Daily Archives: May 15, 2019

On the verge of greatness

Comparing last year’s SEC quarterbacks’ passer ratings with this Athlon ranking of 2019 SEC quarterbacks makes me wonder if that Year of the Quarterback time is really upon us.

The league’s depth extends to the middle of the rankings with proven options like South Carolina’s Jake Bentley and Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano.

“Proven options”?  For real?  I mean, either some kids are on the verge of exploding on the scene (Kellen Mond, 10th in 2018 passer rating, 3rd on Athlon’s list, for example), or this is one unimpressive bunch, outside of the top two QBs.  Fortunately, one of those two plays for Georgia.



Filed under SEC Football

Your 5.15.19 Playpen

As some wag on Twitter put it yesterday, the US is going to invade Iran and then Trump will run in 2020 claiming he was opposed to doing that.

For the record, this is a very bad idea for the same reason invading Iraq was.

And with that, today’s Playpen is yours in the comments.


Filed under GTP Stuff

There’s no money to pay the players, edition #36875.

USF will pay $1 million to dump a logo it spent close to another million to adopt last September.

Branding, for the win.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

Nothing but the best

You will be shocked, shocked to learn that after being shut out of the College Football Playoff the past two years, the Big Ten has had a change of heart about postseason expansion.

“I’m open to the consideration and to looking at it and to thinking about it,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said Monday of playoff expansion. “Anytime our Big Ten champion is left out of the playoff … that’s something that needs to be discussed. Because I obviously believe that you go through and you win the Big Ten championship in this league, you’ve accomplished something that deserves to put you in position to play for the national championship.”

When they move to eight and guarantee each P5 conference an automatic berth in the quarterfinals, I hope they go all in and rename the event the College Football Participation Trophy Tournament.  After all, everyone’s a winner.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

The suspense is killing me.

Be forewarned, college football world.  The Notre Dame-Georgia game could be ugly, sez the AJ-C’s Connor Riley, because… well, because a troll’s gotta troll.

Factor in the potential for bad blood stemming from last year’s College Football Playoff, and there’s a chance that it might be one of the biggest games in Sanford Stadium in quite some time.

Yeah, if it hadn’t been for some of Georgia’s players noting that ‘Bama Clemson rolled the Irish last year, hardly anyone would pay attention.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Talk, talk, talk.

Good for Andy Staples, who made the call to Rep. Mark Walker I was hoping somebody in the media would make in the wake of the news that the NCAA would being begin exploring allowing players to market their names, likenesses and images without ending their college eligibility.

Walker, as you might except expect, didn’t dismiss the development outright, but did express a cautious skepticism about the NCAA’s intentions.

“I want to make sure there’s more action than smoke,” Walker says. “There have been other meetings in the past. I’m going to be positive that hopefully there’s some motivation to really come out of this with a game plan.”

He’s a Congressman, after all.  He knows something about how bureaucracies work.

Walker knows all about bureaucratic tar pits. He works in one. “I thought Congress was good at beating issues into the ground,” Walker says. “But we may have to pay homage to the NCAA if they can’t get something done here.”

So, he will be watching.

Meanwhile, they’ll be watching on Capitol Hill. “We’re going to monitor what comes out of this,” Walker says. “If this is just another thing where we hear they’re just going to create another talking group for the next couple of years, we’re going to raise a stink about it.”

And what would keep them from raising that stink? “A plan of action, even if it’s not immediately implemented, to say ‘Over the next two to five years, this is the course of action steps we’re going to take to make sure these student-athletes have access to the free market like other students and like every other American,’” Walker says. “If there is a game plan to do something like that, then we’re going to applaud them and work with them to try to see that come to fruition. But if it’s more hyperbole, then I’m going to beat the drum even louder.”

There’s a fair amount of wiggle room there, but it’s not endless.  Is the NCAA willing to take the hint?  I’d say it’s even money, at best.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

It’s two, two, two mints in one.

As I waded through Wes Rucker’s cringey “The Vols will be back at some point, but I don’t know how they’ll do it” piece — well, okay, he says they’ll just have to outwork Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, which certainly seems like a realistic formula — I came across this:

Pruitt told former Vols wide receiver and current Knoxville radio personality Jayson Swain that most of his team stayed in town rather than go home during the brief mini-term period that separates the spring semester and the first summer semester.

“I think the number’s 55, I think there’s 55 guys that are here for mini-term,” Pruitt said on ‘The Swain Event’ on Tuesday morning. “Then we’ve got several guys that are here doing rehab. I think our guys are excited about getting going this summer.

“I mean, me personally, when I look at it, I don’t know why you’d want to go home. Nothing against going home, but heck, we went home during the bowl season. We went home during spring break. We’ve had enough breaks. We need to go to work.”

“We need to go to work” is admirable for a guy making millions a year.  For a supposedly amateur college student expected to sacrifice his free time, it’s something different.

If it walks like a job and quacks like a job, it’s a job, no matter how much you want to insist it’s merely an educational experience.  It’s certainly not your typical college student experience.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Your daily Gator update

By now, I assume you’ve heard that Chris Steele has elected to take his talents to Oregon.  So much for Mr. and Mrs. Mullen’s West Coast groveling excursion.

His decision is part of a new Florida tradition ($$).

From a talent standpoint, Florida doesn’t have the margin for error to quickly get over this loss. That feeling is exacerbated by the fact the Gators have now seen a top signee never suit up in an actual game for them in three consecutive classes. In addition to Steele, Justin Watkins was the No. 89 prospect in the 2018 class and James Robinson was the No. 115 prospect in the 2017 class.

That gap with Georgia ain’t gonna close itself, Dan.

By the way, if you subscribe, make sure you read the linked article in its entirety to get a feel for how much Steele’s departure weakens Florida at cornerback.  The starters are excellent (well, except they’ll have to wait and see how Marco Wilson comes back from his ACL injury), but depth has to be a real concern, considering that Steele was being counted on as the third guy.

Florida experienced what kind of an effect a shallow cornerback room can have in the SEC. The shortcoming was exposed against Georgia, when the Bulldogs succeeded in targeting C.J. McWilliams, who suddenly climbs one step back up the depth chart.

Congrats to C.J., who’s surrounded by two 2019 signees who aren’t early enrollees and, speaking of Florida traditions, a dude who was arrested last week for misdemeanor simple battery against his girlfriend.  No doubt Grantham is poised to work his magic in the defensive backfield.


Filed under Gators, Gators...