Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

Brian Gregory may have Tech on way to something good

Brian Gregory's Jackets look far closer to be a potential NCAA tournament team than Mark Fox's Bulldogs do. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Early season report: Brian Gregory's Jackets are going up; Mark Fox's Bulldogs are going down. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

There hasn’t been much in the way of emotional real estate for Georgia Tech to lay claim to over Georgia lately.

The somewhat diametric fortunes of the school’s respective football teams and the fact Tech’s former athletic director grew weary of squeezing nickels and bolted for Clemson sums it up nicely.

So consider Tuesday some semblance of a 180. Or at least the beginning of one. Georgia Tech beat Georgia 62-54 in a basketball game at McCamish Pavilion. There is joy in Beeville.

The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 in non-conference play. It’s a bit early to start hyperventilating and tossing out labels like “ACC threat” or “NCAA dark horse.”

But forgive Tech if it milks this just a little bit. It finally has a chance to gloat. The team’s new arena is a jewel. It was sold out Tuesday night. It was loud. The Big Foot rival fell for the second straight …

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Predictions: Georgia wins on Red-and-Black Saturday

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Before we get to this week’s big question — will Georgia be caught looking ahead to the SEC Championship game, the BCS title game, world domination, next year’s rankings, global peace, contact with an alien life form and a voice from a burning bush somehow lose to Georgia Tech — let’s get to what really matters.

The continuing devolution of mankind. I speak, of course, of Black Friday.

Once we’ve finished our annual Thursday tradition of consuming four helpings of turkey, three pieces of ham, 17 side dishes, six rolls (or was it seven?), three desserts and a Diet Coke and lapsing into a food coma, we’ll segue into Shopping on Steroids. Black Friday is that wonderful time when we rise at 3 a.m. after four hours of sleep to save $40 on a laptop, $6 on a sweatshirt and 27 cents on Play-Doh.

December wasn't good enough. He just had to start after Thanksgiving.

December wasn't good enough. He just had to start after Thanksgiving.

We’ll be overcome by feelings of a tremendous conquest, until the following week when these same items are on sale for …

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Wonder why SEC on top? Look at other conference finals (with video)

SEC's Mike Slive: "Yes, I am king. Are there any questions?" (AP photo)

Can you hear SEC commissioner Mike Slive? "Yes, I am king. Are there any questions?" (AP photo)

While it’s easy to understand why any fan of a conference not named the SEC grows tired of hearing and reading about the SEC, the evolution of this year’s conference championship match-ups screams why the landscape is so lopsided.

This came home Monday when Miami announced that the football program was going to self-impose a bowl ban (hoping to beat the NCAA to the punch) and therefore would not accept a bid to the ACC championship game. This allowed Georgia Tech to back through the door as Coastal Division “champions.” The Jackets will face Florida State for the ACC title.

This isn’t meant to pick on Georgia Tech. It’s not the Jackets’ fault they have been given this opportunity, despite a relatively crummy season. But if you want to know why the SEC commands the attention it does, just look at how the ACC and other conference championship games compare.

Here are the …

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Radakovich says Johnson is ‘right person for this job’

Paul Johnson's program has slid since a fast start but mostly because of defense. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

After 2-4 start, Tech coach Paul Johnson fired his second defensive coordinator. (AJC/Curtis Compton)

In his first two seasons at Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson went 20-7, including 12-4 in the ACC, and won a conference title (the whims of NCAA investigators notwithstanding).

In the 2½ years since, he is 16-16, including 10-10 in the ACC, and has lost nine of his past 13. He also just fired his second defensive coordinator, hoping to salvage a season that has some fans grumbling and wondering if those early results were some aberration.

Yet to be determined: Is this merely a step back before another eventual ACC title run (most optimistic) or ugly foreshadowing of a Bill Lewis collapse (most pessimistic).

Welcome to today’s sports world, which can be best summed up as: What a beautiful morning/Wait I felt A Raindrop/The Sky Is Falling! (Elapsed time: 12 minutes.)

For what it’s worth, the sky isn’t falling in Dan Radakovich’s office. The Georgia Tech athletic director …

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Mark Richt says Georgia may pursue Penn State players

Mark Richt said he and his assistants already have gone over Penn State's two-deep roster. (AP photo)

Mark Richt said he and his assistants already have gone over Penn State's two-deep roster. (AP photo)

Penn State avoided the “death penalty Monday,” but NCAA sanctions were so severe — including a four-year bowl ban — that players are being allowed to transfer to another school without having to sit out a year.

Will Georgia pounce? Possibly so.

Coach Mark Richt said at a fans’ “UGA Day”  Monday night, “Some colleges are going to be interested in some of their players, and we’re one of those schools. It’s pretty well-documented that we’re under our 85[-scholarship] limit. We’ll try to get in touch with some of these young men and see if they’re interested.”

Approached by a few media members following the event, Richt said he and his assistants already have gone over over Penn State’s two-deep roster. But he was vague — probably intentionally — on what (or how many) players Georgia would pursue.

“We do have some space available and if somebody fits a need and they’re excited …

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NCAA hits Penn State hard, but ‘death penalty’ appropriate (UPDATED with video)

Mark Emmert moved fast and hit Penn State for their actions (and inactions). (AP photo)

Mark Emmert moved fast and hit Penn State for their actions (and inactions). (AP photo)

(See video blog with CineSports’ Noah Coslov below)

(Updated at 6:40 p.m. with comment from Penn State president that school accepted penalties to avoid death penalty)

Let’s start with this: NCAA president Mark Emmert acted swiftly and justly. That’s a rarity for the NCAA.

Emmert didn’t need a 17-month investigation by an overworked and underpaid staff to unearth something that we didn’t already learn from prosecutors and witnesses in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse trial, or from the exhaustive, 267-page Freeh Report, conducted by a former director of the FBI. Anybody who believes Emmert moved too quickly on Penn State without the NCAA doing its own leg work must not having been paying attention for the past several decades, when policing college athletics became far too big of a job for that relative mom-and-pop organization.

The NCAA appropriately slammed Penn State Monday …

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College playoff may be moving toward using committee

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany slammed polls as a method of picking title game participants.

Big Ten's Jim Delany slammed polls, computers as methods for picking title game teams.

I’m sorry, but did the Big Ten — the Betamax of college football conferences — just enter the digital age? And become pals with the SEC in the process?

Big Ten officials fell in line with the SEC and the Big 12 Monday, declaring that the impending college football playoff should be comprised of the nations four best teams, regardless of their conference affiliation. Commissioner Jim Delany also endorsed the possibility of junking polls and computer rankings and forming a selection committee to pick those four teams — an idea that has been pushed in my disturbed little corner of the universe.

Quoting Delany from a Monday news conference with Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and Indiana president Michael McRobbie: “Everybody recognizes the present poll system is not a good proxy. … It should be the four best teams.”

Did that really happen?

The Big Ten and Pacific 10/12 conferences have long …

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Keep bowls and BCS away from college football playoff

College football doesn't need bowls or the letters "BCS" for its playoffs system.

College football officials must realize they don't need bowls or the BCS for a playoff system.

In full disclosure, and at the risk of ostracizing myself from seemingly all except those who fondly recall memories of the inaugural 1902 Tournament East-West game in Pasadena — where admission was 50 cents, plus $1 for the family’s horse-and-buggy – here goes:

I like bowl games. I like tradition. I like the idea of an end-of-season reward for two college football teams, players and their families. It probably helped that I grew up in the shadow of the Rose Bowl (which the East-West became) and not the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. But there was no urgency for a playoff, and the arguments over rankings were considered part of the fabric and charm of college football.

We’re past charm, of course. I’m not completely past the thought that bowl games serve some purpose, but I don’t want them anywhere near a college football playoff. Do you know what the dysfunctional combination of …

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Georgia’s problems reaffirm NCAA needs uniform drug policy

Bobby Bowden supports Georgia's drug policy but says it might leave team at a disadvantage.

Bobby Bowden supports Georgia's drug policy but says it might leave the team at a competitive disadvantage.

ATHENS – It’s fair to start with this: There is no excuse for doing something wrong.

There is no excuse for stealing money from a teammate’s dorm room, just because you’re short of cash. No excuse for getting into a physical altercation with a girlfriend, just because there was an argument. No excuse for getting high, just because … well, just because. No excuse for exploring the cannabis culinary arts and eating Alice B. Toklas brownies, just because you were on spring break and you were hungry and, really, honest, pinky-swear, you didn’t even know that there was marijuana in them (uh, right.)

These are some of the reasons why Georgia coach Mark Richt has been suspending or dismissing players at an alarming rate lately – eight since January. This is when nobody seems to remember how many stars were by a recruit’s name on national signing day. Funny how …

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N.C. State has too many meltdowns (starting with Gottfried)

If North Carolina State's NCAA tournament fortunes went in the wrong direction Saturday, it falls on coach Mark Gottfried and his staff for not keeping track of fouls. (AP photo)

If North Carolina State's NCAA tournament fortunes went in the wrong direction Saturday, it falls on coach Mark Gottfried and his staff for not keeping track of fouls. (AP photo)

Mark Gottfried was correct about one thing Saturday.

“I think our players have proven that we’re going to be a tough out, if we’re fortunate enough to get in,” the North Carolina State coach said.

“In” would be a reference to the NCAA tournament.

Out is where the Wolfpack will be if their narrow 69-67 loss to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals Saturday and their body of work this season won’t be quite impressive enough for the tournament selection committee.

And that blame would fall on Gottfried and his staff.

This was a winnable game for North Carolina State against the conference’s top seed and an expected No. 1 seed when the NCAA bracket is revealed Sunday. The Tar Heels were missing one of their best players, John Henson. They didn’t play particularly well or inspired, except when …

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