Daily Archives: May 7, 2018

With eight, you get Tater Tot.

Terry Bowden wants — nay, needs — an eight-team college football playoff so he can look his players in the eye.

No, seriously, that’s exactly what he said.

On Monday, Bowden told WJOX 94.5 FM that the College Football Playoff should grow from four to eight teams. At this point in Bowden’s career, his stance isn’t a surprise. Given that he’s coaching outside of a power conference, Bowden admitted that his team doesn’t have a chance to compete for a national title each season. He said the situation would be improved if eight teams were allowed to participate in the College Football Playoff.

“I wish I could look my players in the eye and say, ‘Men, we’re playing for the national championship.’ But in reality, we’re not,” Bowden said on the radio appearance. “Now we can get a poster that says we’re the national champions just as Central Florida did. But as I said, the playoff must go to eight teams. Even a team with one loss in the SEC or even probably the Big Ten is going to be higher ranked than a team at the mid-major level because of strength of schedule. … It’s hard to justify which [are] really the strongest teams.”

Yeah, it’s really hard to tell Alabama and Akron apart in that regard.  I’m sold, Terry.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The NCAA and “the best interests of its student-athletes”

Hey, guys, you know that whole “don’t blame the NCAA because the pros won’t take kids early” shtick that lamely attempts to absolve the schools from responsibility regarding compensation?  I mean, it’s not like the NCAA wants these kids to be screwed, right?

Heaven forfend.

What is less known among sports fans, however, is that during the appeal of Clarett’s case to the appellate court, the NCAA’s lawyers filed an amicus brief supporting the NFL’s position in favor of its age requirement.

In the NCAA’s own words, it argued that the district court’s ruling that would have allowed football players to leave college early for the NFL “is counterproductive to the NCAA’s … goals and to the best interests of its student-athletes.”  The NCAA brief also argued that overturning the NFL age requirement would “impede any such sports league governing body from adopting eligibility rules, which would undermine each association’s definition of its unique model of competitive athletics.”

According to the NCAA’s brief, it purports to have involved itself voluntarily in the Clarett case for two reasons, “[t]he factual interest in encouraging its student-athletes to stay in school,” and a “legal interest in immunizing eligibility rules from antitrust challenge.”

The brief was signed by Gregory L. Curtner, who remains to this day the NCAA’s primary antitrust counsel on a wide range of matters — including the ongoing In Re Student-Athlete Name & Likenesses Licensing Litigation, in which Ed O’Bannon and other retired college athletes have sought to overturn aspects of the NCAA amateurism rules.

One reason the NCAA keeps pushing its bullshit about amateurism is because it knows there are plenty of folks out there who are willing to swallow it.


Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The NCAA

Gone, but not forgotten

This gave me a chuckle.

Mayfield told reporters that during the camp he is rooming with former Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb, who was selected by the Browns with the No. 35 overall pick in the second round of last month’s draft. The Sooners lost 54-48 to Georgia in overtime in the Rose Bowl. Mayfield has not forgotten that painful defeat.

Per Browns writer Patrick Maks, Mayfield thinks about that loss to Georgia “every night,” calling it a “sick joke” that he is roommates with Chubb during the camp. Mayfield says the two have yet to speak about the game, adding “There’s still a little salt in the wound,” per WKYCS sports reporter Pat Chiesa.

Glad to hear it.

Mayfield ought to be grateful it’s Chubb he’s rooming with.  If there’s anyone with the personality not to rub salt in the wound, it’s Chubb.


Filed under Georgia Football

Cutting our noses off to spite our faces? Just say no.

It seems like there are two perennial scheduling topics we Georgia fans love to argue about:  playing Florida every year at a neutral site in Jacksonville and playing Georgia Tech.  (You could argue the Dawgs play Tech at a home site every year.  But I digress.)

It’s no surprise to anyone who visits this blog that I favor keeping the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, but at least in that case I understand why there is sentiment to move the game.  The argument to drop Tech from the schedule, though, has never made a lick of sense to me.

But, as often happens whenever matters of scheduling are discussed, there also were grumbles from some fans that UGA could schedule the Tigers even more frequently, if only they’d drop the annual game with Georgia Tech.

The “drop Tech, add Clemson” meme is a perennial among a contingent of UGA supporters, who long for the days of one of the annual Georgia-Clemson games, one of college football’s most storied rivalries. I quite often get emails from such fans suggesting the Dawgs no longer need the Yellow Jackets on the schedule every year.

