Here we go again – another kid booted from a program for a rules violation last season shows up invited to an SEC school for a look see. When is Mark Richt gonna… oh, wait.
Daily Archives: June 4, 2015
Never mind that what got Newton and Marshall in trouble had nothing to do with sexual assault.
And anyway, you can’t hold a whole conference responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole college athletics system? And if the whole college athletics system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
I feel better now.
If I were to ask you to name the SEC school that won the most conference games in the last three seasons, you’d say Alabama without blinking an eye, right?
A defensive back being recruited by Georgia Tech took an on campus visit with Ted Roof and said that the trip opened his eyes to the advantages of playing college football in a major U.S. city.
Well, they don’t have Dragon*Con in Tuscaloosa, that’s for sure.
The new president of the University of Texas comes out in favor of beer sales at football games, even though “he rarely drinks beer”.
Dean Legge throws out a theory behind the signing of Greyson Lambert I hadn’t thought about.
You see, this is about numbers – not skill. Georgia doesn’t need someone to come in and start – they need to give the guy who is not starting a breather during practice. This is about the wear and tear on shoulders. This is about third-team reps. This is about having the ability to practice.
Georgia, with its three scholarship quarterbacks in the spring, was dangerously close to having one too few signal callers on its roster. Lambert’s commitment solves that problem… at least for a little while.
Now Georgia can enter fall camp with the ability to name a starter, a backup and two guys who can be scout team guys and make throws so that the starter’s arm doesn’t fall off. Remember that Joe Cox, Hutson Mason and Aaron Murray – the last three starters in Athens – all had issues with too much throwing.
That’s something that has to be taken seriously. And it is a major concern if only three men are on campus.
Okay, there’s something to be said for his point about the health of Georgia’s last three starting quarterbacks. But somehow I doubt that’s a sales point Richt and Schottenheimer were pushing to close the deal with Lambert. (At least I hope not. What would that say about Lambert if it were?) You have to believe he’s coming in thinking he’s being given a legitimate shot to be a contributor.
Meanwhile, Seth Emerson tracks down a beat reporter who’s followed Virginia football for… well, for almost as long as I have. He’s got a few relevant observations about Lambert to share.
Let’s first talk about Lambert’s skill set: He’s 6-foot-5, obviously. How strong is his arm? What are his strengths and weaknesses as a passer? And how much mobility does he have?
Ratcliffe: Greyson has a strong arm and when he’s “on,” he’s very dangerous. He can make most throws and has been accurate with the deep ball when he finds an open receiver, which hasn’t always been easy. Virginia hasn’t had many legit deep threats. UVa has gone with mostly short passes and Greyson has struggled with that at times. His decision-making has been the thing that has held him back and UVa’s offense back as well, granted it has been an offensive largely without explosive playmakers that he will likely be surrounded with at Georgia. Virginia should have upset then-Top 10 UCLA in the season opener last year but Lambert’s interceptions killed the Cavaliers and essentially handed the win to the Bruins.
When you look at the stats from last year, the 11 interceptions in nine games stands out. Does that tell the whole story as to Lambert’s accuracy and decision-making?
Ratcliffe: Yes. The majority of his interceptions were killers that cost a team wins that it couldn’t afford to lose. From what he told me he struggled when he first arrived with coverages because his high school team had a very simple passing offense. While that improved over the years, I think he still has issues with decision-making and his accuracy has been very inconsistent.
To save the cynics among you time, I’ll just say that sounds an awful lot like what we’re worried about with the guys already on Georgia’s roster. So maybe Lambert’ll fit right in from the get go.
Which brings us to the $64,000 question, of course.
Finally, Lambert is walking into a situation where he’s by no means guaranteed the starting job. What do you think his chances are to end up a starting quarterback in the SEC?
Ratcliffe: Tough question because while I try to follow SEC football fairly closely, I’m not that familiar with what kind of talent Georgia has at quarterback. If Georgia has solid talent there, I would think it would be a challenge for Lambert, who is a great kid, to leapfrog those guys. However, if the door is open, I believe Lambert’s best two years of football are ahead of him.
Lemme see if I’ve got this straight. The outgoing SEC commissioner, a man who was routinely called one of the most powerful people in organized sports during his tenure because the organization he directed was obscenely profitable and successful in relation to its collegiate conference peers, shares a sad with his conference coaches and ADs that the future of collegiate sports management is no longer about maintaining a level playing field.
“For all these years, when the NCAA passed legislation the premise was a level playing field,” he explained. “Which, in effect, means it’s for the institutions. So, when we put together the vision for the 21st century, we made the incoming student-athletes in the next century the primary focus. We moved from a level playing field to student athletes.
“By definition, when you do that you end up with issues that aren’t as comfortable if you’re grounded in and had experience in the level playing field.”
To which I say: get the fuck outta here.
What, pray tell, was the NCAA keeping level all those years? Not financial strength between the D-1 conferences, unless I’ve missed a bunch of stories about multi-million dollar waterfalls gracing the presence of locker rooms in the MAC and Sun Belt. How did I not hear about all those seven-figure assistant coaches’ salaries in the Mountain West? And those postseason checks that were dished out seemed to be anything but level when it came to the number of zeros in them.
Nor competitive strength, either, as anyone who’s watched a cupcake game or two in his or her time can testify.
How a man who was a prime mover and shaker in the power conferences wresting autonomy away from the rest of the NCAA body can get all misty about level playing fields is beyond me.
And now that it looks like the hand of the schools and the NCAA is being forced to share a little of the pot of gold with the student-athletes who help put dinner on the table, so to speak… now Slive wants to tell everyone the reason that playing field can’t ever be level again is because of those very same student-athletes who still can’t have representation in arranging the terms of where they go to school and play?
Man, that’s pretty nervy, Mike. Maybe you can take that pity party with you when the schools lobby Congress to try to get an antitrust exemption. I’m sure Orrin Hatch would love to hear you talk about leveling the playing field again.
The truly sad thing is that I don’t doubt Slive really believes that garbage.
The Rolling Stones play Atlanta next Tuesday.
Charlie Watts turned seventy four yesterday.