An astute point about Mel Tucker from Bill Connelly:
It always concerns me a hair when a coach used to working with a massive talent advantage — Tucker’s last three college jobs were at Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State — takes a job in which he will never really have such a thing.
Since the turn of the century, Tucker’s only even-talent situations were in the NFL, and he did not thrive there. Only once in seven years as an NFL DC did a Tucker defense rank better than 20th in DVOA, while he finished in the bottom five four times.
He could upgrade the talent at CU, but he’s playing from behind. In the Pac-12 era, CU has yet to sign a class that ranks better than eighth in the conference and hasn’t signed a class better than 35th overall since 2008. As gorgeous as Boulder is, it’s hard to recruit to, and Tucker’s going to have to figure out how to win games despite recruiting rankings, not because of them.
I don’t think many of us would disagree with Bill’s concerns there.
Stewart Mandel’s take on Bru McCoy, poster boy for the NCAA transfer portal’s craziness, is spot on.
Coaches hate the climate that’s developing around transfers because they hate anything they can’t control. That’s not surprising. But The Portal came into existence because coaches were exerting too much control with sometimes ridiculous restrictions on which schools (conference foes, future opponents, even potential bowl opponents) they would or wouldn’t grant releases. Are some of these kids exercising poor judgment? Yes. But McCoy is hardly the first confused 18-year-old trying to figure out what he wants. Changing the rules wouldn’t make him less confused; they would just take away his options.
Those of you bitching about the apparent chaotic nature of the portal process conveniently overlook something: coaches brought the portal craziness on themselves. As usual when it comes to college football, proactive solutions were shunned. A sensible attempt to rein in the more egregious behavior at the time it occurred might have sensibly modified things before the current arrangement became the reaction. But that would have meant asking coaches to negotiate away some of their godlike control over players.
Maybe next time they’ll think about the consequences of their control.
It’s Smart’s fourth season, so data like this shouldn’t startle me when I see it, but, still…
UGA is entering its first season, however, where the roster will be made up almost completely of players Smart has recruited. The 43-year-old head coach just inked his fourth class and there are really only three players, Michael Barnett (nose tackle), Tae Crowder (inside linebacker), and Rodrigo Blankenship (place-kicker), who were signed by the previous staff.
We’ve come a long way from the cratering of the 2013 class, eh? And still managed a couple of thrilling seasons in the meantime.
Game of Thrones may have been HBO’s popular darling, but I’ve just finished watching two of the most impressive shows HBO has ever put out there, both of which were far more satisfying productions.
Speaking of Olyphant, this is a little story that has to be shared (WARNING: minor spoiler alert):
… and Seth confronting Hearst in the thoroughfare with Dan and Johnny backing his play. After the first few takes of the latter scene, director Daniel Minahan gave Olyphant freedom to try alternate versions of Bullock’s scripted reply to Hearst threatening to come for him: “Expect you will, Senator.” Olyphant tried a few that neither of them liked as much as the original line, then noted that if this was Justified, Raylan would say, “Let me know, Senator. I’ll circle the date.”
Perfect. Reminds me of this line from Justified:
Add your takes in the comments and try to be mindful of others who haven’t seen either yet, but intend to. If you can’t avoid discussing something that’s a spoiler, at least warn the rest of us before you post your thoughts.
Scene: inside the production studio of The Paul Finebaum Show, a camera tracks down a hallway into Finebaum’s office 30 minutes prior to the opening of the day’s show.
Finebaum is relaxing in a chair, reading a dog-eared copy of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, a half-drunk glass of Cognac and a smoldering Cohiba cigar by his side. He puts down the book, sighs and looks outside his room.
FINEBAUM: Hey! Anybody out there? What have we got planned for the rubes today?
Anonymous smug staffer strolls in, bemused.
ASS: No worries, boss. Some of us were banging a few ideas around and came up with this to post on social media while your show is on.
FINEBAUM: Excellent. The Mullen pounding has run its course for now. Getting the Saban and Smart groupies worked up is good timing. Let ‘er rip.
ASS: Thought you’d like it, boss.
FINEBAUM: You still here? Did I invite you to stay? And close the door behind you.
ASS: Er, sorry, boss.
ASS backs out of room, leaving Finebaum to reach for a sip, a drag and his book. Fin.
So, if you go by FanDuel’s 2019 SEC championship odds, here’s how the two divisions’ order of finish projects:
A few observations:
Well, now. USF’s athletic director explains his standards for judging when his school agrees to play two-for-ones against P5 programs ($$):
What White doesn’t want is AAC teams signing two-for-one deals with programs he feels are on equal footing. Kelly said the same thing.
“If it’s a more comparable economic situation, like we’re finishing up a one-for-one with Georgia Tech, our stadium sizes are comparable and it makes sense,” Kelly said.
Considering Kelly’s never resorted to a 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 cokes promotion to put asses in the seats, comparable might be something of a stretch there.