Daily Archives: January 22, 2015

Now this is an outfit.

Peeps, I gotta tell you – Rashad Roundtree’s got nothing on Mark Walton when it comes to Bulldog style.

Whoa, baby.  And he’s not even a commitment at this point.  Although, if for no other reason than you’d hate to see those threads go to waste, I hope he changes his mind.

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13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stylin'

“I’m not going to lie, food played a role in my recruitment.”

I don’t know how you can write an article about the importance of food in hosting recruits without a reference to Willie Williams, but so be it.

Evidently no detail is too small, though.

“We want to know what the kids like before they visit,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “What drinks they like? What food they like? There was this one time we found out this guy liked a certain kind of chocolate milk, and we made sure it was there. All of those things are important.”

28 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

“… I want to surround myself with those kids I can get in school.”

Interesting saga to trace here:

  1. Gary Andersen left Wisconsin for the head coaching job at Oregon State.  He claims he was having a problem at Wisconsin with admission standards.
  2. Wisconsin had a commitment from a massive offensive lineman from New Jersey, Sam Madden.  Last week, Madden decommited from a place he had recently proclaimed “I’m staying with Wisconsin, I don’t care who else offers,” because – you guessed it – academics.
  3. Madden’s primary recruiter at Wisconsin?  Thomas Brown.
  4. And guess where Madden is now scheduled to take a visit this weekend.

Like I said, interesting.

12 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Don’t tell me about it.

One thing from yesterday’s announcement about Richt’s contract extension that struck me was the coach’s statement:

“I appreciate the confidence that Greg McGarity has in the direction of our football program and how we represent the University of Georgia,” Richt said in a statement. “Our staff has an outstanding work ethic and we are committed to the development of our student-athletes on and off the field.”

Unlike when Richt discussed the last round of staff raises with the media, McGarity gets a shout-out.  Of course, that’s in a prepared statement, not an off-the-cuff comment at a presser, so you wonder if it’s merely perfunctory (or maybe even prepared by somebody else to go out in Richt’s name).  But at least the acknowledgement was made.

While we’re on the topic of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts, notice what McGarity had to say about the new support staff positions Georgia is currently seeking to fill.  Or, more accurately, what he didn’t have to say.

The Georgia football offices in the Butts-Mehre building will be filled with more off-field assistants.

The Athletic Association is hiring for seven new positions for the program: two player relations coordinators, four quality control coordinators and a special teams analyst.

Georgia already added an additional strength staff member, giving it five total for the first time since the 2011 season.
What’s going on? Athletic director Greg McGarity referred questions to coach Mark Richt, who was on the road recruiting on Tuesday.

Not a word.  Silence.  Crickets.  Coming from a guy who’s spent a good bit of December loudly proclaiming to anyone in the media who would pull up a chair to listen that he had control over the parameters of spending on the football program and who we know has expressed his share of skepticism about the spending race on support staffs, that’s more than a bit noteworthy.  Perhaps it’s a shining example of the maxim that if you can’t think of anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.

At this point, I don’t care whether McGarity and Richt intend to dance at the weddings of each other’s kids.  They don’t particularly have to like each other for the program to succeed.  But they do have to recognize what’s necessary for the program to succeed and not work at cross purposes.  Or air those cross purposes in public.  Silence is professional.

Again, I don’t pretend to know the specifics of what’s happened behind the scene at Butts-Mehre over the past six or seven weeks.  But it’s clear that the athletic administration has committed to hitching its star to Richt’s wagon.  McGarity may not really be “… very pleased with the direction of our program under Mark’s leadership,” but I have to think he was given the opportunity by Morehead to say what he thought Richt’s immediate fate should be and declined to pull the plug.  Once you cross that bridge, you can’t be in half way.  Like it or not, if you’re McGarity, you just bought in to giving Richt what he reasonably believes he needs to succeed.

I think most of us hope that, with the commitment to resources from B-M, there’s a commitment from Richt to getting Georgia over the hump.  The irony is that if Richt is being held accountable for that, McGarity has to be held accountable for his call not to replace Richt.  If his faith in Richt is rewarded, I have no problem letting him share in the credit.  But if the best we get after this is a continued plateau or even worse, it shouldn’t simply be Richt’s term in Athens that should be questioned.  I wonder how they both feel at this point about being joined at the hip.  Hopefully, they won’t tell anyone about it.

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UPDATE:  Here’s a timely podcast from Emerson and Estes.  I think what they have to say is pretty consistent with what I’ve said here.  I hadn’t considered the point Seth made about Crumley, though.

72 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

This, too, is part of the Georgia Way.

Nothing like reading an article about the NCAA investigating academic fraud and seeing your school receive a prominent mention.

In December the NCAA ordered a nine-meet suspension for Jack Bauerle, the head coach of swimming and diving at the University of Georgia, after determining that he had asked a professor to register a star swimmer in a fall independent-studies class after the fall semester had ended.

I suppose we should be grateful he didn’t dredge up the Harricks.  Or Jan Kemp.  Or…

17 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, The NCAA

“I guess it’s more about scoring points now than playing defense now.”

We’re living in the time of Nick Saban’s worst nightmare.

Just look at Alabama. This is a team that dominated college football with a very traditional — and successful — offense. But Nick Saban’s defenses have struggled with the spread recently. Johnny Manziel and his high-flying Texas A&M Aggies lit up Alabama for an average of 523 yards and 35.5 points in games in 2012 and 2013. Against Auburn and that uptempo Malzahn spread the last two years, Alabama has surrendered 1,023 yards and 78 points.

Alabama went 2-2 in those four games.

Take it a step further and look at Alabama’s two-game losing streak in the postseason where Oklahoma (spread and tempo) and Ohio State (spread) combined to score 87 points and reeled off 966 yards.

Running quarterbacks, spread and tempo have been weaknesses for Saban’s defenses, so he added all three to his offense this year and watched Alabama set all sorts of offensive records and average 484.5 yards per game (most during his Alabama tenure) and 36.9 points a contest.

“Three or four years ago, Nick Saban was talking about how he didn’t really like [uptempo offense], and the disadvantages to it,” Oregon defensive back Juwaan Williams said. “He’s making the evolution himself.”

Saban doesn’t want to evolve, damn it.  He wants to accumulate more talent than anybody else and then beat the crap out of you with it.  He doesn’t want to win by having to outscore the other guy’s attack.

The problem he’s running into is that he doesn’t have a better angle on defending the spread than anybody else.  And while losing a game or two isn’t a big deal for most college football programs, it’s brutal for an SEC West team expected to make appearances in the CFP annual routines.  That razor-thin margin for error is what’s forcing him to experiment on offense.  Which in turn is an admission of sorts that what Alabama’s been doing on defense isn’t working as consistently as it used to.

It’s a problem across the conference, of course.  It’s just magnified in Tuscaloosa.  And it makes me wonder, if ‘Bama continues to adapt to defending the spread, how Saban defends Georgia’s power running game when his team comes to Athens this season.

24 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Thursday morning buffet

There’s always something to spoon onto your plate.

10 Comments

Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, The Evil Genius, The NCAA, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy