Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video of Jim Tressel's Second Worst Day Coaching Football

(the worst obviously being May 30, 2011)

Friday, May 27, 2011

John Swofford Wants ACC Championship Game To Stay In Charlotte

And that is where it should be.

Ken Tysiac of the Charlotte Observer reports:
In some of his strongest statements yet about the ACC football championship game's future in Charlotte, ACC Commissioner John Swofford said Tuesday night that he would like the game to continue to succeed so as to build a permanent home there.

"That would be our preference," Swofford said outside Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where the ACC baseball tournament will begin today.

The ACC is in dire need of establishing an identity in the ever growing world of big time college football.

Most fans outside the conference can't name the divisional alignment much less where the first four championship games were held (Jacksonville and Tampa - two cities with no ACC ties).

Charlotte provides a location where nine of the 12 league fan bases can drive with ease and a hub airport where the other three can fly in to.

The only negative to Charlotte is the weather in an outdoor stadium in early December, but considering Jacksonville hosted a rain soaked game and Tampa got down into the 40s in 2009 I would say weather is a very small matter.

Pressure? What Pressure Says Mark Richt

Coming off his first losing season at Georgia, Bulldog Head Coach Mark Richt would be justified in feeling heat heading into 2011.

But at a Bulldog Club meeting in Albany, Richt was very cool on that notion.

“I’m not feeling any pressure. Pressure is just something you put on yourself,” Richt said Tuesday during UGA Day at Doublegate Country Club. “My goals are the same since I began coaching. I’ll handle the pressure and trust the Lord with the rest.”

As it stands now, Richt's career trajectory seems eerily similar to that of former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer. 

The advantage Richt has is facing a down SEC East this year and momentum on the recruiting trail.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Expect To See Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd Playing This Season

The Irish star receiver sat out of spring ball after his third alcohol related arrest in March. A decision regarding his status for the upcoming season has not been made officially, but Head Coach Brian Kelly recently spoke on how Floyd is doing in his bid for a return to South Bend Tribune's Eric Hansen.

“We’re looking at Mike as an ‘all in or not’ situation,” Kelly told the South Bend Tribune. “ In other words, he’s changing his life or he’s not. If he changes the way he’s lived his life, he’ll play every game for us. If he doesn’t, he won’t play one down here at Notre Dame.

“He is at that level. This is not, ‘I’m going to slap you on the hand and sit you for two games’ — because I don’t want to read about him in a year, where it says, ‘Ex-Notre Dame player arrested for X-Y-Z.’ That will be a failing on my part if that happens.”

The fact that Floyd is even still on the team is a switch in policy in South Bend as Hansen writes.

On April 9, Notre Dame’s disciplinary arm — the Office of Residence Life — broke precedent and elected not to suspend Floyd for the 2011 season. Similar cases under old Res Life leadership had resulted in a season-long suspension.

In this case, the new regime of Res Life elected to let Kelly largely design the blueprint for Floyd’s possible redemption.

While Kelly sounds very stern in his punishment for Floyd, his words also hint that Floyd's return is very likely.

“Having said this, I’m very optimistic. I’m not going to paint a bleak picture. He’s done some things, that I can’t get into relative to changing his life, in which reports back from professionals are really optimistic. But he’s got to handle all these things before we start thinking about playing in the fall.”

When the Irish take the field against South Florida for their opener, I would be shocked not to see Floyd running out of the tunnel.  The Irish's BCS hopes depend on it.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive Discusses Oversigning...Sort Of

Slive was on with Tony Barnhart on Atlanta's 790 The Zone last Friday to primarily discuss oversigning.

While Slive does address Barnhart's questions, he does not go as far as to to take a stance on the matter only continually referring to [paraphrasing] doing what is fair for a student-athlete when they sign with an institution.

While I think oversigning is not "right" or ethical, it is not illegal either.

In the SEC, coaches are not paid millions of dollars or fired for 6-6 seasons because of how much positive impact they have on student-athletes lives. They are paid and retain their jobs for winning. So if you are not trimming the roster a little bit each year then you are not really keeping up with your competition as the rules stand now.

Every coach gets as close to breaking the rules as possible in recruiting so why not in roster management?

That being said, I would like to see some kind of limitation to oversigning and "cutting players".

But for that to happen more commotion needs to occur among players and their families who feel they were cut loose because they simply were not good enough any more. We can't have the Elliot Porter's of the world getting shunned by LSU, signing with Kentucky, and then leaving to walk on with the Tigers.

Somebody needs to be an example and the higher profile recruit they were the better.

Audio (Right-click to download)

The ACC Basketball Revival Is Still A Few Years Away

For three very good reasons:

1. New Kids On The Block
Four new coaches were hired this past off season and four more were hired the previous year. Even Roy Williams struggled in his first year at a top five program like North Carolina. Extrapolate that out to teams like Georgia Tech, NC State, and Wake Forest and it is going to be a while.

2. Hello....Goodbye
Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports points it out well the talent drain the ACC will experience heading into next season

"The ACC was hit hard by graduation and the NBA draft. All five players on the all-ACC first team will be gone, as well as two players on the second team and three players on the third team. Including the top five honorable mention vote-getters, only seven of the top 20 players in the conference are returning next season."

3.Big 2, Little 10
UNC should be preseason #1; Duke will also be highly ranked.  But after that who is your third best team?  An FSU team that lost its top two scorers?  A Virginia Tech team that lives for Selection Sunday?  A Maryland program in decline with a new coach? Wake Forest fresh off one conference win a season ago?  Two teams does not make a strong conference.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Discussing the Good and the Bad of the Bobby Lowder Era at Auburn

That is what Phillip Marshall of Auburn Undercover did on Atlanta's 790 The Zone last Friday.

Lowder removed himself from renewal on Auburn's Board of Trustees last week ending a 28 year run.

While many outside of Auburn will remember Lowder for "Jet Gate" and his image of college boosters gone wrong, Marshall points out the positives Lowder did for Auburn Athletics to get them back on a level playing field in the SEC and especially with Alabama.

Auburn Fans: Are you happy or sad to see Lowder leave the Board of Trustees

Audio (Right-Click to download)

Brian Kelly Wants Notre Dame to Beat the SEC...There Is Just One Problem

The Fighting Irish aren't scheduled to play any SEC teams for at least the next two years and don't have any teams on the released schedules.

The Notre Dame coach was in Hilton Head, SC for an alumni function and talked about where he wants the Irish program.

“I think it’s pretty clear when people talk about college football, they point to the SEC,” Kelly said. “If you want to change that perception, you have to do something about it. You can’t just talk about it. You have to beat those SEC teams when the opportunity arises.

But yet according to Notre Dame's future schedules they don't have a spot for an SEC opponent in 2012 or 2013.

They do have two openings in the 2014 and 2015 schedules for a possible home and home.

With the way ND has recruited thus far under Kelly, the Irish could be a very formidable foe for an Alabama, Florida, LSU, or Auburn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Solid Verbal Chats With Vanderbilt Offensive Line Coach Herb Hand About The Spread Offense

In their continual quest for college football knowledge dropping in May (and other off season months) the guys over at the Solid Verbal snagged an interview with Vandy O-Line Coach Herb Hand.

Hand has worked with many different types of spread offense including those run by Rich Rodriguez and Gus Malzahn.

If you find yourself bored with baseball and Lebron talk, I highly suggest you subscribe to the Solid Verbal podcasts as a way to get you to Fall Practice.

Audio Download (Right-click)

Monday, May 23, 2011

2002 Georgia Bulldogs on ESPN The Season

I loved watching this series; I don't know why this series was canceled. Anyhow, the UGA football program is highlighted in this episode during game week against Ole Miss.

The show takes you through practice, film work, and player interviews among other things. Georgia went on to an 11-1 season and a #3 final ranking in 2002.

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore Opens As A Heisman Favorite

The first Heisman Trophy Odds are out and Gamecock Running Back Marcus Lattimore opens at +500, second behind Stanford's Andrew Luck (+250).

National Football Post
on Lattimore's odds:
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (+500): Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton was the only player in the SEC to carry the rock more last season than Lattimore. The true freshman found the end zone 17 times in 2010 (third in SEC), but will need either out-of-this-world numbers or an appearance in the SEC title game if he wants to walk away with the hardware.

The play: The last two running backs to win the Heisman Trophy (Mark Ingram & Reggie Bush) either won or played for the National Championship that season. I don’t see Lattimore doing either, so I’m going to take a pass.

The top 5 include Luck, Lattimore, Michigan QB Denard Robinson (+500), Oregon RB LaMichael James (+600), and Oklahoma QB Landry Jones (+600). 

The value pick from NFP? Alabama RB Trent Richardson at +1200.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mark Richt and Mark Fox Meet With UGA Fans in Dalton

Richt and Fox each discussed their most recent seasons and what they are expecting next season the The Daily Citizen of Dalton reports.

“No one is good with that,” Richt said. “No one expects that, but it happened. It’s time to look in the mirror to see where we go from here. A lot of that will have to do with how we prepare in the offseason. And how, as a team, we buy in to what we’re doing because we (all) have to buy in.”

He is looking forward to 2011 where Athlon Magazine has already picked Georgia to win the SEC East.

Richt has a couple of reasons why Athlon and others may be high on UGA.

“I think the selling point on that is people look at the quarterback,” Richt said. “I think it helps that we’re in year two of our defensive transition. We’re looking for some good things on that side. And we’ve got our punter and kicker back. Our special teams are pretty settled. But I always think we’re going to win.”

On the basketball front, Dalton fans are gaining interest in Fox's program.

“Two years ago we were the bottom feeders in the SEC,” Ringgold fan John Green said. “We’ve got some good recruits coming in. Two years from now, I expect us to be in the hunt for a national championship.”

While Richt is under pressure to win this season, expectations differ from fan to fan as far as what UGA must accomplish this year for Richt to remain.

“Coach Richt is a good Christian guy,” Green said. “He teaches them more than football. As long as they show some improvement, that’s enough.”

UGA fans: What level does the team need to attain this season for Richt to keep his job?

SEC Basketball Also Looking At 18 Game Conference Schedule

Last week I noted how the ACC was looking at an 18 game conference schedule at their annual meetings.

This week in Destin the SEC is looking at similar action.

One ACC coach in particular seem against the idea of two extra conference games which would limit their non-conference scheduling though this coach carries a lot of weight in the league.

But considering the SEC's lackluster ability to pile up NCAA Tournament bids like other major conferences, especially the West Division, I have a hard time seeing a majority of the coaches against.

And speaking of the divisions that may be gone too. The power has been with the East ever since the 12 team league was split in too, but that gap has grown in recent seasons. The East currently holds a 58 to 43 NCAA Tournament advantage over the West.

Elimination of the divisions would also prevent the confusing manner in which the SEC Tournament is seeded, something UGA coach Mark Fox is in favor of as well as others.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vanderbilt Commit Darreon Herring Is Way Too Realistic For Me

When the recent Commodore pledge was asked by the AJC whether or not he was going to stick with Vandy if other schools come calling he responded with:

“Vandy is on roll. Why would you pass on Vanderbilt? It’s SEC football, and not everybody can make it the NFL. You can get an education like Harvard or Yale. My recruiting over. The only visit I will make in the future is to Vanderbilt.”

Sounds like this young man from the recruiting hotbed of Stephenson High School has a good head on his shoulders.

Wichita State Basketball Asks the Bartender for a 'Dave Braine'

Coming off an NIT Championship and with major schools pursuing their head men's basketball coach, Wichita State locked up Gregg Marshall with a new contract that contains an automatic rollover provision every year.

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dave Braine basically invented this type of contract when they signed now former coach Paul Hewitt to it following a run to the National Championship Game in 2004.

After this past season, Tech fired Hewitt and must pay the remaining six years of his contract valued at roughly $7.2 Million.

However, according to ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan, the Shockers are not on the hook for $7 plus million if they fire Marshall down the road.

It is interesting how Wichita State just lost their top assistant, Chad Dollar, to Georgia Tech.

Many in Atlanta say Hewitt's downfall began when he lost his top assistants and never replaced them with anything close to the same level.

Lets hope for Wichita State's sake, Marshall doesn't make the same mistake.

Read the Wichita State Release on Marshall's contract

Will Muschamp Talks About The Georgia-Florida Rivalry

The Gators new man was in Atlanta this past week to meet with Florida alumni and sat down with WSB-TV for an interview.

Much of the discussion centered on Muschamp having played at UGA and now coaching rival Florida. When Muschamp was asked about the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party* he had a smirk on his face when reminded of the recent Gator dominance in the series that started when he was playing at Georgia. Muschamp also said the stadium is named the Gator Bowl so we need to play there.

I thought the whole time, Muschamp was trying to down play the fact that he played for Georgia pointing out he grew up mostly in Gainesville, Florida and saying he most memorable moment in Athens was the camaraderie among his teammates.

Muschamp talks about how breaking his leg in high school may have led him to walking on at UGA.

Friday, May 20, 2011

You Would Think They Would Learn: Top UNC Football Player Interviewed About Possible NCAA Violations

The NCAA is once again roaming Franklin Street interviewing a North Carolina football player about possible benefits received.

According to Joe Schad sources, defensive lineman Quinton Coples was interviewed by NCAA investigators about his appearance at a DC party.

"Photographs of Coples with [Marvin] Austin and [Robert] Quinn that appeared on Facebook and the web site EliteDCMag.com prompted the inquiry. The party is labeled as taking place at "Ultrabar" nightclub. Also seen in photos with players is at least one alleged runner the NCAA has investigated."

Both Austin and Quinn missed the 2010 season after receiving agent benefits and saw their draft stock drop.

Despite the year long suspensions of multiple players, the case against the UNC football program is still pending from the NCAA.

Coples is ranked 2nd in Mel Kiper's latest NFL Mock Draft.

Did Georgia Tech's Flagship Radio Station Take A Stab At The Yellow Jacket Football Program?

Georgia Tech's "flagship" radio station in Atlanta, 790 The Zone, had Sports Illustrated columnist Stewart Mandel on Thursday morning to talk about the Jim Tressel/Ohio State situation and UGA's prospects for 2011, and Tech's program.

About midway through interview (audio download) one of the hosts, "Steak" Shapiro, asked Mandel how relevant Georgia Tech football is on the national stage.

The SI columnist danced around the question a little bit stating the weak ACC really hurts a program like Georgia Tech on the national stage.

While he is right on the weakness of the ACC on the big stage, I don't think that is what is holding Georgia Tech back.

This is not the first time Yellow Jackets fans and Mandel have not seen eye to eye. Mandel called former Tech head coach Chan Gailey the worst coach in the country and said he would buy "a round of hot dogs" at the Varsity if the Jackets managed to win their division (which they did that year and Mandel did keep his word)

To give Mandel credit, "Is Georgia Tech irrelevant?" is a question of what you mean by "relevant".

Who is truly relevant on the national stage right now? Auburn, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas (?)

To expand the argument you could include USC, Wisconsin, TCU, Boise State, Virginia Tech, LSU, Utah, and (whomever you root for).

Mandel probably didn't want to ruffle anymore feathers at Tech so instead of saying "Georgia Tech is irrelevant because they haven't competed for a national title in 20 years" or "Tech is not relevant because they have lost their last six bowl games" he deferred the weakness of the ACC.

The ACC is simply a lame excuse. FSU was plenty relevant when they were dominating the conference in the 90s because of what they did against teams from other leagues.  Same with Miami when they played in the Big East.

But back to Georgia Tech, this is not the first time they have been called "irrelevant" by a host on their "flagship" radio station.

You may ask why does Georgia Tech keep 790 The Zone as their "flagship" radio station?

I think Tech's Athletic Director is frustrated with the radio situation but there is not much (feasibly) he can do about it.

Right-Click Audio

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ACC Basketball Coaches Have Different Views on 18 Game Conference Schedule

At the ACC meetings last week an 18 game conference basketball schedule, which I discussed here, was one of the many items poured over by coaches and athletic directors.

Some appear to be in favor of it like perpetually soft-scheduled Seth Greenberg:
"Anything we can do to re-establish the perception of our league needs to be discussed," Greenberg said.

While others (who wield a lot more power) are clearly not in favor of it:
"We're a one-time-zone league," [Duke Head Coach Mike] Krzyzewski said in February. "You've got to give us a chance to play in different time zones, different places, get out and play different teams from throughout the country. That's what made this conference. This conference didn't become what it is because we stayed isolated within this region."

ACC fans: Are you in favor of an 18 game conference schedule?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Coaching Turnover The Reason To Blame For ACC Basketball Slide?

The firing and hiring in the ACC has been at a breakneck pace the last two years ushering in eight new coaches.

David Teel of the Hampton Road Daily Press suggests the inexperience is a major reason why the ACC has slid in its performance when compared to its BCS peers, especially the Big 10.

Teel lists out the schools in each of the six major conferences that have been at their current school more than two seasons.

SEC: 6 of 12
Big 12: 6 of 12 (now 6 with Turgeon's departure to Maryland)
Pac 10: 6 of 10
Big East: 11 of 16
Big 10: 10 of 11
ACC: 4 of 12

"After winning the first 10 ACC-Big Ten Challenges, the ACC has lost the last two. Coincidence? I think not." [Teel]

The Georgia Tech - Tucker High School Recruiting Connection...or Lack Thereof

Making news in Atlanta recruiting circles last week was Notre Dame's offer to Tucker High's DE/LB Josh Dawson.

The Irish offer adds to a list that includes Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Duke, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Dawson says he hopes to garner interest from more schools like Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.

AJC's College Recruiting reporter Michael Carvell asks Dawson about Tech.

Dawson said if there’s an offer he expected but hasn’t gotten, it would be Georgia Tech. “I talked to one of the Georgia Tech assistants maybe three weeks ago. They haven’t been out to any of our spring practices [at Tucker]. I don’t know what’s going on. Hopefully they will come by this week and make an offer. I’m interested.”

Tucker recruits considering Georgia Tech is a new despite the schools being just 18 miles apart.

Tucker is consistently one of the top producers of college talent in the state and has been a pipeline to UGA including the likes of NFL Players Asher Allen and Patrick Pass among others.

The Tucker Patch caught up with Dawson on what he is looking for in a school.

Dawson’s grade-point-average has been reported as high as 3.6, according to Yahoo Sports. “My parents take a lot of pride in my academics,” he said. “Academics come first, athletics second.” For those who view Tucker High as only a football factory, remember that two key seniors – QB Norman Hayes and LB James Vaughters – are headed to Harvard and Stanford, respectively.

Dawson has his eye on engineering and architecture as future endeavors. When one hears the word engineer coming from a high school football player, the natural question to ask is where is Georgia Tech? Tucker has sent many players to the University of Georgia but a connection between Georgia Tech and Tucker High is difficult to find.

Vaughters seriously considered Georgia Tech this past Fall before pledging to the Cardinal.  

Recruitniks: It would seem with an offer from Notre Dame that Dawson's academics are in order and there is interest in Georgia Tech. Why would the Yellow Jackets be holding back on an offer?

Potential NCAA Sanctions Still Loom Over North Carolina Football Program

It was the biggest story of the 2010 preseason as dark horse national title contender North Carolina faced a myriad of suspensions after academic and amateur eligibility issues were discovered amongst some of its best players.

The Tar Heels largely weathered the suspensions and release of assistant coach John Blake by using their depth on the defensive side of the ball to win the Music City Bowl at the season's end.

The NCAA has largely been quiet on the issues first uncovered in August. Some take that to mean by suspending players, some for the entire season, the issue has been resolved, but that may not be the case as this columnist points out.

Because while the NCAA has, in fact, finished dealing with the individuals it deemed worthy of punishment – including Austin and three others who were ruled permanently ineligible for their misdeeds – it has not yet begun to deal with the institution as a whole.

Probation is almost a certainty. Vacating wins from 2009 and perhaps 2008 is a possibility, as is the loss of a scholarship or two. The futures of Davis and Baddour could also be riding on the degree to which the NCAA decides to bring the hammer down.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

UGA Basketball Head Coach Mark Fox Walks the Fine Line Between Recruiting NBA Ready Talent and Building A Program

Coming off an NCAA Tournament season, Mark Fox thought he may have a chance at a top 15 team next year if his star Juniors returned for their senior season. Normally, a coach with two potential first round NBA Draft picks would not put much faith in the players returning, but with a likely lockout looming hope was not entirely lost.

Trey Thompkins was the first to announce stating he would hire an agent and therefore forgo his final season.

Travis Leslie entered his name for evaluations but did not hire an agent leaving the door open for a return. But like Thompkins, Leslie ultimately decided to stay in the Draft.

Over a span of few weeks following the season, Mark Fox had lost 45% of his team's scoring from a year ago (63% if you include the two seniors).

But Fox is not down too much about the loss instead turning it into a positive for recruiting in an interview with the AJC last week.

“Here’s how I see it — I think it really shows our player development,” UGA basketball coach Mark Fox said recently.

“I think you could point to Travis Leslie’s development; how’s he improved as a player while he has been with us, as well as others in our program. It has been a real plus.

“I think it shows that kids can realistically pursue their basketball dreams through Georgia.”

Fox is certainly correct in saying the movement upward to the NBA for two of his players will open more eyeballs to UGA's Basketball program, but that must be balanced with building a program too.

Schools like Kentucky, Ohio State and Memphis have lost a lot of talent early to the NBA. The Wildcats and Buckeyes have managed to maintain a high level of play with a bevy of top recruiting classes to replace those departed while Memphis is still trying to get back up to the level it once held.

Kentucky lost two more early entries this season after five the previous year but is working on another top recruiting class to replace them.

Even a school like Butler, a program who went to two straight Championship games, is starting to feel the sting of early entries with one each of the last two seasons. But Brad Stevens got the Bulldogs within one win of a National Championship the last two seasons because of the player development aspect of his program, not because of attracting high level talent.

Fox does not have to look far to find an example of how difficult it can be to balance high level talent with a winning program.

Paul Hewitt struggled with early entries in his last five years at Georgia Tech seeing three players exit for the NBA Draft after one year and two more after their third year.

Hewitt recently admitted his teams were perpetually young at the point guard, a position where you need experience.

Luckily, Fox should not have to worry about with Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware both returning.

Fox has brought UGA Basketball back from the SEC East cellar to an NCAA Tournament in just two seasons, but the two players who contributed the most to that effort are gone.

Now the real work starts in building his own program and walking the right side of that fine line in basketball recruiting that will ultimately determine how successful he is.

Shedding More Light On Georgia Tech Post Spring Depth Chart

Last week, Georgia Tech Head Football Coach Paul Johnson met with Atlanta area alumni as part of a coaches caravan.

Johnson talked about what he thinks happened with last season and quickly moved on to how the off season is going saying the accountability and work ethic from the team is the best he has seen since he has been at Tech.

The coach then went on to talk about how Spring Practice went and how the depth chart is shaping up.

Defensive Line
Johnson thinks this position has improved the most since last season with all three starters returning. Look for Jason Peters and Izaan Cross to man the end position with Logan Walls at the nose tackle.

Also in the mix will be TJ Barnes at NT and a bevy of defensive ends including Euclid Cummings, Emmanuel Dieke, Anthony Williams, and Christopher Crenshaw. Redshirt freshman Shawn Green broke his leg in the Spring but should be back in the fall to compete at nose tackle.

The one player Johnson didn't mention is Denzel McCoy who sat out last year due to a medical condition. His status is still unknown.

The two starters as of now, Julian Burnett and Daniel Drummond, at Inside Linebacker both missed the Spring game due to injuries. Johnson commented on Drummond's work ethic since he moved to ILB after last season watching film with Defensive Coordinator Al Groh several times per week to better understand his new role.

On the outside Johnson singled out Jeremiah Attaochu as a player who has tremendous upside and a motor that is always running. Senior Steven Sylvester is expected to man the other outside linebacking spot. Others competing for playing time on the outside will be Brandon Watts who moved from ILB a year ago as well as Malcolm Munroe and Rutgers transfer Morgan Carter. On the inside Albert Rocker, BJ Machen, and the star of the Spring Game Quayshawn Nealy will all have a shot in the fall.

Defensive Backs
Johnson thinks this set of DBs is the most athletic he has had in his three years. Currently, Rod Sweeting and Louis Young are holding down the starting spots at Cornerback with Jemea Thomas and Michael Peterson also pushing for playing time. Redshirt freshman Ryan Ayers will also get another look in the fall after a solid Spring.

The safeties will have two new starters this year but do not lack for experience with Isaiah Johnson having played a lot as a freshman and Rashaad Reid leading the team in games played with 40. Backing them up initially will be Lance Richardson and Fred Holton though a true freshman Jamal Golden could also see playing time here as well.

Wide Receivers
Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton both return at the wide receiver spots but if you know anything about Johnson's offense you know multiple receivers will playing during the game. DJ McKayhan and Jon Lockhart could also see time as well as redshirt freshman Jeremy Moore. Johnson is excited about the three freshman coming in who are all 6'3" or taller.

In regards to the inconsistency last season at the position Johnson thought the players put too much pressure on themselves to be the next BeBe Thomas or Calvin Johnson on the Flats. You can safely assume Johnson was referring to Stephen Hill with this comment. About BeBe, Johnson said he was the best receiver he has coached in 32 years of football.

This position is one of the deepest on the team in terms of experience. Roddy Jones and Orwin Smith will start, but expect to see a lot of Embry Peeples as well as Marcus Wright, BJ Bostic, and Deon Hill. Johnson noted the progress redshirt freshman Tony Zenon has made this off season. Zenon was one of the last scholarships given in the 2010 class. With the depth here it is hard to see a true freshman cracking the rotation.

If the season were to start today, Preston Lyons would be the starter followed closely by Charles Perkins. Also in the mix are Richard Watson and David Sims. Johnson thinks this position is the deepest on the team in terms of talent and feels comfortable with all four. Lyons does not have the explosiveness of a Jon Dwyer but is very good at reading the defensive gaps having played in a similar offense in high school.

Offensive Line
This position, not Quarterback, is the one Tech fans should be most worried about. Jay Finch is the likely starter at Center where he played in some key moments last year due to injury. Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson are at Guard while the Tackle position is unsettled. I got the feeling from Johnson's comments that Phil Smith had slipped a little bit here allowing other players to gain ground. Ray Beno, who played Guard and Center last year, is trying to crack the rotation at Tackle as is walk-on Tyler Kidney. Also in the mix at Tackle are Caitlin Alford and Morgan Bailey.

Nick McRae is the likely backup Center but can also rotate over to Guard where he would be joined by JC Lanier. Also at Guard is true freshman Trey Braun went through Spring Practice.

This unit is going to be a work in progress throughout the Fall.

Now we get to the all important QB battle between Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days. Johnson talked about both QBs, but failed to go as far as naming a starter or even a leader.

For those who came only to the Spring Game you would think Days is going to be the starting QB. But having seen more than just one practice I can tell you Washington out played Days for most of the Spring and did it on a bum knee that he had surgery on as soon as practice was over. Days has very good athleticism, but he is relying solely on that right now in running the offense. His performance in the Spring Game was impressive but keep in mind it was against the second team defense, half of whom won't play this season. Tech is not able to run Johnson's full offense with Days because the redshirt freshman is not fully making the reads to the B-Back and on the pitch. And when Days goes back to pass he is more so looking for running lanes than throwing lanes.

If Washington is able to come back full strength from the knee surgery then I will be surprised if he is not the starter against Western Carolina. Days will likely get playing time as he has shown progress and has the bigger upside for the future.

However, I don't think Johnson can afford to go with a work in progress like Days early on as the starter coming off a 6-7 season because there will surely be bumps in the road. This is not to say that by the end of the season Days will not have overtaken Washington, but Days has to be able to run the full offense and not just rely on his legs to do so.

Special Teams
Lets just say the coaching staff was less than thrilled with the place kickers during Spring but still has hope one can find consistency in the fall. Johnson said he was involved in the return game planning last season, but plans to be even more involved this season to improve the units' performance.

The article originally appeared on ChuckOliver.net

Mark Richt Answers Question About Whether Or Not UGA Is Still Recruiting Carver's Deion Bonner

Unless you follow recruiting closely that name may not sound familiar, but Bonner is one the players arrested for stealing several iPhones and iPads from current players out of UGA's locker room during an unofficial to Athens.

The UGA Head Coach was at the Lake Country Bulldog Club this week and was asked about Bonner and whether Georgia was still recruiting him.

Richt responded with "No comment" to the crowd in Eatonton.

Either Georgia is still recruiting Bonner (who is one of the top DB prospects in 2012) or Richt has been told to stay quiet until the case is resolved.

The UGA Head Coach also talked about the challenging start to the 2011 season as well as the status of injured OL Trinton Sturdivant.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paul Hewitt Looks Back on the Good and the Bad of His Time At Georgia Tech

Paul Hewitt made a surprising move in late April to take the George Mason job just six weeks after being released by Georgia Tech with a $7 Million plus buyout in hand.

Jason King of Yahoo Sports did a Q and A with Hewitt touching on his new job as well as his time at Tech.

Q: How will you look back on your time at Georgia Tech?

A: “I was honored to be the coach there for 11 years. I thought we did a really good job. Did we have all the success we wanted there, especially during the last five years? Probably not. But at the same time, we to the NCAA tournament five times along with the national championship game. I think that was significant. But the best part was that we coached some kids that have gone on to do some really good things with their lives. It may sound corny, but at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”

Q: Any regrets?

A: “I didn’t do a good job of managing the roster. I look at other programs that have lost players. They did a much better job. I did a bad job of managing the point guard position. We were perpetually young there, and that’s not a good thing in today’s college basketball world, I don’t care what league you’re in.”

King also looks at the challenges facing Hewitt's successor, Brian Gregory, as well as the other new coaches in college basketball next season.

Would The ACC Re-Align Divisions To Renew Rivalries, Save On Travel Costs?

A few years ago rumblings began about the ACC possibly looking into switching one team each from the Atlantic to the Coastal and vice versa.

The ACC never gave any indication they were seriously considering the move though on the surface it appeared to have merits related to competition, rivalries, and travel costs.

Last week, BC Blogger BC Interruption reintroduced the subject when discussing the changing of the BC-Miami game date bemoaning the fact the Eagles and Hurricanes do not play every year in the ACC as they did in the Big East.

The blog suggested switching the divisions of Boston College (Atlantic) and Georgia Tech (Coastal).

The ACC's two divisions would then look like this:

Atlantic: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, N.C. State, Wake Forest
Coastal: Boston College, Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech

At first glance, this seems to be a pretty even trade. Both programs have made two ACC Championship Game appearances. Georgia Tech is 32-16 in six seasons while BC is just two games back at 30-18. This would also decrease travel costs for Atlantic Division teams, with a division that now would only span from Maryland to the Florida panhandle instead of Chestnut Hill to Tallahassee as it does today.

An unintended benefit would be evening up the ACC baseball divisions. Over the last few years, the baseball divisions have become pretty skewed towards the Coastal Division, with Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia and North Carolina ranking among the best programs in the conference.

The 5-2-1 schedule format would likely remain to ensure a Florida State-Miami regular season matchup. With a BC-GT swap, you'd be moving both the Georgia Tech-Clemson and BC-Virginia Tech rivalries within the division. To replace these cross-divisional rivalries, you could easily establish ones between BC-Clemson and Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech.

For the ACC's cash cow of football the made made even more sense prior to this year when it looked like the Coastal was going to dominate the conference again. But disappointing seasons by UNC, Georgia Tech and Miami with a resurgent FSU in the Atlantic have evened the score. The Atlantic was actually 10-8 versus the Coastal last season.

Boston College gets Miami back on the yearly schedule and Georgia Tech has the opportunity to balance their home football schedule which currently features Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia in odd years with only Miami in even years. The Yellow Jackets could possibly add FSU and another Atlantic foe in the even years to balance out.

For baseball, BC Interruption certainly has a good point as Georgia Tech Blog From The Rumble Seat further illustrates...

Tech moving to the Atlantic would even out the conference and not allow for a random .500 Maryland team to make the tournament...oh and we'd have Florida State as a consistent fixture on the baseball schedule as well.

And with $5/gallon gas coming sooner rather than later (and likely sticking around) why not throw in travel costs to the reasons why this move makes sense.

The only "loser" could be Miami, but what they would lose in travel costs (Atlanta vs Boston) they could regain in Northeast footprint where much of their alumni originates/lives.

ACC Basketball Offseason Has Been Full of One Liners

From Seth Greenberg's conspiracy theories to Gary Williams retirement, ACC Basketball has been a comedy routine of sorts this off season.

Lenox Rawlings of the Winston-Salem Journal has some good quips on the rough off season for the nation's most prestigious (hard to argue it is still the best) basketball conference.

Rawlings touches on the timing of Williams' retirement - the day after his star player Jordan Williams decided to stay in the NBA Draft. I think Williams' decision was sealed by Williams' decision...if that makes sense.

NC State AD Kay Yow is mentioned, though she pretty much gave everybody soft balls to tee off on by emasculating her new coach Mark Gottfried before even introducing him at his press conference.

Rawlings also touches on the "Georgia Tech soap opera" as well as the new hires at Miami and Maryland.

Story Link

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Georgia Signee Justin Scott-Wesley and Georgia Tech Signee Broderick Snoddy Have Speed To Burn

The Georgia High School Track Championships were held this past weekend and some of the state's top football signees placed very high.

Kipp Adams of UGASports.com reports from Jefferson, Ga:
Mitchell County wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley (Georgia signee) ran a 10.76 to win the A state championship in the 100 meter race. Charlton County athlete Chris Milton (Georgia Tech signee) took fourth with a 11.08. Scott-Wesley took second in the 200 with a time of 22.18, and Milton took sixth with a 22.54.

It should be noted Scott-Wesley ran a state record 10.35 last year also winning the Class A title. The Camilla, Ga product is expected to compete for a spot at WR this fall in Athens and has bulked up in the last year to better adapt to football at the college level.

Slightly out pacing Scott-Wesley this year in overall time was Georgia Tech Signee Broderick Snoddy who ran a 10.73 in the 100 meters at the Class AA level.  Snoddy was slightly slower in the 200 running a 23.72.  The Carrollton product will try to gain a spot on the depth chart at A-Back this fall in Paul Johnson's offense.

Tech QB signee Demontavious Smith had a nice showing too making the finals and running a 11.15 100 meters good for seventh in Class AAA.

Standout DE and UGA Signee Ray Drew won the state discus title and placed fourth in the shot put at the Class AAAA level.

Adams has more info on the performance of other UGA signees Damian Swann, Corey Moore, Watts Dantzler as well as Georgia Tech signees Jeff Greene, Jabari Hunt-Days, Zach Laskey here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chris Bosh Interview As A Freshman At Georgia Tech

The Miami Heat forward seems to be a popular topic with his team currently embroiled in a playoff series with the Boston Celtics (and how Bosh has seemingly disappeared at times this series)

I had the fortune of being able to interview Bosh when he was a freshman at Georgia Tech and I thought I would post the entire discussion since my original post on Bosh contains a link to the article in Georgia Tech's student newspaper evidently about the time when the Internet was first being formed.
Chris Bosh Q and A - February 2003

If you haven’t noticed a new face walking around campus that reaches almost seven-feet, then you must be studying too much or not going to class. Chris Bosh, a 6-10 freshman forward from Lancaster, Texas, has taken ACC basketball by storm this season. Bosh came to Tech after garnering many high school awards, including Player of the Year by Basketball America and “Mr. Texas” by Gatorade. Entering the Wake Forest game, Bosh leads the ACC in field-goal percentage and blocks, ranks second in rebounds, and ninth in scoring. It is easy to say this laid-back freshman has made quite a splash in his first season on the Flats. Recently, I got to sit down with Chris and ask him a few questions.

Me: Why did you choose Tech?

Chris: It was the best overall fit for me; the athletic program, Tech is in a great city, and the academic program is outstanding.

Me: What do you like most about playing college basketball?

Chris: Just being able to play basketball… playing NCAA basketball it gives you a good feeling; Watching college basketball growing up, looking up to those guys and now being apart of it.

Me: How has the transition been from high school to college?

Chris: It has been tough. College is a lot more serious and intense than high school basketball. School is a lot harder too; it takes a lot of self-discipline.

Me: Is there a player that you try to model your game after?

Chris: I would say Kevin Garnett. He is tall and lean just like me, but stronger than people think.

Me: What has been the toughest place to play basketball so far?

Chris: Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke

Me: Do you have a favorite movie?

Chris: Blue Chips with Nick Nolte

Me: What are you hobbies outside of basketball?

Chris: Basketball takes a lot of energy and time so sleeping would be one. I like to read and play video games. Normal things that any other college kid would like.

Me: What makes you just like any other Georgia Tech Student?

Chris: I have to study a lot, do well in my classes. Outside of basketball, I am just like any other student.

Me: If basketball doesn’t work out, what else would you like to pursue?

Chris: I would like to be able to use my management degree, maybe in the real estate field.

Bosh is the leading candidate for ACC Freshmen of the Year.

“I think he’s the best freshmen in the ACC, and I don’t think it’s even close,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

“If you had to pick a team and start with one player, I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be Chris Bosh.”

The question of how long Chris Bosh will remain a Yellow Jacket has been raised repeatedly. At a recent home game against Maryland during NBA All-Star Weekend, 23 scouts including five general managers and two vice presidents for player personnel were among the attendees to watch Bosh – and the senior laden Maryland team – do battle.

“He’s a heck of a pro prospect. There’s no question about that,” Coach Paul Hewitt said. “But I don’t think he has given it a whole lot of thought.”

“I’m just enjoying college. When people ask me [about the NBA], I don’t pay much attention. I’m just trying to play basketball, that’s all. I’m just trying to play.”

The Biggest Losers in the NFL Lockout? Its The Undrafted Free Agents

Every April, NFL teams select seven rounds of players to stock their rosters with new talent. In addition to the drafted players, teams will also take on from college who were not as free agents many who end up making the practice squad and some who even play that season.

With the ongoing NFL Lockout no free agency exists putting the career of many NFL hopefuls on hold.

Typically after the draft, teams load up on undrafted free agents, with about 350 finding spots in minicamps across the league and working their way to training camp. As many as 60 undrafted players usually make an opening-day roster for the NFL's 32 teams...

They can take heart in knowing that 2010 was unofficially the "Year of the Undrafted Free Agent" in the NFL. Twenty-three undrafted free agents made the Pro Bowl, and the Green Bay Packers started two of them, cornerback Sam Shields and linebacker Frank Zombo, in their Super Bowl XLV win over Pittsburgh.

The story continues here with quotes from former UNC players Zach Pianalto, Kendric Burney, and Deunta Williams (whose Draft Day was especially painful).

Florida AD Jeremy Foley Weighs In On Janoris Jenkins' Dismissal, Billy Donovan's Contract

Gators AD Jeremy Foley sat down with the Florida Today's David Jones to discuss the goings on in Gainesville and the BCS.

Of particular note was Foley's response to questions about new Head Football Coach Will Muschamp's handling of Janoris Jenkins and a possible extension for basketball coach Billy Donovan.

Q: Do you think (football coach) Will Muschamp sent a message of how he feels about discipline with how he handled Janoris Jenkins (kicked off the team recently after his second drug-related arrest)?

A: I don't think Will got in a room and said, 'You know, I'm going to send a message.' He got in a situation he was trying to deal with, a situation that was presented to him. ... Will, like all of our coaches around here, try to make decisions that are best for the program and best for the institution. I think at that point in time, that particular decision, that was the decision he felt was best.

Jenkins was projected as first round pick after last season but decided to return to Gainesville for his Senior in a surprising move with a new coaching staff coming in. Normally, Jenkins could now enter his name in the NFL Supplemental Draft and several teams would gladly give up a Draft pick to get him but players selected here have a dicey history of success in the NFL.
Q: (Men's basketball coach) Billy Donovan has two years left in his current contract. Are there discussions for an extension of his contract?

A: (UF president) Dr. (Bernie) Machen and I talked about that recently. I'm not prepared to discuss that yet, but obviously we always try to be proactive with our coaches, and Billy Donovan will be no different. So at some point and time, sooner than later, his contract will be evaluated, and I'm sure you will see an extension of that contract.

Typically coaches have a minimum of four years on their contract to ensure recruits are not scared off by their possible departure so Donovan's case is a curious one. The only reason I can think for the hesitation on Florida's part to extend is the disappointing seasons immediately following the back to back national titles, but Donovan seems to have righted the ship with an Elite 8 performance this season and a strong club returning.

Foley also discussed the Fiesta Bowl's slot in the BCS as well as the bowl system in general.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mississippi State Football Ticket Sales Strong; AD Discusses Possible Stadium Expansion

That is what Dan Mullen has created with a Gator Bowl win in his second season and most importantly two straight wins over Ole Miss (aka "the school up North").

The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports that some Bulldog fans may not be able to get season tickets for this year as the school is expecting a "a renewal rate expected to be above 95 percent, senior associate athletic director Mike Richey said."

This new excitement has caused Athletic Director Scott Stricklin to write in his weekly column to Miss State fans about a "long-term goal for our football stadium".

Miss State has gone as far as having an architect draw up renderings of an expansion over the next 20-25 years.

Stricklin envisions "80,000 seats in our stadium"

80,000 cow bells ringing.

ACC To Seriously Consider 18 Game Conference Basketball Schedule

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich was on 790 The Zone's Barnhart and Durham Friday discussing the upcoming ACC meetings.

Radakovich said an 18 game ACC Basketball schedule would be a primary topic at the meetings this week. Athletic Directors will be discussing what they can do to bolster the ACC Basketball product for TV interests as well as the general interest of the conference.

I think this would be a needed move in not only the ACC but in all major conference basketball.

College Basketball is experiencing a decline in interest for numerous reasons (players leaving early, season starting too early, too many cream puff games) which Wes Durham laid out very well earlier this year in The Death of College Basketball? (Part I, Part II). The sports needs to find a way to get fans back into the game prior to March Madness and a more competitive schedule like an 18 game conference slate would help.

Radakovich also discussed the future of the ACC Championship, the future of the bowl system including discussions related to changing the bottom of the bowl structure, and the changing coaching landscape in ACC Basketball.

Would you be in favor of an expanded ACC schedule, to say 18 or even 22 games, or do you think 16 is the right number of games?

Audio (right-click to download)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Despite Recent Lackluster Record Mark Richt Is Still One of the Best Developers of NFL Talent

Black Heart Gold Pants (Iowa Blog) did an interesting study correlating expected NFL Draft picks based on recruiting rankings versus actual Draft picks.

The Georgia Bulldogs come in at number 11 with a "development ratio" of 131%. In other words, Mark Richt's program gets almost four players drafted for every three expected.
Black Heart and Gold Pants bases the expectation of being drafted based on NFL Draft data and the draftees recruiting ranking out of high school - 2 star recruits have a 4.9% chance of being drafted, 3 stars 8.1%, 4 stars 16.7% and 5 stars 38%.

(Only 38% of 5 star recruits get drafted?!)

BHGP explains the development formula...
For instance, let's say some college program brought in 20 4-star recruits, and 80 3-star recruits, and that 15 of them were drafted. The average BCS program, by the numbers above, would have had 10 of those recruits drafted. So our example program has a development ratio of 15/10 = 150%, very good!

Based on this data, Richt is the best developer of NFL talent in the SEC since 2002. Of course this is NFL drafted talent and does not necessarily mean a player lived up to expectations while in Athens.

But this amount of talent showing up in the NFL has to help recruiting and eventually better players will win out.

Richt is hoping those "better players" are arriving this Summer to help rebuild the UGA program into one of the SEC's elite again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

According To Multiple Sources Duke Football Has Passed Georgia Tech

that is if you believe ESPN ACC Blogger Heather Dinich who has posted her post spring power rankings and she has 2009 ACC Champion Georgia Tech placed 10th, below persistent cellar dwelling Duke.

9. Duke: Coach David Cutcliffe said quarterback Sean Renfree had a great spring, and he has the potential -- and the receivers -- to lead the Blue Devils out of the ACC cellar. Duke has one of the fastest defenses seen in Durham in a long time, although it remains to be seen whether it will stop anyone. Duke still needs to show improvement on the defensive line but got an instant upgrade with the hire of Rick Petri.

10. Georgia Tech: Quarterback Tevin Washington is still the starter, but Synjyn Days closed the gap with a strong performance in the spring game. The defense has improved in the second season of Al Groh's 3-4 scheme, but it was going against an offensive line that had a subpar spring. Special teams also is still in need of improvement, but the overall attitude of the team was better this spring.

But Heather is not alone.  Virginia Tech Blogger Gobbler Country has also placed the Blue Devils above the Yellow Jackets in their post spring rankings.  However, they give the caveat they think Ga Tech will finish ahead of Duke in the final standings.

If Dinich's rankings turn out to be true (and I don't think they will be) it is safe to say Paul Johnson's welcoming party will be over in Atlanta.

Caption Time: Steve Spurrier's Reaction To...?


Photo Credit: AJC

Stephen Garcia just got arrested again?

Russell Wilson decided to go elsewhere?

Boise State Self Imposed Penalties Give UGA An Advantage

After being charged with secondary violations by the NCAA, Boise State has docked themselves three pre season practices from each of the next two seasons.

Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman reports:
The Boise State University football team will have at least three fewer preseason practices as it prepares for this year’s season opener against Georgia in Atlanta.

The Broncos also will award three fewer scholarships over the course of the next two seasons and be allowed three fewer preseason practices before next year’s opener at Michigan State.

These penalties may not be the end however as the NCAA will have the final word on June 10.

Now, three practices may not seem like a lot but Boise State needs every practice they can get when going against a more talented team like Georgia.

The Broncos offense relies on timing and "out-scheming" as opposed to over powering their opponents.

FSU Recruit Committed But Still Looking

"Stone Mountain High School's Markuss Eligwe, who is considered one of the state's top linebackers, recently committed to Florida State over Georgia and Florida. However, don't count the other schools out. The 6-3, 220-pounder said he's "100-percent committed to Florida State" but plans to take official visits to other schools in the fall. "I'll have other schools to compare to Florida State to know even more I made the right choice," Eligwe said."
-From AJC Recruiting Notebook

So is Mr. Eligwe simply holding a spot in FSU's 2012 class?

What if Jimbo Fisher decides he wants to look around for another linebacker?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"NBA scouting director Ryan Blake said last week that he projected Shumpert as either a second-round pick or undrafted and advised him to stay in school"

Yet Iman Shumpert is staying in the 2011 NBA Draft. Story Link

The Junior guard talks about his decision

More quotes from Shumpert in the AJC

The ACC, The NFL Draft and Lack of BCS Success

The ACC had another great NFL Draft with 35 players selected, second highest number among conferences.

Yet the conferences members continue to struggle in BCS bowls and games against other top BCS teams.

Clemson had three defensive players chosen in the first 51 picks yet the Tigers went just 6-7.

UNC tied with USC to lead all schools with nine players selected. Yet in their careers the Tar Heels have not even won a division title under Butch Davis.

Miami finished third with seven players taken in the NFL Draft. Those players talent got the coach who recruited them, Randy Shannon, fired after this past season.

Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com had an interesting article a few months back trying to explain why all this talent in the ACC was going to waste.

"From 2006-2009, the SEC beat the ACC by exactly one draft pick, 149-148. In that same span, the ACC led the country with 30 first-round choices. Among them: Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan (Atlanta, third overall, 2008); Virginia defensive lineman Chris Long (St. Louis, second overall, 2008); Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson (Detroit, second overall, 2007) and North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams (Houston, first overall, 2006).There is that disconnect, though, that should make the ACC also stand for Anomaly and Conundrum Conference. It has been the least successful power conference in BCS bowls (2-11). The ACC won the second BCS title (Florida State over Virginia Tech, 1999), none since. At roughly the same time the league expanded in 2004-05, Miami began slumping. Florida State was already sliding compared to its lofty accomplishments of the past. Those two programs remain the ACC flagships in name only. Virginia Tech has been the most consistent performer of the expansion era, winning three of the last four conference titles. "

The quick answer would be coaching, but I don't think it is that simple.

I think the answer lies in the depth of the league's talent base.

The ACC has elite talent on par with any conference in the country, including the SEC, but they lack the overall depth of the SEC especially along the line of scrimmage.

The 10th best defensive lineman in a conference is not likely to get drafted but that player is at a much higher level in the SEC than any other conference. Those are the kinda players that add the missing pieces to a national title team.

As Dodd goes on to mention, players like Calvin Johnson were surrounded by a much lower talent than most other schools with a top five pick.

Until the ACC gets more depth and raises the overall talent level they will continue to struggle against high level BCS competition.