Braves – My Solution For A Great Problem To Have!

I have a one-year solution to one great problem to have…and one potential problem you want no part of!

Great problem: the Braves will at least begin the season with too many decent to above-average options in the starting rotation.

Potential problem: the closer is supposed to be Jim Johnson, and he very well may be the closer this entire season. BUT…

I think this is, yet again, a showcase situation for a 33-year-old guy who’s been released three times in the past four seasons (not an absolute commentary on him, but an indication of wild ups and downs) and who the Braves dealt out $10 million to for this season and next. If all is right with Johnson for April, May and June, and most of July?, he’s a trade piece and it would be a grand move again for Coppy. But if it’s not, if he really IS supposed to be your closer till someone else emerges, one of the YUGE pile of young, live arms the Braves have, I have a candidate to go ahead and emerge this month and next: Folty.

He’s always had closer sorta stuff, it frees up starts for another of the young guys if one of them puts together a strong spring and he would otherwise be shipped to Gwinnett and there’s a very fair chance that Folty could move back to the rotation if, as I expect, the 1-year vets in the rotation are actually just there to become trade chips after the break. Plus, Folty might simply be a better closer than Jim Johnson. And if the goal really is to compete this season then the job goes to the best player at every position.

-Chuck Oliver
Co-Host “Chuck & Chernoff”
680 The Fan
Twitter: @kingcfb

How Big Was the Dirty Bird Win?

How I know just how HUGE yesterday was.

  • There were things I’ve NEVER seen in this city that I either saw yesterday or know would be appropriate to happen. Not in Boston or Chicago or Dallas or somewhere else. Here. In Atlanta, for yesterday’s game there were a LOT of people buying single tickets.
Some young Atlanta Falcons fans watch warm ups before the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Some young Atlanta Falcons fans. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

I can’t recall ever having a game with an Atlanta team in it (NBA all star doesn’t qualify, for example) where it was SO monster, Atlanta fans were buying singles!

  • I can’t remember there being a game with an Atlanta team where in the middle of the action there was a timeout so one of OUR players could walk off the field or court and have an ovation for just him.

That should have happened with Ryan yesterday. It didn’t, and I’m sure part of it was because he wanted to stay on the field with his teammates. But we’ve seen that happen in virtually EVERY other major U.S. sports city for either retirement or end of an unbelievable season or career or whatever. The closest was that disaster of bringing Niekro back for one final start. He pitched to five batters in the 4th inning, didn’t get any of them out, so he DID get his Final Walk Off the Field moment, but not really what I’m talking about here.

  • Entered my mind yesterday that . . . there should be a Super Bowl viewing party at the Georgia Dome. I’ve seen it so many other places. Never done it here and I’m betting it’s never even been considered. Have it at the Georgia Dome, charge $5 to get in (Blank foundation or whatever else) and have  huge 4-sided TV put up at the 50, raised up about 20 ft off the ground, facing out in every direction.

That one is more dicey because it probably sounds better than it really is, at least from the standpoint of someone who’s never been to one of those “in-arena” or “in-stadium” viewing parties.

– Chuck Oliver
Co-Host “Chuck and Chernoff”
680 The Fan

Jacob Eason – Fans Are Ignoring Football Math

The football math that UGA fans are ignoring.

8 months without any games will somehow benefit Jacob Eason more than 4 months with games.

Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason (10) is brought down by Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Georgia fan base is assuming Jacob Eason makes a leap forward in 2017. We’ve seen nothing . . . from Eason . . . to suggest that will happen.

Truth: in the Liberty Bowl there wasn’t one visible sign of improvement from him vs. what he looked like Week 1.

Additional truth, for most players: a player makes a huge leap from Freshman season to Sophomore season. But he’s also supposed to make improvement from game 1 to game 13, with all that on-field experience and the additional bowl practices and, in the specific case of Eason, a final four quarters v the defense from a 6-6 TCU team. None of that second part happened, which makes me wonder why so many of us believe the first part will.

– Chuck Oliver
Co-Host of “Chuck and Chernoff”
680 The Fan
Twitter: @kingcfb

Malzahn’s Offense: THE biggest Risk/Reward In College Football?

Gus Malzahn’s offense has been THE biggest huge risk / huge reward proposition in all of college football the past six seasons. Word is, that’s about to change.

Source to ESPN: “The O.C. will be in charge of the offense.”

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn reacts after Oklahoma missed a field goal during the second half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

When Gus has the correct quarterback there was a definite, decided Xs and Os advantage on every Saturday. I’ll let you take a minute and come up with all the other examples you can say that about in college football. You might get to five.

But that was with the square peg at quarterback. And mind you, we’re not talking with a really good fit there was really good success. With the PERFECT quarterback there was national title sorta success.

Yes, Cam would have been a difference maker in virtually any offense, but not necessarily Heisman Trophy, undefeated season, national championship production. Same with Nick Marshall. Further proof about Gus needing the perfect fit at QB can be found at the top of the NFL draft last year: Jared Goff or Cason Wentz wouldn’t have achieved the same in Gus’ offense, so it wasn’t JUST “gimme a great QB and we’ll be fine.”

It was a lot of specific talent and, paired with his offense, Auburn was going to win. BIG. It appears now finding that needle in the QB haystack has proved too difficult to replicate on any regular basis. So Gus may be going hands up and truly giving the keys to someone new.

– Chuck Oliver
Co-Host “Chuck and Chernoff”
680 The Fan

Bad News For 12 Head Coaches…

…that is great news for everybody else.

College football in the state of Texas is at its worst in 50 years.

texasThis is the first time since 1967 that no team from the state, none of the current TWELVE Division-1 programs, finished the season ranked.

Which means it’s a great time for LSU, Bama, Florida and every other major program to poach talent.

Kirby is already taking advantage of it, or at least was, before Carter de-committed.
I declare Texas as one of three “Tied for 1st” states when it comes to CFB recruiting, along with California and Florida. If your coach isn’t at the very least getting in the mix for some of the studs there, your coach isn’t doing his job.

It’s there for the taking.

-Chuck Oliver
Co-Host “Chuck and Chernoff”
690 The Fan & 93.7

Clemson Wins National Championship…Bama, No Regrets

Clemson is the NCAA National Champion and no Bama player, coach, fan or anyone else should have any regrets about it.

I can’t say “The better team won” because with these two there was nothing that definitive. But Clemson . . . and Deshaun . . . showed they were every bit as deserving, worthy and every other adjective of being national champs.

FILE - In a Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to pass during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football gam against Virginia Tech, in Orlando, Fla. Watson acknowledges things have not been as free and easy at returning to the Heisman Trophy stage as it was getting there a year ago, when he finished third in the balloting. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4). (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

It’s telling that the biggest compliment we can give the now-reigning national champs is “They’re Bama’s equal.”

But there IS one thing I mentioned ALL SEASON about Bama, but that never reared its head, showed up last night.

“Bama’s defense is every bit as talented as last year’s defense, they’re just not as deep.”

Never mattered, until the 4th quarter last night, and especially the final drive. Bama was gassed, no other way to describe what Clemson’s final possession was about.

Even then, it took at TD pass with :01 remaining to get the dub. This was an all-time game.

Monday night’s title game also gave us the biggest of Big Pictures for Deshaun Watson.

Everything we’ve said about Vince Young v USC we now will say about Deshaun in Tampa.

That’s what last night was, the kind of performance that in 2038 Danny the 22-year-old intern will say he remembers, even though he was five months old when the game was played.

Last night Deshaun was Johnny Rogers v Oklahoma, he was Buck and Lindsey, he was Doug Flutie in the Orange Bowl the night after Thanksgiving.

Those three moments were in 1971, 1980 and 1984 . . . that’s what last night will become.

– Chuck Oliverpick-team-clemson
Co-Host “Chuck and Chernoff

680 The Fan – Atlanta