Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

On a weekend when we're supposed to remember those who have served our country to the end of their journey, I'd like to post a video of soldiers returning home to their loved ones. Short of my own childrens' birth, there's not a better thing to witness in this world!

(h/t Heath) Of all those joyful faces, that dog may have been the happiest.

I hope this post finds you celebrating and relaxing with your friends and loved ones. If so, please don't over cook my burger...medium to medium rare. If you are without your own serviceman or woman, may they return to you in your own video soon.

And if this is being read by one who is serving our dear country, thanks. We'll save a burger for you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Trivial Update - The Marcus Thornton Springboard?

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 46 after this PSA: Man who carelessly mows yard in flip-flops may one day not be able to count to 20.

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 46 "We're Playing Bas-Ket-Ball" It's the twitter twivia show that's carbon footprint consists of empty twizzler bags and Cherry Coke Slurpees. Ahhhh! Brainfreeeeeze! REPLY back your answer for a chance at a fabulous prize. It's another whosaidit! “With Georgia, I just think (Coach Fox) has done outstanding work there. They got Marcus Thornton, which really turned a lot of heads. That was very impressive. Georgia is an up-and-coming program and a state school."

The quote from Carvell's piece yesterday really caught my eye as (further) affirmation that Coach Fox keep up with Paulz HeWhat? both on the hardcourt and on the recruiting trails. Who was the person behind the quote? Two tweeps chimed in. 

Ally - Milton Basketball Coach David Boyd #ThursdaysRTrivial

just ahead of...

Matt - Would that be David Boyd? #ThursdaysRTrivial

So Ally takes home a set of Dai-Jon Parker's shoulder pads which he no longer wants/needs and a pair of his King James AAU gymshorts. And Matt gets a pair of size 16 Nikes from Julian Royal's locker. There's another fabulous prize out there for the person who can tell me Milton's other prized recruit in the comments.

Meanwhile let's all hope Coach Boyd is on the receiving end of many visits from Coach Fox and staff. A couple of his kids could once and for all prove that Marcus Thornton was a springboard to great things.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Buffalo Goes Astray

Markques Simas evidently failed to appear in court to answer to a DUI charge from February. Simas is a WR for the Colorado Buffalos, who will be hosting Coach Richt's team and an infinite number of fans the first weekend in October.

As recently as March, Simas was taken off indefinite suspension by Coach Hawkins after his arrest and was able to practice with the team this spring. It appeared he had learned his lesson.
"Don't drink and drive," Simas said. "That's plain and simple, man. That's basically what it is. I made a dumb decision. It will never happen again. I learned from it. If I'm going to go out, be safe be smart, and, if anything, I'll pass out wherever I am."
Hawkins probably would've rather Simas had left that last part out...but okay. We're glad he learned some lesson after various off the field problems: academic issues in '08, team rules violation that led to 2 game suspension in '09, the DUI...and now leaving a judge hanging.

Even if the judge gives him a second chance, he's well past that with Hawkins.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

There's More than 85 Ways to Win Championships

This is more of a recruiting topic suited for February, but some recent readings have steered my laptop in this direction. Plus recruiting is basically a year round Christmas Sale that's just merely celebrated a month and a half later. I realize the basis for the post is similar to a post raised by The Senator yesterday; he beat me to the punch. That's why he has his title...and why I'm just another dude with a blogspot.

Balancing your recruiting would seem a simple practice. You're allowed 85 scholarships and can sign up to 25 each year. But we all know how math works in Alabama. Recruiting beyond the rim likely originated in Bear's tenure. Afterall, it was the Crimson Tide's swimming coach back in the 60s that ran out of money trying to buy enough life vests for the 270lb behemoths that lined the outside of the pool.

And since Darling Nicky arrived in Tuscaloosa, the waters have only gotten murkier. Consequently, the blog has begun a campaign to either destroy the Bama tackle football program or end the practice of oversigning players. Maybe both. You'd enjoy it if you like numbers, stats and charts. You'll get especially giddy if you're a wartiger dressed as a HillBillyThe news of Bama QB Star Jackson's transfer last week mostly flew under the radar. And I'm sure Bama fans checked it off as a good recruit who couldn't hold his head above the 4 and 5 star waters that Saban has them bathing in. But the truth of the matter is that Saban has a long way to go.
Alabama had 66 players returning on scholarship when they signed 29 new recruits.  11 of those 29 enrolled early, putting the roster at 77, and leaving 18 more still coming in the Fall.  4 from the roster of 66 have already left (this includes Star Jackson), so that puts the roster at 73.  73 + 18 = 91.  91 is 6 more than 85.
If I'm wearing crimson at the wrong end of the locker room, I'm more than a little nervous. Of course, there's still plenty of time until Saban's own self-audit is due in August. There could be more transfers, medical hardships and general impropriety that lead to dismissals.'s ok. Coach thinks you can still help us.

So, is what Saban (and to be fair, many other coaches across the land both near and far) doing legal? Yes, the trophy ain't gonna leave Bryant-Denny's armpit. Is it ethical? I guess that depends on who you ask.
"Star has made a tremendous amount of improvement and done a very, very good job. But I think sometimes when quarterbacks can't see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of when they might be able to play, they get a little antsy and might want to go someplace else. Star and I have discussed it, and we're going to help him do what he feels is going to make him and his family the best decision for his future."
So Mr. Jackson is just a casualty of a competitive depth chart. A month ago (yeah, even now) many Dawg fans would've given their first born for the problem that Saban is ankle crotch deep in. But a dose of reality usually provides some clarity.
How can Nick Saban say that he hates for any player to leave the program?  He oversigns his classes by 10 players nearly every year which means that players are going to have to leave in order for Alabama to stay under the 85 player limit.  Nick, if you hate to see players leave the program then quit signing more than you have room for every year and no one will have to leave unexpectedly, or at least not as many.  This is poppy cock BS.  The harsh reality of the situation is that no matter what, Saban has accepted 10 more LOI than he has room for and some how, some way, people have to leave or pay their own way or Alabama will be penalized by the NCAA for having too many players on scholarship.
The practice created a ripple when Coach Giggity was the posterchild in 2009. What happens now that Nick Damn Saban is the clubhouse leader while operating so far in the red? His twenty-nine '10 signees is nowhere near Nutt's whopping thirty-seven (37!!!) in '09. But we know this problem isn't a matter of the head pachyderm not being able to say No!

Scholarship revocation (or reallocation...whatevs) isn't secluded to the gridiron of course. Dawg fans remember the name Mike Anderson, the Missouri coach that told us No Thanks. Well, he's recently come under a fair share of scrutiny for two player transfers. The fumes from the bus out of town were just settling when two highly sought after JUCO players did some settling in Columbia as well. Anderson got coincidental with the media. It seems the transfers coming in were better than the transfers going out. Go figure.

As despicable as the practice may be and as distasteful as many may find it, the fact remains that it is hunky dorey with the NCAA.

"This happens a lot more than anybody even believes," said New Haven management professor Allen Sack, a former Notre Dame football player and vocal NCAA critic. "You're allowed to do it. According to the NCAA, there's nothing wrong with it.
"Coaches don't go out of their way to clarify (scholarship length). They make it as vague as they possibly can."
Durrell Chamarro would disagree about the vagueness of his offer from former Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick.
"I was told that as long as I maintained at least a 2.0 GPA and didn't break any rules, I would have my scholarship for four or five years," said Chamorro.
Yet after Chamarro's redshirt freshman year as a place kicker he had his scholarship revoked. Lubick's reasoning was simple: he wasn't good enough.And therein lies the fine gray line. A coach is hired to win and feels he must do any and everything to protect his program. Oversigning and revoking scholarships is a corner that's legal to cut.

At least it is legal for now. The US Justice Department's antitrust division is currently looking into the discrepancy of whether athletic scholarships are "one year merit based" rewards or promises of more that are broken all too often.

Am I glad Mark Richt doesn't dive into the waters that many of his SEC colleagues do...yes. Am I disgusted by kids being uprooted just because their value has dropped since they walked across their high school stage...certainly. But I also find it hard to blame the Sabans and Nutts when it's the NCAA that gives them the authority.

Does Garcia Read Frost?

A couple weeks ago we wondered how much criticism Stephen Garcia's pysche could withstand. Now Scott Hood of GamecockCentral sees the added pressure from the Head Cock as a way for the QB to get on the right path.

Granted, Hood acknowledges that there is much reason to wonder if this will be a turning point season for Garcia. The main reason may be the lack of competition he's seen in recent years.
Really, when was the last time Garcia truly had to battle for his job as a starting quarterback? Not at USC. He redshirted in 2007 and entered 2008 not expecting to play that much. He ended up starting three games because Tommy Beecher fizzled out and Chris Smelley struggled in key spots.

In the wake of the transfers by Beecher and Smelley, even Spurrier acknowledged Garcia didn't face serious competition from his cohorts in 2009 and was the only QB prepared to play - the principal reason he took almost every snap - a first for Spurrier in his head coaching career.
And as Hood points out, the competition is only going to get more rigorous as Shaw ages in the system and with the athletic Martay Mattox set to come onboard in Garcia's senior year. 

Any SEC fan knows this is all an old play from Spurrier's manual. And while the Grossmans, Wuerrfels and even the Palmers eventually chose the road more traveled and has their day in the sun, do we know how well read Garcia is? More precisely, will he diverge from the Visor's Express Lane?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AJ Green, striking a pre-season pose

Heisman Pundit has AJ listed at #2 on their list of wide receiver rankings. Golden Domer Michael Floyd is a freak as well and checks in at #1 while Alshon Jeffrey, Julio Jones and Oregon State's James Rodgers round out the top five.

Here's Huston's analysis of Green:
Another top-flight talent slowed by injuries in 2009, Green is nonetheless coming off a 53-catch, 808-yard, six-touchdown season.  Like Floyd, he’s a big target who can go up and get the ball and also run with it after the catch.  I think he’ll benefit from Aaron Murray at quarterback and have a huge season for the Dawgs.
I like the confidence he has in our RS Freshman QB. And if Murray is as good as Coach Richt has been advertising, then AJ stands a good chance at an invite.

However, if King or Durham or Wooten or Brown...step up to mop up their fair share of attention as well...then our #8 should be striking a December pose.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday's Meatloaf - Nu'Keese, Namaste and Newman

Remember way back...when KiffyBaby was on ol' Rocky Flop? He got that kid from the community in Florida with the broken fax machine...? Pahokee! Yeh, that's the one. Then the kid practically wore his urranjah uniform while committing some malfeasance in Knutsville.

Well, the end to the story was supposed to be when he transferred to Hampton in Virginia. But Richardson may be tweeting writing a new ending. Having escaped major time in the convenience store/Prius/pellet gun case, Nu'Keese Richardson is toeing the line. His latest...a video shot with two former teammates in which they try on t-shirts and discuss whether or not they will shell out the $10 to pay for them or not. 

Spoiler alert!!....the general consensus is that they will not. Gasp!

I read this story on Saturday and arrived at an already obvious conclusion - the kid is dumb. Of course there's dumb and there's self-inflicted dumb and Nu'Keese keeps aiming the barrel at his own foot. I've since read that everything in the Wal-Mart video was eventually paid for, but that don't fix stupid.

Cuz one day this kid may actually aim for a more vital body part. And we already know he don't miss.

Today's Ingredients
  • I know I've adopted the attitude of somebody wake me when the Big Televen makes up its mind. But the mention of going to a 20 team SuperMega conference caught me by surprise. Does that come with fries? And it's good to know the Big East can fall back on...Temple.
  • And whether Commish Slive went and sat on Uncle Verne's knee to discuss SEC 'spansion is a matter of debate. I would guess the big guy is still busy clearing out his Teblow filing cabinet.
  • Back in Athens, Weiszer weighs the upcoming football schedule against the almighty W.
  • Exile looks at a DamnGoodDawg that will soon find herself in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Israel Machovec continues to add to his trophy case in UGA Track and Field after claiming the SEC shot-put championship.
  • In the interest of keeping thine enemies closer, Obi's Sister has an early look at how the reptiles raise their young.
  • In light of the recent developments in the USC Trojan/Reggie Bush love affair, The Senator wonders if there could be some revisionist history in the works.
  • Rex risks opening up an old wound in exploring players' 1st Amendment rights.
  • Great weekend overall for UGA Sports. Let's start on the links, where Henley advanced...but without his team.
  • The softball team is moving on to the NCAA Super Regional
  • The tennis team advanced to the semi-finals against Tennessee later today with a dominating win over Roddick's Sooner squad. In related news, HillBillys are asshats who not only lack bones in their mouths but also social graces. (thank you, that is all)
  • The Diamond Dawgs did enough to KenYucky to where we at least had to locate our own brooms. Unfortunately the sweep fell short. And with no post-season to travel to, tough decisions await.
  • Lastly, the Annual SCAN Foundation 5k Fun Run/Walk is this Saturday at Perimeter Mall. You can register through or the official website. If you can't find your running shoes, come down and join the fun anyway. See a spot, call a doc!
  • **UPDATE** - Scott has his initial thoughts on Lost up. Complete recap to follow.

Today, there are two types of people: those who spent nearly 5 hours on Lost last night...and those who didn't. And while I count myself among those in the former, I'm not going to go on and on about the show. But watching it last night got me thinking about great television.

Like few other tv shows I've experienced, Lost weaved the character development and the main storyline together incredibly tight. After a mostly disappointing season, my expectations were low going into last night's finale. And in some ways, the main storyline wrapped things up as if the writers were simply out of time. But overall, the finale far exceeded my expectations.

Because in the end it's always the characters that we tune in for. Whether we're watching our favorite teams compete on a playing field or a Seinfeld rerun we've seen for the 32nd's always the characters that we care for and want to see score...or simply stumble through a doorway. 

Seinfeld is probably my favorite show of all time. And despite it's vast differences with Lost, the two shows share some commonalities. The first season was intriguing, yet average television. Both shows enjoyed tremendous ratings that seemed to only climb season to season. And most notably, both shows ended before they became irrelevant (at least in their fans' eyes).

And while one was a show self-admittedly about nothing, and the other was a show about seemingly everything...their characters were as life-like as the people we work with. And that gives us something we can relate to week after week. That's about all I ask for in 30-60 minutes of sofa exercising.

Except for Newman. That guy's heavily imbalanced. Maybe more so than Pahokee's most notorious former HillBilly. Enjoy the meatloaf Reader. And watch out for mailmen driving Priuses. Here's your napkin.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recruiting Spotlight - Carver's Crowell

Last week, the AJCs Carvell asked if Carver-Columbus backfield burner Isaiah Crowell was the best RB prospect in the country. I don't purport to have the experience to determine such rankings...but, if he's not the best...I'd like to see who is.

This is a long, LONG video. But I like it because it highlights Crowell each play and goes back and slows down particular plays to give you a better look at his vision and instincts. Plus it shows some flat out break away plays where he outruns 21 other players and shows plenty of plays where Crowell creates yards...and points.

As I watched, I tried to determine which Dawg back Crowell reminded me of most. His breakaway speed definitely reminded me of watching some of Richard Samuel's runs at Cass and 'tween the hedges. But obviously Crowell has a knack for avoiding contact.

Then it came to me...Robert Edwards. Crowell's built like him and moves like him, although he has even better least at the HS level. He has that awesome blend of speed and field level intuition. So who does he remind you of?

Given the recent history between Georgia and Carver-Columbus coaches, this would seem like a longshot, at best. But from Crowell's mouth to God's ears ($$):
Alabama and Georgia are on top, basically because I have a real good relationship with the coaches and players.
There are other names on Georgia's watch list. But Crowell's should be (and surely is) at the top.