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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Links (8/26)

Georgia will hold its practice game for Oklahoma State this afternoon. We'll have pretty limited access with the practice closed and only a few selected players available afterward. The Dawgs are taking tomorrow off, and as a result, so am I. So no blogging tomorrow, but be sure to check out for stories and follow me on Twitter for any breaking news.

Now, on to some links...

-- I'm not going to lie, I think this may be the worst written story of the preseason for me. Nevertheless, I wrote about the quest to find some solid backup defensive ends at Georgia in today's Telegraph, so read at your own risk. (Side note: I'm sure this will generate at least one or two questions, so I'll answer before you ask: Neland Ball and Jeremy Longo are still rehabbing, not practicing much, and aren't likely to be significant factors this season... at least not early on.)

-- Speaking of the D-ends, Chris Low ranks the SEC's defensive lines and fines a big different between the edge and the interior for the Bulldogs.

-- Dawg Sports has its picks for the winners of each conference, and I must say, I think they're really sleeping on Syracuse. What's that? ... Greg Paulus, you say? ... OK, I get it now.

-- Dr. Saturday has an interesting look at Joe Cox. (h/t The Senator)

-- Buck Belue says it's a bad idea to blitz Zac Robinson.

-- The Banner-Herald looks at the important role of Michael Moore this year.

-- Tim Tucker looks at the penalty problem for Georgia and what the Bulldogs have done to combat it.

-- I'll admit, I'm not quite as excited about road trips to Stillwater and Fayetteville as I was about Arizona and New Orleans last season. But next year is shaping up well when you combine a visit to Boulder and a new (and much, much better) date for the Kentucky game. As a former Lexington resident, I can assure you that Keeneland ranks right up there with Ashley Judd and Maker's Mark as the best things about Kentucky.

-- Speaking of Kentucky, my expectations for the Wildcats' season just increased significantly after seeing this.

-- Bad day for the Volunteer state: Tennessee' starting center underwent knee surgery and Vanderbilt lost another player at an already thin position.

-- You know, after you get to know Lane Kiffin, he's really not... oh, who am I kidding? It is fun, however, to compare the Kiffin Q&A with this one from Mark Richt.

-- Tony Barnhart has his list of five SEC players he'd pay to see, but makes sure you get your money's worth by actually listing six players.

-- If Oklahoma State's defense is going to be improved this season, Brandon Chatmon writes that it's likely to start at the safety position.

-- OK, I want you to sit back for a second and think of a snarky comment about Tim Tebow... take your time... got one? ... OK, now CLICK HERE.

-- Still no updates on Jeff Owens' blog, but he promises he'll have a Q&A with Ben Jones up in the very near future. To which I replied, "How come you get to interview Ben Jones and I don't?" To which he replied, "Just give me your questions and I'll get the answers." I blame the new SEC media policy. Anyway, if you're looking for some Jeff Owens material, he does have a few photos from picture day on his TwitPics page.

-- Speaking of media policies, this is one of the most interesting stories I've read in a while about the problems of the changing dynamics of sports coverage.

I'm completely in favor of giving bloggers credentials to cover events (although I know quite a few bloggers who feel that's exactly the opposite of what a good blogger should do). The problem is that there's more to being a journalist than simply knowing how to work a keyboard.

Despite what watching Skip Bayless may lead you to believe, there are ethical and professional boundaries that journalists must keep, and when you blur those lines of objectivity, you get situations like the one described in the Washington Post story.

I can tell you from my own experience, one of the worst parts of SEC Media Days is the flood of Florida fans with blogs who get to show up and waste time with questions like, "Hey, Urban, you're hair looks great today. What type of conditioner do you use?" and "Hi Tim, one a scale of 1 to 10, how awesome would you say you are? A 37?

So I don't know what the answer is here. I think sports programs are going to eventually have to open the door to digital journalists, but that also means giving access to digital "journalists" and that's a potentially dangerous thing.

-- And speaking of bloggers, Matthew Stafford should really get royalty checks every time one of them uses this photo.

-- I have never seen so much as one episode of "American Idol." I think it's important to be ignorant to certain broad social trends, and this seemed like a logical choice. But if NPH is going to be a guest judge... well, I might have to tune in once.

-- And finally, the Washington Post examines what has gone wrong with Conan O'Brien's move to 11:30. I think the whole uproar over Conan's supposed failure is ridiculous. Any time someone in the media is replaced, the new guy always struggles at first. People liked Leno, and Conan's a pretty big departure from that. Does anyone remember how close Conan was to getting the axe after he took over for Letterman at NBC? These things take time.

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