Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Number 13 at Augusta National: Just a Little Bit Longer...?

Augusta National has recently purchased land from neighboring Augusta Country Club that will apparently allow the famous par 5 13th to be lengthened by backing up the tee box. The once daunting spectacle hole has been conquered by new golfing technology in the form of metal drivers and new golf balls. So much so that this year's Masters saw the iconic 13th play as the easiest hole on the course during the four day tournament. It will be interesting to see how many yards will be added by the new design, and how differently the hole will play. Perhaps the new changes will add more of the risk/reward virtues the 13th was always noted for in the past.

Monday, August 7, 2017

North Carolina Pops With "Jumpman" Practice Helmet

Carolina's new practice helmet includes Michael Jordan's Jumpman logo on the side. Talk about taking practice equipment up a notch, the Tar Heels just took it to the next level. Nothing like making a fashion statement on the practice field. Nice touch 'Heels.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

There's a Hiring "Freeze" at Ole Miss

As we all know, Hugh Freeze is out as the Ole Miss head football coach. The guy that is in is former assistant coach Matt Luke. Luke is an Ole Miss guy who will lead the Rebels on an interim basis, at least for now. There is nothing coming out of the Ole Miss administration concerning a search for a new 'permanent' head coach, nor will there be any time soon. The school faces possible severe sanctions from an ongoing NCAA investigation, which could include further bowl game restrictions and scholarship reductions. With all of this on the table at Ole Miss, the next man up at the university will automatically come in to a program with some real handicaps. The cupboard at Mississippi will not be bare, but it won't be stocked to the hilt either as recruiting will most certainly take a direct hit as a result of all the uncertainties surrounding the program. Stay tuned,there seems to be a lot more coming out of Oxford, Mississippi. Just not the hiring of a new 'permanent' head coach. The 'Freeze" out continues...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hugh Freeze: Integrity Driven or Incredulous Individual?

At last count, the NCAA allegations against Ole Miss had grown to a gigantic 21 charges. At last count, Head Coach Hugh Freeze had used the word integrity in referring to himself and his program about 2,100 times. And why wouldn't he? His University has stood by him thick and thin. Freeze and Ole Miss seem undaunted by all of these serious charges. The Head Coach himself is looking down the barrel of a coach's most serious allegation, the dreaded "Failure to Monitor". If upheld, this alone could cause Freeze to lose his job.
If other allegations are upheld, the Ole Miss football program could face sanction, above sanction, above sanction. If all of this smoke turns into fire, it will be time to get the horses out of the barn in Oxford. And if all of this devastation falls upon this university, won't people wonder even more why the administration continued to support Hugh Freeze? Perhaps the answer is because his teams defeated mighty Alabama two times in the past three seasons. It probably won't even matter to Ole Miss that Freeze would be proven guilty of cheating in order to do that. So much for integrity.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Graduate Transfer Rules: They Need to Change

When a college student/athlete completes his degree early and still has college eligibility left, that athlete should be allowed to play out his eligibility at any institution he wants to. In essence, that athlete becomes a free agent in the college arena. There should be no stipulations placed on graduate transfers, other than his ability to qualify for admission like any other student. His ability to transfer to another school should not be left up to the discretion of a coach, athletic director, school president or member conference. He has earned that right to transfer by his academic accomplishments in graduating early.  The fact that he has earned and received his degree sets him apart from an under-graduate athlete, and should give him the opportunity to finish his career at any college in the country.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Was Sam Pittman Kirby Smart's Biggest Hire?

Sam Pittman is considered by many to be the best offensive line coach in America. Those same people also consider him to be just as good on the recruiting trail. Georgia was able to steal Pittman from Arkansas due in large part to his desire to reunite with his longtime friend Jim Chaney, who Kirby Smart hired as his offensive coordinator. It was almost like a package deal to get those two offensive gurus at the same time. Pittman was an integral part of the Arkansas rebuilding process. He had recruited the biggest offensive line in the country to play for the Razorbacks, and he was a hire that Head Coach Bret Bielema did not want to lose. So much so that Bielema personally took several offensive linemen to Pittman's house to make Pittman explain to them why he was leaving, and perhaps to persuade him to reconsider his decision. I think it was more the fact that Bielema usually puts no compete clauses in his assistant's contracts so that they cannot go to another SEC school. He failed to do that with Pittman, and he was ticked at Pittman for going to Georgia. Smart has said that he wants to build Georgia starting with both the offensive and defensive lines. This being the case, Pittman's value with recruits will be seen the first week in February. His value on the practice field will have to wait until April's spring practice, and maybe even until the first week in September. However the Bulldawg Nation should not waste time fretting about Pittman. His reputation is solid and speaks for itself. He's a tremendous hire for UGA.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Shane Beamer: How Important is Your New Job?

For all the talk about Alabama's physicality, size advantage along both fronts, and roster depth in the National Title Game, it was special teams play that eventually turned out to be the deciding factor for the Tide. An on-sides kick and a kick return pretty much did a very good Clemson team in. I'll bet you didn't hear very much about special teams going in to Monday night's game, but look who showed up at the party! Now, Kirby Smart's hire of  Virginia Tech's Shane Beamer as Georgia's 'Special Teams Coordinator' stands out as very significant. Last night's proof of special teams importance, along with Georgia's past special teams problems, makes Beamer a very important man on campus. UGA certainly has a lot of room for improvement in that area, and it's good to finally have a specific position coach assigned to Special Teams in Athens.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Georgia and The Army All-American Bowl

Tomorrow's Army All-American Bowl has huge implications for the University of Georgia. The Dawgs have four current commits playing in the game: Ben Cleveland, Jacob Eason, Jaleel Laguins, and Julian Robertson. There are also four more 5-Star Bulldawg targets that Georgia is very much in the running for: Isaac Nauta, Derrick Brown, Mecole Hardman, and Demetris Robertson. Two additional names to keep an eye on are Brian Burns and Nigel Warrior. These two elite players are believed to have the Dawgs on their radar, but probably don't have them at number 1. The key name in this entire Bowl scenario is Nauta. He has said he will announce his college choice during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. His top three schools are Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan. Should UGA secure this 5-Star tight end, it could have a huge impact on these other recruits. It very well could set the table for the dominoes to start falling for Georgia when signing day rolls around on February 3rd.

UGA Football: Light at the End of the Tunnel

When the next 3 days are in the books, Kirby Smart will no longer be dividing his time between two schools. He will be in Athens, Georgia with his full attention on the Georgia Bulldogs. It's about time. And not a moment too soon. The new coaching staff is presumably in place and the "dead period" for recruiting ends Thursday. The returning players will learn what's going on, the recruits will feel better about everything, and the coaches can begin their work under a new boss. National Signing day is less than a month away. UGA needs the complete and full attention of their new head coach. Tuesday can't get here soon enough for the Bulldog Nation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Alabama Football: And There Is Also the Med-Tent

Four Alabama engineering students have developed a quick erecting medical tent for sideline privacy in diagnosing and treating injured players. No other team has anything like this, but it is projected to be on the sidelines of football teams from high school to the NFL in the near future. It seems that Alabama is always on the cutting edge of anything related to success in college football.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Isaiah McKenzie: Won't You Stay Just A Little Bit Longer?

The latest rumor out of Athens has Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie transferring to Miami. The sophomore multi-purpose speedster has been a big play-maker for the Dawgs during his two seasons at UGA. He's been a spark plug as a punt returner, providing Georgia with crucial returns to swing momentum Georgia's way. The Bulldawgs do not need to lose McKenzie. His skill set offers too much to the offensive aspect of a game. Isaiah McKenzie needs to remain a Georgia Bulldawg.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Brice Ramsey: Did You Get A Fair Shake?

Brice Ramsey got a token appearance at quarterback for a couple of series in Georgia's TaxSlayer Bowl Saturday. He didn't get the opportunity to stay in the game and adjust to the flow of the game. He hasn't had that chance all season. We really didn't, and he didn't, get to see if Ramsey could play quarterback for Georgia or not. Faton Bauta got that opportunity for an entire game against Florida, but Ramsey never got even a complete half to prove himself. The Bulldawgs have struggled with a very inconsistent Greyson Lambert all year. Finding a game for Ramsey that he could call his should not have been a difficult task. Everyone knows UGA has the top high school quarterback in the country arriving in Athens next week in one Jacob Eason. Nevertheless, more than one capable signal caller will be needed. The totally new offensive coaching staff will probably give all the potential starters a clean slate to prove themselves. But what would be even better is to see the new staff develop the skills of these guys. This development was clearly lacking considerably this season.