Daily Archives: November 13, 2013

“After the pass is completed, it’s just Gurley and Riggs, which is almost always bad news for a safety.”

Nice look at a couple of plays that demonstrate Todd Gurley’s worth to the Georgia offense.

I just wish Bobo had dialed up that play action pass to the tight end in the Clemson game instead of running Gurley and Hicks into a ten-man front when the Dawgs had a first-and-goal on the five and didn’t score.  Sigh.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Saban does Dooley.

Nick Saban calls Mississippi State, Alabama’s opponent this week, “probably the best 4-5 team in the country.”

Nick’s not as polished as Ol’ Vince, though.  Dooley would have dispensed with the “probably” and substituted the more genteel, yet ambiguous “finest” for “best”.  Still, it ain’t exactly bulletin board material.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“Speak up, Coach. I can’t hear you over the crowd noise.”

This story (h/t Doc Saturday) is chock full of awesome.

“I can remember in the third quarter, he’s pulling his cell phone out,” Harrell says of Texas Tech’s 2007 loss at Texas. “He always talked to me between series, so he’s talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner. He’s like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, ‘These refs are screwing us. You better watch my post-game press conference because I’ve got some stuff to say.'”

Wouldn’t you have loved to have seen an enraged Mark Richt whip out a cell phone and call Mike Slive after the second targeting call in Nashville?


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!

“We’re not anxious to move outside the organization.”

The major conferences have decided that, divisions, schmivisions, who cares about that.  After all, what’s in a name?  Rather, they’re letting their inner Nick Sabans run free.  They simply don’t have time for the smaller schools’ shit anymore.

The drumbeat for schools to break away from the NCAA or create a so-called Division 4 has faded away. Perlman said there’s an aim to essentially get a separate set of rules within the current NCAA structure for high-revenue schools. This would mean that Maine’s athletic department, with its inherent fiscal limitations, will not be able to vote to limit what USC can spend.

“We want to be able to administer, legislate and govern our affairs without having to achieve a consensus among all the rest of schools not as directly impacted as we are,” Perlman said.

This would mark a significant shift in the NCAA governance model, as under the current structure Ohio State and Texas follow the same set of rules as Buffalo and New Mexico. This has happened despite a revenue gap that can be upwards of $100 million annually. There’s a notion among presidents and athletic directors that there’s no need for these schools to separate from the NCAA, as they’ve already separated themselves with their budgets, television networks and the salaries they pay their coaches.

The wolves are tired of the squirrels telling them how to fix dinner.  But they’re still willing to use the same kitchen with a little remodeling.


Filed under The NCAA

Gus knows how to KISS.

I think Malzahn is a good coach.  Here’s a basic reason why I believe that.

Head coach Gus Malzahn said the one-sidedness in his play calling hasn’t struck him as strange, citing his background as a high school coach, where being able to adapt to the skill set of the roster is paramount.

“It’s just whatever you do best, you need to build around that,” he said. “That’s kind of what we’re doing best right now.”

Though many like to draw comparisons to what Marshall is doing now to the things Cam Newton did during the 2010 campaign, Malzahn said the offense Auburn is fielding this year has its own iterations that set it apart.

“The first year, no matter whether it was Chris Todd or Cam Newton or Nick Marshall, the core of who we are foundation-wise didn’t change,” he said. “We just build around the strengths of our quarterback.”

There are a lot of college coordinators who never learn that lesson.  Or learn it too late.

One thing I’m curious about is Malzahn giving credit to his high school background as the reason for his success.  Clemson’s Chad Morris is another guy who’s transitioned his high school work into the college game at a high level.  I’m sure there are plenty of coaches who didn’t make the leap successfully, but is there any data out there to suggest that college offensive coordinators who come from the high school ranks do better on average than others?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

They ain’t skeered of no Sexton.

Anybody who’s buying this… well, I’ve still got that very attractive piece of oceanfront property in Hahira I’m prepared to let go to the right person on very favorable terms.

The smoke surrounding emails exchanged from Texas regents based on conversations with Saban’s agent Jimmy Sexton probably won’t change that stance, a high-ranking Alabama source said. Alabama’s higher-ups haven’t felt leveraged by Sexton despite the outside interest Saban has garnered in recent years, according to the source, who qualifies past talks with Sexton as productive and civil. The Texas job was not part of past discussions, according to the source.

I think we’re all agreed that, whatever else one might say about Nick Saban, he’s not a stupid man.  He doesn’t engage Jimmy Sexton’s services because he thinks it’s neat to have an agent.  Sexton’s not stupid, either.  Texas wasn’t put on the table because Sexton likes to talk about the great barbeque brisket he gets when he visits Austin.

“Alabama’s higher-ups” can deny feeling leveraged all they want.  Jimmy Sexton knows better.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to settle it on the field!

Hey, the playoff selection committee, or at least most of it, got together and hung out on Monday.  I’m not really sure why, but Bill Hancock seized the opportunity to engage in some Olympic-level flackery:

Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, called the committee “a group of all-stars” and said the occasion, though essentially an orientation session, was “truly a historic day for college football, a signature moment for our game.”

Goosebump City, I tells ‘ya.  I mean, I get chills just thinking about it.  At least until I get to how one member intends to evaluate the job:

“I try to watch more games – which in my case is almost impossible, since I already watch a lot of football,” said Rice, a former provost and current professor at Stanford who has long had a reputation as a devout football fan. “It’s not so much to say how I would be ranking but, ‘What ought I to be looking for? What am I really seeing in this game that will help me when we get together for discussion? How am I thinking about what this team is showing on the field and what I see another team show on the field?’

“It’s more like that for me than, ‘This team I would be thinking of as stronger than that team.’ “

Yeah, why concern yourself with which team is stronger?  Of course, part of the problem is nobody’s figured out yet how to measure that.

The committee will be expected to consider factors including conference championships, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, common opponents and the effects of injuries. Part of the task of the committee, beginning now, is to develop metrics to compare and contrast teams.  [Emphasis added.]

Hey, the game’s only been around 145 years.  What’s a few more months trying to come up with a ranking system?

That’s not even the touchiest problem they’ve got to address.

Also to be determined the next few months is the committee’s protocol on recusal. Long noted that several members have been associated with more than one school.

They’re gonna need a bigger committee, methinks.

All in all, the whole thing reeks of stability.

“I think there is going to be a lot of times where there is more than one right answer,” said Steve Wieberg, the former college football reporter for USA TODAY Sports, who is on the committee as a former media member. “It will be up to us to come up with the best right answer. And it will be defensible.”

These folks will be a walking advertisement for an eight-game playoff in less than two seasons.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

They may be baby steps, but at least they’re steps.

One small, favorable trend for Georgia’s defense:

Georgia’s defense has improved five consecutive weeks when it comes to yardage allowed. After giving up 449 yards to LSU, the Bulldogs have yielded 404 to Tennessee, 375 to Missouri, 337 to Vanderbilt, 319 to Florida and 253 to Appalachian State.

Yes, I get that the quality of the offenses Georgia has faced has declined as the season’s progressed.  But Missouri’s part of that trend, so that’s not a complete explanation.  And, no, I don’t expect the trend to survive Saturday.  Auburn’s lowest total yardage figure of the season is 366, against Arkansas.  What it should indicate, though, is that the defense is gaining some traction and perhaps more confidence in its play.  Before you dump all over that thought, ask yourself if you’d be happier if the trend’s reverse were happening.

If the Dawgs can keep Auburn’s offense under 400 yards on the day and avoid imploding on the turnover front and on special teams, I like their chances.  (It would help if nobody on defense got flagged for targeting this week.)


UPDATE:  Also, this, which strikes me as real progress.

Georgia’s rush defense ranks fourth in the SEC this year and is yielding 3.4 yards per carry. Last year, with four players who made NFL opening day rosters, the Bulldogs ranked 12th in the conference in run defense and yielded 4.1 yards per carry.

This year’s Georgia run defense has been solid, although stout would be going too far. The sack numbers do a lot to bring the average rushing yards down. Without sacks counting, Georgia is allowing 4.3 yards per rush. Taking sacks out of last year’s total, the yards-per-rush average goes up to 4.7.


Filed under Georgia Football

Help us, Obi Wan Malzahn. You’re our only hope.

Jesus, this is an embarrassing read.

At least there’s a slight nod in the way of Georgia’s existence.

You have an amazing opportunity, Coach. You’ll have to get past a pesky Georgia team next Saturday in order to turn your game against Alabama into a tiebreaker for the SEC West title.

“Pesky”, eh?  That Georgia team has two more wins one more win over top ten teams this season than Gus has.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Media Punditry/Foibles