Category Archives: SEC Football

Tuesday lunch buffet

A little later in the day, but just as tasty.

  • John Pennington argues that the SEC Network may actually work against national exposure for the conference’s schools at first.  I understand the point he’s trying to make, but I think he forgets that SEC schools have benefited from national exposure on CBS for many years now.
  • Here’s a nice Xs-and-Os preview of the Clemson-Georgia game.  The author thinks it’ll be “all about Clemson’s ferocious defensive line vs. Georgia’s all-world backfield.”  Agree or disagree?
  • Phil Steele has nine sets of power ratings he uses to evaluate teams.  One of those sets has Georgia going undefeated; another four call for an 11-1 season.
  • College football players want NCAA Football 15 back.
  • Bobby Petrino compares the ACC Atlantic to the SEC West.  I guess that’s his way of telling Louisville fans not to expect any division titles.
  • Jimbo Fisher said Jameis Winston was not subject to more discipline for shoplifting seafood at a supermarket in April, because, as he was punished by the baseball coach, double jeopardy attached (“… you don’t punish a guy twice for the same crime.”).  Kinda like a Law and Order episode minus the Lennie Briscoe quip.
  • Be still, mine heart.
About these ads

18 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Georgia Football, PAWWWLLL!!!, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Hutson Mason and the year of the running back

I’ve touched on it before and it’s been noted elsewhere that with the departure of so many talented quarterbacks from the SEC, the conference is likely to see many teams rely more on their running games.  But it’s worth keeping in mind that even during last season’s Year of the Quarterback, it’s not exactly as if the SEC was a pass-happy league.

SEC teams ran the ball on 57.3 percent of their plays from scrimmage last season. That marked the highest percentage from any of college football’s “Power 5” conferences, edging the Big Ten’s 56.8 percent.

Pac-12 teams ran least, keeping it on the ground only 51.9 percent of the time. SEC champion Auburn ran the ball 71.9 percent of the time. SEC teams ran the ball more than 55 percent of the time in each of the past six seasons.

So, it may be the contrarian in me, but I have this feeling that if we’re looking at a heavier dose of the run from some offenses, those that can still throw the ball with some effectiveness are going to have an advantage taking what defenses will be geared to try to stop.

And that leads me to something I heard Mark Richt say on Sports Center about an hour ago (here’s to the rewards of home recuperation).  Talking about Mason’s chances this year, Richt made a point about it not being simply that his quarterback had been patient and liked being at Georgia.  He stressed that Mason’s a fifth-year senior who’s benefitted from being in the same program, with the same position coach, the same offensive coordinator and the same offensive system the entire time.  There’s something to that, and outside of South Carolina’s Thompson, I’m not sure there’s another starting quarterback in the conference this season who could make the same claim.  Throw in Mason’s surrounding cast, and you may really have something other conference offenses will have a hard time matching.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

A bargain at twice the price

Mike Slive’s had a pretty good week.  The NCAA is in the process of capitulating to the power conferences on governance.  And Comcast is taking on the SEC Network.

SEC Network landed its biggest fish Friday, announcing a long-term carriage deal with the country’s biggest distributor. Comcast will carry the channel at its Aug. 14 launch on its expanded basic tier within SEC territory and digital basic outside of it. Sources say the channel’s rate card is at $1.40 per subscriber per month within the SEC’s 11-state footprint and $0.25 per month outside of it.

That ain’t exactly chump change.  It’s likely that DirecTV isn’t far behind, either.  All in all, it sounds like the SEC is having a smoother rollout of its broadcast operation than either the Big Ten or the Pac-12 had.  And that may be the result of a deliberate tactical decision Slive and the presidents made.  They don’t own the SEC Network outright, as the Pac-12 owns its.  Nor are they the controlling end of a partnership like the Big Ten is. Instead, the conference has elected to maintain the role of content provider and leave production in the hands of ESPN.

What’s gained by that?  A shitload of leverage.

The Comcast deal also includes TV Everywhere rights, allowing for live streaming of the channel on Xfinity TV Go and WatchESPN (John Ourand, Staff Writer). FOXSPORTS.com’s Clay Travis noted news that DirecTV is close to a deal is “square with the private comments of SEC and ESPN executives, who are confident that a deal is near as well.” DirecTV’s negotiations with SEC Network “are part of a larger negotiation with the other ESPN networks.”

In other words, if you want to carry ESPN – and if you’re a distributor, that’s not really a choice – you’d best resign yourself to finding a niche in your product line for the SEC Network.  The good thing is that if you play ball, ESPN has plenty of extra sweeteners to toss in the pot for you.  And that’s basically what’s happening.

With the Comcast deal in place, an agreement with DirecTV “would mean that every major cable and satellite company — excluding Time Warner, which has remained fairly quiet so far — would carry the SEC Network.” It also would allow ESPN and the SEC to “hit their goal of roughly 75 million cable and satellite subscribers at launch.”

That’s an easier sell with ESPN on your side than without.  (Note that “DirecTV, which has more than 20 million subscribers, carries the Big Ten Network but not the Pac 12 Network.”)

The SEC took a more conservative approach to establishing its broadcast arm than its predecessors.  And while it may be hard to say whether that’s a decision it’ll come to regret down the road if having more control equals greater profitability, at present it’s probably more valuable to get the sign ups done as smoothly as possible.

18 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

I’ve tried subtlety.

Steve Shaw repeated a message at SEC Media Days that you should keep filed in the back of your mind to avoid some frustration this fall.  He’s got the new targeting protocols gamed out.  It’s up to you to keep up with him.

Now the 15-yard penalty will be wiped out on simply targeting calls if they are overturned but not if roughing the passer is also called.

Shaw said fans need to listen up for an official’s call on the field.

“It’s a subtle part of his announcement,” Shaw said. “If you hear him announce personal foul/roughing the passer with targeting regardless of the review the 15-yard penalty (will be assessed).”

Actually, that’s a message for the replay official. We’ll be just along for the ride. If an official on the field thinks something smells like targeting and makes a dual-penalty call like that, he’s making sure that a 15-yard hit is coming, regardless of what the replay might indicate.  Call it making the crime fit the penalty, if you’d like.  But I doubt we’ll be calling it subtle.

35 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Monday morning buffet

A light nosh before SEC Media Days kicks off.

41 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Look For The Union Label, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

I was gonna ask a good question at Hoover, but then I got high.

While I’m sure there will be a myriad of subjects discussed at this week’s SEC Media Days – I learned five years ago there’s no shark in Hoover that can’t be jumped – here’s one subject I’m skeptical we’ll hear much about:

We knew this was coming: you do not lose Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Connor Shaw and James Franklin without some sort of dropoff. But it does create an interesting debate this week: just who is the best QB in the SEC?

Wallace and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott have their supporters. Auburn’s Nick Marshall will likely be first-team All-SEC, based on where his team ended last season and the location of SEC Media Days. Alabama’s Jacob Coker has never participated in a practice at the school, but is the presumed starter. But the answer may be either Missouri’s Maty Mauk or Georgia’s Hutson Mason. Both started games because of injury last season and impressed. It’s their job now, and each one has the skill (and the schedule) to go on a run through the SEC.

I just don’t see much traction for Mason in a preseason conversation like that. Anyway, it’s likely that Marshall’s sucked all the oxygen out of the room this week.  Then again, Clay Travis could always ask Gus Malzahn if Nick Marshall’s the best quarterback in the conference when he’s high.  Maybe I should hold off on my doubts.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Mark Richt was HUNH before HUNH was cool.

You want to talk about pace and the Georgia offense?  Well, the season Georgia posted its highest average of offensive plays per game was way back in 2003.

GEORGIA’s AVERAGE OFFENSIVE SNAPS PER GAME BY SEASON

2003: 73.1
2013: 72.7
2011: 72.6
2001: 71.3
2002: 70.1
2004: 68.8
2007: 67.2
2012: 66.0
2008: 63.5
2005: 62.9
2010: 62.6
2009: 61.0
2006: 59.1

Over the next three seasons, Georgia’s averaged dropped by fourteen plays per game.  Gee, I wonder what caused that?

Georgia football coach Mark Richt continued the two-year fight for his no-huddle offense this week at the SEC Meetings.

“He and I talked about it for the last three hours,” Bobby Gaston, the league’s director of officials, said Friday afternoon on the second day of the meetings at the Sandestin Hilton.

Since coming to Georgia, Richt has all but ditched the fast break offense he made famous at Florida State because, he says, the league’s officials don’t allow him to go fast enough to make it worthwhile. SEC officials are required to pause for 12-14 seconds between each play, and that’s not going to change despite Richt’s arguments, Gaston said.

“He doesn’t agree with it, but he knows what we’re doing,” Gaston said.

The mandatory pause is to allow the officiating crew to get in position, Gaston said. Richt argued that the officials should put the ball in play as soon as they are set, regardless of how much time has elapsed, but Gaston said that would provide the offense an unfair advantage.

“Mark Richt would eat their lunch,” he said. “He would go straight to the ball and snap it. He’d get in 100 plays. We have about half the coaches who think we go too fast and about half who think we go too slow so we must be in about the right spot.”

Smug asshole.  I wonder how Gaston feels about that now.

I don’t buy conspiracy theories for the most part.  But that decision, more than anything else I can think of, makes me question now and then if somebody in the SEC office was out to get Richt.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“Never as good as they think, never as bad Georgia fans believe.”

As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of those common theme exercises you’ll see on blogging platforms (ESPN’s are the lamest), but SBNation is having its bloggers rank position groups on a conference basis, starting with the defensive lines, and the ones I’ve seen so far have been interesting, both in terms of learning what’s out there conference-wide and in how Georgia’s group is perceived by others.

Here are the links to the pieces I’ve read to date:

General consensus Georgia is upper pack, which I think is a fair assessment, given the way the line played last year.  The interesting lines seem to be at Auburn and Ole Miss, which have rankings all over the place.

You guys have any opinions?

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“They’ve brought this on themselves…”

Playoff selection committee, be forewarned.  Matt Hayes will be yelling bloody murder about the SEC’s non-conference scheduling when crunch time comes.

I’m not really sure why the hard-on, though, based on his own compiled stats.

Keeping score (three of five Power 5 conferences analyzed):

Games against Power 5 teams: Big Ten (30 percent); ACC (30 percent); SEC (20 percent)

Games against Group of 5 teams: SEC (55 percent); Big Ten (52 percent), ACC (45 percent)

Games against FCS teams: ACC (25 percent), SEC (25 percent); Big Ten (18 percent)

That’s not the only puzzler.

Georgia, which recently signed a home-and-home series with Notre Dame (2017 and 2019), is the only SEC team to play two games against Power 5 teams. That distinction brings a brutal September: Clemson, at South Carolina, Troy, Tennessee — the same Tennessee that should have beaten Georgia last season.

Tennessee is the key to Georgia’s brutal September?  I guess if the Dawgs are down their top five skill position players, maybe so.

Hayes makes the best argument against his argument when he cites Auburn.

For those thinking Auburn is a national title contender, consider this: The Tigers haven’t won a road non-con game against a BCS/Power 5 team since 1997, when Terry Bowden’s Auburn team went into Charlottesville and beat Virginia 28-17. Auburn hasn’t won a non-con game against a team west of the Mississippi since a victory over TCU in 1980.

And during that time, Auburn was in the national title conversation in 2004 – and, of course, would have played for a MNC had there not been two other major schools undefeated – won a national title in 2010 and played for another last season.  That non-conference scheduling has really had an impact, Matt.

33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

The SEC Network’s one sop to tradition

At least we know who will be calling the third-rate games on the network now.

You may remember Dave from such great moments like this:

No word on whether they’re getting the band back together, though.  Just don’t pair him with Andre Ware.  Please.

41 Comments

Filed under SEC Football