Monthly Archives: June 2013

Administrative note

I’m heading down to Amelia Island today with a few law school buddies – a sort of summer practice for the Cocktail Party, if you will – so posting will be light until I get back late Sunday.

Behave, you scamps.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Summertime, and the tattin’ is easy.

Amarlo Herrera can’t tell the newbies without a scorecard, so he falls back on the next best ID.

Whatever works.



Filed under Georgia Football

A penny saved is a penny left in the reserve fund.

I’m sorry, but I can’t help it.  There’s a pretty neat article on ESPN’s Georgia site about the football program going to a digital playbook.  And then it gets to here:

Of course Georgia’s coaching staff simply wants its players to learn their playbooks, regardless of the vehicle that delivers the information. Some players would have put in that work using the old-school playbook binders and some probably won’t even with everything now at their fingertips. But providing a chance to quickly review a concept on a mobile device while riding a campus bus or while sitting in a dining hall might help those between the two groups become more efficient in their preparation.

And it will certainly allow Georgia’s football staff become more efficient with its resources, cutting back on the mountains of photocopies necessary to fill 125 playbooks and the ink required to produce them.

Cost savings are simply an added benefit to the new digital playbooks, however.

Sure they are.  But I bet that was the big selling point to McGarity.


Filed under Georgia Football

How do you solve a problem like Alabama?

Hey, did you know that Nick Saban’s running a pretty good little program over there in Tuscaloosa?  Mark Schlabach does.  And he’s wondering if there’s a program in the SEC that can do anything about it.

Surprisingly, it’s kind of a lazy piece.  All he really does is line up the teams perceived to be the top contenders in the conference and go through their strengths and weaknesses.

The reality is that there were only three teams that pushed Alabama last year – LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia.  What all three teams had in common was the ability to stretch Alabama’s pass defense.  They were the only three to exceed eight yards per pass attempt against the Tide defense

So how would Florida and South Caroline fare along that line?  The Gators are a tough sell, honestly.  They’re not geared to stretch defenses.  Last season, they averaged 6.6 ypa and only exceeded 8 ypa twice, against Texas A&M and Tennessee, neither of which had defenses which would be confused with Saban’s.

As for Spurrier’s crew, it’s more of a Jekyll and Hyde story.  There are some eye-popping ypas from last season (including a game in Columbia that we won’t dwell on here), but there are also some abysmal averages against good defenses, like Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU… and Wofford.  So you don’t know which offense would show up, perhaps.  But in a one game scenario with Spurrier’s legendary playcalling ability, I wouldn’t bet against the ‘Cocks.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good spot for a reader poll.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Oregon ducks a serious penalty.

So, Oregon dodges the proverbial bullet in the Willie Lyles matter – no bowl ban and a one-scholarship loss for each of two years.  Oh, and Chip Kelly gets slapped with an eighteen-month show-cause penalty, which I’m sure will cause him many sleepless nights as he game plans for the next Eagles game.

Bottom line here appears to be that it’s okay to write a $25,000 check to a sketchy recruiting dude as long as you’re sorry about it and cooperate with the investigation.

It really is a waste of time to expect any consistency out of the NCAA.


Filed under The NCAA

The NCAA, O’Bannon and bang for the buck

I highly recommend reading this series of posts about the larger economic/marketing issues facing college athletics as a result of the O’Bannon case at the Emory Sports Marketing Blog.  The author’s point is that both sides bring a lot to the table, but one side enjoys far more of the feast, so to speak.  And much of that is structural.

NCAA players have few rights and operate under significant constraints.  Scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis so essentially athletes have one year contracts.  In contrast, coaches operate in a free market system and can sell their services to the highest bidder.  Coaches also typically have contracts that continue to pay them even if they are fired.  Transfer rules are particularly one sided.  If an athlete transfers, he must sit out for a season and the school can limit the athlete’s choices.  Coaches can, of course, move on whenever a better opportunity arises (often the new suitor will pay the coaches buyout).  The hypocrisy of these asymmetric rules is dramatically highlighted when NCAA sanctions are levied.  Often the coach, on whose watch the infractions occurred, moves on while players then suffer the consequences.

Make sure you read it all, as he makes good points and asks some very thoughtful questions.  And, boy, if this doesn’t sum up the current state of college athletic economics, I don’t know what does:

My ultimate conclusion is, therefore, that for schools to save their athletic programs it is necessary to remove the profit motivation from the system.  This is, however, different from saying that profits should be removed.  As I see it the main problem is that we have evolved to a system coaches and athletic departments can harness the loyalty of alumni and other fans to make themselves amazingly wealthy.

Greg McGarity wants to know what’s wrong with that.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

The pen is mightier than the suspension.

Reading this story about the suspension that almost drove Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M, I don’t know if I should give the school credit for having the stones to suspend a player for a year after an arrest for fighting and possession of fake IDs (even in Athens I don’t think the penalty would have been that severe), or shrug it off for backing down after getting a “the kid’s suffered enough by my hand” letter from his head coach.

But it sure would be interesting to see what the official reaction would be if he did it again.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

Touchbacks take off.

Good piece at Football Study Hall on the effects of the new kickoff rules last season.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised at the results in this chart:

Year Pre-Rule Change
Post-Rule Change
Touchback % 15.2% 34.8%

What is a little surprising to me, considering my feelings about Malcolm Mitchell’s aggressiveness returning kickoffs last season, are Georgia’s touchback percentage numbers (via over that same period.

  • 2010:  10.71%
  • 2011:  10.53%
  • 2012:  35.00%

That’s an even bigger swing than the national average.  And with an offense that was as prolific as Georgia’s was, it makes good tactical sense.  Barring a run of weak-legged kickers, I wouldn’t expect much of a change this year.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Rodney Garner’s Freudian slip

The man was back on his old stomping grounds yesterday (“It’s awesome,” Garner said before the meeting. “It would be better if I could sell my house.”), speaking to the Greater Athens Auburn Club, where he had this to say:

“When you come in Sanford Stadium … I mean to Jordan Hare-Stadium,” he said correcting himself. “You better be ready to suit it up.”

Old habits die hard.  Good thing they’re playing in Auburn this year.  Otherwise, he’d probably wind up in the wrong locker room before the game.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Georgia has defensive line depth? Who knew?

Evidently the secret is out, according to a recruit.

…  another reason is that he has been getting an earful from opposing coaches about UGA’s  depth chart on the defensive line.

“I’m hearing that there’s too much depth already at Georgia,” Lambert said. “From what I’m hearing, it will be around 10 linemen there when I get there. But (Wilson) was telling me that anywhere I go, there’s going to be a lot of players.”

Geez… and here we’ve been all worried about the defense this spring.

I wonder what those schools are telling defensive back recruits who are interested in the Dawgs.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting