To paraphrase a familiar expression, when someone says, “it’s not a distraction”, it’s a distraction.
Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange
You know, it’s gonna piss me off something fierce if it turns out that Tennessee gets it better than Georgia does.
And before you brush this off as bullshit theorizing on my part, compare the West End Zone project in Athens with UT’s next big stadium project:
Currie entered the job at Tennessee with the university already slated to begin phase one of Neyland renovations in 2019. That anticipated $106 million project will focus on overhauling the south side of the stadium, including “basic enhancements” to fan experience, like more entry points to the stadium, larger restrooms and more concession stands.
If they can figure out how to modernize Neyland in a fan-friendly way, don’t tell me it’s an impossible task for Sanford Stadium.
The problem isn’t engineering. It’s attitude. When have you ever heard Greg McGarity ask a question like this?
“If we think we’re going to expect our fans to just come and sit still, we’re not very smart,” he said. “We need to be creating an experience that allows people to have a good experience here. I’ve walked around stadiums and seen moms sitting on the concrete feeding their kid a hot dog. Why can’t we have a picnic table somewhere for mom or dad to feed their kid a hot dog?”
Yeah, that’s mundane. But you’ve got to start somewhere.
They make for an interesting compare-and-contrast.
“For me it’s important that you understand as the head coach of the University of Georgia, I’m proud to be there, but we embrace those (expectations), the coaching staff, we embrace those as our players,” Smart said. “When you come to the University of Georgia, the expectation is to win championships. That’s what we expect to do at the University of Georgia, and that’s the standard we’ll be held to.”
“We don’t want players who don’t expect to win,” he added. “When you come to the University of Georgia … you’re going to be one of the best players in the country, coming from one of the best states in the country, one of the best high school football states in the country. We expect them to come in with that attitude and demeanor. You create that, and it permeates your program by how you carry yourself and perform on the field. And we have not performed on the field from the level we should. That’s something we have to continue to improve on.”
That’s a strikingly different tone than what we heard from Tennessee’s Butch Jones on Monday. The Vols were picked to win the East last year but finished two games behind division champion Florida. The difference in Tennessee’s nine wins and Georgia’s eight? A Joshua Dobbs Hail Mary touchdown pass to beat Georgia 34-31 in the final seconds on Oct. 1. Otherwise, their seasons were essentially the same.
Tennessee beat nationally ranked Florida, and Nebraska in the Music City Bowl; lost to nationally ranked Alabama and Texas A&M; and lost to unranked Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Georgia beat nationally ranked North Carolina and Auburn, and TCU in the Liberty Bowl; lost to nationally ranked Ole Miss and Florida; and lost to unranked Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
But anyone within earshot of The Wynfrey Hotel on Monday knows Tennessee is coming off back-to-back nine-win seasons because Jones pointed out several times that Tennessee is coming off back-to-back nine-win seasons. With six NFL draft picks, the Vols reached the top 10 last fall but finished the season No. 22.
“On the field, we’re very proud of the fact that it’s very, very difficult to win in the Southeastern Conference, and we’re one of only three programs that have won nine games two years in a row,” Jones said.
“This is a results-oriented business and we fell short of our goals,” he added. “But I don’t like to use the term ‘disappointment,’ because when you still look at it, it’s hard to win in this conference. And only three teams have won nine games, and the University of Tennessee is one of those.”
Granted, some of the difference can be attributed to Jones sitting on a warmer seat than Smart, and maybe Jones deserves a little slack because he had to dig out of a deeper hole than the one Smart started with (remember, Richt got fired in the midst of back-to-back ten win seasons). As Matter notes, though, but for one play, the 2016 Georgia and Tennessee seasons were quite similar, so it’s enlightening to see the very different filters through which the two coaches view their last year.
If it’s SEC Media Days, there are plenty of tidbits to sample:
- Maybe it’s the SEC’s year of the offensive line.
- Booch just can’t let the clichés go.
- Can anyone in the East catch up to Saban?
- Good news: Trent Thompson ‘should be full go’ for preseason practices. Eh, skip that. It’s great news.
- Damn, this is harsh: “Orgeron is LSU’s white flag of surrender. He’s like a mixture of Mike Shula, Mike DuBose and Coach Red Beaulieu from the Adam Sandler movie “Waterboy.””
- If you’re looking for ten minutes of Gary Danielson at SEC Media Days, here you go.
- And if you want the full 25 minutes of Kirby’s presser, here ’tis.
- Roquan Smith had a great 2016 playing with a busted shoulder. Imagine what’s in store for him now that he’s healthy.
If Tennessee jumps over Georgia in the Directors’ Cup standings, is that a firing offense in Athens? Probably not, but it should be.
Sure, on one level, this comes off as nothing more than routine kibitzing by a former head coach…
“In this league you still have to run the football and make short yardage and make goal-line plays,” Fulmer told SEC Country. “You look at last year, and a couple of those plays and maybe there’s another win or two.”
… but, coming from a guy who just took on a paid gig as a special advisor to the school president on athletics, maybe it should be taken as a little more pointed than mere routine. Especially when you consider that Booch sits on a warm seat and Fulmer has proven himself to be a man who’s not exactly shy about stepping up in the face of a coaching crisis.
I’d tell Booch to watch his back, but right now I’m too preoccupied with finding that bag of popcorn I put down somewhere.
Jesus, this is incoherent.
However, there is one mistake that Dooley looks back on and admits it was the biggest one he made during his tenure in Knoxville.
““There’s an old saying, ‘Don’t let the shit creep in,’” Dooley said. “Shit can start creeping in, and you’re not really paying attention to it, you wake up one day, and you’ve got a bucket full. I look back, I probably wasn’t as hard on them. I made excuses for them, because they’re young, let’s work with them and help them. Compound that with, we had injuries. All that is sort of a firestorm brewing. It only hits you when it hits you (which was against Kentucky).”
Evidently, this is supposed to mean SOD recognized that his team wasn’t mentally prepared to play a game against Kentucky that it wound up losing.
“This is, 100 percent, my worst mistake, and I was the sole reason for that loss. It only hits you when it hits you, and when I walked out there in pregame, we’d just had an emotional win over Vandy, and everybody thought we were getting back to a bowl, can win seven, the whole deal. In pregame, I knew it wasn’t right. I could feel it. It was the worst, most surreal feeling in me. I’ll never forget it.
“Watching our team, I could see it. Everything I had done since the offseason, making excuses, looking the other way, brushing aside, we need these guys, it kind of all came to a head. It was a terrible, terrible loss. … Our team wasn’t ready to play mentally and emotionally, and that was my fault.”
You just had an emotional win over Vanderbilt, for goodness sake? Dude, the shit was deeper than you comprehend.
How in the world did Tennessee hire this guy?