Daily Archives: May 18, 2011

Mike Slive intends to talk oversigning in Destin.

Well, well, well.  Color me surprised by this news.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has prepared legislation that involves the practice of over-signing – a hot-button issue this year around the league. And Slive has a view on it, and hopes the legislation passes.

Slive won’t tip his hand as to the specifics, but it sounds more wide-ranging than not.

… The package, as Slive described it, involves not only over-signing, but all issues relating to what he called “roster management.”

“In other words, it’s more than just the question of over-signing or grayshirting,” Slive said. “It’s a question of over-signing, grayshirting, early admissions, summer school admission. We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues, that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion. So then it will be an important discussion item in Destin.”

“Discussion item” is a pretty clear indication that what he intends to pitch is simply a starting point, and not a final vote on rules changes, but it’s still more than I expected from him.  I imagine the pushback from certain quarters will be ferocious.

12 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Where have you gone, Woody Widenhofer?

If you measure a coach’s longevity by the number of his peers who’ve passed through during his tenure, Mark Richt has had a damned long career.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Emmert to Varney: talk to the hand.

The NCAA prez politely suggests that DOJ is barking up the wrong tree.

The “cc:  Mr. Bill Hancock” adds a nice touch, though.

12 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery, The NCAA

You’ve got to fight for your right to no-huddle.

Making it up as they go along – it’s one thing I cherish about SEC officiating.

From the Macon Telegraph, June 3, 2004:

Notebook: UGA’s Richt rebuffed in no-huddle bid

Georgia football coach Mark Richt continued the two-year fight for his no-huddle offense this week at the SEC Meetings.

“He and I talked about it for the last three hours,” Bobby Gaston, the league’s director of officials, said Friday afternoon on the second day of the meetings at the Sandestin Hilton.

Since coming to Georgia, Richt has all but ditched the fast break offense he made famous at Florida State because, he says, the league’s officials don’t allow him to go fast enough to make it worthwhile. SEC officials are required to pause for 12-14 seconds between each play, and that’s not going to change despite Richt’s arguments, Gaston said.

“He doesn’t agree with it, but he knows what we’re doing,” Gaston said.

The mandatory pause is to allow the officiating crew to get in position, Gaston said. Richt argued that the officials should put the ball in play as soon as they are set, regardless of how much time has elapsed, but Gaston said that would provide the offense an unfair advantage.

“Mark Richt would eat their lunch,” he said. “He would go straight to the ball and snap it. He’d get in 100 plays. We have about half the coaches who think we go too fast and about half who think we go too slow so we must be in about the right spot.”

Fast forward to now and Ellis Johnson.

… Johnson said, “One thing that has gotten into it that I’ve been pretty outspoken, that I really think is starting to deteriorate some of college football is the hurry up offenses.  There is nothing wrong a pace and speeding up the play on the operation side. I get that.”

“But what’s happening now with the rules is that you can snap it as soon as you want to or you can sit on it for 40 seconds, and there is no in-between.”

“Canadian ball is very fast-paced, but the offense can’t sit there all day long.  They have a 20 second limit. The NFL cut it out with Buffalo in the 90’s, they kind of put some cold water on it a little bit with the Colts not too many years ago.  What they realized is they’re taking the game of football and turning it into soccer or lacrosse.  There’s nothing wrong with those sports, but that’s not football.”

“What it’s about now is who can snap the football before the other team lines up.  You can’t hardly get your players on and off the field.  You can’t get your signals in and out.  It’s become who has the best signal system or verbiage system. “

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UPDATE:  Jerry Hinnen takes umbrage with Johnson’s comments.

24 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Look at me.

According to Jim Tressel’s lawyer, the NCAA Committee on Infractions won’t care as much about what Tressel did as it will about his body language.  Seriously.

“The exchanges that matter most when it comes to coaches who are the subject of a serious inquiry like this are the ones that come directly between the committee and the coach, not the exchanges from the committee to the coach’s lawyer,” Marsh said. “In fact, they will get tired pretty quick of hearing too much from the lawyer, and they will tell you. They might even say to the lawyer, ‘Shut up and stand down.’”

Marsh said the real value in such hearings is when committee members look into a coach’s eyes when he answers questions that cut to the heart…

Gee.  And I thought it was all about claiming you didn’t know what had happened.

8 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Georgia, offseason 2011: optimist or pessimist?

I have to admit I didn’t see this coming:  Athlon Magazine picks Georgia to win the SEC East in 2011.  Athlon isn’t alone in dispensing the preseason optimism, either.

I can’t say I’m ready to jump aboard the bandwagon, but it might be a useful exercise to lay out where I think the pluses and minuses of the program are at the moment, so here goes.

What I like:

  • Kicking game.  Butler and Walsh are so good, they tend to get overlooked.  Boykin is an excellent return man.
  • Aaron Murray.  Bobo’s quarterbacks don’t have sophomore slumps.
  • Defensive front seven.  G-Day convinced me that there’s depth on the d-line and lots of athleticism in the linebacking corps.  And that’s before John Jenkins shows up.
  • Tight ends.  Georgia is absolutely loaded at this position, which is a good thing, considering the wide receivers.
  • O-line starting five.  Again, I saw enough at G-Day to think Friend will be able to cobble together a functional starting line.
  • Year two of the defensive scheme.  I do think we’ll see noticeable improvement due to where they are on Grantham’s learning curve.
  • The schedule.  Yeah, the first two games are huge.  But if Georgia can avoid imploding at the start, it’s really set up for a good run.
  • The state of the SEC East.  Pretty much speaks for itself.

What I’m uncertain about:

  • Secondary.  Until the walking wounded return and we see what the Dream Team brings to the table, it’s hard to say whether this bunch will be good or bad.  A better front seven should help.  I’m thinking we may see more freshmen play here than expected.
  • Running backs.  Ealey’s gone and Crowell’s coming in.  Maybe that’s an upgrade, maybe not.  And don’t forget they’ll be breaking in a new starter at fullback.
  • Mike Bobo’s playcalling.  As I’ve said before, he has it in him to be a very good coordinator.  What he’s lacked is the courage of his convictions.  Maybe A.J.’s departure turns out to be liberating; we’ll know that’s not the case if we see Carlton Thomas run between the tackles on third-and-long.

What gives me the willies:

  • Offensive line depth.  There is none.  Any injury to a starter is a scary prospect right now.
  • Wide receivers.  What I saw at G-Day, outside of Tavarres King, was a pedestrian looking bunch.  This is another area where we might expect some impact from an incoming freshman or two.

I’m choosing to ignore all the happy horse shit talk about S&C and the team’s mindset.   I’ve been burned too many times before buying into that stuff.  (Although, to be fair, maybe some credit is due for Georgia’s zero offseason troubles with the law so far and Richt’s willingness to part with contributing players who may have let their attitudes get in the way.)  They’re going to have to show me right out of the gate against Boise State that they really have turned a corner before I’ll think differently.

Which is not to say it’s not important.  In fact, as Grantham noted, in all seven of the team’s losses last season, the Bulldogs were leading or within one possession during the fourth quarter.  That’s the sign of a team that wasn’t prepared to win, either physically or mentally.  My lists have more positives than negatives right now, but if this year’s team can’t ready itself to play a full game consistently from week to week, it’ll wind up being another disappointing season.  And that’ll be on Mark Richt.

Bottom line, I can see Georgia winning as many as eleven regular season games in 2011.  But I can just as easily see another six-win season if things don’t go well at the beginning.  What do y’all think?

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UPDATE:  By the way, Richt reminds us again why we want the man to succeed.

“Georgia is a heck of place, the University of Georgia, the city of Athens. I was at a great place at Florida State, working for the greatest coach in college football. I was not in a hurry to go anywhere unless it was a special place that I wanted to finish my career in.

“Here’s the thing about me: I know a lot of coaches take jobs and maybe know in their mind that if a different job showed up, I would take that one instead. I had a few opportunities to take head jobs along the way at Florida State. But the question always came back to me and to my wife: Is there where you want to live the rest of your life?

“She’s like ‘Why do you ask that?’ I said, ‘Because I’m not going to go to a school thinking in my mind that there may be a better place to go.’ … These young men, they’ve had enough disappointment in their lives, and they’ve had enough people in their lives leave them, enough people that haven’t followed through with what they’ve promised. I just don’t want to be one of those guys.

“So that’s why I’m at Georgia. That’s why I love Georgia and want to spend another 10 years at least.”

We do too, Coach.  Make it happen.

61 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“It’s an amazing stat.”

Tom Dienhart put together a pretty cool article in which he asks a bunch of coaches what they thought was the on-field statistic that gave them the best indication of success.  Here’s what Todd Grantham had to say on that:

“I think points allowed is the No. 1 stat. That is an indication you are a solid defense. After points allowed, you look at total yards because you can say you are good on pass defense but everyone may be running the ball on you. Or the other way around. So I think you have to look at scoring defense first–that is most critical–and then you look at total yards. If you are low in yards, you probably are good in some other areas–third down, red zone, getting turnovers, getting off the field when you have to, those kinds of things. If you give up a lot of plays and don’t stop them, then they will extend drives and they will have more yards over the course of a season.”

In other words, it ain’t rocket science.

Of course, maybe he wanted to avoid a sore subject for Georgia people.  Of the twenty-nine coaches quoted by Dienhart, twenty cited turnover margin as a key for success.  Obviously none of those twenty watched much Georgia football last season.

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UPDATE:  Michael Elkon is disappointed.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Who said anything about a free market?

Jay Christensen, aka The Wiz of Odds, takes an exhaustive look at schools’ bowl expenses and revenues and, not surprisingly for a playoff proponent, finds them wanting.  He enlists noted BCS scold Andrew Zimbalist for support at one point.  Zimbalist’s logic is rather interesting:

… Supporters of the 35-game bowl system argue that the postseason turns a profit. Technically, this is correct, but only because of the BCS, which this season distributed a reported $174.07 million from its five games. Of that amount, 83.4 percent went to the automatic qualifier conferences — the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 10 and Southeastern conferences.

The 30 non-BCS bowl games are, at best, a break-even venture. Without the ticket guarantee, it is likely that half the bowls would not exist.

“[Division I-A] needs a football playoff, just like all other NCAA sports,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College in Mass.

“The bowl games are all a silly extravagance, and, save the BCS cartel, all significant money drains on athletic programs already in the red. The fact that a participating school has to buy up over 300k in tickets to its own game is as clear an indication as you can get that these competitions have no market justification.”

In other words, college football needs to replace the BCS cartel with a larger cartel run by the NCAA.  Antitrust law, ftw!

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“This plan is akin to putting gasoline in the fire hoses.”

If you look at the fan response to the West Virginia athletic director’s rather sensible proposal to sell beer at home football games as a Tea Party-inspired reaction to big government attempting to place restrictions on the people’s freedom to smuggle liquor into public events, the hostility begins to make a certain sense.

Of course, the other possibility is that no sober person really wants to be around a bunch of Mountaineer fans in their native environment.

Loosen up and listen to a little Dwight Yoakam, people.

9 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple