Daily Archives: December 21, 2010

Stay in school, have a good time.

The Godfather has some musical advice for Caleb King.

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13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

If you’re so smart, how come you’re not rich?

It’s hard to believe you can raise ten and a half million dollars publishing dreck like this, but that’s just what Bleacher Report has done.  Read it and weep:

So how has Bleacher Report pulled this kind of growth off when almost no other sports-related startup has? Tons and tons of content for nearly any sports team anyone could care about. They produce more than 500 pieces of content a day, and have more than 1 million aggregate subscribers to their online newsletters tracking some 300 teams…

… Bleacher Report has 3,000 contributors and 700 featured contributors. Most are everyday sports fans who want a megaphone and people to argue with, but have day jobs and don’t have the time to build a large enough blog to get an audience on their own. Bleacher Report gives them some light editing tips, stats and analysis to provide story ideas and research, and of course distribution…

“Light editing tips”?

We really are doomed as a civilization.

18 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

All you have to do is call.

I think Spencer Hall has misconstrued this quote from Jeff Demps – understandable if you’re a Gator fan whose opinion of Addazio is that you’d save him from a burning building before you’d rescue the Zooker, but that’s about it – but in any event, he’s missed the money quote from Demps in the linked article, which is:

… Like most of the older players, Demps, who will be a senior in 2011, is happy Meyer will still be accessible.

“Yes, it’s very important,” he said. “Coach Meyer, he wasn’t just a coach; he was like a father figure to all the players. He recruited us and he was always there. I think it’s very important that he’s going to still be around if we’re having problems on the field or off the field. We can always go to coach Meyer if we need anything.”

Now that’s got potential.  Can you say soap opera?  I thought you could.  I’ve even got a theme song.

14 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Georgia’s stats are driving me crazy.

This is the kind of post I usually put together in the offseason, but Year2 has saved me the trouble and I thank him.  In looking at what kind of difference Grantham made this season, he compiled this chart.

Season UGA PPG All. Avg. SEC PPG All. Difference Coordinator
2003 15.11 24.29 -9.17 VanGorder
2004 16.63 23.15 -6.53 VanGorder
2002 16.33 22.59 -6.26 VanGorder
2007 21.40 26.95 -5.55 Martinez
2005 16.44 21.72 -5.27 Martinez
2001 20.88 25.70 -4.83 VanGorder
2010 25.00 26.65 -1.65 Grantham
2006 21.00 21.10 -0.10 Martinez
2008 26.80 22.77 +4.03 Martinez
2009 31.50 23.20 +8.30 Martinez

Even when you factor better special teams play and a quarterback that didn’t hand the ball over to the opposition on a regular basis into the equation, that’s still a significant improvement.  Besides, Grantham had to grapple with installing a new scheme and the accompanying personnel issues that went with that, so the side factors offset to some extent.  Those numbers aren’t everything we want them to be, obviously, but that’s a long way from not seeing them as an improvement over the last two years of Martinez, both as an absolute and also relative to the conference.

And if you’re wondering why the criticism of the coordinators seems stacked towards Bobo lately, here’s an explanation for some of that:

…  Georgia’s eight SEC opponents in 2009 averaged 22.15 PPG in conference play; Georgia’s eight SEC opponents in 2010 averaged 26.61 PPG in conference play. The only top-half of the conference offenses Georgia missed in either season were Alabama’s and its own.

While a simple points per game measure isn’t enough to judge a defensive coordinator by, you can do similar things with the yardage numbers in conference play. Georgia’s 2009 defense allowed 5.65 yards per play (0.38 above league average) and 379.38 yards per game (33.29 above league average). Georgia’s 2010 defense allowed 5.64 yards per play (0.05 yards below league average) and 355.75 yards per game (20.89 below league average). While it looks like Georgia’s defense only improved by 0.01 yards per play and 23.63 yards per game, relative to the conference average, Georgia’s defense improved by 0.43 yards per play and 54.19 yards per game.

By remaining at around 29 points per game, the Georgia offense did regress by about a field goal against the league average. [Emphasis added.] However, Georgia overall improved by about seven points per game when compared to the conference averages.

All that being said, even with the scoring improvement, Georgia finished with a worse conference record this season than it did in 2009.  A lot of that was due to not being able to finish a single close game with a win.  How much of that was due to Grantham and Bobo and how much of that was due to other factors is a question that Mark Richt had best find the answer to this offseason.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Oh, the humanity!

Here’s a fun little exercise (h/t oversigning.com), comparing the number of signees between bowl opponents this season.  This is eye-catching:

Tuesday January 4
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
Teams: #6 Ohio State (11-1) vs #8 Arkansas (10-2)
Time (TV): 8:30 pm (ESPN)
Letters of Intent Received Over Last Four Years: Arkansas +30

What does that +30 mean? It means in the four recruiting classes from 2007 to 2010, Arkansas signed 30 more players than Ohio State did. In four seasons, they signed 109 players to the Buckeyes’ 79.

In other words, they signed almost two entire recruiting classes more than Ohio State did.

His piece is marred somewhat by being overwrought, though.  In one breath he acknowledges that there are valid reasons for a program to sign more than 85 kids over a four-year period…

Not every team that has signed more than 85 or so players is oversigning. There are always legitimate reasons to sign more than 85 players over a four-year period. Some players transfer for playing time, or to be closer to home, or they may flunk out, or they may even leave early for the NFL. Attrition happens everywhere.

… but he doesn’t bother to analyze whether that’s the case for any of the SEC schools he clearly takes pleasure in lambasting.  Instead, we get this for a conclusion:

… But it’s to the players’ benefit that the Big Ten doesn’t oversign, and humanity’s as well. There is at least one conference out there that remains convinced (for the most part) that they are comprised of academic institutions, regardless of the money that pours in via their football programs.

Meanwhile, if a player fails to meet the coach’s expectations in the SEC, they are deemed to have no further value and pushed out.

That’s not college football—that’s professional football. It’s the biggest difference between the SEC and the Big Ten right now and it will be until the NCAA finally steps in and enforces their pretend rules—or changes them altogether.

Just like they did with Cameron Newton.

Oh, puh-leeze.  Humanity’s benefit?  Take a look at this story on Troy’s Corey Robinson (h/t Smart Football).  In terms of sheer numbers, Troy is one of the biggest oversigners in the nation.  But I doubt Robinson would be starting there if they didn’t engage in the practice.  Hell, he might not even be playing D-1 ball right now if it weren’t for that.

… Heavy recruiting attention didn’t follow for Robinson, who is now listed at 6 feet tall and 214 pounds.

He received some attention from Sun Belt Conference schools and said “Ole Miss was talking to me a little bit here and there.” Troy knew about Robinson because then-offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was a good friend of Lone Oak High head coach Jack Haskins, whose son Billy Jack is a former University of Kentucky quarterback. Lone Oak ran an offense similar to Troy’s and Robinson felt comfortable in choosing the Trojans.

Sounds beneficial to me.

I’m of two minds about oversigning.  It doesn’t violate any NCAA rules and it gives certain kids a chance they might not otherwise have to play at a D-1 school.  As long as the process at a given school is transparent so that recruits know the nature of the bargain they’re striking, it’s hard for me to object.  The problems I see with it are two-fold:  one, it’s hard to believe that every head coach is straightforward about what he’s up to (I’m looking at you, Les Miles) and two, it’s anti-competitive to the extent that kids who go into a program that oversigns could perhaps be playing at another D-1 school.

I’m not sure if there’s a happy solution here, mainly because the real problem isn’t so much signing more than 25 student athletes in a given year as it is about how the slots come open to allow a school to sign that sort of class size.  And I don’t think the NCAA says word boo about that right now.

38 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, College Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Raising the bar, rapidly

I’m not sure if this is a continuation of a trend that started with Auburn and Tennessee a couple of years ago, or if it’s due to some other factors, but USA Today notes that while head coaching salaries have plateaued recently, that’s not the case with assistant coaches’ compensation.

… The list of assistants earning $250,000 or more in the NCAA’s top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is up from at least 106 a year ago to 132 this season. Fifty-one are in the SEC.

Twenty-six assistants are pulling down $400,000 or more, double the number making that much in 2009. Thirteen are in the SEC, topped by four defensive coordinators making $700,000 or better.

I tell you what – with Malzahn’s raise, Auburn is laying out some serious jack on its coaching staff these days.  I’m not sure any other school in the conference matches the Tigers in that department.  But you can bet if Auburn wins the MNC next month, there will be those making the argument that you can’t have one without the other.  And with all that TV money rolling in, there will be ADs who listen.

10 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.

It’s always great when Chris Brown gets in the swing of things at Smart Football, and this post about packaging different passing concepts in the same play is no exception.  You should read the whole piece, but there’s a part at the beginning that I really liked.

… The goal is to try to tilt the advantage back to offenses. There are essentially three strategies:

  1. Line up in a formation and let a coach or a quarterback change the play. You see this whenever Peyton Manning or some other NFL guy audibles at the line (though his options have usually been narrowed to two or three before the snap), or when a no-huddle team lines up and looks to the sideline for guidance. The idea is that, while it is still pre-snap and the defense can still move, it has given away certian clues, including personnel and general structure.
  2. Use multiple formations and motions to confuse the defense or gain an advantage in numbers or leverage. This approach tries to turn the defense against itself by never giving the defense a chance to get settled or to identify what the offense may do. Moreover, sometimes the defense simply fails to adjust, and the offense gains some new advantage. The downside of this approach is it leaves little time and fewer clues for the offense to make adjustments, but the idea is that “motion causes emotion” (to use the old adage) and the offense has an advantage in that it knows where it is going. This is the method employed by Boise State.
  3. Gives your players options on their assignments for after the snap. Just as it sounds, this is the principal governing all “option”-esque attacks. The macro idea here, pioneered by Tiger Ellison, is that backyard football is not played in a static, overly orchestrated way, and instead the natural inclination of kids to run around and make decisions on the fly — and so should it be in real football. This can manifest itself in different ways, from the triple option to the spread option to the passing game. Each play provides a superstructure but freedom within it. The idea is you don’t need much else, except for the players to begin adapting and making the rights reads. As said in Remember the Titans, “I run six plays. Split veer. It’s like Novocain. Give it time. It always works.”

Georgia’s offensive approach under Bobo started out in the second of the categories Chris lists, but mixed in some aspects of the first as the season progressed and the coaches’ comfort level with Murray’s command of the playbook grew.  Clearly, Georgia’s passing game benefits from that;  Murray’s passer rating, yards per attempt and completion percentage improved from month to month over the course of the season.  (Although there may very well be some chicken-or-the-egg aspect to that, as not even Matt Stafford, who had broad authority to check off at the line in his breakout 2008 season, managed that particular hat trick that year.)

Offensively, the big question for 2011 may turn out to be how much Murray’s continued growth offsets the loss of A.J.  If Yogi Berra’s right, we may wind up being pretty pleased with the answer.

*********************************************************************

UPDATE: Chris Low is sold.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics