Monthly Archives: February 2012

One-time, special offer (handling and shipping charges may apply)

It turns out there is some shit Nick Saban does have time for – playing head games with recruits.

“Coach Saban was describing my highlight film and talking about he hadn’t seen a cornerback with cover skills like mine in a long time,” Wiggins told the AJC on Sunday night.

“It was a great conversation, and right at the end he said ‘I’ll offer you a scholarship to Alabama if you commit … today.’ Then he paused, waiting for a response. He took me by surprise by saying all of that.”

Surprisingly, the ShamWow (order today!) approach didn’t work.  Carvell thinks Saban did this so he could claim he didn’t make an offer to Wiggins if the kid didn’t commit.  Does Saban even care about that?

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Something’s gotta give.

This SEC spring preview prompts me to ask you all a question that’s been on my mind for a while:  how well are the new Big 12-style offenses of Missouri and Texas A&M going to translate into the SEC?

Last season, those two schools finished in the top twelve in the country in total offense (the best showing for any SEC school was Arkansas, at #29).  They didn’t do so well in total defense, though, as Texas A&M wound up 59th and Missouri ranked 61st.  Only two SEC schools ranked lower (Auburn and Mississippi) – and both of those schools have new defensive coordinators this season.

So how will the whole immovable force and irresistable object debate play out?  In the for what it’s worth due to small sample size category, remember that TAMU and Arkansas faced off last season.  The result was an 80-point, 1209-yard shoot out.  It was Arkansas’ worst defensive showing in 2011.  But it was also one of the Hogs’ most productive offensive games of the year.  (Tyler Wilson had the fifth-highest passing yardage total in SEC history.)  And on the other side, things came out about the same way.

Now Arkansas didn’t rank among the conference elite in defense (47th nationally; 8th in the SEC), so, again, take that with a grain of salt.  But, still, there’s little question that the typical Big 12 offense was more successful last year than was the typical SEC offense.  How much of that can you attribute to crappy Big 12 defenses?

One area to look at for an answer might be Texas, which had, statistically speaking, a competent defense, and, in Manny Diaz, a former SEC defensive coordinator running the show.  TAMU was slowed down by the ‘Horns defense.  Missouri was, too.

So where do you think things stand after all my number shuffling?


Filed under Big 12 Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Stumbling through the dark: the fine art of SEC scheduling

I never expected everyone to get my concern about the SEC’s staggering around with conference scheduling.  Year2 starts out in a different direction in this post, but midway through notes this:

… I agree with the Senator that the real story here is not the absence of the Orange and Blue versus the Orange and White on CBS, but rather the indication that expansion is going to muck around with a number of conference customs. I too am concerned about it, but I keep reminding myself that the 2012 slate is just a one-time thing. They’re going to take some more time over the coming year to try to get things right.

I wish I could believe that, but after reading this David Paschall article from yesterday, I’m not convinced.  At all.

… Auburn and Georgia have been playing since 1892 in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry, and the Tigers lead 54-53-8 after 115 series meetings. Alabama and Tennessee began playing annually before the SEC’s creation in 1933, and the 13 conference titles won by the Volunteers are topped only by the 22 by the Crimson Tide.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley expressed his concern last September that conference realignment was “tampering with something that has made college football so special.” In October, two days before his Tide hosted the Vols, Alabama coach Nick Saban said, “It’s the biggest game all year to me when we play Tennessee.”

The other permanent cross-divisional matchups — Florida-LSU, Arkansas-South Carolina, Vanderbilt-Ole Miss, Kentucky-Mississippi State and the new one, Missouri-Texas A&M — are not nearly as treasured from a traditional standpoint. So the athletic directors at those 10 schools may not want their cross-divisional games saved at the expense of an extremely infrequent rotation.

“At some point, does the conference make a statement preserving the historical pieces?” said McGarity, who spent 18 years in Florida’s athletic department before becoming Georgia’s AD in 2010. “I hope that there will be a level of concern and compassion for those two rivalry games. The Florida-LSU rivalry is not a big deal, so the worry there is that it would be a 10-4 vote.”

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin hasn’t exactly been flooded with calls from fans demanding his Bulldogs continue to play Kentucky. Stricklin would like to preserve the Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee games, but he also believes the league does not have nearly enough of a rotation.

So will he vote for the 6-2 model over a 6-1-1?

“I hope there are some other options I like more,” Stricklin said.

Gosh, Scott, we do too.

These aren’t people with a plan.  They’re people flailing around, looking for a way out of a mess of their own creation.  Unfortunately for them, self-deportation isn’t an option.  And if they’re hoping that TV is going to bail them out by forcing the issue, it sounds like they’re mistaken about that, as well.

Television has been a driving factor in the changing landscape of college athletics — ESPN’s creation of a “Longhorn Network” is a major reason Texas and Texas A&M are no longer playing — but CBS Sports executive vice president of programming Mike Aresco insists his network has stayed away from realignment.

And the scheduling chore that comes with it.

“That’s up to the SEC,” Aresco said. “Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia are great rivalries, and you appreciate those, but we have a great relationship with the conference and realize they have to make those decisions. The league will have some hard decisions to make, and whatever they do, we will absolutely be fine with it.”

In other words, say the networks, tell us what you’re going to do and we’ll tell you what we’ll pay for it.

Which is how you get to a point where you’ve got an SEC athletic director wondering out loud if an NFL approach to scheduling might be a workable alternative and you’ve got two schools which haven’t played a single conference game being allowed to decide the fate of SEC rivalries that are decades old.  (At least TAMU and Missouri have recent experience terminating longstanding rivalries, right?)

What I find infuriating about this is how petty the initial motivation looks.  It’s not as if the SEC is pleading poverty.  In fact, it turns out that the current TV contract helped fuel a better payout in 2010-11 than the conference anticipated.

SEC members averaged $19.5 million from their conference payout in 2010-11, an increase of $1.2 million from the previous year, according to the league’s non-profit IRS filing.

The amount is also more than the $18.3 million average payout the SEC estimated last June from all revenues. Before new television deals with ESPN and CBS kicked in, the SEC’s average payout was $13 million in 2008-09.

These jokers have never had it so good.  Except -

The Pac-12 and Big Ten each distribute close to $21 million per school a year…

And that’s not acceptable.  As Jerry Hinnen put it, “The SEC is richer than it’s ever been–but is it rich enough?”

I think we all know the answer to that one.  Don’t forget, also, the pie is being sliced fourteen ways going forward, so it’s going to have to be bigger just to keep each piece from shrinking.  Which is why as you read all these nifty little suggestions about what to do with the conference football schedules after this season (actually, I could live with Bill’s; it’s just that the conference would have to hire somebody as smart as Bill to compile the schedule each year), the question you need to be asking yourself is which one results in CBS and ESPN writing the biggest checks.  Because I guarantee you that’s the one the McGaritys and Stricklins will be asking.

And there are two things I know about that answer:  (1) if it winds up pleasing the fans, it’ll be nothing but sheer dumb luck; and (2) once the next conference negotiates a new TV deal, it won’t be enough.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

“Just like football.”

Stegeman had its moments yesterday when the place was rocking, thereby proving that beating Florida in anything never gets old (of course, it’s only been about a decade since the Dawgs last beat a ranked Gator basketball team).

Only reason I mention this is because the football coaches at the game with a big group of recruits seemed to enjoy the chant as much as I did.


Filed under Georgia Football

Sunday morning buffet

Can I interest you in something?

  • Trinton Sturdivant moves on.
  • Joe Moglia’s offseason after essentially buying the head coaching job at Coastal Carolina has gone about as you would expect:  After being hired by Coastal Carolina on Dec. 20, Moglia didn’t try to make up for lost time on the recruiting trails, realizing the Chanticleers would lose some high school seniors due to the coaching change. His new program wound up having the smallest signing class in the conference…”
  • This year’s early leader in SEC hot seat talk is
  • John Thompson is a vampire.  He keeps rising from the dead to be named somebody’s defensive coordinator.
  • Nice story about Bear Bryant and Alabama’s first black scholarship athlete – who wasn’t a football player.
  • Somewhere in this great land of ours, spring football has started.
  • For all the excitement about Zach Mettenberger, it’s worth remembering that his eleven pass attempts last year represents the sum total of experience for all of LSU’s quarterbacks going into this season.
  • It sounds like there won’t be a College Football Hall of Fame for a while.  (Where do they store everything?)


Filed under College Football, Life After Football, SEC Football

Barney Fife strikes again.

I didn’t think Williamson’s bunch could top failure to give middle name, but if they haven’t surpassed it, they’ve certainly matched it with the Hash Browns Caper.

I know we’re going to hear all kinds of serious talk about message sending in the next few days, but the only one I’m receiving is that UGA Police can waste resources like nobody’s business.

Consider yourselves warned, student-athletes.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

One of the boys now

Just curious:  has Vanderbilt ever had to investigate a tampering charge against its football program?


Filed under James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble

Something must be going on in the weight room.

If I’m not mistaken, Orson beat Ben Watson’s combine record there.  Impressive company.

Glenn weighed in at 345, by the way.  Freakish.


Filed under Georgia Football

“When a question is asked, there are over 40,000 places to look for an answer.”

Good Lord.

No wonder nobody can keep up with NCAA guidelines.  Including the NCAA itself.


Filed under The NCAA

What we did on our offseason

In case you’re wondering what Richt & Co. have been up to lately, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise:

Always be closing:

“We’re always recruiting, brother,” Richt told the AJC.

“We’re always recruiting. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell you, when signing day hits, you think you’re going to get a break from it. But you really don’t. It intensifies for the next year. There are so many things happening for us right now for 2013. It’s a very, very busy time for us right now.”

And in between:

“That’s really what we’re doing right now,” Richt said. “We’re all watching film of offense, defense, special teams. We’re looking to see where we can become better and checking out personnel from a year ago and seeing how everybody really did; how we’ll stack them up in the depth chart in the spring. We’ll try to imagine and figure out the holes we’ve got to fill, too. We’re doing a lot of that right now. We’re also visiting different people around the country to make sure we’re learning and improving as we go.”


Filed under Georgia Football