Monthly Archives: August 2010

What “OR” means.

Matt Hinton’s prediction of how Spurrier will deploy his quarterback tandem strikes me as, well… just about perfect:

Best guess: They’re both gonna play. Garcia will start against USM, but in grand Spurrier fashion, Shaw will see extended action, look underwhelming, and yield to Garcia for the next month or so, until Spurrier gets exasperated again. Rinse, lather and repeat throughout the year, with Garcia taking three-fourths of the snaps but yielding to Shaw for extended periods of time, and possibly a start or two at most. But Spurrier has never shown much patience with anything less than a Heisman-worthy effort from his starter, and this doesn’t seem like any place to start.

Apply.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

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7 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius

Regression to the mean by any other name

From Pat Forde’s column today:

… Here are 10 wild cards that could alter the predicted course of the season between now and January:

Georgia turnover margin (27). Bulldogs were a putrid minus-16 in that department last year. They recovered exactly two fumbles, which is why Willie Martinez is now coordinating elsewhere, and Bulldogs QBs threw 17 interceptions. Some of the turnover margin is aggressiveness on defense and some of it is prudence on offense — and some of it is just luck. After never having a year anywhere near that bad in turnover margin, Mark Richt is due for some better bounces this time around. If Georgia gets back into plus-turnover margin on the season, it could well win the SEC East.

At least.

(By the way, make sure you catch Forde’s note about former Vanderbilt coach Woody Widenhofer – one of the weirder “where are they now?” stories you’ll see.)

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Andrea, you ignorant slut.

There is so much stoopid from Adelson in this “debate” with Chris Low that I wonder if she’s displaying any more sincerity in what she writes than what we’re subjected to in a typical Mark May rant.

If you’re gonna try to gin up some controversy, can’t you do better than the old, tired “it’s not the Broncos’ fault nobody wants a piece of them” line the week Virginia Tech is scheduled to play them?

And you have to love this exchange:

Chris Low: You’re right, the WAC is the conference Boise State plays in. That’s just the way it is. But it’s not even close to playing an SEC schedule, which is why a one-loss SEC champion should always get the nod over any unbeaten team from the WAC, Mountain West or any of the non-BCS conferences for that matter. I like your hoops analogy, but the difference is that Boise State isn’t carving its way through powerhouses in football en route to the championship game a la Butler in hoops a year ago. Butler beat Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State just to get to Duke in the title game. Boise State closes this season with Fresno State, Nevada and Utah State.

Andrea Adelson: Fresno State and Nevada have been two of the best WAC teams in football. But that is beside the point…

My head hurts.

66 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

It’s getting closer…

  • Great article by Tim Tucker on Georgia’s antitrust suit against the NCAA.  Can you imagine what that 1980 season would have been like under the current broadcast arrangements?
  • Pat Dye on the SEC:  “If you don’t win at Alabama, they ought to fire your ass. Same thing at Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. I’d even say that’s the case at South Carolina and Auburn. Oh, and LSU and Arkansas.” (h/t The Wiz of  Odds)
  • Gary Danielson on Stephen Garcia“His light flickers.”
  • In case you were wondering what the conventional wisdom of SEC beat writers might be as to the upcoming season, here you go.
  • Here’s a nifty little study of last year’s SEC offensive lines (h/t Jerry Hinnen).  Think Les Miles may have any regrets about letting Stacy Searels go?
  • And here’s a preview of Georgia Tech’s defense.  It’s a pretty honest assessment – that front seven looks mighty thin.
  • Jeremiah Masoli still doesn’t have NCAA clearance to play.
  • PSA:  I’m just passing this on, but a reader e-mailed me yesterday to say that she was able to order tickets for the Ge0rgia-South Carolina game at the Gamecocks’ official site.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

The supply and demand for cupcakes

Seth Emerson takes a good look at the rising cost of scheduling lower tier schools for single home games, through the lens of Georgia’s opening opponent this Saturday.  Money quote:

“Supply and demand is part of it,” said Farmer, who worked at Georgia Southern from 1982-99. “Right now there’s more of a demand than there is a supply. I know that’s an awful lot of money to pay out to play a football game. But I think the other story would be how much does a Georgia or a Sooth Carolina make at a home football game. … If it wasn’t economically feasible for them, they wouldn’t pay it.”

There may be something coming that bears watching, though – the potential trend towards nine-game conference schedules.

The Next Big Thing in college football scheduling will be an old-school, fan-friendly concept: Playing conference rivals more, not less.

The Pac-10 has played nine conference games for a while, and it appears the Big Ten and Big 12 will soon follow. The trend could affect the national championship race, television contracts, the budgets of smaller schools, and bowl eligibility.

Fewer open slots in BCS-conference schedules means a drop in demand for opponents who will accept a one-and-done arrangement.  That means one of two things will result:  either appearance fees will decline, or the mid-major conferences will do some shoring up of their own to cut the supply and keep the costs up.

… If the Big Ten shifts to nine games, MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said his league should strongly consider going to nine as well.

“The Big Ten is going to have one fewer non-conference game to schedule,” Steinbrecher said. “Does that mean one fewer game against us they schedule, or one other non-conference game (not against the MAC)? That’s what we don’t know right now.”

Delany said the Big Ten has “pushed it about as far as we can” in paying for increasingly expensive “buy” games.

Conference USA is also considering a nine-game schedule. Many league coaches believe C-USA hasn’t had an undefeated team since 1998 because of difficult non-conference schedules.

Either way, the end result would be less money flowing downstream.  That’s not a happy development if you’re a school on the receiving end.

15 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Meanwhile, six hours later in Athens…

Georgia did some depth chart reshuffling of its own, as Jakar Hamilton was moved ahead of Nick Williams at one of the starting safety spots.

It doesn’t sound like we’ve heard the last of that yet, either.

“It depends on what day it is, I guess,” Richt said. “As of Friday or Saturday, we were feeling like DeAngelo would start at nose. … DeAngelo could play end and (Justin Anderson) and Kwame (Geathers) could move up in a heartbeat, too.”

It’s going to be a real contrast in studies this year – barring injuries, stability ought to be the order of the day on offense, while the defense looks to be in a state of flux for some time.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

New Florida depth chart: a little bit of history repeating?

Nah, it’s not exactly 2007 all over again, but a look at the Gators depth chart reveals an astounding seventeen true freshman listed (granted, some of that figure is the result of the rather liberal use of “OR” – the latest cheezy trend in depth charting).  The reason that’s not entirely a rerun is because none of them are listed as starters.

It does make you wonder what’s going on with their sophomore class, though, as it seems to be largely supplanted by the newcomers.

I don’t wish injuries on any team, but I will be curious to see what happens if Florida suffers its share (indeed, that’s happened already to some extent on the offensive line).

One last thing:  anybody see where that short yardage offense will be coming from?

Maybe that explains why Stewart Mandel has gone out on a limb and predicted that it will be Georgia, and not Florida, in a BCS game this season.

14 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Raining on Jerry Hinnen’s parade (not that I want to)

I enjoyed reading Jerry Hinnen’s SEC preview which he posted today – for one thing, he’s been struggling over many of the same issues that I’ve batted around in my head the last four weeks and I’ve always been a big fan of letting somebody else do the heavy lifting if possible – but, try as I might and with as much as I find in what he writes that I agree with, I can’t quite bring myself across the finish line that he erects:

I’m predicting that either Georgia or Auburn will make it to Atlanta at one of the Big Two’s expense.

I like that (especially because I agree with Jerry that Georgia’s a more likely bet to win the East than Auburn to win the West), but I don’t think it’s gonna happen this season, for more than a couple of reasons.

  • Der Gap. Unfortunately, as Jerry notes, the story in the SEC last season was the two teams at the top and the yawning divide between them and the rest of the conference.  I also agree that the margin is likely to shrink in both divisions.  It’s just that I don’t expect it to shrink enough.  Think about it for a minute:  both divisions were won by four game margins last season, so to erase that completely this year,  a school would have to engineer a three-game swing against either Alabama or Florida (or a two-game swing with a win in the head-to-head match).  I don’t see it in either division.  It looks much more like a two-season project to me.
  • The Tigers have to claw. Auburn has the kind of schedule in 2010 that would make Houston Nutt envious, but it still has a tougher row to hoe than Georgia in that it has to fight its way to the top with two other schools also looking to catch Alabama (and Arkansas, as Jerry notes, with its offense has a puncher’s chance to win any game on its schedule).  On paper, Georgia looks to have only South Carolina to duke it out with to run down the Gators.
  • 3-17. Lose the Cocktail Party and Georgia has to play the rest of its conference schedule two games better than Florida.  How likely is that to happen?
  • Auburn’s defensive depth. Yes, the Tigers enjoyed a terrific recruiting class this season.  But it’s a stretch to think that you can count on a bunch of true freshmen to step in and be major contributors on defense.  And starting out, Auburn looks thin on the front seven.
  • Georgia’s defensive changes. Count me as somebody who believes that Aaron Murray is going to absorb all the turnover direction he’s been receiving from his coaches and take it to heart.  Georgia’s offense should be good enough.  But it’s just not realistic to expect a smooth defensive transition with three new coaches and a new scheme, if for no other reason than some old habits die hard.  It’ll get better as the season progresses, but somebody’s going to catch Georgia early on, and as I’ve already noted, the Dawgs don’t exactly have a big margin for error with the Gators this season.
  • Gary Crowton really can’t be that bad an offensive coordinator, can he? Okay, maybe he can.  But, damn, LSU is a talented squad that’s been no worse than third in the conference in recruiting over the past three or four seasons.  There are certainly more highly ranked players suiting up in Baton Rouge than in either Auburn or Fayetteville.

Bottom line – I hope he’s right, but I expect that Jerry’s a year early here.

28 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Shuffling the defensive line

Marc Weiszer has the new two-deep roster here.  No earth shattering developments, except on the d-line:

Defense
LE Brandon Wood, Abry Jones
N DeAngelo Tyson, Justin Anderson, Kwame Geathers
RE Demarcus Dobbs, Kiante Tripp

Wood has moved ahead of Jones, Tyson is back at #1 at tackle… and, hello, Kiante Tripp.

I don’t know if this is how Garner is keeping his players on their toes, or himself, but I suspect this isn’t the last change on the depth chart we’ll see.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Monday brunch buffet

Season’s start is getting close enough, you can taste it.

  • Todd Grantham is ready.
  • When Bacarri Rambo talks about “hit and run”, he’s not referring what may happen when you’re behind the wheel of a gold Chevy Impala.
  • I guess soccer fans handle their beer better than college football fans do.
  • This isn’t what it sounds like:  “I look for this to be one of the weakest football seasons we’ve had in while.”
  • This conclusion about strength of schedule – “the trend is essentially saying that the harder the schedule, the better a team’s expected performance” – sure seems counterintuitive to me.
  • Though Kansas has a quarterback with the less than fortunate name of Pick, it’s worth noting that Vanderbilt’s backup quarterback is aptly named Funk.
  • The latest victim of Negative Grohmentum is… Negative Grohmentum.
  • Mike Hugenin’s quarterback rankings have Alabama at #20 and Florida at #21.  I’m beginning to think that Greg McElroy is the Rodney Dangerfield of the SEC.
  • Here’s something that Craig James and Mike Leach agree on.  (h/t Coaches Hot Seat Blog)
  • Chris Low predicts we’ll be putting the Mark Richt-on-the-hot-seat meme in our collective rear view mirrors after this season.

8 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Stats Geek!