Daily Archives: April 9, 2011

Georgia’s bumper crop of d-linemen

Jamie Newberg sees top defensive linemen popping up all over the state.  What’s kind of interesting is what a couple of high school coaches have to say about why that’s happening.

… But today there are more in the trenches than ever. Stephenson High coach Ron Gartrell believes that he’s seeing more big men now than in years past because more are getting the opportunity to play at an earlier age. In the past few years, Pop Warner and little league football programs have lifted a weight ban in metro Atlanta counties like DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett, just to name a few. No longer are there weight limits on the different levels. It used to be that if you weighed too much, you couldn’t play. Now, everyone can play.

“Kids seem to be getting bigger and more athletic, and I think a lot of it has to do with the park rules. There used to be a weight limit, so naturally the bigger kids couldn’t play football until they reached eighth or ninth grade,” Gartrell said. “Now those kids can play at a young age and learn the game, so when they get to high school, they are further advanced than before. You don’t have to talk them into coming out and playing football for the first time.”

But that’s not the only reason for the influx of big defensive linemen.

“Coaches starting recruiting kids off the basketball court for the spread offense. We did that for defensive reasons as well,” said Grayson High football coach Mickey Conn. “There are a lot of basketball players that are great athletes that are not getting to 6-7 and 6-8. They know their basketball days are soon coming to an end. They are big and athletic and they make great defensive linemen. The media has played a part as well because much is made of being a great end or tackle. And it’s these guys that are more than just hole pluggers. They are athletic and getting in the backfield, getting sacks and getting a lot of attention.”

That should make Garner and Grantham happier.



Filed under Recruiting

Filling the hot seat after it’s cooled.

I’m not predicting Mark Richt’s fate here, but something to consider if 2011 goes south in a very bad way is how McGarity goes about choosing a successor.  It’s a decision that most Richt haters and change-worshipers brush off, but as this chart by the estimable Bill Connelly demonstrates, where you shop for the replacement matters big time.

Two-year change at BCS Conferences Based on Coaching Type
Coaching Type N 1st Yr
Avg. Two-Yr
Applicable 2010 Teams
College Assistant 30 -0.8% +1.4% Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt
BCS Conf. Coach 18 +0.5% +5.4% Notre Dame, Texas Tech, USC
Non-BCS Conf. Coach 12 -0.8% +2.3% Cincinnati, Kansas, South Florida, Tennessee
Fired BCS Conf. Coach 5 +2.0% -1.1%
NFL 7 -7.6% -4.8%
FCS Coach 4 -5.0% -16.0% Virginia
Grand Total 76 -1.2% +0.8%

It’s pretty much a no-brainer to go after a successful college head coach.  Keep that in mind the next time you see a wish list circulate.


Filed under Georgia Football

Statistics? We don’t need no stinkin’ statistics.

Matt Hinton makes the case for a strong correlation between passer efficiency and winning.

The top eight teams in the nation in terms of pass efficiency started arguably the eight best quarterbacks, and (with the notable exception of Oregon) were arguably the eight best teams, period:

1. Auburn (Cam Newton). 14-0, SEC champion, BCS Championship, No. 1 in final AP poll.
2. Boise State (Kellen Moore). 12-1, WAC co-champion, No. 10 in final AP poll.
3. Stanford (Andrew Luck). 12-1, Orange Bowl, No. 3 in final AP poll.
4. Wisconsin (Scott Tolzien). 11-2, Big Ten co-champion, Rose Bowl, No. 7 in final AP poll.
5. Alabama (Greg McElroy). 10-3, No. 9 in final AP poll.
6. TCU (Andy Dalton). 13-0, Mountain West champion, Rose Bowl, No. 2 in final AP poll.
7. Arkansas (Ryan Mallett). 10-3, Sugar Bowl, No. 12 in final AP poll.
8. Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor). 12-1, Big Ten co-champion, Sugar Bowl, No. 5 in final AP poll.

Three more schools that played in BCS games finished in the top 25 in passer efficiency.  It’s no wonder that it leads Hinton to conclude

… In other words, pass efficiency is the statistic that may best reflect not only a good quarterback but a good offense that keeps in position to succeed as a result of its overall balance. Somewhere in that idea is the secret sweet spot in the age of the postmodern offense: Yes, you have to be able to throw, but it’s still a matter of quality over quantity.

Well, except at one place.

… Sixteen of the top 20 teams in terms of pass efficiency rating finished with at least 10 wins, significantly more than any in any other major stat category. Only one of the top-20 pass efficiency teams (Georgia, at 6-7) finished worse than three games over .500… [Emphasis added.]

I keep saying it – once you get past the disappointment, all that’s left from the smoking crater of last year’s season is a genuine sense of puzzlement about how things turned out so badly.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Will Muschamp, media suck-up

The Seat 37F era is officially dead.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

All in good fun

I think it’s fair to say the coaches have decided not to take this year’s G-Day game too seriously.

–Richt said the April 16 G-Day game will have a new format.

Offensive and defensive captains on the red and black teams will pick sides.

“We’re going to let the players choose teams,” Richt said.

The previous format was the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 2 defense and vice versa.

Now a first-team center might line up next to a second-team guard.

The teams will be picked on Monday, Richt said.

Shades of eighth grade dodgeball.  If nothing else, we’ll find out who the Dawgs’ version of the fat kid with glasses is.


Filed under Georgia Football