Daily Archives: September 9, 2015

We haven’t lost a quarterback. We’ve gained a talking head.

It’s like he never left.

It was announced Wednesday that Tim Tebow would be returning to his analyst role with the network this weekend. Tebow rejoin SEC Network’s SEC Nation, its two-hour College GameDay-esque pregame show, which will be shot on location in Nashville before Georgia and Vanderbilt play (on CBS!).

Just in time for Nashville!  Are we lucky ducks or what?

67 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

What trumps a decided schematic advantage?

Charlie Weis blames his failed, albeit well-paying, tenure at Notre Dame on… you ready?… ambitious assistant coaches.

No, really.

Weis said his struggles at Notre Dame could be traced to the composition of his coaching staff. Three of his assistants — Michael Haywood (Miami, Ohio), Rob Ianello (Akron) and Brian Polian (Nevada) — eventually left to run their own programs.

“I hired too many people that wanted to use the school as a steppingstone for a head coaching job,” Weis said.

What a prince.  Though it’s kind of hard to believe there isn’t a dumb enough AD left in America to give him another shot.

25 Comments

Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat...

Mark Richt’s rebuttal to a 13-year old critic is pitch perfect.

It’s a case where shooting the messenger seems entirely appropriate.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, PAWWWLLL!!!

Giving a whole new meaning to “pay to play”

I used to joke about how if Michael Adams could figure out how to charge fans for the air they breathed on game day, he’d do it.

Steve Patterson is Michael Adams’ kind of AD.

32 Comments

Filed under Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

“COVER ALERT”

ESPN has discovered the wide, wide world of sports gambling and the people running college football ain’t too happy about it.

“I don’t think those are things that ought to be a part of the presentation of college football, but maybe that’s the environment in which we find ourselves,” said Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby, adding that he was “quite sure that all of (the Big 12’s presidents and athletic directors) feel as I do that it’s inappropriate.”

So what are they gonna do about it?

About what you’d expect.

Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, while noting his athletic department’s sponsorship deals with local casinos (which do not have sports books), said he’s concerned.

“Anytime there’s anything to do with sports gambling and college sports, understandably that will be something I would hope at some point will be discussed,” Byrne said.

Now there’s a guy who’s going to bring to real gravitas to the conversation.

“There is an existing concern about the inexorable march toward gambling being more and more central to sport,” Sankey told USA TODAY Sports. “It has clearly gotten more momentum based on messaging out of the NBA last year. We have to be mindful of the realities of the culture developing around us.”

Translation:  at some point in time, it’s gonna become a source of revenue the SEC can’t ignore.  And it’ll likely come from something like this:

Though it appears on the surface to be unrelated, several athletic directors connected the apparent new emphasis on sports betting with ESPN’s business relationships with companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, daily online fantasy sports businesses that promise cash prizes to winners. Last spring, according to multiple reports, ESPN’s parent company, Walt Disney Co., agreed to invest $250 million in DraftKings, but then backed out, apparently because of concerns that the enterprise too closely resembled gambling. Although the deal never came to fruition, DraftKings is spending several hundred million dollars in advertising over the next two years with ESPN, according to Sports Business Journal.

Although the bulk of the fantasy sports business — traditional or the daily version — has been centered on professional sports, college football is a growing portion of the business. The idea that fantasy sports would use college players’ names and performances to determine winners and payouts concerns athletic directors. Among other reasons, they’re concerned college athletes might be enticed to play the daily games — perhaps choosing themselves.

“We’ve been wrestling with all the issues around DraftKings and FanDuel,” Bowlsby said, “which I don’t think anybody can suggest isn’t gambling.”

But that’s exactly what ESPN and businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel suggest. Bowlsby noted that the Big 12’s TV contracts prohibit advertisements for gambling, other than for state-authorized lotteries, “but our television partners assert that it (fantasy sports games) isn’t gambling.”

After they cut that first check to your conference, you will too, Bob.  Bet on it.

38 Comments

Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

“There has not been one time today where I thought Greyson was not the right choice for starting at QB.”

Cory Brinson’s analysis of each of Lambert’s twelve throws in the ULM game is worth a look.  In particular, I found his conclusion spot on:

So, what is my take? Is Greyson absolutely perfect? No. But, like Coach Richt said, every throw had a purpose. I’d love to see him concentrate on his footwork and really get that trust with his OL. He has some habits that he has to break, but trust will build. We’ll definitely see the playbook open a little more as the season progresses, but, for now, definitely liking what we are seeing from the QB position.

There’s a season’s worth of bad coaching and bad habits Lambert has to work out of his system, and that won’t happen overnight.  Most of his mechanical problems can be worked on and improved, although I’m not sure there’s much you can do about the speed of his release, given his frame size.  It’s why he needs to play as much as he can, even if Georgia rolls out to comfortable leads against weaker opposition.

The good thing is that he’s got an awareness of what he’s supposed to be doing out there and that will only get better as he grows more familiar with the playbook.  His surrounding cast doesn’t hurt his chances, either.

87 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Don’t they know how fortunate they are?

Spencer Hall’s cri de coeur about student-athlete compensation got a fair amount of buzz yesterday.  I doubt it’s gonna change many hearts and minds – I don’t think it was written with that in mind, honestly – but I don’t see how anyone who thinks the current state of affairs is all good can rebut this part of his argument:

… College students aren’t generally wealthy or in a wealth-building stage of life, sure, but there’s more than a little evidence that student-athletes don’t just tread water for four years, but instead are made significantly poorer by the experience of participating in amateur athletics.

When and if they do receive their degree, it might mean even less in terms of real future dollars than those received by their peers. The networking they might have done with others on campus is restricted by their class schedules and practice; the networking with wealthy alumni that might benefit them in business is explicitly forbidden in many instances, something Princeton’s own Michael Lewis points out in The Blind Side. The athlete receives no dividend or funds kept in trust for their well-above-average financial contributions to the university on graduation.

By rule they are separated from the income they make, and by system they are separated from the university education they were promised. They are neither amateurs nor professionals, and effectively moved as undeclared contraband through the United States tax system.

No man’s land.  And that doesn’t even touch on the physical risks they take suiting up for dear old Football U.

Those of you who are still intoxicated with the romance of the myth of amateurism, I’m almost jealous of you.  My cynicism makes it a little harder for me to love the sport with each year’s passing.

148 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

Rise and shine, campers.

18 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Body Is A Temple

“It’s the circle of Vol.”

Tom Fornelli’s “The Evolution Of The Tennessee Fan” is worth your time.  Totally.

21 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange