My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Links (1/13)

I just got a bit of breaking news... apparently Tennessee is now negotiating with Conan O'Brien to bring him in as head coach.

OK, yeah, I can do better... you're right... gotta up my game, but I'm still a little groggy.

Seriously though, could this whole situation be any more entertaining? I mean, it's just too perfect. I'm almost surprised that anyone is actually surprised by this.

I'm not sure if there's any truth to the implications in this video... but it almost made me like Urban Meyer for a second.

I also enjoyed this note from Kathleen, put on the blog last night: "Didn't Kiffin say Tennessee would not lose to Georgia as long as he was coach? What a prophet!"

All part of the plan, Kathleen.

My buddy Tom texted me early this morning to let me know he's already turned down an offer to take over at Tennessee. I think that was the wise move.

My favorite quote about the situation came from Georgia Sports Blog, which said, "This is like divorcing a stripper." Indeed.

And as many have pointed out, including an anonymous commenter last night, how much of a screw up do you have to be to make Al Davis look like an intellectual voice of reason.

Schlagdawg posted a link to this absolutely amazing piece of YouTube video of one UT fan's reaction to Kiffy heading west. (Warning: NSFW)

And yesterday, I linked to a list of how various "Lost" characters would make a PB&J sandwich. I figured I could add in Lane's instructions, too:

1.) Complain that Urban Meyer illegally contacted the jelly while it was on UT's campus.

2.) Tell the peanut butter that it'll pump gas for a living if it doesn't become part of his sandwich.

3.) Send players to knock over a convenience store to get the bread.

4.) Include several bananas, a tomato, six Fig Newtons and a Gordita Supreme in the sandwich, but assure everyone that "it's all part of the plan."

5.) Take one bite of sandwich, then trade it in for a pastrami on rye.

OK, OK... enough with the Kiffin jokes. Let's get to some links...

-- Things got pretty ugly in Knoxville last night after the Kiffin news broke.

-- Tennessee's next head coach could easily be a former UGA guy -- either Kirby Smart (you knew someone would have to bring it up, right?) or Will Muschamp.

-- Good point from Dawg Stephen about the foresight by Rodney Garner in this whole mess at Tennessee.

Alright, let's get back to the real subject UGA fans care about -- the DC search.

-- First off, Chip Towers takes a look at how some of the recruits are handling the chaos surrounding the search. I think this is starting to become a bigger and bigger issue. Many of UGA's commitments and recruits have explicitly been told that the search is coming to an end or that they'll be excited about the eventual hire... and those kids have to be starting to wonder right now.

-- Jeff Schultz says if this was how Mark Richt planned for things to shake out, he's got a lot of egg on his face at the moment. I'm inclined to agree with Schultz to an extent, but as others have pointed out, we're debating two separate things right now: The process and the result.

To date, the process has been a bit ugly, and that's not great for business on the recruiting trail. But the result could -- and likely will -- turn out just fine, and that's the real issue.

But I was on 960 the Ref this morning with our pals David Johnston and Stephen Hartzell (where you can catch me each week on Tuesday at 9:05 a.m. -- hint, hint) and I mentioned one other major concern that involves the area where the process and the result overlap.

The names that have been mentioned for the job to date are ones that have gotten fans excited, and for good reason. I'm sure that isn't whyRicht talked to them, but that's just the way it is. If Richt goes out now and hires someone that fans are more apathetic (or worse, disappointed) by, that creates a problem of perception.

When Richt canned Willie Martinez & Co., it was for Xs and Os purposes, but also because the environment for those guys had become too toxic, and the heat had been turned up too high for them to stay in Georgia. It was a daily fight against the angry message board mob.

Now, if Richt brings in a guy who was either his fourth or fifth or sixth option, the onus for success once again falls onto the head coach and the new DC. The hot seat is already hot from Day 1. The questions will linger through a longoffseason -- did Richt get the right guy? -- and the results will need to occur from Day 1.

If Bud Foster comes in and the defense struggles early, the overwhelming reaction would be, "Well, he's cleaning up Willie's mess. Give him time."

If Joe Schmoe (or Todd Grantham or Travis Jones) comes in as Richt's 5th choice and the defense struggles early, the overwhelming reaction will no doubt be, "See, he wasn't the right guy. Richt screwed this up from Day 1."

That's a ton of pressure to put on the new DC, whomever it ends up being, and that's why the process inherently matters in the end. It's sets the stage through which fans will view the results. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and right nowRicht is making it tougher on his next DC with each passing day.

-- Of course, reading Chris Low's commentary on Todd Grantham only further underscores the notion that he can more than handle the job. It seems to me he has essentially the same qualifications (minus a national title) that Kirby Smart has, only he also brings with him an extra decade of experience and and NFL pedigree. He's a Nick Saban protege and clearly someone still valued highly at both the college and NFL levels.

-- One other thing on the DC stuff... I've heard a handful of people suggest Richt simply goes ahead and hires his other assistants to get the ball rolling. That simply won't work. You can't assume the guy you're going to hire as DC is going to be a secondary coach or a D line coach. Who gets hired as DC affects who you need to hire for the rest of the staff. Otherwise you're sort of pigeonholing yourself or asking a DC to take over a position he may not be entirely comfortable with, which makes the sell even more difficult.

Of course, the other question then becomes: If UGA does get someone like Grantham who is a DL coach, what happens with Rodney Garner? And if Grantham brings a 3-4 scheme with him, how does that affect things? There are a lot of moving pieces here.

-- Bill Shanks writes for the Telegraph that Kirby Smart probably made the best decision in the end.

-- The AJC has a really interesting article on the college football "arms race" when it comes to coaches and big salaries asking the question: Is it sustainable?

-- Marc Weiszer takes a look at how different the SEC East is going to look next year.

-- I meant to link to this yesterday, but Florida has a whopping 11 recruits enrolled early this spring. That's fairly impressive, I thought, but then I looked at last year's results and found that, of the 25 players on theSEC's All-Freshman team from 2009, only one -- South Carolina's Stephone Gilmore -- was an early enrollee. So maybe it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

-- Here's the final Mumme Poll results of the year. I don't have any real problem with how things lined up -- I liked Boise State better than No. 5, but I get it -- so I'm dubbing the 2009 poll a success.

-- It's a Lewis Grizzard Wednesday over at The Grit Tree, which takes to today to remind us that it could always be worse, and it's bound to get better.

-- Libby and Michael will be back on "Lost" for the final season, which is great news. Here are seven more tidbits about Season 6 that we learned from the show's news conference Tuesday. (And as a side note, I think the two things I'll be most upset about if they aren't explained this season are the numbers and what the heck Libby was doing in the insane asylum with Hurley. Those two would nag at me.)

-- I love that Conan is going after NBC and not making this whole mess easy on them. He got absolutely screwed.

-- Jimmy Kimmell spent his entire show last night dressed as Jay Leno.

-- Things aren't exactly going well with the "Scrubs" spinoff, and Bill Lawrence is taking the blame.

-- ABC says it's fixing some problems with "Flash Forward" during the hiatus. I'm not sure I even care anymore.

-- Rotten Tomatoes has its list of the best reviewed films of 2009. I haven't seen "The Hurt Locker" yet, but it's next up in my Netflix queue. (BTW, I went to see "Up in the Air" last weekend... fantastic.)(Second BTW, isn't "queue" the strangest word in the English language to spell?)

-- I know we have a bunch of "Modern Family" fans here, so good news for you -- the show has officially been picked up for Season 2.

-- And finally, I've been embroiled in a rare intellectual (OK, occasionally intellectual) discussion via email with some friends about Mark McGwire's admission of steroid use. Two things worth adding (courtesy of Rob Neyer): 1.) A whole heap o' blame needs to go to Bud Selig, who knew that McGwire was juicing as far back as 1993. And 2.) Just because pro athletes are bad at apologizing doesn't necessarily mean they aren't sincere. I thinkMcGwire might actually feel pretty bad, and this is one of the reasons why.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry - Coach Richt will get it right! The two gentlemen at the AJC are simply trying to put up headlines that will get readers - and their hatred of all things UGA makes them search for vicious headlines. I have heard from some older UT grads that the NCAA is all over the UT athletic offices and that AD Hamilton will be the next to "resign." Any truth to that rumor?

Left to Right said...

Grantham has a great resume-except for the part where he was actually a DC. That part of his resume, the most relevant part, looks terrible.

jferg said...

Who is going to scoop the DC hire first? WWL? Dash? You? I just need to know who my go-to is going to be...and i can't have you all on text aleart! hahaha

On a side note, re: our actual known team. Who is chomping at the bit the most to replace a departing starter? Christian Robinson? Jakar Hamilton? Kwame? Murray? I want to know who is already showing signed of 'owning' that position that is now up for a new starter.

Mike said...

Unfortunately for all of us LOST fans, I'm fairly certain the numbers are not going to be explained. In the article you linked to, Carlton Cuse said something about not explaining everything down to "Midichlorians". I read another interview awhile back, where he made this same Star Wars reference specifically about the numbers. Basically he said the numbers were this mysterious force throughout the series, and they are probably better left a mystery. Nothing would damage the intriguing nature of the show like being given a lame explanation for one of it's biggest mysteries.

I wish I remembered where I saw that interview so I could link it, but they were pretty explicit that not everything, especially the numbers, would be explained.

I agree about Libby though. I will lose my mind if they don't explain her appearance in the loony bin.

Anonymous said...

don't talk black to me

Kevin said...

Tune in Saturday for the BCS +1 game. That's right folks, they've agreed to it. The dust has settled after bowl season and we're going to pit the REAL numbers 1 and 2 together.

Presenting ALABAMA vs. FLORIDA.

for the end all be all.
It's what the public wants...

Blue Gill said...

"I could be sitting grill-side watching a guy build an onion volcano. Instead, I got Rico Suave in my kitchen."

Love me some Modern Family.

Right to Left said...

David, you'll love this. Doug Marrone mentioned as a possible candidate at UT:

Syracuse coach Doug Marrone is another possibility. He was the offensive tackles/tight ends coach at Tennessee in 2001. He also has extensive NFL experience. But Marrone only has been at Syrcause [sic] one season and may not want to leave the rebuilding job at him [sic] alma mater.

David Hale said...

Well if that doesn't make this story all that much better...

Seriously, if Kiffin further derails the Syracuse program, I'm going to fly to LA to offer him my opinions in person.

Joeski said...

I was really hoping that this Kiffin fiasco would get some of our more zealous bretheren to lighten up a bit and realize there is a lot of character traits that Mark Richt has that make it very desirable to keep him in charge.

I grow very tired of all these idiots who seem to think that being a fan (or an Alum even) and having an Internet connection gives them the expertise and the credibility to second-guess a man who has been coaching longer than most of them have been alive.

Hopefully, we'll hear something in a few days, but I'll be patient about it regardless.

Blog Goliard said...

Absolutely, Joeski.

Weren't there commenters about this fall--even on this very blog--arguing that the SEC was passing Richt by? Envying not only Florida and Alabama, but Auburn and Tennessee for having gotten themselves hot new coaches?

In a time when instability, craziness, panic, sleaziness, and ruthless selfishness rule the college coaching ranks, we should thank God every day that we haven't had to look for a new head coach for nearly a decade, and have no pressing need to consider it in the near future either.

Matt said...

In response to Mike

"these six numbers are the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, a mathematical formula designed to predict the end of humanity. The numbers in actuality are said to represent human and environmental factors in the equation (given numerical form), though their precise meaning is uncertain. One purpose of the DHARMA Initiative was to change the factors leading to humanity's demise, which will be indicated by an alteration in at least one of the human/environmental factors - i.e. the numbers. However, in all its years of research, the Initiative failed to reach its goal. Despite much research and manipulation of the equation's values, the end result was always the numbers. "

David Hale said...

Man I love Lost!

Universal Remonster said...

Reading your Kiffin stuff about how it's all "Part of the plan" made me think if this.

Now someone just needs to photoshop it.