Category Archives: Recruiting

Wednesday morning buffet

Dig in.

  • Has Smart had a change of heart about Georgia’s running game?  Count me in the I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it camp.
  • One thing I don’t get about 2017 win projections is why there’s a general assumption about how the Georgia-Auburn game is going to play out.  After all, “Auburn hasn’t hit over 8.5 wins since going 12-2 in 2013 and has only done so three times since 2007. Georgia, on the other hand, has gone over 8.5 wins four times since 2011, including a 12-2 mark in 2012 and back-to-back years of 10-3 in 2014 and 2015.”
  • Screw signing days, says Bob Bowlsby, who likes the idea of signing periods.
  • Speaking of Bowlsby, is there a dumber idea in college football than a championship game for a conference that plays a round-robin schedule?  It will serve the Big 12 right if that game screws it out of a playoff spot.
  • Seth Emerson asks a good question about Georgia’s defense.  The timing sure would be nice.
  • And here’s another good question, in this case, about Title IX in the context of colleges paying athletes.  It’s about time somebody asked.
  • Way to go, Tom Herman.
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10 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

It’s a good recruiting start. That’s all.

Before you get too irrationally exuberant about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class — one of the best overall in the program’s history — make sure you first measure it in the context of the program Kirby Smart is chasing.

Beginning with the 2008 class, which was Saban’s first full recruiting cycle, Alabama has concluded National Signing Day with an average ranking of 1.7 in the 247Sports.com composite.

Since 2011, the Crimson Tide have finished with the nation’s top recruiting class every single season. In 2017 alone, Alabama signed six five-star recruits. To compare, Georgia has signed seven five-star prospects combined over the past three seasons…

… Of late, Smart has done the greatest job competing with Alabama on the recruiting trail. Smart helped Georgia finish with the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class this past February, although it was still roughly 20 points behind Alabama’s, according to the 247Sports.com formula.

You got it.  Over the last decade, Alabama’s average recruiting ranking is better than Georgia’s 2017 ranking.

That talent gap isn’t going to be erased overnight, peeps.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“We have got to get some wins.”

Chip Towers suggests Kirby Smart’s honeymoon isn’t over, buuuttt…

It’s barely July, but I already feel pressure building on Georgia’s 2017 football season.

I’m not talking about head coach Kirby Smart necessarily. Coaches always feel pressure to win. They’re naturally motivated by competition, not to mention compensation. They’re well paid for what they do, win or lose, and in the grand scheme of things they’re going to be fine.

And Smart’s just two years into this thing. He’s still in the honeymoon period. Unless the Bulldogs’ season deteriorates into some sort of unmitigated disaster or some unexpected scandal arises, he’s going continue to be Georgia’s coach and continue to bank big bucks.

No, I’m really talking about UGA as a football program. It’s time for the Bulldogs to get it going. It’s time to achieve something. It’s time to be something more than a “strong” program that’s financially sound. It’s time to do something more than to continue its “winning tradition.”

Ordinarily, I would consider that some well played hairsplitting, but given that accountability is not exactly a watchword at Butts-Mehre, Towers probably has a point making the distinction.  If the 2017 season falls somewhere between an embarrassing collapse and winning the East, Kirby Smart will no doubt return as Georgia’s head coach in 2018 (although it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a few staff changes in its wake; you gotta do what it takes to gin up fan enthusiasm, right, Greg?).

However, there’s a risk that another mediocre season opens up a fault line that wouldn’t be healthy for Smart’s future.

That’s not really me talking. That’s the feedback I’m starting to hear more and more. And not just from the core fans and alumni, who are going to be loyal to Ol’ UGA whether it wins big or not. It’s the players that Georgia is currently recruiting. And that might be more important.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to read the work DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell has been doing lately, which has been considerable. He was recently out in Oregon for The Opening, the premier recruiting event of the summer these days, and was cranking out loads of great copy.

While he was out there, Sentell got to talk to several of the country’s most elite recruiting prospects, some of them already committed to Georgia, several of them being pursued by the Bulldogs and a few of them not really in the picture for UGA.

What I noticed from those reports and other recent ones is a bit of theme developing with regard to this set. Right now it’s just barely creeping in but, unchecked, it could become a full-blown meme.

That is, Georgia is cool and exciting and a great brand and a great school and an awesome campus, but it just doesn’t achieve anything on the football field. These kids aren’t saying that straight out, but that’s certainly the inference.

If you’re Kirby Smart at that point and you can’t recruit a top-five class, what exactly do you have left to bring to the table as Georgia’s head coach?

Smart’s honeymoon may not be over, but it sounds like, as much as Jeff Dantzler might strenuously object otherwise, 2017 isn’t shaping up as another throwaway year.  How much that affects the way Smart runs his program this season is likely to be as big a deal as having that rookie season under his belt.

121 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“Essentially, it seems Chase was bumped for a bigger name.”

If this ain’t a perfect example of what the recruiting process, circa 2017, has come to, I don’t know what is:  four-star recruit elects to postpone the announcement of his college commitment after his scheduled appearance on the NFL Network is cancelled due to a higher-rated recruit taking the spot to make his surprise announcement to commit instead.

4 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Can you feel it?

I like the guys at Field Street Forum, but I gotta tell you, when you bring yourself to ask if this last week of June is the most important week of the Smart era, seeing recruiting revved up to fever pitch is the kind of thing that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Yeah, I get the wisdom that recruiting is the lifeblood of any major program, but there’s something about getting more pumped up about the recruiting rankings than the conference rankings that’s never sat right with me.

More than that, this constant chase for reinforced gratification — what have you done for us lately, Kirby? — is unnerving.  Is the potential list of verbal commitments, starting with Zamir White, we may hear about this week really more important than whom Georgia pulled in on signing day this past February?  What about in, say, November, when there’s another group of elite recruits ready to make their decisions?  Will that become the new most important week of Smart’s career?

I’m not trying to be a jerk here.  It’s the offseason and lots of us are looking for CFB summer entertainment.  As I’ve said, FSF does a good job of it, as far as that goes.  But this elevation of verbal commitments that could easily change in the following months (how ‘ya doin’, Toneil Carter?) to a level of drama that’s little short of apocalyptic is another reason why I can’t bring myself to follow recruiting before signing day that closely.  YMMV, of course.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I’d rather a kid have a scholarship than going to join a gang or sell drugs.”

I’ll say it again:  if you want the NCAA to put a stop to these ridiculous scholarship offers to elementary school kids, there’s no more effective way to do so than to make offers binding on a school immediately upon acceptance, whenever given.  Put an actual cost on meaningless gestures, and that stuff will dry up faster than you can say “number one class”.

9 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Head games

Here’s a dilemma that only college football could love.

Oregon football players used three helmets last season — green, black and white — that were mixed and matched with myriad uniform combinations.

The Ducks were pioneers in football fashion and other schools have followed, using helmets to make a statement. Now, the NCAA wants to determine whether style is coming at the expense of safety.

The governing body’s football oversight committee will meet this week in Indianapolis and is to begin studying whether multiple helmets could lead to more concussions and serious head and neck injuries…

“Style and who looks cool and who’s matching with all these different uniforms combinations each week on the helmets and the shoes, that is big-time concern when you talk about recruiting, marketing and buzz and aesthetics on game day and other times,” Anderson said. “But at the end of the day, if we’re not protecting these players at the highest degree then we’re faltering.”

Stylin’ for recruiting versus safety.  Tough call, NCAA.

8 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA