Daily Archives: May 8, 2018

The Gator shoe, on the other foot

As much as I enjoyed last season, there are times when looking back, parts of it seem deeply surreal to someone who’s lived and died with the program for better than three decades.  Take this quote from an anonymous Florida player about the strength and conditioning program under McElwain, for example:

“That first year [2015] it really wasn’t noticeable because a lot of our players carried over from coach Muschamp, but starting in that second year, I was as heavy, but I wasn’t as strong. When we played teams like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, we just looked small. I’m a pretty good size for my position, but I remember standing next to Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith [of Georgia] and saying to myself, ‘Damn, these are some big ass dudes. What are they feeding them over there?’ I remember when Roquan visited us in the summer when he was being recruited and he was skinny, and now he looked sculpted. You shouldn’t be at Florida and feel intimidated by looking at other SEC players.”

Unreal, right?  This is from the same program that seemed like it just waited around for Georgia teams to implode during the game, or walked in wearing fake juice jerseys that advertised inferiority.

Imagine how that kid felt after the most glorious seven-and-a-half-minute start I’ve ever witnessed in Jacksonville.

I’m not predicting anything as silly as a 18-3 run here, but I don’t think Smart will ever have his team walking into that stadium feeling intimated.  I can live with that.



Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

“The Fertile Soil of Georgia”

You’ll enjoy this deep dive into our state’s recruiting numbers as much for seeing the extent of Georgia Tech’s futility as for Georgia’s prowess.  This, for example, is simply delicious.

Georgia Tech has recruited a grand total of one Georgia Blue Chipper over the past four recruiting classes, which puts it behind Miami, UNC, NC State, and Duke (!) among ACC rivals. While GT’s rigorous academics focus certainly present a recruiting challenge, it is hard to view this performance as anything other than disastrous for a program located smack dab in the middle of Atlanta. Whether it is the academic challenges, Paul Johnson’s cantankerous personality, or the flexbone not resonating with highly acclaimed recruits, something is seriously wrong there.

The genius made a living off Gailey’s last, excellent recruiting class, ranked 15th nationally.  Under his watch, Tech’s classes have averaged 51st.  This, in a state that is producing prodigious amounts of high school talent.

Georgia consistently produces the fourth most recruits after the “Big Three” (Texas, Florida, and California), both in total FBS recruits and Blue Chip talent. It also ranks second to only Louisiana in per capita production of recruits (or third, if you include the District of Columbia), making Gerogia one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in all of college football.

It is also an interesting state to consider because the most prolific exporter of Blue Chip talent, with only two Power 5 programs located in the state (versus five, four, and three in Texas, California, and Florida, respectively), only one of whom is consistently successful in attracting Blue Chip talent in meaningful quantities.

Recruits from Georgia account for 8% of the total in my 13 year (2006-2018) set of Blue Chip recruits, with their numbers rising fairly steadily over time.

If Paul Johnson didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Latest national title odds

Courtesy of Phil Steele.

Georgia’s odds have actually improved slightly from January — from 8/1 to 7/1.

And what does it say that Tennessee and Georgia Tech share the same 500/1 odds?


Filed under What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

It’s a puzzle.

Can someone explain to me how a kid can be outright dismissed from a program for the usual unspecified violation of team rules and the school still impose control over where he can transfer?

Clearly, Mark Richt has lost control over the dismissal rules.


Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

“I’d be the first to vote for that.”

Amen to this:

The 2018 spring football takeaway: Spring football should be taken away.

Do not return until changes include intercollegiate spring games.

Or at least some facsimile. A controlled scrimmage open to the public. Doubleheaders featuring four teams and a pair of two-quarter games, which Tennessee athletic director Philip Fulmer recently suggested.

A jamboree format over two days.

When you’ve got agreement along the spectrum from Dabo to Fulmer (!), there’s gotta be something to having a more meaningful spring game than the pablum we get now.

Why, do it right, and I doubt you’d have to get Kirby making any noise about #93k.  A big, enthusiastic spring crowd without needing to resort to contractual condom commitments should be right up McGarity’s alley.

Let’s fix this, NCAA.


Filed under College Football

Fellas, if you’re not too busy this Saturday…

Jerrell Powe was an Ole Miss defensive lineman who played for the Nuttster, which give you some indication of the time frame involved here.  To his credit, he completed his degree this spring semester.  Like any excited graduate, he wants others to share in his graduation ceremony.

This, in particular, is very thoughtful.

The obvious point here being if financial conditions were a bit more favorable, some football players wouldn’t feel the same pressure to jump ship for a pro career before finishing college.  That’s a lesson an organization that relentlessly pounds the message that it’s there for student-athletes to succeed in something other than sports hasn’t bothered to learn.


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

When you’re a genius…

If you’re the kind of coach for whom the Xs and Os are way more important than the Jimmies and Joes, losing two starting players due to medical reasons should be no big deal, right?


Filed under Georgia Football

It’s a punting party!

If you found yourself a little concerned about the punting situation after watching the G-Day game, apparently you weren’t alone.

Murray State punter Landon Stratton announced on Sunday he will be a graduate transfer at Georgia. Stratton joins the Bulldogs with one year of eligibility left…

It is unclear whether or not Stratton will be a walk-on with the Bulldogs.

Stratton averaged 40.4 yards per punt for the Racers last season, good enough for third in the Ohio Valley Conference. He started at punter the past three seasons for Murray State and averaged 41.2 yards per punt during that time.

Sure, on paper he’s no Nizialek, but he is experienced.  Butt notes that puts five players in the mix for the punting gig, once Jake Camarda arrives.  This move would appear to indicate the staff still has concerns about Long’s recovery and doesn’t want to put all its eggs in one basket on a true freshman at the position.  All in all, should make for an interesting August..


Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in ignoring the obvious

How does one manage to write a column on the potential for corruption in college football without mentioning the elephant in the room?  Oh, excuse me, Towers does manage this:

They have to spend their money somewhere, and they can’t pay the players.  [Emphasis added.]

I think you misspelled “won’t” there, Chip.


Filed under The NCAA