Daily Archives: June 25, 2015

“The wildest recruit, me or anyone else, was Willie.”

If you don’t read another thing today, make sure you check out Channing Crowder’s story of hosting Willie Williams as a recruit at Florida.  It’s beyond priceless.  Let’s just say that if Willie had enrolled at UF, they would have needed to put Huntley Johnson on permanent retainer just for him.

And the topper is a story Crowder tells about his own recruitment.

As if that story wasn’t juicy enough, Crowder spoke of his visit to Penn State as a recruit, which was “the worst.”

“They sit me in a room with two bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 Banana Red,” Crowder said. “They say ‘drink these, we’re gonna go out.’ Okay, I get all feeling good. We walk out of the door, go down two doors and go back into an apartment and it’s four big white girls sitting there and me. Big ole white girls. Talkin’ about 250.”

Sounds very Big Tennish to me.

18 Comments

Filed under Gators Gators, Recruiting

Clemson has not lost control of bad news.

What is it with delayed reporting of news about Clemson players’ drug arrests?

Jimmy Williamson would not stand for such slackness, I tells ‘ya.

5 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Crime and Punishment

Travel Alabama!

Guess who’s rumored to be dropping by?

Can’t wait to hear what he thinks of the Laner.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Bo Bounds knows Georgia football, or at least he’s sure he does.

I guess this comes with trying to be the best provocative sports radio talk you can be, but this Bounds fella followed up his slam-bang performance on Finebaum (which evidently generated some pushback from the Georgia side) by inviting Dave Bartoo on his show (click the link here) to do some more Richt slapping.

Now I think Bartoo does an excellent job with his analysis and if somebody wants to argue that Richt has underachieved, especially in his last five seasons, don’t expect me to argue.

But I’m afraid Bounds’ enthusiasm for making his point got the better of Dave there.  A large part of the discussion centers around Georgia’s recruiting, and I can’t figure out if they’re jumping Richt’s case for not doing better on the recruiting trail (Bounds cites that terrific analysis David Ching did about how many SEC and P5 recruits come from Georgia) or if it’s a matter of Richt having not done better with what he’s had.  I can buy the latter, but make up your minds, guys.

But the best part of all is the wonder Bounds claims to have about Georgia’s loss to Georgia Tech last year.  Now, again, there’s no question that Richt’s call to squib kick was boneheaded and he was properly rewarded for it.  But hilarity ensues over Bounds marveling at Georgia ever losing to the Jackets, getting Bartoo to estimate Georgia should win about 90% of the time… and simply failing to acknowledge Richt’s 12-2 record against Georgia Tech.

Like I said, there’s legitimate stuff to knock Richt about.  But when you’re trying that hard, you kind of defeat your own purpose.

Better luck with the next guest, Bo.

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

A thought on coaching Georgia’s offensive line

Murf Baldwin’s piece on Georgia’s offensive line has gotten some attention over the past few days.  It’s a fun read and it’ll remind you how well the o-line performed in last year’s Arkansas game, but, honestly, this part strikes me as a bit of irrational exuberance:

Friend, for my money, was the most underrated line coach in existence as he clearly got the most out of his personnel, but the same could’ve been said for the previous line coach Stacy Searels who originally got the ball rolling with his physical brand of coaching.

Will Friend?  This Will Friend?  Sorry, I can’t buy that.  During his tenure, the offensive line proved itself to be way too inconsistent for that kind of praise.

I do think last season’s line turned in the best results we’ve seen at Georgia in several years, but I’d argue that was due to a level of stability at the position we hadn’t seen in, well, several years.  Some of that could be chalked up to health, but some of that was simply the result of not tinkering with the starters on what seemed like an almost weekly basis, as had previously been the method.

And that goes all the way back to Searels, who, admittedly, I thought got off to a fantastic start dealing with a very shaky depth situation and by necessity had to cross-train a fair amount to create numbers.  But the practice outgrew its value, or at least it should have.

I hope Rob Sale is one of those “find the five best, coach ’em up and lock ’em in” types.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Don’t hate the SEC West because it’s pretty.

WARNING!  EMERGING MEME ALERT!

Is the SEC West too good for its own good?  The muttering on that topic grows ever more steady.

Here’s Stewart Mandel, from his Mailbag:

Hey Stewart. I like to judge the strength of a conference or division by the quality of the weakest teams. That said, the SEC West is absolutely loaded, with Vegas currently predicting Mississippi State and Texas A&M to finish near the bottom. Do you think this could be the year where all the SEC West teams finish the regular season with three-plus losses? If this were to happen, and if the West champion wins the SEC championship, would the SEC be shut out of the playoff?

— Jeff Pretzel, Houston

Instead of the phrase “absolutely loaded,” let’s go with “unusually deep and competitive.” That’s why this year’s SEC West is fascinating. I could see as many as five teams (all but Arkansas and Mississippi State) winning the division, and I could see all but two (Alabama and Auburn) finishing seventh. Which means some coach that makes $4 million a year, regularly recruits top-15 classes and whose fans genuinely believe right now they can win the division is in fact going to finish seventh.

The operative word here is “parity.” In fact, the SEC West has become a lot like the NFL, where essentially three-fourths of the league could finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6, which itself can be the difference between one or two last-second plays going for or against you. Most of the SEC West teams are similarly bunched together talent-wise, and the difference between 10-2 and 7-5 will come down to who stays healthy, who doesn’t fumble at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds, etc.

I could definitely see everyone finishing with at least two losses.

This, from a piece with the header “SEC West is so deep it could ruin league’s playoff shot”.  Heh.  Stewart’s not sayin’.  He’s just sayin’, if you know what I mean.

But he’s subtle with that in comparison to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, who’s looked in every shadow and sees scary things for the SEC everywhere.  Including in the SEC.

But the biggest threat to the SEC might not come from the Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12, but within. The East is a mess right now, with Georgia as the only clear contender, while the West might be too strong for its own good. Alabama, Auburn and LSU are the clear front-runners in the division, but the separation between them and Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas is minimal. Should John Chavis coax some improvement out of Texas A&M’s defense, the Aggies will be right there, too. If Georgia can’t make it to Atlanta unscathed and the West beats up on itself too much and doesn’t produce at least a one-loss team, the SEC might be shut out by the playoff selection committee altogether, which will already have a hard enough time getting over the West’s failure in last year’s bowl season.

Ooh, yeah.  Last year’s bowl season is incredibly relevant to this year’s selection committee’s analysis.

Expect this shit to grow exponentially if there are a couple of early season “SEC West eats its own” results.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough how good a salesman Greg Sankey is.

11 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

The Ohio State Way

In the wake of Tattoogate, the NCAA came down on Terrell Pryor.

Pryor was hit with a five-year ban from all Ohio State athletic facilities when he discontinued cooperation with the NCAA during its probe of the football program in 2011. That investigation ultimately led to a bowl ban, reduction of scholarships for three years, forced resignation of coach Jim Tressel and the vacating of wins from the 2010 season. There is still a year left on the penalty to Pryor, who left school in spring 2011 and was taken by Oakland in a supplemental NFL draft.

Pryor is now a proud member of the Cleveland Browns, a team that is preparing to hold an August scrimmage in Ohio Stadium, presumably with Ohio State’s former favorite son in tow.  Problem?

Nah.  Gene Smith picked up the phone and explained the situation to the NCAA.  And the NCAA doesn’t care.

But OSU athletic director Gene Smith said on Tuesday it was his understanding that the ban would not be in force for the scrimmage since Pryor would be taking part in an activity of the Cleveland Browns, who will be renting the stadium that afternoon. The NCAA agreed.

“He should be allowed to participate as a member of the Cleveland Browns when they are on campus at Ohio State in August, if he is a member of the team,” the NCAA statement said. “His participation should be identical to that of all team members, with no special accommodations provided to him due to his Ohio State affiliation.”

If Pryor had played for Georgia and this situation were to occur in Athens, McGarity would ban Pryor from setting foot on campus and turn Georgia in to the NCAA for a rules violation.  And then probably petition the SEC for a conference rule on it.

11 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Amateurism… it’s not just for college athletics anymore.

Universities are discovering the value of selling naming rights to anything.

It’s a shitty turn of events that dwindling public funding support is forcing schools down this path, but when you’re forced to hook to keep up appearances, it makes it harder to shake a righteous finger at student-athletes for not wanting to stay financially virtuous themselves.

3 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., It's Just Bidness

Nick Chubb spends his offseasons unintentionally freaking out people.

Bill Connelly led me to this Georgia preview at the Columbia Daily Tribune, which in turn linked to Nick Chubb’s remarkable high school warm up photo.  You know, this one.

Somebody needs to show ’em what Chubb did at Camp Sunshine this week.

As MaconDawg puts it,

Reminder: Nick Chubb is only 5’11 inches tall and weighs all of 230 pounds. A lot of that muscle is in his lower body however, which explains his explosive ability to propel himself upward like he’s been shot out of a cannon.

Plus, I hear he’s allergic to Sharpies.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football