Daily Archives: January 17, 2018

Going from rebuilding to reloading

I’m not sure we can say Georgia’s reached that stage yet, but if Alabama’s your benchmark in that regard, the gap is certainly narrowing.

Here are a few other head-to-heads to think about between the Bulldogs and the Tide.

  • Alabama signed the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Crimson Tide currently are rated No. 5 for 2018.
  • Georgia signed the nation’s No. 6 class in 2015 and 2016. The Bulldogs landed the nation’s No. 3 class in 2017 and currently have the No. 1-ranked class for 2018.
  • Alabama has signed 16 prospects with that elite 5-star rating since 2015.
  • Georgia has signed 14 of those elite 5-stars since 2015, including a gap-closing six of them for 2018.
  • The Crimson Tide’s recruiting history shows that they have signed 58 prospects with a 4-star rating since 2015. In comparison, the Bulldogs total up 52 of those elite players.
  • Alabama has signed up just one 5-star prospect for 2018.
  • The Tide have signed one player who was rated No. 1 in this class at his position for 2018. That’s junior college cornerback prospect Savion Smith.
  • Alabama has landed only one signee among the nation’s top 50 prospects for this cycle. Georgia has signed nine prospects who are rated in the top 50 of the 247Sports composite rankings for 2018.
  • The Crimson Tide have signed six players who rate among the nation’s top 5 prospects for their positions in 2018. In comparison, the Bulldogs have signed 12 of those players in their prized 2018 class.

There are still a few weeks to go until the February signing date, so I wouldn’t close the door on Nick Saban today.  But, barring some crazy stuff, it appears that Georgia will finish by signing the first SEC class to top Alabama’s in years.

That’s both exciting and necessary if the Dawgs want to be a consistent presence in the SECCG and the CFP.  But it’s also only one year.  That we’re concerned about how Smart will replace the talent, experience and leadership of the players who just left for the NFL draft should tell you this program isn’t on automatic pilot quite yet.  But the signs are promising.

Advertisements

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Flag on the play

Maybe the stupidest officiating call of the postseason was the decision to eject Kentucky running back Benny Snell during the Music City Bowl.  Given the nature of the world we live in, that’s led to the next level of stupidity, threats made against the Pac-12 official who threw out Snell.

Almost as stupid, though, is the finger pointing and shrugging off going on in the wake of all this by the Pac-12 and the SEC.

The harassing calls began to die down until last week, sources said, when a letter from Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart to the Pac-12’s vice president of officials, David Coleman, critical of Coyte and his crew was made public by the Lexington Herald-Leader, which reported it obtained the letter through an open records request.

When contacted by ESPN for comment regarding Barnhart’s letter, the Pac-12 made it clear it felt his decision to reach out directly to Coleman was a break from protocol.

“We’re happy to discuss the matter with the SEC,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “We’re particularly sensitive about this issue because our officials have received threats and we are concerned about their safety.”

In separate statements to ESPN, Kentucky and the SEC both expressed a similar belief that there is not an outlined protocol for how to elevate these concerns.

“We are not aware of any protocols for this kind of situation,” the Kentucky athletic department said in its statement. “We made contact with the Southeastern Conference office and made them aware of our concerns. We expressed those concerns to the SEC and to the Pac-12 office.”

Added the SEC: “The University of Kentucky expressed its concerns about specific instances related to officiating in the Music City Bowl to both the SEC and the Pac-12 offices. There has been no universal protocol related to communicating concerns about post-season bowl games. The SEC has no further comment on this matter.”

“There has been no universal protocol related to communicating concerns about post-season bowl games.”  Well, whose fault is that, genius?

There is an obvious solution to an obvious problem — nationalize officiating, standardize training and inject some real accountability into job performance.  This isn’t rocket science.  It just takes some effort and resources coupled with a sincere commitment to improve the work on the field.  Um… well, for college football, maybe that is rocket science.

37 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Signs things are looking up

Sure, it’s the nature of college football that there are going to be new holes to fill every season — well, maybe Alabama’s been the exception to that rule — but I’ve got to say that if punting qualifies as one of Georgia’s big three concerns going into 2018, this program’s come a long way in a short time.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football