Daily Archives: February 16, 2016

What’s in a name?

There’s still time to get in on the ground floor to hang your name on the IPF.

Since I’ve already suggested Mark Richt’s name for the head coaching endowment, how does “The Jeremy Pruitt Memorial Indoor Practice Facility” work for you?

Advertisements

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“These players, they have all the power — they simply don’t realize it.”

Tom Brady’s agent thinks it’s time for student-athletes to flex their muscles.

This is the promise of Yee’s advocacy. He is a football insider with firsthand knowledge of how a business works and the credibility to make people listen. He is exhausted, he says, by talk without much action and has reached the point of arguing for revolution: Blow up the system. Start over. Build anew. “This generation of players has more tools at its disposal than any other to be heard and to organize,” he says. “If they adopted a Twitter hashtag of #disruptthefinalfour for the NCAA tournament, they would at least start a discussion. And significant change typically happens through some discussion that is too large to ignore.”

It’s hard to think of anything that would make Mark Emmert shit more bricks than a #disruptthefinalfour movement.  And with all the money flowing through collegiate athletics now, it’s hard to think something like that won’t get traction one day.  There are only so many times antitrust attorneys and player agents can deliver a message like that before it sinks in.

When it does, the schools will have nobody to blame but themselves.  Not that they won’t try.

62 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Doctor, they appear to be developing an immunity to happy talk.

The best part of this Marc Weiszer piece on the new, improved S&C staff is the disclaimer at the end.

Sinclair is Georgia’s third head strength coach in three seasons and the fourth in the last seven seasons. A new hire usually brings about enthusiastic talk in the offseason like it did last year with Mark Hocke.

The proof usually comes with how the team holds up when the games roll around in the fall…

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Today’s SEC trivia question

Can you name the only SEC program that hasn’t had a single coaching staff change since the end of last season?

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

All they need is love.

Andy Staples gets to the meat of what’s significant about the Louisiana governor’s warning about the state’s budgetary crisis with this:

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards insisted he wasn’t trying to scare anyone last week when he outlined the state’s economic woes ahead of a special legislative session to determine a new budget. But of course he was…

In the grand scheme, the closure of hospitals—something Edwards also threatened as a possibility in his doomsday speech—would be a far greater catastrophe than an interruption of college football in the state. But Edwards is a politician. He knew which button to push. By hinting that the budget crisis could harm LSU football, Edwards turned a state story into a national one and raised the antennae of people from all walks of life whose only commonality may be their love of the Tigers…

What’s most interesting is the fact that Edwards chose to use college football as a political lever. In local politics, it’s common to threaten the discontinuation of high school sports or school bus service because those things tend to rally the electorate. In 2009, I wrote about a community in Ohio that found itself nearly torn in two by a tax levy fight that briefly claimed sports in the local high schools. It makes sense that a similar threat at the state level would be calculated to inspire the same emotions.

But we shouldn’t be surprised that college football now has a role in politics. When combined with the passion it stirs, the popularity it enjoys and the reach it regularly has, it makes the ideal additive for a politician or activist looking to generate buzz. The Missouri football team’s protest last year also brought national attention to what was ultimately a state issue. Edwards realized more people would talk about Louisiana’s budget if they thought it might affect LSU football. (Which actually helped the LSU athletic department contribute $43.5 million to the university side in the past five years.)

In some places, college football means that much. Politicians were bound to take advantage eventually.

Thinking back to the days not too long ago when Congress and the Utah attorney general were threatening the P5 commissioners over college football’s postseason, I’d probably question his use of the word “eventually” there, but otherwise, that’s spot on.  Folks with political axes to grind gravitate towards college football for the same reason ESPN does –   because there are a boatload of us who care passionately about the sport, and that passion can be milked.

The irony, of course, is that the only folks who don’t seem capable of doing any such milking are the fans themselves.  In the meantime, those of you who decry my occasional insertion of politics into the blog here… hey, don’t blame me.  I’m only the messenger.

30 Comments

Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

Sometimes, Vegas works in mysterious ways.

Bovada’s updated its odds on college football’s 2017 national championship in the wake of signing day and the results in the SEC are all over the place:  huge jumps for Auburn and Tennessee, a small one for Ole Miss and unchanged odds for Alabama, Georgia and LSU, the latter four all recognized as signing no worse than equal and in most places better than (hell, in Alabama’s case, much better than) the Tigers and Vols.

I get that this really isn’t that mysterious, that it’s simply a reflection of how the money’s flowed in over the past few days, much I would assume from fan bases that are excited over new blood.  (If so, how jaded are Tide fans these days?)  I can see why Tennessee’s odds moved, given the likely state of the East, but Auburn’s improved fortunes are a little harder to understand.

In any event, let’s see how Booch’s team deals with the pressure of heightened expectations.

12 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Always Be Closing: Georgia’s 2016 class adds a member

Those of you fretting over Kirby Smart’s decision to leave four slots open in his first class can now relax 25%.

Georgia has landed a commitment from an offensive tackle who could earn a starting spot immediately as a graduate transfer.

Tyler Catalina, who has started the last three years at Rhode Island, tweeted Monday evening that he will finish his college career at Georgia. He visited Athens over the weekend and had planned to visit Auburn next weekend.

Florida and Texas A&M also recruited him and he had signed financial aid papers with Iowa State.

It’s hard to see any downside here.  Catalina, at 23, is likely to be more mature physically than most of the other options Pittman will be looking at as he reshapes the offensive line for more size across.  At worst, Catalina provides depth and competition in a transitional year.  At best, he’s able to step in and start at one of the tackle spots.  In either case, as he’s only a one-year contributor, he won’t interfere in Georgia’s longer-term development plans for the offensive line.  Actually, it’s more than just that, as Catalina’s addition will make it easier for the staff to make the call to redshirt one of the incoming freshman linemen.

It’s apparent from the offers he had from other D-1 programs that the kid’s not a stiff.  And I’ll assume that, as a graduate transfer (he doesn’t graduate until May, which is why he can only offer his commitment right now) who hopes that his presence at a bigger program will help him make his case to the NFL, he doesn’t lack for motivation.  Even better, he demonstrates excellent taste in cancelling his trip to Auburn, although it’s hard to believe he could spurn a sales pitch like this.

19720930-large

Okay, maybe not.  (But I digress.)

In any event, we’re seeing that Pittman can close a deal and that Smart has a clue about roster management.  There’s a method to the madness, in other words.  I feel a little sunnier today.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting