Jeff Schultz blog 

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

Short takes: Georgia 45, Clemson 21

  • 11:00 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia running back Todd Gurley should be considered leading Heisman candidate. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Here’s my short takes on Georgia’s 45-21 win over Clemson Saturday night in Athens. My full column on the game can be found by clicking here.

1. Todd Gurley, Heisman favorite: I know this was only one game. I know he’s not a quarterback and he doesn’t play for a team that anybody was talking about as being a national championship contender. But how could anybody not consider Gurley as a Heisman favorite after his opening season performance against a pretty good team? The junior rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a [More]

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]

FSU 1, Georgia 12 in poll of insignificance

  • 2:59 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia's hopes of flying this season hinge partly on Todd Gurley. (AP photo)

Florida State is No. 1 , Georgia is No. 12 and eight SEC teams are in the top 25 of the Associated Press’s preseason poll. Well, that certainly means . . . nothing.

Preseason college football polls are great for stimulating debate. But they invariably mean little by the end of the season, and their significance has been diminished even more by the four-team playoff beginning this season. Polls are great for feeding perceptions about how good or bad a team may be but those perceptions last only until a highly ranked team loses or a non-ranked team keeps winning.

This was [More]

Richt, Pruitt justified in making changes

  • 8:51 am Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jeremy Pruitt has been given free rein to fix Georgia's defense. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

There are two absolutes when a college athlete is dismissed from a team: 1) The player did something wrong (probably more than once); 2) The coach did something right.

Given Georgia coach Mark Richt has dismissed safety Tray Matthews for unspecified reasons, the third high-profile exit from his team’s defense this offseason. This should confirm that the let’s-give-him-one-more-chance mentality that used to exist in Athens is officially dead and buried.

Richt’s statement on Matthews’ exit was brief but said enough: “We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right.”

UPDATE: Matthews addresses his dismissal: He admits he caused [More]

SEC coaches don’t want rules skirted (wait, what?) (updated)

  • 11:27 am Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Penn State's James Franklin is ruffling the feathers of SEC coaches. (AP photo)

James Franklin, the former Vanderbilt coach now of Penn State, will be appearing at football camps next month at Georgia State and Stetson University, and SEC coaches don’t like. Why? Because it circumvents an NCAA rule.

Sorry. Need a minute. I can’t stop laughing.

So here’s the background: The NCAA has a rule that precludes NCAA coaches from holding football camps out of state more than 50 miles from their campus. The idea of this rule is to prevent Alabama’s Nick Saban from holding a camp in Athens and Georgia’s Mark Richt from going to Gainesville, Fla., and  Kentucky’s Mark Stoops going [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]