This is such a good line, I’m surprised I’ve never heard it before:
… with Arizona State, who’s mascot looks like a pedophile on Halloween. Check it out.
Again, I’m going to dispense with a formal preview here, as you can find plenty of them throughout the Dawgosphere. I’ll settle for tossing out a few things and letting you figure out what sticks.
- If Vegas is any judge, nobody has a really good handle on what’s going to happen tomorrow. Arkansas comes in as the 12th ranked team in the country, tenth in total offense, fourth in total defense… and is a two-point underdog to an unranked Georgia squad.
- One reason for that is that it’s hard to figure out how much of the Hogs’ gaudy stats are a mirage. Put it this way: TCU played Tennessee Tech the week after Arkansas did, scored eighteen more points, gave up 30 less yards on defense and had their coach apologize to Watson Brown after the game for the lopsided result.
- It sounds like Caleb King’s ankle is still an issue.
- Speaking of which, is Carlton Thomas an agoraphobe? Because otherwise, I don’t understand why the coaches don’t scheme to get him the ball out in space.
- Another reason to wonder about Arkansas’ chances is that, as Jody points out, Arkansas under Petrino has won exactly one game in an opponent’s stadium.
- I know there’s a certain element that doesn’t want to hear this, but the season won’t end with a Georgia loss tomorrow. South Carolina has a tough row left to hoe schedulewise and Florida has to go on the road to play Alabama. Jax could still be the scene where the SEC East gets decided. As John Pennington notes, “(n)o one wants to start in an 0-2 hole, but one out of every three teams to have reached the SEC title game has had two league losses or more.”
- That being said, a win tomorrow would be huge from a momentum standpoint: “If the Bulldogs can win Saturday at home, it’s very possible that they could be 7-1 heading into that game against Florida. Their next five opponents are Mississippi State, Colorado, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, all games in which Georgia figures to be the favorite.”
- Regression to the mean watch: Georgia, last in the conference in 2009 in turnover margin, now stands fourth at +1 per game, while Arkansas, second in the conference last season in that, currently ranks twelfth at minus-2 pg. That could be important tomorrow. (Georgia’s turnover margin was minus-2 in last year’s Arkansas game.)
- If Arkansas comes out and plays a bunch in a three-wide, one-back set, it’ll be interesting to see what Georgia’s nickel package looks like – particularly as it pertains to how much Kwame Geathers sees the field.
If you were Boise State or the Mountain West Conference and hired a bunch of lawyers/lobbyists who didn’t know jack shit about college athletics to draft a report proving that a 16-team playoff would enhance D-1 football’s regular season, this is pretty much what you’d get.
Despite the dramatic tone, it’s unlikely to win many new hearts and minds on either side of the debate. Here are a few things I found less than convincing:
- Saying that the regular season is meaningful isn’t the same thing as saying that every game in the regular season is meaningful. The latter is a functional impossibility. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to understand the difference between a meeting of North Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette and the 2007 West Virginia-Pittsburgh game that knocked the Mountaineers out of their shot at a national title game.
- On the flip side, you’ve got to love the logic of arguing that a playoff will make the regular season more relevant because more teams are involved in the playoff hunt. Taking that to its logical conclusion would mean that a postseason composed of every team in Division 1 would create the most valuable regular season possible. (Notice that the authors are silent about bracket creep, though.)
- Nor is there any explanation about how a playoff format that grants an AQ slot to the Sun Belt winner, yet denies any place at all to the third best team in the SEC (and at least one second place team from a BCS conference) enhances the value of the regular season.
- “Even a cursory analysis would tell you that a college football playoff would not be similar to the college basketball tournament with respect to impact on the regular season.” Implicit in that argument is the acknowledgement that March Madness has a negative effect on the basketball regular season.
- The authors ignore the fact that the pool of eligible basketball programs is roughly three times the size of the D-1 football pool, making a 16-team football tourney the rough equivalent of a 48-team basketball playoff. Yes, that’s a smaller number than the current size of the tournament, but how many of those teams seeded twelfth or lower have any realistic expectation of making the Final Four anyway? (For that matter, how many teams seeded eighth or lower do?)
- The Playoff Money Fairy makes an appearance: “With these universities receiving far more revenue under a playoff (as they generally will share the revenues earned by other teams from their conference who reach the playoffs), they will have even more money to ensure that they can continue to, in effect, subsidize such bowls.” No mention is made of what impact an extended postseason will have on regular season broadcast revenues. If you are a member of the Big Ten or the SEC, that’s kind of a big concern. (Of course, if you’re a client of Arent Fox, that’s not exactly the case.)
Like I said, it’s none too compelling. I can think of three reasons to support an extended football postseason: (1) you like upsets; (2) you like brackets; (3) you support a program that doesn’t make enough money from regular season college football. (I think we know where Arent Fox falls among those.) Notice I didn’t include making the regular season more meaningful there.
Fill up, while we wait to see if the Green appeal gets postponed again.
- Florida-Tennessee is my #1 meteor game and forever will be, but this is almost enough to get me to root for Florida. I said almost.
- Georgia ranks first in the SEC in fewest penalty yardage with an average of 27.5 yards per game. I told you that stat doesn’t mean much.
- Along with everything else on their plate, Georgia’s coaches try to figure out how to involve the tight ends more in the offense.
- Chris Low moves up a couple of notches in my book with a Lewis Grizzard reference.
- If Florida’s arrest record were a member of the media, it would be so banished to Seat 37F.
- There was a big summit on agent issues in college football this week. Too bad they have no clue about how to deal with this problem.
- Georgia has its fair share of players in the NFL.
- Paul hints at something in this post that I’ve wondered about: how much does Georgia Tech miss Giff Smith?
A little gallows humor from Coach Lakatos:
… Georgia’s studying of the Arkansas offense has not included watching video from last season’s shootout. Grantham said he saw some of that tape when he took over in January for the purpose of evaluating the returning players.
Asked why he never looked at the tape, Lakatos joked, “Get depressed, maybe? I don’t know.”