Daily Archives: January 7, 2019

Gotta have a national championship game day post, amirite?

It’s the last, truly last, game of the season.  Who ‘ya like?  And why?

If you’re a betting junkie, this game is manna from heaven.

As for my attitude about tonight, I’m not fatigued by or irritated over the matchup.  But I will be sad waking up tomorrow morning with the realization it’ll be almost nine months before we get real college football again.  As morning afters go, this one sucks more than most.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Life after Baker

One thing about the 2016 debacle at Ole Miss — it was the game that led to Deandre Baker taking over at one cornerback position.

Now this situation isn’t exactly parallel, but I’ve been encouraged watching the emergence of Erik Stokes at the cornerback position opposite Baker, and Stokes did a pretty good job in his first start in Baker’s absence, including this terrific pass breakup against Texas’ monster receiver Collin Johnson.


That’s not his first pass breakup at the rodeo this season, either.  His technique is good and he’s a battler.  Hopefully, he’s just getting started on his way to becoming a shut down corner.


Filed under Georgia Football

Diamond in the rough

Georgia leads all schools in having three players named to the FWAA Freshman All-American Team.  Given that Smart’s recruiting classes have been highly ranked, maybe that’s not a huge surprise.  Indeed, two of the three are five-star offensive linemen Cade Mays and Isaiah Wilson.

The third, though, wasn’t quite as highly regarded coming in.

Jordan Davis is a 3-star defensive tackle from Charlotte, N.C., who is rated No. 29 at his position and No. 422 overall by the 247Sports composite.

Not too shabby.  Tray Scott deserves the lion’s share of the credit.  He scouted Davis early, was the first to extend an offer, convinced the Georgia staff to stay on Davis and was the kid’s position coach.  Kudos to both.


Filed under Georgia Football

TFW you’re trying too hard

Bless your heart, UCF Knight News.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Are we on the verge of discovering the difference between rebuilding and reloading?

Seth Emerson ($$) notes that for all the hullabaloo surrounding Georgia’s 2018 signing class, there wasn’t that much impact felt in the starting lineup this past season.

For as hyped as the 2018 class was, it accounted for only a combined 28 starts, spread across six players (Tyson Campbell 11, Brenton Cox 1, Jordan Davis 4, Trey Hill 4, Cade Mays 7, Otis Reese 1). If you count Jake Camarda, then it’s 42 starts. A bunch more saw significant action. But in terms of immediate impact, it wasn’t huge overall, in large part because some of the highest-ranked players weren’t at positions of immediate need. (Such as Justin Fields.)

And that’s with a year many described as a rebuilding one.  Instead, Smart wound up coaching a team that came within a whisker of winning the SEC and returning to the playoffs.  Freshmen did play a fair amount, but as the numbers demonstrate, didn’t step in to many starting roles that weren’t decisions resulting from injuries.

This year, with the number of early departures, might tell a somewhat different story.

But the 2019 class has players who could fill immediate needs. Nolan Smith joins a team that loses D’Andre Walker as well as Jonathan Ledbetter and simply will need edge rushing from somebody. The needs up the middle on defense are well known, and here are Dean at inside linebacker and Walker at defensive tackle. Dominick Blaylock joins a team that loses a few receivers.

That’s only mentioning a few freshmen. Junior college transfers Jermaine Johnson (edge rusher) and D.J. Daniel (cornerback) could contend for starting spots right away, as could Tramel Walthour (defensive tackle.)

You can make a good, yet fairly easy, case for any of those new faces to crack the starting lineup.  With that in mind, what’s your way-too-early take on Georgia’s 2019 regular season record?


Filed under Georgia Football

Having their cake and eating it, too

Read this Heather Dinich piece on how the conferences are trying to come to terms with how another round of playoff expansion will affect the fates of their conference championship games and tell me these clowns are going to do anything other than just keep adding.

When asked if he would be willing to give up the ACC title game to expand the playoff, Swofford said, “I can’t really answer that because we haven’t discussed it around our table.”

“Secondly,” he said, “you’d have to know, if the playoff expanded, does that mean you go back to 11 regular-season games? Does it mean we’re not going to have conference championship games? On the one hand, it’s not rocket science. On the other hand, there are significant implications to this if it were to expand.”

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said conference championship games are too important to eliminate.

“I don’t think any of us are willing to give up our conference championship games,” he said. “They’re too important to all of us. They’re part and parcel of who we are. It’s our identity. We do championships. Winning a conference championship is a big deal. No one is giving that up, so when do you play that first round, and where do you play it? It’d be really tough to try and put that into the bowl system.”

While the value of conference championship games has been clear in the eyes of the commissioners, it has been called into question publicly because the Big Ten champion has been left out of the playoff in each of the past two seasons, and the Pac-12 champ hasn’t finished in the top four since Oregon in 2014.

“Value” in that last paragraph should be taken literally, not seriously.  Nobody’s volunteering to give up a cash cow.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Today, in stupid narratives

What’s the deal with this “Alabama-Clemson fatigue” thing, anyway?

“I mean, I’m not going to apologize for having a great team and a great program and a bunch of committed guys, and Coach Saban is not, either,” Swinney said at the head coaches’ final news conference before facing each other in the national championship game on Monday night. “I think the objective is to get the two best teams. That’s kind of the way it is. If that’s not best for college football, then why did we even do it?”

I can’t figure out if CFB fans have become that jaded or if Mickey is really that corrupting an influence.  If I had my druthers, better it be solely the latter, but I’m afraid it’s both.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Musical palate cleanser, it’s the drummer edition

From the b-side to “Pinball Wizard”, enjoy the dazzling drum work of Keith Moon in “Dogs Part 2”.


Filed under Uncategorized

Old, familiar faces

Not everybody’s leaving.

A little stability on the back end of the defense can’t hurt, although a little more production on the front end would be nice, too.  As far as Blankenship’s return goes, it’s pretty amazing to go from being an afterthought a couple of seasons ago to a cause for celebration.


Filed under Georgia Football

“What interest does everyone else have in supporting that legislation?”

C’mon, Notre Dame.

In lieu of playing in a conference championship game, Notre Dame would gladly add a 13th game to its schedule if the NCAA would allow it, Fighting Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick said on Sunday at the College Football Playoff.

“We would love the opportunity to play a 13th game to take that issue off the table,” he told ESPN. “Nothing would make us happier.”

Swarbrick said he has spoken to NCAA officials about it “a little bit” but acknowledged the difficulty in changing a rule that impacts the majority of its membership. The NCAA limits teams to 12 regular-season games, plus a conference championship game if they qualify.

The Irish are already halfway in the ACC.  Occam’s razor suggests a much easier solution to Swarbrick’s problem than carving out a special exception.

I didn’t think it would be possible to come up with a scenario where most people would dislike Notre Dame’s place in the college football world even more than the one it already occupies, but never underestimate athletic directors, I suppose.


Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes