Georgia football: not good enough, or just not close enough?

Michael Elkon asks the musical question “Is Georgia the most underachieving team in college football?”.  He doesn’t answer the question, leaving instead for his readers, but he does a nice job framing the debate, which I would summarize as follows:

  1. Georgia historically has been a good, but not élite, program.  I agree.  As I put it in a post earlier, Georgia has been a top twenty program that believes it’s a top ten one.
  2. With that in mind, Georgia under Richt has had three close shots at playing for a national title, 2002, 2007 and 2012 and come up short on all three occasions.
  3. Those two points lead to this question:  “Is Georgia an underachieving giant or a team whose good, but not great, results reflect the program’s natural state?”
  4. If you believe the first is correct, then the program hasn’t been managed to its full potential.  (Michael says Richt, but I’d argue you have to point to both the coach and the athletic department; after all, the underachievement predates Richt’s arrival.
  5. If you believe the second is the more accurate characterization, then Richt has done a respectable job with what he’s been able to carry out.

That is a pretty unemotional way of looking at what Georgia football has done, if you ask me.  It’s still up to you to decide which camp you’re in.  The only thing I’d add to the review is that if you’re someone like me who thinks there’s been a change in the level of support the program has gotten from the administration of late, that has to factor into the equation, too.  Or, as some have put it, there really aren’t any excuses left for either Richt or the athletic department now (barring another insane run of injuries, like 2013, of course) to fall back on.

What do y’all think?

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

Bruce Feldman has an interesting Q&A with Justine Gubar, a journalist at ESPN, who authored a book about fan behavior in the social media era.

We live in a world where it’s easier than ever to be an anonymous flaming asshole, so it’s no real surprise that collegiate sports isn’t an exception.  Still, some of what Gubar relates is unsettling.

Q: What’s the most appalling thing you learned about online fanaticism while working on your book?

Gubar: The graphic rape and death threats uniquely experienced by women. Fans go after women in really disturbing ways. The OSU fans were angry about the stories I was pursuing yet they uniformly singled out my appearance in their insults. I’m not sure what one had to do with another. Look at the hideous reaction directed at movie star and Kentucky hoops fan Ashley Judd for comments she made during this year’s NCAA Final Four tournament. Read what Judd had to say about her experience here.

Trolling and internet machismo.  The weird thing is the belief that these kind of people have that they’re able to change the story if they’re only persistent enough.

Q: Last year there was a lot of talk about #FSUTwitter and its role in trying to deter media from how it covered the Seminoles’ off-field issues. How closely did you follow FSU Twitter’s response to the Jameis Winston coverage? What was your reaction?

Gubar: I saw several of my ESPN colleagues as well as journalists from other entities endure heavy harassment for their reporting. I guess I was sort of amused because I don’t know many journalists who would back down from their reporting because of anonymous strangers lobbing childish insults at them. Yes, the trolling is disturbing and it can be a burden to put in the effort to avoid the stream of nastiness, but often the defensiveness of fans is a telltale sign for reporters that this is a story that needs to be followed up on.

Pathetic.  The cliché about some folks needing to get a life may be just that, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

51 Comments

Filed under College Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Thanks, but I think I’ll wait for movie to show up on cable.

Meet Ran Henry, self-described “foremost authority on Coach Spurrier’s life”, and the author of… well…

the “first authorized biography to cover the iconic career of the modern era’s defining college football coach.” Except it’s not an authorized biography. That was an error on the publisher’s part, Henry says. “Definitive,” not “authorized,” is the term he uses.

Sounds like a real page turner.

9 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius

This is how fever dreams get started.

Oklahoma blogger takes Finebaum tweet of a speculative comment by Colin Cowherd (boy, talk about instant credibility) and runs with it.

22 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, SEC Football, The Blogosphere

Birth of the cool

Jay Jacobs sounds like a fifteen-year old nerd trying too hard.

In fact, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs believes the teams’ styles have made the Tigers and Ducks the cool kids on the college football landscape.

“Auburn and Oregon are two of the cool teams right now,” Jacobs said Tuesday on The Paul Finebaum Show. “The kids want to play for us because we’re fun and we’re fast.”

That’s so cool, Auburn.  In an oxymoronic way, that is.

42 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Send lawyers, guns and money.

Life is good when you don’t have to pay the help much.

The costs of doing business for the NCAA continue to increase. NCAA president Mark Emmert received approximately $1.8 million in compensation during the 2013 calendar year, and the NCAA’s legal fees rose 59 percent to $13.8 million, according to the association’s latest federal tax return released Tuesday. Emmert made about $100,000 more in 2013 than the previous year. He had a base salary of $1,365,298, received $201,127 in other reportable compensation, and was credited with $235,700 in retirement/deferred payment that he can receive in 2017… … Like many coaches and athletic directors, salaries continue to increase for NCAA administrators. In 2007, the NCAA reported spending almost $6 million to compensate 14 of its highest-ranking executives. In 2013, the NCAA’s 14 highest-ranking officials totaled $8.5 million.  [Emphasis added.]

They’re worth every penny.  Just ask ’em. And the legal bills?  They’re for a noble cause.  Even the usually close-mouthed Stacey Osburn is on board with that story.

The NCAA’s legal expenses rose to $13.8 million in 2013-14 as the association fights a number of lawsuits, up from $8.7 million the previous year. As recently as 2010-11, the legal costs were $4.1 million. The increase is because the NCAA “continues to defend its mission and core values,” NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said.

Given the pay bumps, I’d say the lawyers are doing their jobs.

In ‘Murica, freedom isn’t free.  Neither is amateurism.

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Filed under The NCAA

So he’s saying there’s a chance?

Dave Bartoo makes a list of long shot teams for conference titles and the playoffs.  You may have heard of his selection for the national title game.

National Title Game: Few are giving the Georgia Bulldogs (25-to-1 odds to win national title) much of a shot at a conference title, let alone a national title appearance. Of all the big underdogs to win it all, this team has the best profile to do it (I had Auburn on the list in 2010). Georgia is the only top 10 recruiter of this century to not make and win a national title. Are they due when no one expects it?

Stranger things have happened in the world of college football, I suppose.

12 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football