himself.  The Rose Bowl is always the best drawing postseason college football game; even having a 9-3 Illinois squad participate two seasons ago didn’t change that.  But what happens if a TCU gets in and the ratings tank (not because TCU isn’t worthy, but simply because there isn’t sufficient national interest)?

There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye – the absence of any media speculation that this was in the works, the lack of any comment from a representative of the Rose Bowl and the time frame involved (it starts after Fox is out of the picture and runs through the end of the ESPN contract for the BCS) suggest all sorts of agendas in play.  It’ll make for an interesting story to watch leading up to 2014.


UPDATE: Matt Hinton aka Doc Saturday (who’s not suffering from an early onset of Alzheimer’s as I seem to be here lately), points out in the comments that Tony Barnhart reported on this change a couple of months ago… and that I blogged about Barnhart’s post.

I mention this not only to correct the omission, but also because in rereading my earlier post, I realize that I don’t find Barnhart’s assertion that the move would help the defense of the BCS convincing, because the overall access to the BCS by the mid-majors isn’t affected.

On the other hand, there may very well be something to this being a way to force the Rose Bowl out of a bad match up like the one created with the invitation to Illinois two years ago.

All of which still leaves us with the question as to who’s driving this train exactly.


UPDATE #2: The Los Angeles Times has more, including quotes from the Rose Bowl’s chief officer.  It sounds like the other bowls weren’t happy about the Rose being able to dodge inviting non-BCS conference schools.

… Other bowls have been forced to take non-BCS teams before — Hawaii played in the 2008 Sugar Bowl against Georgia — which was a sore point at the last round of television negotiations. They wanted to bring the Rose Bowl in line.

Pasadena agreed to put out a welcome mat for the smaller stars in the NCAA constellation. Kind of.

“The only other option was don’t have a national championship game,” Dorger said. “And we didn’t like that option.”


Filed under BCS/Playoffs