Daily Archives: February 14, 2012

Sometimes, you really can blame Bobo.

Statmeister Brian Fremeau’s advice to Georgia about what needs to be addressed in 2012 will come as a surprise to no one who followed the Dawgs last season:

The focal point for next season has to be about finishing games and drives. On methodical drives of ten or more plays, Georgia scored a pathetic 1.5 points per possession (119th nationally and 2.3 points fewer than the national average). Late drives stalled in the bowl game loss to Michigan State due to conservative play calling and execution breakdowns.  [Emphasis added.]

That’s a lot of wasted drives.  Some of that’s on Bobo, some on the line play and some is on Blair Walsh.

It’s going to be a real challenge to improve that, given the changeover coming on the offensive line.  But there’s little doubt it’s one of the big keys for Georgia this season.

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55 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Derek Dooley has a dream.

Rhetorically speaking, SOD’s not afraid to go where even Nick Saban may fear to tread:

“If there’s a way we can maintain over-signing and eliminate any of the abuses that caused the concerns, then that’s what I would be for. Because there are so many positive benefits of over-signing for the players.”

… and, a pony.

22 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting

The SEC’s New Coke?

Fabulous point from Michael Elkon about the SEC sticking with an eight-game conference schedule after expansion:

… part of the SEC’s success as a TV property is its ability to sell a tribal, feral atmosphere. There is so little that feels authentic or intense about American pro sports, especially in the regular season, so the SEC fills a market niche in that ESPN and CBS can show packed, loud stadia on a weekly basis. One necessary element for that brand is the element that the teams and their fans do not like one another. It is not that hard to convince someone in Seattle or Milwaukee to watch some of Auburn-Georgia when the teams have been playing since 1892 and that history comes through on the screen based on the way that the fans react. When a good number of fans know that they will be sitting at the same Thanksgiving table in a couple weeks with fans of the other program, they tend to care a little more and that comes across on the tube.

This is what Slive and Company risk losing with every game against a wretched Sun Belt team occupying the slot a ninth conference opponent could and should be taking.  They can slap that SEC label on the new product and insist it’s just as good as before, if not better.  But that doesn’t mean we have to buy it.

And if we find our enthusiasm waning, don’t be so sure they’ll know how to fix the situation.  These guys aren’t exactly in Coke’s class when it comes to marketing.  On the other hand, if there’s one thing you can say about the American sports fan, it’s that he/she is both resilient and forgiving.  So maybe it will all work out despite their best intentions.

The thing is, why risk it in the first place?

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UPDATE:  Putting it more baldly, once your fans have seen StubHub, how do you keep ‘em on the season ticket?

I wonder about whether the college football ticket market is a bit of a bubble waiting to pop.  One of the driving forces here is that teams want to keep the right to schedule as many home games against lesser opposition as they can possibly shovel onto the slate.  A nine-game conference schedule would solve the scheduling issue created by SEC expansion, but that would leave one less spot for the New Mexico States and Furmans of the world.  I seriously wonder about Georgia fans who would normally pay thousands of dollars for season tickets looking at their athletic director and saying “you sacrificed the Auburn game, which is often the best game on the home schedule, in order to preserve a glorified scrimmage.  Screw you, I’ll buy tickets to the games that I really want to attend on Stubhub.”  Demand for season tickets looks solid right now, but it would not surprise me in the least to see it soften in the next 5-10 years if the SEC maintains its current course.

You know, Jay Jacobs’ bullshit about having the schedule to compete for a national title is great, but what do you have left if you don’t wind up in the title hunt?  Losing a century-old rivalry to maintain the privilege of playing Directional A&M hardly seems like much of a consolation prize.

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UPDATE #2:  Tyler Dawgden doesn’t think Slive and the schools are much concerned about StubHub.

… What we see as throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Slive and the ADs see as simply cleaning the wash tub out to hold more money. In the end, if the money is right, the stadium is merely a prop for the show happening on the field. The NFL learned that a long time ago (think the 70′s when nearly half of all games were blacked out in home markets, but the national product was sold and broadcast to great success). No one really cares that the Steelers/Bengals game is sold out, at least outside of Southern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania, we just want to see Hines Ward and AJ Green play catch, or Ben Roethlisberger prisonshowered sacked.

And to answer Elkon’s question, I don’t know what it’ll mean to ticket sales over the long term, but it probably won’t matter either way.

Maybe so, but there’s a difference between the SEC and the NFL, at least at present:  the NFL doesn’t have any competitors for its product.  That’s not the case for Mike Slive.  If the SEC transforms itself into a version of the Sun Belt with bigger stadiums, better athletes and higher paid coaches, does the cachet that translates into those TV mega-deals stick, or do consumers of the college football entertainment product look to other conferences for their jollies?  That seems like a dumb choice for the people running the SEC to make, but it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

Of course, if this is simply part of the evolution of D-1 football as a whole into an NFL-style operation, albeit with younger (and cheaper) players and different logos, Tyler is probably spot on with this.  I’ll be long gone, though, before that ever comes to complete fruition.

33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

SOD unleashes his inner interior decorator and Tennessee is the cleaner for it.

There is so much of teh awesome in this story about UT’s new football palace that I hardly know where to begin – how about a mixed martial arts cage “so we can go in and fight and all that stuff…” – but I think this is my favorite part:

“When you have 120 guys in a room and half the time they’re not dressed, you need a little room so you’re not bumping into each other,” Dooley said.

The 3,600 square foot hydro therapy center, which Dooley calls a “real showpiece” because of the friendly-on-the-eyes appeal of flowing water, will have access to and from the training center and will house two underwater treadmills, two hot-cold tubs and a 40-foot lap pool.

Clearly, this is a man still on a mission to eradicate bad shower discipline in Knoxville.

25 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Your NCAA dollars at work

Mark Emmert’s gang that couldn’t shoot straight includes a former sports editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution whose main job these days appears to be to conduct Twitter fights with journalists and broadcasters who say/write things the NCAA doesn’t like.

4 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Meet the Desperate Conference.

The only reason sixteen schools are agreeing to an arrangement by which East Carolina and Hawaii will play in a conference so spread out geographically that describing it as sprawling doesn’t do it justice is the futile hope that somehow what they’ve cobbled together will become worthy of getting the AQ seal of approval from the BCS.

The irony is that it’s likely one of the soon-to-be BCS “reforms” will be the outright ditching of AQ conferences.

That sound you hear is Jim Delany laughing his ass off.

13 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Randy Edsall, only Mike Locksley can save you now.

(AP photo)

No, Danny O’Brien isn’t transferring from Maryland because of the uniform.  Although I wouldn’t blame him if he were.  It’s more a case of him being yet another player at that school who doesn’t want to play for the head coach.

It’s not just that Randy Edsall is a dick.  It’s that he’s an insecure dick.

According to The Washington Post, however, O’Brien isn’t the only former player prevented from transferring into Vanderbilt. Offensive lineman Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson, who have also declared their intent to leave the program, were subject to the same 16 schools on O’Brien’s no-transfer list: the entire A.C.C., West Virginia, Temple and the Commodores.

Including Vanderbilt on this list reflects terribly on Edsall, who can realistically cite no other reason to prevent former players from transferring to the program other than his own fear that, should a former player succeed in the SEC, his tenure will continue to pale in comparison to work Franklin is doing in Nashville.

Congrats, Randy.  It’s not easy these days to make James Franklin a sympathetic figure, but you’ve succeeded.

Maryland could have replaced Friedgen with either Franklin – who, after all, was the coach in waiting – or Mike Leach, but instead cast its fate with a man who’s responsible for a train wreck:  “This is Maryland today. Players are bolting in droves: 24 since Edsall arrived, 12 since the end of the last season.”  The way things have been headed, it’s likely that this hire is going to wind up being epically bad.

And with this latest move, Myerberg’s right about Edsall creating a new standard by which he’ll be measured.

… Worse yet, Edsall has created an environment where Maryland is competing with the Commodores — where the Terrapins are using the Commodores, whether out of fear or otherwise, as their built-in barometer. This isn’t where the program should be entering Edsall’s second season. Maryland should be weighing itself against Clemson, Florida State and the rest of the A.C.C., not a perceived rival located hundreds of miles and a conference away.

If I’m Franklin, I’m going public asking for a game between the two.  Might as well make as much hay out of the situation as possible.  If Maryland turns you down, you’ve got a helluva line to use on the recruiting trail.

(And speaking of recruiting, if I’m Mark Richt, I’m checking out Max Garcia about now.)

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UPDATE:  Way to jump on it, Mark Richt!

“I’m definitely excited about Georgia being interested in me, and my mother is really happy about it as well,” Garcia told the AJC. “I’ve always considered Georgia since high school. It just never really worked out the first time around. They liked me out of high school. They just wanted me to go to a summer camp, and I was never able to make it up there.”

What if UGA offered? “I’d definitely consider committing. Being so close to home, it would be a great opportunity for me. I’m also going to open it up to other schools, if they’re interested. I want to try to find the best situation for me – as far as being close to home, with what I want to study and how much offensive line depth there is.”

13 Comments

Filed under Randy Edsall Is A Dick

Reunited and it feels so good.

Per the Birmingham News, Willie Martinez emerges as “the prohibitive favorite” to become Auburn’s next secondary coach.  All I can say is that he’d better hope his buddy VanGorder develops a killer pass rush on the d-line.  Soon would be good.

Hopefully, Mike Bobo sees this as an opportunity.  And at least the media will have something to talk about in the week leading up to the Georgia-Auburn game.

18 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands