Daily Archives: August 29, 2018

Today, in just STFU

This guy really doesn’t know when to quit.

At least his momma loves him.

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UPDATE:  Chutzpah.

Now he’s worried about his kids?

62 Comments

Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Going down the Georgia Way with Kirby Smart

In the AB-H, Ryne Dennis interviewed me about the changing of the Georgia Way.  In my very humble opinion, it’s all about Kirby.

The Georgia Way’ has been ingrained in the Georgia program since Kirby Smart’s arrival in 2016.

But before he stepped on campus, “the Georgia way” was just a saying, often accompanied with an eye roll by boosters who weren’t pleased with the direction in which their money was heading.

“I think that’s been the issue at Butts-Mehre for years and years and years,” said Michael Brochstein, who runs Get the Picture, a blog about Georgia athletics. “There’s a group that has a vague idea about how they want to go about winning but really don’t have any idea about how to go about accomplishing that.”

… ‘The Georgia way,’ at least in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek sense among donors, was more of a derogatory term that was accompanied with a sigh and a groan.

When Smart came in from Alabama, he came from a program that wasn’t afraid to spend money, a program that built the best facilities, and a program that had four national titles in a seven-year span.

It was the level that Georgia wanted to become, but didn’t quite know how to reach.

“Basically, most of these guys, and when I say that I’m not including Kirby because I feel like that’s been the major change for what we talk about as the Georgia way, basically these are the folks that want everything but don’t know how to go about getting it,” Brochstein said. “They said, ‘we want to be the winning program but we want to do it the right way.’”

Problem was, of course, nobody in Butts-Mehre had the first clue about how to go about making that happen.

The more money that is spent, the more success will likely follow, and Smart, a Georgia graduate with a Finance degree from Terry College, knew that from the time he arrived.

“That’s what’s changed dramatically,” Brochstein said. “I don’t think people up at the top have any kind of better clue about how to go about doing things, but they trust Kirby, and Kirby certainly does have a clue about how to go about doing things better.”

If he ever gets tired of coaching football, Smart would make an excellent athletic director.

“I think Kirby had a blueprint and I think he knew what he wanted to do when he walked through the door,” Brochstein said. “To everybody’s credit at Butts-Mehre, I think they’ve let him do what he’s wanted to do.”

Works for me.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Your 8.29.18 Playpen

Last week’s maiden voyage open comment thread worked well.  Keep it up in the comments.

238 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

The SEC, where TV timeouts just mean more

Be still, my heart.

Leave it to Greg Sankey to be excited about not reducing the amount of time his broadcast partners spend pushing Buicks and shitty beer, but letting the fans keep track of the time in the stands so we can better organize our bathroom breaks.

That’s an SEC win-win for ‘ya.

16 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Your friendly Fabris Pool reminder

191 of your closest GTP friends have signed up for this year’s pick ’em and if you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late for you to join them.

Click here, follow directions and you’ll be good to go.

6 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

It’s a weak game, but it’s Game Week.

Georgia hasn’t lost a home opener since that dreadful Southern Mississippi game in 1996, and it’s a virtual lock that streak will be extended come Saturday.  (Sorry if I spoiled that for you.)

Still, I wouldn’t be doing my blogging duty here if I didn’t post something about Austin Peay.  So let’s run a few data points out there to see if we can paint something of a portrait of the team rolling into Athens for the opener.

If you’ve heard anything about the Governors to this point, it’s probably to note their remarkable turnaround last season.

Austin Peay was one of the best stories of FCS Football in 2017 as the Governors snapped a 29 game losing streak and narrowly missed the FCS playoffs after wining eight games. Coach Will Healy and his staff bounced back from a bumpy 2016 season when Austin Peay went 0-11 and got the team to buy in to their culture. After a 69-13 win over Morehead State in week three last season, the Governors took off…

They didn’t make the FCS playoffs last year, but are generally considered to have a decent shot of doing so in 2018.  Some of the rise can be attributed to an improved talent base.  This season’s prospects are buoyed by much of that talent returning.

Talent, of course, is relative.  Nobody is going to mistake being more talented in the Ohio Valley Conference with being a loaded SEC team.  That’s why Saturday’s game is going to be a mismatch[NOTE:  Insert Nicholls caveat here.]

Schematically, AP runs an offense that incorporates “…a run-heavy offense with elements of the option and two dual-threat quarterbacks.”  As you might expect, it runs the ball well.  Last season, the team averaged 258.8 rushing yards per game and over 5 yards per carry.

Kirby knows what he’s getting into defensively.

“The number one thing is that they have a lot of elements of the option,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “Both quarterbacks do a great job of running the ball … They have a plethora of offensive sets and motions, and they do a very good job offensively of trying to keep you off balance. I think we have a good physical front. I’m not saying they’re going to come in and dominate and be able to run the ball every down on us, but I think what they can do is get explosive plays.”

It’ll be a game that will require his defense to focus on playing gaps properly and doing the fundamentals of reading keys correctly.

“It’ll teach us how to be focused, teach us to play within the framework of the defense that we are preparing for this week,” junior defensive lineman Julian Rochester said. “I feel like it’s going to be a challenge for us to just stay in our gaps and do what we are are supposed to do this week, so it’s going to be really good.”

Ideal prep for a defense working in new parts, in other words.

While AP may run the ball well, its passing game has a significant issue to overcome.

Kyran Moore had 56 catches and 918 receiving yards over the last two seasons after moving from defensive back. He was quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall’s favorite target.

Replacing Moore and establishing a go-to receiver will be a challenge. Candidates include D.J. Montgomery, who was the Governors’ second-leading receiver (19 catches, 228 yards, 3 TDs) last season; Kadeem Goulbourne, who has seven career starts; and Gorel Soumare, a 6-3 sophomore who had 13 catches for 177 yards last season.

Challenges are definitely something you’d prefer not to work out against an SEC defense.

Defensively for Austin Peay, they’re about what you’d expect:  a well-coached but undersized squad that gives good effort.  Case in point is their star defensive player.

The bigger problem for Georgia will be undersized pass rusher extraordinaire Jaison Williams. He’s built like a Dawg running back size-wise, but he’s every bit as quick off the ball and a terror in the backfield.

Williams is 6’1, 225.  Todd Gurley was bigger.  In other words, this is a bunch that’s gonna get mauled by Georgia’s huge offensive line for four quarters.

That being said, there is one guy on the Governors’ defense I plan on keeping an eye out for.

Austin Maloata, who started six of his last seven games before being dismissed from the Oregon football team, transferred to Austin Peay in 2016 and redshirted last season.

He left Oregon after being sentenced to probation and 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree assault and a misdemeanor count of DUI.

The 6-foot-2, 283 pound, Corona, Calif., native, will be a key for the defense, which only lost three starters. At Oregon, Maloata recorded a career-high eight tackles against Nebraska in 2016 and a total of 20 over a four-game streak.

He’s got size, South Pacific heritage, P5 experience and a criminal sentence all going for him.  Sounds like a potent combination.

Saturday can’t get here fast enough for me.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Regression to the mean gets ‘Cocky.

Just sayin’.

Narrator’s voice:  Not unless Boom is a wizard.

15 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

“When you’re not, you (try) something else.”

There is something amusing about Greg McGarity cloaking his program in last year’s success, to point at why it’s all the other SEC schools that changed head coaches this offseason.

“I don’t think there’s one reason for the turnover,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “It’s just a wide range of things. I think the competitiveness in this conference with the records and success we’ve had, certainly others want to experience that same success.”

Gene Chizik calls bullshit on that.

“Look at all the teams out there that think they should be — not beat, (but) be like — Alabama,” said Chizik, the coach of Auburn’s 2010 national championship team. “A&M thinks they should. Auburn thinks they should. LSU thinks they should. Georgia thinks they should. Florida thinks they should.

“I think that obviously the expectations have grown with salaries of coaches, and Alabama being the standard in the league has definitely put pressure on everybody to win.”

The Process doesn’t just abide in the SEC.  It drives the train.  Even in Athens.

4 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

The genius has lost control.

There are some things I can’t blame Mark Richt for, even snarkily.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Ohio State yells “SQUIRREL!!!!!!”

At first glance, this is an astounding bit of news.

Ohio State on Tuesday confirmed that former offensive coordinator Tom Herman was the assistant coach who accompanied former Buckeyes receivers coach Zach Smith to a Florida strip club in 2014.

University spokesman Chris Davey told The Dispatch that Herman, now the head coach at Texas, is the coach mentioned but unnamed in the 23-page final report of the investigation into football coach Urban Meyer’s handling of domestic abuse accusations against Smith.

No, not the part about Zach Smith’s night with the naked ladies.  That was known and, to be honest, in keeping with what we know about his character.  We also knew he was accompanied by another Ohio State assistant and some high school coaches.  Like it or not, these are typical guy things that may not be flattering but are hardly unusual.

No, what is astounding is that Ohio State chose to out Tom Herman, who isn’t named in the investigation report and doesn’t appear in the financial records of that boys’ night out.  Why the university chose to make public an obviously titillating sideshow makes sense when you see what else is contained in those 23 pages.

News of Herman’s involvement in Smith’s transgressions comes on the same day Ohio State released to the public some of the documents its investigative team used while looking into the allegations made against head football coach Urban Meyer and others, providing detail into how involved parties first reacted at various stages of the Smith scandal.

The series of text messages, emails and handwritten notes reveal Meyer’s reaction to the police investigating a domestic assault issue with Smith in October 2015. The documents also show how Meyer and others responded in the lead-up to Meyer’s public comments last month that “misrepresented” what he knew about those 2015 allegations.

Meyer texted his agent, Trace Armstrong, hours before speaking to reporters on July 24 in Chicago at Big Ten media days and said Smith had been fired for “cumulative stuff. I will not tell the media.”

Along with past allegations of domestic assault, investigators found a long list of transgressions in Smith’s past, including: an affair with a member of the football staff; taking lewd photos on a team trip to the White House; the Miami strip club trip; and a noted drop in job performance during the past several years.

Investigators also received an anonymous tip that Smith entered a drug treatment facility in the summer of 2015, but the former assistant coach did not take it seriously and did not complete the required 10-day initial assessment before leaving. The anonymous tip arrived on the final afternoon of a two-week investigation. It’s not clear if investigators already had learned about the drug treatment trip, but their final assessment included a belief that Meyer did not “deliberately lie” when questioned about Smith’s past.

Armstrong replied to Meyer’s text with the following: “For sure. It was the totality of his choices … but you had to do it. Only a matter of time before he did something that did substantial harm to you or the program.”

He warned Meyer to be careful while answering questions from reporters, and Meyer responded: “Easy. Monitor for me. Amazingly all the stuff vs. Zach will get legally dropped and he was fired. Tuff perception world we live in.”

Yeah, it’s a real shame about those perceptions, Corch.  I mean, think about how this exchange will be perceived.  (Laura and Colleen, if you haven’t lawyered up already, now might be a good time to think about doing so.)

There’s also the perception of your exchange with Ohio State’s SID that took place the day before Big Ten Media Days.

On the night of July 23 — the day of Brett McMurphy’s initial report into the history of domestic violence accusations against Zach Smith — Meyer, Gene Smith, and Emig exchanged a series of text messages on a group thread. Meyer told them he knew nothing about what McMurphy had reported as a 2015 felony arrest involving Zach Smith and asked for guidance on how to address the media the next day in Chicago.

Emig told Meyer to say there were things in Zach Smith’s past that he wasn’t aware of and that he didn’t want to get into details. He also told Meyer to say he was aware of the 2009 incident at Florida and that charges were never filed. However, recent developments — including a domestic violence protection order Courtney Smith filed against Zach Smith on July 20 — had led Meyer to dismiss Smith, which he did July 23.

Meyer responded by having Emig write down the talking points. Gene Smith told Meyer to “be careful” and to stray from being “too detailed.” He suggested Meyer tell the media, “I was aware of two legal instances in 2009 and 2015. The most recent issue is inconsistent with our values.”

On 2015, Emig suggested saying, “There were no charges in 2015 and I really don’t even recall any details.”

That sure doesn’t sound like somebody who claims he was surprised by the media questioning the next day… but, that’s only my perception.

So, Tom Herman’s trip to a naked bar is being pushed as a shiny object to distract the media and the world outside of Columbus from the contents of those 23 very damning pages. That it’s Ohio State doing the pushing should tell you everything you need to know about how invested the school is in Urban Meyer’s future as its head coach.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares