Category Archives: Media Punditry/Foibles

“a tougher call than you think”

Unleash the G-Day QBR hounds!

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UPDATE:  More Greene vs. Shockley here, including this great quote:

“You know how it is,” he says with a chuckle. “Whatever the shiny new toy is in town, everybody’s excited about it.”

No shit.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Are we in the golden age of negative recruiting?

Dennis Dodd’s just sayin’, y’all.

College football seems to be one wiretap away from the obvious becoming public: The nation’s No. 1 college sport is as crooked, scandalous and cheat-ridden as its basketball counterpart.

That has sort of been forgotten as college hoops’ culture continues to be flayed in public.

We’ve known for decades basketball had a seedy under-the-table aspect to it. The recent revelations from the FBI and media reports of its investigation have filled in the details.

But to think college football is immune to such corruption would be foolish. The sport continues to be the No. 1 economic driver for college athletics. It’s just that we’ve been distracted lately.

Hey, you don’t want to be thought a fool, do you?  After all, think about it.

The temptation to cheat is certainly there as the structure of football and basketball have become more similar. Salaries, pressure and revenue have never been higher. At certain levels of college football, you even hear of a “going rate” paid for talented recruits. In other words, the amount of cash it would take to the get in the running for a five-star recruit.

With the influence of spread offenses, it’s possible — like basketball — to change the fortunes of a team with one or two players.

Consider where Clemson would be without Deshaun Watson or Oklahoma without Baker Mayfield. Take the deep threat away from Alabama during its current dynasty run. Would it have won titles without Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley?

Whoa… Watson, Mayfield, Jones, Cooper and Ridley had “going rates”?  Tell us more, Dennis.

Editor’s note: To be clear, these are just examples of recent impact players on major college football teams. No violations are being alleged.

Oh… wait, I get it!  No specific violations are being alleged, right?  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and all.  If I’m a superstar negative recruiter, I can work with that.  In the current climate, it’s not exactly hard to throw something out there and have it resonate.  And if you’re the subject of such a whisper campaign, how do you disprove a negative like that without making yourself look weak in the process?  Just ask Lyndon Johnson

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Establishing the 2018 parameters

It’s January.  The shape of this year’s recruiting classes hasn’t been finalized, let alone has the first snap of spring practice occurred, but a pundit’s work is never-ending.  If you’re looking for early hints on the Georgia narrative, the most optimistic one I’ve seen so far is that of CFN’s Pete Fiutak, who’s got the Dawgs going 11-1, 7-1 in the regular season and coasting to an easy divisional title (he predicts no other SEC East team will post a winning conference record).

On the flip side, SI.com’s Chris Johnson identifies Georgia as one of five teams likely to backslide in 2018.  Why?  Well, because Georgia:

Georgia is clearly trending upward under Kirby Smart, but unlike Alabama, it needs to string together multiple seasons like the one it had in 2017 before it can be trusted to reload and compete at the sport’s highest level no matter how extensive its personnel turnover.

We’ve already talked about roster turnover.  Yes, there’s a lot of leadership that just left town and Roquan Smith is a rare talent who will be next to impossible to replace.  But roster change is a fact of life in college football, not just at Georgia.  The complementary issue is how well a program continues to stock the talent pantry on the recruiting front and it would appear based on Smart’s three classes (or at least what’s been reeled in so far) that Georgia is in better shape to withstand its losses than most teams in the SEC.

There’s also the matter of a schedule that on its face appears friendlier than 2017’s was.

What’s your head/heart telling you about Georgia’s outlook for 2018?

73 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

It’s never too early to start in on a quarterback controversy.

Man.

Georgia

The candidates: Jake Fromm, Justin Fields

Returning starter: Fromm

What to watch: The good news is that Fromm knows the drill. He was in Fields’ position a year ago, hoping to beat out a returning starter (Eason). The difference is that Fromm helped Georgia win the SEC and reach the national title game, showing incredible maturity with efficient passing (he was rated ninth nationally) and limited mistakes (seven interceptions in 291 attempts). He has to hold off Fields, a possible once-in-a-decade prospect who enrolled early and will compete this spring. Georgia coach Kirby Smart, a Nick Saban disciple, won’t hesitate to make a change, so Fromm must continue to develop.

And I thought we were supposed to wait at least until the G-Day QBR numbers rolled in.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Just say it’s about the money and STFU.

When it comes to playoff expansion, here’s a nice example of throwing enough shit rationalizing against the wall until something sticks:

The 2017 season provided an interesting case for the College Football Playoff committee. In years past, the committee’s final rankings were mildly controversial but ultimately understandable. That wasn’t so much the case in December, when three squads were shoo-ins and the fourth spot was completely up for grabs. Alabama had a case (a very, very good one, as it turns out), as did Ohio State, as did USC, as did UCF (although it was largely ignored until after the fact).

With the eventual No. 4 seed Crimson Tide winning it all for the second time—and beating the No. 3 seed Georgia, to boot—there’s a case to be made that these rankings set the cut line for college football’s elite tier too early, and that perhaps those teams left hanging deserve a chance to compete with the best for the title. This year’s postseason, in its aftermath, will only add to the argument for the eight-team field, but after just four seasons of a playoff format that was years in the making, change won’t come too swiftly.

In other words, because number four won the whole enchilada, that’s her case for having an eight-team playoff.  Jesus, I can’t wait to see the excuses these people come up with for expanding to sixteen.

By the way, all these people advocating for UCF — how many of them would have bet on the Knights had they faced off against Alabama?  Yeah, that’s about what I thought.

29 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

BREAKING: Mike Bianchi declares a national championship.

Really, I don’t know why anyone is even bothering with a game tomorrow night.

42 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Media Punditry/Foibles

Moving to Montana

While sitting in the Houston airport yesterday on my way back home, I get this Twitter notification that Stewart Mandel has again acknowledged the existence of the Montana Project.

Here’s the entirety of the Mailbag entry on the subject (h/t Justin):

Hey Stewart,
What an incredible Rose Bowl win by Georgia!  That victory, plus your article about the Dawgs’ upward trajectory under Kirby Smart has me wondering: how close is Georgia to moving from Baron to King?
Scott Sandy, Cobleskill, N.Y.
Do you think the denizens of Montana would recognize a Georgia football helmet today?
Justin Michels
Ha.
A little background for our subscribers: Ten years ago I wrote a column separating the nation’s power-conference programs into four tiers — Kings, Barons, Knights and Peasants — based solely on prestige. No fan base was more up in arms than Georgia’s over the fact I didn’t have it in the highest tier. I did not believe then — or in 2012 and 2017 when I updated the list — that Georgia’s program was perceived as a national power.
One blog in particular really latched on to my contention that if you showed a Georgia “G” helmet to 100 random fans in Montana they would not be able to identify it as easily as Michigan’s or Alabama’s. They even sent a fan with a video camera out to bars in the state to try to disprove me. It didn’t work, but I admired the effort.
But nothing changes a program’s perception more than winning a national championship. Last year I elevated Clemson to King. And so, let me just go on the record right now — if the Dawgs beat Alabama on Monday, I will officially consider them kings. Please pass this news along to Senator Blutarsky in the (very likely) event he’s not a subscriber here.
If Georgia wins the natty, I guess I’ll have to subscribe.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles