Daily Archives: May 6, 2019

Aging well, like fine wine

A tale of two reports, first, on April 2nd, from Seth Emerson ($$):

There should be another big series announced soon: Georgia is deep in talks with Oklahoma about a home-and-home series, The Athletic has learned. Georgia was seeking a Big 12 opponent and Oklahoma, which Georgia played in the memorable 2018 Rose Bowl, has an open spot in 2023.

Shortly thereafter, from Mike Griffith, at DawgNation:

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Thursday the Bulldogs are talking to “a number of schools” right now about future scheduling, but no deals are imminent.

When pressed about reports that a deal with Oklahoma could be close, McGarity said “none of our conversations would be considered deep talks.”

“We’re in conversation with a lot of schools,” McGarity reiterated when pressed on potential home-and-home opponents. “There are two other schools we are having more aggressive talks with than Oklahoma at this time.”

Hmmm… note Greg’s use of the specific phrase “deep talks” there.  Pure coincidence, surely.

You know what’s coming next, right?

From Seth ($$) again:

Georgia and Oklahoma have finalized a home-and-home series, as The Athletic reported was likely a month ago. The two games will be separated by eight seasons: Oklahoma will host the Bulldogs in 2023 and then the Sooners will make a return trip in 2031.

Connor Riley does the announcement honors at DawgNation, sans any reference to deep talks, or, indeed, Greg McGarity at all.

I know some folks have an agenda, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Media Punditry/Foibles

It’s May, the month of lists.

Some are dumb.

3. Dan Mullen, Florida

SEC rank: 2

SEC East rank: 1

2018 rank: 3

Lots of SEC country road cred for his Mississippi State work. The Gators are making progress.

4. Kirby Smart, Georgia

SEC rank: 3

SEC East rank: 2

2018 rank: 5

A few plays against Alabama or a few committee votes shy of a second straight College Football Playoff appearance.

And some are surprisingly observant.

1. Georgia

The sleeping giant is awake. Perhaps no job in the country offers the best of every world like Georgia — great recruiting base, great place to live, great fan base … you get the point. The one knock: The administration hasn’t necessarily been as “all in” as some of the Bulldogs’ rivals in the league.  [Emphasis added.

Gee, I wonder how anyone could have gotten that impression.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Pics, or it didn’t happen.

For those of you jonesing to do your own QBR evaluation, here’s the complete version of this year’s G-Day game tape, including the part that Mickey diverted to the Ocho until the softball game finished.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Whatcha got, Loran?

I gather some of you have read Seth Emerson’s Kirby Smart/Mark Richt comparison here ($$).  I’m not going through it now, but I did want to highlight a Loran Smith quote I find interesting for a couple of reasons:  “After losing VanGorder, it trended down,” Smith said. “Or it would go in a direction in which you could count on them winning 10 games, but it was hard for them to win a championship.”

You’ve gotta love counting on winning ten games as a downward trend, but tell me how what Smith said there is essentially any different from this Richt postmortem.

If Kirby doesn’t win a national championship, I wonder what the updated version of Smith’s quote will look like.

The other thing about that Smith quote?  I wonder if Smith would be honest enough to admit one could say the same thing about the trend line after Dooley lost Erk.

86 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Those that can, recruit. Those that can’t, mock Georgia.

You may have heard that Clemson’s recruiting is on a remarkable run of late.  The Tigers just received the commitment of the top-rated running back in Florida, Demarckus Bowman.  Bowman is the kind of kid Dan Mullen needs and needs badly.  But Bowman won’t be a Gator.

That’s led to a fair amount of reflection on Mullen’s recruiting.  Contrary to what many like to think, Florida isn’t immune to what ultimately drives success in the SEC:  the Jimmies and Joes.  Just ask his former boss what matters.

Meyer, Mullen’s former mentor and the man who led Florida to two national titles with Mullen as his offensive coordinator from 2005-08, was asked how quickly he thinks Mullen can get the Gators into the College Football Playoff.

“Oh, Dan’s the right guy. I think this year,” Meyer said before pausing for a second. “I don’t know their, I’m going to talk to him a little bit tonight, but I don’t know exactly their talent level. But he’s the right guy and if they have the talent level, he’ll get them there.”

About that talent level, Corch…

Now, obviously, that’s not all on Mullen.  Jim McElwain’s recruiting dug a deep hole for Mullen to climb out of, but, still, if you can’t land any five-stars when you’re running the premier program in a state that’s consistently one of the top three talent producers in the country, it makes the task at hand that much harder.

If Gator fans are noticing, well, there’s always another bit of snark to throw in Athens’ direction as a distraction.  Look, squirrel!

10 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Vince Dooley’s complicated legacy

Bill King wants to discuss Vince Dooley’s legacy.  I hate to be that guy, because I’m genuinely happy the man is receiving an honor he appreciates, it’s driven by a bunch of his former players who pushed hard for the recognition and it’s a genuine slap in the face of Michael Adams.  Those are all good things in my book.

That being said, when you give me a header like “Vince Dooley’s legacy at UGA is one that fans of all ages should embrace”, my internal contrarian bristles.  His story is more complicated than that simple one-liner.  Dooley’s record as a head coach deserves commendation.  He resurrected a program that was in the dumps.  His career records of 200 wins, six SEC championships and a natty are nothing to be sneered at; in fact, given the school’s track record, they’re very much worthy of applause.

It’s his tenure as athletic director that’s less embraceable, if you ask me.  Dooley is the man who originally built the Butts-Mehre template we fondly refer to here as the Georgia Way.  His hiring/firing track record was mediocre at best (which still makes it a step up from McGarity’s, true) and at worst, was bad enough to have a significant portion of the fan base calling for his head repeatedly throughout the last five years of the nineties.

We’ve thoroughly re-hashed the events surrounding the debacle that led to the hire of Ray Goff as Dooley’s successor.  Whatever your version of that time may be, there’s little argument that Dooley left no strategy or framework in place to guide the athletic department in the wake of his departure, mainly because he wasn’t fully convinced he wanted to run for political office and wanted to leave an escape hatch open for his return in the event he bailed on that.

There are also the academic scandal bookends that framed his tenure, personified by Jan Kemp and Jim Harrick, Jr.  Remarkably, King finds the way Adams and Dooley cut the basketball players loose, despite that most of them had nothing to do with what the coaches did, to be something admirable.  That nobody on the administrative side paid any sort of a price for the Harricks’ misbehavior was shameful, if not particularly surprising.  I don’t find any of that worthy of celebration.

To each his own, I suppose.  I’ll certainly stand and applaud Coach Dooley when he receives this honor at the first home game.  I’m just not going to whitewash his resume.  If you’re mileage varies, I understand.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Monday morning buffet

Knock yourselves out.

  • How does the transfer portal work?
  • ESPN’s Football Power Index projects Bama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma as favorites in every game on their respective schedules.
  • Here’s a look at the politics behind the move to name the Sanford Stadium field in honor of Vince Dooley.  Let’s just say Don Leebern wound up on the wrong side of history.
  • USA Today’s Paul Myerberg saw the same thing I saw at G-Day:  “The Bulldogs’ series of practices revealed a team loaded with underclassmen talent set to contribute at many important spots — such as the secondary, for example, which coach Kirby Smart singled out for praise multiple times in April.”
  • Pete Fiutak’s take on this year’s Auburn team“This year, grade the Tigers on a curve.”
  • Dabo is “disappointed” his program was mentioned unfavorably in the federal corruption trial into college basketball.  No shit, Sherlock.
  • Today’s SEC returning player stat may surprise you a little.

21 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Stats Geek!, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Musical palate cleanser, life after Mick (not *that* Mick) edition

Okay, Stones fans, a question for you:  is there a more unfairly overlooked album in their catalog than Black and Blue?

I mean, I get it.  It’s a transitional album.

“Black And Blue,” though rumored to be a collection of unfinished jams—“Hot Stuff,” “Hey Negrita,” “Melody,” “Cherry Oh Baby,”– specifically created as an audition tape to help new guitarist Ronnie Wood get acclimated, is the last Rolling Stones album to sound like the band that became one of the greatest bands in the history of music. Once “Some Girls,” the first proper release with Ron Wood and a stone classic, hit big, the sound of the Rolling Stones changed forever. Subsequently, all records that followed, were recorded with a new formula.

A big factor is Charlie Watts. 1962-1976 finds Charlie playing the kit in a variety of rock, r&b, and soul styles, showcasing the looseness usually associated with a jazz drummer, which of course, is what Charlie loved to play. Beginning with “Some Girls,” Watts employed a new technique, which I challenge you to find on any record prior—three hits on the hi-hat, no hi-hat hit on the snare hit. It is a very rigid way to play the type of raucous rock and roll the Stones had, up to that point, pretty much owned…

They used it for guitarist tryouts, fer goodness sakes.  If, like I am, you’re a firm believer that the Mick Taylor era was peak Stones, then B&B is the first album on the downside of that peak.  And it’s not as if the Stones today pull much of their set list from it.

But the album is not without its charms, some of them damned great.  First of all, no full time second guitarist left Keef to fill the gap and nobody’s gonna tell me that more Keith Richards is a bad thing.  Also, there are some great, great tunes on Black and Blue.  “Memory Motel” and “Fool To Cry” are two of the best ballads the Stones have ever recorded.  “Crazy Mama” may be stupid fun, but it rocks with the best of their stuff.

If an underrated album has an underrated song, surely it’s this one.

“Hand of Fate” has everything you’d want in a Rolling Stones song:  great lyrics, growling, menacing Jagger vocals, those Richards guitar licks and that driving rhythm section.  It’s one of the best songs they’ve recorded.  (I used to play the crap out of it and “Crazy Mama” in my radio jock days.)

Okay, come at me, if you dare.

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Filed under Georgia Football