Monthly Archives: June 2011

Middle of the pack looks better dressed in orange.

Last year, as I’m sure you’ll recall, the Orlando Sentinel tagged Georgia as the 64th ranked program in its preseason rankings.  64 out of 120 is pretty much mediocre by definition.

So this year, here’s what the Sentinel has to say about Tennessee in conclusion:

Outlook: Although Tennessee is expected to improve in Dooley’s second season, a tough schedule that includes trips to Florida, Alabama and Arkansas could make it difficult for the Vols to better last year’s 6-7 mark.

Smells about the same to me.  The punchline?  That’s good enough for a ranking of 49 this year.  Has the overall state of college football declined that precipitously in one season?  Or is this just a case of grade inflation?



Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Cheating, pushing the envelope and competitive advantage

John Infante, in one of the more depressing posts I’ve read lately, explores the question of whether a coach needs to cheat to win.

There are a couple of reasons it’s a downer.  First, Infante’s main point is that it’s hard to measure a correlation between cheating and success because we lack adequate tools.  You can point to the edges…

We can start the long process of answering this question at the two extremes. Using the strictest definition of “cheating” we have, the vacating of a national title, the answer in the two revenue sports is promising. Not until USC’s 2004 BCS and AP national titles were vacated had a football or men’s basketball championship been vacated. By the NCAA’s own definition, all the other championships are clean.

On the other end of the spectrum, we can ask how many championships were won by programs that do not have even the hint of impropriety. Put another way, how many national championships in football and men’s basketball were won by programs with no major violations? As you might guess, the answer here is a bit less encouraging:

  • Men’s Basketball: 8/73 titles – Georgetown, Holy Cross, Loyola (Chicago), Marquette, Oklahoma State (2), Stanford, Wyoming
  • Football: 4/89 titles (Poll Era) – Penn State (2), BYU (2)

… but the points in between are hard to figure out.

And that’s one reason the NCAA struggles so much with rules violators.  As Infante puts it,

The trouble with the NCAA’s technical and intricate rule book is that you also lose some of the correlation between cheating and competitive success. If a coach makes a hundred or so impermissible phone calls to a couple dozen prospects over the course of two-four years, how much a competitive advantage was gained? Even more significant violations have questionable true competitive impact. USC argued, quite logically, that extra benefits received by a student-athlete after enrollment do not lead to a competitive advantage since they do not induce her to attend or stay at USC or make him play better.

Sometimes logic sucks.  But here’s the thing – if we’re having that much trouble investigating and responding to actions which clearly violate established rules, how much harder is it to resolve oversigning (or, if you prefer Slive’s euphemism, “roster management”) issues which don’t?


Filed under College Football, Recruiting, The NCAA

Stopped clock gets the time right.

Gregg Doyel may be a card-carrying member of the doucheoisie, but he sure nails this.

College football abides.  Which is one big reason I love it so.


Filed under College Football

Some potentially good news for butt dialers

The SEC is proposing that the NCAA consider some major changes to recruiting rules, one of which in particular should make Mark Richt a happier man:

… The SEC endorses the return of text messaging. Currently, coaches cannot text with recruits (at all) but they can email them or send them a Facebook message. The current rules have already caused several coaches to self-report violations after accidentally texting a prospective student-athlete and some coaches privately gripe this is one of the rules they’d like to seen thrown out sooner rather than later. In talking with several administrators from other conferences, there should be plenty of support if the SEC puts forth a proposal to allow texting. The letter does note that while the conference’s position is to allow texts, there should be limits in order to not overwhelm prospective recruits.

Notice also the proposal to do away with the bump rule, or, more accurately, to do away with the media’s attempt to sensationalize violations of the bump rule.  I kid you not:

… The bump rule, the letter states, “is a source for media reports questioning the integrity of involved coaches, create the expectation that high school coaches arrange incidental contact during an evaluation period, and place college coaches intent on following the rules at a distinct disadvantage.”

When Slive retires, the SEC presidents ought to do away with the middleman and make Nick Saban the next conference commissioner.  It would cut down considerably on the e-mails and phone calls.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

These are a few of our favorite plays.

This post of Michael Felder’s over at Blatant Homerism got me to thinking:  what play that’s a Georgia staple qualifies as my favorite?  Actually, it didn’t take very long to come up with the answer.

I wish I could find a clip of the first time Richt ran this play, against Auburn the season before.  Greene sold the fake beautifully and the entire Tigers defense bought it.  The best part was seeing that Tuberville recognized the play fake and ran down the sidelines screaming at his secondary, to no avail.  Greene really was a master at selling this.  Other Georgia QBs have run the play with success, but none as well.

Give me the play calls on offense or defense which you’ve seen run over the years that you like especially.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

Hypothetically speaking, don’t you wish A.J. had received hypothetical cash for his jersey which he would have hypothetically deposited into his hypothetical bank account?

After all, his trip to Miami was hypothetical.


Filed under The NCAA

Tom O’Brien’s loss of control

Here’s a little nugget from Andy Staples’ nice piece about Russell Wilson’s transfer to Wisconsin that undercuts the whole poor-ole’-Tom O’Brien spin that many put on the coach’s decision to cut Wilson loose in the first place:

… Wilson’s free agency was a direct result of the rule in more than one way. This past spring, N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien had to decide whether Wilson or redshirt junior Mike Glennon would start for the Wolfpack. Why? Because Glennon earned a business degree in three years. Had O’Brien picked Wilson, Glennon could have declared himself a free agent and played somewhere else this season.

So this wasn’t about a head coach acting out of frustration because his starting QB’s flirtation with baseball conflicted with his football preparation.  It was simply a self-interested call over the lesser of two evils.

If you polled head coaches about the graduate transfer rule, do you think even 10% of them would be in favor of it?


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football