Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

Stewart Mandel imagines the mother of all gaps.

In today’s Mailbag ($$), Stewart Mandel is asked to make a “bold, gutsy” prediction for each P5 conference this season.  Here’s his answer for the SEC:

Florida finishes last in the SEC East. Billy Napier did a great job at ULL, but I’m failing to see much reason for optimism heading into Year 2, especially if ex-Badger Graham Mertz is his best option at quarterback. The returning roster was underwhelming, and the Gators lost a lot more to the portal than they gained. It’s not inconceivable that Vandy, which beat Kentucky and Florida late last season to finish 5-7, passes Florida in the standings.

Whoa, mama.  From your lips to Gawd’s ears, Stew.



Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles

Mike Griffith’s Groundhog Day

Can somebody explain to me why this column exists in the first place?  Because I can’t find a single piece of new information in it.  It’s simply a rehashing of every tired bit he’s trotted out on moving the Cocktail Party out of Jax over the last year.

We get it, Mike.  Hell, we’ve gotten it for a while now.  Time to move on.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

WTF is up with Mike Bianchi?

In the midst of a “why I support giving Billy Napier enough rope to hang himself time to rebuild the Florida program” piece, he wrote something that, quite frankly, any one of us here would have been happy to write.

Don’t forget, Florida’s history of football dominance is brief in the grand scheme of things and consists of the 18  aggregate seasons in which two of the greatest coaches of all time — Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer — coached the team. Spurrier and Meyer combined for three national championships and eight SEC championships in those 18 seasons. In the 71 other seasons of SEC competition under 14 different coaches, the Gators have combined for zero national and conference championships.

Don’t we know it.

Just because it’s true doesn’t mean I expect Bianchi to come out and say it.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles

Coincidence? I think not.

“Jacksonville announces the Georgia-Florida series will have to go home and home for a couple of seasons and Kirby gets a commitment from the top player in the country just a few days later?  See, he told us moving the game would impact recruiting.” — Mike Griffith, probably


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Watching a narrative take flight

So, Nick Saban brings in a backup quarterback from Notre Dame to shore up his QB room, and the early reviews are not exactly boffo.  Dennis Dodd, Mark Schlabach and Stewart Mandel ($$) all have ‘Bama sitting outside their top five in their early preseason rankings.  (To make matters more grating if you’re an Alabama fan, all three also have Georgia on top.  But I digress.)  When’s the last time we saw a preseason consensus like that?

As someone who’s watched any number of preseason narratives wash up about Georgia over the years, I’ve got to admit it’s fun watching the shoe on the Crimson foot this season.


Filed under Alabama, Media Punditry/Foibles

All roads lead to Toppers.

I have to admit when I heard the news about the Dumas-Johnson arrest, I sarcastically asked myself if the AJ-C would stoop to trying to tie it into (yet) another story about the fatal crash.  “Nah,” I said to myself, “nobody’s that cynical.”

Wrong, bacon breath.

A star football player for the University of Georgia allegedly led a police officer on a high-speed chase through the Athens campus on Jan. 10, hours after the team won its second consecutive national football championship.

Five days later, police officers questioned the same player, linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson, minutes after a fatal car crash involving two other players and two members of the team’s recruiting staff. Police are investigating whether racing was involved in the Jan. 15 crash, according to records reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In case you needed it all tied together in a neat bow…

Dumas-Johnson was one of several Georgia players who celebrated their national championship early the morning of Jan. 15, hours after a parade and a celebration at Sanford Stadium.

Surveillance video obtained by the Journal-Constitution shows several players and football staff members leaving a downtown Athens strip club about 2:30 a.m. Several cars, including one that matches the description of Dumas-Johnson’s Dodge Charger and the Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy, left the area less than 10 minutes before the fatal crash. Police reports said they were headed to a Waffle House near the crash site.

All that, despite the article acknowledging that the charges against Dumas-Johnson have nothing to do with the crash.

Remember Joe Biden’s line about Rudy Giulani — “there’s only three things he [needs] to make … a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11”?  There’s only three things the AJ-C needs to make a story:  an arrest, a Georgia player and Toppers.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

TFW spell check isn’t an editor

Big Ten dude at Saturday Down South has this observation in a piece about how Monken’s departure could open the natty doors for Michigan and Ohio State:

Yeah, dumb typo, and all.  But I’m not sure that harping on the departures at ‘Bama and Georgia, while downplaying Stroud’s departure at OSU, is that much smarter.


Filed under Alabama, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles


Andy Staples ($$) rises to the defense of Georgia’s new (old?) offensive coordinator… and us.

If Todd Monken leaves Georgia there’s been some chatter among beat writers that Mike Bobo would replace him. What are your thoughts on that potential hire? A lot of Bobo hate among UGA fans. — Chris

… But I will push back on the idea that Bobo is despised by Georgia fans. Maybe by uninformed Georgia fans, but I imagine the majority of the fan base appreciates what Bobo has done as an OC in the past.

… But on the whole, Bobo ran some ridiculously efficient offenses at Georgia. In his final three seasons with the Bulldogs, his offenses ranked No. 1, No. 13 and No. 7 in yards per play.

He didn’t ultimately succeed as a head coach at Colorado State, but that tenure was effectively derailed when Bobo was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease peripheral neuropathy just before the start of the 2018 season. His most recent experience includes trying to help save a lost cause in Will Muschamp’s final South Carolina season and being Bryan Harsin’s SEC sherpa (Harsin didn’t listen) in Harsin’s first season as Auburn’s head coach. After getting fired by Harsin — a move that cost Auburn Bo Nix — Bobo returned to his alma mater as an analyst. There, Bobo drew raves from Monken for his willingness to do anything from gruntwork to high-level red zone analysis.

There are no guarantees in life, of course, but it’s hard not to give Smart the benefit of the doubt in this instance.  It’s not as if any of Bobo’s previous three stops resemble what he’s walking into this season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“Possible retirement: Nick Saban, Alabama”

Hey, I’m not the one saying it.  ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg is the one saying it ($$).

Alabama: Saban turns 72 on Halloween. Although he still has great energy to compete, his protégé, Georgia coach Kirby Smart, has pulled ahead. If Saban can win one more national title — and beat Georgia in the process — he might be tempted to exit.

It’s the opposite of rat poison!  And if you don’t think that’s gonna get trotted out on the recruiting trail (“did you know ESPN says Saban’s gonna retire?”), bless your heart.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

TFW you can’t stop beating that dead horse

I scoured the intertubes this weekend for SEC scheduling stories, so I admit I clicked on this Mike Griffith story (“SEC Commissioner drops hints on future league scheduling”) in the faint hope of coming across something relevant.  Such was not the case, but I was rewarded with this delightful non sequitur:

Georgia’s rivalry with Florida ranks as the most celebrated with Bulldogs’ fans and is the most likely rivalry to be protected regardless of the format.

There have been several well-documented discussions of Georgia bringing its designated home game with Florida back to Athens as early as 2025.  [Emphasis added.]

I don’t know what the source of Griffith’s obsessive displeasure with Jacksonville is, but at this point it’s pretty obvious the dude can’t quit it.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles