Author Archives: tardawg1014

SECual Healing, July 2: Georgia Historically Underachieves, Laremy Tunsil is World’s Most Noble Domestic Abuser

What’s good, SEC?

Does Georgia Historically Underachieve?

This will probably be a thinkpiece on this site at a later, less busy date, but it’ll be difficult to put something out there as well thought out and statistically-backed as Michael Bird did. Warning: highly toxic besmirching of the 1980 team very early in the article.

My #hottake: In recent history, probably. Injury-apocalypse 2013 aside, the Dawgs tend to have somewhat inexplicable losses that come back to bite them in years that are otherwise tailor-made for championship runs. Even last year, South Carolina absolutely should not have happened. Capitalizing on opportunities has not been Georgia’s M.O.

I promise to get back to this after pondering and research.

Laremy Tunsil, World’s Best Domestic Abuser

I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now: Ole Miss LT Laremy Tunsil’s mother is abused by stepfather (his, not hers). Laremy takes action into his own (massive) hands.

Hugh Freeze, to his credit, has publicly defended his player.

The court date is set for July 14th, and should be somewhat fascinating. Since the story came out, the stepfather has leaked that Tunsil was “with NFL agent types” at the time of the incident.

Tennessee is now a Nike School

And their uniforms got a much-needed facelift from the Adidas weird checkerboard abominations. Their alternates, though? Still kinda meh.

Florida Picks Up First QB of McIlwain Era

But he won’t help this year or next, as he is a 2017 guy. Florida only has two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster this year (for now).

Why do I say for now? Well, Braxton Miller may be available.

National Title Rematch in 2019

Auburn and Oregon played one of the more entertaining national championship games (I assume people who don’t hate Auburn found it entertaining, at least) back in 2010, and will get after it again at JerryWorld to open the 2019 season.


Happy Fourth, everyone!

Know Your Other Conferences: The B1G East (The One Where the Fun Schools Play)

Ah, yes. The one where the defending national champs, shirtless Jim Harbaugh, stifling Michigan State, and resurgent Penn State play. It’s better than Legends and Leaders as division names, but dear God Jim Delaney, how about a little competitive balance? zeke


What Happened Last Year?

September 6, 2014: Black Saturday in the Big Ten. #19 Nebraska barely escaped McNeese State at home. Iowa and Maryland barely won depressing games against Ball State and USF, respectively. And the high-profile teams from the East, #7 Michigan State (got run out of Eugene in the 4th quarter), Michigan (shut out in the last game with Notre Dame for the foreseeable future), and #8 Ohio State (inexplicable loss at home to 6-7 finisher Virginia Tech) all bit the bullet, and us in SEC country got a good schadenfreude-induced laugh at their expense.

December 6, 2014: Ohio State 59, Wisconsin 0. The 6th-ranked team in the CFP polls made a compelling case to jump TCU and Baylor in the standings because, you know, they played a conference championship game.

December 30, 2014: Michigan officially announces the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as head football coach.

January 1, 2015: Ohio State 42, Alabama 35. Oh.

January 12, 2015: Ohio State 42, Oregon 20.

And here we are.


7: Indiana, in a league of its own: The Hoosiers have made some positive strides under (shameless citation) UNC grad Kevin Wilson in his four years, winning 4, 5, and 4 in the last three and famously winning the SEC East last year. Tevin Coleman’s 2000+ rushing yards depart, but they’re still explosive enough to upset someone.

6-5: Delaney’s Awesome Additions: Every business decision made by this man since the inception of the Big Ten Network has been based on cable eyeballs, so why not add the robust NYC and D.C./Baltimore markets to the fold? Well, because those markets net you Rutgers and Maryland.

6) Maryland: I almost feel bad for Randy Edsall. His 20-30 record at Maryland has more to do with key players (all of his QB’s in 2012, leading to finishing with six straight losses, dynamic wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Long last year) getting hurt than it does with his coaching ability. Or does it? He only won 8 games in the year he took Connecticut to the Fiesta Bowl and lost the school almost $2 million for his efforts.

5) Rutgers: I’m still a sucker for gunmetal helmets.

4-3: Turmoil-infused former powers and the benefit of the doubt:

4) Michigan: The Brady Hoke/Devin Gardner era ended with a whimper as shrill as Hoke’s voice, and the Wolverines made the perfect Michigan hire. Self-righteous grad? Check. Success at both college and the NFL? Check. Tans on Michigan’s beaches? HELL NAW A MICHIGAN MAN DOESN’T TAN! Harbaugh is a certifiable crazy person, and he will either bring them back to prominence or fail miserably. Either option will be fun.

Had to do it.

Had to do it.

3) Penn State: This is a pure “hey, what James Franklin did at Vandy is even more impressive now” vote of confidence. This is a team that lost to Northwestern, Maryland, and Illinois last year. Their quarterback, the presumptive #1 pick in next year’s draft, tossed 12 TD’s and 15 picks. But they have hope, damnit! 15 returning starters, no more NCAA issues, and no excuse not to start 6-0. We shall see.

2-1: The two entities that make this column easier to write: 

2) Michigan State: I love a fun game of “coordinator or head coach?”. The Gene Chizik era at Auburn was not unmitigated disaster because of Gus Malzahn. Dabo Swinney would be back in real estate with me if not for Chad Morris. Georgia’s 2014 secondary without Jeremy Pruitt? Woof. (I swear on my life that that was not a Dawg pun.)

Stud DC Pat Narduzzi left for Pitt in the offseason, and in so doing left behind a defense that has once allowed more than 300 yards a game over the past four years! They’ve lost first round draft picks at corner in each of the past two drafts, but still return 7 starters and intend to maintain the ‘no fly zone’ moniker that has Sparty at 24-3 over the past two years. That’s enough for me at least until I see them host Oregon in week 2.

1) Ohio State: 1995 Nebraska. 2001 Miami. 2004 USC. 2010 Alabama. Every once in a while, there’s a team that possesses overwhelming talent and coaching, and though you want them to lose every game, you respect the crap out of what they’re accomplishing. 2015 Ohio State could be on that level. They just ran through our decade’s two preeminent programs in the first CFP with their third string quarterback, and return ALL THREE OF THEM, their top five rushers, 6 of their top 7 receivers, their top four tacklers, the best pass rusher in America, and even their whole special teams unit.

I’ve never liked Urban Meyer, and I’ve never liked Ohio State. There is no light at the end of this tunnel.

Top Five Games

1) Michigan State at Ohio State, Nov. 21: Objectively, this is the only game that a Buckeye regular-season opponent has even a chance of winning. Yet tOSU will still be favored by double digits. I hate everything.

2) Oregon at Michigan State, Sept. 12: Last year, Oregon needed a 4th quarter barrage to hold off Sparty at home. This year, we get to learn a lot about Oregon post-Mariota and MSU post-Narduzzi before public pools in Georgia close.

3) Penn State at Ohio State, Oct. 17: I alluded to it above, but Penn State opens with the following: at Temple, Buffalo, Rutgers, San Diego St., Army, Indiana….AT OHIO STATE. This is your classic Herbstriet/Musberger 8pm ABC start-turned-snoozer by midway through the second quarter, but I may watch.

4) Michigan section: home against Michigan State (Oct. 17) and Ohio State (Nov. 28): In his first year at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh took a 38-point dog Stanford team to the L.A. Coliseum and beat USC. If he can win one of these two, well, the insane guy looks a little bit more…normal.

Or not.

5) Maryland at West Virginia, Sept. 26: I think this has become an annual thing! Whenever there’s potential for an ugly battery-tossing incident in a rivalry of two of the most disturbing fanbases in the country, it’s must-see-noon-bloody-mary TV.

Ten Players to Watch: 

After some research and struggle, I was able to name five in the other division. Here? I could get ten off Ohio State alone.

– The three-headed OSU QB monster: Between Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, and Braxton Miller, there are three different skillsets, all have which have worked to horrifying results. If tOSU has a downfall this year, could it be due to chemistry results at the QB position?
– Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State: 13.5 sacks as a sophomore, and #1 on pretty much everyone’s 2016 draft list.
– Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, RB/WR, Ohio State: Both have been compared to Percy Harvin-like fits for Urban Meyer’s offense, and both are essentially playing as sophomores.
– Ezekiel Elliott, HB, Ohio State: 1878 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, and depending on who’s behind center is not the best Heisman candidate in his own backfield.
(I’m only counting that as four.)
– Shiquile Calhoun, DE, Michigan State: Apparently the next big thing to come out of Spartyville, he finished with 8 sacks and another 4.5 quarterback hurries last year.
– Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: Presumptive first-round pick in an offense that doesn’t throw the ball very often.
– Christian Hackenburg, QB, Penn State: Presumptive first-overall pick with a career TD:Int of 32:25.
– Darius Hamilton, DT, Rutgers: An NFL 3-4 end, Hamilton has over 10 sacks, TFL, and QBH in his three years, and an impressive 7 passes broken up.
– Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers: I watched him do work to the worst defense I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching 13 times in last year’s bowl game, and the rangy deep threat’s name is so much fun to say. CARRROOOOOOOOO!!!
– Sean Davis, S, Maryland: A safety with 227 tackles over two seasons is either great in run support or playing for an abysmal defense.

Hate to admit it, but writing up the B1G East was kinda fun. If you made me put the whole conference in one post, though, I’d be a pancake on GA-400 right now. Up next: probably the Pac-12 North. Until then, archives:

6/30: Big XII:

7/1: B1G West:

Know Your Other Conferences: B1G West (I’m Sorry)

This was mentioned in yesterday’s Big XII preview, but I was really not looking forward to doing this one. When I think Big XII West, I think bone-chilling cold, corn, cheese, and schools’ most attractive co-eds wearing sweatpants.

I’m going to do my best to inform you about a division where the presumptive favorite lost its coach to Oregon State, the best program is about 20 years removed from national relevance, aaaaaand….


What Happened Last Year?

The division’s champion (and this year’s expert favorite) got beat by 59 points in the league championship game. Their coach left for the greener pastures of Corvallis, Oregon. Their Heisman contender was the first first-round running back drafted in three years (non-Todd Gurley division).

That’s…that’s all I got.


7-6: Teams who will get their coaches fired this year: Misleading subhead, as one team’s coach is doing his best to get himself fired. I’m taking the Illinois Fighting Illini and embattled possibly abusive coach Tim Beckman to bottom out and finish last, on the strength of #6 Purdue getting them at home. Purdue did improve in 2014 from 0-8 (-241 yards per game in conference) to 1-7 (-90). That is infinite improvement there, folks. Oh, and Illinois draws Penn State and Ohio State from the East.

5-3: Teams who could possibly garner some top 25 votes at some point (but probably not): 

5) Iowa: When Phil Steele says that he can’t name 10 players on their roster, yikes. They only have two players on his four all-B1G teams. I look forward to making all of the Kirk Ferentz buyout jokes this season.

4) Minnesota: Their nonconference slate opens with TCU and a trip to Colorado State, so 0-2 seems fairly likely. They open the B1G schedule with Northwestern and Purdue on the road, and later travel to Ohio State from the East. They should be hard-pressed to match last year’s 8 wins.

3) Northwestern: Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach. He’s (famously?) made Northwestern the go-to school in Illinois for recruits. They only play three conference road games, but won’t win any of them. Their other five conference games are winnable, however. They’ve got upperclassmen littering both lines, the secondary, and the skill positions, and a highly-touted redshirt freshman QB who HAS to be an improvement over last year (see players to watch below). That’s more than most of the division can say.

The Cream Corn/Cheese of the Crop:

2) Wisconsin: I’ll say this for continuity: Wisconsin keeps finding coaches to run their massive-road-grader-and-running-game philosophy. Paul Chryst almost got it going at Pitt. Corey Clement is the next big name in Wisconsin’s running back factory.

1) Nebraska: Here’s my argument for Nebraska- the player’s coach effect. They trade noted asshole (link audio probably NSFW) Bo Pelini and his five straight 9-4/10-4 finishes for former Oregon State coach Mike Riley. All four of their conference road games (Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers) are all imminently winnable.

Top Five Games: 

Yeesh. Amazingly, I seriously doubt any of these make the list for the East.

1) Wisconsin at Nebraska, Oct. 10: I’m obligated to put the game that decides the division crown at number 1, right?

2) Wisconsin vs. Alabama, Sept. 5: What better way to Chrysten the Chryst era than to play Christ’s team in Arlington?

3) Michigan State at Nebraska, Nov. 7: If Nebraska doesn’t hold serve against Wisconsin, they can still sneak in to the B1G championship beatdown by beating Sparty.

4) Wisconsin at Illinois, Oct. 24: Ha, not really, but this is the Illini’s best shot at a home conference win. Thus, ITS THEIR HOMECOMING GAME! (other options were Nebraska and Ohio State, as Northwestern is now a neutral-site game at Soldier Field).

5) TCU at Minnesota, Sept. 3: Probably the most hype you’ll ever see surrounding a game of Minnesota football if you weren’t born in the 1930’s. I’m hoping for a TCU blowout to validate the overall tenor of this post.

Five Players to Watch: 

I had to leave it at five for this division, because I just sat down for 5 minutes trying to name 5 without cheating. I got two.

– Corey Clement, Wisconsin: We may find out pretty quickly that Melvin Gordon was a system back in the ilk of Ron Dayne, Brian Calhoun, and James White. He’s gonna push for 2000 yards with Joel Stave still manning the QB position. Fun fact: he’s the only guy in this division listed on Steele’s first team All-B1G offense.
– Vince Biegel, Wisconsin: Biegel was the rare star recruit that stayed in the West, and tallied 7.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss in 2014 as a true sophomore.
– Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska: Without Ameer Abdullah in the backfield, Armstrong takes over as the point man in Riley’s West Coast offense. He ran for 700 yards and threw for another 2700 last year. A step forward for him makes my Nebraska pick look a lot stronger.
– Wes Lunt, Illinois: Remember him from Oklahoma State? He was actually pretty good last year once he took over, with a 14:3 TD:Int ratio.
Justin Jackson, Northwestern: If this list were ranked, he would probably come in at #2 or #3. As a true freshman last year, he ran for 1187 yards and 10 TD’s while playing with quarterbacks who threw for 14 interceptions and just 9 touchdowns.

Hey. Hey, you, yes, you. Still reading?

If so, you have no life. The more fun part of the B1G comes next. I promise to try to bury this one with the East later today.

Georgia Lands Another N.C. Skill Player

Tight end Garrett Walston has committed to UGA over my other school, the University of North Carolina. While most sites apparently only rank him as a three-star recruit, I have a couple of different insights to add here.

1) Being a member of the Inside Carolina message board, it was readily apparent that he was the top TE on the Heels’ list. With Eric Ebron just 13 months removed from being the tenth overall pick in the NFL Draft, Carolina has a legitimate claim as a good school for receiving tight ends.

2) Being a native of the 910 area code, of which Walston’s hometown of Wilmington, N.C. is, scouts don’t often get to the sparsely-populated area. Without doing research, the last 4-5* recruit from the large Southeastern Coastal Plain of N.C. was Xavier Nixon, a 5 star OT from Fayetteville.

What I’m saying is that Walston is probably underrated by the recruiting services. I’d be surprised if he didn’t end up a 4-star.

3) I made a rare post defending Georgia’s commitment to throwing to the TE on IC.



4) Todd Gurley. Keith Marshall. JEBBLAZE. Garrett Walston. Georgia is planting some strong ‘crootin boots in North Cack.

Georgia Football: Phil Steele Thinks Georgia Player is Morbidly Obese

It has long been established that Phil Steele is the best in the college football preview magazine business. Two chock-full pages on every team in the country, predictions, advanced statistics, predictive models…it’s glorious.

Well, with 352 pages of content and a limited amount of time for fact-checking, I guess even ole Phil can get one wrong every now and then.

Georgia longsnapper Trent Frix (who, interestingly enough also had a brother and father serve in the same role) is listed on at 6’0, 211.

***CONTEXT ALERT: I am well aware that he was once the starting longsnapper, but was replaced after the Vanderbilt game in 2013. We’re not doing this here.***

Steele’s magazine has him at a significantly higher weight.

trent frix

If he can still snap weighing 1209 lbs., sign me up for some #fatmanfootball.

The best compliment for a special teamer is that you don’t know his name. If Frix hits the field at over half a ton, I’m afraid he will be anonymous no more.



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