Perfection in a sentence. Five stars.
Perfection in a sentence. Five stars.
In the wake of a 5-7 head coach getting a mammoth contract to induce him to change jobs, tell me Pat Forde is wrong when he writes this:
College revenue sports have never been as stupid as they are right now—as riddled with hypocrisy and inconsistency, as rife with fiscal irresponsibility, as drunk on revenue, as lacking in strong leadership. Men’s basketball is a diminished product that elite players view as a necessary evil, while administrators remain in denial about the underground economy that ran the sport for decades. Football is an increasing caste system that rewards outrageous and irresponsible spending as the Power 5 conferences stratify into the Power 2 Plus Clemson.
Mind you, stupid isn’t the same thing as wrong. The jokers running athletic departments may be dumbasses, but it’s their money to spend. Just don’t try to pretend things make any more sense than that.
Listen, when it comes to sarcastic takes on Mark Emmert’s organization, I like to think I’m good at it, but I have to tip my cap to Stewart Mandel and his tour de force on the subject today ($$). A sample:
In an interview with CBS Sports on Tuesday, Mark Emmert called the bill “the single biggest issue” in his near-decade on the job. And it’s easy to see why. Other than his association twice being ruled in violation of federal antitrust law, a football coach at a Pennsylvania university sexually abusing children for decades, a team doctor at a Michigan university sexually abusing female athletes for decades and the FBI conducting an undercover sting against corrupt college basketball coaches, Emmert’s tenure has been fairly uneventful.
I know there’s a certain shooting-fish-in-a-barrel element to this, but still, I can’t help wallowing in it. Well played, Stewart.
With the news that the Tennessee game in two weeks will be on ESPN at 7PM, comes this tweet from Groo that made me laugh out loud.
Damn, Mandel throws it in his current Mailbag ($$):
For something that no one has any idea how it’s calculated, and often spits out entirely nonsensical projections like this, ESPN has sure done a great job shoving FPI down everyone’s throats.
Indeed… which makes me curious why Mickey brought Bill Connelly on board. Eh, but what do I know?
Matt Hinton has long been one of my favorites and he’s really outdone himself with the latest edition of his Monday Down South column, in which he starts by spending a lot of time placing Tennessee’s loss to Georgia State in historical perspective (HINT: “So while it might not be beyond any shadow of a doubt The Worst Loss Ever, full stop, it is fair to say I can’t recall another nonconference loss by an SEC team that I would describe as worse.”), appears to change the subject by moving to his Conference Notebook section, only to proceed with a detailed breakdown of Tennessee’s numerous… well, breakdowns against Georgia State.
Alignment, recognition, containment, pursuit, tackling: Tennessee filled its “Mental Mistakes Against the Run” Bingo card, and it wasn’t only the underclassmen and first-time starters who were responsible. Presumably it will get better, if only in a regression-to-the-mean sort of way. But the mean in 2018 was below average by SEC standards, and as the strength of schedule steepens just getting back there looks like an uphill climb.
Now that’s how you analyze like a boss.
From Seth Emerson’s post ($$) about havoc rate at Georgia:
In fact, the last time Georgia finished in the top 5 in the SEC in sacks was 2013, when it was second. That was a very down year for Georgia’s defense, but it was the last for aggressive defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. That’s what Grantham, now Florida’s defensive coordinator, is known for. But it comes with risk. Insert your “third-and-Grantham” comment here.
I would have, too, if Seth hadn’t beaten me to the punch.
It’s been 39 years since Georgia celebrated a national championship, back when Walker was a freshman and Jimmy Carter was president and the Bulldogs’ QB needed to complete just one pass to go down in the history books. In the four decades since, the fan base fumed as Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer dominated at Florida. Cam Newton won a natty for rival Auburn. Heck, even Georgia Tech‘s got one since UGA last celebrated college football supremacy. The Georgia faithful suffered through Ray Goff, lived and died with Mark Richt, watched as David Greene and Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray came and went without winning it all.
To be a Georgia fan is to smell success like the faint stink of stale beer and cigarettes on your clothes after a long night on Clayton Street. It’s a hazy memory of happier times, supplanted by a pounding headache and nausea.
Only someone who’s been a Georgia beat writer could get us like that.
Imagine how you would feel a few years from now if an All-SEC player told a reporter, “I almost signed with Tennessee, but Alabama had more fans at its spring game. So, I picked the Tide and never looked back.”
I have such a strong sense of empathy, I feel guilty just writing that.
Some Tennessee fans still feel guilty from the last spring game when Pruitt admonished them for the lack of attendance. They’re probably were asking themselves after the 2018 season, “Would we have ended our losing streak to Vanderbilt if I had gone to the spring game?”
My unbiased opinion: No. So, stop beating yourselves up.
Not bad, and there’s even more if you want.