Monthly Archives: October 2013

The least surprising thing you’ll read all day

Twitter is more shit that Nick Saban doesn’t have time for.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Torn between two lovers

Todd Grantham sounds like a man who wants to stick to his vision even though he knows there’s empirical evidence to suggest another way might be better.

When Harvey-Clemons went down against Vanderbilt, defensive back Damian Swann moved into the nickel and Sheldon Dawson came in at cornerback. Grantham said if Harvey-Clemons is healthy for Saturday’s game, Swann will move back to cornerback.

“I think Damian plays the nickel well,” Grantham said. “… If Josh is back, we’ll continue to let Josh play that role and play cinco outside. But there’s nothing to say that moving forward we couldn’t switch that.”

Swann looked more comfortable playing star against Vandy than he has at cornerback.  And Sheldon Dawson played credibly at cornerback.    But it’s important to keep Harvey-Clemons at the star position because… well, I’m not exactly sure.  Grantham’s the guy who constantly preaches the goal of having his eleven best men on the field at any given time.  After Vanderbilt, does anybody think Mauger or Moore qualify for that?

The proof’s in the pudding, so here are the key numbers for Florida’s offense, the season highs:

  • Points:  31, against Tennessee
  • Total yards:  415, against Toledo
  • Yards per play:  6.38, against Kentucky
  • Rushing yards:  262, against Toledo
  • Passing yards:  291, against Miami

This is a wretched offense.  It’s last or next to last in the conference in every significant offensive statistic.  Oh, and did I mention that Tyler Murphy has missed almost two weeks of practice with a sprained shoulder?  (“He’s thrown about 30 balls up until (Monday),” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “So his arm — his accuracy was off a little bit.”)

It’s time to quit screwing around.  Quite simply, this is an offense that can be defended.  Grantham’s getting some of his injured and suspended/ejected players back.  More importantly, it’s far enough into the season that he’s got evidence of a significant enough sample size to know what has a better chance of working than not.  It’s up to him to put the right guys in a position to succeed.  All I know is that if any of those five high marks get replaced this Saturday – assuming we don’t have something like 14 points gifted by special teams screw ups, a bunch of yardage getting nullified by a great day on the turnover front or Florida’s passing yardage being inflated because it’s faced with trying to make up a huge second-half deficit – it’ll be time to admit that Todd Grantham’s dead to me.

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Filed under Georgia Football

No big deal

You know, for a guy who claims to be easily offended by the on-field actions of another head coach

“That wasn’t right,” Urban Meyer said in his recently released biography, “Urban’s Way,” about the celebration. “It was a bad deal. And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. … So, we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”

… ol’ Urbs is no shrinking violet when it comes to pulling off the occasional dick move of his own.  (h/t The Wiz of Odds)

When Urban Meyer called timeout to challenge the ball spot of Allen Robinson’s fourth down reception in the third quarter, Bill O’Brien could only stare down Ohio State’s sideline.

The timing of the challenge called into question the Buckeyes’ approach to their ultimate 63-14 blowout of the Nittany Lions on Saturday. At the time of Robinson’s initially called fourth down conversion, Ohio State had been up 49 points.

“The timeout to challenge the spot? He didn’t think we had a first down, so he called a timeout to challenge it. I have no thoughts on that,” O’Brien said after the game.

Maybe O’Brien will write a book about it one day.  Or at least call a few late time outs the next time Penn State is on the winning side of a Buckeyes game.

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

UPDATE:  From Matt Hayes -

Let’s not get confused here. What Meyer did wasn’t running up the score. It was much worse.

What he did was tell the 65 scholarship players at Penn State—a team with 20 less scholarship players than his own, and a team that has lived hell the last two seasons through no fault of its own—that a 49-point humiliation wasn’t disheartening enough. You’ve had the worst night of your life, young men.

And now I’m going to make it worse.

I called or texted 10 BCS coaches in the last few days, and each made it a point to say that Meyer’s decision had nothing to do with running up the score. Pouring it on, they all said, is leaving starters in the game.

Meyer had his starters out midway through the third quarter.

“That wasn’t running up the score,” said one BCS coach. “That’s being a (expletive deleted).”

For once, I’m not sure what “expletive deleted” means there.  Too many possibilities…

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Three things worth playing for on Saturday

Three big things, in fact:

  1. Keeping the SECCG hopes alive.  This is the weakest reed of the three, but it’s still plenty relevant.  Georgia’s chances for a repeat appearance may be flickering, but they got fuel when South Carolina beat Missouri.  And it’s not like this team hasn’t played behind the eight ball before when it came to needing help to get to Atlanta.  One thing’s for sure, whichever team loses in Jacksonville is toast.
  2. The series psyche.  When’s the last time we had 3-18 thrown in our faces?  (Nowadays, there’s a lot more soul-searching going on.) If Georgia wins Saturday, here’s a new set of numbers to toss around:  5-5.  That will be Mark Richt’s record over the last ten games against the Gators.  Even more remarkably, Richt will have a winning record against Florida over the last seven games.  If you don’t think that’s a big deal, maybe this expert opinion will change your mind:  “We had better teams most of the years and the psyche of losing to them, we were able to get rid of after maybe two or three in a row,” said Spurrier, now coach at South Carolina. “But yeah, now there’s a little psyche on the Gators, I guess. Coach [Will] Muschamp hasn’t won that game, I guess.”  Weiszer notes that only six current Dawgs have played on the losing side of a game against Florida.  Win this one and next year’s team will be closer to having total ignorance of that feeling.
  3. The rest of the season.  Here’s what Bill Connelly noticed about how Georgia plays after the Cocktail Party:  “Since 2005, the Dawgs have gone 3-4 versus Florida. Following their three wins, they have gone 12-0 with an average score of 39-14 for the rest of the regular season. Following their four losses, they have gone 12-5 with an average score of 32-23. After their loss to Florida in 2006, they lost to Kentucky. After their loss in 2008, they barely beat Kentucky and lost at home to Georgia Tech. They lost to Kentucky again in 2009, three weeks after the Florida loss.”  That’s a significant momentum swing.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Bad defense? It’s all relative.

Interesting chart from John Pennington, comparing SEC defensive yards per play from the 2012 season with this year’s stats (against BCS opposition only):

School   2013 Yds/All/Play   2012 Yds All/Play   Change
  Florida   4.77   4.33   0.44 worse
  Alabama   4.99   4.38   0.61 worse
  Missouri   5.31   5.78   0.47 better
  S. Carolina   5.47   4.63   0.84 worse
  LSU   5.66   4.64   1.02 worse
  Ole Miss   5.87   5.79   0.08 worse
  Georgia   5.88   5.27   0.61 worse
  Auburn   6.11   6.48   0.37 better
  Vanderbilt   6.19   5.00   1.19 worse
  Miss. State   6.22   5.67   0.55 worse
  Arkansas   6.41   6.18   0.23 worse
  Texas A&M   6.42   5.45   0.97 worse
  Tennessee   6.70   6.49   0.21 worse
  Kentucky   6.97   6.01   0.96 worse

Bitch about Grantham all you like – and much of it’s deserved, no doubt – but he’s got plenty of company this year.  Just for yucks, I checked Georgia’s offensive ypp for the same periods.  It’s declined from 6.7 to 6.29.  As TAMU, Alabama, Missouri, LSU and South Carolina have all improved in that department in 2013, I’d say that’s a bigger deal.  Toss in the craptastic special teams play, and you can see the path to 4-3.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Alex, I’ll take inscrutable Mark Richt answers for $400.

Good thing, too.  It might have confused them with Auburn.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Mark Richt has lost control of playcalling.

Hey, don’t tell us.  Tell Bobo.

62 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

In other NCAA news…

You will be shocked, shocked to learn that the Division I Leadership Council, whose members represent all three subdivisions, “ha(s) a strong desire to preserve… the revenue distribution model.”

Just a hunch, but I don’t think that call is going to be left up to them.

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Filed under The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Come, you must be hungry.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, SEC Football, The NCAA

For Georgia 2013, there’s two kinds of pessimism.

Bernie nicely skewers one of them, but here’s the one I fear a bit:

There is a chance a bad targeting call could end up deciding the SEC East. Georgia hopes it doesn’t. So does the SEC office. But it could happen.

In a season that’s seen its most recent manifestation of bad luck occur in the form of an ankle injury to Chris Conley on the last, completely meaningless play in a loss to Vanderbilt, of course that could happen.  (And before any of you pessimists Booker addresses insist that if Georgia doesn’t go to the SECCG as a result of losing the tiebreaker, it won’t be because of the penalty calls, but because of special teams, Grantham’s incompetence, etc., well, you may be right, but I guarantee you it’ll get spun exactly the way Seth describes it.)

So, the process will start with Georgia winning out, which means that South Carolina will need to do the same.  Then, either Missouri loses to a team in the West, creating a three-way tie at 6-2, which will be broken in the Tigers’ favor by virtue of having the best record in the division, or we’ll get an even more agonizing scenario:

If Missouri loses to Tennessee, Georgia could end up being the team that goes to Atlanta, because Georgia would be the only team that beat Tennessee. Really. This could all come down to each team’s record against Tennessee. Or Vanderbilt.

Why all this craziness? Because the fourth tiebreaker is:

Head-to-head competition vs. the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last.

Suddenly, the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game becomes critical. If Tennessee ends up ahead of Vanderbilt, then Georgia goes because it’s the only team that beat Tennessee. If Vanderbilt ends up ahead of Tennessee, then the Vanderbilt loss by Georgia knocks the Bulldogs out, and South Carolina goes based on the head-to-head with Missouri.

Before you scoff, harken back to 2007, when this stupid field goal would have been all it took for Georgia to play in the SEC title game:

Shit happens, Dawgnation.

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Filed under Georgia Football