Monthly Archives: April 2013

Dawg porn for the recruiting trail

Jeez, somebody get this guy on tape, fast:

Here’s what Bengals defensive backs coach Mark Carrier told reporters after Cincinnati took Shawn Williams in the third round: “One thing you like about this kid is he played in a NFL-style defense with Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator down there at Georgia and he barked out a lot of signals, they give you a lot of different looks and obviously had a lot of guys in this draft and one I think I like and fits right in with our room is that he’s not afraid to stick his face in the fire. That’s a big deal for me and a big deal for our room. You come play for us, you better be ready to go hit somebody.”

They ought to hand that out to every defensive recruit they’re chasing.

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Destroying the divisions to save the schedules

I know most of the attention that’s gone the Big Ten’s way over its new divisional realignment has come in the form of mockery over abandoning Delany’s stupid “Legends” and “Leaders” nomenclature, but the real story for me as how that league has managed in a fairly short period to blow up some of its traditional rivalries, while preserving others.  It’s a real case study.

To catch you up, the Big Ten announced it’s going to a nine-game conference schedule in a couple of years.  In the meantime, the new conference schedule calls for two cross-divisional games, both of which will be scheduled on a rotating basis.  When the league goes to nine games in 2016, the cross-division schedule will increase to three, but all the games will continue to be scheduled on rotation, except for one rivalry game, between Indiana and Purdue, that will be protected.

The conference managed to protect some longstanding rivalries on an annual basis, like Wisconsin/Minnesota and Michigan/Ohio State, by putting those schools in the same division – so much for trying to grease the skids for that special matchup in the conference championship – but the oldest trophy rivalry is gone, and so are a few others.  (But, hey, welcome back one!)

I’m not saying there are any big lessons to be learned here.  There’s no way to please everyone as you go from a round-robin arrangement to a cross-divisional one.  And Delany has chosen the particularly messy course of division re-jiggering with this last round, as opposed to what the SEC did.  But it could have been worse.

Which has me wondering – could the SEC do something similar that would work?

You’d have to put the two Mississippi schools in the same division, maybe along with Arkansas, TAMU and Missouri, none of which have any historical rivalries with SEC teams, but do at least have geographic cohesiveness and some historical common ties.  The reason you’d have to do that on one side is because you’d have to put Alabama in the same division with its two oldest rivals, Auburn and Tennessee, which in turn would require Georgia’s presence for Auburn and then Florida would have to be a part of it for the Cocktail Party.  Vanderbilt would go along with Tennessee and that puts you at six teams.

That leaves Kentucky, LSU and South Carolina left to sort out in the mix.  I’ll leave you to take that where each needs to go, but the bottom line is that by moving the two Alabama schools eastwards, the conference could save a bunch of rivalry games and still get the benefit of rotating the cross-divisional ones.  It sure makes staying with an eight-game conference schedule more palatable.

43 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

The talent gap in Georgia closes.

Really, isn’t that the best way to make lemonade out of the lemons otherwise known as Georgia Tech’s NFL draftee numbers… er, number?  I mean, the Dawgs have eight kids selected, the Jackets have no picks, so wouldn’t that mean the 2013 rosters are more balanced?  Amirite?

Heck, even Mark Bradley won’t swallow that one.  Tech is getting killed in recruiting and there’s not enough genius in the Genius to make up for that.  Attitude in a head coach will only take you so far – shoot, James Franklin’s got that, but the reason there isn’t an AD who wouldn’t take Franklin over Johnson at this point is because Franklin can recruit kids and hire competent defensive coaches.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for that certain combination of schadenfreude and sour grapes that marks the Tech fan, StingTalk, as always, is your go-to destination.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Officer, can’t this wait?

I got back last night and switched on the tube to check to see which Dawgs had gotten selected when my ears perked up with what has to be my favorite story of the draft.

The seventh round saw the Browns select two Divsion II school players. East Central Oklahoma defensive end Armonty Bryant. Bryant was arrested in October for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer during practice.

It’s not exactly clear whether Bryant was selling at practice, but he was certainly arrested there.  Can you imagine the shitstorm that would ensue if that ever happened in Athens?

Here’s hoping that Jimmy Williamson doesn’t watch the draft shows.

37 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment

Context is a beyotch.

Hey, last night amidst all the excitement over the NFL draft, the NCAA’s chief legal officer saw fit to weigh in on the O’Bannon case.

“Instead, the plaintiffs take out of context quotes and statements from representatives of member conferences and institutions, and even NCAA officials, and attempt to weave them together to support their faulty theory.

Them bastids is even twisting our words!

How much twisting was needed for this, I wonder.

In one e-mail exchange in 2005, former NCAA official Bo Kerrin noted there is “real concern” that the NCAA’s use of athletes’ images in video games “adds to the argument that student-athletes should be unionized and receive a cut of the profits, etc.”

During a different 2005 e-mail exchange with NCAA Vice President David Berst, then-Ivy League compliance coordinator Brian Barrio questioned whether the use of personally identifiable characteristics of players in video games was a liability for the NCAA. Barrio said he heard the same concern at his previous job at Ohio State.

“This seems to go beyond the plausible deniability inherent in selling a jersey with a uniform number but no name on the back,” Barrio wrote. “Is anyone at the NCAA tracking on this issue? We wanted to make sure there is an awareness of the level of identification in this game, given that it is presently one of the highest-selling video games on the market.”

Later in that e-mail thread, NCAA membership services official Steve Mallonee raised similar concerns with NCAA colleagues Kevin Lennon and Kerrin.

“The jersey number along with the position and vital statistics is clearly an attempt to have the public make the association with the current student-athlete,” Mallonee wrote. “And it appears to be working. The Best Damn Sports Show was aired several weeks ago and had (then-USC football players) Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush acknowledging that they were in the video game.

“That then raises the issue of whether getting in line with technology means being more restrictive or lenient with our rules. … The biggest concern I have is that such a position really does allow for the maximum commercial exploitation of the (student-athlete) and if that occurs, will it be long before we can defend not giving them a piece of the profits?”

Oof.

Donald, looks like you got some more ‘splainin’ to do.

2 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Michael Adams, smh

If you want a distillation of what makes Butts-Mehre run the way it does, look no further than Michael Adams’ explanation of why the guy running the most profitable athletic department in the country ranks twelfth in salary in the conference.

“I think there’s a fundamental issue there that we have to solve going forward,” Adams said. “I think Greg is great; I think we have to be cognizant of the market. Whether or not we have to be completely bound by the market is a decision that somebody else will make. Greg is basically a senior administrator. He now makes more money than any other senior administrator but me. How far do you go down that road and you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You’re preaching unity with the body politic on one hand and you’re creating division on the other…”  [Emphasis added.]

There you have it.  It’s not a matter of how well you do your job.  It’s a matter of how willing you are to subordinate yourself to Adams.

I’m really gonna miss that guy.

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Filed under Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

Georgia, steady flowing pipeline to the pros

John Pennington takes a look at which current SEC schools have produced the most pro talent and compiles this chart:

SEC Rank   Picks ’93-’12   Picks ’03-’12   Picks ’08-’12   Picks ’12   1st Rd Picks ’03-’12
  1   Georgia 101   Georgia 56   LSU 30   Alabama 8   LSU 12
  2   Tennessee 101   LSU 56   Georgia 28   Georgia 7   Alabama 11
  3   Florida 98   Florida 48   Alabama 24   S. Carolina 6   Florida 9
  4   Alabama 85   Alabama 45   Florida 20   LSU 5   Georgia 8
  5   LSU 82   Tennessee 39   S. Carolina 18   Arkansas 4   Auburn 7
  6   Texas A&M 66   Auburn 33   Arkansas 15   Texas A&M 4   Tennessee 7
  7   Auburn 62   S. Carolina 31   Auburn 15   Miss. State 3   Arkansas 6
  8   Arkansas 48   Arkansas 29   Missouri 13   Florida 2   Missouri 5
  9   Miss. State 47   Texas A&M 25   Tennessee 13   Kentucky 2   Ole Miss 5
  10   S. Carolina 46   Missouri 21   Texas A&M 13   Vanderbilt 2   S. Carolina 5
  11   Ole Miss 40   Ole Miss 21   Kentucky 11   Auburn 1   Texas A&M 4
  12   Kentucky 35   Miss. State 16   Ole Miss 10   Missouri 1   Miss. State 2
  13   Missouri 29   Kentucky 15   Miss. State 9   Ole Miss 1   Vanderbilt 2
  14   Vanderbilt 21   Vanderbilt 12   Vanderbilt 8   Tennessee 1   Kentucky 1

That is some remarkable consistency – through three head coaches – for Georgia.  And some of you might try reading between the lines to see what that chart says about one Rodney Garner.

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UPDATE:  It’s not just about recruiting.  Check out what Mike Tomlin had to say about Jarvis Jones.

“When you look at the outside linebackers in 3-4 defenses, generally there is some projection and so forth involved in the evaluation,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “This was an easy evaluation from that standpoint. He plays in a very similar scheme, he’s asked to do things in a manner in which he’ll be asked to do it here in Pittsburgh. Very little guesswork in that regard made it a fun evaluation and made it a comfortable evaluation. He excelled in what they asked him to do, and he’ll be asked to do similar things here.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

FSU, they’re just not that into you.

If you’re wondering how FSU, which supposedly looked for a way out of the ACC for a while, signed on to that shiny new grant of media rights, remember that it always takes two to tango:

Since that time, Barron and FSU officials apparently have done just that, including exploring the possibility of joining the likes of Florida, Alabama and LSU in the SEC.

While it’s difficult to confirm how far those talks advanced, FSU officials came away with the understanding that the SEC saw little financial incentive to adding the Seminoles. Bringing on FSU would neither expand television markets nor open recruiting territories.

Just because you’re willing to go to bed with somebody doesn’t mean your partner will accept.  At least not if he or she is sober.  Or, if you prefer it stated in more commercial terms, you’re not offering enough to make it worth somebody’s while.

12 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Guilty until proven innocent.

Gee, maybe now we know why Isaiah Crowell was nervous during that arrest.

The charges that were leveled against former Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell last summer and ultimately led to his dismissal by the Bulldogs were dismissed by the State of Georgia this week.

According to court documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, the felony charge of possessing a weapon with an altered ID mark and misdemeanor charges of possession and carrying a concealed weapon without a license and carrying a weapon within in a school zone, were dropped by Athens-Clarke County District Attorney Kenneth Mauldin.

In the dismissal document filed by assistant D.A. James Chafin, it was explained to the court while the gun was found under the driver’s seat of Crowell’s car, which belonged to his mother, “the state would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant actually possessed the weapon or even knew it was there.”

I’m sure the mea culpas will be flowing shortly – I’m looking at you, Coach Dooley and Mark Bradley.

Some random thoughts:

  • This is what sucks about living in a 24-hour news cycle/Internet reaction world, that rush to judgment that feels so good, yet ultimately holds no accountability.  There’s no place for nuance, or for letting little things like the judicial system run their course.
  • Which is why I can’t blame Mark Richt for the decision to let Crowell go.  Standing by the kid would have been an enormous distraction.  But I bet Richt gets plenty of mileage out of this going forward dealing with the media and its next rush to judgment.
  • Does Georgia get a Fulmer Cup mulligan?
  • I figure Jimmy Williamson still counts this as a notch on his gun.
  • Remember where this all started:  “an officer smelled an odor of marijuana”, although none was found in the car at the time of the arrest.

Bottom line is that there’s a pretty high asshole quotient with this story.

103 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Rematch on steroids

Upon hearing that, Les Miles immediately began lobbying Mike Slive to go to a seven-game conference schedule.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football