Monthly Archives: December 2012

ESPN is bad for ESPN’s business.

Jon Solomon makes a good point about conference realignment in response to Andy Staples’ “the more things change, the more they stay the same” piece:

What’s different now are more high-profile schools from major conferences are realigning. In the process, that has or could impact some longstanding traditions, such as Texas-Texas A&M, Kansas-Missouri, Georgetown-Syracuse, West Virginia-Pittsburgh, and Maryland’s 60-year history in the ACC as a founding member.

That’s a direct consequence of the financial stakes being ever larger.  And why is that so?  Because the networks crave live sports broadcast product as their lifeblood.  Which makes this comment by ESPN’s programming guru either clueless or farcical:

“It’s sort of continued instability,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming. “We’re anxiously awaiting a period of stability. Instability is bad for business and that’s really all you need to say from our perspective. Every time it has happened, it’s had an impact and generally not a good one.”

Hey, Burke, the second you and your peers decide to quit cutting conferences bigger checks, it’ll all start settling down.  Get back to us when you figure that’s about to happen.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

It’s not fair because we say so.

As a follow-up to my post about LSU’s continued whining about cross-division scheduling, it’s worth pointing out this is what’s got Joe Alleva’s knickers in a wad.

Playing Florida is considered by some LSU fans as a real handicap for the Tigers, an insult, a challenge that’s just too tough.  But in 2011 the Gators went 6-6 in the regular season.  In fact, UF has lost four or more games in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011.  Will Muschamp led the Gators to an 11-1 record this past season, but Florida has still had six mediocre years in its last 12.  So that’s the great cross the Bayou Bengals must bear?

Jesus, dude.  Grow a pair.


Filed under SEC Football

Musical palate cleanser: where you been, son?

Meet the title cut from Dwight Yoakam’s first original album in seven years.

Do I detect a slight Springsteen melodic undertone?  Maybe.  Great tune from a strong album, one of his best.


Filed under Uncategorized

When a pompous force meets a narcissitic object…

You try to put the Laner and the Genius together in the same place, something like this seems almost inevitable.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Tech Football

Maybe it wasn’t about the money.

This little tidbit reported by Marc Weiszer makes me wonder if there was some subtle writing on the wall that Rodney Garner chose to interpret in a way that made leaving for the Plains more attractive:

Richt said he has not made a decision on whether he’ll name someone as recruiting coordinator, a role that Garner had.

“I don’t even know if we’ll need to do that,” Richt said. “I’ll be debating and trying to decide what’s in the best interest of everything, but we’ve got our in-house recruiting team and a lot of those things are going to be taken care of, things that need to get done administratively.”

Georgia hired Daryl Jones to a newly created position of director of on-campus recruiting last May.

“Things were already starting to change when we brought Daryl in, and lightening Rodney’s load, basically,” Richt said. “It is a tough job for a guy to do that full-time and coach.”

That’s thoughtful.  Except if you’re Garner, you don’t want the recruiting load lightened.  Sure, he’s put more than his fair share of defensive linemen in the pros, but, the reality is that much of his worth as a college assistant stems from his prowess on the recruiting trail.  Making him just another guy on the team isn’t necessarily in his best interest, and if Malzahn promised Garner that he’d retain primacy over Auburn’s recruiting process, perhaps that was enough to tip the scales.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Sign of the times

What does it say when stories like this one don’t generate much outrage over the fact that the kid may not have even known what he was signing, but instead have a compliance officer at a rival school tipping his cap to Saban’s ingenuity?

I guess we know what the next big thing in SEC recruiting circles is now.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

It could be worse.

Imagine how this news would have gone over if Georgia had won the SECCG.


Filed under Georgia Football

Secession over scheduling?

It’s hard to decide how much of this article to take seriously, especially when it’s coupled with this piece, but given the suggestion made in the conclusion of the latter (“It wouldn’t hurt one bit for LSU to do a little saber-rattling to get the SEC’s attention, to give greater voice to its concerns.”), I’m sort of intrigued by something suggested in the former.  Namely, it sounds like LSU is prepared to take up the banner again of what it perceives as unfair conference scheduling at next year’s SEC meetings.

LSU lobbied at the SEC Spring Meeting in May to eliminate permanent opponents but was soundly defeated. The school will push again at the next meeting in May. Failing that, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva proposes that the SEC adopt the Pac-12 model, which allows those schools that want permanent opponents to have them and those that do not to rotate.

That, of course, would let LSU out of its yearly meeting with Florida.  Too bad for most SEC fans who see that game as one of the conference’s best offerings year-in and year-out.  (And CBS, for that matter.)

What I really like is the sneering dismissal of conference rivalries.

The biggest continuing flaw in SEC football scheduling is the concept of permanent, opposite-division opponents. Permanent opponents are the SEC’s hide-bound attempt to cling to traditional rivalries that would otherwise be disrupted by East and West divisions, primarily Alabama/Tennessee and Auburn/Georgia.

One can argue those are rivalries worth preserving…

Gee, thanks for that.

It’s all about having the path greased to the BCS now.  Maybe they ought to let LSU pick it’s cross-division opponents each year.  And while they’re at it, they could wait a month into the season to choose them, so Alleva could really get a handle on which schools will pose the least challenging threat to the Tigers’ chances.

I can’t see Alleva actually threatening to leave the conference – the money’s too good and if he’s upset about Alabama’s pull, just wait ’til he gets a load of Texas’ power in the Big 12 – but the scheduling whining will be interesting to follow, especially since Georgia won’t be a target on that front in 2013.


Filed under SEC Football

High achievers

Interesting suggestion buried in this story about the record number of early enrollees Georgia expects to have in this next recruiting class:

Richt, who had only two early enrollees in 2011 and three last year, really pressed the issue with this year’s class to make up for roster deficiencies.  ”If there was any year we pushed it, it was this year,” Richt said. “We’re trying to get to 10. So that was an important thing for this year’s class. But most of the time we might bring it up, ‘If you’re the kind of guy that would be excited about getting a head star, great. If not, it’s not that big a deal.’”

It was a big deal for UGA this year after whiffing on numerous targets on last year’s signing day. To make up for it, the Bulldogs targeted a lot of recruits that had strong enough academics to be able to enroll early. “They would’ve been behind if they didn’t,”’s Chad Simmons said. “After (the small class) last year, they were really behind in numbers. It was really a good job by Georgia to go out and identify guys that had the option to graduate early … to help them catch up with (the 85-man roster limit).”

It’s reasonable to expect that early enrollees have drive and focus in spades.  After all, they’ve prepared to leave high school ahead of schedule.  What does that mean for a program when you add better academics to the mix?  I’d be curious to know if early enrollees have fewer discipline problems as a group and get on the field faster than do their mates who enroll at the usual point (as to the latter, the difference between the two is only one spring practice).  I’m sure we’d all like to think that’s the case, but these are still 17- and 18-year old kids we’re talking about here.

One thing seems certain – with about half of Richt’s largest signing class electing to enroll early, we’ll have an interesting sample size by which to judge this.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The hangover

If motivation is a big key to a bowl game (and I think it is), how much will it matter how Georgia’s last game finished?  That’s the question Christian Robinson tries to answer for the AJ-C:

“We all realize we came up a little short and that’s really disappointing,” the senior inside linebacker said of the SEC Championship game loss. “It was kind of sad around here for a little bit, but getting back out there and practicing we realize that we have a lot to show. We can still go down as one of the best teams in Georgia history. Just because you’re not playing for the national championship doesn’t mean you can’t be a special team. We have those types of players here and that type of leadership that hopefully we’ll show up and not give the (bowl) game away like we did last year.”

Robinson acknowledged the gap the Bulldogs have to fill between their last game and the next could derail some teams. However, he was confident the leaders on this year’s edition of the Bulldogs will make sure they give their best effort in Orlando.

He goes on to say there will be a clear indicator of whether the Dawgs decide to show up or not.

Just see how many big plays the Bulldogs give up.

“That’s usually what shows up when you have a long break — hustle plays,” he said. “Plays you normally didn’t have. You might have people loafing a little bit more, but coaches have done a great job conditioning us and honing in on those things more than X’s and O’s, because those are what win (games), especially with the type of talent we have. If we show up and do what we’re supposed to do and play physically, (we’ll) make plays.”

In case you’re wondering, Nebraska is ninth nationally in plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards.


Filed under Georgia Football