Daily Archives: October 26, 2011

It’s not like they’re doing anything in Washington right now.

Mitch McConnell, September 23, 2011:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he doesn’t foresee involvement from congressional leaders in current issues facing college athletics.

“I don’t think the universities need any advice from Congress about how to run their business,” McConnell, a Louisville alumnus, told ESPN.com’s Pat Forde. “I have concerns about it, but I’m not an expert on why the universities are doing what they’re doing. I assume it is in their own best interests. From a fan perspective, it is a little perplexing. I don’t know what’s going to happen to traditional rivalries when they’re traveling thousands of miles to play.”

You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that the great statesman’s sensibilities are no longer affronted.

After being informed by Big 12 officials that it would be admitted to the conference, West Virginia now finds itself in a holding pattern.

A Big 12 conference call Tuesday night was expected to be a formality on West Virginia’s road to admittance. Instead, objections were raised.

A late push by Louisville has put political pressure on the Big 12 and opened the possibility of Louisville’s being the university that is admitted instead of West Virginia. Two people with direct knowledge of the situation said that lobbying by the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, including to David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma and a former senator, helped slow West Virginia’s admittance to the Big 12.

It’s every traditional rivalry for itself!  There’s no time to worry about hypocrisy.  (Not that many politicians worry about that, anyway.)


UPDATE:  Ah, fer chrissakes.




Filed under Political Wankery

Tony Barnhart, seat thermometer

If you’re still trying the gauge the warmth of the seat Mark Richt’s derriere is resting on, Mr. Conventional Wisdom is here to clue you in:

… There is a nagging sense from some Georgia people that Richt’s time has come and gone. The SEC East is as weak as it has been in a generation with new coaches at Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and with Spurrier having some issues at South Carolina. There is an opportunity for somebody to step up and become the dominant program in the division. Richt has to make the case that he is capable of getting Georgia back into that position.

So Richt needs to win against a Florida team that is limping into Saturday’s game. It doesn’t matter how good or bad Florida is. It’s Florida. Richt can’t go to 2-9 against the Gators. He just can’t.

Say what you will about Barnhart, he doesn’t make shit up on his own.  This is coming from somewhere – “some Georgia people” – to him.

It might be a good idea to come out of the game in a position to do some serious fist pumping with the faithful, Mark.  Just sayin’.


Filed under Georgia Football

Mumme Poll, Week 8

Rank Team Votes (Top pick)
1 LSU 123 (100)
2 Alabama 123 (18)
2 Clemson 123 (2)
4 Oklahoma State 122 (2)
5 Boise State 117 (0)
5 Stanford 117 (0)
7 Oregon 101 (0)
8 Arkansas 81 (0)
9 Kansas State 77 (1)
10 Michigan State 76 (0)
11 Oklahoma 62 (0)
12 Wisconsin 40 (0)
13 Houston 24 (0)
14 Virginia Tech 18 (0)
15 Southern Cal 7 (0)
16 South Carolina 5 (0)
16 Texas A&M 5 (0)
18 Georgia 4 (0)
19 Nebraska 3 (0)
20 Penn State 2 (0)


  • Well, finally South Carolina jumped Georgia in the queue.
  • It will be interesting to see how much of a hit the loser of Alabama-LSU takes in the poll.  Oklahoma and Wisconsin were both blown out of the top ten with their losses.
  • There’s a clear trend of consolidation, both in the overall number of schools receiving votes and in the top tier, which is down to seven.
  • Breakdown by conference:  SEC – 5; Big 12 – 4; Big Ten – 4; Pac-12 – 3; ACC – 2; Mountain West – 1; CUSA – 1.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Fake juice

“That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We’ll handle it, and it’s going to be a big deal.”

I guess Corch wasn’t kidding about that “forever” part.

Just remember the words of Ryan Stamper, Gators.


UPDATE:  On the other hand

“When they show a clip, I start laughing about it,” said Georgia fifth-year senior fullback Bruce Figgins, who was on the field on the play as a freshman tight end that season.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

3-18: talent vs. emotion

Michael Elkon and I have swapped a couple of e-mails about this Jeff Schultz post on Georgia’s recent history at the Cocktail Party.  While I think it’s foolish to deny the role that Georgia’s fragile mental state has played in the futility – as Schultz notes, nine ten interceptions in the last three games says something about that – I do wonder if he overstates his case a bit when he writes,“(w)hen one signature program loses 18 of 21 games to another, it’s not just about talent. At some point, it’s between the ears.”

The implication is that talent alone can’t explain 18 losses in 21 years.  But what I’m curious about in response to that is how many of those years would he say Georgia was the more talented team, Florida was the more talented team or the talent of the two was roughly equal.

Sad to say, searching in my head, I can only come up with three seasons when Georgia fielded the more talented bunch – 1992, 2003 and 2004.  By comparison, there are a lot more seasons when the Gators had the upper hand – from 1994 though 2001, 2006 and 2009.  The rest I’d call a draw (2005 would go onto the Dawgs’ side of the ledger had Shockley been available).

What do you guys think?  And how do you see the talent comparison this year shaping up based on what you’ve observed so far?


UPDATE:  You’ll find Elkon’s take here.

… Since 1990, Florida has finished first in the SEC nine times.  They have won the East ten times, or slightly more than 50% of all available titles.  They have three national titles.  In the same time period, Georgia has won two SEC titles, three divisional titles, and no national titles.  Schultz’s mistake is starting from the premise that Florida and Georgia are both “signature programs,” implying some sort of equality.  Georgia has the potential to be equal to Florida, especially if Florida State and Miami pose credible recruiting threats to the Gators in-state, but that potential has not been realized over the past 21 years.  That, more than some imaginary mental block, is the reason why Georgia has struggled in Jacksonville.

The good news, then, is that Georgia is a better team than Florida in 2011 (Georgia is almost five points better in SRS and about 5.5 points better according to the Sagarin Predictor) and the margin isn’t close if Jeff Brantley is either out or limited.  If Georgia loses this year, then we will have to examine what’s going on upstairs with this team.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Your move, Mr. Spock.

An artistic recreation of Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis preparing the Georgia gameplan

The Gainesville Sun’s Gator beat writer thinks Will Muschamp is up to something.

Is Brantley really going to play Saturday in Jacksonville? Or does Muschamp just want Richt and the Bulldogs to think he is?

I have a feeling Muschamp is playing mind games here. I think he wants the Georgia defense spending the week preparing for the Florida offense that Brantley runs, which is far different than the offense Driskel and fellow true freshman Jacoby Brissett have run.

If the Bulldogs knew Brantley was out, the game plan would be pretty simple and easy to follow: load the box with eight and nine defenders to shut down the run, then bring heat on the inexperienced quarterbacks in obvious passing situations.

Alabama did it  (in the second half.). LSU did it. Auburn did it.

Of course, if the Bulldogs think Brantley is playing, they’ll have to come up with a more complex plan to defend an offense with much better balance and an experienced quarterback who knows how to check in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage.

Ooh, what to do, what to do…

Two things here, as we ponder Andreu’s stab at eleventh-dimensional chess.  First off, does anyone really think it’s going to take Todd Grantham more than fifteen seconds to dial up a suitable defensive alignment once it’s obvious that Brantley isn’t in the game?

Second, this is Georgia-Florida.  Since when does Florida have to resort to mental gimmickry to win?


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Wednesday morning buffet

A little of this, a little of that… even a couple of political twists today.

  • DrB on defending Tech’s triple option “I dont give a shit if you get a late hit or unsportsmanlike penalty, you make that QB regret he stepped on the field.”  Crude, but effective.
  • Christian Robinson estimates that he’s at “97 percent”.  Not 90.  Not 95.  Not 99.  97.  You gotta be impressed with the kid’s sense of calibration.
  • For the first and (hopefully) last time in my life, I empathize with Rick Santorum.
  • John Pennington asks a good question:  “Isn’t it amazing how schools can jump from the Big 12 and MWC to the Pac-12, from the Big 12 to the Big Ten, and from the Big East to the ACC without massive threats of lawsuits?  Yet let anyone talk to the SEC and they’re going to be forced to lawyer-up.”  I don’t get it either.
  • Mike Bobo attended Will Muschamp’s wedding.
  • Here’s a look at the shift in the balance of power in the SEC.
  • Can the local college football team affect political results?  Well, “… a win in the 10 d before Election Day causes the incumbent to receive an additional 1.61 percentage points of the vote in Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support.”
  • Nine Florida players have transferred from the program since April.
  • And here are a pair of stats that speak volumes about Georgia’s season:  “Butler leads the Southeastern Conference in punting with a 46.1-yard average. Yet the Bulldogs are last in the conference in net punting with an average of 34.2 yards.”


Filed under College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

This is why they flock to the Flats.

I was never impressed with Chan Gailey’s salesmanship as a recruiter, but compared to Paul Johnson, he comes off like Ron Zook.

… Johnson was asked about negative recruiting tactics against Tech from rival coaches who tell prospects that they can’t get to the NFL if they go there.

Johnson said that “I just point out the guys from Tech that are in the NFL.” He added further that if a prospect looks at a college solely as a vehicle to get to the NFL, “he’s probably not coming to Georgia Tech anyway because if that’s his only concern, he’s going to go somewhere where there’s 100,000 people at the game and the school’s not hard.”

Paul Johnson is the only coach in America who negatively recruits against his own program.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting