Daily Archives: February 24, 2010

Giving Corch credit where credit is due.

Whatever you think of Urban Meyer’s salesmanship, there’s no denying his coaching skills.  Here’s something David Hale posted this morning:

— It’s one thing to enter the year without an established QB. That, of course, will be the case for two-thirds of the SEC this year. But it’s another thing to do that with what is far and away the least accomplished group of receivers in the league, and that’s exactly what Florida will do in 2010.

Listen, I’ve seen enough of Urban Meyer to assume he’ll put a potent offense on the field no matter what this season, but he’s definitely going to have to work a bit harder to do so this season than he has in the past (which is amusing considering he worked so hard it put him in the hospital last year).

Florida will return just 886 receiving yards in 2010 — less than half the average among the other 11 schools — and the biggest question mark surrounding the Gators last year was whether or not they had a legitimate vertical passing game.

Again, I don’t doubt Meyer’s ability to put a quality offense on the field, but it will be very, very interesting to see how that unfolds this season.

Here’s a guy who got all sorts of skepticism about whether his offense would work in the SEC when he started at Florida now being given the (Mount Cody-sized) benefit of the doubt that it’s going to continue to perform at a very high level despite having big question marks about his passing game.  And I bet that most neutral observers would agree with David’s observation.  How many head coaches can you think of who get paid that sort of complement?  Dude can coach.



Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

They hate paperwork at Michigan. They hate lying even more at the NCAA.

I’m inclined to agree with Brian Cook that, when you look at what the NCAA is accusing Michigan of, there isn’t that much there.  So, yeah, the school is likely the victim of some journalistic hyperventilating by the Detroit Free-Press.  Still…

  • Nobody at Michigan wants to wake up looking at headlines similar to this.
  • Rich Rodriguez has the honor of drawing the first major violations ever alleged against the Michigan football program.  No matter how you spin that, it’s not something you’d like to see on your resume.
  • Rodriguez is lucky he’s working at a school where the administrators act more like grownups.  What do you think his fate would be were he the coach at someplace like Texas Tech?  (It might be a good idea to win a few more games this year, though.)
  • Oh, and Alex Herron?  Two words for you, buddy:  Dez Bryant.


Filed under The NCAA

All’s well that ends well.

UGA Athletic Association and Decory Bryant settle Bryant’s lawsuit.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

No, this is not a cheap attempt to get David Hale to link.

I link to Matt Melton’s post season statistical analysis of the conferences because he often turns up information that’s of interest.  His SDPI approach measures each team’s deviation from the conference mean as to yards gained on offense versus yards given up on defense in conference games.  As you might expect, there’s generally a fair amount of correlation between ranking high in SDPI and winning games.

So how does he explain this rather surprising anomaly in his breakdown of the Big East?

Obviously, the huge shocker I was referring to earlier is the ranking of the Orange from Syracuse. Thanks to a superb defensive ranking, the Orange rated out as the 3rd best team in the league despite winning only a single conference games all season. How is that possible? Is the ranking system screwed up, or was Syracuse really better than you thought they were?

Here’s where Matt finds an answer (and why I find this a relevant subject to post on a Georgia blog):

… In addition to this, the Orange offense under former Duke hoopster Greg Paulus repeatedly put the defense in harms way via the turnover. The Orange had the worst turnover margin in Big East play (see chart below) by a pretty healthy margin.

Paulus threw 10 picks in 7 Big East games (versus just 6 touchdowns). Here are just a few examples of how the offense (and occasionally the special teams) hung the defense out to dry. In their Big East opener, the Orange held the South Florida Bulls to 333 yards of offense, but also committed 7 turnovers, including an interception that was run back for a touchdown in a 14 point loss. In mid-November against fellow cellar dweller Louisville, the Orange held the Cardinals to 151 yards of offense, but botched an extra point and gave up a huge 44-yard punt return late in the game that set up the winning score to allow the Cardinals to escape with a 10-9 win. In their season finale against Connecticut, the Orange outgained the Huskies by over 100 yards (489-377), but allowed Connecticut to return both a kickoff and a fumble for a touchdown in a 56-31 loss…

Sound familiar, Dawg fans?

It will be interesting to see how the numbers play out when Matt posts his SEC SDPI analysis.  Georgia’s turnover margin in conference play was about as bad as you might expect, at minus-12, but, believe it or not, wasn’t the worst number in the SEC (that honor goes to Ole Miss).

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Filed under Big East Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Clean Old-fashioned Resignation

It’s always refreshing to check in on the Georgia Tech boards once in a while to get an idea of how the other half thinks.  After the 45-42 debacle of 2008, we were treated to assertions that football in this state would never be the same again.  Evah.

In the wake of 30-24 returning us to a more normal state of being, it’s time for Yellow Jacket minds to come up with a new way of looking at the world.  And they don’t disappoint:  the game just isn’t that important any more, now that Georgia Tech has taken its rightful place among those schools in the national title hunt.

Of course, if it were my school winning games against Mark Richt at an eleven percent clip, I’d be doing some seri0us rationalizing as well.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

So much for that.

Man, remember when Mike Hamilton was in his salad days as the AD With A Plan?

“First of all, ultimately I look at the salary pool – the head coach and assistant coaches – as a line item in our budget,” Hamilton said. “At a lot of institutions, the model is the head coach is making a significantly higher salary than anybody else on his staff.

“This model is a little bit different from that. It spreads the dollars around a little bit more. You’ve got a couple other guys that are making pretty high-end salaries.”

Nearly two-thirds of UT’s total budget for assistant coaches will be paid to the two men deemed essential hires by new coach Lane Kiffin: defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and assistant head coach, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron.

Yeah, well, that’s some model you got there, Mr. Hamilton.  Now that your mercenaries have all left after one not-so-glorious season for sunnier climes, where do you go from here?

Why, back to the future.

… Including Wylie — who, unlike his predecessors, will work exclusively with the football program — the current UT staff will earn at least a combined $4.75 million next season. That $875,000 reduction (despite one extra position) would place the Vols seventh in the SEC, based on last season’s salaries. Most of the league’s schools are expected to pay more this season, so UT’s ranking could dip even further.

It’s kind of sad when you realize the football coach has more sense than the guy who hired him, but check out this quote from Derek Dooley:

… Dooley said during last month’s introductory news conference that his ideal coaching staff didn’t necessarily mirror his predecessor’s preferred path. Lane Kiffin often bragged — and still brags, albeit on the West Coast — about assembling the “best staff in the country.”

“This whole ‘putting together the best staff in the country’ and all this … well, every staff can’t be a headliner to me to make a good staff,” Dooley said the day he accepted UT’s position. “A staff is a team, and each member of a staff brings strengths, and each member of a staff has things that maybe they don’t do as well. It’s no different than assembling a football team, and so what I’m more concerned with is who wants to be here? Who is going to believe in how we’re going to run our organization, and how we’re going to play offense, defense and special teams? What kind of team member are they going to be? How much are they going to believe in this institution?”

Don’t forget that Dooley was the AD at Louisiana Tech, too.  Maybe Tennessee hired him to fill the wrong position.  Or, do they have athletic-directors-in-waiting these days?


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange