Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Georgia Wanted To Win Long Before Watkins' Comments

By Terry Johnson
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Regardless of what anyone says, Sammy Watkins’ recent comments about beating the Georgia Bulldogs in the season opener aren't that big of a deal.

Make no mistake about it: Watkins definitely stirred up a hornet's nest with his remarks. As he told Bart Wright of the Greenville News:

"If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction. I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.”

Naturally, that bold assertion did not go unnoticed. College football experts across the nation opined that Watkins’ incendiary statement was a huge mistake because it provided “bulletin board material” for the Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, that argument simply isn’t true. The Dawgs wanted to win this contest long before Watkins said anything.

Let’s be honest: UGA is probably the hungriest team in the nation because it hasn’t received the type of respect that it deserves. After winning the last two East Division titles, all people want to focus on is how the Bulldogs had a relatively easy conference schedule. Instead of complimenting the Dawgs for nearly derailing Alabama’s quest for back-to-back titles, the media coverage focused on how Mark Richt and Aaron Murray couldn’t win the big one.

Those types of criticisms—made long before the interview with Watkins took place—are what has and will continue to motivate the Georgia players to win the season opener.

Judging by how well the defense fared in the spring game, it’s safe to assume that Richt and company will begin the 2013 campaign on a winning note.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reaction to Oregon's Penalties - or lack thereof

By Terry Johnson
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It's hard not to be disappointed with the NCAA in this case. Rather than punish Oregon for breaking the rules, the NCAA basically accepted the penalties that UO recommended since the school was "fully cooperat(ive) throughout the entirety of the investigative stage."

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Let's be honest, Oregon committed some very serious recruiting violations in this case. As the Committee on Infractions noted in its findings, "the $25,000 paid to recruiting service 1 was more than double the amount the institution paid to the second most costly of the other recruiting services it employed."

Not a bad salary for someone who the committee concluded "lacked national-level experience."

Still not convinced this is a big deal? Consider the following snippet from the today's report:

Committee Member: Okay. Then in February, you have (prospect A) sign a Letter of Intent with the university, and then you have shortly thereafter a $25,000 invoice to the university that is paid (to the recruiting service provider) as part of the contractual relationship for services that ultimately were never provided. Is that a fair assessment? I am just trying to get to the essence of this.

Former head coach: Yes, I understand. The services weren't totally provided in terms of what we should have got.

Translation: the service provider received money for steering recruits to Eugene, not for his contractually agreed upon services.

So what does Oregon get for such an egregious violation of the rules? Three years of probation and the loss of one scholarship in each of the next two seasons.

In other words, it received little more than a slap on the wrist. That's hardly the type of punishment that will make other schools think twice before committing a similar offense in the future.

And make no mistake about it: something like this is bound to happen again. Whether we like it or not (and I don't), the recruiting process is much more competitive than it's ever been before. What's to stop a coach from bending (or breaking) the rules if he knows that the school will get off lightly as long as it cooperates with the NCAA investigation?

Absolutely nothing.

Houston, we have a problem.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rant Sports College Football Top 100 Rankings: No. 80 Bowling Green

Thankfully, the college football season is just 80 days away. That means it’s time to preview team No. 80 in the Rant Sports 100 in 100 Series: the Bowling Green Falcons.

BG finished the 2012-13 campaign as one of the hottest teams in the country. After a slow start to the season, the Falcons won seven of their last nine contests, with the only losses coming against the Kent State Golden Flashes (11-3) and San Jose State Spartans (11-2).

With nine starters returning on both sides of the ball, Bowling Green is one of the most experienced teams in the country. Will this extra seasoning be enough to propel the Falcons to their first MAC Championship since 1992?

Read the Full Story Rant Sports

SEC Football: Steve Spurrier Scheduling Compromise Is Not The Answer

South Carolina Gamecocks‘ head coach Steve Spurrier finally broke his silence and decided to go public with his solution to the SEC’s scheduling conundrum. While his approach would be an excellent compromise, the league would be wise to keep the existing format.

Read the full story @ Rant Sports

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Kentucky Wildcats: Jalen Whitlow Should Move to Receiver

With four players transferring out of Kentucky Wildcats‘ program, the team will need to make some personnel changes on both sides of the ball. But, the most important decision that Mark Stoops needs to make would be the most unpopular of his short tenure in Lexington.

Despite emerging as the favorite in the three-man quarterback derby at the conclusion of spring practice, Jalen Whitlow needs to move to receiver this season.

Read the Full Story at Rant Sports

Tennessee Volunteers Football: Lane's Potential Return Will Help Backfield

It looks like the Tennessee Volunteers will get deeper at running back thanks to the potential return of one of its top players.

While the school has yet to confirm anything publicly, Knoxville Jimmy Hyams tweeted on Wednesday that Marlin Lane is now back on the team after being suspended this spring.

Read the Full Article at Rant Sports

Rant Sports College Football Top 100 Rankings: No. 85 Arkansas State

Thankfully, the college football season is just 85 days away. With that in mind, it’s time to preview team No. 85 in the Rant Sports 100 in 100 Series: the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

ASU has been one of the most consistent programs in the country over the past two years. Not only have the Red Wolves captured the last two Sun Belt titles, but they have also posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history.

Can Arkansas State make it three in a row, or will the loss of stalwarts Don Jones, Ryan Aplin, Nathan Herrold and Zack McKnight doom the team to a mediocre season?

Read the Full Story at Rant Sports