Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

LIVE BLOG: Expect Georgia to open with win

  • 2:49 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The only certainty about Georgia's secondary: Champ Bailey won't start.

ATHENS — Hello. It’s hot. As I type this it’s 90 degrees in Athens but it feels like a 137 with the humidity. It’s days like this when I think a beer, ice bucket and deodorant concession stand would do quite well.

Anyway, onto the game of the day: Georgia vs. Clemson. I sat in the Clemson press box a year ago at this time expecting the Bulldogs to open with a defeat. The Bulldogs’ defense was missing Josh Harvey-Clemons and several other players because of either injury or suspensions. The Tigers had some of the nation’s best talent on offense, [More]

Predictions (no lies): Dogs over Clemson

  • 2:15 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
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Against the backdrop of a USC player making up a story about jumping out of a window to save his drowning cousin (a Bobby Petrino starter kit), four North Carolina players suspended for undisclosed reasons (oh look, a teammate was beaten senseless. How’d that happen?) and the Heisman Trophy winner shoplifting crab legs because, well, THESE SCHOLARSHIP ATHLETES ARE STARVING!!! ….

Hello. I am back.

You know how this works. Every week, I give you the winners. It’s your job to find them.

If I went 17-0 every week, it would make it too easy for competing investment services like Charles Schwab, Morgan [More]

Predicting all four teams in Georgia (almost guaranteed)

  • 1:13 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia's hopes of flying this season hinge partly on Todd Gurley. (AP photo)

The college football season begins this week. You might’ve heard something about it. The first episode of Weekend Predictions will be online Thursday and in print (old school) Friday, and there’s still time to register for the annual “Sack Schultz” contest, where you have a chance to outpick me in a set of 15 games every game. (Hah. Just kidding. It’ll never happen. But click here for details if you want to give it a try for some fabulous prizes.) Until the games start, here are some odds and a few thoughts on the four FBS teams in the [More]

It’s ‘Sack Schultz’ time — how good are you?

  • 11:48 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Mark Richt and Paul Johnson discuss their strategy for "Sack Schultz" contest. (AJC)

Hello again. It’s almost time for college football season, and that means it’s almost time for the “Sack Schultz” contest, and that also means it’s almost time for Weekend Predictions, so let me start with an off-the-books wager (not to be confused with an off-the-books attorney hire, because Cobb County, it seems, has cornered the market on those).

Bobby Petrino vs. Todd Grantham: boom.

Now, back to football.

Weekend Predictions returns next week. The “Sack Schultz” contest returns now. You can register beginning Sunday at AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014.

This contest provides you with the opportunity to pick the outcomes of games better than me, [More]

Holiday 6-pack: Will Nats close on Braves?

  • 12:01 pm Monday, May 26th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Braves' B.J. Upton is reaching base more and striking out less. Honest. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Good morning. This is the day to celebrate our true heroes. Memorial Day began as a day to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War but now serves to recognize all Americans who died while in the military. This isn’t a day for politics. To borrow from Mark Twain: “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

And now, on the backside of this barbecue weekend, a six-pack of thoughts on a six-pack of teams:

1. Braves: Keep an eye on Washington

The Braves are showing signs of coming out of their offensive rut, [More]

Michigan botches recruiting pitch

  • 12:03 pm Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Can you spot the typo in this recruiting pitch?

There are two subjects I generally try to stay away from: Recruiting (because it nauseates me) and mocking somebody else’s spelling mistakes (because, well, you know).

But this item brings the worst of both worlds together, so . . .

College football coaches are going to greater lengths than ever to get the attention of recruits. Tennessee coach Butch Jones sent a player’s recruit a Mother’s Day card. Notre Dame photo-shopped the image of coveted high school quarterback Blake Barnett on a poster of the school’s seven Heisman Trophy winners, with the question, “Are you next?”

Michigan coach Brady Hoke also tried [More]

SEC blew it by not expanding to 9 games

  • 8:56 am Monday, April 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

The “C” in SEC now stands for cowards.

The SEC’s presidents, taking a cue from coaches worried about their jobs and athletic directors worried about bowl games, effectively voted to change nothing in its football scheduling format Sunday night. Rather than requiring schools to play nine of its 12 games against conference opponents, the direction most major conferences are going in, the SEC will stick with the eight-game mandate.

In other words, keep the Coastal Carolinas, Appalachian State and Austin Peays of the world on speed dial. Because aren’t those are the games everybody really wants to see? Or not.

There was [More]

SEC needs to expand conference schedules (column preview)

  • 10:12 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
SEC football fans deserve to see more conference opponents.

The SEC’s coaches and athletic directors are balking at going to nine-game conference schedules. The latest evidence of this comes from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, who told the Baton Rouge Advocate, “That means seven more losses for certain teams.”

Well. So much for the Big Bad SEC.

I’ll have a full column on this later today. But the SEC will be making a mistake on several levels if it doesn’t expand from the current eight-conference/four non-conference-game format.

The Pacific 12 and Big 12 already play nine conference games. The Big Ten will expand to nine games beginning in 2016. Of [More]

Will Georgia school get NCAA bid? Here are odds

  • 12:45 pm Monday, March 3rd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

Welcome to that time of year when we look at the state of college basketball in Georgia and the chance of the state getting a team in the NCAA basketball tournament (generally is commensurate with calling tails with a two-headed coin).

I went through the latest ESPN RPI rankings of 351 Division I basketball programs, and it was as depressing as one would expect. Below are the seven eligible state programs. (If I missed one, let me know.) I’m ranking them by RPI, which is a major factor used by the NCAA tournament selection committee. But because a team’s RPI [More]

Tech’s talent level? Just the facts (no spin)

  • 2:28 pm Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn't think highly of recruiting rankings. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

If we used recruiting “rankings” as a gauge — and I put rankings in quotes because there’s nothing official or impactful about what Scout, Rivals or Creepy Bob from Cedartown think – Georgia Tech pretty much stinks at this recruiting thing. As of this typing, the Yellow Jackets’ recruiting class Wednesday was ranked only 46th by Rivals, 54th by Scout and 60th by 247 Sports (behind Kansas, Marshall, Iowa State, Rutgers, Duke and apparently most of the free world).

It’s no secret that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is not a fan of these rankings, nor the respective site’s “star” rankings [More]