Remember when I posted this?
… If I had to put my finger on what’s wrong, I’d call it a crisis of faith. I don’t mean that in a religious sense. (By the way, of all the arguments I’ve seen about what’s wrong, blaming Coach Richt’s religious convictions for the slide has to rank as the dumbest.) Rather, it’s a systemic doubt: the coaches lack faith in the players to execute and the players lack faith in the coaches’ ability to deploy them efficiently and effectively.
Kinda like this:
Georgia coach Mark Richt thinks his team’s two most improved players since the spring might be safety Shawn Williams and linebacker Darryl Gamble.
You’d expect a sophomore, like Williams, to be making major strides at this point. But Gamble’s progress is particularly noteworthy since he’s a fifth-year senior who started 11 games last season and switched positions in the final week of spring practice, shifting from inside linebacker to outside.
Gamble credits the influence of defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Todd Grantham.
“I guess it’s like finding love for the game again because I was in a slump,” said Gamble, adding that he and former linebackers coach John Jancek “didn’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. Having Coach Grantham here just gives me an extra boost of energy.”
I’m not saying that a change in attitude solves everything in one fell swoop. But it’s sure a good place to start.
I can feel a new one coming on.
… When the No. 3 Gators open their season Sept. 4 against Miami (Ohio) at The Swamp, John Brantley IV will make his first start at quarterback. For the first time in three seasons, someone other than 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will start under center for the Gators.
Playing quarterback at a school such as Florida comes with enough on-the-job hazards. But replacing someone like Tebow, who is regarded as one of the sport’s greatest players after helping the Gators win BCS national championships in 2006 and ’08, might be the least enviable job in recent college football history.
“He’s got more pressure on him than any player in college football history,” former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews said. [Emphasis added.]
I don’t think we can let that one pass, can we, folks?
(h/t EDSBS, particularly because I wasn’t going to read the damned article in the first place)
I’ll keep saying it ’til the day I die: shutting the 2004 Auburn team out of the BCS title game is the gift that keeps on giving.
Eddins: “This is what I tell everybody—we would have killed them. And the reason I say that with such confidence is you can’t prove a negative…
And you know what? He’s right. Auburn didn’t lose the title game. Sure, the Tigers didn’t win it, either. But that’s just a technicality.
The Wall Street Journal spots a potentially happy trend.
… College football’s non-conference season is about to start shrinking. Both the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences are considering increasing their conference schedules from eight games to nine in the near future. Essentially, this means one more week of Wisconsin playing a team that’s closer to the caliber of Penn State, whom the Badgers miss on the Big Ten schedule this season, and one fewer matchup against Austin Peay.
Schools and conferences are also slowly coming around to the idea that the money they can earn from these big games may be worth the risk of hanging an early loss on the team.
One reason is the success of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, a neutral-site showcase game in Atlanta that has featured Alabama in the past two years. Last year the game sold out in July and paid out $2.3 million per team…
And that’s what really may be driving this train. The math for high-profile games is getting more attractive.
… The economics of non-conference games are starting to favor tougher scheduling. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game pays out $2 million to $2.5 million per team, which is more than several bowl games. Before the expansion to a 12-game schedule, the typical amount that major-conference teams paid to visiting smaller-conference teams was $450,000 to $550,000. Today, the going rate has soared to the neighborhood of $1 million.
Good for us big school fans… but at some point somebody’s going to notice that the smaller schools are going to take a financial hit from it.
Mike Hamilton, America’s Greatest Athletic Director, has decided to Radacovich North Carolina from Tennessee’s 2011 and 2012 schedules.
… With an already demanding schedule in 2011, Tennessee had requested that the North Carolina series be pushed back until later this decade, according to Hamilton. But the Tar Heels weren’t interested in moving the series, leading to the current talks centered around Tennessee paying a penalty to get out of the series and nixing it all together.
Most likely he’ll get some Sun Belt school to step in, with the hope that the Vols can eke out enough wins to qualify for a minor bowl game against a Conference USA opponent. It’ll be like old times for Derek Dooley.
UPDATE: About that replacement – I was close.
A little of this and a little of that for you…
- Verne Lundquist, on what constitutes excessive celebration: “I know what it’s not. It’s not A.J. Green reacting with joy to a touchdown catch in the Georgia end zone.”
- It looks like Christian LeMay has gone all in with Georgia.
- Craig James won’t be doing any Texas Tech broadcasts this season, per a WWL spokesman. That’s the least they could do.
- Les Miles is certainly familiar with bad timing, so you’ve got to figure today he’s thinking if this had only happened a month or so ago, this wouldn’t have.
- Dueling pundits: compare Dennis Dodd’s throwaway line about Georgia – “What is the third-best team — Arkansas?, LSU?, South Carolina? (Please don’t give me Georgia).” – with what Andy Staples had to say in his preseason top 25 about his third-best team in the SEC, “… As I was putting together an all-SEC team for another project, I kept coming up with Bulldogs (Green, Boling, Glenn, Houston, K Blair Walsh, P Drew Butler) on the first team. That’s a lot of elite talent. Now consider this fact: Georgia won only eight games last year, and Coach Mark Richt has yet to post back-to-back single-digit-win seasons…”
- More shrinkage at Tennessee.
- Georgia fans certainly seem to be fed up with the state of the program these days.
So, how’s that whole “let’s get tough with agents” thing worked out so far?
Here’s a hint: when a party responsible in part for enforcement of the rules provides “We try to do the best we can” as an excuse, that’s usually a good indication that nobody out there is exactly cracking down on things.
Of course, now that Nick Saban is organizing conference calls on the matter, I’m sure it will all get better very soon. With a pony.