Vanderbilt takes on more of the trappings you’d expect of a big-time football program in Tennessee.
Daily Archives: May 14, 2013
If you’re a SEC AD, you want it all right now – as many home games as possible, as attractive a strength of schedule as possible, as much TV money as possible, etc. But you’re in a conference that struggles to get its scheduling act together as it tries to fit a fourteen-school square peg into a twelve-game regular season round hole.
It’s not that you can’t have nice things. It’s that nobody’s really sure what you can have.
“We have an idea of who we’ll play, but we don’t know when we’ll play,” McGarity said of the rotating cross-divisional opponent in the 6-1-1 format that also includes six division games and the permanent cross-division partner. “We know it will be a road game because Auburn’s coming back here in 2014. Whoever we play on the West side will be a road game. It hasn’t been finalized but Destin is when we’re planning to see everything because we’ve all got to move forward with dates, campus dates, homecoming dates and things like that.”
Shoot, no wonder McGarity says there won’t be a discussion about a potential nine-game conference schedule at Destin. When would they have the time to talk about it?
I tell you what – it’s been a long time since I’ve read anything that reeks of as much hypocrisy as this Matt Hayes article about Matthew Thomas, the kid who wants out of his LOI with FSU.
I really do feel for Jimbo Fisher, who’s in a tough spot entirely not of his own making. On the one hand, does he really want a disgruntled soul like Thomas hanging around his program? It’s hard to see right now how he makes a positive contribution in Tallahassee this season.
But on the other, Fisher’s peers are closing ranks, and just in the way you might expect.
… Here’s something else Fisher has become: the test case for his coaching fraternity.
“I told him, if he lets (Thomas) go free, precedent is set and everything changes,” said one BCS coach.
… I’ve spoken to three different BCS coaches who have reached out to Fisher and advised him to play it strictly by the book. In other words, if Thomas wants to leave, he can leave—but not without paying the NCAA penalty of sitting out a season of eligibility.
Tough guys. I wonder if one of the coaches who “reached out” to Fisher was Todd Graham. Now there’s somebody who’s paid the price for serially jumping ship.
It’s not the attitude that a confused 18-year old should be held to a higher standard for doing the same thing that a grown-ass man who has access to legal representation does that gets me. It’s that these selfish bastards expect us to share their attitude about it. But at least they got Hayes to cheerlead for them.
At this point, I think there’s a pretty general consensus that the best reaction to Big Game Bob’s assertion that the SEC isn’t all that because, hey, their crappy teams put their pants on one leg at a time just like the Big 12’s crappy teams do is to yawn because it’s a fairly meaningless observation, particularly given that he’s comparing the bottoms of a 14-team conference and a 10-team one.
But you should know somebody’s got Stoops’ back. Mr. Decided Schematic Advantage has weighed in. (Is there something about being a former Gator assistant coach that’s conducive to whining about this?) And let’s face it – Weis at least has the currency of perspective here.
“We were the only team in the whole league that didn’t play in a bowl game. It was us. We were the sole member,” Weis said. “You talk about bottom-feeders, you think Iowa State was a bottom-feeder?”
Now there’s you some conference pride, buddy!
Nobody knows suck like Charlie Weis knows suck.
Admittedly, this is rich coming from a guy who still can’t bring himself to watch a replay of last year’s SECCG, but I’m starting to worry about that game’s lingering effect on the collective psyche of Georgia’s staff and players.
Listen to what Mike Bobo says in Seth Emerson’s terrific piece about the play that would have been called if the pass that wound up in Chris Conley’s hands… er, hadn’t.
“Like probably everybody out here, I don’t think we’re ever gonna get over that game,” he said. “First meeting back with the players back, and the offense, I said: Men, people keep telling you you’ve gotta get over it and get ready to go. The bottom line is you’re never gonna get over it, you gotta learn to live with it, you’ve gotta regroup to play the next game, and get better the next day.
“We’ve all got ‘em, if you’ve been in this sport long enough. I’ve got a couple from high school, a couple from my playing days in college. And you’re gonna have them in coaching too. That’s just part of the game, that’s what makes it great. We were in that situation, we were in that game, and (are) proud of how hard our guys fought, how hard they played.”
Now that’s the right to say as a coach. And it’s the right way to absorb the disappointment. But it’s one of those easier said than done things, I’m afraid. Just check out Keith Marshall’s comments about how last season played out.
But it only got worse a month later when he watched that same Alabama team crush a completely overmatched Notre Dame team in the Discover BCS National Championship.
“That hurt; I’m not gonna lie,” Marshall said. “I feel like we could have done the same thing. Everybody obviously watched the SEC championship — that was the national championship. (The BCS title game) wasn’t even competition.”
What really shook Marshall was how dominant Alabama’s running game was against the Irish. Led by the dynamic duo of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, the Tide pounded away with 265 rushing yards.
With how well Georgia’s own rushing tandem of Marshall and Todd Gurley did in 2012, the two could only sulk when watching how easy Alabama’s backs had it.
“I was just looking and thinking that could have been us,” Gurley said. “We could have done the same thing.
“That might have hurt worse than losing (to Alabama in the SEC championship game), just to see how bad they did them and how bad they were running on them.”
Time heals all wounds, of course, and there’s plenty of time to go before the season starts to internalize the lesson from the loss. But these coaches and players are only human. Which means that Richt’s got a big job to do with this bunch heading into the Clemson game. The good thing from my selfish standpoint is that in the past couple of seasons he’s shown he’s more than capable of handling that.