Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

Chaos is entertaining.

Moving a little slow today (that’s what getting back at 1:30 in the morning will do for a soul), so I haven’t yet had the chance to dig into yesterday’s replays, but I will say that I’m very much not surprised at the media’s reaction to the day’s doings.  And really, it’s kind of funny to watch the progression from the early season “it’s gonna be the same old, same old in the CFP” to the sudden embrace of chaos.  Florida’s pressing of Alabama until the very end is the primary source of that, of course, but the struggles of programs like Clemson and Ohio State have fed into the latest narrative.

Read, for example, Dan Wolken’s take, which, ironically, is a defense of Alabama still being the king (which I admit I’m still buying into).

And yet, if you’re trying to create a scenario where somebody other than Alabama wins the College Football Playoff this year, the first few weeks of the season have not exactly given us a lot of options. If not Alabama, then who?

An Ohio State team with a verifiably bad defense that had another scare this week against Tulsa?

A Clemson team struggling to score touchdowns against everybody?

An Oklahoma team that couldn’t impose its will on Tulane and Nebraska?

Notoriously unreliable programs like Georgia and Oregon?

Every college football season, we reach a point where certain results seem so random that it’s impossible to make sense of where these teams stand and it’s easier to just throw your hands up and declare that everybody’s mediocre.

But this season, it’s actually happening! At least for the moment, even the good teams aren’t looking very good.

Over at The Athletic, Nicole Auerbach ($$) bumped Florida up to number four on her Top 10 list, despite the loss at home, because the Gators “went toe-to-toe with the program that sets the standard for the sport”.

I do think 2021 is shaping up as a season without a truly dominant team, unlike the two seasons that preceded it.  I’m just not sure that’s enough to guarantee the uncertainty that the media is yearning for.  We’ll see.

29 Comments

Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“Will Alabama be Florida’s signature Mullen moment in 2021?”

Dude who is a two-time graduate of the University of Florida isn’t saying it will be, just that if it is, the win will cement Mullen as the SEC’s second-best coach.  I mean, look at these credentials!

Long criticized for failing to win the big one, Mullen is 5-6 against ranked teams at Florida. That’s not tremendous, but considering UF was 9-26 against ranked teams from 2010-2017, it’s a massive improvement.

He’s 6-2 against Florida’s traditional rivals of Georgia, Tennessee and FSU, flipping the script in the FSU rivalry where the Gators had lost 5 consecutive games entering Mullen’s first campaign. He has delivered at least 1 signature win in each of his 3 seasons, whether it was a big win over a top-5 LSU at home in 2018, a dominant victory over top-5 Auburn in 2019, or last year’s rout of rival Georgia in the Cocktail Party.

… No, he doesn’t have the national title Jimbo Fisher has and he hasn’t won the SEC Championship like Kirby Smart has at Georgia. But no coach ever won at the level he did at Mississippi State…

I’m convinced.  Why wait?  Elect the man into the Coaching Hall of Fame now.

68 Comments

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

Respect the troll

Gotta give the man credit for extending his anti-SEC shtick to a team that’s not even in the SEC yet.  So there is such a thing as preemptive trolling.

Now do FSU-Jacksonville State, Danny.

25 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Today, in punditry

Say you didn’t watch the Georgia-UAB game without saying you didn’t watch the Georgia-UAB game:

And yes, Georgia has questions at quarterback and still hasn’t stretched the field on offense.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

A funny thing happened on the way from the football game…

If ever there was a victory that had ‘Dawgraded’ written all over it, it was last Saturday’s crushing of UAB — you know, the team that’s won its mid-major conference a couple of times recently and came in with a significant defensive presence (top fifteen in defensive SP+, for example).  I fully expected to see the Blazers emerge from the rout with a severely diminished reputation in hindsight and Georgia’s win summarily dismissed accordingly.

Instead, Bill Connelly ($$) posted,

Georgia’s 56-7 win against a UAB that had — past tense — a top-15 defense was a massive Week 2 statement…

And here’s The Athletic’s Austin Mock ($$):

… This past week, Georgia was a huge beneficiary as they smoked a solid UAB team and saw its title odds increase from 13.9% to 25.5%. It’s early in the season, but it really seems like it’s a two-horse race between Alabama and Georgia.

Now, two pundits’ opinions doth not a trend make, but I’m still a bit shocked to see anyone take the win straight up like that.  Although, these are stat guys more than simply opinion writers, so maybe they’re both a little more grounded.  That being said, it’s refreshing to see something more nuanced than a reflexive brush off.  Who knows?  Maybe it really is the start of a trend.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

You cannot kill the narrative. You can only hope to contain it.

Tired:  “If Dan Mullen hopes to beat Alabama, he cannot repeat Kirby Smart’s mistake”.

Either Florida’s coach is playing coy to throw Alabama off the scent of a coming change, or he’s in danger of falling into the common coaching trap of sticking with his undefeated and more experienced quarterback, rather than turning to the younger, more talented backup.

If the win-loss record doesn’t prove it’s broken, don’t fix it, is often the way coaches handle these quarterback situations.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart got caught in this web twice.

In 2018, Smart started the more experienced Jake Fromm while the more talented freshman, Justin Fields, played in spurts as his backup. Georgia opened the season 6-0 before fizzling to a 11-3 finish, with losses to LSU, Alabama and Texas.

Last season, Georgia started 3-0 behind quarterback Stetson Bennett IV, a former walk-on. His success was a neat narrative, but Georgia’s offensive limitations were apparent.

Meanwhile, the more talented JT Daniels, a Southern California transfer, sat in reserve after being cleared to play following his recovery from an August 2019 knee injury.

Wired:  “It might not matter who plays QB for Georgia”.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“This is a generational talent.”

Hoo, boy.  Matt Hayes shore do love him some Anthony Richardson.  In a few short paragraphs, he manages to compare Florida’s backup QB favorably to Joe Burrow, Tim Tebow (“Make no mistake, this isn’t Tebow. Richardson throws a better ball now than Tebow did at the same point in their careers.”) and Cam Newton (“The only player who compares to his skill set is Cam Newton, who began his career at Florida before transferring to junior college and eventually leading Auburn to the 2010 national championship.”).

There’s plenty more drool where that came from.  The sky’s the limit for Florida.

If Richardson is what the Florida staff believes he can be, the Gators can beat Georgia, LSU and Kentucky and win the SEC East Division.

Makes you wonder what the quarterback whisperer is waiting for.

61 Comments

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

Today, in “the backup quarterback is the most popular player on the team”

Gotta give Mike Griffith kudos for bringing some strong “hey, I’m just asking” vibes about Georgia’s quarterback situation.  Chef’s kiss in particular for getting this hot take from legendary quarterback Hutson Mason:

Former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, now a college football analyst for ESPN and Atlanta’’s 680 The Fan, said this could evolve into an explosive situation.

“If I’m JT Daniels the only way I wouldn’t play is if they didn’t put the equipment in my locker,” said Mason, who in his senior year of 2014 beat Clemson and played through a rib injury. “If I don’t play for a week or two, and No. 15 comes in and plays well … it makes for a tougher decision for the head coach. You don’t want to lose that job.

“There’s a reason Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Farve were notorious for never giving any of their backups any reps. All it takes is one game to open the door.”

The “played through a rib injury” is an especially nice touch.  Suck it up, JT!

We don’t know the state of Daniels’ health.  We don’t know who’s playing quarterback Saturday.  We don’t know if it will matter against the likes of UAB.  And we sure as shit don’t know what’s in Kirby’s head about this.  (Or Monken’s, for that matter.)

In other words, it’s simply an exercise in talking out of one’s ass.  What’s the point?  To quote Peggy Noonan, “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.”

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Feisty as hayul

Vanderbilt football is back, baby!  Blow the Admiral!

7 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

The narrative, unlike Georgia, is undefeated.

I tells ‘ya, it takes a special kind of mental discipline to place Georgia fifth in your college football rankings ($$) and then turn right around to ask “… if it’s not this year, then when is it?”

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles