Daily Archives: August 15, 2008

Exhale.

Chip Towers thinks he knows how it’s gonna shake out at left tackle.  From his blog report of this morning’s practice:

Folks, it’s looking like Kiante Tripp at left tackle. We didn’t get to watch the whole 10-period practice today but we did see nearly half of it and I saw Tripp on the left side the whole time I was out there. Josh Davis was getting a lot of work on the right side so I don’t know if they’ll flop or are merely cross-training but if I was betting I’d say you’ll see Tripp as the starting left tackle for the duration.

Here’s what DT Jeff Owens said about it (only defensive players were available to us this morning): “He’s quick. I’ve watched him. He’s quick, athletic. He’s a defensive lineman playing offense.”

Owens didn’t think it’ll be a noticeable drop off from Trinton Sturdivant. “Kiante’s more athletic,” Owens said. “Trinton is more about strength and great technique.” …

So there, Mandel.

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UPDATE: Another reason to resume breathing, from ESPN’s Bruce Feldman:

… On the bright side, some SEC coaches I spoke to believe that UGA assistant Stacey Searles is the best O-line coach in the conference and that he will get the new front ready to play. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Georgia was a very big screen team last season, which also reduces the pressure on the line to pass protect.

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Filed under Georgia Football

More stuff on the CBS-SEC TV deal…

per Barnhart’s blog today.

First off, for those that think the conference has made an unwise financial decision with regards to the length of the deal, consider this:

I spoke to Slive again last night. You could hear him smiling through the phone. “We’ve got some work left to do but this is big for our conference,” he said. “But this is very important step for the Southeastern Conference. We are all very happy.”

Slive didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.  Financially speaking, at least, this hasn’t been a guy who’s known for making dumb moves.  If he’s that ecstatic over the deal, I suspect it’s pretty favorable for the SEC.

Barnhart believes the CBS deal sounds the death knell for an SEC TV network.  However, interestingly enough, he thinks it’s likely to encourage ESPN to step up and take in the rest of the slack.

… When I talked to Slive Thursday night he insisted that all options “are still on the table” when it comes to the possibility of the league forming its own TV network like the Big Ten.

I have no inside information but I don’t believe it will happen for one reason: The SEC doesn’t need it now.

The league obviously got the deal it wanted from CBS, giving them an exclusive national broadcast for the next 15 years. ESPN loves putting the SEC in prime time and will step up to the plate. I’m hearing ESPN would like to own the rest of the SEC’s TV rights and then be able to sell what they don’t need back to folks like Raycom, who will do the 12:30 p.m. games. To do that, ESPN would have to pay a premium. Keep your eye on that one.

Bottom line:  Fox is screwed.  For a long, long time.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Slow down, you move too fast.

The season is less than two weeks away, preseason practice is a happening thing, injuries are commonplace and predictions and hopes are on the rise, so you know what that means for the Mumme Poll, right?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s because we won’t be getting formally underway until after the games of Week Six are under our belts.  To remind you readers what that’s all about, take a look at this post over at Burnt Orange Nation.

Why Preseason Rankings are Bad for College Football

… I firmly believe that the two teams chosen for such a playoff (or occasioanlly (sic) more than two, if my Flex Playoff proposal ever takes hold…which of course it won’t) should be chosen based on who has had the best season on the whole.  Not “who would beat whom according to the imaginary game pollsters just played in their heads.”  The more legitimacy Power Polling has early in the season, the more likely that legitimacy is going to seep into late-season polls and the more likely pollsters’ imaginations are going to play a part in determining who plays in the national championship game.

Second, pollsters are subject to a severe case of inertia.  Wherever a team is ranked in the beginning of the year, it’s going to stay pretty much right there until it loses.  So when OU and USC started the season 1-2 and Auburn started at 19 or something and all 3 went undefeated, Auburn had no chance of overtaking USC and OU because the latter two had been entrenched as 1-2 since before the season even started.  This happens even with people who claim to be resume ranking (and for the record, if someone is prone to inertia, they are not purely resume ranking, despite claims to the contrary; liars!).

This is a problem that isn’t going to be completely fixed by eliminating pre-season rankings, but if you wait until mid-season or, say, after the end of non-conference play to begin ranking teams, then at least the spots in the poll in which certain teams will be entrenched are based on something only than complete conjecture and imagination. [Emphasis added.] And beyond that, it will encourage teams to schedule better non-conference games.  As it is, certain teams are almost always ranked highly in the pre-season because they have lots of talent.  There is no incentive for those teams to schedule tough non-conference games because as long as they win all of their non-conference games, they will remain in the same spot in the polls.  But if those rankings don’t begin until after the non-conference games are played, the rankings will be based on the results thus far.  And an undefeated team with a win over a good team should be (and will be, under a resume-ranking method) ranked higher than an undefeated team with wins over nothing but patsies.  Essentially, the leaping off point is based at least somewhat in reality.  And that has to be an improvement.

I think so, too.

Consider also this thought from MGoBlog’s Brian Cook, who is the driving force behind the BlogPoll.

… The lone spiked ballot in poll history came from Notre Dame uber-blog Blue Gray Sky after the first week of the season. Because I am stupid I deleted it, but by BGS’s own admission it was designed to highlight how silly releasing a college football poll after one week of play is. This is a perfectly fine argument to make, and one I might even agree with, but your ballot is not the place to make it.

Now granted, no school is getting into the BCS title game based on the BlogPoll, which makes it an exercise of fun rather than hard business (although Brian deserves serious commendation for taking steps to reduce the element of bias in the results), but when the guy running the show acknowledges that there may not be much of a point to the exercise early on, it certainly highlights the argument billyzane made in his post.

Of course, as Joel at Rocky Top Talk points out,

Burnt Orange Nation is going negative and slinging the mud, telling voters that pre-season polls hate America. He’s right, of course, and yet we all do them, don’t we?

So look at the Mumme Poll as my attempt to lead you not into temptation.  We’ll see how well that works out.

6 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll, The Blogosphere

The spread keeps spreading.

Over at the Coaches Hot Seat Blog, they’ve taken time out from indulging in flag waving rants about the BCS to put up a pretty good post about the spread option offense.

I completely agree with this:

… If the NFL does begin to have a backlash about drafting college QBs that are running the Spread Offense, then that will definitely have an impact on how both current college QBs view the Spread, and more importantly how up-and-coming recruits view signing with a school that exclusively runs the Spread Offense. Colleges that decide to stick with a “pro-style” offense might just find themselves in a very strong position in the coming years as both the demand for “pro-style” QBs increases in the NFL, and top QB recruits look to play football at colleges that give them an opportunity to be picked high in the NFL draft. The next 3 to 4 years may very well determine which direction the Spread Offense will go in the game of college football, because there are several high profile QBs working within a Spread Offense right now…

And they make a solid point about what a great spread option QB Steve Young would have made.

They also toss out this thought in discussing the type of offense they would run if they were a college offensive coordinator.

… we would also include the Al Davis special in the playbook, the long bomb play with our fastest receivers, which is play that we don’t see much in college football, or even in the pros anymore. It is almost just worth to run the long pass a couple of times each game so that the cornerbacks are aware that the play exists, and are not always biting on the shorter routes. We all remember Jim Plunkett with the Raiders effectively running the “bomb” on many occasions, and it is interesting that so few teams really try to “stretch” the field with the long pass anymore.

Like this?

That’s one reason why I’d take a slight tradeoff in Stafford’s completion percentage numbers this year.  If you’ve got the big gun, you’ve got to take a few shots with it.

But I digress.  Take a look at the whole thing, especially about what you need to have on defense to slow the spread down.  Like I said, it’s a good read.

4 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere

It’s a fine line.

Here’s the musical question asked over at The National Championship Issue about making predictions about the football season:

Are there ways to brag about correct predictions without people thinking you’re either a total moron or a total dick (or both)?

Fortunately, he says the answer is yes.  Otherwise, I was looking at scratching quite a few upcoming posts.  And it’s only fair to note that his point only applies to predictions.  There are still plenty of other ways for me to impress my readers here.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  Here’s how he suggests negotiating the waters:

Rule #1: Find the Right Balance - One of the keys to making solid predictions is knowing how assertive to make your statement. For instance, your predictions can’t be too easy, general, or popular. Predictions like “USC will win the Pac 10″ or “Duke will win less than 5 games this year” are wimpy and nothing to brag about. At the same time, your prediction can’t be too tough, improbable, or against the grain, mainly because people won’t believe that it wasn’t just luck. But you can shade to the assertive side and go out on more limbs if you…

Rule #2: Reveal Some of Your Methods - This is important because it’s the main weapon you have to prove that you’re not just relying on luck. Showing your mental path and how you reached your prediction will help prove that you actually thought it out and are basing it on information, evidence, and your own skills. It’s not that you have to give everything away or reveal your Uber-Secret Predicting Formula to the world, but you really have to have some sort of proof that your guess is based on more than just luck.

Rule #3: Admit Your Mistakes - This rule is all about not being seen as a dick. Really, how many sportswriters and broadcasters do you know who come up with wild predictions, and then when they’re completely off-base never man up to being wrong? But then when they do get something right the I-told-you-so’s start flying. It happens all the time. I’m not saying that you have to acknowledge every time you screw up, but a simple “Yeah, I was wrong on that one” every now and then can do wonders for your likability. Not owning up to your mistakes (or making excuses for them) is the mark of a true dick.

Mark May, I think you’re being paged, dude.

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Filed under The Blogosphere

No stone unturned.

Moreno’s being looked at to return punts.  Richt is ready to clear the decks and play all of the freshman skill position players and defensive backs.

I think Paul’s spot on with what that indicates.  Richt thinks he’s very, very close to having THE team to do something special this season, and if that’s the case, you can’t worry about redshirting if you think a kid can help you on a given Saturday.

And that’s pretty damned exciting if you ask me.

While I’m in the amen chorus with Mr. Westerdawg, let me also say that he’s got the correct take on letting Moreno return punts.  You play your best, period.  Sure, there’s a risk, but that’s the case for every player that steps on a field – just ask Stewart Mandel.  It always irritated me when Georgia stopped letting Fred Gibson return kickoffs.  I know he was on the fragile side, but he was clearly better at the job than anyone else on the roster.

Do what you have to do.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere