Category Archives: ESPN Is The Devil
On the surface, this sounds pretty grim:
Fatal flaw: Inconsistent secondary play
The Bulldogs are breaking in a new quarterback to replace Aaron Murray, and they have only two returning starters on the offensive line. Those are huge spaces to fill, but the inconsistent secondary is still the most prominent weakness for this club. This group struggled last year, ranking ninth in the SEC in passing yards allowed per game (227.4), and had a horrible spring game. It gave up six pass-interference penalties in this contest, allowed six offensive players to average 15 or more yards per reception, and could have given up even more yardage if not for inaccurate passes.
This roster segment is one of the most inexperienced in college football, as graduation losses and the departures of Shaq Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons leave Damian Swann as the only defensive back on the roster with more than one career start. Linebacker Leonard Floyd will offset some of this with his incredible pass-rushing skills, but it is still looking as though this area of the Georgia defense is going to be every bit the coverage sieve it was last season.
But this is KC Joyner we’re talking about here, so perhaps a grain of salt is worth applying to it (although there always is the stopped clock is right twice a day effect to consider). I mean, G-Day as a basis for analysis? Seriously?
By the way, Tray Matthews started six games in the secondary last season. Corey Moore had seven starts. So did Quincy Mauger. I’m not saying they’re All-SEC candidates. I’m just saying Joyner’s research skills aren’t going to win him any awards, either.
The chafing dishes are full, so knock yourselves out.
- “Gets. You. Fired. Up.” Ugh.
- Athlon ranks Georgia eighth in its preseason top 25: “Barring the unforeseen, Georgia’s prospects come down to Mason and the defense.”
- Florida and Miami chew over renewing their series… at a neutral site.
- Was Aaron Murray’s last season at Georgia worth over $2 million?
- A college football head coach hot seat list without Mark Richt’s name on it? I don’t think so.
- More evidence of the ripple effect from the Northwestern unionization effort.
- Speaking of unions, a North Carolina union for public workers will allow scholarship student-athletes at public universities to join as state employees.
- And a Boston politician has introduced two ordinances that would give health care and educational rights to college athletes beyond what the NCAA requires.
- Another reason to stay in school and get that degree, kids.
- Gus Malzahn wants to keep up with pace on the defensive side of the ball.
Before we get all wrapped up in that “Murray Deficit” ESPN’s stats department cooked up, it’s worth noting that any outfit coming up with a statistical model that ranks Georgia’s preseason defense higher than its offense and shows the Dawgs’ special teams as the 18th best in the country might want to go back and refine the model a little more.
Even on a slow news day, the buffet is there for you.
- Shattle Fenteng is ready to get to Athens. My guess is the feeling is mutual.
- Number 104 on Paul Myerberg’s College Football Countdown is Kentucky… which means he thinks Troy is a better team on Georgia’s schedule than the Wildcats.
- Speaking of slow news days, Tallahassee police released the surveillance video of Jameis Winston walking out of Publix with a sack of crab legs. Way to crack the case wide open, fellas.
- The weirdest preseason assessment of Georgia? Right here.
- If you’re a sports nut, unbundling cable probably won’t save you any money. Because, you know, ESPN.
- Nick Saban: “If it was totally up to me, I’d say you’ve got to play all 12 games in the Big 5″ conferences. He’s got that right.
- So what happens if O’Bannon beats the NCAA, anyway?
- Chase Stuart calculates that Texas A&M, with only three players, supplied the most draft value to the NFL this year. The Aggies won’t miss a beat, right?
- The ACC favors an early signing period for football.
This is the best thing you’ll read about every stupid “ridiculously early” list ever compiled. The conclusion:
Because the answer never changes, and neither do the lists. Here’s Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early list from February of 2013. 20 of the same 25 teams from 2013 are on it this time. Including Florida, ranked seventh. Florida went 4-8 last season. That alone is probably enough to exclude them from any current Top 25 list, but I’d allow it if the evidence was a little stronger than “they just can’t keep being that bad.”
But it isn’t.
Amen to that, brother.
Allen Kenney thinks the WWL might choose to push the SEC to reconsider its adherence to an eight-game conference schedule.
Now imagine a panel of ESPN talking heads hammering viewers and selection committee members with those talking points on Tuesday nights when the committee’s rankings are unveiled. (Great part about Tuesday night: No NFL game to go up against.) Now imagine Kirk Herbstreit doing that on a Saturday night broadcast from Norman. Now imagine Damon Huard talking that noise on a Wednesday afternoon edition of College Football Live. And on and on…
Does the committee snubbing ‘Bama in favor of one of the power conference champs really seem so unrealistic in that scenario? In fact, how many of the “second” SEC candidates since 2006 actually seem immune to that kind of politicking by the debate embracers?
And since we’re dealing in backstabbing hypotheticals, think of the outcry in SEC country if that went down. If it happened multiple times, Mike Slive would need an armed militia to get around Birmingham. Unless the other conferences agreed to expand the playoff before the term of the four-team joint is up, try to find a better solution than adding another conference game.
Seeing as ESPN already owns the SEC media rights for the next 85 years or something, Mickey might even get those extra conference games for free.
Me, I’m a little skeptical about Mickey moving things. Not that the talking heads won’t stir the pot, but I don’t think ESPN expects to get something (better broadcast inventory for the SEC Network) for nothing. If it did, we’d already be hearing about that. As for the pot stirring, I’m guessing Slive’s already taken that into consideration and isn’t particularly concerned. And why should he be, when Jeff Long is chairing the selection committee?
There’s another way to skin the cat, one that I suspect most of us would cheer. Consider the question asked by UCF’s AD as he ponders the scheduling world made by Mike Slive’s word:
“I don’t really have an issue with requiring a ‘Power 5′ game; my question is why do they continue to schedule FCS?” Hansen said. “How is that going to be counted? In basketball a game against a Division II school doesn’t count in the RPI. It’ll be interesting to see how that is (viewed by the committee), but that’s the thing that’s a little more perplexing.”
Yeah, I’d say. So what happens if the selection committee members were to announce that FCS games wouldn’t be counted in their deliberations? I bet that would move the scheduling needle in a hurry.
If you’re looking for affection and support from the public, fellas, forcing schools out of the cupcake hosting business would get you a helluva lot more love than a weekly rankings show will.
Of all the reasons in the world to have the playoff selection committee release results weekly, this is one of them.
Notice Delany doesn’t say whose affection he’s competing for. But you know, right?
Honestly, fellas, there are times when you make it really hard for me to care about your sport.
Herbie weighs in.
What in the WORLD is Jameis Winston thinking?!? With everything they he experienced in the past yr, both good/bad–why would he do this?!—
Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) April 30, 2014
All on the player. Crickets on the institution. Because?