Daily Archives: July 10, 2014

“Our focus is the best,” he said, “not the most deserving.”

In a world where a playoff selection committee member refers to winning a conference championship as a “nuance”, I think it’s pretty clear that the most important criteria for a school’s inclusion in the semi-finals field – besides making sure that your power conference doesn’t get screwed, of course – is the ability to bully your fellow committee members with some choice in the arena messaging.

Allow Barry Alvarez to demonstrate.

“I think a lot of it is your intent to play a strong schedule in your non-conference,” said Wisconsin AD and committee member Barry Alvarez. “… It’s pretty easy for me to take a look at a schedule and see what the intent of the schedule is.”


“Having broken down film, I think I know a little bit about football and what constitutes a good team,” said four-time Rose Bowl coach Alvarez. “… I really look forward to studying other conferences and teams. I know the Big Ten well. I look forward to studying others.”

Oliver Luck gets it.

“I think it makes a lot of sense to ask Barry Alvarez, ‘Hey, you guys played Michigan last week, tell us what you think. Tell us what your coaches said,’” said Luck. “I think it’s an asset to listen to Pat Haden talk about a Pac-12 team.”

I figure by the time the end of the regular season rolls around, a third of the members will be irritated by being patronized, another third will be turned off by the sucking up and the last third will be upset that their wisdom goes unappreciated.  At least that will distract those of us concerned about bias and the appearance of conflicts of interest.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Georgia’s latest depth chart is an elaborate post-deconstructionist experiment.

Seriously, my first thought upon reading this is that the coaches did it so that when they get asked about it at SEC Media Days, they can smirk at the media and respond, “you guys thought we were serious about that?”.


Filed under Georgia Football

The most Georgia story ever? There’s only one catch.

It doesn’t involve a player from Georgia.

Florida State football player Jesus Wilson stole a motor scooter near the Love Building on the Florida State campus last month and crashed it, court documents said.

Wilson, 19, and now faces a charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle.

No word on whether Jimmy Williamson intends to file extradition papers.

And let me tell you something, pendejo.  Nobody


Filed under Crime and Punishment

Rehabbing Georgia’s secondary, one step at a time

Okay, okay, I know that Mark Bradley quoting Tom Luginbill about the level of talent on the Georgia defense might as well be entitled “Troll dem Dawgs”, but, still, I think I’m gonna have to offer a corrective suggestion to this:

It’s as down talent-level-wise on defense as I’ve seen certainly in Mark Richt’s tenure. They don’t have depth. … I don’t know outside one or two guys that would have started for Florida State last year. Coaching is one thing, but they’ve got to replenish their depth and talent pool.

Only a fool would say that there hasn’t been a talent drain out of Georgia’s secondary during this offseason, but I’m hard pressed to see a lack of depth on the line and with the linebacking corps.  But even in the case of Georgia’s defensive backs, how much of that perception should be chalked up to pure talent and how much to a failure to develop and deploy the talent effectively?

Which brings me to this rather intriguing piece about the ups, downs and potential redemption of one Damian Swann.  There’s a lot there, so you should read it in its entirety, and I can’t say I buy in to all of his observations, but I won’t deny that this does ring true:

Swann’s inconsistencies in tackling usually stemmed from neither dropping his pad level nor wrapping up at the point of attack. He also has a habit of not implementing the nuances that come with being a sound tackler, from time to time.

He goes on to illustrate that with the very play – Swann’s whiff of Sammy Watkins in last year’s opening game – that popped into my head as I read that.  Anyway, it’s a long piece.  And Swann is just one defensive back.

It’s worth keeping that in mind as we watch Jeremy Pruitt rebuild the secondary.  It’s not going to be an overnight sensation.


Filed under Georgia Football

If Mark Emmert didn’t exist, Claire McCaskill wouldn’t want to invent him.

As far as problem solving goes, yesterday’s appearance by the NCAA president in front of a Senate committee hearing was expectedly short on specifics, but as far as political theater goes, it was boffo.

McCaskill offered some of the sharpest criticism of Emmert, questioning why his role exists if he can’t shape reform or prevent athletic departments from investigating sexual assaults.

“I can’t tell if you’re in charge or a minion” to the schools, McCaskill said. “If you’re merely a monetary pass-through, why should you exist?”

As best I can tell, the bulk of Emmert’s day was spent listening to harsh criticism of the NCAA’s role in college athletics and quite often commiserating with his critics.

But it was New Jersey’s Cory Booker, who played football at Stanford, who got off the shot of the day.

Booker questioned why the NCAA can move quickly when schools’ money and reputation are at stake, but not on basic issues for athletes. Booker noted that Cam Newton’s eligibility problems at Auburn were adjudicated quickly in 2010 so he could continue playing, yet Ramsay’s academic issues at North Carolina took far longer.

Sounds like the man’s been reading a few comment threads at a football blog somewhere.

I’m not being totally fair to McCaskill, as she did manage to drop a major substantive matter into the discussion.

More than 20 percent of universities give their athletic departments oversight of sexual violence cases involving college athletes, according to a report released Wednesday by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

I may be appalled by that statistic, but I am not surprised.  Unlike Emmert and his constituents.  Supposedly.

Emmert said he only read McCaskill’s sexual assault data on Wednesday and wants to better understand the results. He agreed the survey results contain an “enormous” amount of conflicts of interest that don’t help sexual assault victims.

Emmert said most NCAA members “are going to be very surprised” by the sexual assault data. Several senators called on Emmert and university presidents to change their procedures immediately.

If Emmert is right there, that’s just further proof of how detached school presidents are from the reality of how college athletics operate.  Not to mention that it’s more fuel for a certain kind of fire.

Rockefeller, who has said he isn’t seeking re-election in 2014, said that if the Democrats control Congress “we want to make this a continuing subject of this oversight committee. We have oversight of sports. All sports. We have the ability to subpoena. We have a special investigative unit. We are very into this subject. This is part of a process here.”

Remember, these are the people Jim Delany hopes to engage for protection after the NCAA gets its clock cleaned in antitrust litigation.

In the end, though, it always comes back to Emmert’s leadership, or lack thereof.

Emmert said the hearing was a “useful cattle prod. It makes sure we know that the world is watching, that the Senate is watching. I believe we will wind up in the right place in a couple of months (after NCAA governance changes). If we don’t, I’m sure we’ll have these conversations again.”

As long as Mark Emmert’s talking, you know he cares.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA