Daily Archives: November 26, 2010

What passes for my Iron Bowl insight

Although ‘Bama is favored today, there are a number of pundits who like Auburn’s chances to win.  What’s interesting to me is that the vast majority of those folks, like Stewart Mandel, think that in doing so, Ted Roof’s defense is going to hold Alabama to around 28 points.  Considering that Auburn has yielded more than thirty points to three teams which have had less success scoring this season than the Tide, how realistic is that?


UPDATE: I have to give credit where credit is due.  Who knew Jim McElwain would decide to channel his inner Mike Bobo today?



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Nick Saban Rules

He knows what he wants, but can he get it?

For Todd Grantham, the stakes this offseason are huge.  The good thing is that he’s aware of it.

… Grantham has been focused on the Yellow Jackets, putting his players through four days of contact work to get them prepared for the cutback blocking Tech employs in its triple option. After Saturday night, he expects to hit the recruiting trail and hit it hard.

“I’m convinced more than ever that we can have the kind of defense here that you want to have,” he said. “I do think we’ve got to address some areas in both recruiting and development.”

You get the feeling that while the next few months may lack the overt drama of last winter, they may be even more important for Mark Richt’s future in Athens.


Filed under Georgia Football

What’s it all about, Mikey?

According to this piece, it’s quite simple, really.

… No, this new Leach lawsuit isn’t about ESPN. Or Spaeth.

It’s about Craig James.


With one goal in mind.

… If trained lawyer Leach is correct, his latest legal action may soon devastate Craig James’ professional life the way Leach’s coaching career was effectively crashed by the ESPN announcer.

If that’s all Leach achieves with his lawsuits, he still will have gained the satisfaction of performing a national service.  Turnabout is fair play, even for a pirate.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Mike Leach. Yar!

Athens misery loves Austin company.

If this isn’t a fitting metaphor for Texas’ wretched season, I don’t know what is.

… Texas A&M punted the ball back to Texas with about 10 seconds left and Ken Wood had to pick the snap off the ground to get it away. Texas tried to block it and freshman returner Adrian Phillips let the ball bounce on the ground.

That let the final seconds run out. The mistake was a fitting end to Texas’ miserable season and several players threw up their hands in frustration…

If Georgia wins tomorrow, the Dawgs will finish 6-6 and begin preparing to play in a bowl game, both accomplishments the Longhorns, with all that money and all those top five recruiting classes, will miss in 2010.  After the Colorado loss, who could have foreseen that?


Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

“It’s all really new to me.”

The problem I have with this Wall Street Journal attack piece on Nick Saban is the premise:

… The three players said they believe Mr. Saban falsely portrayed the circumstances of their departures to protect the image of his program. Mr. Saban had previously come under scrutiny by the media for offering scholarships to more incoming recruits than the school could accommodate under NCAA scholarship limits. This relatively common practice, which is known as “oversigning” is not prohibited by the NCAA. It allows a coach to improve his roster by giving him a larger pool of talent to choose from. But it also eventually forces the coach to get rid of a few scholarship players he no longer wants—which can put him at risk of scaring away future recruits.

If Mr. Saban had said the players decided to transfer because they didn’t believe they would have a chance to play at Alabama, the players said, it would have provided ammunition for rival coaches competing for the same recruits. But if the players were seen as disciplinary cases, they said, Mr. Saban’s recruiting methods wouldn’t be viewed as the problem. Mr. Saban, Mr. Preyear said, “was just making himself look good for the media, and making us look bad.”

Again, is there anybody familiar with SEC football who isn’t familiar with Saban’s modus operandi at this point?  Top recruits aren’t being scared away from Alabama, despite all the attention paid to oversigning in every Tide class.  Nick Saban isn’t paid to care about what the media thinks about him; he’s paid to get talent in the door and win games.  He’s succeeding at that impressively.

Also, it doesn’t exactly help make your case when it’s disclosed about the four players who were dismissed for violating teams rules that two had earlier disciplinary problems resulting in suspensions and a third isn’t currently playing because of academic issues (at Alabama State, which I didn’t know was even possible).

I don’t doubt that some opposing programs try to use this stuff on the recruiting trail and for them this article will likely add another arrow to the quiver.  But it doesn’t seem to slow the ‘Bama staff down terribly.  Besides, it sounds like Saban has his own materials to waive around.

…  Mr. Lawrence said he thought about calling Mr. Saban and asking for an explanation but decided instead to write a letter thanking the coach for recruiting him—in case he might need Mr. Saban to call coaches on his behalf in the future…

Such is how life often works.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting