Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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]

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]

Missouri’s Sam says he’s gay; how will NFL react?

  • 10:02 pm Sunday, February 9th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Michael Sam, who led the SEC in sacks last season, has announced he is gay. (AP photo)

Michael Sam is gay. That shouldn’t matter to anybody in the world but we’re about to find out whether it matters to anybody in the NFL.

Sam was a standout defensive lineman at Missouri. In fact, he was the SEC’s defensive player of the year with 11.5 sacks in his senior season. So for anybody who had some preconceived, archaic ideas about what a homosexual athlete must look like or sound like, this should obliterate all those clichés. Sam is 6-foot-2, 255 pounds and led college football’s premier conference in sacks.

Jason Collins, a former Atlanta Hawk and long-time NBA player, announced [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]

Signing day advice: Proceed with caution

  • 7:21 am Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
College football recruiting can be as unpredictable as fortune telling.

Good morning. It’s national letter of intent day. I’ve never hidden my feelings about the obsession so many of you have with this day so it wouldn’t be right for me to be disingenuous and start now. The most positive thing I can say about letter of intent day is that it’s more palatable than April 15.

Anyway, about today: Whether you’re a recruiting-obsessed football fan of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State or Georgia Southern, here’s some unsolicited advice: Try to make it through this day with some little perspective.

If Georgia finishes seventh among SEC schools in some site’s recruiting rankings, [More]

Georgia’s Pruitt: ‘I feel like this is championship staff’

  • 1:59 pm Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jeremy Pruitt was given an ovation when he met with Georgia players.

ATHENS — Mark Richt walked into the team meeting room at the Butts-Mehre building Wednesday, scanned the crammed line of television cameras, photographers and media members filling several rows of seats in the room and said, “Wow. Must be a big day here.”

The fact the hiring of an assistant football coach could draw this kind of attention was kind of, yes, amusing. But the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt from national champion Florida State is kind of a big deal for defensively challenged Georgia. He didn’t help the Bulldogs win a game at his introduction but his words struck the right [More]

Pruitt’s one great year a risk worth taking for Georgia

  • 2:52 pm Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

Home run.

The mixing of sports metaphors notwithstanding, that was my initial reaction when our Chip Towers broke the news that Georgia was hiring Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator.

Now, it should be noted that Pruitt’s hiring comes with some risk. He has had a meteoric rise in the coaching profession. He was coaching high school football only seven years ago (Hoover, Ala.). He followed that with six years at Alabama under Nick Saban (three years as director of player development, three as defensive backs coach). Then came one year as the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

One. [More]

Petrino wants Grantham? He can have him

  • 8:35 pm Sunday, January 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

So is this is where Georgia fans give thanks to … Bobby Petrino?

Less than a week after Louisville made the stunning decision to rehire Petrino as its head football coach, it was Petrino’s turn to make a surprising hire: He lured Georgia’s Todd Grantham as his defensive coordinator — although “lured” might suggest Bulldog officials grabbed Grantham by the ankles and were dragged across the room as they pleaded for him not to leave, which might not be the case.

I’ll have more on this somewhat amusing development in the Dogs’ offseason in a full column on Monday. Until then, here [More]