August 29, 2017 · 1:01 PM
Uncle Verne passed on some words of wisdom to his already prepared successor, Brad Nessler.
With such a high-profile gig comes the expected criticism. I asked him how long will it take before a fan base accuses him of being biased.
“About 12 minutes,” Nessler quipped. “I know that comes with the territory.”
In fact, he said he talked to Lundquist last week. His words of advice were short and to the point.
“Basically, he said, ‘get ready, kid. Here it (the criticism) comes.”
They know us at least as well as we think we know them.
August 29, 2017 · 12:41 PM
Gotta love Seth’s wrap up on the subject:
“He’s been getting in there and just doing a phenomenal job on special teams.,” Blazevich said “That’s what we’ve been harping all offseason. We were not very good last year in special teams. I think that led to a couple losses that should have been wins. And we need to get that under control.
“That’s the main thing we’re doing. We’re focusing on it. We’re emphasizing it. And guys are stepping up.”
Or at least that’s the preseason happytalk.
Hey, there are only a few days left before the opener. Get your preseason happy talk now while it lasts.
August 29, 2017 · 12:30 PM
Big enough that Auburn’s own associate athletic director for strategic communications had to tell ESPN that some of Jacobs’ comments about a softball coach who left the program were “unfortunate” and possibly “misleading”.
Is it just me, or does the SEC appear to have more than its fair share of athletic directors who couldn’t find their way out of an open paper bag?
Maybe Greg Sankey needs to provide conference-wide logistical support for how to conduct media relations. Sure, that might cost a few bucks, but you can’t put a price on avoiding self-inflicted wounds.
August 29, 2017 · 12:17 PM
I think instead of tracking coaches’ hot seat rankings, I ought to start a list of head coaches with the tightest sphincters. Right now, my pick for America’s most pin-resistant asshole belongs to Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. As an example of how he’s wound up, check out this remarkable “I fixed everything” column he posted at Yahoo Sports. It pretty much checks every preseason happy talk box you can think of, and in the process manages to make Booch sound grounded.
By the way, this really caught my eye:
… we have three new coordinators – Mike Elko on defense, Chip Long on offense and Brian Polian on special teams. Overall, there’s 19 new hires on the football staff, which shows the commitment that the athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, and our administration has made to getting things back on track here. They very easily could said, “Hire from within.” But there was a strong commitment to getting the right people here and doing it the right way.
Is it reasonable to expect a coaching staff with that much turnover to be running a smoothly oiled machine by the second game of the season? I know what Brian Kelly thinks now. I wonder what he’ll be thinking in the fourth quarter against Georgia.
August 29, 2017 · 7:38 AM
I just realized the previous post was my 20,000th here at GTP.
Jeez, I need a life.
August 29, 2017 · 7:06 AM
Kirby Smart couldn’t/wouldn’t produce a depth chart this week, so Jason Butt decided to give it his best shot. Based on what we’ve heard from Smart and from the brief glances at practice the media has been able to share, it seems like a pretty reasonable guess as to where things stand at the moment.
A few random observations:
- If indeed Swift has moved ahead of Herrien and Holyfield at running back, I see a few transfers coming in the near future.
- What’s the over/under on the percentage of plays Christian Payne sees the field this year?
- If Chaney can’t utilize that stable of tight ends properly, he never will.
- Walter Grant moving ahead of D’Andre Walker at OLB may be the most intriguing guess on Butt’s list. Walker is hell on wheels and if Grant’s surpassed him, well, damn.
- If the secondary can survive the first couple of games in Parrish’s absence, you have to like what Tucker will have to work with the rest of the season.
UPDATE: Groo’s thoughts on the roster are worth a read. In particular, this bit about the offensive line:
The bright side? There is finally enough depth to have a legitimate competition. In less than three weeks, Georgia will have to name a traveling roster for the Notre Dame trip. Assuming there are 10 offensive linemen on the travel roster, there are about 11 or 12 players competing for those 10 spots. Some familiar names might be left off that list. In fact, given how fluid the composition of the line might be over the next couple of weeks, the battle for a coveted trip to South Bend might be more interesting than the competition to be a week one starter.
When’s the last time you could say that?
August 29, 2017 · 6:44 AM
Give Roquan Smith points for honesty with this comment:
“Your first year, you actually don’t know what they’re going to do in certain situations,” Smith said of the transition to a new coaching staff. “But I feel like after a year being in his system, we know what he’s going to do in situations. … We’ve had a year to actually grow closer and have a bond among each other. It’s awesome to have an extra year now and, rolling into the second year, I think the sky’s the limit for him.”
His head coach sort of fiddled with the same issue.
On whether he felt more comfortable heading into Year 2, Smart said: “It’s hard to measure. I can’t quantify it for you by a number or a measure. Certainly having played however many games, it makes you much more comfortable coming into this season as opposed to the first one, but I don’t know exactly how much more.”
We’re about to find out.
Again, no knock on Kirby here. A rookie head coach is gonna rookie head coach. As I said at the time of the hiring process, though, there’s no excuse for what is supposed to be a premier college football program with the top job opening in the country hiring that rookie head coach without doing its due diligence first. I’d call 2016 B-M’s throwaway year, except I have the sad feeling those geniuses convinced themselves Smart would do it all in his first season on the job.
August 29, 2017 · 6:29 AM
Welp, there’s one big difference between this year’s Georgia team and the media.
Appalachian State’s 34-32 upset triumph over No. 5 Michigan on the opening weekend of the 2007 college football season really doesn’t resonate with today’s Georgia Bulldogs.
Have no fear, though, says Aaron Davis.
“We’re just going to go out there and give it our best and see what happens at the end.”
“Best shot”, Aaron. The correct language is “best shot”.
August 29, 2017 · 6:23 AM
… he’d name a college football coach his chief of staff. We’d never find out anything again.
The second-biggest game of Week 1 will be played in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday afternoon when No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Florida square off. We just have no idea who the starting quarterback will be for either team following the opening kickoff.
It could be you; it might even be me. We just don’t know, and neither coach seems willing to help us out here.
During a press conference on Monday, Florida coach Jim McElwain told reporters that when it came to the Gators quarterbacks, the team has “a plan in place” but that he won’t name a starter.
“We’ll leave that for [Michigan] to guess,” McElwain said.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has yet to release his team’s roster for the 2017 season, so it’s not hard to figure out how he’s approaching this situation. He told reporters Monday that he won’t be naming his starting quarterback either, and specifically mentioned that Florida hadn’t named theirs.
“We’d love to have that information,” he said.
Christ, this is silly. And to think grown men get paid millions of dollars a year to act like that.
August 29, 2017 · 6:15 AM
Art Briles’ post-Baylor career, a play in three acts:
Man, that was a shorter employment run than O’Leary enjoyed with Notre Dame.
What, you must be wondering, was Hamilton thinking hiring Briles? Evidently there wasn’t much thinking involved at all.
In an interview with the Hamilton Spectator, Tiger-Cats CEO Scott Mitchell initially defended the decision to hire Briles.
“We just thought it was a very serious situation, but we also felt that after talking to dozens of people, people we trust, people we admire, that Art Briles is a good man that was caught in a very bad situation,” Mitchell said. “Clearly, some serious mistakes were made along the way, but we feel strongly that people deserve second chances and that’s what we’ve decided to do with Art Briles.”
Ah, the old “mistakes were made” passive tense defense. Art, the innocent bystander, helpless in the face of those bad ol’ mistakes making themselves happen. When you put it that way, hiring the man was almost an act of charity.
Snark aside, if Briles is too toxic to hold down an assistant staff position in the Canadian Football League for more than a few hours, you have to think his college football future is dim, at best. In fact, he may be the first untouchable coach since Jerry Sandusky. No wonder the Laner couldn’t get away from him fast enough.
Now if only the same standards applied to Ian McCaw…