Daily Archives: April 18, 2008

More dawgy love from the WWL

A few snippets from ESPN.com’s Spring college football chat:

Alec (Minocqua): who do u think will win the title?

SportsNation Heather: (1:25 PM ET ) Georgia

kobe bryant (los angeles, cali): do you think that texas is the best team in the nation?

SportsNation Heather: (1:29 PM ET ) Nope. I said I think Georgia is the team to beat, but USC will be up there and don’t forget about Ohio State. Again.

Spencer (Dallas, TX): Will the Gamecocks be able to make it to Atlanta with their defense keeping them in games?

SportsNation Bruce Feldman : (1:39 PM ET ) They’re a darkhorse for that. I think Carolina will be better. Just not sure they can overtake two NCAA title contenders in UGA and UF. Tough league obv.

kyle anderson (portland oregon): what team do u think will make it all way this year? and what games are u looking forward to seeing

SportsNation Bruce Feldman : (1:41 PM ET ) Can’t wait to see OSU-USC and florida-georgia later on.

Chris (Detroit, MI): If you are a defensive coordinator this year, what 5 offences scare you the most?

SportsNation Bruce Feldman : (1:42 PM ET ) right now I’ll go with the most dangerous offenses in 2008: not necessarily in this order: Florida, Mizzou, Texas Tech, WVU and Georgia/Ohio State.

bill texas: who is your heisman pick? top 5

SportsNation Bruce Feldman : (1:50 PM ET ) from this bunch: Tebow, Pat White, Chase Daniel, Beanie Wells and Knowshon Moreno and maybe Graham Harrell as a darkhorse.

Ben (Atlanta, GA): Hey Bruce, What do you expect from Matt Stafford this year? Does his game make the jump to the next level?

SportsNation Bruce Feldman : (1:59 PM ET ) Big improvement this year and the receivers will be very tough with AJ Green coming on.

Like, I’ve said, it’s going to be interesting to see how this team deals with the expectations.  From a national hype standpoint, this is beginning to feel like uncharted territory.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Extended playoffs and setting the bar low

Do you want to know what really sucks about extended playoffs? Take a look at the NBA, where the local team has qualified for the second season for the first time in this millennium. Woo hoo!

It’s not that the Atlanta Hawks qualified by going 37-45 in a weak conference. Or that their net scoring margin on the season was negative. (Hell, two other teams in the East were underwater in scoring margin.)

It’s that Sekou Smith can ask Billy Knight with an apparently straight face if this mundane at best accomplishment is some sort of vindication for the general manager and the franchise. I give Knight credit for dismissing the question, but, jeez, I would have been embarrassed to ask it in the first place.

Just something to keep in mind as we argue over a D-1 football playoff.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Poor, poor, pitiful me

To borrow a phrase from Urban Meyer, never in the history of college football has a head coach been persecuted by his peers like Nick Saban. Just ask him. You can hear the **sniff** in his voice when you read these quotes:

The NCAA recently passed SEC-proposed legislation that prohibits head coaches from making off-campus visits during the spring evaluation period from April 15 to May 31.

The majority of SEC coaches favored the rule change, which was made over concerns about “bumping” incidents – contact with recruits – when coaches are not allowed to speak to recruits while on spring evaluation visits. But there remains some grumbling as the rule, which applies only to head coaches, actually goes into effect.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said head coaches are now put at a tremendous disadvantage because they can’t develop relationships at high schools in the spring.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we’re doing what we’re doing,” said Saban, who had the nation’s highest-rated recruiting class this year. “Basically, when you break it down, a head coach can go out in December, which is about two weeks if you’re going to a bowl game.”

“After all the dead periods in January, you get to go out for about two or three weeks and then it’s Signing Day,” Saban said.

Asked Thursday if he believes the rule was aimed at him, Saban replied: “I would rather not answer that. But I guess everybody can make their own assumptions.”

You know what happens when you assume, Coach.

What a complete joke this is. This whole tempest in a teapot isn’t about “player evaluation” – assistants can still go out and see the kids and head coaches can review mountains of film – it’s about certain star head coaches pushing the envelope on player contact.

Here’s a quote from Saban that’s rich:

“We (head coaches) will be accountable in the long run relative to the decisions that we make on character and all those factors,” he said.

Judging from what’s gone on in Tuscaloosa this off-season (before the rule change, that is), I’d say they’ve got a ways to go on character accountability. But, gosh, did you see how many fans turned out for A-Day?

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UPDATE: More on this here, including a candid quote from Phil Fulmer:

“We probably, honestly, were our own worst enemies with some people taking advantage of the rule,” Fulmer said. “When a head coach walks into a high school, it almost ends up an event. The contact with prospects or the threat of that — not that everybody was doing it — but the concern about that was probably the reason they took everybody off. I don’t think I like that, but that’s where we are.”

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Now you see it…

A staple of the Georgia offensive playbook under Richt, the play action pass has always been something that Dawg quarterbacks have had to excel at. There is an art to selling a good play fake, and in my humble opinion, David Greene was a master at it. Greene was as good at carrying out the play fake as any quarterback I’ve seen at the college level.

One particular variation of it that Georgia runs is the delayed pass, a play that we’ll see once a year or so. Instead of a quick fake of a handoff to a back to freeze the defensive coverage for a moment, Greene would hold the ball on his hip, turn his back on the play and keep the ball for a few seconds to allow a streaking receiver to get open deep. The play involves a lot of salesmanship from the QB, the RB and the offensive line – and a great deal of courage from the quarterback, who is completely vulnerable to any defender who doesn’t buy the play fake and rushes the QB.

You know you’ve done your job well when the TV camera work gets sucked into the run fake along with the defense, as you can see in the two clips below.

In the first clip, against Tech in 2003, Munson gets so excited about the call and execution that he calls DG “Fred Greene”:

Speaking of courage, keep in mind that was behind the swiss cheese o-line of ’03 that allowed 47 sacks and against Tenuta’s blitz happy defense.

The second clip is a Greene to Edwards pass in the 2002 Vandy game. This one came at the expense of a Vandy DB who was touted as having some high academic credentials. Anyway, he didn’t look too smart here:

The first time I saw DG pull this off was against Auburn in ’01. He fooled everyone on the Auburn team except Tuberville, who ran down the sideline screaming at his defense to cover the pass play.

Too bad that one didn’t lead to a win…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics