Monthly Archives: May 2008

Georgia’s ten most memorable plays of 2007, #5

Georgia vs. Florida, October 27:

Florida at 14:48 GA FLA
1st and 10 at FLA 31 Percy Harvin rush for 5 yards to the Fla 36. 28 24
2nd and 5 at FLA 36 Percy Harvin rush for 21 yards to the Geo 43 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at GA 43 Brandon James rush for 10 yards to the Geo 33 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at GA 33 Tim Tebow pass incomplete to Percy Harvin.
2nd and 10 at GA 33 Andre Caldwell rush for a loss of 2 yards to the Geo 35.
3rd and 12 at GA 35 Tim Tebow pass complete to Andre Caldwell for 10 yards to the Geo 25.
4th and 2 at GA 25 Andre Caldwell rush for a loss of 3 yards to the Geo 28.

While there were a lot of plays by the defense that I enjoyed watching last year, this one’s my favorite.

(Start at the :30 mark)

When’s the last time you saw panicky play calling by Florida in a WLOCP game? The Gators were down by four, the ball’s on the Georgia 25 and it’s early in the fourth quarter. What would have been wrong with a field goal in that spot?

Then, to add to it, instead of leaving the ball in Superman’s hands – oh, I forgot, he was hurt – Meyer chooses that precise moment to try a little trickeration. Georgia’s defense proceeded to give a primer on how to defend the spread option: penetrate, block the pitch lanes, screw with the option (the play was designed to be a reverse to Harvin). End result? A three yard loss, the ball turned over on downs and a headset tossed away in disgust. It may not have been quite Spurrier-esque, but I’ll take it.

As my somewhat drunken friend said after the Georgia crowd quieted down in the glorious aftermath, “they sure blowed that play up”.

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Filed under Georgia Football

SEC TV: Why?

Maybe it’s just the contrarian in me, but I’m not sure what the point of the SEC starting its own TV network is. Sure, the Mountain West and the Big Ten have their shiny new toys, but there’s a big difference between those two conferences and the SEC: only the latter has a national TV contract. Why give that up to migrate to pay TV? Especially when you consider that…

The league had 48 conference football games last season. All but nine were broadcast live by their current TV partners. [Emphasis added.] The SEC made $43 million from televised football last season.

Keep in mind that’s coming off of contracts that expire after this year. What do you figure the odds are that the new contracts blow past the $7 million per year each team in the Big Ten gets under their contracts?  Particularly considering that the you-know-what wants to get in the hen house, so to speak.

A number of suitors have indicated that they would be more than willing to help the SEC with its distribution issues. Atlanta-based FSN South, which also owns SportSouth, already has the infrastructure in place as it reaches 21 million homes in SEC territory.

“I will simply say that we are interested in discussing whatever TV model the SEC decides to pursue,” said Jeff Genthner, the senior vice-president of FSN South.

Slive is certainly in an enviable position – “stay tuned”, indeed.

On the other hand, the Orlando Sentinel’s Tim Stephens urges Slive to think bigReally big.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Who refers to Vanderbilt as “the Commies”?

The New York Times’ college sports blog, The Quad, has been running down the list of D-1 schools in order of their projected rankings for 2008. The first one up involving an opponent of Georgia’s is #93 Vanderbilt.

The write up’s OK, and if you’re looking for a dash of snobby East Coast elitism, they’re more than happy to supply it:

… And unlike its fellow SEC brethren, Vanderbilt has never sacrificed its strong academic stature for athletic success –- perhaps that’s why the Commies have not had a winning season since 1982. Well, for those who may say that Vanderbilt has it all wrong, the Countdown says, Way to Go Vandy! Keep up the good work: You are a beacon of academic fortitude in an institution that seems to have forgotten the true meaning of amateur competition.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped Vandy from cashing the checks the conference sends it.

Anyway, I’m not sure you need to know more than this – Returning starters: 10 (3 offense, 7 defense). Yikes.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Conference of quarterbacks?

Take a look at this post over at RazorBloggers Network about the crop of SEC quarterbacks expected to start in 2008.

If Walking on Sunshine is right when he posts that “(h)istory has typically shown that your final record in the SEC is directly proportional to the level of experience you have at the quarterback position…” (and I think he is), it’s got the potential be a long year for every school outside of Georgia and Florida. That is not a particularly inspiring bunch, although it’s likely somebody will surprise.

I did like the homer touch, though – Casey Dick vaults to the rank of the #4 QB in the conference based on a good spring game, while Jevan Snead, who also had a stellar spring game, is relegated to #7 due to his unfortunate association with the Nuttster. It’s gonna be a fun year in the West, methinks.

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Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

SEC coaches vote for early signing period.

It’s an interesting proposal.

The heart of the proposal would allow a recruit who has not made any official visits to any school to sign a national letter of intent with the school of his choice in that 24-hour period, binding him to that school. The rule, along with saving time, money and effort during the contact recruiting period, should also be a cost-efficient recruiting measure as well…

No word on whether this would have any impact on the “Saban Rule”.

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UPDATE: The final vote was 9-3.

The three coaches who voted against the early signing day were Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Florida’s Urban Meyer and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier.

“I think recruiting should be done in December, January and February,” Meyer said. “I think it speeds up 17- and 18-year-olds to make a decision that affects the rest of their lives. To squeeze them, to press them, to say you’ve got to get it done now and I just don’t believe in that…”

I guess we know who likes to do some last minute shopping.

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UPDATE #2: Tony Barnhart has some thoughts and quotes here.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

If jorts are outlawed, only outlaws will wear jorts.

Just so you know, this is courtesy of a Gator message board.

(h/t triton63 @ DawgPost message board)

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Diet Mountain Dew for the soul

Phil Steele announces the release information for his 2008 College Football Preview:

… The official on sale date at the newsstands for this year’s magazine is June 10th. The magazine is printed out of state but we are scheduled to receive a shipment on May 30th and you can actually purchase the magazine now and get it delivered early. If you call 1-866-918-7711 today, you can purchase the magazine which sells for $8.95 and pay $5 for priority mail and we will ship it out by Monday, June 2nd (will get mailed on Fri, May 30th if possible) and you should receive it in 2 to 3 business days, well before the on sale date. You can also have it sent OVERNIGHT and be the first in the country to receive it.

To answer your question, no, I won’t. But I thought about it.

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UPDATE: Orson’s got connections. Damn it.

Here’s Phil’s top 10:

10. Penn State.
9. Georgia
8. USF
7. Missouri
6. West Virginia
5. Clemson
4. USC
3. Oklahoma
2. Ohio State
1. Florida

Clemmins ranked higher than Georgia? Looocee, you got some ‘splaining to do…

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Mid-East trip wrap up

Again, what these guys did was a fantastic gesture.  It’s easy to support the troops with words;  these coaches did a whole lot more.  My hat’s off to them all for this.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football

Georgia’s ten most memorable plays of 2007, #6

Georgia vs. Vanderbilt, October 13:

Georgia at 2:00 GA VAN
1st and 10 at GA 7 Knowshon Moreno rush for 3 yards to the Geo 10. 17 17
2nd and 7 at GA 10 Knowshon Moreno rush for 12 yards to the Geo 22 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at GA 22 Matthew Stafford pass complete to Tony Wilson for 27 yards, fumbled at the Geo 49, forced by Reshard Langford, recovered by Tony Wilson at the Geo 49 for a 1ST down, tackled by Reshard Langford.
1st and 10 at GA 49 Knowshon Moreno rush for 6 yards to the Vandy 45.
2nd and 4 at VAN 45 Timeout GEORGIA, clock 01:13.
2nd and 4 at VAN 45 Matthew Stafford pass complete to Tony Wilson for 5 yards to the Vandy 40 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at VAN 40 Knowshon Moreno rush for no gain to the Vandy 40.
2nd and 10 at VAN 40 Knowshon Moreno rush for 5 yards to the Vandy 35.
3rd and 5 at VAN 35 Timeout GEORGIA, clock 00:47.
3rd and 5 at VAN 35 Timeout VANDERBILT, clock 00:47.
3rd and 5 at VAN 35 Matthew Stafford pass complete to Tripp Chandler for 11 yards to the Vandy 24 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at VAN 24 Knowshon Moreno rush for 5 yards to the Vandy 19.
2nd and 5 at VAN 19 Timeout GEORGIA, clock 00:03.
2nd and 5 at VAN 19 Brandon Coutu 37 yard field goal GOOD. 20 17
2nd and 5 at VAN 19 End of 4th Quarter 20 17
2nd and 5 at VAN 19 End of 4th Quarter 20 17

It may have been the most surreal moment of the 2007 season: Brandon Coutu lining up for his first-ever game winning field goal (he’d missed the same opportunity against Alabama a few weeks before) to stop a unheard of six game losing skid to Georgia’s SEC East rivals and avoid back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt.

Not to mention that things were a little shaky on that last drive getting Coutu in place to be the hero.  Tony Wilson’s big catch at midfield was fumbled by the receiver, who had the good fortune of watching the ball bounce right back to him for the recovery.  From there, Georgia was able to drive the ball inside the Vandy 20 before running out of clock and leaving its chances in the hands… ok, foot of Coutu.

He got it done.

(photo courtesy Athens Banner-Herald)

We thought the kick was big because of the bullet that Georgia dodged.  Little did we realize at the time how much the season would change from that point.

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“How many regular season losses is too many?”

Sunday Morning Quarterback is an impassioned proponent of D-1 playoffs, and he has a snarky (but I mean that in a good way) post up about why JoePa is worth defending against those who stand opposed to a playoff.

He scores some effective points against Stoops’ and Alvarez’ defense of the status quo and notes that the argument has begun to narrow down:

It’s the same old things, mostly: notice the old “academics” defense is such a fluffy light canard it’s not even put up to be blown down. Nobody has ever bought that. We’ve moved on to actual issues of competition, for the most part. And it’ll be the same old things over and over again, right up to that point that, as Chris Peterson says, “pressure from the fans and people on the outside” pushes through a “compromise”…

But he’s got a couple of substantive arguments that are worth responses.

First, he makes a strong point based on extensive research about the number of one, two and three loss teams from BCS conferences and where they finished in the final AP polls.

… Every single year of the BCS’ existence has produced between 10 and 16 BCS conference teams with two or fewer losses, excluding Tulanes, Utahs, Boise States and Hawaiis. [Emphasis added.] So, bearing in mind the record of the most recent BCS champion, how many regular season losses is too many?

If you don’t want to parse how such teams achieved their final won-loss marks (and I can see the validity to that approach, believe it or not), that’s an excellent question. And to me, the obvious conclusion to draw from it is that a four team playoff would be as inadequate a solution to the problem as the BCS currently is.

I disagree strongly with SMQ when he writes

… Michigan and Ohio State have met with undefeated records twice in the last 40 years: 1973 and 2006. Since the formation of the BCS, OSU-Michigan in ’06 and OSU-Texas the same year are the only regular season games between #1 and #2 in the AP; Nebraska-Oklahoma was a 2-3 game in 2000 and a 3-2 game in 2001; OU-Texas was 2-3 in 2002. Florida-Florida State was 1-2 in 1996, before the BCS. Most of these are annual rivalry games that would become far more meaningful with a playoff at stake in years both teams are “merely” in the top 10 or 12, which is the case about five times as often as when both teams are at the top of the polls. I’ll take the slightly reduced national impact of the exceedingly rare Armageddon game for the increased importance of a half dozen other big games every year. Elementary: the more teams that are eligible for the championship late in the season, the more meaningful all of those games will be.

Not to put too fine a line on it, but that’s stretching things. To say that rivalry games will become more meaningful because a playoff berth is on the line only makes sense if (a) one or both of the participants are fighting for a spot in the tourney and (b) in ordinary (i.e., non-playoffs) circumstances, these teams would have nothing to play for other than pride.

But if the playoff field is too big (so that the teams qualify regardless of the outcome of the rivalry game) or too small (so that there isn’t a realistic chance of making the postseason for either), it’s hard to see where more meaning is being brought to the table.  And do we really believe that the people that will restructure the brave new postseason are going to hit that sweet spot where they have the size of the field just right?

Again, I’ll ask the question that puts this in context (for me, at least): how much more meaningful can the troika of Florida-Georgia-Tennessee regular season games each year possibly be?

… And why should it matter if Michigan loses to Ohio State if it doesn’t matter when LSU loses to Arkansas, or Kentucky, or Ohio State loses to Illiois, or Florida loses to Auburn, or Oklahoma loses to Kansas State, or Nebraska gets waxed by Colorado, or Florida State loses to N.C. State, etc.? If “every game counts,” then three of the last five BCS championships should be vacated for the unsightly stain(s) on its winner’s ledger.

I understand that he’s responding to Stoops’ ineptly phrased argument with that quote, but he’s wrong here. LSU’s loss to Arky did matter. It’s just that West Virginia’s loss to Pitt mattered as well. None of those losses he mentions occurred in a vacuum. And it’s disingenuous to compare two (hypothetically) undefeated teams facing off in a season ending game to the outcome of a season when none of the contenders were able to emerge unscathed.

Again, I get the fairness argument that those in favor of a playoff raise. What I don’t get is the argument that there’s something inherently superior to the tension a playoff brings to the process of deciding a champion. I won’t argue it’s different that what we have now. I will argue about whether it’s an improvement.

Any way you look at it, there’s a winnowing out process involved.  The issue is what sort of role we want the regular season to play in that process.  If we’re heading towards some sort of “throw all the two loss or better teams out there and let a playoff sort ‘em out” approach, that’s an awfully wide net to cast and I don’t see how the regular season won’t suffer as a result.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Blogosphere