Daily Archives: April 13, 2017

“We are getting ran through.”

If Kirby’s doggin’ his defense publicly, it’s because he doesn’t want to be accused of blowing smoke after G-Day goes down.

Throughout the spring, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has been adamant that the Bulldogs’ defense has not been up to par. On 680 the Fan’s The Front Row Wednesday, Smart was asked if his message to the media is scripted.

“I don’t rehearse anything,” Smart said. “I would say that I try to tell the truth. I try to be honest, because the same thing that I tell the team at the end of practice, is usually what I tell the media. So if it weren’t consistent, then I would believe what you are saying, that I was spinning a message. That is not really the case. I am a pretty honest guy, forthright in telling the truth.”

Cool.  I guess that means we really have grounds for being excited about the offensive line, then.

Smart was then asked if the defense, which returns 10 starters from a group that was tenth in the country in forcing turnovers and 16th in yards allowed and passing yards allowed, is truly not impressing as much as the offense.

“That’s the truth,” Smart said. “We are getting ran through. We are not playing the way we need to. We are not striking blockers, getting off blocks, we are not doing a lot of things right.”

The cause of that, according to Smart, is a combination of three factors.

“It is the offense getting a hat on a hat and blocking the right guys and being physical at the point of attack,” Smart said.




Filed under Georgia Football

“We understand the finances that are available through TV.”

Color me a little surprised by the next hill the American Football Coaches Association has decided to assault.

The American Football Coaches Association will begin to ask the NCAA to consider a process adjusting game times that better benefit athletes this week.

Time demands on players have become a top NCAA priority. Coaches and administrators have increasingly complained about teams getting back from road trips in the middle of the night — or early morning — after night games.

AFCA executive director Todd Berry told CBS Sports, “We feel like there are times when you’re traveling cross country or on a long bus ride. If someone is not getting back until 4 in the morning because of a start time, is this really fair to the student-athlete?”

The proposal is preliminary and will be made while Berry is in Indianapolis this week as an ex-officio member of the NCAA Oversight Committee. That committee would have to first consider the measure before it is passed up the chain to become formal legislation.

Berry would not reveal any specifics, but he says there is a detailed plan regarding time zones and when schools return from road trips…

Don’t get me wrong.  This appears to be a legitimate “think of the children” concern and I applaud the coaches for going there.

But.  Still.

Inevitably, any such discussion about earlier game times will have to involve TV partners. Industry sources say such time adjustments are a long shot. The television rights held by the networks allow them to dictate starting times as a way to recoup the money paid to those conferences. The popularity of those games is reflected in ratings and ad revenue.

“These things are all governed by contracts and the quality of the game,” an industry source said. “The reason the game has become as popular as it has, they’re televised in the best possible time slot.”

Another industry source cited ESPN’s stance. The network has loads of programming to fit into a day. If it allowed outside influence to impact game times, the network “would be out of business.”

Yeah, Mickey might have a problem with that.  And since everybody in college football is sucking from that teat — including the coaches, when you get down to it — you’d have to think what’s the WWL’s problem is their problem, too.

In other words, don’t get your hopes up, kids.


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Those bastids at Nike are at it again.

Get ‘yer Nike Free Trainer v7 Spring Games Collection Shoes, Georgia edition, in ever tasteful red.

Nike 2


A mere $109.95, Dawg fans, and they can be yours.  Gotta admit they’re pretty sweet looking, though.


Filed under Georgia Football

It’s Tubby Time!

Between Tommy Tuberville returning to the state to weigh a run for governor and Malzahn hiring Al Borges as an analyst, it’s starting to feel like 2004 all over again.

All that’s left for Tubs to do is to name Bobby Lowder finance chairman and put Pat Dye in charge of media relations.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

“If it falls apart, watch out.”

The NCAA appears to have taken a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” approach to recruiting reform with its 2016-116 proposal scheduled to be voted on by the end of this week.

Will that work?

But finally, most everyone who matters seems to be on board at least for a mid-December early signing date that would coincide with the junior college period. Proposal No. 2016-116 took years to craft; experts warn it could be picked apart.

The bundled package resembles a Congressional bill with typical partisan elements built in. Within the legislation is a proposal for a 10th full-time assistant coach. Was that enough to get the coaches to support an early signing period?

Any attempt to undo the bundle and make the proposals ala carte could mean failure.

“There are people who like some parts of it, not all parts of it,” Bowlsby said of the overall proposals. “So there is a fair amount of horse trading to be done.”

I’ve already linked to the story about Gus Malzahn pitching a fit about restrictions on hiring high school coaches.  Nick Saban is irritated as only Saban can be about camp restrictions.  Both apparently have company on those issues.  As Dodd notes in his article, though, there are aspects of the proposal that many coaches like, such as adding the tenth staff member.

If the sweet parts aren’t enough to entice the coaches to hold their noses, what happens then?  Probably nothing good.

If major-college football chooses to adopt all these measures, one high-profile recruiting expert called it “revolutionary.”

If not, one high-ranked source in the process speculated the NCAA Board of Governors may take over reform themselves. No one wants that.

Watch the vote to see who has the leverage.

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Quarterbacks in the spring

Al.com takes a look at the quarterback situation after the first seven SEC spring games are in the book.  I’m not sure there are many defensive coordinators getting the shakes over this:

AUBURN – Jarrett Stidham was on the money but keep in mind it was first team vs. second team, etc. Still, he showed he’s more physically gifted than returning starter Sean White, who has battled and played through tough injuries. Hard to see anyone but Stidham taking the first snaps this fall and a bigger question may be who is the backup?

FLORIDA – It’s possible that 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks could be the starter as Luke Del Rio is injured. Franks looks the part and apparently has made big strides over the last year.

OLE MISS – It’s the Shea Patterson show for good now, as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2016 class started late last season but is poised for a big jump now. Even if he wears No. 20, and you rarely see quarterbacks wearing numbers higher than 19 and it looks unnatural.

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Nick Fitzgerald threw four interceptions in the spring game, but should still be among the upper echelon of SEC quarterbacks. It just depends on what’s around him since he’s no Dak but he’s not shabby either.

TEXAS A&M – Veteran Jake Hubenak is trying to hold off true freshman Kellen Mond and another youngster in Nick Starkel. This just doesn’t seem like a good situation for the Aggies going into the fall.

SOUTH CAROLINA – Jake Bentley is established and is the guy, as the more-hyped freshman quarterback in last year’s class is transferring in Brandon McElwain. Look for Bentley to ascend into being one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks this season.

VANDERBILT – Kyle Shurmur might be the most underrated quarterback in the league going into the fall as he threw for nearly 2,500 yards last season.

Lots of hopes and dreams there, although I tend to think Bentley and Patterson have bright futures.  But Fitzgerald’s “threw four interceptions in the spring game, but should still be among the upper echelon of SEC quarterbacks” and Shurmur’s “the most underrated quarterback in the league” tells you a lot about where the conference is right now, too.

On the bright side, it doesn’t make me feel too down about Georgia’s quarterback situation.


Filed under SEC Football

It’s nice to have a hobby.

West Virginia citizens must be relieved to know their state is in such good shape that its governor has plenty of time to strong arm Marshall University into hiring one of his buddies to be its football coach.

Gov. Jim Justice pressured Marshall University leaders in recent months to shake up how the school’s football team is coached, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The governor has sought to oust the head football coach, Doc Holliday, and install his longtime friend and former Herd coach Bobby Pruett, said the source, who requested anonymity.

This time last year, as Justice was campaigning to be the Democratic nominee for governor, Pruett appeared alongside former West Virginia University coach Don Nehlen in a commercial supporting Justice.

“It was not a meeting to say, ‘Fire the coach and hire Pruett,’ ” Justice chief of staff Nick Casey said in a statement Wednesday evening. “It was a meeting to say, ‘Ratchet up your game and do something to get yourself back to greatness.’ ”

Yeah, sure.


Filed under Political Wankery

The Auburn defense

I give this an “A” for originality.

An attorney in North Carolina’s ongoing academic scandal wants Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey removed as head of the NCAA infractions panel hearing the case because of a conflict of interest.

Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams wrote the NCAA this month saying Sankey ”has a personal, professional and institutional interest in the outcome” of the case involving his client, Deborah Crowder, a retired UNC officer administrator. He compared Sankey’s involvement to ”the Commissioner of the SEC refereeing a championship game between an (Atlantic Coast Conference) team and an SEC team.”

He also described Sankey as a potential witness regarding a previous case at Auburn during his time as an SEC associate commissioner that had similarities but didn’t lead to major violations.

I don’t think this has a shot in hell of succeeding, but you’ve got to admire his moxie.  And I have to admit I’d love to hear Sankey explain himself.


Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football, SEC Football, The NCAA