Daily Archives: September 27, 2011

Random bits of Dawgly goodness

Have there been any signs of progress out of this year’s team?  You be the judge:

  • David Ching notes that Georgia is seeing steadily improving results out of the no-huddle offense.

The Bulldogs ran 83 plays two weeks ago against Coastal Carolina and 82 last Saturday against Ole Miss. Those are the two highest play totals for a Georgia offense since the Bulldogs needed 84 plays to beat Purdue in overtime in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2004. One must go back another several weeks — to a Nov. 22, 2003, win against Kentucky, when the Bulldogs also ran 84 plays — to find a game where Georgia totaled more offensive snaps in regulation…

It didn’t work particularly well against Boise State in the opener, when the Bulldogs gained 373 yards in a 35-21 loss, but they have since gained 436 yards against South Carolina, 470 against Coastal Carolina and 475 against Ole Miss.

… third-down defense, where Georgia has gone from worst to almost first in the Southeastern Conference.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham worked this offseason on turning that around after the Bulldogs ranked 79th in the nation last year on third downs, when opponents converted 41.9 percent of the time.

Georgia now stands fifth in the country. Opponents are getting past the first down marker at just a 25 percent clip.

  • And on the strength and conditioning front,  Georgia’s starting offensive line played every one of those 82 snaps against Ole Miss.


UPDATE:  UGACory has more data on defensive improvement.



Filed under Georgia Football

Grandma drinking tricks

This seems to be the latest fad breaking out at pregame tailgates.

First, a couple of old ladies at a Michigan game shotgun brews:

Then, not to be outdone, here’s one doing a keg stand at LSU:

I don’t know about you, but that makes me proud to be an American.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

The root of all evil

I can’t say I’m totally unsympathetic to the point Sally Jenkins makes in this piece of hers blaming college football’s current state of affairs on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the NCAA v. Oklahoma Board of Regents antitrust case.

… It’s a rich irony that Oklahoma is sweating the chaos caused by TV money, given that it set the chaos in motion in the first place. In 1984, Oklahoma, joined by Georgia, sought to break NCAA control over college football by suing all the way to the highest court for the right to negotiate its own TV deals, and won.

Citing restraint of trade, the court stripped the NCAA of much of its centralized power. A quarter-century later, the Big 12 has been weakened, the entire college football structure destabilized, and Oklahoma is threatened because Texas, with its powerful Longhorn Network deal, is acting so rapaciously, running “roughshod” and making its own rules. Well, where do you think Texas got the idea? It’s pretty entertaining that Oklahoma, which asked for this landscape, is crying for some sort of protection from it.

The problem is that her analysis grows strained (as she, to her credit, recognizes), mainly because the NCAA has been no bastion of virtue itself.  How can you not laugh at loud at Mark Emmert’s hypocrisy in calling out the conferences for the latest round of the expansion shuffle?

“People today have greater doubt, greater concern about what we stand for and why we do what we do,” said Emmert. “And that is a huge problem for us.”

“The specter of the past couple weeks of conference realignment has not been a healthy thing. The world’s convinced that’s all we care about…that all this is about money. I didn’t read many of us stepping up and saying that this will work really well for student-athletes because we’ll do X, we’ll do Y, it will create more resources, it will help us stabilize our programs.

“It was all about the deal.”

This, coming from the man who recently presided over a process of exploring the expansion of the NCAA men’s basketball tourney to 96 teams.  And let’s not forget that the reason they didn’t wind up there was that they couldn’t find a broadcast partner willing to pony up the necessary bucks.  So he can spare me the crocodile tears over the poor, poor student-athlete.

But returning to Jenkins’ article, that’s not the only flaw in her reasoning.  As a fan, I like – no, make that love – what the Supreme Court’s decision ushered in.  In terms of access to the sport, we’ve never had it so good (except for being exposed to Craig James twice a week).  And the reality is that somebody is going to make a buck off of our passion.  Jenkins doesn’t really have a good answer to that.

If Jenkins’ admiration for Justice White’s advice were to be followed,

If it’s okay to restrict athletes from making money for playing on TV for ethical reasons, then surely we should restrict the universities that rake in multimillions, he wrote. Remove restrictions, and “unlimited [TV] appearances by a few schools would inevitably give them an insuperable advantage over all others and in the end defeat any efforts to maintain a system of athletic competition among amateurs who measure up to college scholastic requirements.”

… the result would be that either we’d get to watch fewer games, or more money would stay in ESPN’s pocket.  I don’t see either of those as a win.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

ESPN: what is this “Longhorn Network” you speak of?

So this is what corporate amnesia sounds like.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Kiffin watch: the gift that keeps on giving

Just when you thought it was safe to close the doors for good on the Laner, Vol fans, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson shows up.

An assistant coach during Lane Kiffin’s tenure at the University of Tennessee wired $1,500 to a talent scout in July 2009, funding the airfare for an unofficial recruiting trip by then five-star prospect Lache Seastrunk and his mother, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

In an apparent NCAA violation, then-Volunteers secondary coach Willie Mack Garza sent the money to one-time scout Will Lyles, who had paid for plane tickets for Seastrunk and his mother Evelyn. Garza, who joined Kiffin’s staff at USC in 2010, stepped down from his position with the Trojans in September citing “some personal issues unrelated to USC that I need to address.” His resignation came shortly after Lyles informed NCAA investigators in August of the transaction. Lyles said NCAA investigators were conducting a wide-ranging look into Tennessee recruiting practices.

Prepare to hear Junior say this was not part of the plan.  Although it sounds like Seastrunk’s mom begs to differ.

“Whatever undercover dirty stuff that they’re doing, I’m pretty sure that Willie Lyles is not the only person. He’s just the only one that’s been caught. This is something that they’ve been doing forever.”


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting

SEC, rivalries über alles.

After reading McGarity’s comments about the SEC’s scheduling plans for a 13-school conference, I think if they can devise something that threads the needle between two major considerations, somebody should be in line to win a Nobel Prize in mathematics:

– McGarity reiterated that certain rivalries, such as Georgia-Auburn, will receive a strong push to be retained. He also cited Tennessee-Alabama

“You’ll probably see several A.D.s that will think it’s very important to preserve several long-standing games,” he said. “You’ve got a handful of games there that date back so many years. There’s a definite hope that those games are preserved.”

– Don’t look for a ninth conference game to simply be added to the 2012 schedule. McGarity pointed out that Georgia’s non-conference schedule is filled through 2014.

“You would end up getting out of contracts,” McGarity said. “But I think the eight-game model is probably the one that everybody is comfortable with. But who knows, we haven’t even discussed it yet. We’re not sure what will be on the table to discuss until we meet as a group.”

Honestly, I don’t think they can reconcile the two.  And if they can’t, I know which of the two should matter more.  Excuse me, does matter more.  Unfortunately, my guess is that when push comes to shove, the ADs won’t agree with me.

Even a soulless robot like Nick Saban knows that preserving rivalries is good for the conference.

… Saban only seemed to have one strong feeling on the subject.

“I just hope that the integrity of the rivalries that we have in our league do not get impaired by what’s happening,” he said.

As for that concern about breaking contracts with Directional State A&M, isn’t that what all the new money coming from the “look-in” on the TV contracts should be for?


Filed under SEC Football