Saturday, March 31, 2012

Would You Take A College Course In Fantasy Football?

Evidently you can at UCF.

Elective Writing and Rhetoric course

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Georgia Tech Football: Will This Send Yellow Jackets Fans Into Panic?

The AJC's Ken Sugiura suggested in one of his beat reports that the QB competition in spring practice is more about separating backup Synjyn Days and Vad Lee from each other than against the returning starter Tevin Washington (as Ken think Washington's lead is significant right now).

Commence the Tevin Washington bashing in 3...2... 

AJC: More on Georgia Tech’s quarterback competition

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sporting News @Matt_HayesSN Would Make A Great Compliance Officer

Matt Hayes of Sporting News nails it in his article about avoiding crippling sanctions during an investigation and provides UNC as an example of how to work with the NCAA.

Hayes provided an interesting revelation on the severity of the transgressions in Chapel Hill.
For what one BCS athletic director told me was the worst NCAA case he had seen since SMU in the 1980s, North Carolina was given a one-year postseason ban and a loss of 15 scholarships over three years.

“You’ve just told everyone the risk is worth the reward,” a BCS athletic director said.

As long as you beg for forgiveness when you’re caught.

Hayes: Cooperation is key to dodging major NCAA wrath

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

College Football Recruiting: The Pros and Cons on Early Commitments

One of my favorite non ACC/SEC sites, M Go Blog, ponders the question of whether the Wolverines are taking too many commitments too early in the recruiting process and not allowing space for late bloomers.

Michigan already has 16 commitments for 2013 compared to just 5 for rival Ohio State. Schools like Alabama, UGA, and Florida are also already 1/3 of the way through their recruiting spots.

The big name schools are always going to get more early commitments than their lesser peers because many kids grow up dreaming playing for a certain school and when that offer presents itself they jump on it. Still we are talking about kids or just 16 or 17 years old and not fully developed. A late bloomer could be snatched up by a rival who still has room.

MGoBlog: Recruiting Early

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wake Forest Basketball: Why So Many Demon Deacon Transfers?

Blogger So Dear is reporting Jeff Bdzelik's program will be losing (at least) three players to transfer from this past season's squad.

You can view this as a much needed roster makeover (because Wake has not been very good) or as a sign of serious issues in Bzdelik's program.

Bzdelik was a curious choice from Colorado a few seasons ago to replace Dino Gaudio and I have heard stories of walk-ons pre-approved visit with parents taken away because a late night practice was scheduled after a tough loss.

Its one thing when perennial backups and bench warmers transfer, its another when contributors and future starters leave.

ACC Basketball needs programs like Wake Forest to become relevant in the NCAA Tournament discussion again. This goes for programs like Maryland, NC State, and Georgia Tech as well who are all historically part of the second tier that made the league so formidable in the 80s and 90s. UNC and Duke have held up their end of the deal.

But this kind of instability in Winston-Salem will make it that much more difficult for the Demon Deacons to regain that status and for Bzdelik to retain his job.

Referee Karl Hess Involved In Another Controversial Call

Though this one is much understandable than the tyrannical action at NC State tossing two spectators who happened to be former Wolfpack legends earning Hess a public reprimand from the ACC.

The Dagger: Rick Pitino got a tech while yelling at his own player and sparked Louisville’s comeback

Tennessee Basketball: Behind The Scenes Look at Cuonzo Martin's First Season

The Volunteers hired Martin on March 27, 2011 and Go Vols Xtra takes a look month-by-month at his first season discussing everything from why he took the job, to his basketball camps, to when he knew the season turned around.
Martin remembers getting the call from Tennessee two days before officially announcing he would accept the position.

"I had 48 hours to make the decision," Martin said. "It was a case where I sat down with my wife and family and weighed the decision. We had options."

Martin wouldn't discuss what other schools had offered him a position, but he did reveal that UT's fan base was the overwhelming factor.
Martin was interviewed for the Georgia Tech job last March, but both sides decided to go a different route after recruiting with academic restrictions became a sticking point.

The former Purdue star reportedly turned down the Illinois job after this season.

Go Vols Xtra: Cuonzo Martin reflects on first year at UT

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Georgia Tech Football: Yellow Jackets Unable To Keep Football Legacy

One of the top defensive prospects in the state of Georgia, Carl Lawson, committed to Auburn this past weekend.

No big deal because the Tigers recruit the state hard and sign multiple players every year from Georgia, right?

Well this one is a little different considering who the prospects father played for, what he accomplished while in school, and where he wanted his son to go.
Lawson said his college decision was endorsed by his father, Carl Lawson Sr., who played fullback on Georgia Tech’s 1990 national championship team. The Yellow Jackets are one of Lawson’s 25 offers.

“My father wanted me to go to Auburn,” the younger Lawson said. “He wanted me to commit the last time I was there. He likes Auburn. My family loves it. Last time I visited Auburn, I named them as my leader. This time, I committed.”
Again Auburn recruits the Peach State very hard and signs nearly as many players here as from Alabama. But you do not see many fathers who played on national championship teams encourage their sons to go elsewhere, especially when the alma mater is so close by.

Georgia Tech is also recruiting another legacy from the 1990 national championship team, Naim Mustafaa, who is the son of the former Reggie Rutland. The Yellow Jackets are in a heated battle with Georgia for the OLB prospect who talked about his recruitment earlier this month and admitted some very interesting things.

AJC: Carl Lawson commits to Auburn

Nick Saban Fail

Montgomery, AL is building a new high school and received submissions for the name from the public.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Nick Saban High was one of the 60 entries.
Montgomery Public Schools spokesman Tom Salter, who was on the naming committee, said he certainly learned a lot during the process. But when grilled about the potential of a Saban High, he chose his words carefully.

“As big as an Alabama fan as I am, it would likely not be an appropriate choice, especially this close to the Plains,” he said.

Salter playfully declined comment when asked to speculate why there were no submission for Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik.
Nick Saban High among rejected school names

ht: Roll Bama Roll

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Football Primer And Why The South Will Continue To Rise

Two interesting points here from Smart Football on Spring Football or as @TimBrando likes to call it "Spraaang Football".

1. The state of Ohio does not allow high schools to have Spring Football (and I would assume other northern states like Michigan don't either). Urban Meyer is not happy about this and based on his popularity in the state don't be surprised to see this changed during his tenure. I don't know how the Midwest plans to catch the South in football when they don't allow spring practices. You can see Meyer's speech to the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association below. I wonder if Brady Hoke was invited?

2. Changes in the amount of contact allowed during spring practice gave rise to the spread offense which you can practice year round in 7 on 7 drills.

Why Do We Have Spring Practice?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stanford Football: Skepticism Cardinal Success Can Continue

A while back (cleaning out the Reader) Bruce Feldman profiled the on field and now recruiting success of the Stanford Cardinal.

Feldman says Stanford has the most stringent academic standards of any school in FBS but was able to "beat the USCs, Alabamas, Floridas and Notre Dames for one recruit this year. Stanford beat them on several blue-chippers."

The biggest help in recruiting according to Cardinal coach David Shaw was Andrew Luck's exposure nationally.

Having a large pool of players to recruit from makes recruiting easier, but according to Feldman Stanford's pool is far from large.
About a year out, the program's recruiting pool was under 200 prospects, Shaw said. By the end of those students' junior year, that pool had shrunk to under 100.
I know Stanford just signed a highly ranked class this past February, but unless they are best talent evaluators and best on field coaches there is no way they can keep up this level of success with such a small recruiting pool. And if they are best talent evaluators and/or coaches then one of the "factories" will hire them away.

Bruce Feldman

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Georgia - Georgia Tech: Clean Old Fashioned Hate Renews On The Baseball Diamond

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets renew acquaintances tonight at Foley Field in Athens for the first of three games this season. 

To get a perspective on how UGA's season is going as well as the rivalry with Tech I contacted UGA Diamond Dawgs.

1.  How does UGA feel about their season thus far?
We feel great.  We have great pitchers in the weekend rotation – Alex Wood, Peter Nagel & Michael Palazzone.  The bullpen is full of relievers who have proven they can step in and close out the game, Bryan Benzor, Blake Dieterich, Chase Hawkins and several other freshmen pitchers.  Hitting has improved over this first month of the season and the Dawgs seem to be ready to dominate.  Hitting consistency has been a problem, but with the winning series over Tennessee I think our confidence level is high and we are ready to continue those wins over into this coming weekend at Vandy.

2. Tell me the about pitcher UGA is throwing on Tuesday. Has he been the weekday starter this year?
We have had several starters for the weekday games this year. Tonight’s pitcher David Sosebee has one win this season over Georgia State. He also pitched 2.1 innings during our second win over Alcorn State game. Alcorn State was able to get 4 hits, but no runs off of Sosebee.  Sosebee started in our win over Kennessaw State as well.  David has gotten some experience under his belt, and I think he is ready for a great game & a win vs. Tech.

3.  What does the rivalry mean to the program?
The rivalry is very important.  “We RUN this STATE!” Is a great saying, and to be able to say it for a whole year after the series is an incredible boost to the team and the fans.  If we could win this game in Athens, it would be a great starter to the series that continues at Turner Field and at Russ Chandler Stadium.

4. Is the rivalry devalued being an out of conference game?
Yes, SEC games are the most important on the Road to Omaha – but we still hate Tech. We want to beat the Bees every chance we get – embarrass them even.  We will not hurt our chances in the upcoming SEC game by using our weekend starting pitchers against Tech, but we will put our best relievers & weekday pitchers on the field to ensure our victory.

5. How close is the program to getting back to Omaha?
Given what our program has been through the last couple of years, we are closer than we have been.  The wins in the SEC tournament in May 2011 to be able to get us into the semi’s was awesome. We are still in that mode of thought & play to win it all.  We have proven we can do it with those SEC tourney wins and with the added new blood coming into our roster this year, new pitchers, in/outfielders and power hitters we are on the right path to make it to Omaha.  Our seniors have never been to Omaha, something that has never happened under Coach Perno.  I think their determination will feed the underclassmen’s drive to make that trip this year!

6. Who wins Tuesday night & why?
The Georgia Bulldogs, our hitter’s proved on Friday and Saturday that they can get the numbers on the board. Sosebee and our pitching relievers have proven they can step in and close the games out for us. GO DAWGS!!

My Take: I would have to favor UGA tonight as well.  Tech is throwing Zane Evans who played catcher last year and while facing a more difficult schedule has an ERA above 4.  For Danny Hall to get his 1,002nd win he will need the Jacket bats to come alive like they did this past weekend in the series win over Virginia Tech.

Game time is 7PM and will be televised on CSS.

Thanks again to UGA Diamond Dawgs for their input.

UNC Football: Breakdown of Tar Heel Offense/Defense Under Larry Fedora

Another article from Chris Brown of Smart Football in a special for the North Carolina site breaks down Larry Fedora's offense and Vic Koenning's defense.
While there are spread offenses, like Mike Leach's, that are built to throw it all of the time, and those, like Rich Rodriguez's or Chip Kelly's, built to predominantly run the ball, the word that probably best describes Fedora's system is balance. Although Fedora's offense -- somewhat strangely, in my opinion -- has a reputation as a pure, run-first attack in the mold of say, Oregon's, to me it is very different, primarily because I can think of no other offense that does as good of a job being dynamic in both the run and the pass as the one Fedora brings with him to Chapel Hill.

A team can't credibly claim to be a 4-3 or 3-4 team and simply stand pat. Offenses are too good and too variable -- both from week to week and within the games themselves. In modern college football, offenses are spread and they are pro-style and they are old-school and they are new-school -- sometimes all at once. Defenses simply must have answers.
I could not agree more here with Brown. Many fans want to stuck on the strengths and weaknesses of the 4-3 or 3-4 or 4-2-5, etc. On defense you have to have big, strong athletes above all else. You cannot scheme your way to a top defense like you can on offense.

Offense Breakdown

Defense Breakdown

Monday, March 19, 2012

No Illegal Benefits For This SEC Football Player

Many fans outside of the SEC and some within the league think the schools are paying their players and that is why they have been so dominant lately.

Regardless of any rumors we can certainly say one SEC player is not receiving any illegal money.

When you read this, be thankful it is as expensive as it is to fly.

UGA Offensive Lineman Watts Dantzler Rides Greyhound

ht: Barrett Sallee

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Reveals Figures on Yellow Jackets Financial Standing

In a monthly (I think its monthly) newsletter, Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich detailed some financial figures of where his program stands in the ACC and some may surprise you.

Radakovich says Tech ranks 3rd in the ACC in the size of their athletic endowment ($106 Million) and that fund supports the 2nd highest percentage of scholarships in the league.

Who would you guess has the highest endowments? My guesses were North Carolina and Virginia, but actually Duke is 2nd behind UNC. I bet you also wouldn't have guessed that as of 2009 Georgia Tech had a higher sports endowment than UGA?

With the ACC having the top five sports endowments that should put to rest any concerns of the league faltering especially instead of a dysfunctional Big 12.

Radakovich goes onto to request Tech fans to commit to the future of the basketball program to support the nearly $70 Million put into rebuilding the program and facilities, including the McCamish Pavilion shown above.

Finally, the NCAA appeal is discussed and the AD makes it a point that if a similar situation arises again, outside counsel will be sought immediately.

From my source with knowledge of the parties involved in the investigation, Georgia Tech's counsel repeatedly road blocked the NCAA and the investigator from the NCAA was set on making a name for himself within the organization. That combination led to $312 worth of merchandise (that minus a pair of shoes was returned before ever used) turned into a lost ACC Championship and four years probation.

Georgia Tech Athletics: The Good Word

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NCAA Tournament: Cindarellas Face New Stardom and Recruiting

A New York Times story on Ohio's D.J. Cooper who is trying to leads his Bobcats into another NCAA Tournament run after upsetting Michigan in the first round Friday.

Cooper's story is different from fellow Ohioan C.J. McCollum as Cooper had offers at high major programs coming out of high school but signed with Ohio because they recruited him the hardest.

Well his recruitment didn't stop once he reached Athens. After breaking out in a first round upset of Georgetown two years ago with 23 points, Cooper says many schools came calling again trying to lure him to a bigger spotlight. Cooper won't name any names, but his mother did mentioning Scott Drew of Baylor subtle (yet legal) attempts to have Cooper transfer.

NYT: Ohio’s Cooper Has Seen the Dark Side

Kentucky Baseball: Wildcats Are For Real After Sweep of South Carolina

Most fans in Big Blue Nation have their eyes solely on basketball this time of year, but the baseball club is turning heads also.

Kentucky entered their weekend series with two time defending national champion South Carolina undefeated on the season but having played a weak schedule thus far.

A sweep of the Gamecocks Kentucky needs to be taken seriously as a threat in the East.

No.16 Kentucky Sweeps No.2 South Carolina

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ohio State Football: Urban Meyer Is In Favor of Tougher NCAA Penalties

Catching up with the new Buckeyes coach who was in Utah this past week for some family vacation and time on the speaking circuit...

Meyer was asked about the penalties handed down by the NCAA to Ohio State and other violators.

Despite the sanctions, Meyer doesn't have any regrets about taking the job and don't have an ill feelings toward the NCAA. In fact, he's in favor of harsh punishments for those who break NCAA rules.

"But, you know what? I'm an NCAA fan. I want them to increase the penalties, make them more difficult and make it more, if someone's going to break a rule I want everybody to know that there's going to be major penalties. I support it 100 percent. So we're going to move forward. I'm not sure how we're going to handle the season, other than just go try to win every game we play."

Via Dr Saturday

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UNC Football: Andy Staples of Slams NCAA Over Tar Heels Punishment

Staples writes in a very interesting column:
"This case," committee members wrote, "should serve as a cautionary tale to all institutions to vigilantly monitor the activities of those student-athletes who possess the potential to be top professional prospects."

That's not quite correct. The North Carolina case actually provided more of a road map.

And Staples touches on the controversial issue of what cooperating with the NCAA gets you, a hard learned lesson by Georgia Tech.
A program can spit all over the NCAA rule book in an effort to reach or remain at the highest echelon of college football, and as long as that program cooperates with the NCAA during the investigation of its alleged "crimes," the Committee on Infractions will respond with a suite of penalties that contain far more bark than bite.

I have a real problem when cooperating with authorities is more important than the actual crimes, but the UNC, Ohio State, USC, and Georgia Tech cases show this blatantly. If I am Miami or Oregon right now it is "Yes, sir" to everything the NCAA asks me whether I agree with it or not.

And of course the NCAA doesn't have subpoena power, but they don't have to actually prove anything either like you would in a court of law...
Did Blake steer North Carolina players to Wichard? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing is certain. The NCAA didn't prove its case, and the committee found Blake guilty anyway.

Somehow Butch Davis comes out of this unscathed and $2+ million richer. Not bad for a guy who was the best coach in the league Sunday through Friday.

Staples: UNC case shows how reward still outweighs risk for cheating

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Karl Hess Was Invited To Ref ACC Tournament, Declined

NC State's loss in the ACC Tournament Semi finals ended up not costing the Wolfpack a NCAA Tournament bid, but that did not stop the suspicion from the State fan base that controversial calls at the end of the game went the other way because of an incident involving referee Karl Hess and two Pack legends earlier this season.

Hess received a reprimand from the league office and drew the ire of NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. The veteran of nine ACC Championship Games was nowhere to be found in Atlanta this past weekend.
But the three officials who worked the tournament’s opening game at Philips Arena on Thursday afternoon paid an apparent tribute to Hess by wearing a piece of white tape with the initials “KH” on the sides of their left shoes.

Hess was invited to work the tournament, but declined because he “wanted to make sure that he did not take away from the tournament, its teams and the players,” ACC supervisor of officials John Clougherty said in a statement released Thursday. “Therefore, he made the decision not to participate this year.

“The officials, as a group, have agreed to respect Karl’s decision and will eliminate any further distraction from the tournament.”
Sounds to me like the ACC told the officials to knock it off after seeing the tape in the first game.

See, NC State...the ACC doesn't completely hate you.

Did Top Georgia Recruit Admit To Twitter Recruiting Violations?

Twitter is everywhere and is quickly overtaking google as a preferred search engine (at least for me it is). Where did I first find out about the death of Osama Bin Laden? Twitter. Where did I go to find out what UNC's sanctions were yesterday? Twitter.

Twitter has also made everybody more accessible. You can converse with your favorite sports stars and celebrities like you would have never dreamed 10 years ago.

However, the NCAA is not a real big fan of Twitter, especially when it comes to recruiting.

You may have seen two stories last week about Michigan and Notre Dame players tweeting about recruiting visits which is a no-no.

This week in an interview with ESPN's Dawg Nation ($), top Georgia DE-OLB Naim Mustafaa was asked about his recruitment thus far including his three favorites, Auburn, Georgia Tech and UGA.

When asked about the Bulldogs, Mustafaa made note of the Georgia fan support including: "Their fan base is blowing up my Twitter timeline with 'Go Dawgs' and that I need to come to Georgia. "

Boosters contacting recruits on Twitter is forbidden recruiting rules. The NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.”

The NCAA defines a booster as:
* A person who is a member of an organization that supports a school's athletics
* A person who has made a contribution to a school's athletics department
* A person who has promoted a school's athletic
* A person who has purchased season tickets
* A person who has provided benefits to a student-athletes family or relatives

And once you meet any of these criteria, you are always considered a booster.

"Boosters" contacting recruits on Twitter is abundant and definitely falls into the "everybody is doing it" category. But the NCAA has acted before in this realm shutting down a NC State Facebook page asking John Wall to come play for the Wolfpack

Monday, March 12, 2012

Georgia Tech Basketball: Brian Gregory Already Recruiting Top 2015 Player

Coming off a 11-20 season, Brian Gregory knows he needs talent to lift the Yellow Jackets back into an ACC contender. He signed two consensus Top 100 players (Rob Carter, Marcus Hunt) for next season and third who was on the cusp (Chris Bolden).

But Gregory is not resting on that class and is already out recruiting as far ahead as the 2015 class! That is this year's high school freshman!

The first year Tech head coach was spotted in rival territory scouting Athens Christian Guard Will Jackson recently.

Jackson is rated the 85th best player according to this ranking of the 2015 class (kinda absurd since most of these kids are still growing!)

No doubt that Gregory is also looking at Kejuan Johnson who hails from Atlanta and is rated the number one recruit in 2015 already standing at 6'6" (I am 6'7" but didn't reach that height until my senior year in high school. I blame all the additives in food today).


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Georgia Tech Basketball: Taking A Statistical Look At Brian Gregory's First Season

Record: 11-20 (.355)
ACC Record: 4-12
RPI: 186
SOS: 81

Home Record: 7-8
Away Record: 3-9
Neutral: 1-3

vs RPI Top 50: 1-7
vs RPI 51-100: 1-4
vs RPI 101-150: 2-5
vs RPI 151-200: 2-1
vs RPI 200+: 5-3

vs Teams with higher RPI: 5-17
vs Teams with lower RPI: 6-3

ATS: 10-16
Avg Spread: 2.4

ACC Offense PPG: 58.6 (11th in ACC)
ACC Defense PPG: 65.6 (5th)

ACC Off eFG%: 46.4% (9th)
ACC Def FG%: 50.1% (9th)

ACC Offense PPP: 0.94 (11th)
ACC Defense PPP: 1.05 (10th)

Opp FT Percentage: 74.2% (2nd)

Most Efficient Game (Offense): FAMU 126.0
Least Efficient Game (Offense): Miami 59.9 (03/08)

Best Win: VCU 73-60 (RPI 41)
Worst Loss: at Tulane 52-57 (RPI 242)

Biggest Win: 33 vs FAMU
Biggest Loss: 32 vs Virginia

Most Significant Win: at UGA 68-56
Most Heartbreaking Loss: at Va Tech 73-74 OT

Most Appearances by a Ref: Karl Hess - 7
Most Fouls per game: Sean Corbin - 18.8

Georgia Tech Athletics Has Some More Numbers, Stats on the 2011-2012 season, including a wild stat of how the Yellow Jackets fared when leading vs trailing with 5 minutes to go

UGA Basketball: A Statistical Look At Mark Fox's 2011-2012 Team

Record: 15-17 (.469)
SEC Record: 5-11
RPI: 101
SOS: 16

Home Record: 11-6
Away Record: 2-9
Neutral: 2-2

vs RPI Top 50: 2-10
vs RPI 51-100: 4-4
vs RPI 101-150: 2-1
vs RPI 151-200: 3-2
vs RPI 200+: 4-0

vs Teams with higher RPI: 6-14
vs Teams with lower RPI: 9-3

ATS: 13-15
Avg Spread: 3.6

SEC Offense PPG: 59.6 (10th in SEC)
SEC Defense PPG: 64.4 (6th)

SEC Off eFG%: 43.6% (11th)
SEC Def FG%: 49.9% (8th)

SEC Offense PPP: 0.97 (9th)
SEC Defense PPP: 1.05 (9th)

Opp FT Percentage: 72.8% (3rd)

Most Efficient Game (Offense): vs Arkansas 135.0
Least Efficient Game (Offense): at Vanderbilt 66.1

Best Win: Florida 76-62 (RPI 23)
Worst Loss: at South Carolina 56-57 (RPI 188)

Biggest Win: 22 vs Arkansas
Biggest Loss: 30 at Kentucky

Most Significant Win: vs Florida
Most Heartbreaking Loss: at South Carolina

Most Appearances by a Ref: Michael Stephens - 6
Most Fouls per game: JB Caldwell - 21.0

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Georgia Tech Fans Might Want To Watch This One Last Time

On Friday, the NCAA denied Georgia Tech's appeal to have the 2009 ACC Championship reinstated.

The trophy that had been stored in a closet in Atlanta will be sent back to the conference and no champion will be listed for the 2009 football season.

But Yellow Jacket fans can still enjoy (at least until the NCAA makes GT take them down) highlights from the game that never actually happened in the mind of the NCAA.

You can also view the entire 2009 ACC Championship (without commercials) here

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

SEC Basketball Roundtable End of Regular Season Q&A

The members of the SEC Basketball Power Poll (that includes me) are having an end of the regular season round table. The Georgia Sports Blog is going to post their roundtable's answers on Wednesday, but here are mine in the meantime.

1) Who is the player of the year? Coach of the year? Why?
Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky. I am a big "impact" guy when it comes to rating basketball players and Davis is off the charts in this category. Multiple guys are more dangerous scorers, but the Chicago native has had a HUGE impact on the defensive side of the ball and fit in nicely with other very talented players in Kentucky's offense.

Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky. I don't know if Calipari's one and done strategy will pay off in the long run with Coach K like multiple national championships or Tom Izzo like Final Four appearances, but the one thing he has done is mold four new and very talented players into an already loaded roster and made them better as the season has gone on. Ask Ben Howland and UCLA how tough that can be. This is his best coaching job in his first three seasons as the Wildcats are considered near locks to make it back to the Final 4. An impressive feat in today's world of roster turnover.

2) Who is the breakout player of the year? Why?
I am not going to give it to Anthony Davis since he is a freshman and you never really know what to expect from freshman (good or bad). I will go with Miss State's Arnett Moultrie. The junior ranks 4th in the SEC in scoring at 16 ppg and is also pulling down nearly 11 rebounds per night. Moultrie coming off a transfer year from UTEP where he averaged 10 and 9 ppg in his first two seasons so the fact that he has raised his scoring and rebound average in a tougher league impresses me.

3) What team is the biggest surprise (good or bad)?
I will stick with the Volunteer state for my good and bad surprises.

On the good end I say Tennessee who stands at 10-6 in the league with a brand new coach who replaced the school's best coach ever. The Volunteers ended the season on a four game winning streaking, including a win that very much impressed Bruce Pearl.

On the disappointing end I will say Vanderbilt who also stands 10-6, but whom so much more was expected. It was as if the Commodores hit a wall in terms of their potential this season and get over the hump. Kevin Stallings has not been great in the NCAA Tournament recently so it will be interesting to see how they fare with a middle seed.

4) Nationally, the SEC is viewed as top heavy, but weak below about team #3. What are your thoughts on the conference's performance in the national view?
With Kentucky being so dominant, the SEC will always be in the news. But after that Florida and Vanderbilt have been very inconsistent and the West is largely mediocre again. I look at it how ACC Football was in the early 2000s when FSU was competing for national titles every year and a Clemson or Georgia Tech may have a good season here or there but largely the league was mediocre.

The reason is simple. The fan support just isn't there for basketball in the SEC. The league does have a chance to get better by being able to spend more money on new coaches (and more importantly fire any coach) than any other conference. But until that money turns into wins the SEC will not be in the B1G/Big East/ACC yearly debate for best conference.

5) What teams will make the NCAA tourney? Any surprise runs forthcoming?
Kentucky, Florida, and Vanderbilt are in. I feel pretty good about Alabama too. After that I think Miss State or Ole Miss has a chance if they can win get to the Finals in the SEC Tournament and the small conference tourneys go to form and don't take away their spots.

I am still waiting for the Vandy we thought we would see all season long, but I don't see a run considering Stallings recent NCAA history.

Monday, March 5, 2012

SEC Basketball Power Poll

The seedings are set for the SEC Tournament which tips off Thursday in New Orleans.

Here is my end of the regular season SEC Basketball Power Poll submission

1. Kentucky
Wildcats go undefeated in the league and look to have the top seed in the NCAA Tournament wrapped up.

2. Tennessee
The NCAA Selection Committee doesn't use how a team finishes down the stretch any more but I am in putting the Vols at number two.

3. Vanderbilt
Disappointing season for Vandy finishing only 10-6 in the conference but still a solid team that could win a game or two in the NCAA tourney.

4. Florida
The Gators never seemed to get on the same page for a long stretch this season, but the talent is there for a tournament run.

5. Alabama
Tide overcome suspensions to make the field of 68 I think unless they lose their first round SEC Tournament game vs South Carolina.

6. Miss State
This is a crucial SEC Tournament for Rick Stansbury to make the NCAA Tournament again and to get some heat off his seat.

7. Ole Miss
Andy Kennedy did a little better than I thought this season.

8. LSU
Trent Johnson took a step forward this year with the Tigers. The progress is noted.

9. Arkansas
I have said it before...I can't help but wonder what Mike Anderson is thinking with Mizzou coming into the league next season.

10. UGA
I have the Bulldogs over Auburn here because the Tigers are only in the 10th seed for the tourney because they played the easier SEC West schedule.

11. Auburn
Tony Barbee is finding out that Auburn is no Memphis when it comes to basketball.

12. South Carolina
I am going to miss Darin Horn.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Georgia Tech Football Assistant Mentioned For Georgia State Coordinator Opening

Georgia Tech's football neighbor Georgia State is looking for a defensive coordinator after theirs (John Thompson) left for the same position at Arkansas State.

One of the names being mentioned is Yellow Jacket defensive line/recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum
Andy McCollum – Defensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Georgia Tech – This pick would likely spark the conversation of head coach in waiting as McCollum, who is currently on Paul Johnson’s staff at Georgia Tech, guided Middle Tennessee State from FCS to FBS. A huge factor is McCollum is the recruiting coordinator for Georgia Tech which would help with relationships in the 2013 recruiting class. I believe this may be a long shot but makes sense from what we want to do long term.
McCollum previously has head coaching experience at Middle Tennessee State where he led the Blue Raiders in their transition from Division I-AA to I-A.

Although they are entering just their third season of football, Georgia State is already exploring a possible move to FBS (formerly I-A) down the road.

Personally, I don't see McCollum leaving for this opportunity. Position Coach + Recruiting Coordinator at the FBS level in a BCS conference to Defensive Coordinator at the FCS level is a step down. Georgia Tech has not sent any indications they are not happy with McCollum either even with a disappointing defensive line the last two seasons (and I don't think McCollum is necessarily to blame for this).

I think McCollum's next move is a few years away and could be to defensive coordinator for Tech when Al Groh decides to move on.

Alabama Football: Tide Spring Schedule Released

Spring Practice is a big deal in the South. At Alabama it is bigger than most even in the rabid SEC.

'Bama blog Roll Tide Roll has the entire spring schedule up there including actual practice dates.

The Alabama Spring Game is set for April 14 at 2PM. With regular season games sold out until Nick Saban's contract runs out (or the Earth ends, whichever comes first) this is the only time for many Tide fans to see their team in person.

Tennessee Basketball: Bruce Pearl Said What About Cuonzo Martin?

The Volunteers beat in-state rival Vanderbilt Saturday 68-61 and kept alive any slim hopes of making the NCAA Tournament.

First year coach Cuonzo Martin is finishing the year strong in Knoxville taking over a tough situation from popular, but NCAA rule challenged Bruce Pearl.

Pearl, who took UT to six straight NCAA Tournaments and won at least one game in five of those, was gushing about Martin's performance this season.

Pretty kind words from a guy who was arguably Tennessee's best basketball coach in history.

No word if Derek Dooley has responded yet with a "I beat Vanderbilt too!"

(Georgia Tech fans may remember Cuonzo Martin interviewed for the Georgia Tech job last Spring, but both parties decided to go in a different direction)

h/t: Rocky Top Talk

Saturday, March 3, 2012

UNC - Duke: ACC Royalty Will Again Decide ACC Regular Season Title

Some notes on Saturday's matchups between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils:

1. The only time either Duke or UNC have not finished first or second in the ACC regular season race was 1995-96, when Georgia Tech went 13-3, Wake Forest 12-4, UNC 10-6 and Duke 8-8.

2. Mike Krzyzewski is 37-36 in the series. Roy Williams is 8-10

3. Don't assume Saturday's winner is the favorite to win in Atlanta at the ACC Tournament. Last season, UNC won by 14 in the regular season finale. One week later Duke won by 17 in the ACC Tournament final to capture the conference championship.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Georgia Tech Basketball: Yellow Jackets Catch A Break Against Wake Forest

The Yellow Jackets are looking for their 4th conference win and possibly staying out of the 12 seed in the ACC Tournament in the regular season finale against the Demon Deacons Saturday.

Wake won the first meeting of the season 59-50 employing a zone defense to stifle the already anemic Ga Tech offense.

Wake Forest center Ty Walker suspended, done for season

ACC Tournament Seeding Scenarios

Every ACC seed is up for grabs this weekend with the exception of #3 (FSU) and #8 (Maryland).

The Washington Post breaks down ALLLLLLLLL the scenarios.

ACC Tourney Scenarios

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SEC Football: 2012 Projected Win Totals Are Out

Early 2012 SEC win total projections from Beyond The Bets

1. Alabama is again projected to win the most games despite traveling to LSU and Arkansas this season as well as playing Michigan to open the season. The Tide are going to get so much action, the books are taking 10% juice on either side of the win total.

2. Vegas really wants you to bet LSU and over 10.5 wins. I think we may have a little BCS Championship Game hangover because the Tigers should be very, very good again next year.

3. Arkansas at 9 wins looks very good to me as both Alabama and LSU come to Fayetteville this season.

4. UGA is the favorite to repeat in the SEC East and no Boise State on the schedule this season as well as no Alabama, LSU, or Arkansas.

5. Based on the win totals and juice, every SEC team could be bowl eligible at 6 wins. I don't think that will happen.

Here are the projected win total and juice for each team:

Over 10.5 (-110)
Under 10.5 (-110)

Over 10.5 (+150)
Under 10.5 (-175)

Over 9.5 (-120)
Under 9.5 (EVEN)

Over 9 (-110)
Under 9 (-110)

Over 8.5 (-125)
Under 8.5 (+105)

Over 8 (+110)
Under 8 (-130)

Over 7.5 (-110)
Under 7.5 (-110)

Over 7.5 (-110)
Under 7.5 (-110)

Over 7 (-130)
Under 7 (+110)

Over 7 (-110)
Under 7 (-110)

Over 6 (-150)
Under 6 (+130)

Over 6 (-110)
Under 6 (-110)

Over 5.5 (-140)
Under 5.5 (+120)

Over 5.5 (-130)
Under 5.5 (+110)

ACC Football: 2012 Projected Win Totals Are Out

These are the first win totals I have seen and they come from Beyond The Bets

1. Remember, these win totals are created to have 50% of the money on each side. The more fans a team has the more likely their win total will be inflated because everyone has optimism in the off season.

2. FSU is your conference favorite with 9.5 wins and the over taking 50% juice. You better be really confident the Seminoles are going to win 10 or more games taking that much of a hit. Virginia Tech also comes in at 9.5 with slightly less juice of -135.

3. Georgia Tech at 8.5 is a tip of the cap to Paul Johnson having beaten his projected win total three of his first four years in Atlanta. Yes, the Yellow Jackets return a bunch of starters but the schedule is much more difficult with Va Tech, Clemson, Georgia, and UNC all on the road and BYU replacing Kansas in the non-conference.

Here are your projected win totals and juice for over/under.

Over 5 (-120)
Under 5 (even)

Over 8.5 (-110)
Under 8.5 (-110)

Over 4 (-120)
Under 4 (even)

Over 9.5 (-150)
Under 9.5 (+130)

Over 8.5 (-130)
Under 8.5 (+110)

Over 4.5 (-110)
Under 4.5 (-110)

Over 6 (-140)
Under 6 (+120)

Over 8 (-120)
Under 8 (even)

Over 7 (-110)
Under 7 (-110)

Over 6.5 (-110)
Under 6.5 (-110)

Over 9.5 (-135)
Under 9.5 (+115)

Over 6 (even)
Under 6 (-120)