Where Lambuth, Bobby Bowden and Drew Little meet

Greetings, all-

Hope you’re well. I said I would try to have a post up Monday and I did not do that. Kind of a crazy day, but not an excuse.

Anyway, I talked to Bobby Bowden Monday, which was fun. (This ends up getting around to Georgia State.) He is a pretty entertaining guy and was at the Atlanta Touchdown Club in part to help push his book, “Called to Coach.”

1. Book plug alert

"Buy my book, dadgumit!"

"Buy my book, dadgumit!"

I say this without having read it – knowing Bowden’s gift of storytelling and also knowing that my friend and former AJC colleague Mark Schlabach would never put his name on something that he didn’t do good work on – I feel pretty confident saying that if you love college football, it’d be a book worth reading.

Anyway, two things GSU-related (for the purposes of the blog, Georgia Southern fans, we’re going to call Georgia State “GSU.” If I were doing a Georgia Southern blog, I’d use “GSU” there also.).

2. Bowden on Curry

Bowden talked up Bill Curry pretty good, saying he didn’t think Georgia State “could have hired a guy more capable than Bill Curry.”

In retrospect, I wish I had asked a more pointed question, because what else is Bobby Bowden going to say? “Bill Curry is a bum and can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.” ? (let’s be clear: he did not say that)

Regardless, if you were looking for further confirmation that your team is in good hands, there you have it. By the way, I love the phrase “can’t (hit/coach/verb of choice) his way out of a wet paper bag.” I remember the first time I heard it, I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever heard because it’s a great image. Granted, I think I was in sixth or seventh grade at the time. I thought boogers were pretty funny then, too. (Full disclosure: Still do.)

3. Pressure to win?

Bowden also talked about how much the pressure to win has ramped up in recent years. I confess I’m not a big fan of coaches talking about this, even if it’s true. Although in fairness, he was asked about it, so it’s not like he brought it up on his own. Still, no one likes to hear people talk about how hard or unfair their job is.

Regardless, it made me think about Georgia State and the way some of us, myself included, reacted to the Lambuth loss, and about the season in general. Let’s start with Drew Little, for instance. I don’t think there’s any way to cut it other than that he played poorly, as did many of his teammates. Curry said he’ll start again Saturday against Jacksonville State, by the way.

But should we be that surprised? Little (and many teammates) was starting the second game of his college career. Even if it was against a team Georgia State should beat on paper, it’s still better competition than he’s ever played in his life. It was disappointing, obviously, for a lot of GSU fans, but perhaps to be measured with some perspective.

One thing coaches have told me is that a tough part of having a mostly freshman team is that there aren’t many leaders to set an example. I’d have to say that was probably part of the problem Saturday. Regarding run-defense failures, defensive coordinator John Thompson said “you’ve got to bow up and get down in your gap,” which speaks a lot more to determination than talent. I think a lot of Thompson’s younger guys are getting their eyes opened now about what college football is.

So while I’m not big on Bowden’s notion of there being too much pressure to produce, perhaps there’s some application here.

4. Time for a new headline

And to go a little farther, how much does it matter that Little played poorly and that GSU lost? My take, and I have to try to remember this as the season goes on, is that in the bigger picture, the loss last Saturday and the likely loss this Saturday to Jacksonville State won’t matter much if it helps GSU get ready to play in the CAA in two years.

I don’t discount that for marketing and ticket sales reasons, GSU needs to do well. But in terms of record, I sort of think they’re playing with house money right now. Winning and losing matters, but not in the way it will in a couple years.

For our preview section back at the end of August, I asked Curry, given the wide range of teams GSU is playing and the circumstances of the season, would he measure success by wins or losses or by another standard?

He said “we’re not going to measure it by the scoreboard.” He further said that wins and losses will never be more important than getting better, and that if you get better, winning takes care of itself (paraphrase).

Of course, only a dope would say, “I want to be judged this season solely on wins and losses.” But, I think, only a dope would actually want to judge this season solely on wins and losses.

Would make for great press conference fodder.

Would undoubtedly have great press conferences.

5. The week ahead

I’ll be going to practice this morning, and then the press conference this afternoon. I’ll have a notebook up by the end of the day and a story for Saturday with some blog posts and Twitter feeds mixed in.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this blog or anything else, send them my way.

Thanks!

25 comments Add your comment

focused

September 14th, 2010
8:17 am

Ken

What’s your take on the Star Jackson situation? Do you really think he hasn’t learned the playbook yet?

Ken Sugiura

September 14th, 2010
8:22 am

That’s the way I seet it. I’ve seen where some people have surmised that Jackson is still being punished for being late, but that doesn’t make sense to me. Unless there’s more to the story, and I haven’t heard anything along those lines, I think it’s because he’s not ready.

Jerk Russell

September 14th, 2010
8:38 am

People were really clamoring for CBC to play Star vs. Lambuth. JSU will be a statement game, and it better be the right statement, or it’ll just be more fodder for the unbelievers. Just win!

GStateBen

September 14th, 2010
8:56 am

I love what Coach said during his call in show. The QBs as other position will not be yanked for one poor game. If Little can right the ship then he’ll be given every opportunity. If this becomes a trend of poor performances then the coaching staff will re-evaluate. It seems as if the staff has seen a positive performance and a not so positive. He’s back at even and will have the shot to keep his job as long as he performs.

Star will remain 3rd string unless he proves otherwise. Definitely interested in seeing your take on the practice field Ken.

jtaylor27

September 14th, 2010
9:12 am

If it is the case that Jackson hasn’t learned the playbook yet, well, that’s a pretty much unacceptable. While I realize that Jackson is a student-athlete, but he should have had a good portion of the summer to work it out theoretically. Once he understood the scheme, he should have been a quick study on the practice field with implementation. Time is on our side here, but our guys had better play with a sense of urgency against JSU or we might get embarrassed.

jtaylor27

September 14th, 2010
9:14 am

By the way, have any of you guys been keeping tabs on the CAA? It appears that we will enter the SEC of the FCS. SoCon is good too, but CAA teams downing FBS teams as well as winning national championships.

SimpleDawg

September 14th, 2010
9:21 am

You’ve got to start somewhere. Get ready for some ugly games before things get better.

Recruiting will be difficult. In addition to UGA, GIT, Bama, UT, etc……Atlanta and the surrounding area is mined heavily by Furman, Ga.Southern, Wofford, The Citadel, and every other major FCS football program in the region. And then you have the HBCU schools, etc, etc, etc.

The good news is we have Bill Curry to begin the building process…..attract the money people, put a plan in place that has a solid foundation, nurture the fledgling program through the growing pains of infancy, and then someone who can help identify his successor.

This is a long range building process……Just focus on the journey, and know that you were here when it all started.

fan

September 14th, 2010
9:29 am

Drew Little is not ready, either. The O-Line is far from being able to protect a pocket passing QB like Little, therefore a mobile QB is the best option for moving the football. It’s got to be Kelton or Star until protection improves…which may be never…or until we play another high school opponent like Shorter. So much improvisation is going to be required that I don’t think playbook knowledge is going to keep a more talented QB off the field at this point. I expect to see Star take over by halftime. Nothing against Little, I think he could be really good, but if he didn’t have time to throw and wasn’t capable of moving outside the pocket against Lambuth, then he’s certainly not going to be effective against Jax State. His arm also looked surprisingly weak. Was that just me?

GSU Eagles

September 14th, 2010
9:42 am

Will your high school team get 5,000 people in stands this week to see the beat down that Jacksonville State is gonna give you?

You will be lucky to not have 60 hung on you this weekend.

gsu01

September 14th, 2010
9:42 am

Great read Ken! Thanks!

And well said SimpleDawg.

Dontavius Supremo

September 14th, 2010
9:43 am

GSU is in good hands with Coach Curry, but for how long?

gsu01

September 14th, 2010
9:46 am

And here come the OBSESSED Southern trolls from the STD capital of America.

Jumping on the bandwagon

September 14th, 2010
9:49 am

I played football at ETSU in the 70’s before Ga Southern had a team. Not sure how I would have done at a major college since I started playing in 11th grade, but would have loved the option to go to GA State or Ga Southern. (Would not trade my experiance at ETSU….loved the area and the people) Given the talent GA is noted for, I expect GA State to recruit well and play hard. To be in Atlanta is also a plus. Bill Curry is a Bobby Dodd throwback and this should draw the type of winning player that has a team first attitude, class and hard work ethic.

The ATH

September 14th, 2010
9:50 am

Don’t want to pile on a college kid, but Drew Noodle should not be playing college football at any level.

I sat right behind the Lambuth bench, and I watched 10 yard throw after 10 yard throw float through the air waiting to be picked off. Star Jackson would likely play better than Little if we gave him the old NFL Blitz playbook. Da Bomb for the win.

ryan

September 14th, 2010
9:56 am

Yeah, for all the people whining about having to play FCS, there is no doubt that we have committed ourselves to the toughest conference at that level.

I feel confident in saying that both the CAA and the Southern Conference would easily compete against the SunBelt or WAC.

Trying2BAPanthers'Fan

September 14th, 2010
10:15 am

Bottom line…Drew Little is too slow on his feet. The only two touchdowns scored Saturday were with QB Kelton Hill in the game. Hill was also a key factor in the 1st win. Once Hill was pulled and Little put back in, Lambouth scored two more touchdowns causing score to change from 14-9 GSU to 23-14 Lambuth. If Curry is too blind or selfish to see that he has to change it up with the QBs or give Star Jackson a chance, then they don’t deserve to win. Saturday was poor coaching. Let’s get it together Panthers! I’m trying to cheer for you.

GSU Eagle Fan

September 14th, 2010
10:33 am

Ga. State has a long way to go to catch up with Ga. Southern. We don’t give a rat’s patootie what you refer Ga. Southern as, just as long you cover us. And you don’t so, …..

Devil's Advocate

September 14th, 2010
10:35 am

Given the choice, I think the Southern Conference would be a better overall fit for GSU in terms of finance, fan support and rivalries. The SoCo was second in the FCS in attendance last season. The travel would be shorter bus trips and while the CAA would be longer or plan flights. Since several SoCo schools are closer with bigger alumni base closer, attendance would be better at games. Not sure if there is much interest in Delaware, Maine and New Hampshire down here. All have good football programs, but name recognition to the causal fan just isn’t there.

SimpleDawg: You make some good points about everybody recruiting the Atlanta area and Georgia in general. Many of these schools have alumni that are high school coaches. While there are plenty of coaches with advanced degrees from GSU, but most remain loyal to where they got their undergraduate degree.

Concrete Campus Man

September 14th, 2010
10:44 am

GSU Eagle Fan, you’re clearly a master of the obvious; there’s no doubt that a program in it’s infancy will be behind one that’s been playing for 30 years. As to your school’s coverage here, the website is a(for Atlanta)jc.com. Navigate your way over to http://www.statesboroherald.com/ and stay there.

itsmeagain

September 14th, 2010
11:53 am

Maybe CBC is pushing Little to play because he’s a scholarship QB who the school is playing for, and as this is a (not to belittle it) pointless season, it’s a good place for the unexperienced QB’s to get necessary experience. Star on the other hand has had experience and therefore doesn’t necessarily require these first and (compared to what we have to look forward to) easier games as much as the other two QB’s. They might not be the best, but they definitely need the practice and experience to make them worth having. I think we’ll see a lot more of Star Jackson further into the season.

egeagle

September 14th, 2010
3:26 pm

Concrete Campus Man,what a sad moniker, is just the sort that will keep Georgia Southern fans riled and trolling. I actually wish you folks luck until you get so disrespectful and brash. Games with Jax State in our past have been very physical and hard fought. Strap it up tight to play them. Winning early and big can be a two-edged sword. Forgive me for not knowing, but if you are on the road, this is a short, fun road trip to a pretty stadium, great band, and nice atmosphere. I really tink you could build tradition and camraderie better at an outdoor stadium. We played MTSU at the Dome years ago and we won, but the atmosphere wasn’t great. I’m not flaming this time, though I’m sure I will have cause to later.

GSU Panther Pride

September 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

Remind me again why GS fans feel the need to post here again?

Erk Russell

September 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/442767-25-underrated-places-to-watch-a-college-football-game#page/11

25 Underated stadiums in America

I’ll let you know when they post the 25 emptiest Dome rankings. LOL!

GSU Panther Pride

September 15th, 2010
8:36 pm

Remind me again why GS fans feel the need to post in a GSU sports blog? Really curious.

StSimonsIslandEagle

September 15th, 2010
10:20 pm

State has every reason to be excited. This is a great state to recruit and build a program. Atlanta should have a large number of football fans that would like to feel their support actually makes a difference. Bill Curry is probably a better man than coach and should be a great first coach.

Prepare yourself for criticism, especially when you have success. In ‘85 & ‘86 I had dawg fans tell me Tracy Ham was a joke… Enjoy being a part of something that’s a lot more basic and pure than the BCS.

I think State & Southern could be a great rivalry. We could help each other build support and sell tickets. I’d welcome a game next season in the Dome. No reason why we can’t cheer for our teams and then have dinner together afterwards.

Go Panthers & Eagles!