Honestly, how can I let this pass?
Daily Archives: December 9, 2015
Starting this afternoon, I’m taking a short vacation, so there’s that.
I’ll have my trusty Chromebook with me, and I’ll try to do a little blogging when the mood suits me. But as I’ll be some five time zones away and plan on not being around my hotel wifi much of the time, posts will no doubt be sporadic while I’m gone.
As will my babysitting the comments section, unfortunately. I was kind of hoping the emotional reaction to Richt’s departure – okay, more specifically, the ongoing emotional battle between some of you over Richt – would have exhausted itself by now, but there appear to be a few stubborn remaining embers of that flickering away. If those of you continuing to throw smack at each other wouldn’t mind doing me a favor by getting over it, that would be good.
In any event, behave, you scamps.
This is a sad tale of how media access to college players and coaches is slowly being choked off.
Billy Watkins of the Clarion-Ledger vented about his frustrations in a column about covering college football in Mississippi. In an email to me, Watkins wrote:
“I’m doing a big profile of a player at Navy. He is a senior from Mississippi. They have bent over backward getting me anything and everything I need for the story. They lined me up a 45-minute phone interview with him. They also set up an interview with the Navy head coach.
“It took me five months last year to get into the office of Ole Miss’ coach. And we’re the largest paper in the state. I’m sorry, but the subject kind of works me up.”
I know a lot of you have little sympathy for the media these days, but I gotta tell you as someone who blogs about the sport with no contact at all to the program, the beat writers make a valuable contribution to what I can glean about things. I also think the piece makes a good point about players learning the skill of dealing with the media.
Sure, there’s always a risk of something dumb being said. But that’s just as real, if not more so, on social media. Bottom line, a lot of this sounds like typical control issues. Which, as I started here, is kinda sad.
Harris Pastides’ unbridled optimism aside, which of the two Saban disciples now manning head coaching positions in the SEC East has been dealt a better hand to play next season?
SBNation’s Bud Elliott thinks it’s Kirby Smart, based on two factors.
- Recruiting. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart steps into a great situation as Georgia’s head coach as the Bulldogs have signed 51 four- and five-star prospects in the last four cycles (51 percent of total signees), which is the best in the division. Florida and Tennessee are the next closest in the East, then there is a big dropoff to Will Muschamp’s South Carolina Gamecocks and Barry Odom’s Missouri Tigers.
- Schedule. While Georgia plays annual games against similar or worse recruiters in Auburn, another SEC West team and Georgia Tech, the Gamecocks must annually face two other teams that out-recruit them: Clemson and Texas A&M. Plus, whatever SEC West team South Carolina draws is also likely to have more talent than the Gamecocks.
Based on that, he thinks Kirby can improve on Richt’s average win total. That would be nice. As for Boom… well, “Luckily for Muschamp, South Carolina has no reason to have high expectations as it is has no real history of success other than a few recent years.” Tell that to Pastides.
Here’s a good piece in Field Street Forum that gives an indication about where Kirby Smart may be headed with his defensive philosophy, based on some of the recruits he’s chasing.
While it isn’t surprising at all, this points to Kirby going with a defense with bigger linebackers. Of course this is what he did at Alabama, while Pruitt has been recruiting and using smaller/quicker linebackers the past two years.
Take a look at the difference:
Roquan Smith – 6’1 217
D’Andre Walker – 6’3 224
Natrez Patrick – 6’3 248 (will thrive in Kirby’s system)
Juwan Taylor – 6’1 200
Above are the weights of our linebackers after a season in the strength and conditioning program. If Jackson were to come to UGA, he would be the second biggest linebacker on the team the minute he steps on campus.
Need further proof?
Ben Davis is the #1 ILB in the nation and just named UGA his leader. He’s 6’3 240.
Bigger at inside linebacker… Smart’s not kidding about stopping the run.