Posts Tagged ‘Les Miles’

LIVE: Alabama vs. LSU for division… and SEC, and BCS

Time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

It's time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — I’m quite certain there’s drinking going on here.

I heard something crazy like 30,000 LSU fans made the five-hour-plus drive from Baton Rouge to Tuscaloosa for the LSU-Alabama game, even though most of them don’t have tickets. Given the number of people I saw out there tailgating, I’m guessing a lot of Bama fans are here just for the scene — and the beverages — as well.

Welcome to the game of the week, the month, the season, the millennium — whatever you want to call it. It won’t get any better than Alabama vs. LSU or Nick Saban vs. Les Miles the rest of the season, nor probably even at bowl time. It’s difficult to imagine even the BCS title game living up to the buildup or the match-up.

These are the two best teams in the nation. By the end of the night, we might still believe they’re the two best teams in the nation (notwithstanding the fact …

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Alabama, LSU have what everyone else wants: great coach

(AP photo)

Nick Saban and Les Miles again find themselves the centers of attention. (AP photo)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Nick Saban turned 60 on Halloween, and his players – tempting fate and possibly their scholarships — turned off the lights in a meeting room and yelled, “Surprise!” when their coach walked in. As it turned out, even in the week of the Alabama-LSU game, the little curmudgeon showed a humorous side.

After acknowledging, “It’s hard to think about birthdays,” Saban referenced the No. 60 jersey that was presented to him and cracked, “I wasn’t thinking about age. I was thinking I’m a skill player. There’s no way I can sport this 60. I’ve got to have a lower-than-50 number of some sort.”

Might as well give Saban and Les Miles jersey Nos. 1 and 2. They coach the two best teams in the nation. They’re probably the two best coaches.

Maybe we think of them differently: Saban as cold, evil, I-hate-him-I-hate-him-can-I-get-him-on-my-team brilliant. Miles as goofy, …

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I’ve got guaranteed picks on Alabama-LSU, Dogs, Falcons! (no, seriously)

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Yes. I decided to come back.

Did you lose the bet?

So there I was, sitting by the railroad tracks,  just me and my Pop-Tarts and my Florida-Clemson-Broncos  parlay ticket and some creepy guy who kept staring at my shoes, waiting for me to fall asleep, when it struck me: I was getting too good! Everybody needs a market correction now and then. Me. Wall Street. Everybody who plays running back for Georgia, at least when they’re not sitting in their dorm room, in a cloud of smoke, next to a bong and an open box of Ho Hos, staring at the same fly for like, I dunno, seven hours, wondering what it would be like to be a fly, then trying to catch the fly, giving up after 12 seconds, then napping for, I dunno, another seven hours. (Hey, did I miss class?)

If Crowell's not careful, "Up In Smoke" might describe his career.

Crowell better hope this isn't his career.

OK, so my strategy sorta went kaboom last week. Sort of like Custer, whose reported famous last words at Little Big Horn were, “Hurrah boys, we’ve got them!” And then …

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NCAA has lost sight of mission, needs to end ‘oversigning’

Nobody questions Nick Saban's ability to recruit and coach but he's notorious for "oversigning."

Nobody questions Nick Saban's ability to recruit and coach but he's notorious for "oversigning."

Grant Teaff calls this a “complicated issue.” I guess that’s the problem with the concept of amateur athletics. Dollars complicate the issue.

Dollars tell college football officials it’s fine to start games at 9 p.m and play for the national title on Jan. 10 (37 days after the regular season). It’s OK to preach academics in one news conference and approve 12-game schedules in another.

Apparently, it’s also OK for a coach to extend 20-something scholarship offers to players when the numbers scream he only has room for 12 – just as long as he can make the math work out by bed check in July (wink wink, nudge nudge).

This “complicated issue” is called oversigning. It occurs when a college football program extends more scholarship offers than it has room for. The NCAA allows teams to enroll up to 25 scholarship players per year and have 85 at one time. Obviously, with …

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A word about ‘oversigning’ (and revisiting Saban’s dance)

The numbers show Nick Saban has learned creative ways to say goodbye to some players.

The numbers show Alabama coach Nick Saban has learned creative ways to say goodbye to some players. (AP photo)

It’s the home stretch of recruiting season, which generally isn’t my favorite time of the year, partly because I find the whole concept of obsessing over where an 18-year-old goes to school as, I dunno, a little creepy.

But here’s one of my biggest issues with recruiting: The practice of “oversigning.” It’s exactly what the term says. NCAA rules mandate a football program can’t give out more than 25 scholarships in one class and have more than 85 scholarship athletes on the roster at one time. Often, the math doesn’t work.

A team may have only 18 spots open but it gives out 25 scholarships. This is “oversigning.” It’s a gray area in the rulebook. Coaches get away with it by rationalizing than some players don’t qualify. So the players are stashed at prep schools or junior colleges, while others are convinced to take medical scholarships. Others are pressured into …

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Weekend Predictions: Dogs win — Auburn, not so much

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Welcome to this week’s titanic showdown between 5-6 Georgia and 6-5 Georgia Tech, who battle for coveted The Governor’s Cup in a year where the Governor-elect is fresh off a Congressional investigation for ethics violations. Of course.

I think Georgia coach Mark Richt put it best when he stated: “It’s great to have a game like this at the end of the season, and in particular at the end of this season, when we haven’t reached some of the goals, or hardly any of our goals.”

And then he threw a pie at Todd Grantham.

But first, this raspberry in the direction of Ohio State president Gordon Gee. He’s a big fan of the BCS. People hear this and they assume Gee reached his position because he’s related to somebody important, sort of like Gummo Marx. Gee states that even if Boise State and TCU go

Think Gordon Gee got stuffed into lockers as a kid?

I'm thinking Gordon Gee got stuffed into a few lockers as a kid.

undefeated, neither deserve to go to the national title game, no way, no how, not even if all other schools lose or …

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Mark Richt will be back next season — and he deserves to be

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eighth. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eight. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – It’s probably best that we start with the latest indication of Mark Richt’s future employment.

“Mark’s going to be our coach in 2011,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “I haven’t seen anything in 11 games that would lead me to any other decision. I’d be stunned.”

The thinking is, it’s always best to end such declarations with even the smallest of escape routes. Because if for some reason Georgia were to lose to Tech 42-10 Saturday, finish the season 5-7, not go to a bowl game and later that evening 17 players find themselves in handcuffs for whatever reason – well, let’s just say you want the escape route.

But Richt will be back. And he should be back.

Let’s be clear about something. There are significant problems at Georgia. There are problems that may not go away under Richt.

The team has …

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Weekend Predictions: Dogs break chains, upset Poultry

chalkboard

So I’m starting to think Jim Harrick had it right. If Harrick could have his son teach a “basics” class like, “Coaching Principles of Basketball,” why can’t Warden Mark Richt teach a course, “Life Concepts For Players So The Coach Can Make It Through A Week Without 27 Tylenol And A Bottle of Fire Water.”

It can be taught off campus. Shawshank, maybe.

A primer:

♦ 1.) When you see something that’s not yours, like a helmet, don’t take it. It’s difficult to hide, especially when you wear it on your head. Dolt.

♦ 2.) If your license is suspended, don’t drive, and if you must drive don’t hit another car, and if you hit another car, don’t leave, and if you leave, make sure there’s nobody there, screaming, “Hey, moron. Are you sure you want to do this because I’m writing down your license plate?”

Georgia models latest unf

Georgia players prepare for new "Life Concepts" class.

♦ 3.) Do not sign and sell your jersey for money, and if you do sign and sell your jersey for money then make sure it’s …

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No more excuses — Georgia’s arrests fall on Mark Richt

If Mark Richt was so angry about Washaun Ealey's hit-and-run that he didn't want to talk to him, how does he feel now?

Mark Richt has been buried in police reports since March.

(UPDATED at 3:30 p.m. with booking and suspension.)

Before you dismiss this as just another trivial arrest in a 24-7, TMZ flip-cam media world, ask yourself this:

What would you be thinking if this was Florida or Alabama or Tennessee? Would your first reaction be, “This is no big deal. Everybody is picking on us”?

What if this was Nick Saban or Urban Meyer or Houston “I’m Just Trying To Save The World One Quarterback At A Time” Nutt? Would you really be absolving the head coach — in this case, Mark Richt — of any responsibility?

Georgia’s football program has hit nine on the arrest chart. That’s nine since March.

Kickoff is Saturday. There’s still time to run out of fingers.

Here’s the latest: Campus police have booked freshman safety Alec Ogletree on misdemeanor charges of theft by taking and he has been suspended for the season opener. Ogletree, a prized member of their 2010 recruiting class, is charged …

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Richt believes Georgia is poised for a bounce-back season

Georgia coach Mark Richt believes the Dogs can avoid some of the problems that plagued recent teams. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Georgia coach Mark Richt believes the Dogs can avoid some of the problems that plagued recent teams. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Here’s a sneak peek at a column that will appear in print in this Sunday’s special AJC College Football Section. The 34-page section will preview Georgia State, Georgia Tech and UGA seasons, the SEC and ACC, top games, Heisman candidates and more.

Nine years ago, Mark Richt lost his first SEC game as a head coach (to South Carolina) and started 4-3 in a conference that generally doesn’t allow for long honeymoon periods, at least not outside of Vanderbilt.

It wasn’t the usual backdrop for what would happen in the next four years. Richt went 44-9 overall and 25-7 in the SEC. He won two conference titles at a school that hadn’t won one since 1982. He won a Sugar Bowl.

What has occurred since at Georgia is less a market correction than it is a changing landscape. Think of the SEC as a boulevard of resort hotels. Richt built what seemed like Xanadu …

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