Daily Archives: October 26, 2009

Kiffin watch: and in a shocking development…

Junior gets dinged with public reprimand #2 from the SEC.

And, yes, if you’re wondering, there is a form of a “three strikes” conference rule about that.

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UPDATE: Year2 captures the screenshot accompanying the announcement at the SEC website.  Hey, as long as they spelled Junior’s name right, it’s all part of the plan.

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19 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, SEC Football

Perverse thought of the day

Let me start by saying that I’m in complete agreement with this observation from Saurian Sagacity:

With each passing game it is becoming more and more obvious that Tim Tebow is pressing. He is a shadow of the player he was in 2007 and 2008. Don’t talk to me about the concussion because he was playing the same way before that hit. He is just trying to do too much. Pressing is understandable with the loss of 2 wide receivers who are now starting in the NFL and the loss of 2 key offensive linemen, but something has to be corrected if this team expects to reach its ultimate goal.

Unfortunately the problem is compounded by the fact that the offensive is being coordinated by the inexperienced Steve Addazio, whose previously held the same position for a year at the offensive juggernaut Indiana. This is not to say that the offense hasn’t had some success, because it has, nor I am saying that Addazio needs to be replaced because I don’t think he does – remember last year when fans were calling for Mullen’s head. Unfortunately, the offense is close to becoming a liability.

Old habits die hard.  Tebow operates on the basis that the weight of the team is on his shoulders.  That may have been true in previous seasons, but this year the heavy lifting is being done by the Gator defense.

If you’re Urban Meyer, it’s not hard to draw up a basic strategy for this week.  It boils down to three simple words:  play it safe.  Let Georgia beat itself; with the Dags‘ Dawgs’ turnover problems and inability to run the football consistently, that’s not exactly a monumental task for a team with the best defense in college football.

I’m not sure they can do it, though.  First, for some reason, these guys are still acting like this matters:

Florida is still fired up about Georgia’s 2007 end-zone celebration. DT Terron Sanders calls it a “sign of disrespect,” among other things, after Georgia “stormed the field.”

“We feel as if it’s a slap in the face,” Sanders said. “We can’t just let it be a one-year thing where we feel like we took care of it. We always have to look back at it as disrespect.”

… “acting” being the key word there.  I’m not sure why they feel a need to gin up the disrespect card in 2009, but to me it’s an indication that something’s askew on the motivational front.

But the other reason I’m not convinced the Gators can play it safe is because I don’t think Tebow can change his approach to the game.  Like the hype or not, he’s a ferocious competitor.  How does he switch that off and settle for merely being a competent game manager?  To me, that’s something to take advantage of (yeah, I know).

Which leads me to that aforementioned perverse thought.   If Georgia pulls off the upset, I’m beginning to think it’ll be because of Tebow, not despite him.

34 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Bringing ‘em down to their level

You want to know a concern about Georgia that may be overrated?

Penalties.  It’s not that there aren’t a lot of them – Georgia’s last in the conference in both the number of penalties comitted and in average penalty yardage per game – it’s that Georgia’s opponents are just as bad.

Here’s the tale of the tape:

PENALTIES G No. Yards Avg/G
1. Tennessee 7 33 259 37.0
2. Ole Miss 7 36 292 41.7
3. Florida 7 40 296 42.3
4. LSU 7 43 331 47.3
5. Kentucky 7 37 333 47.6
6. Alabama 8 47 423 52.9
7. Vanderbilt 8 56 433 54.1
8. Miss. State 8 52 461 57.6
9. Auburn 8 55 481 60.1
10. South Carolina 8 56 515 64.4
11. Arkansas 7 58 487 69.6
12. Georgia 7 65 523 74.7
OPPONENT PENALTIES G No. Yards Avg/G
1. Georgia 7 60 507 72.4
2. South Carolina 8 59 501 62.6
3. Alabama 8 52 446 55.8
4. Arkansas 7 50 389 55.6
5. Florida 7 48 381 54.4
6. Miss. State 8 53 423 52.9
7. Ole Miss 7 51 354 50.6
8. Kentucky 7 44 349 49.9
9. LSU 7 44 345 49.3
10. Tennessee 7 39 332 47.4
11. Vanderbilt 8 43 365 45.6
12. Auburn 8 39 311 38.9

The net effect is less than two yards per game.  Compare that with Auburn, which is losing more than 20 net penalty yards per game.

It sure makes for some messy games.  If Richt were more like Lane Kiffin, he might claim that he planned it that way.

None of this is to say that the timing of some of the calls aren’t important.  But as a factor in something like average field position, I’m not sure how easy it is to argue that there’s been much of an impact from penalties so far.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today’s cheap intellectual exercise

I don’t know if anyone else played this game last weekend, but one thing I did as I watched all of the conference action last weekend was to judge whether any units of Georgia’s SEC brethren were more physically talented than the Dawgs’ defensive or offensive squads.  Notice I wrote “talented” there – I wasn’t considering whether other defenses or offenses were better prepared, better coached on the field or stronger on their fundamentals, just comparing sheer athletic ability.

Outside of Florida’s defense, which is ridiculously talented and deep (and, by the way, has anyone ever considered that the primary reason the Gator special teams are so good isn’t because of the “ooh, Meyer makes it special to be on special teams” BS, but because he’s got a bigger pool of talent to draw on than any other school in the conference?), I couldn’t point to another program and say that it was running a bunch of kids on the field who were as a group clearly more talented than whom Georgia deploys (although in terms of matching above-average talent to a scheme, you’d have to give some serious credit to Alabama’s defense).  Again, that doesn’t mean a lot of those teams aren’t playing better than Georgia’s – it would be foolish to deny that – just that Georgia doesn’t look like it steps on the field with the kind of deficiency that, say, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn or even Tennessee faces when they play the top teams in the conference.

Special teams may be a bit harder to judge, but ask yourself a question.  Is there another SEC team which can match Georgia’s four key special teams performers (Walsh, Butler, Boykin and Miller)?  The only other school that can make a credible argument for that is Alabama.  (Florida is close, though.)

I’m not offering this as proof of anything in particular, but it sure makes the lopsided loss to Tennessee hard to understand.

What do you guys think?

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Just showin’ off.

I bet the GPOOE™ wishes he’d have thought of this first.

7 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

My Mumme Poll ballot, week 8

Thanks primarily to Clemson and Brigham Young, this week’s ballot was easier to compile than last week’s.

TOP FIVE

  • Alabama
  • Cincinnati
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Texas

REST OF THE BEST

  • Boise State
  • Georgia Tech
  • LSU
  • Oregon
  • Penn State
  • Southern Cal
  • TCU

COMMENTS

  • Step One to a quicker ballot – none of my top five from last week lost, so none of ‘em drop out this week.
  • Miami’s loss allowed me to jettison that three-legged ACC stool of Georgia Tech-Miami-Virginia Tech that I agonized over last week.  Georgia Tech is the only one of that threesome which deserves a top twelve nod this week.
  • That’s good, because I really haven’t been happy excluding TCU from my ballot.  That win on the road against a team that beat Oklahoma earlier this year is an impressive one.  Their schedule isn’t fantastic, but with two wins over ACC schools and a ranked team – all on the road – it’ll more than do.  It’ll help if Utah is still ranked when they play in Fort Worth.
  • The only tough call this week came with my last pick, where I went with Penn State.  The Nittany Lions’ schedule isn’t the greatest, but my other choices either had more losses (Va. Tech and Arizona) or hadn’t played a much tougher set of opponents (Pittsburgh).

8 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll

Monday morning buffet

It’s gonna be a short week at GTP, so let’s get you started with these quick bites:

  • Junior’s got a right – at least technically speaking – to complain about Cody not getting a flag for taking his helmet off, but that “magical flag” crack as an excuse for his weak-kneed playcalling at game’s end is cheap.
  • On the other hand, I understand why Dan Mullen is ticked off.  And exactly why doesn’t the SEC provide the name of the replay official?
  • One of our long national nightmares is over.
  • As expected, TCU passed Boise State in the BCS rankings.  Time for some more Congressional hearings!
  • Judging from this, it’s no surprise to see how UCLA’s Randall Carroll comes by his nickname.
  • If you’re wondering how Iowa State won in Lincoln for the first time in over thirty years, Matt Melton has the answer for you.  (ISU was +1 for the season in turnover margin before that game, by the way.)
  • How does an athletic director at a big time school not know whether he’s got another school under contract to play a game?
  • Georgia opens as a sixteen point underdog in Jax, which really isn’t much of a change from the preseason spread, so color me a bit surprised.  Ominously, if you look at both teams’ recent trends against the spread, it doesn’t look too favorable for Georgia to cover.

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators..., General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Stats Geek!