Honesty compels me to say that this is the best two-paragraph summary of the last fourteen months of Georgia football I’ve read yet:
Georgia fired Mark Richt because of the widening gulf that existed between the Bulldogs and Alabama. The official word was that Georgia and Richt reached a mutual agreement on him stepping down, and there was no mention of the Crimson Tide in the program’s press release announcing the news. But it became clear by late November 2015, after 15 seasons under Richt, that Georgia was not satisfied with winning eight to 10 games every year and playing in Capital One Bowls while Alabama hung SEC and national championship banners.
The Bulldogs hired Kirby Smart away from the Crimson Tide to break through the plateau they had settled into toward the end of Richt’s tenure. His first year in charge brought mixed results: Seven wins in the regular season, a 4–4 record in the SEC, a surprising victory over Auburn, a disappointing loss to Vanderbilt. Far from providing the sort of immediate boost Georgia fans hoped for, Smart couldn’t take advantage of a favorable schedule to win one of the worst divisions in the Power 5 conferences.
Okay, maybe I would have clarified “Georgia” to read “certain Georgia boosters”, but given the overall picture there, that’s fairly minor quibbling. Well done.
CFN has its 1-128 rankings of college football coaches posted. Its bit on Booch is classic.
37. Butch Jones, Tennessee Volunteers, 2013
Career Record: 71-44, School Record: 21-17
He’ll blow it.
Brevity is indeed the soul of wit.
After reading this lengthy, thorough walk through of Ken Starr’s stewardship of Baylor in the Dallas Morning News, I was ready to post some snark about coverups and maybe the need for a special prosecutor, but why read what an amateur has to say on the subject when you can turn to the stylings of a pro like Mr. Charles P. Pierce?
The whole thing is a smart-ass’ joy to read, but there’s no doubt about my favorite part. Here ’tis:
With the help of Robert Griffin III, Starr used Baylor football to help save the Big 12 Conference. This is what this pious fraud said about that:
“During this seminal moment in Baylor’s athletic history,” Starr wrote in a letter, “by God’s grace, we have prevailed.”
God saved the Big 12 Conference? Bad move, God, The Big 12 is a monstrosity that has denied us our godgiven right to a Nebraska-Oklahoma game every Thanksgiving. Thanks a lot, God.
Amen to that, Brother Pierce. There’s no way Gawd is that cruel.
Jon Solomon nails Todd McShay with this:
Let’s stop with the narrative, as put forward by ESPN’s Todd McShay, that Tunsil sold out his Ole Miss coaches by supposedly telling the truth to the media. This thinking sums up what’s wrong with the negative stigma created by the NCAA about amateurism. In McShay’s mind, it’s better to lie publicly than to be honest when caught about getting paid. Only in college sports is this line of thinking acceptable. The NFL couldn’t care less about Tunsil getting paid.
It’s time for my obligatory reminder that news of college players getting paid under the table is neither shocking nor worth taking a moral high ground. This happens far more often than people want to believe — imagine if the federal government ever went after tax evasion for these under-the-table payments — yet fans keep passionately watching the college games whenever a story like this comes out.
I get the “NCAA rules are NCAA rules” aspect to this, as Solomon does in his next paragraph, but that’s Ole Miss’ problem. As far as Tunsil goes, it’s not like he committed a crime. Outside of the folks left at the school who have to clean up the inconvenient mess they helped make, ultimately nobody cares but McShay. Well played, Mr. Solomon.
You guys know I’m not a fan of Cinderella when it comes to the college football postseason, but despite the subject of this piece, I’ve got to admit this is one helluva lede:
In roughly two weeks, the oligarchy that controls college football will begin its latest attempt to quantify that which defies quantification: On November 3, the College Football Playoff committee will issue the first of its weekly rankings, and given the joyous and unpredictable clusterfuck that this season has become, it will no doubt engender tremendous gales of message-board fury.
So much nailed there in one short paragraph.
If you don’t read anything else today, read Charlie Pierce’s take on Baylor. It’s a tour de force from start to finish.
The University of Texas, you may have heard, has decided to allow the sale of beer and wine at football games.
The response of Texas A&M’s chancellor to the news is three shades of awesome.
Too bad Steve Patterson’s preoccupied with brand building in Mexico. With world class sarcasm like that, if there’s ever a deceased rivalry game that should be brought back from the dead, it’s Texas-TAMU.