Readings from the Book of Steele, Georgia Chapter

Quick now – no fair looking it up – what’s Georgia’s record over its last thirteen home conference games?

Into 2015, the Bulldogs are 12-1 in SEC HGs incl 4 straight wins (loss to Mizzou in ’13).

How many of you got that one right?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

OMG, not another one!

Reader poll at RockMNation reveals Georgia to be top rival for Mizzou fans.

But still, they can’t help being nice describing us.

Great fans. Loved beating them in Athens.

I like UGA. Their fans have seemed the best and their coach and program have a certain demeanor and class. Hopefully we can knock them off this year and even the score – and if this continues, they could become a great rivalry.

If you want to be the best you have to beat the best

Maybe I’ll hate them someday, but so far away from that now, even if we compete hard. -Mac6

Bless their hearts, don’t they know that’s bad form in the SEC?

Hate us ’cause we’re pretty, y’all.

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Filed under SEC Football

Readings from the Book of Steele, SEC Chapter

Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

HC Mark Richt has never finished lower than 3rd in his division in his 14 years here and no other SEC team has done that.

Of course, here’s comes the “but”.

UGA has never won a National Title under Richt and many fans believe he has underachieved because he raised expectations so high.

Mark Richt has lost control of fans’ expectations, damn it.  But that’s not all he’s lost.

Georgia has been favored in all but 1 game (at Auburn 2013) the last 2 years but have been upset 7 times.

None of which is to say that Steele doesn’t pick Georgia to win the East this season.  He does, and, citing talent and a schedule with only three conference road games, goes on to call the Dawgs “a legitimate SEC and National Title contender”.

All in all, I’d say Steele has a pretty good handle on the state of things.  What about you?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Steelemas comes but once a year.

Bought my 2015 Steele this past Friday.  It remains one of the unalloyed pleasures of my CFB offseason.  I follow a certain ritual once I get home with it:  read the Georgia preview first, then look at the individual unit ratings, then the statistical ratings/analysis, then, gradually, the rest of the team reviews (starting with the SEC, of course).

My favorite thing from the magazine are the little factoids he spices throughout the read.  I’ll share a few of those with you today.  But I want to start with what I think is the most remarkable aspect of this year’s model.  I’ve bought his preview for over a decade, and I can’t recall a year where he’s been so overwhelmingly positive about a school’s prospects as he is about Ohio State’s this season.  Check out these national unit ratings:

  • Quarterbacks. 1st
  • Running backs. 2nd
  • Receivers. 8th
  • Offensive line. 4th
  • Defensive line. 3rd
  • Linebackers. 2nd
  • Defensive backs. 3rd.

The only OSU group which doesn’t crack his top ten is special teams.  There, the Buckeyes rank 12th.  That’s ridiculous.  (For comparison purposes, Georgia ranks in the top ten in three categories, running backs (#1!), offensive line and linebackers, and doesn’t even crack Steele’s top 45 in quarterbacks.)

Throw in the 45th-ranked schedule, and you can see why Steele’s basically telling everyone in Columbus to go ahead and book hotel rooms in Glendale.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

You can’t stop conference expansion. You can only hope to contain it.

Berry Tramel asks a series of reasonable questions about why the fevered pitch over Oklahoma President David Boren’s suggestion that the Big 12 needs to be considering expanding to twelve schools.

Why? Why does the Big 12 have to flounder with only 10 schools? That’s not a rhetorical question. That’s not me being sarcastic, trying to make a case against expansion. It’s a legitimate question.

Why can’t the Big 12 thrive with 10 schools? What would two schools add, especially two imperfect-fit schools, which are the only kind available at the moment? Again, dead-serious question. What would 12 provide that 10 doesn’t?

He explores various answers to the questions and finds most of them come up lacking.  (Not that that’s hard to do when this is what the current expansion pool looks like:  “As many as nine schools have been mentioned as Big 12 expansion targets. Western independent Brigham Young. Boise State and Colorado State from the Mountain West Conference. Cincinnati, Memphis, Connecticut, South Florida, Central Florida and Houston from the American Conference.”)

But the reality is not that.  It’s about eat or be eaten. It’s what Todd Berry, the incoming president of American Football Coaches Association, describes here, in response to a question about whether more conference expansion is coming:

“I think that there will be. I don’t think there’s any question that right now with power 5 autonomy it is going to drive some very, very interesting things over the next several years for all of college football. When you start looking at the amount of money that’s being generated by the playoff, and more than likely we’ll see the playoff expand, I would assume, just because there’s more money out there to be had. That’s kind of what’s driving this thing. The conference commissioners, I think in particular, are really, really in control of college football. There was a time frame when the presidents decided they wanted to take it over, then they kind of punted and the ADs took over. Now the conference commissioners are really driving the bus. So yeah, I think there’s going to be another wave (of realignment.) I think that those people that are in preparation for that that are being a bit more proactive are in a lot better position. Now obviously the power 5 is going to be what it is, but I think there’s going to be members of the group of 5 that are going to try and make that jump and make that transition that are going to be appealing to power 5 schools. If this thing does eventually end up being a new classification, which I think it probably will be, there’s some teams in the group of 5 that are probably in the mix and deserving and have the financial resources to be able to make a push along those lines. So yeah, I think we’re probably in that mode right now where everybody’s in that posturing mode like they were five years ago when all of a sudden this thing started shaking up a little bit.”  [Emphasis added.]

The presidents have abdicated their role in the process because it’s all about the money now and the conference commissioners are less burdened by non-monetary considerations than they are.  Just remember that the next time one of them starts bleating about making sure that a school is an academic match for an expanding conference.  (Let’s not forget that West Virginia was the last school admitted to Boren’s conference.)  Because that’s nothing more than an irrelevant sideshow.  The SEC Network ain’t broadcasting history classes, peeps.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Mark Richt has lost control over Georgia’s scheduling history.

Here’s an inconvenient little tidbit from an interesting post at an Auburn blog about the history of SEC regular season scheduling:

Auburn has one of the toughest scheduling histories in football. By one metric, it’s the third toughest in the sports’ history behind Michigan and Georgia. That stat makes it a little more understandable why UGA and Michigan have so few national titles.

No way.  Doesn’t that stat know about the underachieving meme?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Now they’re worried about tradition.

Chris Low, I presume you mean well with this post, but the concept of the entity whose spending has done more to disrupt the face of college football over the last decade being concerned about preserving its traditions strikes me as one of the more ironic, horse-out-of-the-barn notions Mickey’s minions could offer these days.

Thanks for the chuckle, though.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil