Daily Archives: May 25, 2012

Sources? Who needs sources?

I could couldn’t care less if Georgia hired Daryl Jones to gain an edge in the recruitment of Robert Nkemdiche – although given the school’s traditionally firm grasp on a dollar, does any sane observer of the program really think McGarity would shell out 110 grand in the hopes of landing one kid, even a great one like Nkemdiche? – but, even with that, man, this Yahoo! piece (h/t The Lady Sportswriter) is something else.

Check out the header and then see if you can find a single quote from or reference to a third party in support of it.  Just awful.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Some follow up thoughts on the Richt contract

As Adams and McGarity pat themselves on the back for the way they’ve threaded the needle on Richt’s compensation, I can’t help but wonder something that I’ve wondered before.  How much is Mark Richt motivated by incentive clauses?  Does this sound like somebody who lives to squeeze every nickel he can out of life?

“I’m not gonna work any harder to get these guys graduated because of a bonus or because of a policy. My intention from the first day I got to Georgia is to do everything we possibly can to support these guys and motivate these guys and discipline these guys if need be to take care of their academic responsibilities. It doesn’t change the way we do anything.”

Not to these ears.

Indeed, this whole thing smacks of the NeSmith silliness from a few years ago.  The truth is that this attention to incentives isn’t so much about motivating Richt as it is about making a goodly chunk of the fan base (including some who are involved in the decision-making process) feel better.  That this kind of thinking has gone from mockworthy to being taken seriously says a lot more about us than it does about Richt, I’m afraid.

I’m not saying that to defend Richt.  Westerdawg’s message board post about the coach having nobody to blame but himself for where fan support is now is spot on, in my opinion.  But the idea that this new contract emphasis on performance incentives will be some sort of magic bullet that will spur Richt to higher levels of accomplishment is unserious thinking at its worst.  I don’t know whether the source for that is Adams, McGarity or both, but if you’re a fan of the program, or of Georgia athletics in general, it should trouble you.

And speaking of Georgia athletics, McGarity’s announcement that David Perno’s continued employment at Georgia is not a matter in jeopardy (“It’s not even an issue.”) makes for an interesting juxtaposition here.  Not in the decisions themselves – Richt’s dismissal isn’t even on the table after a successful 2011 season – but in the difference in the firmness displayed in the calls.  Empires have risen and fallen in less time than it’s taking to put Richt’s new deal to bed, yet McGarity is able to affirm Perno’s status, despite increasingly shaky results, in the blink of an eye.

Groo’s linked post raises a good point.

It is, though, an attempt to understand the expectations that the athletic department has of the Georgia baseball program. McGarity will be held to his own rubric for evaluating coaches which includes this expectation: “Develop a program that is competitive in the SEC and nationally, understanding that the definition of ‘competitive’ is different from sport to sport.”

That’s what’s puzzling about McGarity’s statements about the state of the program. Over the long term, and that matters, Perno has taken Georgia to half of its College World Series.

All of which makes me wonder if there isn’t something of a double standard in play here.  How would the fan base and, more importantly, how would Adams, McGarity and the Athletic Board feel today about Richt if his career in Athens had played out in the context of, say, a sixteen-team D-1 football playoff?

I believe I recently read that Georgia is one of only three SEC schools never to win a conference title in baseball.  Given the way college baseball is structured these days, that’s close to an irrelevancy – just ask South Carolina – but can you imagine the hue and cry if that were the case with Georgia’s football program over the past decade or so?  (In fact, it was the case in the nineties and you see where that got Goff and Donnan.)

We’re in a weird place, man.

45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Roster management watch

Two down, four to go.

These departures leave USC unofficially with 89 scholarship players on the roster for 2012 including the incoming freshman class.

Maybe somebody in the media can get a clever quip from Spurrier about that.

13 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius

The Essential Smart Football: a review

I haven’t played organized football since the seventh grade.  (Sadly, there isn’t much of a call in high school for kids who weigh less than 100 pounds.)  I’ve never coached the game.  I’m this guy:

… interested fans may have a variety of backgrounds in football – played in high school, played in college, coached little league or never even played a down – but want to learn more about how the game works.  “Yes, the quarterback threw a touchdown or an interception,” they ask, “but why?”

That’s from the introduction of Chris Brown’s excellent new book, The Essential Smart Football, and if, like me, you tend to ask that question, then his title is very much accurate.  You don’t have to tell a Georgia fan that Charlie Strong’s 3-3-5 defenses at South Carolina often tied Georgia up in knots, but there’s an entire chapter in the book devoted to how that defense evolved, the ways in which Strong adapted it to his personnel and how it worked.  In the end, you’ll have a much greater appreciation for why that 2000 game was such a disaster.  And that’s exactly what a book like this should do for a football fan.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Chris’ blog is his ability to make me take time to think about strategy – this is probably my favorite example of that.  I mention that link on purpose.  The Essential Smart Football is a descendent of Zimmerman’s The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football, albeit one that spends an equal amount of time exploring the game on the college level, and succeeds much in the same way.  And just like with the earlier work, I suspect I’ll be pulling Chris’ book out at times to refresh my thinking about some tactical move.  Hell, he’s managed to make the NFL interesting to me and I haven’t cared about pro football for a long time.  I can’t think of any higher praise than that.

At 139 pages, The Essential Smart Football is not a long read, but it’s well worth your time.   Highly recommended.

(Links for purchase can be found here.  Interview with Chris about the book here.  And here.)

6 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics