Monthly Archives: January 2022

Funny money

How it started:

If all goes as planned, Mel Tucker will become the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten. And Michigan State will make a major show of strength that it plans to be a significant spender in college football in the next decade.

MSU is preparing a historic $95 million, 10-year contract extension for Tucker to remain with the Spartans, university sources confirmed to the Free Press on Wednesday. The 49-year-old Cleveland native is set to become among the highest-paid coaches in the country.

How it’s going:

When it comes to college athletic department books, “deficit” doesn’t mean what you think it means.



Filed under It's Just Bidness

Movin’ on up

While I’m on the subject of things I pondered after the natty, here’s another one:  how does Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class, which finished second in the 247Sports Composite (behind you know who), look now in the cold light of day?

Welp ($$), since I asked

1. Georgia Bulldogs
2019 class ranking: 2
Top offensive commit:
C Clay Webb (No. 14)
Top defensive commit: DE Nolan Smith (No. 2)

The Bulldogs fell just short of the top class on signing day, but in retrospect, this was indeed the best haul of that cycle. This group played a key role in helping Georgia secure the national title this season — it made its biggest impact on the Dawgs’ stingy defense.

Five-star DE Nolan Smith, LB Nakobe Dean, S Lewis Cine and DE Travon Walker were the top four defensive prospects signed that year. All four have played significant roles for that unit, with Dean winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

The offense added some important pieces as well in starting RT Warren McClendon and WR George Pickens, both ESPN 300 prospects. This class also demonstrated that impact performers could arise from lesser-touted signings, as one-time walk-on and national championship MVP QB Stetson Bennett arrived as a bounce-back from junior college.

‘Bama dropped to number two, so at least that’s consistent with the game results.

Seriously, the only thing better than racking up top three class after top three class on the recruiting trail is racking up top three class after top three class on the recruiting trail, only to discover the recruiting services underrated their evaluation.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Will 2022 be a Year of the Quarterback year for the SEC?

One thing I was curious about after the national championship game is how Georgia, its coaches and its players would be perceived on 2022 lists as they popped up.

Matt Hinton tracked the SEC quarterbacks last season at Saturday Down South.  He had the Dawgs at third most of the time, although his ranking was based on the accumulated performances of Bennett and Daniels.  Now that they are one, his first preseason rankings have Georgia, with Bennett alone, at three, still.

Bennett, improbable hero of the Dawgs’ national championship run, is back for a 6th year. There will be another competition against more 5-stars, but, for our purposes, we’re going to assume Bennett remains QB1 – undisputed, this time.

I must plead guilty here to being a Stetson skeptic. I doubted a former walk-on could generate enough downfield juice to win big against elite competition, I spent most of the regular season writing him off as a placeholder until Daniels was fully recovered from a minor abdominal injury, and I explicitly called for Kirby Smart to make the switch after Georgia’s loss to Alabama in the SEC title game. In hindsight that all sounds faintly ridiculous. “Game manager” rep notwithstanding, Bennett was everything UGA needed him to be, finishing among the national leaders for the season in yards per attempt, overall passer rating and Total QBR and delivering on some legitimately big-time throws in the playoff wins over Bama and Michigan.

His go-ahead, 40-yard touchdown strike to Adonai Mitchell in the fourth quarter of the CFP Championship Game was exactly the kind of throw he wasn’t supposed to be able to make on that stage…

So, the doubt is gone.  Bryce Young tops the list (duh).  Second is Spencer Rattler, who, no doubt also, is a talent.  Even better, he’s a talent who won’t be burdened with the expectations of a fan base used to high end talent at the position.

At any rate, South Carolina is in dire need of new energy on offense, and landing a next-level talent in high demand was a major coup. The Gamecocks don’t get many of those: Recruiting at the position has been largely unproductive for a decade, and it’s been so long since a Carolina quarterback was drafted that the most recent name on the list, Todd Ellis in 1990, got picked in a round that doesn’t even exist anymore (the 9th). No one who’s occupied the job in the intervening 30 years has had a better shot at breaking that streak than Rattler.

That’s some track record you got there, ‘Cocks.  And I’m old enough to remember a day when you guys kept promoting every starting quarterback under Holtz as a dark horse Heisman candidate.  But I digress.

If you look at Matt’s list, there are actually a number of returning starters who were at worst decent at their position last season — Jefferson, Hooker, Rogers, Levis.  The top half of the league certainly has a chance to be pretty good as a group.  From eight on down, though, it’s something of a crapshoot.  If quarterback remains the most important position on the field, there are probably some lessons to be drawn from that.


Filed under SEC Football

The good kind of returning production

Hey, you know, Georgia may be alright in 2022.  Just sayin’.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

TFW you really **are** a basketball school

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on with the Auburn football program?

Auburn offensive coordinator Austin Davis has indicated a desire to resign his position, multiple sources have confirmed to

Still, the former NFL quarterback and Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach is scheduled to be in Auburn tomorrow to meet with head coach Bryan Harsin and members of the Tigers’ coaching staff. One Auburn source on Sunday night said that Davis’ Monday meeting could go in a couple different directions — with Davis perhaps offering a formal resignation or instead requesting a reprieve of sorts.

Attempts to reach Davis on Sunday night were unsuccessful.

Davis was with the Seahawks when hired by Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin in mid-December. The timing was odd; Seattle’s final game wasn’t until Jan. 9 and Davis all along vowed to finish the NFL season in Seattle.

Davis, 32, didn’t participate in the Tigers’ Junior Day recruiting event this past weekend. The Tigers nonetheless played host to several high-profile offensive recruits from the 2023 and 2024 classes, which made Davis’ absence notable.

Sources on Sunday night indicated that Davis sent a text message to fellow staff members earlier in the day indicating that he no longer wished to serve as coordinator.

Bryan Harsin associated with a major case of buyer’s remorse?  Why, I nevah, Miz Scarlett!

Add this ($$)…

Auburn’s defensive line: No position group in the league has had a tougher time this offseason. Eight Auburn defensive linemen have entered the portal since the end of the season, and two — Tashawn Manning and Tyrone Truesdell — are staying in the SEC. Manning headed to Kentucky, and Truesdell joined Billy Napier’s rebuild at Florida. Marquis Robinson, a four-star signee in the class of 2021, is also in the portal, and four-star 2021 signee Lee Hunter joined former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn at UCF. The Tigers did add Jayson Jones from Oregon, but losing that much depth from one position is going to be an issue this fall. Only eight teams in the country have lost more than Auburn’s 17 players to the portal.

… and it’s looking pretty ugly on the Plains.

Speaking of buyer’s remorse, were I Harsin, I’d make damned sure my entire staff stayed squeaky clean on the recruiting violation front (not to mention staying that way on the personal front, too).  Don’t want to give the AD any ammo to toss that buyout overboard if things wind up where they seem to be headed.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Everything old is new again.

Holy crap — talk about getting the band back together.

“Jumped at the chance”.  Welcome home again, Coach.


Filed under Georgia Football

Where’s Waldo, Indy edition

I don’t know if y’all remember the Rose Bowl version of this, but if you went to the national championship game and want proof, here’s the panoramic shot of the crowd at the game.  Have at it, folks.  Let us know if you can find yourself in the masses.


Filed under Georgia Football

It doesn’t always mean more.

Off the top of my head, I never would have guessed this many:

South Carolina pays their women’s basketball coach more than Shane Beamer, too.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

You should be dancin’.

Gotta admit I don’t get the point to Brian Kelly posting clips of his lame dancing act on social media.

Apparently I’m not the only one.

Hadn’t thought of the lose a bet angle.  Not bad, Junior.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Stylin'

Style over substance

Too bad they can’t find a machine that perfectly form fits their athletes into a ten-win season.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stylin'