Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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, almost. You can register beginning Sunday — not now, Sunday — at AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014.

This contest provides you with the opportunity to pick the [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]

Urban Meyer gets it wrong on Tim Tebow

  • 8:17 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Urban Meyer should know there's a reason Tim Tebow is wearing a suit, not a uniform. (AP)

It was never my intention to write another blog about Tim Tebow or why he’s not cut out to be an NFL quarterback (still). But then Urban Meyer told the assembled media at Big Ten Media Days, “I still don’t get that part of it. He’s the second-most efficient passer ever to play college football.” And that sound was me slapping my forehead.

If you ever wondered whether Meyer could work in the personnel department — or coach — in the NFL, there’s your answer: no.

Tebow obviously was a great college quarterback at Florida and remains one of the greatest [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]

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]

Donnan keeping cool for a guy on trial

  • 5:11 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan (with attorney Jerry Froelich) is awaiting jury's verdict. (Richard Hamm/Athens Banner Herald)

ATHENS — I’m not sure how I would act in public, or certainly around the media, if I was facing facing 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in federal court. But I’m guessing I would wear my emotions on my sleeve a little more than Jim Donnan.

Day two of jury deliberations passed Thursday without a verdict in Donnan’s fraud trial. There’s no way to read into what that means, other than the jury is taking its time weighing each of the 41 counts. A quick acquittal is off the table, but then so is a [More]

Mettenberger flagged for diluted drug test

  • 8:18 am Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Zach Mettenberger submitted a suspicious urine sample at the NFL draft combine. (Jason Getz/AJC

Few have ever questioned Zach Mettenberger’s talent as a college and potential NFL quarterback. But the former Georgia and LSU player is raising some eyebrows for the wrong reasons again.

Pro Football Talk first reported that Mettenberger, who is coming off of a torn ACL, submitted a diluted urine sample when he was at the NFL scouting combine. The league generally considers a diluted sample the equivalent of a positive drug test.

There might be an innocent explanation for this. Mettenberger’s agents and physical therapist both claim that the watered-down sample is the result of him over-hydrating after experiencing cramps at the [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]