Daily Archives: September 1, 2022

A happy ending

Umm… what just happened here?

The renaming of the Gamecock live mascot has been a topic of conversation for the past few weeks.

“It was always preferred that we would stay with the ‘Sir Big Spur’ name,” said Deputy Athletics Director Eric Nichols. “I appreciate the passion that the owners, Mary Snelling and Ron Albertelli, and the new handlers Beth and Van Clark, have for the Gamecocks and the live mascot. We are pleased that we are starting the season with the same name as in year’s past.”

Following feedback the Athletics Department received, there was more dialogue made with the owners of the Gamecock live mascot, who had rights to the name. The two families and the administration reconnected and found a solution in the best interest of the University, while respecting the wishes of both families.

So all that angst and public squawking over a chicken was for nothing?  Why am I not surprised?

I still think they blew it by not renaming the bird Cock Commander.



Filed under 'Cock Envy

Back at it again

I refuse to recognize that Week 0 bullshit.  Tonight, college football kicks off.

Which can only mean one thing here at GTP.  It’s Stephen Fry time!

Yep.  Still feels good.


Filed under College Football

Calling it as he sees it

LOL.  Gators.

You have to love a man who’s comfortable with his legacy.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

More thoughts about the opener

Seriously, I had planned on doing some sort of Munson-esque take on Georgia’s opener, warning about what happened last year when Ohio State apparently took the Ducks a little too lightly.

Instead, I find myself drawn to something Stewart Mandel wrote yesterday in his Mailbag about Oregon’s offense ($$).

It will definitely be less conservative and in theory should be more explosive. We saw a glimpse of that in Oregon’s spring game, when quarterback Bo Nix hit two 70-yard bombs on play-action passes. The Ducks didn’t complete a pass that long all of last season.

While I suppose it could have been an elaborate ruse to trick Georgia into preparing for one thing, then coming out this weekend and running the ball 52 times, but that’s not why Lanning hired Dillingham. They worked together at Memphis in 2017 when the Tigers had the nation’s No. 2 scoring offense (45.5 PPG), QB Riley Ferguson threw for 4,257 yards and freakishly fast running back Darrell Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry. I expect to see a fast tempo, and extensive use of RPOs and play-action. Dillingham has frequently said in the past he tries to create one-on-one matchups for his playmakers.

If this sounds like something you heard about Tennessee after the Vols changed coaches for the ’21 season, well, buddy, you’re not alone there.  I’m not posting that because I worry the Dawgs may be caught with their collective britches down — this is a Kirby Smart-coached team, after all — but because maybe we fans should adjust our expectations about what we might see come Saturday.

That being said, as Mandel went on to post, there’s certainly a catch for the Ducks:  “The question is whether his preferred scheme can be effective with a roster Cristobal constructed to play a different style.”  It’s not like flipping a switch and converting over effortlessly, especially against a defense the caliber of Georgia’s.

If there’s a concern I have, it’s that Oregon’s offensive line, an area that Cristobal recruited well, returns four of five starters and may give Bo Nix the time occasionally to throw a deep punch against a partially remade secondary.  Will that be enough to spark an upset?  Well, put it this way:  Mandel thinks Oregon’s defense will have to hold Georgia’s offense in check for the Ducks to have a real chance for that.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I hope we can go back, all of us at some point.”

Color me amused by all the excitement surrounding the return of the Backyard Brawl tonight.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m looking forward to watching it as much as most folks.  But it’s amusing to hear all the breathless recitals of the series’ history…

Pitt vs. West Virginia. City vs. country. Steel vs. coal.

“Pitt and West Virginia, there is a hate there,” former Pitt defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads says.

There have been 104 Backyard Brawls, and although Pitt has won 61 of them, West Virginia has considerably tightened the series, holding a 21-19-2 edge since 1970.

The schools, separated by about 75 miles, are demographically dissimilar—Pittsburgh’s metro area (2.3 million) is bigger than the entire population of West Virginia (1.8 million).

… and then realize the two haven’t played each other in over a decade.  Why?  Conference realignment, man.

The regional passion that’s marked the series is still there, in spades.

Outsiders might think it is silly that one game could mean so much to a person, or that it could forever fracture a relationship between a coach, Rich Rodriguez, and his one true love, West Virginia. But that one game—Pitt 13, West Virginia 9—left as many scars as any game in the history of college football. For some, the wounds are as fresh as they were in 2007, an infamous date for an entire fan base and state left heartbroken by its archrival.

Those involved say outsiders don’t understand the situation, the stakes and the series.

That’s exactly the kind of attitude college football should cherish, embrace and encourage.  Instead, we’re led to believe it needs to be abandoned for something broader in scope.  Tell it to those folks.

It’s the price you pay for progress, right?


Filed under College Football

The Big 12, exceeding expectations?

I don’t know if you caught this chain of events yesterday, but they’re of interest.

It is possible that the new Big 12 commissioner is a shrewder cat than I expected.  Of course this is the perfect time for his conference to haggle with Mickey.  They’ll never have more leverage trying to squeeze financial concessions out of ESPN than they do right now playing the Okie/Texas card.  That he’s willing to suck in his ego and do what’s best for his conference… well, there’s more than one conference commissioner we can’t say that about.


Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

At least they mean well

I guess the NCAA’s decided football officials aren’t being challenged enough grappling with targeting calls.

Holy crap.  “In the act of”“With focus downfield”?  That is going to be a nightmare to enforce.  The howling will be deafening.  And rightfully so.


Filed under The NCAA

Siri, what is desperation?

When you’ve hit the “Save us, Obi Wan Tuberville, you’re our only hope” stage of NIL regulation, that’s pretty much the textbook definition.

The Power 5 conference commissioners say boosters are inducing high school and transfer athletes to attend their affiliated universities with “payments inaccurately labeled as NIL,” and they are encouraging Congress to make such actions illegal.

In a two-page letter obtained by Sports Illustrated and sent to Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), the most powerful officials in the sport outlined how they believe NIL, or name, image and likeness, is being abused by donors and donor-led collectives across the country. The letter is in response to Tuberville and Manchin seeking feedback from stakeholders on the evolution of athlete compensation through NIL. Earlier this month, the senators announced that they plan to draft an NIL-related bill.

Suffice to say I don’t expect this to end particularly well.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Forget about it

Even as coachspeak goes, this is pretty remarkable.

I can’t figure out if he’s got memory loss problems, or if he’s simply that shameless.


Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, SEC Football

You have your freedom, but you don’t have much time.

You know when you’ve got Jere Morehead making expansive declarations like “The decision to adopt the transfer proposal today reflects the Board’s commitment to enacting transformational changes in college sports,” it’s big, baby.

Transfer windows are coming to college sports.

The Division I Board of Directors officially voted to approve three notification-of-transfer windows, one each for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports.

For college football players specifically, there will be a 45-day window beginning the day after the College Football Playoff field is announced as well as a window from May 1 to May 15. The Board also said there would be “reasonable accommodations made for participants” in the CFP and FCS championship games. They will need to notify their schools in writing during the window.

Although at least I give him credit for not claiming to be doing it for the kids.  I just wonder how long it’ll take for coaches to come back bitching about the new rules.  Because, coaches.


Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.