Daily Archives: August 27, 2011

Circling the wagons, or something else?

Does Mark Richt have something up his sleeve?

You referenced Richt circling the wagons & how that’s uncharacteristic of him. What are your thoughts on that?

– Parrish Walton

I’ll have more on this in a story for Sunday, which delves into the subject a bit more. So I don’t want to scoop myself. But information has become tighter, access a bit more restricted, especially as far as viewing practices and scrimmages. Though I should point out that from where it started out in that category, that now puts Georgia sort of in the middle. South Carolina and Boise State have been holding open scrimmages, something Richt hasn’t let happen. But assistant coaches and freshmen – even Isaiah Crowell – have not been shielded from media interviews.

So they can talk (and considering that Searels is gone, that means they actually talk more now than they used to), but they don’t show.  Is that the sign of a coach who is trying to cut off media distractions, or something else?

That opening game can’t get here quickly enough.


UPDATE:  Here’s a little surprise.


Filed under Georgia Football

Are you smarter than a Michigan athletic director?

Brian Cook takes Dave Brandon’s utterly inexplicable decision to schedule another game with Appalachian State as an opportunity to ponder what kind of mind is charged with running Michigan’s football program.

Read it, and be grateful for Greg McGarity.


Filed under General Idiocy

Don’t bury me, ’cause I’m not dead yet.

What do you get when a Pac-12 partisan indulges in some wishful thinking about the current state of the SEC?

Well, this.

… This isn’t a nod toward mediocrity but simply an anticipation that the SEC will return to a lesser prominence. Gains have been made in the last two decades that have made the SEC stronger than before, so its perch is now higher than in previous eras. But a gentle decline is coming.

The SEC isn’t going to win every national title game, but as long as it continues to dominate recruiting and as long as the money keeps rolling in, it’s going to keep winning more than its fair share.


Filed under SEC Football

Craig James as symptom, rather than disease

Stewart Mandel doesn’t exactly have a high opinion of Craig James.

Mandel: I wouldn’t trust Craig James to report on sixth-grade volleyball. It’s been established, via documented emails, that he not only encouraged a sitting Big 12 football coach’s dismissal but hired a PR firm to intentionally manipulate coverage. And yet he’s still walking into Big 12 coaches’ offices every week to break down tape. Now he’s running partisan political advocacy ads, which you would think would be a no-no for a television analyst (I seem to recall Lou Holtz getting in trouble simply for endorsing a candidate). How he’s still on television (and in prominent time slots at that) is one of the great mysteries of modern civilization.

That’s harsh.  Hell, the worst thing Mandel ever said about college football bloggers who got on his nerves was that they needed to shower and shave more regularly.

This wasn’t something overheard between Mandel and a couple of his Montana buddies over beers during happy hour at a sports bar.  It’s part of a rather extraordinary exchange between him, Andy Staples and a couple of other SI.com writers.  And it’s Staples who hits on the real puzzle for me when he says,

… Craig James, because he adds very little to the broadcast, and ESPN has sacrificed much of its journalistic integrity to protect him in the wake of his campaign to get Mike Leach fired at Texas Tech. If ESPN replaced James with any random ex-jock, viewers wouldn’t complain a bit. Yet for some reason the network has bent over backward to protect James. It makes no sense.

No, it doesn’t.  But it’s there, along with the Longhorn Network and ESPN’s absurd reaction to Bruce Feldman’s role as editor of Mike Leach’s book.  And that’s just the latest stuff.

What’s hard to figure is not so much that the WWL can be tone-deaf on occasion – Lou Holtz’ continued presence is a shining example of that – but why the network seems to care less and less about it as time goes on.  No doubt much of that can likely be attributed to the attitude that inevitably comes with the self-awareness attached to being the only 800-pound gorilla in the room (notice how much of their discussion is about ESPN?).  But I get a certain sense that it’s generating more resentment than ever, both from the journalism side and the college side.

I don’t know if the Longhorn Network will come to be seen as some sort of tipping point in ESPN’s relations with the rest of the college sports world, but as big and powerful as the network has come to be, you’d have to think that even it wouldn’t be immune to problems caused by a high enough degree of antagonism with those it has to work with to offer product.

On the other hand, it does throw a lot of money around.  Maybe that’s enough to keep getting by.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

Public display of affection

We’re just a week away from the Dome.  In honor of that, check out this in-store Coke tribute:


Filed under Georgia Football