Daily Archives: May 30, 2018

Nick Saban has lost control of Mr. Conventional Wisdom.

As the cliché goes, when you’ve lost Tony Barnhart…

It’s officially time to throw in the towel, Nick.


Filed under Mr. Conventional Wisdom, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

Scheduling note

I don’t this comes as a surprise to anyone, but it’s still nice to see the confirmation.

Should be hot as hell, so I think I’ll catch this one in the comfort of my man cave.



Filed under Georgia Football

Play to play

While I give Kirby credit for being on the side of the angels when it comes to graduate transfers, let’s not pretend he’s entirely selfless.  He’s a head coach, after all.  He’s paid big bucks to win, which in the SEC means fielding the best roster he can assemble.  So when a somewhat obscure walk-on, third-string quarterback who’s never taken a live game snap announces his departure from the program, leaving a gaping hole in scout team preparation for this season, you can’t blame Kirby for doing a Saban-esque reflection on what that says about human nature.

Smart, attending this year’s SEC spring meetings in Florida, said much of the movement among college quarterbacks stems from what he sees as a learned impatience at the high school level. Smart said he has observed quarterbacks’ families searching for high schools for their sons to play for as freshmen and sophomores. When that sort of immediate playing time doesn’t materialize in college, those players are leaving earlier than maybe they would a decade or longer ago.

“They’re positioning from eighth grade to ninth grade, ‘Where can I be the quarterback in ninth grade at this high school program?’ ” Smart said. “And when they go shopping and searching, they find a place they can go. A lot of them start for three or four years (in high school), where it used to not be that way. It’s now trickling up to us.”

… But the fact that Georgia won’t go three deep on scholarship at quarterback is a bit baffling to Smart.

“That’s crazy to me you’re not going to have that,” Smart said. “It’s a me-now society. They want the self-gratification. They want to know they’re going to be able to play. It’s different than any other position on the team. Every other position on the team, other than maybe kicker, they know they can have another role.”

Kind of like how coaches stay forever at the places they get hired at.

It’s a shame Kirby has to deal with so much self-gratification.  Obviously, this is what every parent wants to hear:

“I’d argue if you were the parent of a quarterback that you would say, you know what, where is my son going to get the best development? Where is he going to get the best reps, where is he going to learn to play the quarterback position like it is in the NFL, not necessarily play first. Where is he going to learn to play the position, sit in the meeting room where they teach you protections and the things they are going to learn at the next level,” Smart said. “They don’t draft you at the next level just based on your play performance, they want to see what system you played in, where you played, and did you grow as a quarterback. They want to know have you learned? But it’s tough keeping them around. They want to go where they can play right away.”

The selling doesn’t stop there.

“You’ve got to sell it to them that it’s about the team. It can’t be just about you, even though there is a me generation, a me society,” Smart said. “I think sometimes when you explain it to them, this is what’s best for you, then you can help them understand what you’re doing what you’re doing.”

I bet it’s news to Stetson and his parents that he’s throwing away his big shot at playing in the NFL one day.


Filed under Georgia Football

Taking one for the team

This is so Georgia Way.

… McGarity said Georgia and Auburn simply made a sacrifice in 2012 for the good of the league, and it’s not one they can just take back.

“When Missouri and Texas A&M joined the conference, three schools had to move some traditional dates in order to make the schedules work,” McGarity told reporters. “Auburn and Georgia were two of those schools. It was to make the 6-1-1 work. If we hadn’t done that, a bunch of other schools, many more than three would have had to make all kinds of changes. To undo it now, again, you’d need a much larger [group] of teams make changes, many more than three.

“So it’s one of those things where it might not have been the best for Georgia, but it was best for the conference.”

It was too much like work for the conference, so McGarity just said, “screw it, we’ll take the hit”.  If there were no quid pro quo for that, it was a stupidly noble gesture.  (The only thing more depressing would be if it turned out there was a quid pro quo that nobody can talk about years later.)

