Daily Archives: November 8, 2010

Zen and the art of quarterback recruiting

Dan Mullen on the NCAA’s investigation into Cam Newton’s recruitment:

“The truth of the situation is, the people that need to know the truth, know the truth.”

That’s some righteous shit there, dude.  Truth.


Filed under The NCAA

Feinstein, stepping back from the Brink

Funny thing – I’m reading John Feinstein’s latest anti-BCS screed and it doesn’t drive me nearly as crazy as he usually does.  It’s not because he doesn’t trot out some of his tried and true themes – “This isn’t about fairness or doing what’s right. It’s about money, ratings and taking care of the big boys and the BCS Presidents who the ESPN suits do business with nowadays.” – or that he indulges in some ESPN conspiracy theory talk (welcome to the party, John).

Then it suddenly hits me what’s not there.  He’s managed to write an attack on the BCS without advocating an extended playoff.  And that makes all the difference in the world.  In 2010, you’ve got a season in which four teams can make legitimate arguments that each deserves a clear shot at a national title.  You don’t need a sixteen-school playoff to settle that debate.  How hard is that to grasp?  For once, not too.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

A passing thought

Michael Elkon this morning has a minor quibble:

It drives me crazy that college stats count sacks against the rushing game as opposed to the passing game.  This is one area in which college should mimic the NFL.

Maybe, but one difference I see between the college and pro games is that at the lower level, quarterbacks do a lot more, you know… running.  If you’ve got a dual-threat quarterback who gets taken down for a loss while doing his dual-threat thing, there are times when it’s hard to tell whether he took the hit running or throwing.  So with a rule change, either the stat keepers would have to divine the intent of the play and assign the loss accordingly, or you’d see some rushing losses attributed to passing yardage.  I’m not sure how much of an improvement that would be over the present level of inaccuracy.

None of this is particularly earth shattering, but if you can’t nitpick on the Intertubes, where can you?


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

Fun with numbers, SEC edition

This should be taken as little more than a harmless exercise, but just for giggles, I thought I’d take the conference statistical rankings for the fourteen categories the SEC tracks at page 10 of its stats site and rank the teams by their composite average.

The results by team, with average:

  1. Georgia, 4.79
  2. Auburn, 5.00
  3. LSU, 5.21
  4. Alabama, 5.29
  5. Florida, 5.43
  6. Arkansas, 5.50
  7. Mississippi State, 5.86
  8. Mississippi, 6.00
  9. South Carolina, 6.71
  10. Kentucky, 7.57
  11. Tennessee, 9.29
  12. Vanderbilt, 9.93

That order needs to be taken with a grain of salt, to some extent, if for no other reason than rankings like that don’t take into account how much a team dominates a particular group, such as Auburn, which is a very strong first in three of the four offensive categories the SEC tracks.

Still, it’s interesting, no?  One reason Georgia makes a good showing is because the Dawgs aren’t bad in any category.  Georgia is the only team in the conference that doesn’t have a ranking of tenth or worse in any of the fourteen stats tracked.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

First thoughts on Auburn

So, Georgia heads to the Plains this Saturday, struggling to qualify for a bowl while Auburn looks to clinch the SEC West.

That’s just how we all foresaw things back in early August, right?

Right now, I can’t help but think about how Ted Roof, of all people, approaches his game plan.  He’s got the luxury of the best player in the country running Gus Malzahn’s offense to perfection.  That’s a helluva margin for error.  He’s also got one of the top candidates – if not the top candidate – for SEC defensive player of the year in his arsenal.  Yes, his secondary is suspect and his linebacking corps lacks depth.  But it seems to me that he shouldn’t care about that overly much.

If I’m Roof, I’m going to blitz.  I’m going to blitz some more after that.  And then I’d blitz even more.  Georgia’s offensive line has struggled all season when it’s had to deal with that.  Even Idaho State was able to pressure the Dawgs’ offense by sending more than the line could block last week.

Sure, A.J. could have a big game.  But in the big picture, Roof shouldn’t care if he gets 150+ yards.  And Aaron Murray may get going and throw for 300+ yards as we saw in Jacksonville against a better defense than Roof’s (hopefully without the interceptions, though).  That shouldn’t matter to Roof either.

All Ted Roof has to worry about is getting one more stop than Todd Grantham does.  If Auburn comes out on top of a 52-45 score, mission accomplished.  If blitzing slows Georgia’s running game down and throws Aaron Murray’s timing off for a key series, that may be all Roof needs for the win.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

My Week Ten Mumme Poll ballot

  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • Boise State
  • LSU
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma State
  • Oregon
  • Stanford
  • TCU
  • Wisconsin


  • Picking a top seven was a pretty effortless exercise.  My last three (OSU, Wisky and ‘Bama) took some work, though.  I can’t imagine sitting around trying to figure out which is the twenty-third best team in the country at this moment.
  • Not that it matters here, but I don’t see Auburn as the second best team in the country.
  • Do they still play quality football in the Big East and ACC?  I can’t remember.
  • Just missing the cut:  Arizona, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State.
  • Time spent drafting ballot:  seventeen minutes.


Filed under Mumme Poll

SEC Power Poll, Week Ten

My poll chews grass, baby.

  1. Auburn. Who’da thunk it would be this team from Alabama that would be looking at wrapping up the West in Week 11?
  2. LSU. All I can come up with about the Hat is what Uryenes said to King Arthur in Excalibur“I am your humble knight, and I swear allegiance to the courage in your veins. So strong it is, its source must be Uther Pendragon’s. I doubt you no more!” Well, at least until the next clock mismanagement adventure.
  4. Arkansas. Okay, that was an impressive win.
  5. Mississippi State. Once again, the bye week bounce rears its head with a vengeance.
  6. Florida. The Gators look to be getting their second wind, just in time to earn a trip to Atlanta where they’ll get beaten.
  7. South Carolina. In Columbia, the saying goes “death, taxes and November”.
  8. Georgia. Fighting for bowl eligibility in Week 11 is not how the story was supposed to go this season.
  9. Kentucky. Vanderbilt and Tennessee in their last two games – if the ‘Cats can’t run the table in November this season, when will they ever?
  10. Mississippi. One of the two scalps from the West which the East claims this season is Vandy’s win over Ole Miss.  One thing that would make the season more embarrassing would be a loss to Tennessee.
  11. Tennessee. We’ve reached the annual weak sisters part of the Vol schedule.  Can they win out as usual?
  12. Vanderbilt. En route to getting waxed by Florida (109 yards of total offense!), word gets out to the media that Vandy is negotiating a new contract with Robbie Caldwell.  America is a great country.


Filed under SEC Football