Daily Archives: February 24, 2009

Going for broke

Does Chris Brown ever write a post that doesn’t have something of interest in it?

Here’s a good one about why in college football especially it pays for underdogs to take risks and why it makes sense for teams with talent advantages to play more conservatively.  He starts with the suggestion that some NFL teams may have thrown too few interceptions and winds up here:

… So in the NFL, where teams are almost all competitive (save, maybe the Detroit Lions), it’s likely the best strategy to simply maximize expected points and to go from there. But in other levels, with talent disparities of all sorts, it is trickier, as we have seen.

In the 1990s, Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators were undoubtedly some of the most talented teams of the decade. They were also some of the most aggressive. As a result, they absolutely destroyed some teams. Of course there were the seventy-point blowouts of Kentucky, but what about when they scored more than sixty against Phil Fulmer’s Tennessee Volunteers? Yet, Spurrier never once went undefeated with the Gators: his teams always seemed to drop a game or two that maybe they shouldn’t have. And those losses almost always had the same profile — too many interceptions, couldn’t run the ball at all, and too many big plays given up on defense. I can’t believe I’m inclined to say this, but maybe Spurrier should have been more conservative? He might not have won as many games by sixty or seventy, but maybe they would have gone undefeated and won more than one title?

You may not agree with him, but it’s definitely thought provoking.  Good read.

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3 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere

You say you want a revolution.

I’m not sure how I missed this story when it first surfaced last November, and I know it involves basketball, not football, recruiting, but still, think about the implications if this became commonplace.

… There is some debate as to whom is the best high school player in America, but I’m here to tell you that there is no doubt who is the smartest.

His name is DeMarcus Cousins.

You could also make a case that Cousins is the most physically talented player in the country. At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, he possesses an NBA-ready body with shooting range that extends beyond the three-point line. Rivals.com ranks Cousins No. 2 in the class of 2009. Scout.com ranks him No. 10. Last March, Cousins, who attends LeFlore High in Mobile, Ala., announced his intention to stay near home and play for UAB.

Cousins is ready to put pen to paper and make his commitment to UAB official, but he’s adding one wrinkle: He wants UAB to put in writing that if Blazers coach Mike Davis is not at UAB next season, then the school will release Cousins from his National Letter of Intent (NLI).

“My whole point of committing to the school was to play for coach Mike Davis,” Cousins told me Monday. “If he gets another job offer or leaves for his own personal reasons, I want to be able to leave [UAB] without any problems. I need that in writing so there won’t be any issues. That’s real important to me.”

As far as I can tell, Cousins has stuck to his guns.  He hasn’t signed with any school to date and wants to see where former UAB coach Mike Davis lands before making a final decision.

But back to the main point.  Could the system withstand the shock of fairness here?  After all, the NCAA likes to perpetuate as a truism the myth that every recruit commits to the institution not the coach.  Riiiight.  That’s why Tennessee now has an athletic department display of football players who played for members of UT’s current staff at other schools and went on to NFL careers.  Good ol’ Rocky Top indeedy.

Basketball has an early signing date for recruits that football lacks.  If anything, that makes what Cousins asked for even fairer.  If college football ever goes down that early date road, I hope the NCAA concedes this little bit of control, although I doubt it would.  The irony is that it would indirectly benefit the coach on shaky ground who still managed to assemble a good class of commits (**cough** Fulmer** cough**).  Because there’s that other truism about recruiting being the lifeblood of a college program that might actually have some legs to it.

6 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Grab a plate and line up.

  • Here’s another reason why minority coaches may have an easier path in the NFL than in the college ranks – the trend in the pros to avoid the star coach hire.
  • Even dead celebrities prefer a D-1 playoff, it seems.
  • Logan Gray has to be the forgotten man of Georgia football.  Everyone seems to skip directly from Joe Cox to the incoming freshmen in reviewing the QB position.  Hopefully Gray can do something to refresh their memories.
  • Give him credit – Bernie Machen’s got one helluva shtick going.  He pitches a poorly thought out playoff proposal to his SEC peers, bails out and votes against his own proposal when the going gets tough and yet still gets cited as a go-to guy by the national media on playoffs.  Nice work if you can get it.
  • I guess some coaches would be opposed to an early signing period.  At least sometimes.
  • That leadership thing is still the subject of many posts in the Georgia blogosphere.  David Hale offered some follow up observations yesterday to his earlier post on the subject and Marc Weiszer reminds us that one of the departing players who kinda, sorta got a nudge, nudge, wink, wink thrown his way about leadership last year raised that issue himself before the Cap One Bowl.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The Blogosphere