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Posts Tagged ‘Gregg Doyel’

Gregg Doyel: Sophist

Posted by biggusrickus on December 22, 2009

I’d kind of like to see Notre Dame join the Big 10. It would certainly be more interesting than Missouri or Cincinnati joining, and it wouldn’t cause a bunch of other conferences to reallign. However, I completely understand why they don’t want to, even it would net them more money on average. Gregg Doyel, well, he doesn’t get it.

Independence isn’t free — just ask Notre Dame

No, there’s a hefty fuckin’ fee.

When the Big Ten came calling in 1999, Notre Dame put its arrogant ideal of independence ahead of all else. Let’s see how that worked out:

They are pretty much the only major program who can afford to do that. So, I don’t know if they were arrogant so much as, well, rational, all things considered.

Since 1999, Notre Dame football has fallen off the cliff.

“Off the cliff” is a gross overstatement, Gregg.

The school with 11 national championships and seven Heisman winners has added zilch to those totals. Notre Dame has finished in the top 10 just once, way up there at No. 9 in 2005, and although it strong-armed a private door for itself into the BCS, it has used that door just three times — and gone 0-3 in those bowl games.

All of this, of course, happened because they did not sign on with the Big 10. It has nothing to do with the fact they have been coached by the imbecilic Bob Davie, the sub-.500 Ty Willingham or Ol’ Frontbutt himself, Charlie Weis. Nope, it was because they remained an independent.

Since 1999 Notre Dame has fired three or four coaches, depending on whether you count George O’Leary [For the purposes of this argument, I don’t], and has failed to land the coach (Urban Meyer) [Who has a dream job at Florida] of its dreams (Bob Stoops) [Who has a dream job at Oklahoma]. It has lost eight consecutive years to Southern California, which is understandable, and twice in a row at home to Navy, which is not.

Those losses to Navy? They were brought about by a clandestine organization of former Big Ten players led by Bob Griese.

Financially, its BCS payout has been reduced nearly 75 percent since the BCS was created in 1998, from $17 million then to $4.5 million now. That’s the same as Boise State gets, with one big difference: Boise State football is better. And the Fighting Irish’s exclusive network television deal? Notre Dame makes barely half as much from NBC as each Big Ten school — even Northwestern — makes from the Big Ten’s deals with ESPN, ABC and the Big Ten Network.

I suspect he’s only half-right or something here, but I don’t feel like digging up financial numbers, so I’ll just say: Whatever.

Read that sentence again.

Don’t tell me what to fucking do, Gregg. I got it the first time.

Independence isn’t the primary reason for the erosion of Notre Dame football — Lou Holtz is the primary reason — but it has been a contributing factor. Without a conference title to play for, Notre Dame stops being relevant every year in which it falls out of the national title picture, which since 1999 has usually been mid-October. NBC still shows its games, but on the other six days a week Notre Dame is in the news only when its coach is about to be fired. That kind of irrelevance cripples recruiting, and you only have to watch the Notre Dame defense get out-athleted by Navy to know what crippled recruiting can do to a program.

I guess Holtz deserves some blame for getting them on their minor probation, but you know who deserves the bulk of the credit? The guys who couldn’t coach worth a shit after he left! Yes that irrelevance has just crippled their recruiting. Let me start by acknowledging that recruiting rankings are imperfect at best, but that’s all I can really use here. Rivals only goes back to 2002, but here are their rankings under Willingham and Weis, keeping in mind that Willingham is/was kind of a shitty recruiter:

  • 2002 Rank: 24 – Willingham had about a month to put this class together.
  • 2003 Rank: 12 – Following a BCS bid in 2002.
  • 2004 Rank: 32 – Dipped to 5-7 in 2003, and Willingham’s status was up in the air.
  • 2005 Rank: 40 – Willingham fired after going 6-5. Weis had to scramble.
  • 2006 Rank: 8 – BCS bid and Weis shows he can at least recruit.
  • 2007 Rank: 8 – Another BCS bid and another good recruiting year.
  • 2008 Rank: 2 – Things were still looking pretty stable even after a horrible year, including a 1-9 start.
  • 2009 Rank: 21 – After following up a 3-9 with a 6-6, Weis’ job status wasn’t so secure anymore. He would eventually be fired after another disappointing 6-6 in ’09.

So, their recruiting has been so poor that when things were looking up under coaches they had an average ranking of about seventh. When there was turnover or questions about the future of the current coach their recruiting slipped, just like everywhere else in the country. If you would prefer the number of draft picks, they’ve produced 42 from 2000-2009, averaging about 4-5 a season. Not bad either. Point being, they’ve had talent. Enough talent that they shouldn’t lose to Navy, ever. The other point being, Gregg is 100% wrong about their recruiting being affected by “irrelevance.”

Back to my Holtz position: He started great at Notre Dame, but he started great everywhere he coached, then checked out. Look at his career for yourself. His year-by-year results at North Carolina State, Arkansas, Notre Dame and South Carolina share the same bell curve. Holtz was brilliant, then indifferent at Notre Dame — national title in 1988, 65 victories in six years; then 23-11-1 with zero bowl wins in his final three years — and then, for a parting gift, his tenure put Notre Dame in NCAA purgatory for successor Bob Davie. Notre Dame, as we knew it, was finished.

Feel free to look it up. Gregg is somewhat correct, I suppose. He didn’t have another year as good as ’93 in those final three. However, five of the losses and the tie came in ’94. Holtz got them to 9-3 and 8-3 in his final two years, which I think most people would think of as respectable. Notre Dame, under Holtz, was cheating, so…good riddance, I guess?

But Notre Dame didn’t know it. So when the Big Ten extended an invitation in 1999, Notre Dame predictably declined. The Rev. Edward A. Malloy, the school president, noted haughtily in 1999, “Notre Dame has a core identity, and at that core are these characteristics — Catholic, private, independent.”

What an arrogant fuckface. Catholic? Private?! Independent?! Oh, wait, that doesn’t seem all that haughty. I’d call it, I don’t know, factual.

Add a fourth core characteristic: Hypocrites. [sic] Remember, Notre Dame is a member of the Big East in all sports but football.

Where they are independent, as they were in all sports at the time of said quote. So, it wasn’t hypocritical. Even if it was, is there anything more boring than bullshit about hypocrisy?

And let’s add a fifth core characteristic: Mediocre. Since turning down the Big Ten in 1999, Notre Dame football has gone 75-59.

All because they didn’t join the Big 10! Did you know that Ty Willingham’s career record is 76-88-1? Did you also know he coached at two schools belonging to conferences where, at each school, he compiled a worse winning percentage than he had at Notre Dame? I’m just rambling though, because the Big 10 refusal is to blame for everything.

Joining the Big Ten for football wouldn’t automatically change that,

Wha-huh?! You have just blown my mind, sir.

but it would give Notre Dame the chance to turn itself around, including games against three or four Big Ten bottom-feeders every year and the benefit of playing for a spot in its league title game, which would keep even mediocre Irish teams relevant deep into most seasons.

They played Michigan (tied for last), Michigan State and Purdue (who tied for 6th). They went 2-1 in these games, losing to the worst of the three and eking out a win over the other two. I mean, unless they get to play Indiana and Illinois every single season, I don’t see the big easing of their schedule.

And as an added bonus, history shows that it’s three times as easy to get into a BCS bowl as the second team from the Big Ten — nine Big Ten runners-up have done it since 1998 — than it is to get into a BCS bowl as Notre Dame (three times since ’98).

And this has nothing to do with the fact that Notre Dame has been kind of crappy. They didn’t deserve to go to any of those three BCS games, but they got there because they are Notre Fucking Dame and worked out a special deal where all they have to do is finish in the top 12 to get one.

The money is demonstrably better and the football would probably be better as well, but Notre Dame refuses to join a conference. Why? For the same reason a stubborn child refuses to wear a jacket in the cold — because.

I thought the whole core thing was an okay reason. Better than your made-up reason, anyway.

So there.

Who’s the child here, Gregg? You just made up a thing  that nobody has said or thought and then, like, emphasized it with the most childish paragraph (to use the term loosely) possible.

If that’s not good enough, I’ll give you the reasoning of Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, but I have to warn you: It’s not good enough, either.

Well, it would have to be better than your made-up non-reason.

“All of this has a lot more to do with our priorities than it does with business issues,” Swarbrick told the Chicago Tribune. “Our independence is tied up in a lot of the rivalries we have. We play Navy every year and have the tradition of USC weekends. Frankly, it works pretty well to play USC in October at home and in November at their place.”

That sounds reasonable. Not the greatest reason ever, but I would say it is, to just pull a phrase out of the ether, good enough.

Let me get this straight. Notre Dame is staying independent so it can play USC in October instead of September? Is that what he just said?

Well, there’s the possibility the series would be dropped entirely with an 8-team conference schedule, or they’d have to drop Navy in all likelihood. And I think moreso than playing USC at home in October they would prefer to go to California in November. Because it is fucking cold in South Bend, Indiana that time of year.

I’ll be damned, that is what he said. No shock, really. The people in charge come and go, but Notre Dame remains Notre Dame. If Notre Dame were a historical figure, it would be snobby airhead Marie Antoinette — wasting away on a diet of sponge cake.

I guess one could think of Notre Dame as snobby, but airhead? You want to go with airhead, for a school that tries to hold its players to higher academic standards than the other major colleges? Marie Antoinette also said, “Let them eat cake.” Not, “Mm. I could live on cake.” You unfunny dipshit.

The Big Ten is offering a fresh supply of fruit and vegetables, but Notre Dame being Notre Dame, it’ll go Biblical and treat the conference like the forbidden tree. Notre Dame is big on fairy tales — like the one about the greatness of Fighting Irish football.

So, they will partake of the Big 10 and get kicked out of Eden? That metaphor makes the opposite of your point, you ignorant fuckwad.

Okay, I hate Notre Dame and like that they’re bad, but holy shit people (who might agree with Gregg). Notre Dame’s problem is not that they are not in a conference. I don’t even think it is atrributable to their slightly higher academic standards. As I demonstrated earlier, their recruiting has not suffered much. What their problem is is they have hired a string of bad to mediocre coaches. That’s it. If Kelly turns out to be good, they’ll win again. If not, he’ll be fired in a couple of years and they’ll go hire some other dude. Eventually they will hire a good coach and win again. Because contrary to what excuse-makers for various coaches say, it is not hard to recruit to Notre Dame. They are a marketable program with oodles of tradition and lore, and some players like that kind of thing. They are also highly publicized, so if you go there and do well, you’ll be featured on Sportscenter constantly and maybe win a Heisman or something.

Fuck, I hate arguing in favor of Notre Dame being a big-time program.

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Gregg Doyel: Self-Loather

Posted by biggusrickus on December 14, 2009

There’s nothing quite like a media member criticizing his own profession, especially over things for which he is partially responsible. It’s a bizarre combination of self-loathing and a total lack of self-awareness. If it were done tongue-in-cheek in a self-deprecating way I guess I could understand it, but when it’s angry and strident, like this, I’m just left shaking my head. So here’s the beginning of this shit storm:

Heisman race, BCS matchup products of media’s self-fulfilling prophecy

It’s like he isn’t responsible for hyping up teams or players. He doesn’t even give a nod to his own culpability in the hypefest anywhere in the column. It’s stunning really. You’d think he was a blogger ripping on shitty journalism, when he is in fact part of the shitty journalism problem. A big part. Anyway, let’s get going with the article.

These past four months were a complete waste of time. The 2009 college football season? It was superfluous. Unnecessary.

I suppose in a big-picture thinking sort of way this is true, but since this is not how you mean it Gregg, I’m going to ask you to defend this nonsense.

Back in August, if not earlier, the media foretold the 2009 season. We told you who would play for the national championship, and we told you who would be the serious candidates for the Heisman Trophy, and then — dammit — we made it happen.

To some extent this is true. Predicting that SEC Champion would play the Big 12 Champion was kind of a no-brainer in the world of predictions. A Big 12 team has played in five BCS Title Games this decade. The SEC has won the last three. So way to go media. You predicted something sort of correctly. As for the Heisman, was anyone pimping Mark Ingram, Toby Gerhart or Suh (I’m not fucking up his first name) before the season? Those are three of your five finalists. Also, you all probably don’t know this, but the media has willed every outcome of every game for the past seven seasons. This was immediately after the R&D team at ESPN produced the Willamatronic T930. It’s housed in a secret mountain laboratory in the Catskills and serviced by gnomes.

Never mind that we were wrong in August. Never mind that we didn’t see Cincinnati coming, or Texas Christian, or Boise State. We saw Texas or Oklahoma playing Alabama or Florida in the BCS title game. So it was written, and so it was.

Preseason polls are dumb, but TCU and Boise State started the year at 17 and 14, respectively, in the AP, which is voted on by the media. Cincy was so off-the-radar they were 26th. Sure, none of those teams were considered likely to go undefeated, but they were thought of as quality football teams who could potentially make runs at a BCS bid. Texas, Alabama and Florida, all playing tougher schedules than the three “overlooked” teams went undefeated leading up to their conference championship games. The media thought they would be good. They were good. They are not good because the media has some sort of supernatural power to affect the outcomes of games.

The same goes for the Heisman. As soon as all three finalists from last season announced they were coming back for 2009, we decided they would be the most serious contenders again. It was obvious, after all. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford won, and he was back. Florida’s Tim Tebow and Texas’ Colt McCoy almost won, and they were also back. That would be your top three this season, and if anyone insisted on injecting a slice of fresh meat into the conversation, fine. We’d scan the roster of the other best team in the country — like we told you, that team was Alabama — and we’d pick someone from the Crimson Tide. We settled on Mark Ingram. If he had a good season, he’d be a finalist, too.

So it was written, and so it was.

And the media in their collective wisdom decided to will Sam Bradford to be injured, because Fuck Sam Bradford, they thought. Nobody thought Ingram would be a serious Heisman candidate heading into the season. Then he had some monster days in nationally televised games and people thought, Hey, this guy is pretty f-ing good and plays for a title contender. Maybe we should consider him. Because that’s the way the Heisman shit works. Tony Pike of the little-known Cincinnati Bearcats was climbing the Heisman ranks too, and then he was hurt. If he’d played in those four games he missed he’d probably have another 1,200 yards and 10 TDs or something, and he’d probably have won the Heisman. He certainly would have nudged Tebow off the finalist list. But the media didn’t want that, so they willed his injury too. The media are assholes.

It’s embarrassing. We turned the 2009 football season into a self-fulfilling prophecy by determining before the season began who should get the biggest team and individual awards, and then by refusing to consider other alternatives as the season unfolded.

And this is why your national title game features preseason number 1, Florida and preseason number 2, Texas. Colt McCoy won his Heisman, based in part on his gritty performance against a one-loss Oklahoma team that saw Texas win 56-54 as McCoy’s desperate heave to the end zone as time expired was caught by Jordan Shipley. It will be known in Texas history as “The Play.” Now, Ingram won the Heisman, but seeing as Doyel is lying about him being a front-runner before the season I’ll call him an alternative to the Big Three. Toby Gerhart, who nobody considered at all before the season finished second, barely. A God damned defensive tackle was one of the five players invited to New York. That’s two out of five alternative cnadidates by Gregg’s own logic. Three out of five in reality.

I don’t know why I’m so angry,

I’m a little baffled too, seeing as you’re a media member and everything.

but I am. It’s not like this is news. The gaseous media likes the smell of its own hot air? Good Lord, I already knew that.

Take this article, for example…

Most people, and sportswriters are no different, prefer not to think outside the box. They don’t want to even consider the possibility of life outside the box.

You’re all sheep! Sheep, Gregg says!

Put me in a box and I feel claustrophobic, but put them in a box and they feel safe. Protected. There is structure inside that box, and structure matters for a group of people who see possibilities in only one shade — the same shade as the slacks most of these people wear: beige.

Are sportswriters known for wearing beige slacks? That sounds like a made-up stereotype. That’s just the kind of antiauthoritarian rebel Gregg is though. He thinks outside the box and invents his own stereotypical attire. “Why can’t Dutch people drive?!,” he might wonder…angrily.

That’s the 2009 BCS national title game. It’s beige. Alabama clearly belongs, and I won’t suggest otherwise, but you know what Texas is? Texas is a boring pair of khaki pants.

So it’s more like a pair of beige slacks with an ironic t-shirt.

Texas Christian beat the crap out of everybody it played, and Cincinnati beat more Top 25 teams than Texas, and Boise State beat the highest-ranked opponent of the bunch (No. 7 Oregon), but those teams are unconventional. TCU is a pair of horn-rimmed eyeglasses, and Cincinnati is a funky shirt with a wide lapel, and Boise State is a camel-hair blazer that’s just out there

And Florida is one of those crazy island shirts with bright colors and parrots and shit. And Georgia Tech is a pair of Wrangler jeans. And Oregon is a pair of Lennon-style glasses. And Oklahoma is a pair of old ratty underwear. And what are we talking about?

and the media doesn’t relate to things that are out there. So the media will stick with what it knows. And the media knows Texas, which is why Texas is in the BCS title game despite having probably the fifth-best résumé in the country.

Well, perhaps they don’t go for things that are out there as a rule, but you know, I’m betting a lot of them would like to have seen TCU play for the title. I mean, your counterpart in shitty college football writing on CBS Sportsline is mocked a little ways down this page for not really feeling Texas.

And when the Heisman is awarded this weekend, the anointed quartet, minus the injured Bradford, will be there. Colt McCoy was pretty good this season, then absolutely horrific in the Big 12 title game, and somehow pretty good plus absolutely horrific equals a Heisman finalist. Tim Tebow was nothing special in more than half of his team’s 13 games. Check out his stats. They’re nothing special. But he’ll be in New York as well. And Mark Ingram? He’s not the best running back in the South (that would be C.J. Spiller of Clemson), or even the SEC (Dexter McCluster of Ole Miss). But he’s going because he’s the most famous player on the most famous team. He’s Gino Torretta.

McCoy was not as good as last year, when he should have won the award. However, even with his bad performance in the championship game, he completed 70% of his passes for over 3,500 yards and threw 27 TDs to 12 INTs. He added another 300+ yards on the ground and three more TDs. I don’t think he deserved to win (and he didn’t), but he certainly belonged in New York. Tim Tebow accounted for 31 TDs, and over 3,200 total yards in his worst season. He also protected the ball for the most part. From purely a running back perspective Ingram is obviously better than Spiller. He outrushed him by 400 yards, scored four more rushing TDs, averaged .5 more yards per carry and had similar receiving stats. You could make an argument that Spiller’s return stats make him a better Heisman candidate, but they don’t make him a better running back. McCluster was awesome the second half of the season, but that’s the problem. He wasn’t a running back for half of it. Are you going to give him the nod as best running back when he has 600 fewer yards and nine fewer TDs? Do you really think he could have taken the pounding over the course of a full season as a running back? He’s like 4’8″ 140 lbs. However, the worst part of this paragraph is comparing Ingram to Toretta. There should be a new word to describe that kind of stupidity. I’m going with “asininipidity.”

Neither Spiller nor McCluster is going to New York, of course. Ingram will go, and probably even win, because voters are idiots.

Or because he’s been really good for one of the best teams in the country.

Simple as that. Mark Ingram’s serious Heisman candidacy confirms that voters are idiots. Hell, Mark Ingram wasn’t as good this season as the true freshman running back at Pittsburgh, Dion Lewis, who had more carries, yards and touchdowns. And Lewis won’t finish in the Heisman Top 10. If he’s in the top 20, I’ll be shocked.

Well, sure. He also played fewer good defenses. When you consider that, the fact that he outrushed him by about 100 yards and scored one more TD is not quite as impressive. There’s also the fact that he averaged .7 yards less per carry and caught six fewer passes for more than 100 fewer yards and two fewer TDs. So, I do not buy your argument that Ingram is worse than Lewis.

Maybe you think I’m giving the media too much credit for the scummy residue on this college football season, but I’m not. The media poll doesn’t contribute to the BCS formula, true, but the media poll sets the tone, and the BCS-approved coaches poll mostly follows it. The media poll went into this season with Florida first, followed by No. 2 Texas and No. 5 Alabama. Boise State was No. 14. TCU was No. 17. Cincinnati was unranked. Assuming all six teams went undefeated — which they did, until the SEC title game — the bottom three had no chance of surpassing the top three. Sad but true, and I offer the coaches’ poll as proof.

As proof of something that everyone already knows? Really, you could have left this whole paragraph out. I will also add that Oklahoma was no. 3 and finished behind TCU, Cincy and Boise State, because they lost. I only include that because he made a big deal out of Oklahoma earlier and chose to leave them out when they weren’t useful to his argument.

The Heisman situation is even worse. Week by week, McCoy and Tebow and Ingram put up modest numbers, and week by week that trio stayed near the top of most of the most prominent Heisman lists online. And you can imagine where the typical voter goes for Heisman information: to the most prominent Heisman lists online. Maybe a maverick voter here or there will substitute a new name into the Chosen Trio — They have Ingram, McCoy and Tebow; I’ll put McCoy ahead of Ingram, and add Toby Gerhart — but by and large, the names are the same. And we have the NYC invitation list to prove it.

I think there is an argument to be made that Spiller should have gone over Tebow, but Spiller finished sixth and Tebow fifth so I don’t see much of an injustice. Ingram and McCoy put up awesome numbers most weeks. Tebow was a little spottier, but he pretty much was the Florida offense. Toby Gerhart barely lost to Ingram. All things considered the two players were almost the same. I’d have gone with Gerhart because of his larger TD total. That said, it is not a huge injustice that Ingram won.

Prediction: Lots of college football voter-types will read this story, and a bunch of them will look up Dion Lewis or Dexter McCluster, because until I wrote those names, lots of voters had no idea how good those guys were this season. You’ve already looked, voters, haven’t you? Good. And look up Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore while you’re at it. He had a better year than one Colt McCoy, and he had a better year than two of Tim Tebow.

That’s nice and smug. I’ve already refuted your Dion Lewis/Dexter McCluster nonsense. Boise played the 98th toughest schedule in the country. There are only 21 teams out of 119 who played lesser competition. You might want to factor that into your votes people who read Gregg’s column and actually take his argument seriously.

But Kellen Moore didn’t fit into the media’s narrative for 2009. We knew how the season would start, and we knew how it would end.

All that stuff in the middle? Details. Pointless details.

Details like Texas and Alabama going undefeated while playing tougher schedules overall than TCU, Boise State, and Cincinnati. Pointless.

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I’ve Been Baited

Posted by biggusrickus on September 16, 2008

But it’s just so shiny that I can’t resist. Georgia played an ugly football game against South Carolina on Saturday, which is surprising to exactly no one who has ever watched Georgia stumble through this game in most of its recent incarnations. Gregg Doyel is so surprised by this occurrence that he thinks Georgia should fall five spots in the polls for winning a game in an ugly fashion against a mediocre opponent. For some perspective, let’s list a few Georgia-South Carolina outcomes and the end results of Georgia’s seasons:

  • 2002: 13-7, Georgia. Season results: 13-1, SEC Championship, Sugar Bowl victory, no. 3 final ranking.
  • 2004: 20-16, Georgia. Season results: 10-2, Capital One Bowl victory, no. 6 final ranking.
  • 2005: 17-15, Georgia. Season results: 10-3, SEC Championship, Sugar Bowl loss, no. 10 final ranking.
  • 2007: 16-12, South Carolina. Season results: 11-2, Sugar Bowl victory, no. 2 final ranking.

Perspective. The South Carolina game has been indicative of nothing during the Richt years. Now onto the column.

National ranking biggest issue for overrated Bulldogs

No, it’s the biggest issue for you regarding the Bulldogs. They were probably cool with being ranked second.

There’s a problem with Georgia, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. That’s the good news.

That’s a relief.

The problem is more fundamental than Georgia’s bad group of receivers,

based on a sample size of one game.

bad pass coverage

Can’t really argue there.

and bad play-calling.

Based, again, on a one game sample.

Georgia is ranked No. 2 in the country. That’s the problem.

Oh, SNAP! Man, is my face red. I thought you were going one way, and you completely fucking flipped it on me. This is good sportswriting.

But it’s a fixable problem.

Phew.

It can be rectified as soon as Sunday night when coaches and media make their newest Top 25 polls and drop the Bulldogs like a left hook to the jaw. 

Seems like an overly violent simile there. I assume this is a boxing metaphor or something, so in the vein, considering your argument later that they should be dropped to seventh isn’t this kind of an overstatement? Seventh is not “out for the count” or whatever people say about boxing. Also, and forgive my ignorance as a non-fighter, but do left hooks always drop people?

South Carolina almost made it easy on pollsters by landing a haymaker of its own,

More boxing. Can’t we get some good war metaphors in here? That’s the norm for football after all.

but Georgia bobbed and weaved and avoided being knocked out of the BCS championship picture with a season-saving 14-7 victory Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

That’s it. I’m creating a “boxing metaphors” tag. (RIROHG: Ripping off Fire Joe Morgan since its inception).

If Georgia’s victory was season-saving doesn’t that undercut your drop-in-the-polls-like-someone-hit-them-really-hard-in-the-jaw thing from earlier? Is it season-saving or season-killing? Does CBS employ anyone who can write down ideas in any sort of coherent manner?

Now it’s up to voters to do the right thing and smack Georgia in the mouth.

Again, this seems a touch on the ultraviolent side. Can’t they just give them a stern warning, or put them in timeout or something? I get the feeling that Gregg Doyel is a drunk and abusive husband and dad.

Say, by dropping the Bulldogs to somewhere like seventh.

Seventh? That’s a slap on the wrist, easily correctible later on. If you want to smack them in their metaphorical mouths you need to take them off of your ballot completely. That’ll teach them to play a shitty game early in the season. Much like a woman, they probably won’t learn though. Am I right, Gregg?

But there’s a problem with the polls, and it’s something that rarely gets fixed. That’s the bad news.

😦

Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, certainly not until they have no other choice, and pollsters are no different.

Well, sure. Rational people also don’t change their minds about things based on small sample sizes.

Pollsters are notoriously slow to admit their mistakes, even though mistakes in the polls are so simple to make.

Sure, but these things have a way of working themselves out over the course of a season. Cal was mistakenly ranked second at one point last year. They played themselves out of that ranking by losing some games. These kinds of things happen every year.

Picking the preseason Top 25 is impossible to do with any accuracy, and everyone knows it, yet that initial poll sets the tone for the rest of the season.

Provided you win enough games to remain highly ranked. If you don’t, you drop.

Be lucky enough to be ranked higher than you deserve in August, and you’ll stay higher than you deserve most of the season.

If you start number one and lose one or none during the regular season, are you ranked higher than you deserve if you’re still in the first spot at the end, assuming you have a better record than other teams who played relatively similar competition?

Get screwed in the first poll, and you might as well get used to the feeling.

I’d love to see his example that proves this point. Auburn in 2004? Oklahoma and USC destroyed people all year and played for the title. Let it go.

Georgia was the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Voters swallowed enough pride a few weeks back when they dropped Georgia to No. 2 behind Southern California,

Based upon the very wrong idea that blowing out a bad Virginia team warranted such a change.

but based on history, that was as much pride as you’re going to see swallowed. And so that’s as far as the Bulldogs will drop. You watch.

I love how emphatically he makes this point. I can hear him grumbling, “You watch.” As it turned out, Georgia fell to third. Which I have no problem with, for the record. It’s the third week of the season. Things will change. I have a feeling we won’t see these kinds of columns written when Oklahoma and USC struggle with some average conference opponents later this year, though.

But did you watch this game?

Yes, every minute of it.

Georgia looked abysmal against South Carolina.

Abysmal is a bit strong. They controlled the game for three quarters but blew too many chances to put South Carolina away. The run defense was good, and the defense got stops when they had to late in the game. The offensive line and receivers had bad games. These things happen.

South Carolina’s defense is good, no question, but Georgia has alleged Heisman Trophy candidates at running back and quarterback, and Georgia managed just 252 yards.

See above comment about offensive line and receiver play. Blaming Stafford and Moreno is like blaming a pitcher for an unearned run.

South Carolina’s defense isn’t that good.

Probably not, but as I mentioned in the open, for whatever reason they manage to shut down Georgia’s offense nearly ever year.

South Carolina’s offense, meanwhile, isn’t any good. Tailback Mike Davis is a dime-a-dozen back notable only for fumbling at the goal line midway through the fourth quarter and for breaking into a locked refrigerator in the USC weight room in August and getting busted by a surveillance camera. Quarterback Chris Smelley has been jerked around by coach Steve Spurrier. Star receiver Kenny McKinley has been injured.

All of this is true. Points scored by this craptastic offense on Saturday: 7.

The Gamecocks have issues. And still Georgia couldn’t put them away. Couldn’t come close.

Well, they came close a few times. They twice blew touchdown opportunities and had to settle for field goals. A couple of other drives were killed by drops. Would 21-7 have been an impressive enough score to only fall to fourth or fifth?

The Bulldogs’ best player Saturday was their punter.

I’d give the nod to Rennie Curran who won SEC Defensive Player of the week honors for his play. Mimbs did have the best game of his career though.

Brian Mimbs launched kicks of 45, 51 and 77 yards in the fourth quarter when alleged Heisman candidate quarterback Matthew Stafford and alleged Heisman candidate tailback Knowshon Moreno were factually useless.

Yeah, fuck you guys for not blocking better on running plays, catching passes better or calling better plays.

Stafford and Moreno did have great moments earlier. Stafford darted 30 yards on a keeper, threaded a 39-yard needle to A.J. Green and stuck his head into the scrum as a lead blocker for Moreno. And Moreno’s touchdown was one of the prettiest 4-yard runs in the history of football.

Those moments didn’t actually affect the outcome of the game though. Results of the first three quarters are thrown out the window. Only the fourth matters.

But when it mattered, Stafford and Moreno didn’t.

Those shitheads. I bet they bagged it on purpose.

Stafford was 1-for-2 for eight yards in the quarter, and was sacked twice. Moreno had five carries for 16 yards. Coach Mark Richt didn’t help matters by calling strange plays throughout the quarter, running when he should pass and passing when he should run and generally doing nothing to showcase his two alleged Heisman candidates. And don’t get me started on the Georgia receiving corps, which dropped five passes and couldn’t be bothered to dive for a catchable ball on another throw.

First, Mark Richt no longer calls plays. Mike Bobo handles those duties now. The play was a little odd though. Second, wouldn’t the two sacks and 16 yards on five carries indicate that maybe the line was not doing its job? I don’t care what plays you call. When you don’t block, they don’t work. Third, I’m kind of annoyed by the receivers too, but they played like crap against South Carolina last year and got over it. It’s one game.

Richt blamed his team’s play on the steamy conditions. It was 92 degrees at kickoff.

“When you play in a hot, muggy, miserable day against the type of resistance we came up against,” Richt said, “you’re just not sharp.”

Sounds reasonable, but it also sounds ominous. Georgia plays in the SEC, and the ‘S’ isn’t for “Siberia.”

Ooh. Awesome joke man.

It gets hot in the South. It’ll stay hot in the South.

In perpetuity. It will be 92 degrees with 90% humidity on October 25, because the weahter never ever changes in the south.

If Georgia’s offense is capable of looking sharp only on those hot, muggy, miserable days when it’s facing Georgia Southern and Central Michigan, Georgia is in trouble.

And we should expect this to be the case, because they played a fairly bad game against South Carolina, much like they always do.

Unless the Bulldogs get the chance to hang 50 on Western Carolina and Eastern Illinois.

And these are two teams that Georgia does not play, which is fucking puzzling. What does this mean? Why is it here? Is it code? Is it shitty writing? It’s shitty writing isn’t it. I really overthought that.

The schedule isn’t cooperating.

I hate cantankerous schedules.

The schedule says Georgia still has a trip next week to Arizona State, where it won’t be snowing,

Nor will it be humid, because it’s in a fucking desert.

as well as SEC games against Alabama and Tennessee in Athens and visits to LSU, Jacksonville (to play Florida) and Auburn.

I will predict that by the Sept. 27 game against Alabama the temperatures will no longer be in the 90s.

Not a lot of polar bears in any of those places.

This is the dumbest bit of sarcasm I’ve ever read. The whole paragraph, start to finish. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Gregg Doyel : Sarcasm :: Carlos Mencia : Racial Humor

So there is time for this problem with Georgia to be corrected. If voters won’t do the right thing later this weekend and drop the Bulldogs behind any of a half-dozen superior teams —

Oh man. I love this list.

I’m thinking Southern California (fine), Oklahoma (cool), LSU (has played nobody), Florida (struggled mightily on offense against what is probably only an average Miami team) and possibly Missouri (secondary was a sieve against Illinois) or Alabama (struggled with Tulane) — then some of the teams on Georgia’s schedule will have to do it later.

Which makes me wonder, why the fuck are you writing this?

That’s one of the charms of the college football season. Sooner or later, mistakes in the polls get rectified. Even a mistake as glaring as the “No. 2” next to the word “Georgia.”

Seriously, why?

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Hugs: More Important Than Coaching Acumen?

Posted by biggusrickus on August 14, 2008

It turns out that Gregg Doyel does churn out the occasional college football column for CBS Sportsline. And, well, he’s…not good. The best I can say about him is that he’s better than Dodd, which is damning him with the faintest of praise. I don’t really have anything else to add to that, so let’s get started.

N.C. State will rue the day the ‘Pack passed on Johnson

Okay, it’s not a terrible headline, but why create the ‘Pack-passed alliteration? Alliterations are not required in all headlnes. “Rue the day” seems a little overdramatic too. Oh well, at least there aren’t any puns.

Some mistakes, you get away with. Not because you’re good, but because you’re lucky.

Alright, I’m with you so far. Though I’m unclear on how goodness can compensate for mistakes.

Switch lanes on the interstate without looking first: That’s a mistake. If there’s not a car next to you, congratulations. You just got away with it.

Particularly a mistake like this, but sure, we’ve all done this at one time or another. Though I’m fairly certain my goodness rating got me out of it the times I did so.

Some mistakes, you don’t get away with. And not because you’re bad. But because you’re unlucky.

Au contraire. Badness is the driving force behind traffic accidents.

Don’t hire Navy’s Paul Johnson, when you had the chance, as your football coach. That’s a mistake.

Well, it might be. Depending on who you hire in his place. Passing on him for, say, Bobby Bowden in his prime would be a good decision.

That was North Carolina State’s mistake 21 months ago, and for 21 months, the Wolfpack have gotten away with it.

Wha-huh? You have confused me Gregg Doyel. If it was a mistake to pass on Johnson, how did they get away with it for 21 months and why is it now going to all come crashing down? I think you may have chosen poorly with this whole mistake/consequences angle.

They hired Tom O’Brien from Boston College in December 2006, and there’s nothing wrong with hiring Tom O’Brien. His first year was a 5-7 struggle, but in the long run he’ll win more than he loses, and he’ll do it the right way. Nothing about him foretells a BCS bowl bid, but this is North Carolina State, not Florida State. And for North Carolina State, hiring Tom O’Brien wasn’t a mistake.

All true, which begs the question: Why are you writing this?

As long as Paul Johnson is still stuck at Navy.

Oh. that’s right. You’re saying that passing on Johnson wasn’t a mistake if he were coaching at Navy forever, but that it becomes a mistake when he leaves, because…..[head explodes]

But some mistakes, you don’t get away with. Not because you’re bad. But because you’re unlucky.

Reiterate much?

And North Carolina State was unlucky that Paul Johnson, just one year after being passed over by the Wolfpack in December 2006, left Navy for a new coaching job. And not just any job, but a job in a BCS league.

And not just any BCS league, but in the ACC. At Georgia Tech.

And not just any Georgia Tech, but the one in Atlanta. And not just any Atlanta, but the one in Georgia. And not just any Georgia, but the one not being overrun by Russian troops. And not just any Russian troops, but…Dear God, I beat this and beat this! Why won’t it die?!

He really is padding this mother fucker. I’m guessing he gets paid by the letter.

Paul Johnson just moved in down the street.

North Carolina State couldn’t be more unlucky.

Pad. Ding.

Games start later this month, and Paul Johnson is going to win at Georgia Tech.

This year? That’s not very likely, unless you mean, like, Gaileyan levels of mediocrity.

Eventually he’s going to win big, because that’s what he does.

Big is a relative term I suppose, but it’s not as if he’s going to create a perrenial national title contender at Georgia Tech.

Lots of people will have their doubts about Johnson in the ACC, just as they had their doubts about him at Navy in 2002 when he inherited the worst program in Division I.

And he took them to a respectable 45-29 record over six years. Another gentleman spent nine years at Navy from ’73 to ’81, and led them to a 55-46-1 record. That man’s name was Bear Bryant. Just kidding. It was George Welsh, best known for spending nineteen years coaching good, but not great Virginia teams.

Also, I have yet to read a single column doubting Johnson. Where is this cacophony of nay-sayers?

See, Johnson comes from the Division I-AA ranks,

Like the perenially maligned Jim Tressel.

 and he runs a form of the triple-option.

Like the oft-mocked Tom Osborne.

Lots of fullback dives up the middle. Quarterback keepers around the outside. Pitches to a trailing halfback. Check out the terminology. Dives. Keepers. Halfback.

Dives, keepers and halfback? Welcome back to the…um, 2000s if your team runs a variation of a pro-style offense?

That’s old school,

Those terms are not old school. The option kind of is, but let’s remember that the second winningest program of the ’90s ran the option and didn’t scrap it until they unfairly (okay, it was arguably fair) fired their coach in 2003.

and most people are skeptical of old school.

Some people are. Many, many more people are/were skeptical of new school, like the spread option.

They want their coaches to have a BCS or an NFL pedigree, and they want newfangled offenses with no fullbacks and four receivers and lots of vertical, vertical, vertical.

I’m sure he conducted a very scientific survey to determine that most people feel this way.

The only thing vertical about Paul Johnson is his winning percentage.

Ugh.

In that way, he’s a lot like Jim Grobe at Wake Forest.

He’s like the guy with the 78-72-1 career record? Really? Johnson’s career winning percentage is .729 by the way.

People think Johnson won’t be able to recruit NFL athletes to operate his small-college system?

Well, probably not at receiver or QB probably (at least no someone who will play QB in the NFL). Does anyone think he’ll have any trouble finding a fast guy to run the option? That he’ll not attract top-notch running backs? Linemen? I mean, he’ll have the normal issues of recruiting at Georgia Tech, but his system isn’t going to be the problem. And who the fuck thinks that it will? Show me that man, so I can pummel him (metaphorically).

That hasn’t stopped Grobe from dominating in the ACC — and it won’t stop Johnson, either.

Look, I like Grobe. He has turned a doormat into a competitive program and even managed to win the conference title one year when the ACC was down. But: He has dominated to the tune of a 24-32 ACC record. I predict that Johnson will have won more than 24 conference games by the end of his fifth season.

North Carolina State didn’t see it that way, though to pin the Paul Johnson oversight on “North Carolina State” is unfair to the school at large.

You mean there wasn’t a referendum to decide who would be the new coach? What kind of fascists run that University.

Passing over Paul Johnson after he had interviewed for the position in late 2006 wasn’t a North Carolina State decision.

You’re getting confusing again.

This one is completely on athletic director Lee Fowler.

Oh, but it was the decision of the guy who was given the responsibility for making these kinds of decisions by the people who run North Carolina State. Jesus Christ, Gregg. You’re fucking killing me.

Sources high up the Wolfpack food chain tell me the headhunter hired by the school, and the board of trustees who oversee the school, wanted Johnson.

Good for him?

Wolfpack fans wanted Johnson, too.

Evidence please? I didn’t follow the hiring of O’Brien, because I find nothing so boring in college football as middling ACC teams, but does he have any reason to just throw out this statement as if it is fact? I’m going to assume no, because this is column is way too long to bother with more research.

Fowler wanted O’Brien.

For clarity’s sake, I broke down the paragraph preceding this one sentence paragraph in the sections above. So, you had all of those people who wanted Johnson, then dramatic pause. And BOOM! that one sentence piece of dramatic tripe follows. It’s downright Plaschkean.

Fowler also wanted Sidney Lowe. We know how that’s working out.

BUUURRRN!!!!11!!!1!1!!!

OK, that’s not fair.

At least you’re self-aware enough to recognize that, if also enough of a dickhead to write it in the first place.

O’Brien won’t be the colossal failure that Lowe has become.

Probably not.

And since we’re already meshing Wolfpack basketball and football, let’s mesh some more and acknowledge that O’Brien has much in common with former Wolfpack basketball coach Herb Sendek.

Yeah, let’s mesh this shit all up. Lay these similarities on me.

Sendek won more than he lost, won the right way, graduated players and declined to reveal too much of himself to the media. O’Brien is a lot like that.

Cool. Sounds like my kinda guy.

Which is ominous for O’Brien, when you think about it.

How’s that?

Sendek won 105 games and went to five NCAA tournaments in his final five seasons at North Carolina State, and fans made his life so miserable that he left for Arizona State, one of the hardest jobs in the Pac-10.

Again, didn’t follow the whole Sendek thing at NC State, but is this actually so? Also, they tend to take their basketball a little more seriously at NC State than their football. As you said, it’s not like it’s FSU. But wait, it’s about to get huggy up in this bitch.

But I understand Wolfpack fans. I really do.

I tend to not believe you.

They want to win, but they want to be able to embrace their coach — like they could embrace former basketball coach Jim Valvano and, until his 3-9 season in 2006, former football coach Chuck Amato.

I’m just guessing here, but I think would embrace anyone who took them to a national title in basketball. And are you really holding up the fact that they liked Amato until he started losing as some sort of sign that they really liked his personality or something?

I’m just not sure they can embrace Tom O’Brien. He’s a good man, but he’s not … embraceable.

It’s true. He scored a mere 56!!!  on the Holtzman Embracability Profile.

Paul Johnson, though, would have been perfect.

Seriously, he scored a remarkable 231 on Holtzman.

He’s a winner, and he’s a good ol’ boy from North Carolina. To make the perfect hire in college sports, you have to know who you are.

Jim Valvano: Good ol’ boy.

Kentucky basketball, for example, knew itself when it hired a drawling workaholic named Billy Gillispie to run its basketball program.

Rick Pitino: Drawling workaholic.

Southern California knew itself when it hired a laid-back dude named Pete Carroll to run its football program.

I can’t really argue with the fact that Pete Carroll personifies the whole LA thing pretty well, but John Robinson enjoyed both success and failure at USC. Was he a laid-back dude the first go ’round and a hardassed shitkicker when he came back? (Answer: No)

North Carolina State didn’t know who it was when it hired a former U.S. Marine from the Midwest named Tom O’Brien. He’ll win more than he loses, and he’ll do it the right way, but Tom O’Brien isn’t North Carolina State.

A campus-wide identity crisis is truly tragic.

Paul Johnson is. Or was. But now he’s at Georgia Tech, and while the fit there isn’t perfect — a physical education major from Western Carolina at an academically elite institution — Johnson will win enough to make it work.

Fucking Fuckabees, the logic is all over the Allah cursed place in this column. O’Brien is fucked because he isn’t NC State (whatever the fuck that means) and Johnson will be fine despite not being Georgia Tech (however one might define that nebulous trait). Fuck!

Because that’s what he does. At Georgia Southern he inherited a program coming off a 4-7 season, and within four years had won two national championships. At Navy he inherited a program that had been 1-20 over the previous two seasons and within three years was 10-2.

Impressive, though he wasn’t going up against the toughest competition on the planet at either location. (And the ACC will provide that?) Shut up voice in my head.

Imagine what he’ll do now that he can recruit Division I athletes to a BCS school. For 21 months, North Carolina State has only been able to imagine. For North Carolina State, it was probably better that way.

Probably pretty well, but he’ll also consistently be playing BCS competition, so it will balance out to some degree. I can’t comment any more. This column has sapped my brain-power.

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