Daily Archives: April 18, 2011

Does the NCAA have a sense of humor?

I just received this exciting offer from the NCAA in my e-mail inbox.

The 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Regional Rounds are coming to Atlanta, GA March 23 & 25, 2012 hosted by Georgia Tech University and held at the Georgia Dome! You have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public.  [Emphasis added.]

I’d like to think that was done on purpose.  It’s the romantic in me.

You’d better look quickly.  I’m guessing that won’t be up for very long.


UPDATE:  They’ve resent the e-mail with the word “University” omitted.  I guess that shoots down my sense of humor theory.



Filed under Georgia Tech Football, The NCAA

“It was as if he descended from the clouds of heaven.”

Oh.  My.  Gawd.

My guess is that the reaction of most ‘Bama fans hearing that was “whut you mean ‘as if?'”.


Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama

Your vanilla tastes different from my vanilla.

If you’re looking for a summary of Boise State’s spring game, there’s a good one at OBNUG.

Don’t you just hate when this happens?

… The Broncos don’t typically show much in the way of new strategies and formations at their scrimmages, but they did have some interesting wrinkles in tonight’s game. Most we’ve seen before, but it’s good to know they’re still part of the gameplan. Here are the strategies I noticed:

  • The pistol formation.
  • The 3-3-5 defense with Shea McClellin as a stand-up linebacker next to Tyrone Crawford. When McClellin blitzed, that made for a DE-DE-DT-DT alignment up front, which would be an interesting twist.
  • Hurry-up offense.
  • Blitzing nickelbacks. The Bronco defense blitzed a lot tonight, and I’d say that at least half the time the blitz came from the nickel.
  • Read option. The backup quarterbacks ran this fairly often.
  • Traditional option. Again, these plays were reserved for Southwick and Hedrick.
  • Billy Winn at defensive end. This may have just been Winn goofing around, but he was a terror at DE.
  • “Tackle Over” formation. In other words, three offensive lineman on one side of the center, one lineman on the other side.
  • 1-5-5 defense. The Broncos had one defensive lineman in a three-point stance and the rest of the front six/seven buzzing around the line of scrimmage.

I was thinking much the same thing as I watched Carlton Thomas bounce off two of his interior linemen last Saturday.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Cracking the case, or, “I’m with stupid”

The moron quotient on the Butts-Mehre thefts keeps going up.

… Asked how the suspects were nabbed, Williamson said, “good investigation, people’s involvement and Facebook is always a big help.”

Next time, why not just hang a sign around your necks that says “We did it”?

I still say it’s even money Bonner winds up playing ball at an SEC school before it’s all said and done.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

“What the hell were you thinking?”

Tennessee donors start asking the question the rest of us have wondered about for two years.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Now is the offseason of our discontent.

With the end of spring football, we hit the dreaded time for the college football blogger, the real offseason.  No National Signing Day to agonize over.  No coaching changes to analyze.  No practice reports to speculate about.  What we’ve got to look forward to until August are posts about past times, statistics (guilty!), occasional coach sightings and the usual pastiche of scooter and drinking incidents in Athens.

No wonder the conference realignment story took off like wildfire last year.

I’m hoping there’s gonna be something better than that to consider this go ’round, but my fear is that the NCAA is going to be the story of the summer, both about who and what are being investigated/sanctioned and in terms of how ineptly the NCAA goes about its business.  That’s almost too depressing to contemplate, as much as some of you would like to see certain punishments administered.

So I thought I’d ask – what, if anything, would you like to see taken up at GTP over the next few months?  Give me some food for thought and I’ll chew on it.


Filed under GTP Stuff

2010 SEC SDPI: defense doesn’t always win championships.

Matt Melton’s posted his SDPI analysis of the 2010 SEC season.  It’s one of the few statistical looks at Georgia which doesn’t leave me scratching my head.

Yup, middle-of-the-pack offense plus middle-of-the-pack defense equals mediocrity.

Much of what’s there is more a confirmation of what we knew – the West was the better division, by far; Mississippi State was the conference overachiever; Vanderbilt’s season defined “epic suck” – but there’s one interesting thing I found that surprised me.  Auburn won a national title without being dominant statistically in the conference.  To get an idea of what I mean by that, check out Matt’s results from the prior season.

Auburn’s 2010 SDPI would have only been fourth-best in 2009, and it would have been considerably behind the top two teams.

Here’s the picture from 2008.

Again, there are two teams which put together far superior SDPI numbers to Auburn’s 2010 result.

The difference is with the defense.  In the two seasons before 2010, the top teams (Florida and Alabama, in both cases) sported defensive rankings which were no lower than third in the conference.  Auburn’s 2010 defensive SDPI ranked seventh in the SEC.

Don’t get me wrong, Auburn’s number is certainly above average.  It’s not like the Tigers were awful, of course.  But you’d expect a team that went undefeated through the nation’s toughest football conference regular season, won the SECCG and capped the season by winning the BCS title game to have stood out a little more strongly.  As it turned out, Auburn didn’t even have the best SDPI in the conference.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

The NCAA, markets and the law of unintended consequences

Last week, I posted about how the relaxation of a NCAA requirement for bowl eligibility was a major factor in the rise of FCS schools appearing on D-1 schools’ schedules over the past few seasons.  The market ain’t dumb, even if some shoppers may be.

Now comes a post from John Infante that looks at what might spring up as a result of three unrelated proposals being considered by the NCAA.  They are:

  • Proposal 2010-52, which allows a student athlete to transfer and be immediately eligible for competition without seeking a waiver if certain conditions are met.
  • Proposal 2010-59-C , which requires that football student-athletes earn 9 credits (8 for quarter schools) in the fall term – an increase from the current requirement of 6 credits.
  • Proposal 2010-78, which allows a school that has used all of its 85 football scholarships for the year to replace a student-athlete who graduates or has already graduated and finishes his eligibility in the middle of the year with an incoming prospect.

Add them all up, and you can see where that could be headed faster than Nick Saban can say “Aiiight?”.  As Infante puts it,

… The end result could be increased transfer movement in football. If the higher academic standards really take hold, it may become the norm for football student-athletes to graduate in 3-3.5 years. That means more student-athletes eligible to transfer and play immediately, and more student-athletes eligible to be replaced at the midyear with incoming prospects. That could mean a lively market for experienced student-athletes with one or two years of eligibility left who are no longer in the plans for their current football program.

Call it a kindler, gentler version of oversigning since these student-athletes will have degrees and the opportunity to play somewhere else. Call it a retention non-crisis since they will have earned full APR points by graduating and improve the APR scores of the new school as well.

That sounds like a win-win in my book.  The school reaps the rewards of the kid succeeding academically and having an additional roster slot to fill while the student-athlete has a degree and the opportunity to go to a program that wants to use his skills on the playing field.

Well, except there’s that pesky problem of too much freedom.  Nick Saban may be happy to find that open roster spot, but his joy may be tempered by the departing youngster contemplating enrolling at a rival program.  Or worse, what if the light bulb goes off and multiple players realize that this gives them the opportunity to be recruited all over again (what Infante calls a “transfer market”)?  Most coaches – certainly most successful coaches – are control freaks.  A transfer market isn’t likely to be a development they welcome.

This gets back to a question I continue to raise about oversigning:  is it bad for the players, or bad for competitive balance?  (In this context, Infante asks, “Do we want to avoid expanded free agency and player movement in college sports if there isn’t an academic casualty as well?”)  If this turned out to be a development that is good for student-athletes, but objectionable for coaches, how long do you think it would be allowed to stand?


Filed under College Football, The NCAA