Sprints Is Not Responsible for Georgia's Trouble in 2008 // 06.24.09

Play Ball! LSU's bats are silenced by Texas, and the Longhorns take a 5-1 victory to tie the series at one apiece. That forces a decisive Game 3 tonight at 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT on ESPN -- or ESPN360.com for those who watch on the Web.

Meanwhile, the Mayor is lamening a lack of focus on baseball at Georgia.

Give basketball only what it needs to generate the revenue required of it without causing the overall athletics program any embarrassment greater than losing at a sport that never has been more than intermittently a priority in its best days. Baseball has a longer history, a much more storied tradition, a vastly superior record of recent success, and---let us be honest here---a significantly greater likelihood of future accomplishment than basketball.

Mark Fox thanks you for the strong show of support.

Did Mark Richt throw Stafford and Moreno under the bus? Saying that Mark Richt is now blaming last season's disappointing outcome on Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno might be taking things a bit far. But read into this what you will.

"Last year was one of the toughest years because the Bulldogs fans and the media were focused on those two guys," Richt said. "But this year everybody understands that that's what it's going to take to be successful. The star of the team is the team."

To be fair, it seems that Richt is blaming the willingness of other players to sit back and let Stafford and Moreno carry the team as opposed to the Dawgs' backfield itself. But Georgia blogs are questioning even that logic.

DawgsOnline:

But was leaning on Stafford and Moreno really near the top of the list of last year’s shortcomings? The Georgia offense was 3rd in the SEC in scoring and 2nd in yardage. ...

Teams lean on, single out, and promote stars all the time. Of all of the things that made "last year one of the toughest years," I’m having trouble seeing how "the Bulldogs fans and the media (focusing) on those two guys" was unfair or misplaced attention. They deserved it, and they much more often than not delivered. What did too much attention on Stafford and Moreno have to do with the SEC’s #10 scoring defense or a secondary whose interception total was challenged by the defensive line?

Sen. Blutarsky:

There’s certainly something to that criticism.  But let’s not forget that the 2007 squad did a nice job of surfing the wave that those same two (particularly Moreno) created en route to a seven game winning streak to finish out the season.

Richt explained his remarks by saying it was hotter in the room where he was speaking than it was where Georgia practices.

Kiffin RECRUITING. Remember how inviting all those Pahokee High School players to Tennessee's football camp was going to undo all the damage done by Boy Wonder's mouth? Not so much.

Merrill Noel of Pahokee (Fla.) High School committed to Florida State after visiting Knoxville last weekend as part of Tennessee’s summer camp.

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound defensive back was the second prospect from Pahokee to commit on Monday to Florida State, joining receiver De’Joshua Johnson.

Meanwhile, another camp could soon bring a Southern Cal offer to Jesse Scroggins, who is dangerously close to Tennessee's last best hope at drawing a marquee signal-caller for the 2010 class. Maybe they should just send in Jacques Smith, a UT commitment who is quickly on his way to becoming an assistant recruiting coordinator for the Vols. Which raises an interesting question: Is he subject to the same rules that the coaches are?

As for Tennessee's current quarterback -- his coach's volatility has him learning the finer points of media management.

Sporting News: Do you think Coach has embarrassed the program or Tennessee with some of the things he's done?

Jonathan Crompton: No comment. Like I said, we just focus on what's going on here. (HT: Blutarsky)

Mitch Mustain, backup. Mitch Mustain is apparently following the Matt Cassel career path -- if he takes the field at all this year, something that's looking increasingly sketchy, it will be as a backup.

USC quarterback Mitch Mustain is attempting to resolve academic issues that could affect his eligibility for the coming season, Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday. ...

Asked if Mustain would be eligible if USC played tomorrow, Carroll said, "We don't have a game tomorrow." Mustain could not be reached for comment. ...

Mustain has said he would not consider transferring and that he's close to graduating from USC.

But if he's close to graduating, how is he having "academic issues"?

After all, it's not like Spurrier has a Vince Dooley poster hanging in his office. The Joe Cribbs Car Wash weighs in on the Terry Bowden bit and notes something unnerving on his desk.

That said, Terry would earn a few more points with me if he quit keeping a bust of Bear Bryant on his desk. Recruiting tool or not, man, shouldn't an Auburn coach keep it in a drawer or closet or something?

Well, he's not still an Auburn coach. Maybe he was a spy sent to disrupt the Auburn program. Maybe that whole undefeated season was just meant to throw everyone off his trail ...

The Greatest Player of Our Year? Tim Tebow is the best male athlete in the SEC for 2008-09, according to the conference's athletic directors. The female honors went to Courtney Kupets, a Georgia gymnast.

Wind Sprints. Alabama marks the passing of a radio legend ... Not only did Arkansas Expats mark the next-to-last SEC blog needed to round out SB Nation's league slate, it was our 200th blog ... Oregon has new uniforms, and for those of you who thought they couldn't get any worse -- care to reconsider? The gray ones are particularly classy (HT: Dr. Saturday) ...

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