Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

Soooo…., Montana’s saying there’s a chance?

From today’s Mandel Mailbag ($$):

Hi, Stew. Other than Alabama, Ohio State or Clemson, can you please rank the five teams most likely to win a national title in the near future? — Jungman M, Rio Medina, Texas

No. 1: Definitely Georgia. Kirby Smart is going to get one at some point, possibly as soon as this season. He’s had the overall talent for several years but has had some bad luck and bad misses at quarterback. However, I found it interesting that in Max Olson’s recent story ranking the most efficient returning QBs, none other than JT Daniels checked in at the top of the list, higher than even Sam Howell and Spencer Rattler.

If the Dawgs can make it there, they’ll make it anywhere.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The thing about lists

I know it’s the offseason and I know they’re pundits, but there’s something about the methodology behind Stewart Mandel’s and Bruce Feldman’s top 25 coaches lists ($$) that doesn’t sit well with me.

Ed Orgeron.

Mandel has him eighth on his list (“This spot is a nod to Orgeron’s status as a recent national champion who continues to recruit at a very high level.”) and Feldman ranks him even higher, at seventh. (“Still, even as bad as 2020 was, Orgeron is 13-4 vs. top-10 opponents the past four years.”)

So, they both kind of held their noses with regard to the poor job Orgeron did last year — and it was bad to see a defending national champ fall as far as LSU did in the following season — to rank him among the elite.  (Feldman ranks him above Day and Smart.)

But here’s the thing — how do you factor a comment like this into the equation? (h/t)

I can’t imagine an elite coach being that slack.  And it clearly had an impact!  I know Orgeron has many pluses on his resume, including that natty, but I don’t know how you can judge him to be all that Mandel and Feldman think he is, given his management approach.  Unless you’re factoring in luck, I suppose.  (Although if that’s the case, I should note that Gus Malzahn and his rabbit’s foot made neither list.)

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Trolling, trolling, trolling…

I get a daily email from the folks at Saturday Down South.  Here’s part of today’s offering:

Georgia’s DB situation is getting interesting

A lot has been made about Georgia’s lack of depth in the secondary this spring. Coach Kirby Smart recently mentioned Chris Smith and Lewis Cine as leaders in the secondary, but there’s not much depth behind those guys.

How dire is the situation in the defensive backfield? Well, Smart recently revealed that LB Adam Anderson and RB Lovasea Carroll were getting some work at cornerback. With a lack of depth like that, it’s no wonder Smart also said the Georgia quarterbacks are “light years ahead” of where they were last year. Considering a linebacker and a running back are lining up at cornerback, that’s no surprise.

You know, between an inexperienced group at cornerback and a new position coach, there are enough real facts to find the secondary’s situation interesting without having to invent things.  But that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Mike Farrell makes a random list.

Fresh off his “Kirby Smart wastes all that talent!” list, Farrell’s back with another hit.

Player development is always important, as critical as recruiting in many ways. So how have Power Five teams been developing quarterbacks in the last decade? At the conclusion of our weeklong series we look at the grade for every Power Five team from 1-65.

Note: Grades are based on the 2010-2020 seasons factoring star rankings of QBs, transfers and overall development as factors.

Just to give you an idea of his methodology, he gives Georgia and Georgia Tech the same grade.  Honestly, I may be insulting “random” with my header.

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TFW you don’t have results to sell

Thought this makes for an interesting contrast with the complaint from Chip Towers about player access.

Keep in mind Beamer coached under Kirby, so he knows how the other half lives.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Media Punditry/Foibles

Fight the power

Okay, I’ll be the first to say that sometimes, such as last season’s “Georgia’s gonna have problems breaking in a new offense and quarterback without a spring practice”, preseason narratives have staying power.  That’s why pundits keep turning to them.

Like Barrett Sallee here.

The time is now for Smart to break through that glass ceiling and win the natty. If not now, when?

Gosh, Barrett, I don’t know.  I mean, after all, look at all the greats, like Saban, Swinney and Meyer, who all coached teams that played for a natty in their second year and won one by year six… oh, wait.

It’s early, but this take is getting traction quickly.  Take, for another example, this overwrought masterpiece from Matt Hayes, which asks the musical question, “If the Dawgs don’t win it all in 2021, will they ever again?”.

Doomed, I tells ‘ya, doomed.  With, I’m sure, lots more takes like that coming.

It’s kind of amusing to me, given the contempt a lot of you dumped on the Georgia beat writing group yesterday, to see Seth Emerson ($$) emerge as a voice of rationality on the subject.

Georgia began spring practice Tuesday, the on-field beginning of Year 6 of the Kirby Smart era. This is not a championship-or-bust season. But it is a no-excuses season.

It would be nice if that characterization would take root, but I’m not holding my breath.  Apocalypses sell.

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A true master of clickbait at work

I tell you, it’s not easy to write a piece entitled “How Dan Mullen is closing the recruiting gap between Florida, Georgia” that includes the following comparison:

Florida recruiting ranking in SEC

2022: No. 7*
2021: No. 5
2020: No. 6
2019: No. 5
2018: No. 4

Georgia recruiting ranking in SEC

2022: No. 2*
2021: No. 3
2020: No. 1
2019: No. 2
2018: No. 1

*Note: In progress

Well done, Brandon Marcello.  No doubt there’s more where that came from.

22 Comments

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

Total control

I’m not posting this in an attempt to mock Chip Towers.

Screenshot_2021-03-16 Latest Tweets Twitter

Rather, it leads me to ask you guys a question:  assuming the accuracy of his accusation, how much do you care that the press has less access to Georgia’s players?  For me, it’s a mixed bag.  As a blogger, the more information about the Georgia program, the better.  As a sympathetic fan, though, I can see why Smart might want to limit the access of 17- and 18-year olds who are just now getting their sea legs under them.  In other words, sometimes kids do say the darnedest things.

That all being said, I think it’s bullshit the assistant coaches aren’t permitted to speak more often with Georgia’s beat writers.  They’re not kids away from home for the first time in their lives.  Gawd knows, I would have loved to have heard a lot more from Todd Monken last season.  But that’s a separate question.

Anyway, enough of me.  What do y’all say?

143 Comments

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TFW you need some click bait

Rivals’ Mike Farrell takes a dump on Kirby Smart.

First, he lists Georgia as the program that squanders the most talent.

1. Georgia — With three-straight No. 1 recruiting classes and a roster that is always seemingly loaded, there is no excuse for the Bulldogs to be in the middle of a 40-year national title drought. Despite coming a play away from a national title, Georgia has fallen short with more talent than anyone.

Next, his top ten list of head coaches omits Smart, although he’s got Lincoln Riley, for whom you could list the same faults, at number four.

Finally, just to make sure nobody missed the point, here’s what he has to say about Georgia being a program on the cusp:

Georgia: COACHING — Georgia has only been the playoff once and never made a run at the BCS title either so this boils down to coaching. The Bulldogs lost to a true freshman quarterback after having a 13-0 lead over Alabama at halftime in 2017 and it seemed like Nick Saban just had every answer needed while Kirby Smart did not.

Welp, I guess we’re well and truly fucked.  Seriously, Farrell’s methodology is questionable at best.  He dings Smart — who, as even he has to admit, has coached in a national title game — in part by blaming him for the program’s track record prior to Smart’s arrival.  And if we’re going down the “he’s no Nick Saban” path, there are an awful lot of other coaches who need to be similarly dinged.

Look, Kirby Smart is going to have to get over the Nick Saban hump, no question about it.  So does every other coach in the SEC, and, for that matter, every other active coach in America other than Dabo.  In other words, Mike Farrell squandered his post.

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The best job in America

Staples has been on that kick for a while now.  Here’s what he said about it all the way back in 2015:

Do Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina and others come in and poach Georgia talent? Absolutely. But there’s such an abundance of it in the state that Georgia can afford to lose a few top in-state targets and still field a team capable of competing for SEC and national titles. Alabama and Auburn have to invade Georgia. During that five-year period, their state produced 36.4 Power Five signees a year. People talk about LSU’s monopoly in its state, but the numbers between Louisiana and Georgia aren’t even close. Louisiana’s average number of Power Five signees during that span was 38.6 a year.

Add to this great facilities (now that the Bulldogs are building an indoor), great tradition, a sharp athletic director, possibly the best college town in America and the fact that they play in the easier division of the nation’s deepest conference. That’s the recipe for a great job that just about every coach in America would crawl over broken glass to take.

I dinged him for that “sharp athletic director” comment, and, really, it’s amazing to think that back then, folks outside the program considered Greg McGarity to be an asset.  The reality is that Georgia football from that period was something of a dysfunctional mess and that Richt and McGarity were essentially working at cross-purposes with each other.

If Georgia since then has in fact become the nation’s paragon in that regard, it’s because Kirby Smart was given carte blanche to remake the program and nobody, especially including McGarity, stood in his way.

When Smart accepted the job, McGarity didn’t issue marching orders. He asked questions. What did Smart now need from the administration to build a championship program? “He needed to educate us,” McGarity says, “about what it meant to go big-time.”

I don’t know if it’s the best job in the country, but I do believe it’s a better place to be a head coach at than it was when Mark Richt had to pay his assistants’ bonuses out of his own pocket.  Then again, maybe I don’t understand college football at all.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles