Daily Archives: January 12, 2017

“It’s pretty much a Dave & Buster’s on their campus.”

Damn, the JPMIPF™ hasn’t even officially opened its doors yet, and Georgia’s already behind in the facilities arms race again.  What’s a McGarity to do?  (Besides pull up the donor list again, I mean.)

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Filed under Georgia Football

Name that caption, smiling sumbitches edition

Given this comment

When asked how he felt about what took place at UGA this season, Rocker called it “a mutiny.” Head coach Mark Richt was fired at the end of a 9-3 season, and only two of his nine assistants were retained by new head coach Kirby Smart.

Rocker was one of them and outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer was the other.

“When you play a game like this and you have — I’ll call it — a bit of a mutiny; well, it IS mutiny — it’s important that you bring the kids together, and I thought it was important we did that,” Rocker said in a concourse beneath EverBank Field. “Those kids, we kept them together, and that’s what B-Mac (Bryan McClendon) did a great job with. Everybody focused and everybody stayed the course.”

Rocker declined to expound on exactly what he meant by a mutiny. But linebackers coach Mike Ekeler and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are among the coaches who left and forewent their bowl bonuses had they stayed with the team.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, an alleged source of friction for both of them supposedly and others, has since left to succeed Smart at Alabama.

… that must have been kind of an awkward moment.  Which might explain the expression on Sherrer’s face.

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Out of control

Back to AFCA for a moment… in the wake of the model proposed by the NCAA’s football oversight committee that would create two early signing periods in June and December for high school prospects, the coaches announced support for an early signing date.

Date, as in singular.

“We would like to now start the conversation going about multiple signing days,” Berry said at a news conference. “This is something that we have never come to agreement on, and we’re ready to take that step.

Berry said coaches understand the current model is “archaic” with student-athletes and both high school and college coaches wanting more flexibility and earlier signing periods. He also said many high school athletes enter college after concluding their senior seasons.

“We think this is the least intrusive to the current model and allows for the best study because this is the biggest step,” Berry said. “What is a multiple signing date going to do to the recruiting date? This is the biggest step of all. We need to evaluate that.”

That is why the coaches unanimously agreed to recommend an additional signing day on the third Wednesday in December, currently the mid-year signing day for junior college student-athletes with no limitations. The signing date also needs approval from the Collegiate Commissioners Associate, which administers the national letter of intent.

“There are still a lot of concerns with the model that is being proposed, and I think everybody that was a part of that model would say that we recognize there was going to be some holes in the model,” Berry said. “As coaches, we don’t think that’s fair to the student-athletes to put them through an experiment.”

Damn, there’s that “fair to the student-athletes” thing again.  Wonder how many of those guys honestly believe the transfer rules are fair to the student-athletes.

You don’t have to dig very deep into Berry’s language there to realize there’s a great deal of reluctance to embrace more signing dates, unanimous support of adding one in December notwithstanding.  And it’s not because of fairness.  It’s because these guys recognize a threat to their control of the signing process.  (If there’s one thing they’re good at, it’s recognizing threats to control.)

Early signing dates mean things like contingent offers and slow playing commits get flushed out earlier, which leaves kids more time to assess their real-world opportunities.  That’s so unfair — to the coaches.

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Filed under Recruiting

More anti-throwaway narrative

Over at CFN, Pete Fiutak goes all in on Georgia in his early top ten for 2017:

7. Georgia

It’s all about the offensive line. There’s no excuse whatsoever for the offense to be so mediocre with Jacob Eason with a year under his belt, and with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to hand off to. But that line – it returns just two starters, and it has to be a whole lot better. Meanwhile, the defense isn’t going to skip a beat with just about everyone back to what should be a killer. Dawgs, win the East – you’re this year’s Tennessee.

Um, how did “this year’s Tennessee” work out for last year’s Tennessee?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Little Johnny Redshirt

Here’s an AFCA proposal that actually makes sense.

In an announcement Wednesday, AFCA executive director Todd Berry said a proposal has been developed that would allow a player to be given redshirt so long as he’s played in four games or less in a season. Those four games could come at anytime — beginning of the season, middle or end — so long as he “doesn’t play again for any reason that season.”

The proposal would eliminate medical redshirts and their subjective nature. Under the proposal, whether a student-athletes plays in four games or does not, the timetable of five years to play four seasons would remain intact.

Hard to argue with that, although Berry has to overplay his cards for some reason with this:

“Little Johnny, he’s not ready to play. But Little Johnny’s mom and dad are in the stands. Every data point says when a kid is engaged in football during his collegiate years, the better he does academically, the better he does socially,” Berry told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

“You got a chance to put Little Johnny out there at the close of a ballgame. So what? That shouldn’t burn his eligibility. If Little Johnny goes out and doesn’t play in the first five games because he wasn’t ready to play and then all the sudden you stick him out there in the sixth game of the season and he tears his knee up and is gone for the season, he’s burned his eligibility. That is not fair to Little Johnny.”

Sigh.  Are these guys so insecure that they have to pollute every proposal with a “do it for the kids”?

In any event, greater flexibility and less hypocrisy adds up to a win-win in my book.  Which means it’ll probably get chewed over by a couple of NCAA committees for the next two years and never come to fruition.  That’s a real shame for Little Johnny and his folks.

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Filed under College Football

Notre Dame, joining the RPO revolution

Looks like Smart and Tucker are going to have their work cut out for them when Georgia travels to South Bend next season.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

The Gus Bus is hiring a new driver.

Talk about your late night news dump, this popped up about 10PM yesterday.

Rhett Lashlee is leaving his offensive coordinator position at Auburn to take the same position at the University of Connecticut.

The move was announced officially by the Huskies program on Twitter Wednesday evening after Fox Sports reporter Bruce Fedman originally broke the story minutes before.

A lateral move out of the SEC to a program that’s one of the lesser lights in the FBS?  Wut? Malzahn explains.

“This is a great opportunity for Rhett to implement and run his own offense. I’ve known Rhett for two decades and he’s a man of great character and integrity and this is another step towards his goal to become a head coach. I want to thank Rhett for all of his contributions and his friendship. I want to wish he and his wife Lauren all the best in this new endeavor.”

Yeah, sure.  And before you ask, no, it’s not about money.

According to USA Today’s latest database numbers, Lashlee’s annual salary last season was $601,500 with the possibility of additional bonuses that could go as high as $190,000. According to ESPN.com college football reporter Brett McMurphy, Lashlee is reportedly taking a sizable pay cut in his new position at Connecticut. McMurphy reported Wednesday night that Lashlee has agreed to a three-year deal with an annual salary of $350,000.

A fifty percent pay cut doing the same job at a shittier program is a great opportunity?  Cold translation:  don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, son.

Now I doubt this is something that just came to Malzahn in the middle of the night, so the timing is noteworthy, in that five-star stud quarterback Jarrett Stidham is now safely in the Auburn fold.  What’s the big deal there?  Oh, not much.

Remember, kid, what they always tell you:  you commit to the school, not the coach.  Gus will explain it to you if you don’t understand.

Which brings us to the question who will have the opportunity to get close to Stidham, now that his former flame be gone.  The list of suspects is about what you’d expect, guys like former Auburn quarterback Dameyune Craig, Jake Spavital (who’s looking for a job now), Arizona State’s offensive coordinator, Art Briles… HOLY CRAP GUS MALZAHN MIGHT HIRE ART BRILES.

I mean, what could possibly be wrong with Art Briles?  He’s an offensive genius.

Briles has had a connection with Malzahn dating back years when the two staffs began trading playbook ideas with each other. Both staffs have made trips to each other’s campuses to go over new and innovative ideas with their similar offenses. And that right there is probably where this connection stops making sense. In case you’d forgotten, and I doubt many folks have, an independent review by the Pepper Hamilton law firm found that Baylor football coaches and staff interfered with investigations into sexual assault complaints against players, and even impeded potential criminal proceedings. The firm released a 13-page report on May 26, the same day Briles was immediately suspended before reaching a mutual agreement with the school for his departure about a month later. Briles hasn’t been interviewed for a job in college football since the Pepper Hamilton report was released. It would be a near impossibility for Auburn to explain this hire from a public relations standpoint.

Hey, we’re in the age of Trump.  Nobody has to explain anything anymore.  And you have to admit it would sure make Stidham comfy.

It would be the ultimate Second Chance U move, and if there’s any school more into second chances than Auburn, I’d be hard-pressed to name it.

If Jimmy Sexton manages to pull this off, he’s a wizard.

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UPDATE:  I’m shocked, shocked by the early results in this reader poll.

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UPDATE #2:  “No way on Art,” a high-level source told Auburn Undercover on Thursday.  Thanks for getting everyone’s hopes up.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands