Monthly Archives: January 2009

“What makes a good hit is not getting fined.”

Shorter New York TimesIsaac Newton would have made one helluva linebacker coach.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Science Marches Onward

Carpetbaggery

I’m not a Vol fan, but this saddens me nonetheless:

… More troubling than the money madness, though, is the professionalization of UT football. Perhaps it’s somewhat understandable. Kiffin came from the Oakland Raiders. His father was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron last coached for the New Orleans Saints.

But the professionalization goes disturbingly deeper. The News Sentinel’s Dave Hooker last week documented how displays at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex flash photos of pro players, some from UT, others who played at other schools for one of UT’s new coaches. The message to recruits: We can get you to the NFL.

In the News Sentinel this week, Athletic Director Mike Hamilton was asked about selling the NFL instead of promoting UT’s football tradition. “That’s the reality of it,” Hamilton said. “A lot of (recruits) are not as concerned about traditions and probably don’t know our traditions.”

No sense of place ultimately means no loyalty.  I get that Junior and his dad probably don’t care, but the guy I don’t understand in all of this is Hamilton.  He’s been regularly quoted as being proud of the “new model” employed by Tennessee football.   Spending more money to create a better pipeline for the NFL doesn’t seem like much of anything to brag about to me.

I guess if UT doesn’t make it back to the SECCG anytime soon under Junior, Hamilton will be satisfied with the state of the program as long as the Vols put more kids in the NFL than ever before.  Somehow, I doubt his constituents will share that feeling.

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UPDATE: Obviously this kid isn’t pro material.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, It's Just Bidness

Beat that dead horse one more time.

Looking at the final national stats, here’s something to ponder:

Georgia finished 22nd nationally in both total offense and total defense, yet finished 29th in scoring offense and 59th in scoring defense.

Red zone mediocrity (Georgia was 49th in red zone offense; 45th in red zone defense), disappointing special teams and turnover woes (73rd nationally in turnover margin) – fix that crap and you can go a long way towards overcoming the losses of Moreno and Stafford.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

That’s Mr. Honky MOFO to you.

Since the Felton firing has obviously sucked most of the oxygen out of the room, blogospherically speaking, and since I don’t really feel like obsessing over the decision making process of certain seventeen/eighteen year old kids, that makes today a pretty slow news day.

So if you’re starved for something footballish, how about this post from the always detailed Trojan Football Analysis that breaks down the various cover defenses, as well as an introduction as to what sort of reads a college quarterback has to make against each of these coverages.  He goes into what works and what gets exposed with every one of these schemes.

Here’s one example – the Cover 2 zone.

There’s plenty of good insight into the chess game that goes on with each snap.  Besides, you’ll learn what ‘MOFO’ really means if you read it.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Thursday random bits

A few things popping up on them internets for your review:

  • Barry Tramel suggests that college juniors ought to have more bargaining strength with regard to eligibility and the NFL draft.  He makes some good points – particularly with regard to emasculating agents with these kids – which means it has the proverbial snowball’s chance of happening.
  • Doug Williams may be a bitter man, but that doesn’t mean he’s not observant.  And right.
  • This is a pretty run-of-the-mill D-1 playoff proposal.  I’m just linking to it because it’s (1) pitched by a man of the cloth and (2) involves the casting of lots.  How biblical.
  • You want proof that times are tough, economically speaking?  ESPN is looking at job cuts and a hiring freeze.
  • On the other hand, it looks like Pam Ward will be gainfully employed through the 2016-17 school year.  Pity.
  • Over at Smart Football, Chris has a post up about the man who may be Matt Stafford’s next head coach.  Interesting guy (Schwartz, not Stafford).
  • Meet Shane Beamer, the Swiss Army Knife of college assistant coaches.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere, The Evil Genius

Coaches’ corner

They come, they go…

  • Speaking of the latter, be still my heart:  Tuberville and Fulmer, fresh off of being canned, will offer their best second guessing over every working coach’s recruiting class.  Fulmer’s appearance should be the most entertaining, only because CBS is teaming him up with Tom Lemming.  It’ll be interesting to see how Fulmer does with Lemming’s head in his lap.
  • Is there a coach who’s gotten more mileage out of irritating his peers (using the term loosely) in a short period of time than Lane Kiffin?  I’ve got to admit it’s a great sales job – nobody’s talking about that 5-15 record as a head coach, that’s for sure.
  • On the other hand, I would assume that the typical Vol fan would see this as a complete vindication for the hire, so Kiffin’s got that going for him.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Glass is Half Fulmer, Tom Lemming Is A Feminine Hygene Product, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Oink, oink, baby.

Proving that nothing succeeds like excess, ladies and gentlemen, I present the Bacon Explosion:

… This recipe is the Bacon Explosion, modestly called by its inventors “the BBQ Sausage Recipe of all Recipes.” The instructions for constructing this massive torpedo-shaped amalgamation of two pounds of bacon woven through and around two pounds of sausage and slathered in barbecue sauce first appeared last month on the Web site of a team of Kansas City competition barbecuers.

Here’s what it looks like, all 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat worth.

Mmmmmm... bacon (photo courtesy Don Ipock for The New York Times)

Mmmmmm... bacon (photo courtesy Don Ipock for The New York Times)

Holy mother of crap.   I better get an invite from the first of you who serves it at an Athens tailgate this year, damn it.

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Filed under Science Marches Onward

Clinton Durst, road kill

Over at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash, Jerry ponders the departure of Auburn’s punter from last year and comes to the same conclusion that the tree trimmer in Better Off Dead reached:  Now that’s a real shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good white boy like that.

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Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

I ♥ Joe Cox.

Is this a great quote, or what?

Cox on bringing in more WR talent…
“It would be great to get somebody else in, but like this past week when Cameron Kenney was in, I had watched film on him and seen what he can do, but obviously he had already known where he wanted to go. I’m not going to be the guy that tries to be all in someone’s ear and say you should come here because, and I told him that. We did the meet and greet and all that, and once it got down to it and we started talking about the whole recruiting process, I told him, if this place doesn’t sell itself to you, obviously it’s not the place you want to be. I shouldn’t have to sit here and beg you to come here or say it’s so much fun here because the players do this. I said, if it doesn’t sell itself to you with the coaches and everything around you, if you don’t just get that feel, you should probably be somewhere else. We’re looking for guys that want to play for Georgia, that want to be Bulldogs, that love it here as soon as they set foot on campus. That’s the type of guys we want, and hopefully we can get a few more to come through the door.”

Damn straight.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Deep breaths, people.

It’s the last week of January, and that can only mean one thing for college football fans – recruiting anxiety.  That’s right, it’s that time of year when normally sane people irrationally fret over the decision making process employed by a few dozen seventeen and eighteen year old kids (not exactly an age known for rational behavior, to make things even crazier).

Go to the Georgia message boards, and you’ll get more than a light taste of this.  All those open slots!  All those uncommitted kids still taking visits!  They’re not coming!  The sky is falling!  Bad season means bad recruiting class!  Repent, the end is near!

Never mind that Rivals and Scout both have Georgia’s current batch of commits ranked in their top ten.  Hell, what do they know?  Georgia’s not filling needs!  Besides, everyone knows that this five star kid was a flop and that four star kid never started.  Yada, yada yada…

I don’t have all the answers to all that, but I offer this post from Doc Saturday as a sort of virtual Prozac to all you worriers.  It’s an antidote to the can’t-see-the-forest angst that consumes many of us at this time of year.  Essentially, things boil down to this:  as a general rule, programs that recruit well will see that reflected in their winning percentages.

Hinton matched up Rivals recruiting rankings for all D-1 colleges against their respective winning percentages and concluded…

Teams that brought in an annual 400-1,000-point advantage over their opponent on any given weekend won two-thirds of the time last year, by 10 points per game; teams that “out-recruited” the opposing sideline by at least 5,000 points from 2004-08 won a whopping three-fourths of the time, by more than two touchdowns. In other words, for every Oregon State over USC and Ole Miss over Florida, there were three cases of Oklahoma over Baylor, LSU over Mississippi State and Ohio State over Northwestern. But you knew that.

So the rankings are definitely not precise enough to predict the national championship (or, unless you’re talking about USC, even most conference championships). But they are especially good at grouping programs into classes that tend to hold up over time. They establish the ceiling and floor of a program’s potential: If your team isn’t a top-10 recruiter over at least a three or four-year period, it’s not going to be carrying off any crystal footballs, either.

There’s a reason schools are paying people like Ed Orgeron and Trooper Taylor ridiculous sums of money, and it’s not because of sartorial excellence or their mastery of public etiquette.  It’s because they sign talent.  And all things being equal, over the long haul, more talent is better than less talent.

There’s plenty of stuff to get exceedingly worked up about at Georgia (see my previous post for an example of that).  This year’s recruiting class?  Not so much.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere