Archive for October, 2012

Radakovich’s exit shows disparity between Tech, Georgia

The financial issues that Dan Radakovich dealt with at Tech won't be an issue at Clemson. (AP photo)

The financial issues that Dan Radakovich dealt with at Tech won't be an issue at Clemson. (AP photo)

It’s almost always about money. There may be other factors in changing jobs: Going back home, returning to an alma mater, or, as Dan Radakovich said Tuesday, having the desire to “get into a collegiate environment. I hadn’t had the opportunity to be in a pure college town.”

A nice sentiment. But primarily it’s still about the money, either what one can make or one can spend.

When Radakovich resigned from the athletic director’s job at Georgia Tech for the same position at Clemson, it said as much about his former employer than his new one. Radakovich won’t have to sell a ticket or plead with donors at Clemson, which is what he had to do at Tech. The pressure for victories and the chase for dollars is greater than ever in college athletes – too great, actually, but that’s a topic for another column – and right now Tech just isn’t all that attractive.

Radakovich won’t say that. …

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Radakovich’s exit won’t affect Paul Johnson (for now)

Dan Radakovich fired Paul Hewitt but he hired Paul Johnson. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Dan Radakovich fired Paul Hewitt but he hired Paul Johnson. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

(UPDATED: 1:30 p.m.)

Dan Radakovich is leaving as athletic director at Georgia Tech, where he had thousands of empty seats at football games and needed to search between couch cushions for funding, for the same job at Clemson, where he won’t have to worry about either.

So don’t blame Radakovich for leaving. He has been rumored for previous vacancies — most recently Tennessee and Texas A&M — and the wonder is that he didn’t leave before for a more lucrative option. The fact Radakovich is filling a position at another ACC school may upset some Tech fans, but it’s a slam dunk of a career move.

The question many already are asking is: What does this mean for Paul Johnson?

The answer: Probably nothing. At least in the short term.

Nor should it.

Tech is having a bad season: 3-5 overall, 2-3 in the ACC and coming off a 41-17 home loss to BYU. This follows going 2-5 down the stretch last season after a …

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Here’s how Georgia can get to BCS game (step by step) (UPDATED)

Will Georgia players and fans have something to celebrate with the BCS standings? (AP photo)

Will Georgia players and fans have something to celebrate with a BCS title berth? (AP photo)

(Video added below)

It wasn’t long after Georgia’s win over Florida when I received a few emails and messages on Twitter asking whether the Bulldogs could make it to the BCS championship game. So while this certainly qualifies as putting the cart before the horse – or the crystal trophy before even the SEC East – here’s an outline of what has to happen for the Dogs to get to this year’s BCS title game in Miami on Jan. 7.

1. No. 6 Georgia needs to win its final four regular season games: Mississippi (home), at Auburn (which potentially clinches the East), Georgia Southern (home) and Georgia Tech (home). The Dogs will be favored in all four. They are 14-to-17½-point favorites over Mississippi. Georgia also can’t afford to look unimpressive in the wins because there is a chance that voters in the two polls used in the BCS equation drop them in the rankings.

2. No. 1 Alabama likely needs …

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Georgia will take an ugly win like this any time

Jarvis Jones had a monster game (three sacks, two forced fumbles) to lead Georgia. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Jarvis Jones had a monster game (three sacks, two forced fumbles) to lead Georgia. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Everybody is going to call it ugly. The quarterback was awful for most of the game. The opponent had six fumbles (four lost) and two interceptions. Two of the supposed best teams in the SEC swapped turnovers, penalties and dropped passes. If the late Sid Gillman was watching, he would’ve covered his eyes and screamed, “No! My eyes! My eyes!”

But does it matter?

Ugly is barely beating Kentucky after a bye week. Ugly is looking flawed against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic. Ugly is giving up 44 points to Tennessee. If beating the No. 2 team in the BCS — especially when it’s Florida — is considered ugly, it’s a canvas of ugly that the Bulldogs would wrap themselves in any day or night.

As Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, he of the three first-half interceptions, said Saturday night, “I know I’m going to get stressed out when I look at the film. But it’s still a great win.”

Georgia, …

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Short takes: Jarvis Jones rules, Aaron Murray escapes

Aaron Murray struggled for most of the game but had a big 47-yard touchdown pass play to Malcolm Mitchell late in the game. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Aaron Murray struggled for most of the game but had a big 47-yard touchdown pass play to Malcolm Mitchell late in the game. (Bob Andres/AJC)

(I’ll be back with a column from the Georgia-Florida game shortly. Until then, here are my three short takes on the game.)

1. JARVIS JONES A DIFFERENCE-MAKER. If the Georgia outside linebacker (ankle, groin, knee) is still not at full strength, it would be scary to watch him when he is. In a game when defense (and turnovers) ruled the day, Jones stood out. After missing last week’s game against Kentucky, he returned and had four sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a dozen tackles. If NFL scouts were watching, they were salivating.

2. AARON MURRAY: NOT LOVING JACKSONVILLE: The Georgia quarterback had one of the worst games of his career two years ago, with four turnovers in the Florida game as a freshman. It appeared he would revisit that low Saturday, with interceptions in three consecutive first-half possessions. The …

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Georgia-Florida LIVE: Dogs try to take control in SEC East

The forecast calls for no rain but wind and the usual amount of drinking.

The forecast calls for no rain but wind and the usual amount of drinking.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – So I was standing outside the EverBank Field with Tim Tucker because the stadium gates were closed – Jacksonville has this thing about letting media in too early, not sure why – and up walks Vince Dooley. After about a 30-second conversation, he turns to us and says, “I’ll see if I can get in.” And, of course, he did. Because he’s Vince Dooley. But at least he turned to us, smiled and waved.

So hello. I’m inside the gates now and figured I would open with something less dramatic than: GEORGIA HAS TO WIN!

Athletic director Greg McGarity, who has sat on both sides of this rivalry, has been trying to diminish the stress level associated with this annual meeting. He told our Chip Towers that he’s trying to “debunk this notion that beating Florida was any more important than beating anybody else in the SEC It doesn’t count any more in the standings.”

I understand McGarity’s objective. But …

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Georgia has chance to alter perceptions with one win

Mark Richt and Georgia hope to take control of SEC East with win over Will Muschamp and Florida.

Mark Richt and Georgia hope to take control of SEC East with win over Will Muschamp and Florida.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There are those rare games that can unify a fan base. This is one of them.

Just for a moment, put aside that Georgia’s defense has underachieved and may have a level of dysfunctionality in the locker room. Put aside that the Bulldogs, in a week where they should’ve been focused and in assault mode, made Kentucky look relevant. Put aside whatever it was that happened in Columbia.

One game changes everything.

Georgia isn’t just playing Florida on Saturday in Jacksonville. It’s playing for a chance to change its season and obliterate perceptions about “big game” performances. That doesn’t mean the Bulldogs haven’t won big games under coach Mark Richt, but the results in recent seasons certainly aren’t something that any coach wants slapped on his resume: 3-11 against Top 25 teams since 2009, 1-9 against top 10 teams since 2008.

One win over Florida, the No. 2 team …

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Predictions: Sorry, Doggies — Gators look too good

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Before getting to this week’s big game — Florida vs. The Indecipherable Dogs of Athens — a world news update: Police in northern England tasered a 61-year-old blind man the other day after — and I’m not making this up — they mistook his white cane for a Samurai sword. Fortunately, the man, Colin Farmer, seems OK after being hit with 50,000 volts of electricity and handcuffed by England’s finest nincompoops, although he may own half the United Kingdom and be knighted before the next attorney knocks on his door.

The po-po chief, Stuart Williams, said, “It became apparent that this man was not the person we were looking for, and officers attended to him straight away. Lancashire Constabulary deeply regrets what has happened.” And then he excused himself for his new job — walking behind elephants.

He said police were responding to reports of a man walking around with a sword. Of course. So their intentions were honorable.

At least Shawn Williams didn't call his teammates "Pop Tarts." But it was close.

Shawn Williams didn't call teammates "Pop Tarts." But he …

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Does Georgia have edge on Florida? Yes — Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray can quiet a lot of critics if he leads Georgia past Florida. (AP photo)

Aaron Murray can quiet a lot of critics if he leads Georgia past Florida. (AP photo)

ATHENS – Have you heard? The Georgia quarterback can’t play in big games. He can’t beat great teams. He melts in big moments. He is 0-4 against top 10 teams, 2-8 against ranked teams. He lost to South Carolina. Twice. He’s no David Greene, no D.J. Shockley and he sure ain’t no Buck Belue.

This is how the story about Aaron Murray gets spun. Not that he has thrown 75 touchdown passes in 2½ years, or that he threw for over 400 yards the week after his father had cancer surgery, or that Georgia has won six games this season not in spite of its quarterback but because of him — because the six wins certainly can’t be attributed to special teams or the soft-as-nougat defense (paraphrasing Shawn Williams).

Here is the problem with “the book” on Murray. It’s short-sighted. It’s the cheap-and-easy pop that goes an inch deep instead of Butts-Mehre-wide. The 0-4 and 2-8 records technically are accurate. …

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Pessimism reigns by Georgia fans about Florida game (video added)

Mark Richt and Dogs beat Florida last season but they're underdogs this year. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Mark Richt and Dogs beat Florida last season but they're underdogs this year. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Remember how high optimism was about Georgia football before this season? Well, that seems to have eroded.

The recent loss to South Carolina, several unimpressive victories – including the latest win at Kentucky — and a perceived talent-loaded defense that hasn’t nearly lived up to expectations has led to many Georgia fans expecting the worst when the Bulldogs face Florida in Jacksonville next Saturday.

Who will win the Georgia-Florida game?

  • Georgia
  • Florida

View Results

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How do I know this? Because when I relayed via Twitter that Florida was anywhere from a 3½ to 4½ point favorite at most sportsbooks, the responses could all be reduced down to these three words: “Is that all?”

In fact, as I type this, I have yet to find a reader who would take that bet (Georgia plus the points).

Georgia is 3-8 against Florida under Mark Richt, including last year’s …

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