Daily Archives: April 20, 2010

Tuesday brunch buffet

Plenty of tasty morsels to get you through the afternoon:

  • Obama administration toughens Title IX rules.  My bullshit meter started clicking furiously with this quote from Neena Chaudhry, senior counsel for the National Women’s Law Center:  “There aren’t any statistics to show opportunities for women were denied, but Chaudhry suggested it was a possibility.”
  • Keep in mind: Tim Tebow carried the ball 217 times last year, more than twice the amount of any Gators running back.”
  • This BCS story has it all:  unnamed sources about an unnamed company, citing an unseen study about which schools are “the best candidates to become part of the BCS”.  Well, all except for any shred of professional journalism.
  • “Speaking of first-rounders, anybody want to venture a guess on which SEC team produced the most during the past decade?”
  • Shakin the Southland looks at Cover 3 pattern reads.
  • “At wide receiver, non-BCS athletes have better NFL careers than a BCS athlete with similar college stats and similar performances at the NFL Scouting Combine.” They just don’t go as high in the NFL draft.
  • More Vance Cuff love.
  • One of these numbers isn’t like the others.
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46 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Finebaum tongue-bathes Alabama. Again.

My favorite part of his latest gaze-upon-Saban’s-works-and-despair piece is the comment thread.  In one breath, the ‘Bama faithful are bitching about the off-week scheduling hurdle and in the next they’re all predicting back-to-back undefeated national championship seasons.

20 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Fun with numbers, SEC scoring version

A couple of telling SEC charts from Mr. Steele:

First, offensive points per game for the last five years (rank refers to national ranking) -

SEC

Rank Team 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 AVG L/5 yrs
5 Florida 35.9 43.6 42.5 29.7 28.6 36.06
18 LSU 24.8 30.9 38.6 33.7 29.5 31.5
29 Arkansas 36 21.9 37.3 28.9 25.7 29.96
33 Georgia 28.9 31.5 32.6 25.2 29.5 29.54
55 Alabama 32.1 30.1 27.1 22.9 21.9 26.82
57 Kentucky 26.1 22.6 36.5 26.7 21.7 26.72
58 Auburn 33.3 17.3 24.2 24.8 32.2 26.36
70 Tennessee 29.3 17.3 32.5 27.8 18.6 25.1
79 South Carolina 20.6 20.8 26.1 26.6 23.7 23.56
97 Mississippi 29.5 32.1 20.1 15.7 13.5 22.18
104 Vanderbilt 16.3 19.2 21.7 22 27.2 21.28
116 Mississippi St 25.6 15.3 21.5 18.4 13.9 18.94

And here’s the defensive counterpart -

SEC

Rank Team 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 AVG L/5 yrs
5 Alabama 11.7 14.3 22 19.2 10.7 15.58
7 Florida 12.4 12.9 25.5 13.5 18.8 16.62
8 LSU 16.2 24.2 19.9 12.6 14.2 17.42
12 Auburn 27.5 18 16.9 13.9 15.5 18.36
21 Tennessee 22.2 16.8 27.3 19.5 18.6 20.88
23 Georgia 25.9 24.5 20.2 17.6 16.4 20.92
25 South Carolina 20.4 21.1 23.5 18.7 23.2 21.38
29 Mississippi 17.7 19 28.5 22.9 22.3 22.08
41 Vanderbilt 23.3 19.6 22.6 23.7 29.2 23.68
50 Mississippi St 26.8 24.7 23.2 25.8 23.5 24.8
57 Arkansas 25.1 31.2 26.5 18.3 24.6 25.14
75 Kentucky 22.7 21.5 29.6 28.4 34.1 27.26

A few random observations:

  • How much of Corch Meyers’ offensive genius is tied to his starting quarterback?  Florida’s offensive average would suggest at least a touchdown.  No pressure, John Brantley.
  • For all the interceptions and mistakes, as well as the physical limitations, Joe Cox’ one year at the helm was more productive by better than a field goal a game over Matt Stafford’s first crack as starter.  Against an arguably tougher schedule, to boot.
  • Dan Mullen versus Woody McCorvey just isn’t a fair fight.
  • Vanderbilt was fifth in the conference in scoring in 2005.  Is there any doubt how much value a decent quarterback brings to a team in the SEC?
  • All the bragging about Monte Kiffin’s prowess as a defensive coordinator – the numbers for Tennessee’s defense don’t back that up, at least in comparison to Chavis’ work.
  • Hard to believe that Kentucky has become a better team defensively than Georgia, but at least in terms of points allowed, it’s a pretty clear trend.
  • If you look at Auburn’s offensive and defensive numbers, you’ll understand why Spencer Hall had this to say about the Tigers after last weekend’s spring game:  “The transformation of Auburn into a Big 12 South team is nearing completion.

31 Comments

Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Conference expansion, a zero-sum game?

One reason I enjoy reading Brian Cook so much is that he’s the one college football blogger out there who’s even more consistently cynical than I am.  So needless to say, his recent crap-over of Big Ten expansion is right up my alley.

… This is a stupid idea no matter how much money some amalgamation of Big East teams, spare parts from the cornfield section of the country, and an orphaned Notre Dame will add to the bottom line. Adding more than one additional team pushes the Big Ten from a tight federation of teams with meaningful relationships with each other to two conferences loosely pasted together. The current setups in the Big 12, ACC, and SEC are silly enough-remember that year Kansas skated into the top ten because it had a Kansas-State-worthy non-conference schedule and missed Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech? A 14 or 16 team conference exacerbates that immensely. With 14 teams you play two of the seven members in the other division. With 16 teams it’s one of eight. Conventional two-divisions-and-game-at-the end ceases to make sense once you push past 12 teams.

I will say that there’s no reason a 16-school conference has to stick with a 7-1-4 scheduling format.  In fact, if you’re arguing, as Brian (correctly) does, that this is a move for, by and about the almighty dollar – “As with a lot of things that promise to make money hand over fist, the only people who benefit are the ones pulling the strings.” – then going to something like a 7-3-2 arrangement makes a lot of sense, if only to cut out the need to pay some piddling lower mid-major or 1-AA school the better part of a million bucks to show up and be cannon fodder.

Speaking of money, Dennis Dodd does a nice job of laying out the dilemma that Texas may be facing if the Big XII finds itself being carved up.

… Along with Notre Dame, Texas is the only other schools that makes complete expansion sense — to any conference. If Texas leaves the Big 12, Oklahoma would have to make a decision to leave as well or make a go of it in a severely altered Big 12. Wedged in the middle of everything is the Big 12 TV contract that puts the conference in a kind of purgatory. Its deal with Fox expires in two years. But a more lucrative deal with ABC/ESPN still has five years to run.

“What was viewed as a benefit at the time [when they were signed],” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said of the latest contracts, “is probably more of a detriment … We don’t have the same numbers of homes as the Big Ten and the SEC.”

No one does. The Big 12 stance seems to be that geographic relationships work. Get much outside your natural region and there are concerns.

“I’ve said that to some people at Texas,” said Duncan, who still works as director of the Big 12 championship game. “How much better does Texas have it, when you get the recipe right? You better be conscious of experimenting with that recipe.”

To answer that last question, Texas has it great right now, with the stacked deck that is Big XII revenue distribution.  Whether it can find a deal with another conference that’s as lucrative is the $64,000 question.

Dodd summarizes what’s going on right now thusly:

What this latest round of expansion comes down to is dividing 50 percent of the nation’s college sports-viewing population. The Big Ten (with approximately 26 percent of the population in its eight-state region) and SEC (23 percent) already have sewed up the other 50 percent.

Which further boils down to this: if the Big East and the Big XII are in play because of the Big Ten’s plans, and the mid-major conferences (as distinct from the three or four top mid-major schools) are irrelevant to the discussion, how do the SEC, the ACC and the Pac-10 react to grab that market share?

8 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Kiffin watch: Recruiting trumps meritocracy.

You know, it drives you crazy to watch a coach deploy a player (or players) ahead of kids who’ve shown themselves to be the better contributors on the field.

No, I’m not talking about Willie Martinez and Bryan Evans.  I’m talking about Junior and prized recruit Bryce Brown.

And Tauren Poole.

In the end, Tauren Poole is the one still standing.

He knew he was in a no-win situation last season, buried behind a player who was going to play in front of him no matter what.

It didn’t matter that Poole had been better in practices and better in scrimmages, and it didn’t matter that many of his teammates were telling him privately that he should be Tennessee’s No. 2 tailback behind Montario Hardesty.

Bryce Brown came in as one of the most hyped prospects in the country, a walking advertisement for Lane Kiffin’s recruiting prowess, and he was going to play — regardless.

“I could have rushed for 100 yards every scrimmage, and the best I was going to do was third team, if that,” Poole said. “It was hard to take, especially with so many guys on the team telling me that wasn’t right…”

That’s spoken by someone who clearly doesn’t understand how important it is for a school to win the national recruiting rankings.

By the way, after reading this post about the dire straits Tennessee finds itself in with regards to the offensive line this season, I think I still feel for Poole.

4 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting