Saturday, March 8, 2014

SEC spring cleaning

Nice and tidy look around the SEC by Paschall here as the conference heads into spring practice, complete with key departures, position battles and the top story lines for each team. And for a guy that is eternally fretting over the offensive line, I think he hits the nail on the head with Georgia:

Spring start: March 18
Spring game: April 12
GATA Andrews!
Worth following: This spring was supposed to be about the adjustment from Aaron Murray to Hutson Mason at quarterback, but that occurred late last season. The health of tailback Todd Gurley (ankle) may be Georgia's top storyline this summer if Gurley doesn't do much this spring, but the chore for now is replacing Kenarious Gates, Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette on the offensive line. John Theus has moved from right tackle and will get the first opportunity at replacing Gates at left tackle. There are nine starters back on defense with four new coaches, headed by coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who had the same role at Florida State last season. Pruitt looks to improve a secondary that was young last season and had to learn on the fly, which resulted in several disastrous moments.
And I agree that we'll see next to nothing of Gurley this spring. There's just not much reason to chance anything with 1) the talent we already know he has, 2) the fact that he never played a game last season while fully healthy and 3) the depth at the tailback spot.

Some other thoughts from Paschall's conference synopsis:

  • Auburn returns their starting quarterback form their SEC championship and national title contending 2013 team, but he hasn't locked down the starting spot for 2014.
  • There are some that may suggest that previous statement is not true and Marshall is the definite returning starter. But ask them this - if Malzahn has a better arm on the bench, doesn't Johnson deserve a long look?
  • Although it's always (always) fun to laugh at florida, after reading their paragraph I can't help but think that Driskell and Roper have to be awfully eager to shut the critics' up a bit.
  • Meanwhile Muschamp is somewhere grimacing over watery eggs this morning.
  • As much attention as Bama gets, I rarely am intrigued by anything form Tuscaloosa in the springtime. But this six-way quarterback battle to replace AJ McCarron should be a fun storyline.
  • One of the more interesting teams to watch this spring will be Missouri. Not much drop off (if any at all) at the quarterback position with Maty Mauk taking over permanently for James Fanklin. But who's going to pick up Henry Josey's 1100 rushing yards?
  • Some uncomfortable similarities between Georgia and SEC East foe Sakerlina this spring - fairly seasoned backup quarterback finally replacing a school legend under center, and many questions in the secondary.
  • All five starters from Tennessee's offensive line have to be replaced? That's a ton of bricks!
  • And it will be curious to see how Vanderbilt's transition to a 3-4 goes. Not sure they have someone to anchor down in the middle yet.

"Every mat gets a little bit easier."

Friday, March 7, 2014

Because Richt could write a book on the malevolence of injuries

Tom Izzo needs advice on managing a roster (and likely his team's self-esteem given the sheer number of injuries the Spartans have faced). Dials a 706 area code. Of course.
If there’s any coach in collegiate athletics who knows how to deal with an absurd number of injuries to his players, it’s Georgia head football coach Mark Richt. Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, who has had to deal with the same issue with his Spartans this season, must have figured as much. According to Bruce Pearl, Izzo gave Richt a call for some advice on how to overcome the injury bug.
Izzo has had to use nearly 15 different starting lineups this season, In fact, he has played a total of 12 players at least 140 minutes this year – an astounding statistic for such a highly-ranked program.
Yup. Brother Richt knows all about that Tom. One call, that's all.

Let's define "Inappropriate verbal communication"

Frank Martin, South Carolina's men's basketball coach, used R-rated language in telling his team the way he felt about getting curb-stomped by Florida. Now he's suspended for the regular season finale.
What the &%*#?
"The one-game suspension is a result of inappropriate verbal communication as it relates to the well-being of our student-athletes," South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement Thursday.
Upon hearing this story yesterday, my first question was - Wonder what colorful words Coach Tanner used while earning one ACC Coach of the Year award, three SEC Coach of the Year awards and three National coach of the year awards as a collegiate baseball coach?

Secondly...Would this even be an issue were Martin not trying to keep his team out of the cellar of the SEC? Because my guess is no. He'd be flying with the team to Starkville instead of staying behind to wash his mouth out with soap. Losing has a way of leaving a much more bitter taste in the mouths of fans than some foul language does in their ears.

Next, remember when Georgia fans had similar issues over Grantham's, er...motivational tactics? Which were mostly excused because the defense was playing better than in prior seasons.

And lastly, does anyone know the extent of Jeremy Pruitt's vocabulary? Will you even care if our defense can finally cover a wheel route?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pruitt's slim-faster plan

Good stuff from the new defensive coordinator, And I like his sense of humor.

via Emerson

Denver to cut Champ? Hmmm...

This sucks

But since we need some experienced defensive backs....and he has a year of eligibility...

Coaching quotes - on practice and quitters

"I make my practices real hard...because if a player is a quitter...I want him to quit in practice, not in a game." - Paul "Bear" Bryant

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Name That Tune" to air from Sanford starting today!

If you happen to walk-drive-jog-meander around Sanford Stadium the next few days you just might see George DeWitt shoving a microphone in front of AD McGarity.
“Some of the work may result in limited periods of high volume music and test sounds inside the facility,” according to the announcement. “Significant efforts are being taken to reduce the time when potentially disruptive sound may be audible outside of the stadium. There will be specially designated time periods used in order have a minimal impact on activities in close proximity to the area.
 For what it's worth, with the help of the Redcoats I can name Krypton Fanfare in just two notes.

Humpday Hilarity - One Inch of Snow

We can't make winter go away. But we can make fun of it until it does. (h/t PWD)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dabo solves the Rock vandal case

Turns out there was more than one Howard's Rock vandal I guess. Unless these guys broke a tractor or something.

Pre-spring caution flag

Emerson reminds us of the cautionary tale of spring's empty expectations:
Remember last year, when the defense clearly had the better G-Day game? How’d that turn out? And remember how Jonathan Rumph was an offensive star? Again, how’d that turn out?
Some programs elsewhere are actually eliminating their spring games, replacing it with a practice, which they feel would be more productive. I doubt Georgia would go that way, as G-Day has become an ingrained part of the spring, and a nice event for fans... 
Ok. I'll resist the temptation to fan any flames. Promise.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Herschel!

And thanks for proving year in and year out that age is just a number.

The Junkyard Podcast, episode no. 1

Be careful what you ask for Reader. You might just turn into a Listener.

So this is the first podcast from The Junkyard. I ran into some expected and predicted technical difficulties. As a result, I ended up uploading what I had into Soundcloud. That's kinda like a pass getting tipped into a waiting Auburn receiver's hands. But whatevs. It at least saved what I had and allows you to listen in. But eventually (hopefully before the next episode) I will have that side of things squared away and ready to push into iTunes so that y'all can add the feed to whatever service you use to grab podcasts from the internets. This one just didn't work that way.

Also, there's some sound problems that I would describe as pretty minor. But overall I thought it was pretty good considering the extra hurdles. Live and learn. And now listen....

Here are the links from this episode. Thanks for tuning in. Go Dawgs!

Sunday, March 2, 2014