Daily Archives: March 11, 2022

Kumbaya, CFP

Sounds like this is going about as we expected.

Which is to say, not well at all.  Nicely played, Alliance.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

Playing second fiddle

Seth Emerson’s shot ($$):

There has never been this wide a chasm, in Georgia and perhaps SEC history, as the seasons this year for the school’s two most visible sports: National champion in football, while men’s basketball has the most losses in league history and the worst “winning” percentage since the Eisenhower Administration.

Andy Staples’ chaser ($$):

Yes, I said Georgia could be the best job in college basketball. Not because it will ever have a better chance than Kentucky or Kansas or Duke to win national titles. It could be the best job in college hoops for the same reason the Kentucky job — when you really think about it — is the best one in college football. It’s a program with little history of winning that lives in a richer-than-God athletic department that already has a revenue sport capable of competing for national titles. The pressure at Georgia is all on Kirby Smart. But there’s plenty of money to spend to create a successful basketball program. It just needs to be deployed wisely. And that starts with hiring the right coach.

As analogies go, how does Georgia basketball = Kentucky football sit with y’all?


Filed under Georgia Football

“We have to live in the space.”

Cry me a river, bud. ($$)

“It’s up to NCAA enforcement to say: We put it out, that it’s not to be inducement,” Harlan said. “If there are folks that are getting deals before they go to that school — and I think there’s probably more than a few of those types of deals happening across the country — then, just like any other rule, that should be enforced. Those folks should be held accountable.

“That’s the gray (area) right now that we’re all struggling with because we’re not seeing that kind of action coming from Indianapolis. … I know that the association is in the middle of a legal environment that’s difficult for enforcement, but that’s the one piece. If we can get that right, then NIL will flourish as it is for many of our students. I really do feel like we can strike that balance.”

The NCAA literally had decades to get out in front of the problem and chose instead to hash it out in the courts, culminating in the Alston debacle (from the schools’ standpoint, that is).  Now, Mark Emmert is scared by the mere threat of litigation, which leaves the schools with three options in dealing with player compensation:  (1) hoping NCAA enforcement can come up with something to thread the needle; (2) Congressional intervention in the form of some sort of antitrust exemption; or (3) collective bargaining.  There’s no reason to think they’re confident and smart enough to achieve the first.  The second looks more and more like a pipe dream.  The third is bigger anathema than NIL compensation.

In short, the NCAA and the schools have made their bed and now they have to lie in it.

“Enforcement is crippled right now. Like, it’s not functional,” said Patriot League commissioner Jennifer Heppel. “Until enforcement is fixed, what is the answer with NIL? … We can’t enforce our core principles right now.”

That’s what happens when your core principles boil down to “we want to keep all the money, kids”.


Filed under The NCAA

Number five, with a bullet

In the latest ESPN quarterback future power rankings, that is.  Georgia was sixth last year, when the focus was on JT Daniels (Bennett didn’t even merit mentioning).  Now?

5. Georgia Bulldogs

2021 ranking: 6
Returning starter: Stetson Bennett

Scouting the Bulldogs: Georgia’s quarterback outlook is always fascinating, even after a national title and with a returning starter in Bennett. Coach Kirby Smart’s program is less quarterback-reliant than others, but Bennett stepped up in the playoff when his team needed him in the fourth quarter against Alabama. Bennett should have a victory lap type of season this fall, after passing for 2,862 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He will be working under coordinator Todd Monken again, and has the confidence and respect of the Georgia locker room. But he likely will be pushed by Brock Vandagriff and others.

Vandagriff, ESPN’s No. 37 overall recruit in the 2021 class, spent last year watching and learning behind Bennett and JT Daniels, but likely envisions 2022 as his time to shine. He’s joined in Georgia’s quarterback room by Carson Beck, an ESPN 300 recruit in 2020 who saw limited action in four games last season. The Bulldogs also add Gunner Stockton, ESPN’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and No. 109 overall prospect in the 2022 class. Georgia remains in the running for Arch Manning, one of the most decorated quarterback recruits in recent history and the top prize of the 2023 class.

Interestingly enough, that’s only third best in the SEC, behind Alabama (natch) and Texas A&M.  Also interesting is Clemson’s precipitous drop, from 2nd in 2021 to 17th.

Not so interesting is Florida’s absence from this year’s list.  The Gators were 8th last year, which certainly worked out well for all concerned.


Filed under Georgia Football

History repeats the old conceits.

If you’re a cynic, you’ll find this amusing.

After a season marred by coaches instructing players to fake injuries for strategic reasons, the NCAA Football Rules Committee declined to make a rule change. Instead, the committee released a statement decrying the practice as “dishonest, unsportsmanlike and contrary to the rules.”

In 1954.

Last week, after a season marred by coaches instructing players to fake injuries for strategic reasons, the NCAA Football Rules Committee declined to make a rule change. Steve Shaw, the national coordinator of officials, said Monday that fake injuries are a free timeout “that goes against every principle of our game. It’s a bad look. We’re intent on taking it out of the game.”

They’re so intent, they declined to make a rule change.  I’m not sure that’s how it’s supposed to work, especially when all that leaves you with is this:

It is heartening to believe that college football has cleaned this up before and will clean it up again.

Except that in 1954, the self-policing worked, and in 2022, college football is beginning Year Three of self-policing and fake injuries are increasing. Fake injuries in today’s game are a competitive issue, a medical issue and an ethical issue that just may reflect today’s society.

Ethics in college football — is that even a real thing?

The Rules Committee discussed at length last week a proposal that if a player goes down, he remains out of the game for the rest of that possession. Shaw said one Power 5 conference went back and looked at players who left the game because of injury and found that 85 percent of them didn’t return on that series.

The Rules Committee decided not to adopt the proposal. Part of the reason is 15 percent sounds like a small number until you remember it’s real players who really might be injured. There’s also the possibility that going out for a series would be a disincentive to come out of the game.

That leaves ethics, appealing to the coaches to be stewards of the game. The AFCA tried that in 2020. That didn’t work.

“We’ve all tried to handle it quietly behind the scenes,” AFCA executive director Todd Berry said Tuesday. “Our ethics committee voted unanimously that we needed to do something, that there needed to be a cost.”

Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Good luck with that self-policing thing, fellas.


Filed under The NCAA