- 8:15 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
If you’re Georgia Tech, the good news is that nobody knows how the ACC Coastal Division will play out. The less-good news is that you, Georgia Tech, were just picked to finish fifth in it.
And a pretty distant fifth at that. In voting by the assembled ACC media at the league’s press convocation in Greensboro, the Yellow Jackets finished three points ahead of Pittsburgh, which was sixth, and 148 points behind North Carolina, which was fourth. Tech drew the sixth-fewest first-place votes (one) in the seven-team division; even Pitt, for some unknown reason, commanded two first-place votes.
- 9:46 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Mark Richt was in a fine mood in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday. He told the media he liked what he has seen of his team. He’d just become a grandfather. He was wearing a bright red tie and smiling a lot, even by Richt’s affable standards.
He flew home to Athens and, twice in the past few days, was reminded that happiness, for a big-time college coach, can be a fleeting concept. A football recruit who visited Georgia over the weekend is being investigated for a dormitory burglary, and this morning comes word that Jonathan Taylor, a backup defensive [More]
- 6:30 am Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Recent appraisals of the Atlanta Falcons haven’t been kind. Pro Football Focus rated theirs the 30th-best roster in the 32-team NFL. In its yearbook, Sporting News ranked them third in the four-team NFC South and 24th in the whole wide NFL. But today we offer glad tidings from an improbable source.
A year ago, Football Outsiders sounded the earliest alarm that the 2013 season wouldn’t be kind to the Falcons, rating their “mean projection” at an NFC South-worst 7.6 wins, which sounded mighty low for a team that had just gone 13-3. (As it turned out, even Football [More]
- 4:09 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
The question posed in this space Sunday — “Can the Braves please just cut Dan Uggla already?” — has received its answer. They could and they did. For Braves fans, this will seem an answered prayer. But this was, in the end, less about Uggla than about the other 24 Braves and their manager.
Uggla had ceased to be a big-league player but was taking up space on a big-league roster. Ergo, he was hurting that big-league team. Fredi Gonzalez had one fewer option because — let’s be blunt — he couldn’t count on Uggla to do anything good. [More]
- 9:48 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
HOOVER, Ala. – Three Georgia Bulldogs showed up for Day 4 of the interminable SEC Media Days wearing bow ties. “Chris Conley’s idea,” linebacker Ramik Wilson said, speaking of the filmmaker/wide receiver. “A great idea.”
(Let the record show that Conley — who bought the ties and tied them for the other two — arrived wearing Batman socks. Wilson and Todd Gurley didn’t follow that trend.)
It took Gurley, who doesn’t much enjoy media interaction, 30 seconds of his session with Georgia reporters to author his first eye-roll, but the tailback bore the burden in good humor. (And wore his bow tie [More]
- 11:40 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
HOOVER, Ala. – The coach of the reigning SEC East champion took the podium this morning, and it still comes as a surprise that said coach is Gary Pinkel of Missouri. Not that Pinkel isn’t good at his job. (He demonstrably is.) But even now, Missouri’s achievement hasn’t been afforded its due. What the Tigers did was astonishing.
The SEC is a snooty place. (Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.) SEC folks believe the best football, if not the only real football, is played in the Deep South. Missouri isn’t located in even the Shallow South. It’s as Midwest [More]
- 4:26 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
HOOVER, Ala. – Apparently Butch Jones is a persuasive guy. His Tennessee Volunteers compiled what Rivals rated the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class last winter, which is big deal for a once-proud program that has had one winning season — and that only 7-6 — since 2007. Ordinarily you’d look at such a class as a signal that better days are ahead, and they might well be.
Just not yet.
Jones appeared here Tuesday at the elongated SEC Media Days and ramped up the quantity of coach-speak by a hundredfold. He expounded on his team’s slogan — “The power of one” [More]
- 2:34 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
HOOVER, Ala. – Here we are at SEC Media Days, for which there’s an official logo (“MD14″) and apparently no end. We began at 11:30 CDT with commissioner Mike Slive again threatening to secede from the NCAA union if his and the other big leagues don’t get their way, and we just sat through another Gus Malzahn, snooze-a-thon, the highlight of which was the Auburn coach’s abject refusal to lobby for the legalization of marijuana.
We’ll conclude late Thursday, which is more than 72 hours away. And yes, if you’re detecting an undercurrent of grousing here … well, Sherlock Holmes has [More]
- 12:56 pm Sunday, July 13th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Dan Uggla didn’t set out to become the worst player in the major leagues. It just happened. But now that it has happened, the one thing the worst player in the majors can’t be, provided he wants to keep his place in the majors, is a distraction. Poor Dan just flunked that test, too.
On the day before the All-Star break, a day the Atlanta Braves will try to win a game and ensure that they hold at least a share of first place in the National League East, they first had to deal with the 25th man on a 25-man [More]
- 12:41 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
LeBron James is taking his talents to …
How about we just retire that tired line here and now? How about we just say, “LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers?” Is that good enough?
I’ll be honest: I never thought he’d leave Miami — a good organization based in Florida, which has nice weather and no state income tax — but the Cavaliers, of all teams, closed the sale. (LeBron announced his decision via an essay on SI.com, which beats the heck of “The Decision,” that overblown hour of ego-gratification that aired on ESPN in [More]