Daily Archives: August 18, 2017

The genius takes a hit.

If you think having a dominant B-back is necessary for Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense to work at its best, then this is a big deal.

Star Georgia Tech B-back Dedrick Mills has been dismissed from the Jackets program according to a statement released by the school on Friday afternoon by Sports Information Director Mike Flynn.

Sophomore B-back Dedrick Mills was dismissed from Georgia Tech’s football program on Friday for a violation of Georgia Tech athletics department rules.

Mills ran for 771 yards last season in 9 games and was picked as a preseason All-ACC running back by the media in Charlotte earlier this year.

That should help Auburn’s depth at the position in a couple of years, I would think.



That seems promising.



Filed under Georgia Tech Football


You are supposed to believe that Hugh Freeze and a booster who “allegedly gave a recruit cash and free food at his Oxford, Miss., restaurant [and] called each other at least 200 times between January 2015 and the end of Freeze’s tenure last month” just happened to meet at church after the alleged violations occurred, formed a friendship, yet never discussed the NCAA case.

Sounds credible to me.


Filed under Freeze!, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

“I understand the resting state of healthy skepticism that has come to define the fan base.”

Andy Staples wonders whether Georgia’s offense is ready to carry the team to a division title in a weak SEC East.  The word “if” plays a prominent role in his piece.  So does the word “Chaney”.

Needless to say, I doubt you’ll find much there to argue with.


Filed under Georgia Football

Best bowl name?

Or best bowl name ever?

How would you feel about being on the announcing crew that had to repeat that name throughout the broadcast?


Filed under College Football

“It’s a new Trent.”

Not only is Trent Thompson back, he’s remarkably self-assured for someone who went through a tough offseason.

At Georgia’s first preseason scrimmage, Thompson was a defensive standout who repeatedly made things difficult on the run game. Thompson appears much more confident in himself now than he was in previous years at this time.

“I know the system in and out,” Thompson said. “I know the calls. I know when to pull, I know how to hold my gaps better. I know how to let my linebackers make plays than me trying to do much. I’m not saying I overdo it but I don’t need to miss tackles. I can assist.”

Thompson believes he belongs on a football field with his teammates. Being away while injured wasn’t easy. But it served as a motivational tool.

“I focus on the weight room more, I focus on getting stronger instead of picking up weight,” Thompson said. “I stay lean. I stay with (strength and conditioning coordinator Scott) Sinclair to make sure I get extra running in because I know he’s going to get me faster. I trust what he does for the team.”

Marc Weiszer reports that Trent’s lost a little weight, but in a good way.

The 6-foot-4 junior is a little lighter at 300 pounds but says he may be quicker off the ball.

“He brings a tremendous amount of energy to the field,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “He is very, very destructive and runs to the ball. He is very consistent in that matter.

Tucker sounds pretty pleased there.

What’s most exciting to me is that for all his ailments last season, Thompson still managed to be impressive, third on the team in tackles with 56, first in tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five sacks.  Now he feels good physically.

“It feels good to get my shoulders right, my back, my ankles. I feel much better than I did last year,” Thompson said. “I think just having time to myself to get my mind right so I can focus on the team.”

Imagine what he might be capable of in 2017.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I don’t know anybody that says a bad word about…”

I got a few emails yesterday about this Bruce Feldman piece.

I’ve covered college sports for 20-plus years and have often dealt with the inner workings of the games, but one area I rarely thought much about was the people at the top: the athletic directors. I knew what ADs generally did and I knew who most of them were, but when it came to who the good ones were and, more specifically, what made them good at their jobs, I didn’t have a lot of answers. So about a year ago, I began a project to get a better handle on what makes a good athletic director and who the best ones are. I decided to conduct two anonymous surveys: one with 15 of my media peers who cover college sports, both on TV and in print. The second was with 10 ADs themselves.

I asked two basic questions of each group: What factors determine how effective these folks are at their jobs? And who are the best three ADs in the business?

Gee, I wonder why anyone might think I’d be interested.

Actually, the second question really matters little to me — let’s face it, had Greg McGarity’s name popped up as one of the top ones in his profession, it would have said more about Feldman’s methodology than about McGarity’s competency.  (In case you’re wondering, McGarity didn’t get a single vote.)

The first question, though, is another story.  Here’s the media’s criteria for what makes an athletic director successful:

Hiring and retaining coaches/staff (34 points): “Clearly, their most important role is hiring the right football and men’s basketball coaches and then keeping them happy and focused.”

“I respect athletic directors who don’t rely on search firms and make hires themselves.”

Fundraising (25): “Smart ADs are great salespeople. They know how to leverage their assets, and they understand the business of college athletics.”

Accessibility/Communication skills (10): “This is the tricky one for the long haul. It’s about being able to say no to powerful coaches or boosters and recognizing when a little problem is threatening to metastasized into something larger (hello, Baylor).”

Crisis management (8): “I’m also big on ADs holding their employees, players and themselves accountable. That includes meaning the AD is accessible to the public, doesn’t just hide behind nonsense statements and doesn’t put himself out there simply to get attention. When times are tough, does the AD make the right call and/or explain himself or herself? Properly handling a crisis is one of the biggest tasks for an AD these days. Look at [former Baylor AD] Ian McCaw and how that worked out.”

Culture building (4): “You have to make people proud of what they have and in a sense what they don’t have.”

Innovation/creativity (4): “Thinking outside the box is also a key trait for me, especially with the need to find different ways to sell out stadiums and pay for the increasing costs associated with athletics.”

And here’s how athletic directors judge their peers.

Culture building (18): “Everything starts with your ability to develop a culture of integrity and accountability and how well you communicate, and then everything falls from there.”

“If you have the right culture, you’ll be able to attract the right coaches.”

“You can look at the kind of experiences the young men and women are having in your program and also the level of academic success they are having.”

Hiring and retaining coaches/staff (12): “It’s not just about being able to hire good coaches. It’s also really important about knowing when to fire those that are a bad fit.”

Fundraising (9): “You hire good people/personnel, you win football games and then it’s easier to raise money.”

Crisis management (5): “You’d better be flexible and not someone who gets stuck in their ways because it seems like every day arrows are coming at you.”

There’s a good deal of overlap between the two.  Outside of bringing money in the door, it’s hard to see where what goes on in Athens checks any of the boxes.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the lists.  Is McGarity being underrated, or are the lists an inaccurate way to evaluate the job?  Should Jere Morehead pay attention?  Have at it in the comments.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football

Mixing it up at scrimmage time

I’ve long thought this would be a cool thing to do.

Kirby Smart appears open to the idea of holding an offseason or preseason scrimmage with another college football program.

Appearing on 680 The Fan’s The Front Row Wednesday, Smart was asked about this concept, which came a day after Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he would love for something like this to come into fruition.

“We did that in the NFL when I played and coach, and it was great,” Smart said. “Now, every now and then it gets a little heated with some scuffles. It’s much more enjoyable for the players than the same monotonous thing. They get to each other, they get to scrimmage, play somebody else.”

…  NFL teams have practiced with one another during the preseason for quite awhile.

And as Smart noted, high school programs are practicing and scrimmaging with one another too.

“They do it all over the state of Georgia,” Smart said. “They have a day where they come in with two or three teams, and they share. If you do it the right way and the coaches understand it’s really not about who wins the drill, it’s about getting better, then it’s very productive.”

High schools do it.  The NFL does it.  But not the colleges.  Why?  Well…

The NCAA does not technically prohibit this sort of thing from happening. But if two teams did agree to a scrimmage, they would each lose a regular-season game.

NCAA bylaw states that a member institution “shall limit its total regular-season playing schedule with outside competition during the permissible football playing season in any one year to 12 contests (games or scrimmages).”

Given the numerous factors at play in a 12-game season, this all but shuts down the opportunity for teams to scrimmage each other before a new season begins.

I’m not sure about that whole numerous factors thing — no school wants to blow the revenue it receives from a regular season game and that would seem to be enough of a factor in itself — but it’s hard to see a downside to such a scrimmage, especially if they opened it up to public viewing.

In any event, you wonder if you’ll see more coaches join in and maybe push the NCAA to update the rule to allow it.


Filed under The NCAA

It just means more.

As long as when you’re talking about “it”, you don’t mean the SEC’s non-conference scheduling.

No conference takes it easier in nonconference play year after year than the SEC.  Last year, the Big Ten outdid the SEC when it came to scheduling the most home games, but the SEC never stays down for long and has reclaimed that crown.  The SEC is playing a full 75 percent of its nonconference games at home.

The league is also playing the smallest percentage of true road games (just nine out of 56 games) and the greatest percentage of games against FCS competition.  The SEC just missed playing the smallest percentage of games against other Power Five teams.

Another annual characteristic of SEC nonconference schedules is that, when teams do play away from home, even in neutral-site games, they rarely leave the South.  Only three SEC teams will play games out of its home region: Georgia at Notre Dame, Texas A&M at UCLA and Ole Miss at Cal.  The Bulldogs are the only SEC team playing two games away from home, which is also very unusual.

At least the Dawgs have that going for them.  The rest is just the usual exercise in protection.  As long as the current postseason system enables it, the conference will keep going on its merry way with it, too.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football