ESPN hates UGA! No, wait! ESPN loves UGA! (Ah, clarity)

Don't fret, Dog-lovers. ESPN says you've got the edge in coaching. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Don't fret, Dog-lovers. ESPN says you've got the edge in coaching. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

There are times when fans of every college team seem to believe ESPN is Out To Get Them. Tennessee backers have long held this to be true, insisting that the Worldwide Leader’s blather was the reason Charles Woodson won the 1997 Heisman Trophy over Peyton Manning. Georgia supporters, still recalling how Kirk Herbstreit dismissed the Bulldogs’ case for inclusion in the 2007 BCS title game, aren’t above such suspicion, either.

Not to rain on anybody’s conspiracy parade, but it could just be that the Worldwide Leader’s problem is that it employs every pundit in the world. When you have so much being said/written by so many different voices/scribes, you’re bound to tick off everybody at some juncture. This weeks offers an schizo case study.

Georgia’s game with South Carolina will be aired by ESPN, which knows no bounds when hyping itself. There has been so much written about the game on ESPN.com — and hey, it’s only Thursday! — as to boggle the mind. Here we cite specifics:

  • KC Joyner, an ESPN Insider, has labeled Georgia “a flawed and overrated squad” that does not belong in the nation’s top five. (All these links require registration.) His reasons: The defense is lousy, the special teams are worse and the Bulldogs are flagged for too many penalties.
  • Rod Gilmore, an Insider who also does commentary on broadcasts, calls Georgia one of three teams — West Virginia and Notre Dame being the others — who are “false kings.” He rips just-returned-from-suspension defenders Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo for their play against Tennessee, writing that they “took poor pursuit angles or were slow to recognize and diagnose plays.” Whoa, Nellie!

Those were the first two Georgia-based assessments posted on ESPN Insider this week, and they were enough to induce a Red & Black lather. (Speaking figuratively. I’ve never seen lather come in such bold hues.) But wait!

  • The Scouts Inc. analysis — it’s compiled by Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl, and it’s detailed — on ESPN Insider picks Georgia to beat South Carolina 28-25. Its gives Georgia the advantage at quarterback (about whom more later), wide receivers, offensive line, linebackers, defensive backs — and coach! In related news, Steve Spurrier is seeking to have Scouts Inc. fired.
  • Phil Steele, whose idiosyncratic yearbook Georgia fans enjoy and quote ad nauseum when he picks Georgia to do well, picks Georgia to beat South Carolina in his weekly post for ESPN Insider. (Here we pause to wonder: With everyone in creation seemingly an Insider, who’s left Outside?)
  • Brock Huard, a former quarterback turned — you guessed it — an ESPN Insider, calls Aaron Murray the SEC’s best quarterback and writes that Murray’s long-sought “marquee win … should be coming Saturday night.”

It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed something on ESPN.com this week, but those five entries should suffice. Moral of our story: ESPN is large, and it contains multitudes. And if you happen to hate some point of view the Worldwide Leader espouses, wait 10 minutes and a differing take will rumble past.

Update: On cue, here’s another. In his Man Vs. Machine Upset Picks, Insider Will Harris – I assume he’s the Man in question – has South Carolina winning 28-20. I’m not sure how that’s an upset, seeing as how the Gamecocks opened as a favorite. (Though the betting line has narrowed considerably, which means pro-Georgia money is pouring in.)

By Mark Bradley

266 comments Add your comment

PMC

October 4th, 2012
1:02 pm

ESPN has a lot of employees, a lot of them have opinons that are only mildly based in logic. Many of their employes end up on the street soon after becasue of their own stupidity.

Their content, not so good, their ability to sell advertising, unfreakingbelievable.

DERP

October 4th, 2012
1:03 pm

My name says it all about ESPN.

Stockdog

October 4th, 2012
1:04 pm

Stockdog

October 4th, 2012
1:05 pm

Darn it, I shouldn’t have read the article and talked to my secretary. I could have been first.

Coach Scott

October 4th, 2012
1:07 pm

It makes my day to read your postings and columns, Mark, though the video clip was kinda creepy. Was that your kitchen?

Pj

October 4th, 2012
1:08 pm

Lou Holtthhz is picking Carolina. Kirk still remembers us putting his face in the turf in the bowl game and pollack goes out if his way not to seem like a uga homer. We win and shut em up. 31-24

bill smith

October 4th, 2012
1:09 pm

Just need to win. Win out and the words won’t matter.

Dr. Lou

October 4th, 2012
1:11 pm

South Carolina & Notre Dame are my locks for the national championship game.

I like my Gamecocks over UGA 48-21.

Eisendawg

October 4th, 2012
1:14 pm

Made my day with the Spurrier out to have “Scouts” fired comment, Mark. LMAO! Better be careful though, if the Ol Ball Coach hears of your comment, you may be asked to leave the room.

Dawg Whisperer

October 4th, 2012
1:15 pm

MB… if you’re looking for someone from the outside looking in, that’d be me. Dawgs win 24-20.

Eisendawg

October 4th, 2012
1:17 pm

Who does ESPN like on the Braves – Cardinals?

Nathan

October 4th, 2012
1:19 pm

Very true, ESPN is much larger than people realize. When one ‘big name’ on ESPN picks a game one way or another, people get all bothered. Let the kids play and see it for what it is, a game between two teams.

GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:19 pm

KC Joyner, an ESPN Insider, has labeled Georgia “a flawed and overrated squad”

Seems like a pretty accurate assessment.

dawgfan

October 4th, 2012
1:20 pm

Its hard to say they hate us when they’ve got Schlabach writing columns, Pollack on Gameday and Stincomb on ESPNU. Homer City there folks.

UGA Insider

October 4th, 2012
1:20 pm

UGA 42
USCE 20

This one is easy to pick. I have the same confidence as I had vs Vandy. UGA is due to beat a top 10 team…. and beat them handily. I predict UGA and UF will be undefeated when we meet in Jax. You heard it here first, UGA will wax USCe and UF will upset LSU by a fieldgoal.

Weyman C. Wannamaker Jr. (A Great American)

October 4th, 2012
1:21 pm

Don’t worry about what’s said off the field. Worry about how you play on the field. Winning is the best reply.

Gary

October 4th, 2012
1:21 pm

I really do think Spurriers behavior is making some media folks hope Georgia wins and might be picking them to take a shot at the visor. That being said Mark May hates Georgia. I think the game is a pick’um but based on Georgia’s performances in big games over the last five years I would put my heart with the Dawgs but my money on Darth Visor.

Where's Loganville?

October 4th, 2012
1:21 pm

A Mark Richt led team is undisciplined and goofy. Dawgs to start season slide to the Music City Bowl Saturday night in Columbia.

PR

October 4th, 2012
1:24 pm

Just keep winning and ESPN will STFU. This weekend will go a long way in changing the national perception of UGA Football… if they can come out of Columbia with a W.

Go Dawgs

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
1:24 pm

That was a great video and love what you’ve done with the curtains!

Gary

October 4th, 2012
1:25 pm

Uga Insider, How do you possibly figure LSU. They will most likely not even survive Florida this weekend. UGA will not be playing Bama for the SEC but niether will USC…. Florida gets better everygame and is looking to crush us again in Jville. You heard that here first. Florida kills us in Jacksonville again, but then looses to Bama in Atlanta. The outcome of the UGA – USC will not matter in 4 weeks. Florida runs the table.

The rev al

October 4th, 2012
1:26 pm

The negative analysis of ESPN as not being a top 5 team is accurate. The UGA defense has only come to play in the second half of the Missouri game and against a poor Vanderbuilt team. Unless the defense steps it up against South Carolina they will lose and by a signifant margin.

Joey

October 4th, 2012
1:27 pm

“In related news, Steve Spurrier is seeking to have Scouts Inc. fired.’
****************************************
What, MB?

You must be wanting another “postcard.”

Haha . . .

Jeff

October 4th, 2012
1:28 pm

If KC and the Sunshine Band member Wally Joyner said that Georgia is flawed, then the Dawgs must be flawed.

dale

October 4th, 2012
1:29 pm

Mark, sorry if it’s a joke I missed, but does Spurrier really have a beef with the ajc?

Gary

October 4th, 2012
1:31 pm

GT Bob, Has Clemson started scoring yet? Can your score board handle triple digits. Is their anything good you could say about your team. Georgia has talent but lacks depth and preparation for playing the top programs well. 10 & 2 with an outback bowl and many Georgia fans will say the sky is falling and demand Richts head. I won’t be one of them, but let me ask you… What does that make you thnk about Tech. For the Dawgs 10 & 2 and no SEC is pretty close to a disaster. Tech lost to MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE and you are still over here sniping. ESPN only mentions your team in disbelief at this point and you are only five weeks in facing Clemson.

GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:31 pm

This weekend will go a long way in changing the national perception of UGA Football… if they can come out of Columbia with a W.

Im not sure beating South Carolina is ever something that can shift national perception. People have pretty much accepted that ESPN is going to put as many SEC teams in the top 10 as they can. Nobody actually believes the teams deserve to be there.

BusterBrave

October 4th, 2012
1:32 pm

K.C. Joyner and Rod Gilmore be geniuses…….cocka-doodle-do……

@GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:32 pm

And what is your assessment of GT, Bob?

Gary

October 4th, 2012
1:36 pm

GT Bob, Flawed and overrated describes ever team in the top 25 at this point except Bama, Oregon, and FSU. I am pretty sure FSU and Oregon will make the flawed list as well. If you are not number 1 and played lights you are flawed and overrated. In Georgia Techs case you are simply not rated and an embarrassment to the state of Georgia, the ACC, and all of college football. Though Tech is not flawed. For something to have flaws, the other parts have to be working. Your team is just broke and done. Hope some of you show for you annual beating. Love the ‘nerds’ chant!

@GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:37 pm

Just curious, If you don’t believe the SEC teams in the top 10 deserve to be there, who would be your top 10?

Nola Dawg Fan

October 4th, 2012
1:38 pm

MB – you could add to your Pro list for ESPN. Gene W (not going to take the time to look up spelling) ranks UGA #2 in the nation in his BMOC artice. Link below.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/page/BMOC-100212/the-bmoc-surveys-arkansas-razorbacks-heisman-race-high-flying-qbs-more

UGA Insider

October 4th, 2012
1:39 pm

Gary, cool your jets, I picked UF over LSU this week. I have UF losing two games this year. Georgia and FSU. I have LSU losing 2 or 3. I have USCe losing 3.

Gary

October 4th, 2012
1:40 pm

GT Bob,

‘People have pretty much accepted that ESPN is going to put as many SEC teams in the top 10 as they can. Nobody actually believes the teams deserve to be there.’

Mark, can you finally dump this clown. The above statement is the stupidest thing I have read in the AJC today.

nate from detroit

October 4th, 2012
1:40 pm

Hey, Gary it’s easy to look good and like you’re improving when your last 2 opponents were Kentucy at home, and open. I will admit that they looked better against open than they have all year long.

GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:41 pm

Hope some of you show for you annual beating.

I would, but your city and fan base make going to games in Athens pretty unbearable. There is almost no chance of having a good time even if GT won by 50.

KBP

October 4th, 2012
1:43 pm

Wow, just who has SC beaten to where we have to play at such a high level to beat them? They have to play their best game of the year to beat us. If we do not turn the ball over or if SC does not create turnovers, this game will not be close. Defensively, make Shaw beat us by loading the box. Anyone afraid of him doing that? Our defense will play better and we clearly have to much offensive firepower for the Gamecocks to shut us down for 4 quarters. They absolutely do not have too much firepower for us. 42-21 would not surprise me.

George Stein

October 4th, 2012
1:44 pm

I hate UGA, too. Unfortunately, they have a good football team.

GTBob

October 4th, 2012
1:46 pm

Just curious, If you don’t believe the SEC teams in the top 10 deserve to be there, who would be your top 10?

I would have Kansas State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Oregon State, and Ohio State well above UGA or South Carolina. Maybe Texas as well but I will reserve judgement on them until this weekend. They may be just as overrated as UGA.

KBP

October 4th, 2012
1:46 pm

AJC, why was my post rejected?

Reality Check

October 4th, 2012
1:47 pm

KC Joyner’s opinion on the game shouldn’t mean anything to anybody. Joyner is an intellectual who disregards what actually happens in the game and makes his opinions and analysis based off stats and metrics. While stats are extremely helpful you can always find some statistical basis to support your opinion rather warranted or not. Joyner is also the guy who has said that all-time greats Champ Bailey and Peyton Manning are overrated. In addition, he has stated that Mike Wallace is better than Calvin Johnson. That’s right he said that. The guy is a joke. Take his opinion with a grain of salt. Any person can manipulate numbers to get them to say what they want.

Mark Bradley

October 4th, 2012
1:49 pm

Our automated filters tend to get antsy when South Carolina is involved. Has to do with South Carolina’s nickname.

The Dude

October 4th, 2012
1:50 pm

It’s pretty simple. Win Saturday and you will gain respect, win big and you will control your own destiny for a National Championship, lose and prepare for the “Overrated” chants. It’s the first of your four real challenges (USCe, FL, SEC Champ, BCS Champ).

MattinATL

October 4th, 2012
1:54 pm

“In related news, Steve Spurrier is seeking to have Scouts Inc. fired.”

FUNNY!

Russ GATA

October 4th, 2012
1:54 pm

CBS is the one I want to hike a keg on for passing on this game.
Coaching-film breakdown-Murray is horrible-Murray is Elway-all laughable.
Over analysis
Gurshell twins are a rising tide that makes look BoBo a genius and Murray an All-American.
2 best players on the field are 18 and from North Carolina. Dawgs win strong.

gtt

October 4th, 2012
1:54 pm

K.C. Joyner is apparently stupid. I got eyes and sense and don’t come to that conclusion.

Shug

October 4th, 2012
1:55 pm

At least someone finally mentioned UGA’s poor special teams. Is there any other college team in any division that has missed more extra points? 50 yard field goals are nice, but is it too much to ask to make ALL extra points.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
1:56 pm

GTBob’s day, everyday:

Wake up alone. Find new UGA blogs even though he is a nerd fan. Comment on other peoples comments. Change diaper. Go to bed alone. What a winner!

gtt

October 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

I wonder how my mother’s side of the family would fare with your filters Bradley. Coxes, don’t you know.

UGA 89

October 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

George Stein…
Are you the lawyer?