Shortly after the Blawg published last week, discussing which Power 5 teams fans would like to see the Dawgs play (where I suggested Clemson as a favorite), I heard from UGA alum Stephen Segrest, who asked, “When would be the earliest that we could replace Tech with Clemson annually?”

Then, I heard from my old Athens/UGA classmate Dan Pelletier, noting sarcastically, “I get that we have no room on the schedule for Climpson,” despite the fact that Georgia now plays a 12-game schedule, while it used to play just 10 or 11 games when the Tigers were an annual opponent.

To make more room on the schedule for another Power 5 team, Dan repeated a slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestion I’ve heard from him before: UGA should rotate Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern and Georgia State as the end-of-season in-state opponent. 

My response to him: Never gonna happen.

But, just for the sake of discussion, I asked Dan, who happens to be a judge, to make a case for not playing Tech every year in football.

Dan’s response: “It’s hard to argue we should drop Tech, when we fill our nonconference schedule with Sobbing Sisters of the Poor and other patsies, but, here goes: Tech benefits way more from the game than we do. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. No one expects them to win, and, if they do, it is a boon to their program.

“Drop Tech, and add Clemson or FSU, and the schedule improves dramatically. Drop Tech, add Clemson or FSU, drop one of the patsies, and rotate between Georgia Southern and Georgia State, and we still play an in-state team. The benefit of Clemson or FSU is adding a power team without adding taxing travel.”

Hey, I’m for playing Clemson more frequently as much as the next guy, but where is it written that the only way to do so is to stop playing Tech?  Why not drop one of those “Sobbing Sisters of the Poor” games against cupcake of the week instead?  (And before you go on about losing a home game every other season, remember that Georgia hasn’t lost a game in BDS this century.  Why lose that opportunity?)

Georgia Tech is a P5 opponent that Georgia has beaten at a steady 70+% clip ever since Vince Dooley showed up on campus.  In the CFP era, that’s frickin’ gold, Jerry.  Why would any rational supporter of Georgia football want to give up an advantage like that?  Beyond that, don’t think long term dominance of that sort doesn’t have a cumulative effect on the recruiting trail.  Sure, Paul Johnson has made life even easier in that regard, but is there a more obvious sales pitch to any kid considering both in state programs than “you wanna win, doncha”?

Strip all that away and what we’re left with boils down to a silly, emotional argument:  Tech benefits way more from the game than we do. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. No one expects them to win, and, if they do, it is a boon to their program.  What exactly does that mean?  Other than allowing the denizens on StingTalk to puff out their chests for a couple of months, where’s the benefit?  It sure isn’t on the recruiting trail.  Tech has never stepped over Georgia’s dead body to claim a spot in the BCS or CFP.  All that remains is a few hurt fee-fees in a part of Georgia’s fan base.  Methinks that means there’s more to this rivalry than those folks are willing to admit.

Imagine how we’d feel if there had been a similar attitude expressed by Florida fans during the heyday of that 6-21 streak.  (Conference rivalry, I know, but identical emotions.)  You think these same folks would nod their heads and meekly agree?  Hardly.

Georgia Tech football is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.  You don’t turn that kind of generosity down.  Especially just to lose a road game.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Today, in why we can’t have nice things

I can’t help but compare what I posted yesterday about Adam Silver’s savvy moves to keep broadcasters and the NBA’s viewing audience involved with this:

A significant change is a 40-second clock starting immediately after a kickoff. Previously, teams had a chance to huddle on the sideline before the official’s signal. Now, that opportunity is greatly reduced unless the game is televised and a TV timeout comes into effect[Emphasis added.]

Which is pretty much every game you and I watch, no?

Sometimes, I don’t know why the people running this sport even bother.


Filed under College Football

This is what a gap looks like.

Research maven AirForceDawg compiles a list of SEC roster talent, based on recruiting rankings.

Currently enrolled + summer inbounds:

1. Alabama (83 rated players avg. 3.93 stars): 12 5-stars, 54 4-stars, 16 3-stars, 1 2-star
2. UGA (84 rated players avg. 3.86 stars): 13 5-stars, 47 4-stars, 23 3-stars, 1 2-star [note: doesn’t include Chigbu or Gibbs]
3. LSU (77 rated players avg. 3.65 stars): 4 5-stars, 44 4-stars, 27 3-stars, 2 2-stars
4. Auburn (84 rated players avg. 3.58 stars): 2 5-stars, 46 4-stars, 35 3-stars, 1 2-star
5. Texas A&M (88 rated players avg. 3.38 stars): 0 5-stars, 35 4-stars, 51 3-stars, 2 2-stars [note: 1 or more rated players is a walk-on not on scholarship]
6. UT (86 rated players avg. 3.36 stars): 2 5-stars, 32 4-stars, 47 3-stars, 5 2-stars [note: 1 or more rated players is a walk-on not on scholarship]
7. UF (74 rated players avg. 3.32 stars): 2 5-stars, 25 4-stars, 43 3-stars, 3 2-stars, 1 1-star
8. USC (79 rated players avg. 3.23 stars): 0 5-stars, 23 4-stars, 51 3-stars, 5 2-stars
9. Ole Miss (80 rated players avg. 3.19 stars): 2 5-stars, 17 4-stars, 55 3-stars, 6 2-stars
10. Mississippi State (88 rated players avg. 3.16 stars): 1 5-star, 19 4-stars, 61 3-stars, 7 2-stars [note: several rated players are walk-ons]
11. Arkansas (92 rated players avg. 3.13 stars): 1 5-star, 17 4-stars, 67 3-stars, 7 2-stars [note: several rated players are walk-ons]
12. UK (78 rated players avg. 3.12 stars): 0 5-stars, 13 4-stars, 63 3-stars, 1 2-star
13. Mizzou (75 rated players avg. 3.08 stars): 1 5-star, 6 4-stars, 66 3-stars, 2 2-stars
14. Vandy (84 rated players avg. 2.99 stars): 0 5-stars, 8 4-stars, 67 3-stars, 9 2-stars

Three tiers there — Alabama and Georgia make up the first, LSU and Auburn are in the second and then there’s everybody else.  And if you think I’m being overly dismissive about this, consider that the spread between Tennessee and Vanderbilt is smaller than that between Georgia and Tennessee.

I know coaching plays a role in things, but if you’re a believer to any extent in the “it’s the Jimmies and Joes, not the Xs and Os” school of football excellence, absent some bizarre turn of events, it’s hard to see how anyone in the East stays with the Dawgs this season.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

The new Corch

Here’s a glowing Bruce Feldman piece about what keeps Urban Meyer up at night.

Marotti says that in the early years of his Ohio State tenure, Meyer would return from vacation armed with ideas to help make his guys better football players. Now, Meyer is consumed with finding ways to help his players better navigate what the head coach sees as a very volatile world around them.

“It’s probably 80–20 now,” Meyer says, explaining where his focus lies between real-world issues and football-related matters. “When I was younger, it was probably 30–70 more football.

“This is a topic of conversation among my colleagues in the profession now. It’s constant now. Fifteen years ago, no. Back then it was, Tell me about the spread offense. Tell me about punt return. Now it’s about the mental and well-being of your players.”

This, of course, begs the obvious question:  what took you so long?

When Meyer now talks about his responsibility as a coach to educate players, he has stories from his past to back up his philosophy. One of the names that comes up is Avery Atkins, the highest-ranked recruit in Meyer’s first signing class at Florida: “Could’ve been a first-rounder. Pushes a girl. I kick him off the team. The streets take him over in Daytona.” Atkins was found dead from a drug overdose in his car in the summer before Meyer’s third season at Florida, and Meyer beat himself up for years, wondering if he could’ve helped Atkins had he remained around the program longer.

“I lived with that for three or four years thinking, ‘Wait a minute, we lost this kid on our watch,’” he says. “That’s when we started giving kids second, third and fourth chances. I would not get rid of a kid, and it bit us a little bit.

“I went 20 years in my career and never really had stuff like that. I was convinced at the time that if he’d have stayed in our program, we would’ve gotten him right, and how do you ever let that happen on your watch? Tim Tebow and I used to talk about that all the time, and he looked at me and said, ‘We did everything we could. You can’t hold that on your heart.’ But it was an accumulation of those events and thinking, ‘This is serious business now. This is not flunking a class or missing a class. This is real life.’”
Barf.  You wanted to win, dude, and you didn’t care too much about what it took.  Plus, you had Huntley Johnson there to clean up the messes that came along regularly.  So now you’re a little more selective about character issues?  Bully for you.  Nobody should be throwing any parades for doing what you should have done all along.


Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares