Daily Archives: February 24, 2014

“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it.”

Of course this was inevitable.

Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman on Monday said he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the National Football League.

Burkman in a statement said he has garnered political support for the bill, though his statement didn’t mention any specific lawmakers who are behind it.

”We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said in a statement. “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”

Burkman said he came up with the idea after college football star Michael Sam publicly revealed he is gay a few weeks ago. If drafted, Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Now I think this stands the proverbial snowball’s chance of being enacted into federal law… but can I see certain state legislatures feverishly embracing this with open arms and applying it to college football teams?  Oh hails, yes.

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35 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

Greg McGarity wants to go to eleven.

Sadly, this is what passes for forward-thinking, bold planning in today’s SEC.

Sanford Stadium—and other Southeastern Conference stadiums for that matter—will be able to play recorded music in between plays in an effort to pump up the in-game atmosphere, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said.

“If you need to get people revved up for a big third-down play, you can do that,” McGarity said. “You could always do it with your band, but now you can do it any way you want to. You still have to stop once the quarterback gets over the ball, gets under the center or in the shotgun.”

McGarity said the SEC has relaxed its rules on playing music over the stadium sound system that should give Georgia the same kind of environment during the game as the Bulldogs saw in last year’s season-opener at ACC member Clemson.

“They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,” McGarity said. “The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big change in the in-game atmosphere.”

McGarity is on an SEC working group, chaired by Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, that looks at marketing, promotions and fan interaction and declining attendance.

That group felt like adding music to the in-game atmosphere “would create more excitement across the conference,” and entertain fans more and help generate more enthusiasm, McGarity said.

Implicit in all this nonsense is an admission that the conference recognizes its on-field product is no longer compelling enough on its own merits for its fan base.  That’s one helluva marketing strategy you got there, fellas.

The obvious way to get SEC fans revved up would be to serve them a better home schedule with fewer cupcake games.  But that tends to be a lot more expensive than paying for the right to shatter ear drums with a stirring rendition of “Zombie Nation”.  And when the day comes when it dawns on them that fake juice doesn’t work, they’ll console themselves with the notion that at least they tried to give us what we wanted.  Then they’ll move on to the next stupid, cheap stunt that gets their attention.

McGarity threatens/promises to test out a few choice numbers at G-Day. Anyone got a spare Masters ticket?

65 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Is the SEC a quarterbacks’ league this season?

A lot of talent done left Dodge City, podnah.

Never has the SEC had as much quarterback talent as it had in 2013 and never has the league lost as much quarterback talent after a season.

Seven quarterbacks who combined for 20,298 passing yards and 167 touchdowns last season have departed. Included in the group were a two-time national champion (Alabama’s A.J. McCarron), the SEC’s all-time leading passer (Georgia’s Aaron Murray) and a Heisman Trophy winner (Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel).

This is prodded by an observation I saw on Twitter today.  I’m wondering who’s on your list of first- and second-team 2014 preseason All-SEC quarterbacks.

I assume Nick Marshall will be the likely lead pick for first-team.  He was tenth in passer rating last season.  What, if anything, does that say about (1) how much we can expect Marshall to improve as a passer; (2) how deep this year’s bunch is overall; (3) how important the passing game is in competing for a conference title in 2014.

Of course, the second-team choice may offer an even more illuminating answer to the above.  What say you guys?

34 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Say what you want about the tenets of Bill Snyder’s offense, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

Bill Connelly starts with a pretty interesting premise.

The word “spread” has come to describe about 38 different styles of offense in college football. If you line your tight end up detached from the line, you’re a spread. If you utilize mostly four wideouts, you’re a spread. Hell, if your quarterback lines up mostly in the shotgun, you’re a spread. These all have kernels of truth in them, but at this point, the spread has mostly lost its meaning. Saying a team runs a “spread” offense tells you almost nothing about what kind of offense the team actually runs.

At its heart, though, the spread ethos is about putting playmakers in space and giving them room to make plays. It originally developed as an underdog tactic of sorts, as a way to spread out and harry more talented defenses and hopefully force some mistakes. But there is a certain level of tactical superiority to the idea, and after a while, a lot of the most talented teams in the country began to employ more and more spread tactics.

And uses that to get to the following line of inquiry:

But who actually spread you out the most in 2013? Whether a team is actually doing it well or not, the spread is designed to create numbers advantages and get the ball-carrier away from a mass of tacklers. That often leads to solo tackles. So which offensive systems led to the most solo tackles?

There are some interesting results, with this leading the way.

The most interesting team on the list might be right at the very top, however. Kansas State was the most spread-‘em-out team in the land according to this method. That seems quite strange, at least until you read what Mike Nixon wrote about KSU back in 2012.

No matter what the defenses throw at them, the Wildcats can adjust and exploit the holes of the defense. Mixing in a balance of traditional offset I-formations, single-back two tight end formations, several three-, four-, and five- wide spread variations, and even a dose of the Wildcat, KSU creates endless headaches for opposing coaches.

Even better yet, the Wildcats are extremely balanced in their run/pass splits out of each formation. While some teams become extremely predictable when they line-up in particular formations, KSU seems to do an incredible job of self-scouting to ensure they do not fall into any formation tendencies and become predictable. Whether it’s a strong play-action game out of the offset I-Formation or running a quarterback lead draw out of a shotgun spread formation, the Wildcats make sure opponents are threatened across the board in every formation they show.

The Air Raid gets the attention, but KSU creates a spread ethos in a way that includes a lot of tight ends and fullbacks (and about two good receivers). The Wildcats are incredibly unique, and considering they ranked 14th in Off. F/+ in their first year after Collin Klein left, it appears they know what they’re doing.

It’s funny how much Bill Snyder’s name comes up when you study college ball.  He’s a damned good coach.

15 Comments

Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

How do I know Georgia recruiting has failed?

Why, the AJ-C says so.

Remember that vaunted Lowndes-to-FSU pipeline that sort of died out when Josh Harvey-Clemons put on an UGA baseball camp?

That pipeline is flowing again after Lowndes High School linebacker Brian Bell committed to FSU over Clemson and UGA, although he didn’t have an offer yet from the Bulldogs.  [Emphasis added.]

There is so much epic troll packed into those two short sentences that all I can do is tip my cap in the presence of a master at work.

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UPDATE:  In the interest of fairness, I want to mention that Carvell e-mailed me to let me know that “committed to FSU over Clemson and UGA” were Bell’s words, not his.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Today’s trivia question

Can you name the only Georgia football player who managed to score a touchdown in each of five seasons?

The answer is here.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The opposite of a reserve fund

Jeebus“(T)he Rutgers athletics department received nearly $47 million in subsidies from the university’s allocations fund to make up for a shortfall in the approximately $79 million athletics budget during the 2012-13 season.”

Jeebus, Jeebus.

The nearly $47 million subsidy from an institution that partially relies on taxpayer funds means the state university subsidized 59.5 percent of the athletics department’s total allocations. That’s the largest percentage since 2005 — a 15.8 percent spike from last year — and its total allocated revenue is an amount that is greater than the total athletic operating revenues of all but 53 of Division I’s 228 public school athletics programs in 2011-12.

Jeebus, Jeebus, Jeebus.

Although the student fees subsidy increased 3.8 percent from last year, direct-institutional support more than doubled from the $18.5 million that the university provided in 2012. The more than $37.1 million is almost double the greatest amount of direct institutional support any Division I public school has received in a single year since 2004-05, and it would have covered the total operating expenses of 164 Division I public-school athletics departments in 2011-12.

But Jim Delany’s gonna make it all better.

A $1.26 million drop in ticket sales and $2.8 million less in contributions helped contribute to a $4 million overall decrease in generated revenue. Rutgers officials are confident the ticket figure, which at $8.7 million dropped to its lowest point in six years, will soar next year thanks to a schedule that includes traditional Big Ten football powers Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Rutgers’ President expects the athletics department to be financially independent within the next six years once it begins receiving the full share of the Big Ten’s per-school distribution in 2020.  He better hope those cable subscribers show up in droves.

There are days when I can’t bitch about Greg McGarity’s fiscal prudence.

13 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

“This guy’s just a winner here.”

Nice interview with Aaron Murray at the NFL combine, during which he talks about his college career, his preparation for the next level, playing against SEC defenses, etc.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football