If what I’m hearing is true, I want a mulligan on the first half of Georgia’s 2010 season. Or at least an explanation from Georgia’s decision makers why they weren’t more aggressive dealing with the NCAA. Because this is a complete joke:
Look, either Manziel took money or he didn’t. If he did, then he should be gone, period. If he didn’t or, perhaps more accurately, the NCAA doesn’t have convincing proof that he did, then that should be the end of the matter.
So what’s gained by giving Manziel a shorter penalty than a player flagged for targeting will get? Is it some sort of mea culpa from the school, rather than the player, to send the NCAA on its way? Or just another example of Emmert winging it? I’ve got no idea, although it makes little sense that it’s coming from the NCAA. All I know is if this is how things go down, it makes everyone except Manziel look a little stupider. And I think we all know how it’ll make Manziel look.
UPDATE: Year2 ties together what Manziel may be getting dinged over. Bottom line is that Johnny Football outsmarted the NCAA. (Not that, as Cecil Newton proved, that’s too hard to do.)
UPDATE #2: I wonder what Mr. Jones is thinking about now.
This is what LeMay saw from Jordan Jenkins:
As I said, I would have been a little unnerved, too.
I don’t want to read too much into this – and I freely admit to heightened sensitivity because we heard so much similar talk in Athens the last two seasons – but does anybody else find it curious how Clemson folks are downplaying the outcome of Saturday night’s game? Here’s Dabo:
Swinney said Tuesday that his eighth-ranked Tigers can’t get too caught up in what happens against the Bulldogs at Death Valley, win or lose. There’s a long season remaining and even a defeat won’t derail Clemson from its championship goals.
“So what?” Swinney said about a potential Tigers’ win. “You’ve got to be careful. It’s not a one-all, end-all deal. It’s a long season. We’ve got 12 games on the schedule. Every opponent is critical. We’ve got much bigger goals than an opening game.”
Tajh Boyd is on the same page.
“This is not a make or break game, regardless of the outcome,” Boyd said. “It’s a long season. Win or lose, we’ll have to get ready for the next situation.”
I get the coachspeak aspect of this. And as I said, it’s not like we haven’t heard plenty of similar talk before out of Athens. It’s just that usually when we hear it from Georgia, it’s in the wake of losing a key game, not before the game’s been played. Speaking of which, it’s not how Richt is talking now.
“We’re trying to be in midseason form by Game 1,” coach Mark Richt said. “A lot of things have to be done to get us ready for that gauntlet. We know it’s coming. We’ll be ready.”
I’m not saying it’s going to have an impact in the opener. It’s just something that caught my eye. What do you guys think?
This piece is getting attention because of Herbstreit’s accusation that defensive coaches are reacting to the pace of no-huddle offenses by cheatin’.
“No one is talking about this, but look for more fake injuries by the defense,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. “I’ve talked to defensive coaches. These guys are actually practicing faking injuries in practice.”
But that’s really on the officials, isn’t it? And if James Franklin is correct about this…
“You watch time and time again, not everybody is set when the ball is snapped, and they can’t officiate like that because they can’t keep up with the pace of the game,” Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. “I don’t really have a concern with the styles. I just want to make sure we’re all playing by the same rules.”
… then it’s not exactly one side that’s getting away with gamesmanship.
Anyway, that’s not the part that interests me. This is:
There’s an extremely valuable player in college football these days. His position name may differ at each school from nickel back to strong safety to star to outside linebacker — this assumes he even exists on some defenses — but his attributes are similar.
He stands about 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. He can run, defend in space, play man coverage and blitz.
“You’re going to see this year more emphasis on the hybrid defensive player,” Herbstreit said. “These offenses that go tempo, they’re predicated on numbers in the box. Saban can’t get six defensive backs on the field on third-and-eight like he wants to. You have to run the same defense with the same personnel. You need versatility, guys who can be physical and run.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read that, my mind turned to a certain player with a hyphenated name who won’t be seeing the field Saturday night for Georgia. And then I thought about how Nebraska’s hurry-up made Georgia’s defense look disorganized with its substitutions in the Cap One game. I hope Clemson doesn’t give me cause to curse that blunt.
We’re oh so close. The buffet is here for you.
Interesting tidbit from Paul Myerberg’s excellent Georgia preview:
Georgia is 18-3 since the start of the 2007 season when intercepting two or more passes, including a 3-0 mark in such games a year ago. In fact, this record improves to 18-1 when counting only regular-season games; two of these losses came in bowl play, to Michigan State in the 2012 Outback Bowl and UCF in the 2010 Liberty Bowl.
You know who I bet already knew that?
Todd Grantham is usually pretty tight-lipped with information about his players, schemes or basically almost everything. But when it comes to stats, especially good ones, Georgia’s defensive coordinator can rattle them off quickly.
Such as when the subject of forcing turnovers came up.
“I think since I’ve been here we’re probably winning 95 percent of our games since we’re plus-one or more (in turnover margin),” Grantham said. “And we’ve had what, 62 in the last two years. I think it’s critical you get turnovers.”
All of which may shed some light on Brendan Langley’s and Shaq Wiggins’ rapid climb up the depth chart.
So there are indications that Georgia may be strategizing around it by emphasizing turnovers a bit more – though of course Grantham will never come out and say that. But the fact freshman Brendan Langley vaulted to a first-team cornerback spot – over sophomore Sheldon Dawson – is a hint, along with fellow freshman Shaq Wiggins earning playing time. Langley and Wiggins have only been on campus a month, but in that time they’ve continually been credited with interceptions, whether it be in scrimmages or game-like situations in practices.
“You want guys that have ball skills,” receiver Malcolm Mitchell said. “Those two have it, and have been making picks every scrimmage. In my mind, they’re ready.”
“That (turnover) is definitely always a point of emphasis,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “But this year I feel like, and the defense feels like we have to cause as many turnovers as possible, so we need to get the offense on the field, rack up some more points, and just help the team out. Because I think whenever we’re plus-1 or plus-2 in turnovers in a game we end up winning the game.”
High risk, high reward. It sure seems like Grantham’s willing to risk a few rookie mistakes that may cost him at certain points in the game in return for the chance to break Clemson’s serve enough to come away with a win. If that’s the case, the Tigers are going to get some yardage. It remains to be seen how much of that yardage turns out to be meaningless.
Gee, I wonder what they’ll be asking Corch about this weekend.
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, contributing editor Paul Solotaroff delivers a detailed investigation into Aaron Hernandez’s life, tracing his path from affable high school football star to deeply troubled NFL player to murder suspect. Solotaroff conducted interviews with family friends, high school teammates and NFL sources to help explain why the potential NFL great was ensnared by drugs, guns and a life of violence. Here are five revelations about Hernandez from “The Gangster in the Huddle”:
… In college his coach (then-University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer) may have helped cover up failed drug tests, along with two violent incidents — an assault and a drive-by shootout outside a local bar.
Granted, “may have helped” covers a lot of speculative ground. But, hey, isn’t that what pressers are for?
UPDATE: Really, Rolling Stone, is this all you’ve got?
“We didn’t hear that story till much, much later – the police didn’t file a report,” says a local reporter who was covering the team. As a sophomore, Hernandez was benched for the season opener, meaning he’d likely failed drug tests over the summer. But Meyer denied it, saying he “wasn’t ready to play,” again giving cover for bad behavior. “Meyer kept us at such a distance,” says the reporter, “or flat-out lied, that we couldn’t verify a pot suspension.”
Sounds like somebody who sat in Seat 37F.
Clemson’s defensive coordinator pays Todd Gurley some, um, interestingly phrased praise:
“Gurley reminds you a little bit of Adrian Peterson in certain ways, with his strength and his physicality,” Venables said. “He’s a big, violent runner who’s going to run through trash. They do a good job of making your secondary support in the run game, which provides problems for about everybody.” [Emphasis added.]
So, if Gurley runs for 100+ Saturday night, should we name him the Garbage Man? Or just say that he took out the trash?
You know, this is what happens when you don’t want to be called Gurshall anymore.