The topper is ignoring your successful head coach’s wishes now because it’s still too much trouble for the league office to fix a mess of its own making.

A man who’s willing to go out and fight for his football program like that deserves all the contract extension he can get, amirite?


UPDATE:  If you don’t subscribe to The Athletic, it’s a shame you can’t read Seth Emerson’s piece today on this subject.  It’s a pay site, so I’m not going to excerpt from it, except to note that Seth asked Mark Womack, the man responsible for football scheduling for the SEC, if there was indeed a quid pro quo for Georgia’s sacrifice.  Seth’s pithy summary of Womack’s response:  “So, essentially, Georgia’s reward was the thanks of a grateful conference.”

Consider the cockles of my heart warmed.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Executed by poor execution

David Wunderlich is taking a look back at Dan Mullen’s playcalling at Mississippi State to get a handle on what’s in store for Gator fans this season.  I know you’ll enjoy this Twitter thread about the Georgia-MSU game as much as I do.

If it makes David feel any better, Florida looked worse against Georgia than Mississippi State did.  Nowhere to go but up, at least.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“So why is that on me?”

Pissy Nick Saban is the best Nick Saban.

Ooh — take that, Greg Sankey!  Nick’s just being a good soldier, doncha know.  Rules are rules, and all that.

Never mind that those rules exist to benefit the Nick Sabans of the conference.  You know, the coaches for whom this kind of mindset is second nature.

In a letter earlier this month, Alabama denied Kennedy the ability to contact any SEC school and seven future nonconference opponents, including The Citadel.

The Citadel?

“When we make a rule that guys can transfer whenever they want to transfer, how are we supposed to get people to do what they should do?” Saban asked.

Yeah, it’s a shame, that.  If you don’t pay the help, how else can a poor ol’ head coach keep them in line?  I mean… well, let Nick do a little more hole digging.

“I’m not talking about as football players, I’m talking about as people. I’m talking about making good choices and decisions. … If a guy is missing class and I say you’re not going to play in this game because you’re missing class, which I’ve done on occasion, and he says, ‘I’m transferring,’ is that good?”

Except that’s not what we’re talking about here.  Let Kirby Smart explain.

“Most people get a graduate degree where? Where they got their undergrad or somewhere else? Usually somewhere else,” Smart said. “So if they’re going to graduate school for that purpose somewhere else, I don’t see the issue. … If they want to do that, they should be able to do that.”

Smart shut down the idea that it was unfair that one program could invest the time and energy to develop players only for them to leave and benefit a rival.

“You mean just like we do with coaches, right?” Smart said. “Just like I left Alabama and all of the secrets that I learned when I was there went with me. Muschamp took all those secrets from LSU. Jimbo [Fisher] took all those secrets from LSU. Now Jeremy [Pruitt] has all those secrets. I don’t see it that way.”

The kids in question are graduates.  They’ve made good choices and decisions.  Saban’s pissy, but not because they’re throwing away their lives.  It’s all about loss of control.  At least Ed Orgeron’s honest about that.

“I’m just not for it,” Orgeron said. “I think if a kid’s going to go play in another conference it’s stuff like that, it’s fair. I’d hate to see one of our guys go to our opponents. I don’t think it’s in the spirit of the sport.”

The spirit of the sport?  If you’re a coach, you know what that means.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

“I can tell you this. It ends terribly for everyone involved.”

If you are an amateurism romantic, I warn you that Steven Godfrey’s inside the sausage factory look at Mississippi recruiting won’t give you the warm and fuzzies.  Sure, Hugh Freeze’s sanctimony and chutzpah make him an easy target, but the real finger-pointing goes towards the NCAA and, indirectly, our love of the game that makes us willing accomplices to the comfortable fiction that the NCAA sells.

You can watch the first installment, which centers around the Laremy Tunsil saga, here:

There are three more installments that follow, so hang on.


Filed under Freeze!, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA