Bless your heart.
Daily Archives: May 31, 2017
This Chip Towers piece could be entitled “In Search of Jacob Eason’s Button”. Will it be the threat of Jake Fromm starting that unlocks Eason’s inner competitor? How about the easy dismissals coming from pundits everywhere? What is the key that will unlock Eason’s heart?
I’m gonna go with a better offensive line myself.
UPDATE: This, too, strikes me as more relevant than some of the quasi-juice being served up.
Because if Hurts, Eason and Co. don’t live up to expectations, it won’t just be on them. It will reflect poorly on the league and its coaches for not developing them as well.
If we’re going to put Hurts under the microscope, we should go ahead and throw Nick Saban under it, too. The same goes for Eason and Kirby Smart, Stidham and Gus Malzahn and the rest of the QB/coach tandems in the league.
Amen to that.
It sounds like Barney Farrar may be shaping up as Ole Miss’ Wilmer Cook.
Alabama vs. Auburn, don’t ever change.
The linked piece is a fun read, even if I shook my head after this part:
Alabama is considered the stodgier, more football-centric school. Auburn, which is a national powerhouse on the football field as well, fancies itself a little more bookish and likes to tout its engineering program.
Okay, that was a fun read, too. As in side-splitting…
In a post about which SEC teams have the best running back groups, Ed Aschoff writes this:
Don’t sleep on: Despite ranking dead last in the SEC in rushing last year (128.2 YPG), Florida actually has a pretty solid group of rushers.
By that measure, maybe I should say Georgia has a pretty solid group of offensive linemen.
The header may have been what drew me into this article, but it’s the conclusion that grabbed me.
Should the SEC elect to completely open up its transfer policy, Saban not-so-playfully suggested the Crimson Tide would only be aided by such a move.
“We would benefit as much as anybody in our league if you said you can transfer. Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama,” Saban said. “Why do we want that? Why do we need that? How does that help the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference or as a league? I’m not for having free agency in our conference.”
The man who had a rule named after Jonathan Taylor is whining about “the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference”? Don’t make me laugh.
Beyond that, what Saban is talking about there (“Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama”) is tampering, potentially speaking. Somehow that strikes me as a much bigger threat to integrity than anything Maurice Smith wanted.
The reason Saban is up in arms about this is because his program has greater depth than any other team in the SEC, which means the odds that a loosening of the transfer rules leads to a net talent drain from ‘Bama are decent. That’s some shit Saban has time for.
Anybody think that his next step will be to manage his players’ academic progress to cut down the number of kids eligible for graduate transfers? The man does like to work those envelope edges.
Let’s recap. Kirby Smart is hired in December, 2015, stays with Alabama through the CFP while managing his new job in his spare time, finally gets to Athens to put on a full court press through national signing day, then turns his attention to running a program, preparing for spring practice and somehow in the middle of that mad rush finds the time to help Greg McGarity lobby the state legislature to pass an open records bill.
You’d think the timing suggests that was kind of a high priority, but Georgia’s head coach wants you to know it was no big deal.
Smart was asked if his program has benefited from the law—which doesn’t include salaries of non-clerical staff.
“I don’t think it’s had much of an effect,” Smart said. “You’d have to ask these guys (beat reporters). They send in FOI (Freedom of Information) requests all the time. They might know, but I don’t think there’s been any major benefit for us.”
So if that’s the case, Smart was asked if the law is something should be repealed at some point?
“I’ll be honest with you that’s not a major concern for me and it wasn’t a major concern when it was put in” said Smart, who has downplayed his involvement with what some have referred to as Kirby’s law after he spoke to lawmakers about it. “To me, it allows our staff to get the paperwork together and answer questions and do it in a time-wise manner.”
Lord knows, Butts-Mehre operates on the assumption that it can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, so maybe Smart has a point there. Except if you have even the slightest lick of sense, you know the real reason UGA pushed for the new law.
And in that regard, it’s been quite the success.
One reporter who covers another school who is working on a story sought information via open records from every SEC school. Every public SEC school (not including Vanderbilt, which is private) has provided the records that were sought except for Georgia because the 90 days had not yet been reached.
That may not garner you any conference championships, friends, but don’t think that doesn’t smell like winning to Greg McGarity.
For all the angst and concern about what the new early signing period brings with it, there doesn’t appear to be much disagreement about the results.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said he expects the new early signing period in football will attract a huge percentage of recruits who don’t want to wait until February.
“In basketball, we’ve seen two-thirds to three-fourths sign early,” Sankey said Tuesday. “I suspect you will see the same thing in football.”
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said it could be even higher than that.
“I think 75 to 90 percent of our class will be in that time period,” he said.
Gee, I wonder if those qualms about not having enough evaluation time might be a tad overblown.
On the surface, it sounds like Kirby Smart has come to terms with his inner Mark Richt on the subject of Georgia’s drug policy.
The first time Kirby Smart was asked about UGA’s stringent drug policy, the team’s new football coach merely said he understood it was in place and deferred to his administration. The next he was asked about it, he again toed the company line, saying he was a “team player.”
This time, when asked about it at SEC meetings, Smart’s answer was different. He sounded all in supporting the school’s rule.
“I’m completely in agreement with the policy we have in place at our place,” Smart said. “Different schools have different policies, but that’s beyond my control. What’s in my control is what we have in our place. And I accept that, and every player accepts that, and they’re told that from the very beginning.
Dig a little deeper, though, and it seems Kirby is doing all he can to keep a little wiggle room in play.
Receiver Riley Ridley and tailback Elijah Holyfield, both now sophomores, have each been arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. That would, as specified in the UGA student-athlete handbook, bring a one-game suspension for a football player.
That said, Smart continued to not confirm absolutely that Ridley and Holyfield would be suspended.
“Well, we’re internally disciplining them, so it’ll come out in due time,” Smart said. “But those guys are both being disciplined internally.”
Smart, when asked whether that meant a one-game suspension, as specified in the handbook, did not elaborate.
“It’ll be handled internally,” Smart said, leaving it at that.
The opener is at home against Appalachian State, remember, so suspending the two wouldn’t be cataclysmic, at least if they’re the only two facing suspension at that time. That makes following the playing status of those two all the more worthy of tracking. Is it possible that the competitive disadvantage argument will force a subtle adjustment of the Georgia Way? Stay tuned.