Daily Archives: June 10, 2010

Just one kiss

It doesn’t sound like it took too much convincing on Mark Richt’s part to turn Nick Marshall from the Dark Side:

“This really all came out of the blue,” Wilcox County football coach Mark Ledford told the AJC’s Chip Towers. “Nick was leaning to Georgia Tech as of late last week. He had a close relationship to Georgia Tech the last month or so. Then out of the blue, Coach Richt called and wanted to offer him as a defensive back.

“Nick told me Monday he wanted to commit to Georgia. I said let’s talk about it Tuesday and see if you feel the same way. We talked after his work out and he said he defintely wanted to go To Georgia. I talked to his Mom and explained what that meant. She called Coach Richt and committed [Tuesday] night.”

What about being a “silent commitment” to Georgia Tech? “I don’t know if you’d call it a silent commit,” Ledford told Towers. “I’m not sure where that term came from. I’ll just say he was very close to committing to Georgia Tech.”


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery

Forget the cupcakes.

Say what you will about the man, but Urban Meyer’s record against top 25 teams is pretty bloody impressive.


Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares


So I picked up my copy of Steele’s 2010 Preview yesterday.  As per my usual routine, I wade through it looking for some weird insights about Georgia and as usual, Phil doesn’t let me down.

First of all, you need to know that he is incredibly bullish on Georgia’s offense this season.  He projects the Dawgs to have the eighth-most prolific scoring offense in D-1, leading the SEC with 37.4 ppg (which is good, because he also sees the defense yielding a still-way-too-much 22.4 ppg).  So where is this coming from, you may ask?

To get an idea, take a look at this chart I put together of certain stats Steele compiled from the results of all 2009 in-conference games.

Team Off. YPP Rank Def. YPP Rank TO Marg. ST TDs
Alabama 14.1 6 25.5 1 9 0
Arkansas 13.1 2 14.4 7 12 0
Auburn 15.1 8 12.4 11 1 1
Florida 13.6 5 19.6 2 6 1
Georgia 12.3 1 12 12 -12 2
Kentucky 13.5 4 14.2 8 0 0
LSU 13.3 3 17.5 3 4 2
Ole Miss 17.2 10 14.5 6 -13 1
MSU 15.2 9 12.4 11 -6 1
S. Carolina 19.3 11 13.5 10 -6 0
Tennessee 14.6 7 15.4 5 6 0
Vanderbilt 26.4 12 16.2 4 1 1

Steele makes a very big deal out of yards per point (YPP).  You can read a breakdown of it here.  Essentially, it’s a measure of offensive and defensive efficiency – the lower a team’s offensive YPP is, the more efficient it is at scoring and the higher a team’s defensive YPP is, the better it is at making its opponents less efficient on offense.  Last year the average YPP for a D-1 team was 15.65 and the median was 14.38.

So, yeah, what you’re seeing in that chart is that Georgia was by far the most efficient scorer in SEC games last season, despite (1) having a QB that hemorrhaged interceptions; (2) didn’t settle on its best running backs rotation until mid-season; (3) shuffled offensive linemen for much of the year; and (4) lost its most dynamic playmaker for the last few games.

Like it or not, these pesky stats keep suggesting that Mike Bobo can coach a little.

Now there are a few things to point out here.  As you can see from the last column in the chart, I also added special teams scores (via cfbstats.com), since those are counted in the overall scoring numbers and don’t involve offensive plays.  Georgia did lead in SEC games with two of those, but six other schools scored touchdowns on special teams, so I don’t believe those had a dramatic impact on the YPP rankings.  I didn’t count defensive scores because Steele doesn’t track those, but I think it’s safe to say that based on turnover margin Georgia wouldn’t be getting any breaks there either.

But it’s turnover margin that really makes Georgia’s 2009 offensive YPP so remarkable.  Ordinarily teams with a low offensive YPP raise a red flag for Steele.  As he says on page 299 of the Preview, “(t)eams that had an extremely low ypp the previous year usually have a weaker record the next season.” Since 1990, teams with a YPP less than 13.56 have a 67.2% chance of compiling a weaker or same record in the next year.  But then he goes on to note that the probabilities aren’t as dominant as they are for teams with a high offensive ypp to improve “…  because there are some teams like USC that benefit from turnovers on a yearly basis, keeping their ypp low.”

Good turnover margin = lower offensive YPP.  Bad turnover margin = higher offensive YPP.  Georgia was 11th in TO margin in SEC games last year, yet still led the conference in scoring efficiency.  What does that suggest if Richt and Bobo manage to find a way to stop the bleeding?  Steele seems to be pointing at a boatload of scoring for the men in red and black; we’ll soon see if he’s on to something here.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

We welcome our new Pac-16 overlords.

This may be the most arrogant bit of clap-trap I’ve read yet in all the realignment talk:

… The new conference would be split into divisions with Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado forming an Eastern Division with Arizona and Arizona State opposite the former Pac-8 (USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State) in the Western Division.

The coach said it’s possible the Pac-16 would push for two automatic bids to the BCS, one for each division champion. That potential bonanza could open the possibility of the two division champs from one league playing for the national title, and it would eliminate the need for a conference championship game.

“The Pac-10 doesn’t believe in a championship game,” the coach said. “And coaches in the Big 12 don’t like it anyway.”

What in the hell do they even need a conference for in the first place?

By the way, I’m really hoping for a Nebraska-Texas match up in the first Rose Bowl after realignment.  It’ll be like they never left the Big XII.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

Kiffin watch: Karma is a bitch, pal.

Yesterday may have been the most insane day in the history of college football.  Ever.  Between the Masoli dismissal (best Afromanesque line on Twitter:  “I could have played football, but I got high.”) and of course the continually swirling stories about what schools were or weren’t going to what conferences, it seemed like something was going down every other minute.

Then there’s the Southern Cal sanctions story.  The LA Times is reporting that the NCAA is going to penalize USC over the Bush/Mayo problems with significant scholarship reductions and a two-year bowl ban.  Now some are going to dismiss this as not much more than a severe slap on the wrist –  Kiffin and Coach O are recruitin’ geniuses, doncha know/USC wasn’t playing for a national title in the next two years anyway is likely to be the spin employed – but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that what’s been handed down is harsh enough to make even the most rabidly anti-NCAA Alabama partisan satisfied.

The key is a somewhat obscure NCAA enforcement provision that, to his credit, Matt Zemek at CFN is all over:

… Two years, though, represents another level of book-throwing on the part of the NCAA. This is as severe a punishment as anyone could have expected; in all candor, it likely exceeded the consensus prediction. USC is likely to hemorrhage recruits because NCAA bylaws – as provided by The Bylaw Blog – give athletes more freedom of movement if a school’s period of bowl-game ineligibility is prolonged rather than limited.

Bylaw says the following: “No release needed to contact SAs (student athletes) if school has postseason ban for the rest of their eligibility.” Bylaw 14.8.2 says this: “The COI (Committee on Infractions) can recommend a waiver to allow SAs to transfer and play immediately if ban is for the rest of their eligibility.” [Emphasis added.]

As you can see, the reality of a two-year bowl ban would naturally have an exponentially greater (negative) effect than a one-year ban. It will possess far more reach than a one-year ban and change the minds of numerous USC football recruits. It’s impossible to think that a substantial player exodus WON’T occur now that the two-year bowl ban has been handed down…

In other words, if the bowl ban holds up (and I expect USC to appeal that hard), it’s open season on Trojan juniors and seniors.  Between that and the reduction in scholarships, you can expect that Junior will be experiencing a few years in the wilderness.  Although at least he’s being well compensated for it.  Still, if you’re a Tennessee fan, there’s got to be some satisfaction in knowing that the program the Laner left has a better chance at postseason success over the next few years than where he’s at now.

That shouldn’t be all, either.  To complete the just desserts cycle, if I’m Derek Dooley, I’m on a plane to Pasadena faster than you can say “it’s all part of the plan”.  And the first person I’m speaking with is Mitch Mustain.  Or his mama.  Maybe pick up an offensive lineman or two while I’m out there.  After all, pipelines can flow both ways.

And now you know why Southern Cal wound up with Lane “It’s My Dream Job” Kiffin as its head coach.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, The NCAA