If they ever establish a College Football Cliché Hall of Fame, Butch Jones had better be the first inductee.
Category Archives: Blowing Smoke
Grasshopper, this is deep.
But they’re already champions, I thought. Of life!
If you were wondering what some of the references were in yesterday’s comment threads about “The First Word”, it seems that Georgia’s master of PR has decided it would be to his advantage to speak directly with the fan base rather than let the pesky media dictate the narrative.
“You will begin to see more frequent news coming your way via emails under the tag line “The First Word”. Our intent is to bring the major news to you first, instead of reading about it via the media outlets. There are times when we can’t predict what issues are brought to light in the various forms of media, and out commitment is to respond accordingly when clarification is necessary…” [Emphasis added.]
In other words, it takes less effort to spin than to figure out a course of action to address what actually might be troubling the fan base — excepting the big donors, of course.
Given McGarity’s track record, I have no doubt this will be as an unqualified a success as his hiring record has proven to be. Surely, if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that “remain calm, all is well” never fails to satisfy.
Sure, Tom Herman signed the lowest-rated recruiting class at Texas ever, but at least there was science behind it.
However, it seems there was actually some strategy that went into Texas’ 2017 class. Herman said in a recent interview with Longhorn Network that he and his staff found research regarding first-year head coaches’ classes that prompted them to change their approach a bit. Below are some of Herman’s comments during the interview, which were transcribed via Football Scoop.
“We knew through all the metrics, all the analytics, all the numbers that point to most of the time in years of transition in coaching staffs, that signing class has the highest rate of attrition – meaning kids that quit – has the highest rate of off-field issues including academics, drugs and social, and has the highest rate of guys that can’t play, and don’t ever see the field.”
Whatevs, dude. Just explain how proclaiming that you don’t sign backups — “None of these guys were signed for depth or anything other than we believe that they can either play now and help us win championships…” — turn right around to say that one of the main focuses of your 2017 signing class was to add guys who can provide depth, as opposed to ones who would see the field right away is anything other than a roundabout way of pretending you don’t really need those all-star recruits you were chasing and will continue to keep chasing.
Better stick the landing a helluva lot better with next year’s class. At least that way you won’t have to spend as much time spinning to defend it.
Tennessee was 2016’s heavy favorite to win the SEC East. Tennessee flops. Butch Jones responds: “They’ve won the biggest championship — that’s the championship of life…”
Fast forward to February, 2017. Tennessee comes out of national signing day with a middling result by SEC standards. Two of its permanent opponents, Alabama and Georgia, dominate the final recruiting class rankings. Butch Jones responds:
“We’ve spoken about the competitive nature, and I think that’s really, really big in today’s world,” Jones said. Everyone gets into the whole two-star, three-star, four-star, five-star thing. The only five-star that we even concern ourselves with is a five-star heart.
“We want five-star hearts and five-star competitors.”
I’m sensing a pattern here.
Jones and Tennessee director of player personnel Bob Welton said they evaluate a player’s competitive spirit throughout the recruiting process, and not just on the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond.
The Vols entertain recruits with games throughout their weekends in Knoxville. They play games on campus, go bowling downtown and play ping pong, billiards, corn hole and even charades during trips to Jones’ house.
Welton said Tennessee isn’t just entertaining the players in those situations. He said they’re also evaluating them.
“It could be something as a simple as a corn hole game, but our guys are competing, talking trash,” Welton said. “We watch that. We observe that. We’ve actually shied away from some kids on visits when all these kids are out there competing, and that kid’s over there just sitting. That tells you a lot about a kid.
“That competitiveness, you can’t coach it, and you usually can’t change it once you get ‘em. You can’t put that into a kid. They have to be born with it and live with it.”
I can’t wait ’til Booch proclaims his team the SEC’s 2017 corn hole champions. Is there a bonus for that in his contract?
I mentioned the story yesterday about the top 100 recruit willing to grayshirt at Alabama because there was literally no room at the inn for him in the ridiculous class Saban assembled, but Tennessee’s head coach wants us to know things were just as tough for him.
“We had to turn away very, very talented football players, unfortunately, because of our numbers and what we needed with this current football team, and probably had to turn away more talented players than we’ve had since we’ve been here.”
I guess that would explain how UT wound up with the seventh-best class in the conference.
How come none of you genius amateur psychiatrists who just knew Richt deliberately threw the Florida game so he could engineer a multi-million dollar buyout on his way to the sunny shores of Florida have offered up similar insights about Charlie Strong’s embarrassing loss to Kansas?