Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

Recruiting, back in the day

Chip Towers has a nice piece up on Herschel Walker’s recruitment, including this footage from Bill Hartman.

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UPDATE: While we’re on the subject, Matt Hinton links to this great piece from a couple of years ago about the greatest college running back ever.

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8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

David Hale’s look at talent-mining

I doubt very many of you who stop by here don’t also read David Hale’s blog (or, should I say, the acclaimed blog of David Hale), but his last two posts on Georgia’s recruiting are especially worth your attention.

The first of these is a promise versus production look at Georgia’s recruiting classes for the 2004-8 period.  It’s a very good illustration of the micro vs. macro approach to analyzing recruiting.  Again, we all love the stories of the scrappy two-star players who are dying to come to Georgia to play and wind up contributing, but it’s the repeated top-ten classes that allow a program to excel over time in the toughest conference in the country.

However, it’s the second post, the one that breaks down production by position, that’s really interesting.  Mainly because Hale deduces a pattern in Richt’s management of his staff:

… So the position coaches who appear to have had the least success at turning promise into performance are all gone now, replaced during the past two offseasons.

I somehow doubt these are the numbers that Mark Richt was crunching when he made the decisions to let those guys go (or in Eason’s case, move him upstairs), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t come to the right conclusion anyway.

Let me chime in with a few thoughts of my own in response:

  • If you’re of the “it’s not the Xs and Os, it’s the Jimmies and Joes” school, Richt’s lengthy (some would say too lengthy) approach to replacing coaches makes more sense.  A head coach may get a feeling in the shorter term about whether an assistant coach is good with schemes and on the field adjustments, but evaluating a coach’s ability to identify and develop talent on a consistent basis takes more time.
  • I think David may be reading a bit more into Rex Robinson’s post about Tony Ball and the recruitment of Da’Rick Rogers than Rex intended, but on the other hand, seeing Marlon Brown produce this season wouldn’t hurt if you’re Ball.
  • One thing David doesn’t touch on – and it’s something that I doubt anyone who doesn’t sit in on coaches’ meetings would have any way of knowing – is how much of the shortcomings in production are due to coaching the kids once they arrive on campus and how much of it is due to faulty evaluation going in.  And that doesn’t mean a failure in judging talent as much as it means a failure in judging whether the recruits you’re offering are the best fit for what your program needs to succeed in the SEC over time.  I sure would love to know how much input the recently departed had in choosing who was offered.
  • If you’re looking for the silver lining, Hale provides it:  “It’s still far too early to tell what type of impact Georgia’s new coaches will have, but it’s nevertheless encouraging to know that the problems were identified. Because if Tony Ball and Todd Grantham and Warren Belin can each take one guy per season who might have been a “failure” under the old regime and turn him into a success, that’ll mean 12 more productive players four years from now. And that’s a significant difference.”

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Bowls and playoffs, apples and oranges

The debate surrounding the contemplated expansion of March Madness to 96 teams has produced lame and questionable reasoning by the bushel.  One of my favorite arguments raised in support of adding 32 schools to the mix is that on a percentage basis, the basketball postseason isn’t nearly as diluted as football’s.  You know, like this:

Currently, 18 percent of the Division 1 teams get into the NCAA Tournament and another 9 percent receive invites to the NIT. That’s way below the number of teams that get postseason berths in football: 68 of Division 1-A’s 120 teams go to bowls, or 56 percent.

Is it really necessary to point out that only two college football teams play for a (mythical) national title in the postseason, while 65 basketball teams enter the tourney with a shot at the championship?  If you want to analogize the bowls to the NIT, that’s certainly more reasonable, but if you’re seriously comparing the size of the two postseasons as a whole, either you’re making the bowl games more significant than they are for the most part, or you’re admitting that the first round of March Madness is little more than a glorified exhibition

Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed-pairing has played a total of 100 first-round games.

  1. The #1 seed has beaten the #16 seed all 100 times (100%).
  2. The #2 seed has beaten the #15 seed 96 times (96%).
  3. The #3 seed has beaten the #14 seed 85 times (85%).
  4. The #4 seed has beaten the #13 seed 79 times (79%).
  5. The #5 seed has beaten the #12 seed 66 times (66%).
  6. The #6 seed has beaten the #11 seed 69 times (69%).
  7. The #7 seed has beaten the #10 seed 61 times (61%).
  8. The #8 seed has beaten the #9 seed 46 times (46%).

… which may explain this comment from Billy Donovan.

“If you ever got an eight-team playoff in college football, there would be some people still saying that the bowl system was the best,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan. “People would argue that the regular season in college basketball would be diminished by expanding the tournament field, but I’d like to see more kids get a chance to experience the NCAA Tournament.”

Of course, you could just say screw it to any attempt at logic and go someplace totally off the wall with this.

One of the beauties of the tournament is the select field that participates in it every season. Unlike the bowl system, which rewards mediocrity, only those teams that excel qualify for the tournament.

Excel? I can’t believe it bears repeating, but it’s March Madness that allows teams with losing regular season records to compete for a national championship.  How ’bout those 1999 Rattlers!

28 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Tuesday morning buffet

Baby, it’s cold outside, so grab something warm.

  • You know, if they’d just extend the bowl season a little bit longer and open spring practice just a little bit earlier, the college football season could last as long as the NBA’s.
  • I didn’t want to believe this rumor, until I saw the last fact.  That sort of validated the entire post.
  • Don’t get too comfortable, Mike Archer.
  • Make sure you read Tim Tucker’s interviews with Mettenberger and Gray.  (I linked to Murray’s the other day.)  Is it just me, or does Logan come off sounding the least confident of the three?
  • I’m not sure what made me chuckle more reading this – the housebreaking joke, or the West Virginia fan offended by the crack about his state.
  • I am shocked, shocked to find that the guys at Eleven Warriors believe that RichRod is on the hottest seat in the Big Ten.  (Personally, my vote goes to the Zooker.)
  • Normally, I don’t like to spend time dwelling on commitment news, but check out the Curran-like production from Georgia’s newest commit for the class of 2011:  155 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, a blocked punt, a field goal block and a fumble recovery for a touchdown last season.

7 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Big Ten Football, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, The Blogosphere

Kiffin watch: it’s not me, it’s you.

Nobody in college football has mastered the art of bullshit rationalization better than Junior.  Nobody.

So looking back: You took a lot of heat for leaving Tennessee after one year: Any reflections on how things went down? Any regrets?

LK: Well, I was trying to do it the best it could be done as far as getting back from the SEC head coaches meeting that I was at to speak to the team. As I think you’d be familiar with, most of the time people don’t speak to the local media and I was trying to do that out of respect to them because there are some great people there. I guess I should have listened to other people and just got out of there and went to my new job instead of trying to do what I thought was right.

You got hit pretty hard by the national media: Did any of it hurt? Did it bother you at all?

LK: Not at all. Because every person who I talked to about this decision, when I laid out the facts, every single person said not only that it wasn’t close but basically that it was a no-brainer. So, if people were familiar with all the details of the situations — which they never will be — I think that people would definitely understand. And, even with people back there. I understand people are hurt but the sense I’ve gotten from the people I still talk to back there or who have called me — people involved in business — understand the move and don’t fault me for it.

That’s the rationalization part.  Here’s the bullshit:

Any “details” you mentioned that you want to share with us?

LK: No.

I know I don’t need to tell anybody this, but Vol fans, you’re in a better place now without him.

3 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Somebody else’s concern

I don’t know about you, but selfishly speaking, I don’t mind seeing some school other than Georgia doing the heavy lifting on the SEC’s toughest non-conference games list this year.

And as an aside, one thing to keep in mind about the first game on Low’s list:  Tennessee’s new defensive coordinator did a helluva job on Oregon in the Ducks’ season opener last year.

1 Comment

Filed under SEC Football