A few tasty morsels I scrounged up for your morning enjoyment:
- While some of this piece by Dean Legge is over the top, it’s worth reading to the end for the comparison between Mark Richt’s Georgia career and the first fourteen seasons of Vince Dooley’s.
- The NCAA, bastion of amateurism, announces it will give $18.9 million to schools to help pay for cost of attendance stipends. That should make for some fun questioning in somebody’s antitrust case.
- Seven Georgia players are named to the media’s preseason All-SEC teams.
- Between the academic fraud scandal and this, North Carolina’s on quite the roll.
- Phil Steele looks at how often underdogs win outright.
- And Dave Bartoo looks at teams’ starting position in 2014. Georgia did well there.
- Did you know that the Carter-Floyd-Jenkins trio had a nickname? I didn’t.
- Dennis Franchione makes the curious comment that “scholarships used to be equal”. From a marginal cost standpoint, I agree, but I suspect those who like to trumpet how scholarships are full-blown compensation for student-athletes might not.
- Nice job in the ACC media guide by some disgruntled human being.
Anthony Dasher does a Q&A with Phil Steele, who is more benign about the Georgia quarterback situation than most of us are.
UGASports.com: Just right off the bat, does the addition of Greyson Lambert in any way affect the way you feel about Georgia’s offense?
Steele: “No, when I looked at Georgia I saw Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta and thought both where capable of enough quarterbacks to handle the job. Lambert did a decent job at Virginia, brings some experience. He is a big guy with a strong arm but I’m comfortable whether it’s Ramsey, Bauta or Lambert. They are all pretty much the same and whoever wins the job I think will be pretty close as productive as (Hutson) Mason was last year.”
UGASports.com: When you have quarterback uncertainty like at Georgia, how difficult does that make your job when you’re breaking down a team and ultimately predicting how their season is going to go?
Steele: “In this case, the quarterbacks are all pretty similar in my mind. I know that Bauta is a little more mobile but all are highly-touted guys, very highly touted guys out of high school, they all have good size, they all have the arm strength, they have decent mobility so that didn’t make it that tough at all. I think sometimes if you had a quarterback where No. 1, was a true pocket passer and another one who was a pure option-running quarterback competing for the job it would be a little more difficult but this one wasn’t too difficult. I like the supporting cast the new quarterback will have.”
Alrighty then. I guess I can get back to fretting about whether this year’s defense can stop the run.
If you don’t want to lay out the money for the mag…
The good news is the PDF is easier to read than the mag print.
(And, yes, before anyone gets bent out of shape, I know Jacob Park is gone. So does Steele – he usually prints an update on comings and goings at his blog before summer’s end.)
Quick now – no fair looking it up – what’s Georgia’s record over its last thirteen home conference games?
Into 2015, the Bulldogs are 12-1 in SEC HGs incl 4 straight wins (loss to Mizzou in ’13).
How many of you got that one right?
Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
HC Mark Richt has never finished lower than 3rd in his division in his 14 years here and no other SEC team has done that.
Of course, here’s comes the “but”.
UGA has never won a National Title under Richt and many fans believe he has underachieved because he raised expectations so high.
Mark Richt has lost control of fans’ expectations, damn it. But that’s not all he’s lost.
Georgia has been favored in all but 1 game (at Auburn 2013) the last 2 years but have been upset 7 times.
None of which is to say that Steele doesn’t pick Georgia to win the East this season. He does, and, citing talent and a schedule with only three conference road games, goes on to call the Dawgs “a legitimate SEC and National Title contender”.
All in all, I’d say Steele has a pretty good handle on the state of things. What about you?
Bought my 2015 Steele this past Friday. It remains one of the unalloyed pleasures of my CFB offseason. I follow a certain ritual once I get home with it: read the Georgia preview first, then look at the individual unit ratings, then the statistical ratings/analysis, then, gradually, the rest of the team reviews (starting with the SEC, of course).
My favorite thing from the magazine are the little factoids he spices throughout the read. I’ll share a few of those with you today. But I want to start with what I think is the most remarkable aspect of this year’s model. I’ve bought his preview for over a decade, and I can’t recall a year where he’s been so overwhelmingly positive about a school’s prospects as he is about Ohio State’s this season. Check out these national unit ratings:
- Quarterbacks. 1st
- Running backs. 2nd
- Receivers. 8th
- Offensive line. 4th
- Defensive line. 3rd
- Linebackers. 2nd
- Defensive backs. 3rd.
The only OSU group which doesn’t crack his top ten is special teams. There, the Buckeyes rank 12th. That’s ridiculous. (For comparison purposes, Georgia ranks in the top ten in three categories, running backs (#1!), offensive line and linebackers, and doesn’t even crack Steele’s top 45 in quarterbacks.)
Throw in the 45th-ranked schedule, and you can see why Steele’s basically telling everyone in Columbus to go ahead and book hotel rooms in Glendale.
Steele has Georgia playing Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, which implies a Dawgs’ loss in the SECCG to Alabama.
Would you be satisfied with that?
UPDATE: That would be consistent with this.