In retrospect, this might not have been the smartest way to promote the program, the soon-to-be fired intern in the public relations department thought.
Daily Archives: August 6, 2015
Blatant Homerism’s Allen Kenney was gracious enough to invite me to do a podcast about… well, about what’s wrong with college football these days. I kidded him beforehand that it would turn out to be the most depressing podcast he ever hosted and I think we lived up to the promise.
You can give it a listen here.
Every year when this comes out, I’m always a little saddened to look through it and realize Ron Franklin’s name is missing.
You may have noticed the migration of the Atlanta paper’s online Georgia coverage to a new Dawgnation site. Today, Bill King lets out one somewhat distressing bit of news (in this solid post about “no-show” games) – distressing at least if you’re on troll patrol.
The most noticeable difference for longtime Junkyard Blawg readers, besides the new address, will be a change in the commenting, which now will be limited to those who have Facebook log-ins. If you want to have your say here, you’ll either have to join Facebook or put something in the Junkyard in-box by emailing me at email@example.com.
Crap. One less outlet for the obnoxious. I just hope they don’t migrate here.
McGarity warns that the new indoor practice facility won’t be ready for the 2016 football season.
Greg McGarity confirmed as much Thursday morning. The UGA athletic director said that underground utility work and site preparation will take at least three or four months to complete, and that cannot commence until the Bulldogs have completed the 2015 season. Then the actual construction of the massive building, which will be located on the eastern-most side of the current football complex, will take at least seven to nine months to finish.
That means it will likely be well into the 2016 season – if then — before it’s ready for use.
“That was one of the negatives on the front end with this site,” McGarity said. “It’s a complex site. The other site, there was nothing to stop us out there. But that site was eliminated for a number of reasons. And regardless of where it went, there were going to be challenges from a site-development standpoint.”
I think that’s fine. Laying out notice now is the right way to deal with the situation. Besides, they’ll be able to show recruits the construction work as the place goes up, which is really what’s driving this $30 million decision anyway.
I get it. A head coach is the face of his program, for better or worse. So when the media looks at Athens, it looks at Mark Richt. And when Georgia doesn’t excel, that’s how you get to the ubiquitous hot seat meme. And when it becomes apparent that, for whatever reason, Richt’s seat simply isn’t that warm, you fall back on the underachiever label.
Andy Staples does a nice job of mashing up the two with this.
Now to be fair to Andy, whom I like generally, he doesn’t come right out and say where he’s pointing his finger. And given that he’s made solid points before about Georgia’s drug policy, it may be that he’s being nuanced by referring to the program and not just the head coach. If that’s the case, I can’t argue with his sound bite.
But even so, I think Andy’s missing the bigger picture here. Not that he’s alone in that. Other than Mark Schlabach, I really can’t think of too many in the national media who commented on the dysfunction surrounding the program at the time of the bowl game.
I’m aware I sound like a broken record on this subject, but the program is in a much different place now than it was seven months ago. And I don’t know how you can judge Georgia in August, 2015 by Georgia in December, 2014 standards.
If, as Andy asserts, Georgia is now the best job in college football, it’s a very recent development. Because I don’t know too many people who would savor working at a place where the higher-ups are undercutting you in the media and controlling the purse strings in such a way that your defensive coordinator is forced to come out and publicly complain about how that’s negatively impacting recruiting.
This isn’t to predict everything’s going to come up roses for Richt, or that people shouldn’t be held accountable for substandard performance. (I can hear the cries of “Richt apologist!” already.) But to me, the place to start here is whether Richt can successfully reinvent himself as the man running the show for the second time since 2009. As I posted here, there aren’t many programs I can think of that have dramatically remade themselves the way Georgia has since 2013, while retaining the head coach.
Ironically, I’m back at the same spot where Staples started. I agree it’s put up or shut up time. It’s just that I feel that way about the program as a whole, from top to bottom, not just the head coach. It’s a complicated tale that deserves more than simply citing a couple of stats about how much high school talent the state of Georgia produces year in and year out.
If this is a story with a boom or bust conclusion, it’ll probably get told in 2017 or 2018, based on how things shake out. But it’s worth telling now. Anyone want to give it a shot?
So there’s that, anyway.
Interesting piece from Jon Solomon – danger, Will Robinson, CBS! – about the role for advanced stats that college coaches accept. The answers, as you might expect, are all over the map. The header quote is from Nick Saban, who I picture as having seventeen interns compiling every piece of analytic data known to man, only to have the Sabanator brush most of it aside as shit he doesn’t have time for. (Still, it forces everyone else in the SEC to keep up.)
Then, there’s the Mark Richt approach to analytics.
Mark Richt, Georgia
Advanced stats he likes: Does not think Georgia uses them
“We don’t use it, not that I know of. I don’t know much about it.”
At least they don’t have to tap the reserve fund for that.
Do I need to tell you what to do here? I didn’t think so.
- Maty Mauk may be the SEC’s living embodiment of “just win, baby”.
- Jerry Hinnen provides a nice preseason practice preview for the conference here.
- Greg McGarity, in a radio interview yesterday, said he hopes to have IPF renderings by the end of this month.
- Joe Wickline moves to have the suit filed by Oklahoma State dismissed. (And I was so hoping to have a trial called midseason.)
- LSU may not be able to accept the transfer of a kid dismissed from another program for domestic violence, but there’s nothing in the rules preventing Les Miles from reinstating one of his own.
- You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that Baylor’s AD thinks the CFP will expand to eight teams in the next five years.
- I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the teenaged Jimi Hendrix was something of a college football fan.
- Bovada lists Georgia’s odds to win the SEC at 11/2, which is third best in the conference.
- There’s such a thing as a National Collegiate Tailgating Championship? Who knew?
- And Georgia’s tight ends have a suggestion on who should be the next starter at quarterback.
It’s August, so it’s time to hear the shit anonymous coaches say to preseason magazines about other programs.
As I’ve said before, this isn’t nearly as enjoyable an exercise as it used to be when Tommy Tuberville coached in the SEC, but there’s not much you can do about that.
Here’s what Athlon shared about impressions of Georgia:
“They’re the most talented, best team in the East without question.”
“The quarterback situation is a big unknown. Who’s the guy? How will they use him? Will he be a guy who has to make plays or a guy they ask to just not get them beat? I’m sure Brice Ramsey is the guy they’re counting on, but he hasn’t played a lot of meaningful snaps. Is there a Plan B if he can’t get the job done? I’m not sure.”
“I don’t understand why people there gave Mike Bobo a hard time. Look at the numbers. Offense wasn’t their problem.”
“Nick Chubb is phenomenal, and he’s a great young man, by the way. Brian Schottenheimer will come in and build it around him. I don’t expect they’ll change much philosophically.”
“I think Jeremy Pruitt does a great job with their defense. They were a little bit inconsistent, but they were significantly better than the year before. You could see his DNA starting to impact the way they played.”
“Lorenzo Carter has a big-time future. I thought he was a very impactful linebacker as a freshman, and I expect him to have a breakout year. He could be a difference-maker for their entire defense.”
“I was surprised Leonard Floyd came back. He should be an All-SEC guy without question.”
“They lost some solid linebackers, and they finally got Damian Swann to play to his potential at cornerback last year. That’s a lot of experience to lose at key positions, so how they replace them will go a long way in determining how dominant they are.”
Meanwhile, over at Sports Illustrated, which pegged Georgia as its number eleven team in the preseason, here’s what they coaxed out of somebody:
Brian Schottenheimer is going to be great for them. There’s no substitute for coaching pro football and having to deal with young quarterbacks, and they have to find and develop a quarterback this season … They’re going to have two of the top five running backs [Chubb and Michel] when they both come out in the draft. I’m not sure Chubb has the same home run speed that Todd Gurley had, but he’s so hard to wrap up and tackle … They play two-back or three-wide, so they’re pretty vanilla. They just rely on the talent to make plays … They’re going to miss David Andrews at center. In fact, they’re probably concerned about their depth at offensive line. But Chubb makes them a good line anyway, because he doesn’t force them to hold their blocks that long.
See what I mean? This is fairly bland stuff. Tubs would have had some advice to serve up, or at least used the “u” word.
You shouldn’t be afraid to tell a magazine the same kind of stuff you’d dollop out on the recruiting trail, guys.
Most people, when they think about Procol Harum – hell, if they think about Procol Harum at all – remember the group as kind of an artsy-fartsy collective, based on songs like “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Conquistador”. But PH could rock with the best of ’em in the sixties and early seventies. And why not, with talent like Robin Trower on guitar and BJ Wilson, one of rock’s most underrated drummers?
From 1971, here’s a live version of one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Juicy John Pink”, that makes my point nicely, I think. The Trower riff that kicks off the song is as heavy as you could ask for.