Saturday, April 30, 2011

George Mason Hires Former Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt

More from ESPN article...
"The Patriots are the consensus Colonial Athletic Association favorites for next season and an expected preseason top-25 team. Hewitt is going to a better projected team in 2011-12, as the Yellow Jackets are predicted to finish near the bottom of the ACC. "

"He's a tremendous human being. I felt he had all the tools to be successful. I know he's a great X and O guy but he has the whole package."
-George Mason Athletic Director Tom O'Connor

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How Bulldog Clubs Popped Up All Over The Peach State

Thanks to Dan Magill who had the idea in the late 50s.

"I was Georgia's sports information director then, and it was my idea to create these clubs.

Georgia Tech, naturally received more publicity in the Atlanta Constitution and Atlanta Journal.

But I told UGA's biggest financial supporters - George "Kid" Woodruff and Judge Frank Foley, who were next-door neighbors in Columbus - that Georgia's strength was throughout the state where we had more alumni than Georgia Tech in every county, and we should form Bulldog Clubs in each one to honor outstanding athletes."

While the Bulldog Clubs certainly helped, I contend the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry underwent a marked shift in 1964.

Is UGA Overconfident In The Opener Against Boise State?

One could say that based on the thoughts of the Sports Editor of the UGA student newspaper The Red & Black Nick Parker (NP).

TH: Is there a belief you guys could lose this football game, or is it set in stone that you guys have this one in the bag?

NP: Obviously BSU is a good program, you would think Georgia wouldn’t feel too optimistic, but I swear fans around here think it’s a given that they’re just going to win this football game. I wouldn’t want to be Mark Richt if UGA does lose. Boise (State) can compete, but everyone expects Georgia to win.

List of NFL Draft Attendees Released Featuring 9 SEC Players

Who turns into the guy waiting in the Green Room for hours on end a la Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Clausen?

NFL Draft Attendees:
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
AJ Green, WR, Georgia
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State
Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Tyron Smith, T, Southern California
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

(h/t to al.com and Team Speed Kills)

College Football Game Intros From The Last 30 Years

How graphics have come a long way in my lifetime


(h/t CBSSports.com and "WolverineHistorian" on YouTube)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Michael Irvin Gives Miami Hurricanes A Pep Talk In The Smallest Locker Room Ever

check out the players peeking in from the other room at 2:40

(h/t to CBSSports.com)

Friday, April 22, 2011

UGA Baseball Coach Dave Perno Interview

The Bulldogs skipper was on Buck and Kincade this week talking about the series again Clemson, what type of players he likes to recruit, and how tough the SEC East is.

I personally think Perno's seat could be warm at the end of this season.

He has lost five straight to in state rival Georgia Tech (just ask Jim Donnan where losing to Tech gets you) and last season was downright awful.

But Perno still has some time to get back in the mix in the SEC this season and could face the Yellow Jackets in a Regional where his teams have been very good.

Perno Audio

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First Look At NCAA Football 12 Video Game

Judging by this preview the game will have much more entrance shots than before including the Ramblin Wreck at Georgia, Uga running onto the field, as well as Renegdae and the spear.

Enjoy the "realness" of this game while you can as several lawsuits with a are out there from former players, who have a good chance of winning, for their likeness in games like this.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photos From Georgia Spring Game

or "G-Day" as it is commonly known in the state.

AJC Photos

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Photos

Athens Banner-Herald Photos

Despite Recent Struggles UGA Fans Still Have High Approval Rating For Mark Richt (UPDATED)

Public Policy Polling, which does political polls for Presidential candidates, polled fans around the Peach state on how they thought their coaches were doing.

Coming off a 6-7 season, but bolstered by a consensus top 10 recruiting class, Mark Richt scores fairly high with UGA fans giving him a 59% approval rating; 15% of fans disapprove while 26% are undecided.

While the last two seasons have certainly been disappointing (as have the losses to Florida and SEC teams winning BCS Championships) it would hard to find a better 10 year stretch of Georgia football than those under Richt.

Basketball coach Mark Fox scores fairly well with a 48% approval rating to 10% disapproval. I think most Bulldog fans were happy to get to the NCAA Tournament this year, but these numbers may change after next year where Fox will be without stars Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. College athletics is a what have you done for me lately world.

Like UGA fans, Georgia Tech are for the most part pleased with the job Paul Johnson is doing giving him a 53% approval rating, but many are also undecided (32%); 9% of Tech fans polled have a disapproval rating for Johnson.

I think the Tech head coach will always be judged heavily on how he does against UGA. A loss to the Bulldogs again this year will no doubt send Johnson's approval rating down.

The most recent major collegiate hire in the state, Brian Gregory, has an overwhelming 'wait and see' attitude amongst fans with 79% reserving judgment. 14% approve of the hire while 7% disapprove. I would certainly count myself in that 79%.

Maybe the most surprising numbers in the poll were when Tech fans were asked about the firing of Paul Hewitt. Just 29% of fans said they agreed with the firing while 31% said he should have been retained. The 29% number is in stark contrast to the attendance figures and revenue impact I reported all season long.

In the state, 45% consider themselves fans of Georgia to just 14% as fans of Tech. Showing the influx of non-natives, 41% are fans of another team.

In general, looking at the high percentage of undecided fans for nearly all the coaches reiterates the point about college athletics being a "what have you done for me lately" world.

UGA fans: Do you approve of the job Mark Richt is doing?

Tech fans: What about Paul Johnson? Do you think Hewitt should have been retained if Brian Gregory is the replacement?

UPDATE: Public Policy full polling numbers broken down by political views and gender

Saturday, April 16, 2011

UGA-Georgia Tech Baseball Photos From This Past Tuesday's Game

here - Flickr Set

...And from the AJC

Kentucky, Ohio State Hardest Hit By Early Entries to NBA

The Wildcats and Buckeyes have each lost 16 seasons by players leaving early for the NBA Draft since 2006 when the NBA instituted a new rule requiring players to be at least 19 years old before they are eligible.

"Rivals.com decided to measure which schools have been hit hardest by early entries since 2006, the first year student-athletes weren't allowed to enter the draft directly out of high school. We looked at all the early-entry lists from 2006-2010 to see which schools lost the most underclassmen to the draft.

We did not include players who have left early for the draft this year because they still have time to change their minds and return to school if they don't sign with agents."

Kentucky was tied with Memphis for the most players lost at seven. Ranking the schools 1-11

1. KENTUCKY
Number: 7 players
Seasons lost: 16
Players: Eric Bledsoe (2010, Fr.), DeMarcus Cousins (2010, Fr.), Jodie Meeks (2009, Jr.), Daniel Orton (2010, Fr.), Patrick Patterson (2010, Jr.), Rajon Rondo (2006, Soph.), John Wall (2010, Fr.)

Buzz: All five of the Kentucky players drafted in the first round last year were underclassmen. Four of those first-rounders were freshmen. Kentucky has a chance to "solidify" its No. 1 status this year if freshmen Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones follow Bledsoe, Cousins, Orton and Wall as one-and-done players. Wall was the No. 1 overall pick and Cousins also was a lottery selection last year. Bledsoe, Patterson, Orton and Rondo also were first-round picks. Meeks was selected in the second round.

Georgia Tech has certainly been hurt by early entries and it led to the downfall of Paul Hewitt's tenure when two freshman, Thad Young and Javaris Crittenton, declared for the NBA after the 2007-2008 season.  The Yellow Jackets also had far less success with their talent reaching only two NCAA tournaments and winning just one game the last five seasons.

10. GEORGIA TECH
Number: 4 players
Seasons lost: 10
Players: Javaris Crittenton (2007, Fr.), Derrick Favors (2010, Fr.), Gani Lawal (2010, Jr.), Thaddeus Young (2007, Fr.)
Buzz: Georgia Tech is the only team on this list that hasn't at least reached a regional semifinal in the past five years. Tech's series of one-and-done players prevented the Yellow Jackets from producing sustained success and indirectly may have contributed to the firing of former coach Paul Hewitt. Favors and Young were lottery picks after their freshman seasons, while Crittenton also went in the first round. Lawal stayed through his junior year and was drafted in the second round.

Rivals list also points out that none of the past three national champions have been hit hard by early entries into the NBA.

Reading over the list I am stunned by how many of these players have yet to amount to anything in the NBA and even more stunned by how many went undrafted

Who is giving advice to players like Darius Washington of Memphis who left after his Sophomore season or Davon Jefferson who left USC as a freshman?

The NBA and NCAA can fix this by working together and allowing players to go straight from high school to the pros.  Guys like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have no business in college, but most are simply not ready physically and emotionally after one year.

I am in favor of the college baseball rule where if you come on campus you must stay for at least three years though I doubt this gets done as the agents run the NBA Player Association. Why? I have no clue.  Most unions I know of protect seniority.

Maybe this rule change can be one good thing to come out of the almost certain forthcoming NBA Lockout.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Georgia Tech Spring Practice: Who Will Replace Joshua Nesbitt?

The Yellow Jackets began their Spring Practice on Monday trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season. Complacency is a word that has been used often to describe what caused the defending ACC Champions to fall to a losing record.

Head Coach Paul Johnson hopes the word to describe this spring is competition.

The most important competition this spring will be at the Quarterback position. This position plays a different role in Johnson's offense than most you see in college football, but its importance is just the same.

Gone is Joshua Nesbitt who led Tech to 25 wins in his three seasons as a starter. After Nesbitt went down with a season ending injury at Virginia Tech the Yellow Jackets took a nose dive losing four of their final five games finishing with the first losing season since 1996.

Tevin Washington, who started the final four games, is the incumbent as Johnson iterated at the beginning of this week, but redshirt freshman Synjyn Days will get a long look as well.

"Tevin is the starter coming in. He earned that," Johnson told reporters on Monday. "I don't get too hyped up on freshman. Until they show they can do it on the field, I don't want to hype them all that much. Synjyn has a lot of ability. But he's got to beat Tevin out. It's Tevin's job."

This competition figures to be a two horse race. David Sims played some at QB last year, but will be used primarily at B-Back and maybe even WR this spring. I get the feeling Sims is a good enough athlete Johnson wants to find a way to get him on the field somewhere, but he lacks the precision at QB to play significant snaps.

The battle between Washington and Days is a classic case of experience vs natural ability.

Washington played in eight games last season, starting four, and is entering his fourth season in Johnson's spread option offense. He performed admirably at the end of 2010, but lacked big play ability and arm strength to be a true difference maker. Still, you cannot underestimate his comfort level in the offense and the advantage that gives him early on.

Days has never taken a snap at the collegiate level, but has plenty of potential and promise. The Marietta product has the size and athleticism to be a star, but nobody truly knows how that potential translates to a game. The redshirt freshman's offer list was not overly impressive (Oklahoma State and Indiana were the main suitors), but most schools were recruiting him to play defensive back instead of QB. Days spent last season running the scout offense and was impressive enough in practice for Johnson to consider burning his redshirt had Nesbitt's injury occurred earlier in the season.

In order to keep his job as the starter, Washington will have to show an improved ability to break long runs as well as increased arm strength and accuracy.

For Days to supplant Washington he will have to show he has a better command of the offense making the correct reads and check downs.

Those who want to read into depth charts post spring may be disappointed to see Washington's name listed first after the spring game. Days certainly has hype surrounding him but this will be his first extended action in the offense and judging freshman before they hit the field can be like watching the infantry marching to battle; everything looks great until the bullets start flying.

However, not winning the job in the spring does not preclude Days from further competition. I strongly suspect the starting spot will not be set in stone over the next three weeks and the competition will extend into fall practice when true freshman Vad Lee and Demon Smith will enter the mix.

The QB position has the most impact of any on the offense. Johnson wants these Quarterbacks to push each other to get better and maximize their impact. This level of competition should help avoid the complacency of last year and propel the team to a better 2011.

This post was originally featured on ChuckOliver.net