Thursday, December 3, 2009

AJC NFL Poll: Can UGA beat the Saints?

Throughout the week there's been a steady drumbeat of reports indicating Charlie Strong is the lead candidate for the Louisville head coaching job. He won't interview until next week, but I'll be very curious to see how that goes. Strong is a terrific defensive coach and recruits well, but hasn't shown great skill with the "public face" part of the job yet. Dan Mullen has had MSU people eating out of his hand since he got to Starkville and began referring to Ole Miss as "the school up north" a la Urban Meyer with FSU (who modeled his version of that on Woody Hayes). Bob Stoops claimed at his introductory Oklahoma press conference that he painted his shoes silver to look like Joe Washington when he was a kid. The fanbase loved it - instead of some DC they'd never heard of, he was a Sooner like them! Is Strong ready to play that kind of role for the Louisville fanbase? I hope so, but in media dealings with him he's seemed pretty stiff even with guys he knows. Being skilled at that stuff's an important part of being a head coach these days.

Mark Richt did what most believed was inevitable and announced the dismissal of Willie Martinez as Georgia defensive coordinator. Two other assistants on the defensive side got the boot as well, meaning only defensive line coach and recruiting ace Rodney Garner is left. Considering Garner has been reported to have some sort of issue with athletic director Damon Evans, he may leave on his own regardless of whether he's considered for the DC spot. It will be very interesting to see what direction Richt goes with this enormously important choice, and as usual the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's absurd Bulldog homerism about how desirable that position will be does not disappoint. Check out the poll accompanying this inane Mark Bradley piece suggesting UGA should hire South Carolina's DC (who took the job with the Gamecocks specifically to return to his home state, but Bradley feels would want to leave because... well, he just would). It lists Charlie Strong and Tommy Tuberville as candidates for Georgia's DC spot. Why not include Batman and General David Petraeus too?

There's a college football game you should watch tonight. I've heard for a long time that Oregon and Oregon State is one of the most bitter rivalries in all of college football. Unfortunately, thanks to the Pac-10's crappy TV contracts, most of us haven't gotten a chance to see it too often. Tonight at nine the two teams play with a Rose Bowl berth on the line and ESPN will let the whole country see what the big deal is. Both teams have creative offenses with quality running backs - this should be really good. If we're really lucky, they'll mix in some sideline shots of the Oregon cheerleaders as well.

As bad as Bobby Bowden must have felt when FSU told him it was over earlier this week, at least there was a way to stop him from further damaging his legacy. No such process exists in boxing, which is why we wind up with the sad spectacle of long used up fighters who will not accept reality. The latest sad example is Roy Jones Junior, who was knocked out in less than a round by someone named Danny Green. Hopefully this will be it, but supposedly there's a potential rematch with Bernard Hopkins out there for him. Ideally Jones and Evander Holyfield could be pitted against each other in a "loser has to retire for good" match, because both of them should have stopped at least half a decade ago.

You might have noticed I haven't said anything about Tiger Woods admitting to "letting his family down" via statement yesterday. It's a shame that Tiger made the mistakes he did, but I'm at a loss to explain why anyone would expect moral guidance from a pro athlete. Woods owes his family an apology, but other than that he doesn't owe anyone much. When the sexuality of the mom from Family Ties can be treated as an important story, something is seriously messed up with our priorities.

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