Daily Archives: June 1, 2012

The SEC needs to appoint a Director of Excuses.

Nauseating.

It is a sad day for this Georgia fan to acknowledge that when it comes to scheduling, the ACC has bigger cojones than does the SEC.

I have a prediction for you:  watch for a major push to come from a bunch of conferences that don’t have “Southeastern” in their names to include a strength of scheduling component in the soon-to-be playoff eligibility formula.

Can’t wait to hear the SEC’s excuse for opposing that.

33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Paul Johnson dances with one of James Franklin’s dates.

I’m not sure what I enjoy the most about this story – the blatant “good for me, but not for thee” aspect of Johnson’s poaching on Vanderbilt’s turf in contrast to the vaunted Johnson Doctrine, or anticipation of the inevitable “smoking hot” jokes that are bound to be made at Franklin’s expense in the wake of the news.

“I don’t think Vanderbilt is going to take it too well. They are probably going to come after me to get me to commit to them again…”

Watch out for those coaches on the rebound, Vandy fans.  They’ll go out with anyone.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Recruiting

6-1-1! 6-1-1!

And there you have it:  per Jeremy Foley, the SEC has officially adopted the 6-1-1 scheduling format, so the big cross-divisional rivalries have been saved.  And so is that seventh home game against a Sun Belt opponent.

The two other big questions are answered by Jon Solomon.

It’ll last as long as the networks will pay for it.

36 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

I blame… A.J.?

ESPN is currently running a series taking a look through metrics compiled by Brian Fremeau (Bill Connelly’s partner in crime at Football Outsiders) at twenty teams which have a shot at winning a national title this season.

The Georgia piece is linked here.  It’s a pay piece, so I’m not going to quote from it directly, but there’s a part that should be of interest to everyone who thinks there’s an Aaron Murray debate (or, more accurately perhaps, that there should be one).

First off, you have to start by noting that Murray’s passer rating declined from 2010 to 2011.  That’s because his completion percentage dropped and his interceptions climbed more than enough to offset the jump in touchdown passes.  Fremeau’s numbers lock in on a key area, downfield passing.  Georgia was noticeably less effective on longer throws last year (98 of the 238 completions were for 15 yards or more, a 41.18% rate) than the year before (109 of the 209 completions were for 15 yards or more, a 52.15% rate).  Some of that is Murray’s fault.  Some of that can be laid at the feet of an inconsistent running game that limited the usefulness of play action.

But some of that was due to the change in cast at wide receiver.  Murray’s #1 guy at wide out in 2010 was A.J. Green.  Last year, his #1 target was Tavarres King.  Despite playing in five fewer games, Green caught eleven more passes for 171 more yards.  (Green also had one more TD catch.)  And while their average yards per catch were fairly close, Green (34) had almost twice as many receptions of 15 or more yards as King (18) had.

To emphasize that last item, go back to Bill Connelly’s work on receiver target rates.  King’s catch rate in comparison to Mitchell’s and Charles’ is decidedly mediocre, despite being Murray’s favorite target.  Plainly stated, the two had trouble getting on the same page throughout the season.  The ESPN piece cites King’s record-setting day in the Outback Bowl as a sign of hope that communication between the two is improving, but as I noted in my postmortem of that game, Murray’s third interception was a troubling confirmation of the season long trend of inefficiency between the two.

Where that leaves us, I’m not sure.  Clearly Murray needs to step his deep game up, and just as clearly his supporting cast needs to come through.  I’ve already fretted about what effect the Mitchell move to corner might have on the offense, although I hope I’m wrong.  But either King in particular needs to produce at the level a number one receiver is expected to, or Bobo and Murray need to adjust accordingly in the playcalling and downfield reading as plays develop, respectively speaking.  It’s another thing to keep an eye on this season, especially early when Mitchell’s role in the offense is reduced.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Bernie Machen is full of crap, part two.

Mike Slive, shouldn’t Bernie Machen be the last guy you’ve got speaking out on the SEC’s position about the new postseason format?  After all, he did such a bang up job the last time he went on a playoff crusade.  Yet here he is again, telling us how it’s gonna be.

Florida President Bernie Machen said today the SEC won’t compromise on its position that the top four teams should be in a college football playoff, not a mixture of conference champions.

“We won’t compromise on that,” said Machen, chair of the SEC presidents and chancellors. “I think the public wants the top four. I think almost everybody wants the top four.”

As Andy Staples points out, Bernie’s public is likely to be different from Jim Delany’s public on what is wanted.

Whether the public wants the top four depends on where the public lives. If the public lives in Michigan, Ohio or Illinois, there is a good chance the public wants some sort of preference given to conference champs. At their meeting earlier this month, ACC athletic directors and coaches backed conference-champ priority even though Commissioner John Swofford had previously stated a desire for the top four. At the Big Ten meetings earlier this month, Commissioner Jim Delany voiced support for a “hybrid model” that would give preference to high ranked conference champions but would also make allowances in case one league had more than one elite team…

Matt Hinton (from his new CBS digs) notes something you could probably guess.  Based on the historical record, there’s very little practical difference in the results between the competing proposals.  Nevertheless, lines in the sand Must Be Drawn.  No compromise!

There’s no back up plan, either.

“I’ve thought about this: Suppose everybody says they’re going to do this (playoff) and one or two say we’re not going to do this,” said Machen, who is on the BCS oversight committee. “I don’t know what the next step is.”  [Emphasis added.]

Well, at least he’s thought about it.  Color me relieved.

Bernie Machen is a man who got lucky hiring a coach he happened to know from his previous school, a coach who went on to win two national championships at Florida.  Somehow that’s been parlayed into Machen being considered some sort of savant (not least of all by Machen himself) on the subject of a college football playoff.  He’s not.  Yet here we are.

I don’t know if this debate will devolve into a contest to see who’s got the biggest you-know-what, but if it does – and that certainly wouldn’t shock me – don’t be surprised at all if the plus-one is the last proposal standing.  And that Bernie will assure us it’s not a compromise.

8 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The best argument for a nine-game conference schedule…

is how convoluted all the eight-game schedule variations turn out to be.

Bill Connelly has my vote for becoming the next SEC Director of Scheduling.  He’s a helluva lot smarter than the people they’ve got fumbling over it now.

My head hurts.

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UPDATE:  Elkon advises Mike Slive to get his head out of his ass and acknowledge how Larry Scott got the big bucks in the Pac-12′s TV deal.

27 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

A sign the apocalypse is almost upon us.

UCLA finds itself obligated to issue a statement defending itself against the argument that athletic scholarships should be means tested.

We’re losing our collective minds, people.

30 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy

“You’re always on the hot seat in this profession.”

Shorter SOD:  When people criticize my track record, I just remember the mean things folks used to say about my daddy and console myself by thinking of how much more money I make than he did.

6 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Bernie Machen is full of crap, part one.

I’m really getting tired of having my intelligence insulted.  Here’s what Florida’s president had to say yesterday about the brilliant job the conference is doing with its self-induced scheduling snafu:

“You can draw up other scenarios. But I’d say for right now that one (as 6-1-1) is fine,” Machen said. “Some people don’t like how we got the East-West divided up. Let’s see how it works. In the end, it’s one conference. Look at basketball. They’ve essentially put it all together.”

Oh, yeah, basketball scheduling.  That’s working out swimmingly.  The only plus to take out of it is that the presidents have some sense of foreboding about the mess they’ve made by agreeing to revisit the matter in three years.

These guys are provincial morons.  The only people more clueless are the fans who faithfully believe that these are the very same people who are going to come up with a sensible postseason arrangement to save college football.  To those, all I can say is you’ll get what you deserve.

2 Comments

Filed under SEC Football