Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No News is....No News.

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks...and while some in the readership out there would say that makes me irrelevant, I would argue that my lack of posting anything shows just how relevant I am. You see, for the past couple of weeks, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED concerning my view of Georgia Football.

True, we picked up commitments from two recruits.

But, recruit "commitments" are like "going steady." There's no real commitment. Basically, it's an agreement to make a commitment on a future date. Just like "going steady" is open-ended until a marital engagement, a commitment to a football team can easily be rescinded by either party. The recruit can suddenly decide to jump ship, or the school can quickly pull a scholarship offer. The only difference is, unlike the potential bride, both the school and the kid know the date on which their "coupling" will or will NOT become official (in most cases).

Also, I know little about the two players who have committed recently, other than the facts that Scott-Wesley appears to have a boat load of speed, and size (but he's still a 3-star recruit - obviously missing SOMETHING that would make folks think he'll make an impact in 2011) and the fact that Sterling Bailey has size and strength (and is still a 3-star recruit - obviously missing SOMETHING that would make folks think he'll make an impact in 2011). Now, neither of these players have entered their senior season in high school. Some would think that isn't important. Let me tell you the difference a year can make.

In my junior year of high school, I was buried on a depth chart at center behind another junior who had been starting since the year before. Also, I was told that in "emergency situations" (should Stephen get hurt) the line would be adjusted, and one of the guards would be starting at center. Simply put, I was not ready for prime time.

A year later, I was the starting center, started all 12 games for my team which went 10-0 and won our region (Region 4 AAAA - the highest classification at the time) before dropping the 2nd game of the playoffs. I was named to all-county and all-region teams, and was an all-state honorable mention. I graded out highest on the offensive line most weeks of that season (beating the guy who once started in front of me). Simply put, that one year can mean a whole heck of a lot.

Now, it could be that Todd Grantham was in Bailey's ear for a reason. Maybe he sees the upside in this kid that most won't recognize until this fall. Perhaps Richt and Co know that Scott-Wesley simply has to work on route running, and he'll be a big-time player. Perhaps our coaches have evaluated these guys as 4 star players, and the recruiting services will catch up later. I have no idea. But, at any rate, I don't feel I have any real need to be jumping for joy about these new commitments. So, I have held my fingers from the keyboard.

Or, I suppose I could be joining in this whole "hot seat" debate that seems so popular right now. Well, it's popular because people don't have much to write about or talk about, and when that's true, people will talk and write about the most incendiary topics possible. As a result, more conversation is created, and the people get what they want most - a forum to argue and debate over topics that have nothing to do with reality. The simple fact of the matter is, the "hot seat" does not exist. A guy has a job, or he doesn't. If his performance falls to a point where the University feels he's no longer useful, he's gone. In essence, every coach is on the "hot seat" every year. You can bank up good will, but if you have a catastrophic season, you're in just as much danger of being fired as anyone else. If the Gators go 2-10 this season, do you think the FL brass will stick by Urban Meyer and say, "This guy is OUR guy forever"? No, they won't. They'll say, "you should focus on your health. Take some time off - like, forever." Now, that won't happen because Florida won't go 2-10 this season. But hey, for the purpose of writing, I can live by conjecture just as much as anyone else can.

Also, it takes more than fan disapproval to get a coach fired. Sorry to all the blog readers and message board writers out there, but the fact is, your disapproval doesn't carry that much weight. To put it simply, the Board Of Regents "Just ain't that into you." Now, BIG DONORS, on the other hand, carry some weight. BUT, they don't carry an enormous amount. The fact is, the school gets much more money from TV contracts, endorsement deals, BCS games, etc, than they do from even the most major of major donors. What delivers THOSE dollars? Winning games and having a championship-caliber program. Richt delivered that through the first half of this decade, and still delivered wins into the second half. He ended the decade poorly. In the new decade, he's starting fresh. If he delivers again, the school will be rewarded for NOT listening to message board maniacs who think Richt should be replaced with someone a little more "peppy."

And then, there's the great Richard Samuel debate. Fans are patting their backs for their correct assumption that Samuel would make a better linebacker than a running back. Many fans now believe themselves to be smarter than the UGA coaching staff, because they were calling for that move a year ago. It's funny...but I remember people LIKING Samuel's "bowl you over" style when he first started running the ball. The problem was, he didn't bowl people over and keep going...he bowled himself into a tackle. He lacked good field vision, and that'll kill any running back's career. Still, who didn't go crazy when he broke that 80-yard run? And, which of the fans out there knows what was going on within the walls of Butts-Mehre? It's quite possible that Jancek never really took to Samuel. If that's the case, then you can see why the kid wouldn't have been moved to LB earlier. It's possible that Jancek was simply a bad hire, and that he couldn't recognize potential. Given the development of recent LBs, I'd give that a shot as being the truth. Some will say, "Richt didn't listen to the kid's highschool coach, who said he should be on defense."

Well, my high-school coach once said I had no business being on a football field "anywhere." Not "in the SEC" not "at UGA" not even "at this high-school" He said, I didn't belong on a football field "anywhere." There are more than a few plaques on my wall that would disagree. In my case, my coach was wrong. In Samuel's case, his coach appears to have been right. But, you take each kid and you look at his skills, and you try to use him as best as you can for your team. Unfortunately, Samuel didn't develop at RB. Perhaps he will at LB.

Sean Jones didn't develop at QB, but was one hell of a safety. Bruce Thornton (whom I had the luxury of playing with at two schools- LHS and UGA) wasn't an SEC tailback, but he became an NFL Cornerback. Terrence Edwards didn't toss many passes at UGA, but he sure did catch a few. All three of these guys (and quite a few more) were brought in at one position (anyone remember Fullback David Pollack getting carries at UGA?) but excelled at another (anyone remember Defensive End David Pollack being UGA's 2nd Three-Time All-American?). Hopefully the same will ring true for Richard Samuel. Either way, it wasn't the clamoring of fans that created the opportunity Richard now has. It was a perfect storm of factors. King and Ealy developed better than Samuel, so he was buried under their performances. Jancek was removed and Grantham brought in. Grantham's aggressive style suits Samuel's attitude. Learning a new position would give Samuel the perfect opportunity to redshirt and be able to truly COMPETE at a position as opposed to being surpassed. These factors made the change very easy, and hopefully, very fortunate.

Still, ALL of this...EVERY STORYLINE, is conjecture. Will the recruits eventually sign and improve the team? Does a hotseat for Mark Richt exist? Will Samuel be a great Linebacker? None of it is based on any kind of on-the-field performance that has taken place. The recruits haven't played a down of their senior year. The Dawgs haven't begun "the season that could make or break Mark Richt" (which is stupid anyway. It can't make him...he's already "made" could only break him, and I don't think it could do that either). Samuel hasn't made a single tackle against an opposing team (I think...I dunno...has he been on kickoff - oh wait, did we tackle on kickoffs under Fabris?). So, we're all simply left to sit here and imagine what COULD be.

Do yourself a favor. Talk about good UGA football memories, or even bad ones. Talk about the spring game, whatever. But stop trying to imagine what might possibly maybe happen if certain things that could happen do happen and go down the way they might be able to maybe go down. It's going to drive you nuts.

Go Dawgs.


Andy Coleman said...

The blogosphere is supposed to be full of manure. It makes it that much more fun to decipher between the fertilizer, and the stuff that just plain stinks!

Kelly and Brad said...

I didn't realize you played with Thornton at LaGrange. He was one of our halls faves back in '99-00! Russell Hall 3N loves Bruce! I'm looking forward to hearing more thoughts as we make our way towards fall.