Daily Archives: December 12, 2012

No spike? No regrets.

Richt spoke with the media today, and as you might expect, the last play of the SECCG was a hot topic.  To his credit, it was something he was willing to discuss at length.  I think you’ll get the flavor of things from a few tweets.

If that’s the case, then I don’t see what spiking the ball in that situation would have gained the Georgia offense.  And before you go with huddle talk about what to do with a ball not in the end zone, keep in mind that the Dawgs weren’t doing much huddling at that point.  With the play already called, they would have likely lined up quickly to prevent ‘Bama from doing much substituting.

To summarize,

Richt then cites an offensive guru in support.

Smith, you may recall, is whom Richt went to early in his coaching career to consult with about better clock management.  It sounds like the student took the master’s lesson to heart.

Again, my point here isn’t to say that not spiking the ball in that situation was the right call.  It is to say that it clearly wasn’t a mistake.  Give the coaches credit for being decisive at a key point in the game even if you disagree with the tactic.  Anyway you look at it, it’s light years away from the dithering we saw by Richt in the overtime of last year’s Michigan State game.


UPDATE:  By the way, for those of you who point to Mike Bobo’s change of heart in hindsight about what he should have done then, here’s the other side of that coin.

Remember, Murray was the guy signaling for the spike as they hustled up to run the play.


UPDATE #2:  More fleshed out comments here.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The world’s longest bathroom break

Best Tuberville recruiting story EVAH:

Shortly after arriving in Lubbock, Danzey and at least two other recruits — lineman Sunny Odogwu and receiver Javess Blue — along with “eight to 10” coaches, including Tuberville, all went to dinner at the 50-Yard Line Restaurant on South Loop 289, Danzey said.

In the midst of the conversation at the table, he asked the coaches how long they expected to be at Tech (if they were not fired), he said.

“I asked Coach (Charlie) Weis at KU and Coach (Dana) Holgorsen at West Virginia (the same question), just so I know my relationship with them,” Danzey said. “(Tuberville) was just telling me he coached at Miami and Auburn, he coached 10 years and recruited Ray Lewis and kind of blew the question off I didn’t even realize.”

He added: “The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner. Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”

Funny how Ole Miss never entered the conversation.  Of course, maybe he really had to go.

The best thing would be if he called the kid to try to talk him into a trip to Cinci.


Filed under Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ


Presented without comment.


Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

The long and short of Aaron Murray

For a number of reasons, I have zero use for Mel Kiper.  Listen to him turn his keen insight towards Aaron Murray’s potential draft status:

“The thing working against Murray is in some of the big games he had some struggles. Obviously against Alabama he didn’t get the win, but he was right there with them the whole way. And of course you think about the height, what’s he gonna measure out at: Is he gonna be six feet, a little over it, what exactly is he gonna be? He’s not gonna be 6-2, 6-3. And of course this quarterback year is pretty wide open.”

“I’d say if you’re Aaron Murray and you come out, then there’s gonna be those potential Drew Brees comparisons,” Kiper said. “Brees was the first pick in the second round. So I’d say potential second, third-round area right now. But the height thing is gonna be the big factor in evaluating how he’s viewed by the NFL.”

Kiper then returned to Murray later in the teleconference.

“It’s a tough call. For him it really boils down to where is he?” Kiper said. “He’s played a lot of football at Georgia, it seems like he’s been there forever. He’s an accurate passer. He’s won a lot of games. He didn’t win the big one. Obviously he had a chance against Alabama, but it got away from him late – you’ve gotta spike the ball in that situation. He didn’t, and they ran out of time. He’s thrown a lot of touchdown passes, made a lot of plays. He’s obviously had some good receivers to throw to in his career. … The size issue, I mean how tall is he gonna be? He’s a fourth-year junior, he’s got a decision to make. …”

That’s three references to Murray’s height in a short interview – four if you count the Drew Brees reference.  The man’s a little obsessed with that.  And yet he advises Murray to stay in college another year!  Mel, it’s not like he’s in the ninth grade and will grow another four inches over the summer.

And I love the casual “He’s thrown a lot of touchdown passes, made a lot of plays” toss in there.  I’m not telling you Murray’s the greatest to ever play the position, but there’s more to that than Kiper’s letting on.  I’ve got no idea whether Murray is turning pro after this season, but selfishly speaking, I hope he comes back for more.  With one game left in his third year, he’s already become the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for more than 3,000 yards in each of three seasons.  He’s on pace to throw for close to 13,000 career yards and 120 career touchdown passes, both of which would obliterate the current conference records.  That’s not exactly chopped liver.

Yes, I get the big game critique.  But it takes a village to win a big game.  This season, Murray is the nation’s second-rated passer, despite playing behind a green offensive line (you think McCarron’s numbers would be as pretty if he and Murray swapped blockers?), playing without his best receiver early due to suspensions that forced the coaches to juggle personnel and then losing two starters during the year to season ending injuries, playing with a defense that’s had its share of ups and downs and special teams play that hasn’t always been consistent.  Besides that, there’s this:

I’d say moving the ball 75 yards for the clinching score in a game that put his team in the SECCG and knocked Florida out of national title consideration – finally, some revenge for 2002 – qualifies as coming through in a big game.

He continues to improve and with what’s coming back on offense next year could really have a season for the ages.  If he wasn’t so short, that is.


Filed under Georgia Football

Not too shabby.

This year’s SECCG was the fifth-most watched college football regular season game of the past 20 years.  That can’t hurt on the recruiting trail, Dawgs.


Filed under SEC Football

‘Tis the season to be greedy.

Quite the dick move by Northern Illinois, making an unprecedented trip to a BCS bowl:

Dave Doeren, who took the NC State job shortly after winning the MAC title and one day before the Northern Illinois Huskies landed an Orange Bowl berth, forfeited his $100,000 BCS bonus because he’s not coaching the game, according to NIU spokesman Donna Turner.

NC State is increasing Doeren’s salary from $420,000 in 2012 to $1.8 million in 2013, but Doeren won’t get a bonus for leading NIU to an 12-1 record and spearheading the MAC’s first appearance in the BCS.

By pocketing the hundred large and getting a cool $750,000 from NC State, NIU’s managed to turn a small profit off Doeren’s last two years under contract.  Nicely played, gentlemen.  (Western Kentucky is taking notes.)  Plus, technically, you can tell yourselves that you didn’t need ol’ Dave to get to that BCS game anyway.  That’ll show him!

Meanwhile, instead of following the traditional route of allowing an assistant coach to handle the bowl game coaching responsibilities when the head coach leaves for another gig, Barry Alvarez has decided to haul his ass out of the AD’s office and coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.  Before you chalk that decision up to ego or spite, you might want to look at a more mundane reason, like needing to add a room to his house.  Because Barry’s getting paid, dammit.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will earn $118,500 for returning to the sidelines to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl and a win against Stanford will mean a $50,000 bonus.

The executive committee of the university Board of Regents on Tuesday agreed to the terms following the surprise departure last week of head coach Bret Bielema to take the same job at Arkansas.

Alvarez was Wisconsin’s coach from 1990 through 2005, a time when he won three Rose Bowl titles. The money for the coaching job will come out of Bielema’s $1 million buyout to be paid by Arkansas.

Using the buyout money to cover that is an especially nice touch.  And I can’t help but be impressed by the committee’s rationale for the payment.

“Coach Alvarez has a one-of-a-kind skill set that the university needs to be successful — both in the Rose Bowl and in attracting the best coaching candidates in the search for someone to lead the Badgers’ football program going forward,” Ward said.

Yes, indeedy.  Because nothing says “welcome, coaching candidates!” like paying the guy who wouldn’t give the head coach who just left enough compensation for his assistant coaches over a hundred grand to coach in a meaningless bowl game.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

You’ve got your numbers, and they’ve got theirs, ctd.

What a relief – they’ve figured out how to divvy up the new postseason money between the conferences.  Year2 crunches the numbers and finds that, to no surprise, things are berry, berry good for the SEC:

That math comes out to a $91.75 million guarantee to the SEC each year, and it will go up to $119.25 million in seasons when it puts a team into the Orange Bowl. By contract, the league will have at least three and up to five appearances there. The conference will get even more money from teams participating in the playoff games, and individual schools will receive some of the pot for staying above an Academic Progress Rate threshold.

Two things about that.  First, in its worst year, the SEC will take home more from the postseason than the five mid-major conferences combined.  In its best, it’ll be considerably more.  That, of course, doesn’t even take into account the enormous disparity in regular season revenues.  Haves, for the win!

Second, look at the impact conference expansion has had on the math.  If this deal were in place five years ago, the Big East would be sharing the big bucks with the rest of college football’s royalty.  Instead, it finds itself sitting below the salt with the rest of the mid-major peons fighting over the table scraps.  The big boys get to cut their revenue pie into fewer, but bigger slices.

Cannibalization pays.  Which should be a cautionary tale for John Swofford.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness