Guess who’s filming an ESPN promo (h/t Radi Nabulsi)…
Dazzle us in the comments.
Everyone’s favorite former ESPN commenter switches his Presidential endorsement from Rick Perry to Rick Santorum (maybe he’s just partial to Ricks).
If James wants to do his party a favor, he ought to endorse Obama.
Every once in a while, the AJ-C‘s penchant for shit-stirring pays off. Michael Carvell’s follow-up to James Franklin’s whining about Josh Dawson’s late switch to Georgia evidencing a lack of integrity is a must read, if only for the delicious response he gets out of Larry Fedora, who had a kid snatched out from under him by Franklin.
“What does [Franklin] say about the kids that were committed elsewhere and de-committed from their places to go to his place? That’s my comment. What is his comment on those people? He’s got someone in his recruiting class that did that very thing. He’s saying those guys are not men of honor? Basically, he’s saying he has got kids in his own recruiting class that are not men of honor. He said that, and I didn’t.”
Ooh. I don’t think those guys will be exchanging cards this Christmas.
Read it all. When Lane Kiffin comes off sounding better than Franklin does on the subject, you know you’ve got a winner.
If you haven’t heard about the NCAA’s latest tinkering moves, you can get the details here. The changes are being made in the name of safety, or so they tell us (Paul Johnson’s got to love the blocking below the waist clarification, but I doubt there are very many defensive linemen’s knees which share his joy), but I wonder how some of it plays out at Georgia, given the way we know Mark Richt likes to manage the game.
Here’s the key change:
The committee voted to move the kickoff to the 35-yard line (currently set at the 30-yard line), and to require that kicking team players must be no further than five yards from the 35 at the kick, which is intended to limit the running start kicking teams have during the play. The committee also voted to move the touchback distance on free kicks to the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line to encourage more touchbacks. NCAA data indicates injuries during kickoffs occur more often than in other phases of the game.
Actually, that’s three changes. The kickoff line is being moved back to where it was before 2007, I believe. I presume that’s to lead to more kickoffs being driven into the end zone for touchbacks. And the move to the 25 for touchbacks, which is new, is an incentive for returners to take a knee.
But I can’t help but look at the risk/reward in play here – especially in light of the third leg, the five-yard rule – and think “directional kicking”. Even though your coverage unit can’t get as big a head start at going full speed, they’ll still start out five yards closer to the return man. Isn’t there a huge temptation to get your kicker to hang a kick high enough to try to get coverage in place, because any starting position inside the opponent’s 25-yard line will be an improvement? There’s a bigger margin of error now in play that’s going to be tempting to some.
What do you guys think Richt will do on special teams in light of these changes?
Matt Hinton finishes his suggestion list for how to put a plus-one together with this inspiring passage:
… And just as it’s about to grow from two teams to four, eventually that system will grow to six teams, then to eight, then to ten or twelve, the priorities and logistics expanding each time. At some point, it will probably be bigger and more inclusive than I’d like, and I’ll find myself leading the chorus of complaints about a “hot” team with three or four losses that never deserved to make the cut in the first place. At every point there will be teams on the wrong side of the cutoff that have a legitimate complaint about being left out. That will never change. But whatever the bracket looks like, and whatever the new complaints that come along with it, it’s still a step forward from the debacle that’s ruled the sport for the last 15 years.
I mean, who doesn’t feel his or her heart sing reading that?
I guess my problem is that I can’t sign on to the BCS hate the way many can. It’s certainly got its warts (insert Auburn 2004 reference here) and can stand improvement, but “the debacle that’s ruled the sport for the last 15 years”? At its lowest moment, the BCS has delivered something better than BYU, your 1984 national champion. At least the Bowl Alliance and the BCS have moved the sport in the direction of a meaningful title game without screwing everything else up that we like about college football. It’s not as if we’ve ever stopped caring.
Compare that with what we’re about to get now: endless refinement of a theme, endless pursuit of that last postseason dollar that doesn’t impact the regular season revenue stream, endless bitching about the team that didn’t get in… all so that we can end up whining about the hot team winning the title.
I can’t wait.
I can’t say I like Jay Jacobs’ answer here, but at least he’s more honest about it than Greg McGarity:
(Do you favor an 8-game or 9-game SEC schedule?)
“My thoughts are eight games in the SEC, knowing we have a championship game, that’s enough. We’re the most competitive league in the nation, and playing those eight games has proven to be what is best for each institution and what is best for the SEC, if you gauge it by national championships won.”
(That being said, there’s plenty of incoherent bullshit in that interview, unless you really believe that Jacobs knew when he hired Chizik that Auburn’s next two recruiting classes were going to fall by the wayside as they have. Oh, yeah, and Brian VanGorder was Chizik’s first choice all along, even though “… we didn’t know that Brian was going to be an option.” Whatever.)
Some traditions soldier on.