Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Annoying meme of the week

If I had a dollar for every time I heard leading up to last night’s title game that the pressure was on Kentucky and Kansas was glad to be the underdog, I could have bought myself a damned nice dinner.  And now the ladies are doing it, too.

“They have had a great season. They have one thing they want to do, same goal we have. And we’re back to being the underdog. Finally. Now, we can even be more loose, and the pressure is all on them.”

Can we stop with this already?  There’s a reason your team is the underdog, Muffet:  the other one is 39-0.  Underdogs lose more often than not, especially when the opponent is freakin’ good.  Try that pressure on for size.

If flying under the radar with lowered expectations was really the formula for success, Houston Nutt would still be coaching in the SEC.  His reputation made a career out of that nonsense.  The reality check was a bitch.



Filed under General Idiocy

The SEC is one tough neighborhood.

I just took a look at Bill Connelly’s updated 2012 F+ projections (background metrics here) and, Holy Mother of Crap, is the SEC loaded.

  • 1 – Alabama
  • 2 – LSU
  • 7 – Georgia
  • 13 – Florida
  • 14 – Arkansas
  • 15 – South Carolina
  • 16 – Texas A & M
  • 22 – Tennessee
  • 27 – Auburn
  • 30 – Missouri
  • 33 – Vanderbilt
  • 48 – Mississippi State
  • 72 – Ole Miss
  • 83 – Kentucky

That’s ten teams in his top thirty.  No other conference has more than six.  (The SEC has six in the top fifteen.)

Granted, some of those schools look ranked a little too high **cough**Tennessee**cough**.  But still, impressive.

By the way, it’s nice that Georgia misses #1, #2 and #14 off that list.  But the Dawgs take on #13, #15, #22, #27, #30 and #33 from there, along with #26 Georgia Tech.  Seven of the top 33 is nothing to scoff at.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Georgia State moves up.

Maybe I’m overreacting to this, but I don’t see how it’s a welcome development for Georgia Tech.

Georgia State is expected to join the Sun Belt Conference and accept an invitiation from the league as early as Thursday, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Georgia State, which has been in the Colonial Athletic Association since 2005, would join the Sun Belt beginning in the 2013 season.

It’s a great move for the Sun Belt, which gets access to a major media market.  And State can now sell itself as a D-1 program to in state recruits, which gives it a leg up on more established 1-AA programs like Georgia Southern.

But the Panthers become more direct competition in the same town as Tech, and can also recruit the same fertile in state grounds with broader academic standards.  That ain’t good.  And it’ll get worse if Georgia State manages to replace former Jacket head coach Bill Curry with someone more dynamic.


Filed under Georgia State Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Go ahead… indulge yourself.

  • Groo has all the details on Georgia’s new football season parking deck purchase rules.
  • There’s a reason schools direct dial fans about ticket purchases these days.  It works.
  • Brophy drops in on Louisiana Tech’s spring practice to see what Tony Franklin is up to.  Interesting stuff.
  • SOD and Da’Rick:  reunited and it feels so good.
  • Elkon looks at Georgia’s drug policy in the wake of recent news and finds it dumb.  Really dumb.
  • Year2 makes a nice catch on Dennis Dodd’s big announcement about the NCAA’s flailing about on bowl management.
  • Speaking of the NCAA, don’t think schools won’t be watching this development carefully.  $200 million is nothing to sneeze at, if anyone can figure out a clever way to give lip service to amateurism.
  • “I approached him and I knew that I liked him when he told me that he loved SEC football.”  I can think of worse reasons to marry somebody.  (Sensibly, they got hitched in July.)
  • Anytime somebody references the greatest college basketball game of my lifetime in the context of a college football playoff discussion, it’s gonna get a shout out from me.  Schwing!


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The NCAA, Tony Franklin - Misunderstood Genius

And now we return you to “As The Schedule Turns”, already in progress…

Seth Emerson catches up with Larry Templeton, the SEC’s point man on the scheduling front, to get an update on where things stand.  Somewhat surprisingly, there is good news in that the conference seems to have conceded that preserving the historical rivalries is a primary goal.

“I would say that the permanent games are probably as safe as anything that’s on the table,” Templeton said. “I think there is a strong commitment to keep the traditional games in this league. And to do that you have to keep the permanent opponents.”

Whether that’s in response to fans objecting, the network partners pointing out that part of what sells the SEC is tradition, a genuine sense of appreciation for the conference’s history by its presidents (yeah, right) or something else, I can’t say, but I’m grateful nonetheless.  Of course, that begs the question of what scheduling format the conference adopts with that in mind.  And that’s our next surprise:  evidently the nine-game schedule, contrary to what Mike Slive recently indicated, is still in play.

… Interestingly, Templeton said a nine-game schedule isn’t officially off the table yet.

“It was on the table and is still technically on the table. There have been no votes to say this won’t happen,” Templeton said. “There are some institutions that have some interest (in nine SEC games). I don’t have a feel that it’s strong enough to place in there. But I’ve been in enough A.D.’s meetings where that pendelum [sic] changes from one to the other.”

Now clearly there’s some serious bullshit being shoveled here.  First of all, for Slive and Templeton to appear not to be on the same page is probably not an accident.  There is some maneuvering going on, most likely over money, and the suits are trying to leave themselves some wiggle room.  It’s not just about the new TV contracts, either.

… That’s not to say anyone should take away that a nine-game schedule is likely. It just hasn’t been ruled out yet. The main reservation among A.D.’s, beyond an unbalanced number of home and away games, is losing the flexibility to schedule the maximum amount of non-conference home games, or a marquee matchup like Georgia-Clemson.

“The idea of playing seven home games is important,” Templeton said. “The other thing, you go to nine games, there’s seven winners and seven losers.”

Puh-leeze.  If seven winners and seven losers is that big a deal, maybe the SEC should think about going to a seven-game conference schedule, so its schools can pack in one more game against a Sun Belt opponent.  And the marquee matchup talk is window dressing for the extra home cupcake games ADs like McGarity want to pack in there in the three years between those high-profile non-conference meetings.

The real issue, which Templeton buries inside the nonsense, is that seventh home game.  The ADs and presidents aren’t going to give that up unless they’re convinced there’s enough money coming in on the new broadcast deals to make up the difference and then some.

And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s as simple as looking at how much more a ninth conference game will bring from CBS and ESPN.  As Emerson points out, there’s an eight-game format that looks pretty good to the conference.

… So with an eight-game schedule still likely, how will it work? The committee is down to two or three formats. One of them, which has the most traction, is a 6-1-1- format (six division games, one cross-division rivalry, and one floating non-division game) where a home-and-home series doesn’t have to happen in consecutive years. For instance, if Georgia goes to Alabama in 2013 then Alabama doesn’t have to come back to Georgia in 2014…

That’s attractive to the ADs, because they keep that seventh home game in play.  It’s attractive to the networks, because it means the marquee games that aren’t locked in cross-division rivalries will rotate onto the schedule as often as they have before.  As for the fans… hey, you got the rivalries saved, didn’t you?  That half a loaf will have to suffice, people, ’cause that’s probably all we’re getting for now.

One possible fly in the ointment for the conference if it sticks with an eight-game schedule is how that may impact the SEC’s chances with the next version of the BCS, should strength of schedule come into play as a factor in how the postseason field is selected.  With conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12 going to nine-game conference schedules (and the Big XII already being there), the SEC is going to find itself at a potential disadvantage if its schools play one more cupcake game than is played in rival conferences.  (Ironically, a conference-champs only format for a D-1 playoff, which Slive opposes, ameliorates that problem.)

If I had to bet on the outcome, I’d go with the 6-1-1, non-home and home arrangement in the short run, with the conference keeping an eye on its impact on the national title front.  Look to see if Slive negotiates a back door in the new TV deals allowing the conference to reopen things if it elects to go to a nine-game arrangement down the road.  Hopefully he’ll do a better job on revisiting the broadcast contract arrangements than he did last time, seeing as that’s how the SEC has gotten into its current scheduling mess in the first place.


Filed under SEC Football

Strength in numbers

Mike Bobo’s not exactly feeling it with his offensive linemen yet.

Where Georgia would really like to get more consistent this spring is on the offensive line. Bobo sees a lot of bodies there, but he’s still worried about depth. Right now, he likes what he’s seen from Kenarious Gates, Kolton Houston and Chris Burnette, but after that it’s a bit of a mystery.

Bobo said the second half of spring will be crucial to finding capable depth up front.

“We have three guys we feel good about,” he said. “We’re looking to find some depth. We’re actually trying to find five (linemen who can play).”

Translation:  John Theus can’t get to Athens soon enough.


Filed under Georgia Football

Save it for later.

It’s probably worth bookmarking this baby and checking back on it next January:

Alabama football signee Dalvin Tomlinson will undergo surgery after suffering a “significant” knee injury, according to the Henry Daily Herald.

… A source from Alabama’s football department confirmed to the AJC that they were aware of the injury and said “that it doesn’t change anything in terms of him coming.”

Dalvin, best of luck with your recovery, but you might not want to delete those other coaches’ numbers in your cell phone directory quite yet.  Just sayin’.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting