Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

Could Georgia be on the verge of real offensive line depth?

The most interesting thing Richt said today had to do with the offensive tackles.

If this is really the case, wow.  There are suddenly a lot of moving parts for Will Friend to play with.

I’m not sure I remember what a Dawg offensive line with honest, two-deep depth looks like.  But I sure wouldn’t mind having my memory refreshed this season.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Mark Richt, Dawg pornographer

From today’s G-Day presser:

Guess I’ll be watching somebody closely this Saturday afternoon.

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UPDATE:  If you’re up for it, Aaron Murray has some more Matthews porn for you.

The praise continues for freshman safety Tray Matthews, who apparently knocked receiver Justin Scott-Wesley for a loop. Scott-Wesley was not practicing on Tuesday, and it’s hard not to connect that fact with what Murray said earlier in the day about Matthews.

“I’ve never seen anyone with that kind of closing speed,” Murray said. “He’s had some hits I’ve never seen before in my life, these past couple scrimmages. He’s laid the wood – I thought he killed (Justin) Scott-Wesley. I really thought he was dead.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

“The right typeface, used consistently, builds character.”

This was deemed a big enough development for Greg McGarity to piggyback a presser on top of Richt’s G-Day one.  Ho-kay there.

Although if Nike’s involvement means we won’t ever see another stupid specialty uniform – I’m looking at you, fake juice – then I’m totally down with it.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Sometimes it’s hard to separate the sin from the sinner.

John Pennington gives us a “be careful what you wish for” warning about where the O’Bannon case could be headed.  I understand his underlying point that the suit could have a disastrous effect potentially on smaller revenue programs, but ultimately, doesn’t his argument boil down to empowering the NCAA and its big player members to keep up the status quo because it’s better for smaller schools to hang on to what little they’ve got than to let student-athletes trade on their names (like everyone else can) after they’ve left college athletics?

As for being blinded by hatred for all things NCAA, doesn’t the organization deserve even the slightest amount of blame for public sentiment?  If you give them a blank check to continue as things are, it’s hard to see how the NCAA ever takes steps to rein in the arrogance and short-sightedness that’s been a major factor in how it’s widely perceived.

If nothing else, O’Bannon is useful for shining some light on how these people operate.  Accountability has been sorely lacking.  Maybe a little sunshine is needed.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit are requesting new depositions after the NCAA filed statements last month from major college sports leaders who discussed deemphasizing college athletics if athletes share TV revenue. The NCAA opposes reopening discovery as a class certification hearing date nears in June.

Court documents filed last week show the plaintiffs want to depose 12 of 28 declarants who oppose the attempt to certify the case as a class action, including Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Texas Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds and SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack.

To quote the judge in Law and Order, counselor, your client opened the door.  Should people like Delany be held accountable for the rubbish (Pennington’s word, by the way) they’ve thrown out about the consequences of an adverse decision in the case?  Absolutely.  Is it possible they could be shamed enough to begin to see a reasonable way out of the mess they’ve helped create?  Well, I’m not sure shame is in Jim Delany’s vocabulary, but at worst it can’t hurt.

The reality is that the chase for the last dollar has twisted the logic behind the NCAA’s stated mission of amateurism – something which at its heart I still value, believe it or not – to a point where its defenders stopped making sense a long time ago.  All that’s happening now with O’Bannon is that they’re being called on it.  Call it hate if you want.  It feels more like frustration to me.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Taking stock of Georgia’s early season passing game

Chip Towers makes a good point in his piece about Chris Conley.

That should serve Conley well because it’s becoming increasingly clear he’s going to be on the field a lot for Georgia this fall. Until Bennett returns from rehab – he’s out until August – only Conley (36 catches for 630 yards, 8 TDs) and junior split end Malcolm Mitchell (85-1,237-8) have any notable game experience. The rest of Georgia’s receiving production will have to come from up-and-comers such as Justin Scott-Wesley and Blake Tibbs and experienced veterans like Rhett McGowan and Rantavious Wooten. Anything the Bulldogs’ get out of first-year players will be a bonus.

Brown and King are gone.  They combined last season for 69 catches and over 1,400 receiving yards.  There’s some production that’s got to be made up.  If Bennett comes back without missing a beat, he, along with Mitchell and Conley, should give Georgia more than solid options in its three-wide sets.  But what if he needs time to shake off some rust?

Some of the slack will no doubt be taken up by the tight ends.  Lynch was solid and Rome was really coming on at the end of last season.  And the bowl game hinted at getting Gurley and Marshall more involved in the passing game.  But while that’s all good, the offense needs the threat of that third wideout sometimes to spread the field and give Gurshall better rushing lanes when defenses stack the middle of the field against the I-formation stuff.

I’m guessing it’s going to be handled by committee between the likes of Scott-Wesley, Wooten and McGowan, unless somebody in the group emerges, or until Bennett shows he’s ready to step back into the starting three.  But it’s likely early on that Mitchell and Conley are going to be getting a work out.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“He does weigh a lot. That obviously helps.”

Here’s hoping that Quayvon Hicks turns out to be more than the Cornelius Washington of the fullback corps – you know, the Greek god with all the physical attributes who never quite figures out how to put it all together on a consistent basis when he’s on the field.

If nothing else, I’d love to see Hicks trucking out of one of my favorite plays.  Let’s do it, big guy.

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Filed under Georgia Football

You thought I was serious about that?, part two

This story just blows my mind.

Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials and former NBA referee Ed Rush has been investigated by the Pac-12 for comments made about Arizona coach Sean Miller in meetings that included several Pac-12 referees.

Rush, according to a source within the Pac-12 officiating group, told a group of referees on the Thursday of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they either “rang him up” or “ran him,” meaning hit Miller with a technical or toss him out of the game. Rush then reiterated during a Friday morning meeting, according to one referee in attendance, that officials should take similar action against Miller if he did anything on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA.

“He was emphatic about not dealing with him (Miller),” the ref told CBSSports.com. “He made that perfectly clear.”

And in fact, Rush got his wish.  Miller was rung up for a questionable technical foul in the game against UCLA and then was fined $25,000 by the league for confronting a game official after the game had concluded.

What about Rush, though?  Pac-12 commish Larry Scott is on the mother.

“Based on the review, we have concluded that while Rush made inappropriate comments that he now regrets during internal meetings that referenced rewards, he made the comments in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers,” Scott told CBSSports.com. “Following our review, we have discussed the matter with Rush, taken steps to ensure it does not happen again, and communicated our findings to all of our officials.”

That’s some joke.

I know this is a basketball matter, but don’t forget that the Pac-12 has a reputation for not giving a shit about what its officials do.  Scott’s gotten credit for cleaning things up on the football side, but there’s certainly more than a whiff of the more things change, the more things stay the same about this matter with Rush.

“He’s a bully,” the referee said of Rush. “He just bullies everyone. That was his whole tenor of the meeting on Friday. We’re all afraid of him. He’s the most respected basketball officiating person on the West Coast and he’s been given all the juice.”

Ed Rush did not wish to comment further, telling CBSSports.com, “Larry’s made a statement. I’m in concert with what he said. We’re going to move on from there.”

If you’re a football coach, what are you supposed to think about how the conference would deal with the next big officiating screw up?

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

You thought I was serious about that?, part one

That whole Bret Bielema playing macho head games with Nick Saban thing… he wants you to  know he was just funnin’, folks.

The thing is, I can’t figure out what’s supposed to be humorous about this comment:

“The reason the SEC is talked about all the time is one team, because of their dominance. But I didn’t come here to play Alabama. I came here to beat Alabama.

“You can take Saban’s record when he was at Michigan State and when he was a coach in the Big Ten and put it against mine, and he can’t compare.”

The only way that’s a joke is if you start with the premise that Bielema is an inferior coach to Nick Saban, and while I think most neutral observers would probably agree with that, Bielema doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who indulges in self-mockery, especially at a pep rally.

I suspect he wouldn’t have tweeted that if his comments hadn’t provoked the response they did, but, then again, he did it on April Fools Day, so maybe it’s the tweet we shouldn’t take seriously.  In the meantime, there’s some fuel for the SEC Media Days fire, no?

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal