Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Donnan goes from Hall of Fame to ‘real SEC’ Hall of Shame

It turns out life was a lot simpler when Jim Donnan was just a football coach. (Getty Images)

It turns out life was a lot simpler when Jim Donnan was just a football coach. (Getty Images)

As Georgia football coaches go, Jim Donnan is the only one who collapsed under the weight of the SEC.

Not that SEC — the real one.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Donnan with conducting an $80 million Ponzi scheme with an Ohio partner through a West Virginia company, GLC Limited.

This is even worse than losing to Kentucky in your first season.

Donnan mostly made his mark as a football coach at Marshall, where he won Division 1-AA championships. At Georgia, he was a step up from Ray Goff but not nearly as good as his replacement, Mark Richt. He had an impressive enough career to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. What happened after that, I don’t know.

Once a coach or an athlete has achieved a certain level in sports and made a fair amount of money, it should not be that difficult to capitalize on your name — legally.

Donnan never coached …

Continue reading Donnan goes from Hall of Fame to ‘real SEC’ Hall of Shame »

How they really stand, from Braves (1) to Weasels (12)

Hey look, the Braves have new uniforms. So how about a new finish? (AP photo)

Hey look, the Braves have new uniforms. So how about a new finish? (AP photo)

Welcome to this year’s edition of “How They Really Stand,” my ranking of all area sports teams, taking into account wins, losses, direction, potential, coaches, general managers, owners, recruiting coordinators and whether anybody provides us with more civic pride than, say, The Big Chicken (the bar is low).

I’m unveiling this a month earlier than usual because it seemed like a natural break in the sports schedule with the Braves getting ready to start spring training and the Hawks taking an off day between personalities. Two tweaks this year: I’m adding Georgia State football and basketball and replacing the Thrashers with a new entry. (Last year’s ranking in parenthesis.)

1. Braves (1): The best team in town lost 20 of its last 30 games. How about a nice embalming smoothie to go with those chicken fingers? But the Braves looked like a potential World Series team on paper last season until the paper …

Continue reading How they really stand, from Braves (1) to Weasels (12) »

Georgia-Auburn game could be sacrificed in SEC scheduling

The Georgia-Auburn rivalry includes this memorable matchup: Uga vs. Robert Baker. (Montgomery Advertiser)

The Georgia-Auburn rivalry includes this battle: Uga vs. Robert Baker. (Montgomery Advertiser)

There is a chance that SEC conference expansion will claim one significant victim: The Georgia-Auburn series.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Wednesday that SEC athletic directors will meet near the end of the month to discuss future football scheduling. With the conference’s addition of Texas A&M and Missouri, the two biggest questions: 1) Will the SEC go to a nine-game conference schedule? 2) Will expansion force for the end of the SEC’s annual East-West rivalry games of Georgia-Auburn and Alabama-Tennessee?

Answer to No. 1: Probably not.

Answer to No. 2: Possibly.

Georgia-Auburn is known as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” dating back to 1892. They have played every year since 1898, with three exceptions: 1917, 1918 and 1943. The reasons: World War I and World War II. It appears “Conference Armageddon” may have an equal impact.

The ACC recently announced that teams …

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Potential first: Georgia and Tech both playing for titles

Mark Richt and Paul Johnson have their teams in posiition for title shots.

Mark Richt and Paul Johnson have their teams in position for title shots. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

This didn’t seem possible when Georgia opened the season with losses to Boise State and South Carolina and Georgia Tech followed a 6-0 start with losses to Virginia and Miami: But both schools can all but assure themselves of a ticket to their respective conference championship game this week.

The Bulldogs and Jackets never have played for conference championships in the same season since the SEC (1992) and ACC (2005) split off into divisions, nor have they ever won conference titles in the same season.

Here’s the backdrop:

Georgia (5-1 in SEC plays) holds a half-game lead over South Carolina (5-2) in the SEC East and is a whopping 12½-point favorite over Auburn Saturday in Athens. If the Dogs win, they need to only beat Kentucky at home the following week to clinch the East. The Gamecocks’ final conference game is against Florida, which was Georgia’s last SEC victim. …

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Texas A&M’s move to SEC evidence of NCAA’s lost mission

NCAA's Mark Emmert says all the right things but mission of college athletics continues to implode.

NCAA's Mark Emmert talks a good game, but mission of college athletics continues to implode.

A few days after NCAA president Mark Emmert reached for his talking points and attempted to assure the masses (suckers) that university presidents were “focused on what really counts, and that’s sustaining the collegiate model,” we must ask two questions:

What is that model and when did it mutate? Because all wonderful sound bites about integrity, academic standards and returning to the mission of college athletics notwithstanding, somebody just ran to the ATM again.

Texas A&M reportedly intends to leave the possibly crumbling Big 12 for the ivory towers of the SEC, with an announcement coming as soon as Monday, after banks open.

It’s understandable why A&M would want to escape Texas’ shadow in the Big 12 and come to the SEC, where member schools split a record $220 million in a revenue-sharing plan this fiscal year. I’m not quite as sure why the SEC wants A&M, because other …

Continue reading Texas A&M’s move to SEC evidence of NCAA’s lost mission »

Countdown: Surrogate Uga, Serena (wowsa), pom-pom mom

The Count isn't spooked by Uga. Or Blue.

The Count isn't spooked by Uga. Or Blue.

When The Count and I came to contractual terms on another season, we had to insert a clause that stated: “No items about dogs.” Here’s why: Otherworldly creatures have a thing about dogs. It’s true. I used to do the Ouija board a lot as a kid, I think because I was trying to look for another planet or another dimension or something in the space-time continuum that was more conducive to, well, me. But every time the family dog ran into the room, the spirit left the building. The spook was spooked. I think I asked a spirit about it once and he spelled out something about dogs being soul-less. Or maybe it was the flatulence. I forgot. Anyway, The Count and I agreed to the clause with one notable exception: All items relating to Uga were allowed. Which is why we are here this week. Until the next Uga comes along, we have a surrogate for all Bulldogs fans. Or is this a concern? We count down . . .

10. While Georgia waits for Uga, a new …

Continue reading Countdown: Surrogate Uga, Serena (wowsa), pom-pom mom »

Brian Gregory will have to create own excitement for Tech

Brian Gregory coached at Dayton eight years, going 1-2 in NCAA tournament.

Brian Gregory coached at Dayton for eight seasons. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 8:56 a.m.)

Sometimes you don’t get the buzz hire (and in this case we don’t mean Buzz Williams). Sometimes you don’t sell tickets or get anybody to run through a wall at the news conference. But sometimes all of that is overrated.

Georgia Tech has hired Brian Gregory of Dayton as its next basketball coach, and we’ll find out soon enough if it was the right decision.

Does he get a lot of people excited? Judging by the reaction when his name leaked out on Twitter a few days ago, no. But that really doesn’t mean anything, unless athletic director Dan Radakovich was hoping to sell season tickets this week.

Georgia didn’t get buzz with Mark Fox. The Falcons didn’t get buzz with Mike Smith.

Excitement from coach hiring last only until the open tipoff or kickoff. After that, you have to win. Gregory has done that. He was 172-94 in eight seasons at Dayton, including 97-46 in the last four. He went to the NCAA …

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Georgia recruiting: Waiting on Isaiah Crowell (and normalcy)

The future of mankind tilts one way or the other, depending on if Isaiah Crowell plays for Georgia or Alabama. Or so it seems. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Georgia is a slight betting favorite (unofficial odds) to land running back Isaiah Crowell over Alabama. (Jason Getz)

In the interest of full disclosure, two weeks ago I set up a search column on Twitter via  my Tweetdeck to keep up on Internet rumors about where a certain high school football player might go to college. And I had I known almost 30 years ago that I would ever type that string of words, I would’ve told my father, “Yes, pops. I would love to sell insurance.”

Thursday is my favorite day of the year. That’s because it’s the day after national letter of intent day, when the creepiness of grown adults — OK, some not so grown — consumed with where 18-year-olds go to school moves back into the shadows.

I get why recruiting has grown to ridunkulous proportions. Our obsession with college football has mushroomed. It follows that the feeder system into college football has blown up with it. Technology like Twitter and Facebook just makes it easier to lurk. When it’s

"Why won't he take my calls? I'm Nick Saban!"

Continue reading Georgia recruiting: Waiting on Isaiah Crowell (and normalcy) »

Dogs, Jackets take a beating in ESPN poll (no surprise)

To say Mark Richt and Paul Johnson both face challenges this offseason would be an understatement. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Mark Richt and Paul Johnson have seen their teams lose points with pollsters. (Brant Sanderlin)

A few weeks ago, we brought you “news” of the first 2011, way-too-early, preseason college football rankings, which appeared on the website NationalChamps.net. Georgia was ranked 21st. Georgia Tech didn’t even make the top 50.  Both proceeded to go splat in bottom tier bowl games.

ESPN has an advantage over NationalChamps.net (besides name recognition). The website waited until after the bowl games for a little more perspective. So this shouldn’t surprise you: After bowl losses to Central Florida and Air Force, respectively, neither the Bulldogs nor the Jackets made the top 25.

Former AJC staffer and pal Mark Schlabach just released his top 25, and I’m wagering it will be pretty close to the first Associated Press rankings (which generally don’t come out until August). Georgia and Tech fans: cover your eyes.

Schlabach’s top 25 lists Oklahoma as the No. 1 team, followed by Alabama, …

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A.J. Green could be No. 1 overall pick in NFL draft

A.J. Green could be Georgia's second No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in the last three years, joining Matthew Stanford.

A.J. Green could be Georgia's second No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in the last three years, joining Matthew Stanford.

With Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck announcing that he’s returning to school for another season, there’s only one question:  Does A.J. Green send him a thank you note?

If Green says he’s coming back to Georgia, it would be even more stunning than Luck’s decision. I follow this general rule: When a college player sells his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000, he’s ready to make money.

By Luck staying in school, Green could be the first overall pick. That would give Georgia two first overall selections in the last three years (Matthew Stafford went No. 1 to Detroit in 2008.) It would be a nice honor for the school but there also could be a sense of, “Why didn’t we do more with them?”

Green is considered a lock top-five selection. ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranked Green as the fourth best prospect on his current “Big Board” (requires Insider subscription), behind Luck, …

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