Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

Envy and jealousy: pay the unibrow!

From the always great Charles Pierce comes this bit in his piece about the Final Four and its place in NCAA hypocrisy:

… Davis has become something of a celebrity based not only on his game, but also based on his eyebrows, which are only barely separated at the top of his nose. The “unibrow” phenomenon has taken off. “It’s great for him because it’s given him a lot of publicity off of that,” said Kentucky guard Marquis Teague. “Only he can pull that off.” In fact, sales of fake eyeglasses with unibrows above them have exploded.

“That’s great. People did a good job making them,” said Davis, who, of course, cannot profit from any of this. The man doesn’t even have the economic rights to his own face. I’m surprised the NCAA doesn’t make him wear a bag with its logo. That’s my contribution to the changing paradigm: I think every play — er, student-athlete — should be able to turn a buck on his eyebrows.

Sure, it’s a small barrel.  But he’s a very good shot.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Tales from the recruiting trail: just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it ain’t true.

Jordan Jenkins tells a story that shows Gene Chizik to be pretty adept at negative recruiting in a lighthearted way:

“… When coach Gene Chizik was comparing Auburn and Alabama, he put up a slide that showed they had more wins, more this and that … then he started talking about Florida and how Will Muschamp follows in his shoes. I started busting out laughing. He said ‘When I was at Auburn the first time [as an assistant] and after I left, Muschamp came here. Then I was at Texas and after I left, Muschamp came there.’ He went on and on. He said ‘Muschamp just follows in my footsteps’ and it was hilarious the way he said it.”

Boom!  Jenkins qualified it by saying “This wasn’t meant to be as insulting as it sounds”, but I thought it came out just right.  In fact, he could have made an even stronger point by noting which of the two were on staffs which won national titles during that period.


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Recruiting

SOD’s smackdown

Admittedly, I’ve never been in the arena, but it seems to me that if I were a college football coach and one of my scholarship players expressed a desire to play a second sport and I didn’t cotton to that, it would be a relatively simple and private matter to tell said player “no” and then, for emphasis, to call the other coach to say “hells, no”.

But then again, I’m not Derek Dooley.

Coach Derek Dooley didn’t seem too excited about rising sophomore TE Cameron Clear considering playing basketball in addition to football for the Vols. “I’m going to show him the film and say ‘You’re not good enough to play basketball,'” Dooley said. “We need Cam full-time.”

I’m trying to think of another head coach who goes out of his way in public to humiliate players who make decisions he dislikes as routinely as SOD does.  And I’m drawing a blank.  Why would you want to play hard for this guy?


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Get some new tea leaves, dude.

I wonder where Mark Emmert got this from.

As the basketball Final Four tipoff neared, someone asked NCAA president about the possibility of major college football going to some form of playoff.

While noting that he doesn’t get to make that decision — “That will be up to the university presidents and commissioners of the FBS,” he said — Emmert did sound like a guy who expects a playoff to occur relatively soon.

“The momentum seems to be — and I’m just reading the tea leaves, pretty much like you — the momentum seems to be toward an eight-team playoff,” he said.

Does anyone seriously think Emmert’s getting this spin from people like Scott or Delany?  Don’t be silly; this is wishful thinking being pushed by the mid-major conference heads, who are in the room but have little say over how the final form of the postseason will be jiggered into place.

I guess Emmert has more time to pay attention to his tea leaves since his agenda isn’t moving along so quickly.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The NCAA

Do you have to run the ball to win in the SEC?

Allen Kinney shares some thoughts about Barrett Sallee’s post on Texas A&M’s spread offense which I had previously criticized here.  After reading what Allen posted, I’m wondering if some of this debate is fueled by differences over semantics – not exactly a surprise when you talk about the spread.

For example, I think Allen has it right when he says,

There are so many versions of the “spread” as it relates to offensive schemes that the term itself doesn’t have much utility now. The offenses run by Urban Meyer and Mike Leach really have little in common. In reality, teams are mixing and matching so many offensive concepts today that trying to fit any scheme into catch-all buckets is generally pointless.

But then he falls into the same rationale that Sallee cited originally, and, as I posted before, it’s not convincing.

… Sallee is absolutely correct that teams running spread offenses along the lines of the Air Raid generally haven’t been found near the top of the SEC standings. But how many have really tried? Sallee points out two notable pass-happy flame-outs: Dave Clawson’s offense at Tennessee in 2008 and Tony Franklin’s half-season at Auburn.

The idea that Clawson’s offense in his one-year disaster at UT was pass-happy comes as a surprise to me.  The Vols ran the ball 100 times more than they threw it in ’08; the 2007 offense threw the ball more than it ran.  As for Franklin, it was clear from the get-go that Tuberville was never committed to running the spread offense the way Franklin envisioned.  (Neither were Franklin’s fellow assistant coaches.)

As for pass-happy offenses succeeding in the SEC, the nineties saw two pass-oriented systems work and work well:  Spurrier’s Fun ‘n’ Gun and Mumme’s Air Raid.  Now that’s not to say that the two programs saw equal success in terms of wins and losses, just that both were effective in moving the ball and scoring points.

And that may be where the discussion breaks down here.  Sallee seemed to be making the argument that Kingsbury’s offense can’t work as it is in the SEC.  That’s a different argument than saying TAMU won’t win in the SEC this season if it runs some version of the Air Raid attack.

There’s no question that the SEC is a defense-oriented conference.  It’s also a conference loaded with talent, as Allen points out.

… The chances that Kingsbury and Sumlin’s offense will continue to put up the same Nintendo-like numbers they’ve become accustomed to are slimmer than the prospects of finding a vegan restaurant in Tuscaloosa. The overall level of talent in the SEC is simply better, and Big 12 immigrants A&M and Missouri, another pass spread team, will find themselves even lower in the talent stack than they were in their previous home.

The odds of success in the SEC drop dramatically if you can’t stop the other guy fairly consistently (unless you’re blessed with a transcendent talent like Cam was).  Any offensive system can only take you so far, even if it’s one a coaching staff is committed to and even if it’s one run with proficiency.  And that’s how TAMU should be judged this season, although I suspect that Allen’s correct when he says that if things don’t go well, it’ll be the system that takes the brunt of the blame.


Filed under SEC Football

Thinking outside the box

I can’t say with any certainty that it’s definitively the case, but I’m seeing and hearing an awful lot of chatter lately that Georgia is looking hard at this guy to fill this position.  If so, let’s concede that’s something few, if any, of us saw coming.

I don’t know if that will work or not, but if true, it’s another indication that Richt is making a serious effort to reinvent the program.

As for the larger implications of what such a hire would mean, considering Simmons’ background, I think I’ll save that for a future post if he actually becomes the new hire.

In the meantime, I’m curious as to your thoughts about Richt even considering this.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Hone this, jerkoff.

John Infante sees a clash coming.

The NBA and the union are studying the age limit with a possible move to 20 years-old and two years out of high school. The NCAA is mulling reductions in the number of basketball games and has already passed new initial eligibility requirements that may sideline for a year many of the players the NBA was looking to get extra time to evaluate.

The NBA isn’t the slightest bit worried about whether kids are sufficiently mature, either physically or emotionally, to handle life as a pro.  This is all about calibrating the period as to when their skills have been sufficiently prepared to be able to contribute to the team which drafts them.  So why pussyfoot around, NCAA?  Go the whole enchilada and reinstate freshman ineligibility for college basketball.  It’s not as if most of those kids couldn’t use the extra time to acclimate themselves to college.

I’m being facetious, of course.  But I really don’t get why the NCAA doesn’t adopt the signing standards already in place for baseball (sign straight out of high school or wait until after junior year in college) across the board and challenge the NBA and NFL to go along.  No, they wouldn’t have to, but they’d take a tremendous PR hit for failing to do so.  They’d own the NCAA’s plantation.


Filed under The NCAA