Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

“It would be a fun embrace of Cinderella for a sport that hates Cinderella.”

Dan Wetzel is rooting for Georgia to run the table through the SEC Championship Game.  That’s not because he’s a huge fan of the Dawgs.  They’re just a means to an end he’s been jonesing for.

One of the things that can change that thinking is when enough of college football is repeatedly left out of the playoff, rendering even historic, so-called Power Five conferences to second-tier status. Many believe the 2012 BCS title game featuring two SEC schools — Alabama and LSU — was a chief motivation for the other leagues to ditch the BCS and create the four-team playoff.

Well, if you think eight is great, if you want to increase not only the number of thrilling playoff games, but also turn these snoozy November Saturdays into a free for all where all the major conference championship races matter, then the tipping point is laying right there to be had.

All it requires is seven results, all but one of which is the predicted outcome.

Notre Dame wins out, defeating Syracuse and USC.

Alabama defeats the Citadel and Auburn.

Georgia defeats Massachusetts and Georgia Tech.

And then … Georgia upsets Alabama in the SEC title game.

That’s it. If those seven games go like that, then the College Football Playoff will feature two SEC teams (Georgia and Alabama, which isn’t dropping past four due to one loss) and an independent (Notre Dame).

One other conference will claim the other spot. It’s most likely the ACC, since Clemson is heavily favored to win out.

It could be any league though. It doesn’t matter because you’d have just two conferences represented in the playoff field … and three major conferences wondering how in the world they ever agreed to a playoff of just four squads?

Oh, my stars!  It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Dan’s world has a place in it for Central Florida, not because the Knights are one of the very best teams in college football, but because they’re not.

Much of the debate this fall about the playoff has centered on whether it is inherently unfair to programs outside the Power Five — most notably Central Florida, which is on 22-game win streak but stands virtually no chance of making the playoff.

UCF, due to its schedule, isn’t being mistreated by the committee, though. That said, an eight-team playoff would allow room for it to come in as a No. 8 seed and take an underdog swing at whoever earned the right to be No. 1.

I know my snark isn’t going to sway any of you committed eight-team advocates, but I’ll leave you with a question just the same.  How does any of Wetzel’s argument for an eight-team field not apply equally to a sixteen-team field?



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Mark Richt has lost control of Montana.

Man, Stewart Mandel ($$) brings the shade.

Also, Kirby Smart seems unlikely to let the Dawgs take their foot off the gas for even a minute despite them having already clinched the East. You’re not in the Mark Richt era anymore.



Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Paul Zimmerman, RIP

I was sorry to hear about the passing of the iconic pro football writer Paul ZimmermanThe New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football was the first book I read that dug into the nuts and bolts of the game.  It was a great read that stuck with me, many years later.

If you had an interest in pro football, which I once had, his work in Sports Illustrated was pretty much a must read.  He was also a first-rate character, which never hurts.

His passing is just another reminder that media coverage of sports isn’t what it used to be in many ways.  Kinda sad.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Existential Mark Bradley is the best Mark Bradley.

I really enjoyed reading this tortured column explaining that Tech might find it necessary to can the genius after this season while simultaneously holding the position that “I’m on record as believing the next Tech coach mightn’t do as well as Johnson.

If you’re a Georgia fan, that’s about as win-win as it gets.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

When “no comment” isn’t enough

This Mike Gundy story is something else.

Gundy has a senior who announced he’s transferring.  Evidently that’s supposed to be a state secret.

Incredibly, the media made a joint decision to “honor” Gundy’s directive.  Then, somebody decided to grow a baby backbone and explain to readers why the silence.

Represented in the circle were the O’CollyThe Oklahoman, the Tulsa World and Pistols Firing.

The original decision that we all came to agreement on was that we would put a disclaimer in our story explaining the threat and why we didn’t ask players about McCleskey’s transfer.

Can you guess the punchline?

Then we were notified there could be repercussions for reporting on Gundy’s threat.

We then contacted Lang, who urged media members to leave the threat out of the story to avoid possible consequences.

Mike Gundy is a snowflake.


Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles

Where’s the alarm, I asks ‘ya?

Barrett Sallee’s preview of Georgia-Missouri

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. In college football, you have to run the ball and play defense to win at an elite level, and Missouri just isn’t running the ball as effectively as it needs to in order to be a threat in the SEC East. The Tigers are averaging just 4.41 yards per attempt (No. 12 in the SEC), and is going up against a defense that is giving up just 3.38. Drew Lock, Emanuel Hall and Missouri’s passing attack will test the Georgia secondary a little bit, but the Bulldogs will pound Missouri to a point where it can key in on the pass and force Lock into mistakes. Meanwhile, Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (completing 80.4 percent of his passes) shouldn’t have any problem dissecting a Tigers pass defense that is the second-worst in the conference (305 yards per game). Pick: Georgia (-14)

… puts me in mind of something.  I’m not seeing the pundits line up this week to proclaim this game as a potential upset special like the last time this Dawg team traveled to a place called Columbia.  (Not that I’m accusing Barrett of doing that; it’s just that his take reminded me of others’ South Carolina warnings.)

Does that mean Georgia won’t get Missouri’s best shot?


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Regrets? Montana has a few.

I had to chuckle when I read Stewart Mandel’s opening to this week’s Mailbag ($$):

Brand​ bias is a very real​ thing among​ those​ of us who​ cover​ college​ football.​ It’s​ why we continually​ overrate teams​​ like Texas and USC while assuming Clemson would revert to the mean as soon as Deshaun Watson left the building.

And it’s probably why ostensibly informed writers like me and Bruce Feldman thought South Carolina was going to give Georgia a game last weekend.

Does that mean the Gamecocks don’t have a brand bias?

BTW, Mandel’s all aboard the Kirby train now.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles