Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Like Mark Richt. I Hate Jim Tressel.

1. I think that Mark Richt is intellectually smarter than the average coach. If you sat all 12 SEC coaches down and forced them to take IQ tests, I bet he'd score better than most. My reason for saying this is that he sounded far brighter than the average coach when discussing Georgia's BCS situation. He came up with an excellent scenario explaining why teams that don't win their conferences should be considered for the BCS title game. He also made a inventive argument that Georgia needs to win the Sugar Bowl because pre-season rankings matter, as evidenced by the way that voters have treated LSU well in part because of their pre-season ranking. (I'll admit to a little of this myself. I've touted LSU this year because I think they're really good, but I'll admit to being biased because: (a) I thought they were being coached by Michigan's next head coach; and (b) I picked them #1 before the year and wanted to be proven correct.) In sum, Richt demonstrated an ability to grasp logical concepts and make persuasive arguments that most coaches lack. I don't think that pure intellectual ability is that critical for a head coach; recruiting, assembling a quality staff, and motivation are the three most critical tasks and none of them require an IQ of 140. That said, it's nice to know that Georgia has a bright guy as its head coach.

By the way, I complained vigorously last year about Urban Meyer politicking for the spot in the national title game. I took some significant flak for it and I'm starting to think that the flak was accurate. Richt made the case this morning that he had to say something because he had to stand up for his players - the Bobby Cox approach - and that makes a lot of sense to me. Plus, I'm rebelling against Lloyd/Michigan for living in a by-gone era where athletic directors don't return calls from the agents of prospective coaches even when they have been given permission to do so.

2. Did anyone else notice that Jim Tressel abstained from voting in the final 2006 regular season coaches poll because of his "unique position" in having a hand in selecting Ohio State's title game opponent, but he had no qualms about voting in the final 2007 regular season poll? Between the smarmy "Senator Tressel" persona, the Colonel Klink "I see nothing!" response to Michigan being frisked on its way into the Horseshoe or just about anything relating to Maurice Clarett, and the fact that he loves Celine Dion, I really don't like Jim Tressel. This of course has nothing to do with Michigan losing to his teams over and over again.


peacedog said...

The world is a better place when you guys beat Cheaty Pants McSweeterVest. And I didn't remember this about his voting inconsistencies. . . great catch.

peacedog said...

Forgot to add. Somebody in a blog somewhere claims that an econ professor looked at a number of recent polls and came to the conclusion that "losing early is *not* better than losing late, and in fact losing late is sometimes preferrable".

Effectively, if you're very highly ranked and lose late, chances are most people have made up their minds about you. And. . . he's right I think. There have been a number of high profile BCS participants with a late loss who didn't suffer for it, teams who eitehr *didn't* win their conferece (at large) or made the title game (vya magical selection process). I really want to make a list of these two groups at some point. Sample sizes will be tiny (we're just not talking that many combined at larges + championship game berths), but it's a fascinating question.

And, IMO, there is truth to it. Obviously, a second loss late is typically far more damning than a first loss late. This is the first year where that didn't prove to be the case (insert general comment about zaniness of this season here). Also, while you've proven that to a degree pre-season rankings don't matter, we both know that they can matter. And I do agree that when a team starts out performing as expected ()or a little better), they probably insulate themselves much more from a normally damning late loss (assuming it doesn't knock them from the top of the conference, or out of the CCG, etc).

Also, after all the shilling coaches have donw for berths into titel games, I want to say I'm a wee bit chapped about flak richt has caught. Look, it's cheesy and self-serving, but we've created a system where coaches have to do this, if only to try and keep the playing field level (so to speak). Rather than criticizing them, we should look to the source of the issue.

But, making fun of some guys above and beyond the call of duty is ok (Tubbs, McSweaterVest come to mind).

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Tressel and his smarmy little Mr Rodgers routines drive me crazy.

You bring up a wonderful idea, ranking the SEC coaches based on your perception of their IQ (or SAT score or whatever).

My Stab:

Anonymous said...

I like Jim Tressel. I hate Michael. You are obviously either wasting your company’s time or you are to young to work! Go OSU!

Anonymous said...

Or maybe he posted it when he wasn't working! Free time = novel concept.

Anonymous said...

You claim Mark Richt is intelligent because he stated the obvious. Come on. His points were the football equivalent of 2+2. I'm just upset Georgia won't be playing USC in the Rose Bowl. Rumor had it that the intelligent Richt was going to have his boys come out before the game dressed like Elvis singing "viva las vegas."

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Richt managed to show some class after getting a bit of a bum deal. I think, around the nation, people expected him to be pouty and bemoan his fate, but he's accepted what he had to know was inevitable with dignity.

Hawaii is just a poor draw, though, when you were looking at USC in the Rose Bowl just days earlier.

By the way, "I see NOTHING!" was the catchphrase of Sergeant Schultz, played by John Banner, not Colonel Klink.

Anonymous said...

If Richt wants to be in the title game, he needs to take care of his own business, then he wouldn't have to worry about what everyone else is doing. He lost to a terrible South Carolina team and got spanked by the team that LSU beat in the conference title game. Every coach in the conference that has a vote in the coaches poll pick LSU over Georgia, except Richt.

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