Category Archives: Media Links

SEC Media Preseason Projections

I want some of whatever the person who cast a first place vote for Vandy is smoking.



Filed under Media Links, SEC Football

The power of inclusiveness

Stewart Mandel’s logic ($$) escapes me here:

I will continue to shout this from the rooftop: Four teams is plenty sufficient to crown a national champion.

What I failed to anticipate, and what ultimately drove me to change my stance on expansion, is the way a small number of teams, nearly all of them from the same region, have come to dominate the CFP, which itself has come to dominate the sport. It’s negatively impacting national interest in the sport (as evidenced by the two lowest-rated title games coming in the past two seasons) and turning what should be the crescendo of the season into largely an anticlimactic letdown, especially with so many semifinal blowouts and the diminished prestige of the other New Year’s Six bowls.

No Playoff format is going to change which teams dominate the sport, or the scores of the semifinals, but making it a more inclusive event should keep more fan bases in all parts of the country invested in the entire season and restore importance. You’ll very likely get some entertaining early-round games where the teams are more evenly matched and you’ll restore importance to the bowls hosting those games. And believe it or not, you may actually find yourself less bothered by an Alabama-Georgia title game since the teams had to win multiple Playoff games to get there.

I mean, in the vast scheme of things, it’s irrelevant, because the suits chasing expansion are only doing it for the money.  But just because I won’t waste any time getting worked up over his reasoning doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly dumb.  I mean, a Georgia-Alabama game will be more credible if they blow out two teams instead of one along the way?  Who thinks like that?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Links

“It’s a journalist transfer window.”

After The Athletic announced its hiring of Andy Staples, I tweeted this:

Staples’ hire is the latest example of the steady hoovering of journalistic talent the publication has embarked on over the last year.  The format, absent ads and annoying popups, is certainly nice, but I wouldn’t fork over a subscription fee if I didn’t want to read the product.  The Athletic is the only online sports site I pay to access.

I’m not posting this as a shameless plug, but because I’m interested in the future of its business model.  What got me thinking about that is this article that Ed Kilgore forwarded to me, about how the website has taken a serious plunge into the English soccer market by doing the same thing it’s done here, across the pond.

A US sports website that wants to dominate the British football market has made a series of high-profile new signings, including an award-winning Guardian football writer and a BBC reporter with a massive following among London football fans.

The incredible hiring spree has been described as “setting off a bomb” in the industry.

BuzzFeed News has learned that the Athletic’s latest hires are the Guardian’s chief football writer Daniel Taylor and the BBC’s top football correspondent David Ornstein.

Taylor, who scooped the country’s top journalism accolades for breaking the UK’s football child abuse scandal, recently told the Guardian he’d be leaving after nearly 20 years at the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Ornstein, who has grown a cult following on Twitter for his tweets about transfer news and Arsenal, told BBC colleagues yesterday of the news.

What’s noteworthy is the ripple effect.

“The whole thing, it has set off a bomb,” one senior sports editor told BuzzFeed News. “Fuck, it’s tremendous.”

“Not just that there’s now 50 new jobs, but newsroom managers are trying to protect their teams. Reporters and editors are going to management to ask for more resources … and they’re giving them…

But the Athletic’s startling moves have also led to other newsrooms getting in on the hiring action, creating a merry-go-round of reporters at other outlets. It’s understood the Times has had multiple “crisis meetings” in recent weeks about the future of its football coverage.

There is a portion of the sports consuming public that is willing to pay for access.  Hell, look at what we pay for tickets and for broadcasting of live sports.  You’d think there’s a commercially viable way for that to translate over to sports journalism, especially if the alternative is the clickbait model employed by places like Dawgnation.

Speaking of which, I know I’m dating myself here, but I can remember a time when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a world-class sports desk, with an array of talented writers worth shelling out a subscription for.  I’d like to think there’s a place for that today, even if it means paying a little more for the privilege.  So, here’s hoping The Athletic can inspire more of the same.


Filed under Media Links

Athlon’s All-SEC quarterbacks list is a puzzle.

It’s a pretty interesting combination, I’ve got to admit — Tua Tagovailoa, fresh off the greatest single-half performance in the history of college football (pay no attention to that 149.35 passer rating!), listed at first team all-SEC, and Jake Fromm, not even worthy of mention as one of the top four quarterbacks in the conference.

Maybe Athlon thinks Stetson Bennett’s gonna win the job in August.


Filed under Media Links, SEC Football

Damn, CBS, ctd.

Man, these guys really are all in on Georgia’s chances this season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Links, SEC Football

If you’ve won Mark Bradley…

My intent this week was to alternate optimistic and pessimistic takes on the Georgia-Florida game.  Today was going to be one on the plus side.

But then I saw that Mark Bradley, of all people, has already gone there with this.

This isn’t exactly a revelation, given that I made the prediction nearly five months ago, but here, for late tuners-in, it is: I like Georgia over Florida. Believe it or not, I’m not alone.

The many men of Scouts Inc.Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl – have declared on ESPN Insider (link requires registration) that the Bulldogs will beat the Gators 26-23. Their reasoning, conveniently enough, dovetails with what I’m now thinking. Back in May, I was thinking Georgia would simply be the better team. It hasn’t been to date, which doesn’t mean it can’t be Saturday.

From the Scouts Inc. preview:

Signs can’t always be trusted, especially in rivalry games. So don’t be surprised when Georgia turns in its most emotionally charged effort of the year. For 60 minutes, all the elite individual talent on Georgia’s defense will work together as a unit, and it will be enough to hand the Gators their first loss of the season.

So now I don’t know what to think.

Bradley does make a good point.  Season-wise, the least statistically productive unit that will step on the field Saturday is the Gator offense.  The catch is that Florida’s play on defense and special teams has been more than good enough to offset that.

But I sure would love to see what would happen if Florida was forced to turn to the pass to win the game.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Links

Back in the (college) saddle again

Judging from the comments I see here, David Hale’s been clearly missed as a beat writer for Georgia athletics since he took himself off to cover the Phillies.  As a reader service, I thought I’d let you know he’s back covering college ball again.  Unfortunately for us, it’s Florida State athletics that he’ll be reporting.  For ESPN.

It must be a good gig, because they’ve got him living in Tallahassee.


Filed under Media Links

Why I ♥ the Intertubes.

Travis fisks Bill King’s latest AJ-C effort at trolling the gullible masses post so I don’t have to.

Do programs get the fan base they deserve?  I hope not.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Links, The Blogosphere

Thursday morning buffet

Cecil Newton wanted his buffet comped.  Mike Slive didn’t have a problem with it.

  • Paul Myerberg has a very nice obit for one of the touchstone games of my life, Oklahoma and Nebraska.  There’s just something not right about its demise.
  • Another year, another recruiting class, another math problem for Nick Saban.  Nothing he can’t handle, though.
  • Like I said, Jon Gruden to Da ‘U is a pipe dream.  His heart in in the pros.
  • Which means they’re starting to freak out in Starkville.
  • Bill Buckner, Kyle Brotzman and Boise, Idaho.  Small world, ain’t it?
  • Paul has some thoughts about Aaron Murray’s remarkable freshman season.
  • Local teams are good business for lesser bowls.
  • More angst from Gainesville.  Good.
  • Pretty hypocritical call by Virginia Tech here.  And a very good point about how blurred the lines have become between traditional media and new media.
  • Heisman Pundit shovels a little dirt on the grave of the I-formation, pro-style passer.
  • Junior expresses admiration for Bruce Pearl’s intellect:  “Bruce is really smart,” Kiffin says. “I can understand why he wouldn’t want to talk about not being able to coach and violations, so he mentions Lane Kiffin. And everyone claps.”


Filed under ACC Football, Big 12 Football, College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Media Links, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

Bleacher Report and the Washington Post: boobtastic!

David Hale alerted me to this sad story:

… Today, Bleacher Report announced yet another content sharing agreement, this time with the Washington Post.

The Washington Post is now populating their website with Bleacher Report content. Let that wash over you for a moment. Woodward. Bernstein. The 20 Most Boobtastic Athletes of All time. Together, as one, as the overseers of journalistic integrity always imagined it.

(I left the link to the BR post in… go on, you know you want to click on it.)

It’s some marriage they’ve cooked up.

… So now the Washington Post, of all places, not only has a blog written by the fans, for the fans, but they’ve teamed up with a content sharing network populated by fans as well. They’ll still have the same great reporting — though far less of it than ever before — but the Post is one of the growing number of newspapers that have become so concerned with staying afloat that they’ve managed to marginalize their product to the point where they may not be the news outlet of record in their market any longer. Then what do they have? Cheap labor? Fans writing for them? It’s a brilliant model for Bleacher Report, to pray prey on the desperate. I wish I had thought of it.

What’s that you say about journalism standards?  Oy.

I will admit to a certain amount of amusement over BR and John Feinstein sharing the same masthead, though.


Filed under Media Links, The Blogosphere