and it sure was nice doing nothing.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate, as I did a lot of reading. And there were a few football related items that caught my eye during the week.
Start with this Q&A from Bruce Feldman’s chat:
Whenever I watch the NFL I see names from smaller colleges making it big. That seems to me that it’s player development versus star rankings. What’s your take? What do college coaches really think of all the recruiting gurus?
Different players develop at different stages. Plus, lots of kids who get annointed as 5-star guys get their heads messed up and egos get out of whack, while the unheralded guys get hungrier. Most coaches don’t put much stock in the evaluations. They sometimes use the lists to back-check who they might also need to get game film on. They also like the sites and evaluations because it often ties into contract bonuses if their team rankings hit a certain slot. [Emphasis added.]
I confess that it never dawned on me that there are athletic directors out there dumb enough to base a portion of a coach’s compensation on how a recruiting site ranks his class. But after thinking about it, I’m almost willing to bet that such a clause was in Junior’s contract at UT. Anybody know for sure?
While we’re on the subject of head coaches and Tennessee, Derek Dooley is turning out to be a little on the strange side. Not because he refused to give Bryce Brown a release – it’s pretty obvious at this point that Dooley is sending a message to his players that he’s not going to make it easy to leave the program – but because of this:
… Arthur Brown said reports that Bryce has not met with Dooley recently are inaccurate.”Bryce met with Coach Dooley on Saturday for about 30 minutes and Dooley asked him not to tell anyone they talked,” Arthur Brown said. “I’m really not sure why.”
Dooley acknowleged he met with Brown on Saturday but said he was not asked for a release.
Arthur Brown also said his son, one of the nation’s top recruits entering last season, did not ask Dooley for a release at that meeting. This week Dooley said that the reason Bryce has not been released is because he “has not come to me, looked me in the eye and said, ‘I want a release.’”
Arthur Brown said that’s because he has repeatedly told Dooley since April that he has wanted his son released from his scholarship.
“I’ve tried to cooperate with Coach Dooley’s request not to divulge information in the media,” Arthur Brown said. “But I have told Coach Dooley since April, every time we’ve talked, that we want Bryce taken out of Tennessee. This is our family decision.”
Bryce Brown has been criticized for not meeting with Dooley again before leaving Knoxville. Arthur Brown said he purchased an airline ticket for Bryce to return to Knoxville this Thursday but that Dooley texted, “No need to come back out here.”
Dooley said that was accurate.
That some weird stuff there, particularly because, as Matt Hinton notes, Dooley and the UT brass allowed the media to paint a very different picture of Brown’s departure from the program. And I can’t really come up with a good reason for it. Is there something about putting on that orange jacket that makes Tennessee head coaches act strangely? Or is it something about being the son of a famous coach?
Moving on, I hate to pick on Team Speed Kills, because the guys there did an exemplary job previewing Georgia last week, but after reading this comment tossed out almost as an aside in the Arkansas preview – “It won’t be difficult to keep Georgia out of the end zone early in the season” – I have to ask: how much is Aaron Murray going to suck this season? Because other than Murray, this is the offense that gutted Arkansas’ defense last season to the tune of 52 points and 530 yards, despite being minus-2 in turnover margin. Forget about Joe Cox’ career day; it was also Richard Samuel’s career day. It was the only SEC game in which a Georgia running back gained over 100 yards rushing. Samuel lost his job and switched to defense in the offseason, remember. But he still managed to light up the Hogs.
So, despite deploying a better set of running backs, a deeper receiving corps (thanks to the development at the tight end position) and a line that got itself sorted out over the last quarter of the ’09 season, not to mention playing the game in Athens, the Dawgs are going to struggle to score against the Arkansas defense because of the newbie QB. It seems to me that Murray is going to have to be monumentally untalented, or play a Coxian game (think Florida or Kentucky) for Arkansas to shut down Georgia’s offense. I’m not saying that can’t happen, but I sure don’t see why it’s a given.
You’ve all probably read Chris Low’s interview with Todd Grantham. Just like every other time he’s been invited to comment, it’s entertaining, but I continue to be struck by how confident he sounds in his approach to running a defense. Let’s hope that translates over to his players.
Make sure you read the post at Shakin the Southland about Clemson’s worst game of the oughts: Georgia 2003. It’s an enjoyable read if you’re the enemy, although I think he understates the heat, if anything (the idiots running the concessions ran out of ice midway through the first half). He also failed to mention Clemson’s center throwing up during play, which at the time I took as a metaphor for the Tigers’ playcalling.
Finally, some things never, ever change.
Glad to be back. By the way, any barbeque aficionados who find yourselves in northeast Georgia on a weekend should check out Tomlin’s BBQ on Highway 441 about halfway between Clayton and Dillard. You won’t be sorry.