Daily Archives: March 17, 2019

‘Daddy, I just want to play.’

Um, about that whole competition at Georgia thing:

After the season, Bennett was told he’d be able to compete for Georgia’s backup quarterback job in 2018. That’s not what happened, though. Georgia signed Justin Fields out of Harrison and Bennett felt the coveted 5-star signee was thrust ahead of him on the depth chart without backing it up with his play on the practice field.

All that came to a head in the 2018 G-Day Game. Fields indeed filled the role as No. 2 quarterback and looked good doing it as he passed for 207 yards and a touchdown against the No. 2 defense and other backups. Bennett went third and completed 5-of-9 for 73 yards against the No. 1 defense.

Bennett got the message and decided he’d be better off trying to make his way elsewhere.

“He thought he’d have a legitimate shot for the back-up role, but when Justin came there he didn’t really get that chance,” Pender said. “Justin was put right in front of him, and Stet decided ‘maybe Georgia’s not the place for me.’”

Look, I’m not blaming the staff for making that particular choice.  (And, to be fair, Bennett’s perspective on whether Fields backed it up on the practice field may be different from his coaches’.)  But the risk you run when you make a huge deal out of competition being the crucible that forges the depth chart is fallout like that.

Still, he’s back when they need him.  It’s fortunate for Smart that Bennett’s a damned good Dawg.

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Mickey giveth and Mickey taketh away.

From a lookback at Missouri’s move to the SEC:

Seven and a half years ago, a single television network broke the Big 12 for good. Years of infighting and disdain for the league’s self-appointed leader, the University of Texas, had laid the foundation. As the Longhorns reaped the benefits of one-sided media contracts, their conference counterparts fell further behind. Texas was one of the first three schools nationwide to amass more than $100 million in athletics revenue in a single fiscal year in 2006; no other Big 12 program, save for Oklahoma State, which in 2006 received a $165 million gift from booster T. Boone Pickens, hit that mark until 2010.

When news surfaced of Texas’ potentially eschewing a league-wide television network in favor of an exclusive 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN that featured a channel devoted solely to the Longhorns, its league partners had enough. Colorado, an original member of the Big Eight, left for the Pac-12 in June 2010. Nebraska escaped to the Big Ten soon after; and with the threat of the league’s implosion looming, Texas A&M, which had nearly bolted for the Pac-12 a year earlier, announced its move to the SEC in late August 2011.

Left to decide its own fate was Missouri. Two years earlier, Missouri governor Jay Nixon had floated the idea of a move to the Big Ten. But an offer never came, and Missouri stayed in the Big 12, the league it helped found 15 years earlier.

Days after Texas A&M’s announcement and an unsuccessful last-ditch attempt to convince the Aggies to stay, then-Missouri athletic director Mike Alden, Chancellor Brady Deaton, Interim System President Steve Owens and Interim General Counsel Phil Hoskins met on a roof atop the press box during Missouri’s season-opening game at Memorial Stadium to assess the school’s future. They determined a future in the Big 12, or at least what was left of it, wasn’t viable. Two months later, Missouri became the 14th member of the Southeastern Conference.

How fortunate for the Tigers the very same broadcast entity that drove them from one conference was willing to finance Mike Slive’s expansion power play that in turn provided them with a convenient landing spot.  “When one door closes, another one opens” may be a cliché, but when you’ve got the same doorman working both, that’s real power.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

The brotherhood of falling short

Seth Emerson ($$) talks to Aaron Murray about a tie that binds:

But, really, everyone knows what is left for Fromm to do: win it all.

Murray, who came so painfully close in that 2012 SEC championship against Alabama in his junior year, knows what Fromm felt after that national championship as a freshman and that SEC championship as a sophomore. Finishing the deal, Murray opined, is Fromm’s driving force this year.

“When you have that in your grasp, finding a way to get that dagger in and just beat Alabama, once and for all, get that monkey off your back. I think that’s all he’s focused on. He’s a winner, he’s always been a winner, and he just wants to prove that this team is capable of winning the national championship,” Murray said. “If he can carry all that swagger, whatever you want to call it, that juice, into this season, I think he’s going to have an incredible season.”

That sounds like a better motivator than shaking off Justin Fields, if you ask me.

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