Monthly Archives: June 2010

The next statue in Gainesville

You know, if you wanna say John Brantley is one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC going into the season, well… it’s a stretch, but at least you can try to justify it by arguing that the conference lacks experienced, talented players at that position.

But when you put forward the idea that he’s one of the top fifteen quarterbacks in the country – right now – you’re just angling for a new Lexicon entry.

I’m leaning towards the GPOOPTE™ (Greatest Player Of Our Post-Tebow Era).  There are some bandwagons you can’t jump on too early.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators...

A preseason ranking that’ll catch your eye.

In Jeremy Fowler’s mind, mediocre 2009 season + redshirt freshman QB in the SEC = 64th best team in the country.

At least he’s ranked Georgia higher than Kentucky.


UPDATE: Pre Snap Read’s Paul Myerberg isn’t favorably impressed.


UPDATE #2: My bad – Fowler didn’t assign the rating.  His cohort Andrea Adelson takes the credit for that.  She sees Georgia as a 6-6 team this season.

Andrea Adelson:
they also have to play arkansas and auburn from the west, too. i think those 2 teams are better than UGA. miss state is better, and a tough place to play (ask UF). georgia tech will be able to win this year.

There’s plenty more at the link, if you want it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The devil you know…

Although Boise State’s departure leaves the rest of the WAC on shaky ground, I don’t see how going independent is a viable option for Hawaii.  Football scheduling, as the linked article notes, would be a nightmare in the middle of the season (don’t forget that UH found itself in a deep hole in 2007 when two D-1 schools bailed out on playing the Warriors).  And even Notre Dame gave up on going it alone in all of its other sports programs.

The scariest part of going that route, though, would be Hawaii’s total reliance on ESPN for its survival.

… While UH receives upwards of $2.5 million for its TV and pay-per-view rights, it would likely have to strike a wide-ranging deal with ESPN if it were to consider going independent. When June Jones was the UH coach, he floated the idea of selling ESPN on a last-game-of-the-night package for UH home games, a concept that has long had appeal at UH but is currently prevented by the school’s rights being tied to the WAC agreement with ESPN.

ESPN’s cooperation on a couple of fronts would be important for any UH bid for independence since without the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which ESPN subsidiary ESPN Regional TV (ERT) owns and operates, the school would have no conference affiliation to fall back on for a postseason bid.

In addition, ERT owns and operates the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament, which UH hosts.

That gives a whole new meaning to “independent”.

(h/t Her Loyal Sons)


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Monday morning buffet

Welcome to the working week, people.

  • Matt Hayes talks to all the SEC coaches (except for Nick Saban, who rates his own interview) about the league.  No real surprises – you’ve got your typical mixture of coach-ese (Meyer:  “This is the only league in America where… every fan base, is put together with the intent to go win the conference.” Every fan base?  WTF?), repetition (how many times is Spurrier going to tell that Doug Johnson-didn’t-prepare-in-1997 story this summer?) and, of course, Richt on the hot seat.  I did like Miles’ response to the hot seat question, though:  “The whole (hot seat) notion is crazy. But that’s today, that’s America. We want it now.” U-S-A! U-S-A!
  • Mike Hugenin takes a look at nine programs trying to compete for a conference title while breaking in a new quarterback.  The one name on his list with zero prior college experience?  Aaron Murray.
  • ESPN’s Pac-10 beat writer takes a look at three reasons why you shouldn’t write off Tennessee’s chances in its opener against Oregon.  Reason number two seems the most compelling.  Tennessee may not be deep on the defensive side of the ball, but the Vols are certainly not without talent.  And the new defensive coordinator did a fine job controlling Oregon’s offense at Boise State last season.
  • The problem for Tennessee in that game is how the offense is going to produce points with a newbie QB at the helm.  The quarterbacks coach isn’t going to spend time changing anybody’s mechanics, though.
  • Blitzology looks at some 3-4 blitzes and various ways to attack an offensive line’s blocking schemes.  It will get you excited.
  • Jerry Hinnen makes the case for the SEC to add a ninth conference game to the schedule.  I’m all for it, but you know the coaches would hate it for all the obvious reasons (too hard!  unbalanced home/away isn’t fair!) and the ADs probably wouldn’t be too thrilled at the prospect of losing a home game in certain years without some meticulous planning.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Everything you wanted to know about Georgia and talent points but were afraid to ask.

What follows is sort of a wonky follow-up to the findings I wrote about in this post, but as the author of the comment there was kind enough to email me a detailed breakdown of how he came up with Georgia’s rankings and as I tend to get into that sort of information, I thought I’d share the information with you.

First, here’s his summary of the data:

The first thing that jumps off the page is that Georgia had a ton of talent from 1998-2004 and the former coach was among the worst in country of getting performance out of that talent (see Perform vs NFL Talent, particularly 1998 and 1999.  I also see that the aggregate talent level at Georgia has dropped off (from 200+ talent points down to under 150 talent points), but that its talent ranking remained very solid with the exception of 2005 and 2006.  I will detail the formulas below so there is full disclosure, but I wanted to point out the 2008 NFL talent calculation (and thus also the Perform vs NFL talent) will not be complete until the 2011 draft. I include it because it is 80% done.

Richt has had 3 top 5 seasons under our performance metric and only 1 season outside the top 20…not bad.  Also, he has consistently been  top 20 in terms of getting performance out of his talent with 3 years in the top 10.  As I noted in my post on your site, Richt has not done a good job of selecting or developing recruits that turn into top NFL talent. His recruiting rankings are high (see Rivals Talent), but as I noted in my post on your site, he ranks 45th in terms of converting Rivals talent into NFL talent…9th in the SEC. In other words, he has to garner more Rivals points to achieve the same NFL points than 44 other teams in the country.  He is either not picking the right prospects (ranked high by Rivals, but not legit NFL talents) or not developing them. [Emphasis added.]

I lean towards the latter there, but your mileage may vary, obviously.

Next,  the methodology behind his analysis:

NFL Talent–To calculate a score for a given team in a given year, we look at the 3 drafts following a season, giving only 50% credit to the third draft.  So for a 2006 team, they get 100% points for the 2007 draft, 100% points for the 2008 draft and 50% points for the 2009 draft.  This is why data is not complete for the 2008 and 2009 seasons…there are contributing players on those teams that are yet in the NFL draft.  The thought process behind this is to most effectively capture the contribution of key players.  It is not perfect…it does not capture true frosh contributors who stay 4 years (captures their soph, jr and sr years, but not their frosh year)…but missing that rare occurrence seems better than including all true frosh, few of whom actually contribute.   Draft points awarded as follows: 1st Round- 30 pts, 2nd Round-  20 pts, 3rd Round- 13 pts, 4th Round- 9 pts, 5th Round- 5 ts, 6th Round- 2 pts,  7th Round- 1 pt..
Rivals Talent–To calculate a Rivals Talent score for a given year we look at the 5 preceeding recruiting class point totals from Rivals and weight them as follows (taking 2009 as an example):  2009-15%, 2008-20%, 2007-32.5%, 2006-25%, 2005-7.5%. You can see why comparing on the NFL talent and the Rivals talent side by side does not work.  Below we detail how weight drafts and recruiting classes to measure “conversion” of Rivals talent into NFL talent.
Performance–Our performance metric is weighted towards outstanding performance.  We believe that elite performances should greatly outweigh middle of the road performance. The base for our calculation is Sagarin, who we believe does a very good job (not perfect) with his computer rankings. By starting with Sagarin, we can capture strength of schedule, margin of victory and overall wins and losses.  We then add emphasis to Sagarin for outstanding performance.The performance points are calculated as follows:  Sagarin Composite ranking points for the given year PLUS bonus points for top 10 finishes (final Sagarin) PLUS bonus points for BCS performance PLUS bonus points for wins over top 10 and 30 teams (final Sagarin) MINUS points for losses to non-Top 30 teams (final Sagarin). Bonus points for Top 10 finishes are awarded in this manner: 5 points for 1st, 4.5 points for 2nd, 4 points for 3rd…down to 0.5 points for 10th.  BCS performance points are awarded in this manner: 10 points for BCS/AP championship, 3 points for loss in BCS championship game, 2.5 points for regular BCS game win and 1 point for BCS game loss.  Bonus points for ranked wins are awarded as follows: 0.5 points for each win over top 10 team and 0.25 points for win over top 30 team (not double counting the top 10 wins).  0.25 points are deducted for each loss to a non-top 30 team
Perform vs NFL Talent–This is  a bit complicated. First we take the performance data as calculated for each individual year (same as above).  Please note that 2008 is only 80% complete.  Then we subtract out the Sagarin composite ranking score for the 20th ranked team for each respective year. The idea is to measure the amount of performance above a certain benchmark…we are not really interested in teams with the 50th best talent producing 40th best performance…to truly over perform, the bar needs to be set and we set it at 20th.  To the extent that the number (performance-Sagarin #20) is positive, we then divide that number by the NFL talent points to measure to the over performance relative to talent level (we multiply by 100 to make the numbers more manageable). To the extent the number is negative, we multiply that number by the talent points and divide by 100.  If you don’t do that, the more talent an underperforming team has (negative number) the smaller the output.
Perform vs Rivals Talent–Same as above, but using Rivals instead of NFL
Converting Rivals Talent into NFL Talent–While there is no table on this on the pdf, this is the calculation of Georgia ranking 45th so I thought I would include it.  This gets a bit complicated too, but appropriate weighting is necessary because a recruiting class is part of multiple NFL drafts and each NFL draft is comprised of multiple recruiting classes.  We have assumed that each recruiting class goes to the NFL 20% after 3rd year, 70% after 4th year and 10% after 5th year. Certainly subject to debate, but moving the percentages around on the margin won’t move the needle materially.  Based on these percentages we weighted the 2002-2007 recruiting classes (2008-2010 classes not yet draft eligible) and the 2005-2010 NFL drafts (no one from 2002 class was draft eligible until 2005 draft). The rankings reflect the rankings based on these weightings and will not necessarily tie to the un-weighted data elsewhere in the post.  The conversion formula takes the number of weighted NLF draft points divided by the weighted number of Rivals points and multiplies by 1000 (to get to an easy number without a bunch of decimals).  Basically….”how many NFL draft points produced for each Rival point”

Finally, here’s his chart that lays out the numbers.

University of Georgia
NFL Talent Rivals Talent Performance Perform vs NFL Talent
Year Points Rank Points Rank Points Rank Points Rank
2001 223 3 82.97 20 0.22 20
2002 245 3 98.22 5 5.99 9
2003 218 6 95.17 5 5.13 9
2004 196 8 86.6 11 2.23 15
2005 98 22 84.82 18 1.54 17
2006 101 19 20.73 7 84.9 17 1.56 17
2007 132 7 20.26 6 95.33 6 9.79 4
2008 137 6 21.28 5 84.81 16 1.55 17
2009 21.62 6 80.08 25

What jumps off the page there is the drop in the NFL talent points beginning in 2005 and 2006.  Hmm… I wonder what happened with the program back then.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Many thanks to mb and Heisman Pundit for being kind enough to share the information with me.


Filed under Georgia Football

In a place where Tebow was recruited as a linebacker, all things are possible.

All those who want to accept their University of Florida scholarship offers, step forward.  Er… not so fast, Rahim Cassell.

And if this ain’t the understatement of the month, I don’t know what is.

… Cassell then finally reached Coach White and had an e-mail conversation. During the exchange, White helped calm the situation a bit, but Cassell does appear to be in a state of limbo.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder chose the Gators over Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona State, Cal, Boise State and Minnesota, among others.

Don’t think the coaches up in Oregon, Cassell’s second choice, aren’t watching this play out.

Heh.  Like that’s all they’re doing.  Or any number of SEC coaches you or I could name…


Filed under Recruiting, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Sunday morning buffet

A few random bits for your dining pleasure:

Oh, and check the Lexicon out.  I wound up with two new Derek Dooley-inspired entries.  Your feedback and fine-tuning are welcomed as always.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, GTP Stuff, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Expansion/realignment brings out the stoopid…

and as John Houseman might say, “it buuuuuuuuuuuurns.”

It’s hard these days not to become consumed with a sense of pessimism that’s almost overwhelming as you look at the direction American society has taken.  So I can’t say that the deep thought that seems to have gone into conference realignment and some of the reaction that’s generated comes as much of a surprise.

Exhibit A:  Check out the vision of Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott.  College mega-conferences are inevitable because… well, just because.

“I’m not smart enough or experienced enough in the college world to know how long it’s going to take before the next wave of change,” Scott said, “but if an idea is good enough, it’s going to happen.”

Why is the idea good enough?  Well, the cool kids like it.

Scott also said that broadcasters offered positive feedback about the possibilities of a 16-team league.

That’s it.  That’s all he’s got to offer as to why he tried to blow up the landscape of college athletics and why he thinks it’ll still happen.  You get the feeling that all Scott is looking for is the opportunity for somebody to buy him a good dinner and a couple of drinks.

Exhibit B:  Here come the politicians.

Iowa‘s two U.S. senators have asked Big Ten Conference officials to disclose expansion plans and financial information about the league’s cable television network.

At least they’re masters of the obvious.  Sort of.

“Rather it appears that invitations are being extended because of the major media markets where they are situated,” the letter says. “Thus the invitations to join the Big Ten seem to be extended for the sole purpose of enhancing the financial bottom line that television contracts, marketing and promotional activities will bring member institutions.”

It probably wouldn’t have hurt to have waited a couple of days more to see which school actually received and accepted the Big Ten’s formal invitation.  Of course, if you’re from Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska may seem like a major media market to you.

And how about some aesthetics?

“It appears the conference’s expansion efforts will cause the realignment or implosion of other college athletic conferences,” the letter stated. “If, as some speculate, such realignment results in four ‘super’ conferences, it seems they may be no different than professional sports associations like the National Football League or Major League Baseball.”

So, Congress wants a playoff, no conferences bigger than twelve teams and all the wonderful conferences out there to survive intact.  (Yes, I realize I’m exaggerating here.)

College football is a wonderful sport.  We’re about to find out how resilient it is.  The cynic in me thinks we’re doomed, so my advice is to enjoy what we’ve got while you can.


Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

Saturday morning buffet

Grab some college football grub.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

He wanna be a macho man.

Utah AG Mark Shurtleff is feeling his oats these days on his Twitter feed.  Fresh off presiding over the firing squad execution of an inmate on death row, he’s got some swagger in his step.

So watch out, college football powers-that-be.

Hey BCS & NCAA – if you think the recent conference realignment will avoid an antitrust lawsuit – THINK AGAIN! #twackle

First off – and for the umpteenth thousandth time – the NCAA has nothing to do with the BCS.  You’d think someone in Shurtleff’s position would know that.

But secondly, that link is to a piece that’s almost a year old now.  If you’re gonna file the lawsuit, man, quit talking about it and just do it.   Or, in the immortal words of Tuco…

When you have to shoot…Shoot! Don’t talk.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery