Some odds, some ends and some links for your Wednesday afternoon...
-- For those of you wondering -- no, my email still isn't working properly. I'm sure by the start of next football season we'll have the whole thing resolved.
-- I did get some confirmation from UGA that both A.J. Green and Bacarri Rambo are expected to play in the bowl game against Texas A&M. Both players missed the final two games of the season, Green with a shoulder injury and Rambo with a concussion.
-- OK, Roger Clarkson of the Banner-Herald -- you've got some explaining to do! We are officially not on speaking terms until this gets rectified.
-- Speaking of ballots, you can see how each coach voted in his final top-25 poll of the regular season.
-- Well, I can't say I'm remotely surprised by this -- other than that it took this long. Tennessee is under investigation for recruiting violations. The money quote from the story comes in the first graph:
"A significant part of the investigation is focused on the use of recruiting hostesses who have become folk heroes on Tennessee Internet message boards for their ability to help lure top recruits."
Remember that scene from "He Got Game"?
-- If Georgia's hoping to land Kirby Smart, the price tag may have just gone up a bit.
-- And Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press Register reports that Smart isn't looking to bolt Alabama -- or so he says.
-- On the coaching front, info leaking out is murky at best. There have been some names reported -- Smart, Kevin Steele at Clemson, Vic Koenning at Kansas State to name a few -- but I really don't think much of that (if any) is coming from inside the UGA athletics department. This is being handled very much like the basketball search was nine months ago. When you hear "sources reporting" there's a good chance those sources are coming from the coaches' sides of things, which means that those reports can be as much about negotiating ploys (remember the Anthony Grant stuff?) as it is about actual conversations between UGA and a coach. So far, the school is playing this pretty close to the vest.
-- If locker-room shenanigans are what you wanted from a new defensive coordinator, well Kevin Steele might just be your man.
-- ESPN's rumors page -- a true bastion of journalistic integrity -- notes that there's "an 80 percent chance" that Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops gets Georgia's DC job. Here's the full "rumor"...
"The buzz in Athens is that Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is a candidate for the Georgia defensive coordinator gig.
"Stoops is the younger brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Arizona coach Mike Stoops. ESPN affiliate The Big Spur reports that there's an 80 percent chance the job goes to Stoops or Alabama assistant Sal Sunseri.
"Another name that might be mentioned is South Carolina associate head coach Ellis Johnson, but that's purely speculative.
"Stoops led Arizona's 21st ranked defense in allowing just 315.83 points per season."
Let's take this point by point:
* "The buzz in Athens?" I'm curious as to who has been "buzzing" about that since this is the first time I've heard either of those names seriously discussed.
* And by "in Athens" they surely mean Columbia, S.C. since it's a Gamecocks Web site they're taking the information from.
* And it's an ESPN-affiliated Gamecocks Web site, too. I'm sure this has nothing to do with driving traffic to an affiliate. That would be well beneath ESPN.
* Where could that 80 percent number possibly be coming from? That is utterly made up. Even if it happens, I assure you that number is completely made up.
* Sal Sunseri? I'm sure he's a fine coach, but in 20-plus years on the sideline he's never been a Division I DC. How's that gonna fly with fans if Georgia goes out an hires someone with zero experience for the job?(Who, it just so happens, is the understudy to the guy fans actually wanted to hire.)
* Last week I compared Mike Stoops to Chad Lowe. I'm now struggling to come up with a proper Mark Stoops comparison. Perhaps Cooper Manning?
* Of course, the best part of all this comes from Marc Weiszer at the Banner-Herald, who points out, "The problem with that is The Big Spur report doesn't link Stoops to the Georgia job. It links Stoops to the Florida State defensive coordinator opening."
* I'm going to guess that there's a 74 percent chance that Georgia hires Robert Loggia's character from "Necessary Roughness" as its new defensive coordinator. Now let's see how long it takes ESPN to report the rumor.
-- Another thing on the coaching situation: I understand why fans are currently a bit worried about the future of Rodney Garner at Georgia, but I think many of those same fans are painting with the same broad brush they used when endlessly speculating that Mark Richt wouldn't fire any assistants.
Does Garner want a head coaching job somewhere? Absolutely. But if he doesn't get an offer that he deems the right one, he's not going to leave. Garner has worked at Georgia for more than a decade without being a coordinator and has turned down a dozen other offers along the way, so why is everyone so sure he'll leave this time?
Garner has close ties to many of the players and Richt obviously doesn't want to lose him, so there's a good chance that Garner stays no matter what. But the idea that he'll leave just out of spite because he wasn't named DC is silly -- just as it was silly to assume Richt would put his personal feelings ahead of the good of the program.
Both of these guys are very successful in a very competitive industry. They didn't get there by being stupid or short-sighted. If Garner sees a DC job as the track he needs to be a head coach and a position with a good team opens up, sure, he'll probably think about it. If a head job opens at a smaller school that wants him, he'll probably think about that, too. But both of those moves would benefit him and be wise moves for his future. Quitting because he's mad about being passed over at UGA is not.
Oh, and just a tip for the message board folks: If your source tells you "Coach Gardner is resigning," your source is probably wrong. His name is Garner. Just a pet peeve of mine.
-- A big congrats to Ty Frix, who managed to have a strong season on the field and an even better year off of it.
-- My San Antonio reports that Texas A&M sees an opportunity for success against Georgia's understaffed defense.
-- FWIW, Georgia will be the designated home team for the Independence Bowl.
-- Georgia Sports Blog has some hotel details for the greater Shreveport area for your perusal. It sounds like I'll be spending Christmas there by myself if anyone's interested in an afternoon at the blackjack tables.
-- Did you know that Caleb King and Washaun Ealey's performances against Georgia Tech both ranked in the top 10 best rushing days by a back during the Mark Richt era?
-- Back when folks were reading tea leaves in everything Mark Richt said, his quotes about the turnovers seemed like an excuse to keep Willie Martinez around. Now? Well, as the Senator puts it, they're a perfect place to start when we think about what might have been this year.
-- Dawgs Online has a nice compare-and-contrast between the preseason and postseason All-SEC ballots.
-- The Banner-Herald is in favor of charging for parking in North Campus after this season's problems with trash.
-- A UGA professor is making sure we're all officially disgusted by the food we're eating.
-- If you read regularly, you know I'm a big numbers guy, so I found this story from the Wall Street Journal on how aggregate data can easily be misinterpreted very interesting.
-- The Washington Post ranks the top 10 TV achievements of the past 10 years.
-- Apparently Shakira is not an adult.
-- You know what this week was missing? Another "Family Ties" controversy.
-- The creator of "Flash Forward" says the long break for the show's hiatus will be a good thing. Why does this sound so much like a GM's "vote of confidence" in his coach?
-- We were this close to having a mayor of New York build a giant contraption to block out the sun.
-- The creator of "How I Met Your Mother" promises big shake-ups in the second half of the season.
-- And finally, a couple more lists for your enjoyment: The best TV episodes of 2009 (I think I've only seen three, which is odd) and the worst movies of the decade (Ah, Pacino, Murphy & Meyers, how far you have fallen).