Daily Archives: April 25, 2011

Unfortunately for some, old times there are not forgotten.

If I were a coach paid to recruit athletes to play at a university in Mississippi, I’d wince every time I heard the words “according to a survey by Public Policy Polling”.  Because my peers on the recruiting trail wouldn’t be exactly kind to me with data like this:

-In Mississippi no group of the electorate seems all that enthused about the North having won. Republicans, by a 38/21 margin, outright wish the South had won. Democrats (39/22) and independents (49/15) side with the North but compared to those voter groups in North Carolina and Georgia they’re pretty ambivalent. Overall just 34% of voters in the state are glad the Union prevailed to 27% who wish the rebels had been victorious.

A few weeks ago we released numbers showing that a plurality of Republicans in Mississippi think interracial marriage should be illegal. Democrats there think it should be legal by a 68/18 margin and independents do so 56/21, making the overall numbers in the state 54% who think it should be legal to 28% who believe it should be illegal.

Add this to the arsenal, too, and you’ve pretty much got a negative recruiter’s field day.

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41 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

In case you’re wondering how good a quarterback Connor Shaw is…

… the answer is not good enough(h/t Joe Schad)

If I’m Stephen Garcia, I’m going out tonight to celebrate.

6 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy

Chinese water torture

If you’re an Ohio State fan, it’s not so much that you’re learning anything new, it’s just that the steady drip of information will drive you mad.

33 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

“When comes to the game, I have to be a dog. I have to destroy people.”

This should get you pumped up.  Maybe not as much as Todd Grantham is, but pumped up nevertheless.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

This could be our year, took a long time to come.

Remember getting razzed by Tennessee and Florida fans about how Georgia’s success in the early part of the Richt era wasn’t predicated so much on Georgia’s excellence so much as the decline of the rest of the SEC East?  I didn’t buy it then, but Barrett Sallee makes the case for that rationale now and it doesn’t sound as if it’s as much of a stretch in 2011.

Considering the quarterback issues at South Carolina, the offensive ineptitude that Florida showed in its spring game, and the way Georgia’s schedule shapes up, the SEC East is there for Georgia’s taking. If the Bulldogs beat South Carolina the second week of the season, they absolutely have to get to Atlanta. They don’t play Arkansas, LSU and Alabama this season – the three primary contenders in the SEC West. Plus they get Auburn and Mississippi State, the next two in line on the other side of the division, at home. Sure, the Florida game in Jacksonville is always a tough matchup for the Bulldogs, but even if they lose that game, it’s hard to find two more losses on the schedule, provided that they get past the Gamecocks. September 10 vs. South Carolina will be the biggest game in Mark Richt’s Georgia coaching career, because it will dictate how the rest of the season – and Richt’s coaching future – will pan out. Win it, and Georgia is in the drivers seat for the East title. Lose it, and Richt will be looking for new employment in 2012.

Now I think his very last statement there doesn’t necessarily have to pan out.  The schedule favors Georgia enough that things could swing back in the Dawgs’ favor if they right the ship after a South Carolina loss, although admittedly, who knows if they’ll be resilient enough to do so?

But it’s hard for me to argue with the rest of his premise.  Georgia wins that second game and the chances of returning to Atlanta look pretty good, given the flaws in the rest of the East and, again, the scheduling advantage.  Between the two, there should be plenty of margin for error.  That’s why I don’t see the point in measuring Mark Richt’s success this season so much in terms of wins and losses.  If he can get his team to regroup, make Georgia a significant factor in the division race and close the deal on getting back to Atlanta, I don’t really care if that’s accompanied with three or four losses.  Your mileage may vary, of course, but that’s more than we’ve gotten in the past three seasons.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“Any kind of playoff would diminish the regular season and would end the bowls as we know them.”

Nothing like overplaying your rhetorical hand there, Bill Hancock.  No conference commissioner has ever uttered anything that stupid.

Warts and all, the BCS title game is a playoff, last time I checked.  And Mike Slive doesn’t seem to be too worried about the negative impact of a plus-one game.

Ladies and gentlemen, the BCS/playoffs debate, where none of the public players deserve our sympathy.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“We’re seeing so much throw, throw, throw that it’s kind of hard to learn.”

Talk about your feature turning into a bug:  the offense and defense they’re now running at West Virginia are both exotic enough to have affected training in spring practice.  Take this quote from the defensive coordinator:

“It’s OK if you’re playing (against) pass, pass, pass,” Casteel said. “Cincinnati and Pitt will be that style of offense in the league, but you’ll see Rutgers and Louisville and South Florida in more of pro style and multiple offenses than what this is. Obviously Maryland and LSU and those people are going to present issues with the tight end and multiple tight end sets.”

It occurs to me that, especially once TCU shows up next season, with the variety of offensive and defensive schemes being deployed around the conference, the Big East could turn out to be a fun bunch to watch.

2 Comments

Filed under Big East Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Ray Drew unleashes his inner crank.

… Drew said Daniels is one of his country favorites, along with Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks. “I know a good bit of country; it’s some of my favorite music to listen to,” he said. “I listen to all kinds of music, except for that hardcore heavy metal where they scream into the microphone.”

Funny, I felt the same way when I heard “Party in the USA” blaring over the Sanford Stadium sound system during the Kentucky game a couple of years ago.

4 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

But then they got high.

Maybe Will Muschamp didn’t realize how hard it is to get through a day in Gainesville without being stoned.

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UPDATE:  Tastefully done.

15 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

The spread just keeps on spreading.

As usual, the media fixates on the least interesting part of this RichRod interview – the “regrets, he’s had a few” admission about taking the Michigan job – and ignores what he had to say about the offensive trend which he had a major role in shaping.  Start with this question, which is a fair one when you consider that you’ve got a high-profile program at Florida abandoning the spread to return to a pro-style attack:

If the spread has “peaked”

RR: Everything is cyclical, but I think the spread is not easily defined. I’m sure you’ve heard coaches say this before, there isn’t one kind, just like there is not one pro-style. Even though a west coast offense is pretty much a west coast offense. When you see the spread now, you know us and other teams that were using it — Oklahoma State, other – we’re still using tight ends and fullbacks they were just in the shotgun a lot, using a lot of no-huddle. I think the spread has taken so many different forms on that it’s kind of here to stay. You know you see a spread team use tight ends and maybe a fullback in the shotgun, you saw it with Green Bay in the Super Bowl. I think it’s constantly evolving, I think even though they still call it a spread it’s not like a “run n’ shoot” type of spread. It’s taken on so many forms and it’s evolved in so many ways I think it’s probably here to stay. In the NFL there is so much talk about pro-style but there’s as many or more teams in the NFL that get in a shotgun. It’s not easily defined, and that’s probably why it’s going to stay around a while.

And the question I’ve had from the start with the spread, how quarterbacks trained in that scheme translate to the pros, gets two answers.

On making the jump from the spread college offense to the NFL

RR: I think it’s so overstated from a standpoint of this guy played in a spread in college so he’s going to have a bigger adjustment. If you look at the success of guys in the last several years, I think it’s irrelevant whether they came from spread system or pro-style. I mean Sam Bradford was the first pick in the draft, he played in a spread system and he did pretty well;. Colt McCoy played, Tim Tebow also played as a rookie, and they all came from spread systems. I think it’s more rather how coachable a guy is, how quickly he can learn. Even if you come from a pro-style in college, you still are going to have to learn when you get to the NFL. You have to learn the terminology, the speed of the game; in my opinion if you are in the right kind of spread and get coached up it can actually help make the transition easier because you have to make quick, active decisions. The best quarterback in the NFL makes quick, accurate decisions. It’s not so much whether he can take a three-step or a five-step drop under center.

That’s a bit of a stretch to me in that he emphasizes McCoy’s and Tebow’s accomplishments a bit more than they deserve to this point.  Let’s see them thrive this season as starters and I’ll concede Rodriguez’ point.

Adjustments for quarterbacks from college to NFL

RR: The speed of the game is going to be the biggest adjustment, and the windows that you can throw in. When you go from high school to college that window becomes smaller and quicker, when you go from college to pros the windows you can throw become tighter and you have to make a quicker decision. I think learning the terminology is the first thing, the second thing is understanding how fast, how timely you have to be with your throws. Whether you are coming from a pro-style or a spread style there’s still that understanding.

Okay, but isn’t he really saying there that quarterbacks coming from pro-style college offenses have a leg up on their spread counterparts because the first half of that learning curve is more familiar to them?  And there’s this, too:

Running the ball in the spread

RR: There’s a difference between the spread at Oregon, Auburn, some of the ones we did, and then a so-called spread in the NFL. There’s a lot more running involved, and I think that’s two-fold: In the NFL your guys are so much faster on the front 7, they can chase things down. I think in college you can have a little more variety, guys can be a little more creative and run a different type of run scheme than you would in the NFL. I think at some point in the NFL I wouldn’t be surprised if someone starts taking a third quarterback and making him be a quarterback that can run and throw a little bit, use him in all different ways.

Some of this no doubt is due to imprecise terminology, as the term “spread” is used to describe a variety of offensive sets and philosophies.  Still, it’s fair to say that there’s clearly been some blurring of the lines between “pro-style” and “spread”.  It’s also fair to say there’s a limit on how far that goes.

7 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics