Daily Archives: September 10, 2010

A penny for their thoughts

Classic photo:

AP Photo

Supply a caption, people.



Filed under Name That Caption

“Plan”? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

I don’t find it surprising in the least that Urban Meyer was blissfully unaware of the local Quran burning scheduled hours after UF’s game tomorrow.  But to find out from his players?  The university’s police department didn’t think it was prudent to pass on a warning about it?

That’s cracker jack work there, fellas.  Keep up the good show.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Political Wankery, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Georgia-South Carolina hit and run

I don’t really have the heart to do a formal preview and prediction of tomorrow’s game – mainly because I can’t think of a way to better last year’s preview – so I’m afraid that you’ll have to settle for a series of random observations from which to hope some larger truth emerges.  Good luck with that.

  • Even the most rabid Gamecock partisan infected with the worst case of PH known to man has to admit that nobody suiting up for Ellis Johnson tomorrow is as good as Eric Norwood was.  He’s gone, and I won’t miss him a bit.  Dial this bad boy up to the 0:23 mark and you’ll see what I’m talking about:
  • The quarterback delivering the ball in that play reminds me that Georgia was minus-2 in turnover margin in last year’s game, ran a whopping total of two plays on offense in the first ten minutes of the game and still won, largely because of a monster night from the special teams.  I suspect that the ‘Cocks will be wary of kicking off to Brandon Boykin tomorrow.
  • The quarterbacking on display by Mississippi State last night should be a sobering reminder to us all that there’s a rather big difference between a Conference USA defense and an SEC one, even if it’s coached by Ted Roof.  So while I love reading about x-factors like Aaron Murray’s “speed”, it’s probably better to wait and see what Ellis Johnson has up his sleeve in response before going off the deep end.  That being said, it can only be a good thing that Murray makes Johnson game plan for something which he could completely ignore last year.
  • Speaking of game planning, while everyone likes to focus on Grantham’s preparation for the Evil Genius – and there’s no question that Spurrier tossed all kinds of stuff from the playbook out there in the opener for Georgia’s defensive coordinator to ponder – the OBC doesn’t exactly have a huge body of work to go by in preparing for Georgia’s defense.
  • Also, how much do you think Belin, who’s coached against Spurrier’s offense for a few years, and Lakatos, who spent a month preparing his secondary to take on South Carolina’s passing attack in his last game at Connecticut, have been able to help Grantham in his preparation?
  • Weatherwise, Columbia tomorrow is going to be what Columbia tends to be in early September:  a more humid version of Hell.  You can accuse me of wearing my red and black glasses when I write this, but I think that helps Georgia a little, because I don’t think South Carolina can match Georgia’s depth on the lines or at linebacker.
  • Every time I watch Stephen Garcia take off on one of those runs of his – that patented slow spin move of his in particular – I’m reminded of how little he’s been made to pay by SEC defenses for the risks he takes.  That’s something that’s got to change tomorrow.
  • In the opener, Marcus Lattimore displayed a Moreno-esque ability to turn what looked like a sure run for negative yardage into no loss or a small gain.  While he averaged a pedestrian 3.9 ypc rushing, he never lost yardage running the ball.  That worries me.
  • A.J. Green’s absence tomorrow hurts, no question.  The big issue there is whether Mike Bobo can be creative enough with his sets and formations to offset the increased comfort level of the USC defense.  Aron White and Orson Charles, it’s time to step up.
  • Of all the things we may hear from Aaron Murray after the game, nothing better be similar to this:  “I kind of saw Norwood and was like, hmmm, but I decided to throw it anyway…”


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

“Fan” is short for…

Interesting set of priorities, to say the least:

The Dave & Buster’s College Football Survey also revealed that:

  • In order to watch every game without hassle from friends and family, more than half of people would sacrifice their morning joe.
  • Even more surprising, nearly one out of three people would deny themselves beer.

Giving up coffee? Sure.  Skip a birthday party?  I get that.  A wedding?  If you live in the South and schedule a fall wedding, some collateral damage comes with the territory.

But giving up beer?   What’s your point?


Filed under College Football

How much is a mid-major worth?

This story doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

  • Was Boise State asking for a $1 million guarantee, even if it got a home game out of the deal?  If so, that’s pretty arrogant.
  • If BSU asked for that guarantee in the context of a one-shot appearance in Norman Lincoln, then what’s Nebraska’s problem?  It can’t be the money – the school is paying Idaho $800,000 to play there, so what’s another $200,000?

I sure would like to know what I’m missing here.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

It was nice while it lasted.

By the way, I think it’s safe to say that Mike Slive’s calm period with the NCAA is over.


Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

It’s not any easier being Green: still more thoughts.

If you haven’t read Mark Schlabach’s piece on the Green saga, stop and do so right now.  It goes a long way towards filling in the gaps about how the NCAA wound up on Georgia’s doorstep in the first place, why it took the organization the time it did to reach a decision about the suspension and why the unusual language about agent involvement appeared as it did in the NCAA’s announcement.

Based on that and a few other things I saw on the intertubes yesterday, here are some follow ups:

  1. It’s not the honesty with the investigation that matters as much as the honesty behind the original decision to sell the jersey. Quite frankly, it strains credulity to believe, as Hawkins insists, that neither party was aware that memorabilia sales are a no-no under current NCAA rules.  Both sides have been in the arena and I have a very hard time believing that neither has received compliance training on the matter (particularly in A.J.’s case, seeing as he’s a member of the program that played a fundamental role in the rule being instituted in the first place).
  2. Georgia is going to have a tough time on appeal. I don’t see much for the school to hang its hat on, other than the obvious misrepresentations made by Hawkins to Green.  But it’s still hard to avoid A.J.’s willing participation in the transaction.  Is there something in the background that may have colored his judgment, as evidently was the case with Dareus?  The school had better hope so.
  3. Chris Hawkins is the perfect nightmare. If you’re Mark Richt, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer or the coach at any other high-profile program, this story is going to keep you up at night.  Hawkins isn’t an agent in the formal sense, nor is he employed by one.  He’s a free-lancer trying to make a play by building relationships with players and agents in the hopes of brokering contacts.  He’s not somebody you can ask the NFL to regulate and if you’re a college coach, you’ll never see his like coming at your players until it’s too late.
  4. If Hawkins is the perfect nightmare, college football presents the perfect storm for him. There’s no outlet for young football players to get paid for plying their trade; they have no choice but to go to college for at least three years in the hopes of some day signing a professional contract.  Meanwhile, they observe the money flow to schools.  I’m not saying this to excuse A.J. Green, but it’s also not hard to see how a sense of entitlement can build up as you watch the school make money from your name while denying you the very same opportunity.  As I said yesterday, I believe in the NCAA’s goal of preserving some sense of amateurism in the sport.  And for a host of reasons, I don’t think it’s practical (or likely legal) to pay some or all college football players and stop there.  But the schools have a responsibility that I think is being woefully neglected, and that is to find the pressure points and devise ways to ease the sore spots.  Whether that’s better education, formalizing a process by which players can sign with agents/financial advisors while still playing college ball or more radical steps like convincing the NFL to fund a developmental league that would pay players (yeah, right) I don’t know, but the schools had better start coming up with something.  I’m afraid that what we’re seeing right now is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
  5. I wouldn’t want to be North Carolina’s athletic director today. That one’s pretty much obvious on its face, isn’t it?


UPDATE: If you want to hear how A.J.’s Pied Piper came on to him, check out these Hawkins quotes from Joe Schad’s Twitter feed

Hawkins: “Why can the NCAA and Universities can sell these kids jerseys and one that is given to the kid he can’t sell if he chooses to? …

Hawkins: ” I bet a scholarship costs $150,000 but the NCAA and Universities make millions off you….”

Hawkins: “Why is it a problem if I want to buy his jersey from him when he’s the one who performed for it?”

Sure, he didn’t know it was a rule violation.  Sure.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, The NCAA