Daily Archives: January 4, 2011

Say it ain’t so, Uncle Ron.

It’s a strange world we live in when ESPN fires Ron Franklin, yet keeps Craig James on the payroll.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

I have some good news for you, and some bad news.

Rogers Redding has been named the national coordinator for college football officiating by the board of managers for the College Football Officiating, LLC.

Redding will function as the central officiating leader for College Football Officiating, LLC, established by the Collegiate Commissioners Association and the NCAA in 2007 to ensure a consistent application of playing rules and officiating mechanics. He previously served as the Southeastern Conference Coordinator of Football Officials and is the Secretary-Rules Editor for the NCAA Football Rules Committee. The appointment takes effect on February 1.

No word yet on which Georgia Tech graduate will be his successor.



Filed under SEC Football

The “A” word is what’s missing in Athens.

I don’t think anyone who watched the Cap One and Liberty Bowls will be surprised by Gentry Estes’ comparison of where the Alabama and Georgia programs are today.

… I’ve been asked a lot since I took this job about the differences in Nick Saban’s Alabama, which I covered from 2007 through the 2009 BCS title, to Mark Richt’s current Georgia program.

I’ve thought about this for a while and wanted to wait until a full season was complete to form a fair judgment. So here goes. My conclusion is the raw talent gap is actually not that large, but …

First, there’s the eye test. Overall, Alabama players look bigger and in far better condition. Richt addressed this with the recent strength and conditioning swap. And while some rolled their eyes at the shuffle of long-time employee Joe Tereshinski to head Dave Van Halanger’s former department, former players loved this move, because Joe T’s plan is to put his foot to some rears to find out who really wants to earn his way. Bravo. It needed to happen a while ago.

Second, and more important, football has just got to mean more.

Georgia’s players need to take their commitment to the sport more seriously. They need to stop getting into silly off-the-field situations. They need to start showing up to watch more film on their own. There needs to be more leadership. There needs to be more accountability from actual players, not just the coaching staff. If you can’t depend on a teammate to show up for an academic appointment under threat of suspension if he doesn’t, how can you trust he’ll make a key block when required?

I asked somebody this the other day – can you think of another school which pinned so much hope in turning its fortunes around on a change in its strength and conditioning program?  I’m not sure which bothers me more, that it seems so strange, or that it might work.


Filed under Georgia Football

“… but they roll in dough.”

Giving the NCAA a hard time is an activity I generally approve of, but the anger/frustration expressed in this USA Today piece doesn’t really do much for me.

First off, I suspect that most people who rail against the NCAA about its, um, recent inconsistencies over its amateurism standards, like Dan Wetzel, see no disconnect in urging that the same organization take a more prominent role in remaking college football’s postseason.  I mean, what could go wrong with that?

And then there’s this:

Critics rail that keeping players amateur — i.e., unpaid — in an otherwise highly commercial enterprise is an injustice. Sales of replica jerseys are an oft-used example. Schools and marketers can profit; the performers who give them their cachet can’t. Multiply that by millions when it comes to game revenue.

“The NCAA amateurism rules are a fictional, oppressive harness designed to protect a plantation-like economic model,” sports attorney David Cornwell wrote recently in SportsBusiness Journal.

Football players of the world, unite!  Throw off that harness!

How come nobody ever gets pissed off at the NFL for its far greater role in perpetuating that “plantation-like economic model”?  Those are the folks who refuse to sign student athletes until they’re more than three years out of high school.   For that matter, what’s stopping any group of fat cats from starting a professional football league that signs kids out of high school?


Filed under The NCAA

Somebody has to fill the asshole position at Florida.

Oh, yeah, this blogger almost forgot his manners.  Thanks, Will Muschamp.


Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., Gators, Gators...

Lying in wait?

Is it just me, or is there more to be said of Kirby Smart’s sincerity about holding out for a head coaching position in light of the countless, wrong Internet rumors about his bags being packed for Gainesville to become his friend Muschamp’s new defensive coordinator?  I know he burned some bridges with the way he reportedly handled the offer to come back to Athens last January, but I have this feeling he’ll be lobbying hard for the job if the head coaching slot comes open in the near future.


Filed under Georgia Football

In Mark Bradley’s mind, Paul Johnson means never having to say you’re sorry.

As much as this offseason is likely to fill me with a sense of flatness and despair, it’s good to know that I can count on Mark Bradley for comedic relief.  His utterly predictable take on Mark Richt’s worst season in Athens I won’t argue with, but, as usual, Bradley sees that merely as a starting point for singing the praises of the best in-state coach around.

Georgia and Georgia Tech each finished 6-7 after being ranked in the preseason Top 25, but that’s all the programs have in common. Tech lacks players. Georgia lacks coaching. All things considered, you’d rather be Tech.

There’s a chance Paul Johnson, stylized offense and all, can sign enough players to lift Tech to another ACC title.

Insert Dumb and Dumber clip here.

Richt, for all his flaws, is now 2-1 against the Genius of the Flats.  To Bradley, that’s simply a confirmation of which program is in better shape.

… Tech’s issues are of a different sort. Johnson cannot simply seek to outflank everyone all the time. When you’re as clever as he is, you tend to rely on cleverness, but we saw Nov. 27 the limits of that approach: Johnson outcoached Richt all ends, but Johnson’s team lost…

I still get a kick out of the spin that Johnson’s maneuver to let Georgia score late so that his team could try to forge a tie with its 119th-ranked passing game was more an act of tactical brilliance than desperation, but I digress.  It’s Bradley’s take on where the two programs presently stand that’s the really silly part.

… The trouble with Tech is that its talent base has slipped into the ACC’s lower half. The trouble with Georgia is that its coach has been rendered substandard. Would any updated ranking of SEC coaches put Richt in the upper half? The upper two-thirds? Add it up: Three of the coaches who lost to the Bulldogs in 2010 are no longer employed; the other three include two first-year men and Johnson. And now you’re saying, “Doesn’t that mean Tech is in worse shape than Georgia?”

Er, no. For Tech to rise again to the top of its conference, Johnson has only to find new players. For Georgia to rise again to the top of its league, it will have to find a new coach.

In the end, if Richt has to go, which do you think is more likely to happen – Greg McGarity makes a decent hire with a successor, or Paul Johnson suddenly discovers how to recruit successfully?  Yeah.  Me, too.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Here’s something they can sell on eBay.

Instant collector’s item:

… Even the Bulldogs overlooked the Knights. Oh, they won’t admit that. But at their recent team banquet, the Bulldogs presented its seniors with a plaque. Etched on it was the season record — 7-6.

Keep in mind that Georgia entered the Liberty Bowl with a 6-6 record.

“That’s part of what they do,” UCF defensive back Darin Baldwin said. “They thought they were going to push us over, but we’ve got more heart than they do.”

UCF offensive lineman Bruce Miller grinned and shook his head when he heard about the plaque.

“I guess they’re going to have to get them redone,” he said…


UPDATE: The always on-the-ball Marc Weiszer follows up on the plaque story and finds out that it’s SOP at Georgia.

… Each year Georgia presents senior plaques at its gala, according to associate athletic director Claude Felton. One of the lines on the plate is the season record and Georgia always lists it with a win in the upcoming bowl.

“If we lose the game, we replace the plate,” Felton said in an e-mail.

Georgia hasn’t had to replace the plate the last four years when it won its bowl game.

There will need to be 23 replacement plates for this year’s seniors to include the correct 6-7 record.


Filed under Georgia Football

Tyrod Taylor’s brief shining moment

Yeah, his team got pounded in the second half last night, but this first half TD pass that the Virginia Tech quarterback threw was one of the niftiest plays I saw all season.

Talk about using every inch of the width of the field…


Filed under College Football