Legends

Whoa.  Chip Towers dishes up the rat poison for Georgia’s receiving corps.

… Of the group remaining, any who earn their place in the rotation will have to be truly exceptional to do so. The returning starters each are all-SEC caliber – at least. And if Pickens can stay out of trouble and off the injury list, he should be in position to become Georgia’s first consensus All-American receiver in school history.

All that at Manball U?  Color me a wee bit skeptical… not to say I’d be unhappy if turns out he’s right.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

He’s no mystery.

Over at Rivals, Mike Farrell wonders whether Florida will take the conference’s biggest step back in the 2021 season, and, honestly, I love the way he phrases his rationale more than I even do the answer.

My opinion is that the Gators lose so much on offense and have some questions on defense with coordinator Todd Grantham coming back…

Of course, you could argue that most SEC offensive coordinators don’t have any questions about Todd Grantham.

39 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

Amateurism, you turn me on.

Dennis Dodd summarizes one of the arguments the Alston lawyers made to the Supreme Court:

At the core of the NCAA’s argument is that paying players will turn off fans, thus depressing the demand for the “product,” in this case, major-college sports as a whole.

Alston lawyers argue that players already get financial rewards, including for academic achievement, and that has not affected fan interest to this point. There’s bowl gifts (capped at $550 per player) given out “simply for being on a team.” In addition, the cost of attendance stipend that has been around since 2015 is awarded only to athletes.

We’ve already told you about former LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson who “made” $12,000 per year while in school from scholarship checks and cost of attendance. Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston reportedly received $80,000 to purchase insurance as he headed to the NFL Draft through an NCAA Student Assistance Fund at Florida State.

And you might have noticed, the NCAA is fully on board with name, image and likeness compensation as it “modernizes” its rules. That compensation could reach into the high six figures for social media accounts alone.

I know, I know.  Amateurism romance doesn’t care about your facts.  The NCAA knows that, too.

“A parade of NCAA, conference and university witnesses admitted that they had never even attempted to study any relationship between the compensation restraints and consumer demand,” the Alston brief said.

Pffft.  And why should they?  The heart wants what the heart wants, amirite?

All mockery aside, this feeling argument grows ever more detached from reality, and that’s got to be putting more and more strain on the fiction the NCAA continues to peddle, as David Hale notes.

Screenshot_2021-03-05 💫🅰️♈️🆔 on Twitter

That last observation is the real kicker.

I know that many of you believe that player compensation will prove to be the final straw for you, and that, once a reality, will turn you away from collegiate football for good.  From my standpoint, authorized player compensation is merely the culmination of a series of events over decades that have steadily eroded the allure Hale refers to.  Conference realignment and broadcast partnerships have traded college football’s uniqueness for a mess of pottage, at least from this fan’s perspective.  Cutting players in on a piece of the action isn’t going to change any of that.

67 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Funny, not funny

Shot.

Chaser.

Screenshot_2021-03-05 SEC StatCat on Twitter

If you come at the king, you’d best not miss.  Unless you’re his quarterback, in which case there’s still a good chance he’d bail you out.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Les, Les, Les…

This, my friends, is one helluva lede.

At the height of his fame as Louisiana State University’s head football coach, Les Miles was accused of texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them feel uncomfortable and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career, according to an internal investigative report released by LSU on Thursday.

Les describes all of that as “simply mentoring young women at the university”.  Yeah, sure.

Miles also was accused by athletic department staff of saying that the female student workers who helped the football team lure top recruits needed to be attractive, blonde and fit, according to the investigative report. Existing student employees who did not meet this criteria should be given fewer hours or terminated, the report details.

His attorney hopes the release of the report puts an end to the “baseless, inaccurate media reports.”  As opposed to the sourced, accurate legal report, I guess.

As for what else the report’s release might put an end to, Stewart Mandel ($$) speculates about the ripple effect at Kansas.

So while Kansas, as KU Athletics spokesman Dan Beckler says, may not have known about these allegations at the time of Miles’ hire, it’s fair to question whether the school can justify keeping him. Long did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

After Miles went 0-9 in his second season and lost his offensive coordinator to Middle Tennessee State, one might wonder if Kansas AD Long would even care whether he stays.

The truth: Long desperately needs the LSU allegations to blow over, because if Miles has to go, so surely does the man who hired him.

Mandel says it raises a “legitimate” question about how much vetting Long did before hiring Miles.  The adjective is amusing, considering how Long ineptly tried to engineer a situation to avoid paying Miles’ predecessor a $3 million buyout, not to mention one of the many lowlights on Long’s resume was the hire of Bobby Petrino at Arkansas.  Deep reflection is not part of Long’s MO.

If that winds up biting him in the butt and costing him a job, well, karma is a bitch.  The real question is whether, should that happen, another school is dumb enough to employ him.  Eh, don’t answer that.

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

UPDATE:  Didn’t see this coming.

Alleva got it right?  Hoo, boy.  Guess the powers that be thought Les had a title or two left in him.

40 Comments

Filed under Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

Musical palate cleanser, it’s alright edition

Sort of a bookend to Monday’s MPC, here’s NRBQ’s swinging tribute to a couple of Southern favorites, “RC Cola and a MoonPie”.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Where politics and football intersect, it just means more.

Of course this is happening.

Within the marble halls of the Mississippi State Capitol, the topic of college football is never far away.

Home to two of the SEC’s plucky underdogs, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, legislators here are always striving to make up ground on neighboring states that have more historic football powerhouses. In fact, last summer, lawmakers replaced their state flag after the NCAA and SEC banned the Rebels and Bulldogs from hosting athletic championship events in a state whose flag brandished the Confederate battle symbol.

Nine months later, another piece of college sports-themed legislation is working its way through this building. This time, a bill that would grant Mississippi college athletes rights to earn income from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Some legislators here are even pushing through the bill despite their own opposition to it.

Why?

Crootin’.

“I don’t think any state is happy about this legislation, but we’re seeing this as a necessity,” says C. Scott Bounds, a Republican member of the Mississippi House of Representatives who’s helping oversee the bill’s journey through the state’s legislative process. “We don’t want to lose a competitive edge in recruiting, both athletically and academically, especially against those in the Southeastern Conference.”

Duh.

Screenshot_2021-03-04 States Try to One-Up Each Other in Race to Adopt NIL Laws(1)

I’m not sure what Georgia’s waiting for, to be honest.  After all, Alabama’s already got three (!) NIL bills in the hopper, scheduled to go into effect a couple of months after the governor signs.  Plus, “Alabama’s bill gives athletes the option to participate in NIL or receive $10,000 a year from the school.”

16 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

Something else for the offseason

A couple of posts today linked to other posts that led me to consider another issue that might need correcting.  First, here’s something else from David Wunderlich’s piece:

There is a growing consensus in the NFL that sacks are a quarterback stat. Which is to say, they have more to do with how well a quarterback deals with pressure than about how well the line pass blocks.

That line of thinking is solid on the pro level, where the distance between the best and worst offensive lines is not tremendously far. It is probably not as true on the college level where there can be a wide chasm between good and bad lines. There also can be a wide chasm between how well quarterbacks with varying degrees of experience deal with pressure in college, so it may be hard to separate it all out.

But what about on the same team when there’s a quarterback change mid-season?

I ask, because I noticed on JT Daniels’ stat page at ESPN that he was sacked ten times in his four starts.

Screenshot_2021-03-04 JT Daniels Stats, News, Bio ESPN

Sure, maybe you can give him something of a pass in the bowl game, because the o-line was reshuffled.  But Georgia allowed twenty sacks in its ten games last year, so Daniels took half of those playing in two fewer games.  Some of that no doubt can be chalked up to aggressive schemes by opposing defensive coordinators, but some of that has to rest on Daniels’ shoulders, too.

37 Comments

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

“So who’s the next Mac Jones?”

Bill Connelly, laying out the stat porn this morning ($$):

Top 10 in 2020 Total QBR after Nov. 20 (min. 3 games):

1. Mac Jones, Alabama (96.8)
2. Zach Wilson, BYU (89.8)
3. JT Daniels, Georgia (89.1)
4. Brock Purdy, Iowa State (88.1)
5. Max Duggan, TCU (87.9)
6. Logan Bonner, Arkansas State (87.4)
7. Justin Fields, Ohio State (86.5)
8. Jayden Daniels, Arizona State (86.3)
9. Matt Corral, Ole Miss (86.2)
10. Sam Howell, UNC (84.7)

But wait… there’s more!

Daniels was able to stretch the field in ways that Bennett could not. While Bennett and D’Wan Mathis combined to complete just nine of 34 passes 20+ yards downfield, Daniels attempted nearly as many such passes in his four games (27) while completing 12 of them for 472 yards and four touchdowns. Raw QBR on these passes: Daniels 98.1, Bennett 62.1, Mathis 3.4.

And this is what should really get your juices flowing.

This variety and upside came in handy in the Peach Bowl… Rendered mostly inefficient, UGA leaned on raw explosiveness to get the victory. Only a few teams have the tools to do that consistently, but the Dawgs are one of them.

Hubba hubba.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Florida’s offensive line, then and now

Did Florida’s offensive line improve last season because it was better or because of Kyle Trask?  David Wunderlich explores that question here.

There is real evidence to back up the idea that they could run the ball a lot better in 2020 than in 2019 despite losing Lamical Perine to the NFL. That’s clearing a low bar for sure, but the line did improve at run blocking. It’s just that the ROI on passing was tremendously high with how well Kyle Trask was playing, so it made sense to throw a lot.

Okay, but Trask is gone now, likely succeeded by Emory Jones.  So what should we expect in 2021?

The change at quarterback also bodes well for improvements. Emory Jones has been above six yards per carry in each of the past two years even without adjusting for the few sacks he’s taken, and mobile quarterbacks do tend to take fewer of them. I don’t know that UF has a nation-leading line in the offing, but getting back to 2018 levels is probably doable.

Ultimately it’ll come down to coaching and execution, but the 2021 offensive line has a real chance to be the best unit in three seasons. For Florida to avoid a speed-bump of a year, it’ll need to be.

I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that Florida’s offense is going to need a good year on the ground out of Jones to be successful.  I know some of you aren’t impressed by Jones, but he’s the kind of quarterback Mullen’s made good use of over the course of his coaching career.  He’s got experience in the system, runs the ball and throws just well enough to keep defenses honest.  Will that be enough to carry the mediocre o-line?  We’ll see.

46 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...