Monthly Archives: June 2013

Touchbacks take off.

Good piece at Football Study Hall on the effects of the new kickoff rules last season.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised at the results in this chart:

Year Pre-Rule Change
(2010-2011)
Post-Rule Change
(2012)
Touchback % 15.2% 34.8%

What is a little surprising to me, considering my feelings about Malcolm Mitchell’s aggressiveness returning kickoffs last season, are Georgia’s touchback percentage numbers (via cfbstats.com) over that same period.

  • 2010:  10.71%
  • 2011:  10.53%
  • 2012:  35.00%

That’s an even bigger swing than the national average.  And with an offense that was as prolific as Georgia’s was, it makes good tactical sense.  Barring a run of weak-legged kickers, I wouldn’t expect much of a change this year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Rodney Garner’s Freudian slip

The man was back on his old stomping grounds yesterday (“It’s awesome,” Garner said before the meeting. “It would be better if I could sell my house.”), speaking to the Greater Athens Auburn Club, where he had this to say:

“When you come in Sanford Stadium … I mean to Jordan Hare-Stadium,” he said correcting himself. “You better be ready to suit it up.”

Old habits die hard.  Good thing they’re playing in Auburn this year.  Otherwise, he’d probably wind up in the wrong locker room before the game.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Georgia has defensive line depth? Who knew?

Evidently the secret is out, according to a recruit.

…  another reason is that he has been getting an earful from opposing coaches about UGA’s  depth chart on the defensive line.

“I’m hearing that there’s too much depth already at Georgia,” Lambert said. “From what I’m hearing, it will be around 10 linemen there when I get there. But (Wilson) was telling me that anywhere I go, there’s going to be a lot of players.”

Geez… and here we’ve been all worried about the defense this spring.

I wonder what those schools are telling defensive back recruits who are interested in the Dawgs.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Tuesday morning buffet

The buffet line is open.

  • Jeebus, has ‘Bama been a dominant program the past few years.
  • First look at Vegas win totals for 2013 – limited, though, to only 19 teams.  (Georgia’s not among them.)
  • I have to admit one thing the NCAA does well is chutzpah.
  • Phil Steele explains his thinking when he names freshmen to his All-Conference teams.
  • Here’s another “no-huddle comes to the SEC” piece.
  • Yeah, yeah, rocks, glass houses and all that stuff, but I still like the sound of “Incarce-Gators”.  (Also known as Huntley Johnson’s Hall of Fame.)
  • Why the Tide won’t three-peat.
  • The way Coach O describes Reggie Carter“He was a good football player in high school. He was an instinctive guy. He was a guy who made a lot of tackles and had production. He caught the balls that were thrown at him and he made nice plays.” – seems reminiscent of another Gwinnett County product, Rennie Curran, no?

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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Envy and jealousy: ‘Hey, I can run a little bit.’

I’ve linked to this remarkable Joe Posnanski piece about Herschel before, but since he chose to repost it in the wake of Willis Walker passing, I thought it was worth mentioning it again.  Read it; you won’t regret it.

My favorite bit in there?  Hands down:  “And then there was this freshman from a little town in Georgia who people were whispering about. He was the new thing. Rogers was Pat Boone. Herschel was James Brown.”

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Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Dawgs for O’Bannon!

Yesterday, they held a presser for the Countdown to Kickoff charity event, and a player compensation discussion broke out.  Given it was the two Stinchcombs and David Greene doing the talking, it was pretty thoughtful.

“These players feel as if their images and likenesses have been used, and they didn’t realize any type of value for having had their likeness used, then that needs to be addressed in some capacity,” said Stinchcomb, who was a first-team All-American at Georgia in 1998, and a first-round pick in the 1999 NFL draft. “I know this, when I signed a college scholarship, it was to play football at a university, and I was going to be afforded room and board, and the cost of tuition and books. And that’s exactly what I got. What I think we’re seeing now is it’s going beyond some of that. Now there may be language in the scholarship or the letter-of-intent that says they can do that. But I don’t think that was implied in the contract, and I don’t know that any 18-year-old, even after having it explained to them, would fully grasp what they’re granting to the NCAA to use their likeness as individuals, if in fact that’s what’s going on.”

When Greene was in school, his number 14 was sold all over Georgia. But his name was not on any of those jerseys, so he didn’t receive any of the income. Still, it was clear whose jersey it was supposed to be, just as this year plenty of No. 11 jerseys are being sold, without Aaron Murray’s name on the back.

“You could consider college sports as amateur, which it is … but there’s a big business around it,” said Greene, the winningest quarterback in Georgia history, who spent three years in the NFL. “There’s a lot of pressure around it too. You can’t tell me there isn’t a lot of pressure on these kids, even though they’re not being paid to play. There’s a lot of pressure on these kids to perform.”

The idea that what surrounds college athletics in just the past few years has changed significantly was a recurring theme.

The three former players seemed sensitive to the notion that student-athletes get a free education, and that some consider that sufficient payment. Matt Stinchcomb also made clear that he doesn’t have sympathy for athletes who don’t get their degrees.

“If you’re out here and you’re playing football and you’re complaining for free, (but) you’re not taking advantage of the academics and the diploma, then in a lot of ways yeah, you’re playing for free, and that’s your own choice,” he said. “But where I think that scenario looses traction, and the push-back I guess I would have at the NCAA level is they have gone above and beyond this implied contract that says: You play ball, we give you the education. Except now, it’s you play ball, and in compensation we’ll allow you to go to school here, we’ll pay room and board here … and by the way on the side here, we’re gonna have a contract with whatever licensing company for them to have the rights to sell your jersey in the bookstores, and we’re also going to contract with video game makers, and we’re gonna use your likeness, and we’re gonna capture that value, and none of that will be realized by you as an individual.”

The more money that flows into collegiate athletics, the more cash-starved the schools and the NCAA behave, the more discontent is going to be generated among student-athletes who see the disparity Stinchcomb describes.  It’s inevitable.

Especially because the kids get smacked in the face with it every day they’re on campus, as Weiszer points out.

Greene addressed all of those No. 14 jerseys that were sold when he was quarterback for Georgia from 2001-04, which he did not get a cut.

“The game has evolved over time and the business behind the game has evolved as well,” Greene said. “I don’t know if there were a whole lot of Charley Trippi jerseys being sold (in the 1940s) even though he was the biggest stud on campus at the time.”

Georgia’s official athletic website is currently auctioning off team-issued football jerseys including the numbers of Todd Gurley (3), John Jenkins (6), Tavarres King (12), Bacarri Rambo (18), Sanders Commings (19) and 83 (Cornelius Washington).

Their perspective is interesting, because as former NFL players, they all received compensation for their likenesses being used in video games based on NFL play.  Jon Stinchcomb grappled with the question of why that should be different on the collegiate level:

“It’s tricky because from a fans’ perspective it’s balancing, `Oh, all these players are greedy. They see an opportunity when they should appreciate the opportunity to play and represent your school and enjoy a game at a collegiate level.’ And we do. That’s the awesome side of football. I don’t think any player would ever leverage that, but you have to separate the two. Is it greed or is it somewhat being taken advantage of on an individual level?”

Heartfelt stuff.  Which makes you wonder how much this issue is on players’ minds these days.  Will it be that hard for the O’Bannon plaintiffs to find a student-athlete ready to step up and add his name to the complaint?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

We’ll always have Colonel Reb.

Sadly, five-star recruit mocks Ole Miss for racism.

Even sadder is what passes for a rebuttal:

There is no evidence that there have been any KKK rallies on the school’s campus this year, let alone monthly.

The last known KKK rally at Ole Miss was in 2009 when KKK members protested the school’s removal of the song “From Dixie with Love” from the song list. At the time the Associated Press noted about 12 KKK members protested, while as many as 250 people protested the KKK’s presence.

Correction duly noted.

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Filed under Recruiting